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UPDATE(1) Gaza Freedom Flotilla Killings: FACT CHECK (Dispelling Myths as Israeli PR in Full Swing) | FACTBOX

Amad Abu Reem

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Update (1) on 6/2/10 3AM EST on Israel’s charge that Turkey’s support for the flotilla is due to Turkey’s move from secularism to radical Islam

I would appreciate everyone’s help in spreading this information. Cross-posts are best as they increase the “authority” of the article and give it a better chance to show up in internet search. Pls use facebook share, DIGG, reddit, stumbleupon, simple email, or whatever online means you have to get the word out.

For some background, when I started putting this post together, I had a very difficult time cobbling the facts together. They are spread out far and thin, and make it very difficult to respond to the organized Israeli propaganda machine. So, do your bit. Share, forward and discuss!

With the cold-blooded killings of several passengers  (reported casualties in the range of 9 to 19, but as this Wiki entry shows, no one really knows exact count due to Israel’s media blackout!) on one of the Freedom Flotilla ships, Israel cannot escape the public relations disaster that this is turning out to be. There is little doubt that brand “Israel” is now probably one that most loathed and hated brands in the world. While brand “Islam” has been taking a beating due to a combination of the actions of some of its adherents and more so by the systematic campaign by the Israeli Lobby and its right-wing allies in the West, brand Israel has been given the proverbial shot in its arm by this curiously botched action.

Indeed, there is little doubt, both among the supporters and detractors that this murderous spree is a public-relations disaster for the Netanyahu government. The Elders, a group of past and present world leaders, including former South African president Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, on Monday condemned as “completely inexcusable” the deadly Israeli attack on a flotilla carrying aid for Gaza. See also STRATFOR: Flotillas and the Wars of Public Opinion.

Thus, the massive Israel PR machine is in full-swing: media manipulation and lies will be spread by Israel via a massive blitz, not necessarily coordinated, but well thought-out and played out (practice makes perfect). This will result from a combination of speeches by Israeli government officials, government lobbyists and other arms of the Israel Lobby especially AIPAC and ADL, op-ed pieces and letters to the editor in newspapers, as well as a multitude of online foot-soldiers that will patrol (troll) blogs, news sites and every online hole where they can deposit misinformation. In order to remind us again of how this sophisticated media operation plays out, please revisit the video below that has no equals in terms of objectivity and professionalism. Remember, everything that the Israel Lobby is doing in its PR efforts is perfectly legal and constitutionally protected. The Lobby is doing what it is designed to do, protecting its interests. What we need to do is to learn from their ways, and promote ours, especially in this case where the high moral ground lies with the Flotilla and the people of Gaza. Let’s not lose our ground this time!

In order to counter the myths and half-truths that will be spread by the Lobby’s minions, we will be collecting Israeli falsehoods and their responses in a list here. Feel free to offer more in the comments, and I’ll keep updating this list:

FACT CHECK

Weapons On Board the Flotilla

Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon said Monday morning that the pro-Palestinian activists on the flotilla sailing to the Gaza Strip were carrying weapons on board [Source]

RESPONSE: Nothing could be further from truth. The ships had discharged from Turkey after the government checked for weapons. Forget the Turkish claims; common sense dictates that symbolism of peaceful resistance that the flotilla mission was engaging in would not allow the presence of weapons. Finally, the video released by the IDF itself shows that those on board were using miscellaneous items to fight off the soldiers (pirates), not any arms.

“Allegations that there were weapons aboard the Turkish ship are baseless,” Fevzi Gulcan, the head of customs at the Mediterranean port city of Antalya, said on Monday.  He added that passengers had been allowed to board the Mavi Marmara ship after they were searched and scanned via X-Ray, the Anatolia news agency reported.” [Source]

Israel Acted in Self-Defense

“Israel, though, insists its forces fired in self-defense. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says they had to “defend their lives, or they would have been killed.” [Source]

RESPONSE: Like all the “self-defense” claims that Israel as one of the world’s mightiest military power makes against kids with stones, this one doesn’t fly either. See the video below released by none other than the IDF. Let’s assume for argument’s sake, that the NGO participants on board the ship started the altercation. As an illustration of the hollowness of the self-defense argument, let’s assume my neighbor comes to my house and kicks and punches me. I am in full military fatigue, I have all the weapons, while my neighbor is employing his boots to the best of his ability. In return, I take him and his family out. What would the court say to my self-defense argument?

Furthermore, there are strict guidelines on the response by military and police in law enforcement situations. Under San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea, 12 June 1994, Section II (Armed conflicts and the law of of self-defence). Note the condition of proportionality mentioned twice for emphasis:

3. The exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognized in Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations is subject to the conditions and limitations laid down in the Charter, and arising from general international law, including in particular the principles of necessity and proportionality.

4. The principles of necessity and proportionality apply equally to armed conflict at sea and require that the conduct of hostilities by a State should not exceed the degree and kind of force, not otherwise prohibited by the law of armed conflict, required to repel an armed attack against it and to restore its security.

Israel’s “Proof” of Self-Defense — the Proverbial Foot in its own Mouth:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bU12KW-XyZE&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

Israel’s Interception of Flotilla was in Accordance with International Laws

Israel maintains that it has the right to defend its territorial integrity, in accordance with international laws.

RESPONSE: The attack took place in international waters, so in fact, Israel was in full breach of international laws. For instance, Russia’s Foreign Ministry has already come out in asserting that Israel’s attack on aid flotilla violated international law.

Robin Churchill, a professor of international law at the University of Dundee in Scotland, said the Israeli commandos boarded the ship outside of Israel’s territorial waters. “As far as I can see, there is no legal basis for boarding these ships,” Churchill said. Also, a group of lawyers in Israel have petitioned the High Court, charging that Israel had violated the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea by capturing the boats in international waters.

Under the same San Remo manual, Part II, Section I, hostile actions are forbidden on neutral waters, and clearly the Israeli action took place in international waters by all accounts:

14. Neutral waters consist of the internal waters, territorial sea, and, where applicable, the archipelagic waters, of neutral States. Neutral airspace consists of the airspace over neutral waters and the land territory of neutral States.

15. Within and over neutral waters, including neutral waters comprising an international strait and waters in which the right of archipelagic sea lanes passage may be exercised, hostile actions by belligerent forces are forbidden. A neutral State must take such measures as are consistent with Section II of this Part, including the exercise of surveillance, as the means at its disposal allow, to prevent the violation of its neutrality by belligerent forces.

Furthermore under Section V, Line 67, Merchant vessels flying the flag of neutral States may not be attacked. Clearly the flotilla flying the flags of Greece and Turkey fall under this category. The exceptions to this default state include “reasonable grounds to be carrying contraband or breaching a blockade… engage in belligerent acts on behalf of the enemy” and a bunch of other categories where there is clearly an “enemy” involved. While Israel may state that the ships were breaching a blockade, this argument is patently false, since the blockade itself is illegal and not approved by the international community.

But there is even further qualification, by exemptions for certain type of vessels, under Section IV,

136. The following vessels are exempt from capture:

(ii) vessels engaged in humanitarian missions, including vessels carrying supplies indispensable o the survival of the civilian population, and vessels engaged in relief actions and rescue operations;

Flotilla Organizers Have Ties to Al Qaeda

“Before the flotilla entered Israeli waters, rumor had it that the organizers [of the aid initiative] had links with the al Qaeda terrorist network,” Arthur Avnon was quoted as saying on the website of public broadcaster DR. [Source]

RESPONSE: “Rumor has it”… Rumor? Are we now going to depend on rumors? Desperation? Here Israel is using, once again, the Islam vs. the West “clash of civilization” fear-mongering approach. Increasing Islamophobia has been a strategic goal of the Israel Lobby. As long as Westerners are afraid of Muslims (=Palestinians), Israel will always be justified in all its ruthless actions to subdue the uncivilized Muslim populace. Ever since 9/11, Israel has made great pains in equating the terrorists with Palestinians fighting occupation. The great differences between the two situations conveniently escapes Israel, but it has still been effective at making this case. No surprise when many Americans still think Saddam Hussein had something to do with 9/11.

The response is actually quite simple. Al-Qaeda is a caustic entity, besides being a terrorist outfit. No cause would want connections to this organization as it will instantly digress from any positive message. Thus, not only is it unreasonable, but it would be foolish to include Al-Qaeda. Furthermore, since when did Al-Qaeda tactics shift from terrorism to unarmed humanitarian efforts?  Let’s review the list of notable personalities on board. Would they even remotely risk being tied to Al-Qaeda? The list includes newspaper journalists, members and former members of EU states governments, a member of the Israeli Knesset (!), Swedish historians and artists, actors,  a survivor of the USS Liberty, former United States Ambassador and more. See the entire “Al-Qaeda’s Who’s Who List” on Wikipedia.

[NEW!] Turkey’s Support is Motivated by the Nation’s Move to Radical Islam

But it is part of a broader trend in which Erdogan has been gradually steering his country away from a secular-based democracy toward radical Islam. [Source]

RESPONSE: Here Israel is again using the “radical Islam”/ “clash of civilization” bogeyman to paint Turkey’s action as motivated by radical Islam. The truth is actually quite the opposite. If being ruled by a few generals is what Israel considers democracy and a government elected by people is not, then that highlights what the real issue Israel has with Turkey. Just like Israel didn’t quite like the democratic elections in Palestine that produced a Gaza government, it similarly doesn’t like a Turkish government because Turkey to keep Israel honest to its international responsibilities; no longer can  few generals overrule the will of the people and toe Israel’s line. There can be no doubt that Turkey’s government is far more democratic than ever before. As EU Term President Spain’s Ambassador to Ankara Joan Clos stated, “Turkey is now going through a process of adaptation to the new reality of a prevalence of the civilian government over the military authorities”.

Not only did Israel get the democracy spin wrong, it also deliberately ignores the fact that support for Gaza has widespread support among ALL sectors of the Turkish population, even the ardent secularists:

“I don’t know what kind of relationship can remain after this,” said Mustafa Akyol, a prominent Turkish columnist and author. “This is every Turk I know — Islamists, secularists, nationalists, everybody. People are enraged.” [Source]

Suna notes that anti-Israeli feeling is not at all unique to religious Turks. Even completely secularist, Islamist-hating Turks have a real problem with Israel, she says, and tend to believe Israelis and the Jewish lobby in the US to be at the bottom of most world ills. [Source]

No Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza

On a related note, since this flotilla was after all meant to highlight the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s foreign minister reminded reporters recently  “there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza” [Source].

RESPONSE: This is a lie (=disinformation) in so many ways that it boggles the mind that someone can even make this claim:

Sophisticated Approach to Media by the Israeli Lobby:

[googlevideo]http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6604775898578139565[/googlevideo]

Imad Shaykh is one of the founders of MuslimMatters, Inc. His identity is shaped by his religion (Islam), place of birth (Pakistan), and nationality (American). By education, he is a ChemE, topped off with an MBA from Wharton. He has been involved with Texas Dawah, Clear Lake Islamic Center and MSA. His interests include politics, cricket, and media interactions. Career-wise, Imad is in management in the oil & gas industry (but one who still appreciates the "green revolution").

140 Comments

140 Comments

  1. Avatar

    umtalhah

    June 1, 2010 at 2:25 AM

    good. may Allah reward ya’ll at MM.

