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To: Thomas M. who wrote (2905)8/22/2001 2:18:59 PM
From: Nadine Carroll
   of 23908
Barak's offer proposed evacuating most of the small settlements, containing about 20% of the settlers, who would have been moved back into Israel. The large settlement blocks near the Green Line south of Jerusalem would have remained. He offered some land from within the Green Line as compensation.

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To: Thomas M. who wrote (2907)8/22/2001 5:39:04 PM
From: TimF
   of 23908
Israel claimed that the shelling was in response to Palestinian gunfire. If so, why did the Israeli Defense Forces
blanket residential areas with bombs and bullets, rather than targeting the handful of gunmen who were acting in
opposition to the majority will of Beit Jala residents?

If they blanketed residential areas with bombs and bullets there would have at least been dozens of deaths if not hundreds. I haven't seen any news stories about recent large death tolls at Beit Jala.


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To: Nadine Carroll who wrote (2909)8/23/2001 1:03:53 AM
From: LV
   of 23908
I wish there were more Moslems who unequivocally denounce terrorism like the gentleman in the article linked below. Often, even when many condemn terrorist acts, there is hedging “but on the other hand...”. A few months ago there was some talk of rapprochement through religious leaders, but I guess it got nowhere, the passions on both sides are just too high. I don’t think any dialogue is likely or even possible in the near future. It is so sad. I don’t know what future will bring but I don’t see anything good.

Terrorism Is at Odds With Islamic Tradition

By KHALED ABOU EL FADL, Khaled Abou El Fadl is an acting professor at the UCLA School of Law and author of "Rebellion and Political Violence in Islamic Law" (Cambridge University Press, 2001)

With the recent escalation in suicide bombings against civilian targets in Israel and the continuing threat of Osama bin Laden terrorist attacks, the relationship between Islam and terrorism is, once again, the subject of rampant speculation.

Some Muslim scholars have proclaimed such acts of terrorism as jihad and considered the suicide bombers martyrs in the cause of God. Several non-Muslim commentators have gone so far as to suggest that Islamic law actually commands Muslims to wage terrorist attacks against infidels.

Ignoring for the time being that Muslims themselves often have been victims of terrorism, I am sure that there are a number of Muslims who do believe that terrorism, at some level, is justified. It is worth noting, however, that, at a minimum, this belief is at odds with Islamic law. The Islamic juristic tradition, which is similar to the Jewish rabbinical tradition, has exhibited unmitigated hostility toward terror as a means of political resistance. Within the first three centuries of Islamic history, Muslim jurists exhibited a remarkable degree of tolerance toward political rebellion by holding that a political rebel may not be executed nor his property confiscated.

Classical Muslim jurists, however, were uncompromisingly harsh toward rebels who used what the jurists described as stealth attacks and, as a result, spread terror. Muslim jurists considered terrorist attacks against unsuspecting and defenseless victims as heinous and immoral crimes, and treated the perpetrators as the worst type of criminals.

Under the category of crimes of terror, the classical jurists included abductions, poisoning of water wells, arson, attacks against wayfarers and travelers, assaults under the cover of night and rape. For these crimes, regardless of the religious or political convictions of the perpetrators, Muslim jurists demanded the harshest penalties, including death. Most important, Muslim jurists held that the penalties are the same whether the perpetrator or victim is Muslim or non-Muslim. It is because of this tradition that pre-modern terrorists had become so notorious in Islamic history.

Some Islamists today argue that the only effective way of resisting oppression or occupation is through terrorism and, therefore, it has become a necessary evil. But this type of unprincipled and opportunistic logic is not supported by the rigorous classical heritage.

Although there is no doubt that Islamic law endorses the right to self-defense, it even regulates self-defense so it is not abused.

As one classical jurist put it, "If political expediency becomes the law, nothing will remain of this religion."

Furthermore, even if one assumes that countries such as the U.S. and Israel wage indiscriminate attacks resulting in civilian casualties, from the theological point of view this would still not justify acts of terrorism. It is a well-established Koranic precept that the injustice of others does not excuse one's own injustice. Simply put, Israeli helicopters slaughtering Muslim civilians as they sit in their living rooms does not justify the Palestinian bombers slaughtering Israeli children as they enjoy a meal with their parents in a restaurant.

There is also another dimension to this problem.

Modern Muslim terrorist groups are more rooted in national liberation ideologies of the 19th and 20th centuries than they are in the Islamic tradition. Although these terrorist groups adopt various theological justifications for their behavior, their ideologies, symbolism, language and organizational structure reflect the influence of the anti-colonial struggle of the developing world. For instance, the groups often use expressions such as hizb (party), tahrir (liberation), taqrir al-masir (self-determination), harakah (movement), al-kawadir al-fa'alah (the active cadres) or harb muqaddasa (holy struggle). These expressions are imported from national liberation struggles against colonialism and did not emerge from the Islamic heritage.

In short, modern Muslim terrorism is part of the historical legacy of colonialism and not the legacy of Islamic law. According to the Islamic juristic tradition, terrorists would have no quarter.

For information about reprinting this article, go to

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To: Thomas M. who wrote (2908)8/23/2001 3:21:04 AM
   of 23908
Re: There are primary and secondary schools and colleges teaching in Albanian; an Albanian university is about to open. There are Albanian TV stations, theaters, newspapers. Why then the recent ethnic violence?

Well, I guess the same holds true for Palestinians... "There are primary and secondary schools and colleges teaching in Palestinian; a Palestinian university (Birzeit)(*). There are Palestinian TV stations, theaters, newspapers. Why then the unremitting ethnic violence?"

Savvy? Problem is, both Palestinians and Albanians aspire to be more than folk minorities in their own countries! Besides having the opportunity to run theaters and newspapers, Albanians and Palestinians want to run the "political show" as well: mayors, ministers, police, etc. And as far as I'm concerned I have no doubt that the US is on the RIGHT side of the humanitarian equation of the Balkans.

