Wednesday, August 26, 2009
ISNA Mourns the Death of Senator Edward Kennedy.(Plainfield, IN – August 26, 2009)The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) conveys its deepest condolences to the family of Senator Edward Kennedy who passed away on the evening of August 25, 2009. “To God we belong and to Him we return (Qur’an 2:156).”
Senator Kennedy’s life is a testament to the possibility that dedicated public service can make a profound and positive impact on the people’s lives. Senator Kennedy worked long hours to support, and often lead, the development of legislation to support the rights of workers, immigrants, the disabled, and other marginalized and historically oppressed people. Senator Kennedy was a relentless advocate for health care reform, first leading the successful development of S-CHIP, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, and continuing until the end of his life to advocate for health care for all Americans.
At the beginning of his Senate career Senator Kennedy denounced the war in Vietnam and forty years later, in 2002, voted against authorizing the war in Iraq. A strong advocate for peace and reconciliation in Ireland, a critic of South African apartheid and Chilean dictatorship, Senator Kennedy often set a high moral standard for US foreign policy.
According to the New York Times, after the tragic assassination of his brother Robert, Senator Kennedy said, “My brother need not be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life, to be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it.” We believe these words to apply to our brother in humanity, Edward Kennedy.
Director of Communications and Leadership Development
Taliban deny role in southern Afghan attack.By NOOR KHAN, Associated Press Writer Noor Khan, Associated Press Writer – Wed Aug 26, 2009.
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan – A Taliban spokesman denied any responsibility Wednesday for a major bombing that killed dozens of people in southern Afghanistan's largest city, saying the militant group condemns the attack.
The explosion ripped through a central area of Kandahar city just after nightfall, killing at least 43 people and wounding 65, according to the Interior Ministry. It flattened buildings and sent flames shooting into the sky on the same day that the first preliminary results were released from last week's landmark presidential vote.
Rescue workers were still pulling out injured people on Wednesday.
"There are some people still trapped in the buildings and we are trying to get them out," Mohammad Darwish, one of the rescue workers.
The thundering blast occurred in a district that includes U.N. facilities and an Afghan intelligence office.
Kandahar is the spiritual home of the Taliban and the city was hit by rockets on the morning of election day as made good on threats to try to disrupt last Thursday's polling with violence.
However, the group said it had no involvement in the most recent attack.
"We are denying responsibility, and condemn this attack in which innocent civilians were killed,"wrote in a text message sent to an Associated Press reporter.Source
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
By MAAMOUN YOUSEF, August 25, 2009
CAIRO – Al-Qaida's umbrella group in Iraq on Tuesday claimed responsibility for the bombings of government ministries in last week that killed more than 100 people and left hundreds wounded.
The group, known as the, said in a statement posted on the Internet that "with God's grace," their "sons launched a new blessed attack at the heart of wounded Baghdad."
The attack, it said, meant to "wreck the bastions of infidelity" of what it describes as the pro-Iranian government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
The statement listed targets al-Qaida claimed to have hit, including the finance, foreign and defense ministries in central Baghdad. The statement, posted on a Web site commonly used by terror groups, could not be independently verified.
The wave of explosions that ripped through Baghdad last Wednesday — with nearly simultaneous truck bombs hitting Iraq's Foreign and Finance ministries — killed at least 101 people and left more than 400 wounded. It was the deadliest day of coordinated bombings since Feb. 1, 2008, when two killed 109 people at pet markets in Baghdad.
The U.S. military said the attacks bore the hallmarks of al-Qaida, which is known for its high-profile vehicle bombs and simultaneous suicide attacks.
The al-Qaida front's statement said it sought to kill Iraqi government officials.
It said the explosions "shook the earth under their feet and tore apart their hearts of fear and horror proving to everyone the weakness of their government."
But it also expressed regret "for those innocent people who were killed" because they were accidentally at the targeted sites and wished the wounded speedy recovery. It warned of more attacks, and urged people to "keep away from these places" of the "heretic" Iraqi establishment.
Al-Maliki blamed Sunni insurgents linked to al-Qaida in Iraq, a group that is part of the Islamic State in Iraq, for the attacks and said security measures must be reassessed.
The prime ministers and other Shiite politicians also linked Saddam Hussein loyalists to the explosions. Such allegations are not new, and hard-line Shiite politicians have been increasingly mentioning the Baathists as partners with al-Qaida.
However, a branch of Saddam's former Baath party, now based in Syria, issued a statement denouncing the attacks.
Al-Qaida signature attacks until now have mostly seemed designed to fuel sectarian tensions and push the country back to the Sunni-Shiite violence of 2006 and 2007 that nearly led to civil war.
Wednesday's bombings differed because they hit symbols of state authority and appeared aimed at having a far-reaching political impact, further undermining the government and casting fresh doubt on the ability offollowing the departure of U.S. forces from major cities on June 30.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Hakeemullah Mehsud new chief: Faqir
Saturday, 22 Aug, 2009
KHAR: Militant commander Faqir Mohammad, who had proclaimed himself as successor to slain Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud only a couple of days ago, announced on Saturday that the much younger Hakeemullah Mehsud was the new leader of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan.
Faqir’s statement to the media, however, compounded the confusion over Baitullah Mehsud’s successor amid reports of infighting within militant groups over leadership and TTP’s vast assets, including cash and weaponry.
‘I am stepping down as leader of the Tehrik-i-Taliban in the larger interest of the movement,’ Faqir Mohammad, the TTP leader from Bajaur and Baitullah’s deputy, told reporters on phone from an undisclosed location.
‘There were a few problems on certain issues last week, but they have been resolved now,’ he acknowledged.’I am the most senior leader of the TTP after Baitullah and the sacrifices I rendered for it are no less. However, due to some unavoidable reasons, I am stepping down. There is no factionalism within the TTP now.’
Faqir Mohammad claimed that a 42-member shura of the Taliban met in Orakzai tribal region and it unanimously endorsed Hakeemullah as new leader of the Taliban in Pakistan.
The shura appointed Azam Tariq the new spokesman for the TTP to replace Maulvi Omar, who was arrested by security forces in Mohmand a few days ago.
Hakeemullah, who once served as a driver of the slain TTP leader, was considered very close to Baitullah Mehsud.
But intelligence services continue to believe that Hakeemullah was killed in a shootout following a brawl with another contender for the top slot at a meeting soon after Baitullah’s death.
‘He is dead and there is no question about it,’ a senior security official said.
However, the government has not been able to produce convincing evidence of the death of either Baitullah Mehsud or his heir-apparent Hakeemullah Mehsud.
Interior Minister Rehman Malik told reporters that the government was close to obtaining evidence to prove Baitullah was dead.
Faqir Mohammad, however, insisted the TTP leader was alive but had gone into seclusion due to health reasons.
Security officials believe that Faqir’s announcement about the new TTP chief indicated that the infighting over succession was not over. ‘The announcement is just a ruse to gain time to allow the TTP to regain control of the leadership,’ an official said.