stockholm syndrome 3: slave-girls

Slave-girls’ sexual rights

Referring back to Qur-an 23.5-7, Muslim men are permitted to have sex with “those whom their right hands possess” which is a reference to captives of war after there is no exchange of prisoners between the two sides.  Well, again, there is no linguistic basis in the Arabic or any worthwhile translation behind the use of force.  There is no linguistic or logical way to deduct rape from this or any of the statements regarding war-captives in an Islamic state.  So if it is asked how a man would have sex with a war-captive without raping her, my answer, and mine alone, would be with consent, as the use of force is not sanctioned in the Qur-an or any authenticated Prophetic narration.

Whether or not war-captives’ sexual rights as I have outlined them are found to be objectionable by some or many, it is clear that rape has no place in them.

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americism

If you’re American and you’re facebooking on the 4th of July; you’re a loser. 

vintage americism

...strive 'til we stride!

If you’re African-American and you’re celebrating the 4th of July; you’re ignorant, because your slavery and humanity was ignored on this day, in the country you broke your back to build.

If you’re Native American and you’re celebrating; you’re a fool, because all that happened for you was other people’s fight for the right to steal your land.

If you’re a European American and you’re celebrating; you’ve likely been bamboozled, for only landowning white men were made full citizens by the war that was to follow this day.

If you’re a woman and you’re celebrating; you’ve disgraced yourself, for after all your contributions, you wouldn’t have an equal say until centuries after this day.

If you’re new here and you’re celebrating today; you are welcome, but perhaps you should have fought and died in your country for what we have here.

As for me, my nationality is a matter of circumstance.  i am free, and so i celebrate, on this day and every other, for i am free from slavery to those who are themselves enslaved, to slavery to the Lord of slaves, who Has Forbidden His Self from oppression, whose Mercy has overcome His Wrath…

Strange Marriage, Part 3

i come in

  turn on the lights

 and see i’m alone-

i live in a house

but don’t have a home

 

i leave and say “salam”

  but no one replies

 i go earn my pay

   but find not my prize

 

all praise to Allah:

  i haven’t died

   but lived-

long enough to see love in your eyes

Two weeks later and I was back in the U.S.  As a sign of what was to come, I got held up by Homeland Security, missing my connecting flight, for three hours.  It was your good ol’ good cop-bad cop set-up by guys who needed acting classes.

“What do you think about Osama bin Laden?”

“I never met him.”

“Do you plan to commit terrorist acts on U.S. soil?”

“Would I tell you yes even if I did?”

1 is theUS country code, 92 isPakistan’s.  That’s the name because that was the game.  On again, off again calling cards, distant echoes, and fuzz.  On top of that, my wife didn’t speak much English.  Everyone studies English in Pakistan, but they know and use about as much as you use the languages you studied in high school.  So it was very difficult to communicate because so much of communication is body language- gestures, drawing pictures in the air, pointing, facial expressions- which you need all the more when there’s a language barrier.  People ask if I learned Urdu;  I haven’t really, but I cheated and had my wife take an English course.

“As-salamu alaykum.”

“Wa alaykum as-salam.”

“How are you?”

“I’m fine.  Did you eat?”

She would always ask me this, first thing.  Anyone who knows me knows that’s one question you don’t have to ask.  This question to our first fight:  over cereal.  You see, there’s no breakfast cereal in Pakistan, at least not that I or anyone I know there has ever seen.  So I would keep telling her that I’d had cereal for breakfast (I soon learned not to mention the times I’d had it for lunch or dinner), but she didn’t know what it was.  I was not able to describe it, at least not in a way that put her mind at ease, and I started to sense a growing suspicion and even hostility to my beloved Raisin Bran ©®™ and bananas.  Finally, I convinced her that I didn’t eat it that much and just when she was starting to believe me, she got on the phone with my mom.  She told her “Yeah, he eats it all the time.”  She was referring to the past, of course, as I tried to explain, and I didn’t even live in her house anymore, so she couldn’t possibly know what I ate.  But, in a pattern that would continue, they believe each other more than they believe me, even though they both know me better than they know each other.

“What did you eat?  Cereal?..”  It would hiss off our tongue, like she was spitting out something vile…

By now, we’ve come to a compromise.  She eats cereal some, and I eat it much less than before.

“I need more money.”

“What?  What happened to the money I sent?

“I want to buy some gold.”

“Why do you want gold?”

“Because I need it.”

“How can somebody need gold?”

“I don’t know, but I do.  You don’t understand.”

Sure didn’t.  And let me tell you something:  I didn’t have a job when I got married.  I had resigned from the one I had before I came to Pakistan to move closer to family.  Of course, I didn’t tell nobody in Pakistan this-  would you have?  I figured I’d get a teaching job when I got back, right in time for the next school year.  I did get an offer, but found out that Sociology, my major, is specifically listed as not being a social science according to the State of Texas.  And I didn’t have enough credits in any other subject.  So there I was, jobless with a wife to support, which is a long way of saying desperate.

