India out. GST war on islam. Islamist leader Abdelilah Benkirane as Morocco Premier (write to: abdulruff_jnu@yahoo.com)

India run out.

GST war on islam.

Islamist leader Abdelilah Benkirane as Morocco Premier

-DR. ABDUL RUFF

abdulruff_jnu@yahoo.com

_________

Parliament in Rabat, Morocco, 20 November 2011

I – Poll

Moroccans have elected new lower house of parliament on 25 November, in the first national vote since the approval of constitutional reforms in July billed as laying the foundations for a fully-fledged constitutional monarchy. Moderate Islamists, as expected, did well the vote after a similar success in Tunisia’s first democratic election a month ago and the Justice and Development Party (PJD) emerged as the biggest party in Friday’s parliamentary elections.

The Justice and Development Party (PJD) took 107 seats out of the 395 in Parliament, almost twice as many as the second-place nationalist Istiqlal party, with 60 seats. The election was held more than a year early, after pro-democracy demonstrations swept the country earlier this year as part of the regionwide Arab Spring.

The leader of a moderate Islamist party Abdelilah Benkirane has been appointed by King Mohammed VI as Morocco’s new prime minister. Abdelilah will now hold talks on forming a coalition government.  His Justice and Development Party has not been in government before.

The PJD’s victory follows that of Tunisia’s Islamist Ennahda Party in an election there last month. Following elections, King Mohammed VI is for the first time obliged to choose the prime minister from the largest party, rather than naming whoever he pleases. King Mohammed received Benkirane, who is the PJD’s secretary general, in the mountain town of Midelt and named him head of government with the task of forming a new government.

Under a new constitution approved by referendum in July, the king has to choose a prime minister from the party that won the most seats. The constitution also gives the prime minister more powers to govern, but the king still has the final say on issues of defence, security and religion. The reforms were supported by all the main political parties, which called on their supporters to back the proposals in the referendum.

The 20 February movement, which spearheaded Morocco’s pro-democracy protests earlier this year, has called for a boycott of the elections, dismissing them as a “piece of theatre”. It says the constitutional changes approved in July are superficial, and perpetuate a “facade of democracy” that – it says – has disguised continuing royal rule for decades.

King Mohammed VI presented the constitutional changes as a far-reaching concession to Arab Spring-style pro-democracy protests, but activists believe they will do little to change the actual power structure and have called for a boycott of the elections. As a result of the constitutional changes approved by 98% of those voting in a 1 July referendum, the position of the prime minister, who must now be appointed from the largest party in parliament, has also been enhanced, gaining the authority to appoint government officials and dissolve parliament.  However, the parliament will have a greater share of power and – in theory – will play the leading role in a legislative process previously dominated by the king.

Benkirane, who was elected head of his party in 2008, leads its more pro-monarchy faction. He has repeatedly stated his support for a strong king, even though some of his colleagues would prefer a less powerful ruler. “The head of the state is king and no-one can govern without him,” he told supporters. The PJD has said it will promote Islamic finance. However, it has avoided focusing on issues such as alcohol and headscarves for women.

Many of the protesters who took to the streets in February feel the reforms still fall far short of their demands for a democratic, constitutional monarchy, and have called for a boycott. Ahead of the poll, the sleepy calm of the capital, Rabat, was occasionally punctuated by the marches of unemployed graduates. But the country’s powerful monarchy and the system that supports it appear to have averted any direct, mortal challenge for now.

A low turnout in the parliamentary poll would detract from the legitimacy of King Mohammed VI’s reforms and could hint at future problems.

II – Morocco

The Kingdom of Morocco is the most westerly of the North African countries known as the Maghreb. To the south, the status of Western Sahara remains unresolved. Morocco annexed the territory in 1975 and a guerrilla war with Algerian-backed pro-independence forces ended in 1991. UN efforts have failed to break the political deadlock. To the north, a dispute with Spain in 2002 over the tiny island of Perejil revived the issue of the sovereignty of Melilla and Ceuta. The small enclaves on the Mediterranean coast are surrounded by Morocco and have been administered by Madrid for centuries.

Strategically situated with both Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines, but with a rugged mountainous interior, it stayed independent for centuries while developing a rich culture blended from Arab, Berber, European and African influences.  However, Morocco was a French protectorate from 1912 to 1956, when Sultan Mohammed became king. He was succeeded in 1961 by his son, Hassan II, who ruled for 38 years. He played a prominent role in the search for peace in the Middle East, given the large number of Israelis of Moroccan origin, but was criticized for suppressing domestic opposition. A truth commission set up to investigate human rights violations during Hassan’s reign confirmed nearly 10,000 cases, ranging from death in detention to forced exile. After his death in 1999 Hassan was succeeded by his son, who became King Mohammed VI and was seen as a modernizer. There has been some economic and social liberalization, but the monarch has retained sweeping powers.

King Mohammed is aided by a powerful propaganda machine – his image adorns streets and shops across the country. Central to the monarchical regime’s strength is its longevity – the Alaoui dynasty gained control of most of Morocco in 1664 – and its claim of descent from the Prophet Muhammad. The king has tremendous religious and political capital – it’s not just the king but the whole political establishment, the monarchy and the “makhzen” provide for the patronage network that embodies Morocco’s ruling elite.

Moroccan citizens, many of them poor and illiterate and living in rural areas, are made to believe that the monarch has a special gift or blessing and they feel that they have some psychological relationship with the king. Symbolic rituals also boost his status. In an annual ceremony of allegiance, the “bay’a”, Moroccan officials bow before the king as he parades on a horse.

Despite these traditional trappings, the monarchy under the 48-year-old king has taken on a more modern, reformist image. His father, Hassan II, ran a notoriously brutal regime between 1961 and 1999. Opponents were tortured and protests repressed.  1965, the interior minister at the time, Gen Mohammed Oufkir, supervised a crackdown on demonstrations in Casablanca from a helicopter while – according to one story – personally spraying rioters with a machine gun. But a process of gradual reform began in the final years of Hassan’s rule, and continued with his son. It included a family law that advanced women’s rights and a truth commission that explored abuses under King Hassan – though none of those responsible were prosecuted.

Along with Ennahda in Tunisia and the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Turkey, it places itself within a contemporary movement to promote and respect Islam and reconcile Islam and democracy. Coalitions of more secular, royalist parties have tried to smother it and the Islamists have found it hard to directly challenge the king because of his religious status as “commander of the faithful”. It too is seen by many as being in the pocket of the palace. The PJD here in Morocco is presenting the ‘third way’ between revolution and the uncertainty of the current system.

The toppling of long-standing leaders in Tunisia and Egypt at the beginning of the year is widely seen as having caught the Moroccan regime off-guard, at a time when the reform process had stagnated. As Morocco’s own protest movement took shape, a long-held taboo was breached. It’s the first time in Morocco that the king was openly criticized and they didn’t shoot people. Instead, the monarchy’s response was to promise changes including rights guarantees and more powers for the parliament. These were enshrined in a new constitution that was approved by referendum in July.

III – Observations

Maybe, the Arab World is in the process of changing but Arabs still don’t know the results and what will happen in Egypt, Tunisia, Syria or Yemen especially the destruction of Libya by the NATO-UNSC terror organizations. The moderately Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD), which has been buoyed by the recent reforms, and by the gains Islamists have made elsewhere in the region, could win the election and so supply the next prime minister.

Leaders of Morocco claim they are presenting the way of reform without losing the stability, the unity of the country- but at the same time furthering the democratic agenda of Morocco.

Morocco’s ruling elite thinks it has skillfully sidestepped the revolutionary fervor sweeping the Arab world by offering a milder, more peaceful vision of change. Critics of the reforms point in particular to the fact that the king will still have wide-ranging executive powers, in particular control over foreign, defence and security policy. Activists also say the reforms will not end the behind-the-scenes dominance of the “makhzen” – a power apparatus of veteran politicians, powerful businesspeople, the security forces and royal officials controlled by the king through a system of patronage.

Morocco is bidding for membership of the European Union, its main trade partner, but there appears to be little enthusiasm for this within the bloc.

Morocco has been given the status of non-Nato ally by Washington, which has praised its support for the US-led war on terror. After deadly suicide bombings in Casablanca in 2003, Morocco launched a crackdown on suspected Islamic militants.

The message of a democratic agenda and gradual change is one that has gone down well with Morocco’s allies in the anti-Islamic US and Europe who promote pro-west leaders in Muslim world and destabilize the Muslim nations if the leaders do not buy CIA terror gimmicks…

Political and poll bribery is common. Sheep were being handed out to voters, and over the last few months, the protest movement has been subject to a smear campaign, arrests, and intimidation at the hands of shadowy groups of pro-monarchy thugs known as “baltaja”. But Moroccans say they will show the Western world that Morocco can bring about a gentle revolution and the nation can travel towards a real democracy.

In Morocco elections are never decisive as the king retains ultimate control and though parliament has more power, parties are weak. The electoral system is prepared on purpose not to let anyone succeed, so it’s impossible to get more than 20% of the seats in parliament and this is to allow the monarchy to dominate. The manipulation of the party system is just one of the old-fashioned tactics still being deployed to bolster the status quo.  According to analysts, the reforms passed this year are largely cosmetic, and there is no guarantee they will be put into practice on the ground. However, so long as it plays the NATO fiddle well, it has got nothing to worry.

Claims, fake or real, of descent from the Prophet Muhammad (Peace) by a few pampered Muslim leaders might be fashionable but are ridiculous if they decline to promote true Islam in the society. Moroccan king clams the same of being a descent from the Prophet Muhammad but he shamelessly sides with NATO terrorism and western anti-Islamism. A Muslim nation that promotes anti-Islamism and helps, directly or otherwise, the anti-Islamic GST rogues and refuses to promote Islamic way of life and institutionalize Islamic law on daily basis ceases to be a Muslim nation.  Muslim leaders in such societies are guilty of anti-Islamic crimes.

Elected premier Islamist leader Abdelilah Benkirane, though worships the king, has a responsibly constructive role to play in this regard so that Islam takes firm roots in the society. Americans, Britishers and other western terrocrats cannot help him or Morocco in this regard. Benkirane’s pro-people policies and their proper implementation would greatly benefit not just Muslims but entire humanity in some measure.

Muhammad praying at the Ka’ba.

——–
د. عبد راف

Dr. Abdul Ruff, Specialist on State Terrorism; Educationalist;Chancellor-Founder of Centor for International Affairs(CIA); Independent Analyst;Chronicler of Foreign occupations & Freedom movements(Palestine,Kashmir, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Xinjiang, Chechnya, etc); Anti-Muslimism and anti-Islamism are more dangerous than “terrorism” Anti-Islamic forces & terrorists are using criminal elements for terrorizing the world and they in disguise are harming genuine interests of ordinary Muslims. Global media today, even in Muslim nations, are controlled by CIA  & other anti-Islamic agencies. Former university Teacher;/website:abdulruff.wordpress.com

India does not love Muslims, does not trust Kashmiri leaders!

India does not love Muslims, does not trust Kashmiri leaders!

-Dr. Abdul Ruff

____________

While hatred for Islam dominates world politics today, hatred for Muslims has been the hallmark of Indian standard policy pursued against Indian Muslims and particularly Muslims of Kashmir. Indian Muslims do not seek what the Kashmiris seek from Indian regime – freedom and sovereignty, because they are Indians and want to live in India. They seek mercy of Indian rulers so that they are not attacked, insulted, killed.  Kashmiris face Indian brutality as the permanent Indian response to their demand for freedom. Bullets and genocides cannot silence the committed and hence oppressed people.

The anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat state of India, which is divided from Pakistan by the roaring Arabian Sea, when PM Narendra Modi was the Hindutva BJP’s CM of that rich state and the centre’s secret decision not to make a Kashmir Muslim the President or Vice president of India

In an interview to Karan Thapar on his India Today TV program, former Indian external spy agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) Chief A S Dulat has revealed that former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had expressed his discontent over the 2002 Gujarat riots and called it “our mistake”.  Dulat IPS briefly mentioned about his last meeting with the former Prime Minister during which the BJP stalwart reflected about the 2002 Gujarat riots and said, “woh humare se galti hui hai (it was our mistake).” Dulat said this while recalling a meeting with Vajpayee.

Dulat, who headed the RAW till 2000 before he was appointed as Special Advisor in Vajpayee’s PMO on Kashmir issue, said Vajpayee always believed that the post-Godhra riots in 2002 was a “mistake” and the grief was “clearly visible” on his face.

The handling of the Gujarat riots when incumbent PM of India Narendra Modi was the chief minister has been at the centre of a controversy. Modi justified the riots and exonerated himself of any rule in the ghastly state crimes against Gujarat Muslims backed by essentially the Hindutva judges who investigated the genocides of Muslims crimes during his chief ministership in Gujarat from Hindutva point of view.

Gujarat riots made Modi very sought after leader of RSS and its offspring to lead  the BJP towards national elections. The extra ordinary y corrupt central government led by Congress party and anti-corruption agitation led by Kejriwal-Hazare duo very effectively  helped BJP and Modi to win parliamentary poll.

Speaking about various issues related to Kashmir, Dulat said Rubayya Sayeed, daughter of state Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, who was abducted was never the target of militants in 1989. “It was Saffia, daughter of Abdullah whom they wanted to kidnap. But, as Sayeed become the Home Minister in the V P Singh government, the militants decided to take her hostage,” he said, adding this was told to him by the militant who had planned the kidnapping.

Another important issue Dulat hammered is distrust of India main for Muslim leaders in Jammu Kashmir. Indian government and political parties use Kashmiri Muslim and other leaders always to make Kashmiris accept India as their home land. However, that Indian objective has not been realized thus far and New Delhi finds fault with Muslim leaders in the valley.

Recalling his days as Advisor in the PMO, Dulat, an IPS officer of 1965 batch of Rajasthan cadre, also said that there was a plan to make Abdullah Vice President in early 2002 and his son Omar Abdullah Chief Minister of the JK state. “The offer to make Farooq Abdullah Vice President happened at my residence at a private dinner and it was made on behalf of Vajpayee by Brajesh Mishra. Later, Abdullah told me that both Vajpayee and L K Advani and had reconfirmed the offer. However, Farooq Abdullah always had doubts whether the NDA government would fulfill this promise. “I don’t trust them. I don’t trust Delhi,” were the words of Abdullah to Dulat. The other problem was that Farooq becoming Vice President was part of an arrangement whereby the then incumbent VP Krishan Kant would become President. When the latter didn’t happen the promise to Abdullah fell by the wayside, he said.

In another disclosure which Dulat has mentioned in his book “Kashmir: The Vajpayee Years”, he said that in early 1990s, self-styled Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin had called local Intelligence Bureau chief K M Singh and sought his help in securing a medical seat for his son. “Singh approached Abdullah, who was the Chief Minister, and the work was done,” Dulat said and maintained that these favours are extended always with a hope that they would be converted into a surrender of the militants. “This is done world over by all the spying agencies,” he said.

Dulat also recalled that Vajpayee had called on Congress President Sonia Gandhi and asked her to ensure that there was no tie up with Mufti Sayeed in government formation. The reason for this, according to Dulat, was that Sayeed was more comfortable with Jamaat-e-Islamia, the political wing of Hizbul Mujahideen and that his daughter Mehbooba had links with the “terror” group itself. As a result, during a visit to Srinagar in April 2003, Vajpayee insisted that Mehbooba should not be on the stage with him and Mufti Sayeed, he said.

As of now, Indian interest in Kashmir valley lies in making Kashmiri Muslims a part of Indian state, with their help, securing Amarnath temple tour in Chinese territory through Kashmir. Apart from killing Kashmiri Muslims refuse to be Indians first, Indian military occupying Kashmir has to ensure the safe passage of and comforts for those that undertake the supposedly annual religious tour. Kashmiri Muslims promote the Hindutva objective of Indian government with ready services.

The trust deficit on Indian part for Kashmiris eventually turned to hatred for Kashmiris and Kashmir. This state hatred is readily expressed by Indian forces, enjoying special crime powers in Kashmir, through precision guns – some of them are imported from Israel that kills Muslims- the besieged Palestinians – in order to uphold the Zionist right for militarism expansionism.

Indian bullets could not end freedom movement of Kashmiri Muslims and more Indian government and military harass them the stronger the Kashmiris become in expressing their birth right to be Kashmiris. This explains why Kashmiri freedom leaders like Geelani still refuse to be known as Indians.

India does not trust Kashmiri leaders!

India does not trust Kashmiri leaders!

-Dr. Abdul Ruff

____________

In an interview to Karan Thapar on his India Today TV programme, former external spy agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) Chief A S Dulat has revealed that former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had expressed his discontent over the 2002 Gujarat riots and called it “our mistake”.  Dulat IPS briefly mentioned about his last meeting with the former Prime Minister during which the BJP stalwart reflected about the 2002 Gujarat riots and said, “woh humare se galti hui hai (it was our mistake).” Dulat said this while recalling a meeting with Vajpayee.

Dulat, who headed the RAW till 2000 before he was appointed as Special Advisor in Vajpayee’s PMO on Kashmir issue, said Vajpayee always believed that the post-Godhra riots in 2002 was a “mistake” and the grief was “clearly visible” on his face.

The handling of the Gujarat riots when incumbent PM of India Narendra Modi was the chief minister has been at the centre of a controversy. Modi justified the riots and exonerated himself of any rule in the ghastly state crimes against Gujarat Muslims backed by essentially the Hindutva judges who investigated the genocides of Muslims crimes during his chief ministership in Gujarat from Hindutva point of view.

Gujarat riots made Modi very sought after leader of RSS and its offspring to lead  the BJP towards national elections. The extra ordinary y corrupt central government led by Congress party and anti-corruption agitation led by Kejriwal-Hazare duo very effectively  helped BJP and Modi to win parliamentary poll.

Speaking about various issues related to Kashmir, Dulat said Rubayya Sayeed, daughter of state Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, who was abducted was never the target of militants in 1989. “It was Saffia, daughter of Abdullah whom they wanted to kidnap. But, as Sayeed become the Home Minister in the V P Singh government, the militants decided to take her hostage,” he said, adding this was told to him by the militant who had planned the kidnapping.

Another important issue Dulat hammered is distrust of India main for Muslim leaders in Jammu Kashmir. Indian government and political parties use Kashmiri Muslim and other leaders always to make Kashmiris accept India as their home land. However, that Indian objective has not been realized thus far and  New Delhi finds fault with Muslim leaders in the valley.

Recalling his days as Advisor in the PMO, Dulat, an IPS officer of 1965 batch of Rajasthan cadre, also said that there was a plan to make Abdullah Vice President in early 2002 and Omar Abdullah Chief Minister of the state. “The offer to make Farooq Abdullah Vice President happened at my residence at a private dinner and it was made on behalf of Vajpayee by Brajesh Mishra. Later, Abdullah told me that both Vajpayee and L K Advani and had reconfirmed the offer,” he said. However, Abdullah always had doubts whether the NDA government would fulfil this promise. “I don’t trust them. I don’t trust Delhi,” were the words of Abdullah to Dulat. The other problem was that Farooq becoming Vice President was part of an arrangement whereby Krishan Kant would become President. “When the latter didn’t happen the promise to Abdullah fell by the wayside,” he said.

In another disclosure which Dulat has mentioned in his book “Kashmir: The Vajpayee Years”, he said that in early 1990s, self-styled Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin had called local Intelligence Bureau chief K M Singh and sought his help in securing a medical seat for his son. “Singh approached Abdullah, who was the Chief Minister, and the work was done,” Dulat said and maintained that these favours are extended always with a hope that they would be converted into a surrender of the militants. “This is done world over by all the spying agencies,” he said.

Dulat also recalled that Vajpayee had called on Congress President Sonia Gandhi and asked her to ensure that there was no tie up with Mufti Sayeed in government formation. The reason for this, according to Dulat, was that Sayeed was more comfortable with Jamaat-e-Islamia, the political wing of Hizbul Mujahideen and that his daughter Mehbooba had links with the terror group itself. As a result, during a visit to Srinagar in April 2003, Vajpayee insisted that Mehbooba should not be on the stage with him and Mufti Sayeed, he said.

This explains why Kashmiri freedom leaders like Geelani still refuse to be known as Indians.

Will US-China cooperation in Afghanistan benefit Afghans? 1

Will US-China cooperation in Afghanistan benefit Afghans?  1

Dr. Abdul Ruff

____________

 

Part-I: Introduction to fate of Afghanistan

 

 

In fact, the fate of Afghanistan symbolizes that of Islam today – both are on considerable decline. This decline owes to two factors: Power of amalgam of anti-Islamic forces operating globally and, the  inability or vulnerability of Islamic world led by Arab world to defend Muslims, in order to ensure Islamic safety.

Global super power USA and its rival Russia, Asia’s super power China and the neighbors of Afghanistan, which lies destabilized by the “civilized” NATO’s occupational attacks and genocides, still seek to control the resources of this ill-fated Islamic nation.

US ill-focus on Afghanistan has a long history and it goes beyond the phase of consequences of Sept-11 hoax. In fact, Sept-11 hoax perpetrated by the enemies of Islam bent upon destabilizing an Islamizing Afghanistan through provocative operations in the post Soviet occupational era was the culmination of long anti-Islamic war for two centuries, giving strength to enemies of Islam under democracy façade to embark upon an undeclared but permanent illegal war on Islam.

With the fall of Afghanistan to the feet of the enemy forces led by USA, ostensibly seeking to “save” the brave Afghans from Soviet “rogues”, the decline of Islam started a new stage. Not only the enemies of Islam have managed to kill millions of Muslims, destroy Muslim property worth trillions Euros and destabilize Islamic world – on fake pretexts of “terrorism and resurgence”.

Americans, seemingly ultra wise, have recruited many Muslims as their agents globally, first right in Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation to fight Islam by pretending to be enemies of USA.  Washington possessing high precision  remote sensing technology groomed  a Saudi national Osama bin Laden obviously  with concurrence of rulers of Saudi Arabia, an anti-Communism ally of USA, as invisible enemy of USA only to be used  as a pretext to invade Afghanistan and kill Afghans in millions in occupational operations.

Washington has full faith not in the Church but in these Muslim agents working for US Empire to get Muslims killed, discredit Islam.

The terrible decline of Islam that continued in the first decade of 20th century was accelerated by US shattering of Afghanistan and Iraq, disintegration of Ottoman Empire and Syria, leading to growing extremist tendencies. .

Americans know that Islamic world as a transnational force has got the inherent capacity and galvanizing impulses to challenge the hegemonizing US global power.  And, hence Americans have embarked upon the permanent war of USA on Islam, now known as war on terror.

USA believes not in democracy but in military supremacy and it showcases it with the help of its allies like UK and Israel.

