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Embrace Islam: Al Qaeda to Americans


Mehtab Singh
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http://www.samachar.com/showurl.htm?rurl=h...da~to~Americans

Dubai, September 2: Al Qaeda called on US President George W. Bush and non-Muslims especially in the United States to convert to Islam and abandon their 'misguided' ways or else suffer the consequences, according to a video posted on a Web site on Saturday.

The speaker was identified as Azzam the American, also known as Adam Yahiye Gadahn -- an Islamic convert from California wanted for questioning by the FBI and who US authorities believe to be involved in a ‘propaganda’ campaign for al Qaeda.

"If the Zionist crusader missionaries of hate and counter-Islam consultants like ... the crusader and chief George W. Bush were to abandon their unbelief and repent and enter into the light of Islam and turn their swords against the enemies of God, it would be accepted of them and they would be our brothers in Islam," Gadahn said in English.

"To Americans and the rest of Christendom we say, either repent (your) misguided ways and enter into the light of truth or keep your poison to yourself and suffer the consequences in this world and the next."

Al Qaeda's second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahri made a brief statement at the start of the tape urging viewers to listen carefully to the message, entitled: ‘An Invitation to Islam’.

"Our brother Azzam the American is speaking to you out of pity for the fate that awaits (unbelievers) and as someone who wants to lift his people out of darkness and into the light," Zawahri said.

Zawahri, like Osama bin Laden and other leaders of al Qaeda -- the group that masterminded the September 11 attacks on the United States -- is thought to be hiding in Pakistan or Afghanistan.

Zawahri and Gadahn appeared to be speaking from different places, as Zawahri spoke in front of a black background.

The tape was dated September 2006 and appeared to have been recorded recently as Gadahn referred to Israel's war on Lebanon.

Gadahn appeared in the video dressed in a white turban and seated in front of a computer and books.

"But whatever you do don't attempt to spread your misery and misguidance to our lands," he said. The video carried Arabic subtitles of his English message.

FAITH AND JIHAD

Gadahn recited verses from the Muslim holy book the Koran in Arabic, then translated them into English and said Muslims needed to boost their faith to expel their countries' rulers.

"Muslims don't need democracy to rid themselves of their home grown despots and tyrants. What they do need is their Islamic faith, the sprit of jihad and the lifting of foreign troops and interference from their necks," he said, adding that God did not recognise a separation of religion and state.

"Those who think that democracy is synonymous with freedom are either people who haven't experienced life in America or Americans who haven't lived abroad."

Zawahri last appeared in a video in August in which he said that some leaders of Egypt's Gama'a Islamiya have joined al Qaeda. Gama'a Islamiya later denied his statement.

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Guest Javanmard

I don't consider Wahabis and Sunnis to be Muslims: they're Bakris, followers of the accursed Abu Bakr (la). Their own sources are a testimony to the fact that they are traitors to the teachings of the Prophet (pbuh). They go around crying about caricatures when they themselves tell lies about the Prophet (pbuh). Even certain aspects of modern day Shi'ism are so heavily sunnified with this obsession with fiqh that it has nothing more to do with real Islam.

But thank God many are waking up to the true Islam of Ahl ul Bayt (as).

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Bhai Javanmard, with due respect, whatever scholars may have chosen with respect to Sunnis or Shias (or indeed any other group/subset etc) in terms of qualifying as an authentic Muslim, the reality remains that both are Muslims as is the case for all other sects, orthodox or otherwise, hence from a communal/social perspective if nothing else, even Bin Laden qualifies as a Muslim.

I say this because, in the same way, that we as a community have to accept that everyone good/bad (depending on your stance) qualifies as a Sikh from Sant Baba Jarnail Singh Bindranwale Khalsa Amar Shaheed to Baba Nihal Singh Jinda Shaheed to Akali Nihang Baba Santa Singh Shromani Budha Dal to Gyani Zail Singh to Parkash Singh Badal to the notorious Akali Nihang Baba Ajit Singh Poola to once renegade Akali Nihang Baba Balbir Singh, the once accused air terrorist Ripudaman Singh Malik and his comrades (Bagri and Rayitt) to khalistani shaheeds Sukha and Jinda to the dubious Khushwant Singh, through to Captain Amarinder Singh, to the beautiful artist Amrita Shergill, the illustrious business career of the Ranbaxi family to even the outrageous Babu Teja Singh Bhasauria.

