Jun 302014

By Ibrahimi Qurani, www.ahl-alquran.com

The topic of this article is intentionally provocative. Despite that provocativeness this article will ask tough and constructive questions. The criticism is aimed at changing the mental perspective of Muslims and orienting this perspective towards a more successful outlook. If Muslims can come to grasp with the truths that will be laid out below, I believe the status, reputation and spiritual strength of all Muslims will see a great rise. I don’t mean to be a fault finder but truth is truth. It is only through recognizing our faults and understanding that they are bad that we can begin to make any real progress.

Traditional Islam:

Traditional Islam is just plain old bad. There is no reason why a Muslim should call him or herself a Muslim just because his or her parents, grandparents or entire nation claims Islam. This leads to Muslims who have not thought once, let alone twice, about what they believe and why they believe it. If the only reason you are a Muslim is because your parents, family or culture is considered Islamic then you are not a believer in any sense of the word. The Quran is chock full of examples denouncing this sort of traditional religion. Yes, most of these reproachable traditionalists were idol worshippers in some sort of way, but the moral of the Quran’s stories is not only ‘don’t worship idols’. It is also ‘don’t follow the tradition of your forefathers blindly.’ The prophets of God (Salla Allahu ‘Alaihim wa sallam) were showing their people that it was because they followed their cultures and traditions blindly that they were duped into worshipping things that had no power and in many cases were products of human imagination. Point taken?

If you have not really gotten to the bone, the roots, the fundamental foundations and all of the specifics of what you believe then you need to begin your journey now. If that road leads you to rejection of Islam then so be it. Hopefully, it will strengthen not only your faith, but your ability to think, reason, critique and, most importantly, self-critique. The only thing I ask you not to do is to come up with half-baked, unreasonable ideas and use them as a crutch to reject Islam, to do whatever you feel like doing, or to unjstuly attack Muslims in order to gain fame in the Western World. Ayan Hirsi and Irshad Manji come to mind. The former is more malicious than the latter. If you are not familiar with them look them up, read their books (but don’t buy the books) and watch a few of their debates and you will understand. Don’t know Classical Arabic? Learn it. Don’t make excuses. But if you don’t know why you do what you do in the name of Islam and you can’t get it to concur with all of the Quran, then know that you are doing more harm to yourself and to Islam than good. It is better that you cease, desist and educate yourself. You will be doing God more of a service if you really believe in Him and you know why.

Passing the Buck:

Most of the errors I see in Islam can be directly linked to the above. Everyday Muslims who ask others and themselves signficant questions that need to be answered logically and with scripture end up passing the buck to some scholar who has all the credentials but somehow doesn’t know what he’s talking about. How arrogant of me, you say. Well, some scholars are genuine and contribute real answers that help to educate everyday Muslims who seek to understand what they believe in and why. In fact, all of Islam’s ills can be traced back to people and leaders that are not willing to find solid answers to solid questions. Can suicide be considered a sacrifice for Allah? The Quran is clear. It says “Do not kill yourselves.” Is it Quranically legal to kill your enemy by poisoning his drink, a drink you would also have to consume to achieve your goal, thereby killing yourself and your enemy? No. Contrary to that English expression ‘The road to Hell is paved with good intentions,’ (By the way I hate this expression and the intolerance that it promotes) quranically, intent is everything. In war one’s goal is to eliminate the wrongdoer, not the innocent and the righteous. You are to try your best and if you fail may God reward you. But we are never to take even our own innocent lives intentionally in any struggle!

Then there is the problem of the Hadeeth. First come the buzzphrases: Hadeeth rejectors reject the Sunnah i.e. the word of the prophet (Muhammad of course SA’AS), etc. etc. The truth is that Muslims have failed to ask what the Hadeeth really are. They are rumors “verified” by a process that cares more about the reputations of its narrators (many of whom had died long before this verification process began) than its content or how much it is in line with the Quran. With this truth comes the often asked, often dismissed, yet still very important Sunni retort: If you reject hadeeth then you have to reject the Quran as it was preserved in the same way the Hadeeth were.

Quranists usually follow this up with a litany of unproven theories about the early and complete written preservation of the Quran as well as a number of Quranic verses pointing to how extra-Quranic religious authorities are unQuranic. I agree with the last line of reasoning. However, the question still goes unanswered. So what is the response that will keep Quranists from babbling imaginative theories that make them look ignorant? What will help us be able to confront this poignant question?

The first part of the answer is that Quranists should eliminate their disdain for the word sunnah, and just understand that the sunnah of our last prophet is most reliably found in the Quran. Not in any hadeeth. The second part of the answer can be stated in one word: Tawaatur. Quranists don’t need to reject hadeeths just because they are hadeeths, and not the Quran. They have to have a real reason because, afterall, rumors can be true! In Surah 24:11-15 and in other places we see how the Quran validates rumors that have 4 or more (eye) witnesses. Tawaatur (or mutawaatir) hadeeth are the only hadeeth that fit this description. A pleasant suprise is that the Quran was preserved in a Tawaatur fashion. Yes, there were texts of the Quran very early on but not only were the textual compilations often scattered and incomplete, early Arabic scripts were severely deficient. Staple letters of the alphabet could not be distinguished from each other.

