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Dr Kaukab Siddique | Editor-in-Chief Rabi' al-Awwal 11, 1428/ March 31, 2007 #26


LATEST NEWS: From Our Media Monitor

AFGHANISTAN:

Several clashes in Zabul province left 16 Karzai soldiers dead. A district HQ was set on fire by the Taliban who appear to have emerged victorious in this fighting.

Near the Pakistani border, a NATO soldier was killed and 3 wounded in a Taliban attack. Britain has decided to send more helicopters to Afghanistan.


SOMALIA:

Heavy fighting erupted in Mogadishu after Ethiopian occupation forces went on the rampage using helicopters to attack a civilian area which supports Islamic forces. In the slaughter 11 civilians were killed and more than 700 wounded by the Ethiopians. The Islamic counterattack drove back the Ethiopians said to be heavily armed by the U.S. The attack on the civilian areas ended when the Islamists shot down an Ethiopian military helicopter.


PAKISTAN:

Islamabad, March 29: Islamic women from Jamia Hafsa, who wear the niqab, raided a secret prostitution den said to be run by Musharraf's officials. The women "captured" the "madam" who had been running the den, and were holding her captive till last reports.
[BBC photographed the female Islamic raiders.]

Woman embarrasses Musharraf: The mother of a Baluch named Gobran Salih, who has been "disappeared" by the Musharraf regime for 2 years, broke through security at a public meeting in Rawalpindi to petition the general to release him. The general claims he does not know where hundreds of people are being kept whom his intelligence forces are holding.

BANGLADESH:

March 30: The regime hanged six Islamic activists accused of "terrorism." Those hanged include the top leaders of Jamyatul Mujahideen, Shaikh Abdur Rahman and Bangla Bhai. A leader of the group issued a statement from hiding accusing the government of holding a fraudulent trial.


Interview: Explaining how the Woman-related anti-Islam propaganda comes about

Islam Leading in Reform Movement to Change Conditions of Pakistani Women.

Member of Parliament, Jamaate Islami Leader Sis. Aisha Munawar Speaks to New Trend.

New Trend interviewed Sis. Aisha in Islamabad, Pakistan on March 26, 2007

New Trend: asalamu alaikum. My impression is that conservative Muslims must be criticizing you for being too forward in entering the political arena and getting elected to Parliament.

Aisha Munawar: They might be saying it to each other privately but they don't say it openly. What I am doing is accepted in the Pakistani political system.

NT: This I do know that westernized critics of you say that you are too strict in your Islamic dress, hijab and outer coverings.

AM: Again, no! They don't say things like that in public. This is Pakistan and we are within our rights as Muslims.

NT: To what extent are you and Jamaate Islami able to reach out to Pakistani women. We have the impression in America that you are doing nothing to help the people of Pakistan.

AM: Our efforts to help and organize women on the platform of Islam have reached all aspects of life in Pakistan down to the district and local council level. Islamic women are a major force in Pakistani people's life.

NT: What about the very poor women? Those are the victims of anti-Islamic behavior. Are you able to reach them? I have heard that police often brutalize women in prison.

AM: We have a corrupt system but instead of just complaining about it, we take practical steps to alleviate the suffering of women. We have women's committees for the prisons. These activists go to the prisons and interview the women who are too poor or uneducated to know how to get lawyers and fight for their rights. Then we help them according to their needs.

NT: Every now and then we hear of a woman being victimized in Pakistan. Is there a way our readers can help such victims?

AM: The committees involved in such relief work are autonomous. It would not be appropriate for me to comment on their work. I am a political leader, so anything I say can be given a politicized angle.

NT: Now we come to the upper class and upper middle class Pakistani women. It seems that NONE of them wear the Islamic head covering. They say that Mullahs are imposing this covering on them, so in defiance they don't cover. Why do they behave thus?

AM: Some of them have a sense of inferiority because they think western ways are superior. Some of them think they are "progressive" so they should not cover. Basically it comes from mental confusion, but all that is changing...

