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freedslave

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  1. My First Doubt In Quran

    Greetings to you, Tunisia. This conversation, revealed in Surah Al-Maidah, will take place between God, and the Prophets on the Day of Judgement. "He will say'', refer to what Jesus (peace be upon him) will reply to God, on the day of Judgement. God poses questions and these are addressed to the prophets, believers and disbelievers at different points in the Quran. In the earlier conversation, it is true that God himself knows the answer to the question. But we Muslims believe this revelation of what will happen on the day of Judgement, serves as a point to reflect on for Christians who believe in Jesus as more than a Prophet. And indeed, God is the best of planners. As to the Quran only addressing certain things in the Prophet Muhammad's time, yes it's true, but that does not mean it cannot be applied to today. The verse was a warning to those Christians at the time who had turned Mary (may God be pleased with her) as an idol of worship. But it is in line with one of the central themes in the Quran, that is not to prescribe partners to God. And this message of the Quran is universal and applies to all time. The reason why we learn historical lessons from Prophet Muhammad's time, is similar to why we learn history in schools, so that we may learn from them. As to the other verse you have quoted from Chapter 4 (Surah An-Nisaa) of the Quran, it is not addressing the Bible. It is addressing the religious dogma of the Trinity, as practised in the physical sense by the Christians, at that time and even till today.
  2. Dna - Created Not Randomly Assembled

    Thank you sister for your kind words of support. Today, I will be posting about the basic structure of DNA, at the molecular level. DNA is made up of four nitrogenous bases, namely Adenine, Guanine, Cytosine and Thymine. They are basically ring like structures (usually made up of five or six bonds). For anyone who has studied chemistry, these ring-like structures are commonly found in organic matter. For these nitrogenous bases, they are mainly made up of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen atoms, linked by covalent bonds (bonds where there are the sharing of electrons between atoms). In the picture below, adenine and guanine are purines, which are nitrogenous bases which are made up of two ring-like molecules. Cytosine and thymine are pyrimidines, which are made up of one ring-like molecules. For future purposes, and convenience, the bases would be referred to as their initials, namely A,C,G and T.
  3. Salaam I will begin to post materials, mostly articles and videos about the DNA, over the next few days or weeks, depending on my free time, Inshaallah. My purpose here is to illustrate that DNA is created, not evolved through random processes. First off, the basics of DNA.
  4. An Introduction And Apology

    Repeat Post - Moderators please delete
  5. An Introduction And Apology

    Asslamualaikum tntsit, I cannot begin to understand or imagine what you've been through. I reported your post about on what the man who did this to you, posted about women. This is after all an Islamic forum, and the material posted by this man has a few vulgarities and things of obscene nature. It was a hideous post, and I've asked the moderators to take action on this. tntsit, in this world even after the shining light and guidance of Islam, there is ignorance. There are acts of evil committed, by both Muslims and non-Muslims. Muslims should know better, but they commit sinful and evil acts too, and in my own experience (though nothing compared to yours), they do so for two reasons. First off, they have weak imaan and fall continuously to sin. They too are subject to the same desires as non-Muslims, and they may fall into sin if they do not have self-control. The second reason - they have not educated themselves on the religion and only blindly follow it, following the ignorant cultural practices and behaviours of their own elders instead, or only to satisfy their own egos. It's true that Muslims born into the religion tend to identify each other by what culture he or she comes from. This I feel will never go away as culture just doesn't go away overnight. When you come into contact with another Muslim, remember this. Accept that for Muslims we are different in culture, but there are good Muslims out there who understand that Islam comes first before culture. It's up to your mental faculty to differentiate what is Islam and culture. I emphasize the need for you to find a Muslim community and probably, a suitable partner, but only when you are ready and have healed from your mental scars. Because people who are alone, are more easily preyed on. Use your judgement to find a good Muslim community. I am sorry that your experience with Muslims was far from good. I am sorry about your experience with this man who used hypnosis on you for his own deviant means. The revenge you seek on this man, I can understand. Is there any reliable person you can seek about this matter? Or a reliable mental health professional? A good psychiatrist, would not judge you, would work on your feelings of revenge. They would be the best to advise you on your mental health issues, and whether legal justice can be meted out. If you can't do this, then is there a friend whom you can confide in? Preferably a female friend. I hope and pray that you find peace within yourself, that you lead a life where you find a suitable partner, who understands and cares for you, and that you find it in your heart to be Muslim again. From your posts you have a lot of hatred and pain for the people who have wronged you, and judged you based on their own ignorance. And you have every right to feel this way. Know that wrongdoers will receive their punishment in this life,or the next. You need a fresh start and a new environment. I'm not saying as you said, that the horrible memories of your past experiences will go away in a flash, I'm saying that let time heal you. It will take time to heal, and it is best if you can do this in another town or city. Is there somewhere you can go to? Are your adoptive parents still around? Have you looked for other communities which are more positive or healthy to live in? My prayers are with you. Salam.
