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Rabi' al-Awwal 17,1435/January 19, 2014 # 3
For breaking news from Syria, Bangladesh and Egypt, please scroll down.
Breaking News: Afghanistan
January 15: A US military force carried out a massacre of
civilians in the Siah Gerd area of Parwan province. The
killings were so gruesome that even the US installed ruler
Karzai cried out in revulsion. He revealed that seven
childen and a woman were among those killed by the US. We
were hunting Taliban, said the US.
January 17: Taliban carried out a retaliatory attack on
western officials and their rich Afghan supporters in a
Lebanese restaurant in the high security zone of Kabul. A
martyrdom operator broke in. After the explosion two Taliban
youths entered and shot up the place before they were killed
by Karzai's troops. At least 21 were killed in the attack
including 4 from the UN and one from the IMF. The dead
include 3 Americans, 2 British, 2 Canadian, one Danish and
one Russian. The rest were wealthy Afghans and troops.
President Obama has condemned the attack.
Breaking News: Pakistan
Pakistani Islamic leader, Munawar Hasan, ameer Jamaate
Islami, condemned US' Congress support for Dr. Shakil Afridi
who is said to have helped US search for Shaykh Osama and is
in a Pakistani prison. Munawar said that USA is connected to
all the traitors in Pakistan. The US he said ruined
Pakistan's health services by using the anti-polio campaign
to search for Osama. He criticized the Pak government for
seeking IMF help. He said begging and charity can never help
put Pakistan on its economic feet. The masses need economic
change, not charity, he said.
He was addressing a large Friday prayer gathering in Lahore
on January 17
Meanwhile in Karachi a leading Sunni Islamic scholar,
Maulana Usman, was assassinated with his guard and driver.
Pro-MQM Shia elements are suspected. He supported the
Taliban. In retaliation, Taliban killed three media people
known for their propaganda against Taliban. War is coming to
Breaking News: Iraq
January 15-17. Tank led attacks by al-Maliki's military on
the cities of Fallujah and Ramadi were beaten back. At least
22 Shia troops are reported killed and 4 tanks destroyed.
The two cities seem to be firmly in the hands of ISIL
[Islamic State in Iraq & the Levant] with tribal support.
America is rushing weapons to Maliki as is Iran.
In Makka, the powerful spirituality of Muhammad, pbuh, and
Abraham, pbuh, is fighting back against the Saudi serpent of
extreme wealth and materialism. An American Muslimah has
brought a powerful first person account of her Ummrah. It is
doubtful if there is any better account of the holy journey
in English. Please scroll to end.
Turkey's charismatic leader Erdogan defeated "moderate"
Gulen's intrigues thus ending the conspiracy theories about
him. Gulen was working with "religion" out of his center in
Please scroll to end
Breaking News: Syria [
Scroll to end
for a beautiful photo of
children supporting ISIL.]
January 18: The Islamic State in Iraq & the Levent [ISIL]
has crushed the groups which tried a surprise attack on it.
ISIL cleverly made peace with groups which were genuinely
concerned about ISIL's severe policies and is toning down.
Those who were not for peace were fought to a standstill and
then executed in brutal executions, at least 50 of them
treated as traitors.
In all this infighting, Assad's forces were held at bay by
Jabhat Nusra and could not advance.
Palestinians In Syria and Lebanon
The Palestinians in Lebanese camps are preparing to strike
at Assad's supporters in Lebanon after news came out of the
terrible conditions of Palestinian refugees in Yarmouk camp
on the outskirts of Damascus.
On January 18, Assad allowed a left wing Palestinian group
supporting him to take 200 food parcels into Yarmouk which
hardly helped because 18000 people are starving there. Assad
lost his temper with Palestinians after many of them
supported the Jabhat Nusra. In a fit of anger, he also
Now Jabhat Nusra in Lebanon has been formed and on January
15 it bombed a Hizbullah stronghold in the town of Hermel
near the Syrian border. It accuses Hizbullah of supporting
Assad and killing Syrian women and children.
Yemen: In northern Yemen, Iran has armed Shi'ite groups
which are now fighting Yemenese supporting the mujahideen in
Syria. On January 18 in San'a, Yemen's capital, an Iranian
diplomat was killed in a drive by shooting.
On January 17, 30 copies of New Trend were distributed after
Juma' at a masjid in Houston, Texas.
On January 17, 25 copies of New Trend were distributed after
Juma at a masjid in Petersburg, Virginia.
Brooklyn, New York: 20 copies of New Trend distributed at
First Revolutionary Khutbas of 2014
Both Assimilationism & Ghettoization are incorrect US Muslim
Colors & Languages are from Allah: We are ONE Ummah by
Qur'an & Hadith.
