Wednesday, June 30, 2010
The Qur'an contains a great many verses concerning the creation of the earth, the heavens and what lies between:
We did not create the heavens and earth and everything between them, except with truth. The Hour is certainly coming, so turn away graciously. (Qur'an, 15:85)
Everything in the heavens and everything on the earth and everything in between them and everything under the ground belongs to Him. (Qur'an, 20:6)
We did not create heaven and earth and everything in between them as a game. (Qur'an, 21:16)
Scientists state that first of all, a mass of hot gas increased in density. This mass later divided into smaller parts to form galactic matter and later still, the stars and planets. To put it another way, the Earth along with stars around it, are all parts which separated from a united body of gas. Some of these parts brought the suns and planets into being, thus leading to the emergence of the many Solar Systems and galaxies. As we have set out in earlier sections of this book, the universe was first in a state of "ratq" (fusion: combined together, united) and then became "fataqa" (divided into parts). The emergence of the universe is described with the most suitable words in the Qur'an, in such a way as to confirm the scientific accounts. 6
On the occasion of every division, a few particles remained outside the new, fundamental bodies forming in space. The scientific name for these extra particles is "interstellar galactic material." Interstellar matter consists of 60% of hydrogen, 38% of helium and 2% of all other elements. 99% of the interstellar matter consists of interstellar gas and 1% of interstellar dust, which probably consists of heavy elements in small particles of 0,0001 to 0.001 mm in diameter. Scientists regard these substances as very important from the point of view of astrophysical measurements. These substances are so fine as to be capable of being regarded as dust, smoke or gas. However, when one considers these substances as a whole, they represent a larger mass than the total of all the galaxies in space. Although the existence of this interstellar galactic matter was only discovered in 1920, attention was drawn to the existence of these particles, described as "ma baynahuma"-translated as "everything between them"-hundreds of years ago in the Qur'an.7
Monday, June 28, 2010
انتقد موقع «أروتس شيفا» الصهيوني، الموقع الرسمي للقناة السابعة الصهيونية، في تقرير له تصريحات الرئيس مبارك أمام الهيئة البرلمانية للحزب "الوطني"، التي قال فيها "إن إسرائيل تحاول التهرب من مسئوليتها عن قطاع غزة، معتبراً أن الرئيس مبارك لعب بكارت غزة أمام هيئة الحزب البرلمانية".
وقال الموقع التليفزيوني الصهيوني في تقريره "إن الرئيس مبارك، الذي يجهز ابنه جمال لخلافته في الحكم، قال لأعضاء البرلمان في حزبه إن القضية الفلسطينية لها الأولوية القصوي في سياسته الخارجية، وأنه يبذل قصاري جهده من أجل رفع الحصار عن غزة بالرغم من أن مصر وإسرائيل اتفقتا منذ سنوات علي ضرورة محاصرة حركة حماس لمنعها من الحصول علي أي أسلحة أو ذخائر تجعلها قاعدة عمليات إيرانية".
وأضاف التقرير الصهيوني الذي نشر تحت عنوان «مبارك يقول إن إسرائيل تتخلي عن مسئوليتها تجاه غزة»: "إن مصر فتحت معبر رفح خلال الأيام الماضية للسماح بعبور الآلاف من سكان قطاع غزة من وإلي داخل الأراضي المصرية الفلسطينية، مشيراً إلي أنه ليس ملعوماً حتي الآن متي ستغلق مصر المعبر، حيث إن مصر ساءت سمعتها في الماضي بسبب إغلاقها المفاجئ دون إنذار للمعبر، مما كان يؤدي إلي وجود مئات العالقين من سكان القطاع علي المعبر لأسابيع".
وكانت الدولة الصهيونية قد أعلنت في اجتماع لحكومة رئيس الوزراء الصهيوني، بنيامين نتنياهو، الأحد الماضي، أنها لن تغير سياساتها تجاه حصار قطاع غزة، لكنها ستوسع قائمة السلع المسموح بمرورها من خلال المعابر، وذلك لتوصيل المساعدات الإنسانية إلي الفلسطينيين من سكان قطاع غزة.
وقالت القناة السابعة الصهيونية في موقعها إنه من بين البنود التي لاتزال علي قائمة الممنوعات الأسلحة والذخيرة والمواد التي يمكن استخدامها استخداماً مزدوجاً مثل الأسمنت والحديد ومواد البناء الأخري التي يمكن أن تستخدمها حركة حماس لبناء المخابئ والأنفاق قواعد للصواريخ، مشيراً إلي أن مواد البناء سوف تستخدم فقط تحت إشراف منظمات المساعدات الدولية، وذلك طبقاً للوائح الجديدة التي أصدرتها الحكومة الصهيونية.
Briefly this article states that Mubarak opened the bridges to Gaza. He opens and closes according to his own survival. When there are pressure from the Arab masses he opens and when it is from Israel he closes. Just play them both so your corrupt regime can survive. Nothing about what he thinks what is right or wrong. Compare that with Sadat where he had clear vision and set goals. He was not like the crazy Qaddafi who would attack the west for no reason and make friend with them with no rewards to the Arab causes or attack them and praise them in the same time. Just try to imitate me not knowing what in my mind. See how bold I am in attacking the tyrants when you are Al Mahdi Al Muntazer you fear only God.
By Big Tent Democrat, Section Civil Liberties Posted on Tue Jun 08, 2010 at 07:09:00 PM EST Tags: (all tags)
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Via Glenn Greenwald, Scott Horton discusses the recent uncoerced confession by George W. Bush of war crimes:
Sure, we waterboarded Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, former President George W. Bush reportedly said on Tuesday.
Horton reports on the reaction to this by former CENTCOM commander Joseph Hoar:
Waterboarding is torture. John McCain has said it’s torture. We have prosecuted foreign and American military personnel for waterboarding. We even prosecuted a sheriff in Texas for waterboarding. Waterboarding is torture and torture is a crime. [. . .] It is shocking that former President George W. Bush said he would use waterboarding ‘again [. . .]
In our names.
Speaking for me only
< Joran Van der Sloot's Mother Heading to Peru, Attorney Claims Confession Coerced Election Night Thread >
A lot of Muslims families who had their loved one killed or tortured by George Bush are entitled for compensation from the American Government as well from the private wealth of the previous president of USA.
1) Big Bang - Creation of the heavens and earth:
"To Him is due the primal origin of the heavens and the earth; when He decrees a matter He said to it: "Be"; and it is." (2:117)
2) Stars are fixed to guide the travelers in the land and the sea:
"And it is He who ordained the stars for you that you may be guided thereby in the darkness of the land and the sea." (6:97)
3) Judgment Day:
"One day the Earth will be changed to a different Earth and so will be the Heavens and (men) will be marshalled forth before Allah the One the Irresistible." (14:48)
"And verily in the skies We have set constellations and beautified it for beholders." (15:16)
5) Stars and other signs to be used for directions:
"And marks and sign-posts and by the stars, (men) guide themselves." (16:16)
6) Creation of Mankind and Heavens By Allah:
"See they not that Allah Who created the heavens and the earth has power to create the like of them (anew)?...." (17:99)
7) Big Bang:
"Don't the Unbelievers see that the universe was once joined together, then We burst it apart. We made from water every living thing. Will they not then believe." (21:30)
8) Sun Moon Stars subjected to His Law:
"If indeed thou ask them who has created the heavens and the earth and subjected the sun and the moon (to His Law); they will certainly reply Allah." (29:61)
9) Sun is moving:
"And the sun runs towards its destination (resting place) ...." (36:38)
10) Gaseous state of universe:
"Then He turned to the sky when it had been gas and said to it and the earth, condense willingly or unwillingly. And they said, "We condensed willingly." (41:11)
11) Creation of the heavens and earth, not mere idle play:
"We have not created the heaven and the earth and all that is between them in mere idle play. None of this have We created without an inner truth: but most of them understand it not." (44:38-39)
12) Expansion of the universe:
"And the universe, we constructed with power and skill and verily we are expanding it." (51:47)
13) Sirius (the Mighty Star):
"And He is the Lord of Sirius (the Mighty Star)" (53:49)
14) Space flight:
"O assembly of Jinns and men when you can penetrate regions of the heavens and the earth, then penetrate them! Not without power (or authority) will you be able to pass." (55:33)
15) Other galaxies:
"God is the One Who created seven heavens and of the earth a similar number. The command descends upon them so that you know that God has power over all things and comprehends all things in His knowledge." (65:12)
16) Seven Heavens, Stars, and the skies:
"He Who created the seven heavens, one above another: No want of proportion will you see in the creation of Most Gracious, so turn your face again; Do you see any flaw ....... And We have adorned the lowest heaven with lamps ...." (67:3-5)
17) Seven Heavens:
"See ye not how Allah has created the seven heavens one above another." (71:15)
18) Signs of Qiyamah (Judgment Day):
"When the stars are put out and when the sky is cleft asunder." (77:8-9)
19) Seven Heavens and the Sun:
"We have built above you seven strong (heavens) and placed a blazing lamp." (78:12-13)
20) Creation of Mankind and Heavens By Allah:
What! are ye the more difficult to create, Or the heaven (above)? (Allah) has constructed it; On high has He raised its canopy and He has given it order and perfection; Its night does He endow with darkness and its splendor does He bring out (with light). (79:27-29)
21) Signs of Qiyamah (Judgment Day):
"When the sun is folded up and when the stars loose their lustre." (81:1-2)
22) Planets (Retrograde Motion):
"So verily I call to witness the planets that recede." (81:15)
23) Signs of Qiyamah (Judgment Day):
"When the sky is cleft asunder and the planets are scattered and the oceans are forced to join." (82:1-3)
24) Signs of Qiyamah (Judgment Day):
"When the sky is split asunder and attentive to her lord, and it must do so." (84:1-2)
"Consider the sky full of great constellations." (85:1)
26) Moon, Stars, and Planets:
"By the sky and the night-visitant; and what do you know what the night-visitant is? It is the star of piercing brightness." (86:1-3)
27) Sky Raised High:
"And at the Sky how it is raised high?" (88:18)
Is U.S. entering a depression?