So what is Tawaatur? Al-Jahiz in his book Fakhrus-sudaani ‘alaa al-bidaani: “The Blackman’s boast to the Whiteman” mentions Tawaatur and why only these sorts of Hadeeth can be trusted (This is also a plug for this book which everyone, especially Middle Easterners and anyone of African descent must read). Tawaatur is when 4 or more people have witnessed a saying. In the case of a hadeeth of the last prophet, not only must 4 or more companions have witnessed him saying or doing something but 4 or more witnesses must have witnessed each and every one of those companions say that they heard or saw the last prophet do or say something. The number of narrating witnesses grows exponentionally.

There must never be less than 4 people witnessing any saying or action of another if it is to be considered tawaatur. The Quran was preserved in this manner and as such is mutawaatir. Do we have any hadeeth like this? The only hadeeth that I have come across with a tawaatur status that has even been considered has to do with the last prophet wiping his feet during ablution with socks and without. If that is all the mutawaatir hadeeth our hadeeth scholars could scrounge up, well . . .enough said. Ahadi hadeeth which have just one narrator somewhere or everywhere in the chain are Quranically unacceptable. Hadeeth with less than 4 narrators somewhere or everywhere in the chain are Quranically unacceptable as well. The only loophole to this would be if a spouse narrates a saying about his or her spouse. If the other spouse denies it or contradicts the narration then no story is to be taken.

That leads us to the Sirah, or the life story of the last prophet. As much as I respect Dr. Subhi for his role in leading and supporting Quranists everywhere, not even he has been able to give a satisfactory answer concerning this issue. Our tradtional story comes from an Islamic figure named Ibn Ishaaq. The interesting thing is that there are no isnaads (mutwaatir or non-mutawaatir) and it would seem that we are taking his work, based on rumor, on his word alone. Perhaps he does cite 4 or more eyewtinesses, or stories from spouses of eyewitnesses as it concerns certain aspects of the sirah. In that case we can redeem his work in someway. Nonetheless, until we find out, we shoud do as the Quran suggests to us and not “follow in the footsteps of what” we “do not understand.”

Lastly, I’d like to mention the myth that the Quran is somehow word for word the same book that God revealed to our last prophet. There are about 10 different Qira’at (readings) of the Quran. Their words do differ and the diacritics (dots) are different. We need to stop allowing Muslims to believe this myth about the absolute perfection of the Quran’s preservation. What we need to teach, instead of the 7 ahruf story, is that Classical Arabic dialects of the last prophet’s day had different modes of pronunciation concerning certain letters and combinations of letters. The ommission of the hamza in nabi’un that allows it to be said and written as nabiyyun is a perfect example of this. In studying the different Qira’at, the pronunciations employed in tajweed and anomolies within the Quranic text we can understand Classical Arabic better.

We should realize that the different voweling and occasional complete difference of words between the Qira’aat shows that people did make mistakes in their efforst to preserve the Quran. What is still amazing is that every single last Qira’at when compared together share a common meaning! These differences amount to less than 3 percent of the entire book, yet where the differences appear there is a complete consensus between the readings in meaning. Knowing this can also serve as a tool to help us with seemingly ambiguious or akward passages. Let’s stop passing the buck and take some responsiblity. When we, as Muslims, pass the buck we open ourselves up to be seduced by lies and falsities of all kinds.

Islam is not answering the needs of the people:

First and foremost people need progressive and voluntary organization. Instead of fake Islamic governments or oppressive islamic governments that promote corrupt religious establishments that seek to control the minds of people and think that everyone can be made to conform to the ways of some particular form of Islam, we need voluntary organization with a Quran-centered premise that not only fulfills people’s needs to belong but also acts a a channel to express their potential in a free-society. Bottom-line, groups get things done. And groups with an agenda get more things done.

Independence is the key. Dependency is the basic component in an equation that ends in poverty and exploitation. High levels of independence as it concerns food, transportation, shelter, water etc. is what has ensured the success and freedom of any people. The more efficent any community is at meeting these needs the more they can ensure both a quality and free life for themselves. They can even outsource in order to bring wealth into their community. I see this agenda in the Quran and even from a Classical Arabic perspective. Richness is Ghinaa’ in Arabic and it really means independence. We see this in phrases like maa aghnaa ‘ankum maalukum. Aghnaa here means to ‘free up, to make independent.’ The Quran employs this word usually in denouncement of people who somehow think that they are independent of God. Istighnaa’ is a word found in the Quran that illustrates a feeling of superiority because you do not need others and are indepedent, free and not accountable to anyone. The Quran attacks the feeling some of us have that we are independent of and not accountable to God. The word literally means ‘to deem oneself rich.’

