Discovering the “Demons” of Islam: A Crash Course in Understanding the Djinn, From Multiple Perspectives.

First Posted: May 27, 2013 by LVCIFER (sharing his work) https://diabolicalconfusions.wordpress.com/2013/05/27/discovering-the-demons-of-islam-a-crash-course-in-understanding-the-djinn-from-multiple-perspectives/

Within my own research into the world of the paranormal, I began to start digging into anything I could to find out details in regards to malevolent hauntings and/or certain spirits. And at first, myself being Roman Catholic, obviously began to look inwards to my own religion for answers, but unfortunately, the topic of demonology pre-dates even my religion. So, my answer, it seemed, was to begin digging into other faith systems. I began to start studying the Hebrew religion of Judaism, and as you could imagine, that took up quite a lot of my time. Then, however, I came across something that made me take a step back, and reassess some patterns of thoughts that I had been forming.

This article is going to be a special one, because it is going to contain contributions from people who are more familiar with certain matters of faith than I am. They are not authors for the site, but simply people, both of which who choose to remain anonymous, who either have insight or personal experience in regards to this topic.

We are going to go in-depth the “demons” of the Islamic faith, the Djinn.

Now, I myself will openly admit that I am not particularly familiar with the Muslim religion, however, in the past few months, I have become increasingly interested in it from an academic point of view. You should also know that while this article is being published to coincide with the new year of 2013, I have been specifically researching this topic wince the year 2010, digging into forums, and weeding out people who I believed to be telling mistruths, etc., This article will be a collaboration between myself, sharing what I have learned, one other woman who has given her insight to this field from the point of view of a devout and faithful muslim, and a man, who, due to circumstances early on in his life with the Djinn, witnessed an honest-to-goodness exorcism of the Djinn, performed in Jordan. Both of these people have chosen to use the media of simple text to express themselves and offer their inputs, but this comes as the result of many phone interviews, facetime video calls, e-Mails and text messages, to make sure that during the fabrication of this article, I got every detail correct. In regards to their input, nothing has been changed, and every detail I included was given to me by these people. I have not changed a single thing, nor have I “beefed it up” to make it more entertaining or “commercialized”. When you read their contributions, it is 100% exactly how they intended for you to understand it.

With that being said, let me start off by explaining my understanding of the Djinn. I am going to be explaining this from the point of view of a Westerner, who is of Roman Catholic faith, and my views may not reflect those of Muslims or Hebrews. However, being that I have my hands into so many aspects of multiple religions, I personally feel that I have made some connections which others may argue and contest. Note that nothing I say should be taken as hard, concrete proof or evidence. I will state a great many facts, and then offer my insight to this, so please be warned.

For an extended view into what these entities are, you can watch videos by one of the authors who wrote a book or two on the topic, a Ms. Rosemary Ellen Guiley. Here are the links:

WHAT EXACTLY ARE THE DJINN?

From my understanding, the Djinn are sentient beings created by God/Allah. They were the masters of the Earth before mankind was, and it was taken away from them because God/Allah was displeased with how they were utilizing it. They do not remain on the same plane of existence as we are, and I will not even begin to try to tackle why that is. I do not pretend to know the answers to that, and anyone who does should be treated with skepticism.

The Djinn were beings, who were created from smokeless flame, and as such, are alleged to be extremely hot tempered. They are impulsive, intense, and very focused on their task at hand. At one point, they were the preferred species of God/Allah. As explained below by “Hana”, they were a vast and expansive race of beings. They engaged in much of the same function that we do: they had a purpose (“job”), they had families, they had communities and clans, and they had rulers (“kings”). One of these Djinn, named Iblis, forms a direct parallel to the Judeo-Christian Character of Haylel (הילל), otherwise known as Lucifer, or the Greek Phosphoros. The one main difference is that he was never an Angel. He was however, the most powerful of all of the Djinn, and he was even granted access to walk amongst Heaven “with the angels”, and he was also the only Djinn allowed to do this.

When God/Allah created man, Adam, he commanded all his angels and all of the Djinn to bow and kneel before this creation, and to love him. And at first, all did – except for Iblis, much like the story of Lucifer.

It is We who created you and gave you shape; then We bade the angels prostrate to Adam, and they prostrate; not so Iblis;

He refused to be of those who prostrate.

(Allah) said: “What prevented thee from prostrating when I commanded thee?”

(Iblis) said: “I am better than he: Thou didst create me from fire, and him from clay.”

(Allah) said: “Get thee down from this: it is not for thee to be arrogant here: get out, for thou art of the meanest (of creatures).

Be thou among those who have respite.”

(Iblis) said: “Because thou hast thrown me out of the way, lo! I will lie in wait for them on thy straight way: Then I will assault them from before them and behind them, from their right and their left. Nor wilt thou find, in most of them, gratitude (for thy mercies).”

(Allah) said: “Get out from this, degraced and expelled. If any of them follow thee, Hell will I fill with you all.”

So as you can see, Iblis, once again prideful and arrogant, rebelled against the desires of God/Allah, and was forever cast out of Heaven, but also given the opportunity to terrorize mankind as a test to see who was loyal to the holy ways of the Lord, and who would stray.

Now, on top of that, there are other correlations between the demonic, as well as the Djinn, and Angels. While in my opinion, encountering ANY angel would be a terrifying experience due to their dual-existence being some of the holiest of creatures but always having one wing dipped in blood to enforce the wrath and vengeance of God/Allah as well, I could imagine that encountering one of these Djinn, being bitter envious of mankind in general would be quite a horrifying experience.

There are different “classes” of the Djinn, with each one having unique identifying traits. Some of the notes I have taken would explain these, so I’ll just simply dive into it and explain what those classes are: to “simplify” the information, I will not be referring to them in their native language, I will be using the “western” definitions here.

WHERE DOES “AZAZEL” COME INTO THIS?

There have been numerous claims that the fallen angel Azazel (עזאזל) was actually the name of Iblis before he was distorted and cast from heaven. As a matter of fact, the book The Vengeful Djinn, by Rosemary Ellen Guiley and Philip Imbrogno, ISBN 978-0-7387-2171-2, pages 17 & 18 address this issue. Let me first say though, that I have heard this numerous times before this book published it, however, I will quote them, as they did a rather decent job of explaining this.

In some early Islamic accounts, Iblis was once a powerful angel named Azazel. The name “Azazel” means “God strengthens” and this angel may have originally been a Semitic god of shepherd’s flocks who became demonized as Abrahamic religions flourished. Azazel is associated with the ritual of scapegoating as an expiation of sin, as described in Leviticus 16. In verse nine, God tells Moses that his brother Aaron shall take two goats and sacrifice them: one is to the Lord for sin and the second is for AzazeI, to be presented live for atonement, and then sent into the wilderness supposedly to the demon. This reference to the wilderness has led to beliefs that Azazel was a demon of the desert. Coincidentally, the desert is also considered to be Iblis’ home when Allah permits him to enter our world.

In the apocryphal story The Apocalypse of Abraham, Azazel is mentioned as the angel of disgrace, lies, evil, wrath, and trials. He is the lord of hell, confined to earth by God because he became enamored with it. In Judaic lore, AzazeI figures prominently in folk tales, along with another fallen angel, Samyaza (sometimes spelled Shemihazah or Shemhazai). Azazel refuses to bow to Adam when presented to God and the heavenly hierarchies. Islamic lore also tells of Azazel refusing to bow to Adam, and God casting him out of heaven and changing him into Iblis as a result. Although the angelic origin of Iblis contradicts Islamic beliefs, it is still considered by some scholars as a possible origin for this rebellious spirit.

According to Islamic belief, the evil that exists everywhere is due to corrupt humans and djinn who have turned their backs on Allah. Demons, fairies, ghosts, demonic possession, and even sightings of extraterrestrial aliens are believed to be the work of djinn, or in some cases, spiritually corrupt humans who have joined Iblis. If we take into account the reality of the existence of djinn, we can understand the paranormal’s great diversity. Rarely do djinn present their true identity to us. Instead, they enjoy taking on many disguises. Many djinn merely play a harmless game with us for their amusement, but some have a more deadly agenda.

Stories about the djinn reveal a long history of perceived injustices and indignities from their perspective, creating valid reasons (in their minds) for many of them to plot against humanity. Believing themselves to be wronged by God in favor of human beings, some djinn have carried a deep grudge for millennia. Add to that the abuses they believe they’ve suffered at the hands of one of the few men to ever have dictatorial control over them – King Solomon. In order for us to understand the djinn and their feelings about humans, we must study both their past and present interactions with our race.

Further than that, not that this is any type of authority, you can also view the entry on Wikipedia for Azazel, where even in there, it states basically the same information as above, under the “Azazel in Islam” section. You can view that informationhere.

THE DIFFERENT CLASSES / VARIANTS OF THE DJINN

THE GREEN DJINN

The classes of the djinn or divided amongst many, the first and weakest being that of the green djinn. They are the youngest of them all, and are not actually green, that is just how they’re classified in levels of rank and power. They can do many things such as manipulate the physical universe, but they are all different. It would be the equivalent of the youngest, and the most naïve. They can be playful, vengeful, sometimes kind, and most of the time cruel. As with people, they have different areas of expertise and talent. Some are better at different areas of skill such as the sciences, math engineering, art and other things.

It is been said that the green djinn only enter our world because they are curious about us. It is like a temporary vacation, from their world. One of the more common Islamic beliefs is that they live in holes.

One of the worst things that a person can do is to somehow find a way to offend this hole. That means any littering, disturbance, urination, or any other type of offensive activity that involves this hole could eventually wind up leaving a person to severe emotional, spiritual, and physical woes at the hands of the djinn. It is also said that these holes, which these djinn live in, eventually lead into an entire subterranean network otherwise known as the djinn world. Others believe something similar, such as these holes are simply entrances to portals which will lead us into the world of the djinn. As stated in The Vengeful Djinn, by Rosemary Ellen Guiley and Philip Imbrogno, ISBN 978-0-7387-2171-2, it is believed that just to enter into one of these portals will bring you into a different plane of existence. A different dimension in which the djinn are allegedly the masters in control.

Throughout history, these entities have taken on many different shapes and forms. Some of those shapes all depended on what type of mood this entity was in at the time that it chose to materialize. The shapes include: dogs, elves, a fairie, and even in some instances, they were known to take on the shape and form of an angelic entity.

THE BLUE DJINN

Then, there is the next class up ladder, the blue djinn. They are also called the marid, but despite their jump in class, there are not very many of them. Surprisingly, they are considered by many to be the most powerful of all of the djinn. They are known for being extremely reclusive, and if given the choice, they would rarely if ever interact with the human race. It is said in is Islamic believes and folklore, that the blue djinn, As heinous as they are, are responsible for saving the entire race of the djinn in a battle between all of them and the red djinn. For those of you who do not know, the red djinn are a different class of entity, and we will talk about them soon. Just for inclusion in this section of the article, the red djinn are worshipers of the Islamic equivalent to the Roman Catholic devil, Iblis.

In terms of strength and power, it is said that the blue djinn are the oldest and most powerful of them all, with their strength lying on a scale just that below the strength and power of an angelic being.

It is also said that the blue djinn were involved in a war. A war against heaven. According to the Islamic religion, when Allah ordered them to leave the physical world because they had to submit it to Adam, the blue djinn resisted and put up arms. They decided that they were going to literally launch a war against the Angels, and fight for their right to stay within this physical world. In the end, it is said that this war lasted a millennium, and the Angels eventually overtook the blue djinn. Not all of them agreed to go quietly, however, and many of the blue djinn chose to stay in our world, with their clans.

As time goes on, the blue djinn sit and wait, quiet, and calculating, and as they get stronger, their only purpose it is believed is so that they can use that strength and engage in a second war with the Angels so that they can fight to regain and retain their ability to live in our world.

THE RED DJINN

The red entities seemingly have only one reason to exist: to bring forth the destruction and the downfall of humankind. In Islamic folklore and belief, these entities would be the closest thing to the Roman Catholic and Judeo-Christian demons. They have abandoned all previous ties to their leaders, their families, their clans, and their God, in order to follow Iblis. They are most commonly described as being either the voice of reason, or the voice of destruction. As a matter of fact, a very common depiction of this particular breed of entity, is the popular notion of having one demon sit on your shoulder, and one angel sit on your other shoulder, and throughout your life, at every action, one or the other of them will whisper in your ear and sway you to make a decision of either good, or bad.

It is also believed that these entities, being the closest to the demonic, throughout history have been confused with such. The issue is, they are known for appearing in the form of reptilian-like creatures, and because they have no allegiances to anyone or anything other than that of pure evil, they are also allegedly responsible for many things such as possession, physical illness and some severe/intense hauntings.

THE BLACK DJINN

Not much is known about these reclusive entities, but in one mention, it has been said that they are the leaders and the rulers of the blue djinn. They are also known to rule over other large clans and it may in fact be possible that they are kings or in the least, a ruling class of entity over others. As I said, not much is known about this particular entity. It may be so simple that there is only one black djinn, and that he is the ruler of them all. This is not as far-fetched as you would think. However, not much is known so it cannot be proven one way or the other.

There is one very, very famous legend, known as the Testament of Solomon. In this testament, at the side of King Solomon, there was a black djinn. King Solomon had complete control over this entity, and whenever a green or a blue djinn defied their orders, it was the black djinn’s responsibility to punish these entities. In any event, regardless of who or where these legends came from, you can view the Testament of King Solomon here.

The other thing that is note worthy, is that at the current time, with what little is known about these particular entities, it seems that no matter what their status is, they are very important amongst the food chain in the djinn world. They are in positions of power, and it is power that has been gained by the rule of an iron fist. This is not something that they are elected to, this is something that they seem to have deserved, possibly by birthright, possibly by the natural selection. Unfortunately, we just don’t know.

THE YELLOW DJINN

There are different types of classes as we mentioned above and as you can tell from the writing of this article, not much is known about very many of them, but the least known of all of them is the yellow class of djinn. Quite honestly, there is nothing that I can tell you about them. The issue is, is that they are reclusive not only from humankind, but from their own kind as well. They seem to be the hermits and the recluses of their species.

THE BEHAVIOR OF THE DJINN

Apparently, they are very sensitive entities. They take offense very, very easily. They are known for being vindictive, and if the situation arises, they will try to get revenge against anyone who engages in any activity against them regardless of what the or original intent was. For example, if a human being has the audacity to try to exorcise these entities from a person that they have possessed, these entities will literally take offense and even though the exorcism may be successful if the conditions are right, just like in Roman Catholic and Judeo-Christian faiths, they may leave temporarily, but come back with a much greater tenacity and a larger force. In Roman Catholic and Judeo-Christian belief, it is said that when a demon is exercised, if the demoniac does not do something to change their life and live for the better, then that demon will return and it will be seven times as strong as it was, and it will bring seven times as many demons with it then were originally present. This is interesting to me, because it shows such a mirror in the three different faiths. So I guess we could chalk this up to being one of the many similarities that the djinn share with the classical definition of a demon.

Another similarity that I have noticed, between these djinn and the Roman Catholic/Judeo-Christian demons is that while neither one of them can actually perform genuine miracles, what they can do is perform the illusion of a miracle. Meaning, that they can make everything seem as realistic as possible, and they can confuse everyone into believing that they had just genuinely witnessed a miracle, but in fact in the end it was all just an illusion designed to get them closer to their goal, whatever that may have been. Another famous example of what the Roman Catholic/Judeo-Christian demons are guilty of, in this regard, is sickness and disease. What they are known for doing, is they will intentionally get a person sick and cause all types of physical ailments, and then when the person is at their spiritual and mental breaking point, this demon will suddenly appear as their miraculous savior, and agree to make them “better“, in exchange for something. Usually, a grant of permission of some kind. Sometimes, it will even be so bold as to promise the person perfect health, until the day they die, in exchange for “a piece of their soul“, their entire soul, or just a declaration stating that they turn away from or abandoned God. So in essence, the game is very simple: they create the problem, and then show up to fix it. Once they do take away what they had given in the first place, they wind up looking like the good guy and someone that you can trust, and in the end you wind up getting screwed. This is Manipulation 101. And they are masters of it.

It is said that these entities can influence a person’s thoughts, and dreams simply by whispering into its ear. It has also been said that they can even aggressively enforce suggestions that eventually become actions from this person that they are oppressing. Well they cannot actively engage with the physical world, they have been known to do small and minor yet distracting things that could affect a person, especially during a critical moment. For example, a man can be cleaning a firearm in his home, and when he puts it back together, a very loud crash could be heard in his house that startles him, accidentally forcing his finger to pull on the trigger which would eventually cause his death and look like a suicide. They can also lightly influence the environment causing you extreme stress and lack of sleep. What do I mean? Imagine going to bed, getting under the covers, and preparing to fall asleep. Now just as you are about to fall asleep, imagine that you hear a noise in or outside your bedroom. Imagine a phantom footstep that walks across your door’s threshold, or someone clearing their throat in the corner of your bedroom where you know there is no person there. Imagine hearing a whisper, or a whistle sound from within the room that you are currently in. Your eyes show you that there is no one there, your nerves start to wind up, setting you on edge. Your sixth sense kicks in, and all you can do is sit there panicking, and getting ready to run like hell. Now, imagine this every single day, for months at a time. It would be safe to assume that you would be constantly tired due to your lack of peaceful sleep at night. This would drain you, and force you eventually to both your mental and physical breaking point. For whatever reason, this is exactly what their endgame is.

Also noteworthy, the symbol of an evil djinn is a camel. They appear in many dreams.

NOW, MORE ON THIS “POSSESSION” BUSINESS…..

As stated at the beginning of this article, the djinn have been known to take possession of a person. The exact reasons for why they do this or how they are allowed to do this are currently unknown, but the fact remains that many times, this does in fact happen, and it crosses over throughout multiple religions. What do I mean by this? Many times, the activities of a djinn in your home will be naively classified as having a “poltergeist” when it is not the case. The same goes for possession. Many times, people not of the Muslim faith will be undergoing the entire ordeal of possession, and often times, once it escalates to the point where the Roman-Catholic church is involved, they will send out an exorcist to conduct the rituals, but upon completing multiple exorcisms, there will be no effect. Usually after much investigation, and much time being expended, the Priest-Exorcist will conclude that the possessing entity is not one of the Roman-Catholic faith, and but either of the Hebraic faith or of the Muslim faith, and at that time, the Priest-Exorcist has to contact and involve the clergy of those respective faiths. It is not uncommon for Priest-Exorcists to work with an Imam or a Rabbi to evict the possessing entity from it’s victim.

