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Archive for February, 2010

YouTube – Why and How to Learn Arabic for Comprehension of the Quran – Nouman Ali Khan

February 14, 2010 Leave a comment

In The Name of Allah, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful

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YouTube – Who Are the People of Taqwa? – Nouman Ali Khan

February 14, 2010 Leave a comment

In The Name of Allah, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful

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more about “Who are the people of Taqwa?“, posted with vodpod

YouTube – The Healthy Marriage By Nouman Ali Khan

February 13, 2010 Leave a comment

In The Name of Allah, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful

Mahsa’allah, this is a really good introductory lecture on marriage in Islam.

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Being the Best to our Parents By Nouman Ali Khan

February 12, 2010 Leave a comment

In The Name of Allah, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful

Masha’allah, this lecture given by brother Nouman Ali Khan is a wonderful reminder of our duties towards our parents.

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The Mamilla Cemetery in Jerusalem | Center for Constitutional Rights

February 12, 2010 Leave a comment

In The Name of Allah, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful

The Mamilla Cemetery in Jerusalem | Center for Constitutional Rights.

The Mamilla Cemetery in Jerusalem

Synopsis

The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and other groups have filed a petition on behalf of the Palestinian descendants of those buried in an ancient Muslim cemetery, the Mamilla Cemetery, in Jerusalem. The petition, which was filed with several international bodies, urges Israel to: halt construction of the museum; investigate human rights violations; rebury human remains; and declare the Mamilla Cemetery a protected antiquities site.

For additional information, please visit the Mamilla Campaign website at  www.mamillacampaign.org.

Status

On February 10, 2010, the Petition was filed with the U.N. Special Rapporteurs on Freedom of Religion and Belief and on Contemporary Forms of Racism; the Independent Expert in the Field of Cultural Rights; the High Commissioner for Human Rights; and the Director General of UNESCO.

Description

The Petitioners are individuals whose human rights have been violated by the destruction and desecration of an ancient Muslim cemetery, the Ma’man Allah (Mamilla) cemetery in Jerusalem, by the government of Israel working in conjunction with the Simon Wiesenthal Center (“SWC”) of Los Angeles, California. Petitioners also include human rights non-governmental organizations concerned about this desecration.  A significant portion of the cemetery is being destroyed and hundreds of human remains are being desecrated so that SWC can build a facility to be called the “Center for Human Dignity – Museum of Tolerance” on this sacred Muslim site.

The Mamilla Cemetery is an ancient Muslim burial ground and holy site believed to date back to the 7th century, when companions of the Prophet Muhammad were reputedly buried there. Numerous saints of the Sufi faith and thousands of other officials, scholars, notables and Jerusalemite families have been buried in the cemetery over the last 1000 years. The Muslim Supreme Council declared the cemetery an historical site in 1927, and the British Mandate authorities pronounced it an antiquities site in 1944. It was an active burial ground until 1948. After the new State of Israel seized the western part of Jerusalem in 1948, the cemetery fell under Israeli control, and like other Islamic endowment properties, or waqf, the Mamilla Cemetery was taken over by the Custodian for Absentee Property. Since then, Muslim authorities have not been allowed to maintain the cemetery.

The Israeli government and the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) are currently building the “Center for Human Dignity–Museum of Tolerance” on a portion of the Mamilla Cemetery. This construction project has resulted in the disinterment of hundreds of graves, and the whereabouts of the countless human remains that have been disposed of are unknown. Israel and the SWC plan to continue the erection of the museum atop thousands of more graves.

The importance of the Mamilla cemetery to Muslims is well-known to Israel. In 1948, the year control of the cemetery was taken over by Israel, the Israeli Religious Affairs Ministry recognized Mamilla “to be one of the most prominent Muslim cemeteries, where seventy thousand Muslim warriors of [Saladin’s] armies are interred along with many Muslim scholars. Israel will always know to protect and respect this site.” As recently as 1986, in response to an investigation by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) regarding Israel’s development projects on Mamilla, the Israeli government stated that “no project exists for the deconsecration of the site and that on the contrary the site and its tombs are to be safeguarded.” Despite these reassurances and the cemetery’s inclusion in a Israeli Antiquities Authority list of “Special Antiquities Sites,” Israel in fact destroyed a large section of the cemetery during the period in which the statement was made.

