Minority Report Reloaded By: Susan Mcrae Source: Daily Journal Dec 6, 2004 34 Comments Category: Americas, World Affairs Topics: Crime And Justice, Palestine Views: 6209 Judge Sitgraves acknowledged that the Islamic Association of Palestine was not on the terrorist organization list, but she said that it could be in the future. LOS ANGELES - Civil liberties lawyers today will argue the curious case of an Orange County man who has been held by immigration officials since July for overstaying his student visa two decades ago. Abdel-Jabbar Hamdan, the father of six U.S.-born children, who holds a valid work permit and has a pending green-card application, faces deportation to Jordan. In denying Hamdan's bond request last week, a San Pedro immigration judge cited U.S. officials' claim that Texas-based Holy Land Foundation, a now-defunct Islamic charity where Hamdan once worked as a fund-raiser, was linked to the terrorist group Hamas. In re Hamdan, A93240763 (U.S. Immigration Ct., San Pedro, Nov. 22, 2004). Judge D.D. Sitgraves labeled Hamdan, a Muslim born in a Palestinian refugee camp, a national security risk. Hamdan, 44, has denied any knowledge of a link between the charity and the group. In his motion for bail, he noted that he began working for Holy Land in 1990, seven years before the State Department designated Hamas a terrorist organization. "This is a man who has been in the United States for 24 years," his daughter, Yaman Hamdan, 20, a prelaw student at Chapman College, said. "He's never even had a parking violation." "They take him away from his family and kids," she said. "Where's the justice in that?" His lawyer, Marc Van Der Hout of San Francisco, has filed a motion asking Sitgraves to recuse herself from the case on the grounds that she is prejudiced after denying bond based on her finding that Hamdan had ties to at least two terrorist groups. One of the groups hasn't even been designated as a terrorist organization, but, Sitgraves noted in her ruling, it could be in the future. Van Der Hout also is filing for permanent residency status for Hamdan and, barring that, asylum. The hearing, at immigration court at Terminal Island prison, is expected to last all week, Van Der Hout said. Ahilan T. Arulanantham and Ranjana Natarajan of the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California are named as co-counsel. FBI and immigration agents arrested Hamdan at his Buena Park home July 27, the same day that seven members of the charity were indicted in Texas on federal charges of aiding Hamas. Hamdan was not named in the indictment. Hamdan's wife, Entesar Hamdan, said she believes the government is trying to pressure her husband to testify against the defendants, even though, she added, he told investigators several years ago everything he knew. "It doesn't take a smart person to know what's going on," she said. Van Der Hout said the bottom line is that the government is holding Hamad because it thinks it can get away with it. "And it can," he said, because an immigration hearing is an administrative procedure and not subject to the due-process rules of federal court. "It's a situation where there is no risk at all, and they can act with impunity ... because it's an administrative proceeding," Van Der Hout said. "It's not until you get into federal court that you get any justice." As an example, he pointed out, five of the seven Holy Land officers indicted in Texas have been released on their own recognizance; two others were out of the country when the indictments came down and remain fugitives. Meanwhile, Hamdan remains in custody. He is among an untold number of immigrants labeled national security threats because they allegedly belong to one of 27 organizations designated as terrorist groups by the State Department, Van Der Hout said. Most if not all of these immigrants, including Hamdan, have never been charged with terrorism. Lawyers for Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement Bureau, Richard Vinet, Edward Lepkowitz, Robert Bryant and Megan Turkat-Schirn, would not comment. Virginia Kice, a spokeswoman for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement bureau, said the agency detains people on immigration violations for a number of reasons, from posing a flight risk to more serious concerns. "This is a case where the circumstances involved merit his being held without bond," Kice said, referring to Hamdan's purported links to Hamas. She declined to elaborate, saying the case will be litigated fully in court. Entesar and Abdel-Jabbar Hamdan came to the United States in 1983 from Jordan, according to court documents. Abdel-Jabbar Hamdan earned an engineering degree from USC and worked as a civil environmental engineer before becoming a full-time fund-raiser for the Holy Land Foundation. When authorities froze the foundation's funds after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Abdel-Jabbar Hamdan became a paid fund-raiser for another Islamic charity, Life for Relief and Development, Entesar Hamdan said. During their time here, both Abdel-Jabbar and Entesar Hamdan have applied for amnesty based on their length of residence, Entesar Hamdan said. After Sept. 11, she said, authorities questioned her husband briefly, along with other Middle-Eastern men. When a special registration program for Middle Eastern and other men was announced, she said, her husband went to the immigration office, and authorities told him his immigration papers were all in order. A year later, when federal authorities were investigating the foundation's ties to Hamas, she said, her husband paid his own way to Dallas for a six-hour interview with the FBI. The next time she heard from the government, she said, was when FBI and immigration agents came knocking at her door at 4:45 a.m. the morning of her husband's arrest. They asked to see Abdel-Jabbar Hamdan's immigration papers and then searched the house, including the bedroom where her two sons, ages 7 and 10, were sleeping, she said. Her other four children were visiting relatives in Jordan. As they took her husband away in handcuffs, she said, one of the agents told her, "Have a nice day." "Can you imagine?" she said. The incident so traumatized her two children, she said, that they have insisted on sleeping in her bedroom and are afraid to go upstairs alone or take a shower without leaving the bathroom door open so they can keep her in sight. She said she immediately phoned her daughter, Yaman, in Jordan and ordered her and the other children to cut short their visit and return home. The family has visited Hamdan at the Terminal Island detention center every visiting day since his arrest, she said, adding that it's the longest they have been separated since their marriage. "It's a case that has really sent shock waves through the [Orange County Islamic] community," said Long Beach lawyer Ban Al-Wardi, who has represented the family over the years. "It has kept people from speaking out," added Al-Wardi, who also is president of the local Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee. In denying bond, Sitgraves acknowledged that, while the Department of Homeland Security argued that Hamdan was a national security risk, it has not charged him with being a risk or a terrorist. Nonetheless, she wrote, the District Court and U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia have found that the Holy Land Foundation is a terrorist organization based on incontrovertible evidence tying the foundation to Hamas. Those links have been widely reported in newspaper articles, she noted. The judge indicated that Hamdan was disingenuous when he claimed to be unaware of the foundation's ties to Hamas or terrorist activities. She pointed out that he had admitted confronting the foundation officers about the allegations, and they assured him that they were completely unfounded. "Respondent attempts to claim blind awareness and cultural skepticism when these articles were published in the newspapers and on websites," she wrote. "Yet, he