Dear friends,CAIR-NY is proud to support and invite you to Friday Prayer at Occupy Wall Street this Friday, October 21st, where we will join in solidarity with “the 99%.” Jummah, hosted by Males Ash-Shura (Islamic Leadership Council of New York) is scheduled for 1pm at Zuccotti Park. A sermon on social justice in Islam will be delivered by Imam Aiyub Abdul Baki.
CAIR-NY’s endorsement of Friday Prayer at Occupy Wall Street stems from a conviction that many of the issues brought into the international spotlight by Occupy Wall Street affect Muslim communities disproportionately, and it is up to us to stand up for our rights and show the world what democracy and peaceful protest look like. Look for our table at Zuccotti Park to obtain information about our current projects and to expand the role of New York Muslims in the Occupy Wall Street movement.
WHAT: Friday Prayer at Occupy Wall Street
WHEN: Friday, October 21st, at 1:00-3:30pm
WHERE: Zuccotti Park on Broadway between Liberty and Cedar
Allegedly 276 had signed up on CAIR-NY’s Facebook page to attend Jummah Prayers in Zucotti Park. From looking at the You Tube video, only a fraction of that showed up, yesterday.
Does this act of CAIR lift the veil on Muslim Brotherhood connections with the promoters of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement along with extremist anarcho-Marxists and feckless liberals like multi-millionaire retired oil trader Robert S. Halper, who we profiled in a recent post?
Will we see more Jummah prayers and MB involvement at other OSW major protest sites in the US? We think so; just look at the United West You Tube video expose of what transpired at the Orlando OWS protest.
Shayan Elahi , a lawyer linked through CAIR to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood has been identified as the driving force behind the Occupy Orlando protests that have been staged in Johnson Park, according to a video report from Tom Trento of the Florida Security Council and The United West.
Shayan Elahi was the Florida lawyer for the Muslim parents of Christian convert Rifqa Bary, whose ultimate freedom was granted by an Ohio Family Court in August, 2010 days before she reached her majority. See this WND article for more details.
Egypt to Swap American-Israeli Ilan Grapel for 80 Prisoners Held by Israel
American-Israel Ilan Grapel in Egypt
Virtually on the heels of the Egyptian engineered swap of 1027 Palestinian Prisoners for IDF Sgt. Gilad Shalit, comes a second deal from Cairo. They want to swap American-Israel Ilan Grapel for 80 Egyptians that Israel is holding. Grapel was snatched from Tahrir Square in June on trumped up charges that he was ‘spying for Israel’ while working for an NGO, the St. Andrews Refugee Services in Cairo. Grapel had made Aliyah to Israel in 2005 and served in the IDF during the second Lebanon War in 2006. He was attending law school in the US, when the snatch occurred. Defense secretary Leon Panetta had requested Grapel’s release during a recent visit to Cairo. Clearly, like Shalit, the Egyptians were taking a page out of the Gilad–Palestinian prisoner exchange then in the works to get their terrorists freed.
Egypt said it was preparing to swap US-Israeli dual national Ilan Grapel, who was detained in June on spying charges, for Egyptian prisoners held in Israel.
Grapel, 27, was arrested in Egypt on accusations he was a spy out to recruit agents and monitor events in the revolt that overthrew President Hosni Mubarak, an ally of both the United States and Israel. Grapel has not faced trial yet.
US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta called on Egypt this month to release Grapel but denied he was involved in direct negotiations over the matter.
"In response to the demands of the families of Egyptian prisoners held in Israel, the cabinet has decided that the Foreign Ministry coordinate with all the concerned security entities to take the necessary steps to return those prisoners to their homeland," cabinet spokesman Mohamed Hegazy said.
"This includes the exchange of the accused Ilan Grapel with those prisoners and taking the necessary legal steps involved."
An Egyptian security source said earlier this week that such a deal was expected. Media reports said more than 80 Egyptian prisoners in Israel would be involved in the exchange.
Over the years, Egypt has arrested a number of people accused of spying for Israel.
