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Dr Kaukab Siddique | Editor-in-Chief Safar 19, 1428/ March 9, 2007 #21

Br. Luqman analyzes pro-Israeli exhibit at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, which is using "suicide bomber" victims' pictures to demonize the Palestinian people. Scroll way down.

King Abdullah and Musharraf Plan Simultaneous Recognition of Israel

March 7: Jordan's King Abdullah addressed the United States Congress and was acclaimed by both Democrats and Republicans. The king signaled the danger the "forces of moderation" are facing in the Middle East owing to the ongoing suffering of the Palestinian people. The "extremists" could break through and take over, he fears. Plans for the recognition of Israel are ready in every Arab country, and this has now been signaled by the Foreign Ministers' meeting in Islamabad, Pakistan he said. The original plan to recognize Israel was set in motion by King Abdullah of "Saudi" Arabia, the Jordanian Abdullah pointed out.

If only Israel were to realize that the situation is dangerous [for all the puppets] and set up a puppet Palestinian state. [New Trend notes that the playboy king sounded desperate. Known as ghaddar, ibn ghaddar, ibn ghaddar, he knows that the days of the Arab rulers are numbered if some concessions are not made to the Palestinians. Ghaddar means traitor in Urdu.]

New Trend's analysis is that the puppet rulers installed by America across the Muslim world are planning a simultaneous recognition of Israel to stun and defeat the Muslim masses. Note that Musharraf visited the Arab rulers and was given special honors by the Saudis. On the way back, he stopped in IRAN. Why? Our analysts say that Musharraf told Iran that if Iran does not pose strong opposition to the recognition of Israel [although it may spout rhetoric as always], the West will not oppose its nuclear program as long as it is strictly peaceful.

Yes to Shar'ia: PAKISTANI WOMEN SAY NO to Musharraf

Pakistani coup leader General Musharraf carried out a clever campaign to blame Islamic Shari'a law for the suffering of women. He thought he had convinced Pakistanis that Shari'a was bad. He used his puppet political party which controls Parliament to pass a law in the name of protection of women which abrogates Shari'a law. Rapists cannot be given Islamic punishment, and adultery and fornication are no longer offenses against law.

Jamaat ad-Da'wa, a humanitarian Islamic movement, turned the tables on Musharraf by carrying out a referendum across the country in which it asked Pakistanis to affirm IN WRITING their support for Shar'ia and the protection it gives women, and to reject Musharraf's anti-Shari'a law. More than 10,000,000 people, including more than 3,000,000 women, have given their support to Shar'ia and opposed Musharraf's law known as WPA. The following is an extract from a press release issued by Jamaat ad-Da'wa representative Abdullah Muntazir:

"The common Pakistani women have put down their signatures by the hundreds of thousands to register their distrust, and disenchantment, with Musharraf's controversial piece of legislation. To prove this point, Hafiz Abd-ur-Rahman Makki, a senior member of Jamaa't ud-Da'wah's central leadership, during a press conference in Karachi, March 4, presented the journalists and the rest of the gathering, with no less than 213,000 signatures by women against this Act, in the city of Karachi alone! The situation is not so different in the rest of the country either. In the industrial city of Gujranwala 450,000 women signed their dismay toward WPA, said Maulana Ameer Hamza, another prominent leader of Jamaat ud-Dawah, during a seminar on March 6. Jamaat ud-Dawah says that till now more than 3 million women, from all over Pakistan, have willingly chosen to oppose this unpopular law, declaring, in effect, 'Not in our name!' "

Jamaat al-Muslimeen News
P.O. Box 10881
Baltimore, MD 21234

Jamaat al-Muslimeen National Shoora to Meet

The National Shoora will meet in Greensboro, North Carolina on May 19, inshallah. Shoora members from the following states have confirmed that they will participate:
New York 
North Carolina 
Wisconsin [unconfirmed]
Islamic activists who would like to present an issue or meet the Shoora should call and leave name and phone number at (443) 869-5233.
One item on the agenda is the setting up of a small masjid in southern Texas to serve the steady increase of Latinos/Latinas embracing Islam.

Prayers Needed for Health of Sis. Bilqis: Visits Sisters in Prison

Sis. Bilqis in Rocky Mount, North Carolina has cancer, probably caused by second hand smoke. Readers are requested to pray for her recovery and health, inshallah. Sis. Bilqis goes way back as a supporter of Jamaat al-Muslimeen. She also at one time helped in the publication of Dr. Siddique's famed book Liberation of Women Thru Islam.

