Click on NEWS for back issues
[ Women in Islam ][ Our America ][ Hadith ][ Kaukab Siddique's khutbas ][ Latest photos. ][ Imam Badi Ali's Thoughts ][ Muslim Political Prisoners ]
Shaban 3,1435/June 1, 2014 # 22
Syria: Iranian General Killed in Action Against Mujahideen.
2,000 Civilians killed in Aleppo by Assad's Air Force in May
On June 1
Iran held the funeral of General Abdollahi
Eskander killed in action in heavy fighting near
On May 31:
Islamic Front blew up a Syrian army stronghold in
the Zahrawi market area of Aleppo. Regime admitted 20 troops
On May 30:
Assad's tank and artillery units with jet
fighters and helicopters launched a new offensive in the
Deraa area near the southern border. With mujahideen now in
control of more than half of Deraa city and extensive
territory up to the Israeli occupied border, the Syrian
military fears loss of important military installations in
the northern part of Deraa. Several thousand Hizbullah
Shi'ites are part of the offensive.
France has arrested Mehdi Nemanouche, 29, for the May 24
attack on a Jewish Museum in Brussels in which he killed 4
Jews including two Israelis. The French say that this French
Muslim had been in Syria for a year and had a symbol of ISIL
with him when arrested along with his weapon. ISIL is
considered very extreme. [More than 700 French mujahideen
are feared to be in Syria, as the French put it.]
One of the 4 martyrdom attackers who carried out strikes on
Syrian troops in Idlib [see previous issue of New Trend] has
been identified by the US as an American Muslim. Please
scroll down to report and photo of the fighter with his cat
and a banner of al-Qaida.
Breaking News: Afghanistan
US Exchanged five Taliban Gtmo Prisoners with a US soldier
captured by the Taliban. The exchange was carried out
through the link of the Emir of Qatar where the five have
arrived. They were civilian leaders of the Taliban
government, not combatants. Mullah Umar, top leader of the
Taliban, declared it a victory for the Taliban. President
Obama was in an emotional embrace with the parents of the
Republicans are foaming at the mouth in anger and have
condemned the exchange.
"Our" man striking at Islamics
A General in Libya is trying to overthrow Islam oriented
Parliament: Good article by Ramzy Baroud.
Scroll to end
See Sis. Aisha's great article on Homo power and
Homo offensive is
backed by Zionist media.
Fake Elections are favorites of dictators and occupiers:
May 31: Egypt's military extended elections into a third day
while it ferried Christian copts, Hosni Mubarak's
paid "voters" and peasants from the countryside to vote for
Sisi. The drama failed though US media have declared it a
fairly fair election.
Please scroll down for two items.
General Sisi's forces killed 5000 unarmed pro-Ikhwan
demonstrators, injured 25000 and arrested more than 20000
before holding "elections."
Next "elections" will be in a couple of days by Syria's
Bashar Assad. He has had 150,000 people killed.
India has held elections in Kashmir under the biggest
occupation army in the world.
Occupied Palestine and West Bank group: Israeli dissident
analyzes latest US move.
What does Islam say about psychological and mental abuse of women?
Muslim prisoners in Elmira, New York, say Egyptian
"chaplain" is denying them their rights.
See way down.
Outreach to 104 at al-Haqq masjid.
Jamaat al-Muslimeen activity for Baltimore's African Americans
On May 30, six pages of Jamaat al-Muslimeen's literature
were given after juma' salat to 104 Muslims at Baltimore,
Maryland's, biggest African American mosque located in the
heart of the inner city.
This mosque was run by W.D. Muhammad group many years but
after being taken over by orthodox Sunni Muslims has
flourished and now has a large congregation.
Almost 95% of the Muslims here are African American. The
remaining are Arab shopkeepers and merchants.
The attitude here was towards JAM's literature was more
positive than any we have seen. People were not leaving
till they got their copy. These were the six pages:
Who are Boku Hsram in Nigeria? Why are Muslim
lackeys of the government in USA attacking them? A
devastating critique by Sis. Nadrat.. Kidnaped girls story
tool of imperialism by Ms. Ameejill. Video of Nigerian
army's slaughter of unarmed Muslims. [JAM Virginia].
Narrative about age of Ayesha, r.a., is not a hadith.
Heavy Syrian fighting. Mujahideen entered Damascus
suburb. Advances in Idlib and Aleppo.
Link for Islamic uprising in Mali + Iran hiring Afgsan
Shias to support Syria's tyrant.
Q & A
The Tragic Suffering of Muslim Women
If a girl is married prepuberty then decides she doesn't
want to consummate the marriage. How can she leave it? The
husband often pays a huge bride price which her family can't
repay. Plus she has lived with his family. It usually ends
up with forced sex. This happens in Niger. When the imam was
asked he just said Islam allows it.
It's not even as good as being a prostitute, at least they
get to keep the money! How was this type of marriage
repudiated in the time of the Prophet. How was abuse
Response by Br. Kaukab Siddique:
The Prophet, pbuh, prevented such abuses of Islamic Law by
making sure the community was fully aware of Allah's rights
for women. Men could not get away with any abuses. A
marriage based on control by parents was not acceptable. The
Prophet, pbuh, himself, did not take Ayesha, r.a., as his
wife for several years because he was not able to give her
the marriage gift.
So we have the role model, but the Ummah has gone bad. This
is best put in the words of Ali, r.a., the 4th Caliph. Ali,
r.a., was asked:
"Why did people obey Abu Bakr and Umar and they do not obey
"Because Abu Bakr and Umar ruled over people like me and
Sa'ad and Usman and Talhah and others, and I am ruling over
people like you." 
Much of the Muslim masses today do not know what are the
rights of women in Islam. The problems in Niger and most
other Muslim countries are serious.
Ideas of "inward unity" in defensive response to
colonialism and European dominance.
The educated elites are alienated from the masses owing
to their mental submission to the West.
Political awareness is near zero. Look at how many
Egyptians, structurally in an advanced country, are
celebrating General Sisi's "victory."
Improvements and exceptions should be noted:
Peaceful Islamic movements like Jamaate Islami and Ikhwan
al-Muslimeen plus Hamas and Turkish supporters of Erdogan
have a higher level of awareness of women's rights as
compared to most Muslims. These however are much better than
15 years back but not quite up to the level of the
Prophet's, pbuh, teachings.
The jihad movements have a higher level of equality and
awareness than the peaceful movements. This happens because
the devastating attacks of the anti-Islamic forces make it
imperative for mujahideen to work closely with women. Even
in a rigidly male oriented society like Afghanistan, single
women who had lost their men in battle hid fighters in their
homes, carried ammunition for the fighters and transported
food. American occupiers killed some women fighters who were
shooting bazookas at them.
Westernized Muslim women. They often have good
understanding of their rights as Muslims but are not able to
influence the Muslim ummah because of their own life style
and sense of superiority.
