News  #  1389
[ Click on NEWS for back issues ][ OUR BOOKS ][ Previous Issue ]

Dr Kaukab Siddique | Editor-in-Chief Jamada al-thani 18, 1432/ May 22, 2011 # 22

Scroll down for Jamaat e Islami (Pakistan) Statement on Osama's family

Scroll way down for a report on Malcolm X Day in Washington, DC

Scroll to the end for Press TV misreporting on Syria (part 1 of 2)

Our America
May 21 Not the End of the World?!

This week, the longstanding claim by some (select) Christian groups, conspiracy theorists, and others that May 21, 2011 would mark the end of the world was laid to rest. Supporters of the doomsday forecast said the date was obtained through calculations using Biblical verses, and prepared for 'the End.' Others, who scoffed at the predictions, held 'Doomsday parties,' drinking, dancing, and mocking those whom they viewed as ignorant. The popularity of these kinds of predictions, particularly among the U.S. working poor, are a testament to the desperation and despair of people hit hard by economic hard times.

Although many of the signs of the Last Day are are described in verses throughout the Qur'an, Muslims believe that the Last Day is known only to Allah (SWT), the All-Knowing. Here is what the Qur'an says:

" It is Allah Who has sent down the Book in Truth, and the Balance (by which to weigh conduct). And what will make thee realise that perhaps the Hour is close at hand? Only those wish to hasten it who believe not in it: those who believe hold it in awe, and know that it is the Truth. Behold, verily those that dispute concerning the Hour are far astray." (Holy Qur'an, 42: 17-18)

Spotlights From Imam Badi Ali
Jamaat al-Muslimeen Shoora, North Carolina

Spotlight # 1. Muslim children in America are becoming victims of hate and racial crimes every day. Most of the time, this occurs through mass culture, media and other propaganda tools oppressing the Muslim minority to the point where it's becoming fashionable. By doing this, the majority is abusing its strength. It is the responsibility of the majority to protect minorities. If they don't, this can lead to the fracturing of society's foundations.

Spotlight # 2. For Muslims, the protection of minorities is part of our faith, culture and tradition. This can be seen throughout history, as in the protection of the Jews by Muslims in Spain.

Spotlight #3. A minority, if it is well-organized and disciplined, will become equal to the majority. Ten million Muslims live in this country, but they are ineffective because they are not organized. If you look at the Jewish minority, they have more power than the majority. Muslims have a lesson to learn from this.

Spotlight #4. In this country, if you are an Arab or a Muslim, and particularly if you're an activist, you have to worry not only about what you say, since it might be used to incriminate you, but you also have to worry about the translator.

New Trend Congratulates Africa Liberation Day (ALD) Organizers
ALD Draws Attention to Plight of African Nations and Afro-descendants

May 21, 2011 - People of color all over the world celebrated African Liberation Day today. African Liberation Day was initiated by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, leader and statesman of the West African Nation of Ghana, at a time when some African nations were still under the yoke of colonialism. The event is relevant today in its call for African people and their allies to come together to oppose neo-colonial and other insidious forms of oppression and exploitation of African nations and Afro- descendants everywhere.

In Washington, DC, ALD activities were hosted by the All-African Peoples' Revolutionary Party (Guineau-Conakry) at the Emergence Community Arts Collective, a neighborhood arts center used by artists, activists, and community groups for a diversity of positive activities. The program included panels featuring topics ranging from "Cointelpro to the Patriot Act: Repression in the 21st Century" and "Ideological, Cultural, and Sports Imperialism" to "Travel Restrictions and Bans: Economic Sanctions, Blockades, and War." It was followed up an evening diplomatic reception.
A second celebration, also in Washington, DC, hosted by the African Peoples' Socialist Party, was originally scheduled to be held at the 12th Street Church in Washington, DC, a venue for which the organizers were paying. But, the church broke their contract at the last minute, and disallowed use of the venue, citing objections by patriotic congregation members opposed to use of the church for an event whose theme was "From Africa to the U.S. — Liberation through Resistance! Stop the U.S. Wars on Africa!" Only the determination of the organizers allowed the conference activities to go on (at a nearby public charter school) despite the church's malfeasance.

While there is no place for asabiyya, or division based on race in Islam, New Trend recognizes the great importance of supporting groups such as in these in their sincere efforts at uplifting peoples who have been oppressed by the legacies of colonialism and neo-colonialism. We do not have to wait for them to conform to some "perfect" Muslim ideal before extending to them the hand of solidarity. It is the duty of a Muslim to stand by the oppressed, whether they are Muslim or not. Accordingly, we send greetings and salutions to African Liberation Day gatherings around the world. Such events are important in bringing to light atrocities which have targeted African nations from the colonial to the neo-colonial period and into today.

