Uncle Sam has his own gulag

The Lubyanka Prison's heavy oak main door swung open. I went in, the first western journalist to enter the KGB's notorious Moscow headquarters -- a place so dreaded Russians dared not utter its name. When they referred to it at all, they called it "Detsky Mir," after a nearby toy store. 

After interviewing two senior KGB generals, I explored the fascinating museum of Soviet intelligence and was briefed on special poisons and assassination weapons that left no traces. I sat transfixed at the desk used by all the directors of Stalin's secret police, on which the orders were signed to murder 30 million people. 

Descending dimly lit stairs, I saw some of the KGB's execution and torture cellars, and special "cold rooms" where naked prisoners were beaten, then doused with ice water and slowly frozen. 

Other favored Lubyanka tortures: Psychological terror, psychotropic drugs, prolonged sleep deprivation, dazzling lights, intense noise, days in pitch blackness, isolation, humiliation, constant threats, savage beatings, attacks by guard dogs, near drowning. 

Nightmares from the past -- but the past has returned. 

According to a report leaked to the New York Times, the Swiss-based International Red Cross has accused the Bush administration for a second time of employing systematic, medically supervised torture against suspects being held at Guantanamo Bay, and at U.S.-run prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

The second Red Cross report was delivered to the White House last summer while it was trying to dismiss the Abu Ghraib prison torture horrors as the crimes of a few rogue jailers. 

According to the report's allegations, many tortures perfected by the Cheka (Soviet secret police) -- notably beating, freezing, sensory disorientation, and sleep deprivation -- are now routinely being used by U.S. interrogators. 

The Chekisti, however, did not usually inflict sexual humiliation. That technique, and hooding, were developed by Israeli psychologists to break resistance of Palestinian prisoners. Photos of sexual humiliation were used by Israeli security, and then by U.S. interrogators at Abu Ghraib, to blackmail Muslim prisoners into becoming informers. 

All of these practices flagrantly violate the Geneva Conventions, international, and American law. The Pentagon and CIA gulags in Cuba, Iraq and Afghanistan have become a sort of Enron-style, off-the-books operation, immune from American law or Congressional oversight. 

Suspects reportedly disappear into a black hole, recalling Latin America's torture camps and "disappearings" of the 1970s and '80s, or the Arab world's sinister secret police prisons. 

The U.S. has been sending high-level anti-American suspects to Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and, reportedly, Pakistan, where it's alleged they are brutally tortured with violent electric shocks, savage beatings, drowning, acid baths, and blowtorching -- the same tortures, ironically, ascribed to Saddam Hussein. 

Protests over this by members of Congress, respected human rights groups, and the public have been ignored. President George W. Bush just named Alberto Gonzales to be attorney general, his nation's highest law officer. As White House counsel, Gonzales wrote briefs justifying torture and advised the White House on ways to evade or ignore the Geneva Conventions. 

Grossly violating the Geneva Conventions undermines international law and endangers U.S. troops abroad. Anyone who has served in the U.S. armed forces, as I have, should be outraged that this painfully won tenet of international law and civilized behavior is being trashed by members of the Bush administration. 

Un-American behavior 

If, as Bush asserts, terrorism suspects, Taliban, and Muslim mujahedeen fighters not in uniform deserve no protection under the laws of war and may be jailed and tortured at presidential whim, then what law protects from abuse or torture all the un-uniformed U.S. Special Forces, CIA field teams, and those 40,000 or more U.S. and British mercenaries in Iraq and Afghanistan euphemistically called "civilian contractors"? 

Behaving like the 1930s Soviet secret police will not make America safer. Such illegal, immoral and totally un-American behavior corrupts democracy and makes them no better than the criminals they detest. 

The 20th century has shown repeatedly that when security forces use torture abroad, they soon begin using it at home, first on suspected "terrorists," then dissidents, then on ordinary suspects. 

It's time for Congress and the courts to wake up and end this shameful and dangerous episode in America's history.

Eric Margolis is contributing foreign editor to the Toronto Sun

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Older Comments:
Here is Imam Sharafuddin Muhammad Al Busiri's Qasida t'ul Burdah poem excerpt, verses 34 to 42 of part 3 of the poem. It was written in the 14th century, and below I have provided a translation by Thoraya Mahdi Allam:

Muhammad, leader of the two worlds
and of Man and the jinn,
Leader also of the Arabs and
non Arabs and their kin.
Our Prophet, Commander of right,
prohibits evil's way,
Yet no one's speech more gentle could be
than his nay or yea.
Beloved by Allah is he upon
whose pleading we depend
From terrors of the Day of Judgement,
which on us descend.
He summoned people unto Allah,
they to him did adhere,
And clung fast to the rope that none
could ever rent or tear.
In morals and features
he, all prophets did exceed,
None could approach his knowledge,
or his bounty e'er precede.
And thus from Allah's Apostle
they acquired and did gain,
A handful of the vast sea
or a sip of generous rain.
So other prophets in their rightful place
before him stand,
Regarding knowledge and the wisdom
that they understand.
He perfect is in traits concealed,
and features bright and clear,
And Man's Creator chose him
as His most beloved and dear.
Too far above all men is he
to have a partner who
Has equal qualities, because
the essence of virtue
That in him lies is indivisible,
and wholly true.

So what's wrong with this poetry?
The prophet said:

Sahih Bukhari,Volume 5, Book 59, Number 449, Narrated by Ubai bin Ka'b:

Allah's Apostle said,

"Inna min-ash-shi'ri lahikmatun."
"surely, there is wisdom in poetry."

Below you can read Ta'Ala Al-Badru 'Alayna, the songs that were sung by The people of Madinah upon greeting the prophet when he arrived:

Tala'al Badru 'alaynaa
Min Thaniyyaati'l Wadaa'i
Wajaba-sh-shukru 'alaynaa
Maa da'a Lillahi Daa'i

The full moon rises on us
From Thaniyyatil Wadaa'
And it is compulsory on us to express thanks


Who is this true scholar you quote please? Either way, that entire paragraph that has been posted simply disqualifies any evil poetry written by those in the period of jahilliya and the writings of the pagan makkans against the life of prophet Muhammad (saaw) and Islam. Neither does that entire paragraph you haev posted, which has no author listed to verify it, have anything to say about some of the greatest poets in Islamic history, nor does it condemn them. I can name a few, Hafiz, Idrees, Shirazi, Jalaluddin Rumi, Allama Muhammad Iqbal, Al Buseiry who wrote Qasida al-Burda, the most popular arabic poetry ever written - which talks about nothing but Love for Allah and his beloved Rasool Muhammad (saaw)? Is that poetry also to be condemned??

Thus I once again stress that there is a difference between good poetry, and bad poetry. To clarify myself once again so that Pia Johansohn doesn't misinterpret what I say againn, I say this - Allah indeed wrote this Qur'an in allegories, in an ART FORM, in fact the highest art form on Earth. Poetry is also an art form, that is why I said that allegories and poetry are similar! Prophet Muhammad (saaw) practiced the Qur'an in every aspect of his life, and thus his example is the best one to follow. Hassan and Labid did write poetry back against the Pagan Makkans as shown in those hadiths I previously posted, with the encouragement of the Prophet (saaw), because they were defending the Prophet (saaw) and Islam against ruthless slandering. Likewise the other hadith I posted which shows the prophet saying that "there is some good poetry." If our prophet Muhammad (saaw) was a walking, living, breathing, thinking Qur'an in every aspect of his life, why would he say such a thing if ALL POETRY is haraam?

Just to let Pia Johansohn know and for the sake of this comment section, I will now leave here peacefully and move on and this is my last post here.



Dear editors, this attempt to lay certain characteristics to me, by Pia Johansohn are unnacceptable. I have posted information which the A. Yusuf Ali has translated and commented upon. I refuse insults on ethnicity and nationality which attempt to defame others, such as the way I have been singalled out as a Pakistani or Indian in such a vulgar statement that was made by Pia Johansohn.

