Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Indonesian maids in Malaysia

A Press TV Report

Press TV coming soon (July 2nd) ---- way cooler than an overpriced iphone! 

Monday, June 25, 2007

Victory for Muslim Family caught in the US War on Terror

Subhanallah, Walhamdulillah, Wa Laa ilaaha ilallahu Wallahu Akbar

it is with great praises to the Most Merciful, with thanks to all those who supported, and with great joy that i share this news...

The Siraj Family, members of DRUM-Desis Rising Up and Moving celebrate....


Another chapter in a nightmare that has torn up a loving Muslim family caught up in the U.S. "War on Terror" brings a VICTORY. With their entire family detained by the US government in various facilities, the father of the Siraj family was released last week. The entire Siraj family was arrested in January---just hours after their 24 year old son, Matin, was sentenced to 30 years in prison for false terrorism charges (based on an NYPD-paid informant), Matin's mother, father and sister were violently arrested in their homes by more than a dozen ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) officers of the Dept. of Homeland Security. The arrest and detention of the entire family was a clear intimidation tactic to silence a family speaking out against the US War on Terror's criminalization of South Asian, Muslim and Arab communities.

2 weeks after the family's detention, buoyed by community organizing by DRUM and countless supporters in solidarity with the family (including hundreds of letters of support to ICE!), the mother and sister were released, albeit on $35,000 bond. The community has continued to support and organize in support of the family and last week, the father was finally released, after languishing in jail for 6 months.

Mr. Siraj, an elderly man with several medical conditions including a hearing impairment, was released under an intensive governmental supervision unofficially known as the ankle bracelet program (involving electronic surveillance); curfew/nighttime house arrest; and parole-style regular check-ins . While Mr. Siraj will continue to live under close watch though he poses no threat, the family continues to face an uphill legal battle, both for their own immigration cases as well as in their son's appeal.

We know that Siraj's release, while a victory for the family and a testament to the power of organizing, also opens up a detention bed for one more and leaves behind over 20,000 of our immigrant brothers or sisters to languish in private detention centers and county jails around the country. Our work must continue...as Congress continues to propose bills that will most likely deepen the crisis for communities, particularly through increasing detention and deportation--we must keep up the fight for legalization without compromising away raids, surveillance, due process, detention and deportation.

SUPPORT THE FAMILY: The family is facing over $50,000 in legal fees; bond debt as well as trying to send their daughter to community college--financial support is desperately needed. Make checks out to: "Shaheena Parveen Siraj". Mail donations to DRUM at: P.O. Box 720187, Jackson Heights, NY 11372

Again, thank you for your incredible support as we continue fighting for this family's freedom and the larger political attack on our communities.

In Solidarity,

Friday, June 22, 2007

The ideological institution of Harvard

Farid Esack stated the following, in a corrective, to a newspaper article on him in Pakistan:

The section I wish to address is the following (complete statement can be viewed at the end of this comment/response).

I am currently the William Henry Bloomberg Professor at Harvard University. (The university appoints faculty on the basis of scholarly ability and really does not care a hoot what anyone’s personal religious beliefs are).

This has got to be one of the strangest comments I have heard from someone who is supposedly speaking out against imperialism - and requires a response - even if it has been stated parenthetically.

I don't have the time or energy at this time to discuss in detail Harvard University's elitesm, its role in promoting imperialism, and its ideological leanings - and so, for now, I will refer people to a book - that discusses these issues in more detail.

How Harvard Rules: Reason in service of empire

The book specifically addresses how appointments are based on politics (at least in part - i would argue in whole) and not on merit.

That should address the first part of Esack's statement - that Harvard's appointments are based on "scholarly ability" --- Now, giving Esack the benefit of the doubt, he does not define what those "scholarly abilities" are, and in whose service they are towards. I will assume, that Esack understands that that these "scholarly abilities" must be in favor of imperialism in one shape or another.

BUT the second part gets stranger: "The university...really does not care a hoot what anyone’s personal religious beliefs are." Now, as it turns out, the primary backers of the Progressive Muslim Union North America was, infact, Harvard's "pluralism project" - and before they melted down, it was Harvard that had given them a substantial grant, and space for their conference (that never materialized).

The ideological leaning of Harvard towards Progressive Islam is well known, and there is a fair bit of caution amongst some Islamic groups, if they are approached by Harvard - as to what their agenda might be, and if, given their leanings, they should or should not accept an invitation. Harvard, as such, does very much care about "personal religious beliefs" --- if they are at odds with their imperial agenda.

