Israeli Police Caught On Video Hosing ‘Skunk Spray’ on Palestinian Elementary Schools and Protesters

 

israel_police

Israeli police in Jerusalem have been caught on video recently spraying East Jerusalem Palestinian neighborhoods with a concoction they call “skunk spray”. The liquid is a mixture of sewage and rotting animal roadkill.

The result of the police hosing down neighborhoods, elementary schools and protesters with the mix is a putrid smell that seems almost impossible to get off or be around without inducing nausea. As a result, thousands of East Jerusalem children have been forced to stay home from school.

 

In the neighborhood of At-Tur (The Mount of Olives), police hosed down local elementary schools at 5:30 p.m., according to Khader Abu Sabitan, a member of the parents’ committee. He told 972mag that he “was on the road and saw them pass with their machine, and saw how they began shooting water at the school. I’m telling you – there was nothing there. It is Friday at 5:30 in the evening, and there was no one in the school or on the streets. Nothing. Everyone was home. They went to all four schools in the neighborhood, shot the water, and left.”

A similar video was taken in the neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber:

 

The putrid mix has also been used to disperse protesters in areas like Kafr Kanna, where activists took to the street to speak out agains the Israeli police shooting an killing a man from their village.

While the world mourns the tragic deaths of Israeli worshippers in Jerusalem from the recent axe attack terrorism anecdote, the mainstream media seems unwilling to look at the systematic acts of oppression from the State of Israel, which punish entire populations – especially children – on a policy level.

When a criminal or terrorist act is committed, it is to be denounced. But when acts of terrorism and intimidation are carried out by the police with the backing of the coercive force of State power, it seems odd that so little is being said about it.

School board yanks Christmas from calendar after Muslims ask for their own holiday off

School board yanks Christmas from calendar after Muslims ask for their own holiday off


12 NOV 2014 AT 12:05 ET                   

Sad girl at Christmas (Shutterstock)

Muslims have been cast as the villains in an ongoing dispute over religious equality in a Maryland school district.

The conservative Education Action Group reported that the Montgomery County School District “stripped Christmas and Jewish holy holidays from its official calendar after Muslim parents complained,” and the headline warned that a “suburban DC school district takes Christmas off (the) calendar after Muslims complain.”

Even then, the activist group’s founder claimed in his article, “that’s not good enough” for the Muslims.

While EAG’s conclusions aren’t quite accurate – some of its reporting is.

Muslim families aren’t satisfied with the school board’s decision, because they’ve been asking the district for years to cancel classes on the Muslim holiday of Eid ul Fitr, which comes at the end of Ramadan.

“The Eid is just the same exact as Christmas day or Easter day or Yom Kippur,” said mother Samira Hussein, who works for the school district. “The children want to be home with their families. This is a family holiday that God designated and gave us the time to celebrate and be joyous.”

Students are given excused absences when they miss school for religious observance, but parents say they shouldn’t have to choose between their faith and their school work.

This year, Eid coincided with Yom Kippur, so students were already off school.

Montgomery County schools have closed on Jewish high holidays since the 1970s, because the area’s high Jewish population would create a high absenteeism rate.

They’ve always been closed for Christmas.

But county officials have said there aren’t enough Muslim families in the area to justify closing schools on Eid or other holidays celebrated in Islam.

“The absentee rate on the Eid holidays, when they’ve fallen on a school day, haven’t been considerably higher or lower than it is on any other given day,” said Dana Tofig, of Montgomery County Public Schools.

In response to the Muslim parents’ concerns, the school board voted 7-1 Tuesday to support Superintendent Joshua Starr’s recommendation to stop identifying religious holidays on scheduled days off but simply state schools will be closed on those dates.

The board did not, as Todd Starnes reported for Fox News, “eliminate all religious holidays.”

The school board member who offered the amendment said the measure was “the most equitable option.”

But some of the Muslims who packed the school board meeting said the decision simply alienated religious communities while doing nothing to advance equality.

“(They would) go so far as to paint themselves as the Grinch who stole Christmas,” said Zainab Chaudry, co-chair of the Equality for Eid Coalition. “They would remove the Christian holidays and they would remove the Jewish holidays from the calendar before they would consider adding the Muslim holiday to the calendar.”

She said Muslim parents want Christian and Jewish holidays to remain on the school calendar – but they want a day off granted for theirs, too.

“What we’re asking for is … to also have both the Jewish holiday and the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha both be recognized on the school calendar,” said Chaundry, who is also Maryland outreach manager for the Council on American Islamic Relations.

Watch this video report posted online by WRC-TV:

 

School board yanks Christmas from calendar after Muslims ask for their own holiday off

School board yanks Christmas from calendar after Muslims ask for their own holiday off


12 NOV 2014 AT 12:05 ET                   

Sad girl at Christmas (Shutterstock)

Muslims have been cast as the villains in an ongoing dispute over religious equality in a Maryland school district.

The conservative Education Action Group reported that the Montgomery County School District “stripped Christmas and Jewish holy holidays from its official calendar after Muslim parents complained,” and the headline warned that a “suburban DC school district takes Christmas off (the) calendar after Muslims complain.”

Even then, the activist group’s founder claimed in his article, “that’s not good enough” for the Muslims.

While EAG’s conclusions aren’t quite accurate – some of its reporting is.

Muslim families aren’t satisfied with the school board’s decision, because they’ve been asking the district for years to cancel classes on the Muslim holiday of Eid ul Fitr, which comes at the end of Ramadan.

“The Eid is just the same exact as Christmas day or Easter day or Yom Kippur,” said mother Samira Hussein, who works for the school district. “The children want to be home with their families. This is a family holiday that God designated and gave us the time to celebrate and be joyous.”

Students are given excused absences when they miss school for religious observance, but parents say they shouldn’t have to choose between their faith and their school work.

This year, Eid coincided with Yom Kippur, so students were already off school.

Montgomery County schools have closed on Jewish high holidays since the 1970s, because the area’s high Jewish population would create a high absenteeism rate.

They’ve always been closed for Christmas.

But county officials have said there aren’t enough Muslim families in the area to justify closing schools on Eid or other holidays celebrated in Islam.

“The absentee rate on the Eid holidays, when they’ve fallen on a school day, haven’t been considerably higher or lower than it is on any other given day,” said Dana Tofig, of Montgomery County Public Schools.

In response to the Muslim parents’ concerns, the school board voted 7-1 Tuesday to support Superintendent Joshua Starr’s recommendation to stop identifying religious holidays on scheduled days off but simply state schools will be closed on those dates.

The board did not, as Todd Starnes reported for Fox News, “eliminate all religious holidays.”

The school board member who offered the amendment said the measure was “the most equitable option.”

But some of the Muslims who packed the school board meeting said the decision simply alienated religious communities while doing nothing to advance equality.