Sis. Bilqis goes regularly to a local prison to help several women who have embraced Islam. Her husband gives the Juma' khutba to the sisters in prison.

Sis. Nahla, Wife of Prof. Sami al-Arian Urges Regime to Fulfill the Plea Agreement

Sis. Nahla told New Trend representatives on March 7 that the professor is still on hunger strike after more than 40 days. He is only taking liquids. His condition is dangerous. He has been taken to a federal prison in Butner, North Carolina where preparations are underway to force feed him. He is protesting the government's violation of the plea agreement by which he agreed to leave the country in exchange for one minor charge left on his book.

The prosecution is trying to move Prof. Al-Arian from charges of civil contempt to criminal contempt so as to give him another 4-5 years in prison, Sis. Nahla said. He is now so weak that when his son Abdullah went to meet him, he was brought out in a wheel chair.

Letters of protest should be sent to the attorney general of the U.S. For details see:

Government Hassling the Family of Ahmed 'Abdel Sattar : Son Omar briefly Manacled

Staten Island, New York: On March 3, Sis. Lisa got a phone call. She was told that her car had been stolen but that the police had arrested the car thief and recovered the car. She was surprised that the police had her name from before she embraced Islam, her pre-Islamic name. To her surprise, she found that the person the police had arrested as car thief was her own son, Omar, who was driving her car with her permission.

For a brief while, Omar was put in the back of the police car and manacled before his mother could reach him. Looking at the computer in the panel of the police car he was surprised to see his mother's name under the heading: "Terrorist Watch List."

Ahmed Abdel Sattar, a good citizen of the United States, of Egyptian origin, has been moved from New York, where he was near his family, to Florence, Colorado, after getting 60 years for being involved in phone conversations with Islamic opponents of the Egyptian tyrant Hosni Mubarak, the CIA-Mossad agent ruling in Cairo.

More Germans Convert to Islam
United Press International w.php?StoryID=20070116-061026-1200r

The number of Germans converting to Islam has quadrupled in recent years, a German news magazine reported. Between July 2004 and June 2005, some 4,000 Germans converted to Islam, four times more cases than in the year before, German news magazine Der Spiegel said in its latest issue, citing a study on Islamic life in Germany financed by the Interior Ministry to be published later this year. While in recent years mostly women who married Muslim men converted, many people today deliberately and voluntarily converted, the report said, according to the magazine. Many of the converts have previously been firm Christians who have lost their faith; others simply searched for an alternative.

Analytical Studies

Islam versus "Democracy": Caliphate or Global "America?"

Freedom in Islam vs Freedom in America

by Kaukab Siddique, Ph.D

Associate Professor of English

Most Americans still do not know that the Muslim world is not interested in fighting America just because America has a way of life at variance with Islam. The fighting is taking place in lands where the U.S. has intervened militarily: Iraq and Afghanistan. Before 9.11, nearly a million Iraqis, including children, died slow deaths owing to the imposition of the most stringent embargo and sanctions in human history. The Jihad is also going on in Kashmir, Chechnya and Somalia, again Muslim lands invaded and/or devastated by non-Muslim forces increasingly supported by the U.S. Central to the conflict is the occupation of Palestine by Zionists and International Jewry which has inflicted genocide on the Palestinian people.

Owing to the war propaganda connected with these conflicts, the belief in SELF-DETERMINATION shared by both Americans and Muslims is often forgotten. The Muslim world has the right to shape its destiny according to its own values enshrined in the Qur'an and the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad [pbuh]. The military force of the U.S. and "great" Britain, used to impose democracy and Western cultural imperialism on the Muslims, faces the emerging GLOBAL power of Islam based on the spirit of Jihad and the role model of Prophet Muhammad, pbuh, who placed martyrdom in the way of Allah to break the idols of human power above all other values. Will U.S. military power be able to overwhelm Islam?

We can begin with a reality which none can deny: The U.S. has not been able to defeat the Islamic forces after five and a half years of war. The universally accepted principle of guerrilla war is that if the guerrillas do not surrender, are not put out of action and continue to receive support from the general population, then they are, in effect, winning. This is certainly true in both Afghanistan and Iraq. In Palestine, Israel is facing stubborn refusal to accept its legitimacy although the Palestinians do not have the basic weaponry required for minimal resistance.