76-Year Old Pakistani Imam Arrested in Miami
Charged with Helping Pakistani Taliban

This is what happens to you, if you send money to Pakistan for the maintenance of a Girls School

Report by New Trend Staff

May 14 - Three people, including a 76 year old imam and his son—also an imam—were indicted in Miami today. Three more are at large in Pakistan. The charges include support for the Pakistani Taliban. All six are of Pakistani origin. The arrests appear to be another move by the government to discourage any form of support for independent Islamic movements in Pakistan through the use of labeling and role reversal. The elderly imam is accused of helping funnel $50,000 to the Pakistani Taliban for alleged terror plots. But members of his mosque, in interviews with the Miami Herald and other media, testify to the complete absence of political content in his khutbas.

Yet Asad Ba-Yunus, speaking for the Muslim Communities Association, which runs the mosque as well as several others, said the Imam had been placed on indefinite leave from the mosque. Ba-Yunus is a lawyer and ISNA Board member. As exemplified by this case, "Innocent until proven guilty" does not, in the opinion of this reporter, appear to be a maxim espoused by ISNA, CAIR, or other Muslim organizations claiming to represent Muslims in the U.S.

According to Associated Press reports, the imam ran a Madrassa in Swat up until 15 years ago when he came to the U.S. The school headmaster told AP that only about 100 girls attended the school. Locals in the school vicinity said the school did nothing but good for the local people. The AP representative seemed vexed at seeing a few boys in some classes. As anyone familiar with the Third World knows, children in poor countries, who are unable to afford tuition or who are left out of education for other reasons (eg lack of seats) and thirsty for knowledge, sometimes "squat" in on classes for which they are not officially registered.

It appears that the funds transferred to Pakistan were for the payment of the madrassa's teachers. Clearly the message seems to be that Muslims cannot send money to their home countries, even for educational purposes. Considering that U.S. and puppet Paki government air strikes have destroyed hundreds of schools (and masajid) across in Pakistan's northern areas, it seems that the only schools allowed to exist will be ones run by—or at least approved by—the U.S. and its lapdogs in Islamabad.

Florida imams arrested for aiding Pakistani Taliban
By Kevin Gray

Reuters [Excerpt]

Sat May 14

MIAMI - The imam of a Florida mosque and his two sons, one also a Muslim spiritual leader, were arrested on Saturday on charges of financing and supporting the Pakistani Taliban, U.S. officials said.

The three Pakistan-born U.S. citizens were among six charged in a U.S. indictment that accused them of "supporting acts of murder, kidnapping and maiming in Pakistan and elsewhere" carried out by the Pakistani Taliban, which Washington calls a terrorist organization.

The indictment, announced by U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida Wifredo Ferrer and the FBI, charged the six with creating a network that transferred funds from the United States to Pakistani Taliban supporters and fighters in Pakistan, including for the purpose of buying arms.

If convicted, each faces up to 15 years in prison for each count of the indictment.

The charges were revealed as U.S. relations with Pakistan are strained over the U.S. raid that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.

Pakistan's parliament on Saturday condemned the raid that killed bin Laden and called for a review of relations with the United States.

The indictment detailed money transfers totaling some $50,000, but Ferrer said there was evidence more had been sent. "This was just the tip of the iceberg," he told reporters.

Two of the accused, Hafiz Muhammed Sher Ali Khan, 76, and his son, Izhar Khan, 24, were arrested in south Florida after prayer services at the mosques where they were spiritual leaders, or imams.

Another son, Irfan Khan, 37, was detained early on Saturday in a Los Angeles hotel room.

Hafiz Khan is the imam at the Miami Mosque, also known as the Flagler Mosque, in Miami. His son, Izhar Khan, is an imam at the Jamaat Al-Mu'mineen Mosque in Margate, Florida, according to the indictment.

The other three charged, Ali Rehman, Alam Zeb and Amina Khan, were living in Pakistan and are still at large. Amina Khan is the daughter of Hafiz Khan and her son, Alam Zeb, is his grandson.

U.S. Presidential Pardons Focus on Petty Crimes, Ignore Suffering Political Prisoners

Despite a huge prevalence of Black and Muslim political prisoners in this country, it doesn't appear that any of the individuals pardoned by U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday fit either description. While railing against the holding of political prisoners in places like China and Burma, the U.S. appears determined not to release any of its political dissidents, and the calls of political prisoners rights organizations for presidential pardons for political prisoners—including some, like Hugo Pinell and Eddie Conway, who have been held for decades, or others, like Dr. Omar Abdel Rahman (the Blind Sheikh) and Mondo Langa, are very elderly or sick, have, so far, fallen on deaf ears. The thinking in Washington seems to be that alligator-hide sellers are more worthy of pardon than those held for their political beliefs and associations.

From Marijuana to Alligator Hides, Obama Pardons Eight

By Pete Yost

Associated Press [Excerpt]

Fri May 20

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama on Friday pardoned eight people convicted of crimes ranging from conspiring to import marijuana to selling alligator hides.