So what is real wealth and real success? It is independence from others, and a complete lack of having to depend on others to survive or thrive. We all depend on Allah but we as believers in the Quran should see that the real way to become successful and to help others become successful is to break the chains of dependency and to become patrons and protectors (Awliyaa’) of each other. Take for instance the word ‘Maal’. It means wealth and money but its most original meaning is ‘cattle.’ Why? Because you can have all of the gold you want but you still need someone to value that gold and trade with you to live. If you have cattle, God’s green earth and of course God’s blessings (which he even bestows on the wretched who deny him) you have meat, milk and even skins for shelter. You can’t eat, drink or clothe yourself in gold. Remember, richness from a Classical Arabic perspective equals the ability to be independent of others. And poverty? You guessed it! Dependency. We see in the Quran ‘Lord, of any favor you can give me I am in need.’ The Arabic for ‘in need’ here is Faqeerun. The word is usually used for being poor.

The poor are usually more dependent on others to survive than the rich. We see this reality reflected in the Classical Arabic linguistic perspective. In this aspect the reality of then is still the reality of today, despite what the perpetuators of our consumer societies would like you to believe. If your livelihood depends on your servitude to strangers in order to pay for your food and shelter that also belong to strangers then you are really not rich. You are poor, even if you think you are living well. You are a needy person who needs to be exploited by others in order to survive. Slaves have lived well and have been horribly exploited. But a slave is a slave, no matter how well he lives. We should seek to only be dependent on Allah! And, if need be, on our faithful brethren.

To reiterate and further clarify, as followers of the Quran we need to understand that organization that allows us to manifest our wills as servants of God through the Quran is necessary. We also need to understand that if we really want to address our needs and the needs of others we need to focus on becoming independent of the chains that bind us. In particular, the economic chains. The Islamic organization that came closest to this Quranic agenda was the Nation of Islam under Elijah Muhammad. Admittedly, the Nation of Islam is a fringe group that borders on being unislamic considering its creed and some of its religious beliefs only. However, they understood that the growth of a community through the ideas of doing for self, becoming as independent as possible and almost exclusive mutual patronage is what guarantees success to that community.

Today there are many basic, yet novel, technologies being used in the U.S., Africa, Asia and the Indian subcontinent that would benefit us and help us along in this goal. For energy needs we can look to Biodigestors, Woodgasifiers, solar energy,hybridization of vehicles, wind and seawater hydrogen technologies. For sustainable housing there is superadobe, strawbale technology, rammed earth and more. For infrastructure and food independence

 Posted by on June 30, 2014 at 1:13 pm  Comments Off on “The Faults of Islam”
Jun 222014

My humble proposal is that Truth, or that which is good, correct, real and wholesome for the involuntary actions of human beings, does not necessarily require a champion.  What in fact requires a champion, an activist, an intervener or an agent is the eradication of falsehood. By falsehood, I mean those actions and beliefs that are false or harmful.  At best, Truth requires a confirmer.  This is exactly the role of the Prophets of God, upon whom be peace.  Look at this verse from the holy scriptures:

  Surah Fatir, Verse 31:
وَالَّذِي أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ هُوَ الْحَقُّ مُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ بِعِبَادِهِ لَخَبِيرٌ بَصِيرٌ

“That which We have revealed to thee of the Book is the Truth,- confirming what is in front of it, for Allah is assuredly- with respect to His Servants – well acquainted and Fully Observant.”

Most translators of the arabic have interpreted the arabic text from which the translation “in front of it” is derived here as the sscriptures that preceded the presently referred to scripture.  It is also very plausible, I believe to interpret “in front of it” (arabic: “bayna yadayhi”, literally “between its two  hands”) as what was “clearly apparent” prior to the present revelation referred to.  This plausible intepretation would clearly then confirm that Truth is generally very clearly apparent to humanity, but that the Prophets and the Scriptures come to confirm what, instinctively seemed True to human beings.  Take murder for instance.  The scriptures do declare it as an abomination, but any person will agree that any human being, even in the absence of any scriptures will reject murder as an evil.

But I, in no way want to diminish the noble station of scriptures and Prophets. As stated above, the first duty of a champion of Truth is to expose that which is fallacious or harmful.  The concept of what is fallacious or harmful is based 100% on our conception of where authority derives from.  If we make clergymen our primary source of authority, then religious gobbledy-gook will often become our treasured concepts.  Religious gobbledy-gook include such beliefs as are found in all major religions, and really does not tally with pure human instinctive justice and rationality.  At the risk of offending Christians, Muslims and Jews, I want to identify one item of nonsense from each of these three:

Christianity: The original sin or the concept of inheriting or deserving responsibility for the crime of someone at a completely independent space and time.
Judaism: The concept of a “Chosen or Favorite Nation”, when all human beings are physiologically almost identical, and genetically almost completely integrated.
Islam: The claim that two (Muslim) factions can be at war resulting in tens of thousands of deaths, whilst both can be equally deserving of God’s acceptance and grace. (The Siffin war between Ali and Muawiya took place during the Calliphate of Ali, and Sunni Muslims believe that both Muawiya and Ali will received God’s reward; Ali can expect two rewards, while Muawiya will only  receive one reward.) An absurd belief if ever there was one!

