Sunday, December 26, 2010

China-India visit and China-South Korea-Japan trilateral deal

Question:
On 16 December 2010, the media reported two matters for long-term consideration: the first being the visit of the Prime Minister of China to India with a large trade delegation, of around 300 business men. This visit has been accompanied with unusual warmth. The second matter is that of a trilateral deal between South Korea, China and Japan to establish a co-operative secretariat between the three countries. This is along with cooling of tensions between the two Koreas , with respect to mutual threat between the US and South Korea on one side and North Korea on the other, with tacit support from China to North Korea . What is the significant of these happenings?


Answer:
 To answer this question, we review the following:
1- Since the 1960s America has feared the emergence of China as a world power and has sought to restrict China ’s ambitions to regional matters. America has used a variety of issues to contain China ’s sphere of influence, and to keep her leadership preoccupied with parochial problems. America has persistently exploited the issue of Taiwan , North Korea , autonomy for Tibet , poor treatment of Chinese minorities (East Turkistan, Falun Gong etc.) and interference in bilateral disputes between China and Japan over islands as a means of lighting fires around China ’s borders. Additionally, America has a string of bases stretching from Afghanistan , Central Asia, and Pakistan to the Asian Pacific rim that includes the Korean peninsula, Japan…. The aim of these military bases is to ensnare China and prevent her from projecting military power.

2- Notwithstanding efforts to curb China ’s military expansion, America has also aggressively sought to build India ’s civil and military capabilities to offset China . Speaking before a joint sitting of Indian parliament Obama said, “I stand before you today because I am convinced that the interests of the United States - and the interests we share with India - are best advanced in partnership…United States not only welcomes India as a global power. We fervently support it. Promoting shared prosperity, preserving peace and security, strengthening democratic governance and human rights — these are the responsibilities of leadership. As global partners this is the leadership United States and India can offer in the 21st century…With my visit, we are now ready to begin implementing our civil nuclear agreement...We need to forge partnerships in high-tech sectors like defense and civil space.” (US supports India as global power, the Indian Online, Nov 8 2010). It is noteworthy that India on September 29th 2010 sent 4 personnel from the Indian army, air force and navy to train with the U.S. ’s 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit at the latter’s base in Okinawa in the East China Sea during 2010.

China has vigorously reacted to such military exercises. In late September China ’s Rear Admiral Yin Zhuo warned that, "A series of military drills initiated by the US and China ’s neighboring countries showed that the US wants to increase its military presence in Asia . The purpose of these military drills launched by the US is to target multiple countries including China , Russia and North Korea and to build up strategic ties with its allied countries like Japan and South Korea." (Global Times, September 26, 2010).

3- A familiar pattern has prevailed ever since the six-party talks were instigated in 2003 to reign in North Korea ’s nuclear ambitions. This consists of America making certain demands during the six-party talks and when North Korea is close to meeting the demands, America reneges on its commitments. Furthermore, America has skillfully portrayed North Korea , with China as its main backer, as the guilty party during the fall out from the failed talks. For instance in 2007 the US announced that it would release $25million dollars of North Korea’s frozen money, in return for Pyongyang to freeze its Yongbyon nuclear reactor and readmit IAEA inspectors. However, the US reneged on its promise and released the money very late, such that the transaction could not be completed on time. North Korea promptly withdrew from the six-party talks. Frustrated by numerous obstacles placed by the US , North Korea eventually withdrew from the talks in 2009 and adopted a more belligerent posture in an effort to restart negotiations on more favorable terms. The aggressive stance adopted by North Korea included expulsion of IAEA inspectors, announcing plans to resume enrichment, detonating a nuclear devise underground in May 2009, clashing with South Korea’s Navy and the recent attack on a South Korean island.

4- The American response via the deployment of aircraft carriers, military exercises and convening talks minus, China and North Korea, has been to pressurize China to take a more forceful stance against its surrogate state. Admiral Mike Mullen, US Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, remarked on 8 December 2010 that he wished the Chinese would be more helpful, saying, "The Chinese have enormous influence over the North, influence that no other nation on earth enjoys. And yet, despite a shared interest in reducing tensions, they appear unwilling to use it," he said. It is interesting to note that in the immediate aftermath of the attack, China swiftly called for the resumption of the six-party talks, which was rejected by America. And lately, China has come out to publicly defend North Korea against America ’s intrusion in the region! This means that America wants to keep tensions raised and to present China and North Korea as if they were the source of tension and thus antagonize the countries of the region against them, but without reaching to the brink of war, because international and regional circumstances do not allow her to do so as America is busy in Iraq and Afghanistan.

5- In light of all this, we can say that the current Chinese measures, the signing of an accord by China Japan and South Korea on 16 December 2010 for establishing a tripartite cooperative secretariat in Seoul next year, as published by China on its network (Arabic.china.org.cn) Xinhua News Agency or what was published in multiple media sources, including this site, regarding the Chinese Prime Minister’s visit to India ... All of these measures are to undermine America's efforts to isolate China from its neighbors and portray China as the aggressive party. South Korea and Japan are most pro-American and any close tie between them and China undermines America 's exploitation of them against China. Also, India has been, and continues to be, one of the weapons that America exploits to trigger permanent tension betweens India and China, founded upon perennial disputes between them. Therefore China ’s closeness to India is to extinguish the flames of tension that America is trying to maintain between China and India.

It is expected that China has scored a point in its favor in countering America. That is if China exploits its visit to India and its agreement with Japan and South Korea well. And also if she did not fall into a trap of deception sprung by Japan and South Korea but backed by America.

21st of Muharram 1432 AH
17/12 / 2010

2010: America Maintains the Global Balance of Power

The Global balance of power has for long been the international relations model to asses the international situation. As 2010 draws to an end this would be an apt time to asses the current status of the world's superpower and the nations that compete with it.


USA
In 2010, the US worked to extricate itself from the Iraq and Afghan wars which depleted her resources and undermined her prowess. Troop levels became synonymous with success to the US public. The US attempted to pursue the same policy in Afghanistan as it did in Iraq, but found the conditions much different to the fertile ground it found in Iraq. 2010 saw the world's superpower consumed with attempting to disengage from foreign policy ambitions that were undertaken at the beginning of the 21st century. In Iraq the US established a political architecture which would protect the interests of the various factions, however the March 2010 election has resulted in a hung parliament and with ethno-sectarian differences so deep that by the end 2010 we have a weak government at best. Any discussion of troop withdrawal is premature when it is US forces that keep the political architecture together.

In Iraq the US reduced its troops to 50,000, however it has over 92,000 contractors in the country, conducting Obama's counter intelligence strategy which has failed to show any demonstrable success. The negotiations with the Taliban appear to have stalled even before they began.

The US may still be the world's superpower but it today faces larger, deeper and broader challenges than a decade ago. The only bright note for the US was that it was able to impose its missile defence shield upon NATO in the Lisbon summit during the year.

Russia
Russia's resurgence continued in earnest in 2010. Russia was able to continue with its expansion into its former Soviet periphery. With the US marred in two wars Russia for the last decade has been working to reverse US attempts through NATO and European Union expansion in bringing the former Soviet republic under its influence. Russia in 2010 worked to end the colour revolutions instigated by the US in order to expand its influence beyond its immediate territory. In February 2010 Russia ended the Orange revolution in Ukraine with the election of the pro-Moscow Victor Yanukovych. Yanukovych immediately agreed to extend Russia's lease for the Sevastopol naval base in the Crimean Peninsula (where the Russian Black Sea fleet is based) for an additional 25 years.

Russia also overthrew the Tulip revolution government in Kyrgyzstan bringing the central Asian republic back in the Russia's fold. With the US attempting to untangle itself from its two wars, Russia will in all likelihood find US attention turn towards it. Whilst Russia poses a threat to US influence its declining population and military industry will need to be dealt with to pose an effective challenge.

China
China's economic power continued to grow in 2010. Still considered by many to be the nation that will replace the US as the world's superpower, during 2010 China replaced Japan as the world's largest economy in the world after the US. China at the end of 2010 is also the world's largest exporter. The question regarding China is will such economic power turn into political power?

2010 was a year of heightened tensions in Sino-US relations. Washington pushed ahead with its strategy to re-engage with Southeast Asia and to re-assert its commitment to the region's security. The rising rivalry between Washington and Beijing for influence in South East Asia has until now revolved mainly on soft power initiatives involving diplomatic exchanges, aid and economic incentives. Chinese leaders avoided behaviour that aroused fear or suspicion on the part of its neighbours and economic partners. It has utilised its ‘soft power' - diplomacy, development aid, and cultural ties - to cultivate friends and allies. However expanding US military ties in 2010 appear to be bringing an end to so called peaceful competition.

In 2010 China showed a much more aggressive attitude towards the US. China is rapidly modernizing and expanding its arsenal of missiles, ships and aircraft. This has given China's army a much more prominent say in Chinese policymaking, as a result of China's increasing reliance on the military to secure supply lines for its economy. As the Peoples Liberation Army's clout has grown it has begun commentating in the press on issues concerning Chinese foreign policy. Rear Adm. Yang Yi, former head of strategic studies at the Chinese Army's National Defence University, wrote in August 2010 in the military newspaper People's Liberation Army Daily: "[The United States] is engaging in an increasingly tight encirclement of China and constantly challenging China's core interests. Washington will inevitably pay a costly price for its muddled decision" In 2011 and beyond China will need to decide if its economic power will be used for political ambitions, or if it remains like Japan, an economic power.

EU
The Greek debt crisis exposed the gaping holes in the European unification project that began over 60 years ago. The European Union was created without any rules regarding exiting the Union. As more information came to light regarding Greece's finances it became clear that the Union's viability was in question.

More fundamentally a union of smaller states into a larger political union is a weak method of amalgamation. It lacks the characteristics found in full unification where a people become one nation. A union as a method of binding peoples and nations is always prone to political differences as it continues to recognise the sovereignty of constituent nations, this leaves it open to influence from the outside and held hostage by national interests.

In 2010 the global economic crisis, Europe's inability to establish a military defence force outside US dominated institutions have all weakened the union. The declaration by German Chancellor Angela Merkel in October 2010 that multiculturalism, or Multikulti, as the Germans put it, "has failed, utterly," is an ominous sign that the Greek sovereign debt crisis and certainties about a united Europe have frayed and Germany for the first time since WW2 has started to look beyond the EU. Germany is the financial and economic guarantor of Europe. When Germany constructs notions of the German nation, historically the national interest was conquering Europe.

