Kashif Hafeez Siddiqui

Archive for September, 2010|Monthly archive page

Wish You Best

In Dr. Aafia Corner, I Hate USA on September 30, 2010 at 10:56 am

A classic presentation on Maulana Maududi Life by Geo

In Islam - A Study, Pakistan's Ideology on September 28, 2010 at 1:25 am

عافیہ صدیقی ایک معمہ

In Dr. Aafia Corner on September 26, 2010 at 8:11 pm

ڈاکٹر عافیہ صدیقی ایک معمہ ہے۔ جو کچھ اس کے ساتھ ہوا وہ کوئي نہیں جانتا۔ نہ ہم جانتے ہیں نہ یوئر آنر آپ جانتے ہیں، نہ عدالت میں موجود سب لوگ، نہ ہی استغاثہ ، اور نہ ہی امریکی اور پاکستانی۔ جس طرح ہم خفیہ امریکی جیلوں اور ٹارچر کے بارے میں نہیں جانتے۔ اگر کوئي جانتا ہے تو حکومت امریکہ جانتی ہے، سی آئي اے جانتی ہے‘۔

یہ تھے وہ الفاظ جو جمعرات کی صبح نیویارک کی وفاقی عدالت میں ڈاکٹر عافیہ صدیقی کی دفاع وکیل ڈان کارلی نے عافیہ صدیقی کو چھیاسی برس کی سخت سزا سنائے جانے سے قبل اپنے دلائل کے دوران کہی۔ جبکہ جج کی طرف سے عدالت میں سزا سنائے جانے کے قبل اور اس کے بعد ڈاکٹر عافیہ صدیقی نے کہا کہ وہ دنیا میں اپنے تمام حامیوں سے کہتی ہیں کہ وہ غصے اور اشتعال میں نہ آئيں بلکہ امن قائم رکھیں اور تشدد سے اجتناب برتیں۔ انہوں نے کہا کہ ایک دفعہ پھر وہ صدر اوبامہ اور طالبان سے امن قائم کرنےکو کہتی ہیں۔

نیویارک میں ستمبر کی اس خوشگوار صبح مین ہیٹن کی وفاقی عدالت یو ایس ڈسٹرکٹ کورٹ سدرن میں غیر معمولی بھیڑ تھی کہ ڈاکٹر عافیہ صدیقی کو افغانستان میں امریکی فوجی اور سرکاری اہلکاروں پر قاتلانہ حملے کے جیوری کی طرف سے جوابدار ٹھہرائے جانے کے بعد سزا سنائے جانے کا دن تھا۔

ویسے تو عدالت میں ہر دن اکثر بھیڑ لگي ہوتی ہے لیکن جمعرات کی صبح عدالت کی سکیورٹی چیک ان کی قطار عدالت کے داخلی ریوالونگ دروازوں سے بھی باہر سیڑھیوں سے نیچے تک جاتی تھی۔ حجاب پہنے خواتین، باریش یا مردوں سمیت ڈاکٹر عافیہ کے حامی یا ہمدرد خواتین و مردوں کے علاوہ ایک بڑی تعداد صحافیوں اور ڈاکٹر عافیہ صدیقی کے مقدمہ کے مشاہدہ کاروں کی بھی تھی۔

عدالت کے اکیسویں منزل پر جج رچرڈ ایم بریمن کا کمرہء عدالت سخت سکیورٹی چیک ان کے بعد مقدمے کی آخری کاروائي دیکھنے کیلیے کھچا کھچ بھرا ہوا تھا۔

جب جج رچرڈ برمین نے اپنے چیمبرز سے آ کر کرسی سنبھالی ہی تھی کہ عدالت سے ملحق ایک دروازے میں حرکت ہوئی اور مارشلز ڈاکٹر عافیہ صدیقی کو کمرۂ عدالت میں لائے۔