Islam inspired the most successful of Arab resistances to expansionist Israeli state in Mideast. In the spring of 2011 the extraordinary popular uprisings evinced a distinctive Islamic coloration and these were not led by any Islamic group by ordinary Muslims seeking to replace the autocratic and corrupt regimes.  Their call for freedom and justice in Tunisia and Egypt were not appreciated in the West. However, when the first ever elected popular government by President Mohammad Morsi, came in to rule in Egypt the enemies of Islam, the enemies of Islam guided by USA, ganged up through the military there to stage a coup and the military put President Morsi in jail. .

(More to come>)

Is USA a racial state?

Is USA a racial state?

Dr. Abdul Ruff

____________

Sadly, Americans live in pretensions, lies and denials. Behind all nice “value” smiles and “hearty” talks about democracy and its place in any civilized society, Americans, generally speaking, are also racial by nature and instinct. The regular incidents of attacks on blacks in United States reveal American brand racism even under a Black president which demolishes their claim of being the most civilized people on earth the people from entire world must learn a lot from.

Targeting weak nations to destabilize them, committing awful genocides freely is one thing, but attacking minority people in a country on the on the basis of the skin color is another.  As the only superpower, United States of America, unfortunately, pursues both. However, Americans do not criticize the negative phenomena.

However, facts reveal that the real picture of social relations in USA is quite different from what is being reported in the US media. Racial slurs and attacks on the Blacks, among other minorities, are a common phenomenon across the USA.

The incumbent US President Barack Obama, himself a Black but successful politician, also, like predecessors who were Whites, does not seem to take steps to end racial discriminations in the country.  Racal discriminations have been on the rise even in America.

It is not at all shocking, but quite a valid statement, therefore, that Russian President Vladimir Putin has said racial intolerance in America would have shocked Martin Luther King Jr. In his National Breakfast address in Kremlin on May 13, Putin said that America was “full of magnificent travesty – a place where, in past many years, people of a particular color have, on several or most of occasions, been targeted by peoples of white color, simply due to their skin color and their racism.”

This startling comment from Putin comes on the backdrop of recent racial tensions in United States of America. There were incidents of unrest in Ferguson over shooting of Afro-American youth by a White police. Even after protests and pressure, the deaths of blacks in the hand of white police never reduced. Last week, yet another racial minority youth was killed in police custody.

Explaining to his audience, Putin continued, “It will be better if Obama and his America cared about their internal problems before trying to poke their nose into our affairs. They cry about Crimea, but look at their Crime rates. The rate at which American do crime, they can change their country name to Crimea, so that I can invade it next year.”

After a round of laughter from the audience, Putin continued, “America had blacks as slaves, then they fought a war among themselves on whether to keep blacks as slaves or not. Then, they fought with blacks on suffrage rights of blacks, educational right of blacks, employment rights of blacks. Martin Luther King Jr sacrificed his life to uplift black and end racial discrimination in America. But, now, seeing the current plight of blacks in his country, MLK would have cried in his grave. This kind of racial intolerance in America would have shocked him. I feel sorry for him.”

Raising a cup of wine for a toast, Putin concluded, “I just want to remind Obama to look after his own country and try to solve the racial riots that are happening under his nose. If a black president was unable to create an amicable situation for blacks in USA, then I wonder what the whites will do to those minorities. Stop the killing of blacks or resign Mr. Obama”.

Russians resent anti-Russia rhetoric of US leaders and western media lords made on a regular basis to belittle that nation especially when sanctions have been slapped on it by USA and EU. Putin has repeatedly said anti-Russia campaign is a roaring business of many Americans and it must stop. Maybe, his comments on racial discriminations in USA are to drive home the point that attacking Russian brand democracy cannot go on forever.

Maybe, President Barack Obama thinks the racial discriminations are a necessary evil that needs to be supported for some political expediency reasons, but the approach, if any, is totally wrong and anti-human as it works against the real progress of minorities in the country.

USA should shed its uncultured racist slur and discriminatory practices and become a model secular and truly democratic state for all other nations to emulate.

AAP government should focus on governance in Delhi!

AAP government should focus on governance in Delhi!

No need for direct confronting central government!

-Dr. Abdul Ruff

_______________

BJP and Congress are trying not only to protect corrupt elements and shield the criminals who got Sikhs and Muslims killed India, but they also are eager to weaken Delhi’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the government of Kejriwal who fights corruption.

Indian premier Narendra Modi, whose government is seen involved in misgovernance for corporate lords, is perhaps one of the most worried leaders around. PM Modi is silent. He does not want to sack the ministers who brought shame to the BJP. Modi’s silence even when the RSS mother organization has asked the BJP to remove foreign minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan’s CM Raje, Modi reserves his comments on the issue which is racking his government and claims.  Why?

Now not only the government of India, BJP ruled states and BJP leadership itself are associated with him, PM Modi thinks any punitive measures against ministers or CMs would mean he is not a genuine honest leader as he wants India to believe,  that would also mean BJP is no different from Congress and his government may have so many persons with criminal records.  By projecting them, Modi cannot claim to be a genuine leader and cannot make India a clean nation. .

India, especially the TV channels target the BJP party and government and seek removal of the tainted ministers. Modi and his close associates think the “story” would die down sooner or later and people would forget all.

Like Congress counterparts did before them, the BJP rulers refuse to act against corruption charges against their ministers and leaders, proven or alleged, citing compassionate grounds but are quick to arrest and punish quickly if a member of AAP government is allegedly involved in any wrong doing.

In fact, Congress and BJP are not  people’s parties or committed to  popular concerns, but they are basically cricket parties promoting corruption, IPL, black money, money laundering and they shield the black money owners.  Indians unfortunately have no credible political alternatives and have to vote for fraud parties.

People are visibly angry with the ruling BJP rulers of India targeting the AAP government as the Modi government continues its imposing pressure on the Kejriwal government for still serving the cause of common people of Delhi state.

People of India are annoyed with the way the new BJP government shields the corrupt elements like IPL Modi and central ministers.

The BJP and major opposition Congress in Indian parliament want to end AAP rule in Delhi and seem to calculate that slowly Delhiites would be disillusioned with overall functioning beyond its performance as the central government and its Lt Governor Jung (hanging on to his post despite his Congress party has been replaced by BJP more than one year),

BJP as well as its mentor Congress have exerted tremendous pressure on Delhi CM Kejriwal not to open any of the corruption cases involving previous Congress/BJP governments as that would expose the illegal dealings of many of their leaders.  The Manmohan government seems to be protecting the interests of Congress party as well.

Kejriwal do well keeping in mind the fact that politics is never static.  People can change their minds and government.  It is likely that that at least some Delhiites who voted for AAP would feel led down by confrontational politics of Delhi government.  This feeble feeling could be harnessed by BJP-Congress to denounce AAP which has been the strategy of them ever since both were drowned in the Yamuna River by Delhiites.

Confrontation politics Is not the message that Indian people expect from the Kejriwal government and this is not the way he should spread the party across the nation If he wants the AAP go national.

Unfortunately, the conflictual politics and its noise, rather than the performance reaches, outside Delhi. This can only annoy the people of other states to see the AAP as a nuisance party. That is exactly the BJP-Congress duo wants. But al Kejriwal should not let the badly shaken national parties use him to revive their political and financial fortunes.

Diplomacy is an important ingredient of democracy.  AAP and Kejriwal cannot ignore that.

The cold war in Aam Admi Party (AAP) is bad for both AAP and India, for, every corrupt politician and party in India is eager to see the end of anti-corruption Aam Admi Party that has become an unstoppable nightmare, badly shaking their hopes of minting public money by immoral and illegal means by kicking the Lokpal bill out of Indian parliament and state assemblies.

People of India, fed up with corrupt and anti-people governments provided by Congress, BJP, SP and others, now look forward to the AAP to guide, help and show them the right path.  The recent poll in Delhi inspired the Indian masses to dream of a better and less expensive life.

It is unfortunate that instead of developing further the popular party known as AAP to help the peole who trust them by implementing the electoral promises given to people, its  leaders behave like little school boys fighting over a chocolate. AAP leaders behave too childish!

Interestingly,  the  leaders of Congress party that has been totally disgraced by Delhiites and of the BJP  which was decimated  and relegated to the level of independents, are not even fighting over the causes of defeat but the winners of Delhi fort, the Aam Admi party are  now engaged in a bitter battle for nothing.

Such an ugly scenario of a infighting in a party immediately after a historic poll verdict in its favor is unheard in the political history of the world.

One can guess what would have happened in AAP, had the party lost badly in Delhi just like what happened in parliamentary elections or what has happened to the Congress or BJP in Delhi.

The AAP is embroiled in an ugly internal strife barely a month after forming a majority government in Delhi. are likely to be asked to put forth their clarifications in the party’s national executive meeting due to take place today. There was unconfirmed speculation that the duo AAP leaders Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan could be eased out of the national executive, which is the AAP’s top policy body.

Amid the ongoing controversy surrounding the rift within the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal resigned as the party’s convener ahead of the national executive meeting scheduled to take place this evening. Kejriwal has said he cannot do justice to both the chief minister’s post and that of the convener. Kejriwal had earlier offered to resign as the convener, but the move was unanimously rejected.

Less than a month after it stormed to power winning 67 of the 70 seats in Delhi, the AAP is split between senior leaders Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan on the one hand and Kejriwal backers on the other.

Maybe the leaders have not yet come to an understanding over how the party won a massive victory in Delhi soon after its debacle in parliamentary poll and each might be claiming his own importance in the poll victory. It is ridiculous if it were so.

There is no denying the fact that Arvind Kejriwal leads the party from the front and intellectuals Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan are also the backbone of the growth and strengthening of AAP in Delhi and elsewhere.

However, AAP would have won in Delhi even without these leaders because the AAP belongs to Delhiites.  However, clearly, it is Arvind Kejriwal who is taken by the people as the custodian of the party.  Delhiites voted overwhelmingly for the AAP because of Kejriwal and not because of other leaders. In fact, any candidate would have own the assembly seats fielded by Kejriwal. That is the sway he has established over the people by hard labor, fighting for their causes. Delhiites trust him for what Kejriwal is.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on March 03 said he was deeply hurt and pained by the open warfare within the Aam Aadmi Party.  This is “betrayal of trust the people of Delhi reposed in us,” Kejriwal tweeted, adding he won’t allow “people’s trust to be broken”. “I refuse to be drawn in this ugly battle. Will concentrate only on Delhi’s governance,” he added.

Following internal rumblings within AAP, two founder-members, senior leaders and members of the original core team the AAP ideologue Yogendra Yadav and Senior Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan, who were on collision course with Kejriwal, were voted out of the party’s Political Affairs Committee (PAC) , its highest decision-making body. Out of 21 members, 19 participated in the voting. It was a close fight as 11 voted against the duo and eight in favour. Simultaneously, on the expected lines, the NE rejected the resignation of Kejriwal.  The resignation drama of Kejriwal is considered as a powerful tool to get what he wanted.  Both are likely to get new responsibilities in AAP as per a compromise formula. .

There are reports of a majority of the national executive were in favour of the ouster of the duo, as they feel both have brought a bad name to the AAP by talking in public about the lack of so-called internal democracy in the party. The decision would mean that Bhushan and Yadav would cease to be decision makers in a party that is sure to expand its wings in the country once it cements its foundation in Delhi.