Rubin: Obama Administration Empowers Islamist Leadership for Syrian Revolution
Prof. Barry Rubin, GLORIA Center, Israel
Prof. Barry Rubin of the GLORIA Center in Israel knows a thing or two about Syria, its ethno-religious composition and its troubled history. He has eviscerated the bloodthirsty Assad regimes, both father and son, in terms of its international dealings. See our review of Rubin’s The Truth About Syria. The minority Alawite Ba’athist regime of the Assad family for over five decades has maintained an iron heel on the necks of majority Sunni, minority Kurds and Christians in Syria. In 1982, Hafez Assad literally leveled Hama, when he ordered the Syrian Army to crush the center of Sunni Muslim Brotherhood resistance purportedly using artillery killing more than 25,000. His son, Bashar has killed more than 3000 Syrians to date in a bloody repression backed by Shia partner Iran with the support of proxy Hizbullah in neighboring Lebanon.
Rubin has warned us about what follows in the wake of Gaddafi’s death in Libya as he did in his analysis of the rise of Islamism in post Mubarak Egypt strongman. Some observers predict that in Libya’s case, post-Gaddafi, the country’s heady mix of tribalism, independent militias, including one composed of former al Qaeda veterans of the Afghanistan struggle, could result in what happened in Somalia over two decades ago since the humanitarian fiasco of “Blackhawk Down” in the Battle of Mogadishu of 1993. A Somalia riven for over two decades by warlordism and Islamist slaughter by al Qaeda affiliate al-Shabaab. All while the US under the Obama Administration fecklessly supports Muslim Brotherhood ascendency in the Arab Spring.
Rubin, an acknowledged Turkish expert, points out the Obama Administration's empowering the Islamist AKP government in Ankara that supports Islamist elements predominate in the Syrian revolutionary leadership.
In both a Rubin Reports and Pajamas Media article, today, Rubin underscores how the Obama Administration and the EU are empowering Muslim Brotherhood leadership in the Syrian revolution. He has compiled the affiliations of the Syrian National Council announced in Ankara, recently.
Here are some excerpts from Rubin’s analysis:
The leadership of the Syrian revolution, or at least those recognized as such by the United States and the European Union, has released the names of 19 of the 29 members of the General Secretariat and five members of the Presidential Council. A lot of research should be done on the individuals, but let’s do a quick ethnic and political analysis based on this information.
But first let me give you my analysis: I believe that the Turkish Islamist regime deliberately helped produce a Syrian leadership that is more Islamist and more Muslim Brotherhood controlled than was necessary. Since Turkey’s government was empowered to do this by the Obama administration, the White House is responsible for this extremely dangerous situation. It is a blunder or a betrayal — in effect; the motive and cause don’t matter — of the greatest dimensions. The Obama administration may “only” have paved the way for the triumph of Islamist regimes in Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia — we don’t yet know the final result — but it has been actively involved in helping promote an (avoidable) Islamist revolution in Syria.
Of the 19 members of the committee whose names have been published, 4 are identified as Muslim Brotherhood and 6 more as independent Islamists. That means 10 of the 19 — a majority — and hence 10 of the 15 Sunni Muslim Arabs (two-thirds) are Islamists!
[. . .]
It should be clear that none of this reflects on the courageous Syrian people who have stood up unarmed to the massive repression and killing power of the regime which has killed over 3000 civilians in cold blood. Indeed, the majority of these people — in contrast to what might turn out to be true in Libya or Egypt — don’t want to be ruled by a Sunni Arab Islamist government. In that sense, this is a betrayal of their bravery and aspirations.
Now, with your permission, I will have a brief angry outburst:
Those fools in the U.S. government helped produce an official leadership that is highly Islamist, perhaps much more so than the actual participants. Might not U.S. interests require pushing for genuine moderates to lead? After all, these are the people likely to get Western money and assistance. When it had a choice, the Obama administration preferred to empower the enemies of America and the West. (Shall I add, once again?)
One more time, this list isn’t a clear indication of the composition of those fighting in Syria, yet it suggests that U.S. policy prefers to help enemies take power in Syria when it could have very easily done otherwise.
Christie Blatchford: TheyLived And Prospered In Canada, But Might As Well. Have Been Back In Afghanistan
From The National Post:
Christie Blatchford: ‘I would do it again’; court hears horror of alleged honour killing
Sahar Shafia, 15, who was found dead with 3 others, Zainab Shafia, 17, Geeti Shafia, 13, and Rona Amir Mohammad, 53, Their bodies were found on the morning of June 30, 2009, in a Nissan Sentra submerged in the Kingston Mills locks, on the edge of the town of Kingston
KINGSTON, Ont. — It’s the Canadian Maple Leaf that flies high over the picturesque locks at Kingston Mills near this historic city, but on the night of June 30, 2009, it might just as well have been the black-red-and-green flag of Afghanistan, with its sacred line proclaiming the greatness of Allah.