جج رچرڈ برمین نے مقدمے کا پس منظر پڑھتے ہوئے کہا کہ یہ سب سے مشکل مقدمہ تھا جو ان کی عدالت میں پیش ہوا ۔ انہوں نے کہا کہ ڈاکٹر عافیہ صدیقی افغانستان کے شہر غزنی میں سترہ جولائی دو ہزار آٹھ میں پیش ہوئیں، اس سے قبل وہ کہاں تھی اور اسکے امریکی او ر پاکستانی حکام کی تحویل میں ہونے کی اور ٹارچر ہونے کی گواہی ڈاکٹر عافیہ صدیقی کے دفاع کے وکلاء نہیں ثابت کر سکے جبکہ امریکی حکومت انکی (ڈاکٹر عافیہ صدیقی کی ) امریکی فوج اور حکومت کے اہلکاروں پر انکی ایم فور رائفل سے قاتلانہ حملہ ثابت کرچـکی ہے اور جیوری نے ان کو سات الزمات میں مجرم قراردیا ہے۔

جج بریمن نے ڈاکٹر عافیہ صدیقی کے وکلاء کی طرف سے ’نفسیاتی مریض‘ ہونے کے استدلال کو ڈاکٹر عافیہ صدیقی کی ’میلنگرنگ‘ یا مقدمے سے فائدہ اٹھانے کیلیے ذہنی یا جسمانی بیماری کا ڈھونگ رچانے کی کوشش قرار دیا۔

جج رچرڈ ایم برمین نے ڈاکٹر عافیہ صدیقی کے خلاف سزا کی تعین و توسیع کی گائیڈ لائنز پڑھ کر سناتے ہوئے کہا کہ امریکی فوج اور حکومتی اہلکاروں کے خلاف جان بوجھ کر انہیں امریکی سمجھ کر نشانہ بناتے ہوئے ڈاکٹر عافیہ صدیقی نے ایم فور رائفل سے ان پر گولی چلائي اور ایسے الزمات امریکی حکومت گواہی کے ذریعے ثابت کر چکی ہے۔ جج نے کہا کہ امریکی شہریوں پر قاتلانہ حملے کی ترتیب وار سزا بیس سال،امریکی عملداروں اور اہلکاروں پر حملے کی سزا بیس سال، امریکی حکومت اور فوج کے عملداروں اور اہلکاروں پر ہتھیار سے حملے کی سزا بیس سال، متشدد جرم کرنے کے دوران اسلجہ سے فائر کرنے کی سزا عمر قید ، امریکی فوج اور حکومت کے ہر اہلکار اورعملدار پر حملے کی ہر اک سزا آٹھ سال یعنی چوبیس سال بنتی ہے۔ اسی طرح ڈاکٹر عافیہ صدیقی کو زیادہ سے زیادہ ممکن سزا چھیاسی سال دی جاتی ہے۔

ڈاکٹر عافیہ صدیقی کی وکیلِ صفائی ڈان کارڈی نے جج سے ایک عورت اور انسان ہونے کے ناتے عافیہ کی سزا کی مدت بارہ سال کرنے کا درخواست کی۔ انہوں نے کہا کہ زیاد سے زیادہ او جنم قید دیکر سزائے موت ہوگی کیونکہ یہ مقدمہ سزائے موت کا مقدمہ نہیں۔

ڈاکٹرعافیہ صدیقی عدالت میں سزا سنائے جانے سے قبل اور بعد میں جج اور وکلاء یہانتک کہ استغاثہ سے بھی ہنسی مذاق اور جملوں کا تبادلہ کرتی رہیں ۔ ایک موقع پر جب سزا کے تعین کے دوران استغاثہ کے وکیل نے جج کی توجہ ایک کاؤنٹ یا الزام میں سزا کی معیاد کی طرف نشاندھی کرائي تو ڈاکٹر عافیہ صدیقی نے استغاثہ کے وکیل کو نام سے مخاطب کرتے ہوئے کہا’شکریہ آّپ نے میرے وکلاء سے زیادہ بہتر کام کیا ہے‘۔ ڈاکٹر عافیہ صدیقی ہر بار اپنے وکلا کے اس استدلال انکی موکلہ کی ذہنی صحت ٹھیک نہیں کو ہاتھ اور بازو کے اشاروں سے انکار کرتی رہی۔