    • Amad

      Amad

      June 1, 2010 at 2:41 AM

      jak for providing the link to the legal docs on FB, that turned out to be very useful.

    • Avatar

      Hank Seller

      June 2, 2010 at 12:31 AM

      Hi,

      fact is that “peaceactivists” started this sad incident by attacking first against Israeli troops. Ask first why this ship couldnt go to Ashdod and use the way which is leagal? Ask then why there in ship were so many foreigners? Okay, foreigners were there to give good mediacoverage if something happens and this whole case was for propaganda purposes.

      Old case where Ismael is against Isaac is still working. Read Bible and you know what God is telling you to do. God is love, not dictator asking you to kill jews or fellow muslims like Hamas is doing in Gaza. We Christians are praying for Free Gaza, so that people gets out of slavery of Hamas. If you love Palestinians, stop supporting them who want to kill Jews and Israeli arabs and Palestinians in Gaza.

      If here is even one smart, please pray for Jesus to come into your heart and ask Jesus to set you free from bondage of hatred.

      • Amad

        Amad

        June 2, 2010 at 12:43 AM

        Hank, as a Christian, do you think Jesus (peace be upon him) would have supported Israel’s collective punishment of millions in Gaza? Do you think he would have supported a massacre (even if we assume that Hamas instigated it though we all know it is because of the punishing blockade)? What about turning the other cheek? Isn’t that a “Christian thing”?

        Hamas’s charter has as many problems as Likud’s. But both were elected by their people, so why does the world only respect one nation’s decision?

        We love Jesus, and we know Jesus would have never come down on the side of the oppressors, the terrorist state of Israel. The ENTIRE world except a few know this. Talk to the Catholics in Europe and their “love” for Israeli policies. They are also Christians but they are not brainwashed by the American media.

        • Avatar

          Hank Seller

          June 2, 2010 at 1:26 AM

          Amad,

          at first, thank for your reply. Usually I get other kind of answears.

          I am Christian, not Catholic, not living in Usa. I live in Europe. All I know is that if we can forgive each others, and we can love each others, peace will come. What you think will happen if Hamas leaders calls to Israel and makes an offer that they will come to Jerusalem to make real peace, where both sides says that violence is enough now? And they hack each other and says: “Forgive us”? Would it change the atmosphere?

          Look, Gaza is nice place with nice seaview. What a oppportinity to make just great tourismplace and have lots of money and work for poor people. I would be the first one to stay there for a one week if real peace will come some day. There are lots of history, lots of beaches, not too far from Europe. Why not to stop that grazy war and start to do something good for those lovely kids?

          I dont understand this, sorry.

          I want to say every muslim that I love you all, Jesus loves you all, but we both hate war, we both hate violence. I wish you get peace into you heart first, and then it comes to your country you are wishing.

          • Avatar

            I Don't Understand

            June 3, 2010 at 1:48 PM

            So you are saying we should peacefully sit by, and watch as the Israelis pillages and starves the civilians of Gaza?

            I guess a lot of people have learned how to look the other way when it comes to issues like this but not me.

          • Avatar

            Amir (MR)

            June 3, 2010 at 5:21 PM

            Why don’t you go and see how peaceful Israel with regards to Gaza. Ask Israel to let you spend a week in Gaza.

          • Avatar

            Hank Seller

            June 5, 2010 at 10:39 AM

            I dont belive that fighting will bring peace. Peace comes when both sides loves and respects each other. I dont belive that fighting will bring food. Food comes when you start to grow vegetables, fruits, meat, grain… And money comes when you stop fighting for then people will come and stay in Gaza as tourist.

            Amir, you know very well that as Christian I cannot go to Gaza. I know many Christians been executed by Hamas. You are muslims and your book Quran tells you that hate Jews and Christians. Jesus said to me that I have to love my enemy, and love my neighbour like myself. Jesus is real hero, He died for us without resistance against them who killed him. Now you say that there in Gaza is many Christians, sure, as long they support Hamas and spread their message to people in the rest of the world. I wont do that, so I cannot go to Gaza.

          • Avatar

            Nauman

            June 5, 2010 at 11:41 AM

            @Hank Seller,

            Bro, can you please tell us where in the Quran it tells muslims to hate Christians and Jews?

            I am a Pakistani and a non-arab but I can read Arabic and do not need a translation to understand the Quran. I can read it as it was revealed by the Almighty. So, I would really like to know what information you base that claim on?

            I’ll tell you the general rule. We are allowed to hate the deed, not the doer. So, we aren’t even allowed to hate Christians/Jews, let alone being instructed to do so.

          • Avatar

            Hank Seller

            June 8, 2010 at 12:58 PM

            Hello Nauman, I read Quran in english but have no interest to copy/paste verses to you. I tried to find simple webpage where is basic information for your question. Look here:

            *REMOVED*

            I also understan who to read Quran, there are two different periods in Muhammads life. First, time when he and his followers were week, and time when Muhammad and his followers were strong. Message from first period is different than second period. And there is houses like Dar-el-Harb, Dar-es-Salam… I as a Christian from muslims point of few are in House of War, and you in a House of Peace.

            Sure there is differences between sunnis and shias, but Quran itself is quite clear with its message about Christians.

            I say to you that Jesus said to us, that we have to love everyone, we have no right to kill or torch anybody, even they arent Christians.

            Luke 6:27-36

            [27] “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, [28] bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. [29] If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. [30] Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. [31] Do to others as you would have them do to you. [32] “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. [33] And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that. [34] And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ lend to ‘sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full. [35] But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. [36] Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

            Matthew 52 “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.

          • Amad

            Amad

            June 8, 2010 at 1:19 PM

            The islamophobic link to a site that is full of hate and propaganda and lies has been removed.

            If you think you are getting facts from this hate-site, I suggest you look up the official KKK site for facts on black Americans. Your knowledge of dar ul harb and dar ul salam is so warped that I wouldn’t know even where to start. But that is not surprising considering where you get your info. from.

            If you are REALLY serious about learning the truth, go talk to Muslims. Until then, pls refrain from passing on islamophobic “facts” as truth. We love Jesus more than you can ever, because we actually follow what he asked his people to do: worship His Lord alone, not him.

          • Avatar

            Hank Seller

            June 12, 2010 at 4:26 AM

            Okay, how about those verses in Quran which asks a muslim to kill Jews?

            And would you tell me why a muslim woman cant marry a Christian or a Jew? Only muslim man has that right. And if muslim man get married with a Christian or a Jew, and they get children, those children are muslims and allways belongs to father. Quite friendly, you think so?

            Your Hadith says this:
            “The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslims, O Abdullah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews.”

            I appreciate if you tell just truth.

          • Avatar

            Nauman

            June 14, 2010 at 1:42 AM

            @Hank Seller,

            First you talk about Christians and Jews. Then, in the middle of the argument, you shift to men versus women. If I didn’t know any better, I would think that you just want to find anything that you can use against Islam.

            By the way, I’m sure you’ve studied a lot on all three religions and if so, you’d know that these questions are not new. They are ages old and there are answers from muslim regarding these questions. If you’re not satisfied with the answers, the proper way would be to quote them and say why you find them lacking. Right now, your claims just seem uneducated.

            About the second claim about war with Jews: Do you understand the difference between news and order? Can you see which one you’re referring to here?

            And about your last sentence: I haven’t accused you of anything. I’ve been as civil as I know how. And here you go implying that I am not being honest with you. Please read my comments again and see if I’ve made any claim without logical argument. Keep an open mind and maybe you will see the right path. Wish you the best of luck.

        • Avatar

          Nauman

          June 9, 2010 at 1:20 AM

          @Hanks Seller,

          I will keep it brief: All the verses quoted on the link you sent are irrelevant because they’re not talking about hating jews and christians. They’re talking about not befriending them. There’s a difference. I don’t call the admin of this page my friend. Doesn’t mean I hate him. The person living next door to my house isn’t a friend. Doesn’t mean I hate him. I don’t like the way my boss approaches business ethics and I really don’t want to be his friend. Doesn’t mean I hate him. I hate what he does. Again, hate the deed, not the doer.

          So, the arguments on the page are irrelevant and if you read with an open mind, you’ll notice that they’re grasping at straws. The third-last verse quoted is clear evidence of what I’ve just said. Don’t christians believe that those who do not believe in Jesus (peace be upon him) will not go to heaven? I may be wrong there but I guess that’s the whole point of a religion. If a religion says that everyone is right, what’s the point of following that particular religion. It says itself that you can follow anyone. Kind of a contradiction there, don’t you think?

          Oh and @Amad, thanks for pointing out the obvious about referring to legitimate sources.

          • Amad

            Amad

            June 9, 2010 at 1:58 AM

            And to be honest it isn’t even about befriending Jews & Christians. I have many good friends among Jews and Christians. This was more referring to as awliyah or protectors. And even that may have some interpretations/explanations.

            Think about it. As a convert, your mother, father, siblings may all be Christians or Jews. Or your wife may be a Christian or Jew. Could you really live without having them as your “friends”? Or loving them as humans? There is difference between the love for the sake of deen, and the human love.

          • Avatar

            Nauman

            June 9, 2010 at 2:10 AM

            Yes, you are right Amad.

            I just didn’t think I’d be able to explain the difference between the semantics of the word ‘friendship’ as Quran uses it and as the modern casual usage defines it. So, I just explained what I could.

            Just as there’s a difference between ‘love’ for Allah and his Prophet (sallaho-alaihe wasallam) and love for another human, there’s a difference between friendship for the sake of Allah and friendship in the casual sense of the word. Don’t think I can explain it any better without writing an article. I’m not that good with words.

  2. Avatar

    Ameera

    June 1, 2010 at 3:24 AM

    Exactly the kind of writing that’s needed from Muslims in the media… backed up with evidence and clear. JazaakAllah. Meanwhile, we have our own houses to set in order too, Inshaa’Allah… returning to the Qur’an and Sunnah, bettering ourselves as Muslims and servants of Allah(swt). No two ways about it!

  3. Avatar

    Abdus-Sabur

    June 1, 2010 at 4:56 AM

    Here’s a little excerpt I read on Huffington Post that is absolutely ridiculous. > A soldier identified only as a sergeant told reporters at a military briefing that the activists on board “were armed with knives, scissors, pepper spray and guns.” He said he was armed only with a paintball rifle. “It was a civilian paintball gun that any 12-year-old can play with,” he said. “I saw my friends on the deck spitting blood.” <

    • Avatar

      amad

      June 1, 2010 at 5:02 AM

      Must be a mighty powerful paintball gun to kill nearly 20 people.

      If you were landing on my ship, I think I’d be pretty mad too, esp. if you are a known violator of international law.

  4. Pingback: Indigo Jo Blogs — Some facts about the Flotilla massacre

  5. Avatar

    Hasan Yasir

    June 1, 2010 at 8:10 AM

    Jewish state-sponsored terrorism continues unabted, aided and abeted by its political slaves in Washington and EU et al. Tel Aviv understands it is above all int’l law and conventions and thus its momentum for bloodshed is never far.

    It is massacres like these that begs the question whether Israel indeed has a right to exist if it continues to act with open disregard for human lives and human rights!

