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Killing 60 year old Ganaie proves forces can kill any Kashmiri at their will: Jama’at-e-Islami

Srinagar: A 60 year old meat seller Mohammad Abdullah Ganaie from Hussanporabagh Bijbehara was killed in cold blood by a patrolling party of Indian army at Bijbehara when a group of civilians objected to the ruthless beating of a youth. One of the army men fired at said Mohammad Abdullah Ganaie without any justification seriously injuring him. He was taken to Soura institute where he breathed his last yesterday evening. Thousands of people participated in his janaza. This tragic and horrific incident clearly proves that Indian forces have got free license to kill any Kashmiri at their will as there is no fear of accountability for them. Jama’at-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir vehemently denouncing this tragic incident, asks the international human rights bodies to take note of this state-sponsored terrorism and take effective measures to stop this hegemonic misrule of Indian forces who show not the least regard for the human rights of the hapless Kashmiri people who are suffering badly as a nation with all its rights including the basic right of self-determination usurped.

Advocate Zahid Ali

Spokesperson

Jama’at-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir

Published in News

For more than two decades, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been at the forefront of the fight against all forms of what is usually referred to as political Islam in the Gulf and beyond. The Muslim Brotherhood, which is the most obvious manifestation of Islamic activism, has been its primary target.

However, the relationship between the Muslim Brotherhood and the ruling families of the seven Emirates, including the most powerful of the families, the al-Nahyan of Abu Dhabi, was relatively amicable during its beginnings more than 40 years ago.

Like other Gulf states during the 1950s and 1960s, the UAE imported large numbers of professionals from other parts of the Arab world, notably EgyptSyriaJordan and Palestine. The most important sector was education, for which many qualified teachers were needed for the thousands of pupils and students. Some of these Arab expatriates came with intellectual baggage, some were nationalists (Nasserists or Baathists), whereas others were Islamists (mostly affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood but also of Hizb ut-Tahrir). With their presence, these expatriates sought to influence their students and the other nationals with whom they interacted.

Soon after independence in 1971, the earliest cohorts of students who had spent time studying in Egypt and Kuwait returned to the UAE. It was during their time in these countries that the young men had become more closely acquainted with the Muslim Brotherhood and its ideology. In 1974, a group of them founded Jamiat al-Islah (‘reform society’), following the example of the Muslim Brotherhood in Kuwait, which was a pioneer in Islamic activism in the Gulf.

Throughout the 1970s, ideological groups of varied convictions were not only active but permitted and encouraged. They were quick to make use of a new law that allowed and regulated the establishment of social, cultural, media and sports organizations. All groups benefited from the fairly tolerant environment. One of these early organizations was the Student Union. Although it was initially founded by nationalists and Nasserists, Islamist students won the election for its leadership in 1981 and have dominated it ever since.

Following their victory, the Islamist students were invited for an audience with UAE President Sheikh Zayed al-Nahyan. The group included a young man called Sultan bin Kayed al-Qasimi, a member of the Ras al-Khaimah emirate’s ruling family and later the head of the country’s Islamic movement. (Al-Qasimi was arrested in April 2012 and is currently serving a prison sentence for his affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood). Although the Student Union was not regarded as a legal entity, it was recognized and welcomed by the president. Throughout that period, affiliates of the Islamic movement were unrestricted in their social and cultural activities, organizing youth camps and scouts’ outings in the desert as and when they wished.

In the 1980s, the UAE reorganized its national security agency. A former Egyptian security officer, Fuad Allam, who was known for his deep hostility towards and contempt of the Muslim Brotherhood, was recruited from Egypt and put in charge of the process. Allam was accused by many members of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood of personally torturing them during interrogation in the Nasser era. This coincided with a fierce competition at the cultural, intellectual and political levels between the Islamists on the one hand and the nationalists and Nasserists on the other.

By the late 1980s, the UAE authorities, especially in Abu Dhabi, had become increasingly suspicious of the Islamic trend, which they perceived as a potential threat. These fears were fanned by opponents of the trend, some of whom occupied senior positions in various public sector departments.

The honeymoon the Islamists enjoyed under Sheikh Zayed al-Nahyan came to an end in 1987. Sheikh Zayed’s third son, Muhammad bin Zayed, emerged as an influential figure with ambitions to beat his two older brothers to the throne. It is believed that Bin Zayed was personally tutored by individuals who held a deep grudge against the Muslim Brotherhood.