Pia Johansohn...what you see in my post, is nothing but a transliteration. The Qur'an was not sent in english, and there are many different transliterations of the Qur'an. For you to say that I am making up the Qur'an is impossible, I laid reference to A. Yusuf Ali's translatoin. Read A. Yusuf Ali's transliteration to verify my post. the verses of 224-227 have not been "re-written" as you say, they are firstly, NOT translations - you cannot translate the Qur'an, you can only transliterate it and that is why the Qur'an was sent in Arabic to remain in it's original form. Secondly, you cannot have the Qur'an "re-written" as you say because it is intact in Arabic, thus in order to understand the Qur'an in Arabic, the only way to do that is either become a Qur'anic scholar and be fully versed in Arabic yourself OR, trust in what scholars who know say about the Arabic Ayats. I choose the latter because I am not fully versed in Arabic nor am I a scholar. I don't think you are fully versed in Arabic and I don't think you are a scholar of Qur'an - so this raises the question... how will you understand what these verses mean without learning from someone who does? This is why I showed you what Abdullah Yusuf Ali says about them. I neither changed these verses nor altered them one bit from their transliterations. The mostly widely used transliterations in the world, are A. Yusuf Ali's, and Pickthalls. And neither of them said poetry is haraam. Neither did the Prophet (saaw). All knowledge is Allah's.

I disagree with you. W'S.

Assalaamu'Alaiykum, to all,

Dear editors,

I agree with you and would like to see the personal attacks on people's ethnicities, nationalities, and other things of the like to be stopped. I did notice that there are other people on this message board who have had insults and personal attacks thrown at them, other than myself, such as Khaysuddin, Ali, and other by Pia Johansohn. In fact I would ask Pia Johansohn to rise to the occasion and discontinue her radical statements on conspiracy theories of Mossad and the CIA. To insult the entire nation of the United States, and Canada, are things which Pia Johansohn has also done. I would like it to end here, and I would please ask you to post the following information for further clarification, because it seems to me that no matter how much I attribute comments I post here as being written by others and not myself, I am consistenly accused by Pia Johansohn of being the author of the statements of others. I don't understand it myself. Please accept my apologies for this. I simply wish to respond to what the previous poster has just said - that I am supposedly making up what is written in the Qur'an, when it is in fact what A. Yusuf Ali, the first transliterator of the Qur'an into english, has said. Now I will post what Marmaduke Pickthall has said about these verses, so that this insanity of CIA and MOSSAD conspiracies can be put to a rest. It is mind boggling to me.

It is tremendously insulting to me that this lady has slandered my cultural background in the attempt to prove her point, so therefore I would like to post what Sir Marmaduk Pickthall has written about these such verses, so that it can be put to a rest that neither him, nor Abdullah Yusuf Ali, condemn poetry in the manner in which Pia Johansohn claims.

Marmaduke Pickthall's Transliteration states:


In an effort to dispell Akbar Khan's ignorance here is an excerpt from Sura Yaseen "And We have not taught him poetry, nor is it meet for him; it is nothing but a reminder and a plain (clarifying) Quran, That it may warn him who would have life, and that the word may prove true against the disbelievers." (Quran Surah Yaseen 36:68-69)

I suppose Akbar Khan will now deny the Koran and God own words. So take heed Akbar Khan for this passage was meant for ..you. And in the words of a true scholar:

.."In the period when the Quran was revealed, in addition to eloquence, poetry and oratory enjoyed great prestige in the Arabian peninsula. They used to hold poetry competitions and the poems of the winners write in gold and hang on the wall of the Ka'ba. The Prophet Muhammad was, as everybody knows, unlettered and no one had heard him say even a couple of poetry. However, the Quran also challenged the known experts in these fields and forced them to surrender. When those who persisted in unbelief heard the Quran, they were captivated by it. Nevertheless, in order to prevent the spread of Islam, they labeled it as something magical and advised people not to listen to it. But when those, like Hansa and Lebid, who believed in the Quran, gave up inventing poetry after the Quran's revelation in respect for and awe of its styles and eloquence, the unbelievers had to confess: 'If we call it a piece of poetry, it is not. If we designate it a piece of rhymed prose, it is not. If we describe it as the word of a soothsayer, it is not.' At times, they could not help listening to the Prophet's recitation secretly at night but they could not overcome their arrogance and so believe in its Divine origin.


The translation is Pickthals. So now the Koran is wrong and Akbar Khan is right ? You Akbar Khan are neither Pickthal, nor, mercifully, an Islamic scholar. ... ... In your own words, you now claim to speak for all Muslims in determining that "The Qur'an is written allegorically, and thus is like Poetry." So now you speak for God ? Amazing just amazing. Spoken like a true SUFI. ... If that were so then why did God not reveal in the Quran a section elevating Poets or poetry? Or Sufeees for the matter? And by your logic the Poets verse was all wrong. Sections 224 through 226 o te Poets have now been re-written to please Akbar Khan and his "SUFEES". Or Pickthall is all wrong. So God speaks to you Akbar Khan does he ? .. How many books have you written Akbar Khan which Islamic University did you graduate from as a Mafti, Imam or Ulaema ? Who acknowledges you as a scholar -the CIA and Mossad surely. Further much like most crafty yet illiterate people who lay claim to superior knowledge of their religion and hence their "assumed value as priests" you denounce all who don't agree with you. Yet slyly throw in some idiot anti-Arab, Anti-Taliban, political agenda along with a few lines of truth. Trumpeting US/Israeli version of facts in Afghanistan and Iraq you denounce those who want to come back to mainstream Islam. ..

In regard to these abuses, I am seriously considering making an appeal to U.S. Attorney General nominee Alberto Gonzales. I am considering appealing to his sense of patriotism, in light of what these abuses have cost in the lives and fortunes of those who have faithfully served America, in the suffering endured by America's "friends under fire" and in the good-will of numerous free republics around the world.

If by some chance the Attorney General elected to crack down on such abuses, I think it might well be regarded as poetic justice. I also think it could potentially provide Americans with a few examples of what selling someone else's rights can earn for those who assume they would continue to profit from such a sale.

..Pia Johansohn.

To rectify your misinterpretation of Ash-Shura, I will finish this off right here and right now, and make you eat your own words, by what A. Yusuf Ali, the transliterator of the Qur'an says about this Surah:

Surah Ash-Shu'ara, verse 3:
It may be thou frettest thy soul with grief, that they(1) do not become Believers
(1) "They" are the Pagans of Makkah. From a human point of view it was a great disappointment to God's Apostle in the middle period of his Makkan ministry that the Makkans could not be brought to believe the Truth.

- This shows clearly that A. Yusuf Ali, probably the transliteration of the Qur'an which you are reading, said very clearly that "they" in that verse refers to the Pagan Makkans who wrote poetry, NOT ALL POETRY or ALL POETS!


Surah Ash-Shura, Verses 224-227:
And the Poets - It is those straying in evil, who follow them: Seest thou not that they wander distracted in every valley? And that they say what they practice not? (BEGIN VERSE 227) Except those who believe, Work righteousness, engage much In the rememberance of God, and defend themselves only after they are unjustly attacked. And soon will the unjust Assailants know what vicissitudes their affairs will take!. Sadak'Allahu'l-Azeem!

NOW...I find it very interesting that you only put 224-226, and failed to put in 227; because verse 227 says right after, EXCEPT THOSE WHO BELIEVE. And further says those who "engage much in the rememberance of God (Dhikr-Allah).


In fact, where 224 begins with "AND THE POETS", A. Yusuf Ali comments on it below:
(Continued below)

For your sake only Pia Johansohn:

The Qur'an is written allegorically, and thus is like Poetry. It is the highest form of writing. To deny poetry is to deny the Qur'an.

The most famous sahabahs were ALL POETS. The Prophet himself knew this and were it not for the most well known sahabah's background in knowing poetry, they would not have been able to understand the Qur'an the way it was meant to be understood. Unfortunately you do not look at the Seerah (life of the Prophet), and therefore seem like not only a la-Madhabi, but you also behave like a la-ahadithi.

And Ash-Shura has a more proper meaning than the one you just said, "The Pets"???