Bhushan, in a letter to the AAP national executive last week, had said that the “one person-centric” campaign of the party for Delhi Assembly elections had made the party look like other parties and called for more “swaraj” within the outfit. Along with Yadav, he also gave a joint letter to the national executive and demanded activation of an ethics and grievance committee. Prashant Bhushan had raised some issues pertaining to AAP against the Kejriwal but  the people of Delhi just ignored the his complained as nothing serious. He should have closed the chapter when the AAP won a massive mandate and begun working seriously for the party. However both Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan continued to raise the issues even after the poll verdict. That is unfortunate, not a matured political mindset.  AAP leader Yogendra Yadav, however, says that Kejriwal staying as the party’s national convener is essential.

With AAP witnessing internal power struggle, its political rivals today said the party’s claim that it was a ‘party with a difference’ had fallen flat and it was just another political organisation struggling with “individual-centric” functioning. While Congress alleged that AAP lacked a strong party constitution, the BJP said the party was operating in a “dynastic and individual-centric” manner which was similar to some regional parties, a view echoed by NCP and Lalu Prasad party.  All these parties, however, are out of jobs as AAP won a landslide in Delhi poll. They all are scared of anti-corruption laws and Lokpal bill

The party after tasting its first real electoral triumph seems to have quickly transformed into a hardcore political party.  AAP is no longer a party based on guiding principle of being driven by will of volunteers, Kejriwal and AAP National Executive with clinical accuracy axed founder member Prashant Bhushan and key ideologue Yogendra Yadav from the political affairs committee. In fact, all these 3 leaders have forgotten about Delhiites and their massive mandate.

One has no idea what has promoted the leaders of AAP to take to street for a small fight and who is going to benefit from this nonsense.

The Aam Aadmi Party always keeps its collar up saying that the party stands out from the rest. But now the AAP leaders are trying in fact to squander the trust of the Delhiites placed on them as responsible leaders of India.

School books, they should know, underline the importance of unity in the face of adversity. AAP leaders should know Delhiites voted the AAP not for the leaders to fight over selfish motives and they must remember how they fought together for the success of the party and should now know disunity in the team can cause immense problem for each one of them.

Unity, on the other hand, can keep the people, above the party leadership, happy.

AAP belongs to people of Delhi and India not of its leaders alone.

Recent developments reveal that there are some scrupless elements infiltrate into AAP party and government.  Possibly, pressed by political exigencies, Kejriwal could not avoid a few corrupt or fake or pretentious persons into AAP and Delhi Assembly.  One can’t find fault with him alone.  But now he must act now in order to save the image of AAP as well as his own image as a crusader of clean and efficient governance.

Not the least, Kejriwal and his AAP team should always bear in mind that they seek clean politics and as such they also ensure clean image of the party and members.  Now that they are on work, they must cleanse the party of fake elements, weed out wrong persons in posts that can harm the party as well as government interests.

Gaza Strip, a testing ground for new US-Israeli weapon systems!

Gaza Strip, a testing ground for new US-Israeli weapon systems!

-Dr. Abdul Ruff

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Gaza strip has been the victim of Zionist fascist attacks. By expansionist terror attacks on Gaza populations, killing innocent civilians, including children, Israel aspires more than simply controlling Palestine territories: it aims to pre-empt the ability of Fatah government in West bank and Hamas government in Gaza reconcile to establish a sovereign state. All its military actions are meant to essentially keep Palestine a subordinate nation. Gaza Strip has been a testing ground for experimental cluster weapons developed by Israel with US assistance.
Reports suggest that Israel had received a green light from the US military to treat populated Gaza Strip as a testing ground for their new weapon systems. Concerns about Israel’s use of non-conventional and experimental weapons in the Gaza Strip are growing. The Israeli army maintains that it is using only weapons authorized in international law, though human rights groups have severely criticized Israel for firing phosphorus shells over densely populated areas of Gaza. Hospitals across the Gaza Strip received patients with burns that are so extreme, the patients’ tissue and muscles have been destroyed.
Shielded by the joint veto prowess USA and Europe, Israel has taken it its prerogative to attack at will Palestinians, unmindful of any punitive measures for its crimes against humanity. So far, Israel has been successful in keeping Palestinians under perpetual siege terror techniques children. Last year, the bold Israeli military went beyond the usual attack practices of targeting civilians by showering cluster bombs, in order to quench its blood thirst by killing, like jungle wild beasts, even children.

The Israeli slaughter house has committed war crimes 24/7 since it infested the Middle East with its cancerous tentacles. Israel started its latest war on the Gaza Strip in early July last year. The offensive ended on August 26, 2014, with a truce that took effect after indirect negotiations in the Egyptian capital, Cairo. Over 2,200 Palestinians, including 577 children, were killed in Israel’s 50-day Zionist criminal onslaught. Over 11,100 others – including 3,374 children, 2,088 women and 410 elderly people – were also injured. Palestinians are still removing massive piles of wreckage and debris, much as people do following an earthquake. High-profile human rights organizations like Amnesty International are accusing Israel of war crimes.
However, testimonies provided by more than 60 Israeli soldiers who fought in last summer’s war in Gaza Strip have raised serious questions over whether Israel’s tactics breached its obligations under international law to distinguish and protect civilians. The entry of six reinforced brigades into Gaza before Israeli military began its terror attack on 17 July last year shows the Gaza massacre was pre planned.

The Entire Operation Protective Edge was a Crime against Humanity. Very much like USA, Israel also puts forward a false threat perception to attack the Palestinians. Ahead of the conflict – in which 34,000 shells were fired into Gaza, 19,000 of them explosive – artillery and air liaison officers had been supplied with a list of sensitive sites to which fire was not to be directed within clear limits of distance. These included hospitals and UN schools being used as refugee centres, even in areas where evacuation had been ordered.
The Zionist cowards invaded Gaza on the basis of a lie that Hamas had killed three boys. Israel just used the missing boys as a Lame-Ass Excuse to murder over 2100 Innocent people, including almost 600 Children. Israel is nothing but a mini Fourth Reich. And the scumbags in the District of Criminals help Israel keep the war crimes going.

The report further made a reference to Israel’s “refusal of access to humanitarian relief, the targeting of residential areas, operational healthcare facilities and transport, and life-sustaining civilian infrastructure” among the regime’s violations of international law. The Paris-based FIDH has presented the report to the International Criminal Court (ICC), where the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority is planning to lodge its first case against the Tel Aviv regime’s crimes. In a report entitled “Trapped and Punished: The Gaza Civilian Population under Operation Protective Edge”, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) pointed to examples of indiscriminate and direct attacks against civilians and civilian objects, disproportionate use of force as well as deliberate attacks targeting medical services during the Israeli war on Gaza.

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) utterly condemns the mass killing of civilians by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) during its ongoing military operation in the Gaza Strip. The scale of injuries indicates that IOF are using these unidentified incinerating bombs to target civilians across the Gaza Strip. A nongovernmental federation for human rights organizations says Israel perpetrated war crimes and crimes against humanity during its devastating military onslaught on the besieged Gaza Strip last summer. Even British Foreign Office minister Lord Mark Malloch-Brown called for an investigation into whether Israel used white phosphorous during its war on Gaza.

The rule of law requires proper investigation and inquiry but Israel rejects such investigations. Describing the rules that meant life and death in Gaza during the 50-day war – a conflict in which 2,200 Palestinians were killed – the interviews shed light for the first time on the doctrine informing the operation. Despite the insistence of Israeli leaders that it took all necessary precautions to protect civilians, the interviews suggest that while targeting the Palestine children an overarching priority was the minimization of Israeli military casualties even at the risk of Palestinian civilians being harmed.
While the Israel Defence Forces Military Advocate General’s office has launched investigations into a number of individual incidents of alleged wrongdoing, just for fun, the testimonies raise wider questions over policies under which the war was conducted. The testimonies are troubling insights into the Zionist criminal intention and crudest method. Testimonies describe how soldiers randomly shelled buildings either to no obvious military purpose or for revenge. How Israeli forces used artillery and mortars in Gaza has raised other concerns beyond either the rules of engagement or the actions of specific units.
Israeli regime views its crimes in Palestine as Zionist accomplishments. A Combat Intelligence Corps sergeant spoke about numbers: 2,000 dead and 11,000 wounded, half a million refugees, decade’s worth of destruction. Harm to lots of senior Hamas members and to their homes, to their families. These were stated as accomplishments so that no one would doubt that what Israeli military did during this period was meaningful. And in the end, despite the high number of civilian casualties, the debriefings treated the destruction as an accomplishment that would discourage Hamas in the future.

The testimonies raise questions whether Israel fully met its obligations to protect civilians in a conflict area from unnecessary harm, requiring it not only to distinguish between civilians and combatants but also ensure that when using force, where there is the risk of civilian harm, that it is “proportionate”. In at least one instance described by soldiers, being female did not help two women who were killed because one had a mobile phone. They were treated as terrorists.

Sovereignty in Gaza
Fatah-Hamas unity is the key to achieving sovereignty from Israeli yoke but both refuse to accept it as a precondition for establishing Palestine state. Disunity, however, helps the Israeli Military keep attacking Palestinians.

Palestinians, particularly those in Fatah, have been paralyzed by the belief that expanding the powers of Gaza will prejudice the chances of maintaining the unity of West Bank and Gaza. But the idea of the unity of Palestine has proven stronger than any territorial reality that has existed in the last six decades.

Israel aspires not simply to control Palestine, but to pre-empt its ability to establish a sovereign state. The West Bank is firmly in its grip, so much so that not a few Palestinians, including Abbas himself, wonder aloud why Palestinians would be better off simply handing the keys of the West Bank back to Israel.

The major concern about Gaza is that an expansion of Gaza’s sovereignty and economic revival under Hamas’ leadership would come at Palestine’s expense. Such a development, it is feared, would do just what Sharon intended – irrevocably split the destinies of the West Bank and Gaza.

In order to prolong occupational crimes in Palestine without retaliation from Gaza Strip where the elected Hamas party rules, Israel keeps announcing its intent for re-annexing Gaza.
Gaza is a single, contiguous tiny territory with de facto borders, recognised by UN, if not always respected, by Israel. Unlike in West Bank which is still under Zionist military occupation plus crimes, there are no permanently stationed foreign occupiers and, most importantly, no civilian Israeli settlements.

In the Gaza Strip the rules of war, not the laws of occupation prevail. Palestine, for the first time in its history, has its own army and security forces that represent “one gun, one authority” that fights and survives and that has won Israel’s grudging respect as a formidable enemy.
Palestine army in Gaza has convinced Israel in the old fashioned way that the destruction of a Palestinian power in the strip – and its reoccupation by Israel or the installation of a puppet Palestinian government by Israeli tanks – entails costs too high to pay, notwithstanding US backup for Zionist crimes against humanity.
There is no doubt that independence for the Gaza Strip and the West Bank is the sine qua non of any lasting agreement. The example of Gaza wielding some power to act in a sovereign manner and interacting with the international community offers a more inspirational and instructive example than the debilitating status quo on display in the West Bank, a predicament that no party has challenged effectively.

Israel and Hamas are now discussing implementation of understandings about Gaza’s future, reached after last summer’s war – at the centre of which are a tahdiya (period of calm) of long duration and the creation of a seaport in Gaza. This package reflects the increasingly compatible interests of both parties – an agreed upon period of quiet that provides security for both Israelis and Palestinians, that ends the siege and creates a foundation for Gaza’s much-needed economic revival.
A seaport and functional airport have long been a strategic national and economic objective of Palestine leaders in Gaza. Unlike Palestine’s land borders with Egypt and Israel, a seaport offers the real prospect of a gateway to the world far more independent of the suffocating power of neighbours determined to isolate and impoverish it.