did admit that he made phone calls about the allegations and charges against [the foundation]." Sitgraves also noted that Hamdan attended a conference of the Islamic Association of Palestine, in which killing Jews was discussed, a claim Hamdan denied. The judge found that Hamdan attended conferences in which songs were played that described terrorist activity. Hamdan contended that the songs were simply folk songs. Sitgraves acknowledged that the Islamic Association of Palestine was not on the terrorist organization list, but she said that it could be in the future. "He clearly participated and aided in the fundraising for two terrorist organizations in the United States that promoted terrorism abroad in Israel or by whatever means necessary, according to songs transcribed," Sitgraves wrote. The Department of Homeland Security has established Hamdan's "membership with two organizations in the United States with a propensity for violence and affiliation or association with terrorist organizations," she wrote. This membership, Sitgraves added, began before the foundation was designated as a terrorist organization and before the Islamic Association of Palestine's "designation in the future." "This court, therefore, finds that respondent was a member or affiliated with one, if not two, national terrorist organizations," she wrote. "He is a danger to the community and a risk to national security." Van Der Hout responded with the motion asking the judge to recuse herself from the case. "The court's crystal ball approach to the facts and the law has no place in the administrative or judicial legal system in our country and demonstrates the clear bias this court has in this case that necessarily prevents her from making a fair determination - based on actual evidence presented - in this case," Van Der Hout wrote. Source: Daily Journal Related posts from similar topics: Stifling the Debate on Israel: For Palestinians, Zionism Only Means One Thing Less Symbolism, More Action: Towards Meaningful Solidarity with Palestine What Should Palestinians Expect – Can Trump Be Any Worse? Standing Rock and Palestine: The Struggle for Justice is One The Infamy of the Palestinian Elites: An Imminent Split within Fatah? The Native American, the Palestinian: A Spirited Fight for Justice Disclaimer The opinions expressed herein, through this post or comments, contain positions and viewpoints that are not necessarily those of IslamiCity. These are offered as a means for IslamiCity to stimulate dialogue and discussion in our continuing mission of being an educational organization. The IslamiCity site may occasionally contain copyrighted material the use of which may not always have been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. IslamiCity is making such material available in its effort to advance understanding of humanitarian, education, democracy, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, and such (and all) material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml If you wish to use any copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. 34 Comments Comment Yvonne Malik from Germany December 14th, 2004 Akbar Khan, hate to say it but you are precisely what is wrong with the umma. Full of psychobabble and rot and when it comes to put up - you want to wait for the imam, what ? So I suppose if it takes a couple of hundred years for the good Imama Mehdi to arrive, we will dig up your remain Akbar Khan and remind you of your pedge , Yes ? You are so .. typical. .. who won't fight and urge others to refrain too - just wait for the Mehdi he says ! Right. Tell that to our brothers and sisters in Afghanistan, Chechnya, Palestine and Iraq, I am sure they will welcome your suggestions with open arms. I am afraid you are full of it. All BS and no action. The only reason you state all the rot you do is because your own family has not been torn to bits or raped or wiped out. Sit there all smug and content in Canada and pontificate that is all such men as you are good for. .. If George Bush were to read your rot he would be relieved that he had a friend in you. Khaysuddin from USA December 14th, 2004 Irrem: I don't think you've read my post properly. Please stop making generalizations about the Umma. Perhaps it would behoove me to inform you that there are ONE BILLION MUSLIMS in the world. And you know what? Most of them are ordinary people that are trying to get by in the world (just like anyone anywhere), they don't kill people or opress people or whatever. But that doesn't get on the 6:00 news. If you looked at the posts here you will find that some of them are anti-Semitic and anti-American, but you will find many that are well-spoken, intelligent, non-prejudicial, etc. Maybe you need to look closer. Have you read the Quran? Or any of the writings of the Imams? I don't think that you have; for if you had, you would not speak so. At any rate, please re-read my previous post and think about what I've said. I will reiterate in part here: what good do your words do? Do you honestly think you will give us pause for reflection? People need hope, do you think that your words will give it to them? Think about it. And this time, follow my advice and think before you respond (or post at all). I have some authors I'd also like to recommend (in addition to the Quran, of course): Rumi, Hafiz, Al-Hallaj. I think these might be of some use to you. Humbly yours, Khaysuddin Akbar Khan from Canada December 13th, 2004 ASAK, Nice article, Yvonne, you talk like you are the only one in the world who mourns the deaths of our Muslim brethren. I do not go and participate in a fight without Ijazat (the right to do so). I do not fight alongside people who fight like cowards, and at the same time, I do not take orders from people who think that physical fighting is the one and only alternative solution, as you have articulated in your comment. Otherwise we should be compliant shouldn't we, by sitting back and "Shut Up" right? You make NO SENSE. Allah has decreed that Imam Mahdi is the one we should pledge allegiance to with our lives, as prophet Muhammad (saaw) described, that even if we haev to crawl over ice to get to him, you MUST. I would die to defend him, because he is a chosen friend of Allah. To him I will pledge my allegiance (give Bay'ah to him). But he has not ye arrived has he? It is not up to narrow minded simpletons to tell people to go fight without knowing what or how you're going to fight. Just like the 40 percent of 140,000 U.S. troops who are reservists and national guards who are ill-equipped and ill-trained to fight in Iraq, asking what they're doing there. This mess will only enlarge, the more people behave apprehensively. We do no have a Khalifah, we do no have the right to interfere in places where we would render ourselves USELESS. What, you think going into Iraq and fighting against U.S. troops is the solution? I ask you again...what good are you doing for Muslims when you get angry at non-Muslims? All you are doing is motivating them more to HATE US! Is this your solution? For the sake of all of us I hope not. Can you not understand that, what is it that is stopping you from seeing this? Anyways I am tired of talking in circles with you, I really tried desperately to share some knowledge with you, but you threw it back in my face. Just wanted to thank you for that as well. WSAK. Akbar Akbar Khan from Canada December 13th, 2004 Assalaatu' Wassalaamu' Alaiyk, Masha'Allah Yvonne. You didn't comprehend a word I have said in my gazillion posts, loaded with sahih hadith's, and ayat's of the Qur'an. You could have at least told me what you think about them? Don't be afraid to ask, I don't bite. You know you are giving me so much attention, I almost feel famous now... All you can come up with is "shut up?" How grand of you. I don't even know you but somehow I have lost respect for you...you did give me a nice laugh though, that's for sure. I fear Allah alone, and I don't respond well to antagonizing, hysterial comments. I