Zulqi'dah 17, 1425/December 29, 2004 #127
A Few Thoughts on the Cataclysm in South Asia: 80,000 dead ... and counting.
More than 2 million homeless!
It's difficult to think connectedly about the horrors being reflected
on the TV screens about the tsunami which hit 12 countries. One can
only cry. Here are a few thoughts ...
* IS THIS A SAMPLE OF THE WAY THE WORLD WILL END?
"...when the oceans boil over ... [81:6] "...when the oceans are
suffered to burst forth ... [82:3] "When the earth is shaken to her
(utmost) convulsions, and the earth throws up her burdens (from within),
and humankind cries (distressed), 'what is the matter with her?' ...
A rare imam whom I like, Zakiuddin Sharfi, reminds us of a verse of
the Qur'an, "every being shall taste death" [3:185], a fact which brings
out the oneness of humanity, our common heritage of suffering.
A remarkable aspect of the tsunami cataclysm is that people of ALL
religions were devastated, be they Muslim, Hindu, Christian or Buddhist.
That's a lesson we all have to learn, our common humanity.
As usual, the poor and the downtrodden suffered the most, bringing out
the injustice of our socio-economic systems.
Tsunamis are no respecters of the rich and the powerful. Nearly a
thousand of the world's richest tourists were wiped out on the Thailand
coast, 800 of them from Sweden. The grandson of the king of Thailand
died not far away from the area where Thai troops have been
slaughtering innocent Muslims. Another 500 European tourists are
The greatest tragedy was in the Aceh area of Sumatra,
where the death toll is shooting up from 30,000. This area is cut
off from the rest of Indonesia by the military forces trying to suppress
a movement for autonomy. For two whole days there was hardly any news
of the disaster there.
The Maldive islands, mostly Muslim, have almost disappeared under water.
In Sri Lanka, countless mines planted by the Tamils and the Sinhalese
over two decades of fruitless warfare are floating up into the path of
relief operations. Why do poor nations have to fight each other? Who
supports and encourages them in this mutual destruction?
Animals in Sri Lanka knew of the Tsunami before the human beings. The
animals fled inland. [WBAL radio in Baltimore reports, a helicopter
pilot flying over the stricken areas saw human bodies scattered
everywhere but NO animal carcasses.] Why have we humans cut ourselves
off from Allah's other creatures?
Many Muslims who have misread [or not read] the Qur'an think that
human suffering is a sign of divine punishment. The Qur'an says,
reward and punishment will be in the HEREAFTER. This world, it says,
is DARUL 'AMAL. We are tested and tried here. Often the GOOD here
suffer much more than the evil ones.
We must re-learn our religion so we can understand and deal with
tremendous human suffering. For instance, the people of
are the victims of oppression. The Iraqi women and children decimated
by the great
air force were not under any divine punishment. An Indonesian
villager who is swept away by tsunami is not being punished while
the fornicator in Hollywood is not beloved of God! We must study
the Qur'an and the
about the life of the Prophet (pbuh) in
when his children died and the unbelievers said that God had cut his
Most shameful is the attitude of our President Bush who allocated $15 million for the victims of tsunami! When a U.N. official used the word "stingy" for him, he castigated the critic and raised the amount to $35 million. [He is spending $270 million a DAY to occupy Iraq.]
IN AMERICA, SEND DONATIONS for Tidal Wave disaster
P.O. Box 10881
Baltimore, MD 21234
or wire directly thus:
Acount name: Jamaat al-Muslimeen
Account number: 0005888530
Routing number: 252073018
Bank address: Provident Bank of Maryland
5234 York Road
Baltimore, MD 21212, USA
RELIEF AGENCIES in the LEAD: SRI LANKA
Sri Lanka Jamath-e-Islami is making all its efforts to assist the
people in the areas affected by the flood which rocked the Island
yesterday 26/12/2004 and claimed enormous lives and left many more
refugees. Sri Lanka Jamathe-e-Islami expects a large sum of money to
assist the needy. Those who are willing to assist for our activities
in sake of God (SWT) please send your financial assistance for the
following bank account.
Account Name : Sri Lanka Jamath-e-Islami Social Service Department
Account Number : 114 000 5197
Bankers : Hatton National Bank, Central Colombo Branch, 149-151,
Main Street, Colombo -11, Sri Lanka
Report on Recent Tidal Wave in Sri Lanka by Sri Lanka Jama'ath-e-Islami
Sri Lankan coastal areas experienced the worst form of disaster in
recent history, prompted by high rising and fast moving tidal waves
on Sunday, 26th December 2004.