Zionist double-speak over Palestine state: does Netanyahu really support Palestine cause?

Russian president Putin calls USA a racial state!

Russian president Putin calls USA a racial state!

-Dr. Abdul Ruff

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Behind all nice “value” smiles and “hearty” talks about democracy and its place in any civilized society, Americans, generally speaking, are also racial by nature and instinct. The regular incidents of attacks on blacks in United States reveal American brand racism even under a Black president which demolishes their claim of being the most civilized people on earth the people from entire world must learn a lot from.

Targeting weak nations to destabilize them, committing awful genocides freely is one thing, but attacking minority people in a country on the on the basis of the skin color is another.  As the only superpower, United States of America, unfortunately, pursues both. However, Americans do not criticize the negative phenomena.

However, facts reveal that the real picture of social relations in USA is quite different from what is being reported in the US media. Racial slurs and attacks on the Blacks, among other minorities, are a common phenomenon across the USA.

The incumbent US President Barack Obama, himself a Black but successful politician, also, like predecessors who were Whites, does not seem to take steps to end racial discriminations in the country.  Racal discriminations have been on the rise even in America.

It is not at all shocking, but quite a valid statement, therefore, that Russian President Vladimir Putin has said racial intolerance in America would have shocked Martin Luther King Jr. In his National Breakfast address in Kremlin on May 13, Putin said that America was “full of magnificent travesty – a place where, in past many years, people of a particular color have, on several or most of occasions, been targeted by peoples of white color, simply due to their skin color and their racism.”

This startling comment from Putin comes on the backdrop of recent racial tensions in United States of America. There were incidents of unrest in Ferguson over shooting of Afro-American youth by a White police. Even after protests and pressure, the deaths of blacks in the hand of white police never reduced. Last week, yet another racial minority youth was killed in police custody.

Explaining to his audience, Putin continued, “It will be better if Obama and his America cared about their internal problems before trying to poke their nose into our affairs. They cry about Crimea, but look at their Crime rates. The rate at which American do crime, they can change their country name to Crimea, so that I can invade it next year.”

After a round of laughter from the audience, Putin continued, “America had blacks as slaves, then they fought a war among themselves on whether to keep blacks as slaves or not. Then, they fought with blacks on suffrage rights of blacks, educational right of blacks, employment rights of blacks. Martin Luther King Jr sacrificed his life to uplift black and end racial discrimination in America. But, now, seeing the current plight of blacks in his country, MLK would have cried in his grave. This kind of racial intolerance in America would have shocked him. I feel sorry for him.”

Raising a cup of wine for a toast, Putin concluded, “I just want to remind Obama to look after his own country and try to solve the racial riots that are happening under his nose. If a black president was unable to create an amicable situation for blacks in USA, then I wonder what the whites will do to those minorities. Stop the killing of blacks or resign Mr. Obama”.

Russians resent anti-Russia rhetoric of US leaders and western media lords made on a regular basis to belittle that nation especially when sanctions have been slapped on it by USA and EU. Putin has repeatedly said anti-Russia campaign is a roaring business of many Americans and it must stop. Maybe, his comments on racial discriminations in USA are to drive home the point that attacking Russian brand democracy cannot go on forever.

Maybe, President Barack Obama thinks the racial discriminations are a necessary evil that needs to be supported for some political expediency reasons, but the approach, if any, is totally wrong and anti-human as it works against the real progress of minorities in the country.

USA should shed its  racist slur and discriminatory practices and become a model secular and truly democratic state for all other nations to emulate.

Goal of fasting during Holy Ramadan!

 Goal of fasting during Holy Ramadan!

-Dr. Abdul Ruff

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Muslims are under intense surveillance and attacks globally while many Muslims deliberately harm fellow Muslims and bring bad name for Islam. It is because they have no faith in God or Islam. They live for themselves, their focus being on material profits, even work against Islam and Muslim community. But those who observe fasting and offer prayers should be on guard from evils of all kinds. There are precautions that could help Muslims to overcome that and attain spiritual heights the Ramadan fasting is meant for.

Once again the Holy Ramadan month has arrived as the chief blessings of Allah (Arabic world for God) to help the humanity of believers live much better than now and after the holy month and safe-land in the Hereafter life.

Muslims should realize that fasting during the holy Month is not a formality. Attaining self-purification through spirituality is a major goal of Islamic fasting-worship, especially in the month of Holy Ramadan, although unfortunately Muslims fast for certain material benefits.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar which is a month of blessed, month of revelation of the Holy Quran, and  month to achieve Jannah, and therefore the best month in a year Muslims look forward each year to fulfill their spiritual duties. Fasting is one of Islam’s five main pillars. The other pillars are the belief in one God and the Prophet Mohammed as His Messenger, praying five times a day, completing the pilgrimage to Mecca for those who are able and giving charity or “zakat”. Though fasting is mandatory for all Muslims upon reaching puberty, as long as they are mentally and physically sound, it should not  be observed as a  mere  formality. Those elderly and chronically ill are exempt from fasting; however, it is incumbent upon them to feed the poor instead if they possess the financial means. Concern for less privileged and poor is the thrust of Islamic fasting.

While fasting, Muslims are expected to reflect upon good and bad things that have happened to them in the past, especially the last Ramadan month. Those Muslims who have been Islamic, positively religious, upright with truth, who avoid ill speech, arguments, loss of temper and malicious behavior, who have served the cause of Islam and Muslims, helped fellow Muslims and others in difficult positions, who have kept the word given to others – are the blessed ones – especially those who undertook the fasting and did only good things, thought only of good positive tidings! Remember, Allah warns us of consequences for each of our good or bad actions and we would be held accountable for everything we do or refuse to do.

It is quite possible that Allah does not punish quickly enough those who commit hypocritical errors or crimes but that does not mean we can justify everything we do.

The Holy Quran informs the believers, the Muslims, that fasting, like other Islamic duties, is prescribed for them. “O you who believe, fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may guard against evil.” (Holy Quran, 2:183) Allah says: “And when My servants ask you (O Prophet) about Me, surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he calls on Me, so they should hear My call and believe in Me that they may walk in the right way.” (ibid, 2:186)’ “And swallow not up your property among yourselves by false means, nor seek to gain access thereby to the authorities so that you may swallow up other people’s property wrongfully while you know.” (ibid., 2:188)’ “He who does not give up uttering falsehood and acting according to it, God has no need of his giving up his food and drink.” (Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAS). Prophet Jesus fasted forty days and forty nights, and explained it by saying: “..Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:2-4.) Prophet Moses also had fasted forty days and forty nights (Exodus 34:28).

The entire global nation of over 2 billion people, men and women, young and old, rich or poor – all together, for a whole month – not eating, not drinking and not having intimate relations, during the daylight hours. This describes the month of Ramadan.

Fasting as a spiritual practice is found not just in Islam but in all religions but there are fundamental differences as Islam prescribes clear cut norms- from dawn to dusk every day for full month of Ramadan. Fasting in Islam does not just consist of refraining from eating and drinking, but from every kind of selfish desire and wrong-doing. The fast is not merely of the body, but essentially that of the mind and spirit as well. The physical fast is only a symbol and outward expression of the real, inner fast.

The founders of various other faiths (Buddha, Moses, Jesus, others) practiced quite rigorous fasting as a preliminary to attaining their first experience of spiritual enlightenment and communion with God. However, it is not that only Holy prophets fast but also all believers also do so, and they all do so not as a mere formality but with a spiritual purpose useful for the human lives. Islamic fasting, especially in Ramadan month, is significant for its content and length – from dawn to dusk without food or drink.

Purpose of fasting in Islam as practiced by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAS) include (a) develop and strengthen our powers of self-control, so that we can resist wrongful desires and bad habits, and therefore guard against evil. In fasting, exercising our ability of self-restraint, so that we can then apply it to our everyday life to bring about self-improvement; (b) to attain nearness and closeness to Almighty Allah (God) so that He becomes a reality in our lives. The rigors of fasting purely for the sake of following a Divine commandment, knowing and feeling that He can see all our actions however secret, it intensifies the consciousness of God in our hearts, resulting in a higher spiritual experience;  (c) to  learn to refrain from usurping other’s rights and belongings. In fasting we voluntarily give up even what is rightfully ours; how can then we think of taking what is not ours but someone else? (d)  Charity and generosity is especially urged during Ramadan. We learn to give, and not to take. The deprivation of fasting makes us sympathize with the suffering of others, and desirous of alleviating it; and it makes us remember the blessings of life which we normally take for granted.

The object of fasting is that a person should abstain from the food which nourishes the body and obtain through fasting the other religious food which satisfies and brings solace to the soul. Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad said: “People are unaware of the true nature of fasting.. Fasting is not just the state of remaining hungry and thirsty. Its nature and effect can only be discovered by experience. The human makeup is such that the less food is consumed the greater is the purification of the soul and the development of the powers of inner vision. God’s purpose is that you should reduce one kind of food (physical) and increase the other kind (spiritual). The person fasting must remember that the aim is not simply to remain hungry; he should be engrossed in the remembrance of God so as to attain severance from worldly desires.

Fasting a full month with Islamic commitment would make the believers strong spiritually. Those who truly fast for the sake of attaining to God – and not merely as a custom or formality- should be absorbed in the praise and glorification of God, and in meditating upon His Unity. Maulana Muhammad Ali said: “The real purpose of fasting is to attain righteousness. A person who undergoes hunger and thirst, but does not behave righteously, has done nothing. If someone is told the aim and object of doing a certain duty, and he does that duty but does not attain the required aim and object, it is as if he has not done that duty.” The Maulana used very strongly to urge the members of the Muslim community to say the tahajjud prayers during the month of Ramadan: “You have to rise early in any case to begin the fast; rise even earlier, by half an hour or an hour, and say tahajjud prayers.”

Many people have tried different kinds of fasting. Some will drink only juice for a day, or eat only fruit, or stay away from any sugar or starches, or leave alcohol for a period of time. Yet, it seems strange to most folks, the idea of Muslims fasting in the month of Holy Ramadan. What is the significance of Ramadan? Isn’t it a very harsh practice?  Is it just a time when Muslims sleep and fast and hardly work all day; and eat, drink, enjoy and stay awake all night? What really is the spirit of Ramadan?

Islamic fasting is not just about staying away from food alone and doing all devilish things 24 hours. There are as many levels of fasting as there are facets to being human.  Proper fasting should encompass all dimensions of human existence for it to have the divinely intended effect. The following are some of the major levels of fasting:   Ritual level of fasting requires that the basic rules for fasting be fulfilled, which are avoiding food, drink and sexual intercourse between dawn and sunset for 29 or 30 days each year. On this level, one is basically following the letter of the laws regarding fasting without particular consideration for the spirit of fasting.  It is the entrance level which must be fulfilled for the fast to be Islamically correct, but the other levels must be added for the fast to have any real impact on the fasting person.  Fasting on this level alone will not benefit one spiritually, except from the perspective of submission to divine instructions, if one chooses to follow the ritual consciously and not merely according to tradition. Thus, by itself, the ritual level will not purify one of sin or atone for sin.

Fasting on the “physical” level causes the fasting person to experience the pangs of hunger and thirst – when the prophetic (Sunnah) way of fasting is observed. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) used to consume a very light meal before the dawn (suhur) and moderate meal (iftar) to break the fast at sunset, while scrupulously avoiding filling his stomach. He is reported to have said, “The worst container a human being can fill is his stomach. A few morsels of food to keep a person’s back straight are sufficient.  The Prophet (peace be upon Him) used to break his fast with a few fresh or dried dates and a glass of water just before beginning the sunset prayer. This level allows the fasting person to experience the pangs of hunger and thirst and thereby develops sympathy in him or her for those starving and dying of thirst in other parts of the world.