can almost see the veins popping out of your head when your filled with rage, desperately saying, SHUTUP SHUTUP!! Take it easy, breathe a little. Surprise surprise, you COMPLETELY CHANGED what I said once again. Please if you cannot learn something new to you, or find things difficult to understand, why do you continually retort to online cat fighting? Really what is the matter with you? You know there's a very nice nationwide Muslim Television station that has started in the U.S., it's called BRIDGES TV. You can learn a lot from even just the TITLE! It's all about building bridges! I give your comment five stars for extremely (close to extremist) angry. Word of advice, since everything else has failed - learn to control it, in the name of all that is wholesome, PLEASEE! Finally, I can post as many responses as I like, thank you very much to Al-Shuyukh at Islamicity. I reserve the right to say what I like, just as much as you do. But I don't think I can stoop to your level. NOO WAY HOSAY! Then I'd really be in deep trouble. So Peace to you - AND WORD OF ADVICE - GO READ MY POSTS PROPERLY NEXT TIME. Wa'assalaatu' Wassalaamu' Alaiyk. Yvonne Malik from Germany December 13th, 2004 Akbar - cut it out stop villifying the efforts of our brothers who ar actively opposing oppression, whether in the Palestine, Afghanistan or Jordan. Either go out there and fight, or, hate to say this to you, Shut Up. Well yes I agree I am a bit fiesty but it comes from the conviction that nothing was ever achieved by being complacent. Ok now all differences aside, read this absolutely marvellous article by Alastair Crooke from the Guardian. I think this article probably made the US media, Pentagon and Bush squirm quite a bit. http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1370708,00.html Irrem Thed from U.S. December 13th, 2004 Khaysuddin; Thank you for your feedback to me, but I'm afraid I and others do not see much peace, love, understanding and tolerance these days. I've seen so many hateful comments about Jews, Israelis and Americans on this website that make any tolerant person cringe - whatever their religion. Dosen't it occur to you that a huge majority of Israelis and Americans want the same thing that the Palestinians want? A peaceful, loving life with tolerance towards all. No one ever mentions that on this website. I'm sorry, I really am, but sometimes all I see on this site are complaints and crticisms as if all the problems the Islamic people face are attributed to the Israelis and the Americans. Truth is: People in Islamic countries are NOT, I repeat NOT free to choose in many areas of their life. And, I still say that women who speaks so kindly of the Taliban and how wonderful they were is a fabricated story. There would have been no reason to not maim and torture her as they did to Afghani women who dared to appear in public with their ankle showing. Dr_Edriss from US December 13th, 2004 Hey Irrem, peace! what makes you think you are an american and he is not? forget about America now? put yourself in this kind of people problems? somebody call himself jewish came from east Europe to claim your land is his land! maybe Israel who kicked you out and you end it in America. are you gonna be happy with this situation? you don't have the right to be in your land neither in any land !!!? I bet you never thought about it like that, otherwise you won't write any racist words here... by the way I'm not palestinian! neither arab! I just had an objective view. Khaysuddin from USA December 12th, 2004 Irrem: give me a break. Islam does not condone violence. It is a religion of peace, love and understanding. Indeed, it is the very religion of Allah. If you're as educated as you say, then you would know that. I would appreciate it if you (and everyone else who isn't Muslim) would stop generalizing about my religion. Over one billion people in the world are Muslims, why is it that we are somehow complicit in the actions of a very few just because we are members of the same religion? What is more, what could you possibly hope to accomplish with your statements? Do you think that those who read them will say to themselves "Gee whiz, look at what this fellow Irrem posted. You know, he's right. I think I'll call off tonight's kidnapping, suicide bombing or whatever and go home and watch Lebanese soap operas instead." Desparate actions are committed by desparate people; by people who feel that they have no hope in this world. Do you think your words will somehow give it to them? Before you post a reply, think about what I've said. Whatever religion you are, I'm sure that it tells you we should love our fellow man, and that we should help our fellow man. Your words (or at least the way they are expressed) incite anger, and anger leads to hate and down that road lies evil. And that's no help at all. Forget about your education for one moment, and meditate before you respond, Irrem. May Allah bless you and give you peace. Khaysuddin from USA December 12th, 2004 Yvonne: if you are an older person then we should listen to you, your experience is valuable (I mean this seriously and with absolutely no sarcasm). However, I must protest your statements about my country. The USA isn't perfect, God knows, but it is a good country inhabited by many good people. I should know, my Grandmother (and a more pious and devout woman you have never met). American policy isn't perfect, and yes it is very out of line with its actions to the Islamic world (an understatement if there ever was one, I grant you); but this stems from ignorance, a lack of understanding because there is a lack of education and explanation. It is up to us, the Umma, to fully explain matters to the Americans. If they really knew what was going on, they would demand action (case in point: the criminals of Abu Gharib have been court-martialed and prosecuted). So many of them don't really have any idea about what Islam is, what is going on in Palestine, etc that is understandable if they accept things for what they are (note: I said understandable, not acceptable, there is a difference). The average American is really just a normal person who wants to provide for their family, they have no evil designs on the rest of the world. They think our government is acting to preserve our security (although the government's actions and methods are now coming under scrutiny because they have made things worse, not better), because that's what they've been told. We could point the finger all we want, and we can spout fiery rhetoric until Judgement Day, but when that day comes I am sure that Allah will ask us: "What did you really do to make matters better?" One of the pillars of our deen is charity, can charity to another not also mean behaiving charitably to another in addition to giving alms to the poor? Surely that would be better than lopping off heads on the internet. But I don't know, I am very new to Islam, so please forgive and excuse me if I offend. Allah Akbar Khan from Canada December 12th, 2004 I don't know if you know this Yvonne Malik, but many Americans despise their own fellow citizens who see things the way Irrem Thed does. And I don't think that your confrontational approach is going to sway him towards listening to you. Not only that, but I don't know if you are up to date with the news, but arabs in the Middle East and Northern Africa do not hate American people, rather they hate U.S. Foreign Policy. Secondly, going back to the artificial state of Israel, remember that oil rich, fat kings/tyrants in the Middle East like U.S. financed King Abdullah in Saudi Arabia, U.S. financed Hosni Mubarak, U.S. financed King Abdullah in Jordan are just a few examples of fellow Arab "mujahids" who haven't done diddly squat for Palestinians. Forget what the U.S. is doing for Israel, think about what Palestine's own Arab brothers ARE NOT doing for them. Egypt has the 4th largest army in the world OK...Saudi is the most oil rich nation on Earth, Jordan houses 1.5+ MILLION Palestinian refugees, and