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27 Mohurram 1440 A.H.- October 7 2018 Issue # 40, Newsletter #1779

Hadith of the Week

Avoid Assumptions

Abu Huraira, r.a., reported:
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

"Beware of assumptions, for assumption is the falsest of speech, and do not be inquisitive, and do not spy upon one another, and do not vie with one another, and do not envy one another, and do not hate one another, and do not shun one another; be fellow-brothers and slaves of Allah."
Al-Bukhari: Book 8 Vol. 73
 Sis Kristi

with thanks to Sis.Kristi


Research by New Trend

Ford waited 36 years.
What does Islam say?
Kevanaugh did not Rape anyone.

[Read to end. Surprise about ME TOO movement.]

Sexual assault iis common in America. If you are assaulted or touched physically, go to the police.

If scared, get your family's support and then go to the police.

If still too scared, wait till you feel secure, one, two, three years and then go to police and get a lawyer.

However, if you were involved in teenage misbehavior and decades pass, you should not think that you will have credibility.

People change. If a perpetrator [alleged perpetrator] repents, seeks forgiveness and lives a moral life for decades, why should you come out with allegations from teenage years.

It should come as no surprise that hardly any teenager inn America has stayed away from sexual misbehavior.

All that Ford did was to create a atmosphere of filth and disgrace.

Even Felons are recorded as on good behavior after a decade or two.

In Islam, RAPE and all crimes against women are severely punished but silence for decades does not mean you can come up with a story meant to destroy the credibility of a political opponent.

Spreading your filth when you did not have recourse to any legal measures means you are out to create an atmosphere of immorality.

Kavanaugh had support from 63 women for 36 years of pure behavior.

Ford, did you think you were waiting for an appointment of someone as pure as Jesus Christ, pbuh?

This country already has too much gossip and dirty stories. If every teenage tale of woe goes coast to coast, America will become the joke of the world.

  1. Police
  2. Family.
  3. Lawyer.
  4. Waiting period.

If there was no rape or murderous behavior, look:

  1. Is the perperator repentant.

  2. Seeking forgiveness.

  3. Has changed over the years, then Don't go for revenge.

In Islam we have concepts of CONVERSION.
We don't blame people for what they did before repentance and conversion.

Christianity teaches Original Sin which means NO ONE is without sin.

Now let's look at the leader of the ME TOO movemennt.

Asia Argento, exposed Weinstein for his sexual assaults on actresses in Cannes. She became famous as leader of victimized women.

Now it turns out that she herself is accused of sexually assaulting a 17 year old boy acto Jimmy Bennett..

In the meantime, she entered into a casual sexual relationship with Anthony Bourdain. He was sent all over the world to taste food [!]. No one knows his real mission. He was a self-confessed Jew and was very wealthy. Why would he be going all over the world? CNN has made him famous.

When Bourdain found that his mistress was being sued by the boy actor for assault, he decided that Asia should give the boy $380,000 to shut his mouth.

Asia, the ME TOO leader, says it was all Bourdain's idea.

Unfortunately Bourdain has committed suicide so we can't know his version.

He was a vociferous supporter of the Me Too movement.

So, dear reader, don't take the Me Too movement as your inspiration to rush to the media with your story of molestation. Teenagers in America are allowed to date and party mostly without supervision.

What do you expect?

[Sources for Asia and Bourdain story: USA Today and New York Times.]


Catonsville, Maryland
Document on Gaza, relevance of Maudoodi & Ibn Taymiyyah, war in Syria, Iraq, Iran.

On October 5, a Jamaat al-Muslimeen document 7-pages long, extracted from New Trend, ,was given to 72 Pakistani Americans after Juma'.

This is a masjid where almost the entire congregation is Pakistani American. Some young people bring their grandparents for Juma and they don't know English.

A long speech in Urdu is given before juma khutba [very brief] and prayers.

So Jamaat's 7-page document had to be given selectively. Here is an outline of the 7-pager.

