Sulaiman Abu Ghaith buried in US prison alive

“I have not come here today to seek mercy and I would not seek mercy from anyone but God. Today, and at the same moment where you are shackling my hands and intend to bury me alive, you are at the same time unleashing the hands of hundreds of Muslim youths. And you are removing the dust of their minds. They will join the ranks of the free men soon and very soon the world will see the end of these theatre plays “

Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, spokesperson of Al-Queda – 23rd September 2014 in a US court.

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(From top to down: Photograph from a video, illustration of Ghaith in US custody, an image frame from a video statement by Al-Queda, illustration of trail)

Sulaiman Abu Ghaith is also son-in-law of Osama-Bin-Laden and a founder of Al Wafa al Igatha al Islamia, a charity that acts as a front for al Qaeda’s fund-raising.  The statement was made on Tuesday, 23rd September 2014 through an interpreter before US district judge Lewis Kaplan. Ghaith is a former imam and he chose Stanley Cohen, an orthodox Jewish and a high profile criminal US lawyer to defend him in the US court of law.  Minutes after he made the above statement, the judge Lewis Kaplan imposed the sentence of life in prison.  Earlier, Ghaith was convicted on terrorism charges.

American and European news agencies preferred illustrations of Sulaiman Abu Gahith and avoided real photographs. Some media channels just carried photos or illustrations of Osama-bin-Laden.  Most of the images available on internet are taken from the video footages released by Al-Queda as part of their statements.

US public opposed the lawyer Stanley Cohen who defended Ghaith.  Leaflets handed out near the Manhattan courthouse, where trial was conducted, describe the Jewish attorney as a “traitor” and an “enemy of Jews, Israel and America.” Similar fliers were distributed around his Lower East Side loft. Several family members of the victims of Sept 11 twin tower tragedy attended the trial.

Evangelization by diluting Family system

In October 2014, Pope Francis will convene an Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops.  The topic of the meeting would be “The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization”.  The meeting would explore the ways and means the Churches should go about showing compassion in the context of modern views and practices on sexuality.  In simple words, the meeting would take decisions to relax Church laws related to marriages so that it would become easy for the Church to retain the existing Christians in their fold and convert others to Christianity.

The importance of the meeting can be understood by the fact that only three such meetings have been called since 1965, when Synod of Bishops was created.  Typically, such extraordinary meetings are called when crucial decisions are taken affecting the Church in a significant way.

Francis is continually emphasizing the importance of softness in the conversation about what the Church condones and condemns. There is less emphasis on condemning and more on condoning. The Pope is cleverly exploiting the tone of the message to enhance the impact of the content.  In the October meeting, the Church would take convenient positions on divorce, remarriage and cohabitation – in order to take the message of Christ to wider audience.  A document with details of proposed changes has already been circulated among Bishops. The Vatican’s official position is that remarriage can only happen if a previous marriage is annulled, meaning declared to never have truly existed. Cohabitation is frowned upon.

In mid-September 2014, Pope Francis attended a marriage ceremony where live-in partners were entering into the wedlock.  This is being interpreted as one of the outcome of the October meeting – relaxing rules of the Church to the marriage of co-habitating couples.  It should be seen whether the Church would provide official recognition to the marriage of the divorced.  Marriage itself, like communion, is a sacrament in Catholic theology, and both are a way that the faithful can experience life in community with fellow believers. Local churches currently make their own decisions about serving communion to divorced and remarried, or cohabitating Catholics.  The Catholic Church has a minimal role to play as of now as it is unable to enforce theological guidelines on the masses.  The Church, as an institution, is aimed at bringing the whole world under Christianity.  The discrepancy between the theological guidelines and the popular practices is reducing the Church influence in the public domain. The strategy of the Church remains the same – dominate the public affairs through educational, health and cultural activities. And use the influence accrued due to social activities for conversions.  The October meeting would calibrate the Catholic theology to reduce this conflict between two of its objectives.  The meeting is an attempt to review and consolidate domination in public affairs across regions of the world.

Non-Christian groups point to the focus of the Church towards conversions and its readiness to dilute principles affecting the stability of family life. Catholic Church for the time being may continue to stick a common sense definition of marriage between a man and one woman.  While doing so, Church leaders are providing a vague justification – “This is what marriage is all about: man and woman walking together, wherein the husband helps his wife to become ever more a woman, and wherein the woman has the task of helping her husband to become ever more a man, Here we see the reciprocity of differences.” But compulsions of conversions may change even that somewhere in the future.

According to some analysts, dilution of family set-up through divorce, live-in relationships are encouraged by various Christian denominations over a sustained period.  Many active Christian groups in the west are advocating same sex marriages.  Changing the pattern of how people marry and separate would affect the followers of other religions in a significant way.  By granting official recognition to the dilutions would be seen as a reformative act helping well-established propaganda machinery of the Church.  Those religions who continue to follow stricter marriage laws would be labelled as archaic and unreformable.  When the followers of other religions dwindle in numbers, the Church would be ready to provide a popular alternative.

Guidelines to counter OJBH

Al-Queda has announced a new organization OJBH (Organization of Jihadi Bases in Hindustan) to launch terrorist attacks in India.  In this context,  the following guidelines are provided  for Indians to counter OJBH.