during Zia al-Haqq's bloody military coup in Pakistan, he sent tens of thousands of Pakistani soldiers to Jordan, and killed thousands of Palestinians. So maybe we should really rethink our attitudes towards American people - they are saying things in the interest of their nation, whether those views are for or against imposing US style democracy in Northern Africa or the Arab states of the Middle East...but what exactly is it that we are doing? We are supposed to sit back in our ignorance and once again and take the , "Bull, come hit me" approach? We all know that the U.S. Congress and Administrations have been Israel's right hand man ever since it's inception - but the real question is, what are you going to do about it, sit there and kick and scream about how unfair that is, or, kick our disgusting so called leaders out ourselves? It's high time for Arabs to create their own Islamic United States of Arabia before Rome does. Yvonne Malik from Germany December 10th, 2004 Irrem I am an old woman but have learnt in all these years that the most ignorant of people blow their trumpets the loudest. ' I have so many degrees'..'I can speak 100 languages', 'I say my prayers like no one can'..I, I I I ..Let me put it to you this way Mr. Learned man, a definition of a "failed" state that terrorizes others, massacres millions, has an insatiable lust for power to the detriment of others, devours up 47% of the world's resources and yet hungers for more, has dropped nuclear weapons on innocent civilians in Japan and mini nukes in Afghanistan, gleefully forces its self upon countries that cannot defend themselves, invades them and slaughters more civilians and then proclaims "great victory", supports evil regimes and particularly a particularly evil 'organization' called Israel, through which this monster of a nation spreads death and destruction all over the world and yet tries to legitimize its nefarious and hateful deeds by shamefully proclaiming itself a "Christian Nation" and establishes its interpretation of the Bible as what God really meant, as if God only speaks to them and is a God of hate and destruction, that just about describes USA and you Americans. No Mr. Learned man Irrem, Muslims do not owe you an apology. Talk about crying unfair, when you blood thirsty clowns spread oppression, death and destruction and poverty on the rest of the world, don't cry foul or unfair when someone - as mad as you- knocks out your buildings. You lunatics owe Muslims not just an apology but monetary compensation and then you need to Get Out of all their countries - permanently. If you mental midgets came out of your holes and looked around you, you would know that the whole world hates you. Akbar Khan from Canada December 10th, 2004 Actually I am not angry at you Irrem Thed, I am rather disappointed that you think you know it all just because you say you have "advanced degrees in religious studies", who taught you, where did you learn? How does this sound to you I'll put it as direct as I can...what does "behaviours in the name of the saviour" have anything to do with Islam? We Muslims do no recognize Prophet Isa (as) as our saviour, we recognize him as among hte foremost and most respected Messengers of Allah. Like I explained to you in my previous comment in response to your diatribe, I pointed out to that the creation of Salafism and Wahhabism have tarnished hte true message that is Islam. It is this creation of an almost cult like group that is brainwashing people and has been for this last century. No such movement such as those mentioned above existed anywhere in the Muslim world before the 20th century. It was powerless and isolated becuase the majority of Muslims in the world did not concur with the beliefs of Wahhabism and Salafism. What you fail to realize is that you cannot secularize faith. That in itself is an oxymoron. You say you are highly educated, but you must realize that religious institutions of all Abrahamic faiths, cannot fit the mold of secularism entirely, and that is because there are elements within secular society which disagree with Abrahamic faiths. For example, why should Christian, Jewish, and Muslim kids in school be forced to learn that Gay marriage is acceptable, when in fact it is against the basic tenets of our faiths? Who has hte right to impose secularity upon religious institutions? What I do agree with you is that we of course mus be part of a global community, in all sciences, business dealings...yes I agree with you, I am no against that, and neither is Islam. That is where you lack in understanding Islam. Our faith is all about LEARNING. I will explain that to you in the alternative comment section below: Irrem Thed from U.S. December 10th, 2004 Dear Kate and Akbar, Yes, I know you're angry with me for my comments. But violence begats violence and it will not end until EVERYONE takes responsibility and stops making excuses. Please don't tell me to read more or that I'm ignorant -- I have advanced degrees in religious studies and am quite familiar with "behaviors in the name of the saviour" Read the article in 12/10/04 NY Times about an Islamic conference. It's widely agreed that change must begin with Islam itself -- it is not enough to complain about humiliation, oppressiveness, etc... That won't change people's mind or change the world. Islam needs to move toward secular education for males and females both and a willingness to become a part of the global community in the matters of science, medicine, economics, etc...Religious beliefs can easily be maintained within one's home and one's lifestyle. You would be surprised as to how many people would be supportive of Islam if they did not fear it as some kind of Satanic cult. I'm sorry but it's true. It's up to the Islamic people to change the impression -- if you expect the world to change it's mind just because you cry "unfair" you're in for a shock. Respectfully, IRREM Yvonne Malik from Germany December 10th, 2004 Peter and Akbar, as much as you revel in Sufism I could not disagree with you more. I support any glorification of God until it borders "Shirk" or establishing partners with God. If you find yourself glorifying Prophet Mohammed (Peace be Upon Him) to a point that the focus of your worship becomes the Prophet, then you have a Major problem. Because Prophet Mohammed was just a man. Upon his passing he warned Muslims not to fall into the error of worshipping him instead of God. Sure we all love & respect Prophet Mohammed but to worship him is Shirk, for which there is no forgiveness and the punishment is severe. God has ordained for us some basic acts of worship, going beyond that is great, if you can do it and if it fills that emptiness in you. But when the focus of your worship deviates to Saints that is Shirk. Here again who declares them to be saints? Those who love, worship and adore God are hidden and don't go about with a gang of followers claiming miracles. They especially would not go about denouncing other Muslims and creating divisions in Islam, as these "New Saints" denounce Wahabism. Because then this "Saint" is doing the devil's work. The devil will always present you with 99.9% truth and 0.1% deception. But it is the value of that deception that will lead you astray. It's like a snow-white clean sheet but with one drop of urine on it. Would you don that sheet? I would not. When such Saints and those who follow them begin to believe that they are perfect and have this warm and fuzzy feeling that they have attained a state of preference by God and they are to be honoured and respected on account of such a conviction, then this is a repetition of the devil's mistake, his intense worship of God attained for him a level above angels, but his arrogance and pride destroyed it all and guaranteed his end in hell. As I said before no one I know has ever been restricted by Wahabism, its US Propaganda intended to divide Muslims, pure & simple. Akbar Khan from Canada December 9th, 2004 Jazak Allah Khairan, may Allah reward you