What happened at the locks that night, Crown prosecutors alleged in Ontario Superior Court Thursday, was a so-called “honour killing,” the culmination of a violent misogynist Afghan culture that had been transplanted holus-bolus years earlier into the heart of central Canada.
Geeti Shafia, 13
“May the devil s— on their graves,” Mohammad Shafia told his second wife, Tooba Mohammad Yahya, 20 days after the bodies of the couple’s three teenage daughters and Mr. Shafia’s first wife were recovered from a car in the water at the locks.
Found dead by drowning in a black Nissan Mr. Shafia had bought just eight days earlier – the suggestion implicit that he got it for that very purpose — were Rona Amir Mohammad, the barren wife who had been presented to the children and outsiders both as an “auntie,” and rebellious daughters Zainab, 19, Sahar, 17, and 13-year-old Geeti.
Charged with four counts each of first-degree murder are Mr. Shafia, Ms. Yahya and their oldest son Hamed, who was 18 at the time. All are pleading not guilty.
The ghastly conversation was captured on a Kingston Police wiretap, prosecutor Laurie Lacelle told Judge Robert Maranger and a jury.
In another snippet recorded by the device police had placed in a family car, Mr. Shafia told Ms. Yahya, “They committed treason themselves. They betrayed humankind. They betrayed Islam. They betrayed our religion…they betrayed everything.”
He said whenever he saw the pictures taken by Zainab and Sahar on their cell phones – these were goofy shots of them posing in bras and panties, or with their forbidden boyfriends — “I am consoled.
“I say to myself, ‘You did well.’ Were they to come to life, I would do it again.”
In a detailed opening address of 90 minutes, Ms. Lacelle told the jurors they would hear from a variety of witnesses, including those to whom Rona Mohammad and the children had confided their fear of Mr. Shafia and Hamed.
In fact, what was most galling about the prosecutor’s overview of the evidence to come was how very openly the teenagers had rebelled against their parents — once, from a street corner in Montreal where the family lived, they begged a stranger to call 911 for them because they were so afraid to go home — and how little Canadian authorities and Canadian law helped them.
In fact, Quebec child protection authorities twice investigated complaints from Sahar’s school, once little more than three weeks before the four bodies were found.
In the first instance, Ms. Lacelle said, the social worker deemed the complaint to be “founded” – true, in other words – but closed the file anyway when Sahar wouldn’t talk to her once she learned that the worker would be obligated to tell her parents what she’d told her.
The next time she interviewed the girl two days later, “Sahar was wearing the hijab” and claimed things had improved at home.
In the second instance, though police in Montreal interviewed the children separately and had them open up about their maltreatment – including the fact that Mr. Shafia allegedly “often threatened to kill them” – the child protection worker interviewed the girls in the presence of their parents.
Zainab Shafia, 17
Unsurprisingly, they clammed up or recanted their earlier allegations, and the worker closed the file.
Though the family – Mr. Shafia, two wives and a total of seven children – left Afghanistan in 1992, they didn’t emigrate to Canada until June of 2007, with Rona Mohammad following six months later on a visitor’s visa.
She left a diary, found by police, which detailed the alleged beatings she suffered at her husband’s hands and the cruelty dished out to her by her fertile replacement, Ms. Yahya, who allegedly told her, “Your life is in my hands” and, “You are not his wife; you are my servant.”
Though Mr. Shafia and Hamed may have appeared the picture of successful and Westernized men – the father was wealthy, owned a shopping mall in Laval and had contracted to build an upscale home, and the family had lived in Pakistan, Australia and Dubai – behind closed doors, they might as well have been back in Afghanistan.
The oldest son Hamed was the head of the household when Mr. Shafia was away. He had a driver’s licence and his own cell phone, used his father’s silver Lexus, and helped him in business.
The daughters, meanwhile, had phones registered to either father or son, and Zainab was kept out of school for a full year after the family discovered she had a boyfriend.
It was her running away, in the spring of 2009, to a women’s shelter which sparked the family’s downward spiral, Ms. Lacelle told the jurors.
But Sahar, too, was rebelling. She had a boyfriend. She loved makeup and clothes, like her big sister. She wanted to be a gynecologist, and was moved by the plight of her native sisters in Afghanistan.
Once, miserable at facing the prospect of having to wear a hijab, she tried to kill herself. According to Rona Mohammad’s diary, Ms. Yahya snapped, “She can go to hell; let her kill herself.”
