Dr Kaukab Siddique | Editor-in-Chief Sha'aban 25, 1425/ October 10, 2004 #99

MURDER and Mayhem in Pakistan:

On October 9, two top Islamic leaders who lead the movement to safeguard the Finality of Prophethood central to Islam were gunned down in Karachi. Military units have been called into the city after the murders of Maulana Nazir Ahmad Taunsvi and Mufti Jamil Ahmed as thousands come out into the streets to protest [Oct. 10]. The murdered scholars are seen as "pro-Taliban" by westernized elements in Pakistan.
Earlier in Multan, huge bomb attacks were carried out against Sunni Muslim crowds who came to honor a scholar who defended the honor of the Companions of the Prophet (pbuh). At least 45 people were killed and more than 100 wounded. Still earlier, a Shi'ite place of prayer was attacked in the city of Sialkot with 30 deaths and many injuries.
October 11 report indicates that a Shi'ite mosque has been attacked in Lahore.
Is there a sectarian war going on in Pakistan? What is the government's role? What's really going on? Is this part of the "war on terror?" See New Trend's next issue for in-depth analysis.



Dear producer

I saw Christiane Amanpour reporting on the Afghan elections from Kabul, Afghanistan [October 9 and 10]. I don't blame her for staying within the security zone in Kabul. It could have been downright dangerous for her outside Kabul even with maximum security provided by American special forces.
However, there can be no excuse for inaccurate reporting and none at all for attempting to mislead American audiences of CNN. Here are a few corrections:
  1. Ms. Amanpour claimed that elections were peaceful and the Taliban threat did not materialize. The Pakistani media, however, provide specific information which proves otherwise. There were Taliban attacks in southern, southwestern and southeastern in which 33 soldiers recruited by the U.S. were killed. In one attack a U.S. army truck was reported hit and all in it killed.
    1. Within KABUL, the German embassy came under rocket attack and three security guards were killed. Surely Ms. Amanpour couldn't have missed that news. Is she under orders not to report any bad news?
    2. One explanation could be that Ms. Amanpour can't read Urdu and thus missed all the news outside her security perimeter in Kabul.

  2. The photography which accompanied Ms. Amanpour's reports was also meant to mislead American audiences. She repeatedly showed us two lines of voters.
    [The same two lines again and again.] In a poor country, it's always possible to round up a few people to "vote" or for any other photo-op. Anyone who knows Afghan facial features would know at a glance that thepeople lined up [probably within the security perimeter] belonged to two TINY minority groups in Afghanistan: Panjshiris and Hazaras. [Look up any basic book on physical features of Afghanistan.]

  3. Ms. Amanpour's journalism was fatally flawed in that she did not let viewers know the most important fact about Afghanistan: The majority of Afghans are Pashtuns. They did not endorse the elections and most of them are supporting the Taliban.

  4. On October 9, Ms. Amanpour declared that Karzai was part of the resistance [against the Soviets]. This is certainly not true. I would advise her to do her reading. If she can't read Urdu, let her read a book by a senior American intelligence officer titled IMPERIAL HUBRIS. Thebook points out in no uncertain terms that Karzai was NOT part of the resistance, has no roots in Afghanistan or in the Pashtun population. He is a Pashtun but only to the extent Colin Powell and Armstrong are African-Americans. He has no Islamic credentials either. IMPERIAL HUBRIS points out that there is no future for Karzai in Afghanistan. He is a "dead man walking." [Your intelligence officer's words.]

  5. CNN's little "after election" vignette of Hikmet Karzai, Hamid Karzai's cousin, should have been educational about the futility of America's choices in Afghanistan. First note the nepotism: Hikmet, Karzai's cousin, is "First Secretary" of the Afghan "Embassy" in Washington. Second, the cousin looked like no Afghan. He does not give the slightest impression of being:
    1. Pashtun.
    2. Afghan.
    3. Muslim.
This election is an imposition on the Afghan people. As IMPERIAL HUBRIS points out, no imposition by Europeans and Americans will ever be acceptable to the Afghan people. If tomorrow American, German and other European forces are withdrawn, the Taliban will sweep into Kabul.


