Thursday, 24 December 2009

A flawed German view on Islam!

The following German view on Islam was sent to me by a friend of mine via an email. It lacks objectivity in many aspects and is flawed completely for reasons explained hereunder.

First of all, the author makes a general assumption that the majority of peace-loving Muslims are silent and considers them as accomplices in the criminal deeds of a few fanatics. He argues that these fanatics have taken over Islam as they are the ones who dominate. They are the ones who kill. In reality, this is a completely flawed assumption. In effect, the “silent” majority is still in control and they’ve been speaking out against the crimes committed by these few. If the author and people of his ilk are unable to follow these on the mainstream media, then that is an issue even those ‘silent’ Muslims would love very much to be solved! That is: the media depicts them only as part of a problem not as a solution. For example, several well-known Muslim scholars and organizations have come forward not only to condemn the terrorist attacks – be it 9/11, London’s 07/07 or India’s 26/11 – but also to proactively interfere in the society to bridge the gaps and fill the vacuum left behind by these fanatics. However, the media does not show any interest in these proactive steps taken by the Muslim community, and continues to spit venom against the whole community. The author and several hundreds like him pretend like an ostrich and are just beating around the bush. A simple attempt at Google will yield them good results!
Now, turning to the otherside of the problem, who created these fanatics? Just have a look at the 9/11 attackers. Osama Bin Laden and his ilk were the best friends of US when they were fighting against the Soviet Union. Saddam Hussein? It was the US who armed him against Iran. Thank God, we have a very short memory!
There is one more side to the story. Who have killed more people in the past 100 years or so? Are these terrorists or those so-called “civilised” nation and people? Think of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Why we are not calling those who committed this mass murder of at least two hundred thousands of innocent civilians terrorists? Any idea on how many were killed in the Vietnam war? Go to the official website of George Mason University’s History News Network and find out more details (http://hnn.us/articles/1802.html ) on this. To know about US interventions in Latin America and find out what did they do there, visit this website: (http://www.zompist.com/latam.html). To have a complete list of US invasions during the past one century and how many millions were killed, visit this website: (http://academic.evergreen.edu/g/grossmaz/interventions.html ). In the history of mankind, there is not a single country that carried out massive killings in the most sophisticated and organised manner and on a large scale, other than Israel. (Read about these massacres here: http://guardian.150m.com/palestine/israeli-massacres.htm) Who support them? It’s very clear. The list is endless, but for those who see reason, this is more than enough.
Now, going by the same ‘German’ theory, what we call all those ‘silent majorities’ who have not uttered a word against all these atrocities? Are they too part of these criminal acts? In this case also, is the religion blamed?
Let’s call a spade a spade.
Taj Aluva (tajaluva@gmail.com)


> A German's View on Islam
> A man, whose family was German aristocracy prior to World War II,
> owned a number of large industries and estates. When asked how many
> German people were true Nazis, the answer he gave can guide our
> attitude toward fanaticism. 'Very few people were true Nazis,' he
> said, 'but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more
> were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis
> were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all
> happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost
> control, and the end of the world had come. My family lost
> everything. I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed
> my factories..'
> We are told again and again by 'experts' and 'talking heads' that
> Islam is the religion of peace and that the vast majority of Muslims
> just want to live in peace. Although this unqualified assertion may
> be true, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff, meant to
> make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the specter of
> fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam.
> The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history.
> It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of
> 50 shooting wars worldwide. It is the fanatics who systematically
> slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are
> gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is
> the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or honor-kill. It is the
> fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who
> zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and
> homosexuals. It is the fanatics who teach their young to kill and to
> become suicide bombers.
> The hard, quantifiable fact is that the peaceful majority, the
> 'silent majority,' is cowed and extraneous.
> Communist Russia was comprised of Russians who just wanted to live in
> peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible for the murder of
> about 20 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant.
> China's huge population was peaceful as well, but Chinese Communists
> managed to kill a staggering 70 million people.
> The average Japanese individual prior to World War II was not a
> warmongering sadist. Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way
> across South East Asia in an orgy of killing that included the
> systematic murder of 12 million Chinese civilians; most killed by
> sword, shovel, and bayonet.
> And who can forget Rwanda, which collapsed into butchery. Could it
> not be said that the majority of Rwandans were 'peace loving'?
> History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt, yet for all
> our powers of reason, we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated
> points:
> Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence.
> Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don't speak up,
> because like my friend from Germany, they will awaken one day and
> find that the fanatics own them, and the end of their world will have
> begun.
> Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Serbs,
> Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians, and
> many others have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up
> until it was too late. As for us who watch it all unfold, we must pay
> attention to the only group that counts--the fanatics who threaten our
> way of life.
> Lastly, anyone who doubts that the issue is serious and just deletes
> this email without sending it on, is contributing to the passiveness
> that allows the problems to expand. So, extend yourself a bit and
> send this on and on and on! Let us hope that thousands, world-wide,
> read this and think about it, and send it on - before it's too late.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Memoir for a close friend who passed away recently


There are times in our life when time stops in front of us. We would be stuck in a position unable to move, talk or believe what we've just heard.