One of the most interesting things about the possession involving these entities is the fact that they claim to enter the body, and then travel through the person while being in the blood. This is, of course, after a period of what the Roman Catholics/Judeo Christians described as “diabolical oppression“. Just like possession in other religions, these entities are responsible for causing all types of physical ailments, such as problems speaking, problems hearing, problem seeing, and other events such as the inability to stand up straight, or chronic pains. Anyone who is familiar with the topic of possession in any of the previous religions I had mentioned will know that one of the set signs are of such possession is the nonsensical and maniacal activity that happens from a person who can no longer control themselves. They will appear to be genuinely insane, such as tearing their clothes off, or laughing hysterically. There are reports of the possessed being known to dance wildly, and engage in extreme sexual promiscuity. These entities can also be responsible for uncontrollable fits, loss of control of bodily functions, spasms, paralysis temporary or permanent, and many other physical ailments as well. Other forms of emotional assault, much like the Roman Catholic/Judeo-Christian demon, involves a severe depression of the person which can cause long-term depression, and consistent thoughts of suicide. Another issue, is that these entities can also enforce their own will upon a person they are possessing, which could result in acts of violence and or homicide. In time, this form of inflicted insanity can be used as their weapon, and as stated above, can push a person towards all sorts of crime and dangerous activity.

In the event that you were ever possessed by a djinn, the first thing that you would have to do is to try to figure out which religion this entity believes in. Much like people, they have a complex belief system. They are not bound to one particular religion, as they have been granted free will. Just like people, they can believe in many different forms of religion or belief. So, for example, if this entity believes in the religion of Islam, obtaining the help of a Priest–Exorcist will be useless to you, because this entity does not believe in the God that this agent is trying to force it out in the name of. The same goes with the Jewish religion. If this entity believes in the Jewish religion, that Priest or Imam would not be able to expel this particular entity from a person, because that would not be appealing to the faith of the actual entity. Once you obtain an idea of what faith this entity believes in, then you would have to get a type of religious clergy from that particular religion to take care of this problem. And, as with most cases, that cannot be guaranteed to be successful, but your chances would greatly increase.

A QUESTIONABLE GENESIS?

Now, scholars have argued over the fact of whether or not the Prophet Muhammad was visited by an Angel, or a Djinn at first. This is in reference to the event that awakened him to begin acknowledging the visions that he was experiencing, and writing them into what eventually became the holy Quran. The Prophet Muhammad was known for going off into caves and meditating, and engaging in trances. Djinn are known cave-dwellers, and many of the Muslim religion believe that caves house portals into the realm that the djinn reside in. The story is as follows:

In the year 610, while in the cave one night during Ramadan, Muhammad was visited by a “creature” who ordered him in an authoritative, almost threatening voice, “READ!“. Muhammad replied to the creature, “I do not know how to read.”

The creature grabbed him with such a great force that he almost suffocated. It released him, and repeated the same command three times. On the third time, the creature gave him what later became the opening lines of sura 95:

Recite in the name of thy Lord who created,

Who created man of blood coagulated.

Read! Thy Lord is most beneficent,

Who taught by the pen,

Thought that which they knew not to men.

Now, even further, this “entity” followed the Prophet around for some time after this event, and this is the rest of that story:

Tradition holds that after issuing its commands, the creature disappeared. Muhammad went to sleep and awakened in the morning to hear words that seemed to be written on his heart: “O Muhammad, you are the Apostle of God and I am Jibril.”

According to the Al-Sira Al-Nabawiyya, a biography of the Prophet by Ibn Kathir, written in the fourteenth century, Muhammad ran from the cave, all the way back to Mecca, trembling with fear. He ran into his house and found his wife and implored her, “Cover me, cover me.” His wife asked him what was the matter. He told her of the creature he encountered in the cave and said he had to leave because he feared for his life. It is not clear at this point whether Muhammad thought the creature was a djinni or angel, but it was obvious he was very afraid of the creature that had accosted him.

From historical accounts of djinn and demons, we know they often make people do things they don’t want to by threatening them or using physical force. In Biblical accounts of angel encounters, people often feared the angels because they usually appeared when God was unhappy with a person; the angel was sent to chastise or punish. In the Arabic world, however, djinn would have been even more feared than a powerful angel.

Muhammad was able to see the creature from any angle he looked, implying it was multidimensional in nature. However, there is no record of an exact description of the entity. Muhammad was skeptical of the creatures true identity. He saw it on several occasions after the first encounter, but no one else could see it. The creature followed him from the cave and often appeared in his home.

Muhammad’s wife, Khadija, wanted to discover the true identity of the creature and so told her husband to inform her when the entity was present. When the creature finally appeared, she asked Muhammad to sit on her left thigh and asked him, “Can you still see the creature?”

He replied that he did. She then threw off her veil and asked Muhammad to sit on her right thigh. Khadija then asked him, “Can you still see the creature?” He replied, “No, it is gone.” Khadija then told Muhammad, “Be firm, by the name of Allah, he is an angel and not a demon.”

Islamic scholars interpret the test above as meaning that an angel would not stay to look at the uncovered part of a female body, but a demon would. Also, the creature was visible only when he sat on her left thigh and not her right. The pre-Islamic people believed that the proper sequence of things was from right to left. If the creature was also visible on the right, this meant to them that it would have been moving from left to right and against the balanced movement of the universe and against the will of Allah. Only evil djinn can do this – angels can’t. This test convinced Khadija that the creature was an angel, and not just any angel, but the Archangel Jibril. Muhammad still remained skeptical.

The Angel “Jibril” is also known in Judeo-Christian religion as “Gabriel”. And in this situation, since even the Muslim religion/community has decided that this creature was not a djinn or demon, it is to be taken as fact (for the intents and purposes of this story) that in this one case, an Angel did indeed appear in the form of a demon, or a djinn. Muhammad’s validity was questioned by his own people ferociously after this encounter, because they believed that this creature was indeed a djinn, and not an Angel, and accused him of retroactively fitting this part of his story to be told as if it were an Angel, to “clear the air“, I guess.

An interesting note though, is that many of the people in the day of Muhammad believed that he was in fact djinn-possessed due to his hobby of traveling to caves and meditating in an area that was known to house the djinn.

BUT WAIT, THEY CAN SHAPE SHIFT?!?

Yes. You read that correctly. They can change forms, and manipulate their appearance, just like demons can, in order to accommodate their purposes. One of the most identifying traits of the Djinn is the fact that ultimately, they are extremely insidious, and mischievous. They have been referred to throughout history as being “tricksters”, and they “get off” on completely confusing the minds of mankind. Many, many cultures throughout history have their own version of the “trickster”, but as time will attest, this is an instantly identifying feature that should begin to raise red flags if you begin to experience these types of things.

This is also one of the reasons that Muslims caution their children not to throw water, rocks, sticks, or other projectiles at black dogs or cats, because those are some of the preferred forms of the transforming djinn. They are also known famously for taking on the forms of birds, goats, mice, and even humans, depending on their agenda. Extremely interesting to note, the djinn cannot take the form of the Prophet Muhammad, but they can take the form of other prophets, especially in dreams.

Most of the time, however, the particular class of djinn that takes on a habit of using shapeshifting are the young, “green” djinn. Make no mistake though, when I refer to them as young, I mean that they are the youngest of the djinn, but they can still be hundreds and in some cases thousands of years old, and even though they are the “weakest” of the djinn, they are stronger than any human, and should be treated with caution. And some of the things that these types of djinn enjoy doing are haunting people who they feel deserve it for whatever reason. They will appear as apparitions in the middle of the night, if the opportunity arises, they will distort your vision, affect your reality, they will terrorize you through mirrors or other reflective surfaces, they will take on the form of animals to scare the hell out of you, they will appear as shadow figures, and so on. They will engage in such activities as banging on the walls, giving the appearance of a disembodied voice, whisperings, having particular items move from one place to another unexplainably, etc. They will also appear as creatures which are grotesque and intimidating in order to scare the living hell out of you. A rather common belief is that the djinn have seen how people react to hauntings, so they mimic the activities to further conceal their identities, and enforcing their existence of being “the hidden ones”.

THE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE DJINN, ANGELS, AND DEMONS

In the book The Vengeful Djinn, by Rosemary Ellen Guiley and Philip Imbrogno, ISBN 978-0-7387-2171-2, they offer a rather interesting take on the connection between the djinn and other paranormal entities. While this book is not widely accepted by Muslims, the connections that they offer are interesting to say the least. The chart that they offer can be found on pages 122 and 123, and has been re-created below:

DJINN ANGELS DEMONS
Have gender Have no gender Shape shift their gender
Live for thousands of years, eventually die into oblivion Live until the end of the universe Live longer than humans, eventually die and wither to their primordial state
Had original ties to angels Closest beings to God Had original ties to angels
Outcasts from God’s favor Enjoy God’s favor Outcasts from God’s favor
Inhabit dirty, polluted places Inhabit heavenly realms Inhabit dirty, polluted places
Eat and drink Do not eat or drink Eat and drink
Organized in families and clans Organized in hierarchies of powers and duties Organized like the military
Have sex with each other Do not have sex with each other Have sex with each other
Have sex with humans; can impregnate Some have sex with humans; can impregnate Have sex with humans; can impregnate
Shape shift to any form Shape shift to any form Shape shift to any form
Usually invisible unless they choose to be seen Usually invisible unless they are directed to be seen Usually invisible unless they are directed to be seen
Follow their own wills; some of the will of Iblis; converted follow the will of Allah Follow the will of God Follow the will of Satan
Duty is to self and own agendas; some to Iblis; some to Allah Duty is to glorify God Duty is to Satan to subvert humans
Do not speak directly to God Speak directly to God Do not speak directly to God
Deceitful, Trickster nature Messengers of God Deceitful, Trickster nature
Opportunistic interference in human affairs No intervention without direction from God Opportunistic interference in human affairs
Cause illness, bad luck, misfortune Provide support and help Cause illness, bad luck, misfortune
Possess humans and animals Do not cause possession Possess humans and animals
Can enter dreams Can enter dreams Can enter dreams
Knowledge of present and past but not future Knowledge of past, present, and future Knowledge of past, present, and future

So, as you can see, the similarities are striking and sometimes shocking. While there are more similarities and differences, the above chart provides a great “quick reference” visual to help you out in the event of a quick, basic question.

While there are many other connections that people have suggested or proposed, such as the connection to the djinn and extraterrestrials, ultraterrestrials, and other entities, I will not be including those due to the official content of this blog being almost exclusively dealing with matters of religious faith. And now, with that being said, that is the basic, Westerndescription of the Djinn. Now, I will include the beliefs of the Muslims directly from one of their faithful, a woman who only wants to be referenced as “Hana”. The below is in her own words, with no changes to her original contributions except to otherwise format it to “flow” with the rest of the article.

A WORD FROM THE FAITHFUL

The Mischievous Djinn: A Muslim View of the Paranormal

In recent years, thanks largely impart to the work of “PRS” (the Paranormal Research Society) and the show ‘Paranormal State’ on the A&E television network, there has been a growing discussion of spirituality and the paranormal. People are now asking questions about the origins of the experiences they have had, and the things they are seeing. After all of the “debunking” is done and evidence has been collected, sometimes you are still left with something that cannot be explained with known science. In those cases, we are left to wonder: is it the spirit of a dead loved one, a demon, a nature spirit (“elemental spirit”), or something else? How do you live with it, get rid of it, or understand it? The answers almost always return to the person’s religious beliefs. Each of us will carry our own answers to those questions based on what we believe in. What one person will accept as a deceased loved one coming by to say “hi” is viewed as a dark and evil entity trying to trick mankind. The reality though is that we may never know the complete answers. But, that does not stop us from seeking that knowledge.

I find it fascinating to learn from other people’s view points and sources of information. It is a comparative religions study; a mix of attempting to break modern misconceptions, going back to scriptural texts, exploring deep rooted mythologies, and opening new doorways of understanding; all to try to answer the questions which still elude concrete answers. To offer one more view point, one more color palette in the mosaic of religious understandings, I am sharing the teachings of my own faith: Islam.

As Islam is an Abrahamic religion (monotheistic religion that worships the universal God of Abraham), there are many similarities with Judaism and Christianity. Yet, for all that is so similar, there are always details that are very different. One of the most obvious areas of similarity and difference is right at the beginning of the story… the creation of intelligent life.

The Three Intelligent Beings

The Quran (the Muslim book of Scriptures) tells us that God (Allah) created three beings of great intelligence: Angels, Djinn and Humankind.

The Angels are described as beings made from pure light, most likely the first of God’s creations. In the Quran, Angels are said to be completely obedient to God as they have no free will. Thus, Angels are assigned all sorts of tasks according to the will of God.

Djinn, however, are described as creatures made of smokeless fire. These are the first of God’s intelligent beings to be given the gift of free will. Like Angels, the Djinn exist on a separate plane of existence from Humankind. They can see and interact with us, but we cannot see them in their natural state.

Humankind was the third of God’s intelligent creations. It is described that God made Adam from the mud of the earth and also bestowed him with the gift of free will.

Iblis and the Resentment of Humanity

When God created Adam, God commanded all of the Angels to bow down to Adam and all did except for Iblis. This part gets a little confusing for many. This basic statement is given twice in the Quran (Quran 2:34 and Quran 18:50). In both, Iblis is listed as being with the Angels during this event. In the first passage (Quran 2:34), Iblis is said to be proud of being among the disbelievers who have disobeyed God. In the second of the two (Quran 18:50), Iblis is said to be (or become, depending on the translation) a Djinn. Most scholars accept Iblis as being a Djinn as he obviously, from both passages, had free will and was thus able to choose to disobey the commands of God.

Because of this disobedience, Iblis is sent away from God and cursed to Hell for eternity. He begs God for a respite to his punishment and is granted the time to wait until Judgment Day. During his time on Earth waiting for his final judgment, Iblis is granted permission to test Humankind to sin.

Basically, this is an Islamic version of the Judeo-Christian story of the Fallen Angel (Lucifer), but in this version the culprit is Djinn rather than Angel. Because so many people correlate the story of the Fallen Angel with Lucifer, Lucifer is a common translation for Iblis. However, the Biblical scriptures do not assign any name for the Fallen Angel, so there is some debate. I have recently read from several sources that Samael, Azazel, and other names have also been connected to the Fallen Angel story. As I am not a scholar, so, I will not attempt to argue one way or the other. These are just the facts.

But, from this beginning, Iblis holds anger toward God and Humanity, in much the same way that a middle child will show resentment toward their parents and new baby sibling. But, the anger grows even more so for Iblis as he is punished for his disobedience. And like the story of the Fallen Angels in the Bible, many chose to follow Iblis in this show of anger and new purpose to tempt Humankind to sin.

In this rebellion against God’s command, Iblis then earns the title of Shaytan (Satan). In Arabic, Shaytan means “mischievous, insolent or rebellious one”. It is a title given to all who rebel against God. Thus, all of the Djinn that follow Iblis are also called ‘Shaytans’. Though the word is actually a direct version of the English word Satan, in context it is much more similar in use to the word Devil, with Iblis being THE Devil, and his minions are little, lesser devils. And it is here, knowing the Devil and his minions, that we then venture into the world of paranormal experiences.

Djinn, Demons and the Paranormal

Remember here that Djinn are beings with free will. Not all Djinn follow the leadership or desires of Iblis. There are Djinn that are said to be Muslim, Christian, Jewish, or other religions. Some are nice toward Humankind while other are ambivalent or mischievous. But, many have chosen to follow Iblis and show malice and/or malevolency toward Humans. But, what does any of this mean for the paranormal?

Well, let’s look at their role in the religious mythology of Islam as well as their capabilities.

Djinn are said to fall into five (5) main categories: dwellers, souls, devils, evil spirits, or strong spirits (rough translations of the actual categories). The “dwellers” (also called haunters) are those that choose to live with or around Humans, and these are the weakest. Think of these ones as the basic ghost hauntings. The “souls” are the ones that specifically attach themselves to children. I understand these to be more of the “imaginary friend” types. The “evil spirits” are stronger than the typical “devils” and just as malicious in intent. The strongest are the “strong spirits” (Ifrits), and these are possibly the most famous for being written in the “Jinni of the Lamp” stories from the Arabian Nights. They are strong, ill-tempered and rather slow in intelligence.

The “devils” are a bit more interesting. As we commonly hear from some Christian groups, many believe that there are no human spirits wandering the earth, but rather they are all Demons or Angels and nothing in between. From there, you have some people who have expressed a view that Demons are the Fallen Angels that chose to follow the “Fallen Angel” that was caste out of heaven. Others say that Demons are creatures created by Satan to do his bidding. I certainly will not argue either way on that one either. But, in both cases, Demons are viewed as evil beings doing the bidding of Satan and working to tempt Humankind into sin. In this way, the “devils” (Shaytans) of the Djinn are holding the same role as Demons.

Now, as I mentioned before, Djinn are beings that God created of smokeless fire. They exist on a separate plane of existence from us so that they can see and interact with our world, but we cannot see them unless they choose to show themselves. The very name “Djinn” basically translates to “those who are hidden or concealed from sight”. They quite literally can live in our homes, our places of work or anywhere else and we would not know unless they choose to make themselves known. Because they are naturally not very fond of Humanity, they tend to prefer to live in places with less Human traffic, such as forests, cemeteries, warehouses, abandoned buildings, attics, closets, and even restrooms.

Djinn are reported to be able to move objects in our world without us seeing them, as they are exceptionally strong, can live for hundreds, sometimes even thousands of years, can learn several languages, are incredibly fast, capable of speaking to us or making noises that we cannot see where they originate, able to show themselves to us as they choose (changing shapes to look like animals, deformed beings, or even like Humans depending on their goals), with some that are able to fly, able to invade a Human’s mind and affect their dreams, or speak to them personally, even affecting a person’s health.

Right here, you can see why this can be interesting in the field of paranormal research. These beings are connected to reports of object levitation, phantom noises, disembodied voices, strength, speaking in tongues, looking like deformed creatures or dead Aunt Betty, and possession… and they tend to live in cemeteries, attics, and other creepy abandoned places. So yeah, this seems to sum up a large percentage of paranormal reports.

Impact?

Should we fear Djinn? Well, honestly, it seems that those Djinn who are ambivalent about Humankind are simply not as likely to interact with us. So, those that do interact are mostly going to be those of strong feelings one way or the other. And as even the nice ones can get pissy if they feel insulted or if they fall in love with a human (yes, there are reports), then I would say you just don’t want to interact with them. Better to be safe than sorry.