So the true protagonist or hero of God must take on the duty of denouncing and repudiating the nonsense, and firstly the INVALID sources of authority.  The paid clergy is one such false source.  Another false source of authority is narrow human cravings or desires. The first duty of the heroes of God is to announce God ONLY, in the way that His majesty is manifested in nature, as the only real source of authority.  Nature, as the first sign of God screams out balance, harmony, mercy, justice, rationality, love and beauty.  A mother does not need to be taught to love her baby.  A father does not need to be taught to care for his partner and children; not unless a mother or father have been brainwashed into denying their natural instincts. 

The other noble purpose of these is the sacralisation or sanctification of Truth as well as the clarification of issues that are borderline or “grey” to us.  They serve as a codification or encription of Truth.  Removers of doubt, if it still existed.  The scriptures and the Prophets,  are a corroboration of what was naturally apparent or instinctive.  If there was no conscious creatures in the world, there would only have been unconscious nature, which would have been 100% aligned or involuntary aligned to the natural order as evolved by God.  Consciousness as found in human beings, brings about the prospect of voluntary action; that is, actions emanating from a consciousness other than God’s.  Where there is a consciousness other than that of God, there is the prospect of actions, other than that sanctioned by God.  It also creates the need for agents that will constantly exert themselves towards the alignment of those other consciousnesses and actions to the ONE pure and True conscience of God.  This is what is referred to as the act of sacralisation.

 Posted by on June 22, 2014 at 7:18 pm  Comments Off on Does Truth need a champion?
Jun 212014

Speech by fighter Khanyisile Tshabalala in response to President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address, parliament, June 19 2014

Hon. Speaker
Hon. Pres. of the Republic
Honourable Members

The power of white monopoly capital to dispossess, oppress and exploit Black people, especially Africans, cannot be overstated, especially in instances, of a willing conscious ally in the form of an African government. In the words of one of the largest white monopoly capitalists, Amschel Rothschild, founder of the House of Rothschild, capital does indeed run politics, and he makes no apology to that. He said, and I quote, “Let me issue and control a nation’s money and I care not who writes the laws.”

Honourable Speaker, the weight of what was said back in the eighteenth century, continues to hold true today, for what Amschel Rothschild was insinuating is that the law-makers of a state are kept at ransom by those who issue and control its money, simply because the dictates and wants of capital are directly opposed to those of the poor people… In this struggle of opposites capital wins by the magic words, control (of our natural resources), and lack of care, because government requires capital to deliver its elaborate plans, and exactly at that point, government does anything to appease capital.

Within this  context therefore, despite the earnestness accompanying the grand promises of delivering the Black masses out of poverty, the truth is, this has been slow and sometimes characterised by the ‘one step forward and two steps backward’.

You see Rothschild himself said it, and it is the view of white monopoly, ‘they do not care for government, (especially the one that has by choice, elected to relinquish its right to its own National wealth in the form of mineral resources), but cares for capital … After all, it needs it to function! This begins to unpack the ruthless control of capital over the ruling party, but on the other hand, it explains its terrible fear for white capital, and its readiness to attract it, appease it, and entertain its madness of drastically underpaying our miners.

For example, Lonmin pays rock drill operators an equivalent of R80 000 rands p/m in Australia, but for the same work in Marikana, Lonmin is refusing a mere R12 500! Yet the ruling party sees nothing wrong with this scenario, instead we are told that industrial action hurts Foreign Direct Investment. So, White Monopoly Capital hurts our miners in a brutal manner, holds them against the wall, and when they cry foul, they are reminded not to hurt Lonmin.

Our mineral resources continue to create menial jobs in our country, while they create technical jobs in Europe and elsewhere. Whenever we see the gold stacked together in the evening bulletin, let us from today remember that it is on its way out, to create engineering, technical and other sophisticated jobs in a white man’s country, and it shall come back as a finished product. This goes for our other minerals.

Hon. Speaker, at this point, I just want to take us back once again to the statement, “Let me issue and control a nation’s money and I care not who writes the laws,” and this time complete it as it was completed a century later by the Rothschild brothers. They said:

“The few who understand the system will either be so interested in its profits or be so dependent upon its favours that there will be no opposition from that class, while on the other hand, the great body of people, mentally incapable of comprehending the tremendous advantage that capital derives from the system, will bear its burdens without complaint, and perhaps without even suspecting that the system is inimical to their interests.”