NT: It's almost a joke in American Muslim communities the way these women behave. When Qur'anic recitation begins at the start of a program, they open up their dopattas and put them on their heads. Hardly does the recitation end and the dopattas are off! Is this a Pakistani syndrome?

AM: As I was saying, all this is changing even among the upper class women. Among the highly educated women, HEAD SCARF has become a part of the normal dress among many women. Overall, the majority of Pakistani upper class and middle class women are being affected positively by Islam.

NT: Are you aware that anti-Islam propaganda with reference to women has become commonplace on the U.S. TV channels, especially cable? These media hook up with some Pakistani secularists to get information and then present it in a distorted, sometimes grotesque, version.

AM: Foreign, especially Euro-American NGOs [non-governmental organizations] are very active in Pakistan. They are heavily funded and they create and fund Pakistani adjuncts to their NGO's. Thus a bridge is created by foreign NGOs through Pakistani secularists into Pakistani society. This is the root of the propaganda offensive related to women in Pakistan.

NT: May Allah keep you strong in your struggle to help women. I'll come back with more questions at a later date. Thank you!

AM: Your are welcome: walaikum asalam.


Jamaat al-Muslimeen News [next 2 items only]
P.O. Box 10881
Baltimore, MD 21234

Dedicate Ten Days for the Freedom of Prof. Sami al-Arian
Call for Demonstrations, Letters, Emails, Education-on-issue


Greensboro, North Carolina: Imam Badi Ali, Jamaat al-Muslimeen leader called for the dedication of TEN DAYS, April 1 to 10, 2007 for a worldwide campaign to demand that Prof. Sami al-Arian be released forthwith. After the end of his fast which left him very weak, Prof. Al-Arian is in hospital in Butner, North Carolina.

Write to Congessman Conyers who heads the Judiciary Committee urging that Br. Sami be released.
Write to Attorney General Gonzalez.
Write to your local paper. Write to the Bureau of prisons. Write to anyone who is interested in the issue.
Demonstrations will be held at Butner, NC, inshallah.
Hundreds of post cards calling for the release of Prof. al-Arian have already been sent to Congressman Conyers from North Carolina. Can you send more?
If you don't know an address, google it. Educate yourself and others. Sami al-Arian has not committed any crime. His only "crime" is that he is a Palestinian and a Muslim.


Revolutionary Khutba:

Islam is a Blessing for America: We are ONE UMMAH: Not 56 Nationalities: Unite and Face the Oppressors thru Legal Means: Shoora is Central to Islam

[March 30, 2007. Dr. Kaukab Siddique gave the Juma' Khutba and led prayers at the downtown masjid in Albany, New York. The visit was highly publicized and the small mosque was jam-packed with more than 250 people. To understand the khutba's "angle" readers should know that very recently in Albany two very innocent and decent Muslims, one from BANGLADESH who had a Pizza store and the other a KURDISH Imam, were trapped by the government and given 15 years each on frivolous charges. The informant was a Pakistani small time crook involved in fraud who worked hard to trap the two to get out of his own sentence.]

Here are the main points of Dr. Siddique's Khutba:

