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Islam In Alaska
"We could have made only one belief, but for each peoples we have appointed different laws and rites, so instead; compete in good works and argue kindly;  for there is no compulsion in religion."  Qur'an 2:256, 5:48, 22:37, 29:46

Letters To The Editor
al-Hajji Frederick Minshall

Homeland security checks absurd, racist and insulting to visitors 7/10/'05

Were it not for the fact that Islamic religious authorities generally take a dim view of "bid'ah" -- baseless religious innovation -- I'd be tempted to advocate that "laughing with tears in one's eyes" be incorporated into the rituals of my faith.

When my Pakistani friend's 70-year-old mother comes to visit him here in the States, the "Department of Fatherland Absurdities" subjects her to intense and demeaning scrutiny (i.e., harassment) because of her religion, her "traditional" mode of dress, her country of origin and her skin color. My Iraqi brother-in-law's relatives have fared even worse. I've been subject to such "profiling" myself, and I'm a U.S. citizen by birth.

And yet on June 10 these same officious, bullying cretins admitted into this country Gregory Des- pres -- a "white" Canadian-American murderer toting a bloody chain saw!

To be fair, they did confiscate his sword, hatchet, knives and brass knuckles before allowing him to enter. If only Gregory had thought to wear a turban.

I'm reminded of an anonymous Navajo tribesman's comment regarding the hysterical screams of "Close the borders!" that emanated following the 1995 Murrah Federal Building attack, because of the initial (and unfounded) assumption that Muslim immigrants were behind it: "All talk of immigration reform is 500 years too late."

My fellow Americans, I hope you feel "secure."
-- Al-Hajji Frederick H. Minshall

'Collateral damage' civilians hit by U.S. were victims of terrorism 6/10/'05

Words have power. Ironically (but predictably), the words with the most power in our increasingly illiterate society are those that are bandied about without regard to their actual meanings -- "buzzwords."

"Terrorism" is a prime example, the definition of which follows: "The deliberate targeting of non-combatants for the specific purpose of demoralizing an enemy."

Although American and Zionist propagandists reserve this word exclusively for Islamist or Arabist "insurgents," the above definition applies as much to their own nations' actions as to those they denounce.

To deliberately employ modes of warfare that, by their very nature, do not differentiate between combatants and noncombatants is to deliberately target civilians -- this, by definition, is terrorism. Calling its victims "collateral damage" when perpetrated by Americans doesn't make it any less so.

Examples: the U.S. military's deliberate slaughter of a million Filipinos -- mostly civilians -- between 1900 and 1903, the deliberate incineration of thousands of German civilians in the Dresden firebombing, the deliberate nuclear immolation of Hiroshima's and Nagasaki's civilian populations, the deliberate (and cowardly) deployment of chemical weapons of mass destruction against millions of Vietnamese civilians, the deliberate bombardment of Beirut that slaughtered 17,500 civilians -- nearly six times the number slain on 9/11 -- and the deliberate bombing of inhabited communities in Iraq and Afghanistan, with such horrendous loss of life the killers refuse to count their victims.

-- Al-Hajji Frederick H. Minshall

4-6-'05 Media's characterization of Islam both prejudiced and inaccurate

Our "evolved" media propagandists apparently define "free press" as "free to tell whatever lies the military-industrial complex wants told." Now they presume to "prescribe" what's good for global humanity. The Washington Post's "secular" prescriptions for Iraq and Afghanistan ("Women of Islam," March 14) represent unmitigated hubris.

Authentic Sharia law recognized women's right to work and to own and inherit property centuries before the "Christian" nations had decided whether or not women had souls. Sharia recognized religious minorities' rights to observe their own laws and tenets in the first Islamic constitution promulgated by the prophet Muhammad himself (God's peace and blessings be on him and his family).

The Mujahideen, which the article dismisses as "clerics," are actually jurists -- Islamic law judges. They are as qualified to give legal pronouncements as any American "secular" judge. This means they may rightfully strike down elected legislators' laws deemed contrary to their nation's constitution, without themselves having been elected. Last I checked, American Supreme Court and superior court justices weren't elected either.