  6. Seriously, Isn't The Source Of The Qur'an In Doubt?

    Was Wealth A Motive For the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) To Fabricate Islam? By Bassam Zawadi There are those that try to claim that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) might have possibly had wealth as a motive to fabricate Islam and his Prophethood. However, when one examines the life of the Prophet (peace be upon him) one would see that this does not seem at all to be plausible. One argument that opponents put forth is the fact that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) had several houses and they would quote Surah 33:53 in order to demonstrate this. However, just because one has several houses this does not necessarily imply that the houses are luxurious or are filled with luxurious possessions. The Prophet's house was not built of any precious stones just like the Kings of the past: Nearby, rooms reserved for the Prophet's household were built of stones and adobe bricks with ceilings of palm leaves. [bukhari 1/71,555,560; Za'd Al-Ma'ad 2/56], cited here) Umar ibn Al Khattab (arguably, the second greatest companion of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and is also the second caliph after Abu Bakr) states that: Saheeh Muslim Book 009, Number 3507 I visited Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him), and he was lying on a mat. I sat down and he drew up his lower garment over him and he had nothing (else) over him, and that the mat had left its marks on his sides. I looked with my eyes in the storeroom of Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him). I found only a handful of barley equal to one sa' and an equal quantity of the leaves of Mimosa Flava placed in the nook of the cell, and a semi-tanned leather bag hanging (in one side), and I was moved to tears (on seeing this extremely austere living of the Holy Prophet), and he said: Ibn Khattab, what wakes you weep? I said: Apostle of Allah, why should I not shed tears? This mat has left its marks on your sides and I do not see in your storeroom (except these few things) that I have seen; Caesar and Chosroes are leading their lives in plenty whereas you are Allah's Messenger. His chosen one, and that is your store! He said: Ibn Khattab, aren't you satisfied that for us (there should be the prosperity) of the Hereafter, and for them (there should be the prosperity of) this world? I said: Yes. So here we observe that the Prophet (peace be upon him) definitely did not live in a palace nor slept on luxurious beds. Others argue that Allah made the Prophet (peace be upon him) wealthy through conquests and they put forth the following narration: Saheeh Bukhari Volume 3, Book 37, Number 495 Narrated Abu Huraira: Whenever a dead man in debt was brought to Allah's Apostle he would ask, "Has he left anything to repay his debt?" If he was informed that he had left something to repay his debts, he would offer his funeral prayer, otherwise he would tell the Muslims to offer their friend's funeral prayer. When Allah made the Prophet wealthy through conquests, he said, "I am more rightful than other believers to be the guardian of the believers, so if a Muslim dies while in debt, I am responsible for the repayment of his debt, and whoever leaves wealth (after his death) it will belong to his heirs." They would also state that the Qur'an says that the Prophet would receive a fifth of the war booty and cite verses from the Qur'an such as Surah 8, Verses 1 and 41. However, as we can see the Prophet (peace be upon him) did not take this money in order to live luxuriously. He used to take that money and give it away in charity instead of keeping it for himself. (See Saheeh Bukhari, Volume 4, Book of One-fifth of Booty to the Cause of Allah, Hadith number 326, where Umar ibn Al Khattab says "So this property was especially given to Allah's Apostle, but, by Allah, neither did he take possession of it and leave your, nor did he favour himself with it to your exclusion, but he gave it to all of you and distributed it amongst you till this property remained out of it. Allah's Apostle used to spend the yearly expenses of his family out of this property and used to keep the rest of its revenue to be spent on Allah's Cause. Allah's Apostle kept on doing this during all his lifetime.") The Prophet (peace be upon him) would use whatever wealth was necessary in order to take care of his family. Now one may argue that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used this (i.e. fabricating Islam) as a means to take care of himself and family. However, this doesn't seem to be very convincing. Couldn't the Prophet (peace be upon him) find an easier way to earn a living? Why did he go through years of persecution in Mecca and endure humiliation and ruin his reputation amongst his friends