News  #  1668
[ Click on NEWS for back issues ][ OUR BOOKS ][ Contact ][ Previous Issue ]

17 Dhul Qadah 1437 A.H.- August 21, 2016 Issue # 34, Newsletter #1668

Hadith of the Week

Hadith is essential for our Daily Prayers.

Narrated 'Ikrima: I prayed behind a Sheikh at Mekka and he said twenty two Takbirs (during the prayer). I told Ibn 'Abbas that he (i.e. that Sheikh) was foolish. Ibn 'Abbas admonished me and said, "This is the tradition of Abu-l-Qasim." And narrated Abu Huraira: Whenever Allah's Apostle stood for the prayer, he said Takbir on starting the prayer and then on bowing. On rising from bowing he said, "Sami' a-l-lahu liman hamida," and then while standing straight he used to say, "Rabbana laka-l hamd" (Al-Laith said, "(The Prophet said), 'Walaka-l-hamd'." He used to say Takbir on prostrating and on raising his head from prostration; again he would Say Takbir on prostrating and raising his head. He would then do the same in the whole of the prayer till it was completed. On rising from the second Rak'a (after sitting for At-Tahiyyat), he used to say Takbir.

(Sahih Bukhari, Book #12, Hadith #755)

Comment by Kaukab Siddique: The five daily prayers are obligatory on Muslims. For us to be able to pray properly , we need Hadith. These details are not given in the Qur'an.

This hadith refutes the propaganda of the "Qur'an only" renegade group.

The kunniyah [or known title] of Abul Qasim is used for the Prophet, pbuh.

 Breaking News


Taliban Victories Spreading

August 20: Taliban mujahideen captured the city of Khanabad, 30 miles east of Kunduz. Taliban forces reached Kunduz but were stopped by a regime counteroffensive.

Taliban have captured various areas in the provinces of Baghlan, Helmand and Ghor.

US air force is active in Afghanistan and claims to have killed a leader of the Islamic State in southern Afghanistan.


Islamic fighters entering Tirah. Gen. Raheel Launches Full Scale Offensive.

August 20. The Pakistan army launched a full scale offensive in the northern approaches of Khyber agency known as Tirah owing to reports of Islamic activity. According to the government's mouth piece DAWN daily, air force and ground forces were used in the regime's latest offensive.

Mujahideen evidently are still active in Khyber agency in spite of regime claims that it has wiped out the Islamic uprising. The situation is going against the regime so much so that General Raheel himself is visiting the area to rally his troops.. [The general, a friend of Egypt's Sissi,is free to use the Pakistani military against the people of Pakistan as he wishes..]

Political Prisoners :

 Letter from a Reader

Important Questions about Badr and Ramadhan.

I was reading Sura Anfal about Battle of Bader.

Everybody says it happened in Ramadhan.

I didn't read a single thing in the sura that suggests it happened in Ramadhan, why is this?

There is plenty of mention of the spiritual significance of the event, angels providing support. Surely the fact that it was within a holy time period would be mentioned. Why is it not mentioned?

On a further point, the surah emphasizes the timing of the event. Why we don't mark the Islamic calendar from this event?

Also, why we don't start the Islamic calendar at Ramadhan? It would make more sense, as a time of resolution, divine decree, revelations of quran and some say Badr as well. if Badr really happened in Ramadhan and we started our Islamic calendar from this date it would change the emphasis of Ramadhan from something placid to something militant?



Village Being Demolished to Make way for 10,000 Jewish Settlers.

Gaza headed for 'environmental catastrophe'


A Ray of Hope for Peace with ISIS.
BBC August 17.

Labour leadership challenger Owen Smith has suggested the so-called Islamic State could be involved in negotiations with the West in the future.

Mr Smith said all conflicts ended in "dialogue", during a two-hour debate with Jeremy Corbyn on the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme.

The Labour leader said he would not negotiate with so-called Islamic State.

The pair also clashed over allegations of abuse within the Labour Party, nuclear weapons and the EU referendum.

Commenting after the debate, Mr Corbyn's campaign team called Mr Smith's comments on IS "hasty and ill-considered".

But Mr Smith stressed he was not suggesting "we're going to be able to bring ISIS round the table right now."

