Sarah Louise Baker
It won?t get you much mileage in the playground if you get into a fight and you say: “My uncle?s George Bush.” But mention Osama and the enemy backs off. To be the hardest kid on the block you would get no credibility saying your grandfather was Tony Blair, but kids who claim their grandfather is Osama bin Laden get instant respect, especially if they have some Middle Eastern credentials.
At the recent meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Countries, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Mahathir Muhamad, urged the Islamic world to unite in the struggle to achieve peace with honour and justice in the Muslim world. His request was rejected. The mass media focussed almost exclusively on his controversial remarks about the political power of world Jewry, and the meeting ended without a condemnation of the occupation of Iraq, or an expression of support for the Palestinian revolt in occupied Palestine. For those who wish to go beyond the sensationalist headlines, the World Crisis Web here records his speech in its entirety.
Shahed Amanullah & Naeem Mohaiemen
Fanatical bombers talk about “Islam”, but in fact Islam condemns these acts of violence. The Prophet Muhammad gave Muslim armies clear instructions not to attack civilians—women, children, the elderly, and religious people engaged in worship (2:194). The Qur’an does not recognize “collateral damage” as legitimate even during war. Some have tried to arbitrarily label Israeli civilians as “combatants” to circumvent Islamic injunctions - a logic that has no precedent in Islamic history.
Isanu Dyson, or Abu Hamza as he is known, is a revert to Islam and has been called the first American Taliban. Long before the press labeled Sulayman (John) Walker the American Taliban, and Yaser Esam Hamdi simply an enemy combatant, Dyson was actively speaking out in defense of the Taliban and what has been incorrectly identified as “radical” Islam. Abu Hamza agreed to this interview to help people understand the mood in the “new” America, how Muslim Americans reconcile religion and allegiance to their country, and to provide a better understanding of the Taliban, a group that continues to be drastically misrepresented in western press.
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