your good, br. Khaysuddin Ali. Do not be discouraged, for Allah has a plan set out for you, and He will guide you and bestow upon you an abundance of knowledge. I feel closer to Isa (as) when I talk to you, and I feel more in touch with myself, I know myself better after having known you. Do not be discouraged or afraid of the aspects of Sufism as others have tried to take you away from it by posting invalidated information. Always remember, that the Qur'an is indisputable, and also the sound transmissions of prophetic sayings are indisputable...only those who are deficient in knowledge will ignore the signs, even if they be right infront of their eyes, like this!: "Verily, Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet. O believers! Invoke blessings upon him (Muhammad), and utmost greetings." - Qur'an(33:56) There is an excellent analogy given when people claim that Muslims who practice Zuhd/Sufism are copying Christianity and Judaism. Well to that, I say this: The Jews say la ilaha illallah but they never like to say Musa rasulullah. They are stingy in love for their Prophet. Christians similarly refuse to say `Isa rasulullah although for other reasons. Both groups refuse to say Muhammadun rasulullah and that is where we differ. You cannot be Muslim without the latter, even if you are a believer in God. This makes the second part of the shahada a requirement for entering Islam, and thus belief in the Prophet is a means for salvation from error and punishment. Allah never accepts anyone to come to Him saying "I love You directly": instead they must obey the order "If you indeed love Allah, then follow me, and Allah will love you" (3:31). Therefore love of Allah can only proceed from love of the Prophet and its sign is to praise him an invoke blessings upon him often, as he requested in the hadith akthiru al-salat `alayya ("Send much blessings upon me") Akbar Khan from Canada December 9th, 2004 One last proof, I know i'm boring you all because these are unarguable proofs, please accept my apologies for posting such authenticated material, many thanks lol: Tabarani said in his Mu`jam al-awsat: Anas said: The Prophet said: "The earth will never lack forty men similar to the Friend of the Merciful [Prophet Ibrahim], and through them people [Muslims] receive rain and are given victory (over their enemies). None of them dies except Allah substitutes another in his place." Qatada said: "We do not doubt that al-Hasan [al-Basri] is one of them." Ibn Hibban narrates it in al-Tarikh through Abu Hurayra as: "The earth will never lack forty men similar to Ibrahim the Friend of the Merciful, and through you (Muslims) are helped, receive your sustenance, and receive rain." Imam Ahmad also narrated in the Musnad (5:322): The Prophet said: "The Substitutes in this Community are thirty like Ibrahim the Friend of the Merciful. Every time one of them dies, Allah substitutes another one in his place." Hakim Tirmidhi cites it in Nawadir al-usul and Ahmad's student al-Khallal in his Karamat al-awliya'. Haythami said its men are those of the sahih except `Abd al-Wahid, who was declared trustworthy by al-`Ijli and Abu Zar`a [as well as Yahya ibn Ma`in]. Abu Dawud through three different good chains in his Sunan (English #4273), Imam Ahmad in his Musnad (6:316), Ibn Abi Shayba in his Musannaf, Abu Ya`la, al-Hakim, and Bayhaqi narrated: Umm Salama the wife of the Prophet said: "Disagreement will occur at the death of a Caliph and a man of the people of Madina will come forth flying to Mecca. Some of the people of Mecca will come to him, bring him out against his will and swear allegiance to him between the Corner and the Maqam. An expeditionary force will then be sent against him from Syria but will be swallowed up in the desert between Mecca and Madina, and when the people see that, (continued) Khaysuddin Ali (Peter) from USA December 9th, 2004 Yvonne: no problem. Apology accepted. I understand what you are saying about the sea of negative publicity against Islam; especially here in the US. It's almost ironic, I initially came to this web-site because I didn't want to succumb to hate, and felt that the prophet Isa (at that time I was a Christian following my conscience and, I thought, my faith) wanted me to come here for understanding. This has led me to know that Islam is what is right for me, and you know, I believe that Isa guided me here for that very reason. I'm up against a lot here, there is so much hate and fear, so much pure ignorance about what Islam is all about, it is daunting. Thankfully, my wife is supportive of my quest (she, like I was, is a Catholic Christian. But, thank Allah, you know, most Catholics are very open minded about Islam-at least in my experience) But back to the negative publicity: you are right, there is much bad publicity out there, but the Truth will make itself known. We, the Umma, must work together to address the ills in the world. I am sorry if you have had bad experiences with degenrate practices that pose as Sufism or Islam; but lets not throw out the baby with the bathwater. I've studied Sufism, and I must tell you, I find it to be a very beautiful thing. To want to polish the mirror of your heart so that it reflects only Allah, to experience fanah, annihilation into the ulitmate reality that is Allah, what could be greater than that? Some of the best Muslims I've known (like Brother Akbar) have been Sufis. As I said, I think that the best way to overcome the injustice that besets us is to speak out, and more than that, we must educate people (speaking out implies political action, education implies reaching out to the public); and we must do this together. Akbar Khan from Canada December 9th, 2004 Proofs of Tawassul, to refute Sister Yvonne Malik's claims: Qur'an al-kareem states: "Whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth is His; who is he that can intercede with Him but by his permission" (2:255); "Surely your Lord is Allah who created the heavens and the earth in six periods, and He is firmly established on the throne, regulating the affair; there is no intercessor except after His Permission." Notice the words "but" and "except" in the above mentioned verses. These verses do not condemn the presence of an intercessor; they just put a condition for the fact of intercession. So far we are establishing the fact that intercession is not something condemned in Islam, rather it is something accepted highly by Islam. There are many more verses in the same context that explain the legitimacy of tawassul. "On that day shall no intercession avail except of him whom the Beneficent God allows and whose word He is pleased with" (20:109) "And intercession will not avail aught with Him save of him whom He permits" (34:23) "And how many an angel is there in the heavens whose intercession does not avail at all except after Allah has given permission to whom He pleases and chooses" (53:26) "...And they do not intercede except for him whom He approves..." (21:28) "And those whom they call upon besides Him have no authority for intercession, but he who bears witness of the truth and they know (him)" (43:86) "We did not send a messenger but that he should be obeyed by Allah's permission; and had they, when they had done injustice to themselves, come to you and asked Allah's forgiveness; and the messenger (also) had asked pardon for them, surely, they would have found Allah oft-returning, merciful" (4:64)". Now remember Sister Yvonne, you previously stated to me that the Qur'an makes no mention of Sufism/Zuhd....would you kindly rethink that statement for me? Allah bless. Akbar Khan from Canada December 9th, 2004 For Yvonne Malik: The Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, said, "O Allaah bestow your blessings on our Shaam (Syria, Jordan, Palestine, and Lebanon). O Allaah bestow your blessings on our Yemen." The people said, "O Messenger of Allaah, and our Najd." I think the third time the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, said, "There (in Najd) will occur earthquakes, trials and tribulations, and from their appears the Horn of Satan." Reported in al-Bukhaaree [Book of Trials, Chpt. 