  6. Avatar

    loveProphet

    June 1, 2010 at 8:50 AM

    Salam,

    I don’t believe that the “clubs etc” were of the activists as the video as shown on different media outlets showed, but it was the israeli soldiers attacking with such things as this shows:
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article7141720.ece

    “The Greeks

    Six Greeks, including a crew member, returning to Athens today told reporters that Israeli commandos boarded the boats in international waters about 80-90 miles off the Israeli coast.

    They said that the Israelis beat activists with clubs and used electric shocks, and said they had heard shooting on board the Turkish boat ahead of theirs. “

  7. Avatar

    Nauman

    June 1, 2010 at 9:13 AM

    A.A.

    Great work dispelling the myths being spread. Is it possible to get a list of all the people on-board? It would really help show that these people were not terrorists but reputed people of their nations.

    • Amad

      Amad

      June 2, 2010 at 12:47 AM

      Jazakallahkhair

  8. Avatar

    Yasir Qadhi

    June 1, 2010 at 11:55 AM

    Salaam Alaikum

    Good article, I hope it helps dispel these myths.

    In all of Allah’s decrees there is great wisdom; looking at the world response and the shift in tide of public opinion, I think it is obvious that we are seeing a huge change for the better.

    Verily, Allah does not allow any transgressor unlimited leeway; and when He does call him for reckoning, He takes account of him in full measure.

    Allah is always on the side of the oppressed – regardless of religion – against the oppressor – regardless of religion. How much more so when the oppressed are His Believers?

    Yasir

    • Amad

      Amad

      June 1, 2010 at 1:03 PM

      jazakAllahkhair Shaykh Yasir.

  9. Avatar

    Philip Brennan

    June 1, 2010 at 12:06 PM

    Thank you for this timely documentation / information. I will be disseminating it ASAP.

    • Amad

      Amad

      June 1, 2010 at 12:28 PM

      Thank Philip. And pls keep up the good work you are doing on your site.

  10. Avatar

    Zulander

    June 1, 2010 at 1:28 PM

    Assalaamu alaikum,

    How do I “track-back” this article?

    • Amad

      Amad

      June 1, 2010 at 1:54 PM

      If you have a blog, just link to this article and it will automatically backlink.

  11. Avatar

    Farhan

    June 1, 2010 at 2:15 PM

    • Amad

      Amad

      June 2, 2010 at 12:47 AM

      Thanks… let’s show our elected reps that the hasbara is not only the one that can engage people to call.

  12. Avatar

    Asim K

    June 1, 2010 at 2:18 PM

    “Truth is on the side of the oppressed” – Malcolm X

  13. Pingback: Gaza Freedom Flotilla Killings: FACT CHECK (Dispelling Myths as Israeli PR Moves into Full Swing) | MuslimMatters.org « Mubashshirat

  14. Avatar

    asad

    June 1, 2010 at 2:28 PM

    has anybody missed this: israel have deployed nuclear submarines near the iranian coastline

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article7140282.ece

    • Avatar

      sabirah

      June 2, 2010 at 2:50 AM

      i’m not surprised!
      I thought from the beginning that the flotilla raid was just a stunt to distract us from what’s really going on in the background.
      Some other poster mentioned before that this is strange!

      I think there is some reason why Israel shot themselves so obviously in the foot

      thanks for bringing this up

  15. Avatar

    abu abdAllah Tariq Ahmed

    June 1, 2010 at 2:46 PM

    Good work, Amad, and everyone. May Allah increase the benefit of it.

    • Amad

      Amad

      June 2, 2010 at 12:48 AM

      Jazakallahkhair Tariq

  16. Avatar

    mystrugglewithin

    June 1, 2010 at 2:53 PM

    Jazakallah khayrun Amad, this is really helpful, and worth sharing around.

    • Amad

      Amad

      June 2, 2010 at 12:49 AM

      waiykum… and Jazakallahkhair for sharing

  17. Avatar

    Ameera

    June 1, 2010 at 3:19 PM

    Check out the kind of anti-Israel (and rightfully so!) tweeting some people are doing to counter the tweet propaganda from the Israeli Foreign Ministry on Twitter!

    “Israel has seized toys from the flotilla which could have provided emotional support to Hamas!” – by @IsraelGlobalPR

    http://twitter.com/IsraelGlobalPR

    http://twitter.com/FakeIsraelMFA

    Btw, those of you on Twitter are INVITED to freely spam and refute the (lame, propaganda) Israeli tweets from this profile of the Israeli Foreign Ministry…

    http://twitter.com/IsraelMFA

    They’ve been tweeting their side of the story (lies, as expected) to all those they can reach.

    • Avatar

      SisAnon

      June 1, 2010 at 4:58 PM

      Awesome mashallah. Everyone tweet away! (with facts and the truth of course, because that will always prevail)

  18. Pingback: Update: Petition against Israeli attack on aid ships « Abolish Torture

  19. Pingback: links for 2010-06-01 « Ibn Kafka's obiter dicta – divagations d'un juriste marocain en liberté surveillée

  20. Avatar

    james kaiser

    June 1, 2010 at 7:09 PM

    thank you for this article. after reading some of the propaganda drivel in articles from news sources in the u.s., i was looking for something factual to refute the israeli claims. seeing that the u.s. media swallows whole all of the lies coming from the israelis, this is much needed. who can seriously believe what comes out of israel when that country has shut off contact with the people involved to the outside press and will not open itself to an outside and impartial investigation from other nations?

    am linking to this article and hoping to help spread something to fight the israeli propaganda. thank you again.

    • Avatar

      Ameera

      June 1, 2010 at 9:18 PM

      Thank you James!

    • Amad

      Amad

      June 2, 2010 at 12:31 AM

      Thanks James.

    • Avatar

      JT

      June 4, 2010 at 12:06 AM

      I am embarrassed to live in this country. We are guilty of obstruction of justice so many times over that it is not surprising other countries view us with disdain. We enable so much murder and ignore so much wrongdoing.

      I find it ridiculous that out of all the video I’m sure the army took, and all the communications media seized illegally from the activists, that the best they can do to justify their murders is to release a 30 second highly edited clip of propaganda. That’s the best they can do? You murder 10 people, and you confiscate all evidence, and somehow can’t show the beginning of the confrontation?

      Israel detained everyone long enough for them to put out the only available account of the situation. They had 2 full days before people started getting released, and every single person released claims Israel fired on them from the sky, completely contradicting the Israeli story. Greek, Turk, British, AN ISRAELI POLITICIAN, every single person released has disputed the Israeli line.

      Before raiding the ship, they jammed all communications. And then when they took the ship, they seized all electronics. They took all possible evidence people had of the beginning of the attack. It is probably already destroyed. The stole the camera of an Italian who was trying to document everything. So much evidence exists, but Israel releases 30 seconds and that is the official story. Why not release the footage if will exonerate you? Why suppress all evidence?

      This is why we need an independent investigation. It is our only chance of getting ahold of that footage, because without it, the plants will just keep saying :”But we have all the evidence”, and that excuse will be enough for stupid people who don’t think “Yeah, because you stole all of the incriminating evidence and destroyed it”.

      How are people here so much dumber than the rest of the world? Every other country news report I see has a deep discussion in the comments, always resulting in the nationals obliterating the propaganda voices, but all coverage in this country is slanded 100% in the opposite direction. People are being fed their opinion, and happily accepting it. It saddens me so much that this country is so full of hate and ignorance. We are getting people killed by enabling Israel.

      We give them aid so they can buy off our politicians. They take OUR money, and use Israel to launder it so it becomes THEIR money. I think that’s the only real use they serve to this country. We veto all UN resolutions pertaining to Israel, and they launder our money using AIPAC.

      What the *** is wrong with people?

      -edited for foul language.

  21. Avatar

    Mais

    June 1, 2010 at 7:26 PM

    First of all thank u for your efforts, there’s one point though i thought is important to tackle:
    In response to:

    “exemptions for certain type of vessels, under Section IV,
    136. The following vessels are exempt from capture:
    (ii) vessels engaged in humanitarian missions, including vessels carrying supplies indispensable o the survival of the civilian population, and vessels engaged in relief actions and rescue operations”;

    The Zionists could use a continuation of this article as an excuse to capture the vessel as follows:

    Conditions of exemption:

    48. Vessels listed in paragraph 47 are exempt from attack only if they:

    (a) are innocently employed in their normal role;
    (b) submit to identification and inspection when required; and
    (c) do not intentionally hamper the movement of combatants and obey orders to stop or move out of the way when required.

    What could be our response then?!

    • Amad

      Amad

      June 2, 2010 at 12:31 AM

      Easy.
      Line 48 is under “SECTION III : ENEMY VESSELS AND AIRCRAFT EXEMPT FROM ATTACK”. So, this section applies only to enemy vessels, i.e. IF these vessels were enemy vessels (and even Israel admits they were of neutral states), THEN they would be exempt under conditions listed in #48.

      In other words, this section does not apply. It’s irrelevant.

      Also, we have to remember that the hasbara has lots of legal folks working the details. If you get into a discussion with any or get on the radio with any, don’t get dragged into it. Rather, it is enough to mention that many countries have already said it is illegal and EVEN Israeli lawyers have filed a complaint against its legality in Israel’s supreme court.

  22. Avatar

    Gurabah

    June 1, 2010 at 8:23 PM

    Jazaka Allahu Kairen for the article. MashAllah it was full of facts and clear evidence. May you continue the great work and may Allah unite and awaken the Muslim Ummah, Ameen!!

    One way or another, the world is now seeying the atrocities of this unhuman country and the world is getting tired of it. The truth will prevail and the real oppressor will show its colors. We already know it but it will be more evidend for the ones who refuse to believe that Israel is an oppressor!!!

    wa salam

    • Amad

      Amad

      June 2, 2010 at 12:49 AM

      Jazakallahkhair… oppression will always have a consequence… sooner or later.

  23. Avatar

    elhame

    June 1, 2010 at 8:54 PM

    Now we get to endure the PR machine of Israel trying to brainwash western media…

  24. Pingback: Gaza Freedom Flotilla Killings: FACT CHECK « Blooming Peaches

    • Amad

      Amad

      June 2, 2010 at 12:51 AM

      Good links

  25. Avatar

    dprosenthal

    June 1, 2010 at 9:38 PM

    1.Name one Islamic country that has never used terror and genocide as a means to gaining and maintaining power.
    2.The IDF asked that the ships stop and be inspected for war material which was refused.
    3.Israel promised to deliver all humanitarian aid supplies to Gaza, as they have been doing all along.
    4. The IDF soldiers who boarded the ship were lightly armed, as wouls be expected but did not start out with weapons drawn.
    5.The ‘freedom fighters’ on board the ship were also well armed and jumped at the chance to attack the soldiers, as was their intent from the beginning.
    6.Most other countries refused to sponsor the flotilla because they understood its intent was provocation.
    7.Turkey, of all countries, should consider its own murderous history before condemning another.
    8.If they really wanted to deliver supplies, they could have gone through Egypt…no, Egypt has also closed its borders to their Palestinian brothers.
    8.None of the other Arab/Moslem countries have done anything to actually help the Palestinian people, only the terrorist part of the population…they all want the crisis to continue.
    9.No country on the face of the earth would allow UNinspected cargo to be delivered to a sworn enemy.
    10.Not to deminish the importance of the Middle East turmoil. the U.N. might take a its sights off Israel long enough to notice terror being foisted upon innocent in many other parts of the world.

