Islamic Renaissance now


By Hamid Golpira

The Islamic world is at the crossroads — either we have an Islamic Renaissance now or we will experience many years of backwardness.

The Islamic world has been in decline for over five centuries.

Once we experienced a golden age, and there is good reason to mourn its loss.

But the Moor’s last sigh shouldn’t last 500 years.

Something must be done to rectify the problem now.

It seems that we need a bit of etherealization, which is an expression used by historian Arnold Toynbee to describe what takes place when a civilization is flourishing.

So how do we etherealize the Islamic world?

Well, first we have to understand what we got right in the golden age.

To start an Islamic Renaissance, we have to return to our roots, but this does not mean returning to the past as Taleban-type elements would like to do.

We have to balance modernity and tradition.

And this is what we got right at the advent of Islam and during the golden age.

We understood and adapted to the times we lived in while maintaining our religious ideals.

We had spirituality and also academic scholarship and science.

Muslims never had a great Dark Ages where science was superstitiously rejected like the Europeans experienced.

However, we are in the middle of a 500-year decline that is like a dark age.

We Muslims have to understand that we live in the Information Age.

Yet, we must learn how to balance Information Age modernity and Islamic tradition.

We should not become materialists with little or no spirituality, like the Westerners, but we should also not try to become spiritual people disconnected from the times we live in.

Everything is in the balance and we must learn to strike that balance.

The new Islamic Renaissance must be an Information Age Islamic Renaissance because this is the era we live in.

The beauty of Islam is that it is adaptable to every era.

When the Europeans were in the middle of their Dark Ages, the Islamic world reached the heights of art, culture, science, philosophy, literature, architecture, and many other fields.

Many historians say the Islamic civilization actually inspired the European Renaissance.

So what went wrong in the Islamic world?

The answer is obvious.

We forgot who we are. We lost our identity.

We lost sight of that beauty of Islam which is adaptable to every era.

Most of the Islamic world was colonized by the Europeans, and our identity crisis became exacerbated.

After the colonial era ended, we became the victims of neocolonialism.

Even the minds of most Muslims have become colonized in the ongoing cultural war.

South African revolutionary Steve Biko once said: “The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.”

The Muslims broke up into different groups.

One group is influenced by the Westerners and tries to be secular materialists like them. They are sometimes called moderate Muslims but most of them are not very Muslim at all in reality.

Another group rejects the West and has adopted a form of Islamic traditionalism that is sometimes called fundamentalism but which is really not fundamentalism because they are out of touch with the modern world, whereas the fundamental teachings of Islam require Muslims to be in tune with the times we live in.

A third group rejects both of these approaches and opts for a form of Islamic mysticism disengaged from the world, which is not really Islamic mysticism because true Islamic mystics are engaged with the world and seek to help people, especially the oppressed masses and those who are spiritually lost.

All of these groups are going in the wrong direction, but each of them also has a piece of the answer.

We Muslims must synthesize these three approaches to regain our identity and start the new Islamic Renaissance.

We must utilize Information Age technology, but avoid getting lost in materialism.

We must hold fast to the Islamic tradition and the Islamic law, the sharia, but avoid stiff interpretations of the law, arrogant self-righteousness, and intolerance.

And we must understand mysticism and live the mystical life, but avoid selfish individualism and narcissistic fantasy.

If we can do this, we can reconnect with the beauty of Islam which is adaptable to every era, balance modernity and tradition, regain our Islamic identity, and start the new Islamic Renaissance.

What If Iran Had Invaded Mexico?

5 April 2007
by Guest Blogger

by Noam Chomsky

Unsurprisingly, George W. Bush’s announcement of a “surge” in Iraq came despite the firm opposition to any such move of Americans and the even stronger opposition of the (thoroughly irrelevant) Iraqis. It was accompanied by ominous official leaks and statements—from Washington and Baghdad—about how Iranian intervention in Iraq was aimed at disrupting our mission to gain victory, an aim which is (by definition) noble. What then followed was a solemn debate about whether serial numbers on advanced roadside bombs (IEDs) were really traceable to Iran; and, if so, to that country’s Revolutionary Guards or to some even higher authority. Continue reading “What If Iran Had Invaded Mexico?”

