Dr Kaukab Siddique | Editor-in-Chief Rajab 18, 1425/ September 3, 2004 #87

September 1. A U.S. air attack on Fallujah, Iraq, killed 17 Iraqi civilians, including three children. [source: MSNBC]

Dog in Burqa or Hog in Yarmulke?

To Aaron Brown: NightLine@CNN.com

CNN's NightLine ended its August 18 program with a picture of a dog adorned in a "burqa" (a women's traditional Islamic garb). As a Muslim woman feminist who happens not to cover her head, I found this type of humour to be culturally insensitive, ethnocentric, and an affront to the millions of Muslim women worldwide who have the discipline to wear such Islamic garb. I wonder, too, at the relevance of such an absurd image to the night's broadcast. If Aaron Brown finds humour in animals outfitted in religious garb, perhaps he'll humour viewers with a yarmulke-toting hog next time.


Nadrat Siddique
email: siddiqu1@umbc.edu
I believe in life.
And i have seen the death parade
march through the torso of the earth,
sculpting mud bodies in its path.
I have seen the destruction of the daylight,
and seen bloodthirsty maggots
prayed to and saluted.

I have been locked by the lawless.
Handcuffed by the haters.
Gagged by the greedy.
And, if i know any thing at all,
it's that a wall is just a wall
and nothing more at all.
It can be broken down.
(excerpted from "Affirmation," by Assata Shakur)
"Don't Tread On Me."

USA Should have Listened to Osama bin Laden.
What Iraq's History Tells us about Resistance to Occupation: Shias & Sunnis can Unite.

by Edward Miller, San Rafael, California
[The writer is a long time contributor to New Trend.]

"If there is one lesson Israel can impart to the Americans it is that every occupation is appalling; that it tramples the occupied and corrupts the occupier."

Editor: Haaretz (Israeli newspaper)

"Donít tread on me" was the message on that gauntlet flung down to the US and Israel by Osama Ben Laden in his 1998 interview with John Miller (Assoc.Press.), and repeated several times since in video and press submissions. "Donít tread on me" was the message in the bombing of US Marine barracks in Lebanon in 1983, in the bombing of two Marine barracks in Saudi Arabia, in the US Trade Center bombing in 1993, the US Embassy bombings in Tanzania and in Kenya August 7th, 1998, the hole blown in the USS Cole, the Twin Towers and Pentagon explosions. How many American lives will be lost before Washington realizes we can no longer trample upon the feelings of a 1.6 billion Muslim peoples?

Many Americans are puzzled by the angry responses of most Iraqis to the US occupation, having forgotten their forefatherís experiences under the colonial yoke of Britainís George III. Americans also fail to realize those repeated violent warnings from the Muslim world also represent the resurgence of a deep distrust of the West, a distrust generated by colonial incursions into Muslim countries beginning as far back as 1779 when the British East India Company, backed by British military, first established control over Kuwait. Nobody in Washington seems to have taken a look at the history books.

Back in WW I Britain and France, fighting Germany and its allies, also faced off with Turkey and other remnants of the Ottoman Empire in the Mideast. Iraqís largely Shiite population though oppressed by the Ottoman occupation, when the British began invading their country in 1915 at first joined with the Turks against the Brits. The British India Army encouraged by their military success in Iraqísí southern city, Basrah, advanced north towards Baghdad, only to be stopped, besieged and then crushed by the combined Ottoman forces at Kut Al-Amara. Some 3000 Indian troops were taken prisoner.

The next year a new British offensive was launched, but by this time, following a series of thoughtless political and military acts by the retreating Turks against Iraqís Shiite population, which acts included multiple, arrests and executions, the Shiites, encouraged by their religious leaders, switched sides to join the British invaders. (larouchpub.com/2003)* and on March 11th, 1917 British forces under General Frederick Maude, captured Baghdad as the Turks under, Kalil Pasha withdrew rather than defend the city. Maude immediately promised Iraqis to "liberate them from Ottoman tyranny" adding eventual "democracy and independence".

A democratic Mideast however, was not the intent of the British who were quietly plotting along with the French and Czarist Russia to divide up the region in the secret 1916 Sykes-Picot-Sazanov Treaty. The name Sergei Sazanov, Russiaís foreign minister, along with the Czarís Mideast dreams was erased from the Treaty after the Bolsheviks, sorting through Sazanovís office during their Revolution, found copies of those treasonous papers.

In that Sykes-Picot Treaty, Britain, would grab what us now Palestine, Jordan, Iraq and part of Egypt, while France was to occupy both Syria and Lebanon. Our President Wilson was secretly tendered a copy of the Sykes-Pico Papers, with instructions to keep them secret. The Arab peoples have not forgotten this political duplicity.

As the occupation continued, and it became apparent to the Iraqis that the British intended to maintain colonial control. In March, 1917 Shia Muslim leaders in the Holy City of Najaf initiated a limited uprising, which revolt was "swiftly and brutally crushed by the British army, which surrounded the City and bombed one major quarter of it." *(ibid) (This is the same Najaf where today Shiite cleric, Muqtada al-Sadra and his militia are holding out against US Marines.)