and relatives for this purpose? The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to actually be wealthy before his Prophethood (while he was trading with his wife Khadija). Thus, why the need to fabricate a religion? Also, the Meccans offered the Prophet (peace be upon him) wealth and fame in return for him to stop preaching Islam, but he refused. To this offer he replied: By Allah, if they put the sun on my right and the moon on my left to leave this matter, I would not, until Allah shows me otherwise or I die trying for its sake. (Ibn Hisham, As-Sirah an-Nabawiyyah, Volume 1, page 265) If his motive really was for wealth then he would have taken the deal. Also, it's not like the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his wives were living luxuriously: Saheeh Muslim Volume 7, Number 324 Narrated Abu Hazim: I asked Sahl bin Sad, "Did Allah's Apostle ever eat white flour?" Sahl said, "Allah's Apostle never saw white flour since Allah sent him as an Apostle till He took him unto Him." I asked, "Did the people have (use) sieves during the lifetime of Allah's Apostle?" Sahl said, "Allah's Apostle never saw (used) a sieve since Allah sent him as an Apostle until He took him unto Him," I said, "How could you eat barley unsifted?" he said, "We used to grind it and then blow off its husk, and after the husk flew away, we used to prepare the dough (bake) and eat it." Book 024, Number 5185: A'isha reported that the pillow on which Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) reclined was of leather stuffed with palm fibre. (See also Saheeh Bukhari, Volume 8, Book Pertaining to Making the Heart Tender, Hadith number 463) Despite his responsibilities as a prophet, a teacher, a statesman, and a judge, Muhammad (peace be upon him) used to milk his goat, mend his clothes, repair his shoes, help with the household work, (Musnad Ahmad, Hadith number 23606 and declared authentic by Shaykh Albani in Saheeh Al Jaami', Hadith number 4937) Opponents would cite the following verse from the Qur'an: Surah 93:6-8 Did He not find you (O Muhammad (Peace be upon him)) an orphan and gave you a refuge? And He found you unaware (of the Qur'an, its legal laws, and Prophethood, etc.) and guided you? And He found you poor, and made you rich? They would then argue that this refers shows that Allah made the Prophet (peace be upon him) wealthy. However, we have to put into consideration that this Surah was revealed early in Mecca and that is why Ibn Abbass was of the opinion: And he also said: (Did He not find thee) O Muhammad (destitute) poor (and enrich (thee)) with the wealth of Khadijah; and it is also said this means: and made you content with that which He gave you? The Prophet (pbuh) said: "Yes, O Gabriel!" (Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ?Abbâs, Commentary on Surah 93:8, Source) The Prophet (peace be upon him) married Khadija who was wealthy. However, the Prophet married Khadija way before he became a Prophet. So it's not like the Prophet (peace be upon him) used Islam to gain wealth. Or it could simply mean that Allah made him rich in a spiritual sense: And Ibn Attaa' said: And He found you poor in spirit, so He enriched your heart. (Abu 'Abdullah Al-Qurtubi, Tasfir al Jami' li-ahkam al-Qur'an, Commentary on Surah 93:8, Source) Furthermore, the Prophet (peace be upon him) could have easily stolen the goods of the Meccan Kuffar that he had in his possession (since one of his jobs was being a caretaker of people's goods) while migrating to Medinah. Rather, he ensured that their property was fully returned to them despite their ill treatment of him. (This also goes to show how the Kuffar still trusted him with their property even though they accused him of fabricating Islam): On the night of the Hijrah, Muhammad confided his plan to 'Ali ibn Abu Talib and asked him to cover himself with the Prophet's green mantle from Hadramawt and to sleep in the Prophet's bed. He further asked him to tarry in Makkah until he had returned all things left with Muhammad to their rightful owners. (Muhammad Husayn Haykal, The Life of Muhammad, Chapter: Al Hijrah or the Prophet's Emigration, Source) This event is also recorded by Al-Bayhaqî in As-Sunan Al-Kubrâ Volume 6, page289 and Sheikh Al-Albânî declared it to authentic (hasan) in Erwaa Al Ghaleel, Hadith no.1546. In conclusion, the argument that money could have been a motive for the Prophet (peace be upon him) to fabricate Islam does not really hold any water. If he was really in it for the money then we would expect to have seen him living a lavish life, yet this is far from reality. Just because the Prophet (peace be upon him) had much wealth in his possession, that doesn't mean that he spent it on himself. Rather, he used it for the benefit of society (e.g. helping orphans). http://www.call-to-m...bricate_islam_