Posted: 05:00 PM ET
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Forget all the talk about an economic recovery - the U.S. just might be headed in the opposite direction.
Paul Krugman - who has a Nobel Prize in economics - writes in the New York Times that he fears we are in the early stages of a depression.
Krugman says a failure of policy is to blame - that it's a mistake for governments around the world to raise taxes and cut spending at this time. Krugman says nations should be spending more to stimulate the economy.
And, at the end of the day - it is the unemployed and their families who will pay the high cost of this depression. Krugman writes about the "tens of millions of unemployed workers, many of whom will go jobless for years, and some of whom will never work again."
Speaking of the unemployed - almost one million Americans are losing their unemployment benefits because the Senate failed to extend the deadline.
The bill didn't get the 60 votes needed to pass because lawmakers are looking for ways to put the brakes on skyrocketing deficits.
The same bill also contained another $24 billion for Medicaid funding for various states. And since they won't be getting that money right now, they will be forced to cut hundreds of millions of dollars, on top of what they've already cut.
It's getting very ugly out there.
Despite the Obama administration crowing about the so-called recovery summer - 78% of Americans say the economy is still in a recession according to a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll. Some recovery.
Here’s my question to you: Is the U.S. entering a depression?
Tune in to the Situation Room at 5pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.
And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.
Filed under: Economy •United States
If you want to save the fall of the empire you have to do these few points and quickly:
1- End the crazy wars of the empire. The Muslim leaders who America is using to fight along with for the wars are very corrupt and for many Muslims they are considered hypocrites or apostates. Very expensive wars for nothing. America already had lost the hearts and minds of Muslims, look at my early writings in http://www.commonsensemessiah.blogspot.com/ to see how I was looking for the empire to succeed however Muslims have big doubts about the intentions of the empire.
2- Direct the 700 billion dollars of yearly budget of defense to the American people and to Marshal like program that help a lot of people in the world.
3- Stop the piece-meal approach to problems and think vision and great new ideas.
4- Get the corporation out of Washington and let them stop controlling the politicians.
5- Stop talking from the tip of your tongue for a minute talk form your heart (to all politicians).
6- Before all of the above repent for the millions of people the empire had killed over the decades for economic domination and false doctrines
Written by Dr. Shahid Athar
Talking about God or speaking on His behalf is easy. It is the practice of God’s presence in our lives that is most difficult. The first question the human mind asks is “where is God”? Is He in us, with us, around us or up there in Heaven? Quran answers these questions by stating “ when My servants ask you about My whereabouts, tell them I am nearer to them than their jugular vein”. (2:186)
A father had taught his two sons, ages 10 and 8 about religion. Then he wanted to test their knowledge so he gave them each some candy but cautioned them to eat where no one could see them. After a few days, he called them and asked where they ate the candy. The older boy said “I had to eat the candy in the closet and I made sure nobody watched me”. The younger returned the candy to the father and said “I found no place where God could not see me, therefore I did not eat the candy”.
Regarding the practicing God’s presence, Christians are familiar with the writings of Brother Lawrence, “ the prayer of Jabez” and “the sacrament of the present moment.” They may not know that the awareness of God’s presence is very much emphasized in Quran in the concept of Taqwa which is sometimes translated as being conscious, God fearing, to be Pious, to be careful or heading God’s call or having self restraint according to Islamic laws. In verse 3-4 of chapter 2 of Quran, the features of those who practice God consciousness are described as those who belief in the unseen, establish prayer, spend from what God has given them, believe not only in Quran but the other holy scriptures that came before Quran and as those who believe in hereafter. As a reward of practicing God consciousness, their reward is to get true guidance from their Lord and prosper it.
God consciousness is considered in Islam a protective shield. A Muslim is never alone by himself and even if he is alone he is with God. Therefore, if he is God conscious, then he knows that God is ever watching over him. Caliph Omar described God consciousness as “as if you’re going on a path with a lot of bushes and you fold your clothes to avoid thorns setting into them”. Someone else advised a fellow human “it is O.K. to do the crime as long as you don’t do it in the domain of God”.
God consciousness gives us discipline and self restraint. In the matter of fasting in Ramadan, Quran tells us “ O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you so that you may learn self restraint (2:183)”. God consciousness elevates the dignity of humans in the eyes of God. Quran says “ the most honored of you in the sight of God is the one who is most God conscious and God has full knowledge and is acquainted of all things that you do( 49:13)”.
A God conscious person is also a God fearing person. The fear of God is different than for example, the fear of a lion or snake from whom we expect no mercy and try to run away. But the fear of God is mixed with our love of God. We fear God for His displeasure, losing His blessing and incurring His punishment. We fear Him with love and not with hate. Quran says “ O you who believe, fear God as He should be feared and die not except in the state of submission to Him (3:102)”. It also says “ O you who believe, fear God and let every soul look to what provisions he has sent forth for the morrow. Fear God for God is well acquainted with all you do (59:18)”. Those who are God conscious get many rewards of being so and the best one is God’s love, mercy and guidance. Quran says “ O you who believe, if you fear God He will grant you a criterion to judge between right and wrong, remove from you all evil that may affect you and forgive you for God is the Lord of grace” unbound (8:29). Thus, practicing God’s presence we do acts of pleasing Him and avoid his displeasure in order to receive his love, guidance and forgiveness.
What are the acts of practicing God’s presence?
The first act is being clean, both physically, mentally and spiritually, free our thoughts of all evils and concentrate on our relationship with God. The act of worship, whether it is 5 daily prayers, fasting in the month of Ramadan, pilgramage to Mecca or giving charity are nothing but to bring us closer to God in communication. Acts of asking forgiveness is another tool for practicing God’s presence. Forgiveness is the reward of repentance which only comes out of practicing God’s presence. Quran says “ He is the one who accepts repentance from His servants and forgives sins and He knows all you do and He listens to those who believe and do acts of God consciousness and He increases their bounty (42:25-26).” Thirdly, acts of communication with God whether informally or formally during prayer, brings us closer to God in practicing his presence and we are told “ and your Lord says call on Me and I will answer your calls (40:60).” Remembering God all of the time not only gives God consciousness but as a result gives peace and tranquility in our hearts. Quran says “those who believe are those whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of God, for without doubt, in the remembrance of God the heart finds rest (13:28)”.
In addition to the above acts of practicing presence, it would also be a recommendation to be in the company of those who are God conscious. The company of such believers is sure to strengthen our belief and give awareness of the presence of God around them.
Bismillaah, wal-hamdulilaah, was-salaatu was-salaamu 'alaa rasoolillaah, wa ba’d; as salaamu 'ala man attaba' a al-huda.
We find that a key issue lacking in the `Aqeedah of the Muslims today is the concept of kufr bit-Taaghoot.
When we say ‘laa ilaaha illa Allaah’, we must first give up false deities (laa ilaaha) as a prerequisite to worshipping Allaah in His exclusivity (illa Allaah).
Kufr bit-Taaghoot means the rejection of Taaghoot. Taaghoot is a false deity; anything followed, worshipped or obeyed other than Allaah (God).
Taaghoot comes from the word ‘Tagha’. Tagha means to exceed the limits.
‘Tughiaan’ literally means ‘transgression’. So Taaghoot commits Tughiaan.
There are 2 pillars of Tawheed. The first is ‘Laa ilaaha’. Laa ilaaha equates to kufr bit-Taaghoot.
To manifest this pillar, one must:
Negate (destroy) / Salbiyyah
Give up / At-Takhliya
Reject / Al-Kufr
There are 2 types of ‘Laa’.
‘Nahiyyah’ – This is the ‘laa’ of prohibition (i.e. the command not to do something).
‘Nafiyyah’ – This is the ‘laa’ of negation/denying/rejecting/giving up.
The ‘laa’ of nafiyyah is always followed up with a noun/name (e.g. ‘laa ilaaha’).
Al-Baqarah : 256
لاَ إِكْرَاهَ فِي الدِّينِ قَد تَّبَيَّنَ الرُّشْدُ مِنَ الْغَيِّ فَمَنْ يَكْفُرْ بِالطَّاغُوتِ وَيُؤْمِن بِاللّهِ فَقَدِ اسْتَمْسَكَ بِالْعُرْوَةِ الْوُثْقَىَ لاَ انفِصَامَ لَهَا وَاللّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ
“There is no compulsion in religion. Verily, the Right Path has become distinct from the wrong path. Whoever disbelieves in Taaghoot and believes in Allaah, then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that will never break. And Allaah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.”
Ibn `Abbaas said, “The most trustworthy handhold (al-urwatul wuthqa) is laa ilaaha illa Allaah”
`Umar (radhi Allaahu `anhu) said, “Taaghoot is Shaytaan.” [Ibn Hajr Askalani – Fath ul-Bari vol. 8 pg. 251]
Imaam Maalik said, “Taaghoot is anything you worship, submit to, obey and follow instead of Allaah exclusively.” [Imaam al-Suyuti – Al-Dhurr al-Manthoor vol. 2 pg. 22]
Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah said, “For this reason the one who judges without referring to the Qur’aan is a Taaghoot.” [Majmoo’ al-Fataawa vol. 28 pg. 201]
Jaabir (radhi Allaahu `anhu) said, “The Tawagheet are the fortune-tellers to whom the devils used to descend.” [Tafseer at-Tabari]
Ibn ul-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah said, “Taaghoot is all that causes the person to exceed the limits with regards to that which is worshipped (Al-Ma’boud), followed (Al-Matbou) or obeyed (Al-Mutaa’). So the Taaghoot in any nation is whoever turns to other than Allaah and His messenger (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) for matters of judgement, or is pleased to be worshipped besides Allaah or is followed without a clear proof from Allaah or is obeyed in that which is known to be disobedience to Allaah.” [A'alaam al-Muwaqeen vol. 1 pg. 53]
Imaam Nawawi said, “Tawagheet are the idols, the lords and false deities, and the singular of Tawagheet is Taghiyah.”
Ibn Katheer said, “And the opinion that the Taaghoot means Shaytaan is very strong.” [Tafseer Ibn Katheer]
So my dear brother and sisters, now that we know that a stipulation in the contract of laa ilaaha illa Allaah is the reject the Taaghoot, we should know how to reject it.