Pressed on how soon it might happen, he told BBC News: "We don't know. We would all hope that it happens quickly, we would all hope they stop being a murderous terrorist organization and try and bring about peace. But at the moment there's no evidence of that, is there?"


Indian Forces killed and wounded Numerous Protesters.
Indian Police Commander Killed. Indian Occupation Rejected.

Guinea, West Africa

Biggest Protest Rally Against Corruption in West Africa: 700,000 People Marched



"Persian Conspiracy" Theory about Hadith: Shows Parwez's Ignorance
by Kaukab Siddique, PhD []

"Deem not the summons of the Messenger among yourselves like the summons of one of you to another: Allah does know those of you who slip away under shelter of some excuse: then let those beware who withstand the Messenger's order, lest some trial befall them, or a grievous chastisement be inflicted on them." [The Qur'an 24:63.] Quoted by Imam Ahmed Ibn Hanbal in his confrontation with a despotic ruler who wanted to include sectarian concerns into the fabric of Islam.

[The following writer has sent several questions this time. We'll answer only one at a time so as not to burden a substantial segment of our readers who are already quite well read in Islam.]

Question from: M., Canada. You are trying to connect the "Qur'an Only" movement to Jewish scholars but Allama Parvez writes so well about some facts of Hadith which no one else had noticed. He wrote that ALL the scholars of Hadith were Persians. He saw that Hadith was not collected by the early Arab scholars. The Persians brought Hadith to oppose the Arabs. He writes about Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, Abu Dawood, Ibn Maja and Nasai:

"All of them were Iranians. None of them was an inhabitant of Arabia. It's an astonishing fact that none of the Arabs took up this great task and the collection and compilation of Hadith was fulfilled by non-Arabs (ajamis). Secondly, all of these persons were in the third century Hijra ...." [Maqame Hadith, G.A. Parvez, page 13.]

Answer by Kaukab Siddique: Parwez's theory is absurd for anyone who has done any reading on Hadith ; hence I feel as if I am wasting my time answering this question. However, I need to answer because Parwez has been effective among people who have not studied Hadith. Among them is a man named Dr. .... ..... ..... who wrote a book titled Conspiracies against the Qur'an in which he made a straight copy of Parvez's list of the six scholars of Hadith in the form of a chart indicating their Persian origin. A very sincere gentleman (who is in Canada), Akbarally Meherally, was taken in by .... .....'s book and wrote a book of his own Myths and Realities of Hadith in which he reproduces the same chart as ...(p.86) quite confidently. I doubt if Meherally knew that ..... .. is a follower of Parwez. Let's break down the issue.

  1. Were the six actually all Iranians? The answer is NO. Probably Parwez did not look at any map connected to Muslim history. Even the area known as "Khurasan" was a vast area, much of it now included in Afghanistan. Allama Tajuddin Subki (died 771 H.) has left us a good impression of the area known as Khurasan. He writes in his Tabqat al-Shafi'a: "The leading cities of Khurasan were four which were like its pillars which marked its foundation: Merv, Nishapur, Balkh and Herat. These were its greatest cities but if you were to say that they were actually the cities of Islam, that wouldn't be wrong because these were the centers of Islamic knowledge as well as of government."

    Of the six Parwez noticed, the greatest, Imam Bukhari was born in Bukhara, which is in central Asia and is not included it in Iran or in Khurasan. So Parwez's theory is busted by the very one he hated most. Perhaps Parwez should have come up with a Central Asian theory.

    Ibn Maja was from Qazwin which is and was in AZERBAIJAN. Talk to any Azerbaijani, and it becomes apparent that though Azerbaijan today is in Iran, it has its own history and background. Azerbaijanis are not Persians.

    Abu Dawood was from Sijistan which is or overlaps with what we call Baluchistan today, some of it now in modern Iran and some in Pakistan.

    Thus we are left with a Persian conspiracy with three "conspirators." Of these, Tirmidhi actually differed with Imam Bukhari and criticized the technical quality of some of Imam Bukhari's texts. He also has some criticism of Imam Muslim's texts. Thus this "conspiracy" was certainly not working.