'The afflictions will come from the East' 9/166 no. 214 Eng. Trans] This is a hadith reported in Sahih Bukhaari! The Najd is the Eastern province of Arabia, East of the Hijaaz, and from nowhere else but there, is where Wahhabism began. These are it's origins. Now I ask you one LAST TIME, what is Wahhabism since it's founder was born in the Najd province, his name is Muhammad bin Abd' Al-Wahhab al Najdi. No other "school of thought" except for that one came out of that region, and the Prophet Muhammad (saaw) never in his life blessed that area. It is devoid of his blessing, and so now Yvonne...do you believe the hadith of the Prophet (saaw), or reject it? Real Eyes Realize Real Lies. Wassalaamu'Alaiykum Akbar Khan from Canada December 9th, 2004 Assalaamu'Alaiykum Yvonne Malik, I appreciate your humbleness in correcting yourself. I am thankful that you do not question other people's faith. In regards to you ensemble describing the so called worship of saints - There are four major tariqats in the world, I will list them for you and you can do some studying about it and then tell me if Muslims who are Sufi's worship graves and saints. To me that is the regular diatribe I hear from rejectors of Tasawwuf/Zuhd. Shaykh Nazim al-Haqqani, the spiritual leader of The Naqshbandi Tariqat Shaykh Abd' Al Qadir Jilaani (may Allah bestow on him his mercy) - The leader of the Qadiriyya Tariqat Moinuddin Chishti (ra) - Spiritual leader of hte Chishtiyya Tariqat. Then there's the Shadhilli Tariqat, the Suhurwardi Tariqat - Remember that Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, Egypt, they all recognize these Sufi orders. Go to Turkey, hey even the our Shi'a brothers follow a spiritual Sufi Order. Let me remind you, that you are in itself insulting the Prophet (saaw) when you say you are outraged that people are supposedly worshipping him, astagfirAllah. If only you knew, that the Prophet (saaw), will intercede on the behalf of the Muslims on the day of Judgement when we all stand before Allah, and beg Allah to forgive the Muslims who made Durood to the Prophet and worked righteous deeds. Allah will then see Muhammad (saaw) in prostration before Allah on that day, and say to him, 'Oh Muhammad, raise your head, whatever you ask of me, I will grant it to you.' Muhammad (saaw) will then intercede on the behalf of people and everyone he intercedes for, Allah will tell say, because you ask this of me, I will grant it. Now remember that Allah is al-Khaliq, we all know all is our creator, we are not worshipping human beings. This is knowledge which you cannot deny. You must read and learn about Sufism before making blanket statements Yvonne Malik from Germany December 9th, 2004 Peter I am quite sorry, my apologies. Akbar Khan I put the question to you as I did to the Catholic priest. Who decides who becomes a saint? Does Islam have a pontiff like the Pope to hand out sainthood like candy? What is the function of these wise Muslim Grand Kung Fu Master you mentioned? I won't question your Imaan or anyone else's but I do question and challenge modern day Sufism. There is no mention of Sufism in the Koran or in the Hadees. Good men like Rumi are gone. There are hardly any men left with any wisdom. To sing the mantra of hate against some over hyped pseudo-demon called Wahabiism is just a lot of nonsense. Where was your consternation 30 years ago? Or did it take the righteous Americans to point to you that you had a defect in your religion called Wahabism? Most of the other stuff you talk about is pure psychobabble. Ask any one in these impoverished Muslim countries about Sufism and they will tell you they try their best to fulfill the basic requirements of Islam and the rest of the time are busy trying to feed their families. I did note in my travels that Muslims from Asia particularly India, Pakistan and Bangladesh have a penchant to worship saints. All you need to do is tell one person that there is this great saint who cured me or did this or that, and next thing you know all of humanity is knocking down this poor fellow's door, requesting talismans and charms. I think these Muslims have polluted their religious belief with non-Islamic practices. Case in point, they go to gravesites where they participate in noisy clamour they call kawalee songs (imported from the Hindu culture, and beg dead men to ask God to grant wishes on their behalf. In Afghanistan the Taliban were right in shooing off women from the tombs of the dead, as they would rub up against the walls of the tomb hoping for fertility. Islam is Good Sense not nonsense. Khaysuddin from USA December 9th, 2004 Sorry, I meant to say Yvonne, not Kate Khaysuddin Ali from USA December 9th, 2004 Kate: You're right I don't know much about Islam. I am new to the faith as I've said. But I do know this: you don't own Islam. And it isn't up to you to tell us how to practice it. Akbar Khan from Canada December 8th, 2004 One last thing....may Allah guide you towards righteous works Yvonne Malik - I invoke Allah's name every day after Salaat, dhikr-Allah, an remember to bestow at least 10 blessings on the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saaw) - I will provide you with this invocation - "Allah humma salee ala Syedeena Muhammad"... please remember to take your own advice by reminding yourself of Allah and blessings the prophet and his family, may Allah bless them all abundently, it will really lighten your heart and remind you that Muhamamd Mustafa (saaw) is the leader of all humanity, and that he deserves our blessings, for bringing light back into this world. He is the Noor of Allah, the first of all of Allah's creation, as Rasool-Allah himself said that Hadhrat Adam (as) said to Allah after having sinned, that he saw the name of Muhamamd next to Allah's name, on Allah's Arsh when he was created, (he saw La ilaha il Allah Muhammad ar-Rasool Allah), and said that he made Waseelah (sought intercession) through the prophet Muhammad (saaw), to ask Him (Allah) for forgiveness for sinning. Allah asked him how he knew the name of Muhamamd (saaw), responding by saying that he saw the name on Allah's THRONE (ARSH)....and for that reason, Allah forgave said I forgive you because you sought the Wasilah of Allah's beloved Muhammad (saaw). That should teach you a thing or two about Sufism. This is Islam...Islam is more than this world. The sooner you come to realize that, the better off you will be, Insha'Allah ta'Ala. Allah Azza wa jaal knows what is in all of our hearts better than we do ourselves. So think twice the next time you decide to condemn people like br. Peter who is entering into the fold of Islam. Allah and his Rasool have guided him towards the right path.....Allah hu Akbar. Akbar Khan from Canada December 8th, 2004 I quote a Hadith Qudsi for the most knowledgable Yvonne Malik, who is openly telling other Muslims that they know nothing about Islam, so in her prideful self and self absorbtion, I will throw a few pebbles in your way that will make you think twice about what you have just said: Hadith Qudsi as interpreted by the main scholar Wahhabism depends upon, ibn Taymiyyah writes in his Majmu'a Fatawi: "whoever comes against one of My saints (wali-Allah) is challenging Me for fighting" He later interprets this hadith as saying that Allah is expressing that "I will seek revenge against anyone who comes against My saints like an aggressive lion." Go and read what ibn Taymiyyah, the grand master Shaykh who Muhamamd bin Abd' Al Wahhab used as his MAIN REFERENCE...if you read in Majmu'a Fatawi of ibn Taymiyyah, in Volume 11, this man, has written 704 pages on the subject of Tasawwuf (SUFISM), where he not only recognizes the Awliya-Allah (Friends of Allah), but he continues to say that the are "the martyrs of Allah on Earth." SO I ASK YOU YVONNE MALIK - What Islam are you purporting to follow? Since you be so firm in knowing that I do