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Dr Kaukab Siddique | Editor-in-Chief Zulhijjah 13,1430/ December 1, 2009, # 56

With thanks to a reader in Chicago:

It's almost impossible for Americans to understand Pakistan because of the barrier created by the secularized Pakistani ruling class which is often "more loyal than the king" in the White House. Dr. M. Shahid Alam, America's top Muslim critic of Zionism, takes on the Pakistani secularists as seen in the Daily Times newspaper and associates. Please scroll down to this brilliant expose of America's friends in Pakistan in their own language.

From Imam Badi Ali [Jamaat al-Muslimeen North Carolina]

Spotlight #1 : It is December 1 and President Obama just finished his speech. I was saddened to hear it. He was calling for war, using all the old techniques of divide and rule, aiming at creating failed states, promising death and destruction in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. This plan to send in 30,000 more troops is just a gimmick. Obama is floating around in his right wing opponents' circles, fumbling and quite far away from any clear plan of action. Is Obama trying to deceive the American people? Has he sold out to the Republicans? The plan seems to be to go into Afghanistan to kill a lot of Islamic people and to set up a puppet regime with the promise that we will leave in 2011. What happens if the Taliban refuse to be defeated? The threat to Pakistan is very serious. Looks like the Pakistani army will be used to cause more death and destruction and then, with the army weakened, the plan seems to be an invasion of Pakistan. What if the Pakistanis join the Taliban? The grand scheme will collapse. Who will pay for this expensive new adventure? Bush began the Iraq war with expenses promised at $1 billion a month only to find that it was $1 billion a week. The Zionist media are handling Obama to create the impression that it is a workable strategy.This is George Bush all over again, promising to withdraw in 2011 if the puppet Afghan army is in place. And if it isn't? They all forget that "Afghanistan is the graveyard of empires.'

Outreach: Eid in New York

Meet Br. Shamim Siddiqui, an Amazing Scholar of Islam+Guyana Mosque+Salafi Mosque
by Kaukab Siddique

Nov. 26-29: New York is a very special city, probably the most international city in the world. I spent Thanksgiving with a non-Muslim branch of my family. I went for Eid prayers to a Guyanese mosque in Jamaica [Queens] area. It was packed with worshippers, mostly Guyanese but numbers of Indo-Pakistanis and Bangladeshis too. The imam did a good job of teaching people about the basics of Eid al-Adha. His emphasis was on sacrifice and seeking forgiveness from Allah. At the end he switched from English and started making a du'a in emotional Urdu which made people cry. I was surprised that so many people knew Urdu here. [Large numbers of Guyanese women prayed, in a separate area of the masjid.]

For Juma' I went to a Salafi masjid in Jamaica off the Van Wyck Expressway. Although the Juma' is optional on Eid day, the masjid was packed with worshippers. The Salafi imam, speaking with a British accent, gave a very well organized khutba with numerous relevant quotations from Hadith. Again sisters were separate but in good numbers.

The best part of Eid was a visit with Br. Shamim Siddiqui in Long Island. He is a learned scholar, well versed in Qur'an and Hadith, in his 80s now and with all the health problems one can expect, especially problems with eyesight. The physical ailments have not detracted from his tremendous love of Allah and the last messenger of Allah, Muhammad, pbuh.
Br. Shamim reads the classical tafseers coming out of India and Pakistan and has marked and commented on his favorite passages. Maulana Maudoodi, Maulana Islahi and Dr. Israr are his favorites.

He is on the Internet on a daily basis and his writings appear in a number of Indian Islamic journals in English and Urdu.

Br. Shamim spent 20 years of his life in East Pakistan before its tragic ending. Much can be learned from his experiences there within the framework of Jamaate Islami with all its strengths and weaknesses.

During his stay in America, he tried to educate various ISNA and ICNA leaders but to no avail. It appears from my three hour discussion with Br. Shamim that the "leaders" tried to use him and then dumped him when they found that he would not compromise on Islamic teachings. Br. Shamim is kind hearted and still hopes that ISNA and ICNA wil regain genuine Islam.

Although left along the way by those who used him to enhance their own legitimacy, he has natural support in the form of his children, relatives and friends who are imbibing the genuine message of Islam from him. The Salat is part of his family's daily life.

