जिला पंचायत चुनाव में डाले गये वोटों में एक ही खाने में पायी गयी एक से अधिक सीलों से गोपनीयता भंग नहीं हुयी?
भाजपा के रणनीतिकारों के अनुसार उन्होंने जो व्यवस्था जमायी थी उससे एक वोट कम मिला तो कैसे? भाजपा के रणनीतिकारों को कांग्रेस के सदस्यों के साथ साथ अपनी खुद की पार्टी के सदस्यों को भी “मैनेज“ करना पडा। भाजपायी सूत्रों का दावा है कि जो एक वोट निरस्त हुआ है वो भाजपा के किसी जयचंद का ही है। प्रदेश कांग्रेस के सचिव राजा बघेल ने बहुत स्पष्ट शब्दों में यह कहा था कि हर चुनाव के बाद समीक्षा बैठक होना चाहिये और उसके अनुसार कार्यवाही होना चाहिये ना कि कभी भी किसी चुनाव को लेकर आरोप प्रत्यारोप लगते रहें। इंका के वरिष्ठ नेता आशुतोष वर्मा ने अपने संबोधन में कहा था कि कांग्रेस के जिन उम्मीदवारों को जनादेश मिला हैं उन्हें सब नेता अपना मानें। अपनों में ज्यादा अपना तलाशने के प्रयास नुकसानदायक हो जाते हैं। लेकिन इतिहास में पहली बार कांग्रेस ने बहुमत होने के बाद भी जिला पंचायत पर अपना कब्जा बरकरार नहीं रख पायी जो कि पिछले चार चुनावों से बना हुआ था। इसे लेकर राजनैतिक हल्कों में तरह तरह की चर्चायें हैं। बीते दिनों संपन्न इस चुनाव में तीन या चार मतपत्रों में एक ही प्रत्याशी के सामने वाले खाने में एक से अधिक सील लगी पायी गयीं। इन मतपत्रों में दो से लेकर चार और पांच सीले लगी पायीं गयीं। एक बात और आश्चर्य के साथ यह पायी कि सभी सीलें स्पष्ट रूप से दिखायी दे रहीं थी। क्या मात्र 19 वोटों में ऐसा करना गोपनीयता को भंग करने वाला कृत्य नहीं हैं? क्या इन वोटों को निरस्त नहीं किया जाना चाहिये था ?
जिपं चुनाव में भाजपायी जयचंद की भी चर्चा-जिला पंचायत के चुनावों के बाद जयचंदों की चर्चा थमने का नाम ही ले रहीं है। भाजपा के रणनीतिकारों के अनुसार उन्होंने जो व्यवस्था जमायी थी उससे एक वोट कम मिला तो कैसे? भाजपा को 6 तथा उसकी बागी गोमती ठाकुर सहित कुल 7 मेम्बर थे। भाजपा के रणनीतिकारों का दावा है कि उन्होंने कांग्रेस के तीन मेम्बरों को मैनेज किया था। एक कांग्रेसी वोट उन्हें चंद्रशेखर चर्तुवेदी का विधायक मुनमुन राय के माध्यम से मिलना था।इस तरह भाजपा को अध्यक्ष के लिये 11 वोट मिलना थे लेकिन भाजपा को दस वोट ही मिले। और एक वोट निरस्त हो गया। भाजपायी सूत्रों का दावा है कि जो एक वोट निरस्त हुआ है वो भाजपा के किसी जयचंद का ही है। चूंकि भाजपा अल्पतम में होने के बाद भी चुनाव जीत गयी है इसीलिये वहां जयचंद की तलाश करने के बजाय जीत श्रेय लेने का सिलसिला जारी है। अखबारों में विज्ञापनों की होड़ लगी हुयी हैं। भाजपा के बड़े नेताओं ्रके साथ जिले के इकलौते भाजपा विधायक कमल मर्सकोले और निर्दलीय विधायक दिनेश मुनमुन राय की फोटो े प्रकाशित हो रही हैं और उन्हें इन चुनावों का कुशल रणनीतिकार माना जा रहा है।संगठन को सत्ता से प्रमुख मानने वाली भाजपा के हाल भी कंछ अलग थे। इन चुनावों में भाजपा के जिलाध्यक्ष वेदसिंह ठाकुर की भूमिका भी सत्तासीनों के बगलगीर होने से ज्यादा और कुछ नहीं थी। इसके अलावा एक बात और सामने आयी है कि भाजपा के रणनीतिकारों को कांग्रेस के सदस्यों के साथ साथ अपनी खुद की पार्टी के सदस्यों को भी “मैनेज“ करना पडा।
प्रदेश सचिव के कहने के बाद भी नहीं हो पायी कांग्रेस की समीक्षा बैठक-नव निर्वाचित जिला पंचायत सदस्यों के अभिनंदन के लिये आयोजित बैठक में ही प्रदेश कांग्रेस के सचिव राजा बघेल ने बहुत स्पष्ट शब्दों में यह कहा था कि हर चुनाव के बाद समीक्षा बैठक होना चाहिये और उसके अनुसार कार्यवाही होना चाहिये ना कि कभी भी किसी चुनाव को लेकर आरोप प्रत्यारोप लगते रहें। इसके पूर्व इंका के वरिष्ठ नेता आशुतोष वर्मा ने अपने संबोधन में कहा था कि कांग्रेस के जिन उम्मीदवारों को जनादेश मिला हैं उन्हें सब नेता अपना मानें। अपनों में ज्यादा अपना तलाशने के प्रयास नुकसानदायक हो जाते हैं। इन्हीें कांग्रेसी मेम्बरों में से जिन्हें ज्यादा मेम्बर पसंद करें उसे अध्यक्ष एवं उपाध्यक्ष बनाना चाहिये। लकिन जब जिला पंचायत के अध्यक्ष एवं उपाध्यक्ष के चुनाव हुये तो दोनो ही पदों पर कांग्रेस का हार का सामना करना पड़ा। हालांकि इस चुनाव के पहले इंका विधायक रजनीश सिंह के निावास स्थान बर्रा में जिले के कांग्रेस नेताओं की प्रदेश के पर्यवेक्षकों सुरेश राय और पाली भाटिया की उपस्थिति और जिला इंकाध्यक्ष हीरा आसवानी की अध्यक्षता में एक बैठक रखी गयी जिसमें विधायक योगेन्द्र सिंह बाबा सहित सभी नेता शामिल हुये। इस बैठक में कांग्रेस समर्थित चंद्रशेख चर्तुवेदी के अलावा सभी सदस्य शामिल हुये जो कि बाद में भाजपा की ओर से उपाध्यक्ष बने। बैइक के उदबोधनों के बाद रात में अधिकांश नेता चले गये लेकिन पर्यवेक्षक सहित सभी सदस्य रात को वहीं रहें। सदस्यों की रायशुमारी के अलावा प्रत्याशी चयन के लिये और क्या प्रक्रिया