How to Reject the Taaghoot
1. Al-Kufr at-Taaghoot - You must believe it is baatil (falsehood) to follow, worship, obey and adhere to.
Al-Hajj : 62
ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ الْحَقُّ وَأَنَّ مَا يَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِهِ هُوَ الْبَاطِلُ وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ الْعَلِيُّ الْكَبِيرُ
“That is because Allaah He is the Truth, and what they (the polytheists) invoke besides Him, it is Baatil (falsehood) and verily, Allaah He is the Most High, the Most Great.”
2. Al-Ijtinaab at-Taaghoot – You must keep away from the Taaghoot in your beliefs, sayings and actions.
An-Nahl : 36
وَلَقَدْ بَعَثْنَا فِي كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ رَّسُولاً أَنِ اعْبُدُواْ اللّهَ وَاجْتَنِبُواْ الطَّاغُوتَ فَمِنْهُم مَّنْ هَدَى اللّهُ وَمِنْهُم مَّنْ حَقَّتْ عَلَيْهِ الضَّلالَةُ فَسِيرُواْ فِي الأَرْضِ فَانظُرُواْ كَيْفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ الْمُكَذِّبِينَ
“And verily, We have sent among every Ummah (community, nation) a Messenger (proclaiming): "Worship Allaah (Alone), and avoid (or keep away from) Taaghoot (all false deities, etc. i.e. do not worship Taaghoot besides Allaah)." Then of them were some whom Allaah guided and of them were some upon whom the straying was justified. So travel through the land and see what was the end of those who denied (the truth).”
3. `Adaawa – You must have enmity/hostility towards the Taaghoot.
Ash-Shu'ara : 75-78
أَنتُمْ وَآبَاؤُكُمُ الْأَقْدَمُونَقَالَ أَفَرَأَيْتُم مَّا فَإِنَّهُمْ عَدُوٌّ لِّي إِلَّا رَبَّ الْعَالَمِينَكُنتُمْ تَعْبُدُونَ
“He (Ibraheem ‘alayhis salaam) said: Do you observe that which you have been worshipping, You and your ancient fathers? Verily! They are enemies to me, save the Lord of the 'Alameen (mankind, jinns and all that exists)”
4. Al-Bughd – You must have maximum hatred. You hate it badly/extremely/physically until you believe that it is your enemy.
Al-Mumtahinah : 4
قَدْ كَانَتْ لَكُمْ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ فِي إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَالَّذِينَ مَعَهُ إِذْ قَالُوا لِقَوْمِهِمْ إِنَّا بُرَاء مِنكُمْ وَمِمَّا تَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ كَفَرْنَا بِكُمْ وَبَدَا بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمُ الْعَدَاوَةُ وَالْبَغْضَاء أَبَدًا حَتَّى تُؤْمِنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَحْدَهُ إِلَّا قَوْلَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ لِأَبِيهِ لَأَسْتَغْفِرَنَّ لَكَ وَمَا أَمْلِكُ لَكَ مِنَ اللَّهِ مِن شَيْءٍ رَّبَّنَا عَلَيْكَ تَوَكَّلْنَا وَإِلَيْكَ أَنَبْنَا وَإِلَيْكَ الْمَصِيرُ
“Indeed there has been an excellent example for you in Ibraheem and those with him, when they said to their people: "Verily, we are free from you and whatever you worship besides Allaah, we have rejected you, and there has started between us and you, hostility and hatred for ever, until you believe in Allaah Alone," except the saying of Ibraheem to his father: "Verily, I will ask for forgiveness (from Allaah) for you, but I have no power to do anything for you before Allaah." Our Lord! In You (Alone) we put our trust, and to You (Alone) we turn in repentance, and to You (Alone) is (our) final Return”
5. At-Takfeer at-Taaghoot – You must declare takfeer upon the Taaghoot.
Al-Baqarah : 256
لاَ إِكْرَاهَ فِي الدِّينِ قَد تَّبَيَّنَ الرُّشْدُ مِنَ الْغَيِّ فَمَنْ يَكْفُرْ بِالطَّاغُوتِ وَيُؤْمِن بِاللّهِ فَقَدِ اسْتَمْسَكَ بِالْعُرْوَةِ الْوُثْقَىَ لاَ انفِصَامَ لَهَا وَاللّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ
“There is no compulsion in religion. Verily, the Right Path has become distinct from the wrong path. Whoever disbelieves in Taaghoot and believes in Allaah, then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that will never break. And Allaah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.”
Abu Hurraira reported that the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) said, “Allaah will gather all the people on the day of resurrection and say: Whoever worshipped something in the world should follow that thing, so whoever worshipped the sun will follow the sun on that Day and whoever worshipped the moon will follow the moon and whoever used to worship other deities will follow those deities.” [Saheeh al-Bukhari]
The Arabic word used for deities in this hadeeth is “Taaghoot”.
Muhammad (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) said, “Someone will announce; let every nation follow what they used to worship. So the companions of the cross will go with their cross, and the mushrikoon will go with their idols and the companions of every false deity will go with their false deity.” [Saheeh al-Bukhari[
The Arabic word used for “false deity” is “Taaghoot”.
The 5 Heads of Taaghoot
1. Shaytaan and his alliance (including the kuffaar, mushrikoon and munaafiqoon).
Ya-Sin : 60
أَلَمْ أَعْهَدْ إِلَيْكُمْ يَا بَنِي آدَمَ أَن لَّا تَعْبُدُوا الشَّيْطَانَ إِنَّهُ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ مُّبِينٌ
“Did I not ordain for you, O Children of Adam, that you should not worship Shaytaan. Verily, he is a plain enemy to you. “
An-Nisa : 76
الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ يُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ يُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ الطَّاغُوتِ فَقَاتِلُواْ أَوْلِيَاء الشَّيْطَانِ إِنَّ كَيْدَ الشَّيْطَانِ كَانَ ضَعِيفًا
“Those who believe, fight in the Cause of Allaah, and those who disbelieve, fight in the cause of Taaghoot (Shaytaan, etc.). So fight you against the friends of Shaytaan; Ever feeble indeed is the plot of Shaytaan.”
2. Rulers, Governors and Judges who replace the Shari’ah with anything other than it.
The Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) is reported to have said, “The condition of my Ummah will be good if these 2 types of people will be good and the situation of my Ummah will be bad if these 2 types of people are bad.”
The companions asked, “Who are these 2 types of people?”
The Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) replied, “The rulers and scholars.” [Musnad of Imaam Ahmad]
An-Nisa : 60
أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ يَزْعُمُونَ أَنَّهُمْ آمَنُواْ بِمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ وَمَا أُنزِلَ مِن قَبْلِكَ يُرِيدُونَ أَن يَتَحَاكَمُواْ إِلَى الطَّاغُوتِ وَقَدْ أُمِرُواْ أَن يَكْفُرُواْ بِهِ وَيُرِيدُ الشَّيْطَانُ أَن يُضِلَّهُمْ ضَلاَلاً بَعِيدًا
“Have you seen those (hypocrites) who claim that they believe in that which has been sent down to you, and that which was sent down before you, and they wish to go for judgement (in their disputes) to the Taaghoot (false judges, etc.) while they have been ordered to reject them. But Shaytaan wishes to lead them far astray.”
3. The one who rules by other than what Allaah has revealed
Al-Ma'idah : 44
إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَا التَّوْرَاةَ فِيهَا هُدًى وَنُورٌ يَحْكُمُ بِهَا النَّبِيُّونَ الَّذِينَ أَسْلَمُواْ لِلَّذِينَ هَادُواْ وَالرَّبَّانِيُّونَ وَالأَحْبَارُ بِمَا اسْتُحْفِظُواْ مِن كِتَابِ اللّهِ وَكَانُواْ عَلَيْهِ شُهَدَاء فَلاَ تَخْشَوُاْ النَّاسَ وَاخْشَوْنِ وَلاَ تَشْتَرُواْ بِآيَاتِي ثَمَنًا قَلِيلاً وَمَن لَّمْ يَحْكُم بِمَا أَنزَلَ اللّهُ فَأُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الْكَافِرُونَ
“Verily, We did send down the Tauraat (Torah) [to Moosa (Moses)], therein was guidance and light, by which the Prophets, who submitted themselves to Allaah's Will, judged the Jews. And the rabbis and the priests [too judged the Jews by the Tauraat (Torah) after those Prophets] for to them was entrusted the protection of Allaah's Book, and they were witnesses thereto. Therefore fear not men but fear Me (O Jews) and sell not My Verses for a miserable price. And whosoever does not judge by what Allaah has revealed, such are the Kaafiroon.”
4. The one who claims to have knowledge of the unseen (except true prophets)
Al-Jinn : 26
عَالِمُ الْغَيْبِ فَلَا يُظْهِرُ عَلَى غَيْبِهِ أَحَدًا
"(He Alone) the All-Knower of the Ghayb (unseen), and He reveals to none His Ghayb (unseen)."
Al-An'am : 59
وَعِندَهُ مَفَاتِحُ الْغَيْبِ لاَ يَعْلَمُهَا إِلاَّ هُوَ وَيَعْلَمُ مَا فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ وَمَا تَسْقُطُ مِن وَرَقَةٍ إِلاَّ يَعْلَمُهَا وَلاَ حَبَّةٍ فِي ظُلُمَاتِ الأَرْضِ وَلاَ رَطْبٍ وَلاَ يَابِسٍ إِلاَّ فِي كِتَابٍ مُّبِينٍ
“And with Him are the keys of the Ghayb (all that is hidden), none knows them but He. And He knows whatever there is in (or on) the earth and in the sea; not a leaf falls, but he knows it. There is not a grain in the darkness of the earth nor anything fresh or dry, but is written in a Clear Record.”