Can Djinn control us? No. Djinn have been permitted by God to interact with us and to tempt us. They cannot force anyone to do something they don’t want to do. But they can, however, much like the demons of the Judeo-Christian world, take possession of our bodies.

Can Djinn be controlled? Yes. The Quran tells stories of King Solomon controlling the Djinn and forcing them to work for him. They helped him court the Queen of Sheba, build palaces and more. There are many other reports of controlling Djinn, but it is mostly seen as witchcraft and thus shunned by most Muslim communities. However, there is still the common use of Quranic verses being carved or painted on walls, amulets, blue clothing, and other things being used to try to keep Djinn away. That in itself is an attempted form of control.

Once again, you can read the ‘Testament of Solomon’ in it’s entirety HERE.

Can we exorcize Djinn? Yes. As with many religions where possessions are reported, there are Islamic exorcisms. However, it is interesting to remind everyone here that Djinn can be of any religion. Some possessions can occur where the Djinn doing the possessing is not of the same faith as the person they possess. This can complicate things when the exorcist tries to remove them in the name of X, Y, or Z faith and the Djinn does not acknowledge their authority, based on the faith of the individual Djinn conflicting with that of the holy person conducting the exorcism. This is, however, very rare. Most possessions tend to be by Djinn who are serving Iblis. They do not follow a monotheistic religion as they have rebelled against God. In those cases, it is the power of God himself that casts them out. Remember, they most likely believe in God, as they are choosing to defy him. So, a Priest, a Rabbi, or an Imam could all effectively exorcize the Djinn through strong faith and the will of God.

There are a lot of other interesting facts and folklore stories of Djinn to talk about. But, I hope this helps everyone to understand just what Djinn are and how they relate to the paranormal. If you would like to learn more about Iblis or Djinn, I would suggest some of the sources listed below at the end of the article:

SO, YOU’VE BEEN POSSESSED BY A DJINN….

We touched upon this a little bit higher on in this article, but we didn’t go into too much detail about this, because what it all boils down to is the fact that there is not an incredible amount of information that is offered to people outside of the Islamic faith. For thousands of years, the Djinn have been successful in staying hidden from the prying eyes of mankind, and it is this exact reason why most people – those who have not come into contact with them – only pass on verbal stories of them, oral tradition, folklore and superstition. I personally know that I have not given all of the details I couldhave given, because ultimately, I feel that it would be straying off the topics and by delivering more statements and facts, they would only raise more and more questions, much like in the topic of demonology, and this article would be written with no end in sight, as it would be constantly updated indefinitely. So in regards to Djinn possession and exorcism, I decided that instead of writing about suppositions and guesswork, I would attempt to get the story straight from the horse’s mouth. I have conducted interviews with a few people, and listened to their stories. There is one interview that will be posted here, as an update to this article in the near future, but let me tell you, “chilling” is the proper word to use for this descriptive encounter.

Even further than that, there are quite a few YouTube videos depicting what is allegedly an authentic Islamic exorcism of the Djinn. While I cannot verify the authenticity of said videos, I can state that just as with Catholic and Hebrew exorcisms, information such as this is extremely hard to come by, if not completely impossible. Video of such an event – authentic video – is a rarity that you should be considered lucky to come by. Here are a quick few that you can take a look at:

CONCLUSION

After everything is said and done, as with most things involving faith, no one can tell you what to believe. These entities are manipulative, vindictive, playful, mischievous, envious, vengeful, irrational, violent, and most importantly, powerful. There are very specific ways on how to remove one of them from your home, life, or body, but in each one of those situations, it is extremely plausible that on their way out, they will do something to severely damage you, as a last act of defiance. These are not entities to be played with, and I certainly do not recommend summoning them to do your bidding, as things almost always turn out badly. There are literally so many things that I opted not to include in this article, as I stated above, because it can all be found out via your own research. Such things could potentially be dangerous to the reader who becomes excited at the things the djinn can do for the amateur conjurer. I did not go into the magic they possess, or how they can affect someones lives if you can “properly control them”, as King Solomon did. These are things that I have left out with good reason, and I hope that you, reader, can understand that.

There is no denying that these entities seem to have an uncanny similarity to the demons of other religions. They share too many of the same traits to be ignored, or to be simply discarded. While the fact remains that the djinn are not the same entities as demons, their trickster nature allows them to portray themselves as demons by simply mimicking them perfectly. Since the Djinn were never angels, they could never properly be referred to as demons. Many people will generally refer to them as “demons” to avoid taking the time to properly explain what and who they are. Unfortunately, I myself have been in this exact situation, where I had to dumb myself down, and simplify the terminology so that people could understand better, but I hated referring to the djinn as a demon. This is my response to that, because from this point on, whenever I am asked what the djinn are, I can refer them to this article. And now, so can you. Once again, I truly hoped that you enjoyed learning about this elusive and intense collection of entities that have been around much longer than we have. And also, please take the time, if you are genuinely interested in the topic, to read some of the books and resources listed below. They are literally chock full of knowledge and information.

FURTHER READING:

‘We will free India of Muslims and Christians by 2021’: DJS leader vows to continue ‘ghar wapsi’ plans and restore ‘Hindu glory’

Even as Opposition parties up the ante over alleged incidents of religious reconversion, the Dharm Jagran Samiti has declared that it will ensure India becomes a Hindu Rashtra by 2021.

Licence to stay

Speaking in Agra on Thursday, a Dharm Jagran Samiti (DJS) functionary said Muslims and Christians will have to convert to Hinduism if they want to stay in this country.

The DJS has been at the forefront of the reconversion – or ‘ghar wapsi’ – programmes in recent times in which some Muslims have been reportedly ‘reconverted’ to Hinduism.

Conversion has become a major political hot potato with a few Hindu organisations holding ‘ghar wapsi’ ceremonies—the photo shows one such exercise in Agra—to ‘reconvert’ Muslims

Conversion has become a major political hot potato with a few Hindu organisations holding ‘ghar wapsi’ ceremonies—the photo shows one such exercise in Agra—to ‘reconvert’ Muslims

However, their action drew widespread condemnation, leading to the arrest of one activist.

“Our target is to make India a Hindu Rashtra by 2021. The Muslims and Christians don’t have any right to stay here.

“So they would either be converted to Hinduism or forced to run away from here,” Uttar Pradesh DJS head Rajeshwar Singh said.

He was reacting to the arrest of Nand Kishore Valmiki, a DJS activist.

Valmiki was arrested on Tuesday for his alleged involvement in forcefully converting over 100 Muslims to Hinduism in Agra.

Singh said although he has temporarily suspended his ‘ghar wapsi’ programme in Aligarh and some other districts of the state that were supposed to be held on December 25, it would be restarted soon.

The DJS leader claimed that those who have been opposing ‘ghar wapsi’ were fearful of Muslims.

But, he would set India free from this fear, he added.

“I belong to the Solanki sub-caste within the Rajput caste. The Thakurs (Rajputs) respect me. I am their leader and they follow my orders.

“The Muslims had converted Rajputs to Islam by force. But the Rajputs are rising again.

“I will ensure that India is freed of Muslims and Christians by December 31, 2021,” Singh said.

In Etah, Singh reiterated his stand, saying he wouldn’t let Muslims and Christians convert the Hindus.

“We will not let them hunt the Hindus,” he said.

“The enemies have tried many a time in the past to finish Hinduism. But every time, Ram, Krishna and Chanakya came forward to finish them and restore the glory of Hinduism.

“I am also doing the same.”

Explaining the DJS’ plans, Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) secretary general Champat Rai told Mail Today: “We are of the view that there are a handful of Muslims in India.

“Others within the Muslim community are actually Hindus. Their ancestors were converted to Islam forcefully.

“Even writer Taslima Nasrin has said that her ancestors were Hindus. The Batts, who are Muslims in Jammu and Kashmir, are actually Bhatts, the Hindus.”

Rai claimed ‘ghar wapsi’ has been an ongoing VHP campaign for the last 60 years.

A resolution in this regard was passed during the 1966 Maha Kumbh in Allahabad, he said.

“We have re-inducted over six lakh people into Hinduism since 1966.

“Mahatma Gandhi, Savarkar and Swami Dayanand Saraswati had expressed their concern over religious conversion.

Uttar Pradesh DJS head Rajeshwar Singh claimed that those who have been opposing ‘ghar wapsi’ were fearful of Muslims 

Uttar Pradesh DJS head Rajeshwar Singh claimed that those who have been opposing ‘ghar wapsi’ were fearful of Muslims

“They believed it was poisoning the society. Bringing them back to their original religion means correcting the wrong.

“It is the appropriate time now to take it up on a bigger scale,” he added.

A Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leader told Mail Today that they have formed committees in every district of the state for this purpose.

“We have included some Arya Samaj priests in the team because they issue a certificate to a converted person.

“This is a major document to prove that the converted person agrees to it,” he said.

‘Independent’

When asked about the posture of the Modi Government on this issue, he said: “We never ask Modi or any other BJP leader before chalking out our strategy.

“We only expect them to speak for or against us to clarify their stand. But Modi is the Prime Minister.

“So his silence means his approval. It is the right time for us to fulfil our agenda.”

UP minister Azam Khan said: “RSS is behaving like the Taliban. They don’t want the Constitution of India.

“They have their own agenda of finishing humanism.”

Meanwhile, reacting sharply to the DJS statement, Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh said: “DJS is a wing of RSS, which had supported Modi and the BJP during the Lok Sabha elections.

“They are now drifting away from the agenda of the NDA.”

He dared the Modi Government to either accept the activities of DJS or “show some guts” and disband it.

Modi stands firm despite challenges from Rajya Sabha 

By Amit Agnihotri

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has rejected the Opposition’s demand that he reply to the ongoing debate in the Rajya Sabha on alleged forced conversions.

His decision emboldened the ruling dispensation to blame the Opposition’s “arrogance of numbers” for the ongoing logjam in the Upper House that threatens to derail the Government’s economic reform agenda.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley pointed to the “smooth functioning” of the Lok Sabha, saying the Rajya Sabha hold-up points to “arrogance of numbers, not the arrogance of the Government”.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is said to be upset with the Opposition after he made a statement on the Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti controversy, but the logjam in the Rajya Sabha continued despite his address to the House

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is said to be upset with the Opposition after he made a statement on the Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti controversy, but the logjam in the Rajya Sabha continued despite his address to the House

The Opposition hit back, saying the Government’s “tyranny of majority” had ensured that the Lower House functioned smoothly despite nine parties “fighting tooth and nail on the issue of conversions”.

While the Government has a brute majority in the Lower House, the Opposition has an upper hand in the Rajya Sabha.

Prime Minister Modi is said to have asked the Government to remain firm in the face of the Opposition’s attack on conversion, and suggested explaining its position directly to the people.

Nine opposition parties have kept the Government on its toes by not letting the Rajya Sabha function for the past four days, seeking the PM’s statement on the controversial issue of conversions, wherein Muslims have been “reconverted” to Hinduism by way of “ghar wapsi” ceremonies.

FM Arun Jaitley said Congress in the Rajya Sabha were suffering from the 'arrogance of numbers' 

FM Arun Jaitley said Congress in the Rajya Sabha were suffering from the ‘arrogance of numbers’

The PM came to the Upper House on Thursday as it was the designated day he was supposed to answer questions related to ministries under him, but there was no word from him on the Opposition’s demand.

Sources said the PM had made a statement in both houses of Parliament earlier in the session, ticking off his junior colleague Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti for her controversial remarks, but that had not led to smooth functioning of the House.

The “betrayal” by the Opposition, sources said, was playing on the PM’s mind and is what drove him to ask his team to remain firm.

“The PM has confidence in his ministers. If he feels the need to intervene on any issue, he will, but not under the Opposition’s threat,” a Union minister said.

The Government sources, however, acknowledged that given the deadlock, the Winter Session, which ends December 23, might end without key reform Bills related to insurance and coal sectors passing muster.

The Government’s strategy now is to break the united Opposition camp to make the most of the three working days left in the session.

They hope that the move could help it pass at least the insurance Bill which aims to increase the FDI cap to 49 per cent.

Why a rising star of Muslim politics in India stirs hope and fear

August 17, 2015
— Nearly 60,000 Muslims had crammed into the dusty parade grounds here last October to hear Asaduddin Owaisi, the inspirational young leader who promises a new political future for India’s Muslims. Just before Owaisi arrived in his white SUV, young teenagers on motorcycles rode in shouting, “Look, look who has come! The lion has come!”

A burst of firecrackers filled the grounds as Owaisi took the podium. And after reciting a short prayer, the southern Indian politician launched into a sharp-edged stump speech about the discrimination Muslims face finding jobs, accessing bank loans and dealing with the police.

“This is our country as much as it is yours. We are not renters, we are also owners of this land. We should get our rights,” Owaisi said, before he told youths to pray regularly and pursue college degrees. Fans climbed onto the stage to shake his hand and later surrounded his car for nearly a half-hour, delaying his departure.

“I have never seen such a fearless leader before,” said Syed Jawad, a 22-year-old dairy shop owner who watched Owaisi here in this western city about 200 miles from Mumbai. “Owaisi is the new messiah for us.”

A third-term member of Parliament from a small party in southern India, he has continued to emerge as a rising star in Muslim politics by tapping into the growing anxieties of India’s 170 million Muslims following the sharp rise of Hindu nationalist forces after the election of Prime Minister Narendra Modimore than a year ago.

Owaisi, 46, is being hailed as a “superstar of the Muslim community,” a “truth-speaking angry young man” and “a ray of hope” among India’s Muslims. Muslims make up 14 percent of India’s 1.2 billion population but have historically had little political influence.

The number of Muslim lawmakers in the lower house of Parliament has dropped to 22 of 543 seats. In the upper house, Muslims hold 24 of 245 seats.

“I want Muslims to come together and find their political voice,” Owaisi said in an interview in New Delhi. “Every community in India has progressed except Muslims.”

“Call me provocative. Call me anti-national. But first, answer all the questions I am posing about discrimination and injustice,” he said.

Recently, he courted controversy when he spoke out against the hanging of a Muslim man, Yakub Memon, convicted of planning terrorist bombings in 1993 in Mumbai that killed 257 people.

He named others on death row who have been pardoned and listed non-Muslim rioters and assassins who were treated more leniently. He said capital punishment has become a “political tool.” His statements were widely shared on social media and have made him a lightning rod, especially among some 15,000 Muslims who joined Memon’s funeral procession in Mumbai. Owaisi said his opposition to the hanging of the convicted terrorist served as a “ventilation” for the Muslim community.

Drawing attention and opposition

Critics call Owaisi divisive and say his rhetoric could fragment the country’s fragile multi-religious social fabric.

“He is pandering to the Muslim feeling of insecurity,” said Ram Madhav, general secretary of the ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party. “His politics [are] dangerous for India because it deepens the sense of alienation and separateness among Muslims.”

Madhav said Owaisi “is trying to become the 21st century Jinnah,” a controversial comparison to Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan who championed the cause of Indian Muslims. Jinnah is widely blamed for thepartition of India when the British-ruled subcontinent was cleaved into two nations in 1947, triggering religious rioting.

Since then, Muslims have struggled in India. In many Muslim neighborhoods, residents lack adequate access to education, power, piped water supply, sewerage and decent jobs.

The tall, bearded Owaisi grew up in the Muslim-dominated southern city of Hyderabad. The son of a lawmaker with a law degree earned in Britain, he was exposed to politics at an early age. His family runs a medical college and a hospital.

“Owaisi is educated, he argues well, he knows how to ask the uncomfortable questions, he is able to speak in English and converse with the elites,” said Arshad Alam, assistant professor of sociology at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. “For a community that lacks self-esteem and confidence, these qualities in Owaisi fill a crucial gap. But is he only going to do politics of persecution or go beyond it?”

During a speech in Aurangabad last fall, Owaisi left the stage midway for a Muslim call to prayer. Tens of thousands of people from the crowd followed him into the mosque. The skull-capped Owaisi always keeps prayer beads in the pocket of his pin-striped, long buttoned jacket, and he has no armed police guards, unlike most politicians here. He meets his constituents every day in his office.

But despite his suave demeanor, Owaisi is unable to shake off criticism.

In 2007, members of his party vandalized a meeting venue where author Taslima Nasrin, who has been banned and exiled from Bangladesh for criticizing Islam, was speaking. In 2012, his brother, Akbaruddin, was jailed for hate speech and is facing trial.

When Hindu nationalist groups launched a “homecoming” program last year to urge Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism, saying their ancestors were Hindus, Owaisi courted controversy by saying that Islam is the real home of all religions and that embracing it would be the real homecoming.

But in many ways, it is his sharp rhetoric that has helped fuel his popularity. Owaisi and his party are now systematically moving beyond his traditional base of Hyderabad. Two of his party’s candidates won in state elections in the western state of Maharashtra in November, and dozens were elected in municipal elections. Owaisi has in recent months tried to broaden his base beyond Muslims to include the socially downtrodden Dalits, who were formerly known as the untouchables in the Hindu caste system.

Now, his party, the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (or the United Congregation of Muslims) is considering fielding candidates in the northern states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, both key political bellwethers with sizeable numbers of Muslim voters.

“Owaisi’s rhetoric will strengthen Hindu fundamentalist forces because it confirms their worst stereotypes about Muslims,” said Madhu Goud Yaskhi, a spokesman for the Indian National Congress party, until Modi’s victory the dominant force in Indian politics. “The most effective way of countering him is to expose his track record on development. Has he helped set up a factory to create jobs for Muslims? Has he built a road?”

Owaisi wants to push legislation that guarantees job quotas for Muslims in the government.

“Wherever I go, I tell people two things: Educate yourself, get politically active,” he said. “The community does not want tokenisms like Haj pilgrimage subsidy or grand feasts during Islamic holy month from the government. We want education and jobs. With that, there will be a dramatic transformation in just a decade.”

From the Washington Post

Medical Prescription

Meaning to get a rifle for a while now. A high powered sniper rifle with an equally powerful scope, so I can see the look in the eyes of my prey, the moment the bullet hits their forehead. You should get one too, all of us should. We should also get accesories of battle fatigues, hunting knives, handguns, the works. Why? Why the hell not?

