Saturday, April 25, 2009

Views on the News- 22/04/09

Torture matter of policy under Bush

A Senate inquiry published on Wednesday directly implicates senior members of the Bush administration in the extensive use of harsh interrogation methods against al-Qaida suspects and other prisoners round the world. The 232-page report, the most detailed investigation yet into the background of torture, undercuts the claim of the then deputy defence secretary, Paul Wolfowitz, that the abuse of prisoners in Iraq was the work of "a few bad apples". The report says: "The abuse of detainees in US custody cannot simply be attributed to the actions of "a few bad apples" acting on their own. The fact is that senior officials in the United States government solicited information on how to use aggressive techniques, redefined the law to create the appearance of their legality, and authorised their use against detainees." The report says that instructors trained CIA and other military personnel early in 2002 on the use of harsher interrogation techniques but warned that information obtained might be unreliable.

World losses top $4 trillion says IMF report

Financial institutions in the United States, Western Europe and Japan face credit losses of more than $4 trillion as the global economy continues to deteriorate during its deepest and longest recession in more than 60 years, the International Monetary Fund reported Tuesday. U.S. financial institutions face asset write-downs totalling $2.7 trillion, nearly double the $1.4 trillion in write-offs that were projected in October, the IMF said in its latest Global Financial Stability report. The gloomy report, released in advance of this weekend's IMF meeting in Washington, predicted that "the global credit crisis is likely to be deep and long lasting." The report said capital flows to emerging markets have "come to a halt." IMF chief economist Olivier Blanchard predicted at a briefing that "it is going to take quite a while until we see a return to capital outflows" to emerging markets, even "if the banking system is slowly repaired in advanced countries." As financial institutions see their credit losses soar, they face "further pressure" to "raise capital and shed assets," the IMF said

Islamic law in Somalia?

Somalia’s Parliament voted unanimously last week to institute Islamic law, a measure lawmakers say they hope will strengthen popular support for the government and siphon it away from the Islamist militias fighting an insurgency here. The vote ratified a decision by the cabinet last month to adopt the legal code of Islam based on the Koran, known as Shariah.“God is great, God is great, the Parliament voted for the implementation of the Shariah law,” the deputy speaker of Parliament, Osman Elmi Boqore, said after the vote. “We are grateful that we implemented it today.” The minister of justice, Sheik Abdirahman Mohamoud Farah, speaking to the lawmakers, said that the opposition hard-liners would no longer be able to use. However, the minister of justice, Sheik Abdirahman Mohamoud Farah, revealed the government’s motives for implementing partial shariah when he said that the opposition hard-liners would no longer be able to use Islam as a justification for attacking the government.

America itching to train the Pakistani army

The Obama administration wants to pursue broader military ties with Pakistan to help Islamabad combat a growing threat from militant groups including the Taliban, a Pentagon official said on Tuesday. Michele Flournoy, U.S. under secretary of defense for policy, said Washington wants to provide the Pakistani army with training and advice on counterinsurgency tactics developed in Iraq and Afghanistan and support ongoing operations with intelligence and other assistance."We need to substantially increase our military assistance and broaden the form," she said at a forum hosted by the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies. U.S. officials have long been eager to provide counterinsurgency training for the Pakistani army but have been largely rebuffed by army leaders reluctant to shift away from a conventional military posture aimed at countering any threat from arch rival India.

Indians even bar celebrity Muslims from renting houses

India’s Muslims face new discrimination following last November’s attacks in Mumbai and now even Bollywood’s Muslim celebrities are being denied housing in Hindu residential complexes, a leading US newspaper reported last week. The Washington Post correspondent in Mumbai interviewed with some well-placed Muslims who were barred from renting a place to live. The post stated: “The phenomenon has become known here [Mumbai] as ‘renting while Muslim.’ It raises questions that go to the heart of India’s identity as a secular democracy that is home to nearly every major religion on the planet. “ India has some 200 million Muslims out of a population of 1 billion.

22 April 2009

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Q&A: Recent Developments in Somalia

This is a translation of an Arabic article

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Sheikh Shareef Ahmad has become the president of Somalia, so does this indicate the resurgence of the Shar'iah courts as they were two years ago. If it is so, why is the al-Shabab Mujahideen Movement opposed to them though they a part of the courts or at least very cloase to them? Has in the meantime Sheikh Shareef changed and the al-Shabab Mujahideen Movement is trying to sideline him, does this mean that the al-Shabab Mujahideen Movement is a sincere and dedicated force?

Yes, Sheikh Shareef Ahmad is not what he used to be. He was the head of the Islamic courts in the past, and has now come to head the country. He was earlier fighting the greedy foreign kafir colonialists and was talking about implementing the Islamic Shariah, but his politicalacumen and awareness was very weak, just like most of the Islamic militant movements have. Therefore the sincere ones or al-Mukhlisoon sent him a delegation advising him against negotiating with the government of Abdullah Yousuf who was an American agent.

He was also advised not to negotiate wih the US, either directly or even through American agents or under the auspises of the United Nations or even the African Union...all of these are loyal to America, rather they are all America's hands which it manipulates at will. The delegation also advised him remain opposed to the kuffar is another matter that he did not heed the advice and negotiated with th government of Abdullah Yousuf in Khartoum under the aegis of the UN, Arab League and the African Union.

Anyway, now he is in power, after the destruction of Ethiopia and expulsion of Shareef from Somalia to Kenya and later to Djibouti, he became the president of the Somalian Liberation Front (Djobouti Wing) when the Islamin courts were split and remained so in Asmara and Djobouti, despite both of these countries being loyal to the West...! During this period the Sheikh indulged in direct and indirect negotiations until he came to the position of becoming the head of the Somalian government which is not very different to that of Abdullah Yousuf-thanks to the blessings of America, the West and their agents...the events have now come to be as follows:

1. At the end of 2006 when the Islamic courts were defeated at the hands of the Ethipian forces which were in turn backed by America to subdue Somalia on its behalf, Shareef went into exile to Kenya where he met the US Ambassador in the presence of US intelligence officials.

2. After the split of the Islamic courts into two factions, Sheikh Shareef led the Djibouti faction and began to negotiate with Abdullah Yousuf's government and with Ethiopia until he signed the Djibouti agreement on 26th October, 2008 C.E.

3. The agreement was reached under American patronage and after acceptance by Ethiopia, this was because the Ethiopian forces had incurred huge losses and wanted to withdraw, but at the same time they wanted to save their face; i.e. through an agreement to that effect.this is why after the treaty was signed, Ethiopia began issuing statements about withdrawal of its troops.
The French news agency (AFP) reported on 28th November, 2008 that Ethiopia will pu;; out its troops from Somalia by the end of the year and this was confirmed through two official letters addressed to the African Union and the United Nations. AFP reported Waheedi Bella, the Ethiopian foreign ministry spokesman saying: "We have come to the conclusion that it is inappropriate for Ethiopia to keep its forces in Somalia. We have accomplished our task and are proud of this achievement, but the hopes that we pinned on the international community have been frustrated". Bvut the same spokesman before the treaty had remarked to AFP on 24th November, 2008 and said: "It (the treaty) follows the Ethiopian direction of troops withdrawal in aphased manner."

Indeed Somalia is important for Ethiopia, not only in the context of fighting America's proxy war, but because it is Ethiopia's neighbour and occupied its Oghadin region during wars in 1977 and 1978 which somalia wants to regain, but has failed to do so. Therefore Ethiopia wants a regime in Somalia which will not be hostile to it and which will not demand the Ogaden terrritory. Moreover Ethiopia serves US interests in the horn of Africa and it was America that sent the Ethiopian troops into Somalia and the same US asked it to withdraw from thereafter the Djobiuti accord on 26th October, 2008 when it atlast found what it was looking for, in the person of Sheikh Shareef.

4. America has seen that Sheikh Shareef is better equipped to confront the Mujahideen because of his Islamic past. The Americans also understand that Ethiopia being an African country cannot remain in the midst of the Islamists for long, thus it was more suitable for the US to employ one of the Islamists to play this role. Hence America worked on Sheikh Shareef and its agents and Sudan and Kenya, especially of Sudan were able to overwhelm him, Hasan Makki, a political expert observes: "The Sudanese government expalined to Sheikh Shareef that it was not possible for him to overcome the Ethiopians, nor it was possible for him to work with the international community, as if he did not exist for them. Therefore Sheikh Shareef began to heed such advices, after all, he was educated in the Sudanese educational institutions." He adds: "The Sudanese mediation played a major part in these (Djibouti treaty) deliberations."
Thus America had won over Shareef to the extent that he began to sing in America's praise. In an interview with Voice of America's Somalian branch on 20th February, 2009, he described American policies in Somalian as being positive right since the start of the negotiations until the present time, and added: "We hope these efforts fructify."!!

5. Sheikh Shareef became Somalia's president winning a majority votes of the same parliament which was elected in Abdullah Yousuf's term! Now the next step was the appointment of a prime minister, where again America played a major role. Omar ‘Abd alRasheed Sharmarki, a US- resident, and a moderate according to US standards. He had held various positions at the UN and was also the Somalian ambassador to Washigton during Abdullah Yousuf's period. He is the son of a former Somalian president Abdirashid Ali Shermarke.

6. America was keen that Omar ‘Abd alRasheed Sharmarki should be the primeminister due to the fact he had earlier lived in the US, he was not involved in the civilwar because he was away from it and far away in the US and this placed in a position of better acceptability to the comon man in Somalia.