The same year, Bin Zayed tried to unseat the ruler of Sharjah, the third-ranking emirate in the federation. Sharjah’s ruler, Sheikh Sultan al-Qasimi, had been an outspoken critic of some of the policies adopted by the central government in Abu Dhabi. His decision to ban alcoholic drinks in his emirate in 1985 was seen as a coup for the Islamists and one that potentially portrayed Abu Dhabi as un-Islamic. Bin Zayed wanted to replace him with his brother Abd al-Aziz, but Dubai objected and the plan was thwarted in a matter of days. Bin Zayed also suspected that the Islamists in the UAE had sided with Sharjah’s ruler.

Mohammed Bin Zayed Bin Sultan Al-Nahyan

Mohammed Bin Zayed Bin Sultan Al-Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu-Dhabi

 

Guided and advised by former Egyptian security officers, Bin Zayed took charge of the UAE security agency in the early 1990s, a development that proved to be particularly detrimental to the Islamists.

Throughout the 1990s, a plan called ‘drying the springs’ was implemented to exclude Islamists from public office and restrict their activities in the public domain. No Islamists were spared, including those who had no known affiliation or those who were affiliated with apolitical groups such as the Tabligh community. A number of charities and social services NGOs were forced to close, including the Abu Dhabi Charitable Association, the Islamic Relief Committee and a number of local Zakat funds. Koranic study circles operating inside mosques were then closed and banned. A Koranic studies summer project, known as Sheikh Zayed Holy Koran Project, which was initiated jointly by the Ministry of Awqaf and the Ministry of Education in 1983, was shut down completely in 1992. In 1994, Jamiat al-Islah and several of its branches across the emirates were also closed.

The early 1990s saw a number of incidents in which Arab expatriates were detained and/or deported for their Islamic leanings. In 1992, a Palestinian suspected of links to Hamas was arrested, detained and tortured to elicit information about Hamas operations inside the Palestinian territories. This case indicated that Abu Dhabi’s security agencies had been doing business with foreign powers that regarded Hamas as a terrorist organization.

This was followed in the mid-1990s by the arrest and year-long detention of Sheikh Abd al-Munim al-Ali, an Iraqi scholar and leading member of the Iraqi Muslim Brotherhood better known by his pen name Muhammad Ahmad al-Rashid. He was never charged or put on trial. His incarceration and subsequent deportation most probably had to do with his perceived influence on the local Islamic movement.

In 1994, Bin Zayed ordered the establishment of a think tank known as the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research. This centre, intended to be the brain of the modern UAE, had immense influence on most vital institutions, including the Foreign Ministry, the Interior Ministry, the security agency and the Presidential Court. In other words, it was the policy-making think tank for the entire country.

In the meantime, the plan to ‘dry the fountains of Islamic activism’ proceeded at full speed. In 1997, the first two UAE citizens, who worked as Friday imams, were detained. The more power Bin Zayed amassed, the more difficult life became for UAE Islamists.

#EgyptsTurmoil

Sheikh Zayed, who passed away on 2 November 2004, spent the last few years of his life with no real authority. His son had already taken over. The previous year had seen a marked escalation in the campaign against the Muslim Brotherhood in the UAE. This came after Sultan bin Kayed al-Qasimi led a delegation from the Islamic movement that visited Bin Zayed at his request. Bin Zayed told the group that he had decided they could no longer function as an organization. He insisted they had no future and only one option: “Provide us with a list of the names of your associates, disband and live as individuals.”

 

Members of the Muslim Brotherhood in jail in Cairo, Egypt [file photo]

Members of the Muslim Brotherhood in jail in Cairo, Egypt [file photo]

The group rejected the ultimatum. They defended their record as peaceful activists who did no harm to anyone and demanded that Jamiat al-Islah, which the authorities had closed in 1994, be allowed to reopen.

In response, Bin Zayed ordered seven leading members of the movement to be stripped of their UAE citizenship. One of them was Ali Hussein al-Hammadi, founder of the UAE’s Institute of Administrative Development.

