Charges dropped against last of ‘Los Angeles Eight’

Click here: Information Clearing House – Charges dropped against last of ‘Los Angeles Eight’

For the last 20 years, the U.S. government has accused me of being a terrorist. Along with six other Palestinians and a Kenyan, we were dubbed the “Los Angeles Eight” by the media. Our case even made it to the U.S. Supreme Court.

On Oct. 30 – 20 grueling years after the early morning raid in which armed federal agents barged into my apartment, brutally arrested me before my 3-year-old son’s eyes, incarcerated me in maximum security cells in San Pedro State Prison for 23 days without bond, and attempted to deport me – the government dropped all charges fabricated against me. The charges involved accusations of aiding a member group of the Palestine Liberation Organization that the government alleged aided terrorism. But Los Angeles immigration Judge Bruce J. Einhorn had ordered an end to the deportation proceedings against us last January because the government failed to comply with his order to disclose evidence that supported our innocence. He called their behavior “an embarrassment to the rule of law.”

Why did the U.S. government spend 20 years trying to ban us from this country? Because we tried to educate Americans about the situation facing millions of Palestinians living in apartheid-like conditions under Israeli military occupation. Because we organized fundraisers to provide Palestinians with humanitarian support. And because we attended demonstrations to urge a shift in U.S. policy away from unconditional financial and diplomatic support of Israel.

The government robbed us and our families of the best and most productive years of our lives. For more than 20 years, they vilified us in public without recourse. We’ll never be able to entirely erase the negative words and images they manufactured about us. Our case is a stark example, and is different only in degree, from what routinely befalls those who call for equal rights for Palestinians and press for a fair Middle East U.S. policy consistent with international law. In February of this year, two others who advocated equal rights for Palestinians – Mohammed Salah and Abdelhaleem Ashqar – were found not guilty of terrorism charges based in part on evidence provided by Israel and obtained through the use of torture…

Who was the person who was made to resemble ‘Eesa (peace be upon him)?

Click here: Islam-qa.com – Who was the person who was made to resemble ‘Eesa (peace be upon him)?

Question: I have a few question about the one who was crucified instead of Isa (peace be upon him) I have seen in one place saying that the one who betrayed Isa (PBUH) was made to look like Isa and was crucified and I have seen in another place saying that one Isa’s companions volunteered to be crucified instead of Isa. I am confused, can you tell me which one is true?.

Answer: Praise be to Allaah.  The Qur’aan states that ‘Eesa (peace be upon him) was not crucified or killed, and that he was lifted up to heaven. There is no text of the Revelation that tells us the details of what happened on the day when that was made to appear to the Jews, but there is a saheeh report from Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messiah (peace be upon him) said to those of his companions who were with him in the house: “Which of you will be made to look like me and be killed in my stead, and he will be with me in the same level as me (in Paradise)?” A young man who was one of the youngest of them stood up, and he said to him: “Sit down.” Then he repeated it and that young man stood up again, and he said: “Sit down.” Then he repeated it again and that young man stood up and said, “I (will do it).” He said: “You are the one.” So he was caused to look like ‘Eesa and ‘Eesa was lifted up from a window in the house to heaven. Ibn Katheer (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in his Tafseer (4/337), commenting on this report: This is a saheeh isnaad going back to Ibn ‘Abbaas. Similarly it was narrated from more than one of the salaf that he said to them: “Which of you will be made to look like me and be killed in my stead, and he will be my companion in Paradise?” End quote.

Then he (may Allaah have mercy on him) said (4/341): Ibn Jareer favoured the view that all of his companions were made to look like ‘Eesa. End quote. This was mentioned in a report narrated from Wahb ibn Munabbih which was narrated by Ibn Jareer (may Allaah have mercy on him) and quoted by Ibn Katheer (4/337), in which it states that when they surrounded ‘Eesa and his companions and entered upon them, “Allaah made them all appear in the form of ‘Eesa and they said to them, ‘You have bewitched us; send forth to us ‘Eesa or we will kill you all,’ until they sent forth one of their number after ‘Eesa promised Paradise to him, and they took him and crucified him.” But Ibn Katheer said after that: This is a very strange story. End quote.

He also (may Allaah have mercy on him) said (4/341): Some of the Christians claim that Judas Iscariot – who is the one who led the Jews to ‘Eesa – is the one who was made to look like ‘Eesa so they crucified him, and he said: I am not the one you want, I am the one who led you to him. Allaah knows best what really happened. End quote. With that, Ibn Katheer (may Allaah have mercy on him) concluded his discussion of this topic: Allaah knows best what really happened.

USA: LAPD Announces Withdrawal of Mapping Plan

Click here: LA Times –  LAPD’s Muslim mapping plan killed

The LAPD on Wednesday abruptly scrapped a program to map the city’s Muslim population, a major retreat for a department that said the system was needed to identify potential hotbeds of extremism.The reversal comes after a week of protests from Muslim groups and civil libertarians, who equated the mapping with religious profiling. Others questioned whether it was possible for the LAPD to accurately map the city’s far-flung Muslim community.