  1. Race in Washington DC to support Gaza. [Sis. Nadrat].

  2. Hadith against begging [Sis. Kristi]

  3. &
  4. &
  5. Global influence of Ibn Taymiyyah and Maulana Maudoodi. [Dr. Kaukab]

  6. Battles continue is Syrian desert. [SOHR]

  7. Ahvaz, [Iran] and Iraq upheavall. [Reuters etc]

Political Prisoners :

Civil Discord Show


by Sis. Yasmin
'Bismillah Walhamdulillah Was Salaatu
Was Salaam 'Ala Rasulilillah
'As-Salaam Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu'

Narrated Abu Huraira ...
[ Allah be pleased with him ] .
*PROPHET* ~{Peace Be Upon Him} said....'The first batch of people who will enter Paradise will be glittering like a Full Moon {!} and those who will enter next will be glittering like the Brightest Star ~ {!}
Their Hearts will be as if the heart of a Single Man....! for they will have no Enmity among themselves.
And everyone of them shall have Two Wives...! each of whom will be so Beautiful.... Pure and Transparent that the marrow of the Bones of their legs will be seen through the Flesh.
They will be glorifying Allah in the Morning and Evening, and will never fall ill, and they will neither blow their noses, nor Spit. Their utensils will be of gold and silver, and their combs will be of gold, and the fuel used in their centers will be the aloes-wood, and their sweat will smell like Musk."
{ Source: Sahih Bukhari~ Volume 4~ Book 54 'Hadith' # 469.}
[The Begining Of Creation]

Narrated Sahl bin Sad ...[ Allah be pleased with him ]
The Prophet ~{Peace Be Upon Him} said.. ' Verily! 70,000 or 700,000 of my followers will enter Paradise altogether !
so that the first and the last among them will enter at the same time, and their faces will be glittering like the bright Full Moon'~ {!}
{Source: Sahih Bukhari Volume 4~ Book 54 # 470

My 'Salaams' To All...
... Y a s m i n ..
 3 roses


Children in Africa Need Help
by Br.Abu Talib, Jamaat al-Muslimeen

Here is an example from Gambia, which shows how small amounts can change a child's life. (see example here)

 memorized Qu'ran

We have also received pictures of students who have memorized the Quran.

A barrel full of educational material and toys is being filled up to be sent to Gambia.
May Allah bless all who are helping.
Anyone interested in assisting Br.Abu Talib in this much needed work, can reach him thru New Trend - see contact information below.

 Web Statistics

New Trend's Web Site:
Humble but doing Surprisingly Well.
In September, New Trend's web site received
87307 hits
with daily average of
493 visits.
Thank you Br. Rich.

Also on our amazing web site"
Readers should check complete Qur'an with three translatios ( quran.htm ), plus all of Bukhari ( bukhari.htm ) and photos of Israeli destruction in Palestine ( pictures3.htm ) .
Check links for politial prisoners ( links.htm ) .
Also see Br. Kaukab's extensive interview on CIVIL DISCORD ( civildiscordshow.htm )
funny but hard hitting.



On Friday, October 5, thousands of Palestinians again demostrated on Gaza's border. Israeli troups opened fire repeatedly killing 6 Palestinians youths and injuring 358, all unarmed.

However, a Palestinian youth from Tulkarem (on the West Bank) grabbed a gun and killed two Israelis, wounded a third, and escaped. Israel has launched a manhunt for him and also carried out two airstrikes in Gaza.


by Kaukab Siddique, PhD

Nobel Peace Prize indicates Intense hatred Against Islam and Islamic Women.

Selections are made for Vicious Propaganda Value.

The suffering of Islamic women today is horrendous beyond all known historic examples of genocide.

Here are a few examples:
Genocide of Rohingya Muslims with mass rape and mass murder of women and children.. More than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled their homes after brutal assaults by the Buddhist regime in Myanmer.