  7. Seriously, Isn't The Source Of The Qur'an In Doubt?

    We know there was a dispute amongst the Muslims about Fadak. But the dispute started off because the two sides felt they felt they were both carrying out the Prophet's wishes, and it was in their eyes, their best intentions to honour what the Prophet said. It later became a political issue for the Muslims. But it was not for material wealth as you seem to imply. Because if so, the future owners of the land did not gain much income from it. Let me ask you, did the Prophet derive any income from this land? Did he grow crops there and sell it to the people? How did the Prophet spend his money? Was it solely for material wealth, or was it for charity? If he had some personal belongings or property with him, would this disqualify him as a Prophet? You also mentioned that the Prophet took a vow of poverty? Can I ask where you read such a thing? Come back to us when you've gathered enough knowledge about this.
  8. Seriously, Isn't The Source Of The Qur'an In Doubt?

    One of the most illogical posts I've seen on this forum. How could the Prophet steal from the Bible if he could not read? There is a theory that the Prophet had come into contact with a Christian, and learnt the Bible from him, but the theory has been largely debunked. http://www.islamweb....icles&id=134204 If this was so, then these verses, explicitly stating the miracles of Jesus (alayhis salam) in the Quran would not have been revealed to the Prophet. “When the disciples said: O Jesus, son of Mary! Is your Lord able to send down for us a table spread with food from heaven? He said: Observe your duty to God, if ye are true believers. They said: We desire to eat of it and our hearts be at rest, and that We may know that you have spoken truth to us, and that We may be witnesses thereof. Jesus, son of Mary, said: 'O God, our Lord, send down for us a Table laden with food out of heaven, that shall be for us a recurring festival, the first and last of us, and a miracle from You. And provide us our sustenance, for You are the best of providers!” (Quran 5:112-114) “He shall speak to people while still in the cradle, and in manhood, and he shall be from the righteous.” (Quran 3:46) As a messenger to the Children of israel: "I come to you with a sign from your Lord—I create for you from clay the shape of a bird, then I blow into it, and it becomes a live bird by GOD's leave. I restore vision to the blind, heal the leprous, and I revive the dead by GOD's leave. I can tell you what you eat, and what you store in your homes. This should be a proof for you, if you are believers. (Quran 3:49) (The miracle of changing the form of clay into a bird is not mentioned in the New Testament, but mentioned in the Infancy Gospel of Thomas) The miracles of prophets before Jesus and Muhammad, (peace be upon them), which can be found in the Quran, are mentioned here: http://www.questions...mentioned-quran The miracles of Prophet Muhammad can be read here: http://sunnah.org/hi..._of_Prophet.htm As mentioned in the link above, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) did perform miracles. One of them was the splitting of the moon. Another was the multiplying of food and water to help feed the poor. Seek knowledge before you speak. All the Prophets say the same thing, to worship God, and to tell people to follow his commandments. There are many contradictions in The Bible when it comes to the divinity of Jesus. There are also suggestions that the Bible foretells the coming of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) I suggest you do some real research on the subject, instead of coming with wild theories from thin air.