Early in 1920 political groups in Baghdad and Kaballa began to spring up as Shiites with Sunnis joined forces against the occupier. * (ibid ) At first efforts were made by the Iraqis to deal peacefully with the British who had already delayed their promised elections. By early June, however, the Brits began mass arrests in southern Iraqi towns, laying siege to Karbala and arresting religious leaders. On June 29th, 1920 Shiite leader, Al-Shiraz declared..." It is the duty of all Iraqis to call for their rights. While they do that they should make sure that security and peace are preserved. but they can resort to defensive force if the British refuse to comply with their demands." In July the first attack on a British convoy took place in Al-Diwaniya.

Meanwhile in Italy, on April 20th 1920, the League of Nations, meeting in San Ramo was deciding the fate of the Ottoman Empire, and Mideast peoples. The League accepted with few modifications the Sykes-Picot reorganization of the region. Our Congress had already voted to keep the US out of the League.

During 1920 insurgency spread throughout Iraq, eventually involving Kurds in the north. Armed with only rifles, British garrisons were attacked, rail lines and bridges destroyed and high-ranking British officers assassinated. The British responded with brutal force on the villages, bombing at will. Winston Churchill, Britainís Minister of War and Air "believed that the country could be cheaply policed by aircraft armed with gas bombs, supported by as few as 4000 British and 10,000 Indian troops."
(book by David Omissi)
The uprising lasted four months during which 10,000 Iraqis and 450 British were killed. The British suffered 2000 casualties.

Just as British reporter Robert Fisk comments on the deficiencies in our mediaís ongoing coverage on Iraq, so in Londonís Sunday

Times back on August 22nd 1920, T.E. Lawrence reported:

"The people of England have been lead in Mesopotamia into a trap from which it will be hard to escape with dignity and honor. They have been tricked into a steady withholding of information. The Baghdad communiques are belated, insincere, incomplete. Things have been far worse than we have been told, our administration more bloody and insufficient than the public knows. "We are today not far from a disaster."

The 1920 revolt derailed British plans for Iraq. The Brits continued to rule but indirectly through the Hashemite King Faisal and his successors. In 1962 the CIA organized a coup, killing thousands of Iraqi "communists". The Bathist Party took over and eventually, one of their own, Saddam Hussein rose to power.

Today, Washington under Bush, Jr. stumbles along like the British in the 1920ís with increasing threats of terrorism and no clear goals in sight. Washington should declare: "Victory", remove our armies from both Afghanistan and Iraq, and take Sharon and his marauding Zionists off our payroll. It will matter little how Congress and the 9/11 Commission rearrange the CIA, FBI and Homeland Security unless we stop treading on the Muslim peoples and sowing the dragonís teeth of violent revenge.

*In 1776 Colonel Christopher Gadsden submitted a copy of a bright yellow flag with coiled rattlesnake and the words: DONíT TREAD ON ME to the provincial congress in South Carolina. Commodore Esek Hopkins commander of the new Continental Fleet carried that flag when his ships put to sea that same year and succeeded in capturing large stores of cannons and military supplies from the British in the Bahamas. Our nascent Continental Marine Corps began painting the design on their drums. (Google.com)

Women in Hellfire?

I was delighted to read your strong and knowledgeable rebuttal of Shakiel Humayun's interpretation with regards to the Hadith on women in hellfire.

When it was first brought to my attention, in a similar manner, I was greatly concerned because I had not taken my shahada and could not possibly enter a religion which held women in such low regard.

However, I had the good fortune to have read three biographies on the Prophet (pbuh) beforehand and recognised that he clearly revered and admired women and held them in highest regard.

I spoke to several academics and scholars about this Hadith at the time and I was reminded that the Prophet (pbuh) had an excellent sense of humour and may have been jesting with his wives when he made this statement.

It could easily have been taken out of context as he could have said this in a relaxed, jokey atmosphere with his family.

Perhaps Shakiel Humayun might like to reflect again. This is the sort of damaging intepretation which sends would-be reverts running away from Islam.

And it is also the sort of interpretation which is seized upon by enemies of Islam who want to create the impression that Islam oppresses and subjugates women.

Yours respectfully
Sis. Yvonne Ridley
London, England

New Trend's Article on Moqteda al-Sadr and Shias

I read your newsletter after a while. Many good points but I want to ask you:
  1. Just like the media in general you also write that Najaf & by inference the Shrine of Hazrat Ali is sacred to Shias. As you wrote Iqbal wrote about Mecca & Najaf in one couplet. Hazrat Ali is revered by ALL Muslims. I will agree that most Sunni Muslims do NOT give as much priority to visit it & Karbala etc. as do Shias--- but to keeping the lie going that these places are revered to Shias further divides the Umma.
    In fact the sacrifice @ Karbala & the amazing life of Hazrat Ali can be / should be considered a beacon to ALL MANKIND & if the good people of other religions knew about him like we do about Gandhi / Mandella -- most progressive people would consider them as role models and try to emulate their fine behavior to fight tyranny & injustice.
  2. I thought Shia did NOT change in English; past few years it has been changed to Shiite; Kind of reminds me of the West upto 1950 calling us Mohammedans & NOT Muslims.
  3. The misguided apologist Akber Ahmed: How about letting him know his fallacies!! Here is the info on him!! [thanks to google]
Ekbal Qidwai
Los Angeles, California


Dear Dr Siddique:
I would appreciate it very much if you could recommend books that illuminate the freedom women have enjoyed under the banner of Islam and their participation in spreading of Islam and Jihad?
thank you and salaam

Musaddeque Hossein
For such books check our web site: www.newtrendmag.org

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2004-09-19 Sun 18:39ct