The article itself acknowledges Iraq should not be compelled to accept "American notion(s) of separation of church and state." Saddam already tried that.

If occupation constitutes "democracy" for Iraq, then Iraqis have the right to adopt Sharia laws if they so choose. Their recent election indicates they have so chosen.

The Bush/Cheney Republican Guard probably doesn't like that choice. How many more Iraqis will they murder to force another "choice"?

-- Al-Hajji Frederick H. Minshall

2-18-'05 American imperialists threaten Iran because of Iraq; election results

I've noted with some alarm that the New American Century criminal cartel has substantially increased its bellicose threats against the Islamic Republic of Iran over the last couple of weeks (even more than has been characteristic). After brief consideration, I think I know the reason:

Iraqi election results so far heavily favor those parties closest to the Mujahideen -- the leading Islamic jurists such as Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani -- the only group that can legitimately claim to represent the aspirations of the Iraqi majority. They are also regarded by the U.S. imperialists as having ties to Iran. In reality, these ties are nowhere near what the imperialists claim (just as ties between the Baathists and al-Qaida proved to be nonexistent, as anyone with even passing knowledge of the region already knew).

Nonetheless, the election in Iraq is not going as the Bush/Cheney Republican Guard would like. An alleged Irani "threat" will almost certainly be used as an excuse to overthrow it, after the fashion of the U.S.-monitored "free" elections when the French departed Vietnam.

So much for "democracy."

-- Al-Hajji Frederick H. Minshall

1-2-'05  Americans may forget their victims, but those families haven't forgotten

Although it's not my usual habit to answer others' letters, for the sake of clarification for Brian Erdrich ("No disrespect intended toward U.S. Marine corpsmen; let's not judge," Dec. 21) I'll mention that my rating was Hospitalman 8404 ("battlefield medic") designation -- what in my day was commonly referred to as "grunt corpsman."

My point was -- and is -- that right and wrong are not one thing for Americans and another for Iraqis. The more we accept the imposition of such false double standards by the "New American Century" criminal consortium, the more we ensure a future of atrocity, injustice and death for our sons and daughters -- in both America and Iraq.

Near the end of my enlistment, the Reagan administration bombarded Beirut as the final act of its participation in the failed U.S./Israeli invasion of southern Lebanon -- and slaughtered 17,500 civilians in the process, nearly six times the number killed on 9/11.

Perhaps not so coincidentally, a recent tape from Osama bin Laden indicates the Beirut bombardment gave him the idea for the World Trade Center attack. Had we taken the moral position of "We will never forget" in response to the U.S.-Israeli-sponsored atrocities in Beirut, Sabra, Shatila and elsewhere, we might not have had to do so in response to the atrocity in New York.

But Americans tend to forget their own victims. Rest assured, said victims' survivors haven't forgotten.

-- Al-Hajji Frederick H. Minshall

12-1-'04 Marine who shot unarmed Iraqi no different than murderous terrorists

I served as a Navy hospital corpsman with the U.S. Marines from 1975 through 1981. I was proud of that service, until recently. That was no Marine I saw in television news footage taken inside the Masjid in Fallujah. It was a heartless, amoral, cowardly cyborg who murdered a helpless old man in cold blood -- in a house of God.

He's no different than the al-Qaida wretches who kidnap and behead their victims. Neither is his criminal "commander in chief."

-- Al-Hajji Frederick H. Minshall

10-15-'04 Twain said it best: U.S. should change flag to skull and crossbones

There are parallels between Iraq and Vietnam, but even greater parallels between Iraq and the Spanish-American War -- particularly its Filipino campaigns.

Then, as now, false pretense was used as "justification" -- the USS Maine was not sunk by Spanish saboteurs in Havana harbor, and there were no "WMDs" in Iraq. America's misleaders lied then, and they're lying now.

Then, as now, the real motive was financial gain for America's super-rich: sugar profit was impetus for the Filipino war, oil profit drove us into Iraq.