It may be pertinent to mention that such is the usual norm of the colonialist powers; whenever they would find a man who has the potential to effectively serve their interests and agenda, they would replace their existing agent with their niw-find who could serve them better. Thus America abandoned Abdullah Yousuf who had now been worn-out and exposed as a traitor to Somalia, so the US forced him to resign on 29th December, 2008 C.E and had him expelled from Mogadishu to Muscat (Oman). He had earlier ruled Ponteland region of Somalia from 1998 until 2004 when he was declared president. He later took refuge in Yemen.

7. America believes that it has consolidated its hold over Somalia by bringing Sheikh Shareef, who has an Islamist past in the Shariah courts which enjoyed populr support during its rule, as the president; and by having Omar ‘Abd alRasheed Sharmarki, who was not involved in the civil war which makes him more acceptable to the masses, as the prime minister. However, its hopes have faltered, it has now become clear that this regime is not very different to the earlier ones except in outward appearance.
Speaking with all optimism about the present regime, the real difference between the former regime and the present one is that while Abdullah Yousuf knowingly served American interests and he did so on purpose, the present one led by Sheikh Shareef is unwittingly doing so while beliveing that he is doing good for Somalia! We had hoped that Sheikh Shareef would remain alert about the intrigues and consipracies of the kuffar colonialists just as he had been earlier. We still hope that Allah willing, he will return to his earlier self.

8. In light of what this governement stands exposed of. The Muslims especially the al-Shabab Mujahideen Movement have continued to resist it even more intensely.The al-Shabab Mujahideen Movement has split from both (Asmara & Djibouti factions of) the Islamic courts after the Asmara accord in September 2007 C.E and accused them both hobnobbing with the secularists and abandoning Jihad in the path of Allah سبحانه وتعالى
The al-Shabab Mujahideen Movement has decalred its intention of waging jihad against Ethiopia and the United States to recover the entire lost territories in the Horn of Africa. It also intends to establish the rule of Islam which overides petty nationalism etc. The US State Department has issued a statement decalring the al-Shabab Mujahideen Movement to be a separatist, extremist and violent outfit with many of its members to the al-Qaeda organisation. [Chines NewsPage: 18.03.08].

The US had arrested its former leader Ismail ‘Arali in mid 2007 in Djibouti and sent him to the Guantanamo Bay prison. It had also chosen the movement of Mukhtar Abd al Rahman "Abu Zubair" and Mukhtar Rabbou "Abu Mansour" as its official spokesman. [al-Arabia: 22.12.2007]. this official spokesman responded to the US State Department saying: "Our relationship with al-Qaeda is the relationship that one Muslim has with another, the essence of which is loyalty, to keep away from kuffar and reach all Muslims and love them." He said that "the movement is pleased and happy that it been placed by the US in the list of terror." A statement issued by the movement on 5th April, 2008 said: "We are fully aware that we are not targeted for being Somalians, but because we carry the concept of jihad as it is generally understood which does not recognise either imanginary boundaries or what is known as the ‘Global Order".
The al-Shabab Mujahideen Movement has been successful in controlling many of Somalia's cities and towns and is in effective control of more territory than the government. What is apparently clear about this movement is that it sencerely and truthfully fights the kuffar colonialists... but there is weak point as we mentioned earlier, and which is true of most Islamic militant organisations, which is the lack of political awareness. We pray to Allah سبحانه وتعالى that this movement persists in its strong stance against the kuffar colonialists.

However, this movement is politically more aware than the Hizb Islami which is also opposed to the regime of Sheikh Shareef and is composed of 4 separate movements of which the Somalian Liberation Movement (Asmara faction) led by Hassan Tahir Aweys is more prominent, while the other three are: Kamponi Militia, Islamic Front and the Farouq Militia. The Webpage of the al-Shabab movement, "Gorenje" (A webpage considered close to the al-Shabab movement), asked Hassan Tahir Aweys on 24th January, 2009 as to why is still lived in the Eritrean capital Asmara, Hassan Aweys replied that they (Eritreans) are like what al-Najashi was to the early Muslims!! This is him!!

We pray to Allah سبحانه وتعالى for all Islamic movements to be sincere and dedicated to Allah's Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and that they become fully aware for the conspiracies and schemings of the kuffar who try to deceive Islam and conceal their evil designs more than they reveal,

قَدْ بَدَتِ الْبَغْضَاء مِنْ أَفْوَاهِهِمْ وَمَا تُخْفِي صُدُورُهُمْ أَكْبَرُ
"They desire to harm you severely. Hatred has already appeared from their mouths, but what their breasts conceal is far worse." [TMQ al-Imraan: 118]

Those who seek their support or provide support to them, they shall indeed be clear losers and this fact is amply proved.

6th Rabee al Thani. 1430 A.H

1st April.2009 C.E

Arabic Source

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Obama Offers Sugar-Coated Poison for the Region!

This is the translation of an Arabic Article

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Obama Offers Sugar-Coated Poison for the Region!

Obama concluded his tour of Turkey yesterday Tuesday 7th April, 2009. This visit was full of sugar-coated statements trying to convince that he was not at war against either Islam or Muslims, and that Turkey is important for America and the world as a bridge between the West and the Islamic world. He also stressed that America’s relations with Muslims is not confined to merely fighting terrorism, but it extends to many other issues as well. Obama also said that he will work towards a dialogue etc., He spoke on these lines in his address to the Turkish parliament, during his various meetings and conferences whilst in Turkey.

Despite the fact that there is nothing good about these statements, it is akin to a riverbed that holds neither water nor can it sustain any vegetation! However, officials in Turkey and Arab countries especially Iraq, then Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan perceive Obama as being close to them unlike his predecessor and they welcome his statements regard him not as a man of war like his predecessor Bush but as a man calling for peace! They applause his statements and conferences despite the fact that his defence secretary Robert Gates’ announcement that in the US Defence budget, his will stress before the US Congress on increased spending in America’s war in Afghanistan & Iraq- which in other words simply means spilling more of Muslim blood! This also coincides with the announcement by the US Justice Department about the arrest of an Iranian national on charges of exporting military aircraft components to Iran!

One of the greatest tragedy to have befallen the Ummah, are its rulers who remain a silent spectators-despite the treachery; deaf-despite the wailings of the oppressed; and blind to the sufferings of Muslims. Another misfortune is that from among the Ummah are those who applaud and cheer such rulers:

فَاسْتَخَفَّ قَوْمَهُ فَأَطَاعُوهُ
“Thus he [Fir'aun (Pharaoh)] befooled (and misled) his people, and they obeyed him.” [TMQ 43: 54].

Oh Muslims! These rulers have no regard for you, they have dumped you to be killed and butchered, if you obey them or follow their ways, then the forewarning of Allah’s Messenger (saw) comes apt for you, he (saw) said:

إِنَّهُ سَتَكُونُ بَعْدِي أُمَرَاءُ مَنْ صَدَّقَهُمْ بِكَذِبِهِمْ وَأَعَانَهُمْ عَلَى ظُلْمِهِمْ فَلَيْسَ مِنِّي وَلَسْتُ مِنْهُ وَلَيْسَ بِوَارِدٍ عَلَيَّ الْحَوْضَ وَمَنْ لَمْ يُصَدِّقْهُمْ بِكَذِبِهِمْ وَلَمْ يُعِنْهُمْ عَلَى ظُلْمِهِمْ فَهُوَ مِنِّي وَأَنَا مِنْهُ وَهُوَ وَارِدٌ عَلَيَّ الْحَوْضَ

There will be rulers after me, whoever testifies to their falsehood and lies and helped them in their treachery, he is not from me, and I am not from him (i.e. I have nothing to do with him). He shall not come near me at the cistern (Hawdh Kauthar). And whoever does not testify to their falsehood and does not help him in his treachery, he is from me and I am from him and he shall meet me at the Hawdh. [Reported in Sunan anNisai on the authority of Ka’ab ibn ‘Ujrah (r.a)

Oh Muslims!

How does the policy of Obama differ from Bush’s policy for the region?
Doesn’t Obama swear by the same policies for Palestine that were adopted by Bush? He talks of the ‘Road Map’, the Annapolis and the two-state theory?!, each of which is as grave a sin as the other. In simple words, all these things merely comprise surrendering almost all Palestinian territories to the Jews; the territories that include the sacred lands of al-Isra wal Me’raj and this leaces just a handful of land for the Palestinians- that too with no real authority and no sovereignty. Would you cheer for such a ‘wise’ man?

Is this not exactly what Bush did and what his successor is repeating?

Even in Iraq, where is Obama any different to Bush? Aren’t the American soldiers roaming there like jackals poaching on its prey and causing havoc and uprooting people’s lives? Aren’t they still holding on to real power and authority there? Hasn’t Obama only resumed where Bush had left. It is just that the American master of its agents in Iraq has just had a change of face in Washington and now the new face will hold the leash of its agents in Iraq. Obama ha s declared that he will not withdraw all of his troops from Iraq until end of 2011, i.e. if he withdraws!
And how does he differ from Bush in Afghanistan? Aren’t they US & NATO troops killing women, children and the infirm day and night, day in and day out, where is any respite for the people? Moreover, Obama wants to send even more troops! And he is urging his partners in NATO to send even more troops. Has he not declared this openly? Can a Muslim applaud Obama who brazenly declares his intentions of killing even more? Is it not shameful to applaud and cheer him? i.e. if they still have any degree of shame!