Turkey
2010 has seen Turkey rise to prominence on the international arena. A number of analysts have described Turkey's recent assertiveness as a new resurgence with the nation playing a leading role in a number of international issues. Negotiations with Iran over its nuclear programme, intermediating between Azerbaijan and Armenia over disputed territory and participating in indirect negotiations between Israel and Palestine has left some nations in Eastern Europe expecting the return of the Ottoman Janissaries. Turkey is today showing a new confidence beyond Turkish borders, long absent after the Ottomans. Various experts are now describing Turkey's ascendency as neo-Ottomanism. Turkish policies in the Caucuses, in Energy and the Middle East are not too different to America's aims in the region.

In 2011 and beyond Turkey will need to decide if it wants to be an independent power or continue playing the patron.

Conclusions
The Ummah's yearning for Deen has alarmed the West who view the Khilafah, Shari'ah and Ummah as a threat to very essence of Western liberal democracy. However without a state the Ummah will be unable to shift the global balance of power. The politicisation of the Ummah will continue to bear heavily on the Muslim rulers who will have to resort to ever more brutal methods to maintain their grip.

2010 ends with the US still the worlds superpower, although a weakened US to a decade ago. Russia continues its resurgence, however there are a number of policy areas it will need to address to pose a challenge to the global superpower. China for the moment continues with its economic and regional ambitions and remains for now only an economic threat to the US. France, Britain continue to work with the US and complicate its plans when it's in their interests, such a strategy however will not remove the US from the global pecking order.

Q&A: The Struggle for the Ivory Coast

Question:

 What is going on in the Ivory Coast? The second presidential elections were held on 28th November, 2010 and the Constitutional Council which supports the incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo declared him elected with 51.45% votes, while the Election Commission declared his rival Hassan Ouattara to be winner with 54.10% votes. The United States, the United Nations and the UN Security Council have meanwhile acknowledged the results declared by the Election Commission and Hassan Ouattara as the winner. President Laurent Gbagbo has rejected this and regards himself as the winner as declared by the Constitutional Council and insists on remaining in authority.
The armed forces have supported him. Is this electoral rivalry tribal in origin or religious? Or is it political rivalry, if so which are the parties involved? And what solution is to be expected in this electoral crisis?

Answer:

 In response to these, we would present the following facts:

1: It is a well-known fact that France entered the Ivory Coast in 1843 and declared it to be a French protectorate. However the Muslims resisted and defeated the French and announced the formation of an Islamic emirate which implemented the Islamic Shari'ah. But the French were eventually able to occupy it and enforced their control on Ivory Coast with the help of certain tribes in neighbouring countries and eventually declared it to be a French colony in 1893. Then in 1960 they gave nominal independence to Ivory Coast on the same lines that many other African states were granted nominal independence by Charles de Gaulle's France which was owing to the international situation prevalent in those days. Ivory Coast then came to be ruled by a French puppet Hofouet Bogny who ruled until his death in 1993 during which he relied directly on the French forces and divided the country in deference to the French wishes as follows:

Deprived and marginalised Muslims worked on Cocoa farms in poverty and exposed to severe persecution and injustice in the north even though they constituted some 65% of the population of Ivory Coast, though the Western figures puts their percentage at about 40% or even less owing to their well-known policy.

The well-placed pagans who were well supported in the south so as to prevent the spread of Islam among the pagans and were induced to convert to Christianity. They include heads of the state as well as the commanders of the armed forces.

2: The Ivory Coast is Cocoa rich and contributes to some 40% of the world's production which is mostly done by French companies. In addition to cocoa, certain other minerals like copper, diamonds, cobalt and uranium are found and are mostly exploited by the French. Even the financial establishments in Ivory Coast are overwhelmingly controlled by the French. The Ivory Coast regime is linked to France by the rulers and so are its economy and its security which continues to include some 900 men who protect the regime as well as the French investors whose numbers are between 15,000 and 20,000. The Ivory Coast is situated in the Gulf of Guinea on the Atlantic coast and is thus a strategic location surrounded by many African states which were once French colonies and remain under French influence. It is considered to be a Francophile stronghold where France imposed its language and culture and this is why it has been important to France in addition to its economic and strategic aspects.

3: The United States exerted efforts to salvage Ivory Coast from under the French influence and into its camp. Thus new events and disturbances came to the fore as a result of this clash. Ivory Coast witnessed a military coup in December, 1999 when the coup leader General Robert Guei promised elections which were actually held on 22nd October, 2000 and the French were able to hold on to the reigns of power through their agent Laurent Gbagbo despite the hostile American resources.

Despite this the American pressures did not ease but increased to levels that and the French became worried over the fall of Laurent Gbagbo in the next elections. Thus when his term ended in 2005, he postponed elections several times until they were at last held this year due to increased US pressures on him and his regime which was threatened with imposition of international isolation and sanctions. The first phase of the elections in October last while the second phase on 28th November, 2010.

4: The election results as declared by the Constitutional Council which backs the incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo, declared him to be the winner with 54.10% of votes, while the US, the UN and the UN Security Council recognised election results declared by the Election Commission which declared Hassan Ouattara as the winner. Laurent Gbagbo rejected this and considered himself to be the winner as declared by the Constitutional Council and insisted on him remaining in authority supported by the army.

The recognition of the Election Commission results by the US, the UN and the UNSC and the American pressure which still persist are meant to threaten and force Laurent Gbagbo to step down from power, and this implies that Gbagbo continues to follow anti-US policies and remains loyal to France.

5: As for Hassan Ouattara he was earlier a deputy head of the International Monetary Fund and was brought in by Hofouet Bogny as the prime minister in order to please the United States and meant to reduce US pressures which were considerable. France was aware of Hassan Ouattara's loyalties during his term at the IMF but was not worried as long he worked under the powerful and experienced French puppet Hofouet Bogny especially since this arrangement meant a reduction in US pressures.

However when Bogny died in 1993, the French were worried over its influence and the rise of the new star Hassan Ouattara who began to implement IMF policies in Ivory Coast. Therefore France brought in the parliament speaker Aimé Henri Konan Bédié as the interim president so as to bring in a law to bar Hassan Ouattara from the presidential electoral process and make himself as the president of Ivory Coast in 1995.

All these indicate that Hassan Ouattara remained loyal to the US ever since his IMF tenure which is why America backed him by recognising his victory as the legitimate president of Ivory Coast. America worked to form international public opinion on the issue and thus the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon supported him and the US was able to pass a resolution at the UNSC to this effect which was announced on 9th December, 2010 which recognised Hassan Ouattara as the president of the Ivory Coast by sounding a warning to Laurent Gbagbo which said: "The members of the Security Council condemn in the strong possible terms any effort to subvert the popular will of the people or undermine either the integrity of the electoral process or the free and fair elections in Ivory Coast."

The United States also made the African Union (OUA) to issue a resolution supporting the victory of Hassan Ouattara and continues to apply pressures and threats as well as temptations to make Laurent Gbagbo to step down and hand over power to Hassan Ouattara. This is why we saw the African Union move in this direction and declared on 9th December, 2010 that: "[it] suspends the Ivory Coast membership of the organisation until Laurent Gbagbo hands over power to Hassan Ouattara".

Similarly the West African regional economic group, ECOWAS demanded that Laurent Gbagbo steps down and hand over power to Hassan Ouattara which it recognises as the winner. Thus the US influenced international opinion and mobilised all international and regional institutions against Gbagbo and his regime causing disturbances in the country and threatening it with severe divisions and further sanction and global isolation. In addition to this, the US also offered incentives to Laurent Gbagbo and as the Reuters agency reported on 10th December, 2010 quoting a US official that "invite him to the White House to discuss how to advance democracy in the region, laying out a role he could play. But Obama also warned in the letter, whose receipt was confirmed to Washington by a senior Gbagbo government official, that he would support efforts to isolate Gbagbo and hold him to account if he refused to step down".

6: The American pressures, political manoeuvres and threats accompanied by some inducements, which is generally known as the ‘carrot and stick' policy were effective and decisive in that they generated an international opinion which has worried France and the European Union and they came to support election results declaring Hassan Ouattara as the presidential winner over his French and EU-supported rival and especially Britain called for power sharing on the Kenyan model under which Gbagbo would remain as the president with Hassan Ouattara serving as prime minister. France tried to play its military card with its forces present in the Ivory Coast and Ivorian armed forces themselves are strongly under French influence. So France tried to use this card as the pressure weapon to gain acceptance of power-sharing. Britain on its part moved in support of France through their African agents, it mobilised South Africa which in a statement issued by its external affairs ministry stated: "that Pretoria calls upon the rival leaders to restrain themselves for the sake of national reconciliation, and make unity as their absolute priority during this period". [BBC 09.12.2010].

Thus South Africa did not support Hassan Ouattara, instead it said that it is concerned about the unity of the country and calls for a solution which will ensure that Gbagbo remains in authority. The British also mobilised their agent Thabo Mbeki, the former South African President to find a solution and Mbeki nominally acted in the name of the African Union. After Mbeki's meeting with Hassan Ouattara which lasted for about half-an-hour, Ouattara addressed Mbeki and said: "I ask him [Mbeki] to demand that Laurent Gbagbo does not stick on to power". [AFP 06.12.2010].

This indicates that Mbeki is not working to make Gbagbo step down, rather he is working to keep him in power. This is further stressed by the statement issued by Mbeki himself after the meeting which said: "The situation is fraught with danger, and it is important that violence and return to war is avoided and a peaceful solution is found". [AFP 06.12.2010].

Which means that Mbeki is not concerned with Gbagbo's stepping down or Hassan Ouattara taking over as president as the US wants and insists, rather for Mbeki, avoiding violence and war which French influence will lead to, is important as well as finding a peaceful solution. This implies finding a reconciliation between Gbagbo and Hassan Ouattara. It has become evidently clear that Britain is working against American influence and not for pleasing France, rather Britain is aware that waning of French influence in Ivory Coast will result in building British influence in the country which will enable it [Britain] to strengthen its influence in the African continent. The British, during their period of colonisation in Africa have often cooperated with France in order to maintain their stronghold, and their cooperation was aimed at consolidating their influence in the region.

When the United States emerged on the scene and attacked against them in order to end their colonisation, British-French cooperation increased so that they could withstand the situation. On the other hand, it is easier for Britain to exercise their influence in French-controlled areas as they did in many other countries in northern Africa, but it is not easy for them to compete with the US with enormous resources and immense opportunities, especially because the British are aware that America is working to totally eliminate their influence in their former colonies and strongholds.