This discourse is needed because the information being disseminated about the future of the Middle East, South Asia and Africa ignores the futuristic thrust coming from the forces of Islam. Here are some key reasons which make it impossible for non-Muslims, westernized Muslims and Muslims who see history as Islam to understand the changes which are taking place in our world.

Non-Muslims writing on Islam: They do not see Islam as a progressive, radical, world-shaping and history making force. Non-Muslim responses can best be understood through observation of those groups and writers which are sympathetic to Muslims, not the extremist non-Muslims. They see Muslims as victims of imperialism and as people stranded in the rising tide of history. For them, the relevant issues are those of capitalism and socialism and Islam is merely the object of these forces. [See the expressions of friendly-to-Islam people like Ramsey Clark, Amy Goodman, Robert Fisk, George Galloway and David Irving.]

The hostile non-Muslims see Islam as the source of terrorism, suppression of women, illiteracy and ignorance. The propagandists among them say that the "real" Islam is peaceful and good but it is in danger of being hijacked [or has been hijacked] by terrorists. Rand Corporation, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), George Bush, Tony Blair, and an entire spectrum of "activists" want to help the "real" peaceful ("moderate") Muslims to snatch back Islam from the terrorists. They deplore attempts by people like Falwell, Boykin, Michelle Malkin, Ann Coulter, Stephen Shwartz, the Israelis, the Danish cartoonists, etc. to attack Islam directly.

Westernized Muslims get considerable play in the U.S. media because they are seen as useful tools in the infiltration process needed to undermine Muslim communities. The more virulent among these, such as Rushdie, Hirsi Ali, Asra Nomani, Taslima Nasrin and Irshad Manji, are used sparingly as shock troops to probe the Muslim communities to see if they have been softened up or not.

The more effective westernized Muslims are people like General Musharraf, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, the clerics at the top of al-Azhar university and American groups like ISNA-CAIR and W.D. Muhammad's acolytes. They can talk Islam but they see Islam as non-political and non-revolutionary. They have created an expurgated edition of Islam in which religion is a private matter and jihad is to be left out or to be liberally re-interpreted as the struggle to pray five times a day or to get up for fajr and to be helpful to people. Though diverse, they have this in common: They imply that if Muslims can pray and fast and go for Hajj and give zakat locally, and can have a beard for men and hijab for women, then Islam is okay and we should be thankful to the authorities. This attitude can be described as the "Islam of the Five Pillars" which though seemingly correct, omits the dynamic aspects of Islam as a MOVEMENT. These Muslims are extremely valuable for the enemies of Islam and are much sought after by them.

Many Muslims see HISTORY as ISLAM. They have still not learned the lesson that the role model for Islam is the community of Prophet Muhammad, pbuh, and the four Rashideen Caliphs, particularly the first three, Abu Bakr, r.a., Umar, r.a., and Usman, r.a. The kings who posed as Caliphs, be they the Ummayads or the Abbasids or the Ottomans or other diverse Muslim regimes are Islamically not acceptable for any future Islamic society-polity-economy.

No other system in the world has left such a role model for its followers, be it in authenticity and practicality or brilliance in justice, prosperity and truth. Communism in the Soviet Union tried to implement its teachings but it rapidly degenerated into Stalinism. No comparable attempts exist in Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism and Hinduism to create a society which could be or would be a role model for future generations and at the same time be rooted in the original teachings. In fact, the original teachings of all systems other than Islam are unclear owing to the fog of myth making and lack of verifiable information.

Muslims in many nations have started the journey towards an authentic Islamic resurgence by questioning the socially accepted versions of "Islam" such as the established Schools of Islamic Thought. There is an attempt to return to original Islam, to a lesser or greater degree, in every Muslim country. The cutting edge of these efforts takes the shape of the call to STUDY the QUR'AN and to use the HADITH to understand the Qur'an. This RETURN to ORIGINAL Islam is the force which will, inshallah, shape the future of humanity.