Hon. President, we refuse to bear the burden of political freedom without economic freedom. We are not only suspecting that the system is inimical to the interests of the great majority of our people, especially the workers, we know it for a fact because nearly a quarter of South Africans continue to live below the breadline.


Hence in the spirit of RADICAL ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION we as the EFF continue to extend our hand = here is an opportunity for a two-thirds majority, that will allow you to finally put foreign white monopoly capital in its place… under political power = under YOUR government! Now (Mr. President) … NOT in 2030!

Issued by the Economic Freedom Fighters, June 19 2014

 Posted by on June 21, 2014 at 3:07 pm  Comments Off on Politicsweb – Together the ANC and EFF can put foreign white monopoly capital in its place – Khanyisile Tshabalala – Top stories
Jun 202014

Mike Whitney, counterpunch.org

“It is no longer plausible to argue that ISIS was a result of unintentional screw ups by the US. It is a clear part of a US strategy to break up the Iran-Iraq-Syria-Hezbollah alliance. Now that strategy may prove to be a total failure and end up backfiring, but make no mistake, ISIS IS the strategy.”

– Lysander, Comments line, Moon of Alabama

“US imperialism has been the principal instigator of sectarianism in the region, from its divide-and-conquer strategy in the war and occupation in Iraq, to the fomenting of sectarian civil war to topple Assad in Syria. Its cynical support for Sunni Islamist insurgents in Syria, while backing a Shiite sectarian regime across the border in Iraq to suppress these very same forces, has brought the entire Middle East to what a United Nations panel on Syria warned Tuesday was the “cusp of a regional war.”

– Bill Van Auken, Obama orders nearly 300 US troops to Iraq, World Socialist Web Site

Barack Obama is blackmailing Nouri al-Maliki by withholding military support until the Iraqi Prime Minister agrees to step down. In other words, we are mid-stream in another regime change operation authored by Washington. What’s different about this operation, is the fact that Obama is using a small army of jihadi terrorists –who have swept to within 50 miles of Baghdad–to hold the gun to Mr. al Maliki’s head. Not surprisingly, al Maliki has refused to cooperate which means the increasingly-tense situation could explode into a civil war. Here’s the scoop from the Guardian in an article aptly titled “Iraq’s Maliki: I won’t quit as condition of US strikes against Isis militants”:

“A spokesman for the Iraqi prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, has said he will not stand down as a condition of US air strikes against Sunni militants who have made a lightning advance across the country.

Iraq’s foreign minister, Hoshyar Zebari, on Wednesday made a public call on al-Arabiya television for the US to launch strikes, but Barack Obama has come under pressure from senior US politicians to persuade Maliki… to step down over what they see as failed leadership in the face of an insurgency…

The White House has not called for Maliki to go but its spokesman Jay Carney said that whether Iraq was led by Maliki or a successor, “we will aggressively attempt to impress upon that leader the absolute necessity of rejecting sectarian governance”. (Iraq’s Maliki: I won’t quit as condition of US strikes against Isis militants, Guardian)

Obviously, the White House can’t tell al Maliki to leave point-blank or it would affect their credibility as proponents of democracy. But the fix is definitely in and the administration’s plan to oust al Maliki is well underway. Check out this clip from the Wall Street Journal:

“A growing number of U.S. lawmakers and Arab allies, particularly Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, are pressing the White House to pull its support for Mr. Maliki. Some of them are pushing for change in exchange for providing their help in stabilizing Iraq, say U.S. and Arab diplomats.” (U.S. Signals Iraq’s Maliki Should Go, Wall Street Journal)

Pay special attention to the last sentence: “Some of them are pushing for change in exchange for providing their help in stabilizing Iraq”. That sounds a lot like blackmail to me.

This is the crux of what is going on behind the scenes. Barack Obama and his lieutenants are twisting al Maliki ‘s arm to force him out of office. That’s what the Thursday press conference was all about. Obama identified the group called the Isis as terrorists, acknowledged that they posed a grave danger to the government, and then breezily opined that he would not lift a finger to help. Why? Why is Obama so eager to blow up suspected terrorists in Yemen, Pakistan and Afghanistan and yet unwilling to do so in Iraq? Could it be that Obama is not really committed to fighting terrorists at all, that the terror-ruse is just a fig leaf for much grander plans, like global domination?

Of course, it is. In any event, it’s plain to see that Obama is not going to help al Maliki if it interferes with Washington’s broader strategic objectives. And, at present, those objectives are to get rid of al Maliki, who is “too tight” with Tehran, and who refused to sign Status Of Forces Agreement in 2011 which would have allowed the US to leave 30,000 troops in Iraq. The rejection of SOFA effectively sealed al Maliki’s fate and made him an enemy of the United States. It was only a matter of time before Washington took steps to remove him from office. Here’s a clip from Obama’s press conference on Thursday that illustrates how these things work:

Obama: “The key to both Syria and Iraq is going to be a combination of what happens inside the country, working with moderate Syrian opposition, working with an Iraqi government that is inclusive, and us laying down a more effective counterterrorism platform that gets all the countries in the region pulling in the same direction. Rather than try to play whack-a-mole wherever these terrorist organizations may pop up, what we have to do is to be able to build effective partnerships.”