अपनायी गयी इसकी जानकारी अधिकांश नेताओं को नहीं दी गयी और दूसरे दिन सुबह लगभग सवा दस बजे मेम्बरों की उपस्थिति में सुरेश राय ने अध्यक्ष पद के लिये ऊषा पटले के नाम के साथ ही उपाध्यक्ष पद के लिये अशोक सिरसाम के नाम की घोषणा कर दी थी और तत्काल ही वाहनों में सवार होंकर काफिला सिवनी रवाना कर दिया गया था। किसी भी मेम्बर की किसी भी नेता से बात ही नहीं हुयी कि मेम्बर इस फैसले से संतुष्ट हैं कि नहीं? यहां यह विशेष रूप से उल्लेखनीय है कि श्रीमती पटेल केवलारी क्षेत्र से निर्वाचित हुयीं है तो अशोक सिरसाम के निर्वाचन क्षेत्र में केवलारी विस के एक प्रमुख राजनैतिक केन्द्र भोमा सहित कुछ गांव आते हैं। उम्मीद की जा रही थी कि प्रदेश कांग्रेस सचिव राजा बघेल के निर्देश के अनुसार इस बार समीक्षा बैठक होगी जिसमें खुल कर सभी बातों की चर्चा होगी और जयचंदों को तलाश कर उन्हें दंड़ित किया जायेगा लेकिन ऐसा कुछ भी तक नहीं हो पाया है। चुनाव के बाद कुछ मेम्बरों ने कांग्रेस के कुछ नेताओं को यह जरूर बताया कि अधिकांश मेम्बरों की राय अध्यक्ष पद के लिये चित्रलेखा नेताम और उपाध्यक्ष पद के लिये जयकेश ठाकुर के लिये थी लेकिन उन पर यह फैसला थोप दिया गया। यदि ऐसा भी हाता तो क्याा होता? यह कहना आसान नहीं हैं लेकिन इतिहास में पहली बार कांग्रेस ने बहुमत होने के बाद भी जिला पंचायत पर अपना कब्जा बरकरार नहीं रख पायी जो कि पिछले चार चुनावों से बना हुआ था। इसे लेकर राजनैतिक हल्कों में तरह तरह की चर्चायें हैं।
मतपत्र में एक से अधिक सील से क्या गोपनीयता भंग नहीं होती?-सिवनी जिला पंचायत में मात्र 19 सदस्य मतपत्र के माध्यम से वेट डालकर अपने अध्यक्ष एवं उपाध्यक्ष का चुनाव करते हैं। बीते दिनों संपन्न इस चुनाव में तीन या चार मतपत्रों में एक ही प्रत्याशी के सामने वाले खाने में एक से अधिक सील लगी पायी गयीं। इन मतपत्रों में दो से लेकर चार और पांच सीले लगी पायीं गयीं। एक बात और आश्चर्य के साथ यह पायी कि सभी सीलें स्पष्ट रूप से दिखायी दे रहीं थी। क्या मात्र 19 वोटों में ऐसा करना गोपनीयता को भंग करने वाला कृत्य नहीं हैं? क्या इन वोटों को निरस्त नहीं किया जाना चाहिये था?ये ऐसे सवाल है जो कि इस चुनाव के बाद से सियासी हल्कों में चर्चित हैं। यह बात भी साफ है कि जनादेश के अनुसार तो यह चुनाव कांग्रेस को जीतना था। लेकिन भाजपा की जीत से यह स्पष्ट है कि कुछ मैनेज किया गया। जब मैनेजमेंट किया जाता है तो यह भी सुनिश्चित करने का प्रयास किया जाता है कि यह पता चल जाये कि जिसये मैनेज किया है उसने वोट दिया है कि नहीं? क्या एक से अधिक लगायी गयी सीलें इसी योजना का हिस्सा थी? यदि ऐसे वोट निकले थे तो फिर निरस्त करने की मांग क्यों नहीं की गयी? प्रशासनिक अधिकारी तो यह कह सकते हैं कि ऐसी कोई आपत्ति नहीं लगायी गयी। तब यह सवाल ाी उठता है कि क्या जो एक वोट निरस्त हुआ है उसके लिये आपत्ति लगायी गयी थी?क्या मतदान की गोपनीयता बनाये रखना निर्वाचन में लगे प्रशासनिक अमले की जवाबदारी नहीं हैं? ये तमाम ऐसे सवाल है जो इसलिये चर्चित हो रहें हैं क्योंकि प्रदेश में सत्तारूढ़ भाजपा ने बहुमत ना होने के बाद भी अपना अध्यक्ष एवं उपाध्यक्ष बनवा लिया है। “मुसाफिर“
सा. दर्पण झूठ ना बोले सिवनी
31 मार्च 2015 से साभार
मैं अक्सर सोचा करता था कि राजनीति में क्यों नहीं एक परीक्षा की व्यवस्था है जिससे पढ़े लिखे लोग राजनीति में आएं और देश को एक स्वस्थ माहौल मिले , देश में सुधार की लहर बहे और विकास हो । गुंडे मवालियो से देश को मुक्ति मिले । इससे देश में जो लोग जनता को बेवकूफ बना रहे हैं वे ऐसा नहीं कर पाएंगे क्योंकि पढ़े लिखे लोगों की पार्टी उन्हें ऐसा नहीं करने देगी । इन्हीं सब उम्मीदों को पूरा करने के लिए आई थी आम आदमी पार्टी । मगर अगर बहुत सारे हाई प्रोफाइल पढ़े लिखे लोग एक ही पार्टी में आ जाएँ तो पार्टी की क्या दुर्गति हो सकती है यह मैंने कभी सोचा नहीं था । एक ही रसोई में इतने सारे रसोईये खिचड़ी पका रहे हैं और सब अपना अपना मसाला डाल रहे हैं और खिचड़ी का स्वाद कैसा होगा इसकी कोई चिंता ही नहीं है। ईश्वर दोबारा ऐसे पढ़े लिखे लोगों को सत्ता न दे । सुलझे लोगों को ही सत्ता दे वे चाहे पढ़े लिखे हों या न हों ।
The Story of the Prophetic Mission of Muhammad (Pbuh) In the Qu’ran (Part 4): The Medinian Period
By Observer for New Age Islam
28 March, 2015
The General Principles
Let us begin with a discussion on the unqualified rules of conduct that may be taken as general principles applicable at all times and irrespective of context, which not only Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) adhered to all through his Prophetic mission, but every Messenger of God that preceded him and indeed God Himself.