But it was the little girl, Geeti, who fought her parents most ferociously and who begged most blatantly for help.
Rona Amir Mohammad, Mohammad Shafia's first wife
“She told her school,” Ms. Lacelle said. “She told the police. She told youth protection.”
What she told them was that she wanted to be out of her family home, to be placed with a foster family.
The teen was failing at school, late coming home, was caught shoplifting and was even sent from school for wearing revealing clothing.
Just weeks before she died, the school vice-principal phoned and told Ms. Yahya why she was being sent home.
It was Ms. Yahya who convinced Zainab to leave the shelter, who promised she could marry her boyfriend.
On May 18, she did get married, a ceremony witnessed, of course, only by the male members of the family.
At a later family dinner, her husband’s family refused to attend, and the marriage was annulled the same day. Plans were put in place for her to marry a cousin.
By the first of June that year, Hamed was in Dubai, and there, on his father’s laptop, began conducting Google searches. The key words the first time were, “Can a prisoner have control over their real estate?” Another, on June 20, had the following key words: “Where to commit a murder?”
Prosecutors allege that after a brief family vacation in Niagara Falls, the plan was put into action. An OPP expert witness will testify that in his opinion, the Nissan got “hung up” on the locks and Mr. Shafia’s silver Lexus “was used to push the Nissan” into the water.
Autopsies later revealed that only Sahar didn’t have, on the crown of her head, fresh bruising, which had occurred when the women were alive.
Rona Mohammad once told a friend overseas, who will testify here, that she was afraid to leave – afraid Mr. Shafia would kill her, and hurt the children.
The friend told her, Ms. Lacelle said, “She was not in Afghanistan. She was in Canada, and not to be afraid.”
How wrong that woman was.
Lars Hagberg for Postmedia News
Left to right: Hamed and Mhammad Shafia, and Tooba Mohammad Yahya are charged with first degree murder.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq will continue talks with Washington on how U.S. trainers can work with Iraqi forces after a complete withdrawal of American troops at the end of the year, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said on Saturday.
U.S. President Barack Obama announced on Friday that all U.S. troops would leave Iraq as scheduled by the end of this year after the two governments failed to reach an agreement over giving American soldiers legal immunity.
"Now that we have put this behind us, this will let us settle the issue of training," Maliki said. "Iraqis will ask to resume talks over the number of trainers, the duration (of their stay in Iraq) and how those trainers will be used."
More than eight years after the invasion to topple Saddam Hussein, violence has fallen since the sectarian slaughter of 2006-2007. But Iraq still faces a stubborn Sunni Islamist insurgency tied to al Qaeda and rival Shi'ite militias.
U.S. and Iraqi officials say the local armed forces can contain violence but they need trainers to help build up air defense, maritime capabilities, intelligence gathering and moving the military to conventional warfare tactics.
Iraq will get some military training from a U.S. embassy program and from contractors who are part of a package with the U.S.-made military hardware Baghdad is purchasing, such as F-16 fighter jets and tanks.
Military advisers working at the embassy are covered by diplomatic immunity afforded to the State Department.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Saturday that U.S. commitment to the democratic future of Iraq remains strong despite the decision to go ahead with the withdrawal of American troops as scheduled.
"Even as our troops come home, the United States's commitment to Iraq's future as a secure, stable, democratic nation remains as strong as ever," she said at a news conference in the Tajik capital. "This will end the war and it will open a new chapter in our relationship."
Clinton said Washington expected to have a "significant" security training presence at the Baghdad embassy.
Washington had hoped a few thousand troops in Iraq would help buttress its stability and offset the influence of neighboring Iran. U.S. officials initially had sought Baghdad's approval for around 3,400 troops.
Many Iraqis are worried about their country's stability and security without the buffer of U.S. military presence, and fear Iraq may slip back into the sectarian tensions that pushed the country to the brink of civil conflict.
A new climate study shows that since the mid-1950s, global average temperatures over land have risen by 0.9 degrees Celsius (1.6 degrees Fahrenheit), confirming previous studies that have found a climate that has been warming – in fits and starts – since around 1900.
Most climate scientists attribute warming since the mid-1950, at least to some degree, to carbon dioxide emissions from human activities – burning coal, oil, and to a lesser extent gas, and from land-use changes.
The latest results mirror those from earlier, independent studies by scientists at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, the Hadley Center for Climate Prediction and Research in Britain, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
These previous efforts, however, came under fire from some climate-change skeptics who said they had detected serious flaws in the analytical methods and temperature records the three groups used.