Islamic fasting cum prayers lead the faithful from the ritual, psychological and physical levels to spiritual level to help live as enlightened Muslims. On the physical level, some chemicals in the brain that transmit messages and create feelings, called neurotransmitters, are affected by fasting. Fasting encourages the endorphin neurotransmitter system, related to the feeling of well being – and euphoria, to produce more endorphins and, in fact, makes the true believers feel better. This is similar to the effect of exercise but without the physical work. It has also been noted by medical experts that fasting improves the physical health in numerous ways.  For example, during the fast the body uses up stored cholesterol (fat) that is often deposited in the blood system, as well as in other fatty areas of the body. So, we find it does help keep the body firm and minimizes the danger of heart attacks.

The difference between the ritual level and the physical level is, a person doing only ritual fasting may eat large meals prior to beginning the fast and immediately upon ending the fast, and not feel any hunger or thirst throughout the whole month. However, like level one, if the fasting person does not incorporate the other levels of fasting, the fast will only be physically exhausting. The Holy Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him) said, “Maybe a fasting person will gain nothing but hunger and thirst from fasting.”

The sexual instinct and drives are harnessed on this level of fasting. In these times where the media continually plays on sexual desires to promote and sell products, the ability to control these powerful desires is a plus. Fasting even physically reduces sexual desires and the fact that the fasting person has to avoid anything which could stimulate him psychologically helps to further lower the libido. But committed fasting makes the believers derive all spiritual benefits as well.

Prophet Muhammad (SAS) said, “O youths, whoever among you is able to marry let him do so, for it restrains the eyes and protects the private parts. He who is unable to marry should fast, because it is a shield.” By restraining from sexual acts, even though they are permissible, the fasting people make it easier for themselves to restrain from forbidden sexual acts when they are not fasting.

Fasting on physical level involves controlling the many negative emotions which simmer in the human mind and soul. For example, among the most destructive emotions is anger. Fasting helps bring these emotions under control. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon Him) said:  “When one of you is fasting, he should abstain from indecent acts and unnecessary talk, and if someone begins an obscene conversation or tries to pick an argument, he should simply tell him, “I am fasting.” So, on this level, whatever negative emotions challenge the fasting person must be avoided. A person has to abstain from lewd conversation and heated arguments. Even when one is in the right, it is better to let that right go and keep one’s emotional fast intact. Likewise, the negative emotion of jealousy is reduced, as every fasting person is reduced to the common denominator of abstinence; no one is externally superior to another in this regard.

In true fasting, humans realize several levels of meanings of life.  The psychological level helps the fasting person psychologically to control evil thoughts and trains him or her, to some degree, how to overcome stinginess and greed. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Allah has no need for the hunger and the thirst of the person who does not restrain himself from telling lies and acting on them even while observing the fast.” In this age of immediate gratification, when the things of the world are used to fulfill human needs and desires almost as soon as they have them – the ability to delay gratification is an important skill. What is between immediate gratification and delayed gratification is patience. During the fast, the believers learn patience – and the benefits of it.

Fasting gives one the opportunity to overcome the many addictions which have become a major part of modern life. Food, for many people, provides comfort and joy – and the ability to separate oneself from it gives the fasting people the psychological benefit of knowing that they do have some degree of control over what they do and what they do not do. From a psychological perspective, it is good to be somewhat detached from the things of the world. There is nothing wrong with enjoying a good and full life – in fact, one can and should expect that. However, it is important that Muslims are able to detach ourselves from material things so that they do not become the most important part of their lives to determine our faith.

In Islam, in order to establish the final spiritual level – the highest and most important level of fasting, the level of Allah-consciousness, Prophet Muhammad SAS (peace be upon Him) made the renewal of the intention for fasting a requirement before every day of fasting. He was reported to have said, “Whoever does not intend to fast before Fajr (the dawn) will have no fast.” The daily renewal of intention helps to establish a spiritual foundation of sincerity essential for the spiritual cleansing effects of fasting to operate. Sincere fasting purifies and atones for sin, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Whoever fasts Ramadan out of sincere faith and seeking his reward from God, his previous sins will be forgiven.” He was also reported to have said, “From one Ramadan to the next is atonement for the sins between them.”

Fasting, like other Islamic requirements like daily prayers and holy Hajj is not a mere formality to be completed somehow as a burden but it has a spiritual significance attached to it and hence it needs to be performed with utmost sincerity and complete commitment.

Ramadan Observations

 

Islamic fasting is not simply about denying our body food and water. It also involves arguably the more taxing challenge of avoiding ill speech, arguments, loss of temper and malicious behavior. When combined with the previous levels of fasting, the spiritual level transforms a person from within. It restores, revives and regenerates the fasting person’s spirituality and radically modifies his or her personality and character. These are the precious products of a heightened state of God-consciousness. A successful fasting enables us become pure in thoughts and deeds.

Fasting is primarily between the person and God, as no one can be sure that any person is actually fasting. Because of this intimate aspect of fasting, Allah was quoted by the Prophet (peace be upon him) as saying. “Every act of Adam’s descendants is for themselves, except fasting. It is meant for Me alone, and I alone will give the reward for it.”

Self-purification as the central part of spiritual development is the goal of fasting during Holy Ramadan. It is obviously wrong to presume that just fasting without any spiritual commitment in the Holy month of piety and compassion would add more wealth to us. Fasting is performed as a duty of Muslims for Allah’s kindness toward us.

Self-purification could be attained only by performing the fasting cum prayers at all its levels. If Muslims fast with ill-feelings intact and just for dirty money or similar other favors,  they do not seek self-purification, On the contrary, by such selfish or negative motives in fasting  they refuse to be self purified  in spiritual form.  These Muslims care nothing about the Hereafter life.

Truth and truthfulness, kindness and compassion are the foundations of self purification. Whether they fast or not, if Muslims do not tell lies or at least avoid telling lies they could be sure of reaching the truth zone. But if they decide to continue to avoid lies, they indirectly approach the spiritual domain. However, if upon the close of holy fasting, Muslims resume all bad habits, including telling lies, they in fact directly kick the holy fasting month.

If humans- Muslims – have not changed their life patterns, even after fasting 30 days year after year it could only signify hopelessly permanent hollowness in humans!  That also may mean Muslims systemically refuse to accept the importance of arrival of Holy Prophets to the world to guide the humanity.

Importantly, Muslims could perform fasting, prayers and other religious duties not merely as a formality for favors from God or people.  Spirituality and self-purification have got much to do with this notion. If Muslims have fooled, deceived or harmed anyone, deliberately or otherwise, they need to repent.

Sincere fasting brings one closer to Allah and earns a special reward. The Prophet (peace be upon him) informed that there is a gate in paradise called Rayyan reserved for those who fast and he also said, “When Ramadan comes, the gates of Paradise are open.”

Patience and mercy are the important virtues we all need in these harried times to live as good humans. Month of Ramadan is viewed as a month-long school where graduates leave with a developed sense of self-control in areas including diet, sleeping and the use of time. The degree to be obtained by the believers could be called as Self-purification.

For this to happen, let bad, cunning or negative thoughts leave your mind and good thoughts enter your mind system in order to help you make a better and purposeful spiritual life. Holy month of Ramadan is the best time for that auspicious endeavor.

Simply put, in saying that we have observed Ramadan fasting, we should also mean we are now purified with divine thoughts, away from selfish, hypocritical, corrupt malicious motives of ordinary life.

As Ramadan fasting is sort of preparation for the enlightened life as well as life Hereafter,  Muslims need to ensure that they would be qualitatively different –purified in body, mind, heart, thoughts, soul at least partially to begin  with- when Holy Ramadan month arrives next year.

Let us make Holy Ramadan purposeful. Let us continue throughout year with whatever good tidings we practice during the Holy Ramadan. Let us be away from mischief and sins. May Allah protect all Muslims from devilish eyes, from sinful destructive designs of enemies of Islam. May God allow faith, peace, happiness and prosperity for entire humanity!

Can France prove to be more efficient than USA on mediation efforts for Mideast peace?

Can France prove to be more efficient than USA on mediatory efforts for Mideast peace?

-Dr. Abdul Ruff

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It is not for nothing that Israel has been so bold and so arrogant towards Palestine and its people. Israel plays its fascist Zionist security card rather too well.

After US failures, now France calls for “negotiations” between besieged Palestine leadership and arrogant Israel.  Before we reject outrightly the French call for Mideast peace as being a mischievous effort help Israel, let us consider some issues involved.

US-led efforts to broker a so-called two-state solution collapsed in April 2014 and leaders on both sides have since been weakened politically. But with the region’s crises worsening and Washington reassessing its options on relations with Israel, France sees a narrow window to resume negotiations.

The peace talks between Israel and Palestine mediated by United States have flopped, resulting in the regular genocides of besieged Palestinians because American mediators, like the Zionist leaders, are not sincere enough. Paris said that France does not want to replace the role of the USA in the Middle East but to work together.

In the past, the USA has vetoed UN Security Council resolutions that criticized Israel, but Israeli officials worry that against the background of tensions between the US and Israel, the US could abstain this time, allowing the UN body to recognize Palestine as a full UN member. That would indeed be a positive sign.

Britain and France are urging the UN Security Council to restart the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, while New Zealand has begun drafting a resolution on the issue. This was prompted by the US saying it may “reassess” its position on the stalled talks. France and New Zealand have stressed that it is imperative to act now, given that the Israeli elections are over and there is a current lull in the US before the presidential election campaign heats up. France announced last month that it wanted to begin talks about drafting “parameters” for ending the conflict in the Middle East, with the hopes of bringing the US onboard, which has repeatedly sided with Israel in the past.

France has long called for the creation of a Palestinian State at the end of negotiations. A State for Palestinians is a right, repeatedly reaffirmed, and acknowledged in the partition plan of the mandated Palestine (1947). However, recognition of the State of Palestine must serve peace. That is why France defends the idea that this should happen within the framework of a comprehensive and definitive solution to the conflict, negotiated by the two parties. If negotiation is impossible, or if there are no conclusions, France will shoulder its responsibilities by recognising without delay the State of Palestine.

True, France has long advocated the creation of a Palestinian State. On 22 November 1974, France voted in favour of recognising the PLO in the UN as an observer member, reaffirming the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. François Mitterrand was the first president who spoke before the Knesset in 1982 about the objective of creating a Palestinian State. In 2010, France enhanced the status of the General Delegation of Palestine in France, which became the Mission of Palestine, headed by an ambassador. It voted in favour of according the State of Palestine non-member observer state status in the United Nations in November 2012.

UN resolution

France is considering a draft resolution submitting to the UN Security Council calling for peace talks to start immediately, and specifies that negotiations on future borders should be based on the 1967 armistice lines with mutually agreed land swaps. It sets a deadline of two years for the process to be completed. If that is not met, then wholesale recognition of a sovereign Palestinian state would follow.

French foreign minister Laurent Fabius said, France would recognize a Palestinian state. He visited recently the Middle East on June 20-22 and met Egyptian President Fattah el-Sisi in Cairo, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem.

French position on the status of Jerusalem and the issue of Palestinian refugees remains undisclosed.