Surah Al-Kafirun / The Disbelievers is the 18th Surah in chronological order and is one of the earliest MeccanSurahs.
(109:1) Say : O ye that reject Faith (Al-Kafirun)!
(2) I worship not that which ye worship,
(3) Nor will ye worship that which I worship.
(4) And I will not worship that which ye have been wont to worship,
(5) Nor will ye worship that which I worship.
(6) To you be your Way, and to me mine.
The Surah is a unilateral declaration of peace and a clear intention to leave alone the peaceful Kafirun (rejecters of faith) to their way if they left the Muslims to their way. The public preaching of the message commenced in 613 CE. From part 1 of this article, we know that active and even violent opposition to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had started right from the beginning of the prophetic mission. It is to these Kafirun that the Surah is addressed and not to the Mushrikin or the polytheists. This is another proof that Mushrik and Kafir are not synonyms. Otherwise, after saying “To you be your Way, and to me mine” very early during the Prophetic mission, there was nothing more left to do if the Kafirun meant the Mushrikin (polytheists). .
It is here that the Stories of Prophet Yusuf and Yunus (pbut) become relevant. Prophet Yusuf spent a lifetime in Egypt and preceded Moses (pbuh). Apparently, when Moses was sent to the Pharaoh, there were not many believers in Egypt except the “Children of Israel” who were enslaved and brought to Egypt. It can therefore be surmised that not many Egyptians believed after the mission of Yusuf (pbuh) but none opposed him either. The rejecters were peaceful rejecters and therefore there was no punishment from Allah.
In the case of Prophet Yunus (pbuh), there was stiff opposition to begin with and Prophet Yunus left in anger without the permission from Allah for which he was punished. He returned to his people and everyone (some hundred thousand) believed. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is also cautioned to not become impatient like Yunus but to persist with patience.
In the case of both these Prophets, there was no punishment from Allah on their people. The people of Mecca could therefore choose to be like the people of Yusuf and peacefully reject or like the people of Yunus and believe or like the people of Noah, Hud, Salih, Shoaib, Lut and Moses and violently oppose and suffer the inevitable consequences.
The following verses are from the Medinian period when Muhammad (pbuh) had become a political leader and in a position to wage war and yet there is an unqualified declaration that there cannot be compulsion in religion.
Surah Al- Baqara, Medinian Chronological order 87
(2:256) Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things.
2:272. It is not required of thee (O Messenger), to set them on the right path, but Allah sets on the right path whom He pleaseth.
Al-Mumtahina, Medinian Chronological order 91
(60:8) Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly (taburruhum) and justly (tuqsitu) with them: for Allah loveth those who are just. (9) Allah only forbids you, with regard to those who fight you for (your) Faith, and drive you out of your homes, and support (others) in driving you out, from turning to them (for friendship and protection). It is such as turn to them (in these circumstances), that do wrong.
Al-Maeda, Medinian Chronological order 112
(5:2)…. let not the hatred of some people in (once) shutting you out of the Sacred Mosque lead you to transgression (and hostility on your part). Help ye one another in righteousness and piety, but help ye not one another in sin and rancour: fear Allah: for Allah is strict in punishment.
(5:8) O ye who believe! stand out firmly for Allah, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety: and fear Allah. For Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do.
The underlying principles of secular justice and freedom of conscience and religion, in the verses cited above, are the eternal principles of Islam. And as the Quran says, Islam was the religion of all the prophets.
In my 4 part article “Who is a Kafir in the Quran?” I have brought out that the Quran deals with:
1. The secular, the worldly or the temporal dimension and
2. The Spiritual dimension
What is purely the Spiritual Dimension is outside the pail of both punishment in this world and coercive interference. The Quran prescribes no punishment for the “Rejecters of Faith” as long as they are peaceful. No punishment in this world is prescribed in the Quran for blasphemy unless accompanied by inciting violence, enmity, strife or causing public disorder. The punishment then is not for blasphemy but for the crimes in the temporal dimension. Apostasy is also not punishable in this world unless accompanied by treason. It is treason that is punishable and not apostasy. This rule has however been perverted to equate apostasy with treason where apostasy itself implies treason. This is a clear perversion of the message of the Quran.
Persecution of the Muslims
Part 1 of the article covered active opposition to Muhammad’s mission which started right at the beginning. Among the Muslims were those like the Prophet himself, Abu Bakr, Ali, and Umar with powerful tribal connections who could not be harmed with impunity without attracting tribal revenge. There were many other poor and weak Muslims without such connections who became the target of physical torture and persecution and at least one person was killed by tearing apart the body by tying each leg to a camel and driving them in different directions. It was in these circumstances that the following verse was revealed in Meccan Surah An-Nahl:
16:106 Anyone who, after accepting faith in Allah, utters Unbelief, - except under compulsion, his heart remaining firm in Faith - but such as open their breast to Unbelief, on them is Wrath from Allah, and theirs will be a dreadful Penalty.
Persecution of Muslims by the Quaraish in Mecca intensified and in 615 CE a group of Muslims left for Abyssinia (modern Ethiopia) and sought asylum on the advice of the Prophet. A second group comprising a little over a hundred people emigrated in 616 CE
In the year 617, the Quraysh under the leadership of Abu Jahl, banished the Muslims and their supporters to a dry valley and refused to trade with them. Muhammad’s uncle, Abu Talib, lost his business and the Muslims nearly starved. Abu Bakr, once a wealthy trader, lost everything. In 619, Muhammad’s wife Khadijah died, and then Muhammad also lost his protector and uncle , Abu Talib in 620.
In 621 CE about 75 persons from Medina took the two Pledges of al-Aqaba, accepting Islam and pledging to protect Muhammad from all danger.
Migration to Medina
The Muslims were offered asylum in a city north of Makkah called Yathrib (later, Madinah). The migration of the Muslims to Yathrib, in 622, is called the Hijrah. Hearing of a joint plot by all the tribes of Mecca to kill Muhammad, he and Abu Bakr escaped to Madinah together in the night, and received a joyful reception by the leaders of that town who willingly adopted Islam. The migration is referred to in an early Medinian Surah Al-Anfal verse 8:30, and also a late Medinian Surah Taubah verse 9:40 below:
(8:30) Remember how the Unbelievers plotted against thee, to keep thee in bonds, or slay thee, or get thee out (of thy home). They plot and plan, and Allah too plans; but the best of planners is Allah.