The action marked the second set of pardons Obama has granted since becoming president. The first pardons, last December, went to nine people whose crimes included possessing drugs, counterfeiting and mutilating coins.

Like the earlier pardons, the latest did not involve anyone well-known. The cases date back as far as 1975, when Randy Eugene Dyer of Burien, Wash., was sentenced to serve five years in prison in the conspiracy to import marijuana and two related crimes.

Another pardon recipient was Bobby Gerald Wilson of Summerton, S.C., sentenced in 1985 to 3 1/2 months in prison for aiding and abetting the possession and sale of illegal American alligator hides.

View From Barbados of the Osama Killing
"Let little Barbados accept this challenge of speaking truth to the powerful, pompasetting, morally deluded USA"

The Emperor is Naked!
By David A. Comissiong

Over the past week, the political and economic leaders of the United States of America (USA) and their multi-national media corporations have been proclaiming to the world that the assassination of Osama bin Laden is an act of national greatness.

Well, we should all just pause for a while and soberly consider precisely what message this proclamation is imparting to impressionable children and adolescents all over the world.

Our children are being told that it is the ultimate in greatness for a large and powerful nation to send a team of its most ferocious military warriors to invade the territory of another much weaker country, to corner an unarmed physically decrepit old man, and, in the absence of this man ever having been subjected to any judicial process of trial and conviction, to cold-bloodedly shoot him to death in the presence of his wife and children! This, the youth of the world are being assured, is not just national greatness, but the ultimate in national greatness!

Some-body - some small and morally clear-sighted nation - has to tell the "Emperor" that he is "naked", and that his actions are a perversion and a repudiation of international law, and of the sacred principles of justice and morality. And so, acting on behalf of and in the name of the people of Barbados, we say - let little Barbados accept this challenge of speaking truth to the powerful, pompasetting, morally deluded USA.

You see, the citizen of Barbados is the citizen of a country whose government has never invaded any other country, never bombed any foreign city, never carried out any political assassination nor ever committed any other crime against humanity!

Indeed, many of us in Barbados often wonder what it must feel like to be the citizen of a country whose government routinely murders and exterminates other human beings in one's name. What, we wonder, does it feel like to be the citizen of a nation that exterminated 3 million Vietnamese, that dropped two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, that wiped out hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, that has carried out scores of illegal foreign invasions, and that has assassinated foreign leaders ranging from Africa's Patrice Lumumba to Latin America's Salvador Allende? How is the average American citizen able to live with the consciousness that such acts of barbarity are routinely committed in his or her name?

But in addition to this, little Barbados is also qualified to point out the Emperor's nakedness for another reason - long before September 11, 2001, we experienced our own version of 911!

We would like to remind the world that on the 6th of October 1976 - almost exactly 25 years before September 11, 2001 - the 250,000 people of Barbados had to deal with the horrific tragedy of having a Cuban civilian airliner, filled to capacity with 73 passengers, blown out of our Barbadian air-space, as a result of the machinations of a cabal of anti-Cuban terrorists operating with the support and complicity of the USA's Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

The people of Barbados were faced with the horrendous task of retrieving the mangled, dismembered bodies of the 73 victims from the Caribbean Sea, and of coming to terms with the shock and trauma that this unprecedented act of terrorism generated in our small 166 square mile nation.

But in spite of the justifiable feelings of national outrage, the primary instincts of the Barbadian people and government led them to pursue a civilized approach of legality and due process of law!

This manifested itself in the immediate and successful efforts of the Barbadian authorities to secure the arrests in Trinidad of the two Venezuelan functionaries who had planted the bomb and their two CIA financed handlers in Venezuela; the sending of Barbadian Police investigators to Trinidad to interrogate these two malefactors; the setting up in Barbados of a Commission of Enquiry into the tragedy; the engaging with the governments of Cuba, Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago on determining the most appropriate way of dealing with the captured terrorists; and the making of a collective decision to put the four captives on trial in Venezuela.

It should be noted that both Barbadian and Cuban Police and intelligence personnel travelled to the locations in which the culprits were being held in Trinidad and Venezuela - not for the purpose of assassinating them, or attempting to assassinate them - but for the purpose of ensuring that a proper legal process was put in place!

This is how civilized nations, governments and people behave! They do not succumb to the 'law of the jungle' nor to the evil philosophy that "might makes right"

Almost 30 years after the tragic events of 6th October 1976, Mr Ricardo Alarcon, the President of Cuba's National Assembly of People's Power paid the ultimate compliment to the governments and people of Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago when he publicly stated that - "Barbados and Trinidad, it must be said, acted with great dignity and honour" - and acknowledged the "meticulous, rigorous, serious investigation done by people who respect themselves, people from countries that are small but which know how to respect their sovereignty".