The how does Obama differ from Bush in Pakistan? Aren’t the US killer drones and aircrafts bombing their missiles on the tribal region day and night? In fact some of these aircrafts take-off from Pakistani airports?! And yet the envoys of the Pentagon and the US State Departments feasting delectable dinners and enjoying parties hosted by Pakistani government agencies- both by the previous regime as well as the present rulers?

Take the case of Iran. In what way does Obama differ from Bush? He is treading along the same policy outlined by Bush towards Iran. Bush had wanted Iran to participate in the dialogue on Iraq, because it suited the US agenda and interest, Obama has invited Iran for dialogue on Afghanistan, again, because it serves American interest. It is the American interest which is paramount for both Bush and Obama. Just as Bush called to prevent Iran from enriching Uranium, Obama has simply renewed the same call. Is it that Bush was opposed to Iran’s nuclear policy and Obama is not opposed to it? Is it that Bush wanted to impose sanctions on Iran and Obama is opposed to any sanctions on Iran? If there is any difference between them, it is merely in their approach and not content, their policies are merely a mirror reflection of each other!

And where is any real difference even in the case of Turkey which just recently played host to Obama? Just like his predecessor Bush, Obama has also called Turkey to mediate in the dialogue between Syria and the Jewish state. Hasn’t Obama been urging Turkey to normalise its relations with Armenia, just as Bush had done? In fact Obama clearly asked Turkey to come to terms with its history… which in effect means, to reject its glorious past. This effectually is a slap on Turkey’s face and it does not become any less grave by the fact that Obama has assured Turkey that he will not insist on the Armenian issue during the current year. Actually in other words it means that US is giving Turkey a deadline of one year on the Armenian issue. Obama has turned Turkey into its front-line state to defend America and to project itself in the region. America hopes to achieve this by forming a strategic partnership with Turkey where Turkey will be used a bridge between the US and the Islamic world.

In fact American policies are not decided by the President of the United States, for this, there are other establishments which have both Republican and Democratic parties’ representation. Hence when a president departs, their national policies do not evaporate with him, just the approach and manner of achieving those goals are modified. This is something that every sensible person who has even a rudimentary knowledge of things, is aware of. The only people who do not understand this are their agents in these Muslim statelets, who have hearts, yet they understand not; who have eyes, but they see not; it is not merely blindness if the eyes, it is actually the blindness of their hearts; the hearts in their chests!

Oh Muslims!

Obama’s deceptions and lies are not unforeseen or strange, he says that he is not at war with Islam or Muslims, yet is actually engaged in brutally and mercilessly killing Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan, in the barbaric war, and this is obvious to anyone who can see, the wailings of the victims is loud and clear, day and night. This is not strange, it was very much expected. Such is the attitude of the kuffar colonialists who detest Islam and bear hatred towards Muslims so much that they do not regard killing a Muslim as murder; they do not consider destroying their properties as destruction. To them it is merely testing their weapons right in Muslim chest!
But the strangeness or rather tragedy is that Obama has chosen to repeat these statements in the very capital of the last Khilafah. This is the same place that even a mere mention of its name would cause shivers in the enemy as well as his horses, a place they would dare not come near… and now the Muslims can not even talk loudly in his face, can not confront or challenge him, they merely applaud him and cheer for him!!

Lastly, Bush and Obama are merely the faces of the same coin; they outsmart each other in their hate for Islam & Muslims. They differ from each other in that while Bush would spit his venom openly and earn the wrath and anger of the Muslim Ummah, to the extent that his agents in the Muslim world could only serve their masters’ interests covertly and with a sense of shame; while Obama on the other hand has coated the very same venom with cream so as to numb and paralyse the Ummah so that it would not dare to confront America in its face. His agents now stand invigorated and re-energised and are now serving their masters interests and wishes without any sense of shame!!

Obama believes that he has successfully deceived the people of the region just because he sees the agent rulers and their cohorts cheering and clapping for him….but he is misled in his belief, he and his allies and agents either are either forgetting or ignoring that these agent rulers who are cheering up for him are not the whole of Ummah, nor do they represent the Ummah…
The Islamic Ummah is alive and aware and is on its way to restore its place of honour and prestige, the position of leading the nations and people under its Khilafah State. The Islamic Ummah is pure and pristine, strong, it is an Ummah that Allah willing, cannot be subdued or overwhelmed by the evil men, the Pharaohs of this era.

أَمْ حَسِبَ الَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ السَّيِّئَاتِ أَنْ يَسْبِقُونَا سَاءَ مَا يَحْكُمُونَ
“Or think those who do evil deeds that they can outstrip Us (i.e. escape Our punishment)? Evil is that which they judge!” [TMQ: al-‘Ankaboot: 04].

12th Rabee’ al Thani, 1430 A.H
8th April, 2009 C.E

Hizb ut-Tahrir

Arabic Source

Chapter 3: There is No Hukm Prior to the Coming of the Shar’

The following is the draft english translation from the Usul Al-Fiqh masterpiece of the Arabic book الشخصية الاسلاميَة الجزء الثالث (The Islamic Personality Volume 3 ) by Sheikh Taqiuddin an-Nabhani. Please refer to the original Arabic for accurate meanings.

Chapter 3: There is No Hukm Prior to the Coming of the Shar’

It is not permissible that a hukm be given upon things and actions except if there is a shar’i evidence for that hukm, because there is no hukm for things and for actions of the sane, before the coming of the shar’; the Exalted says,

وَمَا كُنَّا مُعَذِّبِينَ حَتَّى نَبْعَثَ رَسُولاً•
“And We do not punish until We send a messenger” (al-Isrā’:15); and He says, the Exalted,

لِئَلاَّ يَكُونَ لِلنَّاسِ عَلَى اللّهِ حُجَّةٌ بَعْدَ الرُّسُلِ•
“So that people should not have a plea against Allah after the (coming of) messengers” (al-Nisā’: 165);

And because the hukm is not established except by one of two: the shar’ or the intellect. As for the intellect, it has no place here because the matter is one of obligation and prohibition, and it is not permissible for the intellect to obligate or prohibit, for this is not its realm. Rather this is the realm of the shar’, thus the hukm depends on the shar’. Because there is no shar’ before the coming of the shar’, the hukm thus depends on the coming of the shar’ from Allah, that is, on the coming of a messenger with regards to a whole shari’ah, and the shar’i evidence with regards to a given issue for which evidence is sought. With respect to (the coming of) a messenger, then this is clear from the explicit meaning [sarīh] of the āyah, because the negation of punishment on the people prior to the advent of a messenger indicates upon their not having responsibility [taklīf] for any rules or beliefs, that is, their not having responsibility for anything. This means naught but a complete negation of the hukm for the people prior to Allah raising for them a messenger.

Thus the ahl al-fatrah – those who lived between the loss of a message and the advent of a message, like those who lived before the advent of Muhammad (saw) (and after the corruption of the message of Isa (as)) – are saved from punishment and their judgment is the judgment of those to whom the message does not reach. Similarly those to whom the message of Muhammad (saw) does not reach in its correct form, are saved from punishment like the ahl al-fatrah, because the āyah applies to them and they are considered as if no messenger was sent to them, because the message did not reach them and the sin of it not reaching them is upon those who were able to take it to them but did not.

Therefore, prior to the advent of the Messenger it is not said that the hukm of things is halāl or harām, because they had no hukm; the same with the actions. Rather, until Allah does send a messenger, man is free to act as he wishes, without being under any hukm, and nothing is upon him from Allah. When a messenger is sent then man is obliged by the ahkām of Allah which the messenger communicates to him, as communicated to him (the messenger) from Allah.

After the advent of a messenger and his deliverance of his message, the matter is considered: if the message came with specific things and commanded the following of a different message (of another messenger) for other things, as in the case with our master ‘Isā (as) then until this message is abrogated the people are responsible for the ahkām communicated to them and are obligated to follow them and will be punished for not living by them. If the message of the messenger came with some things and not others, then the people are obligated only by what came and are not punished for what did not come. On the other hand, if the message covers all things and came explaining all things, then the people are obligated with everything in this message, as is the case with our master Muhammad (saw); his message covers all things and came explaining all things; therefore there is no hukm except what came in it.

This is because the mafhūm [implied meaning] of His saying,
وَمَا كُنَّا مُعَذِّبِينَ حَتَّى نَبْعَثَ رَسُولاً
“And We do not punish until We send a messenger” (al-Isrā’:15)

Is that We punish those for whom we raise a messenger and they go against his message. Anyone who goes against even one hukm, whatever it be, from the message of the Messenger which is communicated is punishable. Therefore there is no hukm upon a thing or an action before an evidence is established for it.

It should not be said then that the ‘asl [original state] of things and actions is prohibition [tahrim], by the argument that it is free disposal [tasarruf] in the dominion of Allah the Exalted without his permission so it is prohibited, drawing analogy upon the created beings, because the explicit meaning of the āyah is that Allah does not punish until he raises a messenger, so He does not account until he clarifies the hukm. Further the creation is able to be harmed, but Allah the Exalted is above being benefited or harmed.