The new research, which has yet to be formally published but which appears in four papers posted on BerkeleyEarth.org, uses new analytical techniques and a much larger set of records than the previous studies did.
Indeed, the new approach to analyzing temperatures records allowed the team to make use of partial and older records previous studies had rejected as unusable, explains Richard Muller, a physicist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory who coordinated the effort.
In the end, the team's result shows that the earlier studies "were done carefully and that potential biases identified by climate-change skeptics did not seriously affect" the conclusions these studies reached, said Dr. Muller, who some climate activists have labeled a global-warming skeptic.
The approach embodied in the main work "is very valuable, but may also need some refinement," says Kevin Trenberth, a climate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colo.
Besides confirming the temperature trend, the Berkeley group says it was able to rule out the urban heat-island effect as a significant contributor to global warming.
And it was able to show that even with a large number of critical US recording stations operating inaccurately, those stations still showed long-term trends that were consistent with more reliable stations.
In essence, any given measuring station may be off compared with surrounding stations. But if it's off by a consistent amount, long-term trends will still show up.
The study also highlighted the regional differences in temperature trends that can lead people to say: What global warming?
Over the past 70 years, the team found that about one-third of the measuring stations in its global sample indicated cooling trends. Two-thirds showed warming trends, with warm regions more than offsetting cool regions in developing a global average.
Money for the new study, dubbed the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project, came from five foundations, including one established by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and another from the Charles Koch Charitable Foundation, widely seen as a source of money for conservative organizations and initiatives that have fought efforts to curb greenhouse-gas emissions.
The work makes no attempt to attribute the rising temperatures to any particular cause. Nor does it include ocean temperatures, the subject of a future study.
Still, this confirmation could help move the discussion toward solutions, suggests Caspar Ammann, another climate scientist at NCAR.
With minor differences, trends in all four independent study group's temperature records match up well from about 1900 on, with the Brekeley and NOAA analyses showing a slightly higher level for the mid 2000s than the NASA and Hadley analyses.
"The rather irrational doubt and claims of a hoax simply don't make sense, and this work might help restart the discussion about what is next," Dr. Ammann says.
The team Muller assembled is not built from the usual cast of climate-science suspects, although Judith Curry, who head's GeorgiaTech's department of earth and atmospheric sciences, is a member of the team
Instead, Muller says he drew heavily on scientists from astrophysics and particle physics with expertise in teasing convincing, reproducable evidence from enormous masses of hard-to-analyze data.
Among them: Saul Perlmutter, who earlier this month shared a Nobel Prize in Physics with two other scientists for discovering that the universe is expanding at an increasing pace. The data Dr. Perlmutter and his colleagues used to stun the world of cosmology – results that others later confirmed – were far less abundant and far harder to analyze than temperature records, Muller says.
The team's independence and its willingness to devise its own analytical methods to provide a reality check on the three other groups' results sold the Koch foundation on the project, Muller adds.
Beyond the immediate results, the group is trying to make such work more transparent to other scientists than critics say has been the case in recent climate science.
The team posted the four papers on the BerkeleyEarth.org web site in advance of their publication, or even acceptance for publication, in peer-reviewed journals. In addition, the team posted the data and the computer programs used to process and analyze them.
That move has drawn criticism from some climate skeptics who intially supported the group's efforts, arguing that the team was more interested in publicity than in following proper scientific protocol of submitting to a journal and awaiting the verdict of anonymous reviewers.
But for more than a decade, researchers in physics, astrophysics, astronomy, and other disciplines have routinely posted papers-in-progress on public websites for review by colleagues. It's a way of getting an initial reality check on research before engaging the formal publication process.
Some researchers say they doubt this approach will work well for climate science, despite criticisms surrounding what some see as the difficulty of getting other researchers' data or access to the programs they used.
Although the approach can lead to overloaded email inboxes, "I'm quite in favor of these new ways of getting work out and allow a broader set of eyes to provide feedback," says Ammann at NCAR.
Hillary Clinton Dispenses Her Nostrums To Those Who Know Better
The most successful attempt to weaken, and in some places nearly eradicate, Islam was that made by the Soviet Union in its war on Islam -- part of a more general anti-religion campaign -- that required the destruction of mosques, the banning of Islamic texts, and an anti-Islam campaign in schools, all ovre Central Asia. And that campaign largely worked. It created a very large class of secular people, who do not wish to return to Islam.