It is because of this history and background that we, the people of little Barbados, can and must point at "the Emperor" and tell him that he is naked!

David A. Comissiong is President of the Peoples Empowerment Party of Barbados. He can be reached at: clementpaynechambers [at] gmail [dot] com

Pakistan's Parliament condemns Abbottabad Raid, Calls for re-examination of ties with U.S.

From New Trend's Pakistan Monitor

In an unusual action, Pakistan's Parliament condemned the U.S. raid which killed Osama Bin Laden and drone attacks which have killed multitudes of Pakistani civilians. The move seems to signify increasing awareness on part of Pakistan's rulers that the masses have tired of violations of Pakistan's sovereignty, airspace, and subverting of the Pakistan economy to serve U.S. war aims, as well as violations of basic Islamic principles, such as the honoring of guests (and not turning them over to the U.S. to be torture). Pakistan's rulers may also be fearful that their continuing unresponsiveness to their constituents' demands, and the Pakistani masses observations of the possibilities contained in uprisings such as those in the Middle East, may send them down the same road as Mubarak and others.

Pakistan's parliament condemns U.S. bin Laden raid
By Zeeshan Haider

Sat May 14, 2011

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan's parliament condemned on Saturday the U.S. raid to find and kill Osama bin Laden, calling for a review of U.S. ties and warning that Pakistan could cut supply lines to American forces in Afghanistan if there were more such attacks.

Pakistan's intelligence chief was cited as saying he was ready to resign over the bin Laden affair, which has embarrassed the country and led to suspicion that Pakistani security agents knew where the al Qaeda chief was hiding.

On Friday, two suicide bombers attacked a military academy in a northwestern town killing 80 people in what Pakistani Taliban militants said was their first act of revenge for bin Laden's death on May 2.

The secret U.S. raid on bin Laden's lair in the garrison town of Abbottabad, 50 km (30 miles) north of Islamabad, has strained already prickly ties with the United States.

It has also led to domestic criticism of the government and military, partly because bin Laden had apparently remained undetected in Pakistan for years, but also because of the failure to detect or stop the U.S. operation to get him.

"Parliament ... condemned the unilateral action in Abbottabad which constitutes a violation of Pakistan's sovereignty," it said in a resolution issued after security chiefs briefed legislators.

Pakistan has dismissed as absurd any suggestion that authorities knew bin Laden was holed up in a high-walled compound near the country's top military academy.

The U.S. administration has not accused Pakistan of complicity in hiding bin Laden but has said he must have had some sort of support network, which it wants to uncover.

U.S. Senator John Kerry said the United States wanted Pakistan to be a "real" ally in combating militants but serious questions remained in their relations.

"But we're not trying to find a way to break the relationship apart, we're trying to find a way to build it," said Kerry, a Democrat close to the Obama administration and who is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters in Afghanistan.

Kerry is due to visit Pakistan in the coming days.

Members of the two houses of parliament said the government should review ties with the United States to safeguard Pakistan's national interests and they also called for an end to U.S. attacks on militants with its pilotless drone aircraft.

They also called for an independent commission to investigate the bin Laden case.


Pakistan officially objects to the drone attacks, but U.S. officials have long said they are carried out under an agreement between the countries.

The legislators said U.S. "unilateral actions" such as the Abbottabad raid and drone strikes were unacceptable, and the government should consider cutting vital U.S. lines of supply for its forces in Afghanistan unless they stopped.

Earlier, a U.S. drone fired missiles at a vehicle in North Waziristan on the Afghan border killing five militants.

It was the fourth drone attack since bin Laden was killed.

Police in Charsadda said they had recovered for analysis body parts of the two suicide bombers who killed at least 80 struck at a paramilitary force academy.

A Taliban spokesman said on Friday the attack was in revenge for bin Laden's death and vowed there would be more.

The killing of bin Laden could trigger a backlash from his supporters across a giant area surrounding Afghanistan, the Shangahi Cooperation Council (SCO)regional security body said.

Dominated by China and Russia, the SCO also unites the mostly Muslim ex-Soviet Central Asian states of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

"Craving for revenge, the supporters of al Qaeda, the Taliban movement and other terrorist and extremist organisations may cause a new wave of terror," Kazakh Foreign Minister Yerzgan Kazykhanov told a meeting with his SCO counterparts in Almaty.


Pakistani intelligence chief Lieutenant-General Ahmad Shuja Pasha, head of the military's main Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, told parliament in a closed-door briefing he was "ready to resign" over the bin Laden affair, a legislator said.

Pasha, who was asked tough questions by some members of parliament, told the assembly he did not want to "hang around" if parliament deemed him responsible, legislator Riaz Fatyana told reporters.

"I am ready to resign," Fatyana quoted the ISI chief as saying.

Opposition leader and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif said civilian leaders, not the security agencies, should be deciding policy towards India, the United States and Afghanistan.