Nov. 9, 2009: Speaking to non-Muslim students at the invitation of Chaplain Dr. Leaman

Notes on Sex and Marriage as Seen in al-Ghazzali's Understanding of Islam
By Kaukab Siddique

Prophet Muhammad pbuh, said: "People marry for the sake of beauty, wealth, race and spiritual commitment. You should marry for spiritual commitment otherwise may your hands be rubbed in dirt" [Hadith]

Prophet Muhammad, pbuh, said: "Sexual modesty [haya] is part of faith." [Hadith]

We must begin by accepting the fact that we are given the ability to love by a higher power, Allah [or God for Christians]. Without unimpaired physical, mental, spiritual and emotional health, we would not be able to love. A great Muslim theologian, Muhammad al-Ghazzali, gives a metaphor to explain the way love works. On a hot day, when we take refuge in the shade, we are pleased not only with the shade but are thankful for the trees which provide the shade.[1]

Thus Allah is the source of love. If our love is limited to beings other than Allah, we are very liable to be disappointed. Why? Simply because all that humans have is limited and is steadily passing and withering away. Then one day we are faced with the prospect of leaving this world and going to another level of existence about which we know nothing if we do not love Allah.

Allah, however, is not an idol or a limited being who can be loved the way humans love other humans. He is beyond our limited understanding; so he helps us to understand love and how and whom to love. To love Allah, we must love his creation, in particular human beings. If we do not love humans, our claims of loving Allah are not acceptable to Allah Almighty. We must love not only all humans but all of Allah's creatures, from the birds in the sky to the ants in the earth.

Among the best of God's creatures are those whom He selected to Guide humans, the most prominent of whom are Abraham, Hajira, Moses, Asya, Jesus, Mary, Muhammad and 'Ayesha [may Allah bless them all]. The final and perfected message of all of these Guides was brought by Muhammad, peace be on him. If we want to love Allah, we must love Muhammad, peace be on him, and through him all the others who preceded him. [2]

If our love of Allah is established and clear, then we'll easily see whom to select as spouse for our special personal and sexual love.

We live in a time and age when Islam is gradually but steadily resurgent. Among the new generations of Muslims there are increasingly larger numbers of young people who see their personal happiness as linked to love of Allah and acceptance of the Way [Sunnah] of Muhammad, pbuh. However, there is powerful resistance to this resurgence from the established feudal, military and westernized sections of Muslim societies. For them, their aristocracies are more important than Islam. They often marry their children to cousins to keep their wealth within their families and to keep their racial-family lines [genes] "pure." They, in particular, want to evade the property rights which Islam gives to women.

Islam does encourage great respect for mothers and fathers and supports the family system, but it does not permit parents to shape the lives of married couples.
In the choice of spouses, parents play a very important role but it is an advisory role. The final choice has to be made by the two who want to get married. Islam teaches that the virgin who knows little of the world should have a wali to advise her so that she may not be entrapped by a clever man. However, in the final choice, the bride must choose freely and without any pressure of any kind.
In all issues related to spousal life, the married couple is commanded by Islam to seek guidance from the Qur'an and the Sunnah, not from parents or relatives. In fact in husband-wife relationships, there is no role for parents and siblings other than that of compassion and caring. Interference is allowed only when there is clear oppression and violation of Islamic Law. Even in divorce, the Qur'an says:

"... Wives have rights similar to those of husbands according to what is equitable...." [The Qur'an 2:228], the only difference being that women have to wait for a fixed time before remarriage while men don't have to, and thus men have a "degree" of advantage for biological reasons.

Prophet Muhammad, pbuh, commanded: "Surely you have a right over women, just as women have a right over you." [Hadith, Sunan of Tirmidhi.]

Husbands should not be taking personal, sexual, matters to ANYONE outside the bedroom:

"On the Day of Judgment, terrible will be the situation of a man who goes [sexually] to his wife, or of a woman who goes to her husband, and then spread the secrets of their personal life, outside." [Hadith of Muhammad, pbuh, Sahih Muslim]

Without acceptance of the Will of Allah by both men and women, marriage cannot be successful and should not be carried out.

In conclusion, the four types of love human beings feel are summarized by Imam Ghazzali thus:
i. Natural love which we have for children, parents and siblings/relatives.
ii. Sensual or physical desire which is animalistic and is the result of sexual drives and is aroused by the physical shape and form of the object of love.
iii. Love based on reason and understanding, such as the love one has for poetry or other aesthetically pleasing objects and for morally exalted behavior. This is the highest limit of human love outside Islam.
iv. Islamic love which is rooted in the love of Allah and his Messenger, pbuh, and prepares one for the Hereafter. Prophet Muhammad, pbuh, taught repeatedly that in Paradise you will be with the ones you love. [These are the Pure Companions of Paradise repeatedly referred to in the Qur'an.] [3]

1. Imam Muhammad al-Ghazzali, died 1111 c.e. in Baghdad, the greatest theologian of Islam, wrote the best discussion of LOVE in all of Islamic literature. See his Ihya Ulum-id-Deen, volume 4 available in Urdu and English translation.
Allama Iqbal, the Poet-Philosopher of the East, died c.e. 1938, has some of the most powerful expression of the meaning of the highest form of love, ISHQ, in his verses about Self and Selflessness.