Kaukab Siddique, Ph.D
Interview with Sis. Amina Shaikh
London, England

Very Young British Muslimah Uncovers Israeli Oppression.
Arrested, Strip Searched, Interrogated for No Reason.
Israeli Troops Within Third Holiest Mosque of Islam.
[Also, Reveals Fearful Condition of British Muslims. Persecuted Minority.]

[The interview was carried out by a sisterhood group in England.]

Sis. Amina: Assalam-U-Alaikuim Wa Rahmatullah akhee

Firstly I would like to thank you for allowing me to relay what had happened to us in Palestine. It was an ordeal and a half but I guess the 'aftermath' is something that I never expected to receive that is certain sections of the Muslim Community making you feel like you had done something wrong. Allah knows best.

Q. Could you you introduce yourself to our readers?

Ans. My name is Sister Amina Shaikh

Q. What took you to "Israel"/Palestine?

Ans. The reason for me going was because I was fed up of sitting around and just hearing the suffering of the Muslims, but yet not physically doing anything myself. Supplicating is important, but I was feeling that I was gradually getting immune to the statistics of innocent people being killed, but I was not able to feel as much pain as I should of what they are going through.

I had read eye witness accounts of the Jenin Massacre which saddened me of the injustice and oppressive state of affairs that existed in Palestine.

I knew that I couldn't change their situation single handedly but I wanted to try and bring a smile to an orphaned child's face at the very least, see what is happening and return to create awareness and feel the pain.

Q. Could you describe the circumstances of your arrest?

Ans. We arrived in Jerusalem on Tuesday. As we could not be in time for Ishaa at Masjid Al Aqsa we decided to go on the following days for each Salat including Tahajud Inshallah until we had decided to go to Nablus to teach orphaned chidlren English and drama at a voluntary organisation called project hope www.palhope.net.

We were told that it was safe for us to travel there. That was true, because Alhamdulillah when we went to the Mosque in the early hours it was literally down the road about 5 minutes walk. There was no danger, it was beautiful seeing tajweed classes, people praying etc.

It was very beautiful to have seen it. Mashallah it was beautiful................

It was a Friday when we had decided that after Tahajud we would be heading for Nablus. We had decided to wake up at about 3:30-3:45 to leave for about 4 for Tahajud when we heard a knock on our door at about 3:00-3:30 in the morning. We asked who it was but there was no reply. They knocked again, we asked again who it was. They said that they were the police and that we should open the door. The first thing that we all thought about was to grab our hijaabs.

Thereafter that is when the pathetic nature of the so called democratic and racist regime was to be revealed......

Our room was raided, there were about 20 armed police and army officers that entered the room. We were taken individually to a room where we they did a body search (embarrasingly known as strip search where they told us to take all of our clothes except for underclothes). (not sure whether we should publish this part akhee. I do feel embarrassed about it to be honest!!!)

We kept on asking them what this was about and why we were being treated in this manner, but they would not reply. They didn't tell us anything apart from on one or two occasions falsely reassure us that things would be okay within four hours or so.

They took us to the police station where they took us in different rooms. I knew that in the name of so called national security or basically taking advantage that as we are not aware of the due legal process that they would deny us to see a lawyer, which was exactly what they did.

Their intelligence wasn't smart though, I could overhear the two other sisters being questioned!!! anyhow they asked me quite a few times what my purpose of visiting Israel was. I told them the truth in that I was touring!!!!

Q. How were you treated by the Israeli officers who arrested you?

Ans. The officers were very sarcastic, there was one 'good cop' and one 'bad cop' if you can refer to them in that way at all. The former was falsely reassuring me that everything will be okay they are just carrying out a routine action the bad cop was just being sarcastic and patronizing and coming up with silly things like we know what you are up to, come on tell us the truth, what you are saying is different from what the other girls are saying. I told him to release them then and keep me, but they were adamant that we should all stay there.

They were pathetic; they would ask me from time to time, what is your purpose for visiting?