    • Avatar

      another white brother

      June 1, 2010 at 10:03 PM

      1. red herring
      2. None of their concern, especially in international waters.
      3. are you serious? surely you are joking?
      4. The video aired by Russia Today and statements from the German politician contradict this
      5. You call wooden sticks well armed? Especially against live ammo?
      6. Your own spin.
      7. Another red herring.
      8. Reoccuring theme, red herring.
      9. Israel should not affair in other nation’s affairs.
      10. More red herrings! Oh my!

      May Allah destroy the occupying entity and its supporters.

      • Avatar

        PakistaniMD

        June 1, 2010 at 10:34 PM

        While I totally agree with your response to “dprosenthal”, I pray that Allah guides you in understanding… the events of of the past 48 hours are nowhere the collective fault of Jews; rather, it is the horrid right-wing government of Israel under “Bibi”.

        To amad: great factbox! The Washington Post has published an article highlighting the various international law positions relevant to sad incident (while its editorial board once again tows the conservative, hawkish position).

      • Avatar

        Gina

        June 2, 2010 at 8:38 AM

        Peace and greetings to everyone. Let us approach this incident with reason and not by emotion and partiality. No doubt Israel violated the rules of engagement in international waters. The organizers could have just welcomed those soldiers and let them look for what they want. There are journalists onboard they can capture there activities while they do inspections. Letting emotion rule over our head aggravated the already volatile situation. Obviously, no matter what we will say the soldiers were provoked by the violent action initiated by some of the members of the aid group. We should look and treat things with all fairness. People died not because the soldiers boarded their ships.

        • Avatar

          Abd- Allah

          June 2, 2010 at 1:37 PM

          Gina, let us approach this incident with reason. Israel had no right or reason to intercept the ships nor inspect them. In international waters Israel has no authority over those ships so even to ask to search the ships and inspect them is outrageous. How would you like it if a random person went to inspect your house without a warrant, and you didn’t open so he broke in and killed some members of your family? In all fairness, this incident is nothing but one in a long history of Israel’s disregard for human life and its value.

        • Avatar

          Sayf

          June 2, 2010 at 2:48 PM

          Israel had absolutely no authority to board those ships, and there’s a reason why the Israeli’s decided to attack them on international waters, they thought long and hard about their course of action.

          This isn’t about following rules of engagement, this is about Israel wishing to show the world its ruthlessness in destroying those who dare challenge them, its a psychological attack taken right out of the art of war, to make sure people think twice when messing with them.

          Please try to see this situation as objectively as possible, and try not to create double-standards for oppression.

          • Avatar

            JT

            June 4, 2010 at 12:08 AM

            Also, if they had waited for the ships to enter “Israeli” waters, it would have been light, and people may have gotten decent footage of the attack. Suppressing evidence was the reason for violating international law. They needed to take on the flotilla at night.

    • Avatar

      Hassan

      June 1, 2010 at 11:31 PM

      1. So you are admitting Israel is using terror and genocide as means to gaining and maintaining power.
      2. The IDF has no right to do so
      3. Thanks, who are they to dictate how to deliver aid
      4. Ok, so only 10 people died, as they did not board with nuclear arms
      5. I am surprised they did not manage to kill anyone, I am assuming hence they were not armed, but it would have been nice if they were to resist illegal force.
      6. It was indeed meant to show how Israel blockade of gaza is illegal.
      7. Again thanks for admitting Israel murderous present.
      8. Terrorist part of the population = all Palestinians for resisting occupation
      9. Right so its all out war
      10. Right, Israel terrorism should not go unnoticed

    • Amad

      Amad

      June 2, 2010 at 12:56 AM

      1. Name one country that is in violation of UN resolutions more than Israel?
      2. Name one country that takes out citizens of another country in yet another country, using passports of friendly nations (killing of Hamas person in Dubai using passports of Europe and Australia)
      3. Name one country that is punishing a population of millions by besieging it for 4 years
      4. Name one country that has given impetus and propaganda to more terrorists than Israel (every radical terrorist who professes the muslim faith has stated Israel’s oppression as being front and center of their grievances)
      5. Name one country that allows people of a certain faith (Jews) to immigrate to it from anywhere in the world but yet forbids people of other faiths (Christians/Muslims) who belong to the land to be refugees all over the world.

      And the list goes on and on.

      • Avatar

        umtalhah

        June 2, 2010 at 12:20 PM

        amad, hassan, and another white brother,

        thanks for u guys’ excellent replies. loved ’em.

        keep up the good work.

  26. Avatar

    Abu Noor Al-Irlandee

    June 1, 2010 at 10:19 PM

    As Glenn Greenwald points out, this seems like a joke, but it’s actually true. The Obama Administration has joined the call for an “impartial investigation” and such a resolution has passed the UN security council.

    According to the Obama Administration the party most likely to be “impartial” is the Israeli government.

    • Amad

      Amad

      June 2, 2010 at 2:09 AM

      There might still be hope:

      White House pushes for “independent investigation into the tragedy.”

      We have to remember what AIPAC must be doing at this time… probably calling for Congress to pass a resolution affirming Israel’s right to self-defense (in essence justifying its actions). And they’ll probably get it by a veto-proof margin. That is the problem here. The Executive branch is pretty much handcuffed by the Legislative in an area which s usually the President’s. So Obama has to avoid being embarrassed by his own legislative body! Even if he grows the ba**s to do it, they will be chopped off immediately. Israel Lobby… the 3 million pound gorilla.

  27. Avatar

    Sulayman F

    June 1, 2010 at 11:02 PM

    What a wonderful post!

    In the introduction, you stated it as 19 deaths. The newspapers are only reporting it as 10, you may need to check and correct it.

    • Amad

      Amad

      June 2, 2010 at 12:58 AM

      I have updated that part of the post. This is actual another part of the hasbara campaign. Anyone who says 19 (as happened to me on dailykos) is being accused of inflating. While in fact if you google “19 killed on flotilla”, you will find tons of news organizations that reported that number.

      The issues is NO ONE really knows EXCEPT the terrorist state of Israel. The media blackout means that civilian casualties may never be know esp. if they disperse all the bodies quietly and secretly to individual families.

      So, in fact, there could be MORE!

      • Avatar

        PakistaniMD

        June 2, 2010 at 5:19 PM

        @ amad:

        I applaud your effort on this fact-box, but I have reservations. You mention that this fact-box should be sued to dispel the Pro-Israeli/Right-wing media propaganda, yet you unilaterally criticize the state of Israel. When did Israel, on its wholesome, become a terrorist state? The events of the past 72 hours are the result of the current right-wing, governing coalition in Israel and not the result of the entire nation. Leftist, centrists, and peace-loving Israelis have come out against this raid. It will be them who will uphold any future peace agreement with the Palestinians, not the Likud backers or the occupying settlers.

        • Avatar

          Abd- Allah

          June 2, 2010 at 8:43 PM

          When did Israel, on its wholesome, become a terrorist state?

          uhh, ever since it was created! Are those parts of Israel’s history really that hidden to people?

        • Amad

          Amad

          June 3, 2010 at 12:30 AM

          PakistanMD: I hear you and I absolutely agree that there are tons of peace-loving Israelis out there. IN fact, some of the most articulate and sincere brokers for peace are in Israel, some of whom who write for Haaretz.

          The point is that I am NOT talking about them, I am talking about the State, the government. Because this government is elected by a majority of Israelis, then one can safely assume that a majority support its government’s terrorist policies. Even on the flotilla, Israel had wide support for its actions from its population. The State of Israel has been terrorizing Palestinians almost since inception. That is a fact. Just like the USA is turning a blind eye towards Israel’s terrorism, we do not blame all Americans for it. It is bad government policies and in the case of US, guided by the Israeli Lobby. Note though that unlike Israel, the majority of Americans have come out strongly against this flotilla killings. One just has to read comments online on blogs and opeds to see how the tide is turning SURELY against Israel, alhamdulilah.

          Separate the state from the people. I think you are mixing the two in your comment.

  28. Avatar

    Maryam

    June 1, 2010 at 11:32 PM

    Israel should go back to elementary school.

    jazakAllah khayr for this cool read. Rest assured it will spread like fire inshaAllah.

    Oh and this is a great read too: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article25592.htm – Yvonne Ridley strikes again :)

  29. Avatar

    Wajiha

    June 2, 2010 at 12:31 AM

    Is there a way to download the 2nd video on Israeli PR strategies?

  30. Avatar

    Hena

    June 2, 2010 at 1:03 AM

    List of Prohibited items into Gaza
    sage, cardamom, cumin, coriander, ginger, jam, halva, vinegar, nutmeg, chocolate, fruit preserves, seeds and nuts, biscuits and sweets, potato chips, gas for soft drinks, dried fruit, fresh meat, plaster, tar, wood for construction, cement, iron, glucose, industrial salt, plastic/glass/metal containers, industrial margarine, tarpaulin, sheets for huts, fabric (for clothing), flavor and smell enhancers, fishing rods, various fishing nets, buoys, ropes for fishing, nylon nets for greenhouses, hatcheries and spare parts for hatcheries, spare parts for tractors, dairies for cowsheds, irrigation pipe systems, ropes to tie greenhouses planters for saplings, heaters for chicken farms, musical instruments, size A4 paper, writing implements, notebooks, newspapers, toys, razors, sewing machines and spare parts, heaters, horses, donkeys, goats, cattle, and chicks

    Economist reports on this too

    Rabbis in israel respond to Gaza Freedom Flotilla Tradegy

    and a critical review on Pure Poison of opinions in the Telegraph and foreign policy blogs

  31. Avatar

    Ummezaynub

    June 2, 2010 at 1:30 AM

    Items prohibited into Gaza
    sage, cardamom, cumin, coriander, ginger, jam, halva, vinegar, nutmeg, chocolate, fruit preserves, seeds and nuts, biscuits and sweets, potato chips, gas for soft drinks, dried fruit, fresh meat, plaster, tar, wood for construction, cement, iron, glucose, industrial salt, plastic/glass/metal containers, industrial margarine, tarpaulin, sheets for huts, fabric (for clothing),flavor and smell enhancers, fishing rods, various fishing nets, buoys, ropes for fishing, nylon nets for greenhouses, hatcheries and spare parts for hatcheries, spare parts for tractors, dairies for cowsheds, irrigation pipe systems, ropes to tie greenhouses planters for saplings, heaters for chicken farms, musical instruments, size A4 paper, writing implements, notebooks, newspapers, toys, razors, sewing machines and spare parts, heaters, horses, donkeys, goats, cattle, and chicks

    Anything to belittle them and show their power over them but all power belongs to Allah

    Economists reports on this too

    Critical review of opinions and foreign policy blogs on Pure Poison

    Open the Gates: A Rabbinical Response to the Gaza Freedom Flotilla Tragedy

    Brother Amad two thumbs WAY up!

  32. Avatar

    zak

    June 2, 2010 at 2:08 AM

    Let’s not forget that the ships are in international waters, yet the arrogant and blood-thirsty zionist Jews do not care to respect international laws and convention. Its pointless showing doctored videos of peace activists’ reaction to what is an illegal and deliberate act of sabotage by the zionist terrorists.

    http://tinyurl.com/24f8sr4

    Will Israel be let off the hook, again?

    http://tinyurl.com/2wnaey6

  33. Avatar

    Sehir Nazim

    June 2, 2010 at 2:30 AM

    Amad Bhai,

    I may not be able to add much in terms of providing you with further ammo on your write up, at this point. However I feel the need to say that you make us proud.