2. "And among people are those who take others than Allah as equals to Him. They love them as they should love Allah. But those who believe are stronger in love for Allah..." [The Qur'an 2:165]

3. The Prophet, pbuh, asked his daughter Fatima, r.a., "Do you love me?" She replied: "Yes." "Then," he said, pointing to 'Ayesha, r.a., "love the one I love." [Hadith, Sunan of Nasai.]

Native Orientalists at the Daily Times

by M. Shahid Alam
"The more a ruling class is able to assimilate the foremost minds of the ruled class, the more stable and dangerous becomes its rule."
-Karl Marx

A few days back, I received a 'Dear friends' email from Mr. Najam Sethi, ex editor-in-chief of Daily Times, Pakistan, announcing that he, together with several of his colleagues, had resigned from their positions in the newspaper.
In his email, Mr. Sethi thanked his 'friends' for their "support and making Daily Times a 'new voice for a new Pakistan.'" Wistfully, he added, "I hope it will be able to live up to your expectations and mine in time to come."
I am not sure why Mr. Sethi had chosen me for this dubious honor. Certainly, I did not deserve it. I could not count myself among his 'friends' who had given "support and encouragement" to the mission that DT had chosen for itself in Pakistan's media and politics.
Contrary to its slogan, it was never DT's mission to be a 'new voice for a new Pakistan.' The DT had dredged its voice from the colonial past; it had only altered its pitch and delivery to serve the new US-Zionist overlords. Many of the writers for DT aspire to the office of the native informers of the colonial era. They are heirs to the brown Sahibs, home-grown Orientalists, who see their own world (if it is theirs in any meaningful sense) through the lens created for them by their spiritual mentors, the Western Orientalists.

