EU’s Ashton calls on Israel to save hunger strikers

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton is greatly concerned by the health condition of Palestinians on hunger strike in Israeli jails, her spokesperson said Friday.

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on Friday called on Israel to “do all it can to preserve the health” of Palestinian hunger strikers in Israeli jail.

Samer al-Barq is on his 117th day of renewed hunger strike, Hassan Safadi has been on renewed hunger strike for 87 days and Ayman Sharawna has refused food for 77 days.

The International Committee of the Red Cross warned on Friday that the hunger strikers were in a critical condition, and urged a prompt solution.

Ashton is following their condition with great concern, a statement from her spokesperson said.

The EU leader “requests the Government of Israel to do all it can to preserve the health of Mr al-Barq and Mr Safadi in its continued handling of their respective cases. She also reiterates the EU’s longstanding concern about the extensive use by Israel of administrative detention orders.”

Noting that Sharawna is also reportedly in a critical condition, Ashton “urged all sides to abide by the terms of the agreement reached between the Israeli prison authorities and prisoner representatives” to end mass hunger strikes in May.

All three prisoners are being held without charge. In May, Israeli authorities had pledged to limit administrative detention orders after a coordinated hunger strike throughout Israeli prisons against conditions for imprisoned Palestinians.

(www.maannews.net / 15.09.2012)

Algerian scientists visit Gaza‎

A delegation of professors from Algerian universities has arrived in the Gaza Strip for ‎a solidarity visit. The purpose of the visit is to express solidarity with their colleagues ‎in Gaza who are subject to academic isolation due to the siege imposed by Israel. ‎
The Algerian delegation of scientists, which includes a number of scholars from the central of astronomical research and university academics as well as a Jordanian lecturer, has arrived to Gaza.

The delegation is to stay in Gaza for five days in order to give tens of scientific lectures in three of Gaza’s universities. The delegation’s visit is not only limited to giving astronomical lectures, but it is also considered the first scientific attempt to break the blockade imposed on Gaza since 2007.

Diwan Ghazza is a group of young activists in Gaza who are united and inspired by knowledge. The group organizes events and campaigns that aim at pumping positive energy and hope in Gaza. They have organized a lecture and an astronomical observation for the first time in Gaza.

Gazans believe the scientific delegation is a unique way to break the Israeli blockade, which imposes many restrictions on the educational and scientific development in Gaza.

An event called “Discover the Space” organized by the “Diwan Ghazza” organization is welcomed by all Gazans.

The Algerian delegation of scientists says the visit to Gaza aims to show solidarity with Gazans and to break the Israeli blockade.

(www.presstv.ir / 15.09.2012)

U.S. orders non-essential staff to leave Tunisia and Sudan

Tunisian protesters wave flags and shout slogans during a demonstration in front of the U.S. Embassy in Tunis. (Reuters)

Tunisian protesters wave flags and shout slogans during a demonstration in front of the U.S. Embassy in Tunis.

The United States on Saturday ordered all non-essential personnel to leave Sudan and Tunisia following embassy attacks over an anti-Islam video, and warned U.S. citizens against travel to those countries.

“Given the security situation in Tunis and Khartoum, the State Department has ordered the departure of all family members and non-emergency personnel from both posts, and issued parallel travel warnings to American citizens,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a statement.

Tunisia’s interior ministry threatened on Saturday to punish all those involved in Friday’s U.S. embassy attack, as police hunted the leader of a hardline jihadist group.

“Anyone closely or marginally involved in the events outside the American embassy in Tunis will be punished,” national security spokesman Mohammed Ali Aroui said in an interview with Mosaique FM radio.

Four people were killed and 49 injured when the American embassy in the Tunisian capital was attacked by mostly hardline Islamist protesters angry over an anti-Islam film made in the United States, the health ministry said.

The interviewer quizzed Aroui on a police raid on the home of Saif Allah bin Hussein (alias Abu Iyad), the leader of radical Salafist Islamist group Ansar al-Shariah — supporters of Shariah (Islamic law).