(9:40) If ye help not (your leader), (it is no matter): for Allah did indeed help him, when the Unbelievers drove him out: he had no more than one companion; they two were in the cave, and he said to his companion, "Have no fear, for Allah is with us": then Allah sent down His peace upon him, and strengthened him with forces which ye saw not, and humbled to the depths the word of the Unbelievers. But the word of Allah is exalted to the heights: for Allah is Exalted in might, Wise.
Muhammad established a mutual defense and cooperation pact among the tribes of Madinah, with himself as the leader of the city. This document was called the "Constitution of Madinah." Muhammad paired immigrants from Makkah with the Muslims from Madinah in a relationship of brotherhood.
Unfolding Of Allah’s Judgment Repeatedly Warned
The permission to fight was given in the Medinian Surah Al-Hajj verse 39 and the justification for it in verse 40. That the nature of this fighting was to assume the punishment meted out to the people of Noah, Hud (Ad), Salih (Thamud), Lut, Shoaib (Madyan), Abraham and Moses of which the Meccans were repeatedly warned in 32 of the MeccanSurahs is clearly indicated. Even then, verse 60 puts a limit on retaliation for the wrongs of the Meccans “to no greater extent than the injury he received”.
(39) To those against whom war is made, permission is given (to fight), because they are wronged;- and verily, Allah is most powerful for their aid;-
(40) (They are) those who have been expelled from their homes in defiance of right,- (for no cause) except that they say, "our Lord is Allah". Did not Allah check one set of people by means of another, there would surely have been pulled down monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques, in which the name of Allah is commemorated in abundant measure. Allah will certainly aid those who aid his (cause);- for verily Allah is full of Strength, Exalted in Might, (able to enforce His Will).
(41) (They are) those who, if We establish them in the land, establish regular prayer and give regular charity, enjoin the right and forbid wrong: with Allah rests the end (and decision) of (all) affairs.
(42) If they treat thy (mission) as false, so did the peoples before them (with their prophets),- the People of Noah, and ´Ad and Thamud;
(43) Those of Abraham and Lut;
(44) And the Companions of the Madyan People; and Moses was rejected (in the same way). But I granted respite to the Unbelievers, and (only) after that did I punish them: but how (terrible) was my rejection (of them)!
(45) How many populations have We destroyed, which were given to wrong-doing? They tumbled down on their roofs. And how many wells are lying idle and neglected, and castles lofty and well-built?
(46) Do they not travel through the land, so that their hearts (and minds) may thus learn wisdom and their ears may thus learn to hear? Truly it is not their eyes that are blind, but their hearts which are in their breasts.
(47) Yet they ask thee to hasten on the Punishment! But Allah will not fail in His Promise. Verily a Day in the sight of thy Lord is like a thousand years of your reckoning.
(48) And to how many populations did I give respite, which were given to wrong-doing? in the end I punished them. To me is the destination (of all).
(49) Say: "O men! I am (sent) to you only to give a Clear Warning:
(50) "Those who believe and work righteousness, for them is forgiveness and a sustenance most generous.
(51) "But those who strive against Our Signs, to frustrate them,- they will be Companions of the Fire."…….
(58) Those who leave their homes in the cause of Allah, and are then slain or die,- On them will Allah bestow verily a goodly Provision: Truly Allah is He Who bestows the best provision.
(59) Verily He will admit them to a place with which they shall be well pleased: for Allah is All-Knowing, Most Forbearing.
(60) That (is so). And if one has retaliated to no greater extent than the injury he received, and is again set upon inordinately, Allah will help him: for Allah is One that blots out (sins) and forgives (again and again).
It is important to note that only a leader with a territory in his control can protect his people and it is only such a leader who can wage war and defend his people. Muhammad (pbuh) was not given the permission to fight in Mecca simply because he was not such a leader in Mecca. All the verses to fight apply only to the Muslims who were with the Prophet in Medina and not to those who stayed behind in Mecca since the Prophet could not protect them.
Battle of Badr
The first battle between the Muslims from Madinah and the Quraysh from Makkah took place at Badr in 624 C.E. The Muslim army of about 300 routed the Makkan army of more than a thousand fighters and took many of them prisoners, according to historical accounts. Several of the leaders of the Unfaith were killed in battle including Abu Jahl, Walidibn al-Mughirah and Abu Lahab the three chief tormentors of the Muslims mentioned directly or indirectly in the earliest MeccanSurahs covered in part 1. Abu Lahab did not take part in the battle but died a week later from a wound inflicted by a woman in a dispute about the battle! UmayyahibnKhalafibnSafwan who had owned the slave Bilal and tortured him for converting to Islam, Uqbaibn Abu Mu'ayt one of the principal adversaries of Islam, UtbahibnRabi'ah one of the prominent Leaders of Quraish, and WalidibnUtbah were also killed. The number of Meccans killed were 70 and another 70 were taken prisoner but ransomed, number of Muslims killed were 14 and none of those killed were among the commanders.
The following are verses from Surah Al-Anfaal
(32) Remember how they said: "O Allah if this is indeed the Truth from Thee, rain down on us a shower of stones form the sky, or send us a grievous penalty."
(33) But Allah was not going to send them a penalty whilst thou wast amongst them; nor was He going to send it whilst they could ask for pardon.
(34) But what plea have they that Allah should not punish them, when they keep out (men) from the sacred Mosque - and they are not its guardians? No men can be its guardians except the righteous; but most of them do not understand.
(35) Their prayer at the House (of Allah) is nothing but whistling and clapping of hands: (Its only answer can be), "Taste ye the penalty because ye blasphemed."
(36) The Unbelievers spend their wealth to hinder (man) from the path of Allah, and so will they continue to spend; but in the end they will have (only) regrets and sighs; at length they will be overcome: and the Unbelievers will be gathered together to Hell;-
(37) In order that Allah may separate the impure from the pure, put the impure, one on another, heap them together, and cast them into Hell. They will be the ones to have lost.
(38) Say to the Unbelievers (kafaru), if (now) they desist (from hindering man from the path of Allah) their past would be forgiven them; but if they persist, the punishment of those before them is already (a matter of warning for them).
(39) And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah altogether and everywhere; but if they cease, verily Allah doth see all that they do.
(40) If they refuse, be sure that Allah is your Protector - the best to protect and the best to help.