What does this mean in language that we can all understand?

It means that “you’re either on the team or you’re off the team”. If you are on the US team, then you will enjoy the benefits of “partnership” which means the US will help to defend you against the terrorist groups which they arm, fund and provide logistical support for. (through their Gulf State allies) If you are “off the team” –as Mr. al Maliki appears to be, then Washington will look the other way while the hordes of vicious miscreants tear the heads off your soldiers, burn your cities to the ground, and reduce your country to ungovernable anarchy. So, there’s a choice to be made. Either you can play along and follow orders and “nobody gets hurt, or go-it-alone and face the consequences.

Capisce? Obama is running a protection racket just like some two-bit Mafia shakedown-artist from the ‘hood. And I am not speaking metaphorically here. This is the way it really works. The president of the United States is threatening a democratically-elected leader, who–by the way–was hand-picked and rubber-stamped by the Bush administration–because he has not turned out to be sufficiently servile in kowtowing to their demands. So, now they’re going to replace him with another corrupt stooge like Chalabi. That’s right, the shifty Ahmed Chalabi has reemerged from his spiderhole and is making a bid to take al Maliki’s place. This is from the New York Times:

“Iraq officials said Thursday that political leaders had started intensive jockeying to replace Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki and create a government that would span the country’s deepening sectarian and ethnic divisions, spurred by what they called encouraging meetings with American officials signaling support for a leadership change…

The names floated so far — Adel Abdul Mahdi, Ahmed Chalabi and Bayan Jaber — are from the Shiite blocs, which have the largest share of the total seats in the Parliament.” (With Nod From U.S., Iraqis Seek New Leader, New York Times)

Remember Chalabi? Neocon favorite, Chalabi. The guy who –as Business Insider notes “was a central figure in the U.S.’s decision to remove the Iraqi dictator over a decade ago” and “who helped get the Iraq Liberation Act passed through Congress in 1998, a law that made regime change in Baghdad an official U.S. policy.” “Chalabi claimed that Saddam was an imminent threat to the U.S., and was both holding and developing a stockpile of weapons of mass destruction, (which) became the view of the intelligence community and eventually the majority of the U.S. congress. In the first four years of the Bush administration, Chalabi’s INC recieved $39 million from the U.S. government.” (Business Insider)

You can’t make this stuff up.

So, good old Chalabi is on the short-list of candidates to take al Maliki’s place. Great. That just illustrates the level of thinking about these matters in the Obama White House. I don’t know how anyone can objectively follow these developments and not conclude that the neocons are calling the shots. Of course they’re calling the shots. Chalabi’s “their guy”. In fact, the goals the administration is pursuing, aren’t really even in US interests at all.

Bear with me for a minute: Let’s assume that we’re correct in our belief that the administration has set its sites on four main strategic objectives in Iraq:

1–Removing al Maliki
2–Gaining basing rights via a new Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA)
3–Rolling back Iran’s influence in the region
4–Partitioning the country

How does the US benefit from achieving these goals?

The US has plenty of military bases and installations spread around the Middle East. It gains nothing by having another in Iraq. The same goes for removing al Maliki. There’s no telling how that could turn out. Maybe good, maybe bad. It’s a roll of the dice. Could come up snake-eyes, who knows? But, one thing is certain; it will further erode confidence in the US as a serious supporter of democracy. No one is going to believe that fable anymore. (Al Maliki just won the recent election.)

As for “rolling back Iran’s influence in the region”: That doesn’t even make sense. It was the United States that removed the Sunni Baathists from power and deliberately replaced them with members from the Shia community. As we’ve shown in earlier articles, shifting power from Sunnis to Shia was a crucial part of the original occupation strategy, which was transparently loony from the get go. It was as if the British invaded the US and decided to replace career politicians and Washington bureaucrats with inexperienced service sector employees from the barrios of LA. Does that make sense? The results turned out to be a disaster, as anyone with half a brain could have predicted. Because the plan was idiotic. No empire has ever operated like that. Of course, there was going to be a tacit alliance between Baghdad and Tehran. The US strategy made that alliance inevitable! Iraq did not move in Iran’s direction. That’s baloney. Washington pushed Iraq into Iran’s arms. Everyone knows this.

So, now what? So now the Obama team wants a “do over”? Is that it?