  9. Striking A Woman

    Assalamualaikum Greetings to All a) I would like to compare this analogy of the relationship between husband and wife, to that of a teacher and student. In many cultures till today, the teacher holds a disciplinarian role and acts as a moral compass to the student, similar to that of a Muslim husband. Imagine a good student, who understands the disciplinarian role of the teacher, has deep respect for them, and takes corrective action seriously. Occasionally like all human beings, we lapse in our judgment, perhaps the students becomes forgetful, or becomes influenced by his bad peers, and doesn't submit his assignment. The teacher decides to reprimand the student, but not excessively. The teacher, after repeated warnings against the student but to no avail, decides to lightly pull his ears lightly in class as a symbolic gesture of displeasure for the defiant behaviour (this act or other physical acts similar to this, does go on in schools of some countries). The act was done in class, in front of all the students but it happens briefly and in passing, where only some notice, and is shortly after, forgotten. But for this good student, this small gesture, leads him to think about his actions, for he is reminded of the respect he has for the teacher, and he is made to face his mistake and change himself for the better. For a bad student, one who does not have respects teachers and constantly displays arrogant behaviour and flouts the rules, this gesture would probably have no effect on him. I would agree with you that it would seem 'ridiculous' or 'humorous' to implement a similar gesture on him. A more serious punishment has to be meted out in this case, The Muslim husband acts similarly, as a moral compass to the wife. The beating of the toothbrush, is not to inflict pain, but as a gesture of displeasure against something immoral or something which displeases the husband. It only works when the Muslim wife has taqwa (fear and obediance to Allah), and accepts her husband as the moral guidance in her family. It would not work if the Muslim wife has no regard for her husband and does not fear Allah. b) I recall a hadith where some married women in the Prophet's time, were talking to other men and flirting with them. This is an example of something immoral, where a Muslim husband can correct his wife morally and spiritually, by following the steps (1st not speaking to them, then not sharing their beds, and finally the gesture of beating them with the siwak). It can also be a way to stop something which displeases the husband, as I mentioned. And Allah knows best.
  10. Muslims On Gawaher Are Definitely Anti-u.s.

    Salaam I am anti-American when it comes to the government, but have nothing against its people, no matter how ignorant or extremist they may be. As for Syria, just do a search on Gawaher and you'd see multiple threads highlighting the abuses of the Syrian regime. For other places of conflict, I would agree that there deserves to be more threads, but that doesn't mean Muslims are not aware of the injustices that occur in Sheeshan (Chechnya), Kashmir, or the Xinjiang province. You notice that threads start when the mainstream media covers them, and they rarely do so on the above mentioned areas. But it doesn't mean Muslims are not aware. The information is already out there. Are you suggesting that the US has not had its hands dirty, literally with the lives and blood of Muslims in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, etc? When a US drone falls on a village where ordinary Muslims live, you are bound to have feelings of hatred. Thank you for the history lesson. I might add you forgot to mention that before 9/11, the US gave loads of American taxpayer money to the state of israel to shed Palestinian blood. The US bombed and killed Iraqi women and children since the early 1990s. The US funded the mujahiddin in Afghanistan since the 80s, and now it calls them terrorists. The US supported dictatorships like Mubarak and others, and only opposed them if they refused to do business with your government, or refused to sell you oil. If it is wrath you talk about, now you know how the Muslims feel.
  11. Is There Anywhere In The Quran That States

    That's funny, when you google slavery america today you get 31,600,000 results.
  12. You asked for the Islamic position on this. I gave you the answer. Why so touchy? What gives?
  13. Muslim women can only marry Muslim men.
  14. To clarify further on what brother Saracen is saying, Muslim men are allowed to marry Christian and Jewish women, and then have normal sexual relations with them, as is what is prescribed between husband and wife. I believe brother Saracen is not. What he meant was, a Muslim man cannot marry and have sexual relations with a woman who is not Muslim, Christian or Jewish. He clarified this in his previous post. I am also stressing the importance of marriage here, before sexual relations.
  15. Yemeni Journalist Jailed For Reporting Us War Crimes