Aroui avoided comment on the raid, but an associate of Abu Iyad confirmed the swoop in a suburb of Tunis. “Police came to Abu Iyad’s residence on Friday night, but did not arrest him as he was not there,” he told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Interior ministry spokesman Khaled Tarrouche said 75 arrests had been made, and that “further searches are taking place to bring in more suspects,” without identifying any of them.

On Saturday, clashes broke out between youths and Salafists in a western Tunis suburb that is a bastion for local Islamists, a witness told AFP. The youths “threw stones at Salafists, who fled,” the resident said.

Buses were damaged and traffic came to a halt, and police at the scene did not intervene, they added.

The ruling Islamist Ennahda party accused some “offensive groups” of hijacking Friday’s peaceful protest against the American anti-Islam film.

“These groups use young people to try and impose by force (their) worldview on society, rejecting all laws and institutions,” Interior Minister Ali Larayedh, a member of Ennahda, said.

Ennahda is regularly accused by the opposition and NGOs of complacency in the face of Salafist violence.

Violent clashes broke out on Friday between security forces and protesters, most of them appearing to be Salafists, who were protesting over the film.

Some protesters hurled petrol bombs and then stormed the sprawling U.S. embassy complex in Tunis before police fired live rounds and tear gas to drive them away.

A nearby American school was also ransacked and set on fire, along with several parked vehicles.

Tunis said on Saturday that the “irresponsible actions” of the demonstrators would not affect its relations with Washington.

(english.alarabiya.net / 15.09.2012)

Red Cross: Three Palestinian hunger strikers near death

Three men on hunger strike to protest the conditions of their imprisonment by Israel are near death, according to a Red Cross spokesman who spoke with Agence France Presse on Friday.

International Committee of the Red Cross logo
International Committee of the Red Cross logo

Although the International Committee of the Red Cross has not issued an official statement on these cases, the committee is in close contact with all of the hunger striking detainees, and has been monitoring their conditions since hunger strikes began last December.

Among the detainees near death is Hasan Safady, who was just transferred to the prison hospital after 85 days on hunger strike. The other two are Samer Barq and Ayman Sharawneh, who have both refused all food since June.

Juan Pedro Schaerer, the head of the Red Cross delegation to Israel and the Occupied Territories, stated, “ These people are going to die unless the detaining authorities find a prompt solution.” In addition, he challenged Israeli authorities on their force-feeding of other hunger strikers in the past. Schaerer said, “ It is essential that their choice be respected and their dignity preserved”, and noted that force-feeding hunger strikers is a violation of World Medical Association resolutions.

A mass hunger strike involving over 2,000 imprisoned Palestinians was ended in May after an agreement was made with Israeli authorities to release all prisoners being held without charge. Safadi resumed his hunger strike when he was not released as promised.

The other two are also demanding an end to the Israeli practice of ‘administrative detention’, in which they hold Palestinians without charge for renewable six month terms. They are also protesting the conditions in Israeli detention, which include solitary confinement and torture.

Since the hunger striking campaigns began last December, a number of detainees have come close to death, including Khader Adnan, who began the firat long term hunger strike and agreed to end it after 62 days when Israeli authorities promised his release.

The three men now near death have been on hunger strike far longer than Adnan, who was near death at 62 days. Safady has been on strike 85 days, consuming only liquid since his strike began.

(www.imemc.org / 15.09.2012)

Saudi Grand Mufti calls attacks on foreign embassies un-Islamic

 

Protesters at the Abu Hanifa Sunni mosque in Baghdad's Adhamiya district, September 14, 2012. (REUTERS/Saad Shalash)
Protesters at the Abu Hanifa Sunni mosque in Baghdad’s Adhamiya district, September 14, 2012.
 