Esack, or really anyone who has been appointed by Harvard, or indeed any imperial institution - need to take a serious look at their own work, and themselves, and see how they might be serving the empire. Because, otherwise, they would not be at Harvard. And their analyses of empire needs to be a lot more deeper - including within it the co-option of supposed critics of imperialism (such as himself).

But even more so --- a serious look at their own critiques, are they really spot on, or not? Ultimately imperialism does not only destroy the physical infrastractures, and the physical lives of human beings, but also destroys ideas, and values. The war on values (or the war on Islam) is not as blatant as the apparent killings, it is a lot more subtle, and it is more dangerous - because once ideas and values are destroyed (or, worse, twisted)- then that spells the end of resistance (as in out of the light and into a deep darkness).

Dear Editor

Allow me to point out few corrections in the news story posted at Kashmir Watch quoting Dawn newspaper under the headline ‘Scholar Advocates ‘Liberation Theology’, 10th June, 2007

a) The third paragraph was incorrectly attributed to me; I was, albeit approvingly, quoting Patrick Reinsborough.

b) The article says that I was to the William Henry Bloomberg Professor at Harvard University until I converted to Islam and went to study at Madrassahs in Karachi. Now, I am indeed a proud product three of Karachi’s madrassahs (including Jami’ah Binnuria). However, I was born into a Muslim family and I am currently the William Henry Bloomberg Professor at Harvard University. (The university appoints faculty on the basis of scholarly ability and really does not care a hoot what anyone’s personal religious beliefs are).

Prof Farid Esack

William Henry Bloomberg Professor

Harvard Divinity School

45 Francis Ave,

Cambridge MA 02138

Monday, June 18, 2007

Ya Fatima Zahra

"Fatima lived like this and died like this. After her death, she began a new life in history. Fatima appears as a halo in the visages of all of the oppressed who later become the multitudes of Islam. All of the usurped, extorted, oppressed, sufferers, all of those whose rights have been destroyed and sacrificed by pressure and have been deceived, had the name of Fatima as their slogan.

The memory of Fatima grew with the love, emotions and wonderful faith of the men and women, who throughout the history of Islam, fought for freedom and justice. Throughout the centuries they were nourished under the merciless and bloody lashes of the Caliphates. Their cries and anger grew and overflowed from their wounded hearts.

This is why in the history of all Muslim nations and among the deprived masses of the Islamic community, Fatima is the source of the inspiration for freedom, the desire of that which is a right, the seekers of justice, the resisters of oppression, cruelty, crime and discrimination.

It is most difficult to speak about the personality of Fatima. Fatima is the woman that Islam wants a woman to be. The concept of her visage is painted by the Prophet himself. He melted her and made her pure in the fire of difficulties, poverty, resistance, deep understanding and the wonder of humanity." (Shaheed Ali Shariati - Fatima is Fatima)

Saturday, June 09, 2007


Dr. Hatem Bazian interviewed by Jeff Blankfort on the Palestinian Nakba.

Dr. Bazian, adjunct professor of Islamic Studies at UC Berkeley and Islamic Law at Boalt Law School discusses the crisis in occupied Palestine in connection with the 59th anniversary of the Nakba, incuding the collaboration of the PA with US and Israel.

Click here to listen.

Algeria revisited …

Rumour has it that George W Bush is seeking lessons from history on how to extricate himself from the Iraq quagmire that he and his Coalition-of-the-Killing colleagues (including John Howard) have caused.

Bush is reading a recently re-released edition of British historian Alistair Horne’s classic A Savage War of Peace: Algeria 1954-1962.

I haven’t read the book. But I have read a review which appeared in the Weekend Australian Financial Review on April 14-15 2007. Here are some of the main points from that review.

The Algerian insurgency commenced in 1954 when the majority of Algerian natives fought to free themselves of both the French and the substantial minority of French Algerians who counted Algeria as home.

The European minority in Algeria, known as pied noirs (or black feet) would often react to the news of some bombing outrage by forming mobs that lynched any native Algerians they could lay their hands on. Invariably the victims had nothing to do with the bombs or the Front de Liberation Nationale (FLN) who were orchestrating the native attacks.