7: Thus the electoral crisis in Ivory Coast is an aspect of the international rivalry between France and the United States. As for what is expected, the power sharing arrangement may well work if neither of the parties is able to achieve what it wants. But if one of the parties is in a position to have its way, or feels that it can have its way, then there is but a weak chance of reconciliation. For an observer of the events in Ivory Coast and the US-mobilised international opinion against Gbagbo, the United States as an unprecedented opportunity to not accept reconciliation and expect Gbagbo to step down with Hassan Ouattara taking over the reigns of power. This is at least expected in the foreseeable future, but reconconciliation cannot be ruled out, indeed the US has the opportunity to get hold of an African country through the electoral process without any military coup. This situation provides the US with ways to openly gain loyalists and protect them simply because they would be seen as legitimate who came to power through popular mandate via the electoral process. Hence none would be in a position to blame and accuse the United States of colluding with dictatorial regimes if its agents were to come to power through military coup.

Thus what is expected is that the US will not ease pressures and threats against Gbagbo and even offer him inducements until he steps down. The US administration led by the Secretary of State and other officials have exerted all their strength on this issue even to the point of using weapons and internal killing. The US has its trump card in Ouattara and it backs him to the hilt in order that he comes to occupy the reigns of power in Ivory Coast. Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State stated: "We are in complete agreement that Hassan Ouattara is the legitimately elected president of the Ivory Coast and that he respects the election results". [BBC 03.12.2010].

It appears that America will succeed this time, however the US may reject the power sharing proposal which calls for Gbagbo to remain as the president and keep Hassan Ouattara as the prime minister, especially because the Gbagbo regime is known to be oppressive towards its people, though the oppressed ones are Muslims, and the US takes this oppression as the reason for its current attack to gain influence in Ivory Coast and eliminate French influence from here and the entire region. America has warned its people against traveling to Ivory Coast and has said in a statement issued by its State Department: "there is an increased probability of political unrest and potential violence". [AFP 03.12.2010]. It is as if the US is calling for such violence or has prepared for such eventuality should Gbagbo choose not to step down. This indicates America's insistence on gaining complete influence and wiping off French influence if France insists on power sharing.

8: Such is the situation in Ivory Coast which is regarded as an Islamic country with a Muslim majority and which remains the focus of an international conflict between the colonialists who are bent upon pilfering and stealing is resources. France insists on retaining an effective role in Ivory Coast and the US is keen to have total influence there. While the Ivory Coast is an Islamic country with a Muslim majority which was earlier under Islamic rule, it is imperative that its people remain in charge of its destiny without the colonialists kuffar's intervention. It is another matter that the Muslims the world over have no one over them to take care of their affairs ever since the departure of the Khilafah from the world. The Ivory Coast like other Muslim countries awaits the establishment of the Khilafah State to liberate it from the strongholds of the kuffar colonialists and make it a part and province of the Khilafah State, this is not a tall order for Allah (swt).

5th Muharram al Haraam, 1432 A.H
11th December, 2010 C.E.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Part II: Islam’s Legislation Regarding Woman’s Work

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم


Legislation in Islam is derived from the fixed sources of Quran and Sunnah. To decide the legislation of the issue of the working woman, one must return to these sources. Women working in public are generally and specifically permitted as long it is within the limits of the legislation found in the Quran and Sunnah. While in Islam it is maintained that the basic and fundamental role of the woman in Islam is in the home, fulfilling her duty as a wife and a mother. These duties and responsibilities require time and effort as being the primary responsibility of the woman. However, the woman's primary role as mother and housewife does not mean she is confined to this role and prevented from pursuing other activities. Rather this means that Allah swt created man and woman with different roles and responsibilities in life, thus women were created so that man may live with her in harmony and tranquility and have children with her. Allah swt says:
وَاللَّهُ جَعَلَ لَكُمْ مِنْ أَنْفُسِكُمْ أَزْوَاجًا وَجَعَلَ لَكُمْ مِنْ أَزْوَاجِكُمْ بَنِينَ وَحَفَدَةً وَرَزَقَكُمْ مِنَ الطَّيِّبَاتِ أَفَبِالْبَاطِلِ يُؤْمِنُونَ وَبِنِعْمَةِ اللَّهِ هُمْ يَكْفُرُونَ

{And Allah has made for you mates (and companions) of your nature, and made for you, out of them, sons and daughters and grandchildren, and for you sustenance of the best: will They then believe In vain things, and be for Allah.s favours?} [An- Nahl: 72]

The husband is the one who bears the responsibility of seeking a livelihood to provide for his family. As Allah swt said:

الرِّجَالُ قَوَّامُونَ عَلَى النِّسَاءِ بِمَا فَضَّلَ اللَّهُ بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ وَبِمَا أَنْفَقُوا مِنْ أَمْوَالِهِمْ

{Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because They support them from their means}. [Al-Nisa: 34]

Evidences stating the permissibility of a female working:

From the Quran:

1. Regarding Prophet Musa (as):

وَلَمَّا وَرَدَ مَاءَ مَدْيَنَ وَجَدَ عَلَيْهِ أُمَّةً مِنَ النَّاسِ يَسْقُونَ وَوَجَدَ مِنْ دُونِهِمُ امْرَأتَيْنِ تَذُودَانِ قَالَ مَا خَطْبُكُمَا قَالَتَا لَا نَسْقِي حَتَّى يُصْدِرَ الرِّعَاءُ وَأَبُونَا شَيْخٌ كَبِيرٌ (23) فَسَقَى لَهُمَا ثُمَّ تَوَلَّى إِلَى الظِّلِّ فَقَالَ رَبِّ إِنِّي لِمَا أَنْزَلْتَ إِلَيَّ مِنْ خَيْرٍ فَقِيرٌ (24)

{ And when He arrived at the watering (place) In Madyan, He found there a group of men watering (Their flocks), and besides them He found two women who were keeping back (Their flocks). He said: "What is the matter with you?" They said: "We cannot water (Our flocks) until the shepherds take back (Their flocks): and Our father is a very old man." So He watered (Their flocks) for them; then He turned back to the shade, and said:"O My Lord! truly am I In (desperate) need of any good that Thou dost send me!" [Al-Qissas: 23-4]

These two ayat explained the daughters’ need to work because their elderly father was unable to carry out his work. It was revealed in the ayah that the women should avoid mixing with other men and commit to modesty and dignity.
2. In Surat Al-Baqara:

فَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْهِمَا وَإِنْ أَرَدْتُمْ أَنْ تَسْتَرْضِعُوا أَوْلَادَكُمْ فَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذَا سَلَّمْتُمْ مَا آَتَيْتُمْ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ

There is no blame on them. if ye decide on a foster-mother for your offspring, there is no blame on you, provided ye pay (the mother) what ye offered, on equitable terms. but fear Allah and know that Allah sees well what ye do}. Ayah 233

It is permissible for a woman to breastfeed another infant in exchange for a wage. The infant’s guardian may provide a wage for the woman nursing the infant, which may take place in either the woman’s home or the infant’s home. This situation originates from the woman’s natural maternal character.

Evidences from the Sunnah:

1. It is narrated that Asmaa bint Abu Bakr (ra) said: Zubair married me and his wealth is in the land and he does not own anything prosperous. So I used feed his horse, draw water… and knead dough. But I did not perfect the baking of the bread hence my sincere Ansar neighbors used to bake the bread for me. I carry the straw on my head from Zubair’s land from a far distance. I came across the Prophet pbuh who saw me carrying the load. He prompted his camel to lower itself to carry me on his camel. I was too shy to ride because there were men with him and I remembered Zubair’s jealousy for he was the most jealous of men. The Prophet realized my shyness and left me. Later on, Abu Bakr sent a servant to free me from the burden of tending to Zubair’s horse.

2. As narrated by Jabir bin Abd-alqal: My maternal aunt divorced and wanted to harvest her palm trees. A man forbade her; therefore she went to the Prophet (pbuh). He said, yes harvest your palm trees, be that you give charity or perform a good deed.

3. As narrated by Ra’ita, the wife of Abdallah bin Masoud was a woman possessing a skill; she used to sell her hand-crafted goods to earn to support her husband, child, and herself. She complained to her husband that her work prevented her from doing good deeds or charity. Her husband replied, By Allah that is what He loves. She went to the Prophet pbuh and explained her situation that her husband is unable to work so she provides for her family and this work prevents her from giving charity. The Prophet pbuh told her to spend upon your family and she will be rewarded by Allah swt.

These hadeeths confirm the permissibility of a woman earning a wage or simply helping her husband. Also, for the woman to work outside of her home if the head of household is absent, unable or elderly. The Prophet pbuh agreed as Asmaa bint Abu Bakr (ra) used carry the straw and obtain water. He also permitted the working of Jabir’s aunt to benefit herself and others through charity. Abdullah bin Masoud’s wife received the reward in her financially supporting her husband as the reward of sadaqa.

Allah swt created the woman who encompasses both a private and public role in life. The private as mentioned above being a mother and wife. The public role, being a dawah carrier and seeking appropriate knowledge necessary for her life. There is no specific prohibition against a woman a job whatever her reason. This is due to the general import of the Legislator's speech and the absence of prohibitions specific to women. Again it needs to be stressed that her line of work or profession is within the parameters of halal and without any forbidden action as outlined in the Quran and Sunnah. This will be discussed in detail in the third part of this series.

Manal Bader
Bayt Almaqdes

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

O Muslims! Deliver this letter to the sincere officers within Pakistan's armed forces

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Establish the Khilafah, even though Pakistan's traitor rulers hate it

O officers of Pakistan's armed forces!

You are leading the largest and most capable Muslim armed forces in the world. The Muslim armed forces alone have the material strength to establish the Khilafah. As such you are the successors of the noble Ansar, who gave the material support (Nussrah) to Sayyedenah Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم for the establishment of the Islamic state in Madinah. Moreover, you must move now to uproot Pakistan's traitor rulers. For even though the weaknesses of America and India are more evident than ever before, Pakistan's traitor rulers are racing to extend support to them, using the considerable resources of the Muslims to do so.

O officers of Pakistan's armed forces!

As for America, her economy is collapsing around her ears, yet America is afraid that her defeat in Afghanistan, known as the "graveyard of empires," would spell doom for her own capitalist empire. As such America is compelled to exhaust her resources in a quagmire, just like the Soviet and British empires before her.