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti, the highest religious authority in the birthplace of Islam, on Saturday denounced attacks on diplomats and embassies as un-Islamic after deadly protests against a U.S.-made film mocking Islam’s founder.

Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al al-Sheikh also called on governments and international bodies to criminalize insults against prophets and excoriated the film that has prompted a wave of fury across the Middle East.

“It is forbidden to punish the innocent for the wicked crimes of the guilty, or to attack those who have been granted protection of their lives and property, or to expose public buildings to fire or destruction,” he said in a speech carried by state news agency SPA.

Describing the release of the crudely made short film as “miserable” and “criminal”, he added that attacks on the innocent and diplomats “are also a distortion of the Islamic religion and are not accepted by God”.

At least nine people were killed after noon prayers Friday in demonstrations across the Middle East.

Washington sent extra troops to guard its embassies after the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans were killed in an attack on a U.S. mission in Libya on Tuesday. The violence spread to Egypt, Lebanon, Tunisia, Sudan, Yemen and elsewhere.

There have been no reports of anti-American demonstrations in Saudi Arabia, a key Arab ally of the United States and country that holds significant influence over the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims via its guardianship of Mecca and Medina.

Al al-Sheikh’s statement echoed the official position taken by Saudi Arabia on Thursday, condemning both the film and attacks on U.S. embassies.

Earlier Saturday, Al Qaeda’s regional wing based in Yemen called on Muslims to kill American diplomats in Islamic countries and step up protests against the film.

Some of the senior leaders of the group, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, are of Saudi nationality, but are sworn enemies of the kingdom’s ruling family.

(www.dailystar.com.lb / 15.09.2012)

Video: CAIR Releases Arabic Video Appeal on Anti-Islam Film Protests

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 9/15/12) — The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today released a video appeal in Arabic to those protesting an anti-Islam film, portions of which have been circulating on the Internet.

In the video, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad tells viewers in the Middle East that ordinary Americans and the U.S. government should not be blamed for the religious hatred expressed in the film.

He explains that the low-quality production was designed to provoke religious sensitivities and to distract from the positive efforts being undertaken to improve newly-free societies in the wake of the Arab Spring.

Awad’s appeal notes that the controversy over the film distracts from more important issues such as the struggle for freedom in Syria, the need for justice for the Palestinian people and ongoing killings of Muslims in Burma.

[NOTE: In 2011, Awad was included on the “Power 500” list compiled by Arabian Business Magazine. In 2009, he was recognized among the world’s “500 Most Influential Muslims” by the Jordan-based Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center.]

He quoted a verse in the Quran, Islam’s revealed text, which states that no soul will carry the burdens of another and asked viewers to emulate Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, who did not retaliate in kind to personal abuse. He also urged protesters to put their energies into rebuilding their societies.

VIEW THE VIDEO:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbfEI78KoUU

Awad’s video appeal was filmed against a backdrop of a verse from the Quran, which states: “A goodly word (is) like a goodly tree, whose root is firmly fixed and its branches (reach) to the heavens.” (14:24)

It ends with the recitation of a verse from the Quran: “You have indeed in the Messenger of God [Muhammad] a beautiful pattern (of conduct) for any one whose hope is in God and the Final Day, and who engages much in the Praise of God.” (33:21)

Earlier this week, CAIR condemned the killings of American diplomats in Libya and said that extremists must not be allowed to control the political and religious discourse worldwide.

CAIR made that statement at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., at which representatives of CAIR and other Muslim organizations condemned both the killings of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other diplomats in that nation and the attack on the American embassy in Egypt.

Video: U.S. Muslim Leaders Condemn Killings of American Diplomats
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dI844aC1qU

CAIR had previously called on Muslims in the Middle East to ignore the distribution of the “trashy” anti-Islam film that resulted in the attacks in Libya, Egypt and other nations throughout the Muslim world.