جج رچرڈ برمین نے سزا کے تعین و توسیع کی گائيڈ لائنز میں پہلی بار دہشتگردی سے متعلقہ الزام کا ذکر کیا جو کہ ڈاکٹر عافیہ صدیقی کے تمام مقدمے کے دوران عدالت میں نہیں لائے گئے۔

بعد میں عدالت کی عمارت کے بعد ڈاکٹر عافیہ صدیقی کے دفاع کے وکلاء چارلس سوئفٹ اور ایلین شارپ نے میڈیا کے اراکین سے بات چیت کرتے ہوئے کہا کہ جج برمین کی طرف سے دہشتگردی کے متعلقہ الزام کے حوالے سے امریکی حکومت کی طرف سے پیش کی جانیوالی خفیہ گواہی پر انہیں یعنی ذاکٹر عافیہ صدیقی کے دفاع کے وکلا ء کو دسترس نہیں دی گئي اور نہ ہی ان کو اسے مسترد کرنے کا موقع دیا گیا۔

وکیل چارلس سوئفٹ نے کہا کہ ’امریکی نظام انصاف میں شفافیت اولین شرط ہے اور آج کے دن نیویارک کی عدالت میں شفافیت کو نظر انداز کیا گیا ہے‘۔ انہوں نے کہا کہ وہ نہ استغاثہ کو قصور وار ٹھہرارہے ہیں اور نہ ہی جج پر الزام لگا رہے ہیں لیکن وہ مقدمے کے عمل پرتنقید کر رہے ہیں۔ چارلس سوئفٹ جو امریکی بحری فوج کے سابق عملدار اور گوانتانامو بے میں ایک مقدمے میں دہشتگردی کے ملزم سلیم ہمدان کے وکیل رہے تھے نے کہا کہ ڈاکٹر عافیہ صدیقی کی سزا کے خلاف اپیل میں وہ یہ مسئلہ اٹھائيں گے اور اس پر پہلے ہی امریکی سپریم کورٹ اپنا فیصلہ واضح کرچکی ہے۔

اس سے قبل عدالت میں ڈاکٹر عافیہ صدیقی کو سزا سنائے جانے کی شنوائي کے دوران ان کی دفاع کی وکیل ڈان کارڈی اپنی تقریر کے دوران کہا کہ انہوں نے امریکی حکومت کے پاس ڈاکٹر عافیہ صدیقی کے خلاف موجود خفیہ گواہی پر دسترس حاصل کرنے کیلیے تمام سیکیورٹی کلیئرنس حاصل کی تھی اور تمام سکیورٹی کلئیرنس کےبعد جب وہ حکومت کے پا س پہونچی تو انہیں بتایا گیا کہ ڈاکٹر عافیہ صدیقی کیخلاف کو‏ئي خفیہ گواہی موجود نہیں۔

دالت میں جج رچـرڈ برمین نے ڈاکٹر عافیہ صدیقی کو بولنے کا موقع دیا اور کہا کہ وہ جو چاہیں اور جتنا چاہیں بول سکتی ہیں۔ ڈاکٹر عافیہ صدیقی نے کہا کہ وہ طالبان سے کہیں گی کہ اپنے دلوں میں رحم پیدا کریں اور امریکی فوجیوں کو قتل مت کریں۔ انہوں نے کہا کہ یہ تمام اہم مقدمہ ہے اور تمام دنیا میں انکے حامیوں اور مسلمانوں کی نظریں اس مقدمے پر ہیں میں ان سے کہوں گی کہ وہ تشدد سے اجتناب برتیں۔ جو کچھ بھی میرے ساتھ ہوا ہے میں خدا کی طرف سے سمجھتی ہوں اور میں اس پر خوش اور مطمئن ہوں۔

انہوں نے کہا ’میں امریکہ اور اسرائيل سمیت کسی بھی ملک کے خلاف نہیں ہوں۔ انہوں نے کہا کہ میرے حامی میرے ساتھ امریکی سلوک کے بارے میں افواہوں پر کان نہ دھریں مجھے خفیہ جیلوں میں ٹارچر کیا گیا لیکن امریکہ میں مجھے کوئي ٹارچر نہیں کیا گیا۔ بہرحال انہوں نے کہا دوران مقدمہ کئي نا انصافیاں کی گئی ہیں۔ بہرحال انکے حامی نہ جج برمین اور نہ امریکیوں اور امریکہ پرناراض ہوں۔ امریکہ اور پاکستان میں دونوں سے پیار کرتی ہوں‘۔