Text: "Those who avoid the greater sins and indecencies and, when they are angry, even then forgive: Those who respond to their Lord, and establish regular prayer, who conduct their affairs by MUTUAL CONSULTATION, who spend out of what we bestow on them for sustenance, and those who, when an oppressive wrong is inflicted on them, (are not cowed but) help and defend themselves." [The Qur'an 42:37-39]
The coming together of the Muslims for prayer is a blessing during our daily prayers. The coming together for Juma' is a greater blessing. The coming together for the 2 Eids is an even greater blessing. Finally, there is the greatest blessing of all, the coming together for Hajj.
With these gatherings, we are preparing for the Great Assembly of all human beings on the Day of Hashr and Judgment.
Allah is the best of Planners. He brought us to America from 56 countries and united us with our brothers and sisters who were brought as slaves from Africa. No human agency could have made this possible. This is the miracle before our very eyes wrought by Allah Almighty.
We must recognize the miracle and cleave to each other as we SHOULD be, ONE UMMAH, guided by the Qur'an and the perfect Example of Muhammad Mustafa, pbuh.
Stop wandering around as 56 nationalities. If you continue in this divided condition, the enemies of Islam will eat you up. You didn't want to be with the Africans, the Arabs, the Pakistanis, the Bangladeshis, the Indonesians, but Allah brought you together IN SPITE of your narrow ways of thinking.
Now our mosques are full, we pray, we fast, we often give zakat, many of us go for Hajj, but something is still terribly lacking.
We still do not see that ISLAM is a COMPLETE WAY of LIFE. We have FRAGMENTED the verses of the Qur'an in our thinking. Look at 42:38. We took the prayer and the zakat, but in between those IN THE SAME VERSE, is the command for MUTUAL CONSULTATION. We simply ignored it, thus fragmenting the words of Allah, which is a major sin.
Mutual consultation is an open-ended, comprehensive command. We must discuss ALL the issues. We must all participate, men and women, in the decision making processes. We must KNOW what is happening to our people and rush to help our people.
The oppressors arrest and sentence our innocents. We must investigate and use all peaceful methods to OPPOSE and defeat the oppression. What is happening to the families of our prisoners? Why are we quiet? In this country, we have the right to speak and it is our Islamic duty.
Why should we be dependent on the corporate media to report events which impact our lives? We must consult together to bring about independent Muslim media at all levels.
Remember that when we say ALLAHU AKBAR in all our prayers, it means Allah is the greatest and implies that ALLAH ALONE is great. We have to reject false ideas, that Bush is great or USA is great. No! Allah alone is great. If we believe otherwise and keep saying "Allahu Akbar" in our prayers, we are nothing but
HYPOCRITES!
This land belongs to Allah Almighty. This is not the private property of George Bush or the White race or anyone else.
Islam alone can save America. The deep corruption of this nation has gone so far and so deep that nothing can save it except Islam. The oppressors send people to prison in ever growing numbers. ISLAM BRINGS THEM OUT OF PRISON as human beings to be loved and respected.
Even religion in America has become so corrupt that it cannot save America. Only three days back, the most conservative Judaic group, the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York declared that it has decided to accept openly homosexual and Lesbian people. Other Jewish groups, more liberal, did it earlier. The Episcopalian church too has legitimized homosexuality. Thus deviation from the teachings of the Bible is coming from the centers of religion itself.
Pray for the victory of the forces of Islam against the occupation forces in Kashmir, Chechnya, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia. Pray that Sudan is able to defeat the plots against it in Darfur. Pray that Allah Almighty might help the believers to defeat the Yahood and drive them out of Palestine.
The Muslim world does not want to occupy anyone's land. In turn Muslim countries have the right to govern themselves according to Islamic Law.


With thanks to Br. Rafeh, California

The Children of Deir Yassin
by Pat McDonnell Twair
dyd.ukc@googlemail.com

As hostilities intensified between Jews and Palestinians during the spring of 1948, Hind Husseini, who co-ordinated the establishment of Arab children's centres in Jerusalem , found it increasingly difficult to move about the war-torn city. The morning of April 9 has resounded with volleys of gunfire marking the solemn funeral of her cousin, Abdul Qader Husseini, the charismatic leader of the Palestinian resistance. He had died the day before in a six day battle to regain Kastel, an Arab fortress overlooking Jerusalem . Now this most revered of all Palestinian fighters was being buried at the sacred Haram al-Sharif. This was the biggest blow the Palestinians had so far sustained. As the Palestinians stopped shooting their precious bullets into the air and began to mourn the sudden loss of Abdul Qadar, ominous rumours began to spread of a massacre. The atrocities mentioned in whispers were more horrible than the bereft Arabs could comprehend and they seemed to be taking place that very morning on the western outskirts of the city near Kastel.