In Kashmir, the largest occupation army in the world sent in by India has turned this Muslim territory into a land of terrorized unarmed civilians. The Indian army uses rape as a weapon of suppression.

In Syria, more than a hundred thousand civilians have died under torture and severe living conditions in prisons imposed by the Alawite Shia regime. Among those tortured to death are more than 10,000 Muslim women and more 10,000 children in Assad's efforts to force the entire population into surrender.

Entire Syrian cities and towns have been destroyed, among them major cities of eastern Aleppo by the Russians and Iranians supporting Assad and al-Raqqa and Kobane by the Americans supporting YPG Kurds.

In Iraq, the US air force with Iranian artillery and Baghdad regime's fire power destroyed the entire city of Mosul, killing nearly 40,000 civilians and making more than one million civilians homeless. Even women and children part of Islamic State families were not spared. Those women and children who survived are under trial in severe captivity. Scores of women affiliated to the Islamic State have been executed by the Shia regime in Baghdad after perfunctory one minute trials.

[The 40,000 civilian deaths in Mosul were reported by the Independent.]

In northern Nigeria the military has brought about the deaths of thousands of Islamic women on suspicion of being part of the Boko Haram uprising.

The claims of the Yazidis.

The Nobel Peace Prize has been given to a Yazidi woman who claims that she was a "sex slave " of ISIS for three months before she escaped. There is absolutely no evidence for this claim. BBC and various western media have been claiming "sex slavery" by Isis for years but could bring no evidence at all. BBC brought two women who claimed that they had been sex slaves. Their faces were not shown and BBC projected their claims without any kind of corroboration or identities. Recently BBC brought an ISIS "commander" facing the death penalty to claim that he had raped thousands of women. Use of prisoners' interviews for propaganda is against international law. [BBC is refusing to answer]

It is true that Yazidis felt threatened by ISIS and fled to the Sinjar mountain where they were supplied by the US air force. They not only survived but were later trained and armed by the Baghdad regime and fought against ISIS.

The links of Yazidis with Israel and European countries saved them from the extreme suffering of war. In July last year, the Baghdad regime reported that more than 90,000 Yazidis left Iraq for various European countries.

Please note that Yazidi hatred for Islam and Muslims preceded the war. When a Yazidi woman embraced Islam, she was stoned to death by the Yazidi population.

Nobel Peace Prize has a track record of supporting anti-Islam persons.

Among them. Here are some:

One case is that of Malala who was working with Pakistani and American secret services. She was made world famous because she claimed through her father that Taliban oppose education for women .

Burmese female leader Su Kyi who refuses to say a word against the genocide of Rohingya Muslims.

Most dangerous move by Nobel was the "honor" given to Begin, the Israeli terrorist leader, and the Egyptian dictator Anwar Sadat which undermined the cause of Palestine and destroyed the unity of the Arab world.

Same effort went into the prize given to Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin.

President Obama was chosen for peace but he damaged Muslim countries more than any other American President.

Elie Wiesel was projected to strengthen the Israeli holocaust narrative.

Documentation of killings perpetrated by the Assad Shia regime are stated by the UN and SOHR as follows.

"UNICEF reported that over 500 children had been killed by early February 2012.[. Another 400 children were reportedly arrested and tortured in Syrian prisons. The United Nations stated that by the end of April 2014, 8,803 children had been killed, while the Oxford Research Group said that a total of 11,420 children died in the conflict by late November 2013. By mid-September 2018, the opposition activist group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported the number of children killed in the conflict had risen to 20,616, while at the same time 12,964 women were also killed.



New Government seeking Vendetta.

On October 5, the leader of the opposition party was arrested. A writer for daily newspaper Dawn is being charged with "treason" for his interview with former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Criticism of Imran Khan government by Jamaate Islami.
Elections were rigged: Sirajul Haq.

LAHORE, Oct. 6; Ameer, Jamaat e Islami, Senator Sirajul Haq, has said that the NAB should not make itself controversial and cases against the arrested political leaders should be heard in open courts. He was talking to the media at Mansoora after addressing the JI Ijtema.