But rather than allowing America's occupation to collapse, the traitor rulers are working to extend America's foothold in the region. Using the excuses of training and intelligence sharing, the rulers have granted America an unprecedented presence within Pakistan. America has officers that walk through Pakistan Army's General Head Quarters (GHQ) with their sleeves rolled up, making themselves at home. She has marines in Baluchistan that are trying to secure the area adjacent to the Chaman border. American intelligence directs operations, including drone attacks, whilst sitting in truck containers, with air-conditioning units visible in the summer. America's air force personnel have a permanent presence in Jacobabad. Her private military organizations fan fear within the people through brutal attacks in the markets, streets and mosques. Her military and intelligence personnel are flooding into Pakistan through Dubai under an agreement with the traitor rulers. And these are just some of the examples, O brothers.

Compensating for America's own troops lack in bravery and her Western allies withdrawal from the occupying forces, the traitor rulers ensure that the full burden of America's dirty and tough war is on your shoulders. You can witness how much America needs you from the fact that the delay in the North Waziristan operations, to support America's operations in Kandahar, forced US President Barack Obama to announce a delay in America's limited troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. As such, the rulers have created a war-like situation, which is not between the kafir American occupiers and the Muslims as it should have been, but between Muslims, the Muslims of the tribal areas and Pakistan's armed forces.

As yet another service to America, the traitor rulers use a mixture of deception, bribery and threats to persuade you to fight. The traitor rulers publicize that America can initiate the break up of Pakistan and threaten its nuclear arsenal, as pretexts to justify their continued support to America. Even though it is their very support that allowed America into the region, supplies her forces with weapons and food and expands her presence within Pakistan. The traitor rulers publicize Western aid to say that beggars can not be choosers and so Pakistan is compelled to assist America. Even though loans from the Western capitalist colonialist have only ever come with conditions to ensure economic exploitation of resources, from Africa to Latin America and even though it is this region's immense resource wealth that is one of the factors that prompted America to invest billions in its war.

O officers of Pakistan's armed forces!

As for India, after over sixty years of oppressive and discriminatory Hindu rule, India is a fragile entity that is weaker than ever before with a myriad of separatist movements working to tear her apart. Moreover, India lacks essential resources and is dependent on the Muslim Lands for providing gas and oil as well as securing sea and land routes for mineral resources.

But, rather than working to end the oppressive Hindu rule, Pakistan's traitor rulers have worked to strengthen it, for the sake of America, who seeks to woo India into its influence, to counter China and any Khilafah that arises. The traitor rulers mobilize Pakistan's security forces to persecute and arrest the Kashimiri Mujahideen, granting the cowardly Hindu occupying forces a great gift, which they neither deserved nor could achieve for themselves. The rulers assisted India in fencing the Line of Control, consolidating the Hindu occupation. And the traitor rulers protect the American occupation which established a foothold for India in Afghanistan, in the form of consulates, from which Indian intelligence launches mischief in Baluchistan and the tribal areas.

O officers of Pakistan's armed forces!

The traitor rulers are allying with the kuffar, as if this was the source of strength and well-being for the Muslims. In reality alliance with the kuffar is a source of fragility, weakness, despair and humiliation. Allah سبحانه و تعالى said,
مَثَلُ الَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُوا مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ أَوْلِيَاءَ كَمَثَلِ الْعَنكَبُوتِ اتَّخَذَتْ بَيْتًا وَإِنَّ أَوْهَنَ الْبُيُوتِ لَبَيْتُ الْعَنْكَبُوتِ لَوْ كَانُوا يَعْلَمُونَ
"The parable of those who seek allies other than Allah is that of a spider who builds a house; but indeed, the weakest of houses is the spider's house - if they but knew" [Surah al-Ankaboot 29:41]

You must seize the traitor rulers and end their support of the Ummah's enemies. The situation is on your side, your enemies are faltering and you are strong. Your strength can be seen from the fact that you faced American and Indian backed mischief in the tribal areas and Baluchistan, whilst being tested simultaneously by floods and traitor rulers. Above all you are a Muslim army that believes in victory and martyrdom, which multiplies your strength. The Islamic feelings run deep within you, so you witnessed no desertions when fighting the kuffar to defend Muslims in Kashmir, but you witnessed many when fighting Muslims in the tribal areas to defend America. It is these Islamic feelings that America fears and wants removed from you.

O officers of Pakistan's armed forces!

Some of you stand with the traitor rulers and the kuffar Americans, supporting them for worldly gains with full knowledge of the mischief that they do. Know that such people will be punished with the traitors at the hands of the Ummah when the Khilafah is established soon inshaAllah. And know that the punishment of Allah سبحانه و تعالى is greater than any suffering in this life. Allah سبحانه و تعالى said,
فَأَذَاقَهُمْ اللَّهُ الْخِزْيَ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَلَعَذَابُ الآخِرَةِ أَكْبَرُ لَوْ كَانُوا يَعْلَمُونَ
"So, Allah made them taste the disgrace in the present life, but greater is the torment of the Hereafter if they only knew" [Surah al-Zamar 39:26]

Others of you are silent, squandering the strength that Allah سبحانه و تعالى has bestowed upon you and about which you will be asked on the Day of all Days. Do you not see how the army of Fir'awn was punished along with the tyrant they obeyed? Does this life and its fleeting pleasures tempt you from the eternal bliss of Jannah? Allah سبحانه و تعالى said,

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مَا لَكُمْ إِذَا قِيلَ لَكُمْ انفِرُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ اثَّاقَلْتُمْ إِلَى الأَرْضِ أَرَضِيتُمْ بِالْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا مِنْ الآخِرَةِ فَمَا مَتَاعُ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا فِي الآخِرَةِ إِلاَّ قَلِيلٌ
"O you who believe! What is the matter with you, that when you are asked to march forth in the cause of Allah, you cling heavily to the earth Are you pleased with the life of this world rather than the Hereafter But little is the enjoyment of the life of this world compared to the Hereafter." [Surah at-Tawba 9:38]

And yet others of you are yearning for defeat of the enemies and victory for Muslims. So, it is time, dear brothers, it is time to rush to grant the Nussrah to Hizb ut Tahrir for the establishment of the Khilafah. And may Allah سبحانه و تعالى bring the day through you soon, when the mischief and falsehood of the criminals traitors are obliterated by the truth of Islam. Allah سبحانه و تعالى said

لِيُحِقَّ الْحَقَّ وَيُبْطِلَ الْبَاطِلَ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الْمُجْرِمُونَ
"That He might cause the truth to triumph and bring falsehood to nothing, even though the criminals hate it." [Surah al-Anfaal 8:8]

Hizb-ut-Tahrir
Wilayah Pakistan
17 December 2010 / 11 Muharram, 1432 AH

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Muslims do not need freedom of speech, they have enjoining the good and forbidding the evil

Whenever Muslims engage themselves in a debate with non Muslim journalists and media outlets on free Speech, the conversation ends up with the Muslims being told that the only reason they are able to speak is because of the freedom of speech they are entitled to in democracies and that this is the reason they can be critical and disagree in the west.


This whole argument is based upon a premise which assumes that the reason Muslims speak out against the injustices which they see around the world is because that they have the freedom to do so and for this reason Muslims should be grateful. This could not be further from the truth!

The fact of the matter is that even before the birth of the concept of free speech in the west, Islam had given Muslims a concept more precious and worthwhile then free speech, enjoining the good and forbidding the evil.

Islam made an obligation upon Muslims to enjoin the good and to forbid the evil no matter where they lived and how big or small the good or evil maybe. This is why you find Muslims all across the global enjoining the good or speaking against injustices regardless of whether they live in democracies or dictatorships.

 Organisations like Hizb ut-Tahrir have been known to speak out against tyrant rulers in the Muslims world, for which reason their members have been tortured and in many cases murdered like in Uzbekistan. The point here being, it is not freedom of speech that motivates Muslim to raise their voices against injustices; Muslims are motivated by the words of their Lord when He says,
كُنْتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ تَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ وَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ
"You are the best nation produced for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah." (Quran 3:110)

It is this that is the driving engine behind a Muslims that makes him/her speak out against any injustices that they may witness whether in the West or in the Muslim world.

I said earlier that the concept of enjoining the good and forbidding the evil is more worthwhile than freedom of speech and there is a very good reason why this is the case. Freedom of speech in itself is a right which a citizen of a democratic state is able to uphold and discard when the individual likes. This is because free speech gives you the choice to decide if you wish to speak up against injustices or if you wish to ignore and we see this everyday in the streets of London.

You will find that yobs and criminals are causing all sorts of problems for local people, but every a few people intervene or attempt to intervene to stop these types of acts. One famous example being when a few years ago a couple of teenagers were breaking the glass door of a store in a public market in board daylight, with many people walking the streets and nobody intervening to stop this vandalism, except an elderly man who confronted these teenagers and was then attacked by them and even still no one from the public came to his aide, with this elderly man fighting of these thugs. Where was the good sense of the people to come and stop this or even aid this elderly, rather people just ignored and continued on with their travels. This is the type of mentality freedom of speech creates, a passive mentality to crime, a passive mentality towards other people's feelings and sentiments, a mentality of I will only use freedom of speech when it benefits me.

The concept of enjoining the good and forbidding the evil is mandatory on Muslims hence it creates a proactive mentality where the Muslims will involve themselves in stopping the injustices and if necessary in many cases put their own lives at risk for others. Anybody who has been to the Muslims world would know that when any incident occurs of injustice people from the street involve themselves to resolve these issues and if necessary stop the injustice, even if both the perpetrator and victim are complete strangers. This creates a level of security within the society where people can feel a sense of peace that people will help them in their time of need. The reason Muslims feel the need to enjoin the good and forbid the evil is because it has been placed as an obligation upon them by their Lord for which they will be immensely rewarded or punished if not undertaken, and this is why it is not subject to being discarded at the whims and desires of people.

So next time western commentators see a Muslims speaking out injustices against governments in the west or Muslim world, let them remember that it was because of enjoining the good and forbidding the evil and not freedom of speech.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Virtues of Fasting in the Month of Muharram

The month of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar, holds many virtues. Fasting, charity and prayer hold additional values. Surely, the months provides a great opportunity to seek the inner strength that comes from the nearness to Allah سبحانه وتعالى for Muslims in general and dedicated dawa carriers in particular.

