Monday, 30 October 2017

'Mary, Jesus' Mother' is new name for UAE mosque Mohammad Bin Zayed orders name change to ‘consolidate bonds of humanity between followers of different religions’

Abu Dhabi: The Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Mosque in Al Mushrif, a district in the capital Abu Dhabi, was on Wednesday renamed ‘Mariam, Umm Eisa’ — Arabic for ‘Mary, the mother of Jesus’.
The change was ordered by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to “consolidate bonds of humanity between followers of different religions”.

Shaikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of State for Tolerance, thanked Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed for his “wise directives in carrying out this initiative that set a shining example, and a beautiful image of the tolerance and coexistence enjoyed by the UAE”, according to a statement carried by WAM.
Mohammad Mattar Al Kaabi, Chairman of the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments, also thanked Shaikh Mohammad for this initiative.
He added that since the days of Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the UAE has always been keen on tolerance and peaceful coexistence “that is based on justice and brotherliness among all those living in the UAE”.
Al Kaabi added that this was the same approach followed by President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Shaikh Mohammad, as people from more than 200 nations are living in comfort and security in the UAE.

Special figure

Just steps away from the newly-renamed mosque is St Andrew’s Church, an Anglican parish.
Its senior chaplain, Reverend Canon Andrew Thompson, said that he was “delighted” with the news.
“We are delighted that we are celebrating something that we have in common between both our faiths,” he told Gulf News.
“Mary, as the mother of Jesus, is of course a holy, special figure in our communities. She is a woman who symbolises obedience to God. We look forward to growing in deeper understanding with our neighbours, and we celebrate with them the new name of the mosque.”

Generous gesture

The senior pastor of the Evangelical Community Church in Abu Dhabi also hailed the news.
“His Highness Shaikh Mohammad has made another generous gesture of religious tolerance in renaming the mosque,” said Jeramie Rinne.
“The UAE continues to set the pace in this region for peaceful coexistence and cooperation. We are very encouraged and feel blessed to be a part of this nation.”
Amid sectarian conflicts and regional chaos, the UAE has been seeking to boost its national values of tolerance of other faiths.
The Catholic Bishop Paul Hinder, head of the Apostolic Vicariate of Southern Arabia, whose office is only a few meters from the former Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed mosque is delighted about the new name Mariam, Umm Eisa (Mary, Jesus’ Mother) Mosque.
“As Joseph, her spouse, is the patron of the neighbuoring cathedral, we have now a corner of the Holy Family,” the bishop said. He Swiss bishop hails the wise decision of Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed as a sign of tolerance towards all those who venerate Mary, the mother of Jesus, in a particular way.
“She is in a prominent way present in the Bible as well as in the Quran, and constitutes an important bond between Christians and Muslims,” said Bishop Hinder, who is based in Abu Dhabi.
“She is ‘full of grace’, a sign of God’s special election of womanhood and His love for all humanity,” he added. “The bishop is convinced that such a strong sign given by His Highness the Crown Prince will contribute to peace and mutual understanding not only in our country, but in the whole region.”
Ministry of Tolerance
In February last year, the government created the Ministry of Tolerance, appointing Shaikha Lubna as its head.
In June, the UAE Cabinet approved a new National Tolerance Programme based on seven key pillars — Islam, Constitution, Zayed’s legacy and ethics of the UAE, international conventions, archaeology and history, humanity and common values.
This week, a church in Al Ain opened its doors for Maghrib prayers.
The event saw church workers lay down carpets on the wooden floor so that more than 200 Asian Muslim workers could perform prayers.
After hearing the news, several senior Emirati officials in Al Ain called up the church to express their appreciation.
“It was the first time, at least in the UAE, that a church opened its doors for Muslim prayers,” said Bobin Skariya, a worker at the St George Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Simhasana Cathedral.
— With inputs from WAM
http://gulfnews.com/news/uae/culture/mary-jesus-mother-is-new-name-for-uae-mosque-1.2043544