Sirajul Haq said that when the Anti Corruption establishment itself became corrupt, the NAB was set up but it must also keep itself above board.

The JI chief said there were no two opinions that the elections were rigged and all political parties except the PTI had reservations about the election results. He said the government had set up a parliamentary commission for probe in rigging but the commission was headed by a federal minster. He questioned how a commission under a federal minister could conduct an impartial enquiry into rigging. He said that somebody from the opposition should have been the commission chairman.

The JI chief said that the Foreign Minister had courageously presented the Kashmir issue in the UN General Assembly. However, he said, that the actions of the government should be in conformity with this stance.

He said that instead of providing any relief to the masses, the PTI government had raised the prices of gas, POL and electricity which would lead to a flood of price hike.

Sirajul haq said that the JI strongly supported construction of dams but these mega projects could not be built through donations and the government must allocate necessary funds for that. He said that the vast tracts of land in Sindh had become barren due to shortage of water. He said that the PPP ministers had amassed heaps of wealth but the plight of the poor had not improved.

JI Secretary General Liaqat Baloch and JI Sindh chief Dr Meraj ul Huda also addressed the gathering.

War News

 War News

IS Hitting and being Hit across Iraq

October 5: Iraq's beauty queen, Tara Fares,was shot and killed by unknown gunman in Baghdad shortly after she arrived from Erbil. She was known for her semi-nude dances. Two other women, known as beauty experts with Western connections, have also been killed in mysterious circumstances in Baghdad.

October 7: Iraqi regime has launched new military offensive in Mosul, a city which the regime said it had captured last year.

Protests againt a lack of facilities are continuing in Basra, where drinking water is polluted. The number of people poisoned has risen to 102,000.

October 6: U.S. Airforce launched airstrikes against IS fighters in Kushaf village, in northern Iraq, killing at least 5.

IS fighters have appeared in various parts of central and northern Iraq.

There was a bomb explosion in southern Baghdad attributed to IS; casualities are not being revealed.

October 6: IS fighters launched an attack o al-Asadiyah, south of Mosul. There were several casualties. Another attack by IS took place in Tikrit, in the form of a roadside bomb.

A gang which demanded ransom from a church, and then killed the priest when he did not receive the ransom, has been sentenced to death.

Regime forces stuck in the desert, SDF stuck on Euphrates' banks.
Turkey trying to pursuade fighters to withdraw.

Heavy fighting continues in the desert between "Hizb" supporting Assad and IS fighters. Casualties are increasing on both sides. Russian airstrikes are continuing but with little effect in the desert. [4th week.]

U.S. Airforce is bombing three IS enclaves on the banks of the river Euphrates. However, SDF (communist Kurds) could not advance for the fourth week and is suffering losses owing to ISIS counter attacks at night when the U.S. Airforce is not operating.

In the northwest of Syria, Iranian artillery and Russian airstrikes supporting Assad are continuing against various towns who are supporting Islamic groups in the provinces of Lattakia, western Aleppo, and northern Hama. These attacks are violating the cease-fire promulgated by Russia.

Turkey is pressing Islamic groups to withdraw from facing Assad's forces so that Russian cease-fire should prevail. It's not working. Turkey has also sent in more troops hoping that it will stop Assad from attacking.

On Friday, again there were demostrations by the public in 16 towns of Idlib condemning the Assad regime and calling on the Islamic groups to unite and fight Assad.

There are reports that U.S.A. has built 20 small bases with air strips all the way from Raqqa to southern Deir ez Zhor province.

SOHR has noticed 8 more truck loads of American weaponry and ammunition heading towards these bases.

Iran launched balistic missiles which crossed over all of Iraq and hit IS forces on the Euphrates, but missed their targets. SOHR says 3 IS fighters were killed along with 4 civilians, including 3 who are women. Iran says this was in response to the IS attack on Iran's military parade in Ahvaz.