Then its practice, practice and some more practice. No need to practice on dumb targets or bottles, there’s plenty of crows for our benefit. If you miss, just keep practicing till you start seeing some blood oozing from your prey’s body parts. Armed and dangerous Bangladeshis should then proceed to any border town and there are many on the menu. Get a comfortable position, stock it with the essentials and start shooting anything Indian that moves. The hunt is on, it’s open season for us too. Haven’t you heard, it’s now illegal for Bangladeshis to sit idle when their fellow countrymen are being killed left, right and center. It’s illegal to be an inactive spectator and its specially illegal to feel helpless to oppression & injustice. Our elected officials are too busy lining their pockets and shipping it abroad, so stop being naive thinking that its their job. The Army is too busy making money also; check out the Trust Banks, Sena Kalyan Trust, (Destiny 2000) & the UN Peace keeping missions. I don’t want to get started with the criminals.. i meant the Police Force. They are too busy to think about lil’ ol’ you.. the common, helpless, innocent man/woman! So wake up and make your own bed, breakfast & coffee, your maid isn’t gonna clean your house for you.

If you want something done right, then do it yourself. Get yourself some machines of destruction, for the sake of defense if offense is not your cup of tea. Why? Have you looked at the newspapers recently or for a decade or so? Take a sabbatical from the world of social media, parties, hollywood, tv serieses and glamour and bite into reality. There is no security in your country. You are more llikely to die of unnatural causes at home, on the roads, in Masjids or in public places than naturally dying in bed. The Police might kill you or a speed-freak driver or your servant or a politician or even a businessman or even a student leader. It’s open season on you, because the population has boomed & life expectancy is at its highest, thus you are just another statistic. No one cares, not even the ones you pay with you taxes to protect you! So what do you do? Buy a weapon today or become a dead statistic.

Protest peacefully! haahaa, what a joke! The government goons will sweep onyou with machetes & barettas while unarmed, civilian you get a good beating or give your life on the streets. Protest with a gun and they’ll sit up and take notice. Protest by killing a corrupt cop a day or better yet a government official but the best targets would be a politician. Kill a politician a day to keep anarchy away! ACT NOW!

WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF Tazkiyyah?

WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF Tazkiyyah?

Tazkiyah means The purification of one’s heart and the soul.

“Allah conferred indeed a great favor on the believers when He sent among them a Messenger (i.e., Muhammad-sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) from among themselves reciting unto them His Verses (i.e., the Qur’an ) and purifying them (from sins by their following him) and instructing them in the Book (i.e., the Qur’an ) and Wisdom (i.e., the Sunnah), while before that they had been in manifest error.” – The Qur’an 3:164.

The Qur’an and Sunnah are the only sources for tazkiyah. The Prophet Muhammad- sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam-is the purest of mankind in soul and his character was that of Qur’an. There is none who approaches him in this. For this reason he is the model for tazkiyah. Allah says: “Indeed in the Messenger of Allah you have a good example to follow…” – The Qur’an 33:21.

The Prophet’s Companions and the rest of Salaf-us-Saliheen are also, as a whole, a fine model to follow in tazkiyah. There is no way of drawing closer to Allah except by adhering to what the Prophet Muhammad-sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam-came with.

The Prophet-sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam-has said: “If anyone introduces into this affair of ours anything which does not belong to it, it is rejected.” – Al-Bukhari and Muslim. Continue reading “WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF Tazkiyyah?”

Are men and women equal in God’s judgment?

Women in Islam (Submission)


Are men and women equal in God’s judgment?

The answer is different when it comes to God compared with traditional Islam. Every Westerner thinks that Islam is very chauvinistic and oppressive towards women. In Islam of today as practiced by most traditional sectarian Muslims, this is very true. However, in true Islam (Submission), as revealed in the Quran, nothing could be farther from the truth.

God treats men and women as spiritual equals., Quran 3:195 tells us :

“Their Lord responded to them: “I never fail to reward any worker among you for any work you do, be you MALE OR FEMALE, YOU ARE EQUAL TO ONE ANOTHER………”

Many of the Muslim countries who claim to follow Islam are treating women as a second class citizens, and some of these women accepted this situation thinking that is what Islam (Submission in English) is advocating. As mentioned previously, God, in the Quran made a complete spiritual equality between men and women, See 3:195. Continue reading “Are men and women equal in God’s judgment?”

“The True Furqan” a fake Qur’an of the21st Century by USA

Muslims everywhere have found “The True Furqan” a fake and this so called Quran opposes many Islamic beliefs. In one of its ayats it describes having more than one wife as fornication, divorce being non-permissible and it uses a new system for the sharing out of the will, opposing the current one. It states that Jihad is HARAAM. This book even goes as far as attacking Allah, Subhanahu WA Tahala! The two American printing companies; “Omega 2001” and “Wine Press” are involved in the publishing of “The True Furqan.” We must stop the distribution of this book. The book can also be found at: http://www.islam-exposed.org
This site should be shutdown.

Allahu Akbar!

whaat do the americans have to say about it<american misinformation>

A New American Quran?

Evangelical Christian group writes book challenging the Quran
During 2004 and 2005, allegations in several countries claimed that the United States was trying to impose a “new American Quran” on Muslims.

These claims are false. A small, private evangelical Christian group in the United States has written a book called The True Furqan, which seeks to convert Muslims to Christianity, but this group has no connection with the U.S. government. Furqan is another term for Quran. Continue reading ““The True Furqan” a fake Qur’an of the21st Century by USA”

Masjidul Aqsa

l-Masjid Al-Aqsa is often confused with Masjid Al-Qubba (As-Sakhra) but they are two totally different Masjids. Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa is the one that Allah (SWT) refers to in the first verses of Surat Al-Israa (Sura 17):

1. Glory to ((Allah)) Who did take His servant for a Journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the Farthest Mosque, whose precincts We did bless,- in order that We might show him some of Our Signs: for He is the One Who heareth and seeth (all things).

2. We gave Moses the Book, and made it a Guide to the Children of Israel, (commanding): “Take not other than Me as Disposer of (your) affairs.”

3. O ye that are sprung from those whom We carried (in the Ark) with Noah! Verily he was a devotee most grateful.

Web Source: Islamic City

Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa is the second Masjid ever to be built for the sole worship of Allah (SWT). Throughout the ages it suffered many transformations and destruction. When Omar Ibn Al- Khattab (RA) entered Bayt Al-Maqdis in 15 AH (636 AD) he ordered that the area, where he believed the Masjid location has been, to be cleared to start the building of the initial structure of the Masjid. The actual building started in 18 AH (639 AD) and the Masjid was made out of timber. Abd Al-Malik Ibn Marwan (RahA) began the construction of Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa in its new shape and structure but it was his son Al-Walid (RahA) who completed it in 90 AH (708 AD). The present structure has remained essentially intact since it was last reconstructed in 424 AH (1033 AD) by Al-Khalifa Ath-Thaahir who did not alter it from its previous architecture; he only narrowed it on each of its east and west sides.

Following are two overviews of Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa as it has been since the time of Al-Khalifa Ath-Thaahir (RahA), click on each picture to see more aspects of this Great Masjid in greater detail.

A general southwest view of Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa

A view of Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa through one of the arches of Masjid Al-Qubba (As-Sakhra). Click on the picture to enjoy an aerial view of Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa along with Masjid Al-Qubba (As-Sakhra)!

The above picture shows Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa from within. Click on it to see a classical black and white picture of Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa from without.
Special thanks to Br. Fadi for providing all the new pictures of Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa. May Allah (SWT) reward him and his family and bestow upon them His blessings.

Author: Taoufik Nadji

Allah is the ultimate in patience.
As Sabut - The Patient
He is all patient to the limit.

He never hastens and never hurries.

He is the Steadfast.

He is the Persevering.

The One of perfect timing.

As-Sabur

We should pray and ask Allah by His name, As-Sabur, for this quality and ask to be steadfast, slow to anger, quick to forgive. Seek refuge in ‘As-Sabur’ from anger, hostilities, criticism and jealousy both toward and from others.

The Patient. The One Who Perseveres. The Forbearing. The Steadfast.

Help Comes Through Patience and Salat

O ye who believe! Seek help through perseverance and salat. Surely Allah is with those who persevere. (Qur’an 2:153)

Yaaa – ‘ayyu-hallaziina ‘aama-nu asta’eenu bis-sabri was-salaati innallaha ma’as-saabireen.

Success Comes Through Patience And Standing Firm

O ye who believe! Endure in patience and constancy, and station guard posts, so that you will be successful. (Qur’an 3:200)

Yaaa – ‘ayyu-hallaziina ‘aama-nusbiruu wa saabiruu wa raabituu: wattaqullaaha la-‘allakum tuflihuun.

All In Loss – Except Muslims With Patience & Perseverance

By Time (Allah Swears by His Creation of Time), All of mankind is in a state of loss; except those who attain correct belief and do righteous deeds, and exhort each other in truth (all that Islam calls for and forbids) and exhort each other in ‘sabur.’ (Surah Asr 103.)

Wal asr, innal innsannal lafi khusr, illa latheen aamanu wal ammilus salihati wat tawwasow bil Haq, wat tawwasow bis Sabur.

Ruling on using the masbahah (prayer beads)

Ruling on using the masbahah (prayer beads)

Question:
What is the ruling on using the masbahah (prayer beads)?

Answer:

Praise be to Allaah.

Some scholars say that it is permissible to use the masbahah, but they say that it is preferable to do tasbeeh on one’s fingers; others say that it is bid’ah (reprehensible innovation).

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said in al-Fataawa (22/187): “Some of them might show off by putting their prayer-mats over their shoulders and carrying their masbahahs in their hands, making them symbols of religion and prayer. It is known from the mutawaatir reports that neither the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) nor his Companions used these as symbols. They used to recite tasbeeh and count on their fingers, as the hadeeth says: “Count on your fingers, for they will asked, and will be made to speak.” Some of them may count their tasbeeh with pebbles or date stones. Some people say that doing tasbeeh with the masbahah is makrooh, and some allow it, but no one says that tasbeeh with the masbahah is better than tasbeeh with the fingers.” Then he (may Allaah have mercy on him) goes on to discuss the issue of showing off with the masbahah, saying that it is showing off with regard to something that is not prescribed by Islam, which is worse than showing off with regard to something that is prescribed.

Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (al-Liqa’ al-Maftooh, 3/30) was asked whether using the masbahah for tasbeeh is bid’ah, and his reply was: “It is better not to do tasbeeh with the masbahah, but it is not bid’ah, because there is a basis for it, which is the fact that some of the Sahaabah did tasbeeh with pebbles. But the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) taught that tasbeeh with the fingers is better, as he said, ‘Count with the fingertips, for they will be made to speak.’ Doing tasbeeh with the masbahah is not haraam or bid’ah, but it is better not to do it, because the one who does tasbeeh with the masbahah has shunned something better. Using the masbahah may also be contaminated with some element of showing off, because we see some people carrying masbahahs that contain a thousand beads, as if they are telling people, ‘Look at me, I do a thousand tasbeehs!’ Secondly, those who use the masbahah for tasbeeh are usually absent-minded and not focused, so you see them doing tasbeeh with the beads, but their gaze is wandering all over the place, which indicates that they are not really concentrating. It is better to do tasbeeh with one’s fingers, preferably using the right hand rather than the left, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to count his tasbeeh on his right hand. If a person counts his tasbeeh using both hands, there is nothing wrong with that, but it is better to use the right hand only.”

Shaykh Muhammad Naasir al-Deen al-Albaani said in Al-Silsilat al-Da’eefah (1/110), where he quotes the (weak) hadeeth “What a good reminder is the subhah [masbahah],”

“In my view, the meaning of this hadeeth is invalid for a number of reasons:

Firstly, the subhah [masbahah] is bid’ah and was not known at the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). It happened after that, so how could he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) have encouraged his Sahaabah to do something that was unknown to them? The evidence for what I have said is the report narrated by Ibn Waddaah in Al-Bid’ wa’l-Nahy ‘anhaa from al-Salt ibn Bahraam, who said: ‘Ibn Mas’ood passed by a woman who had a [masbahah] with which she was making tasbeeh, and he broke it and threw it aside, then he passed by a man who was making tasbeeh with pebbles, and he kicked him then said, “You think you are better than the Sahaabah, but you are following unjustified bid’ah! You think you have more knowledge than the Companions of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)!”’ Its isnaad is saheeh to al-Salt, who is one of the trustworthy (thiqah) followers of the Taabi’een.

Secondly, it goes against the guidance of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr said, ‘I saw the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) counting the tasbeeh on his right hand.’”

He also said (1/117): “If there is only one bad thing about the masbahah, which it is that it takes the place of the Sunnah of counting on the fingers, even though all are agreed that counting on the fingers is preferable, then that is bad enough. How rarely I see people counting their tasbeeh on their fingers!

Moreover, people have invented so many sophisticated ways of following this bid’ah, so you see the followers of one of the [Sufi] tareeqahs wearing the masbahah around their necks! Or some of them counting with the beads whilst talking or listening to you! Or another one – the like of whom I have not seen for some time – riding his bicycle through a street crowded with people, with the masbahah in one of his hands! They are showing the people that they are not distracted from the remembrance of Allaah for even an instant, but in many cases this bid’ah is a cause of their neglecting what is obligatory (waajib). It has happened many times – to others as well as myself – that when I greet one of these people with salaam, they answer only by waving and not by saying the words of the greeting. The bad results of this bid’ah are innumerable, and no one can say it better than the poet:

‘All goodness is in following that which went before (the salaf)

All badness is in the innovations of those who came later.’”

And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

Haditha killings

Haditha killings

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Haditha killings
Part of the Iraq War

Location on map of Iraq

Haditha

This article documents a current event.
Information may change rapidly as the event progresses.

 
 
 


The Haditha killings (also called the Haditha massacre) occurred on November 19, 2005 in the town of Haditha, Iraq. The incident was provoked when a convoy of United States Marines was attacked with an improvised explosive device which killed Lance Corporal Miguel Terrazas. Up to twenty-four Iraqis were subsequently killed; it is alleged that they were non-combatant local residents who were massacred by Marines in the aftermath of the insurgent attack.[1]

 

A Marine Corps communique initially reported that 15 civilians were killed by the bomb’s blast and eight insurgents were subsequently killed when the Marines returned fire against those attacking the convoy. However, media reports contradicted this story.[2] The evidence uncovered by the media prompted the US military to open an investigation into the incident. Evidence collected by this investigation “supports accusations that U.S. Marines deliberately shot civilians, including unarmed women and children”, according to a Pentagon official. [3] On December 21, 2006, eight Marines were charged in connection with the incident. [4] [5]

 

Contents

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Events

 

 

Background

 

Since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, US military forces have been stationed in and around Haditha to control the Haditha Dam, a major hydroelectric installation. The predominately Sunni-inhabited area was, from the start, a major centre of insurgent activity. As early as June 2003 American soldiers attacked an insurgent training camp near Haditha.[6] Many insurgent attacks followed in the next three years, and the area gained a reputation as one of particular danger for US and Iraqi government forces.

 

On August 1, 2005 six marine snipers were killed outside or near Haditha.[7] Two days later, on (August 3, 2005), 14 Marines were killed in their Marine amphibious assault vehicle by an IED.[8]

 

 

Killings and immediate aftermath

 

On November 20, 2005 a Marine press release from Camp Blue Diamond in Ramadi said the deaths of the civilians was a consequence of a road side bomb and Iraqi insurgents. The initial US military statement read:

A US marine and 15 civilians were killed yesterday from the blast of a roadside bomb in Haditha. Immediately following the bombing, gunmen attacked the convoy with small arms fire. Iraqi army soldiers and marines returned fire, killing eight insurgents and wounding another[9][2]

Soon after the killings, the mayor of Haditha, Emad Jawad Hamza, led an angry delegation of elders up to the Haditha Dam Marine base allegedly complaining to the base captain.[2]

 

Marines paid a total of $38,000 to families of 15 of the civilians killed. [10]

 

 

Investigations

 

On February 14, 2006, a preliminary investigation was ordered by Lt. Gen. Peter Chiarelli, after video evidence was released, which conflicted with the initial US report. On March 9 a criminal investigation was launched, led by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, to determine if the troops deliberately targeted Iraqi civilians.[9]

 

On March 19, the US military officials confirmed that contrary to the initial report, 15 civilians were accidentally killed due to the US marines and not Iraqi insurgents.

 

On May 29, 2006, The Times published the result of its investigations and interviews with eye witnesses. It noted that the “official investigation has already resulted in the removal of Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Chessani, the commanding officer, and Captain Luke McConnell and Captain James Kimber, two company commanders, from their duties with the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division.”[11] Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich, the squad leader, is currently being investigated.

 

Currently several official investigations are underway. The first, under US Army Maj. Gen. Eldon Bargewell, is investigating how the incident was reported through the chain of command. A second investigation, headed by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, is looking into the criminal aspects of the incident, and are expected to finish their report in June. [12] A third investigation is being launched by the Iraqi government.

 

As of June 2, 2006, news outlets had reported that 24 Iraqis were killed, none as a result of the bomb explosion.[13] The news comes in anticipation of the results of the military’s investigation, which is said to find that the 24 unarmed Iraqis—including children as young as two years and women[14]—were killed by 12 members of Kilo Company in the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division.[15]

 

 

Evidence of the killings

 

Video shot by Iraqi journalist and founder of Hammurabi Human Rights Group[16] Taher Thabet and cellphone photos reportedly taken by one of the Marines[17] the day after the killings have been put forth as evidence that the killings were methodical and without resistance.[2][18] The term “execution-style” has been used by US military officials to describe the killings. [19]In particular, the video shot by Thabeth shows the bodies of the children and women with gunshot wounds, bullet holes in the interior walls of the house, and bloodstains on the floor.

 

 

Reaction

 

According to Sidney Blumenthal in a June 8, 2006 Salon Magazine article, “The coverup at Haditha reportedly began instantly. However, an Iraqi journalism student shot a video the day after of the bloodstained and bullet-riddled houses where the massacre had occurred. That video made its way to an Iraqi human rights group and finally to Tim McGirk, a correspondent from Time magazine. When Time made its first queries, the Marine spokesman, Capt. Jeffrey S. Pool, who had issued the first statement on Haditha as an action against terrorists months earlier, told reporters that they were falling for al-Qaida propaganda. ‘I cannot believe you’re buying any of this,’ he wrote in an e-mail. Nonetheless, word reached Lt. Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, the second-highest-ranking U.S. military officer in Iraq, that there had been no investigation and he ordered one immediately.”