“(They would) go so far as to paint themselves as the Grinch who stole Christmas,” said Zainab Chaudry, co-chair of the Equality for Eid Coalition. “They would remove the Christian holidays and they would remove the Jewish holidays from the calendar before they would consider adding the Muslim holiday to the calendar.”

She said Muslim parents want Christian and Jewish holidays to remain on the school calendar – but they want a day off granted for theirs, too.

“What we’re asking for is … to also have both the Jewish holiday and the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha both be recognized on the school calendar,” said Chaundry, who is also Maryland outreach manager for the Council on American Islamic Relations.

Watch this video report posted online by WRC-TV:

 

EU Delegation: Israel has committed genocide

EU Delegation: Israel has committed genocide
 
 
Wed Sep 10, 2014 12:47AM
Jerome Hughes, Press TV, Brussels
 
 
Fact Corner
  • An official European Union delegation has just returned to Brussels from the Middle East and has declared that Israel has committed genocide against the Palestinians.
  • The delegation, made up of 13 members of the European Parliament, has called on the EU to implement sanctions against Tel Aviv.
These members of the European Parliament are calling on the European Union to break diplomatic ties with Israel and implement sanctions against the country because of the war crimes it has committed against the people of Palestine.

The delegation of 13 MEPs has just returned to Brussels from the Middle East and played a video to journalists showing a Palestinian child dying in the back of an ambulance. The delegation describes what Israel has done to the people of Gaza as genocide. The 50-day Israeli war on Gaza left thousands dead and tens of thousands wounded. The delegation of MEPs is accusing the West of turning its back on the Palestinian people by not taking action against Israel. The politicians accuse Tel Aviv of continuing to break international laws by engaging in land grabs to build settlements in Palestine. The United Nations aid organisation, UNRWA, estimates that it will cost 800 million euro to reconstruct the buildings and infrastructure in Palestine that were recently destroyed by Israel during its 50-day bombardment of Gaza. In the meantime hundreds of thousands of people will effectively remain homeless. The agency says 90% of the water in Gaza is now undrinkable, disease is spreading and it predicts that the area will be uninhabitable by the year 2020 unless the international community gets behind the citizens of Palestine.

Internet Unshackled, Burmese Aim Venom at Rohingya Minority

<nyt_headline version=”1.0″ type=” “>Internet Unshackled, Burmese Aim Venom at Ethnic Minority

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A fire on Friday in Rakhine State in Myanmar, where Rohingya Muslims and Buddhist villagers have been embroiled in deadly clashes for the past week.

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BANGKOK — Over the past year, Myanmar’s government has ended its heavy censorship, allowing citizens unfettered access to a wide variety of Web sites that had been banned during military rule. When the government first began dismantling its Internet controls in August, visits to sites like YouTube soared.

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Rohingya Muslims at a protest outside the Burmese Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Friday. The Rohingya are a stateless, oppressed people.

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But as the poverty-stricken country of 55 million makes a delicate transition to democracy, hateful comments are also flourishing online about a Muslim ethnic group, the Rohingya, that is embroiled in sectarian clashes in western Myanmar that have left more than two dozen people dead.

“The lid of authoritarianism has come off, and people finally have the freedom to express themselves,” said U Aung Naing Oo, the author of “Dialogue,” a book about conflict resolution in Myanmar’s fractious society. “All these grievances have come out,” and “the voices of reason are on the sidelines for now.”

When the discovery of a “Rohingya body” was announced Thursday on the Facebook page of the Eleven Media Group, one of the largest private media organizations in Myanmar, one reader, Pyaephyo Aung, wrote that he had been “waiting for this kind of news for a long time.” Another reader, Ko Nyi, used a racial slur and said, “It’s not even enough that he is dead.”

In online forums, Rohingya are referred to as dogs, thieves, terrorists and various expletives. Commenters urge the government to “make them disappear” and seem particularly enraged that Western countries and the United Nations are highlighting their plight.

The violence in Rakhine State, which borders Bangladesh, has left 29 people dead and more than 2,500 houses burned during the past week, according to officials quoted in the Burmese news media. About 30,000 people have been displaced by the violence, according to the United Nations.

Harder to measure has been damage to Myanmar’s complex multiethnic fabric as the government of President Thein Sein tries to steer the country toward reconciliation between the military and the people, and between the Bamar majority and the dozens of smaller ethnic groups.

So far, the violence has been limited to Rakhine, which is relatively isolated from the rest of the country by a mountain range. But many among those who have posted angry comments on Internet sites have equated the Rohingya with other Muslims scattered around Myanmar. In Yangon, Myanmar’s main city, worshipers at mosques reported that prayer services left out traditional Friday sermons as a precaution against widening the sectarian conflict.

The issue of the Rohingya is so delicate that even Myanmar’s leading defender of human rights and democracy, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, has been oblique and evasive about the situation. Asked at a news conference on Thursday whether the estimated 800,000 Rohingyas in Myanmar should be given citizenship, Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi was equivocal. “We have to be very clear about what the laws of citizenship are and who are entitled to them,” she said in Geneva, which she was visiting as part of a European tour. “All those who are entitled to citizenship should be treated as full citizens deserving all the rights that must be given to them.”

Defending the Rohingya, who are stateless and are described by the United Nations as one of the most oppressed minorities in Asia, is politically risky for both Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi and Mr. Thein Sein.

Mr. Thein Sein’s government is trying to rein in the news media to limit violence against the Rohingya. A popular publication called Hlyat Ta Pyet was banned this week for an indefinite period after it published what the government judged to be inflammatory coverage of the violence in Rakhine, said U Maung Myint, president of the Burma Media Association, which advocates media freedom.

The government has also ordered that all Rakhine-related news go through the censorship board, a rollback to the procedures during military rule. “This is the worst moment for media since the ‘civilian’ government assumed power,” Mr. Maung Myint said.

The Internet, however, has remained unfettered — and heavily tilted against the Rohingya. On Facebook and on news sites, there appeared to be very few comments this week defending the Rohingya or calling for reconciliation.

United Nations report published in December described the Rohingya as “virtually friendless” among other ethnic groups in Myanmar. That is a polite assessment.

The source of the hatred toward the Rohingya is complex but appears to turn on religion, language, colonial resentment, nationalism and skin color.

In 2009, a Burmese diplomat who was then consul general in Hong Kong sent a letter to local newspapers and other diplomatic missions calling the Rohingya “ugly as ogres.” The diplomat, U Ye Myint Aung, compared the “dark brown” complexion of Rohingyas with the “fair and soft” skin of the majority of people in Myanmar.

The Rohingya are often called “Bengali” by their opponents in Myanmar, a term that suggests that they belong in India or Bangladesh.

Although they have been denied citizenship and are subjected to “forced labor, extortion, restriction on freedom of movement, the absence of residence rights, inequitable marriage regulations and land confiscation,” according to the United Nations, the government has allowed many of them to vote, including in the country’s first elections after military rule, in 2010.