October 5-7
Taliban took over the central town of Wardak province, killed all the poicemen and withdrew with large quantities of weapons and ammunition.

According to the BBC, the forces organized by the US are being killed by the Taliban at the rate of an average of 27 a day.


October 7

US air strike killed 9 Islamic fighters near Kismayo after they attacked an Italian army convoy. A human bomber entered the convoy killing unknown numbers of Italians.

October 5: A Shabab human bomber destroyed regime regional offices in Mogadishu.

News Within the U.S.

 News within the US

Eyewitness Account
One Woman for Aafia
Saturday, October 6, 2018

By Nadrat Siddique

As I am in Chicago to run the "Bank of America Chicago Marathon" for Dr. Aafia Siddiqui this weekend, I decided to stop at the Pakistani Consulate. The Consulate is located on the seventh floor of a high rise building on Michigan Avenue, a vibrant and bustling street in Chicago's downtown. Just as I arrived at the Consulate, a Black Lives Matter (BLM) protest passed, proceeding quickly onto E. Lower Wacker Drive (the site of many of the organization's protests). The protesters chanted slogans decrying the killer police. Earlier that afternoon, in a radical departure from the norm of impunity, a police officer was convicted in the death of an innocent Black man. I itched to join the BLM march, but knew I must fulfill the purpose for which I had come to Chicago: to call attention to the case of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, an innocent Pakistani Muslim woman scientist entering her 15th year of illegal detention. As the BLM march disappeared from view, my heart went with it.

I stood in front of the Pakistan Consulate, a silent one-woman protest, my sign calling for Dr. Aafia Siddiqui's freedom. The security guard, a heavy set Black man, asked me to move away from the building. He indicated that I should stand closer to the Starbucks which was next door. I naively told him I was there for the Pakistan Consulate, and not Starbucks. He insisted I move away from the Consulate entrance. I really didn't want to be in front of Starbucks, so I re-positioned directly in front of the Consulate, but closer to the street side.

The only problem was that the street side was lined with police officers. Chicago panicked whenever Black people marched for justice. The heavy police presence there was in anticipation of "riots," Orwellian Double-Speak for Black protesters making Whites uncomfortable.

I was not eager to be in close proximity to the cops, so I temporarily moved towards Starbucks. Thankfully, the cops cleared out shortly thereafter, and I returned to my position closer to the Consulate.

As it was late Friday afternoon (the one woman protest for Aafia was 4:00 - 6:00 PM), I saw only a small handful of Pakistani officials emerge from the building. A few glanced in my direction, but it was not clear if I made a dent.

Soon after I arrived, a Pakistani couple passed me and went into the Starbucks. The wife was in full niqab. They remained in the coffee shop for some while. When they came out, I was in plain view in front of the Starbucks. They did not bat an eye, and continued on their way.

During the two-hour protest, hundreds, if not thousands, of pedestrians walked by me. Others were in cars or buses. Many of those on foot turned around for a second look at my sign. A few cars honked their horn for me to turn toward them, so that they could read my sign (if it was not oriented in their direction at the time that they passed). Many made eye contact, which I returned with a smile. Some gave me a nod or a thumbs-up.

The ordinary (i.e., non-consular) Pakistanis who passed by were of two extremes: The first group were those who were extremely interested, and stared or turned around for a second look at my "Free Dr. Aafia Siddiqui" sign after they had passed. The second group was completely disinterested (or at least feigned disinterest).

I was surprised to see how many of the passersby were extremely fit runners. Like me, they were there to run the Chicago marathon that Sunday. They came from all over the country, and were notable by the race packets--distributed by all major races--slung over their shoulders. Many of them wore Boston Marathon jackets, indicating they had completed that highly competitive race. Others sported the blue 2018 Chicago Marathon commemorative shirt loudly proclaiming their participation in the event. Many of the runners passed my one-woman "Free Aafia" protest with looks of interest on their faces. We runners--particularly marathoners--tend to be very narcissistic. Also, marathons charge on average $100 registration fee, making marathoning a rather expensive hobby, and as a result, largely the dominion of the well-to-do. I wondered how many of my fellow Chicago Marathon participants would stand for a cause higher than themselves, particularly a political prisoner whose false imprisonment their tax dollars supported. The marathon had not even started, and inadvertently I'd introduced a large number of runners to the Aafia case.