5. Anyone who is worshipped besides Allaah, and is pleased with that worship.
Al-Anbiya : 29
وَمَن يَقُلْ مِنْهُمْ إِنِّي إِلَهٌ مِّن دُونِهِ فَذَلِكَ نَجْزِيهِ جَهَنَّمَ كَذَلِكَ نَجْزِي الظَّالِمِينَ
“And if any of them should say: "Verily, I am an ilaah (a god) besides Him (Allaah)," such a one We should recompense with Hell. Thus We recompense the Zaalimoon (polytheists and wrong-doers, etc.).”
I do not agree with all in the websites I quote from.
By PAUL KRUGMAN
Published: June 27, 2010
Recessions are common; depressions are rare. As far as I can tell, there were only two eras in economic history that were widely described as “depressions” at the time: the years of deflation and instability that followed the Panic of 1873 and the years of mass unemployment that followed the financial crisis of 1929-31.
Neither the Long Depression of the 19th century nor the Great Depression of the 20th was an era of nonstop decline — on the contrary, both included periods when the economy grew. But these episodes of improvement were never enough to undo the damage from the initial slump, and were followed by relapses.
We are now, I fear, in the early stages of a third depression. It will probably look more like the Long Depression than the much more severe Great Depression. But the cost — to the world economy and, above all, to the millions of lives blighted by the absence of jobs — will nonetheless be immense.
And this third depression will be primarily a failure of policy. Around the world — most recently at last weekend’s deeply discouraging G-20 meeting — governments are obsessing about inflation when the real threat is deflation, preaching the need for belt-tightening when the real problem is inadequate spending.
In 2008 and 2009, it seemed as if we might have learned from history. Unlike their predecessors, who raised interest rates in the face of financial crisis, the current leaders of the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank slashed rates and moved to support credit markets. Unlike governments of the past, which tried to balance budgets in the face of a plunging economy, today’s governments allowed deficits to rise. And better policies helped the world avoid complete collapse: the recession brought on by the financial crisis arguably ended last summer.
But future historians will tell us that this wasn’t the end of the third depression, just as the business upturn that began in 1933 wasn’t the end of the Great Depression. After all, unemployment — especially long-term unemployment — remains at levels that would have been considered catastrophic not long ago, and shows no sign of coming down rapidly. And both the United States and Europe are well on their way toward Japan-style deflationary traps.
In the face of this grim picture, you might have expected policy makers to realize that they haven’t yet done enough to promote recovery. But no: over the last few months there has been a stunning resurgence of hard-money and balanced-budget orthodoxy.
As far as rhetoric is concerned, the revival of the old-time religion is most evident in Europe, where officials seem to be getting their talking points from the collected speeches of Herbert Hoover, up to and including the claim that raising taxes and cutting spending will actually expand the economy, by improving business confidence. As a practical matter, however, America isn’t doing much better. The Fed seems aware of the deflationary risks — but what it proposes to do about these risks is, well, nothing. The Obama administration understands the dangers of premature fiscal austerity — but because Republicans and conservative Democrats in Congress won’t authorize additional aid to state governments, that austerity is coming anyway, in the form of budget cuts at the state and local levels.
Why the wrong turn in policy? The hard-liners often invoke the troubles facing Greece and other nations around the edges of Europe to justify their actions. And it’s true that bond investors have turned on governments with intractable deficits. But there is no evidence that short-run fiscal austerity in the face of a depressed economy reassures investors. On the contrary: Greece has agreed to harsh austerity, only to find its risk spreads growing ever wider; Ireland has imposed savage cuts in public spending, only to be treated by the markets as a worse risk than Spain, which has been far more reluctant to take the hard-liners’ medicine.
It’s almost as if the financial markets understand what policy makers seemingly don’t: that while long-term fiscal responsibility is important, slashing spending in the midst of a depression, which deepens that depression and paves the way for deflation, is actually self-defeating.
So I don’t think this is really about Greece, or indeed about any realistic appreciation of the tradeoffs between deficits and jobs. It is, instead, the victory of an orthodoxy that has little to do with rational analysis, whose main tenet is that imposing suffering on other people is how you show leadership in tough times.
And who will pay the price for this triumph of orthodoxy? The answer is, tens of millions of unemployed workers, many of whom will go jobless for years, and some of whom will never work again.
A version of this op-ed appeared in print on June 28, 2010, on page
Let us defeat the empire before the empire defeat us. Forget about your religion and where you came from. It is an empire of the rich and corrupt that run this country will try their best to hold to power. You have seen Obama is their late trick he covered George Bush crimes and continued his war policies. They tried to trick the third world, here a black man with Muslim and African roots. The empire was using the Christian religion to advance its adventures. Funny enough George Bush is out and the tyrants are in. Believe me I always prayed to God if this man is honest to give him victory. He was not, he was faking democracy for people who he would choose to attack according to the elites who would tell him what and how to do it. I was told that the son of Mubarak scolded him when he was in Egypt. Mubarak in power and his son is preparing to do the same. You will tell me why you attack a man out of his office now because his policies are the one led us to the abyss besides he did not leave me alone in his dark era. Someone else would had sued him. Obama supposed to make us forgive the sins of the empire but he reminded us well with that. You will ask me if you were in power would you accept attack of others in you, yes for sure since I would be always looking for solving people problems and not mine. Do justice and people will not attack you, except for the nuts.
I'm a student of comparative religion and while I was surfing the net, I came across this: http://thetruereligion.org/modules/xfsection/index.php?category=1 In it are stories of former priests and missionaries talking about their conversions to Islam.I've heard of scientists, celebrities, scholars and politicians convert to Islam but Christian priests?!! I surfed some more and I even came across Jewish priests and Rabbis too. Who will convert next? The Pope or Jesus? lol.
4 years ago
by I Love Jesus (pbuh)
December 01, 2006
Best Answer - Chosen by Voters
Because it is the truth. Jesus said worship God, the church distorted this message. The early followers of Jesus believed he was a Prophet. This was changed under the roman empire influenced by greek and roman methology. All the Prophets said worship God alone. Surely, they have disbelieved who say: "Allâh is the Messiah ['Iesa (Jesus)], son of Maryam (Mary)." But the Messiah ['Iesa (Jesus)] said: "O Children of Israel! Worship Allâh, my Lord and your Lord." Verily, whosoever sets up partners in worship with Allâh, then Allâh has forbidden Paradise for him, and the Fire will be his abode. And for the Zâlimûn (polytheists and wrongdoers) there are no helpers. (Qur'an 5:72)
4 years ago
29% 2 Votes
My conversion to Islam has alarmed many friends and family members. It seems to them strange and odd for a Latino like me to become a Muslim. Catholic and Protestantism are the leading religions in Latin America so these are reasonable religions for any Latin American to convert to, but when my family follows either Catholic or Protestant domination’s, why Islam? Well my conversion to Islam was not introduced to me by any family member, like most of my family members, whose parent’s ideas of life were given to them and they adhere to that as truth, without searching. The journey to God is a beautiful road that was given to the Prophets from God, to us humans. The Prophets are our ways, and that’s the way I follow.
My story begins at my birthplace, El Salvador, a beautiful tropical country located in Central America, filled with exotic, delicious, and tasty fruits. The people are warm welcoming to others, and possessed a very intimate culture. Our culture is a crossroads of the mingling of many rich cultures. If you mingle Spanish Arab intellect with the African tangy taste of rhymes, and the Native Indians love of the earth, you get the beautiful people of El Salvador.
I was born in 1975, from middle class of the poor, yes we were poor but we had the blessing of food. My father was a farmer, whose family who bought a lot of cheap land, so they were well off and my mother was from a very humble, poor family who lived by fishing and working for others to get by. Their families opposed of their marriage because one was poor and the other very poor. So my father did what most do, elope with my mother to my grandfather’s house, even if my grandfather didn’t like it. Later, both families became fine with it and a house was given to my father by grandpa, were I was born. The house was an old adobe house.
My father came to America in 1978, to make some quick money and he kept coming and going back for a period of 4 years until he bought a cargo truck with his brother and worked for a while. Then he felt the urge again to come back and since the war began, he felt scared for himself and me. In 1983, he left El Salvador again but with intentions to bring the family and stay for good. So after my father left, I spent a lot of time with my grandfather who was a Protestant, and I used to listen to the Biblical readings and I used to love looking at the pictures in the Bible. I used to ask, “does anyone still dress like the people drawn in the bible, with long robes, turban and beards” and they replied “No” it was long-time ago. I was fascinated with Noah, Moses, Abraham, and particular with Jesus. I had this immense hunger to find people like Jesus, the way he spoke in the bible and the way he dressed, his beautiful beard brought mystery and he looked very wise. I never saw this in my family who were very religious or anybody in the two Christian branches.
In 1984 my father sent a letter to my mother telling her come to America, and to bring me too. When my mother told me about it, I felt sick and destroyed. Because I felt that I was in paradise and I didn’t want leave. I cry almost everyday pleading with my mother to leave me with grandpa, but my words were not heard.
We left El Salvador in August, and I did enjoy the trip to America but it was very hard for my mom. My two sisters stayed with my aunt in San Salvador the capital of El Salvador. We arrive in National Airport of Washington D.C. three weeks after we left El Salvador.
After spending time here in America I found out that religions are thrown away by society and are considered private, and not a way of life to many. I didn’t feel the love of God as I did in El Salvador, but still tried to keep Him in my heart. Most of my desires of God in my life were gone in America. I went to regular schools from second grade to High school, but my thirst for religion began at High school.
In 1990, my first year in High School, what a joy!!! I was so happy the first day, and my cousin Ana warned me to be careful because seniors threw freshmen in lockers, but I didn’t care I was happy. Surely, soon I found out that seniors weren’t the ones who beat and threw freshmen in lockers but it was the footfall team. The football team was not interested in freshmen only but in Latinos in general. We were terrorized so bad that we used to hide in bathrooms when we saw one of them coming, these guys were 6′5″ tall when most of Latinos are 5′6″ so of course we were terrified. In the middle of the year we formed a Gang to protect ourselves from the football team, and we were becoming really crazy, at a point that the football team try to offer an apology to us but we were having fun, and we didn’t accept to stop.