Laurent Fabius laid out a three-pronged plan in Jerusalem for restarting Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.  France’s three-point plan calls for a return to negotiations, an international committee to help mediate problems as they arise and a UN Security Council Resolution about the process. It is this last point that most concerns Israeli officials as they worry that that resolution will call for a complete withdrawal from all of the areas that Israel acquired in 1967—the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem.

France has been discussing the text of the proposed UN resolution with both Israel and the Palestinians. Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas said that he welcomes Fabius’ proposals and that the Palestinian Authority will do what they can to make it work.  Israeli PM B. Netanyahu was far less sanguine however, saying that the only way to reach an agreement is through bilateral negotiations, where the Zionist leadership could have a veto. Israel will forcibly reject any attempts to force international dictates upon the Jewish illegal occupants.

French Foreign Minister, who was on a two-day trip to the Middle East to promote a French-led initiative that would see the peace process relaunched through an international support group comprising Arab states, the European Union and UN Security Council members,  has urged Israel and Palestine to return to the negotiating table quickly, warning that the stalemate in the peace process risked setting the conflict “ablaze”. These states would then work to pressure both sides to make compromises that neither wants to make alone. Talks would be rubber-stamped by a UN Security Council resolution setting the negotiating parameters and establishing a time period, possibly 18 months, to complete talks. “It’s been 40 years … we need to adapt the method so that the Arabs, the Europeans, the Americans can accompany things,” Fabius said.

Zionist expansionism

France claims to be a friend of Israel and Palestine. France shares strong historical, cultural and human ties with Israel. France was one of the first countries to recognize the new State and establish diplomatic relations with it in 1949. For 65 years, it has defended Israel’s right to exist, live in security and be a full member of the community of sovereign nations. The Franco-Israeli relationship is also strengthened by the presence of a significant French and French-speaking community in Israel and Europe’s largest Jewish community in France.

France condemns Israel’s illegal settlement activities, which are illegal in international law. Israel settlement building in the territories of the future Palestinian State constitutes illegal appropriation of lands, which should be addressed in peace negotiations between the parties on the basis of the 1967 lines. Settlement activities threaten the viability of a two-state solution. Concrete measures were taken at European level to address the acceleration of settlement activities. EU guidelines adopted in July 2013 do not allow any Israeli entities with activities in settlements to be awarded European funds as from January 2014. Many Member States, including France, issued recommendations warning of the financial, legal and reputational risks related to pursing activities in settlements.

France also condemns without reservation terrorist acts aiming sabotaging hopes for peace.

It is fully committed to the security of Israel; this is a key principle of its policy in the region. That is why it calls on Hamas, which is on the European list of terrorist organisations, to adhere to the conditions set by the Quartet: the renunciation of violence, the recognition of the right of Israel to exist and the recognition of the agreements signed between Israel and the PLO. France has also called on Israel to comply fully with international humanitarian law and to exercise a “proportionate use of force”, particularly in the Gaza conflict in the summer of 2014, causing more than 2,100 victims.

France provides its support to the Palestinian Authority and Mahmoud Abbas, who is on the side of peace. France actively contributes to institution building for the future Palestinian State. It allocated nearly €400 million over the period 2008-2014 to help Palestine, with nearly one third benefiting Gaza. Palestine remains the main beneficiary of French budgetary aid. France also encourages inter-Palestinian reconciliation. It is doing so in order to foster the return of the Palestinian Authority in Gaza, which will be part of the Palestinian State. It supports the government of national unity, under the authority of Mahmoud Abbas, which does not include any ministers from Hamas (put on the list of terrorist organisations by the EU in 2003) and meets the criteria set by the Quartet: recognition of Israel, renunciation of violence and acceptance of previous agreements.

France advocates urgent mobilization of the international community. Taking note of the current impasse of the peace process, France calls for a change in the negotiation method. It promotes an increased role of the United Nations Security Council in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It promotes the Security Council’s endorsement of the parameters for resolving the conflict and a timeframe for ending negotiations. France also calls for closer international support to encourage parties to conclude an agreement and a stronger involvement of Arab countries and Europeans alongside the United States. It stands ready to hold an international conference in this connection. It hopes that negotiations can be concluded in the near future.

France considers that the conflict can only be resolved by the creation of an independent, viable and democratic Palestinian State living in peace and security alongside Israel.

The two-state solution is one that fulfils the national aspirations of Israelis and Palestinians. With this in mind, France has defined, with its European partners in a number of conclusions of the Foreign Affairs Council of ministers of the European Union since 2009, the parameters that should govern resolution of the conflict:  Borders based on the 1967 lines with equivalent land swaps;   Security arrangements preserving the sovereignty of the Palestinian State and ensuring the security of Israel;    A just, fair and agreed solution to the refugee problem;    An arrangement making Jerusalem the capital of the two states.

France considers that Jerusalem should become the capital of the two states, Israel and the future State of Palestine Pending a negotiated settlement of the conflict and under internationally recognised resolutions, France does not recognise any sovereignty in Jerusalem. It calls for the easing of tensions and particularly respect of the status quo on holy sites. Any challenging to the status quo would pose a major threat to stability.

Trust deficit

Like other European rulers, former French president, François Mitterand also addressed Israel’s parliament Knesset in 1982. Like USA, France has also consistently defended Israel’s right to exist in security, while long advocating the creation of a Palestinian state. It was indeed a mischief played on the Palestinians. Any possible incompatibility between these two positions has never been acknowledged. It certainly kept the Israeli military on perpetual attack mode against Palestinians and also created rift within Palestinians.

Moreover, France is not a great friend of Islamic world but, on the contrary, is at war with Islam as part of US led NATO and therefore would not, like USA has shown, play a genuine mediator rule in helping the Palestinians make he for themselves on their won lands now under Israeli military control.

Former colonial powers, France and Britain were responsible for dismembering the Turkish Ottoman empire and coordinated their efforts World War One  in  eventual division of Turkish-held Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and Palestine into various French- and British-administered areas.  They also then ratified the division by the then Council of the League of Nations in 1922. France’s direct participation in the creation of the modern Middle East has meant that for the last hundred years it has involved itself in the politics of the region.

Unfortunately France’s initiative, well-meaning as undoubtedly is, is a recipe for continued conflict far into an impenetrable future. France may or may not  be sincere about Peace and Palestine  but given France’s involvement in the ME region, it is not surprising that it  see itself as a possible facilitator of an Israeli-Palestinian peace accord. Back in August 2009, when it was clear that newly-elected US President Obama was eager to relaunch peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, Jewish French President Nicolas Sarkozy offered to host an international conference to facilitate the peace process but it turned out to be a mere show for publicity. France even took the lead in drafting a Security Council resolution outlining proposals for an Israeli-Palestinian final-status deal..

Fascist Israel is still talks about “security” as a pretext to continue reluctant to withdraw from the West Bank, saying the “Islamist terrorist movement” Hamas would soon take control, placing Tel Aviv, Ben Gurion airport and Israel’s major north-south road network within easy reach of toy rocket attack.

Hamasphobia of Israel

The strongest nation in Mideast Israel thrives on lies, on terror attacks on Palestinians, on Hamasphobia. Israeli leaders know well that a weak organization Hamas cannot destroy a nuclear Israel, it can only fire a few toy rockets that would help Israel claim military and economic resources from western powers.

Israel says peace will only come from direct negotiations between the parties without preconditions but only on Israeli terms.

Israel vows to defeat UN resolutions that are brought about by any power. Israel wants to decide the course of future of Mideast.

USA still backs Israel and opposes Palestine. It also does not want any other power to mediate for Mideast peace.

The timing of the initiative is due to the US stating that it might “reassess” its Middle Eastern policies after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu publicly said he was against Palestinian statehood during elections last month.

However, neither France nor USA or UK twins thought along those lines when  forcefully imposed a new state of Israel in Palestine an aided it to emerge as a fascist blood sucking nation in Mideast.

It is funny that the deadliest terror state beyond West Asia and even beyond Asian continent calls a besieged Palestine nation as a terrorist state. France and all western powers should fist call Israel a terrorist state and recognize it as such until Israel becomes ready to  cooperate with world powers to establish the much delayed Palestine state.

The goal of Ramadan fasting!

The goal of Ramadan fasting!

-Dr. Abdul Ruff Colachal

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Self-purification through spirituality is a major goal of Islamic fasting, especially in the month of Ramadan, although unfortunately Muslims fast for certain material benefits.

Once again the Holy Ramadan month has arrived as the chief blessings of Allah (God) with to help the humanity of believers live much better than now and after the holy month.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar which is a month of blessed, month of revelation of the Holy Quran, and  month to achieve Jannah, and therefore the best month in a year Muslims look forward each year to fulfill their spiritual duties.

Fasting is one of Islam’s five main pillars. The other pillars are the belief in one God and the Prophet Mohammed as His Messenger, praying five times a day, completing the pilgrimage to Mecca for those who are able and giving charity or “zakat”. Though fasting is mandatory for all Muslims upon reaching puberty, as long as they are mentally and physically sound, it should not  be observed as a  mere  formality. Those elderly and chronically ill are exempt from fasting; however, it is incumbent upon them to feed the poor instead if they possess the financial means. Concern for less privileged and poor is the thrust of Islamic fasting.

While fasting, Muslims are expected to reflect upon good and bad things that have happened to them in the past, especially the last Ramadan month. Those Muslims who have been Islamic, positively religious, upright with truth, who avoid ill speech, arguments, loss of temper and malicious behavior, who have served the cause of Islam and Muslims, helped fellow Muslims and others in difficult positions, who have kept the word given to others – are the blessed ones – especially those who undertook the fasting and did only good things, thought only of good positive tidings! Remember, Allah warns us of consequences for each of our good or bad actions and we would be held accountable for everything we do or refuse to do.

It is quite possible that Allah does not punish quickly enough those who commit hypocritical  errors or crimes but that does not mean we can justify everything we do.

The Holy Quran informs the believers, the Muslims, that fasting, like other Islamic duties, is prescribed for them. “O you who believe, fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may guard against evil.” (Holy Quran, 2:183) Allah says: “And when My servants ask you (O Prophet) about Me, surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he calls on Me, so they should hear My call and believe in Me that they may walk in the right way.” (ibid, 2:186)’ “And swallow not up your property among yourselves by false means, nor seek to gain access thereby to the authorities so that you may swallow up other people’s property wrongfully while you know.” (ibid., 2:188)’ “He who does not give up uttering falsehood and acting according to it, God has no need of his giving up his food and drink.” (Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAS). Prophet Jesus fasted forty days and forty nights, and explained it by saying: “..Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:2-4.) Prophet Moses also had fasted forty days and forty nights (Exodus 34:28).

The entire global nation of over 2 billion people, men and women, young and old, rich or poor – all together, for a whole month – not eating, not drinking and not having intimate relations, during the daylight hours. This describes the month of Ramadan.

Fasting as a spiritual practice is found not just in Islam but in all religions but there are fundamental differences as Islam prescribes clear cut norms- from dawn to dusk every day for full month of Ramadan. Fasting in Islam does not just consist of refraining from eating and drinking, but from every kind of selfish desire and wrong-doing. The fast is not merely of the body, but essentially that of the mind and spirit as well. The physical fast is only a symbol and outward expression of the real, inner fast.

The founders of various other faiths (Buddha, Moses, Jesus, etc.) practiced quite rigorous fasting as a preliminary to attaining their first experience of spiritual enlightenment and communion with Allah (Arabic world for God). It is not that only Holy prophets also fasted but also all believers also do so, and they all do so not as a mere formality but with a spiritual purpose useful for the human lives.