It is fine that some of the aforementioned were eventually ex-communicated from the Panth, others may well fall short of the requirements of a Sikh, however their actions will nonetheless need to be accepted and accounted for by the Sikh community. What me, you or anyone else thinks of these individuals is secondary to that - the list is by no means exhaustive, but includes plenty of variety to have anyone of those mentioned being hero for some and villian for another.

The same is true of the Islamic world - I am not suggesting this what you are doing - however all communities, Christian, Sikh, Muslim, Jewish, White, Black, South Asian, British, American, Canadian etc etc, need to accept that it is NOT fair enough to simply say "yeah, but those who did XYZ were not TRUE believers/members/representatives..." - it is to a degree for communities to have their houses in order, simply giving the old "they are not true Muslims/Sikhs/Hindus/Christians" is only going to do so much...

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Guest Javanmard

You're looking at it from a horizontal persepctive. Yes sociologically Bin Laden may be Muslim. But I also look at it from a vertical perspective and the reality of it is simple: taking the Qur'an and the hadith Sunnis don't qualify as authentic Muslims let alone Wahabis.

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Agreed - nonetheless, policies and matters of social cohension are (perhaps sadly depending one's standpoint) not constructed or implemented all too often on a "vertical" basis, hence why I make mention of the above.

I may even agree with you on that Sunnis and Wahabis do not qualify as 'true' muslims, likewise Babu Teja Singh, those who print/maintain copies of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib without Raagmala in their Gurdwaras whilst claiming to be the 'backbone of the Panth' may not qualify as true Sikhs, however we have to accept that this is going to do very little in the eyes of policy makers and implementors unless the communities concerned do more to carve themselves representation - sadly however in a bid to do so, all that tends to happen is mudslinging and nitpicking at best and all out violence otherwise between the individual groups.

Of course, if a community does try and keep itself distinct and represented as such without sucumbing to the above, then they get to hear the "you guys are partisan, establish your own centres blah blah blah...which develops into, you guys are also enemies of the XYZ panth/religion/umma/community etc etc"

Like you said, I am looking at this "sociologically" or to use your term "horizontally".

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Most of the Muslim Shardhaloos of the Gurus were Sunnis. Ones faith does not make a person good or bad, it is ones Karams that determine that. If Sunnis like Rai Bullar, Painday Khan, Gani Khan & Nabi Khan are acceptable to our Gurus, then they are good in my books as well and no religious dispute in Arabia 1400 years ago is going to change that.

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Guest Javanmard

Painda Khan was killed by Guru Hargobind my dear...The Khan brothers were actually linked to the Suhrawardi order (Uch ka pir)...which does not consider itself to be part of ahl-e-sunna. Try harder Singh47...By Sunnis I mean convinced Sunnis not just people who happen to be culturally brought up in a Sunnis environment. Morroco, once a Shi'a kingdom, was forced to embrasse Sunnism. Do you really think that the villager who only knows his five prayers has any ideas about what happened 1400 years ago when all information about it is hidden from him? Mian Mir was a Qaderi Sufi whose lineage goes back to Imam Ali. Strange how Qaderis in Shi'a areas declare themselves Shi'a and show evidence that they've been hiding it for years to avoid persecution...and that is the case of the Mevlevi too who have an Alevi Shi'a branch, the Ni'matullahi, the Kubrawiyya and other orders...Anything good and authentic in Islam comes from Ahlul Bayt (as) even when it's forced to take on the appearance of Sufism in order to survive...This has been proved in the works of Henry Corbin and Sayyid Hossain Nasr. I have North African "Sunni" friends who have no idea about what happened 1400 years ago...but when they find out guess what happens? Read this

http://www.al-islam.org/guided/

Haydar Amoli:

"A real Sufi is a Shi'a and a real Shi'a is a Sufi!"