Similarly it should not be said that the ‘asl of actions and things is permissibility, by the argument that it is utilisation that is free from any sign of corruption or harm to the owner and so it is permissible. This should not be said because the implied meaning [mafhūm] of the āyah is that man is obligated with what the messenger comes with; he is punished for contravening this; thus the ‘asl becomes following [ittibā’] the messenger and being bound by the ahkām of his message; the ‘asl is not permissibility, which is the absence of being bound. Since the generality of the verses of ahkām indicate upon the necessity of referring back to the shar’ and the necessity of being bound by its ahkām; the Exalted says,

وَمَا اخْتَلَفْتُمْ فِيهِ مِن شَيْءٍ فَحُكْمُهُ إِلَى اللَّه•
“Whatever it be wherein you differ, the decision thereof is with Allah” (al-Shūra: 10);
فَإِن تَنَازَعْتُمْ فِي شَيْءٍ فَرُدُّوهُ إِلَى اللّهِ وَالرَّسُولِ•
“So if you dispute in a thing, then refer it back to Allah and the Messenger” (al-Nisā’: 59);
وَنَزَّلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ تِبْيَاناً لِّكُلِّ شَيْء•
“And we sent down to you the book explaining all things” (al-Nahl: 89);

And because the Messenger (saw) said in what was narrated by al-Daraqutni, “Any matter upon which is not our command, then it is rejected”, this indicates upon the ‘asl being following the shar’ and being bound by it.

Further utilisation that is free from any sign of corruption or bringing harm to the owner is not a proof for permissibility. It is not evident that adultery with an unmarried female who has no relatives constitutes utilisation that is free from any sign of corruption or harm to the owner, yet it is prohibited. Similarly lying in jest to make someone laugh is free from any indication of corruption or harm with regards to both the one who lies and the one who is lied to, yet it is prohibited. Therefore the things and actions have a hukm after the coming of the shar’; so the ‘asl is to search in the Shari’ah for the things and actions: has a hukm come for them or not? The ‘asl is not permissibility by assumption nor should the hukm of permissibility by given by the intellect straight away in the presence of the shar’.

Similarly it should not be said that the ‘asl of things is cessation [tawaqquf] and the absence of the hukm. Since cessation means the action is suspended or the hukm is suspended and this is impermissible, because the established (rule) in the Qur’an and Hadith for the lack of knowledge is inquiring about the hukm and not the cessation and absence of the hukm. The Exalted says,

فَاسْأَلُواْ أَهْلَ الذِّكْرِ إِن كُنتُمْ لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ•
“Ask those of Knowledge if you know not” (al-Anbiyā’: 7);
and the saying of the Messenger (saw) in the hadith of tayammum, narrated by Abu Dawud from Jabir,
“Don’t they ask when they do not know, for the only cure of ignorance is to ask”;
this indicates that the ‘asl is not cessation and the absence of the hukm.

Therefore it is after the advent of a Messenger that it that the hukm becomes for the shar’ and there is no hukm prior to the coming of the shar’, so the hukm depends on the coming of the shar’, that is, on the presence of a shar’i evidence for a single issue. Thus no hukm can be given except on the basis of an evidence, just as no hukm can be given except after the coming of the shar’. The ‘asl, then, is to search for the hukm in the shar’, that is, the ‘asl is to search for the shar’i evidence for a shar’i hukm from the shar’.

The G20 Analysis

On April 2 2009, leaders of the world’s top 20 economies met in London — they collectively represent 80% of the world’s trade—to explore ways on how to deal with the global economic turmoil. Since the last G20 meeting held in Washington in November 2008, the world economy has plummeted to a record low. Consumers have cut back spending. Companies have reduced production, postponed investment and slashed millions of jobs.

The financial system remains dysfunctional. Trade flows are shrinking at the fastest rates since the Second World War, felling export-dependent economies from Germany to Japan. Private capital flows are collapsing, devastating those emerging economies, especially in Eastern Europe, that rely on foreign borrowing. In its latest forecast, the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) said this week that it expected the world economy to shrink by 2.7% in 2009. It thinks that its mainly rich member countries will see their output decline by more than 4%. That would be by far the deepest synchronised downturn since the 1930s. But despite these dismal facts, the leaders at the G20 summit gave an upbeat assessment about the remedies they had agreed upon.

Speaking at the conclusion of the G20 summit the UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown said, “This is the day that the world came together to fight back against the global recession. Not with words but with a plan for global recovery and reform.”

US President Obama said,”By any measure the London summit was historic. It was historic because of the size and the scope of the challenges that we face and because of the timeliness and magnitude of our response.”

Nicolas Sarkozy said, “I'm very happy with the result...Honestly, we never thought we would we have such an agreement. Even our Anglo-Saxon friends are now convinced that we must have reasonable rules.”

The leader of Germany Angela Merkel said, “I think I can say that in an important conference we have found a very good, almost historic compromise in a unique crisis.”

Below is a summary of some of the key measures agreed by the G20:-

IMF Resources
The centrepiece of the announcement was a substantial increase in the funding available to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The IMF currently has about $250 billion at its disposal to lend to countries facing financial difficulty. Under the G20 agreement, funding for the IMF will be increased by $500 billion to $750 billion. Japan agreed to provide $100 billion of the extra funding, the European Union $100 billion and China about $40 billion. The IMF will also sell off some of its gold reserves to establish a new $50 billion fund to help the developing world. Emerging economies such as China are also expected to be given a greater say in the running of the IMF as part of the package.

Bankers' pay
The world leaders agreed to curb pay and bonuses for bankers. A new international set of rules will prohibit banks from paying traders and executives multi-million pound cash bonuses if they are making risky decisions. Regulators will assess how much risk traders are taking and those deemed to be making more risky decisions will only be paid in shares which cannot be sold for several years.

Global "quantitative easing"
At the behest of the world leaders, the IMF will increase the amount each country has in so-called Special Drawing Rights (SDR) by $250bn. This is effectively global quantitative easing – comparable to the unprecedented measures the Bank of England carried out last month when it committed to pumping £75bn into the British economy. This is a form of printing money. Under the IMF scheme, each country has an allocation of a shadow IMF currency – known as SDRs. This currency can be converted into useable currencies such as dollars, euros or sterling. The amount of SDRs was dramatically increased by more than ten-fold yesterday. The scheme is best regarded as a safety valve for struggling economies, and rich countries are likely to donate some of their SDR allocation to those most in need.

Fiscal Stimulus
This was supposed to be the big centre-piece of the G20 summit - a global agreement on how much countries around the world would spend on measures to support their economies and fight unemployment. However, the French and German governments ruled out an explicit commitment. All leaders could agree to announce was how much had already been pledged - $5 trillion.

Offshore tax havens
Countries who refuse to pass information to foreign tax authorities to help catch potential tax evaders will face sanctions in future. A preliminary list of such offshore tax havens is to be published. The G20 communique proclaimed: "The era of banking secrecy is over". Gordon Brown said that it was "the beginning of the end" for widespread tax avoidance. However, it is yet to be seen what sanctions will be deployed against the tax havens despite lobbying from the French Government.

Toxic Assets
Most economists agree that until the world's leading nations cleanse the balance sheets of their stricken banks the credit crunch will persist and there will be no return to normal lending conditions. The G20 communiqué recognises this issue and pledges that each country will dispose of the assets, either by setting up a so-called bad bank or by insuring the assets against default (as the UK has done). The commitment is slightly stronger than in previous international statements. But it does not go as far as many economists had hoped by pledging to set up new, healthy "good banks" which could provide fresh lending for households in the future.

The G20 member countries committed to a 12-month freeze on introducing any new trade barriers. In other words, they will not increase tariffs or quotas on goods imported from overseas. If followed to the letter, this would be a significant move. It was an increase in protectionism during the 1930s that lengthened and deepened the Great Depression, and ultimately fed the forces that caused the Second World War. However, there is scepticism that this commitment will be met.

Strengthen international financial regulators
The summit agreed to turn the existing Financial Stability Forum (an international group of regulators) into a more pro-active global banking watchdog. It will be renamed the Financial Stability Board and its membership will be broadened to developing nations including China, Brazil and India. Its job will be to monitor whether banks and financial houses are taking excessive risks, and to tell their national regulators to police them more stringently. However, critically, the new FSB will lack explicit powers to clamp down on companies which overextend themselves. There remains a major question mark over how much difference a relatively toothless regulator will make.

Trade finance
One of the major problems facing the global economy is the sharp drop in trade across the world – the first reduction in trading in a generation. Exporters in the developing world have been unable to obtain credit in the wake of the global financial crisis. Global leaders agreed to provide $250 billion in new trade credit guarantees. The guarantees – to be offered by the World Bank and other international institutions – should allow exporters to obtain credit once again. Mr Brown heavily pushed the scheme during his recent trip to South America.

However, despite the show of unity amongst the G20 leaders there are still a number of issues where differences run deep.

1. The most contentious issue is the type of capitalism practiced by the US and Britain—known as the Anglo-Saxon model. The Europeans abhor this form of capitalism and want to see it reigned in through extensive regulation. The Europeans want the regulation to cover the operations of hedge funds, banks, tax havens and credit rating agencies.
Furthermore, the Europeans want an international organisation such as the FSB to effectively monitor the compliance of countries and their financial institutions to this new form of regulation. In the run up to the G20 summit the Europeans made their intentions clear and aggressively attacked the Anglo-Saxon model.

Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek deemed Obama’s economic policies too dangerous. He said, “...all of these steps, these combinations and permanency is the way to hell. We need to read the history books and the lessons of history and the biggest success of the (EU) is the refusal to go this way”.