Yet Hillary Clinton presumes to tell the rulers -- unpleasant their methods may be, but so what if they are effective? -- of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to forget their own history, and to go easy on those who want to bring back Islam because, she claims, being too tough on them will boomerang. There is no evidence for this, but it's the kind of thing that American officials like to repeat, and allow themselves fondly to believe. It's what was believed, too, by many in the West when they urged the Shah not to take strong measures, early on, against the followers of Khomeini. It's always -- "don't be too tough because it will backfire." Nonsense. Don't be tough, don't be sufficiently ruthless, and recent history suggests that Islam will be back, vengeful and with a vengeance.
Here she is, dispensing her advice with great and unfounded self-assurance, in Tajikistan, in Uzbekistan: ,
Clinton warns Central Asian leaders on radical Islam
TASHKENT (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Tajikistan and Uzbekistan on Saturday that efforts to crack down on religious freedom might backfire.
She said this could lead to increased sympathy for radical views in Central Asia, a region the United States sees as key to the future stability of Afghanistan.
Clinton met Tajik President Imomali Rakhmon and Uzbek President Islam Karimov to thank the two Central Asian states for their cooperation in the U.S.-led war in neighboring Afghanistan.
She stressed to both that freedom of religious expression was tied to the region's future security, U.S. officials said.
"I disagree with restrictions on religious freedom and shared those concerns," Clinton told a news conference after meeting Rakhmon in Dushanbe on the last full day of her latest overseas trip.
She said efforts to regulate religion "could push legitimate religious expression underground, and that could build up a lot of unrest and discontent."
Clinton's visit to the two former Soviet republics came after a trip to Afghanistan and Pakistan that was focused on U.S. efforts to find a political solution to the decade-long Afghan conflict.
She also promoted greater regional economic integration under a plan U.S. officials have dubbed "the New Silk Road."
Karimov and Rakhmon have moved to limit religious freedom in their countries which remain under authoritarian rule two decades after the break-up of the Soviet Union.
Tajikistan, a mainly Muslim country of 7.5 million people, introduced laws in August to ban youths from praying in mosques, churches and other religious sites, a move that was criticized by religious leaders.
Rakhmon, in power since 1992, has said tough measures are needed to stop the spread of religious fundamentalism in an impoverished country that shares a porous 1,340-km (840-mile) border with Afghanistan.
"You have to look at the consequences," Clinton said in Tajikistan.
"We would hope there would be a rethinking of any restrictions going forward, because we think it will increase sympathy for extremist views which would in turn threaten the stability and security of the country."
Rakhmon's Moscow-backed secular government clashed with the Islamist opposition during a 1992-97 civil war, in which tens of thousands were killed.
The president has ignored previous requests from the West to respect freedom of conscience. He has ordered students home from religious schools abroad and clamped down on a growing trend for Islamic dress.
U.S. officials said Clinton also raised the issue with Uzbekistan's Karimov -- widely seen as one of the most repressive leaders in the region -- as one of a number of human rights concerns that also include press freedom, human trafficking and political reforms.
Karimov, who has said he intends to make reforms, repeated these pledges to Clinton, one U.S. official said.
"He said that he wants to leave a legacy for both his kids and his grandchildren," the official said. "The secretary welcomed that, and said that would help to build a long-term foundation for Uzbekistan but also for our cooperation."
U.S. officials said Clinton's Central Asian trip, her second to the region in less than 12 months, was aimed in a large part at thanking Tajikistan and Uzbekistan for their assistance with the Afghan conflict.
They said she also wanted to broaden a relationship giving the United States a important "back door" into Afghanistan and an alternative supply route that could prove vital if U.S. ties with its main ally in the region, Pakistan, unravel.
Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are part of what Washington calls the Northern Distribution Network (NDN), a supply line for U.S.-led forces fighting the Taliban that also stretches through Russia, Latvia, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.
The NDN is increasingly important as U.S. ties with Pakistan come under strain over Washington's charges that elements of the Pakistani government have links to Islamist militants blamed for attacks on U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
The United States is aiming to reduce the proportion of its surface cargo that it brings through Pakistan to only a quarter by increasing its supplies through the northern route; in July it was still well over half.