On January 10 and January 17, at Masjid Jamaat al-Muslimeen
in Baltimore, Maryland, Dr. Kaukab Siddique gave his first
two khutbas in 2014. The masjid was well attended but as it
is a small masjid, some of the main points of the khutbas
are summarized here for countrywide distribution. [These
khutbas were influenced by the writings of Dr. Abdulalim
] and Br. Shamim Siddiqui.]
And of the people are some who say, "We believe in Allah ,"
but when one [of them] is harmed for [the cause of] Allah ,
they consider oppression by mankind as [if it were] the
punishment of Allah . But if victory comes from your Lord,
they say, "Indeed, We were with you." Is not Allah most
knowing of what is within the breasts of all creatures?
[The Qur'an 29:10]
And of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the
earth and the diversity of your languages and your colors.
Indeed in that are signs for those who have knowledge. [The
Disruption & subversion [fasad] have become widespread on
the land and at sea because of people's deeds; this in order
that He may cause them to have a taste of some of their
deeds; perhaps they will turn back (from evil).
[The Qur'an 30:41]
After 9.11, the well to do US Muslims started asimilating
rapidly. They tried to show that they were not different
from any non-Muslim.
American rulers' corruption became their corruption. They
cut off all protests against the occupation of Muslim lands
and visited synagogues to assure Israel of their support.
Five young American Muslims were handed over to the
As the Messenger, pbuh, had prophesied, if the Jews and
the Christians go into the snake pit, you will too. They
became ashamed even to admit in public that they were
The blasphemous idea that Muslims were suffering overseas
because Allah wanted them to suffer was brought up. Allah
explicitly tells us not to confuse the oppression by humans
with punishment from Allah.
Muslims forgot the basic message of Muhammad, pbuh: No
cooperation, no compromise with tyranny, oppression, kufr,
nifaq and tughyan.
On the other extreme were those so disgusted or alienated
by America that they isolated themselves and set up Muslim
ghettoes and enclaves. They became totally ineffective and
unable to give the message of Islam.
Islam does not teach isolation. If there is no scope left
for da'wah, the Islamic message is HIJRA.
However hijtra itself may not be possible now as we see
the emergence of dajjal who is circling the entire
globe.[Hadith gives details of Dajjal.]
The Islamic choice for US Muslims is Da'wah, systematic,
creative, loving, compassionate da'wah to the millions of
Americans looking for a way out of the mental prison of
There are 9 million of us in America, numbering more
than the Jews. We should use all peaceful means available to
us to oppose Zionism and imperialism. Muslim countries
should not be occupied. Palestine should not be occupied.
Always remember, the Qur'an has made us ONE UMMAH, from
Nigeria to the Philippines, from Bangladesh to USA. What
hurts one of us, hurts all of us.
Americans are agonizing about the tyranny of the regime
in Washington which is surveilling every one of us.
Americans know that that Homosexuality is an abomination and
is being endorsed by the drone master himself. Americans can
see the carnage caused by liquor and drugs. They can't do
anything because they have been sold out by their own
religious leaders. Americans need Islam.
Look at the prison system. Millions have been stuffed
into prison cells. Look at how they are humiliated, from
taking of their clothes and doing cavity searches when
Do your Islamic duty. Give the message of Islam in its
purity. Don't mix it with race and nationalism. Allah has
made all colors and races. Stand with the oppressed against
the oppressors. STUDY the QU'RAN and the HADITH.
Amiri Baraka Passes Away: Great Poet who Questioned 9.11
One of the greatest Black poets of our times Amiri Baraka
;passed away on January 9. His funeral was on January 18.
His greatest poem was on 9.11 in which he challenged the
government's view that the 9.11 attacks were the greatest
tragedy in American history. He pointed out that nothing
worse than slavery had ever happened to America and it went
on for 400 years.
He was the poet laureate when he read the poem. The Zionist
lobby went all out to have him removed but the rules did
not allow the removal of a poet laureate. So guess what they
did [with the support of the governor] ? They abolished the
position of poet laureate! It was a huge act of censorship
but the Zionist controlled media did not object.
He was hated by the power structure because he spoke against
the Jewish stranglehold on Ameeica. He was labelled
"anti-semitic." He was also very outspoken against
homosexuality and was labeled "homophobic."
[I distributed his poem by email and it went viral in Black
communities - KS]
Please see Sis. Aisha's brief tribute to
Amiri Baraka below
Breaking News: Bangladesh.
January 15: The fake elections held by the pro-India regime
in Dhaka were a pathetic disaster for the rulers. Boycotted
by both the BNP [nationalists] and the Jamaate Islamii, the
turnout was so low that in the words of opposition leader
Khaleda Zia, the Dhaka regime is illegal.