We started going to clubs, drinking, using drugs, and of course women were not excluded. This period of time was the most dangerous of my life. We used to fight for stupid things. I almost got shot on the metro (train) in Washington D.C. for a stupid argument between my friend and some young kids. The kids started shooting at me like I was the one arguing with them, and a bullet went by my head barely touching my hair. This was crazy and we went after the guys who shot at us, and they got beat up really bad. Twenty minutes later, I felt a drawling rush in my whole body, felt like I was superman. I just went through a dream and I felt that I was going to be known, recognized and respect from my homies/friends. Next day, we told our friends and none of them believed our incident, but still I felt strong. In another incident at a nightclub, we had the biggest fight ever. The fight was so serious that many of my friends left the gang that we belonged to. Three of my friends got stabbed badly inside the club, so a group of us went outside looking for them, and the cops separated us into subgroups. I was in a group of six guys and we were just walking around the club when a pick-up truck came near us and they asked us if we needed help, we said “yes”. All of them got off the pick-up truck. They looked fishy to me, but my friends were happy to see them. One of them said “What mara (Gang) do you click (hang around) with,” and we responded with our gang’s name, and they said their gang’s name too. The bad thing was that these were the guys who stabbed our buddies and we were looking for them too. We started to get ready and I said to my buddies to run, because several of them pointed guns at us, so we ran and I was too drunk to run so I got caught by six of them. They beat me severely, kicked me with their boots and hit me with their fists all over my face and body. The cops showed up right in time, because I felt death on my throat. They could easily have stabbed me or killed me, and I looked up in the sky and said; “ My Lord save me, and I will serve you.” One of my friends got thrown from a bridge and broke his hand while others got away.
That same friend who was with me at the train shooting and the nightclub started to become more aware of life. After this incident, he started learning about different doctrines. His philosopher was Carl Marx, his sociology was communism, and his theology was Islam. To me, he was becoming unaware of life, and I myself started to search but in the Protestant church. I found myself becoming religious again, once again praying to God for guidance. However, I didn’t want to become too religious of a person because I knew my family would ridicule me. I had always been a person that looked uninterested in life. My friend started preaching about his thoughts and beliefs and I told him that my love for Protestant church was growing more so he could leave me alone. I told him Jesus is my teacher; not a black man named Elijah Muhammad or Farrakhan.
My friend at that time was confused what the true Islam was, his Islam looked weird to me. He believed that Nation of Islam was the true Islam; he did not know the differences, that the real Islam was not racist like Nation of Islam was.
I did accept his socialist belief in Communism and “Che” Guevara, and Fidel Castro became our Leaders for world modernization. At the same time, I was not too happy, for Communism denounced God’s existence. He pushed on about Islam, telling me to read his Koran, so I did. I was amazed to see Jesus, Moses, Abraham, and many more Prophets of the Bible in this Koran. He told me “We believe Jesus is a Prophet of God, not the son of God nor God himself” and immediately responded that I believe in the same. He said, “Your church believes that Jesus is God and the Son of God and they make up the Trinity,” I said to him that is not my belief in Jesus and God. That made me think a lot more about Christianity and the Protestant church of their Triune god, because I never knew that Jesus was considered this even though I did go to church. I felt confused but happy that there was a religion that had what I believe in, but still I wasn’t too acceptable to it.
In 1995, I went to work at a cafeteria at a University a year after I graduated from High school. At work, I saw so many cultures and different religious people. I still had hate towards non-Latinos, yet my first week at work a group of students came to buy some stuff at the store I worked, and they were fighting amongst each other, that everyone wanted to pay. This incident was very touching to me because I was a very giving person yet my friends took advantage of that quality. All the people in that group who came into the store wanted to pay for the others. I asked one of them later that week, why Middle Eastern people were so generous amongst each other? He replied, “See, we owe it to Islam because Islam teaches us to be generous, some of us don’t practice that much but Islamic manners are imbedded in our hearts.” This statement moved me. I replied to him that I used to study Islam for political reasons. He asked, “ Why did you stop?” I told him that I didn’t know where to get more information about Islam. He looks at me with joy and he said I have an American Muslim friend that converted six month ago. The next day they came to visit me, and I saw this white male dressed like the people in the Bible and looked like Jesus. My heart felt this peaceful calm feeling that I still feel. He started asking me about my health, my family and my work. He didn’t mention anything about religion. I was so happy that I told him to come every time he could to teach me. For two months, Muslims were coming to me with books, pamphlets, and just to talk. It went on for two and half months and the place got closed during the summer. So for two months I just relaxed and partied all summer. However, I started to feel guilty while drinking. When I felt that way, I used to prostrate in forgiveness. In September, I went to a party with my friend and I really got drunk that night and almost got into a fight, but my friend reminded me that I was studying Islam, so I stopped and asked him if we can go home. The next day, at 9:00 in the morning I woke up with this disgusting feeling and the phone rang. It was my friend from the University. I told him to please pick me up and take me to the Mosque. He came like a lighting flash to my house. I was nervous and happy at same time. We arrived at this beautiful Mosque Darul-Al-Hijra in northern Virginia ten minutes away from my house. At 10:00 a.m. the teacher came, very calm, and not pushing and asked me if I believed that God is One, I said, “Yes.” He asked if I believed that Jesus is a Prophet and the son Mary? I said, “Yes.” Do you believe that
Muhammad is the Last Prophet of God, in doubts, I replied “Yes.” At that moment in doubts of Muhammad, I said to myself, “If I believe in the teachings of Islam, I must be a fool not to accept in the one who brought it, I told the teacher that I was ready to became a Muslim (in submission to God); He told me to repeat:
“Ashadu anla ilaha ilallah Wa ashadu ana Muhammadan Rasululah”
“I testify that there is nothing worthy of worship than Allah and I testify that Muhammad is the Prophet of Allah”
“ Yo atestiguo que no hay nada digno de adoraci que Alah y Atestiguo que Mujammad es el Profeta de Alah”
At this point, I could smell the mercy and the sweetness of heaven, felt the presence of God in my torn, sick heart. I felt clean brightness in my new way of life. My life was ready for the next journey on earth, the journey to Paradise.
All Praises are due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds that He has invited me to Islam, from among billions of people in the earth to be a Muslim. My thanks are due to Allah the Almighty, for inviting me to His House Makkah (Baytu-lah) in 1997 for Um-rah.
Assalamu Alaikum Warathmatullahi Warabakatu
Modern medicine whispers to us something we prefer not to admit that we like hearing. Softly it soothes our fears by implying that death is unnatural. Death as unnatural has become a truism in our culture that does not need a proof. It does not fit with our image of our worth, and thus is a tragedy at best, a travesty at worst. To conquer death is part of modern medicine’s mission, although no one would admit to this. Of course it is ironic that in the age of biology, where death is understood as part of the life cycle, we secretly, or unconsciously, believe in an immortality not to be attained in an afterlife or a different bodily form, but rather in this life, with our own bodies that we already possess. Like the character in Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure,” we hold that a lived life, no matter how badly it is lived, is better than any death. This “kneaded knot,” as the human flesh is called, should not cease to be the beauty that it is.
While modern biology has enshrined death as part of the cycle of life, our perception of our place in history makes it an affront to our sensibilities. Thus, death is hardly allowed any space in our world. Not that we do not know that it is coming, but we act as if it will never come. The very form in which we have shaped our existence now presupposes its absence. In this sense, we are at a unique moment in human history: death might be everywhere, but it is always something that happens to others who are not as careful as we have been so far. Collectively, we insist on structuring our lives as if death has no bearing on it. Death, in this sense, is not even a metaphysical problem any more.
The pagans of Arabia knew that human beings are tragic because they die. To be heroic was one way of overwhelming death, if only for a brief moment. There was also the option of salvific religions and their promise of an eternal life in faith. All the same, whether they were pagan or followers of a salvific religion, human beings shaped their lives as if death were always present. As such, death overwhelmed the world of those who belonged to any pre-modern society. We, the post-Enlightenment human beings, could not be more different from them on this point. Life to us is not infused with the overwhelming presence of death, and so death does not cast a shadow over our lives. Life no longer reminds us of death. None of us would echo the words of Purcell’s “Funeral Mass for Queen Ann” and declare that in the midst of life we are in death. In the midst of life we are in life.
Thus, to speak about death and life after death as presented in an old text, a pre-modern text – and here it is the Qur’an that I would like to examine – is to try and imagine a world in which the reality of death was the only certitude and the only predictable element in human life. This is almost impossible for us to envision, for death in this form does not exist for us. To us, death is always an accident having no independence or reality. Ontologically, death does not exist, for it is no more than the result of a germ, a car accident, or aging mitochondria. If only we fiddle enough with the gene responsible for aging, we will have life eternal. If only we had enough antioxidants in our cells! As such, we do not concede a place to death; however, we all seem to die despite ourselves.
It is thus inescapable that when we speak of death and the afterlife as the ancients spoke of them, we often sound absurd, as absurd as talking about devils and demons as if they were real. The only way to speak sensibly of death and life after death as such is to treat them as historical topics instead of ontological realities. To come face to face with how the ancients saw death is invariably amusing to us, as we are amused when we admire the pyramids and the mummies. Had the ancient Egyptians known what we know, they would not have lived their lives so absurdly.
But an historical investigation can only take us so far. Perhaps we ought to add another dimension in an attempt to situate ourselves in their place. A good place to start a dialogue with the ancients is to admit the similarity between our predicament and theirs. Thus despite the apparent differences in our attitudes to death, there is a shared predicament that makes us both alike. We deal with death by denying its existence; they dealt with it by making it the only constant. It is not that we are any more rational than they were or that we have solved the riddle, for modern medicine is not helping us any more than mummification helped them. Yet we are not willing to give up antibiotics any more than they were willing to give up mummification. The inequities they visited upon their corpses in order to mummify them are matched with our willingness to let the knife of the plastic surgeon visit our living bodies.
This difference is not one of superiority, for our presumed correct understanding of what death is has not reconciled us to it, just as their faulty understanding of death did not mean that they were less able to enjoy life and its beauty. Our faith is pinned on modern medicine and its promises; theirs was based on mummification or any other salvific promise and the power inherent therein to ensure a resurrection of the body. In many ways we have conquered religion by making all of its promises real and visible in this life.