    Nasai and Muslim were from the general area of Khurassan but there are serious differences in the way they presented Hadith. Nasai actually ignores quite a few of the narrators Bukhari accepted. The methodology, purpose and style of all six is unique, each in its own way.

    All six were independent scholars who stayed away from any control by rulers and took extreme pains to make sure that no one could pressure or buy them. THERE IS NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER that they were organizing some kind of cultural "counter revolution" against the Arabs. They loved the Prophet (pbuh) so much and were so fearful of attributing anything to him incorrectly that they would differ among themselves and debate over the best possible sources of information about the Prophet's (pbuh) Hadith. For instance, Tirmidhi differed with Bukhari over his sources for a Hadith about ISTINJA (or cleaning oneself after going to the bathroom). This was indeed a strange "conspiracy" that these two were differing over which chain of narrators was best for reference to the Prophet's (pbuh) mode of cleaning himself. This must have been a revolution about cleanliness!

  2. When Parwez gave his neat little chart about the six Persian "conspirators," he conveniently forgot that Hadith was collected in non-Persian cities too. For instance, numerous scholars who met the companions (r.a.) of the Prophet (pbuh) in cities outside Khurasan, also compiled Hadith. Among the great centers of Hadith scholarship were Arab cities, Makka, Madina, Damascus, Kufa, Basra and parts of Egypt and Palestine. The greatest center of learning turned out to be Baghdad which was cosmopolitan, both Arabic and Ajami.

  3. Parwez did not understand Hadith scholarship. Hence he did not realize that the six greats he attacked were merely compilers of selective editions of Hadith WHICH ALREADY EXISTED. [A comparison for understanding: Various scholars prepare selections of Iqbal's poetry from his many years of poetry. This does not mean that the anthologists invented Iqbal's poetry. They simply put together what they thought was Iqbal's best or what was best for their purposes.] The six were simply trying, each in his own way, to check on the authenticity of Hadith narrations by the most stringent of tests.

    In ADDITION to the six, there were other giants of Hadith scholarship who concentrated on the APPLICATION of the Qur'an and the Hadith to the issues facing the community.
    Of the FIVE MOST FAMOUS OF THESE GREATS, four were Arabs:

    [The only non-Arab, great by comparison with these four, was Imam Abu Hanifa. Perhaps Parwez should have come up with a theory of ARAB CONSPIRACY to control non-Arabs. Unfortunately for him, Imam Abu Hanifa was the student of Imam Jafar. The Arabs and the non-Arabs worked together. Islam for both was about the Qur'an and the AUTHENTICITY OF HADITH. All were SCHOLARS OF THE QUR'AN, a requirement before anyone could study Hadith.]

Incidentally, Imam Ahmad's Musnad is not included in the six books of Hadith because its purpose (by definition of the word 'Musnad') was to be INCLUSIVE, while Imam Bukhari and the others were EXCLUSIVE, trying to keep out any narration which had any weakness OF ANY KIND.

Imam Jafar is from the Ahlul Bait [the line of Ali, r.a., and Fatima, r.a.], so nobody can suspect him of being an Ajami or non-Arab. He took Hadith from Hazrat Ali (r.a.), one of the companions of the Prophet (pbuh) who WROTE Hadith during the time of the Prophet (pbuh), which debunks the idea that Hadith were first written down in the third century.

Imam Malik (most influential and with a wide FOLLOWING IN AFRICA) was from the holy city of Madina. His dates are 93-179 H and his collection of Hadith, MUWATTA, written in 130 H. (before the middle of the second century) is one of the most famous books of Hadith. Its very existence refutes the story that Hadith were first written in the third century. [It is not included in the SIX because its focus is on hadith RELATING TO LAW and not to the entire gamut of the Prophet's life (pbuh).] Malik had thousands of students, many of whom were great scholars of Hadith in their own right.

Most amazingly, Parwez missed Imam Shafai'i. [His dates: 150-204 also show that Hadith was available in writing in the Second century of Islam.] This great scholar took on those who were trying to claim that ONE REPORT FROM THE PROPHET (pbuh) was not sufficient for purposes of law. His work was definitive in this field. There are few who have served Hadith scholarship better. For purposes of this discussion, I will only look at his Arab descent.