Verse 33 says that the penalty could come to the Unbelievers only after the Believers had left the place (Mecca) and not while they were in their midst. The penalty in the form of a shower of stones from the sky was not sent even after the Believers had migrated because the door to pardon was still open to them. However, they were without a plea to save themselves from punishment for they kept men out from the Sacred Mosque. However, if they desisted from hindering men from the path of Allah, the past would be forgiven them.
Verse 8:38 is proof, that the battle (Badr) was to end the kufr of persecution and oppression of the Muslims and not for putting an end to the kufr of belief by forcing the Meccans to accept Islam. If the Meccans had heeded and given up practicing oppression against those who were accepting Islam, and allowing the Muslims to worship in the sacred mosque, there would have been no more fighting after this verse was revealed and peaceful propagation of Islam would have recommenced.
Battle of Uhud
A year after the Battle of Badr, the Makkans sent an army to take revenge for their defeat which would have once again resulted in the rout of the Meccans but for the Muslim archers leaving their post for the spoils of war thinking that the war was won. This battle was called the battle of Uhud. With many losses on both sides, the two sides withdrew in a stalemate with the Muslims suffering casualties of about 70 including Hamza a commander and uncle of the Prophet. The Meccans lost only about 40 people. The reverse suffered taught the Muslims many important lessons. There may not have been this battle if the Muslims had more thoroughly routed their enemy in the first battle of Badr. The losing army continues fighting well after the result of the battle becomes apparent. The Muslim army, keen to take prisoners for ransom rather than focus on annihilating the enemy, took it easy and preferred taking a prisoner for ransom rather than killing him while the battle was still on. It is here that the verse that says that the enemy in battle must be struck to kill or incapacitate him makes sense. A thorough rout in the battle of Badr could have demoralized the Meccans to such an extent, that they may then have preferred to make peace, end hostilities, allow the Muslims to return to Mecca and peacefully propagate Islam and worship in the sacred Mosque without hindrance. This would have avoided further loss of lives. While many of the “Chiefs of Unfaith” were killed in the battle of Badr, Abu Sufiyan survived and lived to lead them in the war of Uhud and the battle of the Trench.
Battle of the Trench
The third major battle between the Quraysh and the Muslims was the Battle of the Trench in 628 CE, in which the Quraysh and their allies besieged Madinah. The BaniQurayzah, a Jewish tribe in Madinah, sided with Quraysh and broke their treaty with the Muslims. When the Makkans finally left amid storms and the desertion of their allies, the Muslims turned to attack the BaniQurayzah for siding with the attack against Madinah.
The very fact that the Muslims, 6 years after migrating to Medina, could be besieged in their own city, speaks about their numerical inferiority versus the Meccan pagans. In the face of such numerical inferiority, and the high probability of their defeat, the hypocrites among the Muslims were ready to desert and the allies among the Jews ready to switch sides. For a besieged party to come out on top must be an extremely rare event in the history of warfare.
The Battle is described in the Quran in Surah Al-Ahzaab / The Clans, Medinian, Chronological order 90
(33:9) O ye who believe! Remember the Grace of Allah, (bestowed) on you, when there came down on you hosts (to overwhelm you): But We sent against them a hurricane and forces that ye saw not: but Allah sees (clearly) all that ye do.
(10) Behold! they came on you from above you and from below you, and behold, the eyes became dim and the hearts gaped up to the throats, and ye imagined various (vain) thoughts about Allah!
(11) In that situation were the Believers tried: they were shaken as by a tremendous shaking.
(12) And behold! The Hypocrites and those in whose hearts is a disease (even) say: "Allah and His Messenger promised us nothing but delusion!"
(13) Behold! A party among them said: "Ye men of Yathrib! ye cannot stand (the attack)! therefore go back!" And a band of them ask for leave of the Prophet, saying, "Truly our houses are bare and exposed," though they were not exposed they intended nothing but to run away.
(14) And if an entry had been effected to them from the sides of the (city), and they had been incited to sedition, they would certainly have brought it to pass, with none but a brief delay!
(15) And yet they had already covenanted with Allah not to turn their backs, and a covenant with Allah must (surely) be answered for.
(16) Say: "Running away will not profit you if ye are running away from death or slaughter; and even if (ye do escape), no more than a brief (respite) will ye be allowed to enjoy!"
(17) Say: "Who is it that can screen you from Allah if it be His wish to give you punishment or to give you Mercy?" Nor will they find for themselves, besides Allah, any protector or helper.
(18) Verily Allah knows those among you who keep back (men) and those who say to their brethren, "Come along to us", but come not to the fight except for just a little while.
(19) Covetous over you. Then when fear comes, thou wilt see them looking to thee, their eyes revolving, like (those of) one over whom hovers death: but when the fear is past, they will smite you with sharp tongues, covetous of goods. Such men have no faith, and so Allah has made their deeds of none effect: and that is easy for Allah.
(20) They think that the Confederates have not withdrawn; and if the Confederates should come (again), they would wish they were in the deserts (wandering) among the Bedouins, and seeking news about you (from a safe distance); and if they were in your midst, they would fight but little.
(21) Ye have indeed in the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern (of conduct) for any one whose hope is in Allah and the Final Day, and who engages much in the Praise of Allah.
(22) When the Believers saw the Confederate forces, they said: "This is what Allah and his Messenger had promised us, and Allah and His Messenger told us what was true." And it only added to their faith and their zeal in obedience.
(23) Among the Believers are men who have been true to their covenant with Allah: of them some have completed their vow (to the extreme), and some (still) wait: but they have never changed (their determination) in the least:
(24) That Allah may reward the men of Truth for their Truth, and punish the Hypocrites if that be His Will, or turn to them in Mercy: for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
(25) And Allah turned back the Unbelievers for (all) their fury: no advantage did they gain; and enough is Allah for the believers in their fight. And Allah is full of Strength, able to enforce His Will.
(26) And those of the People of the Book who aided them - Allah did take them down from their strongholds and cast terror into their hearts. (So that) some ye slew, and some ye made prisoners.
(27) And He made you heirs of their lands, their houses, and their goods, and of a land which ye had not frequented (before). And Allah has power over all things.
The leader of the Meccan army was Abu Sufiyan who withdrew after a siege of 27 days in which they suffered heavy losses and achieved little and natures unseasonal fury caused his army of over 10,000 great distress. This was a turning point and many tribes which had aligned with the Meccans changed their loyalties.
