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The anniversary of Allama Iqbal, the visionary poet of Pakistan, continues. This is how his poetry addresses the corrupted Muslim upper classes:
"waza' main tum ho nasara, to tamaddan main hunood
yeh musalman hain jinhain dekh kay sharmain yahood!
yuun to sayyed bhi ho, mirza bhi ho, afghan bhi ho
tum sabhi kutch ho, batau to musalman bhi ho?"
In appearance you look like Christians, culturally you are Hindus/
Are these Muslims who would make Jews blush with shame!
Given that you are sayyeds, mirzas and afghans/
you are all that, but tell me are you Muslims at all?]
Mugabe: A New Mandela from Africa Speaks out
Calls Attack on Iraq "Grave, Criminal Act"

Mugabe tells US govt to 'go hang'
Posted Tue, 22 Apr 2003
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe on Monday told the US government to "go hang" and said the US-led coalition's operations in Iraq were "a grave criminal act".
Mugabe, in an Easter interview broadcast on state television to mark the nation's 23rd anniversary of independence from British colonial rule, said Western countries described him as a dictator in the mould of Saddam Hussein.
"When you stick to your principles they say you are a dictator.
I am not a dictator," he said.
In Iraq, "you have a death toll of children, you have people without limbs, you have in international crime that is being committed ... a grave criminal act," Mugabe said.

Mugabe accuses Bush of vote rigging
Mugabe castigated the State Department's top official on Africa, Walter Kansteiner, and President George W. Bush over US criticisms of last year's presidential elections in Zimbabwe.
Mugabe narrowly won a vote condemned by independent observers as swayed by political violence and vote rigging.
"Who is Kansteiner to denounce the validity of our election? If he doesn't listen, let him go hang. Bush, of all people, is saying so. We stick by our election verdict. What happened in Florida? Who of the two of us cheated on elections? It was obviously Bush," Mugabe said.
The United States and the European Union, along with Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change, have refused to accept the results of last year's poll.
The US government has imposed travel restrictions on Mugabe and officials in his government and ruling party.
Mugabe acknowledges hardship but defends policy Mugabe acknowledged the southern African nation was facing its worst economic crisis since independence in 1980 and had experienced "three years of suffering" since he launched an often violent program to confiscate thousands of white-owned farms. But he defended the land-reform policy.
"We are delighted at last our land is now the people's land. The white man has been displaced by the black man. We are strong politically," he said.
Mugabe described the opposition as "neo-colonialist extensions of Britain" and "agents of imperialism" nurtured by British Prime Minister Tony Blair and white farmers, the descendants of British colonial-era settlers.
"Let it be known we are not totally independent until we take over our land.
Now the land is in our hands, we have the capacity to improve the lot of our people. These hardships are going to go," he said.
Zimbabwe suffers acute shortages of food, gasoline and essential imports.
[Source not given by sender.]
[Report by our Iraq Monitor]
U.S. Media's Coverage of the Karbala Gathering:
Covering Up the Tragedy of Iraq

There was something eerie about the U.S. media's three day coverage of the Shia gathering in Karbala. Muslims have always complained about the difficulty of getting their activities reported in the U.S. media. Historic anti-U.S., anti-Bush, anti-war rallies in Indonesia, Morocco and many other countries did not get more than passing reference in the U.S. media. Pakistan's unprecedented marches by millions in Karachi, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta and Hyderabad got near ZERO coverage. [The only above zero report was negative, with the false claim that 70,000 had turned up in Lahore.]

Atrocities against Iraqi and Palestinian Muslims, even when reported by the Arab media, have been kept off the air in America. No one here saw what happened to Kurds of Ansar al-Islam or the people of Basra or to Baghdad's civilians owing to the U.S. bombing.

Rachel Corrie, the sweet rose of America, a household name among people of conscience from San Francusco to New York, has yet to appear on U.S. TV. Why? She gave her life in trying to stop Israeli atrocities against Palestinians, crushed by an Israeli bulldozer intent on demolishing a Palestinian home.

Then came the gathering in Kerbala. EVERY MAJOR TV CHANNEL, both cable and the evening network news, reported it for three days. Note the main points:

1. The U.S. media were enthusiastic about the gathering. NOT ONE NEGATIVE WORD WAS SAID ABOUT THE GATHERING. No snide comments about Shi'ism!

2. CNN, MSNBC and others insisted, REPEATEDLY, that there were at least a million people there. Some remarks were also made about TWO million being there. [Compare with how much difficulty anti-war marchers have had WITHIN the U.S. in getting the media to report marches of 100,000 or more people. CNN has tended to whittle down half a million people to one hundred thousand.]

3. The photography, however, gave the lie to the figure of one million. The crowd at Kerbala did not appear to be more than 30 to 50 thousand. Not a million!

4. The media insisted that THERE WERE AT LEAST SOME people calling for removal of U.S. troops from Iraq. These very few anti-U.S. banners, specially prepared in English for the media, were given extra high coverage.

5. Just in case Americans really thought that these people were anti-U.S., there was an interview with the ayatollah in charge who made it very clear that he and his people were very grateful to the U.S.

[6. CNN HEADLINE NEWS almost gave the game away by saying that in Saddam's time too such gatherings were held but then "people used to come in buses and cars and there was high security."]

Our Analysis: A gathering in Kerbala is nothing strange or unusual. All Muslims honor the grandson of the Prophet (pbuh). However, the media gave it maximum coverage to create the impression that IRAQ IS NOW FREE. Thus, bleeding, torn, looted, pillaged Iraq was presented as "free and liberated" through this filming of crowds at Kerbala.

People no longer have to think that B-52s and B-1s were used to bomb a crowded city like Baghdad, that thousands of civilians were killed and maimed, that Iraq was defenseless against American tanks, and fidayeen and mujahideen gave their lives trying to stop tanks with RPGs and AK47s.

People no longer have to question the burning of the Qur'an library, the looting of museums, the desecration of the resting place of Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani, the attack on the mosque of Imam Abu Hanifa. All that is to be replaced with crowds celebrating in Kerbala.

The extra touch by the organizers of the show were the handful of anti-U.S. banners to provide "authenticity" and give credence.

The Shias are allowing themselves to be used, throwing salt on the wounds of the Ummah. They will be used and discarded but will have successfully aroused suspicion against themselves. [Compare with the situation in Mosul where U.S. troops fired on civilian demonstrators, killing 11 and wounding more than 100. The U.S. entered Mosul with a tremendous show of military power, tanks and Apaches, to quell the civilian opposition.]

2003-04-26 Sat 08:00ct