[ Click on NEWS for back issues
14 Jamada al-Awwal, 1438 A.H.- February 12, 2017 Issue # 7, Newsletter #1693
Hadith of the Week
Prophet Muhammad's,pbuh, Concerns even as he was Dying.
"Um Salama,r.a., the wife of the Prophet, pbuh, narrates,
even as he lay daying and his voice was getting weaker and
his breath was faltering, he Said: Take care of your
prayers, your prayers, and do good to the captives in your
[Hadith # 1675 in the Sunan of ibn Maja and hadith # 27016
in Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal.]
Comment by Kaukab Siddique: The final concerns of the
Prophet Muhammad, pbuh, help us to remember that our
connection to Allah through prayers is most important and
then comes our effort to help captives. The term for
captives in the Qur'an is very comprehensive "ma malakut
imanukum" [those whom your right hands possess]. These can
be prisoners of war but also in a wider sense, people who
are helpless owing to economic and social and political
reasons. Some Muslim scholars try to translate the term as
"slaves" for which there is no place in Islam. See Sura
90:13: "FREE THE SLAVE.". The Qur'an also teaches that
prisoners of war should be released as soon as possible,
either through ransom and exchange or through sheer
goodwill. Thus many captives became Islamic leaders as can
be seen in the history of Memelukes in Egypt. The narrator
of this hadith was a captive woman whom Umm Salama, r.a.,
February 5 Issue
New Trend's February 5 issue reached 9659 people and
received 2200 likes on facebook.
Surge on New Trend's Web Site.
In January newtrendmag.org received 332358 hits
with 552 visits a day.
Thank you Br. Rich. Keep up the good work!
Feel free to send videos & Power Point Presentations !
Political Prisoners :
Iraq: Shia vs Shia.
On February 11, the supporters of Moqtada al-Sadr launched a
massive demonstration in Baghdad which tried to enter the
Green Zone where the international embassies are
Police teargassed the demonstrators and finally opened fire.
The governor says 4 demonstratotrs were killed and 320
injured, including 79 with live bullets. One policeman was
killed by the protestors and 7 injured. Moqtada al-Sadr
opposes the pro-Iran clique of Nuri al-Maliki as well as
Mosul: Week 17
Trump week 3.
Islamic State re-Taking Large Areas of Iraq. Shi'ite-Kurdish
Armada Stuck outside Mosul. Fighting Near Iran border.
A US air strike reportedly killed a French Muslim fighting
for IS in Mosul. [February 10.]
Other than that there have been no claims of success by the
US-backed Shia-Kurdish armada of 100,000 which has
IS is hitting the Baghdad troops around Mosul with tiny
drones carrying small bombs. 14 Baghdad troops were killed
and 25 wounded, 14 vehicles were damaged and 2 destroyed. IS
has issued pictures. Baghdad has also issued picture of a
little drone it shot down.
Meanwhile, research groups on terrorism report that 5000 IS
mujahedeen have entered Iraq in various areas [coming in
from Syria] . It appears that IS has also reinforced Mosul
and the Pentagon is reporting a much larger IS force in
The shia militia forces known for their fanaticism are
stalemated at Tal Afar, way south of Mosul.
According to latest reports, IS is in control of 6 towns
further south of Tal Afar. IS has issued pictures of Shia
fighters killed and beheaded at Tal Afar.
At Tel Abta, 50 miles south of Mosul. IS fighters destroyed
a Baghdad military unit. Pictures of dead bodies issued by
In a more dangerous development, IS is fighting the
US-backed Shia regime forces in Diyala province on the
Iranian border. Among the cities which are now in danger of
being taken pver by the Islamic State, according to
terrorism researchers, are Ba'qubah, Al-Muqdadiyyah, Hibhib,
Al-Khalis, Al-Wajihiyyah, Dilli 'Abbas, Al-Sa'adiyyah,
Jalawla', Khanaqin, Ashraf City, [and] Buhriz."
Heavy fighting is reported in the Hamlin mountains of Diyala
province, regime admits.
Fighting Across Syria in Stalemate: United Front of Fighting
Groups Emerges. El Bab Resisting Turkey.
Lattakia, Raqqa, Homs, Hama, Damascus hit by Russia-Assad.
110 Muslim women freed in Exchange.
February 6 to 12. Russian, Alawite, Turkish, US air strikes
continued daily but Muslims did not retreat.
The heaviest bombing was by the Turkish air force on El Bab,
the IS stronghold north east of Aleppo. This is
indiscriminate bombing and killed 44 civilians on February
12 raising the total in two months tp 370 civilians killed.
However Turkish and mercenary militias under Turkey could
not enter El Bab.
Hizbullah with Russian tanks and Shia militias approached El
Bab and are getting ready to enter El Bab.
Clashes between IS and the Damascus regime forces are
ongoing in Homs province as the regime tries to prevent IS
advances. IS control of Deir Ez Zor is consolidated and
regime enclave there is surrounded.
The city of Raqqa and surrounding areas under IS control
were bombed by the American coalition. Looks like they
missed their targets.
Heavy shelling and rocket fire/missiles broke out in
Lattakia province, the Alawite heartland with mutual
A horrifying aspect of the war in Syria is that the Assad
regime has been arresting Muslim women to terrorize their
families. It appears that the only way to get them back was
to kidnap Sh'ite-Alawite women. So on February 7, the Syrian
Observatory reported that 110 Muslim were released in an
area west of Hama in exchange for a number of
[Al jazeera below this]
The Syrian jihadist group Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (JFS), known
as al-Nusra Front until it broke off formal ties with
al-Qaeda last July, has merged with four smaller Syrian
factions and rebranded itself as "Tahrir al-Sham".