Sunday, 29 October 2017

ISIS is not about religion, it’s about power – Muslim activist

America Created Al-Qaeda and the ISIS Terror Group

Incisive article originally published by GR in September 2014.  
Terror attacks in Western cities (Manchester, Paris, Brussels, Nice) allegedly perpetrated by Al Qaeda-ISIS.
Following the tragic events in Manchester, public opinion should be informed as to who is behind the Islamic State.
The question that should be asked: who are the State sponsors of  Al Qaeda and the ISIS?  (M.Ch. GR Editor, May 23, 2016)
         *     *     *
Much like Al Qaeda, the Islamic State (ISIS) is made-in-the-USA, an instrument of terror designed to divide and conquer the oil-rich Middle East and to counter Iran’s growing influence in the region.
The fact that the United States has a long and torrid history of backing terrorist groups will surprise only those who watch the news and ignore history.
The CIA first aligned itself with extremist Islam during the Cold War era. Back then, America saw the world in rather simple terms: on one side, the Soviet Union and Third World nationalism, which America regarded as a Soviet tool; on the other side, Western nations and militant political Islam, which America considered an ally in the struggle against the Soviet Union.
The director of the National Security Agency under Ronald Reagan, General William Odom recently remarked, “by any measure the U.S. has long used terrorism. In 1978-79 the Senate was trying to pass a law against international terrorism – in every version they produced, the lawyers said the U.S. would be in violation.”
During the 1970’s the CIA used the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt as a barrier, both to thwart Soviet expansion and prevent the spread of Marxist ideology among the Arab masses. The United States also openly supported Sarekat Islam against Sukarno in Indonesia, and supported the Jamaat-e-Islami terror group against Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in Pakistan. Last but certainly not least, there is Al Qaeda.
Lest we forget, the CIA gave birth to Osama Bin Laden and breastfed his organization during the 1980’s. Former British Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, told the House of Commons that Al Qaeda was unquestionably a product of Western intelligence agencies. Mr. Cook explained that Al Qaeda, which literally means an abbreviation of “the database” in Arabic, was originally the computer database of the thousands of Islamist extremists, who were trained by the CIA and funded by the Saudis, in order to defeat the Russians in Afghanistan.
America’s relationship with Al Qaeda has always been a love-hate affair. Depending on whether a particular Al Qaeda terrorist group in a given region furthers American interests or not, the U.S. State Department either funds or aggressively targets that terrorist group. Even as American foreign policy makers claim to oppose Muslim extremism, they knowingly foment it as a weapon of foreign policy.
The Islamic State is its latest weapon that, much like Al Qaeda, is certainly backfiring. ISIS recently rose to international prominence after its thugs began beheading American journalists. Now the terrorist group controls an area the size of the United Kingdom.
In order to understand why the Islamic State has grown and flourished so quickly, one has to take a look at the organization’s American-backed roots. The 2003 American invasion and occupation of Iraq created the pre-conditions for radical Sunni groups, like ISIS, to take root. America, rather unwisely, destroyed Saddam Hussein’s secular state machinery and replaced it with a predominantly Shiite administration. The U.S. occupation caused vast unemployment in Sunni areas, by rejecting socialism and closing down factories in the naive hope that the magical hand of the free market would create jobs. Under the new U.S.-backed Shiite regime, working class Sunni’s lost hundreds of thousands of jobs. Unlike the white Afrikaners in South Africa, who were allowed to keep their wealth after regime change, upper class Sunni’s were systematically dispossessed of their assets and lost their political influence. Rather than promoting religious integration and unity, American policy in Iraq exacerbated sectarian divisions and created a fertile breading ground for Sunni discontent, from which Al Qaeda in Iraq took root.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) used to have a different name: Al Qaeda in Iraq. After 2010 the group rebranded and refocused its efforts on Syria.
There are essentially three wars being waged in Syria: one between the government and the rebels, another between Iran and Saudi Arabia, and yet another between America and Russia. It is this third, neo-Cold War battle that made U.S. foreign policy makers decide to take the risk of arming Islamist rebels in Syria, because Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, is a key Russian ally. Rather embarrassingly, many of these Syrian rebels have now turned out to be ISIS thugs, who are openly brandishing American-made M16 Assault rifles.
America’s Middle East policy revolves around oil and Israel. The invasion of Iraq has partially satisfied Washington’s thirst for oil, but ongoing air strikes in Syria and economic sanctions on Iran have everything to do with Israel. The goal is to deprive Israel’s neighboring enemies, Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Palestine’s Hamas, of crucial Syrian and Iranian support.
ISIS is not merely an instrument of terror used by America to topple the Syrian government; it is also used to put pressure on Iran.
The last time Iran invaded another nation was in 1738. Since independence in 1776, the U.S. has been engaged in over 53 military invasions and expeditions. Despite what the Western media’s war cries would have you believe, Iran is clearly not the threat to regional security, Washington is. An Intelligence Report published in 2012, endorsed by all sixteen U.S. intelligence agencies, confirms that Iran ended its nuclear weapons program in 2003. Truth is, any Iranian nuclear ambition, real or imagined, is as a result of American hostility towards Iran, and not the other way around.
America is using ISIS in three ways: to attack its enemies in the Middle East, to serve as a pretext for U.S. military intervention abroad, and at home to foment a manufactured domestic threat, used to justify the unprecedented expansion of invasive domestic surveillance.
By rapidly increasing both government secrecy and surveillance, Mr. Obama’s government is increasing its power to watch its citizens, while diminishing its citizens’ power to watch their government. Terrorism is an excuse to justify mass surveillance, in preparation for mass revolt.
The so-called “War on Terror” should be seen for what it really is: a pretext for maintaining a dangerously oversized U.S. military. The two most powerful groups in the U.S. foreign policy establishment are the Israel lobby, which directs U.S. Middle East policy, and the Military-Industrial-Complex, which profits from the former group’s actions. Since George W. Bush declared the “War on Terror” in October 2001, it has cost the American taxpayer approximately 6.6 trillion dollars and thousands of fallen sons and daughters; but, the wars have also raked in billions of dollars for Washington’s military elite.
In fact, more than seventy American companies and individuals have won up to $27 billion in contracts for work in postwar Iraq and Afghanistan over the last three years, according to a recent study by the Center for Public Integrity. According to the study, nearly 75 per cent of these private companies had employees or board members, who either served in, or had close ties to, the executive branch of the Republican and Democratic administrations, members of Congress, or the highest levels of the military.
In 1997, a U.S. Department of Defense report stated, “the data show a strong correlation between U.S. involvement abroad and an increase in terrorist attacks against the U.S.” Truth is, the only way America can win the “War On Terror” is if it stops giving terrorists the motivation and the resources to attack America. Terrorism is the symptom; American imperialism in the Middle East is the cancer. Put simply, the War on Terror is terrorism; only, it is conducted on a much larger scale by people with jets and missiles.
Garikai Chengu is a research scholar at Harvard University. Contact him on garikai.chengu@gmail.com