SEE: CAIR Asks Mideast Muslims to Ignore ‘Trashy’ Anti-Islam Film
http://tinyurl.com/9z66a44

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

Sudan rejects U.S. request to send Marines to secure embassy

KHARTOUM, Sept 15 (Reuters) – Sudan has rejected a U.S. request to send a platoon of Marines to bolster security at the U.S. embassy in Khartoum, the state news agency SUNA said on Saturday.

On Friday, a U.S. official told Reuters that Washington would send Marines to Sudan to improve security at the embassy after protesters entered the mission in a demonstration against a film that insults the Prophet Mohammad.

“Sudan is able to protect the diplomatic missions in Khartoum and the state is committed to protecting its guests in the diplomatic corps,” Foreign Minister Ali Ahmed Karti told SUNA.

(www.trust.org / 15.09.2012)

The CIA’s Islamist Terrorist Network

The Central Intelligence Agency cobbled together the forerunner of the present Muslim jihadist terrorist network in the late 1970s to battle Soviet troops in Afghanistan. Throughout the next three decades, the CIA continued to maintain links with the jihadist groups, using them as allies for certain operations and attacking them when America’s «commitment» to the «war on terrorism» required an propaganda boost in the world’s media.

An example of the CIA ‘s flip-flopping between using its mujaheddin and jihadist allies and then declaring them «terrorists» and putting a price on their heads is the recent declaration by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that the Haqqani network based in North Waziristan, Pakistan is a «foreignterrorist organization».

The Haqqani network, led by Jalaluddin Haqqani, was cobbled together by the CIA and the Pakistani Directorate of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in the 1980s.

The Haqqani network is the latest former CIA ally to be branded a terrorist group. The Haqqanis are the latest in a long line of so-called terrorist groups that were organized and funded by the CIA only later to be thrown to the side of the road and branded «terrorists». Others include «Al Qaeda», led by CIA Afghan war veteran Osama bin Laden and Hezb-I Islami leader Gulbuddin Hekmatayar. With the designation of the Haqqani network as a terrorist organization, after the demise of Bin Laden and the designation of Hekmatayar as a terrorist, the CIA has run the table on its old mujaheddin allies. Only those «Al Qaeda» operatives who have allied themselves with the CIA in the Western-backed insurgencies in Libya and Syria.

Bin Laden and «Al Qaeda» were the convenient scapegoats for the CIA and its Mossad allies to provide a «logical» perpetrator for the 9/11 attacks on the United States, the 11th anniversary of which is now being observed across America. Hekmatayar’s falling out with the CIA appears to be over his attempt to cut into the opium smuggling in Afghanistan run by intelligence cut-outs for the CIA, as well as the family opium harvesting and smuggling business of the family of Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

In his book on America’s dalliance with Islamist terrorists, the late ABC News Middle East correspondent John Cooley reveals the nature of the CIA’s involvement with Afghan opium smuggling in his book Unholy Wars: Afghanistan, America and International Terrorism. Getting the idea from French intelligence, the CIA launched Operation Mosquito, a program that pumped heroin and hashish into Soviet-occupied Afghanistan in order to «hook» Red Army troops on drugs and decimate their fighting potential. When supplies of narcotics from Pakistan were depleted, the drugs shipped into Afghanistan came from stockpiles of Colombian cocaine and heroin impounded by the Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Customs Service, and U.S. Coast Guard. The CIA used various Afghan warlords and operatives like Bin Laden, Hekmatayar, and Haqqani to smuggle drugs into Kabul, Kandahar, and other areas where Soviet troops were concentrated. The proceeds from the drug smuggling were split between the Afghan warlords and the CIA’s off-shore slush funds.

No less an expert on «Al Qaeda» than the late British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook, in an article for The Guardian newspaper published on July 8, 2005, wrote «Throughout the 80s he [Bin Laden] was armed by the CIA and funded by the Saudis to wage jihad against the Russian occupation of Afghanistan. Al-Qaida, literally ‘the database,’ was originally the computer file of the thousands of mujahideen who were recruited and trained with help from the CIA to defeat the Russians». Cook, who, as Foreign Secretary, would have had access to most of the files of two agencies subservient to him – Britain’s MI-6 Secret Intelligence Service and Britain’s U.S. National Security Agency counterpart, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) – was revealing some of the most hidden secrets about Western intelligence agency involvement in crafting and exploiting the 9/11 attacks.