The new group's leader has been named as Hashim al-Sheikh,
who previously served as the head of the powerful Islamist
rebel group, Ahrar al-Sham.
Ahrar al-Sham itself has refused to join the new body and
has been at loggerheads with JFS in northern Syria.
On 9 February, al-Shaikh delivered the group's first
leadership message in which he insisted the new entity was
independent and not an extension of former organisations and
By reinventing itself again, JFS appears to be trying to
distance itself from its al-Qaeda past and embed itself more
deeply within the Syrian insurgency.
No mention has been made of JFS leader Abu Mohammed
al-Julani in any of the new group's communications. But he
is widely believed to be serving as its military
JFS announced the creation of "Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham" (which
translates in English as Liberation of Levant Organisation)
in a statement that was released on 28 January via its
channel on the messaging app Telegram.
The statement indicated that the groups which had agreed to
join would dissolve themselves and "merge fully" into the
This was further reiterated in al-Shaikh's recent message
which described the new body as a "melting pot for all
In addition to JFS, Tahrir al-Sham founding groups included:
Nur al-Din Zinki Movement (one of the most important
opposition factions in Aleppo); jihadist Ansar al-Din Front;
the Homs-based Jaysh al-Sunnah; and Liwa al-Haqq (operates
in Idlib, Aleppo and Hamah).
The new entity also received the endorsement of six
prominent Syria-based jihadist clerics, including the
charismatic Saudi-born Abdullah al-Muhaisini. The clerics
signed a separate statement announcing their intention to
join Tahrir al-Sham.
Since the creation of the new entity, JFS has issued no new
propaganda under the JFS brand, suggesting that it has been
Hashim al-Shaikh (Abu-Jabir)
The head of the new group, Abu-Jabir, had been appointed as
Ahrar al-Sham leader after the group's entire leadership was
wiped out in a bomb blast in September 2014. He held the
leadership seat until September 2015.
According to mainstream accounts, Abu-Jabir was born in 1968
in Aleppo, Syria. He is said to have fought alongside
al-Qaeda in Iraq under Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and helped
Syrian jihadist fighters travel to Iraq. Reports indicate he
was arrested later in Syria and was one of many Islamists
released from prison in 2011.
Abu-Jabir's appointment as the leader of Tahrir al-Sham
marks the culmination of tensions between moderate and
hardline elements within Ahrar al-Sham, which escalated in
recent months over disagreements on the notion of a merger
As attempts for a merger including both JFS and Ahrar
al-Sham failed, hardliners within Ahrar al-Sham, including
some prominent figures led by Abu-Jabir defected to Tahrir
This places the new entity in the position of a rival to
Ahrar al-Sham, which in turn took a number of smaller
factions under its wing.
In his message, Abu-Jabir reached out to other factions
urging them to "forget the past" and join his group with the
aim of continuing the fight until the goals of the uprising
were realised and the Syrian government overthrown. But
Abu-Jabir's dismissal of political negotiations as a means
to achieve that goal might alienate some factions that have
shown willingness to engage in talks.
The announcement of the new body is the second rebranding
undergone by the group formerly known as al-Nusra Front in a
relatively short period of time.
It follows its public severing of ties with al-Qaeda and
rebranding as Jabhat Fateh al-Sham at the end of July
These moves represent attempts by the group to embed itself
more deeply within the wider Syrian insurgency and distance
itself from the al-Qaeda brand.
But if anything, the latest initiative is an indication that
JFS's dream of winning over key Syrian factions appears to
have failed, at least for the time being.
Courtesy the Guardian
civilian deaths may have been caused by US airstrike
US airstrikes in Afghanistan's Helmand province may have
been responsible for the deaths of at least 18 civilians,
mostly women and children, according to the UN and local
Airstrikes took place late on Thursday in Sangin district,
which has been highly contested for most of the Afghan
It is the first claim of civilian casualties at the hands of
US forces in Afghanistan since Donald Trump assumed the US
presidency, and comes two weeks after a botched US raid in
Yemen allegedly killed dozens of civilians.
The UN said on Sunday: "On 9 and 10 February, international
military forces conducted airstrikes in Helmand's Sangin
district reportedly targeting anti-government elements. [The
UN's] initial enquiries suggest that the airstrikes killed
at least 18 civilians, nearly all women and children."
Donald Trump's first 100 days as president - daily
Brig Gen Charles H Cleveland, a spokesman for the
international coalition, confirmed that the US conducted
approximately 30 airstrikes in Sangin last week.
"We are investigating the allegations and working diligently
to determine whether civilians were killed or injured as a
result of US airstrikes conducted in support and defence of
Afghan forces in or around Sangin," he said.
The Afghan defence ministry declined to comment, but a
government spokesman, Najeeb Danesh, said a delegation from
the ministry was investigating.
Haji Ahmand, who lives in Sangin, was in Kandahar when a
bomb hit his brother's house at about 2am. Waiting to visit
his wounded relatives outside a hospital in Lashkar Gah,
Helmand's capital, he said two boys and two women from his
family were killed. The bodies were dug out from under the
rubble by Afghan national army soldiers and brought to the
hospital, Ahmand said.
"What the Americans are doing in Helmand is not right. They
target the locals instead of [the] Taliban. The Taliban are
far from my brother's house," Ahmand said. "We would prefer
if the Americans would just leave us alone."
