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Showing posts from February, 2010

The BDR Mutiny and Massacre – Some Unanswered Questions

A year has passed since the sad tragedy of 2/25 at Peel Khana happened. People are still without satisfactory answers to fully understand who were behind the cold-blooded killings of 57 Army officers that were on deputation to the BDR and why. The government preliminary inquiry reports were slow in coming and not too satisfactory to quench their thirst. Many folks can’t accept the inquiry report suggesting that the crime was “pre-planned” and yet without involvement of any political party, and that only two politicians - Awami League leader Torab Ali and BNP leader Nasiruddin Ahmed Pintu – had known about the deadly conspiracy. They allege a massive government “cover-up” with the inquiry report. Not surprisingly, conspiracy theories are not short in supply.

Many readers would accuse the NFB editor of displaying gross partisanship, which in this case is anti-Awami League bias, for posting two articles lately - one by 23 anonymous writers, which I would call paper A, and the other by a …

Comments on MBI Munshi's moronic and absurd accusations

My attention was drawn today to comments made by MBI Munshi in the NFB: http://www.newsfrombangladesh.net/view.php?hidRecord=306201

Munshi's allegations and hunches about me are absolutely wrong. Coming as it does from someone like Munshi who in the past has been accused of being on the (Pakistani) ISI payroll, I had a good laugh reading the piece. Obviously, he and I don't see eye to eye on some contentious issues of our time, e.g., those connected with Bangladesh. He reminds me of a drooling hound-dog that is fixated on a scent: other crucial signs may all be around him, but his eyes and nose are locked onto finding the target. A false flag, in my case!

With such silly and false allegations Munshi is only showing his paranoid self and giving a bad name to the very profession he serves. He gives new meanings to alpha errors. He ought to be ashamed of making such libelous claims. Or, better still, he needs psychiatric help to cure him of his mental sickness!

Open letter to PA- senators and congressman to oppose military aid to Israel

Dear Senators and Congressmen,
I urge you to oppose President Obama's FY2011 budget request for $3 billion in military aid to Israel. Israel misuses U.S. weapons to commit human rights abuses against Palestinians through its illegal 42-year military occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip.

Instead of supporting Israel's human rights abuses, I want my tax dollars to be used for needed domestic programs such as early reading education, green jobs training, affordable housing, and primary health care access for the uninsured.
Thanking you in anticipation,
Habib

Comments on Dr. Hasan Zillur Rahim's bdnews24.com "The Noblest Revenge"

Ref: http://opinion.bdnews24.com/2010/02/18/the-noblest-revenge/

A few minutes ago, my attention was drawn to the above link which contained an article by Dr. Hasan Z. Rahim. It is an excellent article that reminds us all that forgiveness is better than mere revenge. However, as he also noted only a strong person can exercise such forgiveness when wronged, as our prophet Muhammad (S) was able to do against his former foes after the conquest of Makkah. I have another side of this debate which I like to share below.

Some revenge is justifiable in the sense that it helps to arrest the tide of injustice when there is a propensity of that happening. We should not forget that only a victim can forgive, and not a judge, and that is my understanding from the Qur'an. I am not aware of any family member of the victims of 1975 (Bangabandhu Murder case) who has forgiven those killers.

In my opinion, what happened in August 15, 1975 was the most brutal and savage form of atrocity that the Banglad…

Reflections on Past Assassination Attempts on Bangladesh Prime Minister

Last Wednesday my attention was drawn to an article -- The plan to assassinate Bangladesh Prime Minister Shiekh Hasina Wajed: How LTTE deal was blocked, suicide bombers failed to explode – published in a Sri Lankan virtual library (http://www.lankalibrary.com/pol/hasina.html). It provided an interesting reading on a subject of immense interest to anyone who grew up in Bangladesh. This concerns assassination attempts in 1996-2000 on Sheikh Hasina, the leader of the Awami League and daughter of Bangabandhu, and the current Prime Minister of Bangladesh. The plotters included the killers that had killed her father, and are reportedly aided by the Pakistani intelligence agency - ISI. The news report is from Sri Lanka, a country that has defeated the independence seeking Tamil Tigers only recently. I don’t know how authentic the information is; it doesn’t name the author; but I won’t be surprised learning about possible manipulations from intelligence groups like the Indian RAW to twist and…