‘CIA and Mossad created ISIS’, says Julian Assange as Wikileaks releases 500k US cables




‘CIA and Mossad created ISIS’, says Julian Assange as Wikileaks releases 500k US cables

WIKILEAKS founder Julian Assange today said the CIA and Mossad were responsible for paving the way for ISIS as the whistle blowing organisation released more than half a million formerly confidential US diplomatic cables dating back to 1979.
On the sixth anniversary of the first infamous “Cablegate” by WikiLeaks, when it releases its first batch of sensitive US files, on November 28 2010, it has expanded its Public Library of US Diplomacy (PLUSD) with 531,525 new diplomatic cables from 1979.
In a statement to coincide with the release of the cables, known as “Carter Cables III”, Mr Assange explained how events which unfolded in 1979, had begun a series of events that led to the rise of ISIS.
He said: “If any year could be said to be the “year zero” of our modern era, 1979 is it.”
Mr Assange added: “In 1979 it seemed as if the blood would never stop.
“Dozens of countries saw assassinations, coups, revolts, bombings, political kidnappings and wars of liberation.”
The Carter Cables III bring WikiLeaks’ total published US diplomatic cable collection to 3.3 million documents.
http://www.awdnews.com/index/cia-mossad-created-isis-says-julian-assange-wikileaks-releases-500k-us-cables/