Leader of Heterodox Ahmadiyya Muslim Sect Criticizes the Hon. Geert Wilders
Hadrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifa V of the Ahmadiyya Muslim sect
The world leader of the Ahmadiyya Muslim sect, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (Caliph Ahmad), while on a recent visit to the Netherlands, issued a warning against the Hon. Geert Wilders, leader of the Freedom Party in The Hague parliament, for his criticism of orthodox Islam. Ahmad is the fifth Caliph of the sect and leader of this heterodox community. The attack on Wilders is ironic, as the Ahmadiyya Muslim sect, which originated in India in the late 19th century, is viewed as not being Islamic by the leaders of so-called orthodox Islam. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have banned the sect and oppress its adherents. In Indonesia, the Ahmadiyya are viewed as ‘non-Muslim’. Calls for the sect’s outright ban have been made by a majority of the country’s orthodox Muslim leaders. Mosques of the sect have been attacked and a 2008 law was passed barring the group from proselytizing in this largest Muslim country. In February of this year, a mob of 1000 Indonesian Muslims attacked the home of an Ahmadiyya leader killing four persons.
Watch this video on the persecution of the Ahmadiyas by a member of the sect following a terrorist attack in Pakistan on an Ahmadiyya Mosque in Lahore in May, 2010 that killed 100 persons.
An all-Parliamentary conference on extremism in religion in the U.K. earlier this year raised concerns about Pakistan’s religious persecution of the Ahmadiyya sect, a fact that the Pakistani High Commissioner to the EU denied at the conference. Watch here.
Addressing Wilders directly, Caliph Ahmad said:
Listen carefully – You, your party and every other person like you will ultimately be destroyed. But the religion of Islam and the message of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) will remain forever. No worldly power, no matter how powerful and no matter how much hatred they bear towards Islam, will ever succeed in erasing our religion.
Always remember, that we can achieve nothing without prayer. We have no worldly power, nor will we ever use any worldly force. But the prayers of people whose hearts have been grieved are enough to shake the Heavens.
During his visit, Caliph Ahmad, also took the opportunity to praise Queen Beatrix:
All Ahmadi Muslims should pray for Queen Beatrix because certain sections of the local society have turned against her, due to the fact that she has openly condemned the anti-Islam movement in this country. They are also angry because she advocates the right of Muslims to be treated as full and equal citizens, whose rights and feelings should be respected. Thus we must pray that all plans and schemes against the Queen completely fail.
As we said, it is ironic that the world leader of the Ahmadiyas should attack Wilders, for criticizing orthodox Islam that holds the sect in utmost contempt, bans it in many majority Muslim countries, attacks the sect’s mosques and even kills its adherents. The Ahmadiyas’ world leader should instead seek an alliance with critics of orthodox Islam that deny its religious freedom throughout the Ummah.
From The Guardian: [and despite its being The Guardian]
The deification of Steve Jobs is Apple's greatest marketing triumph to date
October 21, 2011
It is not enough to love your products anymore; when the people who created them die, you are now required to enter a kind of spiritual decline yourself.
Jobs’s death stopped the clock, and Apple shops became instant shrines. Photograph: Ray Tang / Rex Features
The deification of Steve Jobs was swift and amazing, an app that rose only in death. Jobs is now America's Princess Diana, a figure of tragedy, representing transformation, Jackie Kennedy being too long-dead to do it, and Michael Jackson too weird. I find this strange, because Jobs's real legacy was the way in which people now routinely ignore each other in public because they are playing with their iPhones and iPads. As ever with a new form of communication, one of the things you can do is communicate your indifference better.
I had an iPhone but I was relieved to lose it because it swallowed so much of my time in pointless ways. I enjoyed following myself down a street, as a dot on a map, for instance, but all I was really doing was being both CIA operative and target in a tiny movie of my own life. I also think, as others have noted, that the products look like children's toys. Beautiful simplicity, say the fans, but more simple than beautiful, made for CBBC. The equivalent 40 years ago would have been blind adherence to the ideology of Habitat.
But I am in a minority. Jobs's death has stopped the clock. As the corpse cooled, all aspects of his life and legacy were detailed by a prostrate media. He is now, just a little too late to enjoy it, the world's most famous man, one pixel short of saviour. His memorial service last Sunday was covered by the broadsheets, who reported that the golden triumvirate of Bill Clinton, Stephen Fry and Bono appeared to mourn and rend their garments. This made me laugh, I am afraid, because if the question "Which global celebrities are most likely to attend the memorial service of Steve Jobs?" was asked on Family Fortunes the top answers would surely be – Bill Clinton, Stephen Fry and Bono. Who else could it be? [how about Nelson Mandela, John Lennon, and Batman?]