As I left the Consulate and headed to the nearby subway station, I prayed that the newly elected Pakistani government would reverse the ignominies of its predecessors, and work to free Dr. Aafia Siddiqui. It was a shame and a travesty that a Muslim nation had allowed one of its most innocent and vulnerable citizens to languish for 15 years in American, Pakistani, and Afghan prisons, all without just cause. I prayed that all those complicit in her torment--and in the torment of Muslim political prisoners--would be punished by Allah Almighty.

© 2018 Nadrat Siddique


 Invitation to Think

The Innocence of Abu Zubaydah
Joseph Margulies
October 28, 2009

I have defended men and women on death row for nearly all of my thirty years as a lawyer, and have represented people caught up in the excesses of the "war on terror" since very shortly after that war was launched. For more than a decade, I have been counsel for Zayn al-Abedin Muhammad Hussein, known more widely as Abu Zubaydah. Abu Zubaydah was the first person immured in a "black site," the clandestine prisons operated around the globe by the CIA from early 2002 to late 2006. He was the first prisoner to have his interrogation "enhanced," and the only person subjected to all the DOJ-approved interrogation techniques, as well as a number that were never approved (including, for example, rectal rehydration). The infamous torture memo was, in fact, written specifically to legitimize Abu Zubaydah's torture.

At the time of his capture and for years afterward, government officials took great pains to demonize Abu Zubaydah in order to justify his abuse. "The other day," President George W. Bush announced at a Republican fundraiser in April 2002, "we hauled in a guy named Abu Zubaydah. He's one of the top operatives plotting and planning death and destruction on the United States. He's not plotting and planning anymore. He's where he belongs." Various senior administration officials described Abu Zubaydah in comparably colorful terms.

These pronouncements, however, are not what set the torture scandal into motion. For that, we can thank a "psychological assessment" written by unnamed CIA officers and faxed to John Yoo, the Justice Department lawyer who was the lead author of the torture memo. This document described Abu Zubaydah as "the third or fourth man in al-Qaida" and "a senior Usama Bin Laden lieutenant" who had been "involved in every major al-Qaida terrorist operation" and was "a planner of the 11 September hijackings." He "managed a network of [al-Qaeda] training camps," "directed the start-up of a Bin Laden cell in Jordan," and "served as al-Qaeda's coordinator of external contacts, or foreign communications." He was also alleged to be "engaged in ongoing terrorism planning against US interests." For good measure, he had supposedly written the organization's "manual on resistance techniques" and had a particular expertise in thwarting conventional interrogations. It was this assessment that provided Yoo with the "facts" needed to legalize the unlawful and rationalize the unthinkable.

And so Abu Zubaydah was tortured. As often as it has been repeated, the litany of this torture is still shocking. His captors hurled him into walls and crammed him into boxes and suspended him from hooks and twisted him into shapes that no human body can occupy. They kept him awake for seven consecutive days and nights. They locked him for hours in a freezing room. They left him in a pool of his own urine. They strapped his hands, feet, arms, legs, torso, and head tightly to an inclined board, with his head lower than his feet. They covered his face and poured water up his nose and down his throat until he began to breathe the water, so that he choked and gagged as it filled his lungs. His torturers then left him to strain against the straps as he began to drown. Repeatedly. Until, just when he believed he was about to die, they raised the board long enough for him to vomit the water and retch. Then they lowered the board and did it again. The torturers subjected him to this treatment at least eighty-three times in August 2002 alone. On at least one such occasion, they waited too long and Abu Zubaydah nearly died on the board.
The "facts" recounted above to justify this torture were all false. Abu Zubaydah was no lieutenant to Osama bin Laden. He held no position in al-Qaeda, senior or otherwise. He had no part in September 11 or any other al-Qaeda operations. He did not operate a network of al-Qaeda camps, open an al-Qaeda cell in Jordan, or manage al-Qaeda's external communications. He did not draft any resistance manual, for al-Qaeda or anyone else, and had no special expertise in resisting interrogations.