Pakistanis had failed to seize sovereign control over their country at its birth. In August 1947, the departing British had few worries about losing their colonial assets in Pakistan. They were quite confident that the brown Sahibs, who were succeeding them, would not fail in their duty to protect these assets. Within a few years, these brown Sahibs had strapped the new country to the wheels of the neocolonial order. Without effective resistance from below - from intellectuals, workers, students and peasants - these neocolonial managers have been free to cannibalize their own people as long as they could also keep their masters happy.
This is not a cri de coeur - only a diagnosis of Pakistan's misery. It is a misery that only Pakistanis can remedy once they make up their minds to terminate the system that has castrated them for more than six decades. The best time to do this was in the first decades after their country's birth, when the Western imperialist grip was still weak, and, with courage and organization, Pakistanis could have set their newly free country on the course of irreversible independence.
Grievously, Pakistanis had failed at this task. Pakistan's elites produced few men and women of conscience, who could transcend their class origins to mobilize workers and peasants to fight for their rights. More regrettably, Pakistan's emerging middle classes have been too busy aping the brown Sahibs, stepping over each other to join the ranks of the corrupt elites. As a result, Pakistan's elites have grown more predatory, refusing to establish the rule of law in any sphere of society.
Ironically, the enormous success of Edward Said's Orientalism, his devastating critiquing of the West's hegemonic discourse on the 'Orient,' has deflected attention from the recrudescence of a native Orientalism in much of the Periphery in the last few decades. Its victory in Pakistan is nearly complete, where it has been led by the likes of Ahmad Rashid, Pervez Hoodbhoy, Najam Sethi, Khaled Ahmad, Irfan Hussain, Husain Haqqani, and P. J. Mir. Not a very illustrious lot, but they are the minions of Western embassies and Western-financed NGOs in Pakistan.
In the euphoria of Edward Said's success, left intellectuals have nearly forgotten that the West's servant classes in the Periphery produce an indigenous Orientalism. I refer here to the coarser but more pernicious Orientalism of the brown Sahibs, who are free, behind their rhetoric of progress, to denigrate their own history and culture. A few of these native Orientalists are deracinated souls, who put down their own people for failing, as they see it, to keep up with the forward march of history. Most, however, are opportunists, lackeys, or wannabee lackeys, eager to join the native racketeers who manage the Periphery for the benefit of outside powers.
In the closing years of the colonial era, the nationalists had kept a watchful eye on native informers. In recent decades, as their power has grown several fold, this treasonous class has received little attention from left circles. Post-colonial critics continue to produce learned books and essays on the language, structures, tools, intricacies and even the arcana of Orientalism, but they pay scant attention to native Orientalism. These critics prefer to concentrate their firepower on the 'far enemy,' the Western protagonists of Orientalism. Perhaps, they imagine that the native Orientalists, the 'near enemy,' will vanish once the 'far enemy' has been discredited. In truth, the 'near enemy' has grown enormously even as the 'far enemy' treads more cautiously.
Quite early, writing in the 1950s, Franz Fanon, in The Wretched of the Earth, had sounded the alarm about the treachery latent in the 'national bourgeoisie' poised to step into the shoes of the white colonials and settlers in Africa. About this underdeveloped bourgeoisie, he writes, "its mission has nothing to do with transforming the nation; it consists, prosaically, of being the transmission line between the nation and a capitalism, rampant though camouflaged, which today puts on the mask of neocolonialism."
"Because it is bereft of ideas," Fanon writes, "because it lives to itself and cuts itself off from the people, undermined by its hereditary incapacity to think in terms of all the problems of the nation as seen from point of view of the whole of that nation, the national middle class will have nothing better to do than to take on the role of manager for Western enterprise, and it will in practice set up its country as the brothel of Europe." [1] Although Fanon was not writing about Pakistan, no truer words - nothing more prescient - could have been written about the brown Sahibs who have managed US-Zionist interests in Pakistan.
To return to the DT, surely some Pakistani - moved by the instinct of self-preservation - could have produced at least one damning monograph documenting the methods that this new flagship of native Orientalism has employed to advance the strategic interests of the US-Zionist confederates in Pakistan and the Islamicate. Oddly, you are unlikely to find even a few articles that shine the spotlight on the DT's unabashed advocacy of the US-Zionist agenda in Pakistan.
The DT was launched in April 2002, simultaneously from Lahore and Karachi, just a few months after the United States had invaded and occupied Afghanistan, with indispensable logistic support from Pakistan. Was this timing a mere coincidence? Or was the launching of an aggressively pro-American and pro-Zionist newspaper, led by a team of mostly US-trained editors and columnists, an imperative of the new geopolitics created by the Pakistan's mercenary embrace of the US-Zionist global war against terrorism?
Coincidence or not, the DT has served its masters with verve. Its pages have carried countless editorials justifying Pakistan's induction into the US led war against Afghanistan, under the cover of the attacks of September 11. The editors and columnists at DT have routinely excoriated the patriots who have opposed Pakistan's surrender to US-Zionist demands, as na´ve sentimentalists unaware of the tough demands of realpolitik. Endlessly, they have argued that Pakistan - with the world's sixth largest population, a million-strong military, and an arsenal of nuclear weapons - can save itself only through eager prostration before the demands of foreign powers.
In advocating national surrender, these native Orientalists boldly and unashamedly declared that Pakistan's elites draw their power from Washington, London and Tel Aviv, not from the will of the people of Pakistan. It is an insult that has since been sinking, slowly but surely, into the national psyche of Pakistanis.
Taking advantage of what appeared to be - after the invasion of Iraq in March 2003 - the irreversible US assault against the sovereignty of Islamicate nations, Pakistan's ruling elites openly began broaching the need to recognize Israel. Once again, the native Orientalists at DT were leading the charge, arguing that Pakistan could advance its national interests by recognizing Israel. Their rationale was pathetic in its na´vetÚ. Grateful to Pakistan, the brown Sahibs argued, the powerful Zionist lobby would neutralize the Indian lobby's machinations against Pakistan in the United States. Only determined opposition from nationalists in Pakistan defeated this treacherous move.
When resistance against US occupation of Afghanistan gained momentum, once again the DT was reading its master's lips. Shut down the madrasas, they demanded; and, without delay, attack the Pakistanis in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) who were supporting the Afghan resistance. Repeated US and Pakistani bombings of the resistance groups in Fata, which has killed thousands of civilians, called forth new Taliban factions that have been attacking military and civilian targets in Pakistan. With barely concealed glee, the DT cheers when the Pakistan military carries its war deeper into the country's towns and villages.
In 2007, when the lawyers in Pakistan took to the streets to demand the restoration of the Chief Justice sacked by the military dictator, the DT did not support them. Instead, it defended the sacking, and repeatedly made the case for a 'gradual transition' to civilian rule in Pakistan. A civilian government, they were afraid, might not be as compliant to US pressures as Pakistan's military rulers.
When elections became unavoidable, the United States and Pakistan's generals worked on a plan to bring to power the pro-American Benazir Bhutto, the exiled corrupt leader of the Pakistan People's Party. At US prodding, President Musharraf passed an ordinance withdrawing all criminal cases against the leadership of the PPP. With luck, the US plan succeeded. The openly pro-American PPP followed General Musharraf into power.
Space allows us to list only a few egregious examples of the Orientalist mindset on display in the pages of the DT. As the paper's chief native Orientalist, Khaled Ahmad, for several years surveyed the foibles and follies of Pakistan's Urdu media. He berated the benighted Urdu writers for their na´vetÚ, emotionalism, and foolish advocacy of national interests that collided with realpolitik (read US-Zionist interests). Ejaz Haider, the paper's op-ed editor, distinguished himself by writing his endlessly clever political commentaries in the racy street lingo of the United States. Did this make him a darling of the American staff at the US embassy in Islamabad?
Consider one more 'exhibit' that captures DT's servile mentality. In a regular column, oddly titled, 'Purple Patch,' the newspaper ladles out wisdom to its readers. This wisdom is dispensed in the form of article-length passages lifted from various 'great' writers, who are always of Western provenance. Presumably, the editors at DT still believe, with their long-dead spiritual mentor, Lord Macaulay, that "a single shelf of a good European library was worth the whole native literature of India and Arabia." [2]
Will the departure of Mr. Sethi and his distinguished colleagues make a difference? I doubt if the owners of DT will have difficulty finding their replacements, voices equally shrill in their advocacy of foreign powers. More than at any other time, growing numbers of Pakistanis have been grooming themselves for service to the Empire, as their predecessors once eagerly sought to serve the British Raj. This groveling by Pakistan's elites will only change when the people act to change the incentives on offer to the servants of Empire. It will only change when the people of Pakistan can put the servants of Empire in the dock, charge them for their crimes against the people and the state, and force them to disgorge their loot.
This will take hard work, and, some would insist, that this work is underway. It daily gains momentum, and, at some point, the will of the people will catch up with the servants of Empire. When the 'near enemy' has been decapitated - metaphorically speaking - the 'far enemy' too will recede into the mists of history.
[1] Franz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, translated by Constance Farrington (New York: Grove Press, Inc.): 152, 154.
[2] Lord Macaulay (1800-1859) was a British historian and Whig politician, who, while serving on the Governor-General's Supreme Council in India, was instrumental in persuading the British to adopt English as the official language of India. The quote is from the Macaulay's 'Minute of 2 February 1835 on Indian Education.' See Thomas Babington Macaulay, Macaulay, Prose and Poetry, selected by G. M. Young (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1957): 721-24, 29.
- M. Shahid Alam is professor of economics at Northeastern University, Boston. He is author of Israeli Exceptionalism: The Destabilizing Logic of Zionism (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009).