Muhammad (Shafaii son of Idrees, son of Abbas, son of 'Usman, son of Shafa'e, son of Saib, son of Ubaid, son of Abd Yazeed, son of Hashim, son of Abdul Muttalib son of Abd Manaf.

[Pakistani readers should look up Imam Shafaii kay ahd, mujahidat aur zaat-o-sifat ka mukammal jaiza (A Complete Appraisal of the Era, scholarly decisions, personality and qualities of Imam Shafii) by Egyptian writer Muhammad Abu Zahra, translated by Syed Raees Ahmad J'afri into Urdu.]

Parwez's fatal mistake was that he ignored AHMAD IBN HANBAL, who was not only an Arab scholar of Hadith but one who insisted that in the presence of Hadith, there is no need for qiyas [analogy]. As pointed out earlier, his Musnad, a compendium of Hadith bigger than Bukhari's Sahih is available today. Ahmad's dates are very significant: 164-241 H. Thus he was the contemporary of Bukhari and most of the other five greats of Hadith. He was part of the huge variety of scholarship which emerged from Islam's cultural center BAGHDAD.

That Parwez would try to condemn Bukhari for being "Iranian" while ignoring Ahmad ibn Hanbal is a sign of scholarly dishonesty. Ahmad's MUSNAD is a deadly blow for Parwez because it contains the ENTIRE TEXT of a FIRST CENTURY collection of Hadith, which was prepared in WRITING by Hammam ibn Munabbih who listened to Abu Huraira (r.a.) and wrote down 138 Hadith from him. [The ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT of Hammam's collection was discovered by the Indian scholar, Dr. Hamidullah.]

What we are looking at here is that:

A FIRST CENTURY collection in WRITING reached the THIRD CENTURY intact and was PUBLISHED IN FULL TEXT in the Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal which EXISTS TODAY. Thus, there can be no doubt that Hadith of the Prophet (pbuh) were successfully transmitted to future generations by the scholars of Hadith.

[By the way, Ahmad was Arab, not a Persian "conspirator. He was from the Arab tribe of Sheiban which settled in Basra when Omar ibn al-Khattab (r.a.) asked for volunteers to settle in that seemingly inhospitable area. Ahmad's line connects with that of the Prophet (pbuh) through Nazar bin Maadan bin 'Adnan.]

Imam Ahmed defied THREE ABBASID Caliphs who were trying to bring sectarian concepts into Islam. I am not surprised that Parwez ignored him. Parwez was helping the secularist rulers of his time to bring sectarian ideas into Islam to help defeat the independent Islamic scholars of our time like Syed Abul 'Ala Maudoodi (rahmatullah alaih).

We as Muslims can be proud that people of all nations have contributed to Islamic learning



Pakistan's $200 Trillion in Swiss Banks; Afghan Refugees; ;and the Indian Flag Fell Down in Kashmir
by Qaiser Sharif

LAHORE, Aug. 16; Ameer, Jamaat e Islami, Pakistan, Senator Sirajul Haq, has announced that the JI would fight the battle against corruption even in the Supreme Court.

Addressing a press conference at Peshawar on Tuesday, he said that the Secretary General, Supreme Court Bar Association, Asad Manzur Butt, would file a petition in this respect in the apex court on August 22, on behalf of the JI.

In reply to a question on Afghan refugees return, Sirajul Haq said that Pakistan had played host to the Afghan refugees for 35 years and sending them home by force would nullify the humanitarian services rendered by this country to their Afghan brethren in distress. He said the Afghan refugees themselves wanted to return home but the federal government institutions and the provincial government were handling the issue in an improper manner which was bound to have adverse effect for this country. He called upon the provincial government not to compel the Afghans to leave and instead deal with them with respect.

Sirajul Haq said that according to Swiss Banks reports, a huge sum of 200 trillion dollars owned by the Pakistanis were lying in Swiss Banks as had been confirmed by the Swiss Finance Minister. He said that under an agreement between Pakistan and Switzerland, Switzerland was to provide information to Pakistan about the details of this wealth by 2017. However, he said, no one knew when this information would be available.

The JI chief sad that the world at large came to know through the Panama leaks about the wealth of a large number of Pakistanis including the Prime Minister and his family, in off shore companies. He said the Prime Minister had addressed the nation three times on this issue.