The Virtues of Fasting in the Month of Muharram

Muslim reported from Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him), that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, "The best of fasts after the month of Ramadan are in the Month of Allah, which you call Muharram. And the best of prayer after the obligatory prayer is the night prayer." [Muslim, 1163]

This refers to general voluntary fasts according to Imam Ibn Rajab (Allah have mercy on him): These are best in the month of Muharram, just as the best general voluntary prayer is night prayer.

Fasting is a secret between the servant and his Lord. This is why Allah Mighty and Exalted says, [in the divine hadith (hadith qudsi)], "Every action of the son of Adam is his, except for fasting. It is Mine, and it is I who reward it." [Bukhari and Muslim, from Abu Hurayra]
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) also said, "The fasting person has two joys: one when he breaks his fast, and the other when he meets his Lord." [Muslim]

Similarly, it has been related that fasting is a means for good health. The Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) is reported to have said, "Fast, and you shall have good health." [Ahmad, from Abu Hurayra]


The Day of `Ashura': The Tenth of Muharram

It is mentioned in Bukhari and Muslim from Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him and his father) that he was asked about fasting the Day of `Ashura' [10th of Muharram]. He said, "I did not see the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) fast a day while more avid to seek its virtue than this day," meaning the Day of `Ashura'." [Bukhari (2006), and Muslim (1132)].


The Day of `Ashura' has great virtue, and tremendous sanctity (hurma). The virtue of fasting it was known among the Prophets (peace be upon them all). Both Prophet Nuh and Prophet Musa (peace be upon them both) fasted it.


The Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) used to fast this day even in Mecca, though he had not yet ordered others to do so, as mentioned in both Bukhari and Muslim. [Bukhari (2002), Muslim (1125)]


When he migrated to Medina, and found the People of the Book fasting this day and venerating it, he ordered the Muslims to fast it, and encouraged it so much that even the children would fast it.


It has been reported in both Bukhari and Muslim from Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him), that, "When the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) reached Medina, he found the Jews fasting the Day of `Ashura', so he asked them, ‘What is this day you are fasting?' They said, ‘This is a tremendous day. Allah saved Musa and his people on this day and drowned Pharaoh and his people. Musa fasted it out of thanks, so we fast it too.' The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) said, ‘And we are more deserving of Musa than you are.' So he fasted this day, and ordered that it be fasted." [Bukhari (2004) and Muslim (1130)]


At the end of his life, the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) made the determination not to fast this day alone, but with another day [either before or after it], in order to be different from the People of the Book.


It has been reported in the Sahih of Imam Muslim (Allah have mercy on him), also from Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) that, "When the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) fasted the Day of `Ashura' and ordered his companions to fast it, they said, ‘O Messenger of Allah! This is a day that the Jews and Christians venerate.' So the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) said, ‘When next year comes - if Allah wills - we will fast the Ninth [of Muharram with it].' But the next year did not come before the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) passed away." [Muslim (1134), Abu Dawud (2445)]


And it is reported in the Musnad of Imam Ahmad (Allah have mercy on him), from Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, "Fast the Day of `Ashura' and be different from the Jews by fasting a day before it or a day after it." [Ahmad]


Giving in Charity on the Day of `Ashura'


It has been reported from Abd Allah ibn `Amr ibn al-`As (Allah be pleased with him), that "Whoever fasts `Ashura' it is as if he has fasted the entire year. And whoever gives charity this day it is like the charity of an entire year."


Some of the Virtues of the Day of `Ashura'


It is a day in which Allah forgave an entire people. Tirmidhi relates that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said to a man, "If you want to fast a month after Ramadan, then fast Muharram, for it has a day in which Allah forgave an entire people, and He turns to others in repentance in." [Tirmidhi (841)]

Night Prayer

As for voluntary night prayer (qiyam al-layl), it is superior to voluntary prayer during the day because it is closer to secrecy, and nearer to sincerity (ikhlas).

Allah Most High said,

إِنَّ نَاشِئَةَ اللَّيْلِ هِيَ أَشَدُّ وَطْئًا وَأَقْوَمُ قِيلًا
"Lo! the vigil of the night is (a time) when impression is more keen and speech more certain." [Qur'an, 73:6]


This is because the time of the night vigil (tahajjud) is the best of times for voluntary prayer, and the closest a servant gets to his Lord. It is a time when the doors of the skies are opened, supplications answered, and needs fulfilled.

Allah Most High has praised those who wake up at night in His remembrance, supplication, seeking forgiveness, and intimate entreating (munajat), saying,

تَتَجَافَىٰ جُنُوبُهُمْ عَنِ الْمَضَاجِعِ يَدْعُونَ رَبَّهُمْ خَوْفًا وَطَمَعًا وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ يُنْفِقُونَ

فَلَا تَعْلَمُ نَفْسٌ مَا أُخْفِيَ لَهُمْ مِنْ قُرَّةِ أَعْيُنٍ جَزَاءً بِمَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ
"Who forsake their beds to cry unto their Lord in fear and hope, and spend of that We have bestowed on them. No soul knows what is kept hid for them of joy, as a reward for what they used to do." [Qur'an, 32:16-17]
And,

أَمَّنْ هُوَ قَانِتٌ آنَاءَ اللَّيْلِ سَاجِدًا وَقَائِمًا يَحْذَرُ الْآخِرَةَ وَيَرْجُو رَحْمَةَ رَبِّهِ ۗ قُلْ هَلْ يَسْتَوِي الَّذِينَ يَعْلَمُونَ وَالَّذِينَ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ ۗ إِنَّمَا يَتَذَكَّرُ أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ
"Or he who pays adoration in the watches of the night, prostrate and standing, bewaring of the Hereafter and hoping for the mercy of his Lord? Say: Are those who know equal with those who know not? But only those of understanding will pay heed." [Qur'an, 39:9]


And He swt said to His Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace),

وَمِنَ اللَّيْلِ فَتَهَجَّدْ بِهِ نَافِلَةً لَكَ عَسَىٰ أَنْ يَبْعَثَكَ رَبُّكَ مَقَامًا مَحْمُودًا
"And some part of the night awake for it, as voluntary worship for you. It may be that thy Lord will raise thee to a praised estate." [Qur'an, 17:79]

It has been said that those who worship at night will enter Paradise without reckoning, and that standing in night prayer shortens the length of one's Standing on the Day of Judgment.

This is why the Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) said, "Stick to night prayer, for it was the way of the righteous before you. Night prayer is a means of closeness to Allah Most High, of expiating for bad deeds, avoiding sins, and keeping away illness from one's body." [Tirmidhi (3543], Bayhaqi, and others; it is a sound (hasan) hadith]

This is why Abu Sulayman al-Darani would say, "The people of the night find more joy than the people of distraction (lahw) in their distractions. Were it not for the night, I would not like to remain living."

Part-1- Working Women

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم


This series will cover specific issues related to women, primarily Western women in the workforce and its tremendous effect on the family and social structure. It will highlight this sensitive subject and its effect on the working Muslim women today. The first part is the introduction and women’s work in the West.

Introduction:

Prior to the Industrial Revolution, the role of men and women was clearly defined in society. Each gender had clear specific expectations that men and women were expected to uphold and honor, resulting in a more cohesive society. Young women matured into the path of motherhood and wifehood likewise with young men males guided into fatherhood as the head of household. Men were expected to be the anchor in the home to feed, clothe, and shelter his family. However this structure changed during and after World War I yielding devastating results.

Women’s Work in the West:

As a result of World War I, ten million men were killed. Thereby, disrupting the fragile balance of the family structure. Women, now widowed with orphaned children, had to bear the burden of providing for their family. Faced with new hardships, women of all ages were pushed into the laborforce trying to maintain their broken households. Of course at that time, the majority of women were not physically apt to perform numerous jobs traditionally fulfilled held by men. Many unfortunately were forced into the path that heavily exploited their femininity and sexuality in order to provide their orphaned children with the basic necessities to survive.

Furthermore, western society began to view the female gender as an important and vital contributor to the workforce. On a more basic level, a father of an eighteen year old is not legally responsible to provide for her because she is able to work and pay for her own necessities. Capitalism falsely led wives to believe in the notion of a two-income household where her income was crucial to her family’s living. Oftentimes, the husband needed or required his wife to work in order to lead a comfortable lifestyle according to western standards. Western women believed they were liberated when working alongside the opposite gender to attain wages. The widespread belief of one financially supporting an able-bodied person whether it may be his wife or daughter emphasized the greed and disgrace in society. Once again, highlighting the survival of the fittest law present in western society. It should be noted that Western societies live according to their whims and desires trying to satisfy them by any means possible. The woman was led to believe the more she flaunted her sexuality, the better the return for her; whether it may be more money, higher status, or attention from her clients or employers. As time went by, her presence became increasingly prevalent in the workforce to obtain a finer quality of life.

One major factor is missing from the equation: Where does the role of a wife and, more importantly, mother fit into this picture? This is the topic that will be explored in detail over a series of articles: The discussion of the women’s role in the western workforce and society and its tremendous impact on the social structure.

So did the western woman find true happiness? Now that she considered herself liberated and financially stable, did this bring her happiness? According to several research studies, many appear doubtful in their responses.

According to a French study, a whopping 70% of women live alone without a husband, working from an early age in life. Leading to another problem in society, when young adults leave home to work and reside alone; they neglect their elderly parents without any care or financial support. Incidentally 59% of the elderly are women in France. Nearly every year, three times the number of women enters the workforce than that of men, leaving the majority of men jobless while women struggle to balance work and home. Where is this so-called happiness from this grim picture?

Now turning to the Western social scientists and researchers’ opinions regarding women in the workforce:

Many modern Western sociologists do not want to approach this topic from the angle of whether a working woman is productive to the workforce while destructive to the social fabric of society. But this did not stop past thinkers from exploring and discussing this important issue in which we feel its disastrous results hundreds of years later.

August Comte, a French philosopher considered the founder of sociology and of the doctrine of positivism claimed, the same people who call for women’s equality by claiming to defend these women do not realize that these women can not compete against their counterparts for equal jobs and pay. Rather this forces these women to enter a daily competitive struggle which will ultimately devour them regarding effort and time. This competition also destroys the natural relationship between men and women –one of mutual love.

A former US congressman stated that since God gave women the ability to have babies, they shouldn’t be expected to leave them to work. Who will then stay home to care for these babies? Samuel Smilles, a pioneer in Renaissance thinking, said when governments sought to employ women, despite their contribution to the nation’s wealth, it resulted in traumatic consequences as the entrance and dependence on women in the workforce increased. Attacking the structure of the domestic life, depriving children of their mothers, husbands of their wives, and children of their relatives, it robbed women of their right and duty to their families.