Hindus moblized by the regime became bold enough to attack
mosques but were quickly countered by Muslim youths.
Breaking News: Egypt
The Egyptian generals were much cleverer than Bangladeshi
rulers . They killed several thousand Muslim Brotherhood
supporters over the last year and arrested and tortured more
than 25,000. Now a "constitution" written by the generals
has been "voted" under strict security control. The result:
The generals say 98.01 % voted for their "constitution." By
the way, it outlaws religious parties. [Even Stalin would
Breaking News: Courtesy Burma Task Force, USA
Military Attacks Burmese Muslims Again
Maungdaw, Burma: Around 3:00 AM this morning (on 14th of
January), a joint force of Military, Security Force, and
Police started raiding the village of Anthala village of
east Kilai-Daung (Du-Chira-Dan) village tract, southern
Maungdaw. They opened fire at the people and started
carrying out mass-arrests regardless of age and gender.
During the operation, many people were injured, several
people have died as well.
[So after Buddhist mobs, now we have the military itself
attacking a helpless, unarmed minority--Editor]
Palestine is Crying out like Bilal, r.a.
by Shaukat Khan [Charlotte, North Carolina]
ah! my dear fellow muslims contemporary
I am confused as how to write my poetry
about the glories of Qasim or Ayubi
you wish I would not speak
that muslims are in a new struggle
requiring new mental aptitude
and political know how
to survive the political climate contemporary
but the Taqwa of Bilal saying 'Ahad, Ahad'
is similar in spirit to the Palestinian struggle
our Islam is being tortured
to stop us from saying Palestine, Palestine
but the era of 'political correctness'
and the muslims are the first to show
their willingness to follow the flow
into this new kind of a mental slavery
in preparation for tightening the noose
the victims will be
muslims throughout the world
we will see a more horrible holocaust
a Hollywood drama played in real life
nurtured by the few the proud
Re: Why did they Investigate Kaukab Siddique? Trying to Stop
by Sis. Aisha [New York City]
As-salaamu-'alaikum Bro. Siddique!
I was upset to read that you and those close to you had been
harassed by the FBI regarding the New Trend. Of course, I
was already aware of it but, not to that extreme.
These kuffar devils have outlawed Islamic practices in over
11 states and counting. Could be more now. While Israel can
blow its trumpet and call every European Jew to come hither
to help them raze entire Palestinian villages, murdering
Palestinians in the process, Muslims are forbidden from even
offering charity to one another!
They have made it a crime for Muslims to travel to and offer
assistance to each other in the Muslim World! The purpose
behind this reminds me of something El-Hajj Malik Shabazz
stated once. He spoke about the importance of Black
Nationalism. He stated that the U.S. doesn't give the
Chinese to hard a time because they have China to reckon
with. The Muslims in The Muslim World have already showed
flashes of their power to the kuffar. We are still showing
it owing to adherence to the Qur'an and authentic
This is what the kuffar are trying to prevent and their plan
will fail. This government does not want to have to reckon
with any bonafide, Shari'ah governments anywhere in the
world. But, I definitely believe that Islam needs to get
stronger here in order for the American Government's plan to
I was just reading a New York City Muslim funeral site. It
stated that, although embalming is haraam, embalming bodies
being shipped overseas is a requirement. I have a hard time
believing that the Jews follow such protocol with their
dead. I posed that question to the Islamic funeral home and
I am awaiting an answer.
May Allah bless and reward you for your efforts to educate
and empower all of the oppressed people of this world!
Remembering Amiri Baraka.
Note: I just read that Amiri Baraka passed away on Jan. 9th.
He was 79. No mention of it in the media here. I do remember
him angering the Js over his 9/11 poem. I think this slight
is because of that fat pig Ariel "The Butcher" Sharon's
death, this weekend. Unbelievable how is death can
overshadow the death of someone who truly tried to inform
and empower people with his words.
Our America: Compiled by New Trend's media monitor.
America's Zionist Jews on the Roll: Misleading & Exploiting
Springsteen has made millions with his super patriotic
songs. He was a friend of Chris Christie, Governor of New
Jersey, but suddenly turned on Christie abd ridiculed him on
the Fallon late night show. The Democrats want to bring down
Christie so Republicans will have no leader and that will
pave the way for arch Zionist Hillary Clinton to be the next
presidential contender. So Springsteen turns on his friend.
[The jew is no one's friend]. [January 15]
Also Springsteen is bringing up the mediocre comedian Fallon
as a success. Another Zionist.
Spielberg has been making millions off the American
public with his miovies, often serving Israel in the
process. He made the Amistad movie. Black audiences were
thrilled. No one asked. Would you have liked a Jew to use
your enslaved great grand father or mother to provide
entertainment to American audiences to enrich a Zionist Jew?