He said that the government had requested the Supreme Court for the setting up of a judicial commission under an act of 1956. However, the Supreme Court wrote in its reply that the 1956 act was toothless, and a judicial commission under it would be of no use. The Supreme Court suggested an amendment in the 1956 act and called for explicitly naming the institutions and individuals against whom anti corruption proceedings were required.

The JI chief noted that the government had ignored the Supreme Court instructions as also the ToR's prepared by the Opposition under the pretext of dialogue and the government attitude had forced the JI to move the apex court in this respect.


Secretary General, Jamaat e Islami, Liaqat Baloch, has said that the falling down of the Indian tricolor from the hands of the puppet Chief Minister of Held Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti, was a bad omen for India predicting her defeat and the victory of the Kashmiris struggling for liberation.

Addressing youth gathering in the city, he said that the Indian Chief Justice had correctly analyzed Indian Prime Minister Modi's address to his nation. He said that India was badly suffering from anarchy and separatist movements and Modi was talking of Balochistan, Gilgit and Baltistan only to hide his own weaknesses.

He said it was high time that the eyes of the Indian masses were open to the bitter realities within their country and the gross human rights violations in Kashmir.

War News

 War News


Heavy Clashes as "Hizbullah" Tries to supply Alawite enclave in western Aleppo

Damascus Troops Fighting Communist Kurds in Hasakeh and Qamlishi

Russians bombing IS, al-Nusra and FSA. US bombing Unable to Stop IS leaving Manbig

[Sources: SOHR, Guardian and Reuters.]

August 17-20: Steady attempts by "hizbullah" and Shia forces to supply Alawite enclave in western Aleppo led to battles with mujahedeen of al-Nusra, FSA and Ahrar al-Sham. The re-supply efforts failed but both sides suffered heavy losses, with "hizbullah", the shias and the Alawites suffering 43 soldiers and 16 officers killed. The Mujaheddeen too suffered with 61 killed, including a Tunisian commander and 4 junior commanders.

In Hasakeh [northeastern Syria, attempts by Communist Kurds [YPG] to advance into the area held by the Alawite garrison loyal to Assad led to heavy fighting with losses on both sides. Assad sent his jets to bomb the Kurds.

After 4 days of fighting in Hasakeh, there are signs of tension in the city of Qamishli, and first reports of firing between Assad garrison and Kurds .

These cities are divided but with American support for Kurds, the Kurds are trying to advance.

In Deir ez Zor, another divided city, Islamic State forces are firing heavy machine guns and mortars at the Alawite garrison. Russia is trying to supply this garrison and has partially succeeded.

Near Damascus, the city of Darayya has been subjected to daily attacks of barrel bombs by Assad's helicopters leading to widespread death and destruction .

Mujehedeen groups in Lattakia are under attack by Russian bombers.


For two weeks Shia and Kurdish forces have not been able to advance against the Islamic State. [IS].

US air force has been busy bombing IS daily. The Baghdad regime has issued several statements claiming heavy IS losses in the bombing.

The Baghdad regime has also issued disinformation claiming serious divisions within IS; however there is no evidence or source for these claims.

Eight days back the Kurds claimed to have captured 11 villages from IS. However the claim has not been substantiated and no journalists have visited or reported on the 11 villages.


In Spite of US Ar Support for pro-West Forces, Bitter ISIS Resistance Continues in Sirte. Odds of 10 to one against IS.

[Here is the one sided BBC report.]

Since August 1, their progress has been aided by US air strikes on ISIL vehicles, weapons and fighting positions. US President Barack Obama said it was "in America's national security interest" to help the pro-government forces "finish the job" of ousting ISIL from Sirte.

The internationally backed government's forces and those of a rival authority in the east are currently engaged in a race to be the first to drive ISIL out of the city. But some analysts believe this could jeopardise efforts to defeat the armed group.

Libya has suffered from chaos since the 2011 overthrow of Gaddafi, with numerous revolutionary militias formed along regional and ideological lines vying for power.