One such time was when I heard the heart-breaking news of the passing away of brother Abdul Aziz Sahib (Kalamassery) in March 2009. Inna Lillahi wa Inna Ilaihi Rajioon (To Allah we belong, and to Him is our return).

He left for home from Ajman where he was running a business upon hearing the news of the hospitalization of his ageing father. However, fate has something different in stock for him. May Allah forgive his sins and enter him in His eternal paradise. aameen.

I remember Abdul Aziz saheb as a very lovely and enthusiastic person, full of optimism and a pious heart. He held no grudge towards any one. Such was his remembrance of akhirah (the life after death) that he had told his eldest son, who is studying in Santapuram Al Jamia Al Islamiya, to deliver a lecture on the topic at a family gathering, which was supposed to be held the week after his death. The son had even prepared some notes for the same by referring books from his university library. A non-Muslim person, whom Br. Abdul Aziz was regularly contacting to impart the true message of Islam, embraced Islam immediately upon hearing the news of his death. What would you need in this life?

Both of our families had gone for a trip to Ezhattumugham near the famous Athirapally-Vazhachal waterfalls, last year. It was his plan which was made while we were travelling together to India during the summer 2008, immediately after I dropped my first relocation plan to Qatar. He had been to Ezhattumugham before, along with his father who was not going out regularly due to his poor health. We enjoyed the trip thoroughly, especially his and my children. The picturesque scenes at Ezhattumugham mesmerized all of us. We had had a nice lunch (with kappa and beef) and the evening snacks together. I cherish those sweet memories now with tears welling up in my eyes.

I can do only one thing for you now: May the Almighty join us together in His eternal paradise, aameen.

A trip down memory lane





These are some photos from a recent trip to Khasab in the Musandam governorate of Sultanate of Oman which was really a memorable one. This part of Oman is a barren, mountaineous terrain with picturesque back waters. Dolphins are seen in abundance in these waters. A village in the midst of a huge valley is really eye-catching. Tourists visit this place during the period between November to April every year. This place is highly strategic for Oman.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Response to article by Thomas Friedman: Israel's Goals in Gaza?

Dear Mr. Friedman,

Thank you for your article (in New York Times dated 14 Jan 2008 and in Gulf News, Dubai, on 18 Jan 2008) about Israel's recent assault against Gaza. You have explained in clear terms what should be Israel's goals for such an attack and underscored the need to educate Hamas, a terrorist organisation by your definition, and creating a clear choice for Hamas: destroying Israel or building Gaza.

I regret to point out to you frankly, Mr. Friedman, that there is sheer hypocrisy and a clear lack of objectivity in the lines you wrote. The fundamental human values in all of us, let alone the basic journalism ethics you are supposed to be holding high (especially being a Pulitzer-prize winning columnist), require us to be truthful and honest in what we say or do. Even if you have had a short memory, you could have borne in mind the fact there was a democratically elected government in Gaza, led by the resistant movement, Hamas, for the past one and half years trying to build Gaza by all means. But, Israel was strangulating that tiny sect of land of 360 square kilometers with a population of 1.5 million (the most densely populated piece of earth on the planet) through crippling sanctions. Why? Because, Israel did not like Hamas! Is it what you call democracy? Is it what you call the American values of freedom and liberty? Weren't it the people of Gaza who chose Hamas as their rightful rulers. So, it was only right on Israel's part to let Hamas rule them and build Gaza. But, what Israel did was declaring Hamas as their enemy and creating hurdles in all its efforts to rule Gaza in a democratic way.

By destroying Israel, you might have meant the rocket attack by Hamas in southern Israel immediately after the expiry of the ceasefire. For a moment, let's forget about the reality of these "rockets," what they are made of, and the "ferocity" – or lack of it – of those rockets. Just reverse your memory to mid-November 2008 when an Israeli raid in Gaza killed at least six Palestinians whereas the retaliatory Hamas rocket attacks didn't even injure any one! (read about this in this website created by an Israeli peace organisation: www.gush-shalom.org): What will you do if you are surrounded by an enemy with heavy weapons of mass destruction, who destroys your daily life, and denies you access to water, power, medicine and all those basic things of life? But, alas, there wasn't a single line in your lengthy article about these pathetic conditions the Gazans were in throughout the past one and half years!

You and your ilk call Hamas a terrorist organisation. But remember, who was this peace-loving, democratic, free Israel just before its creation in 1948? At that time, it was operating as some of the word's most dreaded terrorist gangs like Irgun, Haganah and Stern. Since then, they had been mercilessly butchering Palestinian people. (You can have a list of these massacres in this website: http://guardian.150m.com/palestine/israeli-massacres.htm) Some, five million people have been kicked out of Palestine to make way for Israel and the 'democratic' Israel still denies them the right of return. In the latest assault alone, Israel has killed more than 400 children and 200 women and destroyed some 20,000 homes! Of the total number of killed (1250 according to latest available figures), two thirds are civilians!