Propaganda war against Islam: Western media, particularly
the Zionists, are looking for "dirt" in the Muslim world. If
they can find a negative story anywhere, they will make it a
global issue. Look at how they turned Malala, who was
working with US and Pakistani intelligence, into a crusader
for women's education, thus leaving out and ignoring
COMPLETELY the work being done by Jamaate Islami for women's
education. Malala was even feted at the White House.
Palestinian, Iraqi and Chechen women as well as many
Bangladeshis who stand against the West are simply ignored.
They are "non-persons" for the West.
Notice how the uprising of women in the Red Mosque and Jamia
Hafsa in Pakistan was totally ignored. Women in hijab who
fight back are a terrible problem for the West.
Notice how Kashmiri women have been ignored. They have stood
up to and suffered tremendously at the hands of a huge
Indian occupation army.
Islamic women in Libya played an important in the struggle
to end Qaddafi's regime. They too have been ignored in the
The suffering of women in Syria has no equal. The major
media in America have not shown pictures of any Syrian women
brutalized by the criminal regime of Bashar Assad. The
monstrous crimes of the Alawites in Syria have few, if any,
equals in Muslim history. America's main interest is to
assure that the Islamic forces in Syria do not win, or if
they win they should be infiltrated by the one group America
favors. But the Syrian women are quite clear about their
rights in Islam.
Years back the situation was reversed when Iran's
revolutionary women were portrayed as backward and exploited
by men because they wore hijab.
The West is looking for and wants to video tape women who
are in hijab but are politically naïve or irrelevant
The Islamic uprising in Africa is in its initial stages.
Somalia, northern Nigeria, parts of Sudan and Mali are
taking the lead. Will women benefit from the uprising
remains to be seen. The West will probably kill the first
generation of fighters but the Islamic wave is quite
strong..If Boku Haram are successful, they will influence
1, Ifadat al-Akhbar bi-Bara'at al-Abrar by Muhammad ibn
al-'Arabi at-Tabbani, vol.2., p.96., quoted in English by
Dr. Assad Nimer Busool in The Life of 'Umar Ibn al-Khattab,
WHAT DOES ISLAM SAY ABOUT ABUSE?
By asqfish May 30, 2014 building a peaceful home Islam
muslims Surah Hujaraat WHAT DOES ISLAM SAY ABOUT DOMESTIC
ABUSE wife beating
Information primarily taken from the seminar at:
Abuse can be physical which is obvious by the scars and
injuries but the subtle and more damaging in the long run is
the emotional abuse. Allah forbids both kinds of abuse.
Prophet Muhammad was a living example of a life devoid of
both kinds of abuses.
Emotional abuse is not permitted in Islam as commanded by
Allah in the Quran (see ayahs from Surah Hujaraat below)
Islamic perspective: we should not inflict harm on anyone
for any reason; we should follow the example of Prophet
Muhammad pbuh. The only time when he inflicted pain was in
battle when Muslims were being harmed or threatened.
Most people are unaware of our own faults of emotional
[49:11] Yusuf Ali
O ye who believe! Let not some men among you laugh at
others: It may be that the (latter) are better than the
(former): Nor let some women laugh at others: It may be that
the (latter are better than the (former)
When we make fun of others it is because we think they are
inferior to us in some way and that may be coming from
arrogance, which allows them to laugh at others.
49:11 nor defame nor be sarcastic to each other,
Defaming is the beginning and may end with ghiabah.
49:11 Nor call each other by (offensive) nicknames:
You may call someone lazy; slob or a jerk and we may say it
without thinking of the effect on others. Allah is naming
each of these behaviors and prohibiting them. These are
harmful to others and to us as it is feeding our ego and
inflating our arrogance.
49:11 Ill seeming is a name connoting wickedness, (to be used
of one) after he has believed: And those who do not desist
are (indeed) doing wrong.
[49:12] Yusuf Ali
O ye who believe! Avoid suspicion as much (as possible): for
suspicion in some cases is a sin: And spy not on each other
behind their backs. Would any of you like to eat the flesh
of his dead brother? Nay, ye would abhor it... But fear
Allah: For Allah is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.
These are all forms of emotional abuse check yourself
Are we guilty of such behavior or are we victims of such
THE EFFECT ON CHILDREN: are children witnessing this
behavior if they are witnessing violence physical emotional
or verbal, children are afraid, and usually blame
themselves. Especially if it is related to the child,
something that the abused parent did nor did not do, or
about events that lead to the failure of the child's
performance in school of hifz etc.
Sometimes in the heat of the abuse between two parents the
children intervene and sometimes even stand between the
parents, particularly boys. Sometimes teenage boys may fight
back, in trying to protect the mother from the abusive
Most teenagers in youth jails are from such events
In the Middle East women in the jails are one who after a
long period of abuse could not take it any more and have
resisted the abuse by trying to hurt or kill the abusive
husband. (Movie: The burning bed is based on that).
Ques: what do we do if our kids don't listen to us? Then we
have to discipline them by threatening them and spouses also
e.g. how do I make my wife do what I want her to do, such as
wear hijab etc.
ANSWER: Here we have to look at the Prophetic model. He was
such a radical change agent, he changed people who were
steeped in sin and violence these were people who would bury
their girls alive and cover them with dirt while they were
Prophet Muhammad pbuh changed these people so much that
these very people who were so cruel have become such
beautiful people that they have been promised jannah.
What did he do?
It was the way that he simply lived Islam by being a good
model. He always responded to people in such a good manner
that it shook people, through his model he affected change
it is also very difficult and needs a lot of sabr and taqwa
and commitment to adopt the lifestyle of the Sunnah of the
Allah tells us in the Quran that he gives us a choice and he
tells us the consequences of each choice.
We have been given us this free will, this is makes us
Ashraf al Makhlokaat.
He says even in religion there is no compulsion "la iqraaha
The Prophet affected a lot of change but he could not get
some of the people close to him to change Allah tells him
"your job is to convey not convince"
Allah also says you are not going to be able to guide people
only Allah will guide.
It is very hard to see someone close to you making bad
choices it could be major bad choices and some minor bad
We do not have the right to control others even our
children. If we force people they will push back. If you get
into a power struggle with your kid he may outlast you in
resistance and then you may resort to name-calling and then
The secret is to accept. To know that the only thing I can
do is to control myself.
We have to accept the decision-making abilities of another
individual, which is age appropriate. Don't expect a baby or
teen to make adult decisions.
Give your children choices limited choices as long as both
options are acceptable to you. You can also start to train
children by allowing them to make choices and you have to
respect their preferences.
In your home you should already limit what they can choose
such as x rated or violent TV channels etc. Consequences of
opposition by the children should not fall under abuse.
What are the tell tale signs of abuse in a family?
Does your child feel intimidated by you, does your child
flinch. Does the child avoid the other parent? That they
will be put down?
Then there is some abusive behavior happening there.
It is very difficult if you are living in fear to protect
You have to look around you and become aware of what is
happening around you and its effect on your child. If not
such children have severe trust issues, anxiety, and
depression, even PTSD. They have relationship problems, as
they grow older.