Occupied Palestine: [With thanks to Sis. Anisa 'Abdel Fatah. Re: Bangla Vision]
IOF soldiers arrest fifth son of Um Bakir on Eid Day
[ 28/11/2009 - 10:13 AM ]

NABLUS, (PIC)-- The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) spoilt the Eid joy for the Palestinian old widow Um Bakir in Nablus on Friday and took away her fifth son to join his four brothers in detention.

Local sources reported that large numbers of IOF soldiers broke into the home of late Sheikh Said Bilal and savagely searched it before taking away the only remaining son of the family into custody.

Um Bakir told the Ahrar human rights center that Israel wants to pressure the families of prisoners after it failed to pressure the resistance into concluding the prisoners' exchange deal according to its own terms.

Fuad Al-Khafsh, the center's director, denounced the detention of Omar Bilal, who is the only son for that family out of prison.

He explained that the eldest son Bakir has been held under administrative custody for two years while the other son Muaz, who has been in prison for 11 years, is serving 26 life sentences, Othman, who has served 15 years in jail, is sentenced to life, while Obada was sentenced to ten years and his wife was taken into custody in mid November this year.

Now they have taken the fifth and remaining son of the family Omar, Khafsh pointed out.

He called on the local and international media outlets to shed light on the suffering of this Palestinian family and to expose the criminal image of the Israeli occupation authority.

2009-12-02 Wed 05:05:18 cst