So, who is destroying whom? Who is building what? Correct me, if I'm wrong, Mr. Friedman!

Taj Aluva
Email: tajaluva@gmail.com
Blog: www.tajaluva.blogspot.com


http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/14/opinion/14friedman.html?_r=2
January 14, 2009
Op-Ed Columnist
Israel's Goals in Gaza?
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
I have only one question about Israel's military operation in Gaza: What is the goal? Is it the education of Hamas or the eradication of Hamas? I hope that it's the education of Hamas. Let me explain why.
I was one of the few people who argued back in 2006 that Israel actually won the war in Lebanon started by Hezbollah. You need to study that war and its aftermath to understand Gaza and how it is part of a new strategic ballgame in the Arab-Israel arena, which will demand of the Obama team a new approach.
What Hezbollah did in 2006 — in launching an unprovoked war across the U.N.-recognized Israel-Lebanon border, after Israel had unilaterally withdrawn from Lebanon — was to both upend Israel's longstanding peace strategy and to unveil a new phase in the Hezbollah-Iran war strategy against Israel.
There have always been two camps in Israel when it comes to the logic of peace, notes Gidi Grinstein, president of the Israeli think tank, the Reut Institute: One camp says that all the problems Israel faces from the Palestinians or Lebanese emanate from occupying their territories. "Therefore, the fundamental problem is staying — and the fundamental remedy is leaving," says Grinstein.
The other camp argues that Israel's Arab foes are implacably hostile and leaving would only invite more hostility. Therefore, at least when it comes to the Palestinians, Israel needs to control their territories indefinitely. Since the mid-1990s, the first camp has dominated Israeli thinking. This led to the negotiated and unilateral withdrawals from the West Bank, Lebanon and Gaza.
Hezbollah's unprovoked attack from Lebanon into Israel in 2006 both undermined the argument that withdrawal led to security and presented Israel with a much more vexing military strategy aimed at neutralizing Israel's military superiority. Hezbollah created a very "flat" military network, built on small teams of guerrillas and mobile missile-batteries, deeply embedded in the local towns and villages.
And this Hezbollah force, rather than confronting Israel's Army head-on, focused on demoralizing Israeli civilians with rockets in their homes, challenging Israel to inflict massive civilian casualties in order to hit Hezbollah fighters and, when Israel did strike Hezbollah and also killed civilians, inflaming the Arab-Muslim street, making life very difficult for Arab or European leaders aligned with Israel.
Israel's counterstrategy was to use its Air Force to pummel Hezbollah and, while not directly targeting the Lebanese civilians with whom Hezbollah was intertwined, to inflict substantial property damage and collateral casualties on Lebanon at large. It was not pretty, but it was logical. Israel basically said that when dealing with a nonstate actor, Hezbollah, nested among civilians, the only long-term source of deterrence was to exact enough pain on the civilians — the families and employers of the militants — to restrain Hezbollah in the future.
Israel's military was not focused on the morning after the war in Lebanon — when Hezbollah declared victory and the Israeli press declared defeat. It was focused on the morning after the morning after, when all the real business happens in the Middle East. That's when Lebanese civilians, in anguish, said to Hezbollah: "What were you thinking? Look what destruction you have visited on your own community! For what? For whom?"
Here's what Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah's leader, said the morning after the morning after about his decision to start that war by abducting two Israeli soldiers on July 12, 2006: "We did not think, even 1 percent, that the capture would lead to a war at this time and of this magnitude. You ask me, if I had known on July 11 ... that the operation would lead to such a war, would I do it? I say no, absolutely not."
That was the education of Hezbollah. Has Israel seen its last conflict with Hezbollah? I doubt it. But Hezbollah, which has done nothing for Hamas, will think three times next time. That is probably all Israel can achieve with a nonstate actor.
In Gaza, I still can't tell if Israel is trying to eradicate Hamas or trying to "educate" Hamas, by inflicting a heavy death toll on Hamas militants and heavy pain on the Gaza population. If it is out to destroy Hamas, casualties will be horrific and the aftermath could be Somalia-like chaos. If it is out to educate Hamas, Israel may have achieved its aims. Now its focus, and the Obama team's focus, should be on creating a clear choice for Hamas for the world to see: Are you about destroying Israel or building Gaza?
But that requires diplomacy. Israel de facto recognizes Hamas's right to rule Gaza and to provide for the well-being and security of the people of Gaza — which was actually Hamas's original campaign message, not rocketing Israel. And, in return, Hamas has to signal a willingness to assume responsibility for a lasting cease-fire and to abandon efforts to change the strategic equation with Israel by deploying longer and longer range rockets. That's the only deal. Let's give it a try.