Then, as now, the victims of American "liberation" were primarily Muslim -- and the insane "rationalizations" used to support both atrocities are strikingly similar:

"It may be necessary to kill half of the Filipinos in order that the remaining half of the population may be advanced to a higher plane of life than their present semi-barbarous state affords," said Gen. M. Shefter.

U.S. forces slaughtered a million Filipinos between 1900 and 1903 for this "noble" goal. How many Iraqis will America slaughter to impose "Western-style democracy" on the survivors?

Regarding the former conflict, perhaps Mark Twain said it best:

"The United States should change its flag from the Stars and Stripes to the Skull and Crossbones."

-- Al-Hajji Frederick H. Minshall

9-5-'04  Al-Sadr's opposition to oppression has a firm basis in common sense

The American press so frequently refers to al-Syed Muqtada al-Sadr as "the radical Shiite cleric" that one would think that's his official title. I submit for your readers' consideration that his motives for resisting the American occupation have nothing whatsoever to do with "radicalism."

Imam al-Sadr endured decades of terror under a regime the United States previously supported. That regime shot to death his father and two brothers, tortured to death his aunt, and either shot to death or tortured to death another 46 of his relatives. For him to adamantly oppose imposition of yet another U.S.-sponsored regime isn't "radical" -- it's common sense.

Imam al-Sadr is the Iraqi Braveheart. Saddam al-Tikriti and Iyad Alawi are Mornay and Lochland. George Bush is Edward Longshanks and we are the English.

-- Al-Hajji Frederick H. Minshall

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Letters To The Editor

Published 9-7-'02 in the UK Guardian
No separate headline used
go to the Guardian here

The increasing number of Jews such as Jonathan Sacks is creating a shocking embarrassment for "modern" Muslims. Where are the Mulsims of equivalent status ruining their Islamic reputations by speaking out in a similar manner against our war crimes - close to nowhere. The Holy Land should be a place that is led not ruled. No force, Muslim or Jew or Christian, will ever more than temporarily rule there. But only sincere cries for justice like Rabbi Sacks's can bring peace to our Holy Land - just as soon as Abraham's other two kin begin to follow suit at a similar intensity and sincerity.
Anchorage, Alaska, USA

Most recent submission 7-25-'05 deemed "not for publication" according to letters clerk

Is It Ostrich Islam?

I've got two links to extremists who like to blow up children; I'm muslim and Irish. More fellow Alaskans than ever fear, "where does he live?" Plenty of "humanitarians" might criticize. These "humanitarians" should be criticizing us.


Really now, why should anyone believe all this two-faced lip service peace-talk -- no one has any doubt if islamisists hate-talk is for real now do they. 

Let the Irish explain.  Around March, 1993, Susan McHugh heard about the shopping mall bombings of two children. She also claimed to be an Irish against their extremists -- but she organized an Irish protest vigil for Easter -- 20,000 showed, 100,000 Irish signed and delivered condolence books along with thousands of floral bouquets.  Yet responding to the London savagery, all Cat Yusuf Islam Stevens did was call for the authorities to find the " . . . guilty parties . . . we all want to know who they are."  B.S!   His lack of a believable outrage makes him a cheerleader.  This is the real question, just who are the cheerleaders; the ones behind backs and forked tongues.  Anchorage now has it's very own Salafi/Wahabi Mosque, Ar-Rashid; the theology of al-Qaida. Nothing believable has happened – all across America even; I am deeply deeply ashamed. Is accurately “aimed” tough-love from non-muslims the only thing now that can save this shameful "Ostrich" islam?

5-29-'05 Muslims will keep falling into hate, violence until world understands

This Muslim would like to pose question No. 1. Which of the three groups described below are the real desecraters of the Quran; the first, second or third?

In the first group, if taken as true, two or three Americans desecrate some paper labeled as the Quran.

In group two, in response to only a mere rumor, hundreds of Muslims, who more than 30 times each day chant, "In the Name of God, Most Gracious and Most Merciful," desecrate living human beings.