 

According to the Los Angeles Times, military and congressional sources distinguished between two squads: the original Marine squad involved in the explosion and shootings, and a Marine intelligence squad that took photos shortly after the shootings. According to LA Times sources, although the intelligence squad’s photos were inconsistent with the Marine squad’s report of a firefight, no investigation occurred until after a March 2006 Time Magazine story alleging a massacre. According to the story, military officials blamed the delay of the investigation on the Marine squad’s efforts to cover up the events:

Military officials say they believe the delay in beginning the investigation was a result of the squad’s initial efforts to cover up what happened.

However, both military and congressional sources said that the intelligence team that took photos after the firefight did not appear to participate in any improper action:

[m]ilitary and congressional sources said there was no indication that the members of the intelligence team did anything improper or delayed reporting their findings.

In the same LA Times story, Republican Representative John Kline of Minnesota was quoted as saying:

There is no question that the Marines involved, those doing the shooting, they were busy in lying about it and covering it up — there is no question about it. But I am confident, as soon as the command learned there might be some truth to this, they started to pursue it vigorously. I don’t have any reason now to think there was any foot dragging.[18]

Eman Waleed, a nine-year-old child who claimed to have witnessed the incident, described the US marines entering their house. She said:

I couldn’t see their faces very well – only their guns sticking in to the doorway. I watched them shoot my grandfather, first in the chest and then in the head. Then they killed my granny[2]

The director of the local hospital in Haditha, Dr Wahid, claimed that the 24 bodies were brought to the hospital around midnight on November 19th. While the marines claim that the victims had been killed by shrapnel from the roadside bomb, Dr Whaid said that there were “no organs slashed by shrapnel in any of the bodies”. He further claimed that it appeared that “the victims were shot in the head and chest from close range”.[2]

 

The intentional killing of civilians, or indeed of any unarmed people, is prohibited by modern laws of war derived from the UN Charter, the Hague Conventions and the Geneva Conventions, and constitutes a war crime. The Marines and officers are expected to face courts martial under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which is U.S. military law. Due to a Status of Forces Agreement with the Government of Iraq, the troops will not be subject to Iraqi law.

 

 

Comments by Representative Murtha

 

On <a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/May_17&#8243; title=”May 17″>May 17, 2006 U.S. Congressmember John Murtha, a retired Marine colonel and critic of the war, stated at a news conference that an internal investigation had confirmed the story.[19][20][21] He was quoted as saying:

There was no firefight, there was no IED (improvised explosive device) that killed these innocent people. Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them, and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood.[22]

On August 2, 2006 Marine Corps staff sergeant Frank D. Wuterich, who led the accused squad, filed suit for libel and invasion of privacy. The filing states Murtha “tarnished the Marine’s reputation by telling news organizations in May that the Marine unit cracked after a roadside bomb killed one of its members and that the troops “killed innocent civilians in cold blood.” Murtha also said repeatedly that the incident was covered up.”[23] Wuterich was charged with 13 counts of murder on December 21, 2006.

 

 

Rationales

 

James Crossen, who was sitting next to Terrazas, was also injured by the roadside bomb. In an interview with King5 television in Seattle, he alleged that children in the area often helped insurgents by counting vehicles in a convoy. Crossen suggests that it is likely women and children had given information about US patrols to insurgents, and that this information led to the roadside bomb attack. When asked whether he had any emotion about the villagers who were killed, Crossen responded “No… Probably half of them were bad guys and you just don’t know, so it really doesn’t cross my mind. […] Being so far away and it being so hot… you just lose control sort of and kind of stop caring what happened and I’m pretty sure that’s what happened over there.”[24]

 

Martin Terrazas, father of the dead Marine, has been quoted as saying that Marines his son had fought with had told him that, following the bomb explosion, the Company was attacked by insurgents who used civilians as human shields, and that the Marines had done “only what was necessary to survive.”[25]

 

 

Conditions in Kilo Company Camp

 

On June 20, 2006 the BBC ran an article alleging that conditions in the Kilo company headquarters were “feral”. The four hundred men were based at a dam three miles from Haditha. The camp was described as a “decaying rabbit-warren”. As a result, unofficial shacks had been set up outside the building to house Marines. Oliver Poole, a reporter who visited the camp, called the conditions filthy and disgusting. He said:

The fact that the officers had let conditions deteriorate to the level in which where people living [sic] in such basic environment, that says something,” he said. “Where were the officers keeping the standards that the US military keeps in the field?” [26]

Conditions in Haditha itself were known to have been deteriorating under militant rule, and attacks on U.S. troops as well as executions of suspected informants were common.[27]

 

 

Ethics seminars

 

The US Army has announced that coalition troops in Iraq are to undergo ethics training following the incident in Haditha.

 

 

Comparisons with My Lai Massacre and other incidents

 

Many news reports have compared the Haditha Killings to the My Lai Massacre during the Vietnam War, with some commentators describing it as “Bush’s My Lai” [28] [29] or “Iraq’s My Lai”.[30] Very often, the killings have been described as part of a wider pattern of perceived human rights abuses committed by coalition forces in Iraq. As a Spiegel reporter notes in an interview with Michael Sallah (who won the Pulitzer Prize for his investigation of atrocities committed by the Tiger Force unit in Vietnam [31]), “you would have difficulties finding a single newspaper in Germany or elsewhere in Europe which does not deal with My Lai, Abu Ghraib and Haditha in the same commentary.”[32] It is suggested the Haditha killings may, like the My Lai Massacre, result in further reduction of American public support for the conflict.[29] The comparison is not accepted by everyone, including Christopher Hitchens, who characterized the My Lai comparisons as “all the glib talk about My Lai is so much propaganda and hot air.”[33]

 

Comparisons have also been made to the case of Ilario Pantano, who was cleared of charges of premeditated murder in Iraq after it was determined there was no credible evidence or testimony. Pantano himself has spoken out in defense of the “Haditha Marines,” objecting to the “rush to judgement.” [34]

 

 

See also

 

References

 

  1. ^ U.S. military mourns ‘tragic’ Haditha deaths, CNN. Accessed June 1, 2006.
  2. ^ a b c d e f McGirk, Tim. Collateral Damage or Civilian Massacre in Haditha?, Time. Accessed June 1, 2006.
  3. ^Evidence suggests Haditha killings deliberate: Pentagon source“, Associated Press, Wed, 02 Aug 2006.
  4. ^ [1] Yahoo News
  5. ^ U.S. marine faces 13 Haditha murder charges, CBC. Accessed December 21, 2006
  6. ^ “Battles rage across Saddam heartland where 70 Iraqis are killed by US forces”, The Independent, June 14, 2003
  7. ^ Six snipers among seven Marines killed in Iraq CNN August 2, 2005
  8. ^ 14 more Marines from Ohio unit die in Iraq AP August 4, 2005
  9. ^ a b BBC News Haditha: Massacre and cover-up?
  10. ^ Eric Schmitt and David S. CloudGeneral finds senior Marines lax in Haditha killings probe New York Times News Service July 8, 2006
  11. ^ Hamdani, Ali and Ned Parker, Marines and the ‘massacre’: a neighbour tells of aftermath, Times online. Accessed May 29, 2006.
  12. ^ Perry, Tony. House to Look Into Probe of Pendleton Marines, Los Angeles Times. Accessed May 20, 2006.
  13. ^ Poole, Oliver. ‘Worst war crime’ committed by US in Iraq, Telegraph.co.uk. Accessed May 27, 2006.
  14. ^ Death certifcates describe in horrific detail how Haditha civilians were killed, CNN. Accessed June 1, 2006.
  15. ^ Pentagon sources: Civilians likely killed without provocation, CNN. Accessed May 27, 2006.
  16. ^ Haditha defense questions key videotape, Iraqi group, Reuters, June 15, 2006
  17. ^ Ghosh, Aparisim. Picking up the Pieces in Haditha, Time online. Accessed May 30, 2006
  18. ^ a b Perry, Tony and Julian E. Barnes. Photos Indicate Civilians Slain Execution-Style, Los Angeles Times. Accessed May 27, 2006.
  19. ^ a b Miklaszewski, Jim and Mike Viqueira. Lawmaker: Marines killed Iraqis ‘in cold blood’, MSNBC (NBC News). Accessed May 17, 2006.
  20. ^ Bowman, Tom. Pentagon Investigates Alleged Massacre in Iraq, All Things Considered, National Public Radio Accessed May 19, 2006.
  21. ^ Goldenberg, Suzanne. Marines may face trial over Iraq massacre, The Guardian. Accessed May 27, 2006.
  22. ^ CNN News, Lawmaker says Marines killed Iraqis ‘in cold blood
  23. ^ Josh White Marine Names Murtha in Defamation Suit Washington Post August 2, 2006
  24. ^ Video: Local marine injured Haditha talks of massacre, May 30, 2006
  25. ^ Alicia Caldwell, Father of Marine backs son’s Iraq comrades, May 31, 2006
  26. ^ BBC News, US braced for Haditha effect, 20 June 2006
  27. ^ Omer Mahdhi and Rory Carroll, Under US noses, brutal insurgents rule Sunni citadel, Guardian UK, 22 August, 2005
  28. ^ Bush’s My Lai, Robert Parry, consortiumnews.com, May 30, 2006
  29. ^ a b Haditha Massacre: Iraq’s Mai Lai, Al Jazeera, May 29, 2006
  30. ^ Haditha Killings Recall Vietnam’s My Lai, Washington Post, June 2, 2006
  31. ^ “2004 Pulitzer Prize Winners – INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING”, The Pulitzer Prizes. Accessed November 27, 2006.]
  32. ^ “In Vietnam war es genauso”, Spiegel Online, Accessed June 5, 2006
  33. ^ Why Haditha Is Not My Lai, Christopher Hitchens, Slate, June 5, 2006
  34. ^ Mr. Murtha’s Rush to Judgment, Ilario Pantano, Washington Post, May 28, 2006

 

 

[edit] External links

Abortion is Murder, No ifs or buts…

In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

 

 

Abortion is Murder, No ifs or buts…

 

———–

[Editor’s Note: This is a reply to an article by Mr Edip Yuksel called “Abortion is Murder if……” in which the author expressed his opinion that abortion should be permitted in the first three months of pregnancy.] “Have you noted those who claim that they believed in what was revealed to you, and in what was revealed before you, then uphold the laws of idolatry? They were commanded to reject such laws. indeed, It is the devils wish to lead them far astray 4:60.

The abortion issue has always been a hot topic. For the last 1400 years, the majority of the Muslims were misled by their scholars into believing that abortion in the first three months of pregnancy is permissible. While disregarding the clear orders in the Quran, these Muslims built their conclusion on fabricated hadiths. Some of these hadiths claimed that the soul of the fetus does not enter the body until the fourth month of gestation and therefore killing the fetus is permissible.

It was God’s blessing that we were guided back to the Quran by the messenger of the covenant who strongly refused the fabricated hadiths and clearly indicated that the Quran certainly condemns the killing of both the born and the unborn children.

As we learned from history, after the departure of every messenger, some people will distort the message and confuse the others. Now we hear the call to go back to the laws of ignorance and allow the killing of the unborn children during the first three months of pregnancy. This call comes from those who are confused, misled, misinformed and misguided.

“Losers are those who killed their children foolishly, due to their lack of knowledge, and prohibited what God has provided for them, and followed innovations attributed to God. They have gone astray, they are not guided.” (6:140)

Abortion, what is it ?

Webster’s dictionary defines abortion as the expulsion of a non-viable fetus during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Remember that, in the abortion performed today, the abortionists induce the expulsion of a viable fetus, or in other terms kill the living fetus to bring him/her down. What is the stand of the Quran on the abortion issue ? Let us find out.

Quran, the first revelation:

The believers know that every word, letter, name, number and gesture in the Quran is chosen deliberately. It should not surprise us to find out that the name God chose for the first revelation of the Quran, was not Muhammed, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, The Sun, the Moon, the Iron, the winds, the stars, the night, the people, or the Jinn..etc. The name God chose for His first revelation was “The hanging embryo”, Sura 96. This hanging embryo stage starts about 6 days after the fertilization of the ovum, not after three months of pregnancy. How significant or insignificant is this choice, it is up to you to ponder. Let us keep this in mind while studying the rest of the Quran that deals with this issue.

Killing the soul or the body !!

Some argued, on no basis but fabricated hadiths, that the fetus in the first four months do not have a soul yet and therefore it is permissible to kill him/her. They do not realize that the soul has nothing to do with abortion. In abortion you are dealing with the physical body and its life, you are destroying the physical body of the fetus not the soul. We cannot kill the soul even if we try. Whether the soul entered the fetus body in the first minute of life or after four months of pregnancy is irrelevant to the abortion issue.

Killing, condemned:

Killing any person is strongly condemned in the Quran. God has made life sacred. Killing the children is specifically condemned as they are the helpless victims in every society.

“You shall not kill any (Nafs) person – for GOD has made life
sacred – except in the course of justice…….”(17:33)

“You shall not kill your children due to fear of poverty. We provide
for them, as well as for you. Killing them is a gross offense”(17:31)

“Say, “Come let me tell you what your Lord has really
prohibited for you: You shall not set up idols besides
Him. You shall honor your parents. You shall not kill
your children from fear of poverty – we provide for you
and for them. You shall not commit gross sins, obvious or
hidden. You shall not kill any (Nafs) person – GOD has made
life sacred – except in the course of justice. These are His
commandments to you, that you may understand.”
[6:151]

What does the word “Children” in the verse include ?. This word “Children” is the translation of the Arabic word “Awlad”. “Do not kill your (Awlad) children..”.

One author of an abortion article claims that, the Webster’s dictionary defines a child as “Young human being” which is true but is also half the truth. The dictionary also defines a child as ” the unborn or recently born person”. That author used this half truth to support his opinion that killing the unborn children is not covered by these verse, 17:33 and 6:151

Again the same author has been misinforming the reader by claiming that the word “Awlad (Children)” and “Walad (Child)” in Arabic are used ONLY for the born children. He concludes that the order in 71:31 and 6:151 applies only to the killing of born children.

The truth of the matter is that both the words, Children in English and Awlad in Arabic are used for both the born and unborn children in their prospective languages. The order in 17:33 and 6:151 applies to both born and unborn children.

A simple and extra effort by that author would have saved him and those who believed him the big confusion. The Arabic dictionaries describe the unborn child as “Walad in the mother’s womb”. The born child in Arabic is called “Maolood”. “Walad” in Arabic like the word child in English can be used for both the born and the unborn. Although the word “Walad” is derived from the root “Walada” (to give birth), it does not mean that “Walad” has to be born but rather related to the process of birth. The word “Walid” in Arabic is used for father, only because he was a partner in causing this birth to happen and not because he was born or gives birth. God used the word Maolood in the Quran, (31:33). Had God willed, he could have said, “Do not kill your Maoloods” (born children) to specify this category of children.

In 17:31 and 6:151, God is ordering us, not to kill the born or the unborn children.

God cares about the first three months of pregnancy:

The sincere student of the Quran will find out that God is telling us in 2:226 and 65:4 that the first three months of pregnancy are so important that a divorced woman will have to change her life plan if she found herself pregnant. The matter is no more of her own concern, but it is God’s concern. God’s concern is for the pregnancy and specifically for these first few months of pregnancy. Women who get divorced have an interim of three months before getting married again. This is done MAINLY to see if they are pregnant or not. God then orders them to forget their own wishes and plans and respect the new life created in their wombs. If the first three months of pregnancy were not important God would have told these women not to wait and to have abortion and keep their life plans as they wish. If a married woman get divorced before having a full marital relationship with her husband, she dose not have to wait for three months, 33:49. She would have no interim. Since there is no chance of her being pregnant , the matter is only of her concern.

God cares about the whole three months of early pregnancy as much as we can see from the Quran’s treatment of the divorce cases. God named his first revelation after the hanging embryo, not by accident. This hanging embryo, is a stage that starts in 6 days after the fertilization of the ovum.

The New Creature:

“Then we developed the drop into a hanging (embryo), then
developed the hanging (embryo) into a bite-size (fetus),
then created the bite-size (fetus) into bones, then
covered the bones with flesh. We thus produce (Anshaa) a new
creature. Most blessed is GOD, the best Creator.” [23:14]

In verse 23:14, God described the creation of the human being from a tiny drop until he produced a new creature. The advocates of abortion in the first three months of pregnancy, consider the way God described the production of a new creature in this verse (by using the Arabic word Anshaa`) as their proof of the time when the soul joins the body of the fetus. On this basis, they claim that it is OK to kill the fetus before that, since he/she does not have a soul. They are missing many points here. First, abortion has nothing to do with the soul as we explained before. In abortion you kill the physical body of the fetus. You do not and cannot kill the soul. Therefore the time the soul joins the physical body is not important and irrelevant, and God never elaborated on it in the Quran. Second, the word (Anshaa`), in 23:14, is used exclusively in the Quran for the production or construction of a physical being, human or non-human, e.g. the humans, the trees, the clouds, communities..etc. Please see 23:14,19,31,42; 6:141; 11:61 and 53:32. This word (Anshaa`) or its derivatives have never been used by God in the Quran to describe anything that has to do with the soul. To assure the believers, God used another word (Nafakha) repeatedly to describe the joining of the soul and the physical body. See 3:49, 5:110. 15:29, 21:91, 32:9, 39:72 and 66:12.

The use of the word (Anshaa`) to describe the new creature is referring to the physical body of the developing fetus and not to the soul. The fetus will look completely different then, compared with the way it started as a tiny drop. Check any embryology book to appreciate this vast difference.

Note also that God used the word (Anshaa`) four times in sura 23, to give the sincere believer the clue he/she needs.

Abusing the Quran and the Mathematics:

Abusing verses 31:14, 46:15 and 2:233, the author of an article about abortion claims that the last six months of pregnancy are the only important months in the life of the unborn child and therefore it should be permissible to kill the child in the first three months of pregnancy.

Let us study these two verses. Verse 46:15 tells us that the total period for both pregnancy and nursing is 30 months. We know that this is an average estimate and the verse does not define which part of these 30 month is the pregnancy and which is the nursing time. Verse 2:233 tells us that nursing the newborn can be extended as long as two years for those who want to continue nursing. It does not define nursing as obligatory 24 months. It does not say nursing for two months, three months or 20 months is not permitted. In other words the period of nursing is maximum of 24 months but can be as short as one day.

Making an equation from these numbers, the author of the abortion article claimed :

30 months ( average of pregnancy and nursing) – 24 months ( maximum of nursing) = 6 months

He concluded that only 6 months of the pregnancy period are important and they have to be the last 6 months.