لیکن اس سے قبل جب جج نے انہیں سزا سنانا مکمل کی تو عافیہ صدیقی نے با آواز بلند کہا شیم آن دس کورٹ” (کہ اس عدالت کو شرم آنی چاہیے)۔ اس پر جج نے انہیں کہا کہ وہ عدالت میں موجود رہنا چاہتی ہیں یا متصل کمرے میں جانا چاہتی ہیں۔

عدالتی کاروائي کے خاتمے پر جج رچرڈ بریمن نے عافیہ صدیقی سے کہا ’وش یو بیسٹ‘ اور جواب میں ڈاکٹر عافیہ صدیقی نے جج کو بھی ’وش یو بیسٹ‘ کہا۔

مقدمے کی کارروائی سے قبل، دوران اور بعد میں عدالت کی عمارت کے باہر اور آس پاس نیویارک پولیس کی طرف سے غیر معمولی انتظامات دیکھنے میں آئے۔

Jailed for 86 years, the Pakistani mother-of-three

In Dr. Aafia Corner on September 24, 2010 at 1:22 am

Source : http://www.dailymail.co.uk

A Pakistani neuroscientist convicted of trying to kill American agents during her interrogation has been jailed for 86 years despite protestations she is mentally ill.

Aafia Siddiqui grabbed an assault rifle while she was detained for questioning in Afghanistan’s Ghazni province over terrorism matters and tried to shoot FBI operatives and soldiers.

The case had attracted significant attention and protests in Pakistan where the 38-year-old mother-of-three was touted by human rights groups as an innocent martyr.

Jailed for 86 years: Pakistani scientist Aafia Siddiqui with Judge Richard Berman in New York today as she was sentencedJailed for 86 years: Pakistani scientist Aafia Siddiqui with Judge Richard Berman in New York today as she was sentenced for attempting to kill FBI agents and U.S. soldiers

Questions: An FBI photo of Siddiqui. Her defence team claimed she was mentally unwell and should only serve 12 years

Her lawyers claimed that the string of outbursts during the trial and her erratic behaviour proved she was mentally unwell and that she should only serve 12 years.

But prosecutors convinced a court that she was in fact a serious threat and at Manhattan’s District Court Judge Richard M. Berman told her that a ‘significant incarceration is appropriate’ meaning she will likely die in jail.

‘Don’t get angry,’ Siddiqui told her supports in court. ‘Forgive Judge Berman.’

She repeatedly told supporters in the gallery not to fight in her name and that she was being well treated.

‘I don’t want any violence in my name, please,’ she said. ‘Thanks to God, I am well in prison. They are not torturing me.’

‘I am a Muslim, but I love Americans too,’ she said during one of her rambling speeches.

The sentence brought to an end a peculiar case which proved she wanted to kill Americans yet left lingering doubts about her state of mind.

Siddiqui was arrested in July 2008 by Afghan police, who said she was carrying containers of chemicals and notes referring to terror attacks.

When they and American soldiers went to interrogate her she grabbed an unattended assault rifle and shot at them whilst shouting ‘Death to Americans!’

She was shot in the stomach by return fire and after recovering was brought to the U.S. for trial.

Family's grief: Siddiqui's sister Fauzia, and mother Ismat, react after learning of the verdict in Karachi, Pakistan todayFamily’s grief: Siddiqui’s sister Fauzia, and mother Ismat, react after learning of the verdict in Karachi, Pakistan today

In court prosecutors made out that she was a ‘cold, calculating jihadist who set out to harm American troops by any means necessary’.

They quoted from notes she was carrying at the time of her arrest referring to ‘a ‘mass casualty attack’ … NY CITY monuments: Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge,’ and another musing how a dirty bomb would spread more fear than death.

They claimed the notes, along with the fact that she was carrying sodium cyanide, showed she wasn’t an accidental menace.

‘Her conduct was not senseless or thoughtless,’ prosecutors said in legal papers, ‘It was deliberate and premeditated. Siddiqui should be punished accordingly.’