Ash-Shura means THE CONSULTATION. Which is why in your idiosyncratic dillusion of Ash-Shura thus follows as what you haev just posted. Please show me and the rest of the world, whose Tafsir of Qur'an you are relying on to back yourself up, or are you just opening your english translation and interpreting it yourself and issuing a fatwa on it? Your mindset does indeed belong in the Dark Ages. Every post you put up here is shrouded in darkness and dis-enlightenment. "Islam is going into the books and the Muslims into their graves," said Shaykh Hasan al Basri some thirteen centuries ago, wow, you fuel ignorance with more ignorance...and you seem to be enjoying it. Go learn the Arabic language first, stop pretending to be a Qur'anic scholar.

By the way, our beloved Muhammad (saaw) praised GOOD Poetry. This is why I call you a la-ahadithi now as well because of your ingratitude to the prophet's words:

Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 56, Number 731:
Narrated 'Aisha:

Once Hassan bin Thabit asked the permission of the Prophet to lampoon(i.e. compose satirical poetry defaming) the infidels. The Prophetsaid, "What about the fact that I have common descent with them?"Hassan replied, "I shall take you out of them as a hair is taken outof dough."
(Continued hadith)

For the benefit of Mr. Akbar Khan and to expose his ignorance or malicious intent to all in making misleading statements about the Koran, here is the truth about the verse called "Poets" in the Koran. The Pets or Ash-Shura takes its title from Koranic verse 224 ff - 226. " As for Poets, their erring follows them. Hast thou not seen how they stray in every valley. And how they say that which they do not ?" Here the diference between poets and the Prophet is tersely pointed out: poets being those who say what they do not mean, while a Prophet always practices what he preaches. The pagan Arabs and their "Poets" elieved that Koranic inspiration to be the work of Jinns. Mr. Akbar Khan it is one thing to be delusional and lie to yourself, but I think its criminal to lie about the Koran and its meanings. ..

You are so .. Pia, that you said that the chapter in the Qur'an entitled, "The Poets" refers to all poetry. Because you don't know the explanation of the Qur'an that is described by classical Sunni scholars, that is why you said that in your consistent idiocity. "THE POETS" refers to the Pagan Makkans and their poetry, where many of them wrote poems against the Prophet and his followers, slandering him adn his message.

Stop before you get buried in the hole you are digging for yourself. You are MOST DEFINITELY NOT A SCHOLAR IN ISLAAM. But at least I do not take credit for what I say here, claiming "common sense" like you, I rather reference every single thing that I post, giving accredidation to sunni scholars over whom there is absolutely no dispute.

You are nothing but an intellectual derelict who belongs in Europe during the dark ages. Make sure you continue what you're doing so that you can make the community around you as ignorant of Islam as you are.

..First you miquoted and insulted Ali and Khaysuddin, then you made a racial slur againts me, and now you show your obvious lack of knowledge about Sunni Islam.

What kind of a Muslim are you? Are you related to Mullah Omar? He must be your hero, because you don't know anything about Islam other than the last 10 years of your own life. Islamic knowledge doesn't have an end point. That may be what you think, but it just isn't the way things go...Allah's knowledge is infinite, and don't give me your hog wash that "I have never been taught" blah blah blah. Who is the one talking gobbledeegook? It is YOU!


This is the Book; in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear Allah. Who believe in the Unseen, are steadfast in prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them; And who believe in the Revelation sent to thee, and sent before thy time, and (in their hearts) have the assurance of the Hereafter. They are on (true) guidance, from their Lord, and it is these who will prosper. As to those who reject Faith, it is the same to them whether thou warn them or do not warn them; they will not believe. Allah hath set a seal on their hearts and on their hearing, and on their eyes is a veil; great is the penalty they (incur). Of the people there are some who say: "We believe in Allah and the Last Day;" but they do not (really) believe. Fain would they deceive Allah and those who believe, but they only deceive themselves, and realise (it) not! In their hearts is a disease; and Allah has increased their disease: And grievous is the penalty they (incur), because they are false (to themselves).

You are nothing but the product of a 200 year old movement that thinks it is better than Sunni Islam as taught by the 4 great Islamic jurists, Imam Hanbal, Imam Malik, Imam Shafi'e, and Imam Abu Hanifah. It is a disgrace that you think your 200 year old ideology is what Islam is. Go read Imam Malik's Muwatta and see what he says about Tawassuf/Sufism/Ihsaan. I showed you hundreds of Qur'anic ayats about Ihsaan, and Dhikr-Allah, after you asked me where Sufism is mentioned in the Qur'an, yet you still turn back on your ugly heels.

Keep being a Wahhabra - it is you and not I who is following into the plots of non-Muslims who want to destroy Islam. If not for Muslims such as myself, exponentialists like you, who somehow think that every group of Muslims who come after the previous ones are better than the other, would infiltrate the entire Ummah with disease.

No one can destroy Islam. Stop talking BS you are such a confused little fool, you live in CIA PLOTS of SHIAS against SUNNIS? Wahhabism has left the fold of SUNNI ISLAM and the whole world knows it. If Wahhabi's truly followed the Jurisprudence of Imam Ahmed Hanbal, they would not reject what he writes about the prophet's intercession for the Muslims, and the spiritual stations of Tasawwuf.


You and your Wahhabi men friends of Saudi Arabia should stick together - the millions of homosexual men in Saudi Arabia who are pedophiles as well, acting as sexual predators on young boys, like the Mattawa's (Saudi Police), molesting little children. Go seek out your Wahhabi brethren in Pakistan as well since they've done a good job in spreading hteir sick messed up ideology there too. ... And this is no stupid CIA conspiracy theory like the one you live off of.

Defend your beastly group as much as you want, I will defend my Imaan b/c I have Taqwa.


That is so pathetic....when you are the one who is spreading rot and disgusting information. You reject the principles of Islam, and then turn around with your psychotic conspiracy theories once again! CIA plot...wake the hell up you freak, I know 10 year old Muslim kids who know more about Islam than you do. You talk a lot of hot air as if you know more than anyone else as to what your "true" Islam is? Let's hear is Mrs. anyone who doesn't agree with me works for the CIA. ...

Akbar Khan, you apparently think Sunni Islam is inextricably connected with Sufism, which is why you think that my critism is directed at Sunni Islam. I am a Sunni muslim and I have never been taught by anyone nor have I heard from any of the Imam's and the learned Islamic scholars that Sufisms part of Sunni slam. Which prooves that you are an American plant. As usual you throw your gibberish at us. No one except you, understands what you are saying - maybe even you do not understand your rot. In fact it is Shia's and Sufi sects who hate Wahabees and all other Muslims who do not agree with them. Akbar Khan, time to go back to the CIA whee you come from and read up on Islam again before you darken this site. Either its your ignorance which is overwhelming or your sly wicked guile. One thin is certain you are not a scholar or even learned on Islam.

Now as far as claiming that the "Sufi's" are not following the right way, well you can refer to my previous posts to make yourself realize that you are in your own personal idea of what Islam is, are wrong about that.

Now as far as sending peace and blessings upon Prophet Muhammad (saaw), one who does not do so becomes a miser, as it is related by Al-Tirmidhi:

"The miser is the one who hears my name mentioned and does not seek blessings for me."

And in Sahih Muslim, it says:
"He who sends (Allah's) blessings upon me once, Allah will bless him ten times."

And Abu Dawood reported:
"Whenever someone seeks Allah's blessings for me, Allah returns the soul to my body until I reply to his salutation."

Now referring to the last hadith, this comes to the concept of INTERCESSION, or TAWASSUL, something that is in large part practiced by Sufi's all over the world. When you slander those who practice Tawassul, you are slandering the right of Muslims as granted to us by Allah (swt) and his messenger Muhammad (saaw). If you dare accuse Muslims of committing Shirk because they pray to Allah to send blessings upon the Prophet (saaw), then you are denying the hadith's of Imam Muslim, Imam Tirmidhi, Imam Abu Dawud, and then Imam al-Tirmidhi further states:

"Those who are most deserving of my intercession (tawassul) on the Day of Judgment are those who used to increasingly seek Allah's Blessing for me."