A few hours later, Arab authorities announced Jewish terrorists has attacked the village of Deir Yassin . In hope of inciting neighbouring Arab governments to come to their aid, they graphically described the slaughter of Deir Yassin's civilian inhabitants. The Arab governments did not respond, but tragically, the Palestinian peasants did and began to make a mass exodus from their homeland of millennia to the Jordanian border.

Hind huddled close to the radio in her two-room apartment in the Suq al-Haman neighbourhood of East Jerusalem . She realised a massacre of this magnitude meant all out war. She did not go to her office the next morning as co-ordinator for the Arab Women's Union . However, when the level of gunfire sporadically abated, she ventured outside. Turning the corner, the horror of the massacre of Deir Yassin hit her full force as she beheld several bloodied children huddled against a wall.

"Oh my darlings, what happened? Are you hurt? What is this, you have no shoes, why are you in night-clothes?"

The shivering children were too frightened to cry, they stared at her in wide-eyed horror unable to describe the atrocities they had witnessed.

Picking up the two youngest, Hind gently whispered to the dirty, frightened children to follow her. It was bitterly cold even at midday on that April 10 morning. Hind unlocked the door of her apartment and motioned to the frightened waifs to follow her inside. She gently lowered the toddlers onto her bed, rushed to bring blankets from a closet and began to heat water for bathing.

Now that they knew they were safely in the hands of an adult who spoke Arabic but dressed differently than the women of Deir Yassin, the children began to whimper. Mohammed, the oldest, told Hind that he had hid under his parents' bed when the terrorists entered his home. He had heard his mother scream for a long time. From his hiding point, he had seen the bodies of his sisters and brothers fall to the floor. The house had been looted. Several times hands had pulled out old clothes and shoes from under the bed, but he had not been detected. For the rest of the day and into the night, the little boy had heard groans and cries, gun-shots, screeching tyres, and the strange guttural sounds of the intruders. At daybreak the bodies the bodies that lay in his house were pulled out. When he saw his mother's lifeless body being dragged by its heels like a sack of wheat, sobs uncontrollably came out of his throat. A terrorist reached under the bed, touched him, pulled him from his hiding place, and roughly walked him to a truck where several other children were holding onto one another.

One eight-year old girl was soaked in blood; Mohammed feared she had been wounded. He didn't want her to die in this truck. Barely able to speak, she told him her name was Thoraya and assured him she wasn't wounded. Her aunts had protectively hid her behind them when the terrorists entered their house. The women had been stabbed, their gold earrings and gold bracelets forcibly removed, but Thoraya had remained safe and protected by their bodies which fell over her and which she felt stiffen over the hours. It was only when one of the terrorists returned to make sure all the jewellery had been removed from the corpses that she had been found and taken to the truck.

Hind bathed Mohammed and dried him with a warm towel. Then grasping his arms inside her tightly clenched fists, she looked directly into his eyes and pledged: "You will never, ever be alone again, I swear."

For the ensuing week, Hind worked with Adnan Tamimi to locate the surviving children of Deir Yassin - 55 in all. In light of the brutality of the attack by the Irgun and Stern Gang militias, it was surprising to some that so many had been spared. Trucks had dispatched the children to the Muslim quarter where they had been dumped on street corners.

Long before the massacre of Deir Yassin, which would become the major milestone in her life, Hind had put aside thoughts of marriage as she watched her homeland crumble under the onslaught of European Jews. The Husseini family of Jerusalem was about as close to aristocracy as Islam recognises. Her father, a judge, had died when she was two years old. Being the only daughter of a family of five boys, she was pampered to the extent of preparing to pursue a higher education, but protected in the sense that it was deemed unwise for her to attend a university in Europe with World War II approaching. After she completed high school at the English College for Girls in Jerusalem in 1937, she began teaching at the Islamic Girl's School. She again broke with tradition when she left the family compound to live in her own apartment after she accepted a post in 1945 with the United Women's Society Organisation.