According to Siddiqui’s legal team, however, her behaviour was a spontaneous ‘freak out’ born of mental issues rather than Islamic militancy.

Protests: Pakistani demonstrators in Karachi today voice their support of Siddiqui

Siddiqui’s rambling courtroom rants proclaiming her innocence and offering odd solutions for Middle East peace ran counter to the prosecution’s portrait of her.

Testifying in her own defence while wearing a head scarf, she claimed she was tortured at a ‘secret prison’ before her detention.

Charges that she purposely shot at soldiers were ‘crazy,’ she said. ‘It’s just ridiculous.’

Among Saddiqui’s possessions at the time of her arrest was a computer disk with an essay she’d written about feminism and her struggles as a Muslim woman living in America.

The title: ‘I am not a Terrorist.’

Siddiqui trained at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the U.S. in the early 1990s and, according to prosecutors, returned to her native Pakistan in 2003 after marrying an al Qaeda operative related to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

News of her sentence sparked protests in Karachi whilst others demonstrated outside the courthouse.

Though she was not convicted of terrorism, the U.S. government argued that Siddiqui is a cold-blooded radical who deserves a ‘terrorism enhancement’ under federal sentencing guidelines that would guarantee a life term.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1314716/Jailed-86-years-Pakistani-mother-tried-kill-FBI-agents-U-S-soldiers-assault-rifle-Afghanistan.html#ixzz10PCLAqNd

قرآن اور ھما رے رویے

In Clsh of Civilizations, Islam - A Study on September 23, 2010 at 8:16 am

Reality of Secularism by Abul ‘Ala Mawdudi

In Clsh of Civilizations, Islam - A Study on September 18, 2010 at 1:12 pm

Abul ‘Ala Mawdudi

The civilization on which the world’s intellectual, moral, ethical, political and economic system is based is grounded in three basic principles, the first of which is secularism.

Secularism–which can be referred to as dunyawia or la-deenia. The basic premise of secularism is that God, His guidance and His worship are matters that belong to the personal domain of an individual. Outside of this personal domain, all worldly matters must be viewed from a strictly worldly perspective, divorced from any religiosity, based purely on human intellect and man-made moral and ethical systems. In worldly matters, it must not matter what the God Almighty states, or what He has revealed in the Scriptures.

This dogma started in the West due to the fundamentalism and backwardness of Christian theologians. However, with the passage of time, this reactionary dogma became the permanent way of life and the first pillar of the modern civilization. Under this modern way of life, religion became a private matter between a human being and God–a simple sentence that became the slogan of this way of life. Under this system, if your conscious leads you to believe that there is a God who must be obeyed, you should obey and worship that God in private. But that God of yours has no authority on anything other than your personal, private life. Under the system of secularism, God has no place when it comes to inter-human interactions.

Social, educational, economic, legal, parliamentary, political and bureaucratic systems are independent of God and His Will. Whatever relates to these aspects of life must be decided based on human whims and wishes independent of God. It is considered wrong, in fact backward and ignorant, to even raise the question: what did God say about these matters?

And as far as the individual life is concerned, so that as well has been rendered God-less due to the purely worldly (secular) education and a religion-less society. Today, very few people consciously reach the conclusion that there is indeed a God who must be obeyed. Sadly, even the personal connection with God is absent in those who are at the forefront of shaping our culture today.

The notion that God and religion only relate to ones personal affairs is a whimsical one that has become independent of any need for rational argument. If you were to look at it rationally, it is obvious that the God Almighty cannot be half-god. He is either the Lord of the entire universe, private and public, or He is not. If He is not the Creator, the Lord, the Almighty, then there is no need for a personal connection with Him. It is utterly useless and frivolous to obey such a being who has no authority and no control over what happens on this Earth. On the other hand, if this God is in fact the Creator and the Lord of this universe, then it makes no sense that his jurisdiction would be limited to ones private affairs only. It makes no sense that two men, both of whom are individually under God’s jurisdiction, become independent of that very God as soon as they interact with each other. If God himself divided up the matters like that, there should be some proof for that. And if human beings invented these limits on God’s jurisdiction, then is this plain transgression against the Lord of this universe?

