Tuesday, August 28, 2007

U.S. Teams Up With Radical Islamic Group

from Judicial Watch

The Department of Justice is spending an undisclosed amount of U.S. taxpayer dollars to help sponsor and set up a booth at the annual gathering of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) in Chicago. The group is firmly committed to spreading the radical form of Islam which is the driving force behind jihad.(Judicial Watch recently published a special report detailing the ISNA and other radical Islamic groups.) ISNA is also a co conspirator in a federal terrorist funding case involving the Dallas-based Holy Land Foundation, which financially supports and supplies Palestinian Hamas fighters. For government attorneys to team up with a group involved in a case their agency is prosecuting is at the very least a conflict of interest.

George Tenet's CIA

by Reuel Marc Gerecht from the American Enterprise Institute

It's a decent bet that the CIA and the Pentagon have, in the war on terror, probably already delivered at least $5 billion in goods, cash, and manpower to "allied" intelligence and internal-security services ... such liaison-building has the lifespan of a tsetse fly. Throughout At the Center of the Storm Tenet, Vice President Cheney, and other senior officials are having to visit the Middle East--usually Pakistan and Saudi Arabia--to fortify longstanding intelligence relationships, which Tenet sees as the cornerstone of national security. It's a very good bet that the French, Germans, and Italians have kicked out of their countries more clumsy (often misdirected) CIA officers than have the Saudis, the Pakistanis, and the Egyptians. It's also a very good bet that CIA goodies proffered to these countries are small compared with the support given to the Saudis, Pakistanis, and Egyptians. Yet the intelligence and political relationship that the United States has with the Europeans is vastly more reliable, even with the turbulence provoked by the Iraq war. Vice presidents don't have to fly off to Europe to ensure "allied" intelligence and security services act responsibly.

Violence in Pakistani tribal agency continues

from Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)

Violence continued in Pakistans troubled tribal region continued on Monday as militants agreed to release 19 kidnapped soldiers and an army officer on Tuesday. Militants attacked two security checkposts with rockets and small arms on the outskirts of North Waziristan tribal agencys main town of Miramshah, triggering gunbattle with troops that killed more than two militants and wounded at least one soldier, security officials told KUNA ... In Chakdara town of Dir district in North-West Frontier Province (NWFP), police conducted a raid on a suspected hideout of an alleged Al-Qaeda linked Saudi militant and recovered huge cache of explosive material including four suicide jackets, police sources said. Media reports identified the suspect as Muhammad Yousuf. However, police sources could not confirm the identity of the suspect. Sources said the militants managed to flee before the raid.

Literalist vs nuanced 'tafsir'

by Mahmood Sanglay from The Brunei Times

My concern here is not with the violent extremism typically associated with the Wahhabi-Salafi tradition of Islam. It is with the perversion of one of the most attractive attributes of the divine writ ... "If we were to take every Qur'anic passage, statement or expression in its outward, literal sense and disregard the possibility of its being an allegory, a metaphor or a parable, we would be offending against the very spirit of the divine writ." This offence, committed by the Wahhabi-Salafi translations of the Qur'an is evident in two volumes vigorously marketed by the Saudis. The one is by al-Hilali and Muhsin Khan, published by Darussalam, Riyadh in 1997. The other is by four anonymous committees, published by the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Endowments in 1989, who adapted the work of Abdullah Yusuf Ali after "revising and correcting" his translation ... Alas, the Wahhabis-Salafis are not much into light and colour when it comes to reading the Qur'an. They prefer black and white. The Wahhabi-Salafi no-nuance approach makes provision for only a superficial interpretation of the Qur'an.

The Great Divide

by Gal Luft and Anne Korin from The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC)

Whatever the disproportionate weight of Sunnis in the Muslim world as a whole, in the oil-rich Persian Gulf, Shi’ites comprise a 70% majority. As if by divine plan, 45% of the world’s proven oil reserves lie under territories inhabited by the “sons of Ali”. These territories include Iran, Iraq, Azerbaijan, and (most important of all) the eastern province of Saudi Arabia, home to most of the kingdom’s giant oil fields and export terminals. For the Saudi royal family, the prospect of a Shi’ite uprising is a nightmare. Shi’ites make up roughly 15% of Saudi Arabia’s population of 25 million. Most Saudis, practitioners of the extremist Wahhabi sect of Sunni Islam, see these Shi’ites as heretics who should be treated as second-class citizens or, in the words of one cleric, as “more dangerous than Jews and Christians.” For their part, Saudi Shi’ites see themselves not only as an oppressed minority, but as an occupied one. They sit atop the country’s oil but enjoy none of its rewards, and their appetite for political power has been whetted by the Shi’ite revival in Iraq. To the alarm of the House of Saud, during the 2005 Saudi municipal elections, turnout in Shi’ite-dominated regions was twice as high as it was elsewhere.

Islamist cleric issues Iran warning

by Yaakov Lappin from Ynetnews

Sheikh Hamid al-Ali, based in Kuwait, is a leading Islamist ideologue, whose teachings are often posted on Islamist websites. He has been linked to al-Qaeda activities in the Gulf state, and is described by the US government as a "terrorist facilitator who has provided financial support for al-Qaeda affiliated groups seeking to commit acts of terrorism in Kuwait, Iraq, and elsewhere." Ali is also well known for lashing out against Shiites. In a statement posted on an al-Qaeda affiliated internet forum on Sunday, Ali cited western reports tracking Iran's nuclear program, and military expansion, before turning his attention to Iran's role in the region ... "The jihadi movement has to be aware of the reality of the size of Iran's influence, and must not allow Iran to exploit legitimate causes, as seen in Lebanon," he declared ... Professor Raymond Tanter, co-author of the recently published "What Makes Iran tick," said Sunni jihadis had cause to fear Iran, but told Ynetnews he doubted a full-scale war would erupt between al-Qaeda and Iran.