    We the muslims, especially at this juncture need to fight with a combined mental strength as opposed to physical /violent protests which just end up putting us in further negativity. We need to get our facts straight and be able to respond to the media mind game which they keep using against us.

    We need to speak in their language to get their attention and I believe you are doing one hell of a job.

    Wish You all the best, May Allah bless you…

    • Amad

      Amad

      June 2, 2010 at 2:32 AM

      salam Sehir
      good to hear from you and thanks for your kind words. Pls pass my salam to your family.

  34. Avatar

    Abd- Allah

    June 2, 2010 at 2:37 AM

    May Allah reward you brother Amad for the effort you put into this in order for people to know the truth.

    • Amad

      Amad

      June 2, 2010 at 3:26 AM

      jazakAllahkhair. May Allah make this a useful effort.

  35. Avatar

    Alphinco Gnito

    June 2, 2010 at 4:22 AM

    This responses I’ve read above are a part of larger problem. You guys need that to realize that this isn’t Muslims vs. Israel – i.e. this isn’t a religious war. This is political, and the only way to make headway in a political discussion is to leave biasing factors like religion and race out of it.

    That said, this was a good read, and except for the fact that this site – given it’s domain name and theme – screams anti-Israeli bias, I would spread this like AIDS in Africa.

    • Amad

      Amad

      June 2, 2010 at 5:05 AM

      If you found the information useful, then it doesn’t matter who the messenger is.

      I also put this as a diary on dailykos, which might be more palatable to some of the audiences that might be turned off perceptions of bias

      http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/6/1/871987/-Gaza-Freedom-Flotilla-Killings:-FACT-CHECK-(Dispelling-Myths-as-Israeli-PR-Moves-into-Full-Swing)

    • Amad

      Amad

      June 2, 2010 at 5:06 AM

      And I agree that while there are certainly religious overtones, the main driver is political and territorial.

    • Avatar

      Abd- Allah

      June 2, 2010 at 1:29 PM

      Alphinco, while I agree that this is a political/land problem, however as Muslims we can’t see oppression and injustice happening to a group of people (regardless of their race, religion…) and stay quiet about it. Also the fact that Israel is a jewish state does throw a religious spin on the issue.

    • Avatar

      another white brother

      June 2, 2010 at 9:52 PM

      As long as Al-Aqsa is under siege, it is a muslim vs zionist problem. As Shaikh Zahir Mahmood, we need to be making dua every day for those brothers who are performing the fard kifaya for us.

      However, this particular incident should send alarm bells out to humanity.

      Has anyone else seen the video of them performing salat on the boat and the priest joined them? I admit, it was very powerful to see.

  36. Avatar

    May

    June 2, 2010 at 4:35 AM

    Great work.. jazak Allah khier… There is a great group on facebook called the never before campaign (http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=504388232#!/pages/The-Never-Before-Campaign/198778179922?v=info) and it seeks to mobilize support, raise awareness and correct misconceptions regarding the Palestinian Cause.. so anyone who can help these people with ideas please do… i think thats the least any one can do

  37. Avatar

    Ahmad Bilal

    June 2, 2010 at 7:49 AM

    I at the exact moment lack words to express myself… I’d like to know if there is a direct link for the Video which will allow me to download it.. I’d like to show it in my school so that others can know the Truth… Ofcourse all sources shall be cited and Full credit given to those who have made it…

  38. Avatar

    Miguel

    June 2, 2010 at 9:40 AM

    On the fact it was in international waters:

    Avital Leibovich, an Israeli military spokeswoman, confirmed that the attack took place in international waters, saying: “This happened in waters outside of Israeli territory, but we have the right to defend ourselves.”

    Source: http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2010/05/201053133047995359.html

    On the fact that the people on board the ship were checked for weapons through X-Ray machines:

    According to Dmitri Plionis, a Greek activist, in this news report carried on PressTV, approximately at the 1:25 mark, he confirms that the baggage of all the members abroad the ship went through X-Rays at customs in Turkey

    Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WW3mUS_12PU&feature=player_embedded

    As a side-bar to this video, Peter Venner, a British activist seen at the beginning of this video, apparently took his shahadah just before and while on the flotilla. I have that story from one authority but it has to be corroborated. May Allah bless him and guide him regardless! Allahu Akbar!

    Norman Paech, former member of German’s government, confirmed that the activists did not have weapons and saw only three activists resisting

    Source: http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/World/2010/06/01/14209841.html

    That’s all I have for now.

    • Amad

      Amad

      June 2, 2010 at 9:53 AM

      Thank you very much Miguel. Appreciate the updates.
      For the weapon issue, what we have been hearing is that Israel has found no arms as the unload the flotillas. Not that they would be credible if they suddenly found some, but the fact that they are not, is even more confirmation.
      Furthermore, all the reports of commandos being fired at specifically mention that the activists got hold of Israeli guns.

  39. Avatar

    Miguel

    June 2, 2010 at 9:57 AM

    More on weapons being aboard:

    Henning Mankell, the Swedish mystery writer and one of Europe’s best-selling authors, told his national media that there had been no weapons on board and called for international isolation akin to the measures taken against apartheid South Africa in the 1980s.

    “I think we should use the experience of South Africa, where we know that the sanctions had a great impact. It took time, but they had an impact,” he said. “I can promise there was not a single weapon aboard the ships.”

    German far-left MP Annette Groth, held a press conference describing the weapons used against her colleagues.

    “They were shooting without warning,” she said. “It was like war …They had guns, Taser weapons, some type of teargas and other weaponry, compared to two-and-a-half wooden sticks we had between us. To talk of self-defence is ridiculous.”

    In Brussels on Tuesday, Luxembourg centre-left MEP Robert Goebbels specifically addressed the question of the Israeli video that has been released.

    “There were no arms aboard these boats, because they had been inspected when they left Greece by the greek authorities, then later by the Cypriot authorities,” he said.

    “I’ve seen the vdeo by the Israeli army that shows combat scenes with iron bars and rods. They used whatever was to hand to repel the soldiers who were attacking their boat in international waters.”

    ONLY PROBLEM WAS ON MAVI MARMARA?? WHY THE BEATINGS OF PEOPLE ON THE OTHER BOATS? (see eyewitness links below)

    An Israeli diplomat told EUobserver that there had been “no problem with the other five boats in the flotilla, but on the Mavi Marmara, they were prepared for violence. We were outnumbered and certainly did not expect this violent resistance.”

    “We are willing to investigate in detail because Israel is a country where the rule of law stands. We will investigate not to please anyone else, but because it is important to us.”

    “But we are not happy with what happened. It was an unfortunate result,” he added. “Of course we are sorry for any loss of life.”

    THE ISRAELIS CLAIM THEY WERE USING PAINTBALL GUNS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    An Israeli Defence Force captain who participated in the raid, Aria Shaliker, told the BBC that the attacks had started off using paintball guns, not live weapons.

    “It is true that the Israeli commander unit … came on board with paintball weapons … in order to disperse [people] if there was violence. They were ready for a violent … demonstration on board the flotilla, especially on the big boat, the Marmara,” he said.

    Source: http://euobserver.com/9/30192

    More Eyewitness accounts:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jun/02/gaza-flotilla-raid-gunfire-ship-blood

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100531/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_israel_palestinians

  40. Avatar

    Miguel

    June 2, 2010 at 10:01 AM

  41. Avatar

    Abu Noor Al-Irlandee

    June 2, 2010 at 11:49 AM

    The United Nations Human Rights Council passed Wednesday a resolution condemning Israel’s interception of a Gaza-bound flotilla and calling for a Goldstone-like inquiry into the deadly military operation.

    During a second bruising day of debate in Geneva, the 47-member body passed the resolution with a majority vote of 32. The United States voted against the Palestinian-backed document and several European countries abstained.

  42. Avatar

    Uthman

    June 2, 2010 at 11:52 AM

    Israel is treating Americans very well.
    http://palsolidarity.org/2010/05/12604/

  43. Avatar

    umtalhah

    June 2, 2010 at 12:23 PM

    so apparently they are celebrating:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMzc1N1Cx3s

  44. Avatar

    Ummezaynub

    June 2, 2010 at 2:45 PM

    Pictures of the ‘weapons‘ found- seeing those wheelchairs made me so sad

    • Avatar

      amad

      June 3, 2010 at 1:20 PM

      Pls don’t be so biased. They did find some marbles too AND sling-shots. WMDs.

  45. Avatar

    Al-Madarasi

    June 2, 2010 at 2:57 PM

    Here is a voice of Minnesotans

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vX71F2sGlDI

  46. Avatar

    abu Abdullah

    June 2, 2010 at 4:25 PM

    what effect this vote to censure israel , on cnn today, can make?

    http://www.cnn.com/WORLD

  47. Avatar

    abu Rumay-s.a.

    June 2, 2010 at 5:31 PM

    Amad:
    Excellent work! JazakAllahu khairun.

    Apart from the savage/illegal/murderous acts by Isreal, the israeli politicians find themselves in political quagmire and took an extremely miscalculated decision by any political/rational standard to launch such an attack (to which they will pay for severly heavy in the near future and have the deepest regrets of no avail). As their own academia fear, they extremists amongst them are endangering their current and future status by such cowardly provocations.

    To their dismay, you find Arabs and other Muslim states start to unify their ranks and take their positions against Israel and even secularists are taking stern positions. Islamists are gaining ground through support of the masses and eventually the politicians through such incidents which could easily turn the tide of history in another direction. There is already a scheduled event to be held in Turkey by the major scholars of Islam along with major Muslim political groups and nations.

    We ask our Lord and Creator, The Ever Living, The All Seeing, The All Hearing, The Omnipotent, The Ever Supreme, The All Mighty, to shower His infinite grace and mercy on our brethren and relieve them of their hardship and protect them from their enemies and grant us and them victory over the oppressors and criminals, bring them to account for their heinous crimes, verily oppressors and criminals shall never succeed. ameen.

    • Avatar

      amad

      June 3, 2010 at 1:19 PM

      jazakallahkhair Abu Rumaysah… but i tell you that every point i am making here is being deafeningly repeated by the hasbara over and over again… we have to keep our guard up.

  48. Avatar

    style

    June 2, 2010 at 11:09 PM

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZlSSaPT_OU&feature=player_embedded#!

    yeah, some real peacefull people. They really helped the Gaza people behaving this way.

    • Avatar

      Abd- Allah

      June 2, 2010 at 11:47 PM

      yeah, you’re right, they should have just let the Israeli soldiers invade their ship (in international waters) and attack them without showing any resistance. How silly of them to try and defend themselves or even prepare to do so, don’t they know that sticks are no match for guns.

    • Avatar

      Sayf

      June 3, 2010 at 12:35 AM

      This video is a joke.

      0:56 in the video -> 4:26 am
      “IDF Soldiers attempt to board the ship

      2:06 in the video -> 5:03 am
      Rioters initiate confrontation with IDF soldiers”

      Use a dictionary if you don’t understand.