Like the Roma of Europe, they are not wanted in either Myanmar or neighboring Bangladesh. United Nations officials in Geneva said Friday that Bangladeshi border guards were pushing back boatloads of people trying to flee. The boats, laden with women, children and others wounded in the violence, have been left drifting in the broad Naf River delta between the two countries, short of food and water, said the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

The provenance of the Rohingya is as difficult to trace as that of many of Myanmar’s other ethnic groups: they appear to be a mixture of Arabs, Moors, Turks, Persians, Moguls and Pathans, according to the United Nations. Myanmar’s government counts more than 130 ethnicities in the country. The Rohingya are not on that list.

Many online commentators in Myanmar have called for the expulsion of the Rohingya — or worse. When the Eleven Media Group reported Thursday that a woman’s corpse was spotted floating in a river, but did not disclose the ethnicity of the victim, one reader said he was confused. “I don’t know if I should be happy or sad,” he said, “because I don’t know what nationality she is.”

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Poypiti Amatatham contributed reporting from Bangkok, and Nick Cumming-Bruce from Geneva.

Myanmar Policy’s Message to Muslims: Get Out

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Bleak Existence for Myanmar’s Rohingya Minority


Bleak Existence for Myanmar’s Rohingya Minority

CreditTomas Munita for The New York Times

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SITTWE, Myanmar — The Myanmar government has given the estimated one million Rohingya people in this coastal region of the country a dispiriting choice: Prove your family has lived here for more than 60 years and qualify for second-class citizenship, or be placed in camps and face deportation.

The policy, accompanied by a wave of decrees and legislation, has made life for the Rohingya, a long-persecuted Muslim minority, ever more desperate, spurring the biggest flow of Rohingya refugees since a major exodus two years ago.

In the last three weeks alone, 14,500 Rohingya have sailed from the beaches of Rakhine State to Thailand, with the ultimate goal of reaching Malaysia, according to the Arakan Project, a group that monitors Rohingya refugees.

The crisis has become an embarrassment to the White House ahead of a scheduled visit by President Obama to Myanmar next week. The administration considers Myanmar a foreign-policy success story in Asia but is worried that renewed conflict between Buddhist extremists, who are given a free hand by the government, and the Rohingya could derail the already rocky transition from military rule to democratic reform.

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BHUTAN

INDIA

CHINA

BANGLADESH

MYANMAR

Maungdaw

Irrawaddy

River

Sittwe

RAKHINE

 

THAILAND

Bay of Bengal

Yangon

200 MILES

Mr. Obama called President Thein Sein of Myanmar last week, urging him to address the “tensions and humanitarian situation in Rakhine State,” the White House said.

In his most public appeal to the government yet, Mr. Obama asked the Myanmar leader to revise the anti-Rohingya policies, specifically the resettlement plan. Myanmar must “support the civil and political rights of the Rohingya population,” he said.

The Rohingya have faced discrimination for decades. They have been denied citizenship and evicted from their homes, their land has been confiscated, and they have been attacked by the military. After one such attack in 1978, some 200,000 fled to Bangladesh.

The latest flare-up began with an outbreak of sectarian rioting in 2012, in which hundreds of Rohingya were killed and dozens of their villages burned to the ground by radical Buddhists. Since then, close to 100,000 have fled the country, and more than 100,000 have been confined to squalid camps, forbidden to leave.

As conditions in the camps have deteriorated, international pressure has mounted on the government to find a humane solution. Instead, the government appears to be accelerating a strategy that human rights groups have described as ethnic cleansing.

For many Rohingya, the new policy, called the Rakhine Action Plan, represents a kind of final humiliation, said Mohamed Saeed, a community organizer in a camp on the edge of Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine State.

“People really fear this plan,” he said. “Our community is getting less and less. This is where they want us — out.”

Many Rohingya came to Myanmar in the 19th century when the British ruled all of what is now India, Bangladesh and Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. But the government’s demand for proof of residence since 1948 is too onerous for many, who either do not have the paperwork or fall short of the six-decade requirement, human rights advocates say.

Those who can prove their residence qualify only for naturalized citizenship, which carries fewer rights than full citizenship and can be revoked. Moreover, they would be classified as “Bengali,” rather than Rohingya, suggesting that they are immigrants from Bangladesh and leaving open the possibility of deportation.

Under the plan, those Rohingya who cannot meet the standards for naturalized citizenship or refuse to accept the Bengali designation would be placed in camps before being deported.

Human Rights Watch described the plan as “nothing less than a blueprint for permanent segregation and statelessness.”

The government asked the United Nations refugee agency to participate in the resettlement, but the agency refused, a spokesman said.

The Rakhine Action Plan is but one element of a host of policies and tactics aimed at marginalizing the Rohingya. This year, in line with the government’s position that they are foreigners, the Rohingya were prevented from participating in the national census.

Photo
 

A Rohingya girl in a hut in a displaced persons camp on the outskirts of Sittwe, in Rakhine State. CreditTomas Munita for The New York Times

Legislation introduced in Parliament two months ago, and expected to pass, would bar Rohingya from voting in next year’s election. Parliament is also considering a bill that would ban interfaith marriage, a measure human rights advocates say is designed to stoke anti-Muslim sentiment.

The policies come on top of an increasingly dire situation in Rohingya camps and villages. In the camps around Sittwe, where about 140,000 Rohingya live, health services are virtually nonexistent.

The main medical provider, Doctors Without Borders, the international nonprofit group, was chased out six months ago and has not been able to return.

In the villages around Maungdaw, a Rohingya-dominated town near the border with Bangladesh, there has been a sudden increase in the arrests of young Rohingya men and boys, United Nations officials and human rights advocates said.

The Border Guard Police arrested more than 100 Rohingya on charges of holding illegal gatherings and over refusals to participate in the action plan. Chris Lewa, the director of the Arakan Project, said the arrests were part of a campaign to force the men to leave the country.

For many, the high-risk boat trips to Thailand en route to Malaysia, a Muslim country that quietly tolerates the refugees, begin at a gray sandy beach at Ohn Taw Shi, a fishing village fringed by coconut trees on the outskirts of a camp for the displaced.

On a recent day, a froth of waves lapped the shore, a few open wooden boats lay untended, waiting for use at night. The police slept in the afternoon heat in a wooden shack about 500 yards away.

A smuggler, Chan Thet Maung, a cellphone hooked to his pants and earplugs dangling from his neck, said that when the wooden boats were filled with Rohingya, they sailed north for about five hours to connect with larger vessels. There, in waters off the Myanmar-Bangladesh border, multideck boats sometimes idle for days or weeks, manned by armed and often brutal crews, waiting for a full complement of passengers bound for Thailand, the United Nations refugee agency said in an internal report.

The annual smuggling season, which begins in early October when the monsoon season ends, got off to a fast start, the smuggler said. The police wanted $2,000 — $100 for each of the 20 passengers — for a recent boatload, but the smugglers had offered slightly less, he said.

The trip was aborted, but another attempt would be made soon, he said.