I don't know if you understand yet, Insha'Allah...it's taking long for it to sink in for you I bet, but I am terribly sorry that you resort to violent discourse instead of civilized discussion. I am trying to tell you that Sufi's are the one's who practice those things as I mentioned to you before, Zuhd, Ihsaan, Tasawwuf, Tawassul, and Dhikr-Allah. We hold firm to the Shari'ah, and to Tasawwuf. One without the other corrupts a person, or leads that person astray. Last but not least, refer to this ayat of hte Qur'an below:

Refer to this ayat in the Qur'an for what was, is and will be practiced by Sufi's as long as Islam remains in this Duniya; The Qur'an al-Shareef clearly states:

Surah al-Baqarah, Ayat 195:
And spend of your substance in the cause of Allah, and make not your own hands contribute to (your) destruction; but do good; for Allah loveth those who do good (al-muhsineena)."

Al-Muhsineena here means "the people who do ihsaan, and it's meaning is to worship Allah as though you see Him, and if you see him not, know that nonetheless He (Allah) sees you. This is what goodness encompasses. The person who is more conscious and fearing of Allah (Taqwa-Allah), obeys his commands more firmly, and has more love in his/her heart. This verse also emphatically tells us not to make our own hands be the cause to our own destruction. Next verse from the Qur'an:

Surah al-Nahl, Ayat 128:
For Allah is with those who restrain themselves, And Those Who Do Good (wallatheena hum muhsinoon)."

Wallatheena hum muhsinoon simply means those who do Ihsaan (good). Allah wants us to restrain ourselves by following His Law (Shari'ah), and at the same time, to perform Good (Ihsaan, or knowing and worshipping Allah as though you can see Him, but if you see him not, know that nonetheless He sees you).

So from these verses above alone, it is easy and simple to understand the role and practice of the Sufi. They embrace Shari'ah, and they embrace Ihsaan. One without the other leads a person to his or her own destruction.

To answer your question once again, is "Sufi" mentioned in the Qur'an, No it is not, but neither is "Wahhabi" - but at least the Sufi undertakes Allah's command of performing Ihsaan, and Shari'ah together. Note that one of Allah's many names is Al-Wahhab (The Bestower), but this has absolutely no connection whatsoever to one who classifies himself or herself to being a Wahhabi. I do not need to go into more detail, you should know this by now.

Pia...at least be a Sunni, follow a madhab - Sufism is too much for you to understand, at least follow an Islamic school of jurisprudence, and Insha'Allah you will be on the right way. Just don't be thinking that you can make ijtihad in matters of fiqh and determine what your Aqeedah is without reading what Islamic jurists have said. If you stick to that, then by Allah's power, I am okay with you. But if you continue to keep on insulting my intelligence by calling Sunni Islam hocus pocus...well then I am obviously at odds with you, because you have made it so.

Once again, show me where the word Wahhabi is mentioned in the Qur'an. I can tell you Sufi is not mentioned in the Qur'an because I do not hide behind anything. What is mentioned in the Islam is Dhikr (rememberance) of Allah, hundreds of times. What IS mentioned in the Hadith, of Sahih Muslim, is Kitab al-Zuhd (The book of softening the heart). If you sincerely wish to read Qur'an and Sunnah, then I suggest you first, see what the madhabs have to offer you, and then, read what the four Islamic jurists said about things like Zuhd, Dhikr, Ihsaan, Tasawwuf. First thing you should ask yourself is, how do I know if I am reading Qur'an and Sunnah in the proper manner, if I do not know what the earliest scholars of Islam wrote about them??? Again, if you desist, then may Allah guide you for he guides whom he wills.

Understanding what a sufi seems difficult to you, but it in itself means thick wool, an refers to early practicers of Zuhd (softening of the heart) who wore thick garments of wool. In that spirit, the word Sufi has been kept, because the original Sufis practiced much DHIKR-ALLAH (rememberance of Allah), and Zuhd (Softening of the Heart), and Tasawwuf (understanding the stations of the heart) which is actually attained by much DHIKR and ZUHD. When you read Hadith Qudsi of Archangel Gibraeel (as) who came to the Holy Prophet (saaw) in the form of a man, he asked Muhammad (saaw)

Ali, interesting how you define Islam, a religion of interpretations, as wild as they might come. Also I thought your bit regarding the people you grew up with was quite amusing. " that I grew up with drunken poets and secularists, you don't know what you're talking about. These people were otherwise devout Muslims who prayed regularly". So based upon your interpretation and that of your well-sloshed friends, one can drink and be merry and yet consider oneself a good Muslim ? You amaze me. I am speechless. I can understand why so many Muslims are worried for their religion now, which explains the tenacity with which they hold on to the original teachings of Prophet Mohamed (peace on him) and not some flimsy and sly interpretations of those who would play both sides of the fence. I can see Mr. Akbar's credo rubbed off well on many. Sad. Also Ali if you can't take the heat in a debate then get out of the kitchen as they say. If you do not want us to waste your time as you claim you do in responding to posts on this site, then get off line and go and busy yourself with knitting perhaps. Ask Mr. Akbar he might know a thing or two about it with a "Sufi Twist ". Maybe you can join him in chanting sessions, spinning like a dervesh and conjure up genies and flying carpets and tranmeditational trips to the moon. Off you go then.

Pia, give me a break. I'm still not sure just what you are talking about. Where have Ali, Akbar and myself claimed to have had any magical powers or prowess? No Sufi that I know would claim to have them, so I really don't know what you're talking about. We have fallen over ourselves (well, Akbar and Ali have, I don't think you are worth the effort)to support our views to you while simultaneously apologizing for seeming divisive, and not wanting to seem self-aggrandizing.
MUSLIMA BY WHAT RIGHT DO YOU JUDGE ANOTHER'S PRACTICE? It is plain that you know nothing of Islam, your statements regarding Akbar's ethnicity betray you, how is Akbar's Pakistani or Indian heritage pertinent to this? Why, how wonderfully racist of you.
For my own part, regarding the practice of Sufism, I'll paraphrase the prophet Isa and tell you, I'll not cast my pearls before the swine. In other words, I only share with those who are worthy (and you, my little muslima nazi, most certainly are not).
Furthermore, to also quote the prophet Isa: "Judge not, lest ye be judged."
I suggest that you reread my posts from earlier.


Before I go on, I beg you to read my post very carefully. This is in regards to issues you address to me, as well as to Akbar and Khaysuddin, on your post no. 28721. I speak for myself on this post.

Based on your questions, you're assuming that I am a Sufi or subscribe to the Sufi ideology. Where did you get that notion? I don't know much about Sufism and I admit that sometimes I do have a hard time following Akbar's posts on Sufism, as it requires a lot of research to understand.

I challenge you to carefully read my past comments, and never will you find anything associating me with Sufism, and I don't know much about it. So, please, don't ask me anymore questions about it, ok?

The gist of what I have stated in my previous posts is that some Muslims interpret Qur'an literally while others interpret it within the historical context, and I gave an example.

If you have a problem with my example, then, next time you're conducting a transaction involving credit/debit/future obligations, please bring with you two men, or a man and two women to act as witnesses, as per Qur'an:

"Whenever you give or take credit for a stated term, set it down in writing...And call upon two of your men to act as witnesses; and if two men are not available, then a man and two women from among such as are acceptable to you as witnesses, so that if one of them should make a mistake, the other could remind her." (Quran 2:282).