I finally found a job as a chauffeur.  A cat with an Ivy League degree who didn’t know how to tie a tie driving a limo everyday.  (I got my brother to tie it for me, then only loosened it enough to take it off but not untie the knot- worked for almost a year.)  I lived life one tip from broke, which means I was a slave to the next trip.  I might go to bed at 1 and wake up at 3.  Pressed for time, I only ironed the front of my shirt and the collar.  I had to wear a jacket, so no one was ever

The Ivy-League chauffeur. How's my tie?

gonna see the rest.  And I can tell you all one thing:  you don’t need to dry clean suits if you know how to use an iron.  I met a few famous people and had some interesting conversations.  Once, while driving a woman and her daughter, the woman blamed me for farting.  She must’ve thought I couldn’t hear her.  I guess the $20 tip she gave me was some kind of compensation.

At any rate, I barely, rarely had enough money.  I could’ve made more, but I refused to take any jobs that in any way involved alcohol, and partiers are bigger tippers.  I didn’t miss that money at all…

“Are you OK?”

Ji.  Nehi.  Buta nehi.

Her answer to my question is translated as “Yes.  No.  I don’t know.”  Only a woman can confuse a man so profoundly.

But they were all true.  She was happy to hear from me.  That, more than even food, was her sustenance.  I’d lived a lot of life before Islam, but this was her first love, her only love, her only contact with an unrelated male.  She didn’t even know what a kiss was before.  It was a total love:  there was nothing in her heart to which she could compare it. 

To further illustrate, she stopped eating when I left.  She was hospitalized twice within a few weeks of my departure for low blood pressure.  I’d never heard of it, so I scoured the internet to find a cause.  Finally I correctly guessed that she hadn’t been eating. 

She was grieving. 

There was nothing even her family could do.  Whenever she was doing anything, she was also waiting for me to call.  Only I could get her to eat, or go to sleep.

So yes, she was OK, because we were together again, even if it was only our voices.

And no, she wasn’t, because sooner or later that call would end, plunging her back into that interminable agony of missing me.

And she didn’t really know what to feel, because this was all too new, and much too much to have to go through alone.

I used to end every call with “I love you” and do you know what she would say back?  “OK.”  She didn’t even know what love was, yet she had fallen hopelessly, mysteriously in it.

___

The outside pressures were enormous, and unfair. 

“When’s the last time he sent money?”

“He didn’t call you today, did he?” 

Her family’s so-called friends actually asked this.  Some people would say I wasn’t coming back.  It started before the marriage even began.  In the unedited wedding video, before it was dubbed over with music, wedding guests are overheard gossiping about us over the food that we had served them. 

“How can she marry him?  He’s too tall for her.” 

“He came to Pakistan before and fell in love with her;  that’s how they met.” 

Can you believe it?  Why?  All for their sick, sad amusement.  It was like making their own little soap opera, all the more entertaining because the characters were real, life imitating art imitating life ad infinitum, ad nauseam.

Even our respective national intelligence agencies got in on the act.  Imagine an undercover agent coming to tell you your son-in-law had been in jail the last 3 days.

“But he’s been calling her 4 or 5 times a day…”

“Maybe they let him call from jail.”

So I get arrested for terrorism charges, and instead of throwing me in a secret prison, they let me make 4 phone calls a day, to Pakistan?  Wow.  Better sign up for script-writing after those acting classes are finished.

Needless to say, as an African-American, a Muslim, and a person with connections to Pakistan, my profile throws up a lot of red flags.  I’m not Homeland Security’s flavor-of-the-month, or maybe the problem is that I am.  It’s not worthwhile to tell you how far they would go- and how they get others, even community leaders to go with them- but it’s pretty far.  It’s also ridiculous.  I guess danger’s part of what makes it an adventure.  I’ve been in trouble my whole life anyway.  At least it’s for something right this time, if you call that a bright side.  I don’t complain.  As was said in ‘The Godfather II’ and ‘The Road to Perdition’:  this is the life I chose.

So why didn’t I just bring her to America?  Well…

…everyone involved thought that after getting married, her entry visa would take the usual 4 months, which would allow us to be together while her residency application processed.  As of now, it’s been more than 15 times that long and still nothing.  Just a bunch of badly-rehearsed excuses and shady 6-foot, 220 characters asking when we can have a “chat”.  Why?  I’ll give you three guesses, and the first two don’t count…

First they told me that a delay in processing had begun for applications after a certain date.  I had applied before but that date didn’t seem to matter.  There’s always either an obvious idiot or a cold-hearted bureaucrat on the other end of that call, one unable, the other unwilling, to help.

The Eagles’ song could have been about me if it hadn’t been written before I was born:  I was just a hired hand, working on a dream I planned to try.  I was underemployed and underpaid driving, with a marriage I had no idea how to keep alive. 