Dr. Ida Ellen claimed in her research findings there is a high correlation between the number of working women and the high rate of crime in that society. She concluded that the root of the family crisis in America and the high level of crimes in the community are due to the wife leaving her home to double the family income. As the income level rose as did the level of morality decrease. Dr. Ellen called for the return of the wife to her home to rectify the society and its ethics being the only way to save the new generation of degradation.

According to Lady Cook Journal, the inter-mixing of men and women has led to the high rate of children born out of wedlock. But the statistics would be even higher if it were not for modern medicine to solve the great number of unwanted pregnancies. Lord Byron, an English poet and nobleman, claimed that women should tend to their homes and teach religion to their children while cautioning against the free mixing of men and women.

Madam Hirkour, a women’s rights champion, wrote to the Socialist philosopher, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon asking of his position on women in the workforce. He replied that a working woman demonstrates a flaw or defect against her gender since this confirms the woman’s failure to realize her full capacity and potential when it comes to her affairs.

Economic philosopher, Jules Simon, stated in the Journal of Magazines v. 17, women have been introduced into different fields from sewing mills to banking institutions yet many of these women were far superior to their employers only to gain a few pounds. The husband now had the materialistic benefit of having a wage-earning wife; while simultaneously threatening to take his place in the workforce. Secondly, he noted that employers have stripped women of their homes and families.

Auguste Comte said in the case of an absent husband or father, the necessities of every woman must be deemed as the responsibility of social services. This is the real basis or meaning for the elevation of humanity. Women’s lives must be as domestic as possible by ridding herself of public work life to ensure her natural role in life.

In The Magazines v18 , Eujom Feraro wrote, when women seek typical male jobs, they start to over-work to the point where they no longer seek a husband; forming a third gender, neither male nor female. Social scientists have realized the dire impact on the natural relationship between the two genders. She is the over-qualified woman who now competes for the same job as man, these women when unemployed are then seen as a burden upon society. Jules Simon believed women should remain as such in order to attain happiness to extend it onto others. We need to solve women’s problems without changing the nature of woman being aware of not altering them into men or else their positive characteristics may be diminished. We as a society then risk great loss. Nature created the perfect balance among its creatures. Let us study this nature to improve the situation. So let us not deviate from the laws of nature.

Annie Rorde, a famous English writer in an interview declared, if our daughters work in other people’s houses as maids or servants, it is better than factory jobs as not be contaminated by the ills of society. I wish we were like the Muslim countries, where modesty, chastity and purity are the norm, where the servant children play alongside the house children as equals. Yes it is a shame on our country, that the British expose their daughters to the vices of our society… women should be held in dignity in their homes rather than mixing frequently among men. Why shouldn’t we allow women to remain in their natural traditional place while leaving men’s work for the men?

These are the late 19th and early 20th century thinkers and philosophers’ perspectives about the working woman’s role in society. Many unanimously believe that the source of the family break- up is due to the woman abandoning her home.

Now western thinkers are faced with the growing dillemma of a quickly disintegrating society where women have abandoned their traditional domesic life to pursue a materialistic non-traditional lifestyle where she no longer seeks a husband for financial support. The reason for family breakup is due to her working in public places. Studies have shown that women have rebelled against the common values in society. Furthermore the woman is less likely to remain faithful to one man when she is financially independent. Western women started earning their own wages; paving a new path for themselves. She started desiring material wealth, status, and freedom. Severing herself from her husband, she no longer is dependant on him for spending allowances and so forth to buy what she desires. Furthermore, being financially stable meant she was no longer bound to find a husband, she was now free to seek someone to meet her expectations and even then she is not bound to the institution of marriage. She can mix freely with as many men as she desired. Her job also earned her this so-called animalistic liberation.

The capitalistic regime forced the woman out of her home enslaving and exploiting her while afflicting the man as well; with no regard to the traumatic consequences on society at all levels: the vices, the break-up of the nuclear family unit, and the confusion of roles between men and women… What is our motive as Muslims to tread down this path? Why would so many Muslim women insist on working outside the home when she has a husband or father proudly willing to support her? Probably due to the reason that Muslim women want to imitate the western woman or the craving for more money or the desire for luxury and adornment. This will be discussed further in the next part.

Manal Bader
Bayt Al-Maqdes

View on News 09/12/2010

FBI Paid Ex-Con $177,000 to Entrap Muslims
In exchange for paying informant Craig Monteilh $177,000 to infiltrate Muslim communities, the FBI got little to show, except for embarrassment. Monteilh, a convicted forger of banks notes, was hired by federal law enforcement to spy on Muslims in Southern California and, he says, entrap them on charges of terrorism. But the FBI didn’t rack up a lot of convictions from Monteilh’s handiwork. As a matter of fact, it was Monteilh who wound up being served—after his talk of violent jihad resulted in his fellow Mosque members filing a restraining order against him. Jerry Markon of the The Washington Post writes: “Compounding the damage, Monteilh has gone public, revealing secret FBI methods and charging that his ‘handlers’ trained him to entrap Muslims as he infiltrated their mosques, homes and businesses. He is now suing the FBI.”

Euro faces major crisis, says Brown

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown has warned that the euro is facing a "major crisis" early in the New Year.Mr Brown said that leaders of eurozone countries need to get together in a "High Noon" moment to seize the initiative from the markets and prevent them picking off troubled economies one by one. Failure to solve the euro's problems in "one fell swoop" would condemn the continent to "a decade of high unemployment and low growth", he warned. The crisis would affect the UK, even though it is not in the single currency, because 60% of its trade is with eurozone countries. Mr Brown said that the much-publicised sovereign debt crises of countries like Greece and Ireland were not the only problems facing the euro, which much also resolve structural rigidities and the enormous debts of its banks. He told the BBC: "I sense that in the first few months of 2011, we have got a major crisis in the euro area." Three different forces were working together to destabilise the currency, he said."We have got fiscal deficits, obviously, and that is the main thing that people have been talking about," he said.

Wikileaks: Saudi princes engage in sex, drug parties

United States diplomats have described a world of "sex, drugs and alcohol" in which the official religious individuals of Saudi Arabian loyalties engage in, according diplomatic cables recently published by Wikileaks on Wednesday. According to the leaked dispatches, officials from the Jeddah consulate detailed an underground Halloween party in which alcohol and prostitutes were readily available. The party, attended by over 150 Saudi men and women mostly in their twenties and thirties, was organized by a member of the Saudi royalty, a wealthy prince from the Al Thunayan family. The party was held in a heavily secured villa and some of the funding was contributed by a US energy drink. The diplomat recommended the prince's identity remain secret. The dispatch was signed off by Martin Quinn, the consul in Jeddah. "Alcohol, though strictly prohibited by Saudi law and custom, was plentiful at the party's well-stocked bar," explained the cable. "The hired Filipino bartenders served a cocktail punch using sadiqi, a locally-made "moonshine". It was also learned through word-of-mouth that a number of the guests were in fact 'working girls', not uncommon for such parties." American party attendees added that, "Though not witnessed directly at this event, cocaine and hashish use is common in these social circles." Secret, underground parties protected by Saudi royalty and accessible only to the wealthy, were described as "thriving and throbbing" in the dispatch.

Talks called off as Turkey's EU bid loses momentum

Turkey's bid to join the European Union has stalled and talks scheduled for 22 December have been cancelled. Belgium, which holds the rotating presidency of the Council of Ministers, had hoped to maintain momentum by opening a new chapter in the accession talks. But Steven Vanackere, Belgium's foreign minister, told European Voice that Turkey's implementation of new competition rules was “a bit too slow”. The Belgian presidency will be the first since Turkey began membership talks with the EU in 2005 that fails to open a single negotiating chapter. Vanackere insisted that the “momentum is still going on” in Turkey's bid to join the EU. Opening the competition chapter was “a question of weeks and months at the beginning of the next presidency because a lot of work has been done”, he said. Belgium hands on the presidency to Hungary on 1 January.

US troops test "smart" rifle in Afghanistan

U.S. troops in Afghanistan are testing a high-tech "smart" rifle that uses computer-chip-embedded rounds that can detonate behind walls, LiveScience.com reported Wednesday. Using sensors, lasers and optics, the XM25 rifle guides 25mm rounds -- each embedded with a microchip -- to hit a target up to about 2,300 feet (700 meters) away, the report said. Once reaching the target hidden behind walls, rocks or trenches, the bullets, which act like grenades, can be detonated, according to the report. The report explains the way how the rifle works -- a laser is built into the targeting scope that sits on top of the weapon. It measures the distance to a target -- for instance, the wall that conceals a combatant. The soldier then can modify the distance to allow the bullet to detonate past the wall. When the soldier pulls the trigger, this information is wirelessly relayed to the computer chip in the shell. A magnet inside the bullet generates alternating current as it spins through the air, and conveys information to the microchip to let the bullet know how far it's travelled. Once the computerized bullet reaches its programmed distance, it will explode, spreading shrapnel evenly in all directions, the report said. The XM25 rifle is being developed by firearms producer Heckler & Koch, and costs 25,000 to 35,000 dollars apiece, according to the report. Troops operating in various outposts with high levels of enemy activity began carrying the semi-automatic XM25 rifles in November, the report said. Depending on the feedback from the soldiers, the Army will decide whether to issue 12,500 smart rifles to troops in Afghanistan, starting in 2014, said the report.

9th December 2010

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Is the Caliphate an Extreme Islamic goal?

The word ‘extreme’ only takes on meaning when defined against some benchmark. ‘Extreme’ weather is a serious departure from a normal, expected climate; extremely hot or cold water is defined as such when compared against, say, lukewarm. The word is relative and defined in relation to some ‘norm’. Ideas are not different.


So to the question - is the Caliphate an extreme ‘Islamic’ goal - Islam is the benchmark against which the Caliphate’s normality is measured. Is the Caliphate a serious departure from Islam, an outlier belief that represents an extreme from the norm of Islamic orthodoxy?

There is of course an altogether different question posed by the west in which ‘extreme’ is measured not in relation to Islam, but to the west, or liberal secular democracy. That’s where on the rare occasion it is accompanied with some definition. In most cases, ‘extreme’ is not qualified and used simply to brand Islamic ideas as beyond the pale.