They told us that they had informed the British Consulate (which later on transpired to be a lie, they weren't informed at least by that time)

Q. What were the allegations that were levelled against you? What did you make of these?

Ans. They tried to say at first that we were part of an organisation during questioning to one of the sisters and then prior to taking us to the court we were taken to the secret services. They didn't have a clue what was going on, they thought that we were being done for Immigration charges and then they said that they knew that we were part of a terrorist organisation. We were outraged by these assertions, they tried to get us to sign something at the station where these assertions were made. HOwever, we refused to do so because the writing was in Hebrew.

There was a time when I thought ah well Allah knows best wouldn't put it past them they could fabricate evidence.

It was only at this point prior to going to the court that we were allowed limited access to contact a lawyer; unfortunately we didn't have any contact numbers. I tried to call someone in the UK to obtain details of a lawyer, but there was insufficient time to do so, they only let us make one call each. Even though by this time they had monitored our phones because they took our details and it felt like that whenever we made a call thereafter.

When we were in court the authorities showed so called secret evidence to the judge, despite our pleas to have a look at the evidence we were refused to see it on the basis that it was secret. This was really pathetic how can we possibly challenge something that we are unaware of. It reminded me of those brothers that are detained in Belmarsh and Woodhill prison who are detained without having access to evidence. How on the earth can you defend yourself. I was told later on that an application can be made if we appealed against the courts decision to the supreme court by submitting an application. However, there was no guarantee that we could still see it.

Q. Could you describe the conditions under which you were detained: where were you located, food and hygine conditions,for how long were you held?

Ans. We were held in their station for over 11 hours, they questioned us on an off, but still it was frustrating because they were keeping us for no reason whatsoever, I did my own resistance by refusing food and so did the other sister, I didn't want them to know this. They pretended that they were worried I guess the last thing they wanted was us to be in hospital from a rep point of view, not that they really cared. When they tried to convince me to eat I told them that I just wanted to get out of here. The officer replied by stating that they will take us out of the country.

They didn't let me read anything while I was waiting, I wanted to keep my mind active, but obviously even while you are waiting I guess it is what you called psychological games.

Q. Did you suffer any mistreatment or abuse?

Ans. It was just humiliating the way that we were kept in. We hadn't done anything wrong, Alhamdulillah. We were physically abused.

There was a frame with Allah's attributes in Arabic, they asked me if I could read it, I provided them with an evasive answer as I didn't want to read it to them, instead one of the them said in the name of Allah the most beneficent the most merciful in Arabic; it sickened me like anything to see it.

We think that they pretty much realised that it was a blunder on their part, but they wanted to be nasty to see it through so they continued. They knew that there was nothing on us, otherwise the Judge would not have stated that there is no real evidence, however in light of the current situation (yep that is a joke!!!!). We were put under house arrest where we had access to our cell phones and were allowed to go in close proximity to buy food. The court order stipulated that financial arrangements would be made by the authorities and they had until the following MOnday (not that lapse of this time meant we were free to go wherever we wanted though). Alhamdulillah the reason why weren't shaken or overtly distressed was because we only feared Allah and unified with each other in the true spirit of Sisterhood Alhamdulillah.

Q. Did you have access to a lawyer? How long before?

Ans. The lawyer at the court was a public attorney it didn't seem as though he knew what he was doing, we had to find our own lawyer in the end to see if we can apply for revocation of the court order (it was not a deportation order)

Q. Were you able to contact family? When did they realise what had happened and what was their reaction?

Ans. Upon returning from the court we could contact our parents, I decided against it as I didn't want to worry them. It was only until after the second court appearance because by this time we were getting news coverage of the way that we were unjustly treated that I had to inform my parents. The second court appearance was to do with deciding who would pay for our flights back, in accordance to the court order it would be the authorities. They claimed that they didn't have sufficient funds (yeh right pull the other one I thought!!). Further submissions were made; they let us only go in the old city which has the mosques!!! and other things!!

Q. What was the lowest point in your ordeal?

Ans. The lowest point of the ordeal I guess was the secret evidence and the restriction imposed in that we weren't allowed to go to Nablus!!

Q. What led to your release?

Ans. We agreed to leave. Our case was in the criminal courts, had we not agreed to leave the country our case would have been transferred to the Immigration courts where they would have deported us. We heard that the chances of successfuly resisting a deportation order was next to nothing as the authorities could do pretty much what they wanted.