Only a man devoid of all intellect can claim to obey God in his private life and yet transgress against him so openly in the public affairs.

How foolish must one be to argue with a straight face that individually, we must obey God, but as soon as these individuals come together to form a community, no obedience to God is owed.

And it is even harder to understand that if we don’t need God is our family affairs, in our towns and cities, in our schools and colleges, in our markets and businesses, in our parliaments and government buildings, in our courts and civil secretariats, in our barracks and police stations, in our war and peace, then why do we need this God at all? Why should we obey this God in any matter whatsoever? Why even waste time in worship of such an utterly useless god?

This is the intellectual side of this issue. If we examine the secular dogma from a practical perspective, its results are extremely horrendous.

The reality is that whenever we sever our ties with God in any aspect of our lives, we connect those ties with the Satan. In reality, there is no such thing as our private life. Human beings are wholes, and their entire life is a communal life. The very birth of this man takes place from the interaction of his mother and father. As soon as opens his eyes in this world for the first time, he is part of a family. As he grows up, he interacts with the society, his family, his town and his nation. He has to deal with, and live within, the socio-economic and political systems around him.

Human beings rely on their countless social connections for their very survival.

And it is only God Almighty who can show human beings how to negotiate these social connections in a manner that is just and equitable–and most importantly, permanent. Where man becomes self-sufficient and independent of God, the permanency of these social norms disappears, and along with it goes the justice and peace that God enjoined upon us. This is so because once we remove ourselves from the Eternal Intellect of God Almighty, we are forced to rely on our deficient and inexperienced minds.

Where laws and regulations are based on whims and desires–or rather the human experience and intellect–we see these laws and regulations change regularly. You can see for yourself that every aspect of human interactions is overwhelmed with tyranny, injustice, corruption–and ultimately the lack of trust that shakes the very foundations of a society.

All human matters have been consumed by the selfish desires of man. Whether it is the relationship between two human beings or two nations, every relationship has become crooked. Every individual, every group, every social class, every nation, as far as their circle of influence can take them have made rules and regulations that serve their own interests at the expense of others. The powerful rarely think about the externalities of their actions; and why should they as long as they have the power? The only time someone restricts their self-interest is when they are afraid of the other party’s power and strength.

And we should know well that power is not the name of any compassionate and just being. It is brute force, and you can never establish equity with brute force. The dilemma of power is that the powerful don’t restrict themselves to getting what is their fair share; their selfish desires lead them to pushing every boundary they can, taking every advantage possible.

So the consequence of secularism is nothing but that whosoever adapts that as a way of life is destined to a life of no purpose, no responsibility and slavery of the self; whether it is adapted by an individual, a group, a nation or a league of nations.

In Geelani, they trust

In pakistan on September 14, 2010 at 9:55 am

The Indian state has been loathe to have any truck with Syed Ali Shah Geelani given his stated position on Kashmir — that a plebiscite is the only way forward and that Kashmir’s destiny lies with Pakistan. But he might just be a good interlocutor to engage today.

At 81, Syed Ali Shah Geelani still retains the fire that has made people in Jammu and Kashmir acknowledge him as one of the Valley’s most charismatic leaders. Soon after his release from his recent spell in jail, he went where mainstream politicians feared to tread. He attended the funeral of one of the youths killed by security forces.

When a stone hit his car, Geelani jumped out and demanded to know which “government agent” had dared attack him.

As silence descended on the agitated mob, the firebrand separatist made an impassioned appeal for peaceful protests. Violence must not be allowed to mar our cause, he thundered. The funeral procession proceeded quietly after that. It was the first funeral in two months that did not end with a death after clashes with security forces.

Ever since Geelani asked protestors to make non-violence their strategy, a semblance of calm has descended on the troubled Valley. At a time when mainstream politicians are being rejected as “corrupt” and “puppets of Delhi” , Geelani has emerged as the man who best represents the aspirations of the Kashmiris.