Despite the crackdown and restrictions, much of the UAE’s Islamic movement remained intact and functioning, albeit at a much slower pace. However, as soon as the Arab Spring revolutions erupted in Tunisia and Egypt in 2011, the UAE authorities went on the offensive, arresting, interrogating, torturing and sentencing leading Islamic figures and forcing some of them into exile.

In the years since, the UAE has considered fighting the Muslim Brotherhood locally, regionally and globally a top priority. Together with Saudi Arabia, it funded the military coup in Egypt that ousted Mohamed Morsi and has been doing its best to derail the Arab revolutions wherever it can. In both Libya and Yemen, the UAE is working hard to ensure that the Muslim Brotherhood never assumes power. Using its financial influence and political links, the UAE has been turning decision makers in the United States and Western Europe against political Islam in general and the Muslim Brotherhood in particular.

One obvious explanation for this hostility is the personality and mindset of Muhammad bin Zayedhimself, who, having seen the appeal of the Muslim Brotherhood’s ideology and the ability of its members to influence government ministries in the past, has long perceived the group as an existential threat.

First published by Chronicle on 14 June 2017

Published in News

Detention of five members of a family along with a neighbor during the night after the dastardly attack on a bus carrying Amarnath pilgrims from the house of Mushtaq Ahmad Laway in Botengu Islamabad and thrashing all inmates without any legal or moral justification, and thereafter breaking all windows and doors besides ransacking all household goods is an uncivilized act not possible in the civilized world. It's not clear which law these unruly forces personnel follow? It seems that these forces personnel are lawless acting as vagabonds, having no fear of any legal or moral accountability. On one hand, forces personnel along with SOG of police raided the house of Mushtaq Ahmad Laway during the Monday night and after ransacking everything which came in their way, took away five family members and a neighbor who had taken refuge there, were after ruthless beating detained. But on the other hand, DIG and SSP of police concerned deny making any arrests in the area. It proves that these forces have obtained free license to commit atrocities upon the hapless people of Kashmir at their will! What kind of procedure is this to arrest any person? Which law allows this type of brutal investigation? To fetch any confession of a crime under torture is no achievement but simply a brutality. Jama’at-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir while expressing deep concern over this atrocious attitude of the Indian forces against the civilians in Kashmir, appeals the Indian as well as the international human rights bodies to intervene and save the Kashmiri people from this state sponsored tyranny.

Advocate Zahid Ali

Spokesperson

Jama’at-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir

Published in News

It is no coincidence that the deadline Qatar was given to comply with Saudi Arabia’s 13 demands fell on 3 July, the fourth anniversary of the military coup in Egypt that ousted the country’s first democratically elected president.

The link between the two days was made explicit by propagandists for the Saudi and Emirati regimes. On 2 July, Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, the former police chief of Dubai, tweeted: “On 3 July Morsi was ousted. On 3 July Qatar will be ousted. Is it a coincidence?”

The week before, Abdulrahman al-Rasheed, the former general manager of the Saudi-owned Al Arabiya TV, wrote of Qatar: “It is threatening and warning that the confrontation will be similar to what happened at the ‘Safwan tent’ but we fear for Doha as it may be like the ‘Rabaa Square!'”

When an ally commits acts like the massacre of Rabaa square in August 2013 that “likely amounted to crimes against humanity” – these are Human Rights Watch’s words not mine – the normal reaction is to distance yourself from it.

But these are not normal times. The sponsors of the coup in Egypt not only boast about what happened, but also threaten to use the same tactics on their disobedient Gulf neighbour.

They have become drunk with power. If they wield a big stick, they expect everyone to cower. Bahrain did. Qatar, so far, has not.

The final chapter

July 3, 2013 was a pivotal event for all sides. For the youth, and the forces which toppled two dictators in Tunisia and Egypt, it was a crushing blow.

For the Gulf monarchies who financed Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, it was the start of the counter-revolution that would shore up their absolute power, kick free elections or any form of parliamentary accountability into the next decade, and leave them with their wealth.

The attempted coup in Turkey last year and the campaign against Qatar today marks nothing less than the final chapter of an operation started four years ago.

Qatar supported the political opposition in Egypt and elsewhere in the region. It gave the Arab Spring a voice, through the reporting of Al Jazeera. Silencing Qatar is thus central to the success of the whole four-year operation. This is the driving force behind the blockade and sanctions today.