The French president has insisted that “radical reform” of capitalism is more important than tax cutting. In fact at a cabinet meeting Sarkozy vented his frustration at Brown. He said, "If things don't go forward in London, there will be 'la chaise vide' (empty chair). I'll get up and walk out!." The US on the other hand despises European intrusion into America’s form of capitalism and has strongly resisted Europe’s attempts supervise its financial institutions. The lack of consensus about the powers of the FSB to regulate capitalism is a manifestation of schisms between America and Europe over the type of capitalism the world should follow. It appears that these differences will increase in the coming months, as America continues to press ahead with its form of capitalism.

2. The other notable difference amongst the G20 leaders was over the size of the fiscal stimulus pledged by each nation for its economy. Originally Gordon Brown was looking for pledges of 2% of GDP by other nations at the G20. But this was soon abandoned, after Angela Merkel led the assault with a statement that Germany would not be dictated to by other countries over fiscal stimulus. “I will not let anyone tell me that we must spend more money,” she said.

Merkel was shortly followed by Spanish Finance Minister Pedro Sorbes: “In these conditions I and the rest of my colleagues from the eurozone believe there is no room for new fiscal stimulus plans.”

There are two main reasons for Europe’s reluctance to follow America and Britain down the path of greater fiscal stimulus. First, for historic reasons a country like Germany and others dislike public debt as a means of bailing out the economy at the time of economic turbulence. Second the Europeans fear that America and Britain want the European economy to become heavily strapped with debt and weaker like the Anglo-Saxon economies. The Europeans worry that this will diminish Europe’s ability to present a strong challenge to Britain and America when the recovery finally arrives.

3. Another source of disunity amongst the G20 is their hollow pledges towards reducing protectionism. A similar promise was made last November; since then the World Bank has found that 17 member countries raised trade barriers. This is clearly evident in the way that America and Europe have bailed out banks, insurance companies, car companies and other industries in direct violation of this pledge. It is expected that such contraventions will only increase in 2009.

4. One of the most dangerous developments at the summit is the new role given to the IMF which includes new funds to lend to the developed world. The plan is to use the IMF to debase all the currencies of the world, which in relative terms will ensure the superiority of the developed world over the rest of the world. So as the Federal reserve and the Bank of England increase their money supply through quantitative thereby debasing the dollar and the pound respectively, the IMF through emergency loans and SDRs facilities will debase the currency of recipient countries. This policy is most likely to cause hyper-inflation across the world, but is dependent to a great deal on China. If China is not granted a greater say in the IMF or if China senses that the dollar reserves it holds are worthless then this policy will fail, as China will be forced to dump the dollar.

Lastly, the very fact that countries have to resort to bilateral economic solutions as opposed to multi-lateral solutions exposes the fallacy of those who claim that capitalism is a force for globalisation. Indeed capitalism has failed at the national and international level. It is unfit to be the engine for globalisation or a universal ideology for mankind. We pray that Allah (swt) honours this ummah with the return of the Khilafah, so that Islam takes its rightful place in the world and lifts mankind from the darkness to the light.

April 4 2009

Views on the News- 16/04/09

Britain to fight Islam on the Internet

It was reported that the British government's Office of Security and Counter-Terrorism (OSCT), a 200-strong Home Office unit created 18 months ago, has said in meetings it wants to 'flood the internet' with 'positive' interpretations of Islam and plans to train government-approved groups in search engine optimization techniques, which it is hoped will boost their profile online and battle radicalization. A Home Office spokesman confirmed search engine optimization training is part of the government's anti-radicalization strategy. 'In order to support mainstream voices, we work with local partners to help develop their communication, representational and leadership skills. This support could include media training, which can help make their voices heard more widely, and support the development of skills which allow communities to be more effective in debate.'

Obama continues to wage war against Islam

In his first visit to a predominantly Muslim state, Barack Obama stood in the Turkish parliament to declare that “United States is not and will not be at war with Islam.” And just days after being sworn in as US president, Obama gave his first TV interview to an Arabic news channel in which he reassured the Arab and Muslim audience that he would have a totally different strategy regarding his country’s relationship with the Muslims. He plainly stated that his foreign policy approach would be based on diplomacy and friendship rather than confrontation and militarism. But all of this is a plain lie. On Monday NATO air strikes killed six civilians and wounded 14 in Afghans and predator strikes against Pakistan continue unabated. US drone strikes have reportedly killed 687 Pakistani civilians since 2006. During this time, US Predator drones carried out sixty strikes inside Pakistan, but hit just ten of their actual targets. Despite these hard facts the leaders of the Muslim world continue to applaud Obama and extend him all forms of cooperation to spill Muslim blood. The messenger (saw) of Allah said, “The imam is a shield behind which the fight and are protected.”

Wilders plans to insult Islam again!

Dutch politician Geert Wilders is planning a sequel to his controversial anti-Islam film Fitna, to be released in 2010. In an interview with Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf published on Thursday, Wilders revealed some of his upcoming cinematic plans."It will not be a copy of Fitna. This is the second phase,' he told the newspaper. "I now want to show the consequences of mass immigration from Muslim countries." Wilders claims to have been contacted by professional filmmakers based "in New York and Hollywood," who offered their services to shoot the sequel. In March 2008, the internet release of Wilders's approximately 15-minute film Fitna sparked protests in Muslim countries and widespread condemnation worldwide. The short film blends violent, graphic images of terrorist attacks with quotations from the Qur'an. Wilders told De Telegraaf the sequel will tackle issues such as free speech and Shariah law.

Allah (swt) says

وَدُّوا مَا عَنِتُّمْ قَدْ بَدَتِ الْبَغْضَاءُ مِنْ أَفْوَاهِهِمْ وَمَا تُخْفِي صُدُورُهُمْ أَكْبَرُ
“They desire to harm you severely. Hatred has already appeared from their mouths, but what their breasts conceal is far worse.“ [TMQ aal Imraan: 118]

Britain urges Arabs to unite against Iran

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband called Wednesday for a “united front” between Persian Gulf Arab countries and global powers to deal with Iran. “I know that many countries in the region are concerned not just about the dangers of Iran’s nuclear program but also (about) Iranian activities in the region that cause instability in many countries of the Middle East,” Miliband told reporters in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Prince Saud last month urged Arabs to agree on how to tackle the “Iranian challenge” on the nuclear issue, Persian Gulf security and what he termed as “penetration by some outside parties of Arab affairs in Iraq, Palestine and Lebanon.” Millibans’s stance appears to be contradictory to the Obams’s overtures towards normalising America’s relationship with Iran.

Criminals to partake in Indian elections

The voting for 543 seats in the Indian elections will take place in five phases from Thursday (today) to 13 May. The result will be announced on Saturday 16 May. The total 714 millions voters would cast their vote during in the general elections of India. In the first of phase of the elections it will be held in 124 constituencies of 17 states including Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Kerala, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshwadeep. It is pertinent to point out that 128 candidates of 18 political parties including Congress and BJP, have had criminal cases registered against them, but are still taking part in the elections. 84 out of 128 candidates contesting have been charged with murder, abduction, non-consensual sexual harassment, and 28 face robbery and abduction charges. According to Wall Street Journal candidates are trying to bribe the voters with different flavours of wine and providing young and beautiful girls to the businessmen to win their support in the elections. Indeed it is more apt to describe Indian elections as the largest debauchery show on earth.

16 April 2009

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Article 24 & 25, Explanation of the Draft Constitution of the Khilafah

The following is from the draft english translation of the Arabic book مقدمة الدستورأو الأسباب الموجبة له (Introduction to the constitution and the evidences that make it obligatory) published by Hizb ut-Tahrir 1382 Hijri (1963 CE). Please refer to the original Arabic for accurate meanings. Please note some of the adopted opinions of the Hizb have changed since the time the book was published so any of the adopted literature published after this book which contradicts what is mentioned in this book abrogates those specific points

Article 24

It is the Khalifah who deputises for the Ummah in authority and in implementing the Shari'ah.

Khilafah is the general leadership of all the Muslims in the world, charged with the implementation of Shari'ah and of carrying the Islamic Da'awah to the whole world. It is the Muslims who appoint he who assumes this leadership, i.e. who appoint the Khalifah. Since the authority belongs to the Ummah and since the implementation of Shari'ah is an obligation upon the Muslims and the Khalifah is their leader, thus his reality is that he acts as a deputy for them in authority and in the implementation of Shari'ah.

Hence, he does not become a Khalifah unless the Ummah gives him the Baya'a. the Baya'a of the Ummah serves as evidence about the fact that he is a deputy for her; also, the fact that obeying the Khalifah is obligatory serves as evidence that this Baya'a, through which the contracting of the Khilafah takes place, stipulates the handing of authority to him. This means that he acts as the deputy of the Ummah in authority. It is on this basis that this article has been drafted.

Article 25

The Khilafah is a contract based on consent and choice. Hence, none should be coerced into accepting it and none should be coerced into choosing he who assumes it.

Evidence about this article is the same evidence about any legitimate contract concluded between two contractors. This is so because it is a Shari'ah contract like any other.

Furthermore, the Hadith of the desert Arab who gave his Baya'a to the Messenger of Allah (saw) and then came back asking him to be discharged of his Baya'a, but the Messenger of Allah (saw) refused; this serves as evidence about the fact that the Khilafah is a contract:

Jabir Ibnu Abdullah (r) reported that a desert Arab gave his Baya'a to the Messenger of Allah (saw) over Islam; then he felt a malaise, so he said to the Messenger of Allah (saw): Discharge me of my Baya'a. The Messenger of Allah (saw) refused. So he repeated his request and said: Discharge me of my Baya'a. the Messenger of Allah (saw) again refused. Then the desert Arab left. Upon this the Messenger of Allah (saw) said: Madinah is like the bellows. It banishes its filth and its scent becomes pure.