Two women were neccessary because during those times, women weren't involved extensively in commerce and were illiterate. All in all, Islam raised the status of women from pre-Islamic times, and in modern times, Muslims should continue to uphold such attitudes. But, Pia, you can continue to insist on two men witnesses or one man and two women.
As far as your assertion that I grew up with drunken poets and secularists, you don't know what you're talking about. These people were otherwise devout Muslims who prayed regularly (Con

Mr. Akbar, I had a couple of people read your comments and thus far we are still left scratching our heads. We have no idea of the language you write or the substance of your debate. All in all you come across as a confused old secularist, sufi, pakhistan or indian man who falls over his own words in trying to justify his belief in fairy tales and hocus pocus. I will tell you outright Mr. Akbar, Ali and Khasuddin, all modern day Sufis are complete frauds and tricksters. A true holy man would never reveal himself or his good deeds. You Mr. Akbar on the other hand seem to think that the more rubbish and mumbo jumbo you throw at us, the more people will be awed by your knowledge and believe in you. But like the king without any clothes, your tricks and nonsense Mr. Akbar are quite overt. So I put it to you again. Just where in the world are Sufi's mentioned in the KORAN or the HADEES ? Nowhere. And don't you dare give me your interpretation of the Hadees. You are neither an Islamic scholar such as a mafti or Imam. Did you take part in any Jihad ? NO. I am sure you are going to tell me that you are waiting for the supreme Imam Mehdi or that you perform jihad by controlling your inner desires etc. Or is it because you are too busy appeasing the non-Muslims where you live. Perhaps you celebrate Christmas and Jewish holidays too. Mr. Akbar, you are full of it. Ali, you state that the Muslims you grew up with mistreated women, well they must not be Muslims then, Yes ? Then logic follows that you did not grow up with Muslims but perhaps drunken poets and secularists, whom I am sure Mr. Akbar can describe very well. All the poetry I have read thus far from so called "Sufis" are all about wine, women and song. Is that what Islam preaches Akbar ? Kahsuddin ? Ali ? Remember from the Koran that just as you mischief maker's plan so does God plan. He knows all about your sly little schemes, and as much as you may try and dilute Islam, God will have the last word.

Assalaamu' Alaiykum,

Great post brother Ali, I am very fed up with these jokers accusing others of supposedly worshipping human beings, and this La-madhabi mentality is really just garbage, I have had it up to here...ignorance is so rampant now that it is disgraceful to Ahl' as-Sunnah Wa'l Jam'aah, we who follow the grou Fuqahah, and those great Imams and Alims and Shaykhs who came afterwards!

I agree with you again Ali and I concur wiht you, that after I read your post and you said nothing of the sort that they (Meryam and Pia Johanson) both claimed. Sadly they wish to keep not only their face, but their eyes veiled from the reality of the unseen realm.

I posted like 4 other comments to this article, yet not one was posted. I guess that's the way things go when extremists like those two ladies previously lashes out at someone with anger, it can be tolerated? But when a Sunni who believes in the four fuqaha, and practices Zuhd, it should be buried away so no one can see? Yeah well I'm getting a pretty good picture of the disrespect that is being shown to our classical Islamic scholars here. I wonder who can step up and bring some articles here to show hte resilience of people like ibn Arabi? Just look at the way the la-Madhabi slander him and have no adaab for this great master of Islamic knowledge.

Did you or anyone else or even to the editors may I ask, attend the Reviving the Islamic Spirit in Toronto dec. 24th, 25th, and 26th? Especially both Meryam and Pia, then you could see what Sufism is really about, not just ur cia-conspiracy theory! Stop this childish behaviour of yours and wake up to reality, you CANNOT deny the strength of hte spiritual consciousness anymore amongst our Ummah. 8,000-10,000 people sitting in the SkyDome applauding 15 different speakers who Supported Sufism. Don't try to be judge and jury of Islam by condemning the Ihsaan of our deen.

Allahumma salee ala Syedeena Muhammad.

wassalaamu' Alaiykum

Salaam Alaikum.
I apologize to Allah and to those who think my post (28612) demeans Islam. I have had no such intentions. Apparently Meryam Renoir and Pia Johnson have come to such conclusion, but I think they were CARELESS in reading my post, jumped to their wrong conclusions less than halfway into it, and let their anger blind them from understanding the gist of my post. I CHALLENGE THEM AND OTHERS to re-read my post and show me WHERE HAVE I CLAIMED THE FOLLOWING, as accused by Pia: "Islam is not a religion of absurd claims, human worship or human sacrifice as Mr. Ali claims." Or, the following Meryam's accusation of me: "...Ali's evil is exposed when he claims that Wahabism calls for burying babies or degrading women because that is just pure rot. I am degraded by you Ali for your absurd claims and lies." RE-READ MY POST AND SHOW ME WHERE DID I ACCUSE WAHABISM OF BURYING BABIES OR SAID THAT ISLAM IS ABOUT HUMAN WORHIP OR SACRIFICE!!!

I've a little more to say: I mentioned Rumi because he was a Sufi, and to show that Sufism has been around far longer than the US (where Mr. Alex currently is enjoying a safe livelihood, no doubt) and is thus in no way any part of any so-called US-backed conspiracy. Get over it people! There is no US conspiracy. I'm sorry if that takes the excitement out of your life, but that's the truth.
But more to the point: my real concern is the way in which we address one another here, which was why I posted to begin with. I never intended to engage in a debate about the veracity of Sufism (although I'm happy to comply if need be). If we disagree, that's fine, but let's leave out the insults and the Holier Than Thou rhetoric (especially the 'you are the running dog of America', I mean, puh-lease!), it's counter-productive and indeed sows the very division that some here claim the US is behind.


Meryam, in regards to your post no. 28615, it is apparent that you DID NOT read my post properly as you have COMPLETELY MISUNDERSTOOD AND MISPHRASED IT. Here's a quote of what you have accused me of:
"I have found nothing in Wahabism to dislike neither does it denigrate me or insult me as a woman. To that Ali's evil is exposed when he claims that WAHABISM CALLS FOR BURYING BABIES OR DEGRADING WOMEN because that is just pure rot. I am degraded by you Ali for your absurd claims and lies. Go and collect your US government paycheck."
I challenge you to revisit my post (no. 28612) and show me where I have stated the above about Wahabism calls for burying the babies. And this time, go with a clear mind!!!
Here's part of what I had said:
"In pre-Islamic Arabia, the status of women was that of a class below boys. Newborn girls were buried alive. Men could divorce wives at a whim without just compensation, etc. Islam changed all that."
Please note: I said in "pre-Islamic Arabia" and never accused Wahabism of committing such heinous actS, as you claim. Apologies accepted.
As for some Muslims misinterpreting Qu'ran to carry on the culture of mistreating women, I grew up amongst them, so I stand by my claim.
Apologies accepted. Peace.


This is my response, I suggest those of you who have spoken out read my words and consider them:
I was raised a Roman Catholic, and considered myself to be a staunch Christian. I was no one who was looking to convert because I was unsatisfied with my tradition; if anything, I was an apologist for it.
Last spring, that all changed. I had a dream with the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) where he made reference to the one I was worshipping (there was more to it than that, but I am being succinct due to space considerations).
I didn't understand. Then, I had a dream with the Archangel Gabriel.
Then, I had a dream with Khidr referenced in a book I was reading.
Then, in prayer and meditation, I had a vision of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Soon after (a month or so)I took shahada; I have done so because I trust fully that this is what God wanted me to do. I have complete faith the Allah has led me to this path for His reasons. The bridge for all this for me was Sufism. Sufism is not mentioned in the Quran, it is true. And as new as I am to Islam, I am sure that any one of you knows far more about the Quran, the Hadiths etc than I do.
But I do know this: I am here because Allah brought me here, Alhamdulilah. None of you owns Islam, and none of you may tell me how to practice it, for that all I need is what the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) has written that Allah has commanded.
I do not tell this experience to you to make me great in your eyes, for Allah alone is great. I tell you because I marvel at the experience, and am very thankful that my Lord has lifted the veil from my eyes. I trust myself humbly to the service of the Lord and of the Umma. Let those of you who have ears to listen, listen to my words!
For my own part I will say this: When I was Catholic, I was often assailed by the Prostestants for my beliefs, and there is much mutual misunderstanding and antagonism between the two groups. Also, there is tension between the Protestants themselves, and between the

Pia Johansohn and Meryam Renoir, I asked you once and I ask you again, where is Wahhabiyya mentioned in Qur'an or ahadith?????????

If you want ot learn Sunni Islam you need to read about it before there was such a group as Wahhabiya. You want to follow proper Islam..??? Then follow a Madhaab! Read about the Imam's of Al-Azhar here:

Stop this nonsense about Wahhabism. You call yourself a Muslim, well then choose a Madhab, and stick to it! Wahhabism was created as a NEW Madhab which has no justification or right to be called a Madhab of Islam! The only Madhab's of Sunni Islam are of
1) Imam Abu Hanifah (Hanafi school of thought)
2) Imam Malik (Maliki school of thought)
3) Imam ash-Shafi'e (Shafi'e school of thought)
4) Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal (Hambali school of thought)

A follower of one school of thought respects and accepts all other schools of thought to be true and correct. This is TRUE ISLAM Pia and Meryam.