More on the Israeli Factor vis-a-vis Iran's nuclear program

In recent months, Israel and her drumbeaters for war in the West have been making much noise in the media about how Iran has become a threat to nuclear-armed Israel. Consider, for instance, Jim Phillips who writes in the Heritage Foundation. In a January 15, 2010 article, he writes, "To mitigate the threats posed by Iran to U.S. national security and to protect U.S. interests, the United States must: Recognize Israel's right to take action in self-defence against Iran's growing threat."
Phillips continues, "Given that the United States is likely to be attacked by Iran in the aftermath of an Israeli strike anyway, it may be logical to consider joining Israel in a preventive war against Iran." He concludes, "As bad as the consequences could be if Israel launched a preventive strike against Iran-it would be far worse if the two countries fought a nuclear war, or if the United States were forced to fight a war against a nuclear Iran."

In a recent …

Political Assassination is Unacceptable

Political assassination of rulers is neither justifiable nor desirable. Islam is against assassination of any individual, even an autocratic ruler. And yet, the Muslim history was not spared of this curse. The Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab (R) was assassinated while leading the Morning Prayer (Fajr) in Madinah by a Zoroastrian. Uthman ibn Affan (R), the third Caliph, was killed in his home by rioters who were dissatisfied with his government. Ali ibn Abi Talib (R), the fourth Caliph and the son-in-law of the Prophet (S), was mortally wounded by a member of an extremist group, al-Khawarij, when he stood up for Fajr prayer in the mosque of Kufa (in Iraq). Citing the verse, “No rule but God’s,” the Khawarij believed that Ali (R) had committed a grave sin (kabirah) whence he agreed on the arbitration to settle dispute in the Battle of Siffin and, thus, rejected Ali’s claim as a legitimate caliph. They believed: obedience to the caliph is obligatory as long as he is managing the affairs with…

On identity of Dhul Qarnain in the Qur'an

Ref: http://www.iras.ucalgary.ca/~volk/sylvia/GogAndMagog.htm

While trying to search published material in the Internet about Dariel Pass I came across the above reference piece on Gog and Magog, and was pleasantly surprised to see the Muslim citations on the above subject, including the following passage:

"There were also further Islamic versions of the legend. The Muslim Chronicle of Tabari relates that Schahrbaraz, prince of Armenia, sent a man to seek the site of Dulcarnain's Gate; years passed, and then a ragged traveler returned . . . but the prince did not know him until he exhibited a magnificent ruby and named himself as the explorer long thought lost. He had found the Gate, and the ruby was the proof of it; the jewel had been brought to him by an eagle, which dove for it in the moat below the wall.
And another tale tells of the journey of Sallam the Interpreter, 842-844 AD, who set forth to find the Gate. Sallam crossed the Caucasus, probably through the pass of Dariel…

Court cases against Bush's extraordinary renditions

New York Times has a good piece on Bush's detention policy that unjustly victimized many Muslims. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/15/opinion/15mon1.html?th&emc=th
It is sad to see that President Obama, much in contrast to his call for openness and transparency, is not only trying to shut down a civil lawsuit brought by such victims on a flimsy national security claim that has been rendered even flimsier by the British court, but also has refused to support any real investigation of Mr. George W. Bush’s lawless detention policies.

I agree with the editor of NY Times that rather than fight, the Obama administration should offer an apology and a monetary settlement like Canada did three years ago to such victims.

If President Obama truly wants to repair the damages made by his predecessor and try to prevent them from recurring, he must take a real accounting of the Bush administration’s abuses. He cannot afford behaving like an ostrich.