Since the Baya'a of the Khilafah is a Baya'a of obedience to he who has the right of obedience in relation to assuming the rule, it should then be a Baya'a of consent and choice. It would be invalid if it were taken by way of coercion, be it the coercion he who gives the Baya'a or he who takes the Baya'a.

This is so because the Messenger of Allah (saw) said: "Blame has been lifted from my Ummah in case of error, forgetfulness and coercion."

This is general, it applies for every type of contract, including the Khilafah contract. Hence, every contract that has been drawn by way of coercion is null and void, because it would not have been contracted properly. Likewise is the Khilafah; it cannot be contracted by way of coercion, i.e. just like all the other types of contracts. Also, the Khilafah could be concluded unless there were two contracting parties, just like any other type of contract. Hence, no one could become Khalifah unless someone appoints him to assume the Khilafah. Therefore, if he were to appoint himself as Khalifah without a Baya'a taken from those with whom the Khilaah is contracted through their Baya'a, he could not become a Khalifah, unless they give him their Baya'a with full consent and free choice; in this case he becomes Khalifah after the Baya'a, and not before it. If he were to coerce them into giving him the Baya'a, he would not become a Khalifah through this Baya'a which he had taken by way of coercion and the Khilafah would not be contracted with him through this Baya'a; because it is a contract and it cannot be concluded by coercion because the Messenger of Allah (saw) said: Blame has been lifted from my Ummah in case of error, forgetfulness and coercion.

As for the dominant Sultan who usurps the rule by force, he would not become Khalifah simply by seizing power by force. He however becomes a ruler and in case, the matter would require careful consideration. If rebellion against him and returning the authority to the Ummah would not lead to a strife between the Muslims, then he should be fought and the authority should be returned to the Ummah; because he would be considered as a usurper of authority from the Ummah and this action of his would be a Munkar that has to be removed, and its removal would be a duty of sufficiency upon the Ummah. On the other hand, if rebellion against him to return the authority to the Ummah would lead to a bloody strife in the country, in this case, it would be forbidden to rebel against him because to cause a strife between the Muslims is Haram, thus what leads to strife would be Haram according to the principle that states:

The means that leads to Haram is Haram. In this case, his obedience becomes obligatory and Jihad under him becomes obligatory as well to quell the strife, unless he did not establish prayer and flagrant Kufr became manifest, i.e. unless he did not rule by Islam, in which case he must be fought in order to restore the rule of Islam.

It was mentioned in Al-Fatah: "The scholars have agreed upon the obligation of obeying the dominant Sultan and of performing Jihad with him, also that his obedience is better than rebellion against him because this would avert a bloodshed and would pacify the masses. They only exempted from this the flagrant Kufr perpetrated by the Sultan, in which case it would be forbidden to obey him; in fact challenging him and even fighting him becomes obligatory upon those who are capable of doing so as mentioned in the Hadith." In any case he remains an Amir but he would not become a Khalifah unless he takes the Baya'a from people with full consent and choice, and without any coercion.

This is the meaning of the wording in this article: The Khilafah is a contract based on consent and choice.

Article - The Establisment of Khilafah and the reponsibility of the Muslim Ummah

The following is an Urdu article published in the Urdu Daily Munsif from Hyderabad, India. It is written by one of the activists working for the return of the Khilafah, the scholar Maulana Mufti Habeeb ur-Rahman Qasmi.

It is entitiled, 'Khilafat ka qiyam aur ummat-e-muslima ki zimmedariyan' (The establishment of Khilafah and the responsibility of the Muslim Ummah')

Source: Daily Munsif, Hyderabad

Views on the News- 09/04/09

UK scholar advocates women imams for Britain’s Muslims

This week Ruth Gledhill The Times Religious Correspondent reported that South African-born Dr Hargey a Muslim scholar supports the right of Muslim women to become imams. Dr Hargey is currently raising £2 million to build Britain's first progressive mosque, in Oxford, where he hopes to have a woman imam leading prayers for mixed congregations. He is no stranger to controversy, and made headlines last year when he invited a woman, US progressive Islamic scholar Amina Wadud, to lead Friday prayers at the Muslim Educational Centre of Oxford, where he claims a regular congregation of up to 300 Muslims.

US and EU at odds over Turkey’s entry into the European Union

US President Obama urged the EU to accept Turkey as a full member, saying that it would send a positive signal to the Muslim world. Speaking last week-end in Prague before his visit to Turkey, President Obama said the West should seek greater cooperation and closer ties with Islamic nations. However, French President Sarkozy said it was up to the EU member states to decide on Turkish entry and underlined his opposition. "I have always been opposed to this entry. Turkey is a very great country, an ally of Europe, an ally of the United States. It will stay a privileged partner. My position hasn't changed and it won't change," he said. The Europeans have been incensed at Turkey’s opposition towards Anders Fogh Rasmussen— the Danish leader who defended his country’s right to insult Islam. The Europeans accuse Turkey of using the issue to blackmail NATO into ceding important NATO posts.

Somalia pirates take on America

Somali pirates defied the might of the US military by refusing to release the captain of an American cargo ship kidnapped in a bungled hijack attempt. On April 8 2009, the pirates seized the Danish-owned 17,500-ton container ship as it carried food aid south past Somalia's coast en route to the Kenyan port of Mombasa. This is the first time that the pirates have targeted a ship with a American crew board. The US for sometime has been pressing members of the UN security council to pass a resolution that support a ground incursions into Somalia.It remains to be seen whether the US will use this incident to press ahead the UN resolution or take unilateral military action against Somalia.

Nuclear umbrella or nuclearization of the Middle East

The Obama administration should consider countering an Iranian threat by offering Middle East allies protection under a “nuclear umbrella,” a United Arab Emirates official said, as the U.S. announced plans to join international talks with Iran. Clinton, now Obama’s secretary of state, said during the April debate last year that Israel and Arab allies should be given “deterrent backing” by the U.S. and that “Iran must know that an attack on Israel will draw a massive response.” The official made the remark soon after the UAE government agreed to stringent inspections of its nuclear facilities by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The UAE is expected to invest US$60 billion in atomic energy this year. The IAEA agreement with the UAE coincides with the US softening its attitude towards Iran and Ahmadinejad opening Iran’s first nuclear production facility. Both developments come days after Obama called for an end to nuclear proliferation. The US nuclear stance on the Middle East suggests that she is more interested in the nuclearization of the region then either rolling back proliferation or establishing a nuclear umbrella.

America invites India to play a stronger role in Afghanistan

For the first time since partition, India, Pakistan and the United States face a common threat, a common challenge, a common task,” Richard C. Holbrooke, the United States special representative for the region, told reporters here on Wednesday. His comments came after he met with Indian officials to brief them on his trip earlier in the week to Pakistan and Afghanistan. It was his first trip to the region since President Obama unveiled a plan to strengthen the war effort against the Taliban in Afghanistan and goad Pakistan to flush out extremists from its soil. “Now that we face a common threat we must work together,” Mr. Holbrooke said. “We know that is going to be difficult, but the national security interests of all three countries is clearly at stake.” Holbrooke was accompanied by Chairman of U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen and both men discussed with Indian officials how to defeat the Taliban. Clearly, Pakistan’s strategy of following America’s war on terror has not only eroded its sovereignty but now the country faces the prospect of joint US-Indian cooperation against Pakistan.

9 April 2009

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Chapter2- Al-Hakim (The Judge)

The following is the draft english translation from the Usul Al-Fiqh masterpiece of the Arabic book الشخصية الاسلاميَة الجزء الثالث (The Islamic Personality Volume 3 ) by Sheikh Taqiuddin an-Nabhani. Please refer to the original Arabic for accurate meanings.

Chapter2 - Al-Hakim (The Judge)

From the most important of inquiries related to the hukm, necessarily requiring clarification, is the knowing of who it is the issuing of the hukmreturns to, that is, who is the Hakim? Upon the knowledge of this rests the knowledge of the hukm and its types.

The intent of ‘Hakim’ here is not the executive authority who executes all the affairs with the authority it possesses. Rather, the intent of “Hakim” is the one who possesses the right of issuing the hukm upon actions and things, because all that exists of the tangible comprises either of the actions of the human or of the things other than the actions of the human. Because the human, by his description of being alive in this universe, is the subject of the study, and issuing of the hukm is only because of him and is related to him, therefore the hukm upon the actions of the human and upon things related to these actions is necessary.

So who is the one who alone has the right to issue thehukm upon that: it is Allah, or the human himself? In other words, is it the shar’ or the intellect [‘aql]? That which allows us to know the hukm of Allah is the shar’, and that which the human judges by is the intellect. So what judges (upon the actions and things), the shar’ or the intellect?

As for the subject of this hukm, that is, the thing which judges upon the actions and the things, it is the husn [beauty] and the qubh [ugliness], because the intent of ‘issuing the hukm’ is the specifying of the stance of the human towards an action: should he do it or leave it, or choose between doing it and leaving it, and the specifying of his stance towards the things related to his actions: should he use them, or leave them, or choose between using and leaving. The specifying of this stance of his depends on his view about the thing: is it hasan or qabīh or neither. Thus the subject of the sought hukm is the husn and qubh. So is the judgment ofhusn and qubh for the intellect or the shar’? There is no third option with regards to the issuing of this hukm. The answer to this is that the hukm on the actions and things can be from a number of perspectives. It can be from the perspective of its:Reality; the nature of its reality: what is it?