The more Saudi, the UAE and Egypt insist that their campaign is about ending the funding of terrorists, the more examples come to light of the collusion of their states with al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (IS) group, evidence which they are now keen to sweep under the table.

I have already written about the release of 1,239 inmates on death row by Prince Bandar bin Sultan, on condition they “go to jihad in Syria”, according to a Saudi Interior Ministry document dated 17 April 2012.

On Wednesday, Middle East Eye published UN documents, dated 3 February this year, in which Egypt placed a hold on a US proposal to add IS entities in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Libya and Afghanistan-Pakistan to the UN list of sanctioned groups and individuals. They stopped it again in May.

As Madawi al-Rasheed, visiting professor at the Middle East Centre at LSE said, this was “a classic case” of Saudi Arabia not wanting to draw attention to its own terrorism problem.

Bring back Mubarak

Four years ago, the Egyptians who poured onto the streets on 30 June 2013 to demand that Morsi step down looked to the army and to Sisi as a source of stability. Today, however, Egypt is less stable, weaker and poorer by every parameter.

Between 30 and 40 percent of the country is living on $2 a day or less. In May, inflation rose to 30 percent, the highest in three decades. Fuel prices have increased by 200 percent in three years. On 3 July 2013, the US dollar was worth less than six Egyptian pounds. Today, it is worth more than 18. Even the official rate of unemployment –  12.4 percent –  is spiralling and the real rate is much higher.

This for a country that has been given at least $50bn from three Gulf States, Saudis, UAE and Kuwait, and a further $12bn bailout from the IMF.

 

Image of ousted Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak [TG Post/Facebook]

Image of ousted Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak [TG Post/Facebook]

Four years on, the human cost of Sisi’s iron hand is high. The following is a snapshot of his repression, from figures drawn from the Arab Organisation for Human Rights: 2,934 extrajudicial killings, 58,966 arbitrary detentions of whom over 1,000 are under age; 30,177 court sentences; 6,863 military trials; eight politically motivated executions; 11 more on death row. In Sinai, 3,446 civilians have been killed and 5,766 detained, and more than 2,500 houses demolished to establish a buffer zone on the border with Gaza.

Many who supported Sisi in his coup against Morsi have fled in exile, or been imprisoned. The cleavage between secular and Islamist forces which filled Tahrir Square and loomed so large in Morsi’s day has been rendered irrelevant today as both have joined the ranks of the politically oppressed. When Egypt blocked access to 21 websites, the leftist independent Mada Masr was notably one of them. It was no supporter of the Brotherhood.

Today’s enemy of the state is a prominent human rights lawyer, Khalid Ali, who shot to prominence over his defence of a case in January against a government plan to transfer two uninhabited Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia. He has been detained for “offending public decency” as have eight members of his Bread and Freedom Party for “misusing social media to incite against the state” and “insulting the president,” according to the party’s legal advisor.

When the cry now is to bring back Mubarak, or rather his son Gamal, it is not an ironic one. Mubarak is remembered as a competent oligarch in comparison to the venal, stupid, and blood-stained Sisi.

The other side of the story

Egypt today is on its knees, so weakened by misrule it may never again recover. But this is only one side of the story.

The major fault line in the Arab world, which the uprisings of 2011 could not surmount, is created by the distribution of wealth. With the exception of oil rich Iraq and Algeria, both crippled by clientism and corruption, the wealth is on one side of the Arab world and the masses are on the other. Without the rich part of the Arab world investing its wealth in its people, the Arab spring was doomed. This is felt as keenly today as it was in 2011.

To look at the wealthiest Arab countries is to be aghast at how much of it there is and on whom it is spent. The rankings of sovereign wealth funds tell an interesting story. Firstly that there is immense wealth – the sovereign wealths fund of the GCC amount to $2.8 trillion. At $320bn, Qatar is a modest player, although its population is tiny. Saudi, UAE, Kuwait and Bahrain have assets valued at $2.53 trillion.

Look closer and there is something that does not make sense about the relative size of these funds. The funds held by six Emirati sovereign funds amount to just under $1.3 trillion while the two top Saudi funds are valued at $679bn, only half that. You would expect it to be the other way round. Five extended families in the Middle East own about 60 percent of the world’s oil and the Saud family controls more than one-third of that.