Purpose of fasting in Islam as practiced by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAS) include (a) develop and strengthen our powers of self-control, so that we can resist wrongful desires and bad habits, and therefore guard against evil. In fasting, exercising our ability of self-restraint, so that we can then apply it to our everyday life to bring about self-improvement; (b) to attain nearness and closeness to Almighty Allah (God) so that He becomes a reality in our lives. The rigors of fasting purely for the sake of following a Divine commandment, knowing and feeling that He can see all our actions however secret, it intensifies the consciousness of God in our hearts, resulting in a higher spiritual experience;  (c) to  learn to refrain from usurping other’s rights and belongings. In fasting we voluntarily give up even what is rightfully ours; how can then we think of taking what is not ours but someone else? (d)  Charity and generosity is especially urged during Ramadan. We learn to give, and not to take. The deprivation of fasting makes us sympathize with the suffering of others, and desirous of alleviating it; and it makes us remember the blessings of life which we normally take for granted.

The object of fasting is that a person should abstain from the food which nourishes the body and obtain through fasting the other religious food which satisfies and brings solace to the soul. Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad said: “People are unaware of the true nature of fasting.. Fasting is not just the state of remaining hungry and thirsty. Its nature and effect can only be discovered by experience. The human makeup is such that the less food is consumed the greater is the purification of the soul and the development of the powers of inner vision. God’s purpose is that you should reduce one kind of food (physical) and increase the other kind (spiritual). The person fasting must remember that the aim is not simply to remain hungry; he should be engrossed in the remembrance of God so as to attain severance from worldly desires.

Fasting a full month with Islamic commitment would make the believers strong spiritually. Those who truly fast for the sake of attaining to God – and not merely as a custom or formality- should be absorbed in the praise and glorification of God, and in meditating upon His Unity. Maulana Muhammad Ali said: “The real purpose of fasting is to attain righteousness. A person who undergoes hunger and thirst, but does not behave righteously, has done nothing. If someone is told the aim and object of doing a certain duty, and he does that duty but does not attain the required aim and object, it is as if he has not done that duty.” The Maulana used very strongly to urge the members of the Muslim community to say the tahajjud prayers during the month of Ramadan: “You have to rise early in any case to begin the fast; rise even earlier, by half an hour or an hour, and say tahajjud prayers.”

Many people have tried different kinds of fasting. Some will drink only juice for a day, or eat only fruit, or stay away from any sugar or starches, or leave alcohol for a period of time. Yet, it seems strange to most folks, the idea of Muslims fasting in the month of Holy Ramadan. What is the significance of Ramadan? Isn’t it a very harsh practice?  Is it just a time when Muslims sleep and fast and hardly work all day; and eat, drink, enjoy and stay awake all night? What really is the spirit of Ramadan?

Islamic fasting is not just about staying away from food alone and doing all devilish things 24 hours. There are as many levels of fasting as there are facets to being human.  Proper fasting should encompass all dimensions of human existence for it to have the divinely intended effect. The following are some of the major levels of fasting:   Ritual Level: This level of fasting requires that the basic rules for fasting be fulfilled, which are avoiding food, drink and sexual intercourse between dawn and sunset for 29 or 30 days each year. On this level, one is basically following the letter of the laws regarding fasting without particular consideration for the spirit of fasting.  It is the entrance level which must be fulfilled for the fast to be Islamically correct, but the other levels must be added for the fast to have any real impact on the fasting person.  Fasting on this level alone will not benefit one spiritually, except from the perspective of submission to divine instructions, if one chooses to follow the ritual consciously and not merely according to tradition. Thus, by itself, the ritual level will not purify one of sin or atone for sin.

Fasting on the “physical” level causes the fasting person to experience the pangs of hunger and thirst – when the prophetic (Sunnah) way of fasting is observed. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) used to consume a very light meal before the dawn (suhur) and moderate meal (iftar) to break the fast at sunset, while scrupulously avoiding filling his stomach. He is reported to have said, “The worst container a human being can fill is his stomach. A few morsels of food to keep a person’s back straight are sufficient.  The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to break his fast with a few fresh or dried dates and a glass of water just before beginning the sunset prayer. This level allows the fasting person to experience the pangs of hunger and thirst and thereby develops sympathy in him or her for those starving and dying of thirst in other parts of the world.

Islamic fasting cum prayers lead the faithful from the ritual, psychological and physical levels to spiritual level to help live as enlightened Muslims. On the physical level, some chemicals in the brain that transmit messages and create feelings, called neurotransmitters, are affected by fasting. Fasting encourages the endorphin neurotransmitter system, related to the feeling of well being – and euphoria, to produce more endorphins and, in fact, makes the true believers feel better. This is similar to the effect of exercise but without the physical work. It has also been noted by medical experts that fasting improves the physical health in numerous ways.  For example, during the fast the body uses up stored cholesterol (fat) that is often deposited in the blood system, as well as in other fatty areas of the body. So, we find it does help keep the body firm and minimizes the danger of heart attacks.

The difference between the ritual level and the physical level is, a person doing only ritual fasting may eat large meals prior to beginning the fast and immediately upon ending the fast, and not feel any hunger or thirst throughout the whole month. However, like level one, if the fasting person does not incorporate the other levels of fasting, the fast will only be physically exhausting. The Holy Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him) said, “Maybe a fasting person will gain nothing but hunger and thirst from fasting.”

The sexual instinct and drives are harnessed on this level of fasting. In these times where the media continually plays on sexual desires to promote and sell products, the ability to control these powerful desires is a plus. Fasting even physically reduces sexual desires and the fact that the fasting person has to avoid anything which could stimulate him psychologically helps to further lower the libido. But committed fasting makes the believers derive all spiritual benefits as well.

Prophet Muhammad (SAS) said, “O youths, whoever among you is able to marry let him do so, for it restrains the eyes and protects the private parts. He who is unable to marry should fast, because it is a shield.” By restraining from sexual acts, even though they are permissible, the fasting people make it easier for themselves to restrain from forbidden sexual acts when they are not fasting.

Fasting on physical level involves controlling the many negative emotions which simmer in the human mind and soul. For example, among the most destructive emotions is anger. Fasting helps bring these emotions under control. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:  “When one of you is fasting, he should abstain from indecent acts and unnecessary talk, and if someone begins an obscene conversation or tries to pick an argument, he should simply tell him, “I am fasting.” So, on this level, whatever negative emotions challenge the fasting person must be avoided. A person has to abstain from lewd conversation and heated arguments. Even when one is in the right, it is better to let that right go and keep one’s emotional fast intact. Likewise, the negative emotion of jealousy is reduced, as every fasting person is reduced to the common denominator of abstinence; no one is externally superior to another in this regard.

In true fasting, humans realize several levels of meanings of life.  The psychological level helps the fasting person psychologically to control evil thoughts and trains him or her, to some degree, how to overcome stinginess and greed. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Allah has no need for the hunger and the thirst of the person who does not restrain himself from telling lies and acting on them even while observing the fast.” In this age of immediate gratification, when the things of the world are used to fulfill human needs and desires almost as soon as they have them – the ability to delay gratification is an important skill. What is between immediate gratification and delayed gratification is patience. During the fast, the believers learn patience – and the benefits of it.

Fasting gives one the opportunity to overcome the many addictions which have become a major part of modern life. Food, for many people, provides comfort and joy – and the ability to separate oneself from it gives the fasting people the psychological benefit of knowing that they do have some degree of control over what they do and what they do not do. From a psychological perspective, it is good to be somewhat detached from the things of the world. There is nothing wrong with enjoying a good and full life – in fact, one can and should expect that. However, it is important that Muslims are able to detach ourselves from material things so that they do not become the most important part of their lives to determine our faith.

In Islam, in order to establish the final spiritual level – the highest and most important level of fasting, the level of (God) Allah-consciousness, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) made the renewal of the intention for fasting a requirement before every day of fasting. He was reported to have said, “Whoever does not intend to fast before Fajr (the dawn) will have no fast.” The daily renewal of intention helps to establish a spiritual foundation of sincerity essential for the spiritual cleansing effects of fasting to operate. Sincere fasting purifies and atones for sin, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Whoever fasts Ramadan out of sincere faith and seeking his reward from God, his previous sins will be forgiven.” He was also reported to have said, “From one Ramadan to the next is atonement for the sins between them.”

Fasting, like other Islamic requirements like prayers, holy Hajj, is not a mere formality to be completed somehow as a burden but it has a spiritual significance attached to it and hence it needs to be performed with utmost sincerity and complete commitment.

Observation

 

Islamic fasting is not simply about denying our body food and water. It also involves arguably the more taxing challenge of avoiding ill speech, arguments, loss of temper and malicious behavior. When combined with the previous levels of fasting, the spiritual level transforms a person from within. It restores, revives and regenerates the fasting person’s spirituality and radically modifies his or her personality and character. These are the precious products of a heightened state of God-consciousness. A successful fasting enables us become pure in thoughts and deeds.

Fasting is primarily between the person and God, as no one can be sure that any person is actually fasting. Because of this intimate aspect of fasting, Allah was quoted by the Prophet (peace be upon him) as saying. “Every act of Adam’s descendants is for themselves, except fasting. It is meant for Me alone, and I alone will give the reward for it.”

Self-purification as the central part of spiritual development is the goal of fasting during Holy Ramadan. It is obviously wrong to presume that just fasting without any spiritual commitment in the Holy month of piety and compassion would add more wealth to us. Fasting is performed as a duty of Muslims for Allah’s kindness toward us.

Self-purification could be attained only by performing the fasting cum prayers at all its levels. If Muslims fast with ill-feelings intact and just for dirty money or similar other favors,  they do not seek self-purification, On the contrary, by such selfish or negative motives in fasting  they refuse to be self purified  in spiritual form.  These Muslims care nothing about the Hereafter life.

Truth and truthfulness, kindness and compassion are the foundations of self purification. Whether they fast or not, if Muslims do not tell lies or at least avoid telling lies they could be sure of reaching the truth zone. But if they decide to continue to avoid lies, they indirectly approach the spiritual domain. However, if upon the close of holy fasting, Muslims resume all bad habits, including telling lies, they in fact directly kick the holy fasting month.

If humans- Muslims – have not changed their life patterns, even after fasting 30 days year after year it could only signify hopelessly permanent hollowness in humans!  That also may mean Muslims systemically refuse to accept the importance of arrival of Holy Prophets to the world to guide the humanity.

Importantly, Muslims could perform fasting, prayers and other religious duties not merely as a formality for favors from God or people.  Spirituality and self-purification have got much to do with this notion. If Muslims have fooled, deceived or harmed anyone, deliberately or otherwise, they need to repent.

Sincere fasting brings one closer to Allah and earns a special reward. The Prophet (peace be upon him) informed that there is a gate in paradise called Rayyan reserved for those who fast and he also said, “When Ramadan comes, the gates of Paradise are open.”

Patience and mercy are the important virtues we all need in these harried times to live as good humans. Month of Ramadan is viewed as a month-long school where graduates leave with a developed sense of self-control in areas including diet, sleeping and the use of time. The degree to be obtained by the believers could be called as Self-purification.

For this to happen, let bad, cunning or negative thoughts leave your mind and good thoughts enter your mind system in order to help you make a better and purposeful spiritual life. Holy month of Ramadan is the best time for that auspicious endeavor.

Simply put, in saying that we have observed Ramadan fasting, we should also mean we are now purified with divine thoughts, away from selfish, hypocritical, corrupt malicious motives of ordinary life..

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