Iran Says It Can Enrich Uranium on a Large Scale

April 10, 2007

Iran Says It Can Enrich Uranium on a Large Scale

NATANZ, Iran, April 9 — Iran said Monday that it was now capable of industrial-scale uranium enrichment, a development that would defy two United Nations resolutions passed to press the country to suspend its enrichment program.

The announcement was greeted with skepticism by Western diplomats and nuclear experts, who said the declaration seemed to have more to do with political showmanship than technical progress. While reporters were invited to the country’s main nuclear complex at Natanz, they were not shown any evidence that enrichment of uranium, the step needed to make reactor fuel or bomb fuel, was under way.

In a speech on Monday, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warned that if the West did not end its pressure against Iran to halt the production of uranium, Iran would review its policy of cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations nuclear monitoring entity. Continue reading “Iran Says It Can Enrich Uranium on a Large Scale”

UN resolution condemning Holocaust denial

On Friday the United Nations is expected to approve a resolution condemning Holocaust denial, one year after the first Holocaust remembrance day was celebrated. The bill was brought forward by the US, the European Community, Russia, Australia, Canada and Israel, and so far has 82 co-sponsors. The resolution was created in response to Iranian President Ahmadinejad’s repeated statements denying the holocaust ever happened, while at the same time promising to finish what Europe started – the extermination of the Jewish race.Quote: “The Israeli mission is hoping that a majority of at least 104 countries will support the resolution, as in the historical vote of November 1, 2005, designating January 27 as the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. The second International Holocaust Day will be commemorated next Monday. Continue reading “UN resolution condemning Holocaust denial”

US pushes strategy of sowing discord among Muslims – Iranian official

Published: Jan 10, 2007
Text of report in English by Iranian news agency IRNA website

Tehran, 10 January: Head of the Islamic Culture and Relations Organization (ICRO), Mahmud Mohammadi Araqi, said here Wednesday [10 January] that the US is currently pushing the strategy of sowing discord among Muslims to reach its ominous goals in the Middle East.

Mohammadi Araqi made the statement while speaking to IRNA in an exclusive interview.

“Following failure of the US policies in the Middle East region and victory of the Islamic Resistance Movement in Lebanon against Israeli invasion (July-August, 2006), the US has currently pressed ahead with strategy of causing discord among Muslims,” he said. Continue reading “US pushes strategy of sowing discord among Muslims – Iranian official”

ISRAEL has drawn up secret plans to destroy Irans uranium enrichment facilities with tactical nuclear weapons.

Uzi Mahnaimi, New York and Sarah Baxter, Washington

 

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2089-2535310_1,00.html

 

ISRAEL has drawn up secret plans to destroy Irans uranium enrichment facilities with tactical nuclear weapons.

Two Israeli air force squadrons are training to blow up an Iranian facility using low-yield nuclear bunker-busters, according to several Israeli military sources.

The attack would be the first with nuclear weapons since 1945, when the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Israeli weapons would each have a force equivalent to one-fifteenth of the Hiroshima bomb.

Under the plans, conventional laser-guided bombs would open tunnels into the targets. Mini-nukes would then immediately be fired into a plant at Natanz, exploding deep underground to reduce the risk of radioactive fallout.

As soon as the green light is given, it will be one mission, one strike and the Iranian nuclear project will be demolished, said one of the sources.

The plans, disclosed to The Sunday Times last week, have been prompted in part by the Israeli intelligence service Mossads assessment that

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Israeli military commanders believe conventional strikes may no longer be enough to annihilate increasingly well-defended enrichment facilities. Several have been built beneath at least 70ft of concrete and rock. However, the nuclear-tipped bunker-busters would be used only if a conventional attack was ruled out and if the United States declined to intervene, senior sources said.

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Israeli and American officials have met several times to consider military action. Military analysts said the disclosure of the plans could be intended to put pressure on Tehran to halt enrichment, cajole America into action or soften up world opinion in advance of an Israeli attack.

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Some analysts warned that Iranian retaliation for such a strike could range from disruption of oil supplies to the West to terrorist attacks against Jewish targets around the world.