Despite officially recognizing its importance, Israel has steadily encroached on the Mamilla Cemetery with the erection of buildings, parks and even parking lots. The construction of the “Center for Human Dignity – Museum of Tolerance” is only the latest such development project. Israel and the SWC have attempted to justify this development by claiming that the cemetery is no longer sanctified, based on a 1964 proclamation by a Shari’a or Islamic law judge who lacked legitimacy in the Muslim community. The President of the Shari’a Court of Appeals in Israel has since deemed this ruling to be void, and affirmed that the sanctity of cemeteries is eternal in Islam.

Israel has an obligation to respect and protect the holy sites of its minority religious and ethnic populations, including Mamilla cemetery, under international law, United Nations resolutions and under its own domestic law. Despite Israel’s legal obligations, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled in favor of construction of the museum and the government has refused to halt the disinterment of bodies and the destruction of the ancient cemetery. For this reason, the petitioners have decided to bring this issue to the international community with the aid of human rights organizations such as CCR.

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Timeline

February 10, 2010: Petitioners filed Petition for Urgent Action on Human Rights Violations by Israel: Desecration of Ma’man Allah (Mamilla) Muslim Cemetery in the Holy City of Jerusalem.

Afghan Civilians Imperiled by US/NATO Assault in Marjah | Just Foreign Policy

February 12, 2010 Leave a comment

In The Name of Allah, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful

May Allah SWT protect the Mu’mineen of Afghanistan.

Afghan Civilians Imperiled by US/NATO Assault in Marjah | Just Foreign Policy.

The United States and NATO are poised to launch a major assault in the Marjah district in southern Afghanistan. Tens of thousands of Afghan civilians are in imminent peril. Will President Obama and Congress act to protect civilians in Marjah, in compliance with the obligations of the United States under the laws of war?

Few civilians have managed to escape the Afghan town of Marjah ahead of a planned US/NATO assault, raising the risk of civilian casualties, McClatchy News reports. “If [NATO forces] don’t avoid large scale civilian casualties, given the rhetoric about protecting the population, then no matter how many Taliban are routed, the Marjah mission should be considered a failure,” said an analyst with the International Crisis Group.

Under the laws of war, the US and NATO – who have told civilians not to flee – bear an extra responsibility to control their fire and avoid tactics that endanger civilians, Human Rights Watch notes. “I suspect that they believe they have the ability to generally distinguish between combatants and civilians,” said Brad Adams of Human Rights Watch. “I would call that into question, given their long history of mistakes, particularly when using air power. Whatever they do, they have an obligation to protect civilians and make adequate provision to alleviate any crisis that arises,” he said. “It is very much their responsibility.”

Indeed, a report in the Wall Street Journal casts fresh doubt on the ability – and even on the interest – of U.S. forces to distinguish combatants from civilians. “Across southern Afghanistan, including the Marjah district where coalition forces are massing for a large offensive, the line between peaceful villager and enemy fighter is often blurred,” the Journal says. The commander of the U.S. unit responsible for Pashmul estimates that about 95% of the locals are Taliban or aid the militants. Among front-line troops, “frustration is boiling over” over more restrictive rules of engagement than in Iraq, the Journal says – a dangerous harbinger of potential war crimes when the U.S. is about to engage in a major assault in an area densely populated with civilians.

If the U.S. assault in Marjah results in large scale civilian casualties, the U.S. will have committed a major war crime. If the United States cannot protect civilians in Marjah, as the U.S. is required to do under the laws of war, the assault should be called off.

Pentagon tells about its new military doctrine. U.S. wants to fight around the world – Kavkazcenter.com

In The Name of Allah, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful

Pentagon tells about its new military doctrine. U.S. wants to fight around the world – Kavkazcenter.com.

The Pentagon will no longer shape the US military to fight two major conventional wars at once, but rather prepare for numerous conflicts and not all in the same style, according to a draft of a new strategic outlook the Pentagon is announcing on Monday.