  49. Avatar

    Slave of the Most Lovin One

    June 3, 2010 at 12:49 AM

    it seems there are 340 children at the moment in jail convicted mostly for throwin stones!! and their term can be upto 20 years!!!!!!!

    Check out this disheartenin link… http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2010/05/201053082239109343.html

  50. Avatar

    Miguel

    June 3, 2010 at 1:57 AM

    Israelis and the press have been trumpeting the resistance on the Mavi Marmara. A news report I found had an unnamed Israeli source stating the only problem was on the Mavi Marmara. Well, if that’s the case, why were other activists attacked and beaten on the other boats?

    Their accounts are here in this story: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/middle_east/10206802.stm

  51. Avatar

    Shafkat

    June 3, 2010 at 2:31 AM

    As salaam alykum,

    I STRONGLY URGE EVERYONE TO READ THIS:

    Dr. Alan Sabrosky: The Madness of Arrogance: Israel’s Attack on the Gaza Aid Flotilla

    May 31, 2010 posted by Dr. Alan Sabrosky · 42 Comments

    THE MADNESS OF ARROGANCE:
    ISRAEL’S ATTACK ON THE GAZA AID FLOTILLA

    By Dr. Alan Sabrosky STAFF WRITER/Editor

    Israel’s attack on the Gaza-bound aid flotilla on America’s Memorial Day was all too predictable, although the form it took surprised even me. And it confirms the old proverb that “Those whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad,” for the attack was the kind of madness only unbridled arrogance can assume.

    It wasn’t just that foreigners as well as Palestinians, flying flags other than that of Palestine, were attacked. Israel has a long history of doing such things, especially to the UN. But except for the USS Liberty incident in 1967, it has generally done that on inland sites — Gaza, the West Bank, the Lebanon — where it can largely block news and visual evidence, and control the spin it puts on events, counting on its friends in the US and other mainstream media to say little or nothing to contradict them.

    The Attack Reprised
    Not this time. An attack on the open seas, in acknowledged international waters, against unarmed ships carrying humanitarian aid with passengers and crews from many countries — especially a direct attack against a Turkish ship — is a different matter, and potentially an explosive one. The number of shipboard casualties indicates that once fighting started, the Israeli commandos simply sprayed automatic weapons fire into the people around them — another of their long-standing habits……..

    Read more: http://www.veteranstoday.com/2010/05/31/dr-alan-sabrosky-the-madness-of-arrogance-israels-attack-on-the-gaza-aid-flotilla/

  52. Avatar

    Sayf

    June 3, 2010 at 2:13 PM

    And an Irish-owned cargo ship is already steaming toward Gaza, expected to arrive as early as this weekend.

    The MV Rachel Corrie is believed to be carrying 11 passengers, a much smaller contingent than the 700 activists believed to have been on Monday’s flotilla.

    Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2010/06/03/israel-gaza-ships-flotilla.html#ixzz0popuCZgu

  53. Avatar

    Wajiha

    June 3, 2010 at 8:59 PM

    assalam alaikum,
    I’ve got some more facts here…

    Israel claims its commandos were acting in self-defence. Why then was 19 year old Furkan Dogan, an American & Turkish citizen shot multiple times at close range? The articles below state that he was shot 4 times in the head (his father described a bullet wound on his forehead when he identified his son’s body) and once in the chest. The Turkish article even says that a witness saw Israeli soldiers shooting Dogan when he was wounded.
    Self-defence, eh?

    http://abcnews.go.com/WN/Media/american-killed-gaza-aid-flotilla/story?id=10814848
    http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/gundem/14921283.asp

    • Avatar

      umtalhah

      June 4, 2010 at 3:19 AM

      are these news articles available in english anywhere?

      • Avatar

        Wajiha

        June 4, 2010 at 5:29 PM

        the first one is in English – it’s AbC News’s website. There are many other articles in English on Furkan Dogan on the net.
        the second article, however, is in Turkish. The only main difference between the 2 articles is that the Turkish one says that a Kuwaiti activist witnessed Furkan Dogan being shot while he was already wounded. The English article does not make any such claim.

  54. Avatar

    yusuf estes

    June 4, 2010 at 4:19 PM

    We need to join with all who care about truth for truth to win. http://Www.islamnewsroom.com

    • Amad

      Amad

      June 4, 2010 at 5:01 PM

      Is this really our dear Yusuf Estes? Or an assistant?

  55. Avatar

    Wajiha

    June 4, 2010 at 5:43 PM

    more helpful facts…

    There is a video filmed by journalists on the Mavi Marmara circulating the web. The website below provides an article accompanying the video.

    http://rawstory.com/rs/2010/0531/raw-video-reporter-claims-israelis-fired-activists-boarding-ship/

    It shows journalists reporting on Israeli commandos firing ammunition, and tear gas from helicopters as the attack was taking place. This was even before they boarded the ship. Several people were killed by live ammunition before the commandos even came on board.

    This obliterates Israel’s claims that their soldiers were attacked first and that it was only after the activists ‘attacked’ them that they resorted to using brutal force.

    Please help spread the video wide & far.

  56. Avatar

    Abd- Allah

    June 5, 2010 at 2:52 AM

    What is interesting is that the Israelis use the “self defense” excuse every single time and that is the only thing that they use to refute any argument that is brought against them or the crimes which they have committed. Weird how the “self defense” card haven’t maxed out yet seeing as to how many times it has been used. Any other excuse would have become old and not credible if you have used it that many times.

    • Amad

      Amad

      June 5, 2010 at 6:31 AM

      Self-defense is perfectly appropriate since Israelis are now saying that the IDF commandos were really little girls with purses, attacked by “real men”. Their latest video shows that:

      http://twitpic.com/1txx4a

      Only little girls can resort to shooting unarmed civilians… you wouldn’t believe any real men, esp. trained, armed ones would resort to this, would you?

      *Snark*

      • Avatar

        Abd- Allah

        June 5, 2010 at 1:33 PM

        This only makes me wonder what were little girls doing in the middle of the night in international waters…

  57. Avatar

    Slave of the Most Lovin One

    June 5, 2010 at 7:50 AM

  58. Avatar

    abu Abdullah

    June 5, 2010 at 9:55 AM

    And this attempt by Real News, is how Israel planned the flotilla attack…..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruPRRyBh_G0

    PS if you like this news send $5 to Real News :P

  59. Avatar

    Muhammad Awais Tahir

    June 6, 2010 at 9:49 AM

    Freedom Flotilla – Proof that Israel opened fire before boarding the Ship – The Real Chronology

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omO8MknwFLM

    Released Activists tell us : Who opened fire first? – Freedom Flotilla

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSstdEdeDvo

    Freedom Flotilla Cargo Contents Revealed : Mystery Solved

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXALY-T3LQc

  60. Avatar

    Are you nuts

    June 7, 2010 at 5:45 AM

    check these videos

  61. Avatar

    Muhamad

    June 7, 2010 at 5:47 AM

    Read some facts….

  62. Avatar

    Hassan

    June 7, 2010 at 6:29 AM

    Now this is wierd:

    http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2010/06/06/helen-thomas-under-fire-for-saying-jews-in-israel-should-go-back-to-germany-poland/?fbid=FkU5CU4UWSl&hpt=T2

    So she says jews should go back to europe is ” religious cleansing of Israel”, while Israelis are religiously cleansing of Palestine already..

    • Avatar

      abu Abdullah

      June 9, 2010 at 11:12 AM

      Here is the complete interview that took her journalism life out of her. Notice the difference in context, when you post of sound bite and this.
      funny how this longer clip is now miraculously released. It does give a decidedly different tenor to the exchange than the truncated remark that was seized upon for the purposes of vilification of an American icon.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nc4OeRu7cfs

      Note: it has loud music tracks in the beginning and end.

  63. Avatar

    Ummezaynub

    June 7, 2010 at 12:40 PM

    Helen Thomas veteran White House reporter who has covered every President from JFK to present was forced to retire after her Israel comment

    The hyper-pro-Israel lobby, in both parties, hasn’t much liked the fact that Helen Thomas dares to speak up and question that most sacred of topics, and right from the front row of the White House Press Gallery. Heck, she had the gall to ask President Obama about Israel’s “secret” nuclear weapons.She was one of the only White House journalist who asked the current White House spokesman why the US had not condemned the Israeli attacks on the aid flotilla. No wonder they want her the hell out.

    Even after she apologized,

    Thomas wrote on her website that “I deeply regret my comments I made last week regarding the Israelis and the Palestinians.”

    She added: “They do not reflect my heart-felt belief that peace will come to the Middle East only when all parties recognize the need for mutual respect and tolerance. May that day come soon.”

    It was still spun

    The national director of the Anti-Defamation League, Abraham H. Foxman, said Sunday that Thomas’ apology didn’t go far enough.

    “We believe Thomas needs to make a more forceful and sincere apology for the pain her remarks have caused.”

    Ari Fliescher wants her fired

    Until she finally resigned- A trailblazer journalist, she exits with a bang

    • Amad

      Amad

      June 7, 2010 at 1:37 PM

      What is amazing is that some people in the political arena have said far worse about Muslims and Islam, but never will anything close to this will happen.

      I don’t know how it was antisemitic. Palestinians are told all the time to go settle in Jordan or whatever. And immigrants are told all the time to go back home.

      Pure Israel Lobby pressure at play. A warning send to all journalists– you mess with us and we’ll destroy you.

    • Avatar

      abu Abdullah

      June 8, 2010 at 1:08 AM

      My reading was that because she said Palestine she referred to the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) — including East Jerusalem — and in that case the illegal settlers, for many of us, should indeed move back to Russia, Poland, Israel ‘proper’ (internationally recognized 1967 borders) and the US. Part of the problem is the ambiguity: was she referring to Palestine as the whole of Israel? She might have but I doubt hers was the maximalist position and I am willing to give her the benefit of the doubt unless she indicates otherwise. Nevertheless, for her honest service, Helen Thomas I thank you.

      A decent conversation with Professors, mershemier and walt helps understand the in and about the lobby
      here

      Wassalam.

  64. Avatar

    Abd- Allah

    June 8, 2010 at 4:40 PM

    When you think things can’t be more shocking than what had already happened, think again. The most outrageous thing I have ever heard is what some are suggesting now that those innocent civilian peace activists who were on the flotilla should be prosecuted for attempting to aid and give items to a terrorist organization. Talk about adding insult to injury…

  65. Pingback: It’s not a PR nightmare if nobody’s talking about it « Silence is golden… Or is it?

  66. Pingback: Freedom Flotilla Raid « The Truth is Told

  67. Avatar

    Bench Saw ·

    November 9, 2010 at 2:02 PM

    when i shoot my paintball gun, i always make sure that i shoot some of my playmates _

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#Current Affairs

Why Israel Should Be ‘Singled Out’ For Its Human Rights Record

Unlike other countries, ordinary citizens are complicit in the perpetual crimes committed against defenseless Palestinians.

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israel, occupied Palestine

Why is everyone so obsessed with Israel’s human rights abuses? From Saudi Arabia, to Syria, to North Korea to Iran. All these nations are involved in flagrant violations of human right, so why all the focus on Israel – ‘the only democracy in the Middle East’? Clearly, if you ignore these other violations and only focus on Israel, you must be anti-Semitic. What else could be your motivations for this double standard?