When and WHY do you support Wahhabism? They claim to follow Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal, but that is false, go read Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal's Musnaad, and what he clearly says in support of Zuhd/tasawwuf/Sufiyya

Now, bring forth your argument. I am literally astonished at the level of ignorance out there. You guys talk about people flying through the air and not performing the five pillars. Why do you lie so openly? I am a MUSLIM HANAFI SUFI. I pray five times a day, I give my zakaat, I fast in Ramadan, I was born as a Muslim, and I plan on going for Hajj very soon Insha'Allah ta'ala.

Do not mock Islam with this fitnah. I am tired of these LAME stories you people are spreading around. I want you to prove it, and I know you can't, that's why you are both liars in denying ascetecism. the word DHIKR is mentioned hundreds of times in the Qur'an. You don't even do DHIKR-ALLAH, do you? You probably don't even make du'a with your hands raised.

What exactly was mainstream Islam before the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was created Pia Johanson? You don't even know Islamic history of thirteen centuries, from the 7th - 19th century, can you tell me if "mainstream Islam" was followed by Wahhabis?

Even today, go to Egypt and visit Al-Azhar university. It is the OLDEST existing university in the world today. They have manuscripts and books that are over 1000 years old. How many of them are written by Wahhabis? Go to any of the many centuries old Masjids and libraries in Syria, go to the ones in Jordan, go to the ones in Yemen, go to the ones in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia.....how many books in these libraries talk of Wahhabism? Let me ask you a simple question...did Islam exist before the Wahhabi ideology? Let me ask you another question following to that...if Islam existed before the Wahhabi ideology, what did Muslims believe in, and who did they follow, WHAT SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT PLEASE? My last question to you is, DO YOU EVEN KNOW WHAT THESE SCHOLARS OF THESE SCHOOLS OF THOGHT EVEN WROTE? DO YOU EVEN KNOW THEIR NAMES? DO YOU EVEN KNOW WHAT THEY BELIEVED?

You praise Wahhabism as if it is a different religion than Islam, because according to what you have displayed here, you don't even mention following one of the four sunni schools of thought.

Wake up and get yourself out of your never ending tunnel of self-destruction. If you want to defend Islam, stop defending a guy who CURSED Imam Abu Hanifah, and declared that he was a better Mujtahid than him, and then performed Mut'ah Nikaah with a non-Muslim woman, on two separate occasions, and also drank alcohol occasionally. Yes it is your dear respected leader of your ideology, his name is Muhammad ibn Abd' al-Wahhab. Tell us all what you have read and let us come down to the TRUTH of things. Then we will all very soon see if you know what you're even talking about.


Satan always appeared in the figure of an old man of the Najd to Rasulullah (sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam). When the disbelievers assembled at a place called Dar an-Nadwa in Mecca and decided to kill the Prophet, Satan appeared in the figure of an old man of the Najd and taught them how to carry out the murder, and they agreed to do as the Najdi old man said. Since that day, Satan has been called Shaikh an-Najdi. Hadrat Muhyiddin Ibn al-'Arabi writes in his work Al-musamarat: "When the Quraish disbelievers were repairing the Kaba, each of the heads of the tribes said that he was going to replace the valuable stone called al-Hajar al-aswad. Later they agreed that the person who came [to the Kaba] first the following morning would be the referee to choose one from among them to place the stone. Rasulullah (sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam) was the first who came, he was twenty-five then, and they said they were going to obey what he said because he was trustworthy (amin). He said, "Bring a carpet and put the stone on it. You all hold the carpet at its sides and raise it to the level where the stone will be placed." After it was raised, he took the stone from the carpet with his blessed hands and set it at its place in the wall. At that moment. Satan appeared in the figure of the Shaikh an-Najdi and, pointing to a stone, said, "Put this beside it to support it." His real purpose was for the foul stone he pointed to fall in the future, so that the Hajar al-aswad would lose its steadiness and, consequently, people would consider Rasulullah (sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam) inauspicious. Seeing this, Rasulullah (sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam) said, "A'udhu bi'llahi min ash-shaitani 'r-rajim," and Satan immediately ran away, disappeared.'

Audzubillah himin ash-shaytaan ir-Rajeem.

Allah protect us from the Shaytaan, the accursed one.


First I just want to say Jazakum'Allah Khairun to both of my Muslim brothers, Khaysuddin, and Ali, for standing up for fair play, and speaking of Islam the way it should be spoken of.

Secondly, I am nothing - Allah (swt) is my Lord, my Creator, my Resurrector. I am powerless and so is everyone else without Allah (swt). Br. Alex Ismetovic, I make du'a right here and now, that Allah shower you with his all-encompassing, all-Merciful, and all-Compassionate power. I am sorry to hear that you believe of me in that way, and I just want to let you know that I do not support killing of innocent people on either side of the fence. I am glad that you have been following my posts. Insha'Allah ta'ala, I will post more because I wish to convey the message of Islam to anyone and everyone, from what Allah commands in the Qur'an, from what the Rasool-Allah Muhammad (saaw) conveys in his seerah and ahadith, and from what our Imams of the past inform us - the way Imam al-Azam, Abu Hanifah (Nu'man ibn Thabit) taught us. Because of his dedication to Islam alone, more than 200,000 issues in Islamic practice were solved. Because of him, we have tens of thousands of hadiths with Sahih transmission. Because of this great Wali-Allah, we can understand when to pray Salaat al-Asr, among the simpler things in which he solved. Of course Imam Shafi'i has a different opinion about the time for Salaat al-Asr, but this is accepted as being correct in the Hanafi school of thought as well. You see br. Alex, there are difference of opinions among our greatest scholars as well. I hope that you will find it in your heart to realize that my difference of opinion from yours is not mine, but of scholars who are more pious than I am in Allah's sight.

Please next time if you want to make a point, please do so without personal attacks, I might see things the way you do.

Humbly yours, Wassalaamu'Alaiykum.

Khasiuddin, I am also a woman and converted to Islam quite some time back. The issue of Wahabism was raised after 9-11 never before I had heard of this as a problem or an issue. So I read on it. Books and comments against it are many, mostly from secular groups from India, Pakistan, Iran and Turkey where there is a growing cult that deviates from mainstream Islam and makes people think that the real Islam is an evil thing while a more secular version, full of geneies, fairy tales, outrageous claims by Sufi "Imams", such as flying through air, or strolling on the moon, or worse being exempt from the regular obligation to prayer 5 times a day because according to them they say their prayers mentally in the Kaba ? This Sufi concept was never a meant to evolve into a cult as it has become so. Sufi poems are full of wine, women and song. Is that not all completely antithetical to Islam ? All the quotes from the Koran, Akbar Khan provided, he intentionally or otherwise alludes to promoting Sufism, that is not true. In fact God's words are referring to those who follow the Koran and the "Sunnah" or the teachings of Prophet Mohamed (Peace on him), these are the true Muslims, not those who devote their lives to poetry, wine, women and song. In fact the Koran speaks out against poets and such fools and charlatans. Here is the quote from the Koran Al-Shuara, 'The Poets'.
And the Poets,- It is those straying in Evil, who follow them:
Seest thou not that they wander distracted in every valley?-
And that they say what they practise not?