The government no longer maintains that these assertions are true, and now concedes that Abu Zubaydah was never a member of al-Qaeda.

This was the conclusion of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, which undertook the most meticulous study of the torture scandal to date, eventually publishing a 500-page summary of its findings. The drafters reviewed more than six million pages of contemporaneous records, from the CIA and other sources, and concluded there was no support for any of these assertions. The CIA has likewise admitted error, and now affirms that Abu Zubaydah was not part of al-Qaeda. This is also the conclusion of the United Nations Security Council, which has removed Abu Zubaydah from its Islamic State and al-Qaeda sanctions list, based on the earlier recommendation of the UN ombudsman, who similarly concluded that Abu Zubaydah was not a member of al-Qaeda. And years ago, the Department of Justice withdrew all allegations that Abu Zubaydah had a connection to the September 11 attacks or played any part in al-Qaeda's terrorism.

When I point this out, many people ask whether I am claiming that Abu Zubaydah is "innocent." Here, they mean innocence in the Hollywood sense—the wrong-place-wrong-time sort of innocence that has acquired such purchase in American life. Do I maintain that Abu Zubaydah is innocent?

This preoccupation with my client's innocence reminds me of conversations I have often had about capital punishment. The question that occurs to many people when they reflect on the death penalty is whether he (it is almost always a he) "did it." Other questions—about the limits of state power, the fairness of the penalty, and the legality of the proceeding—simply do not arise. They do not matter so long as the accused committed the offense. The plain fact of guilt supersedes any constitutional qualms.

We have now brought this orientation to the new world we once designated "post-9/11," but now simply accept as normal. Because the demonization of radical Islam has been uncritically embraced by a significant portion of the population and a great many of our elected officials, there is widespread (though not universal) agreement that the federal government may do things to followers of radical Islam that it would never do to a conventional offender—even one the government would seek to execute, like a domestic terrorist who blows up a federal building in Oklahoma City.

Thus, many people have come to accept that the government may "enhance" such a person's interrogation in a way that their former selves would have called torture, and that it may hold him on a remote island without trial or meaningful legal process for the rest of his days. The only question that matters is whether the person falls within the forbidden category. If he does, then he is not "innocent" and his special fate is not only justified, it is salutary, regardless of the constitutional consequences. But if he does not belong to the category of radical Islamist, then he can be considered "innocent" and may be spared.

The tragedy of innocence-speak, whether in capital punishment or the post-9/11 world, is that it encourages a childlike fantasy that we live among saints and demons. And it compounds this folly by supposing that the challenge of our time is merely to separate the two as accurately as possible. Having satisfied ourselves that we have done so, we then grant the state the authority to impose nearly any penalty on those who fall on the wrong side of an imaginary line. The obsession with innocence encourages the transmogrification of a human being into a character in a Marvel Comics movie.
The short answer to the question "Is Abu Zubaydah Hollywood-innocent?" is that it doesn't matter. At least, it shouldn't. It shouldn't matter in the legal sense, because if the law were humane, it would not authorize the government to imprison someone for the rest of his days unless he had some specific responsibility for the event that triggered our entry into this endless war. And it shouldn't matter in the moral sense, because regardless of what he may have done, regardless of whether he is "innocent," we should not authorize the government to treat him in a way that we would never tolerate if it were done to a dog, or to imprison him incommunicado, in a small, windowless cell, without charges or meaningful process, until he dies, forgotten by a world that has long since moved on.