    Why Is President Obama Keeping a Journalist in Prison in Yemen? Jeremy Scahill March 13, 2012 On February 2, 2011, President Obama called Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh. The two discussed counterterrorism cooperation and the battle against Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. At the end of the call, according to a White House read-out, Obama “expressed concern” over the release of a man named Abdulelah Haider Shaye, whom Obama said “had been sentenced to five years in prison for his association with AQAP.” It turned out that Shaye had not yet been released at the time of the call, but Saleh did have a pardon for him prepared and was ready to sign it. It would not have been unusual for the White House to express concern about Yemen’s allowing AQAP suspects to go free. Suspicious prison breaks of Islamist militants in Yemen had been a regular occurrence over the past decade, and Saleh has been known to exploit the threat of terrorism to leverage counterterrorism dollars from the United States. But this case was different. Abdulelah Haider Shaye is not an Islamist militant or an Al Qaeda operative. He is a journalist. Unlike most journalists covering Al Qaeda, Shaye risked his life to travel to areas controlled by Al Qaeda and to interview its leaders. He also conducted several interviews with the radical cleric Anwar al Awlaki. Shaye did the last known interview with Awlaki just before it was revealed that Awlaki, a US citizen, was on a CIA/JSOC hit list. “We were only exposed to Western media and Arab media funded by the West, which depicts only one image of Al Qaeda,” recalls his best friend Kamal Sharaf, a well-known dissident Yemeni political cartoonist. “But Abdulelah brought a different viewpoint.” Shaye had no reverence for Al Qaeda, but viewed the group as an important story, according to Sharaf. Shaye was able to get access to Al Qaeda figures in part due to his relationship, through marriage, to the radical Islamic cleric Abdul Majid al Zindani, the founder of Iman University and a US Treasury Department–designated terrorist. While Sharaf acknowledged that Shaye used his connections to gain access to Al Qaeda, he adds that Shaye also “boldly” criticized Zindani and his supporters: “He said the truth with no fear.” While Shaye, 35, had long been known as a brave, independent-minded journalist in Yemen, his collision course with the US government appears to have been set in December 2009. On December 17, the Yemeni government announced that it had conducted a series of strikes against an Al Qaeda training camp in the village of al Majala in Yemen’s southern Abyan province, killing a number of Al Qaeda militants. As the story spread across the world, Shaye traveled to al Majala. What he discovered were the remnants of Tomahawk cruise missiles and cluster bombs, neither of which are in the Yemeni military’s arsenal. He photographed the missile parts, some of them bearing the label “Made in the USA,” and distributed the photos to international media outlets. He revealed that among the victims of the strike were women, children and the elderly. To be exact, fourteen women and twenty-one children were killed. Whether anyone actually active in Al Qaeda was killed remains hotly contested. After conducting his own investigation, Shaye determined that it was a US strike. The Pentagon would not comment on the strike and the Yemeni government repeatedly denied US involvement. But Shaye was later vindicated when Wikileaks released a US diplomatic cable that featured Yemeni officials joking about how they lied to their own parliament about the US role, while President Saleh assured Gen. David Petraeus that his government would continue to lie and say “the bombs are ours, not yours.” Seven months after the Majala bombing, in July 2010, Sharaf and Shaye were out running errands. Sharaf popped into a supermarket, while Shaye waited outside. When Sharaf came out of the store, he recalls, “I saw armed men grabbing him and taking him to a car.” The men, it turned out, were Yemeni intelligence agents. They snatched Shaye, hooded him and took him to an undisclosed location. The agents, according to Sharaf, threatened Shaye and warned him against making further statements on TV. Shaye’s reports on the Majala bombing and his criticism of the US and Yemeni governments, Sharaf said, “pushed the regime to kidnap him. One of the interrogators told him, ‘We will destroy your life if you keep on talking about this issue.’” Eventually, in the middle of the night, Shaye was dumped back onto a street and released. “Abdulelah was threatened many times over the phone by the Political Security and then he was kidnapped for the first time, beaten and investigated over his statements and analysis on the Majala bombing and the US war against terrorism in Yemen,” says Shaye’s lawyer, Abdulrahman Barman. “I believe he was arrested upon a request from the US.” Shaye responded to his abduction by going back on al Jazeera and describing his own arrest. “Abdulelah continued to report facts, not for the sake of the Americans or Al Qaeda, but because he believed that what he was reporting was the truth and that it is a journalist’s role to uncover the truth,” says Sharaf. “He is a very professional journalist,” he adds. “He is rare in the journalistic environment in Yemen where 90 percent of journalists write extempore and lack credibility.” Shaye, he explains, is “very open-minded and rejects extremism. He was against violence and the killing of innocents in the name of Islam. He was also against killing innocent Muslims with pretext of fighting terrorism. In his opinion, the war on terror should have been fought culturally, not militarily. He believes using violence will create more violence and encourage the spread of more extremist currents in the region.” In the meantime, Sharaf was encountering his own troubles with the Yemeni regime over his drawings of President Saleh and his criticism of the Yemeni government’s war against the minority Houthi population in the north of Yemen. He had also criticized conservative Salafis. And he was Shaye’s best friend. On August 6, 2010, Sharaf and his family had just broken the Ramadan fast when he heard shouting from outside his home: “Come out, the house is surrounded.” Sharaf walked outside. “I saw soldiers I had never seen before. They were tall and heavy—they reminded me of American Marines. Then, I knew that they were from the counterterrorism unit. They had modern laser guns. They were wearing American Marine–type uniforms,” he recalls. They told Sharaf he was coming with them. “What is the accusation?” he asked. “They said, ‘You’ll find out.’ ” As Sharaf was being arrested, Yemeni forces had surrounded Shaye’s home as well. “Abdulelah refused to come out, so they raided his house, took him by force, beat him and broke his tooth,” Sharaf says. “We were both taken blindfolded and handcuffed to the national security prison, which is supported by the Americans.” They were separated and thrown in dark, underground cells, says Sharaf. “We were kept for about thirty days during Ramadan in the national security prison where we were continuously interrogated.” For that first month, Sharaf and Shaye did not see each other. Eventually, they were taken from the national security prison to Yemen’s Political Security prison, where they were put in a cell together. “We were transferred to the political security prison built by Saddam Hussein, his gift to Yemen,” he says. “We were moved from the American gift to the Iraqi gift.” (The Nation could not independently verify Sharaf’s claim of an Iraqi role in the building of the prison. And while the US trains and supports Yemen’s counterterrorism force, it is not clear if that aid has been used for the national security prison). Sharaf was eventually released, after he pledged to the authorities that he would not draw any more cartoons of President Saleh. Shaye would make no such deal. Shaye was held in solitary confinement for thirty-four days with no access to a lawyer. His family did not even know where he had been taken or why. Eventually, his lawyers received a tip from a released prisoner that Shaye was in the Political Security prison and they were able to see him. “When Abdulelah was arrested, he was put in a narrow dirty and foul smelling bathroom for five days. I noticed that one of Abdulelah’s teeth was extracted and another one was broken, in addition to presence of some scars on his chest,” recalls Barman. “There were a lot scars on his chest. He was psychologically tortured. He had been told that all his friends and family members had left him and that no one had raised his case. He was tortured by false information.” On September 22, Shaye was eventually hauled into a court. Prosecutors asked for more time to prepare a case against him. A month later, in late October, he was locked in a cage in Yemen’s state security court, which was established by presidential decree and has been roundly denounced as illegal and unfair, as a judge read out a list of charges against him. He was accused of being the “media man” for Al Qaeda, recruiting new operatives for the group and providing Al Qaeda with photos of Yemeni bases and foreign embassies for potential targeting. “The government filed many charges against him,” says Barman. “Some of these charges were: joining an armed group aiming to target the stability and security of the country, inciting Al Qaeda members to assassinate President Ali Abdullah Saleh and his son, recruiting new Al Qaeda members, working as propagandist for Al Qaeda and Anwar Al-Awlaki in particular. Most of these charges carry the death sentence under Yemeni law.” As the charges against him were read, according to journalist Iona Craig, a longtime foreign correspondent based in Yemen who reports regularly for the Times of London, Shaye “paced slowly around the white cell, smiling and shaking his head in disbelief.” When the judge finished reading the charges against him, Shaye stood behind the bars of the holding cell and addressed his fellow journalists. “When they hid murderers of children and women in Abyan, when I revealed the locations and camps of nomads and civilians in Abyan, Shabwa and Arhab when they were going to be hit by cruise missiles, it was on that day they decided to arrest me,” he declared. “You notice in the court how they have turned all of my journalistic contributions into accusations. All of my journalistic contributions and quotations to international reporters and news channels have been turned into accusations.” As security guards dragged him away, Shaye yelled, “Yemen, this is a place where, when a young journalist becomes successful, he is viewed with suspicion.” In January 2011, Shaye was convicted of terrorism-related charges and sentenced to five years in prison, followed by two years of restricted movement and government surveillance. Throughout his trial, Shaye refused to recognize the legitimacy of the court and refused to present a legal defense. Human Rights Watch said the specialized court where Shaye was tried “failed to meet international standards of due process,” while his lawyers argue that the little “evidence” that was presented against him relied overwhelmingly on fabricated documents. “What happened was a political not judicial decision. It has no legal basis,” says Barman, Shaye’s lawyer, who boycotted the trial. “Having witnessed his trial I can say it was a complete farce,” says Craig. Several international human rights groups condemned the trial as a sham and an injustice. “There are strong indications that the charges against [shaye] are trumped up and that he has been jailed solely for daring to speak out about US collaboration in a cluster munitions attack which took place in Yemen,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa. There is no doubt that Shaye was reporting facts that both the Yemeni and US government wanted to suppress. He