WHY IS DEMOCRACY not ACCEPTABLE to MUSLIMS? The answer is so obvious that one wonders why it eludes the western mind. In Islam, Allah's verdict is final in all matters. Votes and political alliances cannot de-legitimize the rulings of Allah Almighty. Here are a few examples:

* The Qur'an has forbidden the use of alcohol and participation in gambling, sacrifices to idols and lotteries. *1

* The Qur'an has forbidden interest-based economics [capitalism]. Instead it teaches equal access to economic power and the constant process of distribution of wealth through Zakat, sadaqat and inheritance laws. *2

* The Qur'an and the Hadith consider adultery, fornication *3 and homosexual unions, abominations and punishable by severe penalties if proven through reliable witnesses.* 4

* Honor and respect for WOMEN is central to Islam: the mother is honored second only to Allah Almighty Himself [*5] while a pious woman is considered the best aspect of the world we live in. [*6]. Hence RAPE is punishable by execution, according to authentic Hadith, if proven through due process of law.[*7] Jihad is required against forces which exploit and dishonor women.[8]

* Islamic law forbids the surrender of Muslim lands to usurpers and aggressors. [*9] Hence ISRAEL can never be given legitimacy as long as Islam exists.

Evidently, under DEMOCRACY all these matters can be altered merely through the process of majority voting and the development of political alliances and the tricks of lobbying. Hence when the U.S, says it is bringing democracy to Iraq to civilize the Muslim world, for Muslims it is nothing more than a bad joke.

Does that mean that MUSLIMS WANT DICTATORSHIP and KINGSHIP? Quite the contrary! Islam does not give authority to any human being to be king or dictator. The despots and tyrants rampant in the Muslim world are vestiges of the era of colonialism and imperialism. Islam is ready to sweep them away in one night. They retain their power through the support of the U.S., "Great" Britain and Israel which fund and help the secret police of these rulers and cover up the torture, murder and rape committed by these rulers against the Muslim populations and the use of big money to create mercenaries and collaborators.

Islam is in fact a COMPLETE WAY of LIFE. It does not need importation of western institutions and systems. The Islamic system is called a CALIPHATE which means that the Muslim masses choose the best servants of the Ummah to be their rulers. What makes a Caliphate superior to democracy? Here are a few points:

* The Muslims can choose whomsoever they will to rule them. Wealth and media control are not allowed to intervene. It is DIRECT rule by the Muslim masses.

* At every level, there is a mini-caliphate, so much so that if three Muslims travel, one of them will be the Ameer.

* There are no time limits. The Muslims can remove their rulers at ANY TIME if and when they violate Islamic law.

A BRIEF LOOK at FREEDOM in America and in Islam:

* Freedom is a major American value, at least in theory. However, in reality American freedom is controlled by multinational corporations. If a corporation has a hundred million dollars or even ten million dollars while an individual has an income of $60,000, guess who is going to win? The "free" corporation can [and will] quash the freedom of the individual at any time.

* Freedom in America means that the corporate power structure has created a MASS CULTURE from the Atlantic to the Pacific in which people dress, talk, eat and entertain in ways which are almost identical down to the music they sway to and the collars of their dogs.

* A tiny Jewish elite has taken over the media and entertainment industry of the U.S. ANY CRITICISM of the Jewish HOLOCAUST story turns the critic into a non-person. No major American newspaper, radio station or TV outlet will EVER permit a critic of the Holocaust to be heard. By contrast, all religious values are open to attack. Jesus, pbuh, can be [and is] insulted and abused, pornography is becoming mainstream and homosexuality is now sacrosanct, all in the name of freedom.

* The attacks by Muhammad Atta and others Islamists on 9.11 cannot be discussed openly BY American MUSLIMS on any major media without getting the discussant into serious trouble. The 9.11 attacks are presented like a new chapter of evil in history, as if the attackers were motivated by hatred of the American way of life.

* The tiny Zionist-Jewish elite has successfully introduced into major media, the idea that the Islamists could subject America to nuclear cataclysm. The thesis here, if subjected to scrutiny, is quite baseless and devoid of any evidence whatsoever. It is calculated to create mental terror in the American psyche and to justify U.S. support for Israel. The theory of nuclear danger to America, however absurd, cannot be subjected to criticism in the major media.

* Hence it would not be far fetched to say that freedom in America is essentially the freedom to have sex with all and sundry and to vote for those who have the strongest lobby and the most money. In the name of freedom, corporate America and its Zionist allies pile up obscene levels of profits through the planned exploitation of millions of helpless Americans.

FREEDOM IN ISLAM: The most important issues are open to discussion and evaluation:

* The battle of Uhud can be called, in American terminology, the 9.11 of Islam. The small Islamic community of Madinah received a devastating blow in which a high percentage of its best fighters were killed. The Prophet Muhammad, pbuh, himself was injured and surrounded by his enemies. It seemed as if the Islamic venture was about to end.