Local officials abet the smuggling trips, according to Matthew Smith, the director of Fortify Rights, an organization that studies ethnic groups in Myanmar.

“The regional trafficking and smuggling begins with the complicity of Myanmar authorities,” he said. “We’ve documented Myanmar police and armed forces taking payments as high as seven million kyat in return for a boat’s passage to sea.” Seven million kyat is about $7,000.

In some cases, the Myanmar Navy escorted boats filled with fleeing Rohingya and operated by criminal gangs out to international waters, Mr. Smith said.

Photo
 

A Rohingya woman at a camp in Sittwe called her brother in Malaysia to ask for money after the burial of their mother. CreditTomas Munita for The New York Times

Most Rohingya who want to leave the camps or the villages in northern Rakhine pay brokers $200 just to board a boat. Once in Thailand, the refugees must pay smugglers an additional $2,000 for the second leg to Malaysia.

Some, like Nor Rankis, 25, who said she wanted to join her estranged husband and brother in Malaysia, do not pay anything, an almost certain sign she will be sold into servitude by traffickers in Thailand.

“I don’t want to live here; I cannot survive,” she said one evening as she waited for a smuggler to take her away. She had packed a few things in a pink plastic basket: a bottle of perfume, a new sarong and a box of vitamins — though nothing to protect her against the equatorial sun that would beat down on her across the Bay of Bengal.

For better-off Rohingya in Sittwe, brokers can arrange documents for a ticket on the daily 90-minute flight to Yangon for $4,000. Regular passengers pay $88.

A 20-year-old Rohingya student, whose family pooled savings for the $4,000, said his broker gave more than 75 percent of the cost to immigration officials. Like all Rohingya students, he was expelled in 2012.

The student, who refused to give his name for fear of retribution, said the broker escorted him with officials of the Department of Immigration and Population in a government car from the camp to the Sittwe airport.

“I was shaking with nerves,” he said. “But the broker gave me heart, and I was waved through the departure gate.”

In Yangon, the nation’s commercial capital, Rohingya say they have an easier existence. Long-established Rohingya families run businesses there, and documents are not scrutinized as carefully as in Rakhine, where segregation has become entrenched.

A spokesman for Rakhine State insisted the Rohingya did not belong in Myanmar and defended the Rakhine Action Plan as necessary because the higher Muslim birthrate threatened the Buddhist majority.

“There are no Rohingya under the law,” said the spokesman, U Win Myaing, assistant director of the Ministry of Information. “They are illegal immigrants. If they need labor in the United Arab Emirates, why don’t they ask people to go there?”

Some government officials have described the Rakhine Action Plan as a draft proposal, rather than official policy. But the government has already begun to carry out the plan in at least one camp, Myebon, 60 miles south of Sittwe.

In a gesture in advance of Mr. Obama’s visit, the government released 15 political prisoners in early October, including three Rohingya. Among them was U Kyaw Hla Aung, 75, a prominent lawyer, who was jailed after the violence in Sittwe in 2012.

One of the few Rohingya trained as a lawyer — Rohingya have since been barred from studying law or medicine — Mr. Kyaw Hla Aung said it was illogical for the government to insist that Rohingya were not citizens.

“My father was head clerk of the courts in Sittwe for 40 years,” he said in his bamboo house in one of the camps. “I was a stenographer for 24 years in the courts, and then a lawyer. How can they say we are not full citizens?”

After a few nights of waiting for a smuggler, Nor Rankis waded into the inky Bay of Bengal to a small wooden boat, jammed with a score of others, headed, she hoped, for Malaysia.

“I’m depending on God,” she said. “That’s why I dare to go.”

Are You Good Enough For Google?

Are You Good Enough For Google?

 

Exactly one month ago I gave up the golden handcuffs keeping me at Google. I left to build full-time, and I haven’t looked back. Except when people have asked, and it happens almost every day. To be exact, 118 people have questioned why I quit and just as many have sought my guidance on getting in. If you want a job at Google or other top companies, here’s my take.

It’s a wonderful life if you can make the cut.

Volleyball, olympic size pools and personal trainers. Rock walls between floors, slides instead of steps and bowling alleys to pass the time. Breakfast, lunch and dinner on demand and masseuses in multitude. Really, it’s Disneyland for adults.

For four and a half years, I worked at Google. First, partnering with websites on AdSense and then building the North American sales strategy for Google’s Ad Exchange. After moving to New York City, I led my team’s east coast recruiting efforts for almost a year.

I’ve reviewed at least 500 resumes, screened more than 100 candidates and hired 12 superstars. In most instances, the candidates didn’t have a fighting chance.

Truth be told, neither did I. You and I have a better shot at being struck by lightning (576K:1) or winning an Olympic medal (660K:1) than getting into Google. What no one will tell you is this:

The odds will never be in your favor

Let’s do some simple math. Google receives more than two million applications per year for roughly 5,000 jobs. Off the bat, your chances are .0025%. And that’s assuming all things are equal, but they rarely are. Politics, people and yes, processes get in the way. Even for a company filled with the smartest people in the world, Google relies on technology to search applicants, surface the best candidates and slot them in the right role.

Learn how to beat the system.

Most of us fill out a form and click submit, completely unaware of how deep the black hole runs. Applying for a job online is akin to playing the lottery. It might work, but chances are you’re just wasting time.

Here’s how you stack the deck…

Forget going to Google. Make Google come to you. It’s a little known fact, but a recruiter’s role isn’t to find talent. Real recruiters only screen qualified candidates.

Let me explain.

If you have 2 million applications then choosing the right one is like finding a needle in a haystack. The task is nearly impossible. Walmart reportedly receives more than 5 million applications a year and Microsoft processes 50,000 resumes a week. Competition at the top is crazy, but don’t think small, lesser known companies are any easier. Although it varies with the company and the job, the Electronic Recruiting Exchange (ERE) reports that on average 250 resumes are received for each corporate job opening.

Even if you had 200 or say 150 resumes, would you review each one? Would you give the 149th candidate the same time and attention as the first? I’m sure most recruiters mean well but, by themselves, they’re not set-up for success. So they leave the heavy lifting to something else.

A Helping Hand

The first person to review your resume isn’t a person at all. It’s likely a software program known as an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). To recruiters, ATS is the greatest thing since sliced bread: it saves them time and the company money.You submit your application, ATS scans your credentials and gives you a score. You’re then ranked against other candidates and a decision is made based on “data.” More about this later.

All good right? WRONG.

For you and me, ATS is a weapon of mass rejection. Job search services provider Preptel reports that 75 percent of candidates’ are instantly unqualified as soon as they submit their resumes. In a matter of milliseconds, a computer makes up its mind and most likely passes on your potential. Like I said, we never had a fighting chance.

Big Data

You’ve probably heard of web analytics, but what about people analytics? Today, human capital is measured by resume robots and social media scores. This is not to say we’ve taken the ‘human’ out of human resources, but the nature of recruitment has changed.