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Israel has identified three prime targets south of Tehran which are believed to be involved in Irans nuclear programme:

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Natanz, where thousands of centrifuges are being installed for uranium enrichment

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– A uranium conversion facility near Isfahan where, according to a statement by an Iranian vice-president last week, 250 tons of gas for the enrichment process have been stored in tunnels

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– A heavy water reactor at Arak, which may in future produce enough plutonium for a bomb

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Israeli officials believe that destroying all three sites would delay Irans nuclear programme indefinitely and prevent them from having to live in fear of a second Holocaust.

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“,1] ); //–>Iran is on the verge of producing enough enriched uranium to make nuclear weapons within two years.

Israeli military commanders believe conventional strikes may no longer be enough to annihilate increasingly well-defended enrichment facilities. Several have been built beneath at least 70ft of concrete and rock. However, the nuclear-tipped bunker-busters would be used only if a conventional attack was ruled out and if the United States declined to intervene, senior sources said.

Israeli and American officials have met several times to consider military action. Military analysts said the disclosure of the plans could be intended to put pressure on Tehran to halt enrichment, cajole America into action or soften up world opinion in advance of an Israeli attack.

Some analysts warned that Iranian retaliation for such a strike could range from disruption of oil supplies to the West to terrorist attacks against Jewish targets around the world. Continue reading “ISRAEL has drawn up secret plans to destroy Irans uranium enrichment facilities with tactical nuclear weapons.”

Iraqi Report Could Prove Damaging to Germany

Current Affairs | 17.12.2002

Iraqi Report Could Prove Damaging to Germany

 

Volatile information - the weighty Iraqi report on its weapons program

Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift:  Volatile information – the weighty Iraqi report on its weapons program

 

Iraq’s declaration of its weapons programs contains explosive news for Germany, a Berlin paper has reported. The dossier is said to detail covert arms deals between German defense firms and Iraq.

Just as the heated debates within the German government over the role of German troops and equipment in a possible war against Iraq seem to be cooling down, another potential bombshell threatens to reignite the fires.

On Tuesday, the Berlin-based left-wing paper, Tageszeitung reported that aspects of the 12,000-page Iraqi report on Iraq’s weapons programs, submitted to the U.N last week, could prove highly embarrassing for Germany.

The newspaper – believed to be the first to have access to the top-secret dossier – has written that the Iraqi declaration contains the names of 80 German firms, research laboratories and people, who are said to have helped Iraq develop its weapons program.

Germany, Iraq’s number one arms supplier?

The most contentious piece of news for Germany is that the report names it as the number one supplier of weapons supplies to Iraq. German firms are supposed to easily outnumber the firms from other countries who have been exporting to Iraq. Continue reading “Iraqi Report Could Prove Damaging to Germany”

A Time to Break Silence: U.S. complicity in Saddam’s crimes

A Time to Break Silence:
U.S. complicity in Saddam’s crimes
against humanity
by Paul Rockwell
Oakland, California

Years ago, at the peak of the Vietnam War, Clergy and Laymen Concerned about Vietnam published a book, “In The Name Of America”, a shocking document on the systematic violations of the laws of war by U.S. forces abroad. The graphic information played a role in Dr. King’s decision to “break silence,” to speak out against U.S. foreign policy in Vietnam.

A time to break silence has come again, a time to raise our voice against U.S. complicity in crimes against humanity.

We now know who supplied Saddam Hussein with materials of mass destruction; where his military regime, notorious for atrocities against Iraqis, Iranians and Kurds, acquired helicopters, germs and lethal chemicals — an arsenal of terror. Iraq acquired its weapons of mass destruction from the United States, from Germany, France and Britain as well — the very countries leading a weapons inspection of Iraq.

Last month the Iraq Weapons Inventory included a long list of Western and U.S. companies (Union Carbide, Honeywell, Dupont, SpectraPhysics, Bechtel are some mentioned in The Nation, 1/13/2003) that supplied Saddam with deadly and dual-use material. Hoping to disguise its own culpability in Iraq’s past war crimes, the U.S. suppressed the list, but the dossier was leaked to a German newspaper, “Die Tageszeitung”.

More information trickled onto the back pages of “The New York Times” and “The Washington Post”. The main facts are no longer in dispute. In violation of the Geneva Protocol of 1925 (which outlaws chemical warfare), the Reagan-Bush administration authorized the sale of poisonous chemicals and deadly biological viruses, from anthrax to bubonic plague, throughout the ’80s. In 1982, while Saddam Hussein constructed his machinery of war, Reagan and Bush removed Iraq from the State Department list of terrorist states.