Now this pioneer Palestinian feminist realised it was time to return to the family home with her 55 babies. She had only 135 Palestinian pounds in the bank, but Hind wrote in her journal: "I will live with these children or I will die with them."

Hind's family was sympathetic to her calling. They turned over to her the elegant Dar Husseini (Husseini House), a house her grandfather had built in 1891 and in which she had been born on April 25, 1916. So on her 32nd birthday, just two weeks after the massacre of Deir Yassin, Hind renamed the stately mansion Dar El Tifl (Children's House).

Thereafter, construction always seemed to be going on in the compound. Two, four-storey buildings were built, schoolrooms were opened in standing structures. Teachers and yet more teachers were hired. Orphans were rarely turned away.

In 1963, Hind determined she should learn the very latest in educational skills and attended the University of Hamburg for three years.

Concerned that Zionists were attempting to undermine the history of the Palestinian people, the dedicated nationalist found another passion: the preservation of Palestinian arts and crafts. She began collecting pottery, old furniture, and vintage hand-embroidered dresses; she participated in many symposia in neighbouring Arab states that dealt with Palestinian handicrafts. Eventually Hind established a folkloric centre and museum exhibiting baskets, inlaid furniture, brassware, and national costumes of the Palestinian people.

Over the years, Hind remained steadfast in ignoring offers of millions of dollars for her property in the traditionally upscale Arab neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah. Shortly before her death in 1995, she took the ultimate step to protect it by registering it as a possession of the Waqf (the Islamic religious authority).

Today 250 orphans live at Dar El Tifl and 1450 day students receive instruction from pre-school to graduate level studies. All high school graduates have excellent English skills.

The high standards of the curriculum and staff have earned a prestigious academic record for the school. Conscious that not all students are destined for higher studies, Hind established Vocational training in such subjects as catering and secretarial work. A new science workshop is being overseen by two Palestinian professors living in California for twenty gifted students between the ages of thirteen and fifteen years. Working on five computers, students carry out experiments in fluid dynamics, genetics, and physics. Primarily working with materials around them - grocery bags and bottles - they have created a model submarine and hot air balloon. Dar El Tifl students will be on the Internet in 1998. Two years ago the Hind Husseini Art and Literature College was established on the compound and offers bachelor's degrees in English, Arabic and social studies. Dar El Tifl shares supervision with Al Quds university over a master's degree in Palestinian and Islamic civilisation. The original family residence now houses a primary health clinic and guest quarters downstairs while administrative offices are upstairs.

Yet, 50 years after the massacre at Deir Yassin, Dar El Tifl is suffering more than ever at the hands of extremist right-wing Israeli Jews bent on taking over all of Jerusalem . Orient House, the unofficial headquarters of the Palestinian National authority in Jerusalem , has been the special target of the Jewish settlers who brought Benjamin Netanyahu into power as prime minister in June 1996. Orient House is directly across the street from Dar El Tifl, and Israeli militants often break onto the school grounds and threaten students as they approach the school.

Teachers and students alike have received hope from the United States since 1992 when Dalal Muhtadi, a Saudi citizen who lives in California , founded Dar El Tifl-USA. "I had wanted to assist needy Palestinian children for years," Muhtadi explains. "Then in late 1992 my Auntie Hind called from Jerusalem and said she needed my help."

Over the years, the Saudi government had made grants to Dar El Tifl but these had dried up after the Gulf War. Muhtadi traveled to Jerusalem , talked to Hind Husseini, the directors and teaching staff and familiarised herself with the school curricula and operation of the orphanage.

"I was convinced Dar El Tifl was accomplishing the goals it had set for itself. Now it was my turn to muster support for it in the United States ," continued Muhtadi, a great-niece of Hind Husseini.

But, why, we asked, would Israeli extremists want to terrorise Palestinian orphans. Hasn't enough blood been shed over the past half-century?