Los Angeles Police Department Deputy Chief Michael P. Downing said Wednesday that in the wake of the protests, officials would drop the mapping aspect of the plan but continue their efforts to reach out to the Muslim community. Downing and other police officials plan to outline the new strategy to Muslim American activists at a meeting today. The decision met with praise from some activists, who said they would welcome greater involvement by the LAPD in their communities as long as mapping was off the table.

…The Census Bureau is barred by law from asking people for their religious affiliation. As a result, there is no scientific data on the size of the nation’s Muslim population, let alone its location, with estimates of totals ranging from about 1.4 million adults in a Pew Research Center study this year to the 7 million or more claimed by some community organizations. Census data on ancestry would also fail to yield accurate Muslim estimates, because large numbers of people with Iranian backgrounds are Jewish and many people with Lebanese, Palestinian and Syrian roots are Christian.

…Mary Grady, the LAPD’s public information director, said Wednesday that it made sense to remove the mapping element from the plan. “The whole purpose of this initiative was to bring together the department with the Muslim community” she said. “The word ‘mapping’ gave the impression it was about profiling when it was not.”

Jordan: Two Azeri pilgrims arrive on-foot enroute to Makkah

Click here: IINA – Two Azeri pilgrims arrive on-foot enroute to Makkah

Two Azerbaijani travelers arrived here on-foot yesterday en-route to Makkah for performing this year’s Haj rituals. The travelers, Shahid Gorbatov and Sahib Kazimov, said at a press conference here that their tour of a number of countries is aimed at shedding light on the situation of the Muslims in Azerbaijan and cementing cooperation with various nations. The travelers said they started their trip three months ago from Azerbaijan. They have so far visited Iran, Turkey and Syria. They are now in Jordan from where they will proceed to Saudi Arabia.

USA: Hate faxes sent to Islamic school cease

Click here: StarTribune.com – Hate faxes sent to Islamic school cease

Steven Harhaj , 61, of Plymouth, who said he regards the Qu’ran as a “terrorist manual,” agreed to stop a barrage of 100 obscene and offensive faxes sent over the course of a year to the Al-Amal School in Fridley.

…Steven Harhaj, 61, of Plymouth, sent anti-Islamic faxes to Al-Amal, the state’s only full-time Islamic school, and the Islamic Center of Minnesota, in which the school is housed, as well as to some Fridley city officials, said Don Abbott, director of public safety in Fridley. The first report to police of a hate fax was dated Dec. 13, 2006, though the school started receiving such faxes in September, Abbott said. By this May, police had warned Harhaj to stop several times. “We really tried not to have to charge him or arrest him,” Abbott said. The school “just wanted the faxes to stop; they didn’t want him arrested.”…”The content of the faxes seem to be ‘copy-paste’ from hate websites,” he said.

After he missed his court date, police issued search and arrest warrants. Harhaj went to jail on Oct. 30, and police seized a fax machine, computer equipment, hate literature and faxes from his home, according to court documents….Because Harhaj never directly threatened anyone, he was charged only with a misdemeanor and released the next day, police said.

After his release, Harhaj wrote to Abbott, apologizing for harassing him and promised never to fax him again…However, Harhaj did not apologize to anyone at the Al-Amal School or the Islamic Center of Minnesota. In a phone interview Thursday night, Harhaj said he hasn’t changed his beliefs, one of which is that “the Qur’an is nothing but a terrorist manual.” He said he had no intention of apologizing to the school.

USA: Dearborn Islamic Center Robbed

Click here: ClickonDetroit.com – Dearborn Islamic Center Robbed

The Islamic Center of America was robbed early Friday morning by apparently a very patient thief who hid inside the massive 80,000-square-foot structure on Ford Road until everybody had left for the night. According to officials at the Islamic Center, the thief went inside the building during regular hours Thursday and hid until 1:30 a.m. Friday morning at the earliest, since that is when the last person was reported to have left the building.

The thief went to an area of the building where money is kept and stole an undetermined amount of cash. Center officials said there is a system of surveillance videos in place and police are looking at them now to try to identify a suspect.

UK: Islamic finance ‘is seeing rise in global demand’

Click here: Gulf-daily-news.com – UK: Islamic finance ‘is seeing rise in global demand’

Delegates at a two-day conference on Islamic Housing and Real Estate Finance held in London heard how Islamic finance is set for a major boost over the next few years. Putting Bahrain firmly on the world map of Islamic housing finance, Sakana Holistic Housing Solutions chief executive R Lakshmanan spoke on global and GCC-specific housing segmentation trends. He said how the real estate market is undergoing constant change due to many diverse factors which are closely allied to economic, demographic and cultural influences.

He also discussed how Islamic finance can develop the latent demand by using mortgage products as well as value-added services. “The GCC mirrors many of the changes we see in international property markets which are boosting the demand for Islamic housing finance,” he said. “These include changes to property laws which allow more people to participate in the housing market; a greater variety of property including more affordable housing, and the increasing range and acceptability of Islamic mortgage products.”