not know Islam, let me ask you the same question? I challenge your claims. I am prepared to refute you. I do not question your faith, but since you claim others do not have Imaan and you do, I am curious as to what you think you believe? Do you even believe in Durood??? Who have you been given Ijazat from to know what you know? Who is your Alim, your sh? Have you visited Syria or Jordan, have you talked to any Mureeds of Shadhilliyya tariqat? Why don't you do this...since you are familiar with Egypt so much...how about you go to Al-Azhar University, the home of Sunni Islam in the World, the OLDEST University in the World, and see what they will tell you and what they will think of you if you tell them that Sufism belongs in childrens story books... You're not a zombie, you have a soul, don't forget t Akbar Khan from Canada December 8th, 2004 Assalaamu'Alaiykum, Yes Yvonne Malik, I will tell you a few things about me. I already do pray 5 times a day, I fast during Ramadan, I give my zakaat al-mal every year, I have grown up in Canada and I have visited other places in the world as well. You should read your commment and your approach once more, you sit there telling other people that they do not know Islam. Who are you to say that Peter knows nothing of Islam? I never said he knows nothing of Islam. So how did you become grand judge and jury of things? You should read up on some history of the world before you start saying that the West has invented Wahhabism. What a blatantly ignorant comment for someone to make about Sufism, it's laughable. You don't even know what your Aqeedah encompasses. Go and read Ayat al-Kursi in Sura Baqarah, and learn about the origins of Waseelah, and Zuhd, and read the hadith's about the blind man and the man in need reported by Tirmidhi with sahih transmission and authenticated by grand masters in hadith. If only you even knew what a Tariqah was. It is not some story which you purport it to be as. I have been Muslim all my life. You go and take a look all across Egypt, where your husband is from, and you will find the graves of Awliya-Allah all across the country. Go to Ethiopia, Sudan, Morocco, Algera, Syria, Yemen, Jordan, PALESTINE!! If you really think Sufism is in story books, may Allah guide you out of denial. Really, do you want to tell me that Wahhabism is hte correct interpretation of Islam? For over a thousand years, Muslims have expounded the critical thought of the metaphysical world through the practice of Zuhd, something which the holy prophet (saaw), and his companions, and the tabi'een also did. Who are you to insult our great history the way you do? You talk about America making Wahhabism a big issue. No, it has been an issue with me and my family and my relatives and friends for decades...CONTINUED... Khaysuddin Ali (Peter) from USA December 8th, 2004 Akbar has stated things so well, I do not have much to add; except, Kate, I understand your indignation, but fiery rhetoric can exacerbate the problem, people stop listening when they're backed into a corner, and Americans have heard the "sins of the father" spiel so many times that it falls onto deaf ears. Irem, really, just what are you talking about? The Umma condemns terror, that should be obvious, but you can't expect apologies to be made every day for the acts of people that we've never met or known. Islam is a wonderful, erudite religion. And that brings me to the editors: Thank you so much for this website. It has had a profound influence on my life. I'm about to take the shahada (thanks also very much to Brother Akbar), you can see my transformation taking place on my posts right here at Islamicity, it was through the love, patience, knwoledge and dialogue of those that I've exchanged words here with that brought me in out of the rain, so to speak. I can't thank you enough. May Allah bless you, may Allah bless all of you. Yvonne Malik from Germany December 8th, 2004 Akbar Khan, the only part I agree with you is that neither Irrem nor Peter know anything about Islam, but neither do you. I converted to Islam 36 years ago, even before I had married my husband. I have traveled and lived in numerous Islamic countries both in Asia and the Middle East. I returned to Germany upon my husband's death after living in Egypt for 19 years. I can tell you I have never heard of Wahabism or any such ideology affecting or controlling people's lives. Ever wonder why Wahaibism is only getting so much attention now - because it plays well in the grand design the Americans have for the Middle East. It serves to demonize Islam and Arabs particularly Saudis. Sufism has its merits but modern Sufism is greatly encouraged by Christians, Jews and governments who want to corrupt and dilute Islam, and make it fall more in line with Judeo/Christian values. As such Sufism has been taken to the point of great absurdity, and modern Sufi claims to the ability to fly through air and travel to the moon, time travel, are intended only to represent Islam a religion of nonsense. The reality is that Islam is a very pragmatic and sensible religion. Contrary to popular belief, from its excellent treatment of women to the good sense that prevails in all matters of life and religion, in Islam I found peace and direction. Mr. Khan go back to the basics of Islam, prayers, fasting, charity, glorification of God, good will to all and peace, that is what will please God, not some silly Sufi stories that belong in children's story books. Akbar Khan from Canada December 8th, 2004 Irrem Thed: What you fail to recognize, is that majority of Muslims in the world are followers of Ahl' as-Sunnah Wa'l Jam'aah, and have traditionally been followers of the Sunnah of hte Prophet Muhammad (saaw), or they are Shi'a, those who say to follow the family of the Prophet, his Ahl' al-bayt. Secondly in addition to the first point I just made above, you do not know and are obviously ignorant to the onslaught of extremist Salafism and extremist Wahhabism that is plaguing the Muslim Ummah today. It if drowning our communities into an abyss of ignorance, making us forget to respect and love Allah's habib, Muhammad Mustafa (saaw), and bringing in many innovations into the faith. You need to recognize that militancy is being fueled by this doctrine sweeping through primarily in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and it has most recently been growing in Indonesia. Does that mean that all Muslims in the world are to be grouped with militancy? You know generalizations such as yours are unfounded and unnecessary, they only add to the problem - first you must educate yourself about the situation, identify the root of the problem, before saying, Muslims are this and that, and support terrorism. You don't know the first thing about Islam, how will you know a Muslim then? my parents grew up in Pakistan when Wahhabism was beginning to be propagated, by oil-rich Saudi Arabia. Before then, Pakistan's were all Sufi's. I have hundreds of photo's of my own family members from 1940 and before and around that time, and everyone one of them had a Shaykh, followed Tariqat, etc. etc., and not only that, take a look at pictures of Allama Muhammad Iqbal, a Chishti Sufi himself, every picture he has with people from India/Pakistan, all those Muslims he is with, they're all Sufis. There was no such thing as militant Islam until Wahhabism started propagating to the world that it was the only correct version of Islam with it's petro dollars. Kate Murray from USA December 8th, 2004 Talking about beheading and other war atrocities, ask the Japanese, the Vietnamese, North Koreans, Afghanis and Iraqis what we did to them. I know because my father was in Korea and Vietnam and I was in Vietnam and in Iraq. We chopped heads. We chopped feet and hands of villagers while they were still alive. We massacred entire villages in Vietnam. We killed Korean villagers with wild abandon. We disemboweled pregnant Korean women and our brave soldiers even made bets in the sex of the dead fetus. We even killed kids