'The worst place on earth': inside Assad's brutal Saydnaya prison


Late Model Russian Bombers Using Iran to Attack Islamic forces, IS and al-Nusra and Civilians in Syria.Horrific murders from the Air. (Source: Reuters. Aug 16 By Andrew Osborn)

MOSCOW Russia used Iran as a base from which to launch air strikes against Syrian militants for the first time on Tuesday, widening its air campaign in Syria and deepening its involvement in the Middle East.

In a move underscoring Moscow's increasingly close ties with Tehran, long-range Russian Tupolev-22M3 bombers and Sukhoi-34 fighter bombers used Iran's Hamadan air base to strike a range of targets in Syria.

It was the first time Russia has used the territory of another nation, apart from Syria itself, to launch such strikes since the Kremlin launched a bombing campaign to support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in September last year.

It was also thought to be the first time that Iran has allowed a foreign power to use its territory for military operations since the 1979 Islamic revolution. The Iranian deployment will boost Russia's image as a central player in the Middle East and allow the Russian air force to cut flight times and increase bombing payloads.

The head of Iran's National Security Council was quoted by state news agency IRNA as saying Tehran and Moscow were now sharing facilities to fight against terrorism, calling their cooperation strategic.

Both countries back Assad, and Russia, after a delay, has supplied Iran with its S-300 missile air defense system, evidence of a growing partnership between the pair that has helped turn the tide in Syria's civil war and is testing U.S. influence in the Middle East.

Relations between Tehran and Moscow have grown warmer since Iran reached agreement last year with global powers to curb its nuclear program in return for the lifting of U.N., EU and U.S. financial sanctions.

President Vladimir Putin visited in November and the two countries regularly discuss military planning for Syria, where Iran has provided ground forces that work with local allies while Russia provides air power.


Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on Tuesday Iraq, which lies between Iran and Syria, had granted Russia permission to use its air space, on the condition the planes use corridors along Iraq's borders and not fly over Iraqi cities.

Abadi told a press conference the same permission has been given to air forces of a separate U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State flying to Syria from Kuwait.

The Russian Defence Ministry said its bombers had taken off on Tuesday from the Hamadan air base in north-west Iran.The ministry said Tuesday's strikes had targeted Islamic State as well as militants previously known as the Nusra Front in the Aleppo, Idlib and Deir al Zour provinces. It said its Iranian-based bombers had been escorted by fighter jets based at Russia's Hmeymim air base in Syria's Latakia Province.

"As a result of the strikes five large arms depots were destroyed ... a militant training camp ... three command and control points ... and a significant number of militants," the ministry said in a statement.

The destroyed facilities had all been used to support militants in the Aleppo area, it said, where battle for control of the divided city, which had some 2 million people before the war, has intensified in recent weeks.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a U.K.-based war monitor, said heavy air strikes on Tuesday had hit many targets in and around Aleppo and elsewhere in Syria, killing dozens.

Strikes in the Tariq al-Bab and al-Sakhour districts of northeast Aleppo had killed around 20 people, while air raids in a corridor rebels opened this month into opposition-held eastern parts of the city had killed another nine, the observatory said.

The Russian Defence Ministry says it takes great care to avoid civilian casualties in its air strikes.Zakaria Malahifi, political officer of an Aleppo-based rebel group, Fastaqim, said he could not confirm if the newly deployed Russian bombers were in use, but said air strikes on Aleppo had intensified in recent days.

"It is much heavier," he told Reuters. "There is no weapon they have not dropped on Aleppo - cluster bombs, phosphorus bombs, and so on."

Aleppo, Syria's largest city before the war, is divided into rebel and government-held zones. The government aims to capture full control of it, which would be its biggest victory of the five year conflict.

Hundreds of thousands of civilians are believed to be trapped in rebel areas, facing potential siege if the government closes off the corridor linking it with the outside. Russian media reported on Tuesday that Russia had also requested and received permission to use Iran and Iraq as a route to fire cruise missiles from its Caspian Sea fleet into Syria, as it has done in the past. Russia has built up its naval presence in the eastern Mediterranean and the Caspian as part of what it says are planned military exercises.

Russia's state-backed Rossiya 24 channel earlier on Tuesday broadcast uncaptioned images of at least three Russian Tupolev-22M3 bombers and a Russian military transport plane inside Iran.