They learn that in these relationships one is either a
victim or an abuser. They may play the opposite role, or
play both roles. It is a vicious cycle and can be passed
down from generation to generation as they copy that
This will go on unless someone says I choose not be in a
relationship where I am mistreated (or has deep emaan in the
word of Allah and will get out the circumstances to remain
true to Allah)
ISSUE: If you have been mistreated as a child, emotional
verbal or physical or sexual abuse and you grow up and we
have clear teachings about how to treat our parents with BIR
(utmost good) thus such a child is wary of this parent
because he has all these memories of abuse by that parent
and the parent denies that he ever mistreated this child.
How do I fulfill my responsibility as a Muslim to my
parents, as I am struggling with trust issues and the
fallout of the abuse, as a child and I don't know how I can
stand this as an adult?
This is an issue that needs to be addressed by the
Half of the people in a community have suffered abuse.
One solution is to know that there are different ways we can
be respectful and have such a respectful relationship at the
distance, a polite but not close relationship.
Question: Husband is narcissistic, and is abusive
emotionally. Should counseling be directed to both items or
only to the abusive behavior?
Answer: The counselor is the one to assess, diagnose and
decide how to bring it into the counseling. Most counselors
will not label and will focus on change of behavior and
coach people how to treat each other in a healthy way.
Sometimes people do not know a healthy way. A lot of times
people resort to abusive behavior when they feel helpless or
cannot get results.
Question: Some people become more religious and apply
religious edict to use abuse and is a control tactic.
Answer: We know that violence is not permitted in Islam and
Prophet Muhammad pbuh who was described, as a living Quran
never committed violence in his life. The ayah which is most
abused in this respect by both an inadequate translation and
inappropriate explanation is 4:34 Some men say if the wife
disobeys any wish of his this is nashooz and feel obliged to
beat their wife.
Nashooz: is defined as when the integrity of the marriage is
being threatened: e.g. wife may be engaging with men in a
way that is threatening to the marriage and men can also
engage in nashooz. Three steps, third step is interpreted in
many ways, regardless of how it is interpreted, even the
scholars who take the words it literally say it may be
'tapping and in no way is violence. In case of domestic
violence they are applying violence without the steps. The
Prophet had marriage problems; he never raised his hand or
What every Muslim must do is to educate themselves about
Islam so if someone tells us that abuse is permitted
Hadith says: a Muslim is one from whose tongue and hands
another Muslim is safe"
Question: Are men victim of domestic violence and how can
men respond to that.
Answer: usually men are exposed to emotional and verbal
abuse. Do women put down their husbands or yell at them? One
needs to say this is not acceptable. We need an elder or
Imam to intervene and learn new ways of interacting.
Question: How does the economy affect domestic violence? How
can the family economic pressure cause abuse or how does one
shield it from that.
Answer: Poverty does not cause domestic violence. We know a
large part of the world lives under the poverty level and
are not abusive in their domestic life.
However we must use spiritual resources when one is under
pressure. Refer to the ayahs that tell us that Allah is
going to test us with our money and with our children etc.
and improve our connection with him. We should surround
ourselves with people who will remind us of Allah.
Violence goes up when economy is bad, as people do not have
good coping skills.
Question: why do abused people stay with the abusers or
return to the abuser.
The abusee may love the abuser as they may have married them
for good qualities, and especially when you have kids, or
people are pressured by a parent or an imam or they do not
have anywhere opt go and all the backlash that happens to a
woman who leaves her marriage. When a person exits the
relationship, then the abuser does not have control anymore
then the violence can get worse as he loses control and may
physically come after her and or may threaten to have her
Do abusers have a potential sign at the time of choosing a
Answer: Warning signs and characteristics:
You can't always know:
Take your time to get to the know the person in a variety of
circumstances, and how he treats others, at home, at work,
with his mother and sister and other women? Does he give
orders, is he the jealous type or blames someone else for
happenings.Young women may perceive abusive behavior as love
as he wants to know where I am who my friends are and wants
to track my where abouts: that is a red flag.If the person
who has grown up in an abusive home he is at higher risk
then do premarital counseling where a professional is
helping to assess if this person is leaning towards abuse.If
the person has injured someone or has ever injured an animal
has a high-risk for abuseTrust your gut, if you feel he is
not a safe person get a third persons opinion.If a person
feels he is a controlling and feel thing will change after
marriage that is not so.Do abusers change:Yes all can change
e.g. Umar ibn Khattab. How can we know if people can
change?First step is to admit that one recognize the
symptoms andRecognize that we have a choice and go up to the
person one is controlling and admit and promise to changeAnd
increase our spiritual practices.Get professional help.
Please forgive me for mistakes, may Allah accept.
Homosexual Power Violating Religious Rights of Americans.
Why Christianity cannot resist this Abomination?
by Sis. Aisha [Jamaat al-Muslimeen New York City]
Source: Yahoo News
Denver, Colorado - A seven Judge panel for the Civil Right's
Commission in Denver, Colorado has just ruled that devout
Christian baker, Jack Philips, must bake cakes for Gay
married couples. The Commission stated that Philips violated
the civil rights of Gay married couple, David Mullins and
According to Commissioner Raju Jarum, "I can believe
anything I want, but if I'm going to do business here, I'd
ought to not discriminate against people." Jack Philips, who
owns Masterpiece Cakeshop, has stated, "I will stand by my
convictions until somebody shuts me down."
Many so-called Conservative politicians initiated an earlier
fight to include protections for those who opposed
homosexuality based on religious views. I guess, they were
unsuccessful? I never hear these Conservatives vehemently
opposing these rulings although, Gay marriage is illegal in
Colorado! May be these Conservatives are afraid of losing
their political seat or of being outed! Many of these
politicians have dirty little secrets they'd like to keep
secret like being a closeted Gay person.
Just as you stated in New Trend, awhile back, these pro-Gay
court rulings will affect the Muslim businesses, as well! I
am not surprised that these White liberals are misusing
Civil Rights laws to include a lifestyle that many have
moral objections to because this is America. The Great Satan
as the Ayatolla Khomeini called it. By forcefully
legitimizing a morally reprehensible lifestyle it leaves
very little reason for anyone to object to it.
Every few weeks they take a poll to determine the new number
of Americans who have become desensitized to homosexuality
in America to the point where they don't object to Gay
adoptions, marriages, tv shows, public displays of
Black people become incensed when these White Gays compare
their struggle to any racial struggle for surviving and
thriving in America! For the following reasons:
Only Allah has control over how you look in the womb. We
cannot control how light or dark we look!Whether or not to
have sex or who to have sex with is a choice that we can and
do make as adults. We are not animals who have no choice
but, to procreate as Allah has ordered them to do. We human
beings are held in higher esteem and have been given the
blessing of free will! Although, there are human beings who
give in to their carnal desires like animals do!
On May 21, 2014, the WNBA (Women's National Basketball
Association) became the first league to honor Gay culture.
there will be designated games where teams will wear rainbow
jerseys. The WNBA is being used as a litmus test for
introducing homosexuality into American sports leagues. NFL
players have already voiced their opposition to
homosexuality. Many WNBA players are also Christian. But,
will some of them refuse to wear that rainbow jersey or
refuse to play at all in any form of protest?