"They don't hide their motives, Muhtadi replied. "Fundamentalist fanatics in Israel want to wipe out every trace of a Palestinian presence in Jerusalem ."

Mean-spirited settlers do their best to make life miserable - even scary - for Dar El tifl students. Settlers have broken the gate of the school, entered the playground area, and threatened children. In their protests against Orient House, fanatic settlers have installed themselves in front of the school and raised wooden signs painted with a skull and crossbones on the school wall. When day students approach the school, shouting settlers with raised fists make them walk a gauntlet of insults and loud curses.

Mahira Dajani, who heads Dar El Tifl's board of trustees, writes: "We have tried to teach our children the love of peace and to train them to accept peaceful coexistence as a reality and to forget the evils of war. The presence of settlers outside the school gate changed the children's outlook on life as a whole. The settlers harassed the children in many ways, including: uttering filthy words and making lewd gestures, throwing rotten fruit and empty bottles at the school gate and inside the school grounds, and trespassing on the school grounds repeatedly so that the school has been forced to erect a wire fence over the wall."

The Israeli military also has intensified its presence in front of Orient House since Netanyahu's election. Dar El Tifl's school wall has become a favourite place for Israeli troops to stand, thus imposing a siege mentality on the children in the playground. School officials complain the tear gas the soldiers use has an unpleasant smell. But the bad odour is nothing compared to the stench of urine. Portable latrines have been set up in front of the school for the soldiers' use, but they relieve themselves throughout the area. The Palestinians believe this is a deliberate insult and provides a frightening spectacle to young girls on their way to school.

"You can't imagine how terrible it is," Muhtadi commented. The urine odour is overwhelming for a three-block radius."

Many day students have transferred to other schools rather than be chased and threatened by nasty settlers. The Israeli policy of making Jerusalem off-bounds to West bank and Gazan Palestinians has left students from these areas with one of two choices: either to become boarders at Dar El Tifl and seldom be with their families or transfer to schools in Gaza or the West Bank .

The school has also lost those of its teachers who live on the West Bank , because Israel won't grant them identity cards to enter Jerusalem .

What are the circumstances of the children who live at Dar El Tifl? Two such youngsters are Sabreen, 5, and Wafa, 15. Sabreen's father was shot and killed after he finished his prayers at a mosque in Gaza . At the time, Sabreen's mother, who has twice undergone surgery for a heart condition, was pregnant with her third child. She had no choice but to leave Sabreen at Dar El Tifl. Wafa is from Bethlehem , where her mother was shot dead by Israeli bullets while she was shopping. Wafa's father is unemployed. Rather than have his children starve, he brought Wafa and her two brothers and two sisters to Dar El tifl.

Despite the racist behaviour of the settlers, Dar El Tifl continues to heal and educate. Each year since 1950, some 800 Palestinians have graduated from the institution. Funds from Dar El Tifl-USA have established a counseling centre where a social worker, a graduate of the Hind Husseini College of Art and Literature, works with traumatised students and refers those with special needs to professional care-givers.

Postscript

Immediately after the death of Hind Husseini in September 1995, Muhtadi announced a memorial would be given in her home in Yorba Linda , California . Word spreads as fast among the Palestinian community of California as it does in the homeland and dozens of people whose lives had been affected positively by Hind came to Muhtadi's home.

"I shall never forget it," Muhtadi recalled, "when an older couple entered the living room. The woman said `I am one of the children of Deir Yassin.'"

It was Thoraya, who years earlier had married Muhammad, and together they had had four children.

For most of that evening the couple recalled the traumatic events of April 9 and 10 and their rescue by Hind.

They left that night for their home in San Diego . Muhtadi has never since been able to find them. Their phone was disconnected. Massages left at their children's homes were never answered. The tragedy of Deir Yassin has left deep scars that will last for generations. Nonetheless the vision of Hind Husseini has given hope to many who were beyond hope as later Israeli onslaughts left their toll of traumatised, orphaned Arab children.

2007-03-31 Sat 18:06:50 cst
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