Treaty of Hudaybiyyah
After the Battle of the Trench, in 628, Muhammad (pbuh) decided to lead a pilgrimage to Makkah for the first time in 6 years after migration to Madina. The Muslims camped at Hudaybiyyah, just outside Makkah, where they were halted by Quraysh. The Makkans didn’t want to let the Muslims make the pilgrimage but entered into a peace treaty with Muhammad. The treaty at Hudaybiyyah called for ten years of peace between the Muslims and the Makkans, and allowed the Muslims to make their pilgrimage the following year. A peace treaty within a year of having been besieged is a telling account of the change in fortunes. The peace treaty by the Meccans was only because they knew that the Muslims were in a position to force their way into Mecca if they wished. Muhammad (pbuh) however only wanted to perform the pilgrimage in peace and agreed for the peace treaty and returned to Madina.
He performed Haj the following year.Muhammad asked Bilal ibnRabah, a former slave and among the earliest Muslims, to give the call to prayer from the top of the Ka’bah. This angered the Makkans, who were camped in the hills outside Makkah until the Muslims completed their pilgrimage. They couldn’t believe that a former slave stood on top of their sacred house.
The Makkans broke their treaty with the Muslims by attacking a tribe allied with the Muslims. Muhammad immediately marched on Makkah and took the city peacefully in 630 C.E.
The Final Judgment
This was the time for Allah to pronounce His judgment that was repeatedly warned in the MeccanSurahs. Here the rules of war do not apply but the Judgment of Allah at the end of the Prophetic mission. Allah had spared the Meccans destruction by an act of God when Muhammad (pbuh) was driven out of Mecca. A few of the remaining chiefs of Unfaith were executed after the conquest of Mecca.
Surah Taubah the second last Surah in chronological order was revealed after the conquest of Mecca. The war was mostly with the Meccans and their allies and the Meccans were all mushrikin. Notice when mushrik is used and when kafir is used in these verses.
Verses 9:1 and 9:2 declare amnesty of four months to all mushrikin but with a warning that the kafirun among them will be covered with shame at the end of the period.
9:3 and 9:4 announces dissolution of all treaties with the mushrikin except with those who never broke their treaty and warns the kafirun (not mushrikin) of a grievous penalty.
Verse 9:5 is a command to kill all mushrikin at the end of the four month period with the exception of:
1. Those who never broke their treaty or never fought the Muslims
2. Those who accept Islam offer prayers and pay zakat
3. Those who seek asylum
If the command was to kill only the kafir, then the problem would have been how to identify them since there was no longer an enemy standing in battle. The verse identifies the non kafir among the mushrikin through the exceptions listed above. The rest of the verses are by way of justification and evidence of the kufr practiced by those who are to be killed which covers all the mushrikin except those who never broke their treaty with the Muslims or never fought against them or those who seek asylum. Asylum seekers are not defiant and therefore not kafir.
The following verses are proof that the cause for fighting is not for the kufr of faith or belief which is known only to Allah, but for the kufr of violating oaths and covenants, for having plotted to expel the Messenger, and for being the first to assault the Muslims :
(9:12) But if they violate their oaths after their covenant, and taunt you for your Faith,- fight ye the chiefs of Unfaith ( a-immat-al-kufri) : for their oaths are nothing to them: that thus they may be restrained.(13) Will ye not fight people who violated their oaths, plotted to expel the Messenger, and took the aggressive by being the first (to assault) you?
There is no command to kill for simple unbelief. The fact however is that once the Chiefs of Unfaith were removed from the scene, the rest of the people either accepted Islam or sought asylum and over a period accepted Islam as evidenced by the last Surah in chronological order viz, Surah An-Nasr / Divine Support
(110:1) When comes the Help of Allah, and Victory,
(2) And thou dost see the people enter Allah´s Religion in crowds,
(3) Celebrate the praises of thy Lord, and pray for His Forgiveness: For He is Oft-Returning (in Grace and Mercy).
Those “kafaru” who had actively opposed Islam, fought wars, broke their treaties and remained defiant even after the four month amnesty period were put to the sword. Their family consisting of wife and children also perished unless they had sought asylum and dissociated from their “kafir” husband/father. Many of the women sought asylum even before the conquest of Mecca and were given asylum. This has always been the judgment of Allah that those who are saved are those who at least seek refuge and not follow the “kafaru”. It is the Kafaru and those who follow them who perish whether it was Prophet Lut’s wife or Pharaoh, his chiefs and followers who pursued Moses and his people, or the people who disdained from embarking Noah’s ark and remained with the “kafaru” or those among the people of Thamud who did not dissociate from the people who killed the she-camel and go with Salih during the 3 days of respite provided. It may also be noted that many of the women of Mecca like the wife of Abu Lahab were active enemies of the Muslims and many of them accompanied their men to the battle of Uhud to encourage them and many of them who also left their “kafir” husbands and sought refuge with the Prophet even before the fall of Mecca.
Not a single person was killed for simple unbelief and the principle of “Let there be no compulsion in religion” and “To (peaceful rejecter of faith ) be his way and to me mine” was never violated.
URL of Part 1: http://newageislam.com/islamic-personalities/observer-for-new-age-islam/the-story-of-the-prophetic-mission-of-muhammad-(pbuh)-from-the-qu’ran-(part-1)-the-early-opposition/d/102107
URL of Part 2: http://newageislam.com/islamic-personalities/observer-for-new-age-islam/the-story-of-the-prophetic-mission-of-muhammad-(pbuh)-from-the-qu’ran-(part-2)--the-clear-warning-to-the-meccan-pagans/d/102121
URL of Part 3: http://newageislam.com/islamic-personalities/observer-for-new-age-islam/the-story-of-the-prophetic-mission-of-muhammad-(pbuh)-in-the-qu’ran-(part-3)--important-pointers-from-the-stories-of-the-prophets/d/102138
Why ‘Operation Decisive Storm’ is the Ultimate Setback for Iran
By David Andrew Weinberg
26 March 2015
Today’s Saudi-led international military intervention in Yemen, Operation Decisive Storm, is a decided setback for Iran’s regional ambitions. Officials in Tehran had been gloating about their proxies’ newfound dominance over four capitals in the Arab world – Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut, and Sanaa – but observers suggest that the assembly of a large multinational coalition to push back against Shi’ite insurgents in Yemen represents a new regional challenge for Tehran.
Just hours after Saudi Arabia’s announcement of Decisive Storm, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (a widely anticipated presidential candidate from the Republican Party) characterized the conflict in Yemen and the Houthis’ march on Aden as follows: “this is about Iran.” He pointed to Tehran’s growing influence in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon to make the case that Iranian involvement in Yemen represents “the latest piece in that puzzle” for “their master plan of regional dominance.”