The new mantra for military planners will replace the almost 25-year-old combat planning style of fighting and winning two major conventional wars in two different locations in favor of a fighting force that is capable of protecting US interests around the world from a range of threats, from “terrorism” to cyber attacks.

The change will be addressed in the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review, a congressionally mandated document that looks at future threats and the military’s requirements to mitigate them.

“It is no longer appropriate to speak of major regional conflicts as the sole or even primary template for sizing, shaping or evaluating US forces,” according to a draft first obtained by Inside Defense.

The review will come on the same day the Pentagon presents its 2011 budget.

According to Pentagon officials, Defense Secretary Robert Gates will be asking for $ 708 billion, including funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — $ 44 billion more the 2010 budget of $ 664 billion.

The last major review was released in 2006 and the Pentagon’s view of the world has changed dramatically in the four years since.

The 2006 review was heavily focused on the threat of a large-scale conventional war with China and that country’s saber rattling over Taiwan. It also stressed the need for more of and a greater role for special forces troops for use in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The 2010 review still stresses the threats from China, but will look at the need to defend against a growing threat of cyber attacks — without directly tying China to past cyber attacks, according to Pentagon officials — and China’s focus on preemptively striking and crippling an adversary’s ability to tell what it will do next ahead of a large attack.

“Prudence demands that future conflicts could involve kinetic and non-kinetic (use of explosive weapons and laser weapons) attacks on space-based surveillance and communications,” according to the draft.

The review will put heavy stress on quenching the insatiable need for more unmanned aerial vehicles, including Predator and Reaper, the Air Force’s premier UAV’s used by the military for both reconnaissance and air strikes. The aircraft are used in Iraq, Afghanistan and over Pakistan and Gates has said the Pentagon needs more.

According to the draft review and US military officials, the Pentagon is looking at building up the number of aircraft in the air over combat zones from about 40 to 50 by 2013 and to 65 by 2015.

The review also stresses learning better and more efficient ways to use the drones by improving operating effectiveness and using new technologies.

The UAV category is just one way the Pentagon is shifting its priorities to position itself for current and future conflicts.

Roadside bombs continue to be the number one killer of US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. The QDR roadmap continues to recognize the need to protect US troops by enhancing training and intelligence.

Intelligence shows that “terrorists” have plotted to get their hands on biological, chemical or nuclear material to attempt and attack and the Pentagon foresees weapons of mass destruction to be a continued threat in the future and will push better WMD detection capabilities.

“The Department will expand capabilities to counter WMD threats, strengthen interdiction operations, refocus intelligence requirements, enhance and grow international partnerships and thwart proliferation,” the draft says.

While special operations forces (SOF) continue to be a priority from the 2006 QDR, the new review places emphasis on improved support for the elite troops.

That support is expected to include new gunship aircraft to protect the troops during combat missions as well as additional support personnel who would improve intelligence and communications for the SOF troops.

The review will also push for more helicopters, something Gates has said the military never can have enough of. A key tool in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to move troops and equipment safely and faster across those countries, they are also a necessity in humanitarian efforts like those after Hurricane Katrina and most recently for the delivery of aid in Haiti.

With the main military effort focused on Afghanistan, the review says a priority will be put on helicopters there.

“As operations in the rugged terrain of Afghanistan grow in scope and intensity, more rotary wing lift capacity will be needed to ensure that coalition and Afghan forces can be resupplied at remote outposts and effectively cover their areas of responsibility,” according to the draft.

But as the Pentagon looks to its new planning for future conflicts, the report also says it can be done in an environmentally responsible way by using more solar power, biofuels and overall energy independence as well as pointing out that the Department of Defense, “provides environmental stewardship” at hundreds of bases around the country.

However, a bigger challenge the Pentagon will face is future conflicts fought around and over reduced resources and environmental catastrophes.

The review calls these climate change scenarios, “accelerant of instability” and suggests the military will have to plan on operations where climate (rising sea levels, reduced ice in the Arctic) would be a factor in planning. In addition to what climate change effects could bring in terms of the spread of disease, mass migration and a scarcity of resources.

Source: Agencies

Kavkaz Center