Q. Why do you believe you were targetted?

Ans. The only reason for targetting us in that way was because we were Muslims, sisters covered as well, and that they don't want people to witness a nation (Palestine) that is suffering in silence.

Q. What was the response of the British Government and the Foreign Office at the time?

Ans. The Consulate were foul,.I had to contact them which a member called Sameer reluctantly agreed to do see us. We had explained that we weren't allowed to see him, so, he visited us with his wife, apparently she had to go shopping. So unprofessional! Anyhow all that he was interested in was for us to leave, even though I found out later on when I complained to his colleagues that it was part of his duty to provide us with a list of lawyers.

I contacted Sameer on Sunday (we were arrested and taken to court on the previous Friday). He said that he found out about us on Saturday, but he couldn't get hold of the consultate so he asked the authorities to pass a message. I was amazed at this response. In his defence he said that 'well what am I supposed to have done after I told the authorities was I supposed to check with them whether or not I was contacted?' I told him that how could he have entrusted the authorities with this task. I didn't get a satisfactory response. From then onwards I knew that he wasn't going to help us, so somehow we had to find a lawyer ourself. Since then up till now the Foreign office haven't contacted us to check the welfare, even while we were there no steps were taken to exert diplomatic pressure for our movements and stay not to be restricted. I guess that we are Muslims what do you expect???

Q. How were you treated on your return to the UK by the Muslim community?

Ans. I guess we were treated generally okay, but there were a few incidents that occured, there is a sister that I know of,well I would regard her as an acquaintance. She advised my friend against asking me to do an opening speech at the opening of her Muslim school because I may bring adverse publicity as people may regard me as terrorists. Subhanallah I couldn't believe it. Not only do I not understand the exact definition of the word that is used by people, but besides that our crime was that we wanted to teach children, didn't she read the newspaper article that stated 'Israeli blunder' and mentioned that there were no charges made against us and no conviction, and in case she hasn't noticed we were questioned here yet!!! wish that she would read the newspaper.

Then my own cousin, yep own family after I had told her about the raid said 'come on Amina you must have done something.' Subhannallah, I couldn't believe that again being a Muslim and wanting to teach children according to the Israeli authorities was enough for them to treat us in such a manner.

Then a close friend of mine, who is similar to me in her way of thinking told me that we couldn't keep in touch by phone or email becuase she had to protect her family and herself as there werenumerous raids happening to Muslim. I tried to explain to her that we hadn't done anything wrong and asked her if she had read the Guardian report properly. She said that she hadn't. I Tried to say that she was getting paranoid and that if Muslims weren't supportive at these times, (not that we went as bad an ordeal as the brothers in Belmarsh and woodhill)!! but say if brother Babar Ahmed, Inshallah is released and tries to integrate in the Muslim Community and he is treated by his fellow Muslims like this how do you think that he would feel.

We wanted to do presentations to share our ordeal. After approaching Muslim organisations, I was completely surprised. One told me that 'sister I am sure that you are genuine but do you know what we have to be careful with our organisation because you may get infiltrators. I was shocked with this remark, because their theme was 'secret evidence' and I wanted to talk about our frustration about it, even though it isn't on a large scale as the brothers!!! Again I wondered if the brother really read the newspaper.

Then there was city circles, because I used to volunteer for a Saturday School that they funded. It seemed as they were more concerned with me as an individual i.e had I done anything wrong. Because the brother in charge said that before we decide on giving you the platform he would like to meet me as he wanted to see the implications of us giving a talk!!! Subhanallah has he read the newspaper reports, what does he think that I have done whilst in Palestine. What does he think that I would propagate, anyway as I knew that one of the sisters wanted to do it, I agreed but I mentioned that Smra would come as well. She travelled with me to Jerusalem. All that he said was that he didn't want to see anyone else as I was linked to the Saturday School.

Q. How has this experience affected you? Do you feel traumatised? What lessons have been learnt?

Ans. Allah didn't decree for us to go, but Inshallah I would love to go to Nablus, next time with a Mahrem Inshallah. It was difficult to accept it Inshallah, but do you know what whatever Allah decreed?
This is not to say that this takes away the resentfulness we have towards the authorities and the lack of assistance by the British Government. But one thing is for sure that I pray hard to Allah that he makes it possible for me to return there Inshallah.