In 2016, the UN documented the highest number of civilian
casualties of the 15-year Afghan war. According to a report,
the number of civilians killed and injured in airstrikes was
double that of the previous year, with foreign forces
responsible for half. Nearly 1,000 children were killed in
the Afghan conflict last year, a yearly rise of 24%.
In another attack in Helmand on Saturday, a car bomb
targeting an Afghan army Humvee killed seven civilians,
according to the UN, and injured at least seven more. Most
of the injured were child street vendors.
Aid ship to help Rohingyas arrives in Myanmar, greeted by protest
People and Buddhist monks protest while Malaysian NGO's aid
ship carrying food and emergency supplies for Rohingya
Muslims arrives at the port in Yangon, Myanmar February 9,
2017. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun
By Simon Lewis and Aye Win Myint | YANGON
A small group of protesters greeted a ship from Malaysia
when it docked in Myanmar on Thursday carrying aid bound for
the troubled state of Rakhine, where many members of the
stateless Rohingya Muslim minority live.
The ship docked on the outskirts of the commercial hub,
Yangon, where it was due to unload 500 tonnes of food and
emergency supplies, with the rest of its 2,200 ton cargo
bound for southeast Bangladesh.
Almost 69,000 Rohingyas have fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh
in the past four months from a security force crackdown.
The aid shipment from mostly Muslim Malaysia has stirred
opposition in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, where many see the
Rohingya as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.
Malaysia has been an outspoken critic of Myanmar over the
crisis in Rakhine state, which erupted after nine policemen
were killed in attacks on border posts on Oct. 9 claimed by
U.N. officials working with refugees in Bangladesh have told
Reuters the death toll in the Myanmar security sweep could
be more than 1,000.
Refugees have given journalists, human rights groups and
U.N. investigators detailed accounts of troops firing on
civilians, burning villages, beatings, detention and
The Myanmar government, led by Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung
San Suu Kyi, has rejected the reports of abuse, saying many
were fabricated. It insists the strife is an internal
Underlining the controversy surrounding the aid for the
Rohingya, several dozen Buddhist monks and nationalists
demonstrated outside the port terminal on Thursday.
They held signs rejecting the use of the name Rohingya - the
name most Muslims in northern Rakhine state use to describe
themselves, which Myanmar rejects."We don't mind that they
want to support people who are suffering," Buddhist monk U
Thuseiktha told Reuters.
"But we don't want political exploitation of this issue by
calling them Rohingya. The name Rohingya doesn't exist."
Myanmar officials have also accused Malaysian Prime Minister
Najib Razak of tapping into the Rohingya cause "to promote a
certain political agenda".
The Muslim groups and aid organizations behind the aid
shipment had hoped to deliver the supplies directly to
Rohingyas in Rakhine State, but were instead forced to hand
the aid over to the Myanmar government in Yangon.
Myanmar has also insisted that it be distributed equally
between Buddhists and Muslims in Rakhine State.
Egypt. Conflict in Sinai.
Israel permitted Egypt on February 5 to increase its forces
beyond the 25,000 it already has in Sinai to crush the IS
AFP reports, on February 11, IS affiliates executed 5 men
working as informants for the Sissi regime's army.
On February 9, IS fired several rockets into Israeli
occupied territory. The Israelis claim there were no
Work Around the Net
CNBC alleges Russia is considering extraditing Snowden back
to US, to 'curry favor' with Trump
Russia says the Snowden story is simply
Netanyahu to face third interview with police in
investigation into his alleged illegal behavior.
In a laughable blunder, the US freezes a man's charity
donation because his name is Mr. Islam....
In a despicable move, Paris Police spray refugees with tear
gas and steal their blankets in freezing conditions.
Prayer in the era of Trump
Importance of Du'a [supplication] and why du'a is often not
Accepted by Allah.
On February 10 Br. Kaukab Siddique gave the juma khutba at
Masjid Jamaat in Baltimore and led prayers. There was an
overflow crowd and space had to be made at the back..
Here is an outline of the khutba for distribution on
"When My servants ask thee concerning Me, I am indeed close
(to them): I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he
calls on Me: Let them also, with a will, Listen to My call,
and believe in Me: That they may walk in the right way.."
[The Qur'an 2:186]
Du'a [supplication] is an essential part of Islam. One
du'a is part of the verses we recite in every formal salat
"Guide us to the right path." [1:5]
There are numerous du'as in the Qur'an which help us how
to pray and what to pray for. Look for verses which begin
with ALLAHHUMMA [O Allah] or those which begin with QUL
[say]. Scholars have collected all the ALLAHHUMA verses in
Zikr is also very important in the Qur'an. We need to
know at least some of the Names of Allah and repeat them
whenever we need His help. Memorize ayat al-kursi.
There are many supplications in the hadith where the
Prophet, pbuh, teaches us to remember Allah in all we do, be
it starting a meal or starting a journey.
Most important is the fact that we can call on Allah any
time we want DIRECTLY. There is no priesthood in Islam. We
don't need to go to a mosque to make du'a.
For prayer [du'a] to be accepted by Allah, the
requirement is given in part 2 of 2:186. We must listen to
Allah. Find out what Allah wants of us and OBEY.
Allah is oft-returning in mercy and we can't know what
will be accepted; however the best chances of acceptance are
linked to our behavior. Hadith tells us:
Our food should be halal and tayyeb. [good for us].
Our clothes should be modest and clean.
Our earning should be honest and halal.
We should not have violated anyone's rights.