What is strange is that many women, including those in the
WNBA, have tried to get away from the Gay-thing.
Historically, many male chauvinists have questioned the
sexual-orientation of girls who like sports, especially if
they are good players. They resent lesbian athletes like
Billie Jean King and Brittney Griner. Unfortunately, the
only way straight women combat this stereotype is to cake
their faces in make-up or wear sexually revealing clothes.
If you don't go this route many, including lesbians, will
assume you are a lesbian just because you choose to be
self-confident and have higher self-esteem!
The Muslim community needs to worry about itself and how to
thrive, in spite of this homo promotion. Christians have
predicted this promo homo campaign coming for decades but
have failed to prevent it or combat it now that is in full
swing! Why? Because Christians like Pat Robertson or Jimmy
Swaggart, who oppose homosexuality, are also staunch White
supremacists which is against Biblical teachings. They've
made a mockery of it. However, Christianity and the Bible
have been twisted to support egregious behavior throughout
the world! It makes any legitimate argument they may have
moot. This also why Muslims cannot be allies with these
kinds of racist Christians.
Any successful opposition to homosexuality would have to
come from an Islamic standpoint with the Qur'an and
Authentic Hadith as the foundation. Neither source has ever
been altered by man just as Allah intended. Al-humdulillah.
Some Americans are beginning to wake up to this nonsense and
defy it. Let's see how it plays out, for now!
With thanks to Imam Ali Siddiqui
Counterpunch .WEEKEND EDITION MAY 23-25, wowed
Israel, the Palestinians and Obama stew In Their Own Juices
by URI AVNERY
According to press reports, President Barack Obama has
decided to let Binyamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas "stew in
their own juice."
That sounds fair.
The United States has tried very hard to make peace between
Israel and Palestine. Poor John Kerry has devoted almost all
of his considerable energies to getting both sides to meet,
to talk, to reach compromises.
At the end of nine months, he found out that it was a false
pregnancy. No baby, not even a fetus. Nothing at all.
So American leaders are justified in feeling angry. Angry at
both sides. Neither of them has shown any willingness to
sacrifice its interests in order to do a favor to Obama or
Kerry. Ungrateful, these Middle Easterners.
So it seems that the reaction is justified. You don't want
to fulfill our wishes? Go to hell. Both of you.
The important word in these sentences is "both".
But "both" is based on a lie.
When one says that "both" did not behave as expected, that
"both" did not make the "necessary hard decisions" that
"both" should stew in their own juice, one consciously or
unconsciously assumes that they are equal. Nothing is
further from the truth.
Israel is immeasurably stronger than Palestine in every
material respect. One resembles a sleek American skyscraper,
the other a dilapidated wooden shack.
Palestine is under occupation by the other half of "both".
Palestinians are totally deprived of all elementary human
and civil rights. Average income in Israel is 20 times
higher than in Palestine. Not 20%, but a staggering 2000%.
Militarily, Israel is a regional power, and in some respects
a world power.
In this reality, speaking of "both" is at best ignorant, at
The very presentation of this picture of "both" is
tantamount to acceptance of the Israeli narrative.
What does it mean for "both" to stew in their own juice?
For Israel, it means that it can continue to build new
settlements on Arab land in the occupied West Bank without
foreign interference. It can make life in the West Bank and
the Gaza Strip ever harsher, in the hope that more and more
Palestinians will prefer to leave. Arbitrary killings of
civilians by occupation troops occur every few days.
Some of us realize that this course is leading to disaster
in the form of a bi-national state, in which an ever-growing
disenfranchised Arab majority will be ruled by the Jewish
minority. That is called apartheid. But most Israelis don't
Israelis are happy, and never happier than this week. In a
modern repetition of the Biblical David-and-Goliath story,
the Tel Aviv Maccabi basketball team beat the formidable
Real Madrid team for the European championship. National
pride has risen to Olympic heights. (In a childish race,
President Peres and Prime Minister Netanyahu each tried to
waylay the winning team on its way to the popular reception
in Rabin Square, in order to bask in reflected glory.)
So Israel can stew happily, the more so since the US
continues to pay us their annual three billion dollar
tribute, provide us with arms and use their UN veto power to
protect us from international censure.
For the Palestinian side of "both", stewing in their own
juice means something very different.
The effort to achieve Fatah-Hamas reconciliation proceeds
slowly and can break down at any moment. It depends on
Abbas' success in forming a Unity Government composed of
impartial "technocrats" and Hamas' willingness to give up
its sole rule in the Gaza Strip.
Almost all Palestinians want unity, but ideological
differences run deep (though in practice the differences are
now much shallower). But even if some kind of unity is
achieved and recognized by the international community
against Israel's wish, what can the Palestinians actually do
They could, with the help of Saudi Arabia and the military
junta in Egypt, establish some direct contact between the
West Bank and Gaza and break the Israeli blockade on the
They can apply for admittance to some more international
agencies and for more positive resolutions of the UN General
Assembly, where the US veto does not apply but whose
decisions have very little concrete effect.
They can encourage European countries and the international
BDS movement to reinforce the boycott of the settlements or
of Israel itself.
Altogether, not very much. The stewing period will enlarge
even more the imbalance of power between "both" parties.
If the stewing lasts long enough, the "moderate" leaderships
of Fatah and Hamas will be swept away, and Palestinian
violence will raise its head again.
Conclusion: "Bothness", which looks so fair and impartial,
is in effect a policy of 100% support for the Israeli
Will this strengthen anti-Israeli sentiment abroad?
Two weeks ago, a US Jewish organization dropped a bombshell:
in every country around the world there exists
anti-Semitism, from 91% in the West Bank to 2% in Laos. (One
may wonder where Laotians find Jews to hate.)
Every fifth person on earth harbors anti-Semitic prejudices.
More than a billion human beings!!!
The organization which invested so much money to finance
such a world-wide poll is the (Anti-)Defamation League. I
put the "anti" in brackets, because its proper name should
be the Defamation League. It is a kind of Thought Police in
the service of the right-wing American Jewish
(Many years ago, when I was a Member of the Knesset, I was
invited to give talks at 20 high-class American
universities. The hosts were the Jewish chaplains who belong
to the Bnei Brith (Beit Hillel) order. At the last moment,
19 talks were canceled. In a secret letter, the Defamation
League had told the chaplains that "though MK Uri Avnery
cannot be called a traitor..." etc. etc. In the end, all the
talks took place under the auspices of Christian
The publication of the devastating results of the poll
exposed a curious fact: news about the rise of anti-Semitism
is received by many Jews with something strangely like
I have often wondered about this phenomenon. For Zionists,
the answer is simple: the terms anti-Semitism and Zionism,
like Siamese twins, were born at the same time.
Anti-Semitism has always driven Jews to Israel, and still
does (lately from France).
For other Jews, the source of the joy is less obvious. Jews
in Europe have been surrounded by anti-Semites for so long,
that the sight of them seems normal. Discovering them again
and again gives Jews a comfortable feeling of
And there are, of course, the innumerable employees of the
League and the other Jewish organizations, whose livelihood
depends on the exposure of anti-Semites.