According to newly declassified documents mentioned in “The Washington Post Weekly Edition” (1/6-12/2003), Iraq was already using chemical weapons on an “almost daily basis” when Donald Rumsfeld met with Saddam Hussein in 1983, consolidating the U.S.-Iraq military alliance.

Subsequently, the Pentagon supplied logistical and military support; U.S. banks provided billions of dollars in credits; and the C.I.A., using a Chilean conduit, increased Saddam’s supply of cluster bombs. U.S. companies also supplied steel tubes and chemical substances, the types of material for which the Security Council is now searching.

As late as 1989 and 1990, according to a report from U.S. representative Dennis Kucinich (Democrat, Ohio), U.S. companies, under permits from the first Bush administration, sent mustard gas materials, live cultures for bacteriological research, to Iraq. U.S. companies helped Iraq build a chemical weapons factory, and then shipped Hussein a West Nile virus, hydrogen cyanide precursors, and parts for a new nuclear plant.

The infamous massacre at Halabja — the gassing of the Kurds — took place in March 1988. On September 19, sixth months later, U.S. companies sent eleven strains of germs, four types of anthrax to Iraq, including a microbe strain, called 11966, developed for germ warfare at Fort Detrick in the ’50s. (Judith Miller provides a partial account of the sordid traffic in U.S. chemicals and germs in her book, “Germs: Biological Weapons And America’s Secret War”.)

Dow Chemical (infamous for its napalm in the Vietnam War) sold large amounts of pesticides, toxins that cause death by asphyxiation. Twenty-four U.S. firms exported arms and materials to Baghdad. France also sent Hussein 200 AMX medium tanks, Mirage bombers, and Gazelle helicopter gunships. As Assistant Secretary of Defense Richard Armitage testified in 1987: “We cannot stand to see Iraq defeated.”

The vast, lucrative arms trade in the Middle East laid the groundwork for Saddam’s aggression against Kuwait. Without high-tech weapons from Europe and the U.S.–from the very countries now conducting an arms proliferation investigation — Iraq’s wars against Iran and Kuwait would never have taken place. Continue reading “A Time to Break Silence: U.S. complicity in Saddam’s crimes”

Battle lines are drawn as Israeli allies with Arab regimes

Battle lines are drawn as Israeli allies with Arab regimes

Dec 21

 

Bethlehem – Ma’an It has been revealed to Ma’an News Agency that a secret meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora, the political advisor to the Egyptian president, Osama El Baz and the head of Saudi national security, Prince Bandar, was held two months ago, during the Eid feast following Ramadan, in Sharm el Sheikh.

The source, a specialist in Israeli affairs, added that the meeting, which was held in the residence of the Egyptian president, lasted for five hours in which the participants discussed mutual coordination and cooperation between Egypt, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Israel and its allied forces in Lebanon, to jointly face the Tehran-Damascus axis and the coalition of militant groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad.

The Israeli Prime Minister allegedly told the Lebanese Prime Minister that the international presence in southern Lebanon, and the American support given to their friends, “has created a path, along which lies an unprecedented opportunity to get rid of the Iranian and Syrian allies in Lebanon”, the source added.

The source also confirmed that Lebanese Prime Minister Siniora told his Israeli counterpart that his government insists on the spread of law and order throughout the country, and to dismiss and disarm any militia, including the arms of Hezbollah, and to end the presence of any groups or people who are pro-Iran or pro-Syria.


Friends of Al Aqsa is a voluntary organisation concerned with the defence of
Al Aqsa Haram Sharif and the protection of Palestinian Human Rights.
http://www.aqsa.org.uk
Contact:
P.O. Box 5127, Leicester. LE2 0WU. England.
Tel 077 11 823 524
Fax ++ 44 [116] 253 7575
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Friends of Al Aqsa is a voluntary organisation concerned with the defence of
Al Aqsa Haram Sharif and the protection of Palestinian Human Rights.
http://www.aqsa.org.uk
Contact:
P.O. Box 5127, Leicester. LE2 0WU. England.
Tel 077 11 823 524
Fax ++ 44 [116] 253 7575