This is one of the most common contentions raised when Israel is criticized for its human rights record. I personally don’t believe in entertaining this question – it shouldn’t matter why an activist is choosing to focus on one conflict and not others. What matters are the facts being raised; putting into question the motives behind criticizing Israel is a common tactic to detract from the topic at hand. The conversation soon turns into some circular argument about anti-Semitism and the plight of the Palestinian people is lost. More importantly, this charge of having double standards is often disingenuous. For example, Representative Ihan Omar has been repeatedly accused of this recently and her motives have been called ‘suspicious’ – despite her vocal criticism of other countries, especially Saudi Arabia.

However, this point is so frequently brought up, I think that perhaps its time activists and critics simply own up to it. Yes – Israel should be singled out, for some very good reasons. These reasons relate to there being a number of unique privileges that the country enjoys; these allow it to get away with much of the abuses it commits. Human right activists thus must be extra vocal when comes to Israel as they have to overcome the unparalleled level of support for the country, particularly in the US and Canada. The following points summarize why Israel should in fact be singled out:

1) Ideological support from ordinary citizens

When Iran and North Korea commit human right abuses, we don’t have to worry about everyone from journalists to clerics to average students on campuses coming out and defending those countries. When most nations commit atrocities, our journalists and politicians call them out, sanctions are imposed, they are taking them to the International Court of Justice, etc. There are instruments in place to take care of other ‘rogue’ nations – without the need for intervention from the common man.

Israel, however, is unique in that it has traditionally enjoyed widespread ideological support, primarily from the Jewish community and Evangelical Christians, in the West. This support is a result of the historical circumstances and pseudo-religious ideology that drove the creation of the state in 1948. The successful spread of this nationalistic dogma for the last century means Israel can count on ordinary citizens from Western countries to comes to its defense. This support can come in the form of foreign enlistment to its military, students conducting campus activism, politicians shielding it from criticisms and journalists voluntarily writing in its support and spreading state propaganda.

This ideological and nationalistic attachment to the country is the prime reason why it is so incredibly difficult to have any kind of sane conversation about Israel in the public sphere – criticism is quickly seen as an attack on Jewish identity and interpreted as an ‘existential threat’ to the nation by its supporters. Any attempts to take Israel to account through standard means are thwarted because of the political backlash feared from the country’s supporters in the West.

2) Unconditional political support of a world superpower

The US is Israel’s most important and closest ally in the Middle-East. No matter what war crimes Israel commits, it can count on America to have its back. This support means the US will use its veto power to support Israel against actions of the UN Security Council, it will use its diplomatic influence to shield any punitive actions from other nations and it will use its military might to intervene if need be. The backing of the US is one of the main reasons why the Israeli occupation and expansion of the colonial settlement enterprise continues to this day without any repercussions.

While US support might be especially staunch for Israel, this factor is certainly not unique to the country. Any country which has this privilege, e.g. Saudi Arabia, should be under far great scrutiny for its human rights violations than others.

3)  Military aid and complicity of tax-payers

US tax-payers are directly paying for Israel to carry out its occupation of the Palestinian people.

Israel is the largest recipient of US-military aid – it receives an astonishing $3 billion dollars every year. This aid, according to a US congressional report, “has helped transform Israel’s armed forces into one of the most technologically sophisticated militaries in the world.”

Unlike other countries, ordinary citizens are complicit in the perpetual crimes committed against defenseless Palestinians. Activists and citizens thus have a greater responsibility to speak out against Israel as their government is paying the country to carry out its atrocities. Not only is this aid morally reprehensible, but it is also illegal under United States Leahy Laws.

4) The Israeli lobby

The Israeli lobby is one of the most powerful groups in Washington and is the primary force for ensuring continued US political support for the nation. It consists of an assortment of formal lobby groups (AIPAC, Christians United for Israel), think-thanks (Washington Institute for Near East Policy), political action committee or PACs, not-for-profit organizations (B’nai B’irth, American Jewish Congress, Stand for Israel) and media watchdogs (CAMERA, Honest Reporting). These organizations together exercise an incredible amount of political influence. They ensure that any criticism of Israel is either stifled or there are serious consequences for those who speak up. In 2018 alone, pro-Israel donors spent $22 million on lobbying for the country – far greater than any other nation. Pro-Israel lobbies similarly influence politics in other places such as the UK, Canada, and Europe.

5) One of the longest-running occupation in human history

This point really should be the first one on this list – and it is the only one that should matter. However, because of the unique privileges that Israel enjoys, it is hard to get to the crux of what it is actually doing. Israel, with U.S. support, has militarily occupied the Palestinian territories (West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem) since 1967. The belligerent occupation, over 50 years old, is one of the longest, bloodiest and brutal in human history.

Israel continues to steal land and build settler colonies the West Bank – in flagrant violation of international law. It has implemented a system of apartheid in these territories which is reminiscent of the racist regime of South Africa. The Gaza strip has been under an insufferable siege which has made the living conditions deplorable; it has been referred to the world’s largest ‘open-air prison’. In addition to this institutional oppression, crimes committed against Palestinians include: routinely killing civilian protesters, including teenagers and medics, torture of Palestinians and severe restrictions on the everyday movement of Palestinians.

The brutality, consistency and the duration for which Israel has oppressed Palestinians is alone enough reason for it being ‘singled out’. No other nation comes close to its record. However, for the reasons mentioned above, Israel’s propaganda machine has effectively painted itself as just another ‘liberal democracy’ in the eyes of the general public. Any attempt to bring to light these atrocities are met with ‘suspicion’ about the ‘real’ motives of the critics. Given the points mentioned here, it should be evident that the level of support for Israeli aggression is uniquely disproportionate – it is thus fitting that criticism of the country is equally vocal and unparalleled as well.

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#Current Affairs

An Urgent Call Regarding the Plight of Shaykh Salman al-Ouda, Shaykh Awad al-Qarni, and Dr. Ali al-Omari

Hena Zuberi

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Saudi scholars, injustice

دعوة عاجلة بخصوص أزمة الشيخ سلمان العودة، والشيخ عوض القرني، والدكتور علي العمري

الحمد لله، والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله محمد وآله

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

لقد تلقينا بقلق بالغ ما يتوارد من أخبار غير مؤكدة حول الإعدام الوشيك للشيخ سلمان العودة، و الشيخ عوض القرني، و الدكتور علي العمري

لقد علمنا الإسلام أن الحياة نعمة من الله و إن أولئك الذين يعملون على حرمان أى أحد من هذه النعمة دون أساس شرعي واضح قد ارتكبوا إثمًا فظيعًا عدّه الله من الكبائر: وَمَن يَقْتُلْ مُؤْمِنًا مُّتَعَمِّدًا فَجَزَاؤُهُ جَهَنَّمُ خَالِدًا فِيهَا وَغَضِبَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَلَعَنَهُ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُ عَذَابًا عَظِيمًا (سورة النساء، 93)

حرمة المؤمن

إن رسول الله ﷺ وصحابته قد اعتبروا حياة كل من نطق الشهادة، وكذا ماله وعرضه حرامًا لا يُقبل انتهاكها ولقد حرصوا كل الحرص على ألا ينتهكوا تلك الحقوق الأصلية حتى في تطبيق الحدود

قال رسول الله ﷺ: ادفَعوا الحدود ما وجدْتم لها مدفعًا (سنن ابن ماجة)، وقال ابن مسعود: ادرءوا الجلد والقتل عن المسلمين ما استطعتم (السنن الكبرى)

إن حرمة دم المسلم عند رسول الله ﷺ عظيمة جدًا، فلزوال الدنيا أهون عنده من قتل امرئٍ مسلم (سنن الترمذي)

ولقد كان السلف يقولون عند طوافهم بالكعبة: ما أعظمك وأعظم حرمتك، والمؤمن أعظم حرمةً عند الله منك (رواه الترمذي)

التماس رأفة

في ضوء الهدي النبوي، وعِظم أمر انتهاك الحقوق الأصلية التي منحها الإسلام للمسلم، فإننا نطالب السلطات المعنية بأن يوقفوا أي خطة مبيتة لإعدام الشيخ سلمان العودة، والشيخ عوض القرني، والدكتور علي العمري، سواءً في المستقبل القريب أو البعيد

نطالب أولئك الذين في السلطة أن يصدروا عفوًا في حقهم في هذا الشهر المبارك

إننا نؤمن بيقين أن هؤلاء العلماء لم يقترفوا أى شيءٍ يبرر التعامل المروع الذي يتعرضون له لمدة عام وأكثر وإننا نطلق هذا النداء كنصيحة صادقة، محققين دورنا كعلماء عليهم واجب بيان الحق، ومستحضرين أن كل واحد فينا سيسأل عن عمله في الآخرة حيث الظلم ظلمات لا تفضي إلا إلى عذاب النار

والله في عون المظلومين واللهم صل وسلم وبارك على سيدنا محمد

17 رمضان 1440 /22 مايو 2019

كتب بواسطة (الشيخ) سلمان يونس

 

An Urgent Call Regarding the Plight of Shaykh Salman al-Ouda, Shaykh Awad al-Qarni, and Dr. Ali al-Omari

All praise belongs to Allah, and blessings upon the Prophet Muhammad and His family.

Peace and mercy be upon you:

It is with great concern and perturbation that we have received unconfirmed reports regarding the imminent execution of Shaykh Salman al-Ouda, Shaykh Awad al-Qarni, and Dr. Ali al-Omari.

Islam teaches us that life is a blessing from Allah. Those who seek to deprive someone of this blessing without a clearly sanctioned religious basis have committed an act that God deems atrocious and a mighty sin: “If anyone kills a believer deliberately, the punishment for him is Hell, and there he will remain: Allah is angry with him, and rejects him, and has prepared a tremendous torment for him.”(Qur’an, 4:93)

The Inviolability of the Believer

The Prophet ﷺ and his Companions viewed the life, wealth, and honor of all who uttered the testimony of faith (shahada) as inviolable. They took immense care not to impede on these basic rights even in the context of enacting punishments.

The Prophet ﷺ said, “Avoid applying punishments as long as you are able to find an excuse to avert them,”(Sunan Ibn Majah) and Ibn Masʿud stated, “Avoid flogging and applying the death penalty upon people as much as you can.”(Sunan al-Kubra)

Indeed, the sanctity of the believer was so great in the eyes of the Prophet ﷺ that he deemed the destruction of the world as a lighter affair than the killing of even a single Muslim. (Sunan al-Tirmidhi)

Similarly, the early Muslims (salaf) would remark when gazing upon the Kaʿba, “The inviolability of a believer is greater with Allah than your inviolability.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhi) There are few statements one can imagine as emphatic as these in affirmation of the rank of the believer.

A Call for Clemency

In light of the guidance of the Prophet ﷺ and the gravity of depriving a Muslim of the fundamental rights granted to him or her by Islam, we urge the authorities in question to immediately cease any plans to execute Shaykh Salman al-Ouda, Shaykh Awad al-Qarni, and Dr. Ali al-Omari in the immediate or distant future.

We urge those in the leadership to grant them clemency in this blessed month of Ramadan.

It is our firm belief that the actions of these scholars do not in any way justify the appalling treatment they have been subjected to over the past year and more. We make this call in the spirit of providing sincere counsel, realizing our role as scholars duty-bound to the expression of truth, and recognizing that each of us will be held accountable for our actions in the next life where oppression will be nothing but darkness leading to perdition.