But we do not live in the world that ought to be. We live in the world that is, and most people who ask whether Abu Zubaydah is innocent are not satisfied with what they regard as a non-answer. So for them, the answer is no.

 Abu Zubaydah

Abu Zubaydah would describe himself as a mujahid, which means simply that he is engaged in jihad (literally, "struggle"). Like many others, he has long believed he has a religious obligation to come to the defense of other Muslims who have been attacked, even if the attack comes from an entity as powerful as a government. He has believed this for years, which is why he dedicated himself to the defense of Muslims in Afghanistan during its war against the Communists. And it was a piece of Soviet shrapnel that lodged in Abu Zubaydah's brain in 1992 as he fought alongside his fellow Muslims against the Soviet-installed puppet government.

Back then, Ronald Reagan called the mujahideen "valiant freedom fighters." He said we supported the mujahideen, and would continue to support them as long as it was needed, because "their cause is our cause: freedom." Reagan made sure the mujahideen received funding from the CIA, and American leaders thought men like Abu Zubaydah were heroes of the anti-Soviet resistance.

After the Communist government in Afghanistan collapsed, bickering factions dragged the country into civil war. Like most mujahideen, Abu Zubaydah had no interest in a conflict that pitted Muslim against Muslim. But there were other places around the world where Muslims were under organized attack. Places like Bosnia. Because of his injury, Abu Zubaydah could no longer serve as a soldier; he simply lacked the physical and mental capacity. So he became a kind of mujahid travel agent. He coordinated the travel of other Muslims into Pakistan, and from Pakistan to a training camp on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, known to the West as Khalden.

Contrary to what the United States believed when its agents tortured Abu Zubaydah, the government now agrees that Khalden was not an al-Qaeda camp. Under bin Laden's influence, al-Qaeda considered any American a legitimate target, including innocent civilians. Abu Zubaydah, however, like the vast majority of mujahideen, rejected this extremist view; he believed then, and believes now, that attacks on non-combatants, whether American or otherwise, were and are explicitly forbidden by the Koran. (This is also why he believes, like most mujahideen of his era, that the actions of ISIS are an egregious violation of Islamic law.) Although Abu Zubaydah knew bin Laden, the two held irreconcilably opposing views of Islam. The ideological antipathy between bin Laden and the leadership at Khalden was widely known among the mujahideen in Afghanistan and Pakistan. It was precisely because of this antipathy that bin Laden forced the Taliban to close Khalden in 2000.

Khalden trained Muslim men to fight in the defense of other Muslims. The men who passed through the camp, however, like people everywhere, were free agents who could use their training as they deemed appropriate. Like most mujahideen, the majority of Khalden trainees went to places like Bosnia to defend Muslims under attack. Some, however, came under the sway of bin Laden and moved to camps run by al-Qaeda. And some of these men would later be recruited by al-Qaeda to take action against the United States. But the leaders of Khalden opposed al-Qaeda's campaign. In fact, the man described by the United States as a former commander of Khalden, Noor Uthman Muhammed, who was arrested at the same time as Abu Zubaydah and who trained hundreds of men at the camp, was released from Guantanamo nearly five years ago.

Abu Zubaydah is thus not Hollywood-innocent. He helped facilitate the movement of scores of Muslim men to a camp that trained them in armed combat. Some of these men were later recruited by al-Qaeda. If the government believes this adds up to a legal indictment, my co-counsel and I will see them in court. We have demanded that he should be either charged or released. The government has never brought any charge against Abu Zubaydah, in either civilian or military court, presumably because it understands that he has committed no crime.

Instead, the United States is content that he should be forgotten, out of sight and out of mind. And for this, the government relies on people continuing to imagine him a monster. Because if he is a monster, the government was right to torture him. If he is a monster, it is not just lawful but good that he remains imprisoned indefinitely. If he is a monster, we may do with him what we will.
But there are no monsters. There is only us.

2018-10-08 Mon 00:04:24 ct