In group three, in response to hundreds of Muslims desecrating living human beings, in response to just rumors about two or three Americans, millions of Muslims demonstrate to the whole world essentially no outrage whatsoever to group two.

Until a healthy majority of non-Muslims have personally experienced what they feel is genuine outrage from the world's Muslims, the answer to question one will remain shamefully obvious to any child -- and the world's Muslims will continue their increasingly rapid collapsing descent into those dark eternal dungeons of pure hate and violence.

-- shakur-abdel-Haleem

3-21-'05 Americans must embrace diversity, not bad-mouth the 'other guy'

This American-born 1997 convert to Islam now has two highly questionable futures to worry over. A growing global anti-Americanism outside our borders has now begun to divide Americans inside our borders. These rabid attitudes, from both the right and left, seem the real enemy dooming us to be just another of history's blindly arrogant fallen empires.

Rose Wilder Lane is the daughter of "Little House on the Prairie" author Laura Ingalls Wilder. Her book, "The Discovery of Freedom," is a must- read for those who worry about the liberty of their great-great-great-grandchildren, to diversely pursue happiness. Why? She shows that what went wrong with Islam is now what's going wrong with America. Abandon that very unique foundation of both our civilizations, that morally governed optimism and unified diversity, the cornerstone of our greatness, and its absence will destroy us.

Bad-mouthing the "other guy" can never reverse the terminal corruption plaguing our courts, legislatures, corporations and, oops, forgot -- us, me and you. Homo sapiens, the tool-maker, has finally evolved his "tools" to the last crossroad, where technically, anyone can now destroy everyone. Even checks and balances can no longer prevent this coming enslavement to those powers we now increasingly empower to protect us from each other. Somehow, we must begin to learn to trust those who see differently -- or else.

-- shakur-abdel-Haleem

4-28-2004 Munger's cantata is a betrayal of Rachel Corrie's youthful idealism

This devout Alaska Muslim will be deeply disappointed if Philip Munger's cantata to Rachel Corrie is performed in Israel by Jewish "peace-nicks" ("Flashpoint cantata," April 25). Worse yet, what if it's taken instead to represent Alaska's solution to how one might make the Holy Land finally become holy?

One movement celebrates the interview of one lone sadistic Israeli bulldozer operator. Isn't it profound -- such an interview is revealed by an Israeli newspaper, no less?

For me, this "memorial" is instead a betrayal. It is a betrayal of Rachel's youthful idealism. It is a betrayal of the emergence of a more peaceful dialogue, the only hope for transforming this now unholy land into the Land Promised: "a place of prayer (by and) for all nations ...; a light unto the world!"

But Rabbi Greenberg was no better; I was there. I sensed a delight in his eyes; how this media-savvy guru had so taken advantage of the public relations naivete of Philip Munger. Both sides beautifully exemplified what happens when perceptions are limited only to discovering darkness -- in the other side.

Darkness can never overcome darkness; but only light can overcome darkness -- "(and yet) the darkness comprehendeth it not!"

-- shakur-abdel-Haleem

11-26-'03 U.S. Muslims must dig deeper this Eid to help a special cause

By now, most U.S. Muslims made their annual Eid charitable donations to celebrate their Ramadan fast, followed by the communal Eid Prayer, one of their most important of the Islamic year. This Eid they need to dig a little deeper into their pockets for a special cause, because this 1,424th Eid has been sacrilegiously soiled by the Salafi-Islamist al-Qaida network's blasphemous murders of fellow human beings. They had just gathered together for the Sabbath at their local Turkish synagogue to worship and follow the will of the creator. These Salafis warn they intend to terrorize even more synagogues and other innocent targets.

The typical "canned" Muslim response always following is becoming increasingly legitimate for the non-Muslim world to seriously question. Are these just empty and impotent lip-service condemnations of terrorism fast peddled out of one Muslim leader or another like so many copies from a photocopy machine?