Some of the mourners, appropriately, tweeted their loss, which I am sure Jobs would appreciate, being the world's chief facilitator of manufactured emotions in 140 characters or less. The more general population, who are practised in responding to the media's idiocies, obediently responded. They were told they have lost something precious, and so the more credulous grieved. Logos representing Jobs's death were designed, circulated, fought over and abandoned. Apple shops became instant shrines at which iPads transformed themselves into representations of flickering candles, which was chilling because, as you know, computers can't mourn. Some iPads were, bizarrely, left at the shops as an offering, as if modern gods demand not chickens, but small electrical goods, to soothe their rages. (Dear God – please restore service!) I still suspect that Apple employees left them there and retrieved them when the cameras went home. To donate a £400 iPad to a billionaire's makeshift shrine is a very un-Apple gesture, because it is unprofitable. Others left apple cores, which is merely littering with a mad sense of purpose.
How to unpick this? Grief as a global phenomenon is not new. It is essentially media-led (it fills and sells papers) and it always leaves a bitter taste, because for every stranger you think you mourn, there is a friend you forget to remember. These relationships are false and imagined and always created with the rich and powerful, which makes me wonder if it is the lifestyle, not the life, we praise when we turn to Jobs. It is ordinary bowing before power, just rather odder because the Apple products have a bright marketing sheen of democracy – we are all equal before the world wide web – which is ridiculous, considering how few can afford them and how aggressively the company protects its software.
But I have not seen it for a CEO before. Could it be that the eulogies for Jobs are a new expression of pure materialism? It is not enough to love your products; when the people who created them die, you are required to enter a kind of spiritual decline. What does it mean to weep for the inventor of the iPhone? For me it is Apple's greatest marketing triumph and the very opposite of a spiritual experience.
This is easy for Apple to manage, as newspapers inexorably ease from editorial to advertorial. There are now, quite often, double page spreads about yogurt, and worse things than yogurt. The reason is profit. Recycling press releases is cheap, because PRs are unlikely to libel their own clients. Just last week I received an invitation, via email, to plug a product which would heat my swimming pool, if I had one, which I do not. A new swimming pool heating system is not in itself news, but a news hook is attached, making a broader point in hope of making it into the paper – UK entrepreneur confirms luxury market is buoyant despite global recession. I am invited to lunch with supermarket PRs, to dine in restaurants for free and sometimes to try out beauty serums, or, as I call them, slimes. These are products in search of a page, and they are not news.
No, this the churnalism so wonderfully detailed in the Guardian journalist Nick Davies's obituary of the newspaper industry, Flat Earth News. It was rampant in the life of Jobs, and at his death it achieved a kind of apogee. Last month the New York Times ran an editorial entitled You Love Your iPhone. Literally. It argued that people respond similarly to images of the Apple logo and images of the Pope; iPhone users, the author stated, after performing tests on babies, literally loved their iPhones. I was shown this editorial by a PR. Even he was amazed that a company should get such coverage or, to give it its proper term, idiotic drooling. Again, this is odd, because the technology Jobs created is destroying newspapers. It makes me wonder if my trade has developed, en masse, Apple-themed Stockholm Syndrome. We love our murderer.
The truth? In many ways Apple is just another very profitable company, which in July announced that its revenues were $28.57bn, up 90% year-on-year, with profits of $7.31bn, up 124% year-on-year. It is visionary in its products and marketing techniques, but conventional in its working practices and goals. It is, like most world-munching corporations, a feudal hierarchy. There is nothing visionary in transferring the manufacture of your products from the US to China, and subcontracting the work to other companies, thereby circumventing labour laws, as Apple did 10 years ago. The working conditions of those who manufacture the products are appalling and ill paid. Not even the glorious design of whichever number iPhone we are on now could keep the "cluster" of suicides at the Apple supplier Foxconn's main manufacturing plant in Longhua out of the news last year. Overtime in these factory cities is often forced, not voluntary, and with every article puffing the i-Must-Embrace-the-Future-Or-Die, there will be more forced overtime as the factories race to meet demand the newspapers create. All the horrors are there, if you look for them. According to China Labour Watch, Apple pays just £3.99 for the production of your £600 iPhone, and it is the workers who pay for their – and our – greed, so we can tweet and be moving dots on a map. As Mike Daisey said, also in the New York Times, Jobs could have done something about this. He could have really changed the world. He chose not to.