The interpretation of the poll itself is, of course,
complete bullshit (sorry). People who expressed misgivings
about Israeli policy were listed as anti-Semites. So are all
inhabitants of the occupied territories who do not like
their occupiers. Muslims in general, who see Israel in a
negative light, are of course racists. A similar poll about
anti-Russian racism may well achieve the same results in
A similar initiative is this week's congress of the
International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists.
Jewish jurists may sound almost like a tautology. Every
Jewish mother wants to boast of "my son, the doctor" or "my
son, the lawyer". In the US and many other countries, Jewish
lawyers and judges seem to be in the majority.
This meeting has a specific aim: to convince the UN to
abolish UNRWA, the UN agency concerned with Palestinian
refugees. It was created after the 1948 war, during which
some 750,000 Palestinians fled or were driven out of the
territory that became Israel. Their descendents, who are
also recognized as refugees, amount now to some six to seven
UNRWA feeds these refugees, protects them and educates them.
It is true that it is a unique institution, expressing the
bad conscience of the UN. It seems that the refugees from no
other country have such a specific organization to care for
Now the Jew-Ju's (if I may call them so) are mounting an
attack, directly guided by Israel, to abolish this
organization altogether. I suppose that the aim is to
disband the Palestinian refugee camps which exist in several
countries around Israel - Sabra and Shatila spring to mind -
and disperse the refugees all over the planet, where they
will be less of a pain in the neck for the Netanyahu
All this in the name of fairness and equality. Israelis and
Palestinians can "both" stew in their own juice.
Very different juices, though.
URI AVNERY is an Israeli writer and peace activist with Gush
Shalom. He is a contributor to CounterPunch's book The
Politics of Anti-Semitism.
[With thanks to Bangladeshi scholar Shah Abdul Hannan.]
Egypt's Illegitimate President: General Sisi
By Stephen Gowans
Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the former head of the military that
overthrew Egypt's legitimately elected president Mohammed
Morsi in a 2013 coup d'état, is almost certain to win a
landslide victory in today's presidential election. Sisi's
victory, however, won't be due to a groundswell of popular
support. In fact, a Pew Research poll conducted in April
found that only a narrow majority of Egyptians support him.
 Instead, Sisi will win because he has banned the main
opposition, the Muslim Brotherhood, the organization from
which the legitimate president, Morsi, sprang. Just as
importantly, Morsi supporters are boycotting the vote,
reasoning that they already have a legitimate president,
even if he has been illegally locked away in the regime's
prisons.  So, with the only substantial opposition
viciously suppressed, and Morsi supporters staying away from
the polls, a Sisi landslide victory is a virtual certainty.
But it will confer no legitimacy on the Egyptian
Under Sisi's leadership, the military government has
massacred thousands of demonstrators who took to the streets
in protest against the coup. It has also jailed tens of
thousands of other Morsi supporters, banned demonstrations,
and discouraged dissent by locking up journalists who oppose
the military take-over.
If you've forgotten how closely Sisi cleaves to the model of
the brutal authoritarian tyrant that Western governments and
media profess to abominate, think back to last summer. Here
are New York Times reporters Kareem Fahim and Mayy el Sheik
describing one Sisi-led massacre:
The Egyptian authorities unleashed a ferocious attack on
Islamist protesters early Saturday, killing at least 72
people in the second mass killing of demonstrators in three
weeks and the deadliest attackby the security services since
Egypt's uprising in early 2011.
The tactics — many were killed with gunshot wounds to the
head or the chest — suggested that Egypt's security services
felt no need to show any restraint.
In the attack on Saturday, civilians joined riot police
officers in firing live ammunition at the protesters as they
marched toward a bridge over the Nile. By early morning, the
numbers of wounded people had overwhelmed doctors at a
nearby field hospital. 
Carried out by Muamar Gadaffi, a brutal crackdown on this
scale would have been enough to raise alarms of an impending
genocide and calls for humanitarian intervention. When it
happens in Egypt, it's mentioned in the back pages of some
(though not all or even most) newspapers and forgotten the
In October, "Clashes between protesters and security
forces...left at least 51 people dead and more than 246
injured...as supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi
rallied to press for his reinstatement despite a months-long
crackdown on their ranks. Activists from Mr. Morsi's Muslim
Brotherhood said the police used live ammunition to subdue
the pro-Morsi crowds."  By the end of October, an
estimated 1,000 Morsi supporters had been shot dead by
security forces and 6,000 herded into prisons.  Today,
it's acknowledged that the regime has "killed more than a
thousand of Mr. Morsi's ... supporters at street protests
and jailed tens of thousands of others." 
Sadly, the crackdown isn't limited to pumping live
ammunition into the skulls of the ousted president's
backers. In March, an Egyptian court sentenced hundreds of
Morsi supporters to death, finding them all guilty of
killing a single police officer at a demonstration. The
judgment was so flagrantly political that it moved the
United Nations high commissioner for human rights, Navi
Pillay, to denounce it. "The mass imposition of the death
penalty after a trial rife with procedural irregularities is
in breach of international human rights law," the
commissioner concluded.  This evident repression of Morsi
supporters was duly noted by some Western media, though
never denounced as an outrage, and quickly forgotten. We
needn't wonder how the same event would have been treated
had it occurred in Syria.
Egypt's military government also launched an assault on
journalists who failed to toe the regime's line on
theappropriate attitude to the Muslim Brotherhood—now banned
as a "terrorist" organization. (Additionally, the April 6
movement, considered the most effective left-leaning protest
group, has been outlawed on espionage charges. ) A
reporter who steps over the line is liable to be tossed into
jail and tried with crimes against the state, a fate that
befell 20 Al-Jazeera employees.  The jailing of
journalists for what they report by a state that isn't an
ally of Washington would be thoroughly denounced by Western
officials and deplored by Western media. Carried out by
Egypt's military rulers, it's quietly noted, then
What, then, accounts for the blatant double-standard?
As the Wall Street Journal's Adam Entous explains,
"Washington has long viewed its military ties with Cairo,
backed by more than $40 billion in military aid since 1948
along with annual military exercises and extensive officer
exchanges, as an anchor of one of its most important
relationships in the Arab world."  Which is to say that
Egypt—or more specifically, its military—does Washington's
bidding. Notably, Syria, North Korea, Venezuela and
Zimbabwe, reject US domination and pursue independent paths.
When the leaders of these countries use their state's
repressive apparatus to quell opposition (often encouraged
by dollops of "pro-democracy" funding funnelled by Western
governments to opposition forces through NGOs), they are
Apart from underpinning Egypt's role as an agent of US
influence in the Arab world, Washington's military aid
program to the country—surpassed only by aid to Israel—is a
source of handsome profits to US military contractors. Every
year US taxpayers fork over $1.3 billion to the Egyptian
military to submit large orders for weaponry and equipment
to US arms manufacturers.  In concrete terms, the
bullets Egyptian soldiers used to mow down Morsi supporters
were purchased by US taxpayers.