Official reported casualties rose up to six thousand while unofficial
reports say around ten thousand person lost their lives. One third
of victims are from Muslim community. Higher death tolls have been
reported in Mutur, Kinniya in the Trincomalee District, Sainthamaruthu,
Kalmunai, Maruthamunai in the Amparai District and Kattankudi in the
Batticaloa District. Muslims have also been affected in the Hambantota,
Matara and Galle Districts. Thousands of children and elderly have lost
their lives and thousands more are in a critical conditions.
Severe damages to lives, property and infrastructure have been reported.
Communication and transportation to some of the areas have been
disconnected thus causing severe hardship to the relief teams to
reach the affected areas. Hospitals are washed away with doctors
and patients. Two Arabic colleges in the Eastern province are raced
to the ground and there is no information about the fate of students
With the blessings of God and the support of general public the Sri Lanka
Jama'ath-e-Islami was able to dispatch five relief teams immediately with
dry rations collected from the general public in Capital Colombo and
surroundings. All the teams are comprised of medical professionals. So
Al Hamdulillah, the Jamaat is coordinating its activities with other
Muslim organizations in the field like Al Muslimath and MIC. Any
medical practitioner willing to spend 4-5 days in the east
providing medical relief can contact Moulavi Abdur Rahman on 0777 418345.
A team headed by a medical doctor with a lorry load of dry rations
and drugs reached the South East today Monday.
Another team, including a doctor, left for Kinniya last night.
Third team including three doctors left for Kattankudi today morning.
Forth team is planning to visit the south
Fifth team is also planning to visit the South East.
All these teams will take with them dry rations and provide medical
relief to the affected.
The Jama'ath has established four regional centres for smooth
coordination of relief activities.
Sri Lanka Jama'ath-e-Islami has already collected nearly 33 thousand
US Dollars and earnestly requests much more assistance to meet the
immediate need of affected people in a meaningful way.
Moulavi Abdur Rahman
Head of Emergency Relief
Social Services Department
Sri Lanka Jama'ath-e-Islami
Hotline: 0094 77 741 8345
Phone : 0094 112 687091
Fax: 0094 112 686030
JUSTICE, MUSHARRAF STYLE: Censored by most
On December 24, a secret military court in Pakistan sentenced an
Islamic soldier of the Pakistan army to death, and another Islamic
soldier to life in prison. Both were accused of attempting to kill
Human rights activists say it was a gross miscarriage of justice for
the following reasons:
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan Dec 24, 2004 — A military court has convicted two
soldiers, sentencing one to death and the other to life imprisonment,
for involvement in an assassination attempt last year against
Pakistan's President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, the army spokesman
There was no due process of law. It was a secret trial.
EVEN THE NAMES OF THE SOLDIERS HAVE NOT BEEN REVEALED.
It is unheard of in international law and Islamic law that a person
who has not killed anyone is sentenced to death.
The news of the sentencing was kept very quiet both in the Pakistani
and in the U.S. media.
did issue a report but it was censored by the U.S.
Here is a major excerpt from the AP report:
The pair were accused in the first of two bombings targeting Musharraf's
motorcade in Rawalpindi, a garrison city near the capital, Islamabad,
in December 2003, spokesman Maj. Gen. Shaukat Sultan told The
Sultan said both were low-ranking army personnel. He did not release
their names or give details of their involvement in the Dec. 14 attack,
when a huge bomb ripped through a bridge seconds after Musharraf's
motorcade had passed. No one was hurt.
Neither would the spokesman say when the military court passed the
sentence, although intelligence sources said it was several weeks ago.
A Libyan al-Qaida operative is suspected to have plotted the two
attacks against Musharraf, a key ally in the U.S.-led war on terrorism.
In the second bombing, on Dec. 25, two suicide bombers tried to ram
explosive-laden vehicles into Musharraf's limousine. The army chief
was unhurt, but 17 people, mostly policemen, were killed.
A number of army and air force personnel were arrested in the aftermath,
and Sultan said other soldiers were facing similar trials for the
Dec. 14 attack.
However, a senior air force official refused to comment whether any
of their personnel were facing trials. "We don't want to comment on
this sensitive matter," said the official, who spoke on condition of
An intelligence official, also speaking on condition of anonymity,
said nine or 10 junior military personnel had been arrested, and cases
against them were expected to be decided soon. He also refused to
divulge their alleged role in the bombing.