To the first question, whether the Caliphate is extreme when compared with Islam, this can be answered from a doctrinal, legal and historical perspective.

Historically, the Caliphate dominates some 94% of Islamic history. It formally came to an end in 1924 CE; the first Caliph was elected some 1300 hundred years prior in 632 CE. Despite its strengths and weaknesses, peaks and troughs, the historical norm was for Muslims to live with a Caliphate. So deeply established was it historically, some academics believe the current weakness of Muslim nation states is a consequence of the deep roots and trans-national nature of the Caliphate and ummah that now challenge post-colonial borders. On the occasion of its termination, confusion reigned, prayers suspended, people grappled to assume its title from Egypt to the Sharif of Mecca, and movements formed almost immediately to secure its restoration. If the Caliphate represented an extreme, what explains its dominance in Islamic history and the deep sense of loss and impact that accompanied its collapse?

Legally, the Caliphate represents the executive authority charged with the implementation of the Shariah. Jurists throughout Islamic history, from as early as Shaybani’s Siyar (a treatise on international relations), Abu Yusuf’s Kitab al Kharaj through Mawardi’s ahkam al Sultaniyah to the multitudes through the centuries, have written extensively on the role, rights and remit of the Caliphate. The institution of the Caliphate is foundational to Islamic law. Whilst much is made of ‘hudud’ punishments by the west, the fact these can only be administered by a state is often totally missed. Islamic Law has always recognised Islam’s temporal jurisdiction: classically its scope comprises ibadat - personal worships - and mu’amalat - temporal law. The Shariah therefore that not only addresses morality, rituals, person and family, but comprises a vast body of law relating to state and society. Furthermore, rather than an outlier, classical Islamic law considers the Caliphate an ‘obligation’ on Muslims to ensure it exists. The classical jurist Abu Hanifa, founder of the school of law followed by 70% of Sunni Muslims, described the Caliphate as the ‘mother’ of all Islamic obligations. This may explain ongoing demands for its restoration - these being not just a function of its ‘appeal’ but because it represents a core Islamic requirement.

Doctrinally, Islamic belief considers the notion of God’s sovereignty an essential aspect of Tawhid, the belief in one God. Whilst the agent of human reasoning attempts to understand the law and apply it, the origin of law is divine and the sole legitimate reference in the resolution of disputes and law. Islamic law rests upon this premise and explains its character and scope.

Unfortunately for the west, these are not the arguments of ‘islamists’. Each can be verified independently against the classical, orthodox books of law and theology. Whilst some may de-prioritise the Caliphate, consider it too difficult to form immediately, or choose to defer its establishment, these are a function of practical considerations not a challenge to the requirement of governing according to Islam under a Caliphate. Those who have attempted to challenge this requirement directly have found themselves ostracized from classical Islamic learning, whether by the Ulema or the people at large. Examples of such attempts are therefore not many, but Ali Abdul Razzaq’s represent one of the more recent and public (although that was a century ago). Even modernisers have avoided challenging this core requirement, choosing instead to re-define or re-interpret its form.

Dr Noah Feldman in his book “The Fall and Rise of the Islamic State” in the chapter “What Went Right?’ describes how many in the Muslim world consider the Islamic State: “if one notices that for thirteen hundred years, Islam provided the dominant language of politics in the middle east...then the re-emergence of Islam looks like the return to the norm.”

As for the question posed by the west, that needs to be addressed separately. But suffice to say here, just as the west describe the Caliphate extreme in relation to western values, many Muslims describe western moral, social and economic values and decay extreme when compared to Islamic values. Clearly the approach is relative, and concludes no more than the obvious fact that Islam and secular liberal democracy are different. It’s time we move beyond the labels and assess the substance of each set of claims.

Israel’s Mighty Military: Nothing but Hot Air

The fires roared through the Carmel forest near Haifa baring the frailty of the “great nation” often touted to the Arab countries. Israel known for its elite technology and vigilance demonstrated their incompetence to extinguish a small fire. It appealed to the international community for help. Sixteen nations came to the immediate aid of the “great nation” including Arab nations.
This incident brings to light the great myths about Israel as a mighty nation among the weak Arab countries. International powers hail Israel as a strong highly-trained and well-equipped nation despite its size. Their military numbers are often bloated to instill fear in their Arab neighbors. Now from this incident --- Israel exposed its true weakness. Aluf Benn, a Haaretz columnist, wrote on Friday that the blaze was the equivalent of the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, meaning it was a disaster because Israeli authorities were unprepared. A “mighty” nation was left paralyzed from a small incident leaving Muslims worldwide to ponder about its strength. If a small fire brought Israel to its knees, what would a single attack from a single neighboring country do to Israel?

On a pragmatic note, this fire brought several issues to light. The closely-knit relationship with its Arab allies like Egypt and Jordan who serve to protect and preserve Israel’s sovereignty in the Middle-East. The very countries that put on a masquerade to the Arabs and Muslims worldwide---the tense relationships, the negotiations, the exaggerated responses---all rushed to assist Israel. Egypt, Jordan, and Turkey all assisted. Turkey for instance released its air force to send helicopters. “In the face of such a natural disaster, we needed to help as a humanitarian and Islamic requirement,” Mr. Erdogan was quoted by his office as saying in reply to Mr. Netanyahu. “Our planes will remain in your country until the fire is brought under control.” Erdogan showing no mercy or dignity for his own people quickly forgot that Israel denied access to his flotilla carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza. Israel dispatched its navy with clear and decisive orders to shoot any form of resistance killing Turkish citizens-nine Muslims. How cheap this bloods spills. In Erdogan’s eyes, Israeli’s blood is far more precious than the Turkish Muslims. Can Erdogan be more of a fraud---calling for Islamic values? Can this be any clearer to the Muslims worldwide who hailed him as a champion for Palestinian’s basic human rights? How can he can so loyal and serving to the same people that kill his people in a heartbeat?

The occupied Palestinian Territories Authority immediately rushed to Israel’s aid to help in their disaster. Since the beginning of time, when does an occupied land ever send assistance to its occupier!! What can expose the Palestinian Authority more than this incident? Palestinians are robbed of the very existence in their homeland, denied of a tiny morsel of food in Gaza; Jewish settlers torch olives trees and bulldoze mosques and homes while the PA stands idle. The PA does not dare take action against these settlers even worse they release their Security Forces to restrain its own people from defending their lands and honor. Instead of pouncing on the opportunity to liberate the Holy Land from the Zionist Regime, it sends its men to rescue their extortionists.

If only one Arab or Muslim ruler used his misguided sincerity to the good of their people and unite in the same cause to eradicate Israel from its lands, he will easily succeed in a matter of hours if not less. Allah swt has exposed Israel’s great weakness to the world. Let us as Muslims take pride and comfort in our own great military strength and work sincerely in resuming a unified Islamic State which will destroy all occupiers, returning stolen lands to their rightful owners.

ضُرِبَتْ عَلَيْهِمُ الذِّلَّةُ أَيْنَ مَا ثُقِفُوا إِلَّا بِحَبْلٍ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَحَبْلٍ مِنَ النَّاسِ وَبَاءُوا بِغَضَبٍ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَضُرِبَتْ عَلَيْهِمُ الْمَسْكَنَةُ ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ كَانُوا يَكْفُرُونَ بِآَيَاتِ اللَّهِ وَيَقْتُلُونَ الْأَنْبِيَاءَ بِغَيْرِ حَقٍّ ذَلِكَ بِمَا عَصَوْا وَكَانُوا يَعْتَدُونَ

Shame is pitched over them (Like a tent) Wherever They are found, except when under a Covenant (of protection) from Allah and from men; They draw on themselves wrath from Allah, and pitched over them is (the tent of) destitution. This because They rejected the Signs of Allah, and slew the prophets In defiance of right; This because They rebelled and transgressed beyond bounds.(TMQ-3:112)

Manal Bader
Bayt Al-Maqdes

Sunday, December 05, 2010

People lost at sea all need a direction in which to swim, some just find the right one

Two months ago, Blair's sister-in-law's  announcement of embracing Islam, has unleashed a fairly generous amount of media banter. The repetitive debates and fiery opinions which reappear - women in Islam are oppressed, or that she became a sympathiser of a political cause or the less overtly stated one; she's another hippee looking for the latest new thing.


Well I can't pretend to know what exactly went through Lauren Booth's mind before she took the religious plunge, but from what she describes as some sort of spiritual rush, it seems Islam for her just felt right. We live in times, lets be brutally honest here, where we all seeming to be swimming against some sort of tide. The way we overcome the tide is dependent on the amount of thinking we do, how much of reality we really see and whether we really find the strength and guidance to plunge our arms in the right current of water.

There is never the same discovery people make when they find Islam, but one thing is true for considerable amounts of women in the west - there comes a realisation when they live deep within the luring and luxurious riches of liberalism that a place where anything you wish for goes, is no place to wish for at all.

This isn't simply about the ritual stab at western decadence, for the sake of it. This is about living intertwined amongst wanting to fulfil all your hearts' desires, and realising that sometimes the consequences of which provide no warmth to the heart at all. In fact it's about realising that a culture of doing whatever one pleases is indeed what makes men leave the mother of their kids for the younger blonde with the pokey studio flat as the only baggage with the relationship, or what makes some men feel they can treat their lady whatever way is fitting for them at whatever time having no accountability to no one - only one's kicks at that time. Or even what drives big businesses to feel it's okay to make women feel their exterior is the only measure of who they are, and that whoever they are their exterior will never measure until they buy the latest daydream or magic concealer, just to ensure they sell sell sell.

It has been freedom to do what one pleases which has plagued society to a degree that it does little to please and care for all. Instead people are being pleased robbing, knifing, swearing and breaking up families. This is no model the rest of the world should lap up.

So do you still ask why. Do you still want to know why people don't want to be enslaved to the desires of the base human who instincts and needs are no different to that of any other mammal seeking to survive on a sahara plain.

Islam, throughout the last 1400 years, provided a heart-exhilirating liberation from slavery to the human heart, to slavery to the Creator of all human hearts, and limbs and minds. The Creator who has obligated on the human heart to care for those close to us, and far from us, those vulnerable, those ill. To care about what happens around you, instead about what happens within your own blockaded life. It is this accountability to Him in everything that you do, in the way you treat others and how you look after society, which liberates us.

This is the easiest swim and the calmest of tide to flow through. And this is why when you find this route in the ocean, you will never let it go.