Of course Spielberg did not mention the Jewish owners of
Harvey Weinstein, who is known for his extremely violent
movies, including Django Unchained and others, now is
speaking against the National Rifle Association [NRA]
because Obama needs that opposition group to be weakened.
Dr. Ruth Westheimer who made discussions of explicit sex
commonplace on line and on radio has come in support of
homosexuality without batting an eyelash. Obama has
sanctified sodomy and Ruth walked into this abomination as
if it is no big deal. [CNN January 16]
[By the way CNN's Anderson Cooper is a self-confessed
homosexual and Wolf Blitzer is a Jew and friend of Israeli
spy Pollard. Both are hard core Zionists and have excluded
Islamic viewpoints from CNN for years.]
How Culpable Were Dutch Jews in the Slave Trade?
C. Liphshiz and I. Tzur - JTA
Speaking out against "Black Pete" is part of what van de
Kamp calls his social mission, an effort that extends to
reminding Dutch Jews of their ancestors' deep involvement in
the slave trade ... In one area of what used to be Dutch
Guyana, 40 Jewish-owned plantations were home to a total
population of at least 5,000 slaves, he says. Known as the
Jodensavanne, or Jewish Savannah, the area had a Jewish
community of several hundred before its destruction in a
slave uprising in 1832. Nearly all of them immigrated to
Holland, bringing their accumulated wealth with them.
Latest Gang rape of a woman in India : This time a Danish
The Plight of women in Secular Hindu Heartland
NEW DELHI (AP) — A 51-year-old Danish tourist was gang-raped
near a popular shopping area in New Delhi after she got lost
and approached a group of men for directions back to her
hotel, police said Wednesday.
Police spokesman Rajan Bhagat said two people were arrested
after a daylong search for the suspects. Details were not
The attack is the latest crime to focus attention on the
scourge of sexual violence in India.
The woman also was robbed and beaten in the attack, which
happened Tuesday near Connaught Place, Bhagat said.
The woman asked the men for directions to her hotel, Bhagat
said. They lured her to a secluded area where they raped her
at knife-point, according to the Press Trust of India news
The woman managed to reach her hotel Tuesday evening and the
owner called police. Police were questioning several other
"When she came, it was miserable," said Amit Bahl, owner of
the Amax hotel in the Paharganj area, which is popular with
backpackers. The woman was crying and "not in good shape,"
"I am really ashamed that this happened," said Bahl, who
A sign outside the hotel reads, "Recommended by Lonely
The woman, whose name was not released, was on her way back
to Denmark, said Ole Egberg Mikkelsen, head of the Danish
Foreign Ministry's consular department in Copenhagen, which
handles cases involving Danes abroad. Egberg Mikkelsen said
the woman had received assistance from Indian and Danish
authorities, and that her next of kin had been
An Indian police official said the woman boarded a flight
home Wednesday morning.
It was not immediately known whether she had been traveling
alone. The Danish Embassy in New Delhi had no comment.
The problem of sexual violence in India has gained
widespread attention since the horrific gang rape and murder
of a 23-year-old woman on a moving bus in December 2012.
Public fury over the case has led to more stringent laws
that doubled prison terms for rape to 20 years and
criminalized voyeurism and stalking.
But for many women, particularly the poor, daily indignities
and abuse continue unabated and the new laws have not made
the streets any safer. Ranjana Kumari, director of India's
Center for Social Research, said India's conservative,
patriarchal traditions lead men to use rape as a tool to
instill fear in women.
"This mindset is not changing," she said. "It's a huge
Experts say the rapid growth of India's cities and the
yawning gulf between rich and poor are exacerbating the
problem of sexual violence, with young men struggling to
prove their traditional dominance in a changing world.
Cultural stigmas, police apathy and judicial incompetence
have long made it difficult for women to even report
Still, there has been a surge in the number of rapes being
reported recently, suggesting women are emboldened to speak
up. Between January and October last year, 1,330 rapes were
reported in Delhi and its suburbs, compared with 706 for all
of 2012, according to government figures.
Foreigners also have been targets, including a Swiss woman
who was cycling with her husband in central India when she
The cases threaten India's lucrative tourism industry. Last
year, the Tourism Ministry launched an "I Respect Women"
campaign to reassure travelers. Tourism accounted for 6.6
percent of India's GDP in 2012, the latest year for which
figures are available.