Although the U.S. government is quick to point out that Iranian forces do not exercise command and control over Houthi forces, Western and Arab officials confirm that Tehran has been providing the Yemeni Shiite rebel group with significant support, including funding, stepped up weapons shipments, and training and advising by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Such developments understandably set off alarm bells in Gulf capitals, particularly given Yemen’s location. The Gulf monarchies have long been concerned about Iranian activities in places like Iraq, with Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal recently warning that “Tikrit is a prime example of what we’re worried about. Iran is taking over the country.” When it comes to Yemen, the director of research at a Saudi think tank close to the government, the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies, explains that “security and stability in the Arabian Peninsula is a red line” for the Kingdom.
The American role in support of the anti-Houthi coalition, providing intelligence support but steering clear of direct military involvement, is likely a mixed bag for Riyadh. Saudi Arabia’s U.S. Ambassador Adel al-Jubeir stated in a press conference yesterday that “we are very pleased with the outcome” of discussions about the operation with Washington, but no doubt his government would have liked to see greater U.S. participation in the effort.
Senator Rubio suggests that the U.S. administration’s decision to avoid direct military involvement in Yemen is “being driven by a desire not to offend [the Iranians] so they don't get up and walk away from the negotiating table.” Perhaps a silver lining is that the Iranians themselves may feel too constrained at least for now to pursue greater escalation in Yemen, with a senior Iranian official telling Reuters that “military intervention is not an option for Tehran” in reaction to Decisive Storm.
But Iran’s reaction to the coalition operation in Yemen has been turbulent nonetheless. The spokeswoman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry, Marzieh Afkham, warned “this invasion will bear no result but expansion of terrorism and extremism throughout the whole region.” The chairman of the Iranian parliament’s national security and foreign policy committee, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, threatened “the outcomes of this crisis will boomerang on Saudi Arabia as war is not confined to the borders of one particular region.”
Another member of his committee, Mohammed Saleh-Jokar, also lashed out, warning that “the invading countries… will face the anger and rage of their nations.” He further suggested that “the smoke of this operation will go into the eyes of the Saudis and invaders, and it will create chaos in the region.”
Perhaps most galling for Tehran is the size of the coalition that its Yemeni proxy now confronts. Ambassador Jubeir stated that Operation Decisive Resolve included the participation “of over ten countries.” All five Sunni-ruled members of the Gulf Cooperation Council issued a joint statement justifying their participation in the operation in recent hours, and other members confirming participation in the operation include Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Pakistan, and Sudan. In addition to the United States, France and Britain appear to support these Sunni states’ effort in Yemen from the sidelines.
The participation of Egypt, Turkey, and Qatar in the same coalition is particularly striking, given Cairo’s firm opposition to the Muslim Brotherhood versus Ankara and Doha’s support for the group. Egypt’s naval and air forces are already participating in the operation, and Egyptian security forces indicated to the Associated Press today that they plan to join Saudi Arabia in a subsequent ground invasion of Yemen from both the Saudi border and landings by sea. Whether other participating states such as Turkey and Qatar also contribute forces for a ground operation could hint at the depth of Iran’s isolation in the region.
Similarly, Islamabad’s participation in Operation Decisive Storm is likely to get Iran’s attention given Pakistan’s location on Iran’s eastern flank. However, a senior Pakistani official recently cautioned that the Saudis were disappointed by his government’s positions when PM Nawaz Sharif met with King Salman earlier this month. The official claimed that Pakistan declined to approve Saudi entreaties to send additional troops to the Kingdom and to relocate Pakistan’s embassy to Aden as the Gulf monarchies have done. Reuters reported today that Pakistan is still “considering a request to send ground forces.”
Evidently sitting out the campaign entirely is Iran’s one friend in the GCC, the Sultanate of Oman. The Sultanate’s state news wire emphasized that the other monarchies’ joint statement on Yemen earlier today was issued by the other GCC members “not including Oman.” It also reported that the country’s top diplomat “affirmed the Sultanate's preparedness to stand at the same distance from all Yemenis.”
Surprisingly, Iran’s long-time ally Sudan opted to join the anti-Houthi alliance despite past reports that Khartoum had actually helped arm the Yemeni Shiite rebels. This apparent turnabout followed high-profile meetings yesterday between Sudanese President Omar Bashir and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman. Al Arabiya News Channel reported today that Sudan’s government “closed the offices of all Iranian missions and groups in the country” today and sent three fighter jets to participate in ongoing air operations against Houthi forces. Given this limited military footprint, presumably Sudan’s main contribution sought by Riyadh was to steer clear of assisting Iranian naval activities in the Red Sea.
No doubt, these developments are seen as a considerable setback by decision-makers in Tehran. But Gulf observers also acknowledge this may not necessarily ensure a swift victory given how challenging bringing order to Yemen has been throughout history. As Doha-based analyst Ibrahim Sharqieh notes, there is a risk today’s developments may “just set the stage for a prolonged conflict or civil war.”
David Andrew Weinberg is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. He previously served as a Democratic Professional Staff Member at the House Committee on Foreign Affairs at U.S. Congress. David holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
‘Decisive Storm’ Contains Threat
By Mohammed Fahad Al-Harthi
27 March 2015
Decisive Storm, a name with so many meanings in the international war against Houthi militias in Yemen, is currently under way. Saudi diplomacy is known for being careful. It is known for giving opportunities for moderate solutions. The Kingdom and the Gulf countries played a role in helping Yemen and saved it from collapse thanks to the Gulf initiative, which was signed by many parties with international auspices.
The Houthi coup was a serious issue that cancelled that agreement. Unfortunately, after an initiative that rescued former President Ali Abdullah Saleh and gave him immunity, he himself allied with the Houthis and conspired with them against the legitimate government. The victims were the Yemeni citizens who are suffering economic difficulties and are being torn because of internal conflicts.
The GCC released a statement ensuring that Yemen’s security is essential for the Gulf’s security and that the GCC is committed to supporting legitimacy. Even until now, the Gulf suggested hosting a Riyadh-based conference to initiate a dialogue between the conflicting parties. However, the Iranian-backed Houthis ignored all attempts, expanded to Aden and used airstrikes to hit the presidential compound and threaten the Yemeni citizens.
Iran has intensified efforts to intervene in the internal affairs of the Arab countries and found Yemen as a strategic location and used the sectarian politics as a way to intervene in their internal affairs.
Some have misunderstood the Saudi carefulness when treating this issue. Saudi and the Gulf states noted how Iraq, an important Arab country, was heading in the same direction as Iran. Yet the Gulf countries respected their neighbours and left the internal affairs to Iraqis. At the same time, Iran was intervening and establishing its militias to play a role in the Iraqi affairs. Baghdad, once the safeguard of the eastern gate of the Arab world, was used by Iran as a path to influence Damascus and the Southern Dahyieh in Beirut.