Islam is not a religion of absurd claims, human worship or human sacrifice as Mr. Ali claims. Islam is the most sensible and thought provoking religion and a way of life, for each and every day. Whenever you see people telling you otherwise, claiming that Islam teaches anything other than peace and that which appeals to good common sense, they Lie. Read Hadees Bukhari or Muslim and give it a deep thought

Khaissuddn just where is Sufism mentioned in the Koran or any of the credible Hadees ? Nowhere. Do not be impressed with the mumbo jumbo of Akbar Khan or the ignorance of Ali. Ali and Akbr Khan, in you I do believe we are dealing with provocateurs; you men or women are probably working for the US or the UK government sowing seeds of division and hate amongst Muslims on this web site. I have studied Wahaabism and I can say that there is no contravention of Islam from either the Koran or the Hadees. In fact I did find explanations of Sufi's lacking any logical sense. How can Sufi's claim to be Muslims and not fulfill the basic rites of Islam, prayers, alms, fasting and hajj ? I did not observe brother Alex question or insult Rumi. Khasiuddin, it is apparent he is encouraging the basic practice of Islam rather than asceticism from which nothing is to be gained but an empty pocket and misguidance. The US government is trying its best to pollute Islam with anything including pseudo-Islamic ideologies such as Sufism which have no place in Islam. No one is questioning Rumi as you Khaisuddin have imagined. I have found nothing in Wahabism to dislike neither does it denigrate me or insult me as a woman. To that Ali's evil is exposed when he claims that Wahabism calls for burying babies or degrading women because that is just pure rot. I am degraded by you Ali for your absurd claims and lies. Go and collect your US government paycheck.


Brother Khaysuddin, I commend you on your response to bro. Alex (post 28603). Every so often I have to shake my head in surrendering to the fact that it's no use trying to reason with literal extremists.
I hate to sound divisive, but our ummah is indeed divided amongst the extremists and the moderates. While I understand the literal extremists' desires to ALWAYS follow the Qu'ran verbatim, without considering the meaning of allegories therein and the historical contexts of the messages, I wish they would sometimes use their God-given brains and sense of reasoning to understand the moderates' point of views.
I will get a lot of flak for this, but I hope to illustrate by an example the difference between the extremists and the moderates. Here goes:
In pre-Islamic Arabia, the status of women was that of a class below boys. Newborn girls were buried alive. Men could divorce wives at a whim without just compensation, etc. Islam changed all that.
Prior to Islam, women couldn't act as witnesses; only men could. However, since Islam, the Qu'ran allowed two women, or one man, to act as witness(es). The reason for this was because, in those times, most women were illiterate and they couldn't write down what they had witnessed. Whereas, a man could, for later reference. Thus, the revelation of having two women witnesses was to serve a practical purpose: they could remind each other in case of forgetfulness. This elevated their status from pre-Islamic days.
Moderate Muslim men would view the Qu'ranic instructions within the historical contexts and understand how Islam elevated the status of women over 1400 years ago. Their treatment of women would, therefore, conform to the spirit behind the revelation.
However, a literal extremist would refer to the same verse to consider a woman as worth half-a-man, and continue to mistreat her.

(Continued on the alternate viewpoint below)

Alex , we engage in positive discussion and debate here. It's fine if you do not agree with Akbar's statements; but what is not fine is to attack him and his views in such a personal way. He is a good man, and had a large part in me taking shahda and coming over to Islam. What is more, Akbar has always backed his statements with good refernce from the Quran, the hadiths and from learned men. I'd like it if you did the same before you make unqualified statements like "Sufism is a conspiracy" or whatever. I mean, give me a break. I didn't know Uncle Sam conned Rumi, dude. What a trick, since he didn't even exist yet (US, that is).

Akbar Khan I have been observing your posts for a while and sad to say this but your comments seem to be supportive of the American government's view of how to interpret Islam and how Muslims out to live their lives. Further your statements are clearly designed to make people hate Arabs and Wahabees and promote Secularism through Sufism and mysticism. I will say this that it is the devils job to ensure division and dissention amongst Muslims. You do the job very well, quite admirably in fact. I have had substantial dealings with Sufi followers in the US and in Bosnia and I can assure you that it a fantastic propaganda well organized to dilute Islam and give Muslims cause to cut each other's throats. If you truly are a Muslim Akbar Khan you ought to speak clearly and truthfully about Islam and not divide Muslims by casting aspirations on Wahabees or Arabs any other Muslim sect. From what I have read about Wahabee Islam there is not one thing that I can find wrong or erroneous or horrendous about the concept. However I do find you and your comments insulting, offensive and derisive to Muslims and Islam.

The Bush administration should speak the truth than hiding their atrocities in the name of democracy and liberation.After the fall of Socialism there was no other ideological threat to Capitalism but Islam. It should not come as a surprise that America the present leaders of Capitalism has embarked on a mission to consolidate its position and to make sure that Capitalism prevails by hook or crook.What happened in Bosnia,Chechnia,Afghanistan,Iraq is an ideal example of that.UN has also proved subservient to American interests.
What we need to ask ourselves is that how comes the liberation exclusively occurs in the muslim countries?
Just know that you cannot extinguish the light of Allah rather it will prevail as long as Allah desires.

In the same way that people take verses from the Qur'an and interpret those verses themselves and take them personally without first referring to designated scholars on Qur'an first, there are people who take such verses in the Bible as T MOORE mentioned, and manipulate those verses to suite themselves and justify killing people. On either end, both sides must stop the violence, before the USA let's loose a wild assault, with it's recent failed missile defense launch test that took two years to prepare. And before any other maniacal leader like Kim Jong Il or Vladimir Putin, Ariel Sharon, let loose a wild one on more innocent people than ever before.

One great man recently stated that a war would take place soon, between the Southern and Northern hemispheres. It's all becoming crystal clear now.


very nice post Tmoore, you sound at least very honest person.
I'm just laughing little bit when I think about the Bible, the Torah and the Quran are all originated from middleeast. I wonder now, what does it mean for you "our books" in your ex comment? :).
I believe 100% that most of the policies makers in the whitehouse does not believe to any God's theology! they needed a flexible version of religion to help them conquest the world and dominate it. what support my opinion is the way France and German (supposed to be christian nations!!!) refused the new American doctrine and compare it to Hitler's doctrine. also the way "we" are not killing the chinese, the russian and your quotes can include them easy.

when the nations gain more power, they try to expand on the expenses of others! it's a principe of Empires builders. there is more stability in balanced world than in a world with one dominating view...

Maureen, the reason why we kill Muslims with impunity is because we were directed to do so by God. At least that is what our books say, which you may question, but then who will go to hell ? obviously not you and I. We simply followed what was written. Whether we believely falsely or otherwise, it is generally accepted that God give Judeo-Christians the authority to do so. I guess no one would in his right mind would ever try and find out what was originally because its an impossible task. Here is the proof from the Bible and the Torah:

1 Samuel 15:3, God says to Saul: "Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass."

Numbers 21:27-35 They claim that God abetted Moses in utterly destroying the Amorites at Heshbon - "...the men, the women, and the little ones."

Numbers 31:17-18 God is said to have commanded Moses to kill all the Medianite people including children and women. To top it off he commands that the virgins be saved for later raping by Moses' soldiers.

Deuteronomy 3:3-7 Here we go again God is believed to have ordered Moses' army to "utterly destroy" 60 cities, killing all the women and children within!

Deuteronomy 7:12 God ordered the Israelites to kill all the people of seven nations. He even adds, "show no mercy unto them".

Deuteronomy 20:16 God orders that we kill everything that breathes in the cities that he gives us for an inheritance

Now you see why we kill with such ease and pleasure, in doing so we are doing God's will. I guess this makes me reconsider just wose religion is evil.


learning for dummies :)

there is no country called Islam, then never compare Islam to USA?
the author of this article does not complaint! he is doing a favore to us as americans and presenting for us, how the situation may end, if we keep ourselves blind on our democracy...
if you have a problem of loyalty to USA and you are trying to add Israel to USA in your talk? remember that those mujahedeen that you hate were dying one day to defend us the WEST from the communism, while Israel that you have a feeling for, were killing our brave soldiers in USS_liberty in 1967?
this myth of Israel is our ally remind me the myth of USSR was our ally in ww2. controling our propaganda will not last forever!
at the end! the general oulation in muslim land are poor because we suported tyranies to loot them and give us free access to their oil. this is not my talk! this is Bush's talk before the last election. you got to address him, why he complaint about US history?