The extreme pied-noir faction, known as ultras, blocked all attempts at political reform. Toward the end of the war, the French looked like they might leave Algeria behind. The ultras formed a military wing, letting off bombs in Paris and shooting Algerians and moderate pieds-noirs on Algiers streets.

In Paris, there were various attempted revolts and coups and near civil war. The army was found to have made widespread use of torture in cracking down on the FLN rebellion.

The FLN, as it turned out, was just as faction-ridden as the French. They kept up a nuisance campaign of bombings and shootings, knowing they would be easily defeated by French forces in case of an all-out war.

Many people talk about Algerian communities in France as if they are ungrateful bloodsuckers. Yet few remember the bloody legacy of French colonialism in Algeria, a legacy which enriched France while sucking wealth and resources out of Algeria.

© Irfan Yusuf 2007

Friday, June 08, 2007

This Aussie Mossie not a pest

Aussie Mossie is an emerging term to describe Australian Muslims, but what exactly does it mean?

One young Muslim woman described life as an Aussie Mossie as symbiotic.
"You can't wake up in the morning and say I'm going to be an Aussie today," Toltu Tufa, 21, says.

"It's like saying are you an Essendon supporter or are you an Australian?" the Melbourne girl laughs during her trip over to Adelaide for the Muslim Fashion Parades late last month (see separate story).

Sometime Crikey and freelance journalist Irfan Yusuf, who has named his blog Aussie Mossie, says the tag has created mix feelings in the Islamic community.

"Some people don't like it, some people think it's quite funny," Yusuf says.

"People that are brought up here, they understand what it is, why it is, and they don't mind it.

"Other people think it's just wrong because it's insulting, `How can they call Muslims mosquitoes?"'

Yusuf says Aussie Mossie actually began life as a newsletter, created by an Anglo Aussie who converted to Islam.

"The particular guy who put out the newsletter, he was a rather irreverent chap, the motto of the publication was `watch out it might bite'.

"The logo was a mosquito with an Aussie flag, wearing a turban and had a beard. "It was taking the piss out of stereotypical Islamic culture or symbols.

"Which is also very Australian, to laugh at yourself and to be quite satirical about one's self."

Yusuf says for many in the Islamic community, such as Toltu, an Aussie Mossie is simply who they are - it is impossible to define.

"There's 1.2 billion of us and we come from all different parts of the world, have all different cultures and backgrounds, so I really don't know how you define us.

"(Maybe an Aussie Mossie) is someone who's quite comfortable about being Western, they don't have a chip on their shoulder about that.

"I guess that's one essential ingredient." For Toltu's younger sister, Zulfiye, 17, to be an Aussie Mossie is to be proud of her Islamic and Australian roots.

"Maybe an Aussie Mossie would be to (wear) a scarf of the Australian flag?" she laughs.

Saffiah Elattar, 21, of Brighton, agrees it is impossible to distinguish between her Aussie and Mossie selves.

"I consider myself an Aussie Mossie I guess because I was born here and brought up in Australia.

"I do it every day of my life, I don't really separate the two.

"It's being honest, being a kind person, being respectful of other people's beliefs and cultures."

Published in The Eastern Courier Messenger on 6 June 2007.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Ihsan Podcast

After a spell of technical difficulties - the Ihsan Podcast is back on-line!

Don't fall asleep while listening to the opium like hype of "scholars" and "academics" who are collaborating with the neo-con imperialists.

Awaken and learn while listening to the talks, khutbas, and events on Ihsan Podcast!

Subscribe Now! Inshallah, new content will be added weekly.

Ihsan Podcast

Monday, June 04, 2007

Mahmood Mamdani on Darfur on Democracy Now!


In this interview, Professor Mahmood Mamdani expounds on the ideas he expressed in an article entitled "The Politics of Naming: Genocide, Civil War, Insurgency", which appeared in Vol. 29 No. 5 of The London Review of Books, dated 8 March 2007.

The article accuses the Save Darfur coalition and Nikolas Kristoff of depoliticizing the conflict in Darfur to give Save Darfur campaigners the moral high ground, unify diverse constituencies in a single-issue campaign and to make the Darfur conflict part of the War on Terror.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Shia Sunni Fitna

Amir Abdul Malik Ali (Masjid al-Islam, East Oakland, California) speaks on Shia Sunni fitna, prospects for unity, the US's imperial agenda, and the purpose of divison creation. Click here to listen.