Only by admitting the resemblance between us and the ancients could we hope for any empathy on our part for their worldview, and thus the prospect of seeing death through their eyes. Ultimately, no matter how much we analyze their understanding of death in rational terms, we will not understand their world and the hold death had on their imagination unless we also imagine death as a reality.
The Qur’an is, for the benefit of those who have not read it, very much like a stream of consciousness novel – you can open it and read any page, and it immediately hits the ground running. This is because it is not a narrative work, but rather a discourse about God, faith, and the meaning of life. There is thus no one place where death is dealt with exclusively.
Moreover, the Qur’an is constituted of three major protagonists: God, humanity, and the Prophet. Rhetorically, it is structured to presume that God is the speaker and humanity is the object of the revelation. Part of its rhetorical strategy is that God speaks about humanity to humanity. Despite being a text that was mostly composed when Muhammad was in a very weak position and hardly in a place to be triumphant, the Qur’an speaks to humanity triumphantly. Its triumphal tone is based on the presumption that it knows human beings better than they know themselves.
The Qur’an always pretends to win any argument, and its trump card is, invariably, death. Thus death is not just one topic among others; rather, it is an organizing principle. Death renders null and void all human arguments against the irrational assertion of the existence of a universal God. It also renders absurd all human arguments against the worldview entailed by belief in a universal God, insofar as human beings are unable to solve the riddle of death. But the arguments conducted around the topic of death function well, because they rest on the shared assumption of Muhammad and the pagans that death renders human life incomplete and so is a problem in human existence. If the pagans did not share this assumption, then there would have been no point in arguing about it. The Qur’an was not creating a problem and pretending to offer a solution; rather, it was addressing a major issue in pagan Arabia: the impossibility of immortality and the absurdity of life in the presence of death.
The Qur’an thus reminds the pagan Makkans of something they were not disputing but were, nevertheless, not yet willing to accept: every soul shall taste death (29:57). Needless to say, the use of “taste” was not lost on them. Death shall, as it were, be served, and we will have to eat it. In another verse, the sarcasm is even more pointed: death will feel like a drunken stupor, a cup of wine as it were (50:19); those drinking the wine of death will be taunted and asked: “Isn’t this a fate that you strove to avoid?” The Qur’an actually does not mind repeating platitudes and to great dramatic effect, for example, when it reminds Muhammad and his people of death by stating its reality in the plainest language possible, as a simple tautology: “You will die, and they will die” (39:30). There is almost the sense that the mere mention of this fact constitutes a resounding condemnation of human arrogance.
Lest we enjoy the comfort of our precautions against death, the Qur’an also pokes fun at these efforts by declaring that death will overtake us, run as we may, even if we hide in high fortified towers (4:78). Are we building them, thinking we might live eternally (26:129)? Another example of this taunting is how the Qur’an deals with the possibility of Muhammad’s failure as a prophet. Certain of God’s victory in history, the Qur’an was sensitive to Muhammad’s doubts about the prospects of his own success. To assure him, it was eager to dispel his doubts by reminding him that God has the last word in human affairs. The point made to Muhammad was that death will overtake the pagan Makkans after he dies (21:34). No need to worry. Death is God’s triumph, and He will win the day with or without Muhammad. Let me quote here the wording of the Qur’an:
No person before you have We made immortal. If you yourself are
doomed to die, will they live on forever? Every soul shall taste death. We
will prove you all with evil and good. To us you shall return. (21:34)
Some of the Qur’an’s most poetic parts deal with the moment of death. The emphasis here is on the dying person’s solitude. Death makes poignantly clear what the hustle and bustle of life has managed to hide: human beings are solitary creatures, standing alone no matter how surrounded they are by others.When it matters, no one can offer help. No amount of love and wealth can offer us company in death. Death not only cuts others off from us, but cuts us off from others. Surat al-Qiyamah depicts a dying man surrounded by his family. The section opens with a shout of denial – theArabic for “No” – symbolizing the rebuttal to all of the arguments put forward by humanity to deny the truth of the resurrection:
No, but when it reaches the neck and those around him cry out: “Will no
one save him (will no one bring a cure)?” Do you still doubt that you are
leaving?And all is now futile. Now you will be driven to God, for in this
life he/she neither believed nor prayed. He/She denied the truth and
turned his/her back, went to his/her kinsfolk elated with pride. Well have
you deserved this doom, well have you deserved this doom. Well have
you deserved this doom; too well have you deserved it.” (75:27-35)
The Qur’an repeats four times its victory over the recalcitrant dead man. Death is doom. The dyingman knows it, his family knows it, and the Qur’an knows it. It then turns to interrogate humanity and I quote: “Do human beings think they will be left alone, having no purpose?” (75:36). And then comes the ultimate insult: the Qur’an reminds human beings of their lowly origins: “Were you not a drop of ejaculated semen fashioned into a blood clot? Then God formed and molded you, and made you males or females. Has He no power then to raise the dead to life?” (75:37-40)
The Qur’an is holding on to the pagan’s argument that death renders life meaningless and turning it upside down. Indeed, it argues the very opposite: death, by forcing us to face the question of life’s meaning, points to the solution – death is not an end, but rather a beginning. Life has a purpose, and thus we are not to be left alone. It is not our family who will be our company, but God, and we will have to answer to Him.
Elsewhere, the Qur’an neatly sums up humanity’s condition and history:
The unbelievers say: “This is indeed a strange thing. When we are dead
and turned to dust, are we coming back? Such a return is most improbable.”
Yes, they denied the Truth when it was preached to them, and now
they are perplexed. Were We worn out by the first creation? Yet they are
in doubt about a new creation. We created human beings. We know the
promptings of each one’s soul and are closer to each one than his/her
jugular vein. When the twin keepers receive him/her, the one seated on
his/her right and the other on his/her left, each word he/she utters shall
be noted by a vigilant guardian.And when the agony of death justly takes
him/her, they will say: “This is the fate you endeavored to avoid.And the
Trumpet shall be sounded. Such is the promised Day.” (50:1-17)
In the Qur’an, therefore, death is always tied to life after death, for only life after death renders human life bearable and meaningful and explains the mystery of human existence. The Qur’an sees life as part of a cycle: birth, death, resurrection, and life after death. Thus the cycle of human existence is not terminated at death, as the pagans thought, but continues on to an everlasting life in a post-judgment world of human perfection.
There is a story told about Muhammad trying to convince a fellow tribesman that there will be a resurrection and that the dead shall be brought back to life. The man, fed up with Muhammad’s arguments, fetches a dried human bone, crushes it into a white powder, raises it in the palm of his hand to Muhammad’s face, and asks him: “Is your God going to resurrect this?” And he blows the dust in Muhammad’s face. This story is supposed to explain a section in the Qur’an, which I cite here:
Let not their words grieve you. We have knowledge of all that they conceal
and all that they reveal. Is humanity not aware thatWe created them
from a little germ? Yet is humanity flagrantly contentious. They answer
back with arguments and forget their own creation. They ask: “Who will
give life to rotten bones?” Say: “He who first brought them into being
will give them life again. He has knowledge of every creature, He who
gives you a flame from the green tree, and lo, you light a fire.” (36:76-
The story is most probably apocryphal, but it sums up the Qur’an’s delicate position in arguing for resurrection in the face of refuting physical evidence. Much energy was spent on showing why life after death is a reality, and many of the argumentswere tied to a fundamental Qur’anic outlook: life has to have meaning because God is just. For life to have meaning, God must judge the world; since He is not judging it now, there has to be a Day of Judgment day, which means that there has to be a resurrection. All of these themes are invoked repeatedly, and the argument is hard to disentangle because it is multilayered.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Oliver Stone: The US Has Launched Military Interventions and Political Coups Fifty-Five Times in Latin America
The critically-acclaimed director discusses his upcoming documentary, "South of the Border."
June 26, 2010 | Advertisement Critically-acclaimed Hollywood Director Oliver Stone dropped by our studio for a Brave New Conversation, where I spoke with him about his latest documentary South of the Border, scheduled to be released in more than 30 countries this month. South of the Border begins by exploring the role that the corporate-owned mainstream media in the U.S. and Venezuela have played in shaping American's perspectives on South America, beginning with clips of the attempted coup on Venezuela's Hugo Chavez. In the Brave New Conversation, Stone describes the South American press:
The press [in South America] is totally owned privately, and most of that press, unlike most Americans realize, is anti-reform. Anybody who comes along and wants to change anything is castigated in the press. Chavez is one example: They kill him every day. The press is vibrant, it's oppositional, calls for his resignation, calls him a madman, and sometimes calls for an overthrow of the government. This is going on everyday and in America they say there's censorship. We're crazy; if we had a press like that, it'd be Fox News on steroids.
South of the Border offers a unique perspective on Latin America, one of a quiet revolution taking place where democratically-elected presidents have braved the strong arm of the US and its policies throughout the region by daring to oppose money for the War on Drugs and structural adjustment policies of the International Monetary Fund, making history with their efforts. Oliver Stone interviews Brazil's Lula da Silva, Argentina's Cristina Kirchner and her husband, ex-President Nestor Kirchner, Ecuador's Rafael Correa, Fernando Lugo of Paraguay, Evo Morales of Bolivia, Castro of Cuba, and Hugo Chavez of Venezuela: Leaders who are committed and unified in strengthening their countries' economic engine without the interference from the US.
To give you a glimpse of what the US has done in Latin America, Stone explains the following:
The only two allies we have left are Peru and Colombia -- both bad guys, because we've given Colombia 6 billion dollars to fight this so-called drug war. The paramilitaries in Colombia have killed close to maybe 30 thousand -- we don't even know -- maybe 120,000, maybe even 200,000 people have vanished in Colombia over the last 20 years. It's a horrible war.
South of the Border was an eye-opening experience, and I hope people will see it. I thought I was well-informed about South America before the film, but I came away with a whole new perspective. This is what is so wonderful about films that make a difference: you go in with one set of eyes and perceptions and come out thinking and feeling entirely different.
Robert Greenwald is the director/producer of "Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism," as well as many other films. He is a board member of the Independent Media Institute, AlterNet's parent organization.