Follow the Saudi money

This is a puzzle and the answer may lie in the black hole of Saudi’s state accounting, something that lawyers on the New York and London stock exchanges will be interested in investigating now that up to five percent of Aramco, the Saudi state oil company, will be up for sale.

In 2003, Robert Baer, a former CIA man who wrote a book on the subject, estimated the size of the family to be 30,000 of whom, he wrote then, between 10,000 and 12,000 were on royal stipends ranging from $800 to $270,000 a month. These figures are 14-years-old and would have gone up considerably since.

The cost of funding the Saud family today can be glimpsed by the magically changing numbers for government revenue provided the General Authority for Statistics (GAS) yearbook. In its scrutiny of the changing figures, the Arab Digest published in May claims that huge sums of money are disappearing from the state coffers – an average of $133bn annually.

The transparency that is required on the New York and London stock exchanges about the forthcoming sale of shares in Aramco is shedding an unwelcome spotlight on the central question that the US government has been asking itself about its Saudi ally – just how much is the House of Saud creaming off?

Taxing foreign workers

They are certainly not spending this money on their people, and are scrambling to find other sources of revenue, such as foreign workers. Some 11 million foreign workers are going to be forced to pay in advance for their dependents to live in the country, as a condition of getting their entry visa. Each foreigner will pay $319 for each dependent this year, which will rise to $1,070 by 2020.

Contrary to the image, most of these are not rich expat Brits, but low-paid workers from the Arab world and the Indian subcontinent. Rather than pay these sums, they will send their families back, as they will their salaries. The Saudi state will lose twice over.

The net external assets fell by $36bn in the first quarter of this year, and have dropped from $737bn in August 2014 to $529bn in December 2016.

This is evidence of corruption on a vast scale and suggests that the state coffers are haemorrhaging funds to keep the royal family in the life style to which they have grown accustomed.

The revolution cometh

Now just imagine if in 2011, Saudi Arabia and the Emirates,  the richest countries of the Arab world, had taken a different decision. Imagine that instead of investing in a counter-revolution and another decade of repression, they had chosen to invest in democracy and in people.

Imagine that when governments were elected after the first free elections the region had known, they didn’t need donor conferences. Or a Marshall plan. The money was already there. All it needed was for one part of the Arab world to have faith in and invest in the other part. For a culture that uses the word brother a lot, fraternity is in short supply.

The Saudis have committed themselves to spend up to $500bn on US arms sales.Donald Trump is very grateful, so thankful in fact that he is cutting his aid to Tunisia, the only Arab state where there are real elections, a real parliament and a functioning although faltering democracy. It is desperately short of foreign investment.  Instead of getting an insignificant $177m, it will now get a paltry $54.4m. US aid to the autocratic regimes of Egypt and Jordan only marginally decreases, while Israel continues to get its $3.1billion. As an expression of American values under Trump, these figures are hard to beat.

The rich and powerful chose instead to invest in repression. Four years on, millions of Sunnis are homeless. Mosul, Iraq’s second city, is in ruins. Cholera has broken out in Yemen on Saudi’s doorstep. Devastated by a 27-month war conducted by the Saudi-led coalition, at least 10,000 people have been killed, 3.1 million people are internally displaced and 14.1 million are food insecure.

Does this carnage make the kingdom’s southern border any more secure? Do Yemenis feel beholden to the Saudis after what they have experienced?

As with Egypt, so with the region as a whole. At the very point in which the Saudis and Emiratis seem victorious, they are sowing the seeds for a huge new revolutionary wave to come. This time it will not be based on democracy, the rule of law and non-violence. Nor will it be self-restrained or controllable. But it is coming.

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Al'Quraan

The woman and the man guilty of illegal sexual intercourse, flog each of them with a hundred stripes. Let not pity withhold you in their case, in a punishment prescribed by Allah, if you believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a party of the believers witness their punishment. (This punishment is for unmarried persons guilty of the above crime but if married persons commit it, the punishment is to stone them to death, according to Allah's Law).

Al'Quraan Surah Noor

Prophet Mohammad PBUH

Narrated: Abu Huraira (R.A) that a man said to the Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam: "Advise me! "The Prophet (PBUH) said, "Do not become angry and furious." The man asked (the same) again and again, and the Prophet said in each case, "Do not become angry and furious." [Al-Bukhari; Vol. 8 No. 137]

Sunan Abu-Dawud.

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