because were even told they would grow up into commies. We drowned 10 year old boys in water troughs before their parents in Vietnam. We raped women and even minors - boys and girls, in Japan, in Vietnam, in Korea and in Iraq. We packed 250 -300 men and little boys in shipping containers and buried them in pits in Afghanistan. We chopped heads and took pictures with cigarette buts n their dead mouths in Iraq and Afghanistan. Remember the 21 church men and women arrested by the Taliban for proselytizing, are they all dead? No in fact they were treated very well. Not one was beaten, raped or killed and even returned to our guys, and NO, like Lindh they were NOT saved by us. In fact CIA told them to shut up about their experience. And you expect an APOLOGY? From whom? Look at yourself Irrem, look at our religion and look at our country and if you are at least honest with yourself, you will face the scary truth. The devil is us, not them. When a priest whoops it up at the sight of dead and murdered men, women and children - all in the name of Christ, its not Christ to blame, but we who have hijacked our religion and our values and turned ourselves into demons, destroying all, as long as our "way of life" continues unhindered. Think funny man, think. If there is a God, We are in big trouble. Kate Murray from USA December 8th, 2004 Irrem Thed, spoken like a true 'Christian Evangelist waiting for rapture racist'. It is utter rubbish that Muslims have not reached out. Whenever they invite us to their mosques we go there with insulting banners and cursing crowds. Whenever they try and explain their religion we immediately set upon them a team of right with hate mongers like Pat Robertson, or Ann Coulter or Bill O'Reilly to down play any efforts by Muslims to reach out and indeed condemn them as heathens and urge them to convert to Christianity or be condemned to hell by God, or US bombs and guns. Irrem if you have an iota of truth within you, if even to your self, look at the facts: For years we have been propping cruel tin pot sadistic leaders like Saddam, Shah of Iran, Bhutto etc in Muslim countries and in other parts of the world like Pinochet, Manuel Noriega, Ferdinand Marcos, all vipers and utter lunatics by our own admission, but because they served US interests, we not only propped them, but aided and abetted in the oppression and murder of their own people. Whom do you think Saddam reported to? Santa Claus? It was to us if you did not know. Who precipitated the war between Iraq and Iran and then deluged Iraq with weapons of every kind we had in our inventory. Saddam was our pit-bull, until he became mad and overextended himself in Kuwait. Amazingly you are ignorant of the fact that before Saddam invaded Kuwait, it was Kuwait that was making waves in OPEC to increase oil prices. They were duly warned by the US to conform as they needed us, and when they did not, we unleashed Saddam on them. With the success in Afghanistan, Jewish & Christian Neocons in Bush's team drooled at the prospect of controlling Middle East oil. Saddam was dispensable, hence the Iraq invasion. An oil pipeline was speedily constructed from Iraq to Israel and can be viewed on satellite. Jerusalem's Mayor even declared, before the invasion, 'Israel get ready for free oil'. Wise up Irrem and open your ears and eyes. Khaysuddin Ali (Peter) from USA December 7th, 2004 You'd think that we had learned our lessons regarding this sort of thing during the incarceration of the Japanese-Americans during WWII. Being cautious is one thing, but paranoia is quite another. This is patently absurd and not a little disturbing. I also think of what happened to the Muslim Chaplain at Guantanomo, who was wrongly accused of conspiracy just because of his religion. I'm starting to feel like being a Muslim in the US is an "at risk" proposition. What next? Banning Cat Stephen songs on the radio like we banned him from our country? I thought we had freedom of religion in this country. What is more, the man is a bonafide refugee (if a Palestinian isn't, I don't know who is). What happened to our country welcoming the refugees of the world as it did our forefathers? He's an engineer, with no criminal background and children who are American citizens that are seeking higher education and contribute to society. Kate, I can understand your feelings. But this isn't the time for cynicism, it's time to speak out against injustice. If we're quiet, things will only get worse and more out of control than they already are. Irrem Thed from US December 7th, 2004 It's probably true that this person is not connected with Hammas or with terrorist activities. But as usual, according to the Muslim people, the burden of proof is on American Gov't and not the individual. Let's see a show of U.S. Muslims who condemn the terrorism in the world today that is perpetrated almost entirely by Islamic believers. I don't see it enough. Everyone wants U.S. to bend over backwards so that no one's rights are violated and yet everyday in Iran, Sudan, Pakistan another woman is abused merely because she is a woman and the men can get away with it. Then, y'all come back and tell me how someone's whose Visa ran out years ago AND who has a possible link with a major terrorist organization is having his rights violated. When the brutal kidnappings and beheadings carried out in the name of Allah stop, then come and complain about how bad the U.S. is. The shame that one must feel these days for practicing Islam no doubt makes one feel defensive, but instead of complaining, let's see some articles on the site about how Mulims are reaching out to Christians and Jews in the U.S. and proving that they are not all seething, desperate terrorists. All Muslims are not terrorists. But, it's also true that all (Basque separatists aside) terrorism attacks in the past few years were carried out by Muslim extremists. It's just astonishing how this website can twist these headlines to suit their purposes. Islamicity must be part of Fox! Kate Murray from USA December 7th, 2004 It should be clear to Muslims that there really is never going to be any real meaningful justice for them, neither in the US, nor in Europe. In fact chances are that they are probably not safe even in their own countries, as most Muslim leaders are nothing more than puppets of Americans, Russians or the Europeans. Muslims leave their homelands looking for greener pastures and all they have found is discrimination, insults, derision, hate and a campaign of hate fully supported by governments of powerful Western countries and their media. It's a modern approach to justify the murder and oppression of Muslims and the theft of their land, property and resources, by constantly waving the fake specter of "Muslim Terrorism" when nothing could be farther from the truth. Now the same pseudo reasons are soon to be used to justify "pre-emptive" strikes under the legitimate authority of the UN when it is nothing more than an effort to legitimize illegal aggression and occupation of weaker Muslim states by superpowers, mainly US, UK, Russia and Israel. The UN authority they will now use to justify their actions will be enshrined under the coinage of yet another colourful term for these helpless countries- "Failed States". Muslims will always be trod upon unless they meet might with might. Unless they give up their false hopes for justice and absurd ideas for "democracy" which is apparently exclusively granted by, ironically, the US - do I hear mirthless laughter? Neither are their unbridled religious passion going to help them, unless they realise they need to educate and empower themselves. They need to know how to play the game. Learn from the devil as they say and observe the example of Israel. Once called a terrorist state by the British and French, is now courted by them like Johns to a prostitute. Muslims need to arm themselves with education, knowledge, resources, materials, develop economies independent of the US, Russia and Europe. Muslims need to wake up.