Associated Press writers Chonchui Ngashangva in New Delhi
and Jan M. Olsen in Copenhagen, Denmark, contributed to this
From Ms. Carolyn
In the Center of Jerusalem Anti-Christian Graffiti
Thursday, 16 January 2014 07:52
JERUSALEM - The website of "QUDS NET NEWS AGENCY", on
January 10, 2014, showed pictures of graffiti from a few
days ago, written in Hebrew on the walls of the Notre Dame
Center, near the Christian Quarter of the Old City of
According to the "QUDS NET NEWS AGENCY", this is not the
first time that graffiti "calling for the expulsion of
Christians," were discovered on the wall of an institution
belonging to the Catholic Church, not to speak of other
The anti-Christian sentiments were discovered by some young
people who then went to complain to the Israeli police, who
in turn went to the site to ascertain the facts.
The shock over the incident has prompted the Christian
community in Jerusalem to protest strongly, not for the
first time, denouncing these acts that reveal a deeper
problem that concerns Israeli society in general and
Jerusalem in particular; and which seriously calls into
question religious tolerance within the society that
encompasses the State of Israel, which cannot manage to
prevent this type of religious intolerance.
In his Christmas message, the Latin Patriarch condemned "all
forms of religious fundamentalism", stating that Christians
in the diocese had "suffered this year from an increase in
vandalism by extremists, at twenty sites, amid the holy
places, or places of worship." A sign of concern for the
small handful of Christians who still live in the
By: Firas Abedrabbo
UMMRAH AND HOW OLD MAKKAH FIGHTS BACK..........
Makkah is a very old city settled in the barren desert of
Arabia a few miles from the Red Sea. It is not a place one
would choose to build a city or imagine that any city built
there would ever flourish. Yet it has black gold under it
and it is visited for its spiritual and holy symbols
mentioned in the Quran by millions of Muslims from all over
the world. Some come to fulfill the fifth pillar of Islam:
the Hajj and some come for Ummrah (the minor pilgrimage) to
cry, weep and beg at the door of the House of Allah to feel
the imprint of the earth under their feet that was once
trodden upon by Prophets like Ibrahim AS and Muhammad ibn
Yet it was the command of Allah to Ibrahim AS, to build it.
He was told "call and they will come" and he bowed his head
in abject humility and obedience and thus has been given the
title given to no other: Khalil Allah (friend of Allah).
However many tests had to come to wrench his heart, his love
and his attachments to family before he could be hailed as
Khalil Allah. He sailed through each of them with the ease
of one who has only one focus and that is on His Lords
In the heart of the city is a centerpiece that is a magnet
of attraction for all those who believe in One God and
submit to him in complete humility.
The Kaaba is that place of attraction for not only the
Muslims but also all people in the world, who wonder at the
pull of the Kaaba for the hearts of the pure and in
The Kaaba a building of large stones in the shape of a cube,
covered by a black cover sits central within the hills of
Makkah. Two such hills are Safa and Marwah. These hills have
been mentioned in the Quran as signs of Allah. These hills
bear witness to the signal event in history where the mother
of all Muslims and wife of Ibrahim AS: Hajara (Hagar)
struggled to find sustenance, help and protection for her
infant son Ismail.
As a tribute to womanhood, motherhood and the beginning of
the lineage of the Muslims in Arabia, every year many times
millions of people walk up and down those "hills" emulating
her struggle for her son.
Thus honoring the deep and inviolable instinct of a mother
striving to save her son from almost certain death.
Protecting him from the 120 plus degree Fahrenheit
temperatures of the unshaded Arabian sun and the plunging 30
degree Fahrenheit temperatures of the night in the raw
Though the hills of Safa and Marwah have been flattened and
paved with marble tiles, the striving of the struggle of
Saee for anyone who has done it remains a struggle. Thus it
has been for me on each of the Pilgrimages that I have
Every time I think of my dead son and wonder at the courage
of the woman whose steps I am walking in and find myself
wanting in the department of absolute faith.
Though the hills of Makkah are dubbed "hills" perhaps due to
their low elevation. The rugged nature of the rock is
slippery and unforgiving in climbing it (having done so once
before the rocks of Safa were enclosed for visual purposes
Adam (AS) built the first Kaaba forty years before the
Masjed Al Aqsa in Jerusalem on Allah's command; it crumbled
with time and then it was rebuilt by Ibrahim AS with his son
Ismail AS who is the forefather of the Muslims.
After it was built, Allah commanded Ibrahim AS to call
people to prayer. Obedient but perplexed he looked at the
vast desert surrounding it and saw nothing and no human
being as far as the eye could see. He wondered who would
come and yet Allah commanded him to "CALL!" and thus he did
in complete unquestioning obedience to his Lord.
It is in response to his call that many millions and I go to
Makkah. I went for what is considered a minor pilgrimage
called Ummrah. In the Ummrah I respond to Ibrahim AS call
with "Labayk Allah humma labayk............."