"The elected government should formulate foreign policy. A parallel policy or parallel government should not be allowed to work," Sharif told a news conference.

(Additional reporting by Dmitry Solovyov, Bashir Ansari; Writing by Robert Birsel; Editing by Daniel Magnowski)

From Jamaat e Islami's Islamic media service

Top Islamic Leaders Urge Regime not to Hand over Shaykh Osama's Family to US

LAHORE, May 20: The Jamaat e Islami chief, Syed Munawar Hasan, has impressed upon President Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani to reciprocate the warmth shown by the Chinese leadership during Prime Minister Gilani's current visit in order to get rid of the US slavery.

Addressing the Friday congregation at Mansoora mosque here, he said that the Chinese Prime Minister had extended all out support to this country at this difficult hour and the situation demanded that the Pakistani President and Prime Minister also established their loyalty for the country instead of the Americans.

Syed Munawar Hasan said that the entire nation wanted to throw out the yoke of US slavery but the rulers were least worried about the country as their sole concern was to please Washington. The rulers in Islamabad were more loyal to US President Obama than even the Americans but if they did not mend their ways and continue to put the country's independence and solidarity at stake in the on going US war, millions of Pakistani would adopt the path of Osama bin Laden, he warned.

The government must implement the parliament's resolution in its letter and spirit and stop drone attacks and US unilateral actions, he added.

Syed Munawar Hasan stressed upon the government not to hand over Osama's wives and children to the US.

The JI chief maintained that the politicians who had their bank accounts, properties and families abroad, could neither stand against the US nor defend national interests. Only the patriotic people who were loyal to the country could defend the country while those steeped in corruption from head to foot would always protect their selfish ends, he added.

Unfortunately, he said, the nation had been in the grip of selfish and corrupt leaders so far. In the next elections, he said, the people would have to get rid of self seeking and corrupt leaders and elect a leadership that had the will and the competence to solve their problems and also stand face to face with the foreign powers.

Syed Munawar Hasan said that the parliament had adopted two resolution on the present crisis. The foremost point in the both was that the foreign policy be reviewed and reframed in the larger national interest. Further, that the US slavery and drone attacks be dispensed with and dialogue be started with all the stake holders. But unfortunately, neither the first resolution was implemented nor was there any indication of the second one being put in force. In fact, he said, US Senator John Kerry had shattered to pieces the latest resolution but the rulers kept mum on that.

Zionist Jew, top financier, caught in Sexual Assault

I suppose you have just learned about the sexual accusations held
against the above mentioned man who is Chief of the International
Monetary Fund. He is Jewish and was planning on running for
president of France soon. Just thought I'd let you know because
usually any crimes against Jews are swept under the carpet...

Carolyn, Florida

American Muslims, the Osama Assassination, and the "We Sick Massa" Syndrome

I've been thinking about the bizarre reactions across the Muslim community, some of which you published, to the Osama assassination. The only viable explanation for Muslims and Muslim organizations endorsing an action which clearly violates International law, Pakistani sovereignty (the puppet Pakistani government's signing away of Pakistani sovereignty notwithstanding), and the norms of human decency, and for Muslims endorsing such an action (or coming up with creative explanations for it and its target) is the presence of a deep-seated self-hatred in the American Muslim psyche. Muslims here can't seem to accept the fact that highly effective, organized, and disciplined Muslim opposition can—in the face of grave injustice and genocide--arise. They must write off Osama to other factors: he didn't really exist; he existed but he was a CIA operative; he existed but only up till two years, no wait, make that eight years ago; he existed but was on summer vacation for the last five years in Pakistan, and so the fairy stories go. It's getting to the point of hilarity.
Why not just ask the Saudi government (Osama's enemy is not likely to embellish his character or motives), or consult U.S. intelligence (with which some American Muslim leaders are sufficiently mated that they might easily acquire the inside scoop on this) as to whether or not he existed, and if he did, who, if anyone, was paying him, how much, and when?

I wonder why it is that we, politically-conscious Muslims and friends, can see through the lies of the government and its corporate media organs about Katrina. We see through their lies about the Black Panther Party, George Jackson, and Assata. We see through their lies about Kuwaiti incubator babies, WMDs, DU (depleted uranium) and anything else that stands in the way of the oil/U.S. hegemony in the Middle East. We are even beginning to see through some of their lies on Palestine. But, when it comes to Osama, we accept their (White House, Pentagon, and corporate media's) version of things about this man, and try to come up with oddball theories to convince ourselves that the Muslim world could not have produced the "monster" they say Osama was. We act as if we are certain that the government is telling the truth on this one, and our basic premises (about his CIA links etc) spring from hence.

I don't claim to know all (or even most of) the answers. But a bit of independent journalism or analytical thinking on this would be a delightful change.

-Nadrat Siddique

Jamaat al-Muslimeen NEWS

DC Activists Commemorate Malcolm X Day
Discussions of Marable's Book: Scholarship or Smear Attempt?