Not one Jewish penny should be expended for the restoration of the Neve Shalom and Beth Israel synagogues in Istanbul, Turkey, until there becomes zero tolerance for the increasingly rabid hate within the modern masjid (mosque), and a genuine reaction to these horrid crimes against humanity by our co-religionists; modern-day Islam will continue its cataclysmic fall deeper and deeper into that dark and eternal dungeon of hate and violence.

-- shakur-abdel-Haleem

11-4-'02 Author's devotion to her mother is a beautiful example of light

Top-selling Alaska author Velma Wallis, with hundreds of thousands in royalties, chooses to live in a modest apartment in order to be close to her mother and children's school (''Sales of 'Two Old Women' break million-copy mark,'' Oct. 30).

One of our better-selling American Muslim authors, Yahiya Emerick, ''The Complete Idiot's Guide To Understanding Islam,'' wrote the following: ''The light of Islam has been put out in the Muslim world and has been reborn in the heart of the secular faithless West. (Allah is truly great!)''

One of the most famous sayings of the prophet Mohammed elevated motherhood and love for family above even paradise itself, implying it may even be a substance of paradise: ''We build paradise from beneath the feet of your mothers.''

Velma Wallis' choices have created one beautiful example of the light of G-d, an example that brightly illuminates that one path of love, the only kind that can increase all of our hopes for one day emerging from this deep darkness that currently overwhelms our troubled times.

-- Shakur-abdel-Haleem

5-26-'02 Historic Judaism will save Israel from Zionism

For 10 years I studied Judaism, including Hebrew; so I agree when Rabbi Garmaize writes: ''God's history proves that God is a god of justice, love and peace'' (''Muslims, like empires before, cause injustice against Jews, will fall'' May 17).

But Qur'an acknowledges the promised land and chosen people at 10:93; 17:104; 44:32; the Torah describing it: '' . . . a place of prayer for all nations,'' people struggling to behave like lights of God in the holiest of manners. Not until this quantity of brightness intensifies will nations begin to ''learn war no more.'' It's precisely this form, as Rabbi stated, of historic Judaism suddenly awakened by Sharon's recent brutality, which will save Israel from Zionism. Mushrooming numbers of Jews are, as we speak, sitting in jails, receiving death threats and shunned; just as predicted by such well known Jews as Martin Buber and Erich Fromm 40 years ago. I'm proud to acknowledge that, proportionate to total religious population, in May 2002, it's these Jews who are, more than anyone else, standing up for that very justice one would expect inside a land of holiness. All of us, of any faith, who long for this version of a Holy Land will not care by whose earthly names this promise is delivered. But it won't be by Hamas, Arafat, OR Sharon.

-- shakur-abdel-Haleem

1-29-'02 We must stop singling out religious groups based on stereotypes

Since Sept. 11, concerned non-Muslims have called the Islamic Information Line in Anchorage asking how to deal with these ''all Muslims are out to get us'' types. Take the Bob Lewis letter ''Why hasn't the Arab community spoken up to condemn terrorism?'' (Jan. 22), implying, inaccurately, that no Muslims, local to international, have spoken out or condemned terrorism. I often remind callers that when the ''Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion'' (a forged memo) began it's similar publicity campaign, ''all the Jews are all out to get us,'' most Jews were told to just ignore them. Most ''all out to get us'' types are just imitating some well-known Mike Savage or 1930s Goebbel's-style hate peddler. They are otherwise good people.

I think Quaker advice is how to best think about them: ''Isn't it more fruitful to put our efforts into finding the light of God inside all people?'' All three scriptures remind us that ''light overcomes darkness.'' Our holy book says the creator made us all different on purpose, ''in order to know one another.'' As history has demonstrated, whenever we've practiced knowing one another, these were good times. But do we really want to repeat those cruel times when it was fashionable to create false superiority for one group by inventing and or emphasizing the inferiorities of that ''Other Group''?

-- shakur-abdel-Haleem

Two Local Muslim's Letters To The Editor
(vertically scan the headlines in red to get a quick sense of the each writer's preferred "themes")
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