I liked your post very much M Owens, simply for one reason - you didn't sway your comment in support of hostile retaliation, instead you provided an accurate basic understanding of what the status of most Muslims overseas currently is. Thank you for that, history is very important. I also agree with you that Muslims do face gigantic rejection in Europe as well as in their own countries nowadays, and injustices in multiplicity. What I like even more is that you didn't insult anyone or any group in particular. That's the way to get a point across to someone, especially when it's as an important point as the one you raised.

Great points Khaysuddin.

Irrem you also made some valid observations. But do not think that Islamicity is secretely out to find faults in Israel or the United States with an agenda that will work for the advantage of any of these looney toon terrorists who blow things up and kill innocent people, whoever they may be, Muslim or non-Muslim, or American or non-American, it doesn't matter to me.

Your observations about many Muslims living in poverty, I agree but don't be so self-righteous to poor people when u say they are uneducated, that's why they support bin Laden when he acts like a 14th century barbarian? You know that is very obnoxius of you, and very insulting to people who are poor, I don't know if you realize that? It might be more important for everyone to start realizing that there is a big problem in the world today - it stems from Economic terrorism, the best way to keep people poor so that they don't end up challenging your dominance. No one is saying one side is good and the other is evil - by doing that u take the mentality of an idiot like Bush.

You have to understand Irrem. Muslims belong to one faith, we're like one body. If one limb is injured, the entire body of Muslims feel the pain. We do not justify killing innocent people, nor do we justify the use of terror. A Muslim condemns terror because in the simplest way to put it, terror is routed in war-mongering. The meaning of "Muslim" is to peacefully submit to the will of God. It is therefore at our core to reject terrorism and violence of this sort because God hates killing anyone unjustly.

Remember that neither of us are in Iraq, or Afghanistan, and all that we know is what we are told to know. All we can conclude is that there have been injustices committed by both sides, whatever you may want to call those sides - I personally believe there are more than just two sides to this war. Trust in supporting good work, not violence.


I like this article and what I appreciated most is the response of Mr Owens. for the first time I read somebody reading objectively and smatly the situation without been muslim.

as you see! the right and the wrong are very clear and separated unlike those who try to make them looks relatives.

In the name of what are these so called totures being performed? Is it peace and justice, or is it for otherwise? I also ask this question: How do you stop a terrorist? Do we sit back and become reationary or do we take a proactive approach. These terrorist operate in secret, and commit far worse acts against their own people (other muslims). All in the name of Jihad. Yet these same so called "good muslims",did nothing to help Iraqis being oppresed by Saddam. Nor do I see large muslims rushing to fight with the muslims in Palestine.
What type of force should be authorized to use against terrorist who use tactics that destroy peace, and hurt the innocent? If there is a better way to safegaurd the lives of the innocent, present it firmly. Until then I guess we will have to continue to seek around, torture and detain, just like the terrorist with thier GULAG.


Thanks for your words. I am glad that you are following my advice, at least in part. Some may be offended by your statements, but I'm not. I don't think you would come here and say these things if you didn't want to have some meaningful discussion and come to understanding. No one can fault you for that, and I appreciate your efforts (even if I don't agree with you :)
My friend, you're right, terrorism is wrong. I think most people here agree with you. But terror isn't part of Islam. Perhaps you are speaking of the political climate that is in much of the Dar al-Islam (world of Islam). It is regrettable, but Inshallah, it won't last forever, and lets not forget that for much of its history Islam was the very light of civilization, and will be again I assure you. But again, I insist that we separate Islam from the dictatorships that reign in much of the world. The condition of the governments doesn't reflect on Islam, its content or its message. I'll give you some parallel examples: most of the nations where Roman Catholicism is the dominant religion suffer under the rule of cruel and despotic governments, yet no one equates Roman Catholicism with oppression and poor human rights-why is that? And, until recently, most of the nations that were Greek Orthodox suffered under the oppression of Stalin and his successors. But again, no one speaks of it in such terms. These countries (of both the milieus I have named) are still poor, uneducated, the women are not emancipated, there are human rights abuses, crime is rampant, there is political corruption, but tell me, why is it different for them? Why are their religious heads not held accountable in the same way ours are?
Think about it.

I do not think many of us here in the UK, in the US or in Europe generally care about the reasons for the malaise in the Islamic society and the inevitable economic and social degradation Muslims suffer. Irrem if you look beyond your nose you will see why Muslims are in such dire straits. In Israel, the government operates with impunity. Palestinian lands and livestock are unjustly confiscated - basically stolen. The daily killing and murder of Palestinians, even children as young as 2, does not evoke any response or protests from us whatsoever. Hence the killing goes on. Whatever few natural resources Muslim countries thought they could rely upon such as oil, they are denied by the fact of frequent and blatant invasion of their lands by our governments, in contravention of UN resolutions prohibiting medieval invasion of sovereign countries. We dispossess them of their lawful property over some feigned response to arbitrary excuses such as terrorism or weapons of mass destruction, and if that does not work, then in the name of 'national security 'details of which would be too secret to divulge' - but of course. I think you can beat an animal only so much before that animal goes for your throat Irrem. Closing your eyes and denying reality tantamount to lying to yourself. So I suggest you shed those red, white and blue, star emblazoned blinkers, and see reality for what it is. It is we who impoverished Muslims, by decades of oppression. Muslims did not cut their own throats, we did, and we do it with such grace and finesse, (with the help of our more-than-eager-to-please media) that when they complain, it is they who look like scoundrels and we come out looking like shining white 'Judeo/Christian' angels - look closer Irrem we have blood all over our pretty clothes.

The rotting corpses of Muslims in Bosnia, Albania, Afghanistan, Iraq, Chechnya tell me one thing, that for a good many Muslims Islam means simply living from day to day - surviving. For the other half Islam simply means dying from day to day, to protect and defend other Muslims and Islam. One could write volumes upon volumes on the injustices, degradation, vilification, torture, deionization and humiliation Muslims face each day, whether in Denmark, France, USA, UK, Russia or even in their own "controlled" countries but for a great many young Muslims the realisation is growing, slowly but surely, there is no justice or fairness for them now and neither in the future. Their hope for some 'good and decent' European country to save them or to be accepted and treated with respect and as equals, at least if accepted in the European Union are utterly dashed, when they confront the truth. The hate emanates NOT from Muslims, as is evident by the masses of Muslims simply falling over each other in trying to emigrate to the West and partake in the success of their adopted Western countries, the Hate in fact comes from a good majority of the locals of these host countries, who hate Muslims for one thing or the other. If forced emancipation of Muslim women is not the issue, then it is the one thing or the other, their clothes, their food, how they pray or why they pray or their ideology - but one thing always sticks- terrorism. None question the fact that for the past 300 years these host western countries have been pillaging, looting, murdering, raping and impoverishing these very people whom they now call terrorists. It is now clear that there is nothing to be gained from complaining, action counts as is well illustrated in the following article from the Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1374632,00.html

Khaysuddin: Thank you for your comments. I
will meditate on this and take your advice and
read more. But although Islamic people are
rich with religious faith it does pain me to see
that Islamic people are financially amongst
the poorest on earth, the least educated and
suffer more physical hardships than any other
people on earth. Spriritual faith does not
always relieve hunger, disease and general
misery. This desparation will sadly not be
relieved by suicide bombers, 9/11 incidents
and hand-to-hand combat. It may make
people feel better and give people some hope
to think that Muslims are fighting back against
their oppressors, but the truth is although
Muslims may physically outnumber
non-Muslims, so many are so impoverished
and so bereft of basic human needs such as
food, clothing, shelter and sanitation, that they
have no fight in them at all. Those who survive
are so desparate that they are often
convinced by people like bin Laden that hope
lies in behaving like a 14th century barbarian
warrior. I think the producers of islamicity.com
should troll for more articles that show
Muslims who ARE doing things that change
the world positively and stop focusing on little
tidbits of anti-American, anti-Israel articles. It
just makes all Muslims look like all they do is
rub their hands with glee when someone in
the West does something wrong. The Islamic
world is in crisis --it's very existence is
threatened by disease and poverty. Positive
acts will change the world not nitpicking about
how bad America is. We all know what an idiot
Bush is - there's nothing new on this site. DO

I promise I will read an meditate and take your
advice, Khaysuddin.