There are no do overs in history. The sectarian war the US initiated and promoted with its blistering counterinsurgency strategy–which involved massive ethnic cleansing of Sunnis in Baghdad behind the phony “surge” BS– changed the complexion of the country for good. There’s no going back. What’s done is done. Baghdad is Shia and will remain Shia. And that means there’s going to be some connection with Tehran. So, if the Obama people intend to roll back Iran’s influence, then they probably have something else in mind. And they DO have something else in mind. They want to partition the country consistent with an Israeli plan that was concocted more than three decades ago. The plan was the brainstorm of Oded Yinon who saw Iraq as a serious threat to Israel’s hegemonic aspirations, so he cooked up a plan to remedy the problem. Here’s a blurb from Yinon’s primary work titled, “A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties”, which is the roadmap that will be used to divide Iraq:

“Iraq, rich in oil on the one hand and internally torn on the other, is guaranteed as a candidate for Israel’s targets. Its dissolution is even more important for us than that of Syria. Iraq is stronger than Syria. In the short run it is Iraqi power which constitutes the greatest threat to Israel. An Iraqi-Iranian war will tear Iraq apart and cause its downfall at home even before it is able to organize a struggle on a wide front against us. Every kind of inter-Arab confrontation will assist us in the short run and will shorten the way to the more important aim of breaking up Iraq into denominations as in Syria and in Lebanon. In Iraq, a division into provinces along ethnic/religious lines as in Syria during Ottoman times is possible. So, three (or more) states will exist around the three major cities: Basra, Baghdad and Mosul, and Shi’ite areas in the south will separate from the Sunni and Kurdish north. It is possible that the present Iranian-Iraqi confrontation will deepen this polarization.” (A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties, Oded Yinon, monabaker.com)

Repeat: “Every kind of inter-Arab confrontation will assist us in the short run and will shorten the way to the more important aim of breaking up Iraq into denominations as in Syria and in Lebanon.”

This is the plan. The United States does not benefit from this plan. The United States does not benefit from a fragmented, Balkanized, broken Iraq. The oil giants are already extracting as much oil as they want. Iraqi oil is, once again, denominated in dollars not euros. Iraq poses no national security threat to the US. US war planners already got what they want. There’s no reason to go back and cause more trouble, to restart the war, to tear the country apart, and to split it into pieces. The only reason to dissolve Iraq, is Israel. Israel does not want a unified Iraq. Israel does not want an Iraq that can stand on its own two feet. Israel wants to make sure that Iraq never remerges as a regional power. And there’s only one way to achieve that goal, that is, to follow Yinon’s prescription of “breaking up Iraq …along ethnic/religious lines …so, three (or more) states will exist around the three major cities: Basra, Baghdad and Mosul.”

This is the blueprint the Obama administration is following. The US gains nothing from this plan. It’s all for Israel.

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

 Posted by on June 20, 2014 at 11:05 pm  Comments Off on It’s all for Israel – US Strategy in Iraq
Jun 162014