Former French military intelligence officer Pierre-Henri Bunel, who tracked Islamist terrorist networks in the Balkans and discovered their CIA origins, said «Al Qaeda» was not merely a database, but an Intranet the CIA used to call up reserves of mujaheddin to engage in specified terrorist actions, much like those seen during the past few years in the remote-control bombing of civilians in Damascus, Beirut, Baghdad, various Libyan and Pakistani cities, Aden, and other locales., all carried out by «Al Qaeda» or its off shoots.

Echoing Cook’s statement, Bunel, a graduate of the elite St. Cyr military academy in France, wrote:

«The truth is, there is no Islamic army or terrorist group called Al Qaida. And any informed intelligence officer knows this. But there is a propaganda campaign to make the public believe in the presence of an identified entity representing the ‘devil’ only in order to drive the ‘TV watcher’ to accept a unified international leadership for a war against terrorism. The country behind this propaganda is the U.S. and the lobbyists for the U.S. war on terrorism are only interested in making money.

Bunel described in great detail how «Al Qaeda» operated. He revealed that the Al Qaeda «Intranet» was established under the auspices of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), which is based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Users, including OIC member governments and their embassies around the world, could access the database «by telephone: an Intranet, in modern language.

A major in Pakistan’s military told Bunel that the «Al Qaeda» database was «divided into two parts, the information file where the participants in the meetings could pick up and send information they needed, and the decision file where the decisions made during the previous sessions were recorded and stored. In Arabic, the files were called, Q’eidat il-Maaloomaat and Q’eidat i-Taaleemaat. Those two files were kept in one file called in Arabic Q’eidat ilmu’ti’aat, which is the exact translation of the English word database. But the Arabs commonly used the short word Al Qaida which is the Arabic word for ‘base.’»

Among the countries using the Al Qaeda Intranet to conduct terrorist operations was Saudi Arabia. And the «Al Qaeda» Intranet had been around for quite some time before 9/11. Bunel stated: «When Osama Bin Laden was an American agent in Afghanistan, the Al Qaida Intranet was a good communication system through coded or covert messages».

Cook died suddenly from a heart attack a month after he wrote the Guardian article. Bunel was charged, convicted, and imprisoned for a dubious claim that he spied for Serbia.

Today, the OIC is at the vanguard of providing covert support to «Al Qaeda» and affiliated rebels fighting against Bashar al Assad’s government in Syria. It is likely that the «Al Qaeda» intranet is working overtime sending coded messages between Jeddah, Riyadh, Doha, Abu Dhabi and «Al Qaeda» field units in Syria and on the Turkish side of the Syrian border. The OIC has suspended Syria from OIC membership and the only reason for such a decision was to sever Syria from the OIC «Al Qaeda» Intranet intelligence link to Syrian rebel forces and CIA covert channel terminals in Langley, Virginia.

Hekmatayar and Haqqani are arms of the ISI and when their services were needed the most by the United States, they served the interests of the CIA. There is now an attempt by the CIA to rewrite the recent history of South Asia and eliminate all the insurgents and guerrillas and their organizations that did the bidding of the CIA. Bin Laden was accused of carrying out 9/11, Hekmatayar of killing U.S. troops in Afghanistan on behalf of the Taliban and «Al Qaeda,» and now the Haqqani network, still an arm of ISI, of attacking U.S. targets in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

America’s love affair with Islamist radical terrorists goes back to the days of Zbigniew Brzezinki, President Jimmy Carter’s National Security Adviser, and even earlier, when journalist-turned-CIA agent Archibald Roosevelt, the grandson of U.S. uber-imperialist-turned-progressive Theodore Roosevelt, concocted a plan to bring the Soviets to their knees by stoking anti-Communist Islamists against the Soviets in places like Egypt, where the CIA supported the Muslim Brotherhood’s attempt to assassinate Egyptian pan-Arab socialist Gamal Abdel Nasser. Archibald’s cousin, Kermit Roosevelt, was in charge of the 1953 CIA coup that toppled Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadeq and restored the hated Shah to power. Both decisions were monumental disasters for U.S. foreign policy in the Muslim world.