The channel said the Iranian deployment would allow the Russian air force to cut flight times by 60 percent. The Tupolev-22M3 bombers, which before Tuesday had conducted strikes on Syria from their home bases in southern Russia, were too large to be accommodated at Russia's own air base inside Syria, Russian media reported.

News Within the U.S.

 News within the US

Brooklyn, NY

Muslims Mourn Bangladeshi Imam and his friend.
Brooklyn Man Charged With Killing Imam and Assistant

Two days after an imam and his assistant were gunned down after afternoon prayers in Queens, the police said late Monday that a man they had in custody had been charged in the killings.

 Oscar Morel

The man, Oscar Morel of Brooklyn, 35 (seen in picture on right), who was taken into custody late Sunday after the police connected him to a hit and run that occurred about a mile away from the fatal attack, faces two counts of second-degree murder and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon, the police said. A police official said investigators had found what they believe was the murder weapon in the man's home as well as clothes matching the description of what the gunman had been wearing during the shootings.

The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the gun was found inside a wall in his apartment, on Miller Avenue in the East New York neighborhood, in a cavity that had apparently been cut open and resealed.

A man who answered a phone listed for Mr. Morel's family said that he was stunned by the arrest. "That is our relative," the man said, his voice soft and shaking with emotion. "We are just finding out ourselves. We're pulling together the pieces as well."

 Muslims Mourn Bangladeshi Imam

In Bangladesh, the oldest of the imam's seven children, Fayez Uddin Akonjee, 28, said he was relieved at the charges and expressed gratitude to the police. But in an interview in his native language, Bengali, he was still seething with anger.

The funeral prayers for the two slain men drew hundreds of mourners.

"We want to know as victims why he killed my father," he said. "What was his motive behind killing my father? Whether he was hired or appointed by someone else to kill my father or did he himself plan and kill my father?"

Earlier Monday evening, New York City officials sought to reassure members of the Muslim community in New York, saying that a "strong person of interest" was in police custody.

At a news conference, Mayor Bill de Blasio acknowledged the fear that had spread among members of the city's Bangladeshi community over concerns that the two men, who were dressed in religious garb at the time of the attack, had been targeted because of their faith.

Continue reading the main story here


Portraits of Injustice - Reem Jayyousi writes about visiting her father in prison

August 16, 2016

When Dr. Kifah Jayyousi was arrested, he left behind a wife and five children to fend for themselves. Dr. Jayyousi was a respected professor at Wayne State University, but he was critical of U.S. foreign policy. He also was part of a small charity to benefit victims of the war in Bosnia and Chechnya, helping the same people that the U.S. government was trying to help! In a case that even the judge noted was "very light on facts", Dr. Jayyousi was convicted of conspiracy to murder, kidnap and maim overseas and sentenced to 12 years in prison - in yet another case of pre-emptive prosecution.

 Dr. Kifah Jayyous

The years have passed, the family has grown up without their father, but Dr. Jayyousi still has more than a year in prison left to serve.

Reem Jayyousi, the middle child and oldest daughter, was 14 years old when her father was arrested. The Jayyousi family have been important participants in the NCPCF Family Conferences/ Retreats, and Reem is now the Social Media Expert of the NCPCF.

She has recently returned from a rare visit with her father. In the essay below, she reflects on her experiences.
In solidarity,

Mel Underbakke, Ph.D.
Director, Education and Outreach Committee
National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms

Reem Jayyousi:

Day 1:
Can't remember the jail, can't remember what you looked like the last time I saw you. Everything is a haze.
I wonder if you'll notice the little changes. Like the way I wear my hijab... I don't twist it as much as I used to. Would you notice my weight loss?

Day 1:
The drive to the prison was exciting; I was actually going to see you. The excitement soon slid through my trembling fingers as the guard who "greeted" us gave my mom an attitude. I was suddenly brought back to the bitter reality. I was brought back to the realization that this is prison. After the situation was over, I had to calm my mom down. I couldn't let her be angry after a 9-hour car drive. After all that money spent, I couldn't allow her to be uncomfortable for even a second just because some guard was doing his job wrong.

When we finally got our names checked and we walked through the metal detector, I remember praying "Allahuma sahil wa la to'aser" (Oh Allah, make things easier for me and do not make them difficult). When we finally were walking to the visitation building, I lost all thought waiting in anticipation for what you look like and if you were doing okay.