Any one who does not realize that the two numbers in the above equation are variables will be easily deceived. You cannot deduct one variable from another and come up with a fixed number. To make such a serious conclusion from this false equation is a sign of misguidance.

More to our surprise, was that the author concluded that it is the last 6 months (not the first 6 months) of pregnancy that are the important ones. Without any equations or calculations, any intelligent human being can realize that children born after only 6 months of pregnancy can survive and live to be mature adults. Children born after 6 months only of pregnancy can be nursed up to 24 months to complete the 30 months if they need to. Children born after 7,8 or 9 months may need less nursing time as we all know. If we are to make any conclusion from the above numbers we should know that, God is showing us that the first and not the last six months of the pregnancy are the important months for the life of a healthy child. To have it backward is a clear sign of confusion. The above equation is wrong, misleading and inappropriate.

31:14 states, “We enjoined the human being to honor his parents. His mother bore him and the load got heavier and heavier, It takes up to two years of intensive care until weaning…”.

This expression “up to” (fee)(in Arabic) or “within” has been missed by those who do not understand Arabic. The word (fee) in Arabic can be used for place or time, if used for a place it will mean “in” and if used for time it will mean “within”.

The confirmation of this period comes from God In 2:233 when God teaches us that mothers shall nurse their Infants two full years if the father so wishes. Which also means if the father has no objection, the mother can nurse them any period of time shorter than or longer than two years.

Which, What, Who, or Whom:

A question was raised about the use of the Arabic pronoun “Ma” in the Quran to describe the unborn child. The writer tried to imply that “Ma” which is translated as “What” or “which” as used in (2:228) and (3:35) signify that an unborn child is a non-person. While this typically demonstrates to us what God means in verse 3:7, it clearly reflects how God can control the teaching of the Quran as stated in 55:1-2. The use of the pronoun “Ma” has no significance regarding whether the unborn child is a real person or a nonperson. First in (2:228), God states that He knows what He created in the womb, and this covers the whole period of pregnancy, whether the unborn child is one month or nine months old. It does not make a difference, age wise. Second in (3:35) the use of the word “Ma” again carry the same meaning as in (2:228). God clarifies this more in the next verse (3:36) when God uses the same pronoun “Ma” for the born child “God was fully aware of what she bore”. It is more interesting to see that verse (22:2) was used twice in arguing the abortion issue but the author failed twice to recognize the simple “Ma” that God used in that verse for the nursing infant. So, “Ma” has been used in the Quran for born and unborn child without discrimination. To imply that God used the word (MA) for the unborn child because of the insignificance of the fetus is naive and dangerous especially when added to the ignorance of the author with the proper Arabic language.

A question to produce confusion among the people is as innocent as the wolf denying his preying on the little lamb while his teeth are still stained with his blood.

The Misfortune:

No description of a misfortune surpasses God’s revelation In (63:1-3).

“When the hypocrites come to you they say, “We bear
witness that you are the messenger of GOD.” GOD knows
that you are His messenger, and GOD bears witness that
the hypocrites are liars.
Under the guise of their apparent faith, they repel the
people from the path of GOD. Miserable indeed is what
they do  This is because they believed, then disbelieved. Hence,
their minds are blocked; they do not understand. ”

The misfortunate person has to be the person who is following his own ego. In (45:23). God warns us:

“Have you noted the one whose god is his ego?
Consequently, GOD sends him astray, despite his
knowledge, seals his hearing and his mind, and places a
veil on his eyes. Who then can guide him, after such a
decision by GOD? Would you not take heed?” [45:23]

The Exception:

As we all know, every rule has an exception including the religious laws. After all attempts are made to save both the mother and the unborn child, and under unusual situations, abortion may be allowed to save the mother’s life. This is permitted, not only during the first three months of pregnancy, but during any time during the pregnancy. Cases of rape have no place in this discussion. Women who are victims of rape have enough time (as much as 6 days) to use available medical treatments to avoid any possible pregnancy. If the rape victim waited until she finds out that she is pregnant, it is too late and she has no excuse to kill the child created in her womb.

In Conclusion :

(1) Quran condemns the killing of born and unborn children (6:151, 17:31,6:140,60:12), i.e. abortion is murder.

(2) The messengers of God deliver the message, they do not distort it.(3:20, 5:92, 5:99….)

(3) History repeats itself. The followers of the messenger are the ones who usually distort the message. Their excuse has been, “our intentions were honorable and righteous”. (61:4)

(4) All claims of religious knowledge should be subjected to the utmost scrutiny to avoid falling in the same trap of previous generations, (17:36).

(5) Knowledgeable people recognize their mistakes (7:23). ignorant people by mistake, recognize their knowledge (7:30.19:104, 59:18).

The Truth Abot Christmas

 

Christmas Is Spiritual Adultery

Taking an evergreen tree, putting it in your house, decorating it with lights, sitting in the dark, and adoring it to Christmas carols is spiritual adultery. You profess to love Jesus, but you do so with the mementos and techniques of other lovers – the world and pagan religion. You are not content with Christ’s pure gospel – for it has no Mass of Christ. You have added the world’s seductions to keep you happy in your marriage to Christ. He is highly offended at your whorish ways.

120 Reasons Against Christmas
There are many Bible reasons not to celebrate Christmas for those who esteem God’s precepts concerning all things to be right and that hate every false way (Ps 119:128). The God of heaven has specified exactly how He wants to be worshipped. He does not accept inventions or modifications. And He seeks those who will worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:23-24). You are living in the perilous times of the last days – a time of great compromise by so-called Christians (II Tim 3:1 – 4:5 ). Where do you stand?

How to Stop Celebrating
When the Lord reveals the evil of pagan holy days, there are questions about informing others of the change in your life. Here are a few suggestions to be wise and righteous before God without being unduly antagonistic or offensive to those who cannot see (Rom 12:18; I Cor 7:15).

What About the Seventh Day?
The Seventh-Day Adventists have made a golden calf out of the Old Testament Sabbath and the seventh day of the week. But what does the Bible say? Did Noah worship on Saturday? Did the apostles and early Christians worship on Saturday? Are Catholics behind Sunday worship? Who is Ellen G. Harmon and why are her writings considered greater than Scripture by Seventh-Day Adventists?

Who is this? What is she doing? Revelation 3:20 is the most abused verse in the Bible. Jesus does not look like an effeminate, she-man hippie. Jesus does not beg at the hearts of sinners. His appearance is very different (Rev 1:12-18; 19:11-16); He opens the hearts of sinners by His great power (Acts 16:14; Rev 3:7). and Revelation 3:20 is for believing saints only! Get this verse right today, and never let anyone deceive you with it again!

Eternal Life Is a Gift
In a few years, you will get to die! Yes, you will get to die … to end the decay, pain, rot, trouble, and weakness of your body. Why must you rot and die? Because you sinned against a holy God. Atheists and evolutionists have no clue about death, but God explained it clearly. He hates sin. You sinned. You must die. But before you get to die, you will rot inside and outside from the beauty, glory, health, strength, and vigor of youth. Life is hopeless … without the gift of God … which is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Who Is the Seed of Abraham?
God made fantastic promises to Abraham and his seed 4000 years ago. Consider the promises. An innumerable family! A land for an everlasting possession! Destruction of enemies! Blessings on all nations of the earth! Who is this seed? They are surely the most blessed people on earth! Paul warned about Jewish fables 2000 years ago (Titus 1:14), but most churches are teaching them today. The rightful heirs are being ignored!

Do Commas Matter?
If you love the Bible, this short article is for you. Most Christians do not care. Rick Warren and novels like The Message have destroyed concern for God’s words. Paul argued doctrine on two historical events 430 years apart in Galatians 3:17, and Old Testament history should agree with it. But modern versions, in their haste to get rid of commas and make the Bible ‘easier to understand’, have created a contradiction. Have fun!

Best Book on Bible Prophecy! We are offering below our cost and with free shipping the best book on Bible prophecy available today.Having surveyed hundreds of books about prophecy, this one is more concise, easier to read, better documented, and more accurate than any we have found. This offer is to earnestly contend for the apostolic faith and oppose both Preterism and Futurism in the whole world.

Proverbs Commentary
What could the wisest man on earth charge per hour to authoritatively answer all life’s questions? $500 an hour? $5,000 an hour? But here is God’s inspired wisdom by King Solomon free of charge!

Proverbs 1:17 – What kind of people are as dumb as stupid birds?
“, “Proverbs 1:26 – “I also will laugh at your calamity”; a sober warning from Lady Wisdom.
“, “Proverbs 1:32 – Why are some people dumb enough to buy lottery tickets?
“, “Proverbs 2:5 – What are the simple steps to growing in wisdom?
“, “Proverbs 2:18 – Whores always build their houses on a slippery slope!
“, “Proverbs 3:10 – What is a sure way to financial success?
“, “Proverbs 3:11 – What are the four reasons bad things happen to good people?
“, “Proverbs 4:3 – What do loving parents do to prove their love?
“, “Proverbs 4:15 – How close should you get to foolish persons?
“, “Proverbs 5:3 – What about a women is delicious like honey and oil?
“, “Proverbs 5:19 – Does breast size really matter?
“, “Proverbs 6:7 – If you are not a self-starter, you are dumber than an ant!
“, “Proverbs 6:28 – What do fire walkers and chat rooms have in common?
“, “Proverbs 7:9 – What time of day does most fornication take place?
“, “Proverbs 7:13 – What are some of the methods of a whore?
“, “Proverbs 7:17 – What perfumed bed should you run away from fast?
“, “Proverbs 7:18 – How can making love all night long be horribly painful?
“, “Proverbs 7:18 – The enticing words of a strange woman; reject her invitation to hell!
“, “Proverbs 7:21 – How can a woman force a man to yield?
“, “Proverbs 8:12 – What is the source of witty inventions?
“, “Proverbs 9:8 – Why should you not waste your time with a scorner?
“, “Proverbs 9:17 – Why are stolen waters sweet? and who uses such reasoning?
“, “Proverbs 10:4 – How can a weak handshake indicate that a person is lazy?
“, “Proverbs 10:5 America is the land of opportunity, but you must take advantage of it!
“, “Proverbs 10:19 – Do you know what grows in proportion to the words you speak?
“, “Proverbs 11:16 – What is the simple and sure way for a woman to always be desired?
“, “Proverbs 11:24 – Do you want some economic wisdom never taught at Harvard?
“, “Proverbs 11:26 – Is cornering a market a great business skill, or evil cruelty?
“, “Proverbs 12:4 – There is a disease worse than leukemia, because it is not terminal!
“, “Proverbs 12:10 – How can you prove your righteousness with a Siamese cat?
“, “Proverbs 12:11 – Farming is a real job, unlike many modern “business opportunities”!
“, “Proverbs 12:27 – There is a problem when you don’t clean what you got hunting!
“, “Proverbs 14:4 – Do you know the “means of production” are taught in the Bible?
“, “Proverbs 14:23 – What should you do when someone offers you a “business opportunity”?
“, “Proverbs 15:1 – There is a sure way to stop the anger of someone you offend!
“, “Proverbs 15:15 – It is possible for your life to be a continual feast!
“, “Proverbs 15:28 – What should you say when you don’t know the answer to a question?
“, “Proverbs 16:2 – There is nothing worse than self-righteousness! Consider it well.
“, “Proverbs 16:9 – How can you and the Lord find the perfect husband?
“, “Proverbs 16:31 – What makes gray hair a crown of glory to a man or woman?
“, “Proverbs 17:1 – When is a saltine cracker better than a filet mignon dinner?
“, “Proverbs 17:2 – Is discrimination a real problem, or just an excuse?
“, “Proverbs 18:13 – Does conversation activate your tongue more than your ears?
“, “Proverbs 19:13 – How can a wife be like a Chinese water torture?
“, “Proverbs 20:14 – Did you know it is possible to pay too little for some things?
“, “Proverbs 21:9 – Why do some men always find reasons to stay away from home?
“, “Proverbs 22:6 – It is possible to guarantee the future success of your children!
“, “Proverbs 22:11 – There is an easy way to win the powerful people in your life!
“, “Proverbs 19:11 – You can become glorious by learning to pass over offences!
“, “Proverbs 22:15 – Foolishness is a genetic fault in children, but there is an antidote!
“, “Proverbs 22:21 – Absolute truth is in the world, and it is found only in the Bible!
“, “Proverbs 23:5 – Does your money grow wings and fly away? What should you do?
“, “Proverbs 23:31 – What does it mean not to look on wine when it is red?
“, “Proverbs 25:15 – Do you know how to persuade those in power over you?
“, “Proverbs 25:17 – After three days, dead fish stink; so do visitors staying too long!
“, “Proverbs 26:8 – Giving attention to a fool is like hitting yourself in the head!
“, “Proverbs 26:27 – What goes around comes around; believe it!
“, “Proverbs 27:8 – You are a lost bird, if you want to change your role in life!
“, “Proverbs 27:18 – Want to get promoted? Keep the fig tree for your employer!
“, “Proverbs 27:23 – Watch your business closely, it could get away from you!
“, “Proverbs 28:9 – If you don’t like preaching, your prayers will not be heard!
“, “Proverbs 30:17 – Rolling your eyes at your parents is a horrible crime!
“, “Proverbs 30:25 – Are you as smart as an ant? They know how to save!
“, “Proverbs 31:2 – Behind every great man there is a great woman – his mother!
“, “Proverbs 31:2 – Behind every great man there is a great woman – his mother!
“, “Proverbs 31:22 – The virtuous woman is a great cooker and a great looker!
“, “Proverbs 31:30 – Wives can be chosen three ways – two are foolish, but one is foolproof!
Proverbs 20:14 – Did you know it is possible to pay too little for some things?
Proverbs 30:17 – Rolling your eyes at your parents is a horrible crime!
Proverbs 31:2 – Behind every great man there is a great woman – his mother!

Does the KJV have Contradictions?
Those who love modern versions of the Bible look for “contradictions” in the King James Version. Their favorite “contradiction” is Ahaziah’s age when he became king. Little do they know that this “contradiction” contains hidden wisdom for humble believers. Little do they know they have introduced a serious contradiction in their own versions. Have fun with this case study! Be thankful you do not have a seminary degree (Matt 11:25-26)!

Does Your Church Have a Piano?
The Old Testament had musical instruments (Ps 150:1-6). But Jesus said God wanted new worship in spirit and truth (John 4:23-24). The New Testament requires singing with understanding – not making noise on instruments (I Cor 14:15; Eph 5:19; Col 3:16).

Christian Liberty
Balance is merely compromise, unless God defines the balance! The Bible and true Christianity are very strict where God has spoken, but they protect personal freedom in all other matters. Do you know God’s balance? Do you earnestly contend for the apostolic faith but allow men their preferences in all other things? Pharisees in all denominations make rules about personal things that God left up to you. But the truth allows great freedom and liberty in such things.

Once Saved, Always Saved
“Once saved, always saved” is a popular mantra of easy-believism that turns God’s grace into lasciviousness by promising eternal life to those with ungodly lives. It has no Biblical basis as it is commonly used. The God of heaven will not lose a single one of His elect, but the concept of “once saved, always saved,” based on decisional regeneration that obligates God rather than God’s work of grace leading to godly evidence, is wrong in both phrases.

Marry the Perfect Wife
Marry the Perfect Husband

Divorce and dysfunctional marriages are everywhere. Parents want their children to do better than they did. God created love, marriage, and sex. He knows more about these things than all counselors and sociologists combined. Here are score sheets from the Bible for men and women. Measure a few friends to get the feel. Let the scoring criteria and their definitions provoke conversation. Parents, do not violate the pass/fail rule (Pr 31:30).

 

For Ministers Only! Updated Weekly
The churches of Jesus Christ depend on faithful ministers working hard to defend the truth and oppose the world. For this reason, God inspired three Pastoral Epistles from Paul’s pen. With many pastors compromising today, as they rush to scratch the itching ears of worldly Christians, there is a need to remember the solemn duties charged to them at ordination (I Tim 6:13-16; II Tim 3:1 – 4:5). This web document, an online minister’s handbook, will be updated weekly with one more reminder from the Bible to provoke the soldiers in Christ’s kingdom.

 

Denominational Survey of Baptism
Jesus, Mary, and the apostles were Baptists. John the Baptist baptized them all. When you are immersed by a Baptist preacher, especially one named John the Baptist, you are a Baptist! There were no Catholics, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Methodists, Campbellites, Russellites, Pentecostals, Mormons, or other manmade denominations. Do you care enough about truth to check your baptism by this simple test of five rules? You should.

Every Word of God
Jesus said we must live by every word of God (Luke 4:4). Do you have a word-perfect Bible? Book publishers crank out a new Bible version every few months to pad their income statements, but each one has different words! Pastors tell more and more stories with less and less scripture in fewer and fewer minutes. The words of God are being lost and wasted. Jesus and Paul argued and preached from single words, so you better have a Bible that preservers each word and a pastor that preaches each word.

Seven Proofs of Unconditional Salvation
how are you saved? Did God save you by free grace? Or did you save yourself by some act? Or did you do something to cooperate with God and make Jesus Christ’s work effective for you? There are only two ways a sinner can be saved. Either God saves him unconditionally as a free gift of His grace, or he must do something in order to obtain it for himself. There is no other choice. All religions and doctrines are either unconditional or conditional. Either man does nothing for his salvation, or he must do something.

Should Christians Tithe?
A growing fad among some Christians is to deny tithing. Since there are no specific directions for tithing in the New Testament, they rejoice that they can skip this duty. So they leap on the no-tithing bandwagon and roll out their rabid rhetoric. It is time to take off their wheels and let the water of God’s word overwhelm them.

Do You Know My King?
Do you have 6 minutes and 38 seconds to rejoice in praise about the Lord Jesus Christ? Here is a Baptist pastor that loved to praise Jesus Christ. S.M. Lockridge (his initials stand for Shadrach Meshach) was the pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in San Diego from 1953 to 1993. While we cannot and do not endorse everything he believed or taught, we do appreciate this introduction to the Lord Jesus Christ as King!

A Mighty Man’s Life
Men! Have the thorns of jobs, riches, and pleasures choked out all desire for true success (Luke 8:14)? What have you accomplished today other than moving one day closer to death? When are you going to wake up and be a mighty man for the Lord? Save yourself from the bitter agony of a wasted life.