The irony is that he stands out not so much because of his pro-Pakistan politics, but because he is seen as a man of principle, someone who has not changed his stand over the years and not sold out to either New Delhi or Islamabad. In fact, according to analysts in Srinagar, his image received a fillip after he took on former Pakistan PresidentPervez Musharraf by rejecting the latter’s four-point peace formula that in effect, acknowledged the division of J&K along the Line of Control.

Delhi has always been wary of engaging with him because of his consistent demand for a UNsponsored plebiscite and his avowed conviction that the future of J&K lies with Pakistan, not India. Yet, despite his refusal to accept J&K’s accession to the union of India, Geelani has in the past contested elections to the state assembly. He became an MLA first in 1972 and during the tumultuous years between 1987 and 1989, when Kashmir was up in arms against the rigged elections won by Farooq Abdullah’s National Conference, he was an influential opposition voice in the state assembly.

A student of Islamic literature and history, Geelani has authored 30 books and writes and speaks fluent Urdu. He has spent around 14 years of his public life in prison at various junctures and is now suffering from renal cancer. With barely half a kidney left after successive operations, Geelani is still the most effective shield against younger, more radical elements in the Tehreek-e-Hurriyat , which he formed when the All Parties Hurriyat Conference split into moderates and hardliners in 2003. But, as analysts point out, his ability to counter the rise of leaders like Masarat Alam and Asiya Andrabi depends entirely on the amount of political space Delhi is ready to give him in the Valley.

Police shoot dead 15 during protests in Kashmir

In pakistan on September 14, 2010 at 1:21 am

Police have shot dead 15 civilians in the deadliest day in Indian-administered Kashmir since protests erupted three months ago.

A policeman was also killed when he was run over by a lorry.

The BBC’s Altaf Hussain in Srinagar says reports of Koran desecration in the US have stoked anger.

Scores of Kashmiris have now died since June, when anti-India protests broke out after police shot dead a teenager.

n Monday’s protests, thousands of people defied curfews and took to the streets, chanting anti-India and anti-US slogans and burning effigies of US President Barack Obama, our correspondent says.

An angry mob set fire to several government buildings and a Protestant-run school, as well as attacking a police station, he adds.

Police fired live ammunition to break up the demonstrations, and confirmed that 15 civilians had been killed.

Several of the deaths were reported to have occurred in Budgam district, with others reported in the village of Tangmarg, where the school was burned.

One of those killed was a student aged 12 or 13, our correspondent says.

Meanwhile, a policeman died after he was run over by a lorry driven by demonstrators in the town of Humahama.

The attack on the missionary school was condemned by separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani – who has been put under house arrest by Indian authorities.

I urge the Muslims to protect members of [the] minority community and their religious places. We should at any cost maintain the age-old communal harmony and brotherhood for which Kashmir is known the world over,” he said.

An indefinite curfew remains in place in Srinagar and other big towns in the region.

The measures were imposed after mass protests against Indian rule on Saturday again turned violent.

Flashpoint

A plan by a Florida church to burn copies of the Koran during the 9/11 anniversary caused outrage across the Muslim world, but was eventually called off.

However, reports that pages had been torn from a Koran outside the White House over the weekend reignited the controversy and further heightened tensions in the Kashmir Valley.

Kashmir has been a flashpoint between India and Pakistan for more than 50 years.

Meanwhile, Indian officials will consider the partial lifting of 20-year-old laws that shield their forces from prosecution.

Human rights activists say the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, which also grants powerful search and seizure powers, is often misused by Indian police and paramilitaries.

The Cabinet Committee on Security will discuss on Monday what to do about the legislation, amid outcry over continuing civilian casualties in Kashmir.

Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah has urged the government to withdraw the act, but has met with strong resistance from the Indian military.

Source : http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-11280132

Turkey referendum – Rejection of Secularism

In Islam - A Study on September 12, 2010 at 8:25 pm

Turkey referendum boosts Erdogan’s Islam-rooted AKP party

Istanbul, Turkey

Supporters of Turkey’s Prime Minister and leader of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party Recep Tayyip Erdogan wait in front of the Party building in Istanbul, Sunday. Turkish voters on Sunday approved constitutional reforms that the government says will strengthen the Muslim nation’s democracy and help its candidacy for the European Union.