By Nadrat Siddique

Washington, DC - Malcolm X Day, which commemorates the birth of the great Muslim leader, is an event ordinarily commemorated by leftists and black nationalists. Seldom does one see a remembrance of this brother, who made Islam and its revolutionary spirit beloved among vast numbers of Americans, at any mainstream mosque or Islamic Center, even for symbolic purposes. This year however, Muslims were among the organizers of events on May 17 - 18 to commemorate the occasion.

Around thirty people crowded into Ras Café (Ethiopian Restaurant & Lounge) for the May 17 event. Malcolm Shabazz, the son of Shaheed Malcolm X, was originally scheduled to speak, but did not make it to Washington, DC. Instead, he delegated Br. Shaka to speak in his place. Also speaking was J.R. Valrey of California's Block Radio ( In spite of Shabazz's absence, people seemed to appreciate the program.

Another 40 or so filled the seats at Sankofa Books the following night to hear J.R. and Malcolm Shabazz, who was, by then, in town.

According to Naji Mujahid, a lead organizer for both events, much of the focus of Malcolm X Day 2011 was on the recently released book, Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention, by Manning Marable. "Manning Marable's book is considered by some to be a slander," said Mujahid. "We tried to provide a platform to dispel points in Manning Marable book."

J.R. shared an excerpt from his own book where he'd interviewed Hajj Malcolm Shabazz. Addressing the Sankofa audience, the younger Malcolm analogized the Marable book with the Bible. "Like the Bible, shrouding lies in truth," Marable's work probably contained good points and analysis to draw people in, but it also contained some slanderous lies, Shabazz said.

Parts of the book suggest that Malcolm engaged in homosexual acts. Others suggest infidelity between Malcolm and Betty Shabazz. Another important was brought up by Voxunion producer and Morgan State University professor of communications, Dr. Jared Ball in a conversation with Mujahid. Ball pointed out that Marable claimed that Malcolm, in his later years, said that the ballot could be used to promote black people's interests and that the election of Barak Obama was an expression of that. Ball also compared Marable's book to Spike Lee's "X."

Some of the more controversial points in the Marable book were devoid of reference, according to J.R. The book wasn't aimed only at current audiences, but also to future ones, who didn't remember Malcolm. And, as an attendee of the Ras Café event pointed out, the further removed in time an audience was from the discussion, the less likely they were to dispute points in the book.

And, as Br. Shaka pointed out, the tenuousness of Marable's claims are evident from the fact that if the allegations against Malcolm were true, the FBI wouldn't have missed the opportunity to use them against him.

Despite an exhaustive week of activities around Malcolm's Birthday and political prisoner awareness work, Naji Mujahid, who is also an organizer for the Black August Planning Organization (BAPO), granted an extended interview to New Trend. (BAPO is a political prisoner advocacy group, primarily focusing on Black political prisoners held by the United States for some of the longest periods of any U.S. political prisoner.)

"I think it's important for people everywhere to see Malcolm not only as exemplary of Blackness, but of Islam, and the ability of Islam to affect people, particularly those living under adverse conditions everywhere. Islam can provide the inspiration in people to allow them to rise above their circumstances. I think Malcolm is an excellent example of that."

"Malcolm was certainly an exceptional figure. However, he wasn't the only exceptional figure who developed out of that period. While they were alive, people weren't big on following Malcolm, Martin, or many of the personalities who dominate our history, according to some elders I've spoken with. Now that it's safe to do so, they elevate him to the level they do. Part of the reason why Malcolm has taken on this epic legacy is because he was assassinated. If he had lived, and been brought in on trumped up charges like Eddie Conway, or other political prisoners, he probably wouldn't hold the stature he does. People should consider when they idolize Malcolm that others, such as Sekou Odinga, who worked with Malcolm in the OAAU [Organization of Afro-American Unity], who have been buried alive, don't enjoy his fame and acknowledgement. You ask people about Odinga, and they say "Who's he?" [Sekou Odinga is a Muslim and New Afrikan political prisoner, imprisoned on political charges, since 1983 -Editor].

"Malcolm and Martin's family haven't enjoyed the material support which should correspond to their level of celebrity. If Malcolm's family had a dollar for every t-shirt created to exploit his memory, they would be in a lot better position."

"People who claim to love Malcolm should put it to some use. They could, if they wished, tell this government, 'You killed Malcolm, but we're not going to allow you to practice a slow death against Sekou Odinga, Eddie Conway, Veronza Bowers, and others.'"


With thanks to Br. al-Massari, London, England

(Rafidhi) Press TV
By Shahin

London, 16 May 2011

(Wikipedia: Rafi?ah (Arabic: ???? [r??fid?a]; pl. rawafi?) is a collective noun which means "defectors" or "deserters". The word is derived from the Arabic verb root ? ? ?, rafada, which translates to, "to desert". The Arabic non-collective singular form is rafidi (?????). This is an Islamic term which refers in a derogatory way to those who, in the opinion of the person using the term, reject so-called legitimate Islamic authority and leadership.)