The Bible Babel
What do the Tower of Babel and modern Bible versions have in common? In both places God confounded the efforts of men who exalted their abilities and ideas over the word of God. He left them babbling in both places. If you want to see how confused and ignorant so-called Bible scholars are, take a look at their translating efforts of I Samuel 13:1. There is a Bible version that has been trusted for 400 years and can still be fully trusted today. Buy it! Read it! Trust it! Demand it!

Perilous Times of the Last Days
The greatest threat to the kingdom of Jesus Christ today is carnal, compromising, effeminate, and worldly Christianity. False teachers promote it on every side. The cure is simple, but few ministers will use it, since most hearers are demanding fables and entertainment instead. The importance of this prophecy cannot be overstated. You are living in the fulfillment of the perilous times!


 

Did Jesus Make Wine for a Wedding Feast?
Jesus had to deal with men in His day who enforced manmade rules in the name of religious tradition and self-righteousness – they were the scribes and Pharisees. The leaven (doctrine) of the Pharisees is still around today. Men condemn any use of wine or other alcoholic beverages and try to twist the Bible to support their manmade tradition. Here is the Bible refutation of an article by a respected teacher against the use of wine.

 

NKJV

Is the NKJV the word of God?
Most who use the New King James Version believe they are using a modern edition of the King James Version, because that is what Thomas Nelson Publishers wants them to believe. But the NKJV will condemn itself quite easily as not being the word of God or the KJV! Remember, the closer a counterfeit is to the original, the more difficult it is to identify as a fraud. If man must live by every word of God, we do not want to lose a single one (Luke 4:4).

The Witness of 70AD
Jesus Christ is Lord! There is no single greater evidence or proof of the divine origin of Christianity, the great glory and power of the Lord Jesus Christ as King of the kingdom of God, and the accuracy and reliability of the Bible than the prophecies and their fulfillments regarding the destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman armies under Titus in 70 AD.

Forgotten Sins
Do you know all the sins God hates? Or have you forgotten a few? What about emulations, prognostication, debate, purloining, and surfeiting? Jesus said if you break even the least of His commandments and teach men it is okay, you are the least in the kingdom of heaven (Matt 5:19). Many sins have been forgotten, because (1) men focus on sensational sins, (2) Pharisees overlook any sins of the heart, (3) society does not condemn them any longer, and (4) many of the English words are no longer used or understood. If you want to please your Father in heaven, here are some sins you ought to carefully avoid.

When Was Cornelius Saved?
Did Peter save Cornelius? By preaching? Or by baptism? Or did God save Cornelius by free grace in Jesus Christ, and Peter only told him about it? The record of Cornelius in Acts 10 is an inspired account of the first official Gentile conversion. Most today think that eternal life hinges on a decision made for Jesus during the repeated singing of “Just As I Am.” But Peter did not give an invitation, and they did not sing a funeral dirge played on an organ. Cornelius was accepted with God and born again long before meeting Peter. Read about it, and get the Bible order of salvation established in your mind.

Regeneration and Conversion
Do you understand the important difference?

Justification According to the Bible
How sinners are made just and righteous before God is of great importance. Both Arminians and Calvinists claim sinners must believe before God will justify them. We hold that justification is by Jesus Christ alone, just as our Baptist ancestors did in the 1600s. Read this worthy explanation by Samuel Richardson from 1647.

Self-Esteem Is Sick and Sinful
The Bible has all the answers that modern psychiatrists and psychologists keep trying to find, but they never will (II Tim 3:6-7). The Bible condemns self-love and self-esteem as arrogance, pride, self-will, and vanity, among other sins. Bible believers have known this for thousands of years, but recently a few scientists have confessed that the Bible is right after all. We could have saved them a lot of time and expense, but you cannot teach an educated man (Prov 26:12; I Cor 1:19-20; 3:19-20; II Tim 3:6-7).

Why I Believe the Bible
The world is full of competing holy books of various religions, but only one has the inspired words of Jehovah, the true and living God of heaven. The internal proofs for the Bible are more than sufficient to prove it is God’s word to a man with faith. Christianity did not originate and then produce a holy book. Christianity is the religion of an inspired book – the Bible. The Bible came first, and without it we would know nothing about Jesus Christ or His religion.

Is God the author of confusion?
The answer may surprise you! Yes, God will confuse anyone who approaches Him wrongly. And He has written the Bible to confuse most men and reveal the truth to His elect.”

Do you have a word-perfect Bible?
Jesus and the apostles had word-perfect Bibles, and they had never seen or heard of so-called originals. Does your pastor have a word-perfect Bible? If not, how does he preach the truth to you? If not, how do you check his doctrine?

Does God accept contemporary worship?
How can He? He burned Nadab and Abihu and killed Uzzah for slight modifications. He demands worship with reverence and godly fear, for our God is still a consuming fire.“, “Proverb 16:4
Why is there evil? Why do you exist? Why are ostriches so stupid? Why is the universe here? Where did we come from? Get a Masters degree in true philosophy by understanding this glorious Proverb!” ); Stop hiding –>

Is God the author of confusion?
The answer may surprise you! Yes, God will confuse anyone who approaches Him wrongly. And He has written the Bible to confuse most men and reveal the truth to His elect.

Church Discipline How to do what most churches don’t want to do.
Sonship of Christ Do you worship a begotten god like most?
Why I Believe the Bible Detailed evidence that the Bible is true.
Contemporary Christianity Inventions and innovations of today’s churches.

Questions Your Pastor Hopes You Won’t Ask!

In order to serve you for Christ’s sake, we have prepared questions to provoke your study of God’s word. He commanded us to prove all things (I Thess 5:21), and He praised those who search for Bible answers (Acts 17:11). These questions provoked us in the past to seek God’s answers, and we hope they will do the same for you. And if your pastor loves and preaches the truth, we love and pray for him.

When Will Elijah the Prophet Come?

When are the Names Written in the Book of Life?

When was Paul Saved?

Why Did Jesus Speak in Parables?

Was the Great Commission Fulfilled?

Who Killed Goliath in Your Bible?

When Was Cornelius Born Again?

What is the “Baptism for the Dead”?

What is the “word of God” in Hebrews 4:12?

What is the “Abomination of Desolation”?

Life-Cycle of a Rumour

Life-Cycle of a Rumour

“There are many signs in the heavens and the earth which they pass by; yet they pay no attention to them.” (Surah Yusuf, ayah 105)

Day One: ‘Disrespecting the Qur’ân: Girl turns into a lizard-like creature’ reads a caption. It has occurred somewhere in India. Girl was listening to music while Mom read the Qur’ân. She ignored Mom’s calls to turn-off the music.

Day Two: A local radio station presenter mentions the ‘incident’ fuelling more curiosity. A caller requests the website address where the ‘creature’ is posted. He wants to show this creature to his children as a lesson.

Day Three: A preacher uses the story to deliver a mimbar ‘lesson’

Day Four: The girl was watching TV

Day Five: Images (semi-nude) of the creature are posted on a masjid board to give musallees a ‘lesson with visual aids’.

Day Six: SkyNews reports of a hospital in India stormed by a riotous mob, curious to catch a glimpse of the girl-turned-lizard-like creature. Regardless, an Arabic website carries the image of the ‘lizard-girl’

Day Seven: Someone provides a web-link of the source page of the ‘creature’

Day Eight: The incident did not happen in India but in Oman

Day Nine: The Arabic website offers an apology for misleading the public. In other words, the matter is a hoax!

The Jamiatul Ulama is deeply concerned at the rate at which we are looking for ‘miracles’ to prove the validity of Islâm and its symbols such as the Qur’ân and so on.

While there are more than enough signs of Allâh’s Might and Wisdom within our own bodies and in the environment around us, the propensity to clutch on ‘miraculous’ occurrences and stories, regardless of their veracity is on the rise. Is it a symptom of the malaise and hopelessness in the Ummah? Is it a sign of growing inferiority complex?

Others have used numerology. Yet others catch snapshots of the kalimah or the name of Allâh curved in tree branches, on fish, on newborn foreheads, in clouds and so on. Recently, it was the tsunami waves which ‘read’ Allâh as they hit a South-East Asian beach. All this is said to prove the authenticity of our Dîn and its symbols.

Miracles do happen and indeed they point to the Majesty of the Almighty. However, it does not behove a believer to demand of them. That would border on disbelief. The Qur’ân is full of stories of generations who would demand a miracle as a sign but once the sign was given, it drove them deeper into disbelief. May the Almighty protect us.

The converse is also food for thought. If something does not happen to a desecrater of the Qur’ân (Guantanamo, Afghanistan, etc), does it mean (Allâh forbid) the Power of Allâh has failed? Would we doubt the existence of the Almighty then?

In one of the e-mails received on the story in question, one sender labelled the forwarding “unconfirmed.” This ‘unconfirmed’ tag should be the very reason for NOT forwarding such things through e-mails and other media lest we steep into cheap rumour-mongering!

When we send around stories like these, we portray of ourselves as people ready to jump on anything to ‘prove’ the validity of Islam and its symbols. Over time, we will not have anything but ‘miracles’ just as people of other faiths have become. Furthermore we risk clutching on something (possibly digitally-manipulated or otherwise) to prove that Islam is genuine only to discover later that it was all a hoax as has been the case in this ‘lizard’ story. Wouldn’t we playing into the hands of those bent at tarnishing the image of Islam?

It is therefore our appeal to all to stick to our heritage of what is sober, clean and elegant such as our own beautiful stories from the Qur’ân, Sunnah and the illustrious predecessors.

Let us leave all that digital manipulation bordering on vices such as nudity or other forms of indecency and stick to the pure and wholesome.

Related Links:
(Disclaimer: Jamiatul Ulama is not responsible for content appearing on external links which are used for reference only and should not be misconstrued as endorsement of those links’ or websites’ ideas, beliefs or content.)

http://www.sky.com/skynews/article/0,,30200-13313217,00.html

http://www.patriciapiccinini.net/wearefamily/index.php?sec=ll&pg=01

Prepared by:
Jamiatul Ulama, Johannesburg

A Western Construct? The Legacy of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

By FAISAL KUTTY

Fifty-eight years after the universal declaration of human rights was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, the debate continues as to whether the document is truly universal.

Upon its adoption on Dec. 10, 1948, former U.S. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, chair of the commission on human rights, expressed her hope it would become “the Magna Carta of all mankind.” Ironically, as was the fate with the “great charter” of 1215, the declaration has not fully lived up to its name.

The declaration was challenged from its very inception. The commission’s first draft attracted 168 amendments from various countries. However, the final document was almost unchanged from the initial draft tabled by the commission. Forty-eight countries voted in favour, while eight countries — Poland, Byelorussia, Czechoslovakia, the Ukraine, Yugoslavia, South Africa, Saudi Arabia and the Soviet Union — abstained and expressed reservations.

The conflicting views on the declaration have become more pronounced recently as human rights take a more central role in international and domestic forums. The critics of the current international human rights standards range from cultural relativists and Islamists to proponents of Asian values. They contend the existing international human rights regime is deeply influenced by the western experience. The spotlight on the individual, the focus on rights divorced from duties, the emphasis on legalism to secure these rights and the greater priority given to civil and political rights are all hallmarks of the western bias. In contrast, the Asian (including Buddhist, Taoist, Confucian, Hindu, etc.) and Islamic conceptions would emphasize community, duties to one another and society and some even place greater emphasis on economic, social and cultural rights.

The philosophical and ideological underpinnings defining human relationship with each other and society in many non-western societies are at variance with our fixation with individualism or what some would call radical individualism.

The focus on individual rights — in some cases to the detriment of the family and community — is not consistent with many non-western outlooks on human rights.

Confucian scholar Tu Weiming writes: “Confucian humanism offers an account of the reasons for supporting basic human rights that does not depend on a liberal conception of persons.”

However, this in no way implies that such views are totally devoid of consideration for the individual. The substructures of human rights in some non-western conceptions attempt to establish equilibrium between individualism and collectivism in ways that are different from ours. Far from being a contradiction, as documented by collectivists theorists such as Harry Triandis, individualism and collectivism can coexist and in fact can thrive together.

From the Confucian perspective, for instance, Weiming notes: “Human rights are inseparable from human responsibilities.”

Although in the Confucian tradition, duty-consciousness is more pronounced than rights-consciousness — to the extent that the Confucian tradition underscores self-cultivation, family cohesiveness, economic well-being, social order, political justice and cultural flourishing — it is a valuable spring of wisdom for an understanding of human rights broadly conceived.”

The natural law origin of the declaration also conflicts with the religious view that rights are derived from divine authority. Brazil’s suggestion the declaration ought to have referred to a transcendent entity was rejected outright during the debate leading to the declaration’s adoption. One argument says the denial of divine authority is essential to make the philosophy underlying rights protection universal. How can something be universal when it rejects the view of a significant component of the world’s population — not only eastern religions but also adherents of Christianity and Judaism — who believe in some form of divine authority? Why should the assumption of secular elite be imposed on everyone?

The extensive list of fundamental human rights is subject to certain general limitations, set out in articles 29 and 30 of the declaration. Article 29 (2), for instance, provides for “limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.” The different philosophies and views undoubtedly will produce equally valid interpretations of such restrictive articles and human rights standards in general.

A strong argument can be made that the current formulation of international human rights constitutes a cultural structure in which western society finds itself easily at home. This has led some western human-rights scholars to arrogantly conclude that most non-western societies lack not only the practice of human rights but also the very concept. This clearly overlooks the fact that we can only claim to be better than others because we use our own values and standards to measure them.

Dominance cannot be equated with the truth, though it is easy to get caught up in the old confusion between might and right.

It is important to acknowledge and appreciate that other societies may have equally valid alternative conceptions of human rights. Exiled Tunisian Islamist leader Rachid Ghannouchi once told a reporter: “I think a universal concept of human rights must come from the philosophical vision of all peoples.”

The call for a more inclusive conception is laudable, particularly given that even proponents of the other views acknowledge that there are certain universal values. For instance, the jailed former deputy prime minister of Malaysia, Anwar Ibrahim, a proponent of both Asian values and Islam, writes in his book, The Asian Renaissance, “To say that freedom is western . . . is to offend our own traditions as well as our forefathers, who gave their lives in the struggle against tyranny and injustice.”

Claims of universality do not ensure universal acceptance. Accommodating the various conceptions within the international framework may or may not be plausible. The difficulty of the task should not prevent us from grappling with this issue. At least from this exercise we may in fact learn that there are indeed certain truly universal ideals and principles shared by us all.

Indeed, the belief that the current international human rights regime is derived exclusively from the ideological framework of the west is a major obstacle in its acceptance as a truly universal vision. As suggested by a number of human rights scholars, the United Nations must initiate a project to rethink and reformulate the conception of human rights, taking into account the different philosophies that share this planet.

The only way to ensure universal acceptance of and compliance with international human rights law is by removing the crutch used for so long by human rights violators — that human rights as we know it today is a western construct.

Faisal Kutty is a Toronto lawyer, writer and doctoral candidate at Osgoode Hall Law School of York University. His articles are archived at http://www.faisalkutty.com and he can be reached at faisal@ksmlaw.ca.