Adding to Cairo's value as a US ally is that fact that it
grants the Pentagon virtual carte-blanche access to its
Most nations, including many close allies of the United
States, require up to a week's notice before American
warplanes are allowed to cross their territory. Not Egypt,
which offers near-automatic approval for military
overflights...American warships are also allowed to cut to
the front of the line through the Suez Canal in times of
crisis, even when oil tankers are stacked up like cars on an
interstate highway at rush hour. 
Accordingly, Sisi's brutal rise to power is tolerated by
Western governments and his undemocratic and illiberal
methods passed over in near silence by the Western media,
because he can be counted on to maintain Egypt as a reliable
agent of US influence in the Arab world, provide valuable
services to the US military, and fatten the bottom lines of
US arms manufacturers with weapons orders. None of this is
to say that Morsi wouldn't have performed the same valuable
services. The reality of US domination would have structured
the decision-making environment to hem Morsi in and limit
his room for manoeuvre. But it's doubtful he could have been
counted on to be as reliable a servant as Sisi, who trained
at the US Army War College, and has extensive connections to
the US military. Hence, rather than denouncing Sisi, Western
politicians and media mobilize the energies of social
justice-advocates against countries whose leaders reject the
international dictatorship of the United States and refuse
to provide valuable services to the Pentagon, not against
those that do.
Caught up in mass media-manipulated campaigns of indignation
against targets of US imperialist designs, the beautiful
souls of the left ignore the deplorable activities of the
West's faithful local agents in the Arab world, from the
hereditary tyrannies of the Gulf states to the blood-stained
US-backed strongman in Cairo, while at the same time
protesting the resistance of the Syrian government and its
Hezbollah ally against Western efforts to crush an
independent Arab political project. Immersed in a fantasy
world structured by the mass media's promotion of Western
foreign policy agendas, they line up with the US-aligned
Arab royal dictatorships against the only organized Arab
forces prepared to resist domination by the United States
and its Zionist client.
While dispassionately documenting Sisi's affronts against
liberal democratic ideals, the Western media have not
demonized him, as they invariably do leaders of governments
who refuse to act as ductile agents of US power. Even so,
Sisi's actions would certainly warrant the same media
treatment meted out to the West's favorite international
villains were he standing on his feet against US domination,
rather than kneeling before it as a loyal servant. If
Western conceptions of democracy and human rights mean
anything, Sisi would long ago have occupied center stage in
the West's pantheon of demons. That he is allowed to fly
under the radar—despite cancelling democracy, murdering
protesters, executing political opponents, and jailing
journalists—reveals much about US foreign policy, the
Western media that support it, and social-justice advocates
who are deceived by it.
"One Year after Morsi's Ouster, Divides Persist on
El-Sisi, Muslim Brotherhood," Pew Research Global Attitude
Project, May 22, 2014.
David D. Kirkpatrick, "In Egyptian Town, Cheers for Sisi
but Murmurs of Discontent," The New York Times, May 25,
Kareem Fahim and Mayy el Sheik, "Crackdown in Egypt kills
Islamists as they protest", The New York Times, July 27,
Matt Bradley, "Egyptian clashes leave at least 51 dead",
The Wall Street Journal, October 6, 2013.
Tamer El-Ghobashy and Matt Bradely, "Egypt arrests
Brotherhood official ahead of Morsi trial", The Wall Street
Journal, Oct 30, 2013.
David. D. Kirkpatrick, "Egypt's new strongman, Sisi knows
best", The New York Times, May 24, 2014.
Nick Cumming-Bruce, "U.N. expresses alarm over Egyptian
death sentences", The New York Times, March 25, 2014.
David D. Kirkpatrick, "Uproar in Egypt after judge
sentences more than 680 to death", The New York Times, April
Tamer El-Ghobashy, "Egypt to charge Al Jazeera
journalists", The Wall Street Journal, January 28, 2013.
Adam Entous, "U.S. defense chief mans hot line to
Cairo", The Wall Street Journal, The Wall Street Journal,
July 10, 2013.
Eric Schmitt, "Cairo military firmly hooked to U.S.
lifeline", The New York Times, August 20, 2013.
Thom Shanker and Eric Schmitt, "Ties with Egypt army
constrain Washington", The New York Times, August 16, 2013.
The real Situation behind the Sham Election of General Sisi.
With a 90% boycott of the blood ballot - the show
presidential election, the Egyptian people have dealt a
serious and humiliating blow to the illegitimate coup and
its so-called roadmap. This is the beginning of the end of
the military coup. We hail the Egyptian People's resilience
The Egyptian people have turned their back to the sham
presidential elections. All the military coup's begging,
pleas and threats have failed. The Egyptian people have thus
told the whole world that they will not abandon democratic
legitimacy, freedom or dignity.
The people of Egypt are one nation and will continue to
hold high their values and their unity.
The honorable patriotic people of Egypt affirm that they
are the only authority that can grant legitimacy to those
they can trust, and that the murderous military coup has no
legitimacy or popularity. They further affirm that they will
continue to reject the coup and resist it until they defeat
it completely - with God's help - and with peaceful
creativity and selfless devotion, patience and
determination. The Egyptian people will reclaim their rights
and freedom, and will write glorious new pages of their
The Muslim Brotherhood
Cairo: May 28, 2014
Our America [Prison system]
Courtesy Jericho Movement via Amijill Whitlock in Baltimore
Report on the Muslim Chaplain at Elmira
from Abdullah Majid and Mahmud Abdul Khabir Al-Matin
BISMILLAH HIR RAHMAN NIR RAHIM
All Praise Be To Allah
Indeed, all praise is due to Allah. We praise Him and seek
His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allah from our
souls' evils and our wrong doings. He whom Allah guides, no
one can misguide, and he whom He misguides, no one can
guide. I bear witness that there is no God except Allah. And
I bear witness that Muhammad (S.A.W) is His messenger.
I would like to bring to the attention of the greater Ummah
at large in the bigger sijjin (prison) what is/has been
going on here in Elmira prison with the Muslims who are
striving to practice our religion. Since my arrival at
Elmira C.F. four and a half years ago, I have observed the
manner in which the Muslim Chaplain Sayyid Afify (Egyptian)
has carried himself in conducting the affairs of the
Muslims. After much thought and contemplation given to this
matter, I have come to the conclusion that this individual
displays all of the signs our Prophet describes regarding
the munafiq (hypocrite).
I'm sure he is by no means the only one, and is not unique
in this regard. However, I am addressing the circumstances
as they are pertaining to where I am presently being held.
To begin, while he attempts to disguise it, he is very
ethnocentric and has an antipathy and aversion toward those
of us of the African diaspora. He tries to be subtle with it
but the contempt is rather apparent, to me anyway. Having
said that, this is not the primary reason for my writing
this, as the problem goes beyond his personal disdain.