Accordance or discordance with the nature of the human being and his fitri [innate] inclinations; and Its commission being praiseworthy and its omission being blameworthy or it being neither praiseworthy or blameworthy, that is, from the perspective of reward and punishment for its commission or omission or the lack of reward or punishment.

Thus these are the three perspectives of the hukm upon the actions and things: one, its reality, what is it? Two, its harmony, or the lack thereof, with the nature of the human; and three, with regards to reward or punishment and praise or reproach.As for the hukm upon actions and things from the first perspective, its reality, and the second perspective, its harmony or discord with the nature of the human, then there is no doubt that all of this is for the human himself, that is, for the intellect and not the shar’. The intellect is what judges upon the actions and the things with regards to these two perspectives. The shar’ does not judge upon either of them, because the shar’ has no role in them. For example, that knowledge is hasan and ignorance is qabīh; the reality of the two is apparent in their excellence and deficiency respectively.

Similarly that affluence is hasan and poverty is qabīh, and so forth. For example the rescuing of those drowning is hasan and the unjust taking of wealth is qabīh. Human nature inclines away from oppression and inclines towards the [saving of the mushraf] from destruction. All of these return to the reality of the thing which man can sense and which his intellect can comprehend, or they return to the innate nature of man by which he feels and which his intellect comprehends.

Therefore it is the intellect which judges with regards to husn and qubh, and not the shar’, that is, the issuing of the hukm upon actions and things from these two perspectives is for the human; the hakīm in them is man.As for the judgment, upon the actions and things, from the perspective of praise and reproach in the world, and reward and punishment in the hereafter, then without doubt it is for Allah alone, and not for the human, that is, it is for the shar’, not for the intellect. For example the husn of imān, the qubh of kufr, the husn of obedience, the qubh of disobedience, the husn of lying during war, and its qubh with the kafir ruler in peace time, and so forth.

This is because the reality of the intellect (thinking) is (that it requires) sense-perception [ihsās], the reality, previous information and the brain. Sense-perception is an essential element of the foundations of the intellect such that if the human being cannot perceive a thing it is not possible for his intellect to issue judgment upon it, because the judgment of the intellect is restricted to that which is sensed and it is not possible for it to issue judgment on that which is not sensed. The nature of oppression [dhulm] as to whether it is worthy of praise or reproach is not from that which man can sense, because it is not something that can be sensed, so the intellect understanding it and giving judgment on it is not possible.

This even though man may feel, through his innate nature, an inclination towards or away from it, but feeling alone does not benefit the issuing by the intellect of the hukm upon a thing; nay, sense-perception is a must.

Therefore, it is not possible for the intellect to issue judgment of husn or qubhupon a thing or action. Thus, it is not permissible for the intellect to issue its judgment of praise or reproach upon actions or things.Nor is it permissible to place the issuing of the hukm of praise or reproach alongside with the innate human inclinations because these inclinations issue the judgment of praise upon what is in accordance with them(inclinatinations) and of reproach on what goes against them, and it may be that which accords with them is of that which is worthy of reproach, like fornication, homosexuality, and tyrannical ruling over people; and it may be that which goes against them is praiseworthy, like fighting the enemies, patience upon disliked things and the speaking of the truth in situations where severe harm is bound to eventuate. Thus placing the (issuing) of the hukm with the inclinations and desires means placing them as a basis upon which praise and reproach (of things and actions) is considered.

They (inclinations) are definitely an erroneous basis of consideration, and therefore judging by them is erroneous, because they make erroneous judgments that contradict the reality, over and above the fact that they judge praise and blame on the basis of whims and desires not on the basis of what is actually upon it. Therefore is it not permissible for the innate inclinations to issue judgment of praise or reproach, nor is it permissible for the intellect to do so. Thus is it not permissible to place the issuing of the hukm of praise or reproach with the human being. The one who issues His hukm of praise or reproach is indeed Allah(SWT), and not man; it is the shar’, not the intellect.If man is left to judge upon actions and things with regards to praise and reproach, the judgment would differ with the difference in personalities and times. It is not in the capability of man to conclusively judge.

Therefore the judgment in this regard is for Allah (SWT). It is evidently apparent that man judges things to be hasan today but then judges them to be qabīh tomorrow, that he judges things to be qabīh yesterday and judges the same things to be hasan today. Thus man is at variance in judgment upon the same thing and cannot conclusively judge. So his judgment is erroneous and therefore it is not permissible to place the judgment of praise or reproach with the intellect or with man.Thus it is from necessity that the Judge(Al-Hakim) upon the actions of the servants and upon the things related to them from the perspective of praise and reproach is Allah the Exalted and not man, that is, it is the shar’ and not the intellect.

This is the rational evidence of husn and qubh; as for the shar’i evidence,then the shar’ has
tied tahsīn and taqbīh with its command to follow the Messenger (SAW) and to restrain the whims. Thus it is from the definitive (principles) of the shari’ah that husn is what the shar’ has made husn and qabīh is what the shar’ has made qabīh, from the perspective of reproach and praise.The hukm, of praise or reproach, upon the actions and things is for the specifying of the stance of the human with regards to them. In terms of the things, it clarifies whether his using them is allowed (yajooz) or prohibited, and there is no third option.

In terms of the actions of man, it clarifies whether he is requested to establishing them or he is requested to leave them, or whether the choice between doing and leaving is his. Because the hukm from this perspective is not but for the shar’, it a must that the ahkām upon the actions and things related to them return to the shar’ and not the intellect and it is a must that the shar’ alone judge upon them.

Further, the hukm upon the things of halāl [allowed] or harām [prohibited], upon the actions of the servants of wājib [obligatory], harām, mandūb [recommended],makrūh [reprehensible] or mubāh [permissible], and upon the matters [‘umūr] and contracts [‘uqūd] of (them being) asbāb [causes], shurūt [conditions], or mawān’i[preventions], or sahīh [valid], bātil [invalid], or fāsid [void], or (them being) azimāh [original rule] or a rukhsah [concession], all of this is not judged on the basis of the things or actions being in accordance or discordance with the natural human disposition or on the basis of their reality, but are judged on the basis of whether they merit praise or reproach in this world and reward or punishment in the hereafter.

Therefore the hukm by its nature is for the shar’ alone and not for the intellect. Thus in reality, the hakim upon the actions and the things related to them and upon the matters and contracts is not but the shar’ alone. The intellect has absolutely no judgment in this.

Part 11, The Islamic Rules of Trade - The Bankrupt (Muflis)

Due to the current global financial crisis there is increasing interest in the Islamic Economic System, the most comprehensive book on this topic is 'The Economic System of Islam' by Sheikh Taqiuddin an-Nabhani. However as people have many questions relating to the Islamic rules of trade we will be posting related extracts from the draft translation of the Fiqh masterpiece 'The Islamic Personality, Volume 2' by Sheikh Taqiuddin an-Nabhani


The bankrupt in language is the one without money and without that by which he would pay for his needs. It is meant by this that he reached a situation in which it is said about him, ‘That he has no (fils) penny’ so he is muflis.

Muslim narrated via the way of Abu Hurayra “that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said:
‘Do you know who the muflis is?’ They said: ‘The muflis among us is the one without a dirham or effects.’ He said: ‘The muflis in my Ummah is the one who comes on the Day of Judgement with prayer, fasting and zakat. He comes and has insulted this one, falsely accused this one, eaten this one’s wealth, spilt this one’s blood and struck this one. This one is given from his good deeds and this one from his good deeds. If his good deeds finish before that which is upon him is not paid off, it is taken from their sins and they are thrown upon him. Then he is thrown in the Fire.”

This statement of theirs is information about the reality of the muflis and the Prophet (SAW)’s statement, “That is not the muflis” is toleration (in using the word) and not negation to the reality but rather he intended that the bankrupt of the Hereafter is more severe and enormous such that the worldly bankrupt becomes like the rich man in relation to him. The bankrupt in the convention of the fuqaha is the one whose debts are greater than his wealth, and his expenditure greater than his income. They called him bankrupt even though he has money because his wealth is due to be spent in the payment of his debts so it is considered as if it does not exist.

Wherever the debts of the person are obliged immediately and his money is not enough to pay them off so his creditors ask the judge to interdict him, it is obliged upon him to respond to them. It is recommended to announce the (hajr) interdiction upon him so that people avoid transacting with him. If (hajr) interdiction was imposed upon him, four rules are established by that:-
The first of them is rights of the creditors relating to the his wealth itself. The second preventing him from the disposal of his wealth itself. The third is that whoever finds his wealth itself with somebody, he has more right to it than the remaining creditors if the conditions exist. Fourth, the judge has the right to sell his wealth and pay the creditors.

The evidence for the (hajr) interdiction over the bankrupt is what K’ab bin Malik narrated
"that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) interdicted the wealth of Muadh bin Jabal and sold it for the debt upon him” (narrated by Al-Hakim).

From Abdurrahman bin K’ab: “Muadh bin Jabal was of the best youth of his people and he would not hold onto anything. He would not stop borrowing until his wealth was engrossed in debt and his creditors spoke to the Prophet (SAW). Were anyone left for the sake of anyone, they would have left Muadh for the sake of the Messenger of Allah (SAW). So the Messenger of Allah (SAW) sold to them his wealth until Muadh stood without anything.”