PICKTHAL: Nothing of our revelation (even a single verse) do we abrogate or cause be forgotten, but we bring (in place) one better or the like thereof. Knowest thou not that Allah is Able to do all things? (Qur’an 2:106)
Depending on which translation of the Qur’an is being read, the most common rendering of verse 2:106, as can be seen above in the translation of Pickthal, is that the Qur’an is subject to “abrogation”, and, in some special cases, is even subject to verses being lost/forgotten altogether!
On the face of it, this seems like a very peculiar statement that God would make, especially when the Almighty has asserted time and time again in the very same Book that the Qur’an is “complete, detailed, does not run out of words, cannot be changed, etc.”
6:115 And the word of your Lord has been completed with truth and justice; there is no changing His words. He is the Hearer, the Knower.
The result of such understanding of “abrogation” and verses being “forgotten” cannot be underestimated, as the sects have used such interpretation to serve their misunderstanding of various concepts/verses within the Quran to the extent of “changing” the laws of God that were never meant to be changed such as the example of “adultery” whereby the Quran states in 24:2 that the adulterer and adulteress are to be lashed 100 lashes each, however, using the laws of abrogation and forgetting, the sects have decided that “stoning” is a more suitable punishment if the adulterer is married, and have stated in their various writings that a Quranic verse on stoning was indeed revealed to the Prophet, but that such verse was destroyed and thus “forgotton” to be added to the verses of the Quran.
It seems todays sectarians have outmaneuvered their ancestors who did not realize they could simply override/disregard the Quranic verses that did not meet their desire and begged the Prophet to change the verses himself:
10:15 And when Our clear revelations were recited to them, those who do not wish to meet Us said: “Bring a Qur’an other than this, or change it!” Say: “It is not for me to change it of my own accord, I merely follow what is inspired to me. I fear, if I disobeyed my Lord, the retribution of a great Day!”
The truth of the matter is that the subject of “abrogation” is one of the simplest to clear-up, simply by looking with more depth at the verse involved:
2:106 We do not “nansakh”(abrogate?) an “ayah” (verse?), or “nunsiha” (make it forgotten), unless We bring one which is like it or even greater. Did you not know that God is capable of all things?
The first word that we come across in the above mentioned verse is “naskh” which, when we examine other verses in the Quran that use the same word, the meaning seems to be anything but “abrogate”:
43:80 Or do they think that We do not hear their secrets and their private counsel? Yes indeed; and Our messengers are with them, recording “yansakhoon”.
45:29 “This is Our record; it utters the truth about you. We have been recording “nastansikh” everything you did.”
22:52 “And We did not send before you any messenger or prophet, without having the devil interfere with his wishes. God then duplicates “yansakh” what the devil has cast, and God secures His revelations.”
7:154 And when the anger subsided from Moses, he took the tablets; and in its recording “nuskhatiha” was a guidance and a mercy for those who reverence their Lord.
In the four verses above, the context of “naskh” can take on the meaning of “record” or “duplicate” – but never as “abrogate”.  Thus, in looking again at 2:106 the meaning changes drastically from that offered to us by Pickthal.
2:106 We do not “nansakh”(duplicate) an “ayah” (verse?), or “nunsiha” (make it forgotten), unless We bring one which is like it or even greater. Did you not know that God is capable of all things?
The second key word is “ayah” which translators such as Pickthal have opted to translate as “revelation” in 2:106. While this meaning of “revelation” is indeed a correct one, it is not the only meaning given for “ayah” as we can see in the verses below:
17:101 And We had given Moses nine clear signs “ayat”. So ask the Children of Israel, when he came to them, then Pharaoh said: “I think that you Moses are bewitched!”
19:10 He said: “My Lord, make for me a sign “ayah”.” He said: “Your sign is that you will not speak to the people for three nights consecutively.”
25:37 And the people of Noah, when they denied the messengers We drowned them, and We made them a lesson “ayah” for the people. And We have prepared for the wicked a painful retribution.
38:29 A Book that We have sent down to you, that is blessed, so that they may reflect upon its revelations “ayat”, and so that those who possess intelligence will take heed.
Looking at all the possible meaning above, the one meaning that can be eliminated for 2:106 without much thought is the “verse/revelation” as 2:106 tells us that these “Ayas” could be “forgotten” – a notion that is not possible when it comes to the Quran as the Book was revealed and recorded in written form during the life of the Prophet. Also, the words “We replace it with its equal” would be meaningless if the word ‘Ayah’ in this verse meant a Quranic verse, simply because it would make no sense for God to invalidate one verse then replace it with one that is identical to it!
However, if the word ‘Ayah’ in verse 106 meant a miracle, an example or a sign, then all the words of the verse would make perfect sense as the words “cause to be forgotten” can apply to all three meanings and that is what actually happens with the passing of time. The miracles of Moses and Jesus have long been forgotten and we only know of them from the narrations of the Quran.
Similarly the words “We replace with its equal or with that which is greater” is in line with the miracles of God. God indeed replaces one miracle with its equal or with one that is greater than it. Consider the following verse :
“And We have sent Moses with Our Ayah’s (miracles or signs) to Pharaoh and his elders proclaiming : ‘I am a messenger from the Lord of the universe’. When he brought them our Ayah’s they laughed at him. Every Ayah We showed them was greater than the one that preceded it.” 43:46-48
Therefore, in re-examining verse 2:106 with the proper context, the verse takes on a perfectly logical and harmonious meaning:
2:106 We do not duplicate a sign, or make it forgotten, unless We bring one which is like it or even greater. Did you not know that God is capable of all things?
In addition to the subject of abrogation, we find there are several other statements that are being taught which have no basis and are contradicted by the Quran itself:
False Teaching: Mohammed was illiterate and had scribes write the Quran for him.
Quranic Truth: The Quran was penned by Mohammed himself
29:48 You were not reciting any Book before this, nor were you writing one down by your hand. In that case, the doubters would have had reason.
25:5 And they said: “Fictional tales of old! He wrote them down while they were being dictated to him morning and evening.”
False Teaching: The Quran’s verses/suras were arranged in their current arrangement after the death of Mohammed based on a committee put together by Uthman Bin Afaan.
Quranic Truth: The Quran’s compilation/arrangement was done during the life of the Prophet under direct instructions from God:
16:101 And if We exchange a revelation in place of another revelation; and God is more aware of what He is revealing; they say: “You are making this up!” Alas, most of them do not know.
16:102 Say: “The Holy Spirit has brought it down from your Lord with the truth, so that those who believe will be strengthened, and as a guidance and good news for those who have submitted.”
False Teaching: The earliest copies of the Quran have been lost.
Quranic Truth: The Original Quran Exists On a Tablet
85:21 No, it is a glorious Qur’an.
85:22 In a tablet, preserved.
Written for www.free-minds.org

 Posted by on June 16, 2014 at 5:50 pm  Comments Off on The Myth of Quranic Abrogation (Courtesy free-minds.org. org)