When I enter Makkah I walk in the path of Prophet Muhammad
pbuh in tawaf (circumambulation of the Kaaba) and stand to
pray at the station of Ibrahim AS where he and his son
Ismail stood to raise the bricks in the wall of the Kaaba.
His footprint has been preserved under a golden-latticed
Here on the completing of my tawaf, I also drink Zam Zam the
amazing pure water that sprang from the feet of baby Ismail
as he dug his heels into the sand crying. While his mother
had climbed one of the two hills of Safa and Marwah for the
seventh time, Angel Gabriel stood at the feet of baby Ismail
and dug his wing in the hot sand and from the earth beneath
the toes of the baby Ismail erupted the sweetest and purest
water of the world called Zam Zam. It has since then
provided the whole world that comes to Makkah a refreshing
drink after and before the rituals of the pilgrimage.
I have been trying to go for Ummrah for seven months but I
think it was not whole hearted. I am approaching a new year,
which holds many personal dilemmas for me and there is
nowhere where I want to be more than standing at the Kaaba
when the new year as I know it opens its curtain on the
western world. Allah fulfills my ardent wish with a swish of
a wand and I am on my way to Ummrah.......
I arrive at Jeddah and an efficient car service drives me to
Makkah. The car enters a maze of tunnels. It finally stops
and I am told that I am at my hotel. I step out into the
tunnel, and enter the door of the hotel, leaving my luggage
with the concierge I ascend to the lobby in two stages. The
elevator doors open and I have dejavu; I could be in any
lobby of a posh Las Vegas hotel minus the movie star
It is 3 .30 pm in the evening. I am tired but elated. I am
going to do Ummrah right now, Inshallah I will check into my
room, shower eat something to give me some energy and head
for the Kaaba.
The hands of the clock move and the room I am told will not
be ready till 5 pm, and Maghreb Salah begins at 5. 20.pm. I
see myself deprived I am in Makkah in a hotel which is less
that 500 ft. from the Kaaba and I am going to miss my Salah
in the Kaaba.
I make an executive decision, I make a back pack with urgent
and important items, and check out my handbag to the
concierge and head for the ladies restroom to do wudu.
In the posh five star hotel in Makkah a stones throw from
the Kaaba, I had expected to find a restroom catered for
wudu, a place to sit down and wash my feet, hooks to hang my
hijab and abaya which I wanted to divest myself of to make a
proper wudu. The European designer of the hotel probably a
non-Muslim had left me no choices; I was in Las Vegas with
no such Muslim accouterments to facilitate wudu.
After making wudu, I walked out and entered the mosque of
the Kaaba also called The Haram. The first change I noticed
were in the workers, they were still skinny as they had been
in the last few years of my visits but each of them had a
potbelly or more apropos a "wheat belly" more on that
subject in another post.
Following sadaqaat I arrive at the steps that lead me into
the large opening around the Kaaba where I am to begin the
first part of my Ummrah ritual, which is the Tawaf.
(Circumambulation of the Kaaba)
I stand dumbfounded..............the Kaaba can only be seen
in bits and pieces as if a part of a giant puzzle. A large
circular ring has been placed around it so that people could
walk their tawaf at a higher elevation. Numerous
scaffoldings crisscross my vision of the Kaaba, I want to
pray but all I feel is the strangle hold on the Kaaba, the
inability to breathe, and the constrainment (Qabad). All
these bindings, the ring, the scaffoldings and the visually
broken up Kaaba are like a piece of cloth to gag the mouth
I am shaken out of my stupor. I am deeply grateful to be
here no matter what the circumstances and what the
custodians of Kaaba are doing with it. It is still The House
of Allah and it stands majestic welcoming me, beckoning me
I make dua .........
Soon I fall into the stream of people circumambulating the
Kaaba, they seem unaware of the scaffoldings, or the
circular lasso around the Kaaba, focused on their prayers.
Men in white ihram, women in white from Iran and Egypt,
women in black from the Arabian outskirts, women in white
with hand covers from Indonesia and Malaysia. Graceful old
Pakistani village women with bright dupattas as if glued to
their heads, erect in posture and determined to be close to
the Kaaba. Then there is surprise: a small contingent of
Burmese Rohingas pass me by, who have come to lay their
grief of being tortured and their families being massacred
by the followers of Buddha.
Soon I forget the visual divisioning of the Kaaba and I am
with my Lord. Hundreds of people walk with me in sync,
moving forward like a symphony and yet alone. We alone know
what our hearts yearn for and what we have brought to lay at
What questions we have within us, what we want from him are
a closed secret between Him and us. Tears flow unabated
unnoticed, privately amongst hundreds.
Most of all each of us long for His proximity more than
anything else ...........