Say no to intolerance:

  • Intolerance is the root cause of terrorism. Intolerance takes many forms.  Insisting that God has only one name, and only one form.  Considering other forms of worship, idol worship, worshipping multiple gods, worshipping trees, animals, rivers and mountains as wrong and objectionable are all manifestation of intolerance.  Insisting that converting others as religious duty or freedom is also a form of intolerance.  Acts of violence, abetting illegal actions based on community support are also included in intolerant acts.  For example, use of horn loudspeakers in Mosques and other religious places is an act of intolerance.  Similarly, using NGO network to provide inducements to achieve conversions also is an intolerant act.  
  • Adopt a good conceptual frame work to identify different forms of intolerance. An understanding of universal values is required

 

Express in your views:

  • Expressing views about intolerant acts.   If someone is engaged in an act of intolerance, let the person know that you are not approving his/her actions.  While opposing intolerance, ensure that your opposition is well within the legal limits.  Do not provide an opportunity to the intolerant people to misinterpret your views.  If the actions of the intolerant are illegal, bring them to the notice of the authorities. 
  • Indian Muslims should be proactive and start expressing their views on Jihad, Shariat, and other controversial aspects of Islam.  They could actively initiate discussion with their non-Mulsim friends and clarify their positions on various issues. 
  • Indians should enhance their communications with other fellow Indians and reaffirm their stance not to encourage intolerant actions, their resolve to promote social harmony and defeat the designs of terrorist outfits across the globe.  Organizations should release press statements, individuals should employ social media to express their view points on these issues.

 

Provide Guidelines to population:

  • Issue Fatwas: Imams  and Islamic scholars of India issue fatwa to all Indian Muslims directing them to fight Jihad perpetrated by ISIS, Al-Queda, and Pakistan based organizations. 
  • Hindu Gurus should educate their disciples to the dangers of intolerance.  The meaning of Dharma, importance of Dharma in everday life has to be taught to the people. And Gurus should tell how Jihad of ISIS, Al-Queda is against Dharma and the need for proactiveness of their disciples in this regard.
  • Christians communications should align against the intolerant actions and attitudes.
  • Political parties should express their opposition to the intolerant acts of any individual or the group as a policy and respond consistently and constructively to maintain social harmony.
  • The Government should publish guidelines to public to deal with various scenarios involving intolerant acts, and monitor the developments, attitudes, and actions disturbing the social harmony.

 

 Action items:

  • Individuals:  Express your opinions and Report any observed intolerant activities to authorities
  • Organizations:  Release statements and demand appropriate responses from government and others
  • Government:  Improve social institutions and processes.    In each case of observed case of intolerance, the active players who are creating problems are to be identified and suitable corrections have to be initiated.

Scotland – opportunity to become independent

A referendum is scheduled on 18th September 2014 in Scotland based on the Scottish Independence Referendum Bill  which was put forward on 21 March 2013.  The referendum question, as recommended by the Electoral Commission, will be “Should Scotland be an independent country?”.  A simple majority for “yes” would create a separate nation and a “no” would continue the present arrangement of continuing with United Kingdom.

Recent findings from opinion polls suggest that there is a surge in ‘Yes’ votes from 39% to 43% and a decline in ‘No’ vote from 61%  to 57% in less than four weeks.  If the trend continues, Scotland would become free.  It is quite unnatural in the present scenario if ‘No’ gets a simple majority. Those who vote for No are considered as suffereing from  system justification.  The term ‘system justification’  is defined as the “process by which existing social arrangements are legitimised, even at the expense of personal and group interest”. It consists of a desire to defend the status quo, regardless of its impacts. It has been demonstrated in a large body of experimental work, which has produced the following surprising results. System justification becomes stronger when social and economic inequality is more extreme. This is because people try to rationalise their disadvantage by seeking legitimate reasons for their position. In some cases disadvantaged people are more likely than the privileged to support the status quo. 

People of Scotland by opting to ‘Yes’ vote would seize the  opportunity to gain independence, ending the 305-year-old political union with England. With independence, Scottish people would benefit economically, socially and would get opportunities to express their creativity. Those who remember the “wars of independence” led by their ancestors 700 years ago and the sacrifices made by William Wallace would vote for fee Scotland.  As an independent state, Scottish independence would promote nuclear disarmament, and democracy.  Independent Scottish people should promote universal values and work towards world peace in the true sense

Notes: The method of execution adopted by England in the case of Scottish freedom fighter is appalling.  Reported violence of ISIS appear to be less intensive.  To dismiss this torture method as an incident of past may not be prudent, especially when we do not understand the roots and dynamics of violence.

William Wallace led a war of independence against Great Briton. He was defeated and captured. His sacrifice may be understood by details of his trial and punishment.  During the trial, on 23 August 1305, Wallace was taken from the hall to the Tower of London, then stripped naked and dragged through the city at the heels of a horse to the Elms at Smithfield.  He was hanged (after drawn), drawn(fastened to a  wooden panel, and drawn by horse to the place of execution) and quartered (chopped into four pieces). After hanging, Wallace was released while he was still alive, emasculated ( removal of the penis and the testicles), eviscerated (removal of viscera i.e., internal organs, especially those in the abdominal cavity) and his bowels burnt before him, beheaded, then cut into four parts. His preserved head (dipped in tar) was placed on a pike atop London Bridge. His limbs were displayed, separately, in Newcastle upon Tyne, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Stirling, and Perth.