The issues of substance and concern to the brothers here
have to do with Afify's management, or should I say
mis-management, of our affairs. They are in order:
Our fundraiser (Oils Sales) is for the purpose
of purchasing books, tapes, tape players, prayer rugs, etc.,
as well as purchase of additional food items for Ramadhan
and the two "Ids." Apparently he seems to think that the
fundraiser belongs to him and is a part of his little
"Fiefdom" here at Elmira. He seems to be unaware and
ignorant of the history of who and how the Muslim fundraiser
was established, as are many of the brothers today.
Construction and Implementation
of Islamic Instruction and
Access to our Masjid other
In spite of his inability to operate it so that it is viable
and able to serve the needs of this Ummah, he stubbornly
refuses to relinquish the daily operations of the fundraiser
to more capable hands under the "pretext" there are no
brothers trustworthy enough to do the job. As a result of
this man's myopia the Ummah continues to suffer year in and
year out. While his statement of untrustworthy brothers has
a ring of truth to it not "all" of the brothers steal. And
Allah has given us the furqan (criteria) on how to address a
matter of this nature. Secondly, one would think he comes
from a country with a lofty government run by pious
individuals, rather than the autocratic, kleptomaniacal
group of "thugs" presently in power. Theft and corruption is
not unique to Black folks per se, as he implies. While he
has promised time and time again that he is willing to make
adjustments in the manner in which he has been operating our
fundraiser, whenever members of the Majilis bring this to
his attention he becomes hostile and belligerent or
disappears for several days at a time. He has also expressed
and shown very little interest in assisting the brothers in
developing and maintaining a viable education program for
He has also adamantly refused brothers access to the Masjid
other than for Jumu'ah, i.e., for classes etc. Regarding the
Masjid being open for use by the brothers, Afify has come up
with every imaginable excuse as to why it can't be opened at
this time. Every year he promises that during Ramadhan he
will come in so the brothers can have access. To date, for
the four (4) Ramadhans since I've been here, he has yet to
keep his word. It was suggested that we start first on
weekends in the mornings. The reason being that most of the
brothers have no work or programs then, so this would seem
like the most logical time to work with brothers who are in
serious need of help.
Needless to say, it is doubtful that he intends to seriously
fulfill his commitment. Afify's most recent folly was to
have two of the brothers on the Majilis as well as myself
placed in Special Housing Unit (S.H.U.) based on fabricated
charges of trying to "overthrow" him as the Imam (his words,
not mine). I should point out that I am not on the Majilis
by choice. And contrary to what Allah says in Sura 4:59, he
has gone to the Taghut for "justices." So much for who he
takes as Auliya. Thus far, one brother was given a year in
S.H.U. and the other brother and I are still waiting on
final resolutions. (Majid was also given a year in SHU.) I
am asking at this time, and I believe I speak for the
overwhelming majority here at Elmira prison, that brothers
of the African diaspora make inquiries as well as come into
the prison and offer Ashura to this individual.
Unfortunately, we have some very unscrupulous individuals
who hide behind the fact that these sijjins are located in
remote areas of the State. And they are able to get away
with what they do without scrutiny from the outside Ummah.
Furthermore, it is suggested in the future when these
Chaplains are chosen there be more input from Masjids in the
communities from which the vast majority of us come (Urban
areas in the State). Individuals should not be allowed to
"pimp" this Din for a paycheck or a Green Card, as some are
doing now. And the brother(s) working out of Central Office
(Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, DOCCS,
Albany) need to be put on notice as well. That if they can't
handle the responsibilities the job entails, then they need
to step aside and allow someone to fill the post who will
not compromise themselves or this Din for a "few pieces of
I pray that my words will fall on some receptive ears and
brothers will look into this matter with an earnest mind set
to correct these kinds of egregious injustices being done to
a part of the Ummah. With that, I pray Allah continue to
bless, guide and extend His Rahman and Rahim on you all.
Abdullah Majid #83A0483
Elmira Correctional Facility
P.O. Box 500
Elmira, New York 14902-0500
70 US Muslims said to be in Syria. One was a martyrdom operator.
An American fighting for a rebel group in Syria carried out
a deadly suicide bombing in the first such case in the war,
US officials have said.
"The American citizen involved in the suicide bombing in
Syria is believed to be Moner Mohammad Abu-Salha," the US
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement
The statement provided no other details about him.
There are already fears over foreigners fighting in Syria,
with no end in sight for a three-year war that has left more
than 160,000 people dead.
Florida Senator Bill Nelson told reporters in Miami that the
American suicide bomber was from Florida.
Opposition forces had identified the man, who carried out a
May 25 truck bombing outside a restaurant in the
government-held northwestern city of Idlib, as Abu Hurayra
al-Amriki. They said he was a US citizen. The name al-Amriki
means "the American".
The truck bombing was one of four by suicide bombers who
attacked the area in Idlib province during that day. It is
unknown how many people died because of Abu-Salha's
Opposition rebels from the al-Nusra Front, which is fighting
to overthrow the government of President Bashar al-Assad,
said Abu-Salha's truck was filled with 16 tonnes of
explosives to destroy Idlib's al-Fanar restaurant, where
Syrian troops were said to gather.
Unlike some other foreign fighters in Syria, the American
suicide bomber was not known to have posted messages on
Twitter or other social media websites, the Reuters news
Asaad Kanjo, an opposition activist based in the town of
Saraqeb in Idlib province, said he heard that Abu-Salha had
arrived in Syria a few months ago and tore up his American
passport upon arrival.
"From what I heard, I believe he was an American of Arab
origin. People said that he spoke Arabic with a foreign
accent, and he used to speak classical Arabic,'' Kanjo
Earlier in May, FBI director James Comey said dozens of
Americans were joining Syria's civil war.
Haftar Leads a Coup in Libya
A General's Odd War on the Muslim Brotherhood
by Ramzy Baroud, May 31, 2014
On 16 May, Libya's rogue general Khalifa Haftar staged
several bloody attacks against other Libyan militias in the
name of eradicating terrorism by leading a paramilitary
force evasively named the Libyan National Army. His
well-equipped brigades were rapidly joined by officers from
national army bases in the eastern parts of the country.
Units from the air force also joined in, along with tribal
gunmen and other militias, particularly the strong and
notorious Zintan militia. The well-coordinated attacks,
named Operation Karama, or Dignity, resulted in heavy
When Karama Is Not Dignity
Then, with unprecedented audacity, on Thursday he struck the
parliament, sending Libyan lawmakers from the General
National Council (GNC) fleeing for their lives. Among his
demands: the dismissal of the parliament and the judiciary
to take control of the country's affairs until the next
elections scheduled for 25 June. The man is supposedly a
proponent for a democratically elected civilian government,
a contradiction that is becoming quite common in post-'Arab
Spring' Middle East.
During the attack on the parliament and the seizure of
government buildings, Haftar's forces were backed by
warplanes and helicopters. The show of force was massive,
even for post-rebellion and NATO-led war Libya where guns
are available in abundance. Needless to say, Haftar is not a
rogue general acting alone. He is supported by former Libyan
Prime Minister Ali Zeidan, and has strong, rich Libyan and
Arab backers. His long history of relations with the CIA is
neither "misleading" or "old news" as suggested by a recent
article in the UK's Guardian newspaper. But what is his
story? And will he succeed in becoming the Libyan equivalent
of Egypt's General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi?