We should not do shirk by bowing down before or
cooperating with oppressors, be they non-Muslims or claiming
to be Muslims.
Paradise is only for those who have both FAITH and Good
deeds [iman wa 'amal]. [2:25]
At a high level of jihad, the will of the believer
becomes the Will of Allah. See the verses on the battle of
Badr when the Prophet, pbuh, prayed and prayed and then
symbolically threw dust in the direction of the kuffar.
If we pray the 5 prayers and make du'as every day, we
will not suffer from depression, a problem which is
widespread in America.
Suicide occurs when a person feels total lack of hope
combined with inability to pray.
O Allah, give us success in this world and in the Hereafter.
Give us spouses and children who will stand with us against
Dr. Israr Ahmad 1932-2010.
Distinguished Scholar who Spiritualized Pakistan.
In the Line of Iqbal and Maudoodi..
by Shahid Lone [With Thanks to Br. Zaheer Bawany.]
Dr. Israr Ahmad was born in Haryana (India) on 26th April
1932. He completed his high school from Haryana and
matriculated with distinction from Punjab University. He
witnessed creation of Pakistan and was associated with the
movement in his school and college life. During his medical
education from King Edward Medical College Lahore (1950-54),
he became a student leader and was elected as head of the
Islami Jami'at al-Tulaba', a student organization. Later he
joined the Jama'at-i Islami but resigned in 1957 because of
policy differences. In 1965, he did his MA in Islamic
Studies from the Karachi University and topped the list of
successful candidates. He remained closely associated with
Moulana Mawdudi (d. 1979) and Amin Ahsan Islahi (d. 1997) -
two great scholars of the last century. He also drew
inspiration from the works of Shah Wali Ullah (d. 1762),
Mahmud al-Hasan Deobandi (d. 1920), Hamid al-Din Farahi (d.
1930) and Abu al-Kalam Azad (d. 1958). From early high
school days, he got exposed to revolutionary literature of
Jammat e Islami and Moulana Mawdudi. The blend of Iqbal's
intense poetry and brilliant essays of Mawdudi acted as a
catalyst and penned down structural framework of Islam's
politico-socio-economic system in his mind and he espoused
the same, till he breathed his last.
Dr. Israr left Jamaat e Islami in 1957, rather was
deliberately shown an exit door and he merited parting, as a
better way forward. In 1957, when a meeting of "shoora" was
held in Machigote, Pakistan, it was decided that one with
differing views, cannot be a part of gathering committee
(Arkaan e jamaat ijtema), cannot share his differences with
any "rafeeq" and neither is entitled to write a word of
difference. This kind of decree was unbearable to any sane
person and he had left his flourishing medical profession
and devoted it for the pious cause of Islam.
In 1971, he gave up his medical practice to devote himself
full time to the Islamic revival. In 1972 he established or
helped establish the Markazi Anjuman Khuddam-ul-Qurân in
Lahore, Tanzeem-e-Islami was founded in 1975, and
Tahreek-e-Khilafat Pakistan was launched in 1991. He
expressed his contentment upon knowing that Iqbal also
wished for an organization which would purely produce
students whose roots are deep in Quran, fully equipped with
western philosophy and contemporary subjects.
Dr. Israr Ahmad first appeared on Pakistan Television in
1978 in a program called Al-Kitab; this was followed by
other programs, known as Alif Lam Meem, Rasool-e-Kamil,
Umm-ul-Kitab and the most popular of all religious programs
in the history of Pakistan Television, the Al-Huda, which
made him a household name throughout Pakistan. His
television lectures generally focused on the revitalization
of the Islamic faith through studies of the Quran. Dr. Israr
Ahmad also criticized modern democracy and the electoral
system and argued that the head of an Islamic state can
reject the majority decisions of an elected assembly.
Although he did not like to receive it personally, Dr. Israr
Ahmad was awarded Sitara-i-Imtiaz in 1981. He has to his
credit over 60 Urdu books on topics related to Islam and
Pakistan, 29 of which have been translated into English and
"Islam is not a mere 'religion' of values, beliefs and
dogmas but an all-encompassing worldview (weltanschauung),
its 'Al-Deen', meant to supersede all other isms and
schisms" was a profound statement, propagated and
disseminated by Dr. Israr Ahmad, throughout his life. He
stressed that the need is more evident and urgent than
before for Muslims to revert back to Quran. He was a man
with real substance, credible scholarship, master orator and
Iqbal personified. Appended central idea in his lectures was
"Ruju-il-alquran", which he considered as "the basic
requirement for establishing social justice of Islam.
As provocative as he may have been in his lectures, Dr.
Israr brought essence and importance of Islam's politico-
socio-economic system back into vogue in public sphere,
after Mawdudi's essays, with more vigorous intent and
purpose and instilled confidence and dignity among millions
of Muslims, including the writer, worldwide. He confronted
the Muslim apologists head on and impressed the most
powerful rulers of Muslim world to break the shackles of
western enslavement and present true picture of Islam in
front of the world. He never minced his piercing and
incisive words and offered acrimonious condemnation against
every un-Islamic act, come what may. He had a good command
on Urdu and English languages and words would flow
magically, one after the other from his mouth and he
believed in this magic not because he was aware of his skill
but because he understood that Islam had won hearts over
centuries through the powerful and pecafeul strength of its
spoken words and not through the hoofs of its horses. He
used his intellectual acumen, which was a result of his deep
pondering over Quran, strong entailed logic and character to
disseminate the message of Quran.