Everything is tracked, including social media activity and the degree to which you’re already ‘connected’ to the company. Did you respond to an email? Were you late for an interview? Algorithms already predict World Series championships (Go Giants!) and fluctuations in the stock market. Why not forecast the success of one candidate over another?

Success is relative so it can be measured by almost anything, including:

  • Internet Presence - Articles, blogs and social media mentions, particularly on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+
  • Past Performance - Employment background, work history, native talent and earned credentials from the applications and resumes you submit
  • Personality Tests – Skill sets and behaviors can be modeled from your answers to scenario based surveys and tests

Once the data is collected, ATS goes to work. Like Google’s super secret search algorithm, no one knows how data sets are organized and analyzed, but you can bet it differs by employer and role.

Beat the Bot

The gatekeeper blocking your application goes by the name ATS. To beat the bot, you must optimize the keywords in your resume. Google popularized the analysis of keywords to understand the content of web pages. That concept is then placed into context, relative to the competition. The most relevant results appear on top. To this day, the quantity and quality of keywords is still a major factor in Google’s PageRank. Your resume must work the same way.

Every industry has its jargon, slang and colloquialisms. What matters most to ATS is the use, uniqueness and relevance of keywords. To stand out in the system, consider the following tips:

  • Selection - Include keywords, phrases and skills repeated in the job description. You can also review the company’s career website, the professional profiles of current employees and similar jobs. The keywords you discover are likely the same exact keywords a recruiter has programmed ATS to pick-up.
  • Density - Focus on no more than three keywords, and keep the frequency between 2% to 4% of all words. We call this keyword density. If you find yourself repeating the same keyword over-and-over again, you can always use synonyms.
  • Formatting – ATS might not understand fancier fonts so stick to Arial or Times New Roman. Also, avoid white text and shades of grey. Black is perfect. And, unless otherwise instructed, submit a Word doc instead of a PDF. In all ways possible, you want ATS to read what you wrote. Otherwise, what’s the point?

When everything is said and done, what recruiters receive is a list of qualified candidates. From here, they go to work screening potential hires. I told you recruiters don’t focus on finding talent! They focus on vetting the cream of the crop, and they look to the world’s largest professional network for further help.

The One Stop Shop

This may come as a shock, but LinkedIn is the largest ATS around. Think about it. You and I create online resumes in the form of a profile, they’re searchable and then we connect. Mostly with other people looking for a job, but then there’s this secret matrix reserved for recruiters interested in reaching top talent.

Remember when I told you to make Google come to you? Well, LinkedIn is your number one tool for turning that dream into reality.

94 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn to vet candidates. They’re checking your professional background and gauging your level of online activity. More than anything else, they’re direct sourcing. They’re fishing for talent, and when they catch wind of a candidate it’s time for the approach.

Tell me you’ve received a similar message in the past:

Hi Michael, How are you? I hope you don’t mind me reaching out to you directly, but your profile looks great! We are searching for a “rock-star” performer for our team and your background is stellar. Do you have time to chat on the phone tomorrow or this week? Your background is stellar. Thanks!

As spammy and generic as it sounds, companies are paying LinkedIn up to $8,000 per user per year for the right to message you. Recruiters are combing through your work experiences, skills, education and other credentials. Sound familiar?

Just like ATS, LinkedIn looks at the keywords in the headline, job titles and summary sections of your profile. Then, you’re given a score and that score determines your rank. If you want to appear on a recruiter’s radar you need to think about keyword relevance, the quality of your connections and whether LinkedIn is worth paying for.

Premium Positioning

LinkedIn first offered premium accounts to sales professionals and then recruiters. As the professional network has evolved they were gracious enough to offer similar services to you and me. Now job seekers near and far must ask themselves one question: should I pay for LinkedIn?

Yes!

LinkedIn promises to bump your profile to the top of search results. Just like Google’s sponsored ads, your profile will appear at the top as a ‘Featured Applicant.’ If LinkedIn search behavior follow’s Google, 75% of recruiters will never visit the second page of search results. So it goes without saying that it’s even more important to be on top.

No!

It’s flattering to be contacted, but why wait for an opportunity? Go get it! If you believe in taking the proactive approach to LinkedIn, you can ask for introductions from mutual parties, join groups to contact any member and network your way to new connections. Plus, you’re saving $48/month. Sometimes, the “scrappy” approach inspires a level of creativity that money can’t buy.

Like most things, there is no right or wrong answer. Personally, I pay for LinkedIn but it’s not for everyone. Try the free way first and, if you find you want to be featured in front of recruiters, give premium a try.

From HR to Sales

For LinkedIn, premium accounts are apart of their business and a key component of how they make money. For recruiters, you are their business and they pitch you like any other product or service. In that sense, think of recruiters as saleswomen and what they’re selling is you.

Like more traditional sales, recruiters have quotas. Their performance is judged by the number of hires they get through the door. They’re looking for the best candidates to pitch to hiring managers. Ultimately, it’s the team’s decision who they hire. Your recruiter is only making an introduction. It’s up to you to close the deal.

In the case of Google, hiring decisions are made by a hiring committee that includes the CEO. After 4 to 9 interviews, on average, feedback is submitted and a candidate is further vetted. Those that pass face a final review by the hiring committee, consisting of senior managers and directors. They review every candidate that’s hired into Google, taking into account interview feedback, work history and the infamous hiring packet.

The hiring packet is your portfolio: it’s all the reasons why you deserve the job. It’s your final pitch.

The Brand called YOU

You are a brand, and like any business, it’s your job to sell yourself accordingly. From the moment you make your first contact to the final round interview, promote yourself. If Google is the end, then you are the beginning. You, Incorporated.

What do you have to offer a company? How will your colleagues benefit from having you around? Your brand is more than the impression you leave behind. It’s the fruit of your labor, and nothing speaks louder than your work. Henry Ford said it best, “You can’t build a reputation on what you’re going to do.”

They key to building your brand is doing work that creates value and strengthens credibility. To measure your meaning, consider the following:

  • Market – Who is your audience? Who stands to benefit from your skill set?
  • Message - What makes you unique? What is your dramatic difference?
  • Medium - How do you share your story? In what ways are you standing out?
  • Messenger – How does your online and offline persona match your brand?
  • Money – How do you measure and capture your value?

Software engineer, graphic designer, or AdWords account manager, when it comes to Google, or any any top company, you’re an All-Star. What you’re selling is beyond your capacity to work well. It’s intellectual curiosity and a desire to overcome business challenges and solve problems.

Hiring managers are looking for solutions and it’s your job to come up with an answer. The first test is ATS and those that pass move to the front of the line. We’ve always thought of friends and former colleagues as sources of referrals, but recruiters refer candidates too. In fact, they’re the number one source of referrals to hiring managers. Get on their good side.

The way to get noticed by Google and other top companies is simple: be the best and sell yourself at each stage of the game. It takes competence and confidence, and no one can market your brand better than you can. Start today!