Rafidhi TV was my assessment of Iran's pro-Syrian regime coverage of the recent freedom demonstrations in Syria. It started as Syrians peacefully asking for rights after four decades of 'emergency rule' by the Allawite-controlled Baathist regime. The minority Allawite sect is an offshoot the Shia faith which is the state religion of Iran. The justification for emergency rule was the war footing against Israel. The effect has been one party rule, achieved by the suppression of Sunni Muslims, massacre of over 20,000 people in Hama, mass arrests, torture, and a privileged lifestyle of regime members and their supporters at the expense of the majority.

Iran and Syria are close political allies. That fact became obvious in its coverage of the anti regime demonstrations when it acted as the English language propaganda department of the Syrian government.

Here is an example of the type of news from Syria which was ignored by Press TV:

Al Jazeera English

Assad's regime of torture

President Assad reaffirms his father's legacy by quelling dissent with brute force.

Hugh Macleod and a special correspondent

15 May 2011

"Bashar is God! Bashar is God!" As the fists and boots and sticks pummelled his body and bloodied his face, the college student screamed out what he thought his interrogators wanted to hear: The name of Syria's president, Bashar al-Assad.

"Syrian security is now releasing detainees with unhealed wounds caused by torture in order to spread panic and fear among people hoping it will reduce the numbers participating in demonstrations," said Wissam Tarif, Director of Insan, a leading Syrian human rights organisation, which has documented cases of torture."

The detained include a wide cross section of society, mainly young men aged between 20 and 50, but including children and elderly, especially activists and those involved in protests or seen filming them, but also community leaders, imams and students.

In Deraa alone, state news reported some 500 people were arrested in one day, with security forces going door to door and seizing any male aged between 15 and 40. A recently leaked document, purportedly from Political Security, appears to confirm the mass arrests of males, including children, from Deraa.

The total arrests since mid-March are around twice the number of political prisoners the Syrian Human Rights Committee estimated were being held in Syria in 2006.

Human rights groups have documented hundreds more cases of people who disappeared in and around protest marches, with families left not knowing if their loved ones are dead or alive.

Enforced disappearance, when the state refuses to acknowledge the whereabouts of an arrested person, is a crime under international law.

Amnesty International reported cases of detainees forced to lick blood off the floor of a prison and others who also drank toilet water after being starved for three days.

Insan said it has received numerous reports of torture where detainees have been left naked in groups for hours, doused in cold water before collectively being beaten.

During a campaign of repression against the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood in the 1980s under late President Hafez al-Assad, some 17,000 Syrians disappeared, according to testimony to the United Nations Human Rights Council by Radwan Ziadeh, head of the Damascus Centre for Human Rights Studies.

And in a chilling parallel to the actions of his father, who responded to the Muslim Brotherhood uprising by sending tanks and ultra-loyal troops commanded by his brother to raze Hama, killing between 10,000 and 30,000 civilians, President Assad has laid siege to Deraa, Homs and Banias with tanks and troops commanded by his brother, Maher al-Assad.

Today, in two months of protests, Syrian security forces have killed an estimated 850 people.

Residents fleeing Syrian town tell of arrests, terror

From the Washington Post

May 15

DAMASCUS, Syria — In the two-month-long uprising against Syrian authorities, the southern town of Daraa has been at the heart of the unrest, and the inspiration for many other Syrians as protests have spread across the country.

But Daraa's defiance has come with a cost: Civilians who have fled the town in the past week described scenes of terror, with arbitrary detentions and snipers on rooftops.

Videos apparently recorded in Daraa show far more horrific scenes. The clips show homes that have been torched, and cars flattened by tanks. The content of the videos, and the accounts of witnesses, could not be independently verified, but they are consistent with the claims of human rights groups who have documented the violence in Daraa.

Death Toll Mounts as Syria Extends Crackdown on Protesters

By Massoud A. Derhally

May 14, 2011 -

At least 10 Syrian protesters have died in the past 24 hours as thousands took to the streets nationwide, defying mass arrests amid an intensifying crackdown on dissent that began about two months ago.

The security forces killed four protesters in the central city of Homs yesterday, two in the southern city of Daraa and three in the suburbs of the capital, Damascus, Ammar Qurabi, head of the National Organization for Human Rights, said in a telephone interview today.

Gunfire was heard in the Syrian town of Talkalakh near the Lebanese border today. Tanks are positioned there and the unrest has caused about 500 Syrians to flee across the border to the neighboring country, Qurabi said. At least one person from the town died as a result of their wounds after fleeing to Lebanon, according to Qurabi and Nadim Houry, Lebanon director for New York-based Human Rights Watch.