And Allah is in the aid of His oppressed servants. May the blessings and peace of Allah be upon His Prophet.

Ramadan 17th, 1440

May 22nd, 2019

Drafted by Shaykh Salman Younas

Signatories (v. 2)

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

SeekersGuidance

Dr. Yasir Qadhi

Islamic Seminary of America

Shaykh Omer Suleiman

USA

Dr. Ingrid Mattson

Canada

 

Dr. Omar Qureshi

USA

 

 

Dr. Abdullah Hamid Ali

USA

 

Shaykh Mustapha Elturk

Amir, Islamic Organization of North America

 

Shaykh Rami Nsour

Tayba Foundation

Dr. Shadee Elmasry

Safina Society

Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari

Director of Darul Iftaa Leicester

 

Shaykh Azhar Nasser

Tasneem Institute

 

 

Professor John Esposito

Georgetown University

 

 

Mufti Abdur-Rahman ibn Yusuf

London

 

Dr. Jonathan Brown

Georgetown University

Professor Mohammad Fadel

University of Toronto

Imam Suhaib Webb

Scholar in Residence, ICNYU

Shaykh Shams ad-Duha

Ebrahim College

 

Ustadha Zaynab Ansari

Tayseer Seminary

 

Dalia Mogahed

ISPU

 

Imam Dawud Walid

Member of Michigan Imams Council

 

 

Dr. Asim Yusuf

UK

 

 

Dr. Ovamir Anjum

University of Toledo

 

Dr. Abdullah Hakim Quick

USA

 

Shaykh Hani Saleem

Islamic Center of Detroit

Dr. Shabbir Ally

Toronto

Shaykh Furhan Zubairi

Dean of IOK Seminary

 

Dr. Ihsan Bagby

University of Kentucky

 

Shaykh Mohammed Faqih

Islamic Institute of Orange County

 

Shaykh Bilal Ali Ansari

Khalil Center

Mohammad Elshinawy

Yaqeen Institute

 

Shaykh Abdur Rahman Khan

Co-Chair of National Catholic-Muslim Dialogue

 

Shaykh Sulaiman Gani

London

 

Dr. Hamid Slimi

USA

 

Mufti Taha Karaan

South Africa

Shaykh Sadullah Khan

South Africa

Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi

Chairman of Fiqh Council of America

 

 

Shaykh Taha Abdul-Basser

USA

Imam Ibrahim Hindy

Dar al-Tawheed Islamic Center

 

 

Dr. Basma Abdelgafar

Vice President of Maqasid Institute Global

 

Prof. Jasser Auda

President of Maqasid Institute Global

 

Laila Mehar

Former President of UConn SJP

Hartford

Dr. Osman Latiff

Jamia Masjid and Islamic Center

 

Imam Abdul-Malik Ryan

DePaul University

 

Imam John Ederer

Muslim Community Center of Charlotte

 

Shaykh Amer Jamil

Scotland

 

Shaykh Bilal Ismail

Imam Development Project

 

Shaykh Muhammad Mustaqeem Shah

Walsall

 

Dr. Bekim Hasani

Imam and Activist

Australia

 

Imam Imran Salha

ICA

 

Dr. Tajul Islam University of Leeds

 

Dr. Mustapha Sheikh

University of Leeds

 

Dr. Ahmed Soboh

Religious Director of Chino Valley Islamic Center

 

Dr. Rafaqat Rashid

Al Balagh Academy

 

Imam Shafi Chowdhury

Leicester

 

Buthaina Hawas-Neveln

Iraqi Journalist

 

Shaykh Salmaan Parkar Australian Islamic College

 

Muslema Purmul

The Majlis

Dr. Mohammad Ilyas,

University of Florida

 

Dr. Asif Hirani

Imam and Resident Scholar of Worcester Islamic Center

 

Shaykh Ahmad Kutty

Resident Scholar of Islamic Institute of Toronto

 

Shaykh Mohammad Aman Haque

Norway

 

Imam Mazhar Mahmood

Director of Islamic Foundation of Peoria

 

Ishraq Ali

Organizing Director of MPower Change

 

Usman Qamar

Muslim Chaplaincy of Waterloo

 

Mawlana Zakariyah Harneker

 

Shaykh Shahinur Rahman

al-Rahma, UK

 

Shaykh Abdul Wahab Saleem

Salik Academy

Dr. Usaama Al-Azami

Markfield Institute

Ustadh Samir Hussain

ISNA High School

 

Shaykh Tariq Ata Dr. Zaid alBarzinji

Maqasid Institute

Shaykh Abdur Rahim Reasat

SeekersGuidance

Mufti Liaquat Zaman

Birmingham, UK

 

Imam Salim Astewani

Cheshire, UK

 

 

Shaykh Tabraze Azam

SeekersGuidance

 

Dr. Sharif El-Tobgui

Brandeis University

 

 

Ismail Royer

USA

Imam Qasim Rashid

Al-Khayr Foundation

 

Dr. Yvonne Haddad

Georgetown University

Omar Usman

Executive Director, MuslimMatters

 

Shaykh Muhammad Abuelezz

Muslim Association of Canada

 

Mufti Ismail Syed

London

Mawlana Safwaan Navlakhi

Al-Ma’aly Institute

South Africa

 

Dr. Ildus Rafikov

ISTAC

Aamir Ansari

ICNA

Shaykh Hassan Rabbani

Zia-Ul-Quran Mosque

Scotland

Ustadha Umm Jamaal ud-Din

Islamic College of Australia

Dr. Munir Elkassem

President, Islamic Institute of Interfaith Dialogue

Dr. Yusuf Salah

Khalil Foundation

 

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#Current Affairs

OpEd: The Planned Saudi Executions Have A Context

The Arab Spring and its immediate aftermath was a wake-up call to all those who feared for the security of their thrones

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By Abdullah Abu Dawud

The news of the intended Saudi execution of three prominent scholars has infuriated many observant Muslims around the world. This is no surprise considering the fact that that the three scholars have attracted a vast audience through their TV programs and social media activity. These three scholars, and many like them, have been the source of religious knowledge and inspiration for many Muslims, not only in the Arab world, but around the globe.

However, our objection Saudi Arabia’s treatment and intended execution of these scholars should not be simply rooted in emotion. In order to properly oppose such reckless decisions, we must understand the motivation behind them and the context in which they exist. For as reckless as these decisions may be, they are not arbitrary and are not devoid of context. They exist within a bigger picture; a picture that I will try to sketch in this article. We must rewind back to the early part of the 20th century. That era witnessed events that, by all accounts, changed the nature of the Muslim world. The Muslim lands that were under the rule of the Ottoman Empire were conquered and colonized by Western powers (Britain and France), and the office of the Caliph (based in Istanbul) was abolished. This was accompanied by a calculated uprooting of Islamic social and legal structures that existed for centuries; the colonizing powers imported their European structures to serve as the new order in this part of the world. By the end of the colonization project, populations across the Arab world ended up with corrupt and authoritarian regimes and social structures and legal codes which were imported from foreign countries.

Inevitably, this new reality that was imposed on the Arab populations gave rise to organic reactions which aimed to resist this new reality. Eventually, a broad movement (often labeled as the “Islamic movement”) took shape with two main identifiable goals: 1) The revival of Islamic law and values and re-establishing Islam’s role in governance and public life (which was highly reduced after the abolishment of the Caliphate), and 2) Establishing a governance system whose legitimacy was rooted in the consent of the people. It may also be said that those two primary goals also served as criteria by which Muslim governments would be measured; i.e their adherence to Islam and their respect for the will of the populations. This broad movement was largely led by the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and then spread across the Arab and Muslim world. Although the Brotherhood is deemed to be an originator of this movement, today, many people share this vision of “revival” and “popular legitimacy” while lying outside of the organizational borders of the Brotherhood (but can still be described as being part of the “Islamic movement”).

Those who shared this vision, not surprisingly, were constantly pursued by the authoritarian regimes of the Arab world. It is also not surprising that those who shared this vision would be vocal supporters if not active participants in the Arab Spring. Indeed, the Arab Spring has demonstrated repeatedly that Arab populations yearn for a participatory form of government and find a certain appeal in the message of Islamic parties (as evidenced by the electoral victories of Islamic parties in all countries of the Arab Spring). In other words, the Arab Spring made it clear to all observing autocrats that, when given the choice, Arab populations will likely elect Islamic parties into power. The Arab Spring and its immediate aftermath was a wake-up call to all those who feared for the security of their thrones. In Abu-Dhabi and Riyadh, things were clear: The Arab spring is either to be reversed, or they will be next. With the successful ousting of the Brotherhood in Egypt and the unconditional green-light given by the Trump administration, Riyadh, Abu Dhabi, and Cairo have decided to kill the Arab Spring once and for all. The recent news about the intended execution in Saudi Arabia must be seen in this context.

Clerics such as Salman Al-Ouda, Ali Al-Omari, and Awad Al-Qarni were all vocal supporters of the Arab Spring uprisings and are associated with the Sahwa movement (which is a movement of Islamic political activism in the Gulf that draws heavily on Brotherhood ideas). The Arab autocrats simply view those voices as a danger. They represent a movement which challenges the status quo and questions the legitimacy of the rule of Arab autocrats; a movement which can be traced to the movement originated by the Brotherhood following the fall of the Caliphate and beginning of colonization. The autocrats could not afford to have influential clerics and TV personalities preach about popular legitimacy or the relevance of Islamic values and principles to public life and governance; after all, these are ideas that, if believed, would seriously question the legitimacy of their rule. As such, and after getting brief a taste of what free choice would look like in Arab nations, it became clear that the to these autocrats that the danger was more real than what they thought and more immediate. It seems that their action plan is simply to silence anyone who represents the spirit of the “Islamic movement”. From their perspective, they want to chop off the head of the snake and settle the matter once and for all.

These intended executions are not about support for extremism (a laughable accusation). Nor are they about views concerning the recent blockade on Qatar. Nor are they about the clerics’ criticisms of their government; in fact, these clerics did engage in harsh criticism of the Saudi government. Their crime is that they represent a message that, by definition, calls into question the legitimacy of the Saudi government. More importantly, it calls into question the legitimacy of the entire “order” that exists in the Arab world. The Saudi government is declaring war (along with its allies in Abu-Dhabi and Cairo) against those who represent a movement that has the potential of redefining the Arab world. Even if those clerics do not engage in direct confrontation with the Saudi government and express their views in positive terms, the existence of that message and its accessibility to Arab populations is serious enough of a problem.

What these autocrats to do not realize is that the ideas which these scholars represent exist independently of the efforts and words of these scholars. The belief in the centrality of Islam and the will of the people exists in the conscience of the vast majority of Muslims. These ideas are not the product of scholars such as Salman Al-Ouda, Awad Al-Qarni, or Ali Al-Omari. Rather, those scholars are the product of the ideas which organically exist in the minds of many Muslims. As such, executing these scholars will not bring an end to those ideas whose strength was demonstrated in the aftermath of the Arab spring. If anything, such executions are an affirmation by the Saudi government that it and its autocratic allies stand on very feeble ground. If the Saudi government goes through with its plan, all it will be doing is creating a void that will inevitably be filled by other people represent the same ideas. The cycle will keep going until the feeble ground which these autocrats stand gives way.

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