When we finally walked in and went through the final phase of identity and security checks, I scanned the room and tried to find you even though I knew you wouldn't be there. Since they always brought us first before you. I don't remember how long we waited for you to come out but it felt like an eternity.

When you finally came out I noticed you right away but you didn't see us. When our eyes finally met, you went from being 39551-039 to baba and your eyes lit up even though I was on the other side of the room.

I could already feel his warmth. He came up to us and he hugged mama first, Maryam, then me, Mohammed, and then Sara. All our eyes got teary as he took a seat.

I remember the way you held me and kissed my cheek. I tried to quickly memorize your smell, the way you felt, so I can bottle it and open it up when I need you at home.

First visits are always special. I have no idea what we talked about or what exactly was said but I can tell you how many kids were in the room, the color of the old lady's jacket who walked in with us. I can tell you how many black hairs you still had left and how you styled it.

First visits are physical. I try to take in the atmosphere. I try to take in the physical characteristics of everything. Home is where my mom and dad are, and for the next two days, FCI Allenwood, PA and this visiting room is my home.

Day 2:
I feel sick... could it be the weather change? Could it be the different bed I slept in? I wonder what it is, but my entire body aches and I feel nauseous. I wonder if the guard will notice I'm pale and cancel the visit? Should I even visit baba? Will I make him sick? Maybe I should sit this one out... or maybe I can drive back to the prison later.

Day 2:
Walked the same path to the visitation building as the day before but my tummy ache was getting worse. At this point my head was pounding but I sat through it. I fought through it for him. I came all this way and I don't want to waste five minutes. We took our seats and as I crossed my arms to hold the pain back I waited until they brought you out. When you finally came out of the large metal door, even though you were across the room and you weren't physically next to me, I felt as if you wiped all of my pain away. I couldn't hear, feel, or see anyone except you. The next couple of hours I spent the majority of the time rekindling my relationship with my father. I grew from being a 14-year-old girl to a 24-year-old woman.

I spoke to you in depth about my goals and aspirations. You complemented my new shoes, I spoke to you about my heartache, and we spoke for a while about religion.

Today he went from being 39551-039 to being Kifah Jayyousi. Before I knew it, time was being called and visitation was over. I glance over at the clock and it is 2:55, 5 minutes before visitation is actually over. 5 minutes, 300 seconds earlier than I anticipated. Five minutes mean a lot when my father spent 3 total years in solitary confinement and more than 3 years in the CMUs or the communication management units with no physical contact.

Day 3:
I woke up feeling tired and moody. I tried to fall asleep on the car ride to the prison but I couldn't so I closed my eyes and I was brought back to my childhood. I could almost taste the pop-rocks I had in my mouth when my dad was teaching me how to ride my bike, back when we lived in Maryland. Oh no... today is the last visit.

Day 3:
The vibe in the visitation room was calm, or maybe I just got used to our "home". My father went from 39550-039, to Kifah Jayyousi and now he is baba. This was the most comfortable day during our stay. I hugged him with open arms I said jokes and I even laid on his shoulder. I was finally getting comfortable. The visitation patio chairs transformed to our microfiber couch in our living room in Qatar. The guard's desk transformed to our television stand. The barbed fence morphed into our white fence around our villa and it gave us privacy. I felt at home. At home in Qatar, its been 11 years since I've been home, 11 years ago when I was 14, before I was exposed to his unwanted heartache and America's diluted vision of freedom.

2:00 hit and my smile started fading and I started hearing the clock tick over the noise of the overcrowded visiting room that consisted of inmates and mostly little kids. I overheard the clock tick.

With each tick the world that was colored suddenly became greyscale again. My thoughts that had finally become clear and organized became a mess again. I stumble to fill bottles with emotions and mental calmness. I hold on his shoulder tightly and I don't let go until 3:00 hit and they announced that visitation hours are over.

I walk away from the visitation building leaving my father on what was a leather couch in my head. I walk away carrying my bottles of emotions, physical energy, mental energy, and strength. Till whenever I see him again these bottles will keep me going.

2016-08-21 Sun 08:45:32 ct