was also interviewing people Washington was hunting. While the US and Yemeni governments alleged that he was a facilitator for Al Qaeda propaganda, close observers of Yemen disagree. “It is difficult to overestimate the importance of his work,” says Gregory Johnsen, a Yemen scholar at Princeton University who had communicated regularly with Shaye since 2008. “Without Shaye’s reports and interviews we would know much less about Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula than we do, and if one believes, as I do, that knowledge of the enemy is important to constructing a strategy to defeat them, then his arrest and continued detention has left a hole in our knowledge that has yet to be filled.” As the US ratcheted up its efforts to assassinate the radical cleric Anwar Awlaki, among the charges leveled against him was that he praised the actions of the alleged Fort Hood shooter, Maj. Nidal Hasan. A key source for those statements was an interview with Awlaki conducted by Shaye broadcast on Al Jazeera in December 2009. Far from coming off as sympathetic, Shaye’s interview was objective and seemed aimed at actually getting answers. Among the questions he asked Awlaki: How can you agree with what Nidal did as he betrayed his American nation? Why did you bless the acts of Nidal Hasan? Do you have any connection with the incident directly? Shaye also confronted Awlaki with inconsistencies from Awlaki’s previous interviews. If anything, Shaye’s interviews with Awlaki provided the US intelligence community and the politicians and pro-assassination punditry with ammunition to support their campaign to kill Awlaki. (Awlaki was killed in a US drone strike on September 30, 2011.) After Shaye was convicted and sentenced, tribal leaders intensified their pressure on President Saleh to issue a pardon. “Some prominent Yemenis and tribal sheikhs visited the president to mediate in the issue and the president agreed to release and pardon him,” recalls Barman. “We were waiting for the release of the pardon—it was printed out and prepared in a file for the president to sign and announce the next day.” Word of the impending pardon leaked in the Yemeni press. “That same day,” Barman says, “the president [saleh] received a phone call from Obama expressing US concerns over the release of Abdulelah Haider.” Saleh rescinded the pardon. “Certainly Shaye’s reports were an embarrassment for the US and Yemeni government, because at a time when both governments were seeking and failing to kill key leaders within AQAP, this single journalist with his camera and computer was able to locate these same leaders and interview them,” says Johnsen. “There is no publicly available evidence to suggest that Abdulelah was anything other than a journalist attempting to do his job, and it remains unclear why the US or Yemeni government refuse to present the evidence they claim to possess.” In February, Shaye began a brief hunger strike to protest his imprisonment, ending it after his family expressed serious concerns about his deteriorating health. While international media organizations, including the Committee to Protect Journalists, the International Federation of Journalists and Reporters Without Borders, have called for Shaye’s release, his case has received scant attention in the United States. Yemeni journalists, human rights activists and lawyers have said he remains in jail at the request of the White House. Some had hoped that when President Saleh stepped down earlier this year, Shaye might be released. That seems unlikely if the US government has any say in the matter. “We are standing by [President Obama’s] comments from last February,” State Department spokesperson Beth Gosselin told The Nation. “We remain concerned about Shaye’s potential release due to his association with Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. We stand by the president’s comments.” When asked whether the US government should present evidence to support its claims about Shaye’s association with AQAP, Gosselin said, “That is all we have to say about this case.” When Craig recently questioned the US ambassador to Yemen, Gerald Feierstein, about Shaye’s case, she says Feierstein laughed at the question before answering. “Shaye is in jail because he was facilitating Al Qaeda and its planning for attacks on Americans and therefore we have a very direct interest in his case and his imprisonment,” he said. When Craig mentioned the shock waves it had sent through the journalism community in Yemen, Feierstein replied, “This isn’t anything to do with journalism, it is to do with the fact that he was assisting Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and if they [Yemeni journalists] are not doing that they don’t have anything to worry about from us.” For many journalists in Yemen, the publicly available “facts” about how Shaye was “assisting” AQAP indicate that simply interviewing Al Qaeda–associated figures, or reporting on civilian deaths caused by US strikes, is a crime in the view of the US government. “I think the worst thing about the whole case is that not only is an independent journalist being held in proxy detention by the US,” says Craig, “but that they’ve successfully put paid to other Yemeni journalists investigating air strikes against civilians and, most importantly, holding their own government to account. Shaye did both of those things.” She adds: “With the huge increase in government air strikes and US drone attacks recently, Yemen needs journalists like Shaye to report on what’s really going on.” Taken from here: http://www.thenation...st-prison-yemen
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