His Quranic lectures "offered light when apologetic gloom
loomed large, defended Islam in moments of hostile and
malicious propaganda and left an indelible mark on Islamic
propagation". He vehemently said that Quran is the "ultimate
constitution of world, the final testament, the perfect
manifesto" revealed to mankind to create just world order.
He used to say Quran contains divine music, so "recite it
beautifully, memories it, understand it at a philosophical
level and debate with Non-Muslims through this Quran and go
out all guns blazing". But unfortunately, Muslims are still
in the deep slumber, chasing western mirage, which is
nothing but a charade, from which emanates filth, geocide,
creative chaos, conflicts and wars.
He was possessed by the philosophy and divine music of Quran
and approached it very objectively. Any person who has
listened to his lectures or read his exegesis and books
would simultaneously have learned two lessons, one on Quran
and second on Iqbal. It was out of sheer brilliance that he
used Iqbal to such a good effect in his lectures and created
a frequency, wherein he related almost all his couplets with
every theme of Quran and to me, he personified Iqbal. All
his life, he remained an avid student of Quran and explained
every crucial topic of Quran with clarity of thought.
"Bazm e islam ka ik noor e farozaan that u, Gulshan e ilm
mein ik naala e soozan that u
Tere guftaar ko qirdaar se tola sab ne, sab ne jaancha to
kaha haamil e quraan that u,
Deen e haq deen e khuda, tune ki khidmat iski, rab ki rehmat
se bada daai e doraan that u
Tark e araam kiya tune khuda ki khaatir, is gaye waqt mein
bi mard e musalmaan tha tu"
From PTV to Peace Tv, Dr. Israr came to be known as living
spirit of Quran, who would preach and practice Quran by
keeping up with Islamic tradition and would call a spade a
spade. One can have difference of opinion on many issues
with Dr. Israr based on the knowledge and wisdom but it
can't be denied that he was another flicker on the horizon
who untiringly offered his invaluable services for Islamic
renaissance. He received numerous accolades from various
international governments for his services but his real
reward was that he inspired a new generation, who chose
Islam as their best carrier and teaching Quran as their best
profession and I am one among those fortunate students who
was brought on the path of Islam by Dr. Israr and continue
to work towards his vision. Alongside this sublime endeavor,
he continues to be my spiritual mentor, who inspires me when
faced with gloom and darkness.
He was not a one in the crowd but a crowd in one and oration
of Quran was his signature move. He was in the maelstrom of
controversy as well but it's not the critic who counts; not
the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where
the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit
goes belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose
face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives
valiantly. Who at the best knows in the end the triumph of
high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least
he fails with daring greatly. His place shall never be with
those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor
(Shahid Lone is a Doctoral Candidate in Political Economy at
Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, India. He hails from Indian
Occupied Kashmir. He can be reached at
Finally Pakistani Regime Found out. and Banned it....
Thousands of Pakistani Shias were sent to Syria via Iran to
defend Assad. Iran honored those killed in the fighting.
Reported in Daily Ummat of Karachi. February 2.
[Keep Children Away. Sickening Details Omitted.]
Crimes against the Syrian People by Shi'ite-Alawite Regime
of Bashar Assad have no equal. Here is why millions have
Syria hanged 13,000 in Saydnaya prison: Amnesty
Syrian government executed thousands of prisoners in mass
hangings at Saydnaya prison, says rights watchdog. (This is
only one of their prisons!)
As many as 13,000 people were hanged in five years at a
notorious Syrian prison near Damascus, Amnesty International
has said, accusing the government of a "policy of
Titled "Human Slaughterhouse: Mass hanging and extermination
at Saydnaya prison," Amnesty's damning report, released on
Tuesday, is based on interviews with 84 witnesses, including
guards, detainees, and judges.
It found that at least once a week between 2011 and 2015,
groups of up to 50 people were taken out of their prison
cells for arbitrary trials, beaten, then hanged "in the
middle of the night and in total secrecy."
Thousands of photos 'prove crimes against humanity' in
The report said: "Throughout this process, they remain
blindfolded. They do not know when or how they will die
until the noose was placed around their necks."
Most of the victims were civilians believed to be opposed to
the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
"They kept them [hanging] there for 10 to 15 minutes," a
former judge who witnessed the executions said.
"For the young ones, their weight wouldn't kill them. The
officers' assistants would pull them down and break their
necks," he said.
Amnesty said the practice amounted to war crimes and crimes
against humanity, and were probaby still taking place.
Thousands of prisoners are held in the military-run Saydnaya
prison, one of the country's largest detention centres
located 30km north of Damascus.
Amnesty accused the Syrian government of carrying out a
"policy of extermination", repeatedly torturing detainees
and withholding food, water, and medical care.
Prisoners were also raped or forced to rape each other, and
guards would feed detainees by tossing meals on to the cell
floor, which was often covered in dirt and blood, the report
'Hidden, monstrous campaign'
A twisted set of "special rules" governed the facility:
detainees were not allowed to speak and must assume certain
positions when guards entered their cells.
"Every day there would be two or three dead people in our
wing ... I remember the guard would ask how many we had. He
would say, 'Room No 1 - how many? Room No 2 - how many?' and
on and on," said Nader, a former detainee whose name has
After one fierce day of beating, Nader said, 13 people died
in a single wing of the prison.
Surviving Assad's prison cells
One former military officer said he could hear "gurgling" as
people were hanged in an execution room below.