When there is proved over the bankrupt rights for people or that which obliges a money fine via trustworthy testimony or a correct confession from him, it is sold from him all that he has and the creditors treated equitably. In principle it is not allowed that he be imprisoned just as it is absolutely not allowed to imprison a debtor in difficulty due to the statement of Allah (swt):

وَإِنْ كَانَ ذُو عُسْرَةٍ فَنَظِرَةٌ إِلَى مَيْسَرَة
“And if the debtor is in difficulty, then grant him time till it is easy for him to repay ” [TMQ 2: 280].

Muslim and Abu Dawud narrated also from Abu Said Al-Khudri who said: “A man was afflicted at the time of the Messenger of Allah (SAW) in produce he had bought and his debts increased. So the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: ‘Give charity to him’ and the people gave charity to him but that did not reach the payment of his debts so the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: ‘Take what you find, and there is nothing for you except that.’”

It is narrated also that he divided the money of the bankrupt between the creditors but never imprisoned.
From Muhammad bin ‘Ali bin Al-Husain who said: ‘Ali bin Abi Talib said: ‘Jailing the man in prison after it is known what is upon him of debts is injustice.’

As for what was narrated from Umar via the way of Said bin Al-Musayyab “that Umar imprisoned the relatives on the father’s side (‘asaba)—the men not the women--of the (manfus) child bed baby whom they financially support”, this does not indicate imprisoning the debtor but rather only indicates imprisoning the one upon whom financial maintenance is obliged if he does not maintain the child. Maintenance is of the money which is obliged upon the one capable to provide maintenance. That indicates the imprisonment of the one who does not support particularly the young child who is the child-bed baby.

The rule regarding the bankrupt is that the judge sells to the creditors the debtor’s wealth and divides it among them in portions as there is no way to do them justice other than this.
From Umar bin Abdurrahman bin Dalaf that a man from Juhayna would buy camels for a deferred period so he did this for high price. He became bankrupt and the matter was raised to Umar bin Al-Khattab who said: ‘As for what follows, O people. Verily Al-Asfa’a Asfa’a Bani Juhaynah was satisfied of his deen and trustworthiness that it is said he overtook the pilgrims. He expanded in taking debt till he became debted. So whoever has something from him, let him come tomorrow morning, for we will divide his wealth in lots.’ From Umar bin Abdulazia that he judged about the bankrupt that his wealth be divided between the creditors and then he is left until Allah provides sustenance for him.

The bankrupt’s wealth which is found with him is divided amongst the creditors by shares of the value only between those present claimants whose time of their rights became due. It is not included among them the one present but not claiming or the absent who did not delegate or the absent and present whose time of his right was not due whether he claims or not. This is because the one whose time of his right was not due has no right yet, while the one not claiming is not necessary to be given until he claims.

This is where the bankrupt is alive. As for the deceased bankrupt, it is judged for everyone, present or absent, claiming or not, and each one with a debt whether immediate or to a named period. This is because all periods become due at the death of the one who has right or the one against whom there is a right. If there combines on the bankrupt the rights of Allah and the rights of the people (‘ibad), the rights of Allah ta’ala precede the rights of the slaves. So it is commenced with what he missed of zakat or expiation (kaffara); if it does not cover everything, this is divided upon all these rights by lots without preferring anything over another. Similarly the debts of people; if his wealth is not enough to pay all of them then each one takes according to his money of what exists.

The evidence that the rights of Allah precede the rights of the people is what was proved of the Messenger of Allah (SAW) that he said:
“…the debt of Allah has more right that it be paid” and his statement: “…repay Allah as He has more right to be repaid” (Al-Bukhari narrated the two via the way of ibn Abbas).

When the wealth of the bankrupt is sold, his maintenance and the maintenance of those whose maintenance is obliged upon him is examined, so his house which he has need of residing therein is not sold. Whereas if he has two houses, one of them could be used without so the other, the one which there is no need for is sold. If the bankrupt earns what maintains him and those whom he is obliged to maintain or he is able to earn that actually by employing himself, in this situation all his wealth is sold except his house which he needs to reside therein.

If he is unable to do anything of that, it is left for him from hs wealth that which is enough for him to maintain himself and those whom it is obliged upon him to maintain according to what is (ma’rouf) reasonable of his wealth, until it is finished of its division between his creditors.

Monday, April 06, 2009

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Saturday, April 04, 2009

Views on the News- 02/04/09

Brown’s advisor: ‘UK population must fall to 30m’

Last week Jonathan Porritt, one of Gordon Brown’s leading green advisers, is to warn that Britain must drastically reduce its population to 30m if it is to build a sustainable society. Porritt’s call will come at this week’s annual conference of the Optimum Population Trust (OPT), of which he is patron. The trust will release research suggesting UK population must be cut to 30m if the country wants to feed itself sustainably. Porritt said: “Population growth, plus economic growth, is putting the world under terrible pressure. Each person in Britain has far more impact on the environment than those in developing countries so cutting our population is one way to reduce that impact.” Britain’s population is expected to grow from 61m now to 71m by 2031. It is the eradication of capitalism and not population reduction that will help Britain sustain its burgeoning population for the foreseeable future.

Czech Cardinal: Europe is headed for a Muslim future

Cardinal Miloslav Vlk, the head of the Czech Roman Catholic Church says Europe must adopt Christian values and multiply otherwise Islam and Muslims will fill the vacuum. In the interview with a Czech publication, Vlk links the European Union’s flag to Christian values. The flag consisting of twelve stars on a blue background was inspired by the Bible. He says there should be dialogue between Christians and Muslims but “in terms of culture and opinions Islam is medieval.” “I do not want to sound negative... but in Islam a religion assumes the position of the state power and rules the people. Our European Christian experience proved that it is not the right way,” said the Cardinal who argues that Christianity should be part of the EU constitution. He warns that Muslim population will increase considerably in Europe because of “the low fertility of Europeans the majority of whom are non-believers.” The Cardinal said that “while European Muslims are living their religion, Europeans are pagans, as they do not respect their religion” and warns “if we do not restore Europe in terms of Christian values, we will surely die out.”

Angola anxious about Islamic expansion

On March 31 Angop news agency reported that the Angolan Government is worried about the expansion of Islam and its consequences in the organisation and structures of the Angolan society. Addressing the deputies of the sixth commission of the National Assembly, who visited the facilities of the National Institute of Religious Studies (INAR), minister of Culture Rosa Cruz e Silva expressed concern about the growth and increase of number of followers of this religion in Angola. "Our worry has to do with the expansion of Islam and the consequences it may cause to the organisation and structure of the Angolan society", she said. In her turn, the National Institute for Religious Affairs (INAR), Fátima Viegas, said that it is in place a study to determine to what extent the Islam is ingrained in the Angolan society.

During Gaza massacre King Abdullah sends pet dog to Israel for treatment

The Jordanian royal family's dog was secretly rushed to Israel for treatment in the midst of Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, Yedioth Ahronoth reported on March 29. During the fighting in the Gaza Strip, the Jordanians called on the Israeli veterinarians for help. King Abdullah and Queen Rania's beloved dog had fallen ill. In a secret operation, the pet was transferred to the hospital in Israel in very poor condition and later died. The dog's body was returned to Jordan, along with a sincere apology from the hospital's vets for being unable to save him.

Iran wants to cooperate with America in a bid to stabilize Afghanistan

On March 31 at an international conference on Afghanistan at The Hague, in the Netherlands, the Iranian delegate, Mohammad Mehdi Akhundzadeh, responded positively to Barack Obama's new strategy for winning the war against the Taliban. Akhundzadeh said, "Welcoming the proposals for joint cooperation offered by the countries contributing to Afghanistan, the Islamic Republic of Iran is fully prepared to participate in the projects aimed at combating drug trafficking and plans in line with developing and reconstructing Afghanistan.” He went on record to support aspects of Obama’s strategy. He said,” "The military expenses need to be redirected to the training of the Afghan police and army, and Afghanisation should lead the government-building process" – a clear reference towards the Obama administration's decision to send 4,000 more US military trainers.

Poll finds 63% Pakistanis believe US wants to divide Pakistan

A Press TV poll suggests Pakistan’s political turmoil has been orchestrated by the US in an attempt to partition the nuclear-armed country. The opinion poll conducted by the Press TV website found that an overwhelming 63 percent of some 3,807 participants believe the “tension is an American scenario to partition Pakistan.” A mere eighteen percent of the participants said the crisis stems from a power struggle between Pakistani politicians.

China continues to suppress its Muslim population

The official Xinhua News Agency earlier this month reported that Hotan authorities had launched a campaign against "illegal religious activity" at the end of February and "had already achieved some initial success." The News Agency said, "Officials uncovered some illegal religious activities, seized a large number of illegal books, handwritten materials, computer discs, audio tapes and other propaganda materials as well as bullets, fuses, explosive and flammable materials, and other weaponry.” A secretary with Hotan's Communist Party Propaganda Department on Monday denied that any religious schools were closed, people arrested or bullets, explosives and other materials seized. But he confirmed that some illegal religious activity has been halted and illegal books, writings, computer discs and audio tapes had been confiscated. He refused to give his name or any more information and referred calls to other departments where the phone rang unanswered or officials said they were not authorized to speak to the media. The clampdown is consistent with previous efforts to target a resurgent Islam that the government says is fanning radical, violent separatism in Xinjiang. A year ago, several hundred Muslims staged a protest in Hotan that rights groups said was against a ban on women wearing headscarves but that the government said was incited by an overseas Islamic group.

April 2, 2009