Deobandi ulema openly condemn terrorism

Deobandi ulema openly condemn terrorism

Religious scholars could play an important role in bringing peace to Pakistan, religious and government officials say.

By Abdul Rahman

2014-03-20

ISLAMABAD – Pakistani scholars adhering to the Barelvi and Deobandi schools of Islamic thought have found common ground, agreeing that suicide attacks are haram.

Majlis-e-Sautul Islam (MSI), a Karachi-based Deobandi organisation, held a two-day seminar March 10-11 at the conclusion of a one-year training session for some of its intellectuals. There, it openly opposed suicide attacks.

“MSI was not only the first to declare suicide bombings un-Islamic and haram, but we also announced disowning all those movements and individuals who are shedding the blood of innocent Muslims,” MSI Chairman Mufti Abu Huraira Muhiyuddin said. “They have nothing to do with Islam, Pakistan or humanity.”

Though several Deobandi scholars, such as the late Maulana Hassan Jan, in the past have opposed suicide bombings and the killing of innocents, the fresh commitment by the MSI is being lauded as a significant development.

The Barelvi school of thought also opposes suicide attacks and bombings and has openly declared them haram. But the Deobandi action is significant because the Taliban draw their ideology from the Deobandi school of thought.

In the past, militants killed some religious scholars, including Jan, for explaining what Islam says about such acts. Jan was assassinated in suburban Peshawar in 2007.

Support from religious scholars needed

Several government officials spoke to the newly trained scholars.

Those who addressed the seminar included Pakistan Muslims League Nawaz (PML-N) leader and senior politician Raja Zafarul Haq, Senator Talha Mahmood, Maulana Abdul Qayyum Haqqani, Maulana Fazlur Rahman Ashrafi, Dr. Yousuf Farooqi and Dr. Dost Mohammad Khan.

Religious scholars can play an important role in bringing an end to terrorism and ensuring peace, all the speakers agreed.

Federal Religious Affairs Minister Sardar Mohammad Yousuf also spoke and thanked religious scholars, especially MSI, and asked that they continue to promote peace and harmony in society through their sermons.

“They [religious scholars] can show that [true] jihad does not equal qital (killing of people),” Dr. Khadim Hussain, an intellectual and educator, said. “Scholars can put forward the discourse of secular democratic nationhood.”

“We have trained 3,000 religious scholars from all over Pakistan who will support any step by the government to restore peace in the country and oppose any kind of terror act,” Muhiyuddin said. “People are being killed all over the country, and we must play a role in improving the situation.”

“They will convey the real message of Islam, which is peace and love,” he added.

PUC joins Pakistan against terrorism

Just two days after MSI’s announcement, the Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC) announced its support for government efforts to restore peace.

Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif March 13 addressed a 10-member PUC delegation, saying that extremism could be curbed only by following the teachings of Islam.

Religious scholars should not only promote the message of peace in the society but also do their part to promote the positive image of Pakistan in the global community, The News reported Nawaz Sharif as saying.

“Those who are carrying out bombings must be dealt with strictly by the government,” PUC Chairman Allama Tahir-ul-Ashrafi said. “We will support the government in any action against terrorists.” 

 
Subookh Syed
Tuesday, March 11, 2014 
From Print Edition
 
 

 

 

ISLAMABAD: More than 300 Ulema from the Deoband school of thought on Monday termed suicide bombings Haram and said the teachers and students of seminaries invite Allah Almighty’s curse upon terrorism and its perpetrators.

 

This is probably for the first time that the Deoband school of thought has so openly declared suicide bombings as Haram. All groups of Deoband school of thought attended the seminar.The open condemnation of suicide bombings by the Deoband Ulema carries significance, as the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) also belongs to the Deoband school of thought.

 

The Deoband Ulema had also outlawed the armed struggle against the state of Pakistan around three years back duringa conference in Lahore. However, analysts had termed it a political gimmick.

 

Addressing a seminar here under the auspices of Majlis Saut-ul-Islam, the Ulema said just formal condemnation of terrorism was not enough and now was the time for them to come out and defend Madaris (seminaries) against the propaganda that these were the sanctuaries of terrorism.

 

PML-N leader Raja Zafarul Haq, Senator Talha Mehmood, Mufti Abu Hurera Mohi-ud-Din, Maulana Zahid, Maulana Abdul Qayyum Haqqani, Maulana Fazl-ur-Rahim Ashrafi, Maulana Muhammad Ishaq, Maulana Dr Yousaf Farooqi, Maulana Dr Tahir Hakim, Rabita Alam Islami Director General Abda Muhammad Ateen, Sheikh Zaid Islamic University, Peshawar Director Dr. Dost Muhammad Khan and others addressed the seminar.

 

Mufti Abu Hurera Mohi-ud-Din said they welcomed the National Security Policy but it was tragic that seminaries were also included in it.Later, certificates were distributed among the successful students.

 

KARACHI: Senior clerics of India&#8217;s top seminary whose version of Islam the Taliban claim to follow have denounced the actions of the hardline militia, saying the group does not qualify to enjoy affiliations with the historic madressah.

In an interview with a correspondent of the BBC Urdu Service, the rector and the head of faculty of Darul Uloom (Waqf) Deoband said attacks by &#8216;vigilantes&#8217; in which innocent people died was not jihad but &#8216;individual zulm (oppression)&#8217;.

Seen in this light, attacks on shrines, barber shops and educational institutions were all un-Islamic. Maulana Saalim Qasimi went to the extent of characterising the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, which was ousted by the US forces in 2001, as &#8216;un-Islamic&#8217;.

He said the Taliban did not comprehend fully the tenets of Islam even though much was made of their &#8216;Islamic government&#8217;.

He said Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman, who supported the Afghan regime, was not a religious scholar. &#8216;He is more of a politician than a scholar.&#8217; &#8216;However, his father, Mufti Mehmood, was a scholar,&#8217; he said.

Maulana Aslam Qasimi, great grandson of Qasim Nanotvi, the founder of the madressah, said the recent statement by Sufi Mohammad that judiciary in Pakistan was un-Islamic was based on misconceptions and ignorance.