ESKIMO NELL by Phil Fellman

(For Mike Ban, with Apologies to Reverend Clemens) My father was a spiritual cannibal. You might find this an odd turn of phrase, but I have never been able to find it within myself to regard exsanguination, even within one’s own species, as true cannibalism. And among all the half-truths and quarter truths surrounding our race, “the blood is the life” is the most nearly accurate and at the same time the most frequently abused. Certainly, my father had feasted upon hundreds if not thousands of my brothers and sisters. But it was their blood alone he took, and sometimes not even all of that, since the drawing of the blood was only the physical analogue of the drawing out of the life energy which sustained him. Of course, they were duly cremated upon the sacred ceremonial biers, for the last thing which my father would have wanted, or tolerated was competition. And this speaks to the heart of so many of the myths which surround our people. I still marvel a the popularity of the myth of the “Good Samaritan.” First of all, it should, of course, properly be called the myth of the “Good Samarian”,” but then the English have never been a particularly literate or sensitive race. I think that a recent Hollywood film got the right of it when the lead actor described Shakespeare as really being apprehensible in the fullness of its meaning only when read in the original Klingon. Back to Samaria. There are sorcerous legends which accrete to the Carmel the way coral accretes to bedrock in a reef. I call it “The Carmel” (the Hebrews would say “Ha Karmel”) because only Englishmen use that silly misnomer “Mount Carmel” for a place which is more properly a region, not unlike California’s Napa Valley, than what they are used to thinking of as a mountain. But it seems that English phrases are nearly always misleading. Take, for example, the association of Jews all throughout the Middle Ages with witchcraft, sorcery and vampirism. Nothing could be further from the truth, but while those of us of the sanguinary persuasion received the blessings of the Church of Rome (albeit unknowingly on the part of so many Bishops, Archbishops and Cardinals), those who refused to join the party organization were blamed for our sins and anyone else’s sins which happened to be conveniently lying about. No doubt, while they thought of themselves as “the chosen people”, outsiders, like myself have tended to view them more as a cursed race, or to borrow a phrase, “Good Samaritans” who are continually being punished for their good deeds (I believe the modern variant is “no good deed goes unpunished.”) When the Jews first came into the “Land of milk and honey”, they quickly found themselves between a rock and a hard place. Blood drinking Samarian devils to the North, and bloodthirsty Egyptian slavemasters to the South. Alas that our Kings survive now only as the images of golden idols or as the manifold names of the fallen Angels: Azazel, Ishtar, Astaroth, Bael, Baeljebab and, of course, my own father, Jerubabaal, for whom, in one of the ultimate ironies, the city of Jerusalem was named (it’s now called the “City of Peace” something it has never been in more than name only). The mighty are not only fallen, but forgotten and then eventually comicized (perhaps the proper historiographic term would be death by comicide). But tough as it was in Canaan, things were a lot worse in the South. There, while Egyptian princes married their sisters (for sustenance as much as anything else) and millions of slaves labored to build impossibly great Tomb-fortresses for their undead masters, the Jews found even less hope as sweaty laborers among the Pharaonic press gangs. Again, there was much irony here, since no Pharaoh would actually tolerate his predecessor rising up from the grave to rule eternally. The result was the institution of mummification and the removal of the organs of both dead and undead alike into canopic urns, which while they might grant life at the end of time (not unlike Christian Resurrection on the Day of Judgement) kept their occupants safely dead until the heat death of the universe. Eventually, the little godling, Alexander, whom the moderns call “The Great”, put an end to all of this, I suppose, in the hopes that he might rise up himself from the grave. Who knows? His tomb is still undiscovered and the death of his father (also rumoured to have been a blood drinker, at least among contemporary circles, though I have never seen it mentioned in the history books) took place under what must be regarded as suspicious circumstances at best. Still, nobody appears to have heard of this would be Emperor of the world one way or another. He might well have been dead for the past twenty two centuries, or he might be living in a studio apartment in Santa Monica studying self-help tapes… Anyway, back to the Jews. Already in the time of the Romans, when the power of our kind had faded vastly but not entirely, somehow, perhaps through the contrivance of a few of our survivors, it was they, rather than we who were tarred with the brush of witchcraft and sorcery. It did not help that the most famous among their lot was well documented in his rise from the dead nor that Solomon, their King who had built the Great Temple was well known for his ability to subdue Demons, by which I am certain the Jews meant our kind, but whom the ignorant Romans mistook for real supernatural beings of some imaginary underworld. And while our rule had long since been overthrown by the time the Romans came to Syria Palestina, a few holdouts, did, in fact, manage to survive. Most had hidden among obscure religious sects in the deep desert. The fact that most seekers after the wisdom which these cults were supposed to offer never reappeared distressed no one since they were presumed either to have found the wisdom which they were seeking or to have perished in the desert, which was, after all, a difficult place in which to survive even during the best of times. Still no matter how pressed, by the Romans, the Philistines, the Kings of Samaria, or the Egyptians, the Jews did the best they could. They appointed their Judges, who excelled through secret disciplines passed on in obscure ways, in rooting out our kind. Again among the half-truths, we can, indeed, simply feed upon the blood of other creatures if mere survival, rather than strength, pleasure and the power of presence is the only goal. The Judges, knowing of this practice, strictly enforced the law of “Kashrut”, which survives as kosher food in its modern, weakened form. Among the most important rules of Kashrut was the stricture demanding that any creature slain for food be killed humanely and drained of blood before being cooked and eaten. Also, rampant Stokerisms to the contrary, it was never rats which provided the easiest means of sustenance for bare survival, but the common village pig, so that under Kashrut, pork too was quickly outlawed. This made even those who tried to blend into the new society so conspicuous that it was almost impossible to escape death by stoning. While that death was not the true death to our kind, by the time the Rabbis finished with the body (which had actually been merely stunned into insensibility), no chance of further life was possible. Amazing that through all these clever devices, they succeeded in gradually whittling down our kind to almost nothing, only to be betrayed in the end by one of their own race. I suppose that sometimes the temptation to cheat death is too great even for wisest of men. Mr. Somerset Maugham, the best of those poor English writers, tells this as an amusing story about the last temptation of Christ. Notice, that in all the stories, Christ goes into the desert and is tempted by the Devil. In the original, of course the Devil is Satan or Lucifer, but the encounter lacks their gravitas and neither possessed the guile which Maugham attributes to his anglicized demon. No these were more along the lines of the deceptions so masterfully practiced by Astaroth, or even my own father, Jerubabaal. Surely the implications of this should not be lost on the reader. Maugham says that as in biblical commentary, Christ resisted all these temptations for forty days. However, the last temptation (apparently a device of Maugham’s own invention – but likely near the mark if not in the gold with respect to history) was that Christ was told that if he would accept his own death and resurrection, he might by his suffering redeem the sins of all mankind. If I had to wax literary I might comment that “it was not for nothing that they cut John the Baptist’s head off.” And if I need to wax archaeological, I might remind the reader that the mother of John the Baptist, who was the teacher in the desert, was named Elizabeth, or more properly speaking Elijah-beth. While this has been traditionally interpreted to mean that she was of the house of the prophet Elijah, it literally means (in the dialect of the times) “she who came out of the House of Elijah.” Well, it doesn’t take the skills of a great historical detective to figure out that Elijah lived several hundreds of years before Christ, yet his daughter was still alive and active in the time of Christ. You figure it out. During these times, we Samarians simply found our position slowly but constantly eroding. More half truths. How many times I have read of the creatures of faerie being unable to take the bite of cold iron. But it was never faeries they were talking about. No, wooden stakes were merely part of the burning ritual, and had little to do with the modern conception of such things. Actually, it was the Hyksos, who are now called Hittites, who discovered the secret of forging iron into steel, at least in our part of the world. And this new metal burned us in a way that bronze daggers and spears never had, often permanently disfiguring those of us whom it didn’t kill. Even I, who spent the better part of the Middle Ages avoiding swordfights, still have a hundred or more tiny scars from all the nicks and scratches which one accumulates simply from daily contact with this noxious substance. My worst daymare is the one in which the garbage disposal is possessed by a demon who simply gobbles up my arm. At least on those rare occasions when I must ride in a car (I generally beg off, claiming a combination of motion sickness, poor vision and an inability to drive myself) I make certain never to fasten the seat belt, precisely because if we do have an accident, I’ll be heading straight out the windshield and as far from all that sharp steel as I can get. But curiously enough, despite all the hazards of undead existence, it has never been our mortal adversaries who have been the major threat. If we wish to discover who has truly diminished our ranks to the point of nonexistence, we must look elsewhere. Rather than blame the mortals, I fear it has ever and always been our own race’s gluttony, pride, lust, envy, anger, sloth and rage. If the seven deadly sins are the bane of the individual mortal, then they are the collective bane of the Vampiric race. This is true even for those of us who exist merely as the barest whisper of a myth to our fellows as the rumour of “the Chosen Ones.” Once the Gods of our people, we are now close to vanishing into the fog of myth and folklore along with the Yeti, the Gandharva and the Leprechaun. Science fiction and fantasy writers often amuse themselves by contriving explanations for why the world is not filled with vampires. Some imagine a difficulty in the process of transformation. Others posit great vampiric wars and purges, not unlike the faint glimmers of truth afforded in the Biblical stories of Sodom and Gomorrah. Some even paint a most convincing picture of a discrete origin of the species, either as a separate race or as the combination of some series of natural evolution and supernatural mishap. The truth, as usual, is far less romantic than these clever imaginings. What we are, indeed what we have become, and how terribly low we have fallen is almost entirely the product of our own efforts, our own misdeeds and most particularly our own terrible shortsightedness. This last is particularly distressing, since it shows the ways in which even an extended lifespan has failed to produce wisdom in the human race. While there are those of us who have lived for thousands of years, the end of that lengthy span is almost always the product of an unshakable obsession with living for the moment. Jean-Paul Sartre would have been well gratified. In the end, we are merely the transitory breath of undeath yielding at last to that which we thought could never claim us. Our name is not Vampyr, but Folly. For example, as I have related, it is possible to survive on the blood of animals even though it is surely not palatable to do so. In an emergency even the blood of dead animals will do (if the Rabbis haven’t gotten to it first). Far more pleasurable to take the blood, and more importantly, the life-essence of humans. Even today, I sometimes wonder why the missing persons statistics are not taken more seriously. Surely, even the blindest of statisticians must see that even the pitiful remainder of our race takes a goodly chunk out of humanity each year. But then again, you are so busy destroying yourselves at an ever more furious rate, our activities, which were once considered grave depredations are no more than a pimple on the back of the Elephant of social injustice. And in any case, as I have been at great pains to explain, our numbers have for thousands of years remained pitifully few. This, if for no other reason than the fact that as humans stand to animals, so does the taking of another vampire, particularly one with great age and a correspondingly great concentration of life force in himself or herself, stand to the taking of a human. Nothing is so sweet to the vampire as taking the blood and soul of another of our otherwise undying race. There is a practical side to this as well. Should one be fortunate enough to absorb the life-force of one of the Old Ones, such as my father had been, that energy alone can be enough to sustain you for centuries without the need to feed as the lesser ones must. Perhaps in modern times this is not so important, but of old, this was an unparalleled survival mechanism. One might need to do a little protein replacement now and again (remember even the scars will fade, given enough time), however, this is but a minor inconvenience. This is why it is such a misconception about us to imagine that we cannot eat ordinary food. Certainly such things cannot provide us with enough energy to live for an extended period of time and the higher substances which are our true daily bread, must come from elsewhere. In fact ordinary food provides us little pleasure when compared to even ordinary blood, but that is neither here nor there. The real point of this digression is that we are, in the end, our own favorite source of life energy so that the greatest Vampire hunter of all is not the lone scientist, stake in hand, nor the angry mob armed with torches and pitchforks, but rather the swiftest and boldest of our own kind. While we’re talking about myths and half truths, we might as well also talk about the sun. Certainly most of us do not like the sun. Some of the weaker and younger ones cannot really rise up during daytime and if they should chance to do so, burns from sunlight, even third degree burns in the deserts of the south, are not impossible. While this may be unpleasant, I have never actually heard of any of our kind dying from exposure to the sun. And at least two kinds of vampire never have a problem with sunshine at all. The first are simply those who are very old or very strong. They may not prefer to go out at noon in a bathing suit, but attire them suitably, add a hat and dark sunglasses, and they will be fine. Moreover, most of them have drifted northward over the ages, where the weakened sun will bother them even less and their ability to blend in is further enhanced. Even in olden times there are hints of this, such as the Druids who lived inside the sacred trees, or in the shade of their groves and the Christians who made it such a strong point to cut down the groves and root the Druids out, or the gypsies who stay in their wagons by day and only come out to their campfires by night, not to mention the troll that lives under the bridge or inhabits only the dark glades of the Norse Troll Fells. The second kind of vampire who has no fear of the sun, those like myself, constitutes a different breed entirely, in fact you might almost say we are a separate species (I don’t believe that any biologist has properly studied speciation in this regard, so my contention may be literally as well as figuratively true.) While we may enjoy the night, and indeed, revel in it, we are by a curious combination of circumstances, quite literally creatures of the sun. This has to do with a variety of factors, most of which relate to how we were “born”, which is to say, created. In my particular case, it happened like this… Samaria was a good land in which to grow up. My father was King, and while he was not loved, Jerubabaal was feared by all and respected even by the foreigners, who knew not his true nature but who recognized his power over his subjects and his uncanny abilities, which included the rare gift of achieving his political objectives without having to go to war (some rumoured that this gift was reinforced by a secret band of assassins, although the truth was somewhat darker). My father kept a very large harem. I was the fifteenth child in a long line of princes and princesses who grew to maturity quickly and like falling stars which burn out in the night, were never seen again. Occasionally I would hear of a brother who had been a famous general or a great sailor, only to discover that he had been mysteriously lost at sea (or even drowned while swimming at night), or of an especially accomplished sister who had likewise strangely disappeared. When it came time for me to participate in the ceremony of manhood, I too was filled with dreams of becoming a great warrior, perhaps even becoming a king, like my father, some day. However, this was not to be. My father seemed to have had his fill of both generals and heroes. In fact, I quite think he had his fill of sons altogether, and by this point in his long existence, he had come simply to regard me as one more obstacle along his course to fulfillment (both literally and figuratively). So by the time of my “initiation” he no longer planned to raise me up to greatness and then drink more fully at my demise. I was, instead, the proverbial quick fix, just one more loose end to be cleaned up around the palace. As I have said, those who are very old or very powerful (and my father was both) need have little fear of the light. You might wonder why I say little rather than no fear at all, particularly given my previous explanation. Well it so happens that in the normal course of things, the master drains his victim, and that, as they say, is that. This, however, was not my father’s habit, as he had taken to a very special kind of gourmandizing, one which not only required a masterful precision with respect to controlling the time of the process but one which was also ultimately more fulfilling. His habit was to prepare his “victim” over a period of days, draining them a little more each day, and then drugging them heavily afterwards, so that they had no chance of escaping their bonds nor time to do little more than sleep. On the final night, he would perform the ceremony of exchange, and actually turn his victim. This is a long and complicated process, and may well last nearly until dawn. Then, in those last few remaining moments, before he had to deal with a potential rival, he would drain the victim completely, feasting as only one vampire can upon another. So he had been doing age after age, and all unbeknownst to us, his sons and daughters, his perennial victims. Only somehow, after all those millennia, in his strength, but also in the pride which accompanied his glory, he made a slight miscalculation with respect to the equinox. And so, what should have been a routine, albeit unusually gratifying ceremony, mutated wildly out of control and the victim became the victor. For there is a second kind of changing which can take place. It happens only rarely. In fact, this change is so rare that it is still known only as the vaguest of rumours even amongst our kind. Nonetheless it is true. If during the process of change, the sun should rise at the exact moment of the change, then another type of undead creature, one so rare that we have no name for it, is created. I say undead, for such creatures do not live in the normal sense of the world any more than common vampires do. Yet, other than the annoyance of cold iron, we are bothered not at all by the sun, or any of the other ills which afflict the undead either to greater or lesser degree. But most extraordinarily of all, our true food is solely and completely the blood of other vampires. Certainly any vampire revels in feeding upon another. But in our case it is a necessity, not a pleasure. While we can still appear to eat and drink normally, the effect is a thousandfold less upon us. Yet, I suppose those difficulties are mitigated by the rarity of our need to feed. Though he had thought to feast upon me, my father’s blood had, in fact, sustained me for more than a millennium. Another aspect of our being, rarely understood, because we ourselves are such a rarity is how sensitive we are to the presence of others of our kind. By our own kind, I mean, of course, vampires and not my particular sun-born breed. This sensitivity alone may be all that has kept our peculiar subset of the race alive. While we are inordinately sensitive to the presence, age and power of ordinary vampires, not a hint of our presence is ever felt by them, not until the very moment of consumption and triumph. Thus, as my father prepared to fasten his mouth upon my throat, I took him in the blink of an eye, and yet another great devil went down into the darkness of legend. Life after that was for the most part, normal. As I have said, I have an aversion to iron, and feel as if I am constantly getting cut and scarred although these incidents occur over decades and not days, but as I also remarked, the scars do fade over time. I have nothing personal against the “people of the night,” it is simply their misfortune to be one step down from me on what modern scientists call the food chain. As I am dealing with an endangered species, I try to feast sparingly. After realizing the foolishness of my escapades in Samaria, which deprived it of so much of the leadership which it could have used to preserve its independence (the name vendetta had not yet been invented but the concept was alive and healthy even then), I became more cautious. Also, with maturity, the feeling that quality is more important than quantity, allowed a judicious choice of victims to free me from spiritual cravings for centuries at a time. Lately I have relaxed these strictures just a bit, since modern times have seen vampiric escapades increase just a tad too frequently for comfortable anonymity. In this case, I feel that I am simply doing the ecologist’s proper part in trimming back excess population. Moreover, with the new breed, or perhaps I should say “new generation”, there has finally been enough to go around so that I don’t have to think about chasing down the dusty old relics of the past, any more. Or so I thought, until I met Eskimo Nell. As I mentioned, most of us drift northward over the years. While I have made enough over various investments during the years, I find it healthy (both psychologically and for the sake of appearance) to maintain what the literati call “a day job”. Certainly I have my hobbies, such as the violin and the collecting of various forms of art (after all, I can buy it new and wait for it to appreciate) but a job is one of the key ways in which one can blend in with society. In this case, I had taken a professorship with the University of Alaska. Alaska is a remote, isolated place, practically a separate country, and qualified academics of all types are hard to find there. In this case, I used my mathematics degree from Cambridge (the English one, not the new-fangled place in Boston) to secure a position as an instructor in mathematics to the would be businessmen and bureaucrats of the State’s capital. I had hardly been there a month, when walking into the fanciest hotel in town (built in the excesses of the Gold Rush by Russian Baron) when I felt the presence of perhaps the most ancient blood drinker I, who sent so many ancients to their eternal reward, had ever encountered.

There has to be equality

If Britons can join the Israeli army, those who fight for Palestine can’t be treated as terrorists

Ismail Patel
Tuesday December 5, 2006
The Guardian

The Arab-Israeli conflict is unlike any other regional conflict. As the UN secretary general, Kofi Annan, put it: “No other conflict carries such a powerful symbolic and emotional charge among people far removed from the battlefield.” Not surprisingly, this has had its impact on multicultural Britain, with different communities aligning themselves to varying degrees with the Israeli and Palestinian causes.

Everyone in a democracy has the right to argue for their views and engage in public debate. But there is no equality when it comes to how the British government treats those who want to give physical support to Israel and those who want to do the same for the Palestinians. Such double standards feed resentment in Britain’s Muslim community at the government’s failure to recognise its legitimate grievances, as highlighted in yesterday’s report by the thinktank Demos.

In recent months the media have reported on the recruitment of British Jews to fight in the Israeli army, now in its 40th year of occupation of Palestinian territory in defiance of international law and UN resolutions. Some are intending to emigrate; others to return to Britain after serving in the Israeli army. But we have not had a word of concern from the British government. In the Muslim community, however, the question is widely raised as to how British citizens can travel to another country and fight in its army of illegal occupation without any repercussions. Would that be the case if, say, a young Muslim or Briton of Palestinian origin travelled to the occupied Palestinian territories – let alone occupied Iraq – to protect his or her homeland or co-religionists? Of course not: such volunteers could expect to be arrested under this government’s anti-terrorism legislation as soon as they returned.

These Britons who go to fight for Israel are volunteering to serve in the frontline of Israel’s war in the illegally occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza. Some have acknowledged that they have been or will be engaged in the killing of Palestinians. Under international law they and those who facilitate their enlistment are committing war crimes.

Presumably the politicians’ silence can be explained by Britain’s support for the Israeli government, both diplomatic and military. But how does that sit with the government’s regular homilies to the Muslim community about citizenship and loyalty to the flag? It might be argued that as Israel is a state – unlike the Palestinian Authority or Palestinian political organisations – and Britons are entitled to dual citizenship, with any military-service obligations that entails, there can be no objection. But the fact that the Palestinian people have no state is of course at the heart of this uniquely internationally inflammatory conflict. And those fighting against the illegal occupation of their land are entitled to do so under international law.

The British government’s indifference to this recruitment is feeding the alienation and radicalisation of young Muslims, who can be labelled terrorists for even voicing support for the Palestinians.

Perhaps British citizens should not serve in foreign armies full stop. But the essential point is that there must be equality. If Britons are allowed to join the Israeli army, the same right should be accorded to those – particularly of Palestinian origin – who wish to volunteer to defend lands Israel occupies. Alternatively, both should be barred.

We need a shift in approach at the top. Tony Blair has expressed his desire to bring peace to the Middle East, but his actions – most recently his refusal to condemn Israel’s Beit Hanoun massacre at the UN – scarcely suggest an honest broker. At home and in the Middle East, it is time the British government showed some real even-handedness.

· Ismail Patel is chair of the Leicester-based campaign Friends of Al-Aqsa
iap_foa@yahoo.co.uk