The February 'Coup'
Haftar has been actively pursuing a similar media discourse
to that of Egypt's Sisi, who seized power after overthrowing
the democratically elected government of Mohammed Morsi in
July 2013. Sisi had masked his action in a lexicon that is
predicated on a very simple logic: associating the Muslim
Brotherhood with terrorism, and vowing to crush the
"terrorists" who are supposedly threatening Egypt's national
security. In a series of interviews, including one with US
network Fox News, Sisi warned of the danger of Islamic
terrorism coming from eastern Libya, and called for US
military support. The "national security" argument is
helping Sisi shift the focus from urban centers where
Egyptian youth has staged daily and nightly protests
demanding the restoration of democracy to the periphery - as
in Hamas in Gaza, militants in Sinai, terrorists in Libya,
and even Sudan.
Haftar is also out to crush the Islamists, but the problem
is that Libya's Muslim Brotherhood is hardly the dominant
political force in that country. Haftar knows well that
Islamic-leaning parties in Libya are not all one and the
same. Yet, he seemed keen on emphasizing the Brotherhood as
a target behind his ongoing war. He told Asharq Al-Awsat
newspaper in an interview published in May that he intends
to "purge" Libya of Muslim Brotherhood members. They are a
"malignant disease that is seeking to spread throughout the
bones of the Arab world". He even formed a Libyan
counterpart of Egypt's Supreme Council of the Armed
The Libyans are certainly not Haftar's target audience.
Their contention is with the security chaos that has
afflicted their country due to warring militias following
the NATO-backed victory over Muammar Gaddafi. In fact,
Haftar is himself leading some of these militias, and his
"army" has contributed to the political uncertainty and
violence in Libya. The former Libyan general is clearly
attempting to exploit Egypt's woes to his advantage, but is
also vying for attention from various western governments -
especially Washington that until now seems rather reluctant
to criticize Haftar's attempted coup.
In fact, Washington's indecision is similar to its silence
when Haftar had attempted to stage the first coup last
February, but failed. Afterwards, in a televised speech,
Haftar denounced the government, and announced his own
"initiative", a roadmap of sorts that saw the disbanding of
parliament. Few took him serious and top government
officials mocked his coup attempt. One described it as
"ridiculous". But consequently, many discovered the name
Haftar, and some became keenly interested to learn more.
Did the Americans Know?
Ashour Shamis is a former partner of Haftar. Both were
members of the US-funded Libyan National Army in the 1980s.
In a recent interview with the Guardian he remarked, "I
don't think something like this can happen in Libya and the
Americans would not know about it." According to Shamis, the
Americans "want to see how much momentum Haftar has and how
far he goes." Indeed, Haftar is doing a great deal to get
Washington's attention, which has somewhat divested from
Libya since the killing of its ambassador there and three
others in September 2012.
To win favor with Washington, Haftar's list of enemies also
includes Ansar al-Sharia, which along with other militias in
Benghazi was accused of plotting the attack against the US
embassy. But it shouldn't be too difficult for Haftar to
gain Washington's trust. In fact, he already has. It is no
secret that Haftar has had strong backing from the US
Central Intelligence Agency for nearly three decades.
The man has been branded and rebranded throughout his
colorful and sometimes mysterious history. He fought as an
officer in the Chadian-Libyan conflict, and was captured
alongside his entire unit of 600 men. During his time in
prison, Chad experienced a regime change (both regimes were
backed by French and US intelligence) and Haftar and his men
were released per US request as he was moved to another
African country. While some chose to return home, others
knew well what would await them in Libya, for reasons
explained by the New York Times on 17 May, 1991.
"For two years, United States officials have been shopping
around for a home for about 350 Libyan soldiers who cannot
return to their country because American intelligence
officials had mobilized them into a commando force to
overthrow Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, the Libyan leader," NYT
reported. "Now, the Administration has given up trying to
find another country that will accept the Libyans and has
decided to bring them to the United States."
Haftar was then relocated to a Virginia suburb in the early
1990s, where he settled very close to the CIA headquarters
in Langley. The news is murky about his exact activities
living near Washington DC, except for his ties to Libyan
opposition forces, which of course operated according to US
In his thorough report, published in the Business Insider,
Russ Baker traced much of Haftar's activities since his
split from Gaddafi and adoption by the CIA. "A Congressional
Research Service report of December 1996 named Haftar as the
head of the (National Front For The Salvation of Libya)
NFSL's military wing, the Libyan National Army. After he
joined the exile group, the CRS report added, Haftar began
"preparing an army to march on Libya". The NFSL, the CSR
said, is in exile "with many of its members in the United
It took nearly 15 years for Haftar to march on Libya. It
also took a massive war that was purported to support a
popular uprising. Although he clearly attempts to brand
himself as a potential Sisi, Haftar, per Baker's
description, is the Libyan equivalent of Iraq's Ahmed
Chalabi, a discredited figure with strong allies in
Washington DC, Chalabi was sent to post-Saddam Iraq to lead
the "democratization" process. Instead, he helped set the
stage for the calamity under way there.
It is no wonder why Haftar's return was a major source of
controversy. Since the news of his CIA affiliation was no
big secret, his return to Libya to join the rebels in March
2011 caused much confusion. Almost immediately, he was
announced by a military spokesman as the rebels' new
commander, only for the announcement to be dismissed by the
National Transitional Council as false. The NTC was largely
a composition of equally enigmatic characters that had
little presence within Libya's national consciousness.
Haftar found himself as the third man on the military
ladder, which he grudgingly accepted.
The Right Man for Libya?
Haftar's legacy has been linked to military coups as early
as 1969, when he, along with a few soldiers, helped Gaddafi
overthrow King Idris. Between then and the last two coups,
he was, and perhaps still is, affiliated with the CIA. But
Libya is gripped by extreme violence and is hostage to the
whims of militias, some tribal, others affiliated with small
towns and large cities - Misrata, Zintan and so on - and
others are loosely affiliated with government ministries. In
times of such befuddling strife, some people might be ready
to accept feeble alternatives. Despite his dubious legacy,
Haftar might oddly enough appear to some as Libya's strong
As expected, many are not convinced. Powerful militias are
also lining up against Haftar. Misrata's 235 militia
brigades are ready to fight. They have already deployed near
Tripoli. If this showdown is allowed to carry on, a bloody
civil war will be awaiting Libya, one that might prove even
bloodier and lengthier than the NATO-led war against
Gaddafi. This time around, however, neither NATO nor the US
seem willing to get involved again, at least not until one
warring camp proves worthy of their support. In all cases,
Libya's suffering is likely to linger.
Ramzy Baroud (www.ramzybaroud.net) is a media consultant, an
internationally-syndicated columnist and the editor of
PalestineChronicle.com. His latest book is My Father was A
Freedom Fighter: Gaza's Untold Story (Pluto Press)
2014-06-01 Sun 20:01:42 cdt