He said that Islam embraced concepts like democracy. &#8216;The spirit of democracy is very much there in Islam, though concepts like democracy have been taking new shapes and forms.&#8217;

Source: http://defence.pk/threads/deoband-ulema-term-all-taliban-actions-un-islamic.28506/#ixzz3HTEM3X3E

 
 1
The
 Fatwa
against Terrorism: Indian Deobandis Condemn Violence
 
Thanks to Kamala Kanta Dash
Abstract
Since ‘9/11’ and the global war on terrorism that followed, Muslim clerics and intellectualsin India have been under pressure from various quarters to publically denounce terrorism.This demand has come from media, political parties and fellow non-Muslim citizens. On 31May 2008, the leading Islamic Seminary Darul-Uloom Deoband (based in Uttar Pradesh)issued a public “Fatwa against terrorism” at a public rally of no less than 100,000 Islamicclerics in Delhi. This paper analyses the background to the declaration, the contents of theFatwa by the Deobandis and the responses from the ruling Congress Party government, theright wing (Hindu fundamentalist) opposition BJP, the Delhi Police and also Muslimintellectuals. What is the significance of this Fatwa, can the declaration make a difference,and why have terrorist explosions rocked New Delhi since this declaration (most recently, inearly September 2008, 5 bombs went off in Delhi)?
Introduction
On May 31 2008 more than a hundred thousand clerics, under the banner of 
 Darul Uloom Deoband 
,
2
issued a fatwa on terrorism and declared violence to be un-Islamic.
3
 The fatwa was also highly critical of the Indian government and police treatment of Muslims. It demanded deeper community engagement and greater sensitivity towardsMuslims.
1
The paper was presented in the International Conference on
 Radicalisation Crossing Borders
, GlobalTerrorism Research Centre (GTReC), Political and Social Inquiry (PSI), Monash University, 26-27November 2008. The author wishes to thank Dr. Pete Lentini for his encouragement and Prof. MarikaVicziany for her valuable insights, inputs and comments. The usual disclaimers apply. The author isthankful for the helpful suggestions received from anonymous referees.
2
 
 Darul Uloom
(can be translated as house/abode of knowledge, others regard this as house of science),the most influential Islamic educational institution in South Asia, is located at Deoband in the districtof Saharanpur of Uttar Pradesh, India. This seminary was established in 1866 during the Britishcolonial rule. The Deobandis represent the majority Sunni denomination of Islam and follow the
 Hanafi
School of thought. A renowned centre of Islamic learning (
 Madrasa
), the Darul Uloom is alsoknown for their nationalist orientation which played an important role in the Indian freedom struggle.In India Muslims constitute around 14% of the 1.1 billion populations and close to 90% of Muslimsfollow Sunni Islam. For more details on Deoband see the official site:http://www.darululoom-deoband.com. For a brief introduction on the seminary see The Milli Gazette,
 Darul Uloom Deoband 
 http://www.milligazette.com/Archives/2004/01-15Oct04-Print-Edition/011510200496.htm. For moreon the history and impact of the Deobandi movement refer to Metcalf (2003) and Tabassum (2006),and for Muslim population details, refer to the official Census of India website:http://www.censusindia.gov.in/Census_Data_2001/India_at_glance/religion.aspx 
3
 
For the May 2008 fatwa against terrorism see CNN-IBN (2008). For more information on earlierinitiatives in this direction see the
 Fatwas against Terrorism,
Muslims for Secular Democracy (2008), http://www.mfsd.org/. 
 
 2This paper analyses the Deobandi fatwa as a community initiative and the Indiangovernment’s response to it. It also evaluates the responses of the major politicalparties. It compares the fatwa with a police encounter six days after the Delhibombings in September 2008. The situation after the bombings raises the question of why and how the Indian government failed to engage the community in dealing withterrorism, even though the Muslim community had come forward to cooperate.
Fatwa on Terrorism and the Deobandis
 Fatwa
comes from the Arabic root word
afta
which means to describe or enlighten.”(Abdulaziz al-Gharyani, 2007) 
A fatwa seeks to explain, analyse or interpret the different facets of Islamic life.
4
 Hence a fatwa is issued to clear doubts and set guidelines for proper behaviour. Withthe passage of time the fatwa has acquired a quasi-legal status, and its rulings arewidely accepted and followed. Therefore the fatwa can be defined as an edict orinstruction issued by a recognised body of Islamic scholars or a well-qualified Islamicscholar on different matters pertaining to socio-political, cultural and public affairsaspects of a Muslim society.
5
 Ironically the word ‘fatwa’ became internationally known when Ayatollah Khomeiniof Iran issued one against Salman Rushdie in 1989 for his controversial book 
TheSatanic Verses
(Guardian, 1989). A decade later Osama Bin Laden’s 1998 fatwa towage
 jihad 
against the United States and its allies made international headlines.
6
 These fatawa have created an incorrect stereotype that suggests that fatawa aretypically oppressive or violent. Despite this, and especially since 9/11, many Islamic scholars and centres of learninghave denounced violence and issued fatawa against terrorism.
7
Until now, however,there have been very few studies of these kinds of fatawa. Because the Deobandi
4
 
 Fatwa
is singular,
 fatawa
is plural.
5
For a detailed analysis of fatwa see Bar (2006: pp. 1-18).
6
For a detailed analysis of this fatwa see Ranstorp (1998: pp. 321- 330) and National Commission onTerrorist Attacks (2004).
The
 
9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission onTerrorist Attacks Upon the United States
. New York. W.W. Norton & Company.
7
For a detailed list of such fatawa seehttp://www.unc.edu/~kurzman/terror.htm
 
 
 3fatawa of 31 May 2008 is such a powerful symbol of Islamic peace initiatives, it isparticularly worthy of study.
8
 The Deoband School was established in Uttar Pradesh against the backdrop of theanti-colonial struggles in 1866.
9
The Deobandis were closely associated with thesecular-oriented Indian National Congress Party, and the Deobandi clergy opposedthe idea of the ‘two-nation theory’ and the creation of a separate state of Pakistan.Ironically today the Deobandis are ideologically powerful in Pakistan and arerepresentative of the different sectarian groupings into which Muslims fall.
10
Incontemporary India the Deobandi opposition to Pakistan’s formation has long beenforgotten, and it is now commonly assumed that the Deobandis are merely Islamicfundamentalists. This misunderstanding perhaps explains why the fatwa discussed inthe next section was not taken sufficiently seriously.
India’s Fatwa on Terrorism:
11
Text and Context
After 9/11, institutions and intellectuals in Muslim societies across the world,especially leading seminaries like Deoband, were placed under serious scrutiny andaccused of being silent sympathisers of fundamentalist Islam. There were persistentdemands from all quarters in India that the Deobandis denounce terrorism. With eachterrorist attack Indian Muslims were targeted and arrested, and a pattern of witch-hunting of Muslim youth by police has been clearly visible (Sikand, 2008). By thistime a dominant stereotype has also developed that Muslims do not want to engagewith the state or with non-Muslim communities.Since Independence in 1947, Indian Muslims have faced difficult questions abouttheir loyalty to India and how national identity can be reconciled to their faith. The
8
Deobandi ideology and movement is being seen as inspiration to the Taliban. The
9/11 commission Report,
National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, p.63.http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/911/report/911Report.pdf  
9
For details see Metcalf (2003)
 
and Tabassum (2006)
10
Abdullah Hussain Haroon Pakistan’s permanent representative to the UN ‘linked the Deobandseminary to Taliban fighters in NWFP and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA)’ and spoke of the need a fatwa from Deoband to stop terrorism in Pakistan, quoted in The Times of India (2008).
11
After 9/11 there were initial efforts in India to denounce violence and terrorism as un-Islamic butthey all remained confined to their local milieu. The Deoband initiative is the first of its kind that hasbeen able to reach the national level. For a detailed analysis of fatwa see
 
Bar (2006).
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Deoband ulema term all Taliban actions un-Islamic

Deoband first: A fatwa against terror

NEW DELHI: For the first time ever, Islamic seminary Darul-Uloom Deoband issued a fatwa against terrorism on Saturday, stating Islam had come to wipe out all kinds of terrorism and to spread the message of global peace. The Darul-Uloom had denounced terrorism for the first time in February, but had not issued a fatwa so far. (Watch 

Saturday’s fatwa, signed by Darul-Uloom’s grand mufti Habibur Rehman, asserts that “Islam rejects all kinds of unjust violence, breach of peace, bloodshed, murder and plunder and does not allow it in any form”. 