That is why international decisiveness to confront the Houthis was needed. The war, albeit ugly, was the last resort and came in response to the request of the legitimate government. This is why there was a strong international support to this military campaign with 10 countries participating in the military operation.
The US and Europe have also supported this campaign. This was a clear message that the world is gaining conscience about Iran’s expansion in the region and that the policy of lenience gives a better chance for this expansion. ‘Decisive Storm’ was a strong message that this policy doesn’t show weakness but an attempt to avoid the difficult case scenario. The message was clear that the Gulf states are ready for a military response if necessary.
Yemen is a sister state and many Yemenis live in Saudi Arabia, with guarantees that the current events will not affect them. Saudi Arabia is Yemen’s largest supporter and there is a public and governmental appreciation in Yemen for the military intervention. Yemeni Foreign Minister Riad Yassine appreciated the rapid response by the Gulf countries to protect Yemen from the Houthi coup.
The international alliance led by Saudi Arabia is the right move. Hooliganism in the region and proxy wars have put the region in successive crises and threatened the entire regional system. Sometimes, there’s a need for a strong position that will make threatening countries realize that there are red lines that can’t be crossed.
By Dean Obeidallah
26 March, 2015
The Georgia man who planted a bomb was willing to see innocents die so that people would blame Muslims. And he called himself a ‘patriot.’
I thought I had seen every imaginable way to stoke the flames of anti-Muslim bigotry in America. There have been countless people on Fox News, certain Republican elected officials, the professional bigots, and even some right-wing “Christian” leaders serving up hate in various ways.
But these people all pale in comparison to Michael Sibley. You see, Sibley wasn’t content to just giving us the same old right-wing crap like Muslims wants to impose Islamic law so say goodbye to bacon cheeseburgers and whiskey and say hello to lamb kebobs and strong coffee served in small cups.
Nope, this self-described “patriot” planted a bomb at a national park in Georgia in the hopes that the public would think a Muslim did it. And yes, I know most haven’t heard about this incident. There’s not even a need to mention how different the media coverage would be have been if the bomber had actually been Muslim. I already detailed that scenario earlier this week in my article about a non-Muslim man that attacked federal officers at a U.S. airport with poison spray and a machete while carrying six homemade bombs in a duffel bag.
Sibley, who is 67 years old and lives in Roswell, Georgia, told FBI officers that he planted this bomb because in his view, “no one was paying attention to what was going on the world.” Apparently as a “patriot” he was going to maim or even kill his fellow Americans to wake them up to the threat facing America.
And what is this “threat” Sibley speaks of? Well, it’s pretty clear he’s talking Muslims. You see, according to the federal complaint, Sibley put some Muslim memorabilia in the backpack along with two “improvised explosive devices” (IEDs) he crafted.
First, he placed a copy of the Quran in the backpack. (Apparently in Sibley’s mind a radical Muslim would blow up the faith’s holy book.) Plus he included a book titled “The Rape of Kuwait, which consists of the stories of people who suffered at the hands of Saddam Hussein when his forces invaded Kuwait in 1990.
Sibley also wrote the name “Mina Khodari” in the backpack as the owner. Why? Well, he told the FBI agents that the name sounded “foreign.” That’s “foreign,” the same code word used by Republican legislators when they mean “Sharia law” in their legislation to ban Islamic law from being imposed in America. (They learned that if they try to ban “Islamic law” it will be struck down by the courts as being unconstitutional because it favors one religion over another, so they use “foreign” to mean Islamic law.)
I’m almost certain Sibley knew that “Mina Khodari” was a Middle Eastern-sounding name. A quick Google search would tell you that “Mina” is a common Arabic first name and “Khodari” is a well-known name in Saudi Arabia. Considering Sibley told the FBI that he learned how to make the bomb from the Internet, it’s not a stretch to think that he had the capacity to look up these names too.
Finally, Sibley added a map circling the Jewish Community Center of Atlanta and info for other “soft targets” like the Atlanta commuter train system. Apparently he believed these places would be likely targets of Muslim extremists.
When I read about Sibley’s “false flag” operation with which he hoped to blame Muslims for his terrorist act, my mouth literally fell open. I truly couldn’t believe anyone would consider killing or injuring fellow Americans to cause a backlash versus Muslim Americans. It was like the bombings we see in the Middle East where some try to cause sectarian strife and inspire sectarian violence by strategically planting bombs.
Thankfully the bombs did not detonate. And Sibley was apprehended and arraigned Monday in federal court on charges that include an attempt to “damage or destroy” by means of an “explosive” property owned by the United States.
I reached out to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Northern District of Georgia that is handling the prosecution. I wanted to know if they had information about what caused Sibley to become radicalized.
Also, I wanted to know why he wasn’t charged with terrorism. After all, under federal law, “domestic terrorism” is defined as acts “dangerous to human life” that violate federal or state laws and “appear to be intended” to influence government policies or “intimidate or coerce a civilian population.” Sibley arguably was using violence to change government policy (i.e. increased surveillance of American Muslims, or worse).
However, the spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney informed me that they couldn’t comment while the case is pending. At some point though, I hope we discover what caused Sibley to become radicalized. This info may actually save some American lives.
I doubt most people are aware but over the past six years, “radical right wing” actors have committed an act of terrorism on “average every 34 days” in our country, per a recently released report by the Southern Poverty Law Center. We are talking from a bomb placed at a Planned Parenthood office in Wisconsin in 2012 to three people killed at a Jewish Community Center in Kansas in 2014 by a man entrenched in right-wing hate groups.
And while the threat of Muslim-related terrorism attracts headlines, per a 2014 report, only 37 Americans have been killed by such terrorism since 9/11. Meanwhile, in just the last six years, 63 Americans have been killed in the United States by people connected to right-wing hate groups.
But these statistics mean little to those like Sibley who believe that America needs to “wake up” to the threat of Muslim violence, an expression I have seen on numerous anti-Muslim websites. My fear though is that with more Muslim bashing expected in the coming presidential election from some on the right, we may see even more Sibleys who would literally sacrifice other Americans to achieve their goal of inspiring anti-Muslim bigotry.
Dean Obeidallah, a former lawyer turned political comedian and writer, is the host of The Dean Obeidallah show on SiriusXM radio. He co-directed the comedy documentary The Muslims Are Coming! His blog is The Dean’s Report.