* Instead of silencing discussion of the issue, the QUR'AN itself carried out a thorough ANALYSIS of the battle of Uhud. It put all the blame on the Muslims themselves. It included a command to the Prophet, pbuh, to continue to include all Muslims, men and women, as well as those whose behavior had created the disaster, in the DECISION MAKING process known as Shoora. *10

* It is the duty of every Muslim to speak out on issues of right and wrong in the public domain.Those who are in power, however good they may be, are to be questioned and they must respond in a reasonable manner and cannot claim superiority or remain silent.

* Private matters, sexuality, scandal, gossip are not to be publicized. All human beings have weaknesses and these are corrected in Islam through family activity and the hierarchy of rights and duties. In Islam private issues become public only when gross violations of rights and violent suppression of the weak takes place.

* In Islam, freedom does not mean that any one's religion or sanctities can be attacked. However, religious differences can be and should be discussed by those who have knowledge and can hold discourse without being scurrilous.

CONCLUSION: The hate-mongers are wrong about Islam. No Islamic movement, be it that led by Osama bin Laden, or by Hamas or Hizbullah, or Jamat ad-Da'wa or Jamaate Islami or any other Islamic movement teaches hatred of Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists or atheists. Expression and rejection through reasoning are very different from hate These movements are issue-oriented. They demand the end of the occupation of Palestine, the withdrawal of NATO from Afghanistan, the return of U.S. troops from Iraq, the end of Indian occupation of Kashmir, the Russian occupation of Chechnya and the Ethiopian occupation of Somalia. Self-determination is the key. America and "Great" Britain have the right to live according to their best light. Similarly the Muslim world has the right to shape itself according to the Qur'an and the Sunnah. Why is that a problem?

*1. The Qur'an: "O ye who believe! Intoxicants and gambling, sacrificing to stones [idol worship], and [lottery by] arrows are abominations,- of Satan's handiwork: totally give them up that you may prosper. [5:90]

*2. The Qur'an: " O ye who believe! Devour not interest , doubled and multiplied, and fear Allah that you may prosper." [3:130]. "That which you give in usury for increase through the wealth of others, will have no increase with Allah. But that which you give for charity, seeking the Countenance of Allah, it is these who will get a recompense multiplied." [30:39]. For a powerful condemnation of interest, see 2:275.

*3. "The woman and the man guilty of fornication, - flog each of them with a hundred stripes: Let not compassion move you in their case..." [24:2] Stoning to death is prescribed for married people who commit adultery in a away blatant enough to be seen by 4 witnesses or in cases where sexual intercourse is proven beyond a reasonable doubt: See Sahih Bukhari, kitab al-hudood and the Sunan of Abu Dawood.

*4. The Qur'an teaches deep disgust and rejection against homosexuality and expresses this disgust through the story of the Prophet Lut [Lot]. For instance: O men "of all the creatures in the world, will you approach males! and leave those whom Allah has created to be your spouses? Undoubtedly you are a people transgressing [all limits]. They said: 'If you desist not, O Lut!, you will assuredly be cast out.' He [Lut] said: 'I do detest your doings. O my Lord, deliver me and my family from such things as they do!' " [26:165-169]

*5." .... Revere Allah, through whom you ask for your mutual rights, and the wombs [that gave you birth]...." [4:1]

*6. "The world is replete with goodness but the best of all that is good in the world is the pious [decent, virtuous, God-fearing, morally strong] woman." (Hadith of Prophet Muhammad, pbuh, in the Sahih of Muslim, kitab ar-rada'a, segment on "the greatest goodness of the world is al-marat-us-saliha.)

*7. "A woman was forced into adultery in the era of the messenger of Allah, pbuh, and the messenger of Allah did not punish her but gave the ultimate punishment [hadd] to the man who had done it." [Hadith narrated by Abdul Jabbar from Wail ibn Hujr [r.a.] Sunan of Tirmidhi.] Also from a long Hadith, "... The Prophet, pbuh, ordered the rapist to be stoned to death..." [Hadith narrated by 'Ulqama from Wail al-Kindi. Sunan of Tirmidhi.]

*8. Immediately after commanding the believing women to wear their outer garments [jalabib, plural of jilbab] when going out of doors, Allah warns those who create strife within the community by bothering believing men and women, 33:58,: "Truly if the hypocrites and those in whose hearts is a disease, and those who create disturbances in the City, desist not, We shall certainly stir thee up against them: Then they will not be able to stay in it as thy neighbors for any length of time. They shall have a curse on them: wherever they are found, they shall be seized and slain." [33:60-61]

*9. "Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you but do not transgress limits, for Allah loves not transgressors. And slay them wherever ye catch them, and drive them out from where they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter...." [2:190-191]

*10. The Qur'an 3:121-180.