Source

Q&A: The NATO Lisbon Summit

On 19 and 20th November 2010 a summit was held in the Portuguese capital, Lisbon that included the major powers and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). It was announced that these countries agreed on a new strategy for NATO, which covered important topics including the subject of Afghanistan, the issue of the missile shield, the relationship with Russia, as well as the ratification of the expansion of NATO powers beyond its original region to include any area in the world posing a threat to NATO.


Is America serious about withdrawal from Afghanistan?
What is America's aim with the missile shield?
Why does America want to expand the powers of NATO?
What is the Russian position towards all of this?
Is America able to dictate upon the other powers whatever she wants?
Has America been able to consolidate her international position?

Answer:
1 - What emerged from the summit's final statement, and statements about NATO's strategy in Afghanistan stipulates their presence in it permanently, and they consider Afghanistan a crucial issue for NATO.

The General Secretary of NATO, Rasmussen said: "First of all, let me stress that the long-term partnership agreement we have signed today is not only a clear signal to the Afghan people that we will stay committed beyond the date when our combat mission ends." He said: "If the enemies of Afghanistan have the idea that they can wait it out until we leave, they have the wrong idea. We will stay as long as it takes to finish our job." (BBC 20/11/2010)

It has been mentioned in the final declaration, "our ISAF mission in Afghanistan remains the Alliance's key priority." Obama has called upon the leaders of NATO countries meeting in Lisbon: "reaffirm their lasting engagement to facilitate a sustainable transition." (Spanish newspaper El Pais 19/11/2010) The German news agency reported on 20/11/2010 that it is expected to transfer the power in the first provinces to the Afghan side by July of next year, while keeping the security power under the control of NATO forces in the most dangerous regions until 2014, on condition they will act as support after this date.

This indicates that America wants to pretend it's withdrawing from safe areas, i.e. where there is no strong resistance by the mujahideen, so as to show that she fulfils the promises made on behalf of President Obama to start withdrawal in the month of July 2011. Where this would show the American people and people in general that she had fulfilled her promises - as if America had achieved her objectives and was about to pull out completely - but the presence of these forces will continue until 2014 in the most dangerous areas. This is considered a bypass to the decision of withdrawal from Afghanistan, and that occupation will remain to that date and beyond it. America is working in Afghanistan to implement a policy like she pursued in Iraq, which is to ensure its presence on a permanent basis under the guise of security, strategy or partnership agreements. The United States placed pressure in this summit upon Europe to continue in her support in Afghanistan. Many of the Europeans are coerced to stay on the side of America, because this war does not bring them any gain, while all gains go to America; while at the same time they suffer from financial hardship and their peoples do not see benefit from the continuation of this war.

2 - As regards the subject of the relationship between NATO and Russia, a summit has been held between the NATO countries and Russia under the name of (Council of Russia - NATO) session on the side of the main summit, which examined the relationship between the two sides that stalled as a result of the Georgia crisis in August 2008. It was announced in the summit that NATO countries have removed Russia from being an enemy to the Alliance, and that she does not pose a danger to it. This happened for the first time, and Russia is about to announce a strategic partnership with the Alliance. The Russian President, Medvedev said "We have acknowledged that the cold period of claims in Russia's relations with NATO has ended, we are now looking with optimism into the future," He said: "We look into the future with optimism and try to develop relations between Russia and NATO in all directions." (Russia Today 20.11.2010) But he pointed to some differences that remain unresolved, such as the issue of Georgia, where he commented on it saying: "This case should not become obstacle", and pointed to the other differences without naming them and said: "They should not lead to sever the ties." (ibid.) He said: "We have agreed with our NATO partners that we will pursue dialogue on the European ABM." and added that "NATO countries themselves do not perceive the consequences that might result from this shield," "Everyone realizes that missile defense as a whole is valuable only if it is universal," Medvedev said. "Not just an element helping some countries...or applying to individual theaters of operations." He also added: "The missile defense system must not shift the existing parity because for understandable reasons, if the nuclear balance is shifted in one way or other as result of missile defense, this will lead to an arms race," (ibid.) According to this source Medvedev said also that Moscow proposed to NATO the establishing a so-called "sectoral" system for missile defense, without explaining the details of this proposal.

It is understood from the statements of the Russian President that no final agreement has been reached between Russia and NATO on the issue of the missile shield and on the issue of partnership between them. And that Russia is still wary of it, where he stated that NATO countries themselves do not perceive the consequences resulting from the missile shield. It seems he refers to the European countries, which do not know the consequences of that system, in terms they might fall under full U.S. control, and this would cause global tension by bringing back their security concerns. Medvedev refers to the obsession of the arms race, meaning other countries including his country will work to develop weapons to face the new reality created by the United States, i.e. to defend themselves and to stand in the face of America, which would overpower other countries because the defenses set up by the United States are immune, and she will work to intimidate the other parties to subjugate them to her policies.

Obama acknowledged that no final agreement has been reached with Russia on this subject, and he said: "Together we've worked hard to reset the relationship between the US and Russia which has led to concrete benefits for both our nations. Now we are also resetting the NATO-Russia relationship." He added: "We have agreed to co-operate on missile defense, and we have turned a source of past tension into a source of co-operation," the American president said. "We see Russia as a partner, not an adversary." (Russia Today 20.11.2010)

Russia did not get what she wished; therefore no agreement has been finalized between her and NATO, i.e. between her and the U.S. on missile defense and on the subject of partnership. She wants accordingly to continue the negotiations until she gets something important for her. She has a desire in reaching an agreement and does not completely object to it. The most important thing she aims for is to be a partner to America in the management of world affairs as it was in the era of the Soviet Union, so as to be considered as a superpower. She does not want to be dependent on (or a satellite to) America, whether through joining NATO or through any other form of dependency. She wants to be characterized as a superpower with an independent international policy. Medvedev had stated: "Either we participate fully, have exchange of information and are given mandate to resolve these issues or those, or we do not share at all. And Russia would not accept to be just a state attached to NATO. And if we did not participate at all, then we will have to defend ourselves for understandable reasons." (Agency France Press 21.11.2010) Medvedev has also said: "He does not perceive the possibility of Russia's accession to NATO, but he did not rule out the opportunity of an imminent convergence between the two sides in case the (NATO) alliance changed and greater transparency is achieved in the relations between them." He announced that "Russia has agreed to the transfer of cargo to Afghanistan through its territory." (Russia Today 20.11.2010)

Russia has agreed to cooperate with NATO countries over the transfer of equipment through its territory to Afghanistan. This is a free service offered by Russia to America in order to obtain some of the gains from America at a time she did not still get anything from her. Though Russia believes that the situation in Afghanistan could threaten her if NATO was defeated by the mujahideen there; however the victory of America there would threaten the influence of Russia in Central Asia. So, Russia has to take that into account, and remember that her defeat at the time of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan enabled America to reach to this region. Thus, it appears that the U.S. wants to take everything from Russia without giving her anything except meaningless promises. America does not want also to involve Russia in solving world issues, but rather wants to involve her in tasks related to her own service under the name of the partnership with NATO, and not directly with her on equal terms. Russia did not fall into the trap entirely, though it is hovering around the deceptive baits through her willingness to negotiate and her desire in being a full partner.

3 - The missile defense system is set up to create a virtual monopoly for the United States over Europe, where she would place Europe under her protection and create continuous security concerns to tighten her grip on her and prevent Europe from becoming an independent global power that competes with America, and makes her neglect herself by not developing her own military, and even makes her neglect her nuclear arsenal, so that such arsenal becomes of no value when Europe freezes it and does not work on its development and updating. This is what France fears and tries to avoid. Alternatively, France concluded an agreement between her and Britain, at a summit between them held at the beginning of this month, on 02/11/2010. They agreed to modernize their nuclear arsenals and develop their nuclear technology, and to establish a combined military intervention force formed from their forces. This is in order to become independent in their decisions from America, where they can carry out actions that serve their interests away from American hegemony. However, what emerged from the Lisbon summit, and the absence of Britain's opposition to the missile shield proposed by the United States demonstrates the weakness of their positions, and that they have no hope in achieving anything in this summit, in which the American control surfaced.

The appearance of the missile shield plan is defensive, but its content is offensive that aims at combating so-called terrorism, the rogue states, the weapons of mass destruction and the threat of the nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. This means that the United States, in the name of NATO, emphasized the policy she pursued since the beginning of this century, and particularly after the events of 11 September 2001. Initially, some countries like France and Germany opposed her, including Russia naturally. However, the Lisbon summit contained the positions of France and Germany, and softened Russia's position. This is considered a success for America, granting her authorization to continue its aggressive policy. The policy of America at the time of Bush was without the approval of others, but its current policy at the time of Obama is an extension of its policy at the time of his predecessor, but it proceeds by taking the approval of others.

4 - As regarding the new plan and the new strategy that states the expansion of the powers of NATO and the expansion of its (geographical) domain, this perpetuates the existence of NATO, which should have been abolished after the disappearance of the reason of its establishment, which is the collapse of the Soviet Union, communism and the Warsaw Pact. This also perpetuates its existence by inventing new enemies and fabricates actions that threaten NATO countries. Although the summit did not name specifically the supposed enemy to NATO, and nor who is the aim of the missile shield, yet the study of placing the missile shield in Turkey shows that the aim of the shield is the Islamic region, so as to prevent its access to means of force or the establishment of the Khilafah in it. This shows the hatred that the kafir colonialists carry towards Islam and Muslims. It also reveals the extent of the crime committed by the rulers of Turkey when Turkey becomes the place of the missile shield!

5 - In conclusion, the United States managed in this summit to impose her hegemony on NATO countries and dictate her will on them, especially on Western Europe to make them under her protection and prevent their independence from her and the formation of their own independent force. She managed also to soften Russia's opposition towards her plans. So no one of the major powers would stand in her face, annoy her or sabotage her affairs or confuse her plans. Thus, America has strengthened her international position by this summit, which has been shaken following the financial crisis and following the setbacks in Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition to this, the extension of the powers of NATO and discussion of making Turkey a place for the missile shield, all of this has revealed the danger of this summit on Islam and Muslims. Muslims should be aware of this danger and should prevent it through their hard and active work to establish the Khilafah, which would throw the harm of the kafir colonialist back to them, and make their destruction in their arrangement. Indeed Allah will help those who help Him; Indeed Allah is Strong, Mighty.

16 Dhu al-Hijjah 1431 H
22/11/2010

The above is a draft translation from Arabic.