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Painda Khan was killed by Guru Hargobind my dear...The Khan brothers were actually linked to the Suhrawardi order (Uch ka pir)...which does not consider itself to be part of ahl-e-sunna. Try harder Singh47...By Sunnis I mean convinced Sunnis not just people who happen to be culturally brought up in a Sunnis environment. Morroco, once a Shi'a kingdom, was forced to embrasse Sunnism. Do you really think that the villager who only knows his five prayers has any ideas about what happened 1400 years ago when all information about it is hidden from him? Mian Mir was a Qaderi Sufi whose lineage goes back to Imam Ali. Strange how Qaderis in Shi'a areas declare themselves Shi'a and show evidence that they've been hiding it for years to avoid persecution...and that is the case of the Mevlevi too who have an Alevi Shi'a branch, the Ni'matullahi, the Kubrawiyya and other orders...Anything good and authentic in Islam comes from Ahlul Bayt (as) even when it's forced to take on the appearance of Sufism in order to survive...This has been proved in the works of Henry Corbin and Sayyid Hossain Nasr. I have North African "Sunni" friends who have no idea about what happened 1400 years ago...but when they find out guess what happens? Read this

Lalleshwari Jee,

1. Painday Khan was like an adopted son of Guru Hargobind Sahib jee. For a moment of weakness, Painday Khan was lured by his Pathan relatives to go against the Guru. During battle, when Guru Jee struck a fatal blow to Painday Khan with his sword, Guru Jee told him to read his Kalma before meeting his maker, to which Painday Khan beautifully replied “Guru Jee, your sword IS my Kalma, from whose simple touch one can receive Behsht (Jannat). You are merciful, please forgive me for my sins”. Saying this, Painday Khan left this world.

Painday Khan was forgiven by Guru Jee as a father would forgive his son. We in India have an old saying which suits this perfectly:

” subha kaa bhula aggar shaam ko ghar wapis aa jaye to ussay bhula nahi kehthay

2. I don’t know about Gani Khan or Nabi Khan being followers of the Surawardi sect (first time I’ve heard of this!). But even if they are, that still goes in my favour. The Surawardi school is part of the Hanafi subdivision of Sunni Islam. So Surawadi or no Surawardi, in both cases the Khans were Sunnis and honourable men indeed!

3. If Moraaco was originally a Shia country that was forcibly converted to Sunni Islam, then there are examples of the reverse that are also true. Iran was originally a Sunni nation that was forcibly converted to Shia Islam by the fanatical Shia Safavids. There is fanaticism on both sides of the coin. Just because of a few fanatics does not mean all Shias or even Sunnis are not true Muslims. If Al Qaida is giving good Sunnis a bad name, then so are fanatics on the Shia side such as Ayatola Khomeini, Muktada AlSadr and the Hezbolla led by Sheikh Hassan Nasralla.

4. The Qadri Sufis are Sunnis even if the lineage is from Imam Ali. More importantly, THEY identify themselves as Sunnis. So now we have another giant of a name, Saint Mia Mir to add to the Sunni Muslim Shardaloos of the Gurus.

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Guest Javanmard

1.

converted to Shia Islam by the fanatical Shia Safavids

The Safavis who used to drink wine and dance were fanatics? Yeah right. I guess Malkit Singh is a butcher by these standards...

Iran already had a vaste population of Shi'a welll before the Safavis took over. Major Shi'a centres already existed in the country from the times of the Imams so your claim of an entirely Sunni nation is rather void. Iran only started to become a fanatical muqassira Shi'a state under the Qajars who gave the power away to the mullahs who just like their Sunni collegues hate mysticism of any kind. In fact many talk of that sort of Shi'ism as Sunnism in disguise.

2. You talk about Khomeini...even though you seem to ignore that most scholars still are against his vilayat e faqih theory and that many Shi'a clerics outside Iran curse him from the minbar. I once asked a famous Iraqi cleric living in London about Khomeini and he answered:" I have heard some people say that he might have been a Muslim...". I think that says enough. For a critique of vilayat e faqih by authentic Shi'a traditionists see the works of Shaikh Mohsen Kadivar (Iranian academic, emprisoned many times for his ideas but still carrying on the struggle for democracy in Iran) and Shaikh Abdol Hakeem Carney.