Pro-Israeli Exhibit Demonizes the Resistance of the Poor and the Oppressed:

A Letter to the Student Newspaper of a Major Maryland University, the Retriever Weekly, Regarding "The X-Ray Project"

Dear Retriever Weekly,

I am writing concerning the "X-Ray Project" which has recently been installed in the Commons at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. This work consists of x-rays of victims of suicide bombings taken from Israeli hospitals. While I do not believe in censorship and certainly reject violence against innocent civilians, I object to the content of this exhibit for several reasons. It is utterly devoid of context; it depicts the violence perpetrated by one side in a brutal conflict in total isolation from the ongoing brutalities of the Occupation of Palestinian land. The exhibit ignores the structural injustices and ongoing military actions against civilian targets which breed the types of violence it seeks to condemn. The result is an unbalanced caricature of the conflict, one which serves no higher function than that of partisan propaganda. Whatever high moral feeling is meant to be reflected in the exhibit is vitiated by its selective presentation. By valorizing the suffering of the Israelis exclusively it negates the suffering of the Palestinians. The result is a kind of censorship by omission.

In addition, given the recent Israeli act of aggression against Lebanon it is in extremely bad taste to focus on a hand full of Israeli victims of terror while ignoring the near total destruction by Israel of one of its neighbors. The military actions against Lebanon included the use of cluster bombs, a war crime, which generate carnage on a scale that the wielder of a 'suicide belt' could only dream of achieving. The Israeli bombardment of Lebanon frequently targeted areas which were well outside of Hizbullah's area of influence and served no purpose other than to inspire terror in the civilian population and undermine Lebanon economically. A well known example of the latter is the bombing by the Israeli Defense Force of a Christian farm complex in the North of the country; this farm had won the contract, formerly held by an Israeli company, for providing food to UN Peacekeepers stationed in the south.

This exhibit has a broader context than that of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Viewed in the wider context of Post-Colonial studies, it serves to demonize the resistance of the poor and oppressed, often conducted using crude, homemade weaponry, while sanctioning the use of military violence by states. This leads to moral paradox of condemning, rightfully, the death of a handful of innocent civilians at the hand of a resistance fighter while glorying in the destruction of towns and cities full of innocent civilians via aerial bombardment, as was the case in Grozny, Beirut, and Fallujah. The fact that, more often than not, the suicide terror condemned in the exhibit stems from military actions such as these has been completely disregarded. The fundamental moral flaw, which is the pretense that the modern nation-state has the moral authority to deal out death and destruction as it sees fit, is left unaddressed. The problem of terrorism will never be resolved until the structural injustices which breed it are corrected and the violent proclivities of the nation-state are curtailed. No solution is offered by this exhibit; its sole purpose is to demonize Palestinians so that when Americans hear of the violence directed against them they shrug it off as a just desert.For this reason, I have no choice but to condemn this exhibit as propaganda.

Finally, this exhibit is inherently racist because it exhibits the results of the actions of a handful of Palestinians without calling attention either to the depredations which the Palestinian people daily face as a result of a decades long military occupation or to the fact that is in reality only a handful of Palestinians that are reacting in this way. Imagine, if you will, someone creating an exhibit which consisted of pictures of the Watts Riots and the LA Riots; imagine if these pictures showed only African-Americans engaging in looting and burning and various acts of violence. Would such an exhibit not be racist by the very fact that it excludes the context of ongoing, violent, structural oppression that the African-American population has been forced to experience? Would not the protestations by the exhibit's creator that she is simply being 'anti-riot' be seen for their mendacity? And would not her complaints that her critics are 'apologists' for rioting be seen as the worst type of ad hominem attack? For these reasons I cannot remain silent when this type of exhibit is presented for the perusal of the student body. Silence becomes even more unacceptable when the author of the exhibit stigmatizes her critics as apologists for terrorism. I hope that the Retriever will see fit to publish this letter either in the Letters section or as an Op-Ed as a welcome opposing view on this controversial installation.

Luqman Clark, Baltimore, Maryland
(The writer is a college student, and revert to Islam.)

Reprinted with permission from the author. Emphasis added by NT editor.

2007-03-10 Sat 06:25:52 cst