As for the question, "...does one fight for language recognition with mortar fire and snipers?"

It's not just the language: Albanians' Muslim religion is also at stake... However, if the ruling (Slavic) majority doesn't even recognize the minority's language, how could it respect its religion? Both mosques and Orthodox churches have been destroyed in the conflict...



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To: LV who wrote (2911)8/23/2001 3:34:19 AM
From: Nadine Carroll
   of 23908
What I notice about your author first and foremost is that he lives in the United States.

Terrorism may not be an Islamic tradition, but it's an old Palestinian tradition -- check out the fedayeen tactics from the 30's on. The Arab world is currently solidly behind the terrorist tactics; everyone agrees it's fine to blow up pizza parlors, the only question worth discussing is, does the suicide bomber commit suicide (bad) or encounter martyrdom in fighting the enemy (good)? The martyrdom answer is clearly winning, encouraged by constant PA propaganda.

The only Arab voices (in the Mideast) that I've seen disagreeing are the Lebanese Daily Star and one lonely Moroccan who appeared in a talk show on Al Jazeera. The both have said that using suicide bombers is a stupid way to try to get European sympathy.

The Morrocan was swamped by outraged callers, including the mother of the Jordanian soldier who murdered a bunch of Israeli schoolgirls a few years ago. She wanted to praise her son "the hero". The Morrocan was brave and dared to say out loud that killing schoolgirls was wrong, even if they were Jews. Nobody else agreed with him, neither the callers or the other guests.

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To: Nadine Carroll who wrote (2788)8/23/2001 5:46:21 AM
   of 23908
Nadine, did you know that Sharia (Islamic law like cutting off a hand...) was still practiced by the Belgians on a wid scale in their African colony?

King Leopold's Ghost Makes a Comeback
Tamara Straus, AlterNet
September 24, 1999


AlterNet talked to Adam Hochschild about the reaction to his provocative book, the history of the Congo and the political landscape of the post-colonial era.

It's an unusual thing when a book about African history makes a bestseller list. Yours reached the #10 spot on the nonfiction bestseller list among independent bookstores nationally this month. Why?

AH: Publishers, like reporters, practice herd behavior. They think in categories. King Leopold's Ghost was offered to 10 publishers. Nine turned it down. They thought people weren't interested in African history. And that may be true. But I deeply believe that if you have a good story, and can tell it in a way that brings characters alive, that brings out the moral dimension, that lays bare a great crime and a great crusade, people will read it. And they have. The book has been or soon will be published in half a dozen countries so far, and there are in total well over 100,000 copies in print.

What has been the reaction to the book in Belgium?

AH: It's been fascinating to watch. It was published in both French and Dutch, the country's two languages, and became the #1 bestseller in each. The reviews were very nice, but the old colonials were absolutely enraged. There are tens of thousands of Belgians who had to come home in a hurry when the Congo became independent in 1960, and for them King Leopold II is a great hero. If you read French, you can follow their attacks on the book on the Internet. There's also a website where Congolese students in Europe have been talking about the book. One posted an anguished message saying that when he quoted some figures from it in making the oral defense of his thesis, his thesis chairman promptly flunked him. So you can see that the wounds of that whole colonial relationship are still very raw. Faulkner, speaking of the American South, said it best: "The past is not dead. It's not even past."

How do you explain the erasure of the Congolese genocide? What does it say about the West's attitude toward the colonial period in Africa?

AH: Americans and Europeans are accustomed to thinking of fascism and communism as the twin evils of this century. But the century has really been home to three great totalitarian systems--fascism, communism and colonialism--the latter practiced at its most deadly in Africa. In the West we don't want to recognize this because we were complicit in it. Countries that were democratic in Europe conducted mass murder in Africa--with little or no protest from the U.S.

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To: Nadine Carroll who wrote (2788)8/23/2001 6:03:39 AM
   of 23908
Follow-up post...

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To: LV who wrote (2911)8/23/2001 6:45:42 AM
From: Andy Thomas
   of 23908
i had an islamic pakistani office mate once. he spoke ill of arafat, and of the kings of arabia too.

another thing he mentioned was that in a holy war, if a single innocent dies, it's against the koran.

sharon, arafat, all the rest; they're just puppets of some greater power.

"there's something going on here but you don't know what it is, mr. jones..."


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To: GUSTAVE JAEGER who wrote (2912)8/23/2001 11:55:36 AM
From: Thomas M.
   of 23908
There are primary and secondary schools and colleges teaching in Palestinian

Wrong. There are no schools teaching in Palestinian in Israel. Only in Palestine. Obviously, the Albanians have their own schools in their own country. However, I doubt those schools are ever forcibly closed by Macedonian troops, nor are they impossible to get to due to massive roadblocks, as we know happens regularly in Palestine.

Problem is, both Palestinians and Albanians aspire to be more than folk minorities in their own countries! Besides having the opportunity to run theaters and newspapers, Albanians and Palestinians want to run the "political show" as well: mayors, ministers, police, etc.

Albanians do indeed have this power. To quote from my previous post: "Today six out of 17 government ministers are ethnic Albanians, the parliamentary vice-president is Albanian and so are several ambassadors." In contrast, Palestinians have zero political or social power in Israel.

Sorry, Gustave, it is a fraudulent analogy. You shouldn't be surprised, since it was introduced by a Zionist.


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To: GUSTAVE JAEGER who wrote (2914)8/23/2001 12:47:06 PM
From: Nadine Carroll
   of 23908
Whatever name you give the Belgian's cruelty in the Congo, it certainly wasn't the practice of Sharia, or any other system of law for that matter.

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