For some it translates into being closer to the walls of His
house, kissing the cover, moving their hands across it in
abject destitution, asking, begging........
His house now stands in a stranglehold of modern
construction imagery designed by architects who most likely
have never performed Ummrah or Hajj and probably have no
idea what is important and what was not in the spiritual
journey for an individual who undertakes the Journey of
The tawaf ends with the call of Maghreb prayer, and in
seconds all the men and women fall in line for prayer. After
prayer tawaf continues, after the seventh round two-rakah
prayer has to be performed behind the station of Ibrahim,
followed by drinking Zam Zam to refresh the body and soul
and then on to Saee at Safa and Marwah.
These hills have been designated as signs from Allah of our
faith. I am not sure what flattening them and saving a few
stones from Safa as a demonstration mean?
Saee is always a personal challenge for me, I see and feel
the strength of our mother Hajara (Hagar) and yet I do not
seem to be able to embue it in me, I think of her many
sacrifices for the sake of Allah and her absolute faith that
He is her protector and sustainer energizes me.
As I start at Safa I realize that in my rush to go to the
Haram to start my Ummrah I have forgotten my duas to read at
each hill of Safa and Marwah. I walk on and find a couple
that seem South African or Indian and ask them if they would
share the dua. The woman pulls out a duplicate copy and
gives it to me.
The distance of the valley between the hills of Safa and
Marwah at first glance does not seem to be
long...........and yet for a mother seeking help, it must be
long, for a mother exhausted with the heat and running out
rations it must be long, for a mother who has left her baby
son under the shade of a rock it must be long.............
For a mother who worries about her baby dying of dehydration
it must be long....
The green fluorescent lights indicate where our mother
Hajara ran towards her son, was he crying or had he stopped
crying, did her worry for him made her run in part of
valley, once she was comforted that he was still alive she
would then climb Safa again and call out " is anyone there?
Help! is anyone there?" and then come down and run to him
again to check on him and feed him the last bits of her
rapidly diminishing rations.
I walk the Saee, and it requires the extra push around the
third and fourth round of the seven and then it
In the Haram all external life stands still, all worries of
the world recede, the only worry that remains is what will
happen to me when I die and am transported into the next
eternal world, will it be a place of peace "As salaam" or
torment of Naar (Fire). We all pray for the former and seek
refuge from the later at the end of every circambulation
with the dua "rabana atayna fid dunya................."
Today and every day that I stayed in Makkah and performed
Tawaf, the giant orange cranes stand like spectres ready to
dive down and become vultures,
Around the Kaaba, the earth gouged by these machines, lies
violated like a raw wound. The broken parts of the remote
buildings of old Makkah in the hills, some of them centuries
old spew out dust and memories................and perhaps
screaming for moderation from unscrupulous and unleashed
Every pilgrim with the implacable feeling in his or her
heart that this may be the last time he or she may be able
to make it here walks and stands in oblivion of all else
As old Makkah crumbles into pieces of dust each iota
carrying a piece of the 1400 year old Muslim history within
it now shredded and spread over the land like the ashes of a
beloved on his or her land. The fine specks of the dust of
old Makkah cling to the kiswa of the Kaaba in their last
But old Makkah fights back! (To be continued)
Turkish politics and the death of conspiracy
By Adam B McConnel
"Conspiracy theories cannot be disproved," goes the common
argument against using them in debates. Generally, yes,
that's accurate. But sometimes politics and history take
The Turkish Republic's elite classes - the military, the
bureaucracy, the intelligentsia - have long used a
conspiracy theory as the main foundation for their strident
opposition to the
Justice and Development (AK) Party, the populist Turkish
political party that has ruled Turkey for the past 11
Since Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his AK Party came to power
through popular election, the Turkish elites have charged
that he and the AK Party were practicing takiyye: that is,
they were hiding their true intent, supposedly a plan to
impose Sharia (Islamic) law on the country and turn Turkey
into an Islamic theocracy.
To informed and objective observers, this was always a
risible assertion. From the beginning of the AK Party's term
in power, it was clear that they did not have such
intentions. The AK Party was, in both word and deed, a
moderate and conservative political party espousing the
Islamic version of Europe's typical "Christian Democrat"
The Turkish elites, especially those with political power,
probably understood intuitively that this was the case. But
their real concern, sometimes a subconscious concern, was
that of class. They were irritated that, yet once again,
someone from the lower classes would be in charge of the
Consequently, a campaign was launched to insult, humiliate,
and provoke both Erdogan and all the members of his
political party. This campaign has continued unabated for
the past 10 years. The fundamental claim was always that the
AK Party had long-term plans to overthrow the democratic
system and impose Islamic law. In order to carry out this
sinister plot, Erdogan had made a Faustian bargain with
Fetullah Gulen, the leader of an Islamic sect known by
several different names, but usually as the Nurcu Movement
or Hizmet (Service) Movement.