3. Sohrawardis are NOT Sunnis. Their writings have whole chapters about how they are NOT Sunnis and how they follow the 12 Imams. Lal Shahbaz Qalandar was a Sohrawardi and his shrine is the biggest Shi'a shrine in South Asia. Suhrawardis Sunnis? good joke!

4. Regarding the Qaderiyya you seem not to have consulted the academics I have indicated, your loss! Many Qaderis identify as Shi'a as soon as the environment allows it as is the case in Turkey. If you know of Mercan Dede (Turkisj Sufi artist) you would understand.

5. Telling the world that you're Sunni doesn't mean you necesseraly are. Ever heard of taqiah in Shi'ism and the possibility of hiding your beliefs in case of danger? Ibn Arabis declared he was Sunni but many of his disciples were executed because the authorities found out they were Shi'a and his own writings on Imam Ali (as) leave no doubt about that fact.

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How are the Shia community (in the UK and globally) reacting to the media publicity given to Bin Laden and in particular this latest "message" to the US (perhaps in due course, the rest of the non-Muslim world)?

Also on the subject of shardaloos of Guru Maharaj - how about today, what relations exist between Muslims (Sunni or Shia) and the Guru Panth Khalsa? Javanmard or Singh47 - please could you contribute?

Also, Bhai Javanmard, whilst you have indicated that your relations with Shias have also been amicable, what is their reaction to non-Muslims amongst their Iman inner circles? I believe they too have a "Malech" type view to 'the Other', although may be more open in some cases to change? Please share your experiences.

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Guest Javanmard

1. How does the Shi'a community react to Bin Laden? How do Jews react to Hitler? Shi'a hate Bin Laden because he hates Shi'as with a passion. Al Qaeda in Afghanistan has participated in the massacre of thousands of Hazara Shi'as in Mazhar e Sharif. And let us not mention the many attacks against Shi'as and Shi'a shrines in Iraq. Bin Laden is a Wahabi and Wahabis hate Shi'ism more than anything.

2. Regarding the notion of malech amongst certain Shi'as this is called najasat or impurity. This notion that non-Shi'as are najis was discussed thoroughly in the 19th century and the conclusion was then that nobody is impure per se but rather that certain acts and beliefs make a person impure. To show how this notion of najasat is considered in the Shi'a community I will give you a recent example. At the Shi'a Hawza Ilmiya (Shi'a seminary) in London a teacher taught this notion of najasat. The students protested and debated with the teacher and even went so far as to contact the Times to express their worries about such notions being taught to them.

The only disagreable Shi'as I have interacted with were Khojas who from being Ismailis decide to become Hindus,then Sunnis then Ithna'sharis in order not to pay dasvand to the Agha Khan. (dasvand is an Ismaili notion). Khojas go so far as to have separate cemiteries for themselves and hate mysticism.

I have interacted with Iraqi, Lebanese, Panjabi and Iranian Shi'a and I have to admit that the relations have always been more than amicable, brotherly would be the word. And I am talking here about Sayyids and scholars not just any random guy. If they really thought of me as najis I wonder why they would great me with the traditional mediteranean kiss on the cheek...

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Lalleshwari,

1. Iran, pre-Safavid period had a shia minority, it was largely Sunni until the Safavids invaded. Safavid emperor, Islmail I not only made Shia`ism the state religion, but also forced the largely Sunni population to adhere to the twelver brand of Shia Islam. He did this by giving them a choice between conversion to twelver Shia`ism or death. The Sunnis who did not convert were either killed or exiled. Even Aurangzeb (the worst emperor India ever produced!) wasn’t this tyrannical by any stretch of the imagination.