Q. Did you witness anything of the suffering of the Palestinians while in Israel?

Ans. The presence of the occupying forces was provocative in itself becuase they were present at the entrance of the Masjid Alqsa and in the compound of the two mosques. We managed to see part of the wall which we were disgusted with and had heard that they are building it around towns. Thus if you have a land adjoined to your house, your land could be on the other side of the wall, to which you can only have access of two hours.

We have come across of people that have told us that Masjid Al Aqsa doesn't belong just to the Palestinians but it belongs to all Muslims. Therefore, where are the Muslims.

Then another person said that we need help, where are the Muslims? we know that Allah will protect Al-Aqsa Inshallah and us.

Q. How has this helped you to empathise with other Muslim prisoners, in Palestine, Uk, Guantanamo?

Ans. We know that the way that we were treated is nothing as Palestinians would be, they knocked on the door. How many Palestinian people's doors are knocked at instead they just barge into the house.

When we were questioned there was a young woman present with each of us, which we found out latter to be one of those drafted. They said that they are aware of the Islamic principle that you can't be alone with a man therefore they call a woman. Later on we discovered that this rule doesn't apply to a woman who they think to be a 'suicide bomber. I am sure this rule is subject to abuse.

How many Palestinians are imprisoned not knowing their charge and for how long they will be detained, anything ranging from stone throwing to breaking the curfew by picking a flower. 'secret evidence' is the thing that really links us to the brothers, even though we weren't treated as badly as the prisoners in Camp X Ray.

I can't believe that some Muslims actually say that oh they must have done something. It is like Yusuf Islam being treated in that way. Surely Muslims should be able to wake up now and instead of going against Muslims pointing fingers at them they should be supportive.

Q. Do you intend to take any further action?

I guess that Inshalalh as I intend to return I don't want it to be prejudicial The Israeli embassy commented to someone (as quoted at the bottomn of the evening standard article) stating that they dont' need to apologise as we had left.

Q. What are your future plans?

Inshallah pray that I will find someone like minded who would love to take me there and it be possible for me to do humanitarian work.

Q. What message do you have for our readers, the Muslims in particular?

Ans. Please don't forget Masjid Al-Aqsa at the very least. As an Ummah stand strong and firm and be supportive. Dont' forget the important hadiths, and the incident mentioned in the Quran signifying the importance.

Q. Is there anything else important we have missed that you wish to add?

Ans. Just to say that I wish that Muslim organisations/people would be more trusting of one another!!!! I would like to express my gratitude for providing me such an opportunity, really appreciate it. Jazakhallah Khairun. Walaikuim Assaalm Wa Rahmatullah
[With thanks to Br. Sa'ad in Arizona,]

US helicopter crew shoots on street crowd

Report, Antiwar.com, 7 October 2004

Britain's Channel 4 News has broadcast a 30-second video clip of a U.S. pilot killing a group of what appear to be civilians on a Fallujah street. The video includes an audio track of the pilot's conversation with mission controllers. As the UK Independent notes, "At no point during the exchange between the pilot and controllers does anyone ask whether the Iraqis are armed or posing a threat."

Take them out, dude: pilots toast hit on Iraqi 'civilians'

By Andrew Buncombe in Washington, The Independent
06 October 2004

"The Pentagon said yesterday it was investigating cockpit video footage that shows American pilots attacking and killing a group of apparently unarmed Iraqi civilians.

The 30-second clip shows the pilot targeting the group of people in a street in the city of Fallujah and asking his mission controllers whether he should "take them out". He is told to do so and, shortly afterwards, the footage shows a huge explosion where the people were. A second voice can be heard on the clip saying: "Oh, dude."

The existence of the video, taken last April inside the cockpit of a US F-16 fighter has been known for some time, though last night's broadcast by Channel 4 News is believed to be the first time a mainstream broadcaster has shown the footage.

At no point during the exchange between the pilot and controllers does anyone ask whether the Iraqis are armed or posing a threat. Critics say it proves war crimes are being committed."

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2004-10-11 Mon 19:24ct