"If you put your ears on the floor, you could hear the sound
of a kind of gurgling," said Hamid, who was arrested in
"We were sleeping on top of the sound of people choking to
death. This was normal for me then," he told Amnesty.
According to the report, the bodies were taken away by the
truckload to be secretly buried in mass graves. Their
families were given no information about their fate.
Amnesty has previously said that more than 17,700 people
were estimated to have died in government custody across
Syria since the country's conflict erupted in 2011.
The figure of 13,000 deaths in a single prison, therefore,
is a marked increase.
"The horrors depicted in this report reveal a hidden,
monstrous campaign, authorised at the highest levels of the
Syrian government, aimed at crushing any form of dissent
within the Syrian population," said Lynn Maalouf, deputy
director for research at Amnesty's Beirut office.
"The cold-blooded killing of thousands of defenceless
prisoners, along with the carefully crafted and systematic
programmes of psychological and physical torture that are in
place inside Saydnaya prison cannot be allowed to continue,"
An investigation by the United Nations last year accused
Assad's government of a policy of "extermination" in its
The UN estimates that more than 400,000 people have been
killed and millions have fled their homes since the conflict
began with anti-Assad protests.
Erdogan and Trump Join Hands to Fight Islamic State
(Reuters) Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and U.S.
President Donald Trump agreed in an overnight phone call on
joint action against Islamic State in the Syrian towns of
Raqqa and al-Bab, both held by the militants, Turkish
presidency sources said on Wednesday.
U.S.-Turkish differences during former President Barack
Obama's administration impeded the U.S.-led campaign against
Islamic State, and closer coordination could mean faster
progress towards freeing swathes of northern Syria from
Erdogan now hopes that relations with Washington, strained
by the presence in the United States of a cleric he blames
for an attempted military coup last year and by U.S. support
for Kurdish militia in Syria, can be reset under Trump.
Turkey has the second largest army in the NATO alliance and
is key to any success in rolling back and eventually
neutralising IS in Syria and Iraq where IS declared a
cross-border caliphate after lightning advances in 2014.
Turkey has presented a detailed plan to oust Islamic State
from its Raqqa urban stronghold in northeastern Syria and
strategy discussions with the Trump administration are under
way, according to Erdogan's spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin.
"The operational details were not discussed on this call ...
Now detailed planning will be conducted in coordination," he
told Turkish broadcaster NTV in an interview.
Ankara believes recent IS attacks in Turkey, including a New
Year's Day shooting in an Istanbul nightclub that killed 39
people, have been steered from al-Bab and Raqqa, and regards
a clear-out of the towns as a national security
News Within the U.S.
Raids across the U.S. leave immigrant communities and
activists on high alert
[Los Angeles Times]
Sweeeping raids by U.S. immigration officials in recent days
nabbed hundreds of individuals believed to be in the country
illegally, spreading alarm among immigrant rights groups as
they scrambled to gather information and warn people in
Through social media and pop-up legal clinics, immigrant
rights groups have doled out around-the-clock assistance,
even as federal officials pushed back against the notion
that the detentions reflected a vast overhaul of immigration
law enforcement ordered by President Trump.
Officials with the Department of Homeland Security confirmed
that Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents had
conducted "targeted enforcement operations" focused on
detaining people with criminal backgrounds in cities across
the country. Officials described the operations as
Nearly 200 people throughout Georgia, North Carolina and
South Carolina were arrested last week during raids,
according to a preliminary tally provided by ICE's Atlanta
field office. In the Los Angeles area, more than 150 arrests
were made in a weeklong operation, ICE officials said.
And in Austin, Texas, ICE officials did not provide a total
number of arrests but did notify the Mexican Consulate
General of the number of Mexican nationals. A spokesman from
the consulate said Saturday that nearly 50 arrests of
Mexican nationals had been recorded since Thursday. On
average, the consulate is notified of about three each day.
(The Mexican government last week urged its nationals in the
U.S. to "take precautions" amid a "new reality" for the
"ICE conducts targeted immigration enforcement in compliance
with federal law and agency policy. ICE does not conduct
sweeps or raids that target aliens indiscriminately," Bryan
Cox, ICE's Southern region communications director, said in
a statement Saturday.
Last month, President Trump signed an executive order
directing the Department of Homeland Security to prioritize
the removal of people in the U.S. illegally who have
criminal convictions. In addition to speeding up the
deportation of convicts, Trump's orders also call for quick
removal of people in the country illegally who are charged
with crimes and waiting for adjudication, as well as those
who have not been charged but are believed to have committed
"acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense."
"There really is a lot of confusion as to who they're
targeting," said Faye Kolly, an immigration attorney based
in Austin. "A lot of people are scared."
A video circulating on social media appeared to show ICE
agents in Austin detaining several people in a shopping
center parking lot.
Austin City Councilman Greg Casar, who represents part of
the city that is home to many immigrants, said constituents
were hanging dark sheets on windows and refusing to open
their front doors, even for immigrant rights advocates.
"And these are constituents of mine who have no criminal
records — nothing. But they're being targeted and are
really concerned," Casar said.
Jessica Foulke teaches at a charter middle school in Casar's
district that is 90% Latino. On Saturday, she fielded dozens
of texts and phone calls from students who were concerned
about news coverage of ICE sweeps in Austin and
"They're asking, 'Will my mom be OK? Will my dad be OK?'"
Foulke said. "There's heartbreak and I just don't have all
the answers for them."