The trick the elites play trough their false politicians is to stand for you if you criticise America as not patriotic or Anti-American. The same old game of the empires, you are with us or against us. We call it mental bullying. It is like the lawless George Bush when was threatening me with lawsuits, from under the table. They want to keep you fearful all time so they scare you to stand and criticise them.
I only fear God and I let them now that he is watching closely. Muslims have to separate the American people from the elites unless any of the American people stands with the elites. A lot of people in the left had opened our eyes to the sins of the empire and they are very patriotic Americans. For good Muslims, Christians and Jews there is no holy war but a corrupted rotten empire against the teachings of Christ.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
إنذارات من الله بقلم: البابا شنودة الثالث
إن الله الذي لايشاء هلاك الخاطيء بل بالحري أن يتوب ويرجع إليه ويخلص لذلك فإنه يرسل إنذارات متنوعة إليه لعله يستفيد منها من أجل خلاص نفسه, وإنذارات الله هي أجراس تنذر بخطر معين لكي نصحو إلي أنفسنا ونرجع الي الله, فهي إذن لفائدتنا.
وقد تكون عبارة عن ضيقات معينة تحل بنا أو مجرد كلمات إنذار. هذه الإنذارات هي من صميم مراحم الله, تعطي الإنسان فرصة لمراجعة نفسه.ومن أمثلتها: بعض الزلازل الخطيرة التي هزت بلادا. وخاف الناس واعتبروها علامة علي بداية النهاية, وكان الخوف دافعا لهم وقادهم إلي التوبة والي مزيد من الحرص, إن الله لايضرب الخطاة ضربة مفاجئة تهلكهم, بل بمراحمه ينذرهم, وهنا تعجبني صلاة كان يصليها أحد الرهبان قائلا: لاتأخذني يارب في ساعة غفلة.** والإنذار الإلهي قد يأتي قبل السقوط لكي يحترس الإنسان ولايسقط وقد يأتي بعد السقوط, ليكون دعوة الي التوبة. ولهذا قدم الله لنا هذه الوسيلة لكي ننذر أيضا مايمكننا إنذاره من الخاطئين, لكي يتوبوا, ومن الأسف أن الكثيرين ممن عليهم المسئولية قد يتعسفون من الإنذار, بدافع من الخجل أو المجاملة أو العطف, وبسبب ذلك يبتعدون عن النصيحة أو الإنذار لأحبائهم ومعارفهم, وأحيانا بدافع الخوف لئلا يتضايقوا منهم وقد توجد أم عطوفه علي ابنها أو طفلها لاتوبخه مطلقا مهما أخطأ لئلا يحزن أو لئلا يغضب منها, وقد تفتخر بهذا الأمر وتقول: ابني هذا لم أحزنه في شيء مامنذ ولادته بينما ربما هذا التدليل ليفسده بينما الحب الحقيقي يكون في توجيهه إلي تر ك أخطائه لكي لايقع فيها مرة أخري وأيضا يكون ذلك بأسلوب حكيم لاتخسره به.** لقد أنذر الله العالم قبل الطوفان, فنجي من قبل الإنذار وأطاع, أعني نوحا وأسرته وقد أنذر الله أيضا فرعون مرات عديدة قبل أن يضربه الضربة النهائية, ولكن فرعون كان في كل إنذارات الله يرفضها ويعاند, لذلك قد هلك.** قد يأتي الإنذار من الله نفسه مباشرة كما حدث في قصة الطوفان, وكما حدث كثيرا في بعض أحداث التاريخ, وقد يكون الإنذار الإلهي عن طريق الرسل والأنبياء, وعن طريق المرشدين والمعلمين أو بعض الناصحين.** وقد يكون الإنذار عن طريق عقوبة تحدث تأثيرها في النفس, وقد يبكي إنسان بسببها ويحزن. لكن الحزن يقوده إلي التوبة وقد يكون الإنذار الإلهي عن طريق فشل يقع فيه الشخص أو مرض أو ضيق, فيبحث عن سبب فشله كيف يعالجه. أو قد يستيقظ إلي نفسه ويقول: ربما هذا الفشل نتيجة لتخلي الله عني بسبب خطاياي. إنه إنذار لي لكي أصطلح مع الله وأرجع إليه وقد يمرض أحدهم مرضا خطيرا فيقول لنفسه: إنه إنذار من الله, وربما الموت قريب وعلي أن أتوب قبل أن أموت لذلك فإن بعض المشاكل العويصة قد تحمل إنذارا بالرجوع إلي الله لكي يتدخل ويحل المشكلة.** هناك إنذارات عامة يقدمها الله للبشرية عن طريق الأمراض المستعصية. مثل مرض الإيدز الذي عجز الأطباء عن علاجه. وصار إنذارا للمنحرفين خلقيا يخافون منه وبالمثل مايحدث لبعض الأمراض المستعصية الأخري مثل فيرسC, والفشل الكبدي, وأمراض أخري خاصة بالمخ لاعلاج لها.. وربما يكون الإنذار هو موت أحد الأحباء أو الأقرباء.. إذ يتأثر القلب بهذا الموت. ويقول الإنسان لنفسه: ما أسهل أن يترك الإنسان هذا العالم الفاني في أي وقت. فعلي أن أكون محترسا في كل وقت.** وقد يأتي الإنذار الإلهي عن طريق أحداث معينة: كما حدث سنة1948 حينما هجم وباء الكوليرا علي مصر, وكان من ضحاياه كثيرون, ولكن الكثيرين أيضا قادهم الخوف من الوباء إلي التوبة ومثل ذلك مايحدث في بلاد أخري من كوارث طبيعية مثل البراكين أو الفيضانات أو القحط أو الحروب. ولاشك في أن كثيرا من الكوارث تحمل في أعماقها إنذارات للعالم لكي يرجع إلي الله. ولكن الحكماء لاينتظرون الكوارث حتي يتوبوا بل عليهم أن يكونوا مستعدين للقاء الله في كل وقت تجذبهم محبة الله اكثر مما تخيفهم الإنذارات أما إن آتتهم الإندارات فليستيقظوا.** وقد يكون الإنذار بطريق التأثر الروحي,وقد يتأثر أحدهم بقراءة روحية أو بعظة معينة أو بأحداث سمع عنها. وقد يكون الإنذار عن طريق توبيخ من مرشد روحي أو من الوالدين أو نصيحة من أحد الأصدقاء أو من مقال روحي قد قرأه, علي أن ردود الفعل للإنذارت الإلهية قد تتنوع من شخص لآخر, أو من شعب لأخر, وهناك نوع سريع التأثر ينتفع بالإنذار الإلهي ويستجيب له. وهناك من الناس يسمع الإنذار فيتأثر, ولكنه يؤجل التوبة وتغيير مسلكه بلون من قساوة القلب والعناد أو التمسك بما هو فيه, وهناك نوع يتلقي الإنذار فيتأثر به ولكنه ييأس إذ تكون الخطية قد سيطرت عليه تماما وأصبح لايستطيع الفكاك منها, وكأنه مستعبد للخطأ لاتؤثر فيه الإنذارات أو هو يسمع الإنذار ولايبالي ويستمر في أخطائه حتي يضيع, ما أكثر الذين تعطيهم الإنذارات ولكن شهواتهم تضللهم, أو كبرياءهم تكون عائقا أمام استجابتهم وتقودهم إلي لون من العناد, وهناك نوع صلب الرقبة مثل بني إسرائيل الذين لم يستمعوا بقلوبهم إلي إنذارات الله مرات عديدة فأسلمهم الرب إلي يد نبوخذ نصر, وتم سبيهم في بلاد فارس, وبكوا حينما جلسوا علي أنهار بابل متذكرين صهيون!* وهناك نوع آخر يصله الإنذار, فيستهزئ ويقاوم ويعتد بنفسه.وهناك نوع أصعب من كل أولئك فهو لايتأثر إطلاقا مهما سمع الإنذارات وتكون نهايته هو, مثال ذلك يهوذا الإسخريوطي الذي أصبح في العالم كله مثالا للخيانة.أما أنت أيها القارئ العزيز: إن أتاك إنذار من الله في وقت ما من الأوقات, فحاول أن تستجيب وبسرعة وتستفيد من ذلك. وليساعدك الله.
المزيد من مقالات البابا شنودة الثالث
This article from he great Priest of The Christian Orthodox in Egypt tell us about the word of God which is clear in the Bible and Quran when people corrupt God punish them harshly. I have been saying the above in last few years and the tyrant George Bush was oppressing me and unable to talk to the world. He even framed a law suit against me to scare as you know all under the table. Typical wicked western politician presents himself with ethics and work for the tyrants who are controlling the world. A lot of Christians right know by now he was a false prophet. Form Muslims time to fear only God. In the time of the prophet few hundreds of people stood with him and God made their religion to spread all over the earth. It is time to do that again God promised us that and we are in he end of time. Few years and Jesus will be with us. Too good to be true, we are the generation who will see him, like there were a generation that saw him in his first coming. Last call to Obama return my passport which was stoled from my appartment. If you think like the lawless George Bush that you will keep me here under the microscpe know that God will keep very close eye one you.
For Muslims and Christians in the Middle East you will have much better life in the time of Al Mahdi. For البابا شنودة الثالث in the time of al Mahdi Christians in Egypt and the Middle East you will have their best time in history. Al Mahdi is actually the connection between those two great religions and those two great prophets Jesus and Muhammad peace be upon them both.
Friday, June 25, 2010
by Gerald Celente Trends Institute August 12, 2009
KINGSTON, New York
A false flag attempt, a genuine crisis, or a declaration of war, may slow the momentum of the “Second American Revolution,” but nothing will stop it.The natives are restless. The third shot of the “Second American Revolution” has been fired. History is being made. But just as with the first two shots, the third shot is not being heard.America is seething. Not since the Civil War has anything like this happened. But the protests are either being intentionally downplayed or ignorantly misinterpreted. The first shot was fired on April 15, 2009. Over 700 anti-tax rallies and “Tea Parties” erupted nationwide. Rather than acknowledge their significance, the general media either ignored or ridiculed both protests and protestors, playing on “tea bagging” for its sexual innuendo. Initially President Obama said he was unaware of the tea parties. The White House later warned they could “mutate” into something “unhealthy.” (Article continues below)Shop Earthhope MagazinesShot #2 was fired on the Fourth of July, when throngs of citizens across the nation gathered to again protest “taxation without representation.” And as before, the demonstrations were branded right-wing mischief and dismissed. The third volley, fired in early August, was aimed point blank at Senators and House members pitching President Obama’s health care reform package to constituents. In fiery town hall meetings, enraged citizens shouted down their elected representatives. It took a strong police presence and/or burly bodyguards to preserve a safe physical space between the politicians and irate townspeople.