For more information please read following on the Safavids:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Safavids

BTW, I would especially read the chapter “Establishment of Shi'ism as the state religion”

2. Khomeini is a figure not only respected by Imams in Iran, but continues to be a revered figure in Iraq and Lebanon where posters of Khomieni are found all over. Radical Iraqi Shia cleric Muktada AlSadr and the Lebonese Shia leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrala all respect Khomeini. Sure some Shia’s whose eyes may have opened to the truth are no longer followers of these tyrants and terrorists, and may God make more Shias like them.

3. The Suhravardis are not Shias. They are Sunnis. Infact many Pakistani Suhrawardi scholars are even employed as professors in Islamic studies in Soudi Arabia. I doubt Soudi Arabia would allow this if the Suhrawardis were Shias.

Please visit the following site which gives a brief intro to Sunni brand of Islam.

http://www.experiencefestival.com/a/Sunni_Islam/id/573361

Scroll down to "Sunni Islam - Subsects within Sunni Islam" where it mentions the Suhrawardi sect.

Shia or Sunni, I’m still not convinced that Ghani Khan and Nabi Khan were followers of the Suhrawardi sect. This is the first I have even heard of this.

4. I can’t speak for the Qadiriyas in other countries, but the present day Qadiriya followers of whose spiritual lineage is unbroken from Saint Mia Mir in Pakistan identify themselves as Sunni, NOT Shia.

"The Safavis who used to drink wine and dance were fanatics?"

Correct me if i'm wrong, but isn't it true that you yourself also drink wine. Yet you have a problem if the Safavis drink wine?

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1. How does the Shi'a community react to Bin Laden? How do Jews react to Hitler? Shi'a hate Bin Laden because he hates Shi'as with a passion. Al Qaeda in Afghanistan has participated in the massacre of thousands of Hazara Shi'as in Mazhar e Sharif. And let us not mention the many attacks against Shi'as and Shi'a shrines in Iraq. Bin Laden is a Wahabi and Wahabis hate Shi'ism more than anything.

2. Regarding the notion of malech amongst certain Shi'as this is called najasat or impurity. This notion that non-Shi'as are najis was discussed thoroughly in the 19th century and the conclusion was then that nobody is impure per se but rather that certain acts and beliefs make a person impure. To show how this notion of najasat is considered in the Shi'a community I will give you a recent example. At the Shi'a Hawza Ilmiya (Shi'a seminary) in London a teacher taught this notion of najasat. The students protested and debated with the teacher and even went so far as to contact the Times to express their worries about such notions being taught to them.

The only disagreable Shi'as I have interacted with were Khojas who from being Ismailis decide to become Hindus,then Sunnis then Ithna'sharis in order not to pay dasvand to the Agha Khan. (dasvand is an Ismaili notion). Khojas go so far as to have separate cemiteries for themselves and hate mysticism.

I have interacted with Iraqi, Lebanese, Panjabi and Iranian Shi'a and I have to admit that the relations have always been more than amicable, brotherly would be the word. And I am talking here about Sayyids and scholars not just any random guy. If they really thought of me as najis I wonder why they would great me with the traditional mediteranean kiss on the cheek...

"Oh Puttr, tu tai gussa hi kargeya!!!" - Spiderman in Punjabi (see www.youtube.com)

1. Javanmard, with due respect, I didn't ask "How does the Shi'a community react to Bin Laden?" but "How are the Shia community (in the UK and globally) reacting to the media publicity given to Bin Laden and in particular this latest "message" to the US (perhaps in due course, the rest of the non-Muslim world)?", which has a number of questions within it, but not the one that you answered above, however since you have brought up the parallel with Jews and Hitler, for the benefit of the forum please could you highlight how the Shia community globally (horizontally AND vertically if possible) have raised awareness of this in terms of removing themselves from the "All should convert to Islam or face death" worldview of the Wahabis? Jews have made clear their feelings on Hilter's policies be it through politics, literature, media etc, I'm pretty sure that Shia communities have done too in their own way given recent events and all the issues presented for Muslims as well as those of vaguely North African or "Asian" (Sub continental) appearence, particularly Sikhs.

2. Thanks for the insight on the subject of "najasat" - this is helpful and good to hear about the active role of the students in London. Glad to see that your personal experiences have also been more than examplary of this attitude.

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