Citing the “sinister campaign” to malign “Islamic faith…by linking terrorism with Islam and distorting the meanings of Quranic Verses and Prophet traditions”, Mahmood Asad Madani, leader of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, had wanted Deoband to spell out the stand of Islam on world peace. 

 

The fatwa, issued before a huge gathering of Muslims in Delhi’s Ramlila Ground for the Anti-Terrorism and Global Peace Conference, went on to say, “It is proved from clear guidelines provided in the Holy Quran that allegations of terrorism against a religion which preaches and guarantees world peace is nothing but a lie. The religion of Islam has come to wipe out all kinds of terrorism and to spread the message of global peace. Allah knows the best.” 

The conference was addressed by Jamiat chief and Darul-Uloom’s deputy rector Hazrat Maulana Qari Sayed Mohammed Usman. 

He called the conference historic as Muslims of different sects and ideologies — including Nadwatul Ulama Lucknow, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind and All India Muslim Personal Law Board — ratified the fatwa against terrorism. 

The exclusively-male turnout that read an “oath of allegiance” to the fatwa cheered most lustily as speakers attacked the US. 

Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind leader Madani, an MP, stated that the fatwa should be welcomed by the entire Islamic world. 

“Killing of innocent people is not compatible with Islam. The biggest challenge faced by us today is terrorism (which) threatens to strike at the very root of the secular structure of our society besides causing irreparable loss,” stated Madani. 

 
Notwithstanding the caveats like “unjust” and “innocent”, which may make it appear falling short of an 
unequivocal condemnation of terrorism, the fatwa is viewed by many as a significant step forward towards rallying the public opinion against terrorism. 

Coming after the February 25 denunciation, it is seen as reflective of the growing recognition on the part of clerics to counter misgivings about interpretations of scriptures. 

Deoband has lately been under intense focus because many of the terrorist groups — from Taliban to Jaish and Harkat — are widely perceived to be Deobandi in orientation. 

However, it was when the deputy rector of Deoband, Usman, came down heavily on “the dual policy of America” that the massive crowds cheered the most. “Whenever Christian and American interests are hurt in any part of the world, they take prompt action to set things right even at the cost of human lives. They maintain silence though when Muslims are the victims,” he said, further criticizing the US for its support to Israel. 

According to Usman, Jamiat recently held a series of conferences and meetings with madrassas in Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Kanpur, Surat, Varanasi and Kolkata to carry forward the anti-terror movement which was initiated at Deoband in February. Usman said that many people, especially in the West, were carrying out a propaganda that terrorism was synonymous with jehad. 

He said that while terrorism is destructive, jehad is constructive. “Terrorism is the gravest crime as held by Quran and Islam. We are not prepared to tolerate terrorism in any form and we are ready to cooperate with all responsible people,” he said.

 

Senior clerics of India’s top seminary whose version of Islam the Taliban claim to follow have denounced the actions of the hardline militia, saying the group does not qualify to enjoy affiliations with the historic madressah.

In an interview with a correspondent of the BBC Urdu Service, the rector and the head of faculty of Darul Uloom (Waqf) Deoband said attacks by “vigilantes” in which innocent people died was not jihad but “indivi- dual zulm (oppression)”.

Seen in this light, attacks on shrines, barber shops and educational institutions were all un-Islamic.

Maulana Saalim Qasimi went to the extent of characterising the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, which was ousted by the US forces in 2001, as “un-Islamic”.

He said the Taliban did not comprehend fully the tenets of Islam even though much was made of their “Islamic government”.

He said Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman, who supported the Afghan regime, was not a religious scholar. “He is more of a politician than a scholar.” “However, his father, Mufti Mehmood, was a scholar,” he said.

Maulana Aslam Qasimi, great grandson of Qasim Nanotvi, the founder of the madressah, said the recent statement by Sufi Mohammad that judiciary in Pakistan was un-Islamic was based on misconceptions and ignorance.

He said that Islam embraced concepts like democracy. “The spirit of democracy is very much there in Islam, though concepts like democracy have been taking new shapes and forms.”

FORMER CIA AGENT: “THE ISIS LEADER ABU BAKR AL BAGHDADI WAS TRAINED BY THE ISRAELI MOSSAD”

FORMER CIA AGENT: “THE ISIS LEADER ABU BAKR AL BAGHDADI WAS TRAINED BY THE ISRAELI MOSSAD”

 BY ANAS CHIHAB
 IN INTERNATIONAL
 JUL 17TH, 2014
 71 COMMENTS
 
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snowden-al-badhadi-642x406

 

The former NSA and CIA agent Edward Snowden revealed that the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi was trained in Israel, various Iranien sources reported.

Snowden added that the American CIA and the British Intelligence collaborated with the Israeli Mossad to create a terrorist organization that is able to attract all extremists of the world to one place, using a strategy called “the hornet’s nest”.

The “Hornet’s nest’’ strategy aims to bring all the major threats to one place in order to track them, and mostly to shake the stability of the Arab countries. The NSA agent revealed that the ISIS “Calif”,  Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi went trough intense military training in the Israeli intelligence “Mossad”.

Besides military training, Al Baghdadi studied communication and public speaking skills in order to attract “terrorists” from all the corners of the world.

Related Post:  “Al-Baghdadi Should Take Off his Mask and Declare Loudly and Clearly that He Is a CIA Agent,” Chechnya President Kadirov

The Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), an independent non-profit organization in the province of Quebec, Canada, which focuses on research and media, relayed a story about this as well, adding that “three countries created a terrorist organisation that is able to attract all extremists of the world to one place,” using the aforementioned “the hornet’s nest” strategy.

“The only solution for the protection of the Jewish state is to create an enemy near its borders,” Snowden was reported to say.

Related Posts:

 (Video included) Israeli Sniper Shoots and Kills a Wounded Civilian Palestinian Literally Like “a Dog in the streets”

EDITOR’S NOTE: Time Magazine has released on July 19, 2014 an article arguing that this story, which was reported by many Iranian sources including Iran News Agency, is a conspiracy theory from Iran and that it is not true. Nevertheless, it is worth pointing out that though the piece of news went viral on the net, Snowden did not refute the claims of the Iranian News Agency.