Osman Orsal/Reuters

Voters approved 26 amendments to Turkey’s Constitution on Sunday in a bitterly contested referendum that has exposed the depth of social divisions in the country.

In the simple “yes” or “no ballot, 58 percent voted for changes to the charter written in the aftermath of a 1982 military coup. Some 42 percent voted against the amendments, leaving a 16-point margin of victory – far larger than most polls predicted.

The referendum’s biggest winner was Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who faces a general election next year with his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Mr. Erdogan fought off a stiff challenge from opponents convinced the changes would compromise the judiciary and cement power by the Islam-rooted party. After all, two of the amendments give the government much greater influence over the judiciary – seen by many Turks as one of the last guarantors of the secular tradition enshrined by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk when he forged modern Turkey in 1923. But Erdogan and his supporters claim that the changes are necessary to democratize the country in line with European standards and make the military more accountable to civilian rule.

We have passed a historic threshold on the way to advanced democracy and the supremacy of law,” said Erdogan to applause from supporters gathered to celebrate the victory. “Supporters of military intervention and coups are the losers tonight.”

Deep divisions

The divisions could easily be seen in a single polling station in downtown Istanbul, where both sides lined up to vote.

“This is a radical decision point for the future of Turkey,” said lawyer Baris Aslan as he stood outside the Cihangir Primary School, where more than 5,000 people were registered to vote at 13 ballot boxes. “This is the spot between the religious and the secular, between despotism or democracy. I voted ‘no.’”

Mr. Aslan said that the changes had been prepared by “the Islamist party” and “without the input of the people.”

“They are asking – in fact threatening – people to vote ‘yes,’ ” said Aslan. “The Prime Minister said if you do not take part, you will be ‘eliminated.’ What does that mean? That you will no longer be a Turk?”

Echoing critics from nationalist parties who, during eight years of AKP rule, have been dismayed at the erosion of the military’s role in Turkish society, and the failure of the powerful judiciary to stop the AKP, Aslan said the vote was about “trust” in the government.

“If ‘yes’ is the result, then Tayyip Erdogan will be the king alone, to decide for Turkey,” says Aslan. “He’ll become the sole power.”

But inside the primary school, upstairs past a number of portraits of Ataturk, the worldview of other Turkish voters could not be more different.

“We believe if we say ‘yes,’ it will be good for democracy, and we want democracy,” said Abdul Hamid, a student. His mother, a housewife called Altun, was wearing a black headscarf and said: “Yes, yes, yes!”

“We believe in the AKP, and in Prime Minister Erdogan,” said Mr. Hamid, who predicted a 60 percent victory for the “yes” vote. His father would arrive in five minutes, to vote the same way. “It is so important to change the rules.”

Calls for unity

Turkish President Abdullah Gul called for unity after casting his ballot: “From tomorrow onwards, Turkey needs to unite as one, and look ahead,” said Mr. Gul. “The public has the final say in democracies. I would like to remind everyone to welcome the result with respect and maturity.”

At rallies in the lead-up to the vote, Mr. Erdogan sought to reassure Turks that the changes were meant only to modernize Turkey’s coup-era Constitution in line with standards set by the European Union. The AKP has stepped up Turkey’s decades-long campaign for membership of the EU, which backed the amendments.

But the premier has also felt the need to tamp down suspicion that he wants more power himself, while eroding that of traditional power elites in the military and judiciary. The vote on Sunday falls precisely on the 30-year anniversary of a traumatic 1980 military coup.

“I have never wished to be a sultan,” he told CNN in an interview on Friday. “Right now, we are trying to eliminate the sultans from the republic…. We are the servants of our nation. We are not and will not be their masters.”

Regional differences

Sunday’s referendum results show a closer yes-no gap in Istanbul and in more-secular western Turkey, while across the interior Anatolian plain support for the government’s proposed amendments was higher.

Ethnic Kurdish areas of the southeast largely heeded their leaders’ calls for a boycott, though the 35 percent who turned out overwhelmingly voted in favor of the changes.

Source : http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2010/0912/Turkey-referendum-boosts-Erdogan-s-Islam-rooted-AKP-party

وقنا عزاب ا لنا ر

In Uncategorized on September 9, 2010 at 10:29 am