The Israeli Factor in the Failed Middle East Diplomacy

Part 1:
Last week, seemingly frustrated with the stalemate around Iran’s proposal for a simultaneous swap of its stockpile for imported enriched fuel rods, President Ahmadinejad announced that his government would produce its own higher-enriched uranium (20 percent), required for its medical use. A confidential document from the U.N. nuclear agency - International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) - shared February 12 with The Associated Press, however, said Iran's initial effort at higher enrichment is modest, using only a small amount of feedstock and a fraction of its capacities. The document, relying on onsite reports from the IAEA inspectors, also cited Iranian experts at the country's enrichment plant at Natanz as saying that only about 10 kilograms — 22 pounds — of low enriched uranium had been fed into the cascade for further enrichment.

Nevertheless, while the Obama administration on Thursday (February 11) said it does not believe that Iran can enrich uranium at the level it…

Israel-Palestine crisis - New York Times Op/Ed by Roger Cohen

A very balanced piece on Israel-Palestine crisis has appeared in the NY Times. It is written by Roger Cohen: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/12/opinion/12iht-edcohen.html?th&emc=th

As the author mentions "The U.S. objective is a two-state peace. But day by day, square meter by square meter, the physical space for the second state, Palestine, is disappearing. Can the Gaza sardine can and fractured labyrinth of the West Bank now be seen as anything but a grotesque caricature of a putative state? America has allowed this self-defeating process to advance to near irreversibility." Yes, the USA government and its friends have been bankrolling billions to help those settlements and bring Israel to a status where it is self-defeating USA government's much publicized 'opposition' to the settlement activities inside the Occupied Palestine. In so doing, the USA is losing its credibility as an honest broker.

I also agree with Cohen's honest analysis that if the two sta…

Yet another murder of a Rohingya by the SPDC regime in Myanmar

It is really a shocking news to hear about the murder of a Rohingya man by the Sarapa (military intelligence). My heart bleeds hearing such horrendous crimes that see no slowing down in spite of all the voices of condemnation of the SPDC regime heard from outside, governments and non-governments alike. What the SPDC regime is doing to the Rohingya people of Arakan is a slow but definite genocidal campaign. It is slow enough not to be in the radar screen of most human rights groups and governments but steady enough to make the Rohingya an extinct human group, unless such a crime is stopped once and for all time immediately. Sadly, the victims are not welcome anywhere, not even in the neighboring countries like Bangladesh and Thailand which have taken a push-back strategy to worsen their plight upon return. By implementing push-back strategy, these neighboring states are aiding in war crimes. It is deplorable and criminal to the core. Hypocritical is also the stand of governments of cou…

Comments on Dr. Asghar Ali Engineer's latest article on "Islam and Modern Age"

Dr. Asghar Ali Engineer has been writing a series of articles, entitled "Islam and Modern Age" for quite some time. In his latest piece, he wrote:

"Politics is all about power games and hence the best role for religion and religious leaders would be to maintain its distance from politics and act as strong critic of political establishment."

Being a keen observer myself on religion and politics for the last three decades, I could not have agreed more with the above statement. When the Iranian revolution swept away the Shah, there was such an excitement in the entire ummah of Muslims, irrespective of Shi'a and Sunni, that they welcomed the marriage of religion and politics. As to the Shi'a it was more so, simply because of their understanding that Allah and His Messenger Muhammad (S) have ordained Ali (R) as the designated Caliph. That is, to them, the matter of khilafah was not left to the polity to decide. Imam Khomeini very successfully explained that c…

Western Meddling with Iran’s Nuclear Program is Unacceptable

Part 1:
The relationship between the governments of Iran and the USA has been tense and nasty since the fall of the Shah. During the long Iran-Iraq War, the USA and her allies even supported the Iraqi regime when it invaded Iran. On July 3, 1988 the U.S. Navy’s guided missile cruiser USS Vincennes shot down Iran Air Flight 655 (IR655) killing all 290 passengers and crew aboard, including 66 children. It was the highest death toll of any aviation incident in the Indian Ocean and the highest death toll of any incident involving an Airbus A300 anywhere in the world. At the time of the attack, Vincennes, fitted with the then-new Aegis combat system, was traversing the Strait of Hormuz inside Iranian territorial waters, and the IR655 was within Iranian airspace. Worse still, after completing their tour, the Vincennes crew was awarded Combat Action Ribbons for having actively participated in ground or surface combat and its captain William C. Rogers III received the Legion of Merit.

Then ca…