By all accounts, Erdogan has indeed been close to the Gulen
movement and utilized its cadres over the years, but it was
equally obvious that he was not one of Gulen's adherents.
Gulen was a good person to work with because his
organization is one of the most widespread and popular in
Gulen's movement is based in Sunni-Sufi Islam, and moderate.
This gave Erdogan a solid, moderate, conservative, and
already-existing foundation upon which to build a political
movement. This relationship was a practical, political
relationship that benefited both sides since Gulen's people
got patronage from the arrangement. Even though the nature
of the relationship was clear, Turkish elites latched onto
its existence in order to flog one of Turkish political
culture's most important dead horses, the Islamic
Over the years, this Chicken Little fear-mongering took on
different forms. As an illustration, since Ahmet Davutoglu
was made foreign minister, a bland and superficial story was
devised that smugly identified his overall foreign policy
vision as that of a reborn Ottoman statesman who wanted to
expand Turkish influence throughout all of the former
Ottoman domains. Never mind that Davutoglu was busy flying
to European capitals, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Central Asia
to promote Turkish business interests. The "Neo-Ottomanism"
idea sounded catchy and appealed to people who didn't follow
Davutoglu's policies closely, or who didn't understand the
AK Party's politics.
Another twist is a favorite bugaboo of the Turkish elites,
alcohol. Every time the Erdogan government tried to regulate
alcohol in the slightest way, a great hue and cry was raised
in the sectors of the Turkish press pandering to the elites:
"They want to ban alcohol, they want to impose Islamic
Again, this made sense only to those who did not know that
alcohol was highly regulated in most industrialized,
democratic countries, and to those who did not know that
alcohol had long been almost totally unregulated in Turkey.
Lack of alcohol regulation in Turkey meant that the Turkish
state had difficulty obtaining tax revenue from alcohol, and
that, from time-to-time, people died from drinking moonshine
falsely packaged in reused bottles.
Now, the Great Islamic Conspiracy has come crashing down.
The corruption scandal that broke on 17 December is widely
understood in Turkish society as the state bureaucratic
Death Match between the AK Party and the Gulen movement. In
other words, it turned out that the town was only big enough
for one sheriff.
The AK Party-Gulen conspiracy theory has thus been disproved
in more than three weeks worth of press scrums, public
announcements, and flashing lights. The Turkish elites are
still too busy having conniption fits about the corruption
scandal to assess the implications, but their Grand
Narrative is over. It turns out that the religious people
weren't interested in imposing Islamic law, but preserving
their interests and sources of money.
What a surprise!
The sarcasm here stems from years of fruitless effort
explaining this fact to members of the Turkish elite:
Erdogan is not a radical, the AK Party has no radical
program, not even a secret one. Turkish politics, and
Turkey's politicians, now resemble the politics and
politicians of other industrialized democracies. The sooner
Turkish elites understand this, the sooner they will be able
to construct a viable political alternative to the AK
Not a peep about Islamic law has been heard over the past
few weeks, as one might surmise. The Turkish elites' public
and self-deceptions of the past 10 years have been laid
bare. When the smoke clears from this current scandal, the
Turkish elites have some scrambling to do in order to create
another Grand Narrative capable of demonizing the prime
minister and his party.
At the moment they have corruption, but it remains to be
seen how much mileage they can get out of this subject since
corruption is not the real issue. Corruption is a red
herring. Corruption has always been an overt feature of
Turkish politics. In fact, corruption has been greatly
reduced in the past decade of AK Party rule. Corruption
exists, and is still a prominent problem in Turkish politics
and the Turkish economy, but high ideals concerning
corruption are not the reason that this investigation was
launched. At stake is control of state finances, influence
in state institutions, and transparency in the economy.
As the days go by, however, it becomes more and more clear
that the Turkish people have not bought into the scandal or
the narrative. They've witnessed too much of this sort of
nonsense over the past 60 years. The gap in perception
between the elites and the Turkish masses continues to
widen. Now it seems more likely that this scandal will
redound to the AK Party's favor in the coming local
Adam B McConnel is a History PhD student at Sabanci
University in Istanbul. He specializes in 20th century
Turkish history, 20th century Turkish-American relations,
and 19th and 20th century world history. He has lived in
Istanbul since 1999.
Courtesy: BBC January 16, 2014
Syrian Children preparing for an Islamic future with Islamic
State group's school system: Al-Qaida related group.
An ISIS "faith-strengthening" event for children in
one of the group's strongholds in Aleppo province
2014-01-19 Sun 12:23:43 cst