Bin Laden, Hekmatayar, and Haqqani – all one time allies of the CIA – became «problems» in CIA parlance. And like all CIA «problems», they have all possessed one ultimate destiny – termination with extreme prejudice…

(www.strategic-culture.org / 15.09.2012)

Brahimi: There’s “common ground” to solve Syria crisis

Damascus, Sept 15 (Petra) — U.N.-Arab league envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi on Saturday met Syrian President Bashar Al Assad on his first mission to the violence-wracked country since he replaced Kofi Annan.

He told reporters after the talks that there is “common ground” for them to resolve the crisis, adding that Assad and the Syrian government had pledged support for his mission.

Brahimi said a tough task lies ahead of him as the situation in Syria is serious and escalating posing a danger to the Syrian people, the region and the whole world. But he vowed to persevere.

“We will do our best to put forward ideas and find whatever the situation needs of resources and energy to assist the Syrian people to come out of this ordeal,” he told a press conference.

Asked about prospects to halt the bloodshed, the veteran Algerian diplomat said: “We have to bridge the gap by finding a common ground, which exists and lies in the fact that all parties love their country and we have to assist them.” Assad told Brahimi that the success of a political mission hinged on putting pressure on countries that finance and train the terrorists, and which smuggle weapons to Syria, to stop their actions.

(petra.gov.jo / 15.09.2012)

Benefiet Wees & Ouderen 07 oktober 2012!

Op zondag 07 oktober 2012 organiseert Stichting Al-Iglaas weer een benefiet voor de Weeskinderen & Ouderen in Marokko.
Dit keer vindt het benefiet plaats in de rode zaal van de Operazalencentrum in Den Haag.

Met het benefiet willen wij aandacht vragen voor de vele weeskinderen en behoeftige ouderen in Marokko.
Wij vinden dat ieder kind het recht heeft om op te groeien in een veilige en gezonde leefomgeving.
Wij maken ons als stichting daarom sterk om dit voor de vele weeskinderen mogelijk te maken.
Daarnaast heeft een groeiende groep ouderen behoefte aan ondersteuning op zowel emotioneel als financieel gebied.
Door geld en goederen in te zamelen kunnen wij het leven van vele weeskinderen & ouderen in Marokko verlichten en de humanitaire omstandigheden enigszins verbeteren.

Mis het niet en kom daarom zondag 07 oktober naar het benefiet Wees & Ouderen.

Wij beloven een programma met prachtige koranrecitatie van Modjtaba, een inspirerende lezing van Saoed Khadjé, optredens van Anasheedgroep Tarranime en Firqat Diyae, cabaretiervoorstelling van Yahia Yousfi en een veiling met mooie islamitische schilderijen, een kalligrafie glasschilderij van Kiran Art, verrassingspakketten voor en haar, cupcakes en meer. Umar Mirza zal deze dag uw presentator zijn.

Voor een hapje en een drankje wordt gezorgd.

Het programma start om 14:00 uur en eindigt om 19:30 uur.
De kaarten kosten €15.

Ga voor meer informatie en kaartverkoop naar www.stichtingaliglaas.nl of stuur een -mail naar info@stichtingaliglaas.nl
Je kunt ook bellen naar Nassira 06 14 89 90 37 of Aziza 06 44 54 39 52.

InschaAllah tot 07 oktober!

Stichting Al-Iglaas