Security forces are conducting widespread arrests and house-to-house searches, Qurabi and Mahmoud Merhi of the Arab Organization for Human Rights, who also spoke by phone, said.

Today's events follow protests yesterday in Hama, Banias, Aleppo and Idlib as thousands took to the streets and joined rallies. In Daraa, people were barred from attending Muslim Friday prayers with "tanks outside every mosque," according to Qurabi. Gunfire was heard in Barzeh, the port city of Latakia and in Madaya, near the border with Lebanon, he said.

Emergency Law

Syria's suppression of pro-democracy protests began mid- March after popular revolts ousted leaders in Egypt and Tunisia. The uprising drew initial pledges of reform from President Bashar al-Assad, who lifted an emergency law in place since 1963 and named a new government. He hasn't repeated the assurances in recent weeks as security forces stepped up their assaults.

More than 800 demonstrators have been killed since the uprising began, according to Qurabi and Merhi, who have compiled a list of the names of victims. As many as 10,000 people have been detained, according to their estimates. Most foreign journalists have been banned from Syria and the government has restricted media access.

The army and security authorities say they are pursuing "terrorist elements" and have aired footage on state TV of what they said were confiscated arms and ammunition, as well as confessions of alleged members of terrorist or extremist groups.

Press TV's version of Syria news

Press TV has established its credentials as the English language version of Syrian regime TV.

Here is a laughable example of Syrian state propaganda from Press TV's own website where it published an interview with a mouthpiece from a Baathist regime-sanctioned 'newspaper'. This infantile attempt at propaganda contradicts reality which the rest of the world has seen with its own eyes from video footage and interviews from independent human rights activists:

Press TV Tue Apr 19, 2011 2:57PM

"An interview with Bassam Abu Abdulla from the Al Watan news agency in Damascus"

In an interview with Press TV, Bassam Abu Abdulla, from the Al Watan news agency in Damascus, tells us that the US and Saudi Arabian governments as well as the Western media are manipulating reports and supporting opposition groups in Syria because the government has long been against the US and Israeli policy in the region.

Abu Abdulla: Generally, everyone should know that what's going on in Syria is usually not what's shown on the TV channels. There are a lot of facts that all people should know about what's going on in Syria.

We are referring between two tracks. The first track is when we are talking about reforms. All Syrian people support reforms. And I think that millions of people were in the main cities, supported by what President Bashar had said, for the reforms.

But what's going on now, what we could see yesterday in homes and other cities - in [Pisa], Baniyas or in parts of Daraa - are Salafi groups. These Salafi groups in the Syrian society are very small groups because Syrian society is generally in the middle of Islam. In Syria, extremism is generally not accepted and because of that we are talking about foreign factors reflected in the Syrian unrest.

Now, these Salafi groups are used as a tool by some foreign factors for example by the United States, [Saudi Arabia's] Bandar bin Sultan and some parts in Lebanon, to realize some plans against the foreign policy of Syria.

We are talking about a conspiracy. It's a very high percentage.

We are concerned about some TV channels like Al-Zajeera, Al Arabiya, France 24, BBC, and others, all these channels are now attacking Syria. There is a war against Syria with these TV channels because the reality is that nobody will talk, but the [news channels] are talking about a revolution.

There is no revolution in Syria. Millions of Syrian people are sitting in their houses and watching what's going on.
The people [who cause upheavals], the Syrian Salafis, are not from Syrian society.

Press TV: How's the situation in Syria compared with other events taking place in the region?

Abu Abdulla: Now, about the role of the foreign factors. Yesterday, I think, The Washington Post newspaper published that the United States Department of State supported the Al-Barada TV channel, a TV channel in opposition of Syria, paying them USD 6 million to secretly support some so-called opposition leaders.

I don't trust these kinds of people who are living in Washington, Paris, or London.

The real situation is that because the Syrian position is against the American plans in the region and against Israel, and because Syria is supporting the resistance movements -- generally, Hezbollah and Hamas [that are] against the American plans -- the conspiracy against the US is continuing.

We are talking about different parties participating in these conspiracies. We can watch these different groups. The first group is the corrupted people inside Syria.

The second group is the Salafi group who is being supported by [Saudi Arabia's] Bandar bin Sultan, the American CIA and [Israel's] Mossad.

The third group is composed of some regional parties against Syria.

The fourth group is the Muslim brothers in London, and now they are in Saudi Arabia.

All these groups, besides the TV channels war, are working against Syria now. The Syrian government will soon face this situation because we are not talking about severe demonstrations, but we are talking about the Salafi group - those who speak a very strange language in the Syrian society and who want to divide the Syrian nation, which is a redline for all Syrians. Because of that we will soon see the Syrian government deal with them in another way.

[Continued in next week's New Trend, inshallah]

2011-05-23 Mon 19:08:38 cdt