Sarah Owings, an immigration attorney in Atlanta and
chairwoman of the American Immigration Lawyers Assn.'s
Georgia-Alabama Chapter, said attorneys had heard of
multiple detentions last week in Atlanta and Savannah,
"We're hearing that they're using their powers in a very
broad manner," she said. "It's not that they're targeting
people who have criminal records. They're targeting anyone
who's undocumented that they happen to come into contact
with. So they're looking for someone specific, but they're
also asking everyone for their IDs."
Under President Obama, ICE prioritized violent criminals,
such as those convicted of terrorism or aggravated felonies.
Now, Owings said, the department seems to be sweeping up
immigrants who fall outside that target list.
"Now there's no difference between someone who's a terrorist
and someone who's picking their kids up from school," she
said. "It's very chilling for the community. No one knows
what's going on."
Fear among the immigrant community grew last week when an
Arizona woman, Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos, 36, who had been
in the country illegally since the age of 14, was deported
back to Mexico. She was previously considered a low priority
"What we are seeing is Trump's executive actions on
immigration being made real, and millions of people in
immigrant communities are terrified. We know of moms being
deported who have lived in the U.S. for over 20 years, even
U.S. citizens being asked for their papers at checkpoints on
the road," said Julieta Garibay, deputy advocacy director of
United We Dream, an immigrant rights group based in
Some advocates have hinted that the raids could be in
retaliation for so-called "sanctuary cities" across the
Trump also signed an executive order that designates
sanctuary cities — municipalities that protect people
in the U.S. illegally — as "ineligible to receive
federal grants" should they continue to ignore immigration
laws. Those cities include, among others, Austin and Los
"With the new administration, we continue to be concerned,"
said Kolly, the Austin-based immigration attorney. "I think
this will become the new normal for a while."
Ghadeer Khum: The Biggest Scam in Muslim History is the
Basis of Shia Beliefs.
by Kaukab Siddique, PhD
As I pointed out in the previous issue of New Trend, the
Shi'ite claim that the Prophet, pbuh, proclaimed Ali, r.a.,
to be his "Mawla" at a watering hole known as Ghadeer is a
FABRICATION. It does not appear in any of the early
narrations of hadith including the earliest biography of the
Prophet, pbuh, by Ibn Ishaq.
As I continued my research, it became clear that the "Mawli
Ali" fabricated "hadith" is part of a bigger scam.
The Shias claim that the Prophet, pbuh, gathered all the
Muslims at Ghadeer Khum and told them that Ali, r.a., is as
much their "mawla" as the Prophet, pbuh, himself.
Most Muslims do not know that Ghadeer Khum is 230 km from
Makka had drawn the entire Muslim community because Hajj is
a religious obligation and it was the Prophet's , pbuh,
farewell Hajj. At this gathering the Prophet, pbuh, gave his
famous sermon in which he taught Muslims how to be
He did not say a word about Ali, nor did he call them to
gather again at Ghadeer Khum.
After the pilgrimage, the Muslims left for their homes.
There is NO HADITH which says that the Prophet, pbuh, called
the 100,000 or so to gather again at Ghadeer Khum.
There was no way to call them. There were no telephones or
emails. Gathering at Ghadeer Khum was not a religious
obligation. So on what basis would they gather out in the
Did he send horsemen proclaimimg to people to gather at
Ghadeer Khum and not to go home? There is not even a weak
hadith or narrative of any kind showing that people were
obliged to gather at Ghadeer khum.
The Muslims of Makka would not come out 230 km into desert
to Ghadeer Khum for no religious reason.
The Muslims of Yemen and Taif would go south.
Only the Muslims of Madina would go north with the Prophet,
pbuh. Even to gather them would be difficult because there
was no religious obligation. Again NOT ONE SAHABI is
reported to have narrated that horsemen were sent out to
command Muslims to gather at Ghadeer Khum.
Thus the only story of Ghadeer Khum is about this small
force which had returned from Yaman and was angry with the
commands of Ali, r.a. As we noticed in the narrative from
Ibn Ishaq, the words "Ali Mawla" do not occur in the
Prophet's, pbuh, efforts to reduce the anger of the troops
against Ali, r.a.
Two hundred years later Shias fabricated the story about
"Mawla Ali" and used gossip and hearsay to insert it in the
Musnad of Ahmad and a few others.
Bukhari, who is the strictest collector of hadith, gives the
ghadeer khum story without the fabrication of "Mawla
Here it is:
Narrated Buraida, r.a:
The Prophet sent Ali to Khalid to bring the Khumus (of the
spoils of war) and I hated Ali, and Ali had taken a bath
(after a sexual act with a captive-girl from the Khumus). I
said to Khalid, "Don't you see this (i.e. Ali)?" When we
reached the Prophet, I mentioned that to him. He (the
Prophet) said, "O Buraida! Do you hate Ali?" I said, "Yes."
He said, "Do you hate him, for he deserves more than that
from the Khumus." [Sahih Bukhari (volume 5, Book 59 Number
Here there is no mention of "Mawla Ali." Instead there is a
much more serious issue. The Prophet, pbuh, had shown
through his own example that Muslims should marry women
captured in war. Was Ali, r.a., violating that Sunnah or did
he marry that woman?
This becomes even more serious when we remember that Ali,
r.a., was married to the Prophet's, pbuh, own daughter. I
will have to research this further.
How letter of alleged 9/11 Mastermind
Palestine is his main concern.