Authorities have said they are also holding a number of Islamic
militants on suspicion of their links with those who masterminded
and executed the attacks.
But they have yet to capture Abu Faraj al-Libbi, the Libyan al-Qaida
operative, whom Musharraf says masterminded the attacks. He is one of
the most-wanted men in Pakistan, and authorities have offered a
$345,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.
A key associate of al-Libbi accused of helping him plot the bombings,
Amjad Hussain Farooqi, was killed on Sept. 26 in a shootout with
security forces in southern Pakistan. Farooqi was Pakistani and
senior member of the outlawed Sunni Muslim militant group,
British Pakistanis Seen as Threat by General Musharraf.
[The U.S. is being advised by
to ban Hizb ut-Tahrir, a growing movement of politiical ideologues.
See background report below.]
Islamic Intellectuals who do Not Preach
[Excerpted from a
They are considered a new breed of Islamic fundamentalists. They study
at top British and American schools yet abhor Western values, advocate
a pan-Islamic state and favor the removal of Pakistan's pro-U.S.
Militancy and violence is not part of their agenda; they want to
achieve their "lofty goals" through peaceful and non-violent struggle.
Hizb ut-Tahrir (Liberation Party), an international Islamic group with
roots from England to Central Asia, is a recent addition to myriad
radical organizations striving to enforce "true Islam" in Pakistan,
a poor South Asian nation.
The group was outlawed in Pakistan in Nov. 2003, just three years after
it started operations, but its members continue undeterred, distributing
party literature and holding small meetings in efforts to expand their
Pakistan, an ally of the United States in the war on terror, banned
several militant Islamic groups, but most re-emerged under new names.
Hizb ut-Tahrir has refused to change its identity despite the
closure of offices and the arrest of several members.
British and U.S. nationals of Pakistani origin comprise the backbone
of this secretive group formed in Jerusalem in 1953.
It wants to establish a supra-Islamic state on the model of the caliphate
as it existed in the early days of Islam.
The group came to Pakistan through second-generation Pakistanis living
in the West, particularly Britain and the United States. They claim
they had supporters in Pakistan for a long time but formal operations
took longer to establish.
Many members abandoned what they call the luxuries of the West to come
to Pakistan to live among fellow Muslims and work for the country's
transformation into a puritanical Islamic society of their dreams.
"In terms of living standards, England is better. You don't confront
problems such as water shortages, power failures there," a Hizb member,
who works as an executive at a bank, told Reuters, requesting anonymity.
"But you cannot safeguard the Islamic way of life in a Western society.
You become alienated," said the 32-year-old, who migrated from his
birthplace, London, to Pakistan -- the country of his parents -- two
"We believe the change will come in the Muslim world from places like
Pakistan, where an overwhelming number of people are Islamic-minded,"
he said in a clipped British accent.
Scores of young men like him moved to Pakistan mainly from Britain and
the United States to work for the Islamic cause.
With their trimmed beards and Western clothes, they stand in contrast
to the turban and skull cap-wearing traditional followers of local
Islamic parties. But their anti-West rhetoric is as radical as that
of their more orthodox counterparts.
Intelligence officials say the shadowy network is taking root among
educated Pakistanis and a few of its members are under surveillance.
Group members include engineers, accountants, computer experts and
Several of its members speaking to Reuters in separate interviews, some
on the condition of anonymity, said the number of their supporters was
"We advocate unity of Muslims," said Ismail Sheikh, a frail 34-year-old
British national of Pakistani origin who was arrested for distributing
pamphlets outside a Karachi mosque in July. But an anti-terrorism
court acquitted him on lack of evidence last month and he was back
to organizational work the same day, saying the arrest only strengthened
"They questioned me whether I had links to al Qaeda, or I visited
(news - web sites)," said Sheikh, a dentist from the University of Wales.
He abandoned his medical career in London and moved to Karachi in 1999
to become one of the group's pioneer members.
The government sees Hizb ut-Tahrir as a threat.
"Its activities were found prejudicial to the national interest," said
Abdul Rauf Chaudhry, an interior ministry spokesman. "Its members
incite people against the government through their writings and
But Naveed Butt, Hizb ut-Tahrir's spokesman, said to bring about a
change one needed political, not militant action.
"We are being associated with militancy because we preach an
alternative ideology," said Butt, an engineer from Chicago, where
he was first introduced to the group in the mid-1980s.
"The best barometer of our success is that we were banned within
three years of our activities here."
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