The White House and the media have labeled protestors “conservative fringe elements,” or as players in staged events organized by Republican operatives that have been egged on by Fox news and right-wing radio show hosts. In regard to this latest wave of outbursts, health industry interests opposed to any reform are also being blamed for inciting the public. But organized or spontaneous is not the issue. While most protestors exhibit little grasp of the complex 1000 page health care reform document (that nary a legislator has read either), their emotion is clearly real and un-staged. Rightly or wrongly, the legislation is regarded as yet another straw on the already overloaded camel’s back. A series of gigantic, unpopular government-imposed (but taxpayer-financed) bailouts, buyouts, rescue and stimulus packages have been stuffed down the gullet of Americans. With no public platform to voice their opposition, options for citizens have been limited to fruitless petitions, e-mails and phone calls to Congress … all fielded by anonymous staff underlings. Now, with Congress in recess and elected representatives less than a stone’s throw away, the public is exploding. The devil is not in the details of the heath care reform, the devil is the government mandating health care. Regardless of how the plan is pitched or what is being promised, to the public the legislation is yet another instance of big government taking another piece out of their lives and making them pay for it; again telling them what they can or cannot do. Though in its early stages, the “Second American Revolution” is underway.
Yet, what we forecast will become the most profound political trend of the century – the trend that will change the world – is still invisible to the same experts, authorities and pundits who didn’t see the financial crisis coming until the bottom fell out of the economy. Trend Forecast: Conditions will continue to deteriorate. The global economy is terminally ill. The recession is in a brief remission, not the early stages of recovery. Cheap money, easy credit and unrestrained borrowing brought on an economic crisis that cannot be cured by monetary and fiscal policies that promote more cheap money, easy credit and unrestrained borrowing. Nevertheless, Washington will continue to intervene, tax and exert control. Protests will escalate and riots will follow. Fourth Shot of the “Second American Revolution”: While there are many wild cards that could light the fuse, The Trends Research Institute forecasts that if the threat of government-forced Swine Flu vaccinations is realized, it will be the fourth shot. Tens of millions will fight for their right to remain free and unvaccinated. Publisher’s Note: The power of the Internet and new technologies is inexorably fermenting the “Second American Revolution.” However widespread and emotionally charged, had the tax rallies, tea parties and healthcare reform protests occurred in years past, they might have been covered by the local media, but might not have made national headline news and thus would have died stillborn. Now, with the ubiquitous camera-equipped cell phone, universal access to YouTube, and millions of twitters and tweets, the uprisings cannot be ignored, contained, managed, spun or edited down. The revolutionary fervor will prove contagious. Can anything stop it? Trend Forecast: Before the momentum of the “Second American Revolution” becomes unstoppable, it could be derailed through some false flag event designed to deceive the public, or a genuine event or crisis capable of rallying the entire nation behind the President. In a worst-case scenario, according to Trends Research Institute Director, Gerald Celente, “Given the pattern of governments to parlay egregious failures into mega-failures, the classic trend they follow, when all else fails, is to take their nation to war."A false flag attempt, a genuine crisis, or a declaration of war, may slow the momentum of the “Second American Revolution,” but nothing will stop it.Source: Trends Institute
The US is not only involved in senseless wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, the U.S. now
maintains 700 military bases world-wide and another 6000 in the US and our territories. Young
men and women join the military to protect the U.S. and to get college tuition and healthcare
coverage and killed and maimed in elective wars and being the world’s police. Wonder whose
assets they are protecting and serving?
In fact, the U.S. spends $700 billion directly on military per year, half the military spending of the entire world –much more than Europe, China, Russia, Iran, Pakistan, North Korea, and
Venezuela - combined.
The government and private companies have dramatically increased surveillance of people
through cameras on public streets and private places, airport searches, phone intercepts,
access to personal computers, and compilation of records from credit card purchases, computer
views of sites, and travel.
The number of people in jails and prisons in the U.S. has risen sevenfold since 1970 to over 2.3
million. The US puts a higher percentage of our people in jail than any other country in the
The tea party people are mad at the Republicans, who they accuse of selling them out to big
Democrats are working their way past depression to anger because their party, despite
majorities in the House and Senate, has not made significant advances for immigrants, or
women, or unions, or African Americans, or environmentalists, or gays and lesbians, or civil
libertarians, or people dedicated to health care, or human rights, or jobs or housing or economic
justice. Democrats also think their party is selling out to big business.
Forty three years ago next month, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. preached in Riverside Church in
New York City that “a time comes when silence is betrayal.” He went on to condemn the
Vietnam War and the system which created it and the other injustices clearly apparent. “We as
a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a
“thing oriented” society to a “person oriented” society. When machines and computers, profit
motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of
racism, materialism and militarism are incapable of being conquered.”
It is time.
Bill is legal director of the Center for Constitutional Rights and a law professor at Loyola
University New Orleans. Quigley77@gmail.com
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Thursday, June 24, 2010
Courts around the world are being asked to uphold society's right to the truth about human rights violations and to hold public inquiries. The "Don't Look Back" policy of the Obama administration fails to do the same for victims of rendition.
In 1972, a small guerrilla movement of students and workers emerged from the Araguaia River region in Brazil, seeking to foment a popular uprising to overthrow the military dictatorship that had been in power since 1964. Over the next two years the Brazilian army brutally suppressed the movement, arresting and torturing members. More than 60 disappeared, their fate still unknown.
With the restoration of democracy in 1982, legal proceedings were brought by the families of the disappeared who sought the truth about what happened to their sons, brothers and fathers, where they were buried, as well as an official recognition of their deaths. But the claims ran foul of Brazil's 1979 amnesty laws which prohibit any legal action over torture and killings by the military dictatorship. On 30 April this year, the country's supreme court upheld the amnesty, finding that the actions of the military regime were political in nature and therefore covered by the law.
Three weeks later, the question of the legitimacy of the amnesty was heard by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in Costa Rica in a different case brought by the family of one of the guerrillas. The family argued that the amnesty laws violated their right to information, their right to justice, and their right to the truth, all of which are elements of personal integrity protected by article 5 of the American convention on human rights.
At the Open Society Justice Initiative, we have filed an amicus curiae brief which argued that there is a legally enforceable right to the truth for both the victims of human rights violations and for society as a whole. Judicial decisions and soft law standards have confirmed that the right is a broad one, sufficient to allow the public to know about the underlying conditions that led to past abuses which should ensure that such conditions do not reoccur.
The long-awaited publication of the Saville report into Bloody Sunday in Northern Ireland is an example of a very public truth-telling exercise. The unequivocal findings of the report were welcomed by the families of the victims as a vindication of their campaign for the truth, demonstrating the importance of that right even 38 years later. In his statement to the House of Commons, David Cameron quoted the family member of a victim who said "the truth coming out can help set people free." In a different context, William Hague's swift decision – as the new foreign secretary – to order a full public inquiry into allegations of involvement in torture by the previous government has been welcomed by the Council of Europe as a "proper response" that might be an example to other countries.
These efforts to expose the truth stand in stark contrast to the "Don't Look Back" policy of Barack Obama, who has made clear that there will be no accountability for human rights violations that occurred under the Bush administration. This week, the US supreme court declined to review the government claim of "state secrets" in the case of Mohamed Arar, the Canadian who was seized at JFK airport in New York on the basis of incorrect information provided by Canada's mounted police and then rendered to Syria for torture. In the absence of any US prosecutions, it appears that the Canadian mounted force is now mounting an investigation into crimes committed allegedly by US agents.
Also this week, the Justice Initiative announced the filing of a case against Macedonia to the European court of human rights for collusion in the CIA rendition of a German citizen, Khaled El-Masri, to Afghanistan, where he was held for four months in terrible conditions. The Strasbourg-based court is being asked to give an opinion on whether the behaviour of the CIA rendition team at Skopje airport amounted to torture, and whether by knowingly assisting in sending him to Afghanistan, Macedonia is responsible for what happened next. Legal proceedings in the US also fell victim to the "state secrets" doctrine, and now Hillary Clinton, the secretary of state, seems to be maintaining the position of her predecessor, Condoleezza Rice, in refusing even to acknowledge in public that the operation occurred.
The story of the secret rendition programme is sufficiently compelling to prevent it from being forgotten – and the full details will eventually be revealed. But given the attitude of the Obama administration, it seems that justice for the victims will not come from a public inquiry in the US, but from the dogged persistence of foreign investigators, lawyers, prosecutors, and judges who are determined to find the truth.
Rupert Skilbeck is a barrister and litigation director for the Open Society Justice Initiative in New York
Do not get fooled like me and many good Christians, Muslims and Jews. This is an empire and there is always someone to play the role. It was Bush when they were using the fake democracy when they were going after oil and domination of the Middle East. Obama is the soft one who will make peace and meanwhile he did not investigate all war crimes of Bush enterprise or tortures.
He did not even care about any abuses in the underground prisons of the empire. The American people are quite aware now and no one will be fooled. It is an empire and they are the players. The most important is to have tight control of the public through the media. The last joke I heared it form one of the emperors of the empire to shut off the Internet, like it is his home TV.
Look this country was built on freedom not that of the false prophet George Bush where freedom is a plan to forward your agenda. By the way wasnot this crazy guy Saddam their best friend and actually they supplied him by the chemicals to wipe out the Iranians. As you see they took my passport to hold me in America and they will regret it. The peaceful revolution is on the march. There is no reason why American people should suffer while the politicians are living in luxury with their friends the CEO's. The Arab/Muslim world now know the game well.