[Khalid Sheik Mohammed, Pakistani of Baluch background]
Alleged mastermind tells Obama 9/11 was America's fault
(published in Miami Herald 12/30/2016)
The alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11 terror attacks wrote
former President Barack Obama in a long suppressed letter
that America brought the 9/11 attacks on itself for years of
foreign policy that killed innocent people across the
"It was not we who started the war against you in 9/11. It
was you and your dictators in our land," Khalid Sheik
Mohammed, 51, writes in the 18-page letter to Obama, whom he
addressed as "the head of the snake" and president of "the
country of oppression and tyranny." It is dated January 2015
but didn't reach the White House until a military judge
ordered Guantanamo prison to deliver it days before Obama
In it, the man on trial for his life at Guantanamo as the
alleged architect of the hijackings that killed nearly 3,000
people in New York, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field
adds that he neither fears a death sentence nor life in a
prison cell. He also appends a 50-page manuscript he wrote,
"The Truth About Death," illustrated with a picture of a
"I will be happy to be alone in my cell to worship Allah the
rest of my life and repent to Him all my sins and misdeeds,"
he says in the letter that he wrote at the U.S. Navy base in
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
"And if your court sentences me to death, I will be even
happier to meet Allah and the prophets and see my best
friends whom you killed unjustly all around the world and to
see sheik Osama bin Laden."
The Kuwait-born Pakistani citizen of Baluch ethnic
background, lists a long litany of U.S. overseas
interventions — from Iraq and Iran to Vietnam and
Hiroshima — to justify the worst terror attack on U.S.
But he is particularly focused on the cause of the
Palestinians, highlights civilian suffering and accuses
Obama of being beholden to special interests, notably Israel
and "the occupier Jews." Israel gets 39 mentions while Osama
bin Laden gets a dozen, including once to excoriate Obama
for the mission that hunted down and killed the founder of
the al-Qaida movement for the 9/11 attacks.
Mohammed ridicules Obama — "a smart attorney, well
acquainted with human rights" — who "can kill his
enemy without trial and throw his dead body into the sea
instead of giving him to his family or respecting him enough
as a human being to bury him."
The former al-Qaida operations chief wrote the letter "in
the context of violence in Gaza and the occupied
territories," said Mohammed's death-penalty defense
attorney, David Nevin. He called it "the primary motive for
the drafting of the letter" and declined to say whether the
client or his legal staff typed it up.
Mohammed began drafting the letter during 2014 when Israel
had an offensive in the Gaza Strip that claimed civilian
lives, according to his military attorney, Marine Maj. Derek
"He's upset at U.S. foreign policy and he plainly perceives
that the United States has signed a blank check to Israel,"
Poteet said. In the opening paragraph Mohammed tells Obama:
"Your hands are still wet with the blood of our brothers and
sisters and children who were killed in Gaza."
Mohammed is one of five men in pretrial hearings at the
Guantanamo war court that accuses them of engineering the
Sept. 11, 2001, hijackings, and seeks their execution if
convicted. The man who was hidden for 3 1/2 years in the
CIA's secret prison network, where he was waterboarded 183
times and subjected to other brutal interrogation
"I will never ask you, or your court for mercy," he writes.
"Do what you wish to do, my freedom, my captivity and my
death is a curse on all evil doers and tyrants."
Mohammad spent about three years in North Carolina in the
1980s. He attended Chowan College in Murfreesboro for one
semester and then transferred to North Carolina A&T in
Greensboro, where he earned an engineering degree in
Prison officials refused to deliver the letter, a position
backed by prosecutors who said it should be suppressed as
His Pentagon-paid defense attorneys asked the judge to
intervene in September 2015, arguing Mohammed's First
Amendment right to petition the president. The Army judge in
charge of the trial, Col James L. Pohl, eventually ruled
that the commander in chief could receive it, virtually as
the Obamas were moving out of the White House — and
the public could see it a month later, once President Donald
J. Trump moved in.
"What's so troubling to me is it took so long to get
approval, even to get this litigated," Nevin said, reminding
that the defense team started out asking the military, "How
do we provide this to the president of the United
In the letter Mohammed also:
— Endorses Al-Jazeera. "Don't let Fox, CNN, BBC, or
American and pro-Israeli channels cover your eyes ... Their
main task is brainwashing. They are experts at lying and
distorting the facts to achieve their masters' ends."
— Invokes "the blood of the innocents your drone
attacks killed in Waziristan, Yemen, Iraq, Libya,
Afghanistan, Somalia, and elsewhere around the globe."
— Singles out "the CIA, the FBI, the Jewish community
of Brooklyn, the merchants of AIPAC, the war profiteers, to
pro-Israeli militias and the Christian-Zionist Lords" for
condemnation, as well as "the Christian right wing and the
followers of Jerry Falwall, Gary Bauer, Pat Robertson and
— Says "Allah aided us in conducting 9/11, destroying
the Capitalist economy, catching you with your pants down,
and exposing all the hypocrisy of your long-held claim to
democracy and freedom."
The theme is not new. In October 2012, when he was first
allowed to wear a hunting vest to the war court he scolded
the judge with this: "Your blood is not made of gold and
ours is made out of water. We are all human beings."
The Herald obtained the document from Mohammed's lawyers
after a judicially ordered 30-day review period expired.
Pohl ruled on Jan. 6 that there was no "legal basis for
continued sealing of the letter's contents" but gave the
prison an extra month to scrub it of sensitive information
before releasing it on the Pentagon war court website whose
motto is "Fairness" "Transparency" "Justice."
A spokesman at the Pentagon could not explain why the
document had not yet been posted on the website
2017-02-12 Sun 20:52:37 ct