New Trend Magazine (

[We bring a variety of viewpoints to season our offerings. Editors need not agree with the views expressed in part or entirely. Here veteran journalist Jalaluddin Hussain reflects on the aftermath of the Sharon offensive as well as on issues in Canada and Pakistan.]
But first two comments. First from another New Trend veteran, Dr. Edward Miller, who writes from San Rafael, California on the suffering of Palestinian children vs the few Catholic children being publicized:
"I've suggested to my catholic friends that they encourage their Bishops, whenever they get media time to deal briefly with the molestation problem...but always add that the few children damaged by their priesthood in no way compare with the millions of Palestinian kids who lives have and are being forever damaged by Israels' Mideast savagery which has physically maimed thousands of kids, denied millions more adequate health care, education and any prospect for a secure future.. not to mention the thousand or so killed by Israeli soldiers.. ......while the Jews continue to desecrate Bethlehem, Christianity's holiest site......... I encourage the church to use the words PALESTINIAN HOLOCAUST lessen the campaign value of that word by world Jewry. Muslims...whom the Jews are also targetting better fight alongside their Christian brothers."
In response to our report on the arrest of a Muslim charity director, in which we urged Minister Farrakhan, Imam W. D. Muhammad, ICNA and ISNA leaders to speak out strongly, Imam Warithuddin 'Umar writes from Albany, New York:
"It's unfortunate that we can't depend on the American Muslim organizations to stand up for the Muslim causes. Words won't motivate them. It will take a more shocking event such as an attack on them to get them up and more approprioately involved. One of Allah's attributes is Al Jabbar (The Inforcer). In sha' llah The Good Lord (Ya Rabb) is Khairul Makreena, The Best Planner."
Montreal Perspectives

By Jalaluddin S. Hussain

Insensitive news item
I am highly provoked at the seemingly insensitive heading of one of the news items in daily, "The Gazette", Montreal, of May 2, 2002. It reads: As Israelis free Arafat, fire erupts near Church. A sinister suggestion, to say the least, as if nothing would have happened to the Church, if Arafat were not freed! The Israelis might be saying: "Arafat is a problem, all the time! When we put him under arrest he is a problem, when we free him he is a problem. Either way he is a bad guy"!

Dead bodies cleared: no massacre, nothing to investigate!
The text of the news item talks about Israeli tanks and troop trucks rumbling out of Arafat's battered compound, whisking away the six wanted Palestinians to a West Bank jail in a U.S. and British armored convoy. There are only seven lines about the fire in the Church of Nativity, in spite of the heading, and 70 lines, about Jenin , about the disbanded UN fact-finding team and about Shimon Peres' apologetic explanation, that why UN probe should not happen. After all, no massacre had taken place, according to Peres. On the contrary, the fact is that the Israeli army got ample time to get rid of the dead bodies in a week's time and therefore there was really nothing to "investigate"!

Moderate Arab governments' push: did it really work?
It is a moot question, if the moderate Arab governments' push, including that of Egypt's Saudi Arabia's and Jordan's, worked and because of their respective pushes or persuasions, President Bush was compelled to exert slight pressure on his client state, Israel, to give in a little and show some mercy on the Palestinian chief, Yasser Arafat. If no Ramallah withdrawal would have taken place the Palestinian chief might have still been stuck in his few rooms! I ask, when all the Muslim countries will finally wake up and take effective retaliatory measures against the two real rogue and terrorist States: The United States of America and Israel?

Israel Asper stands by Israel
The Gazette, the only English daily of Montreal is owned by CanWest Global. This media conglomerate's owner, Israel Asper is a proud Zionist and an Israel supporter obviously. He is a sole stakeholder of more than a dozen newspapers, throughout Canada, owns a network of radio stations and also a chain of TV stations! He is hell-bent on making a mockery of his newspapers, including daily, The Gazette, by speaking openly in favor of fascistic policies of the Government of Israel and in the process effectively corroding the credibility and objectivity of his own print and electronic media. Looking at this scary situation, and in the interest of promoting objectivity of the print media academic, like Enn Raudsepp, the Director of Journalism at Concordia University, Montreal, has come up with the idea of setting up an Inquiry Commission, which can probe publicly the state of newspaper ownership in Canada. Many journalists, journalism professors and political leaders, including those in the Canadian Senate and House of Commons, have supported this idea of an inquiry. While the Kent Commission, set up a few decades ago, thought that 5 per cent of national circulation of newspapers, was enough for any one newspaper owner, the CanWest Global today owns more than a third of total national readership. This concentration and control of media in one hand is simply preposterous. Enn Raudsepp, while right in questioning this concentration and control, wants the Inquiry Commission to answer some of the following questions:

- What rights of access, if any, do the public have to private media?
- What happens when ownership rights square off with public needs and expectations?
- How critical are newspapers to our news and information needs?

Dignified way for the Palestinians
While Israeli tanks and troops rumbled out of Yasser Arafat's battered compound on May 1, 2002, after heroic resistance by Yasser Arafat and his loyal followers, Ramallah lies in ruins now. "It is a ghost town", mentions Trudy Rubin of Knight Ridder news service in one of her recent columns. " Piles of garbage rots in streets, torn up by tank treads, parked cars have been crushed like tin cans by tanks and Palestine National Authority ministry buildings are deserted". After reading columnist Trudy Rubin's column, one wonders what options of actions are left for the Palestinians. Is it to endure indefinitely the re-occupation and abject surrender, to negotiate an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza or to find some quislings to run the Palestinian affairs, in cooperation with Israel. To my mind, all the above options are not worth even considering. The only way is to single-mindedly and steadfastly work for the establishment of a dignified and free Palestinian state, by calling for the implementation of the various United Nations' resolutions, calling for the dismantling of post -1967 Israeli settlements (and they are being by the dozens every day!), demanding for the right of return of diaspora-Palestinians and finally seeking effective help from the world community, in re-building a strong sovereign Palestine, on a sound social, economic and political basis.

Get at the core of the problem to rid the world of terrorism!
A "National Post" daily news item, dated April 30, 2002, emanating from Vancouver, Canada, talks about Sunni Muslim extremists of al-Qaida, being a global threat, for years to come. Ward Elcock, Head of the Canadian Security Intelligence Services (CSIS), in a recent report, prepared for a Conference on Terrorism and Technology being held in Whistler, British Columbia, in near future, reveals that "… even though their (al-Qaida's) capacity has been degraded or disrupted, it will take some time, perhaps years, to deal with those elements and assure ourselves that threat has been defeated". While the CBS TV program, 60-Minutes in USA and Mr. Elcock of CSIS in Canada can, within their own functional jurisdictions report about the causes of growing fear and incidence of terrorism, it is important at the same time to emphasize that, in the last analysis the most effective way of nipping the terrorism in the bud, is to solve on a political and global level the heart-rending problems of extreme poverty, hunger and deprivation. It may sound simplistic, but it is true that many of the festering and lingering problems in South America, Africa, Middle East, Europe and in South Asia are due to the extremes of economic, social, and political deprivations and removal of the causes will greatly reduce the occurrence and incidence of terrorism and violent upheavel in the world. But the moot question is: are we ready for this global resolution of these age-old problems? Are the elite, privileged and powerful ready to give up their benefits advantages and luxuries, voluntarily and on their own?

Pakistan needs grassroots revolution
Although Asma Jehangir, the Pakistan Human Rights Commission (PHRC) member, has accused Pakistan's military government of committing gross irregularities in the holding of April 30 referendum, I think that the political leaders of Pakistan are also equally to be blamed for this sad state of affairs prevailing in the country. During the last 55 years of Pakistan‘s existence, the political leaders had every opportunity to let Pakistan evolve on democratic lines. But they did not avail of this opportunity. Whether it was Nawabzada Nasrullah (the inveterate and habitual political party coalition-builder), the Nawaz Sharif family and the Bhutto family, they all had the opportunity to play constructive and democratic roles, but they did not do so. For PHRC, the referendum exercise may be a "humiliating fraud" but somehow they have to come out of their cocoons, of vested interests, and start participating at the grassroots levels, with definite and well-defined social, economic and political programs. Unless they do so, no change is going to happen automatically and the country cannot come out of the vicious cycle of military dictatorships.

2002-05-03 Fri 23:46ct