For her part, a friend of mine always says that ideas have consequences.  Well grief, worry, love, longing, doubt and hope are all ideas.  And they were having consequences.  Her hair was falling out.  She was losing weight and being periodically hospitalized.

Music makes love and suffering seem like something you actually want.  They’re not.  The situation was as unbearable as it was interminable.  We couldn’t take it anymore.

But there was no end in sight…

To be continued…

Strange Marriage: The Beginning…

By all normal expectations, we shouldn’t have been married. 

In Pakistan and South Asia, there is the issue of caste.  If anyone from there tells you any different, they’re covering it up to fit in.  It is not as all-encompassing in Pakistan as it is in India, but it is very much a part of marriage decisions.  I can prove it.  Go to any Muslim magazine.  Flip to the back.  You’ll see matrimonials.  Read the ads.  You might see, for example, the word “Rajput”.  That’s a caste.  They want to marry someone from their caste.  They only want to marry someone from their caste. 

On top of not being in her caste, or any that I know of, I’m a kalloo, a black.  Anti-dark skin and anti-African racism has the potential to unite the world.  It is one thing that most cultures seem to agree on, including, sickly, dark-skinned people and Africans themselves.  If anyone from anywhere tells you this isn’t true, just go to where they’re from and ask any dark-skinned people or Africans about that.  Or, when you visit a country, compare how many dark-skinned people you see on the street compared to how many you see on TV.  The only ones you’ll see are in the “before” portion of the skin-lightening cream commercials.

And Pakistan is a controversial country to be connected to, to say the least.  A lot of people fear it, or outright hate it.  I remember driving a newly-wed couple from their wedding to a hotel for their honeymoon.

“Are you married, too?”

“Yes.”

“Oh, really?  Where’d you get married?”

“Pakistan.”

Silence…

We really do make an odd-couple.  We’re over a foot apart in height.  I’m black, she’s white.  I’m the far-flung rebel, she’s the goody-goody homebody.  I’m extroverted, she’s introverted.  And our cultures and languages are vastly different.

“Why did you say yes when they asked if you wanted to marry me?”

“I don’t know.”

That’s the answer I always get when I ask, and I believe it.  When she asks me, I can’t come up with anything different.

Life is like a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book.  Remember those?  You read through a situation and it ends with the character facing two choices: 

Choose A and turn to page X. 

Choose B and turn to page Y. 

Your choice, in turn, leads to two more choices.  But you didn’t know what they’d be until you’d already turned the page to them.

Except in life, you can’t turn back the page.  That choice is never available to you.  You don’t come to the options of consequences of your choice, and decide to go back and pick others.  You can only continue to choose.  And that’s it.  There’s no other way to describe it.

It doesn’t matter why I did what I did, because it’s already done;  but I’ll still try to tell you.  For one, the taste of adventure intrigued me.  I’ve always wanted something different.  There’s always been something about where I am- wherever I am- and who I am- though the most part I love- that I’ve hated.  I’ve always wanted to be different, to do different.  Whenever I look at the road that’s paved for me, I step off it and walk on the grass.  It’s softer on my feet. 

I used to be so filled with rage, and I still am, but no longer consumed by it.  I wanted revenge against the society I was born in.  You know what I hated the most?  Humiliation.  I hated the fact that I was in America because my every second there was a reminder that my ancestors had been dominated, ripped from their lands and history, my history, raped and enslaved.  I hated my own- the European trophy on the grave of my African and Native American ancestors.  I looked around and all I saw was people being abused, and taking it.  It was unfathomable.  Talk about my mama, and I woulda beat you up, but you know what the real insult was?  Telling me what to do.  Who did you think you were that I would obey you?  Who did you think I was?  I will not do what you say, even if it’s what I want to do, for the exact reason that you told me to do it.  I will correct you.  Further, I will humiliate you for your arrogance against me.  I will make you wallow, publicly, in the humiliation you dared to believe I would accept.

I remember once, in 2nd grade, there was an assembly.  So the teacher told us to line up and get ready to go.  I can’t tell you why, but I refused.  She made every threat, but I would not get in line with the rest of the class.  Finally, she turned off the lights and led the class out.  I called her bluff and stayed right there, until the assembly finished and they came back.  Her blunder was that I had no bluff.  There was nothing anyone could do to me, no threat that I could even imagine, that was worse than living with humiliation.  I could endure anything except shame.  Living with the memory of oppression was a worse fate than death.

You know what really used to trip me out?  Watching everybody tripping out on me.  I’d be looking at them taking orders and conforming and I couldn’t believe it.  Couldn’t they see they didn’t have to?  How could they ever want to?  I mean I was there setting the example, fighting for all of us, right in front of their faces.  It hurt me to watch them endure what in my eyes could only be suffering, and I was fundamentally, absolutely bewildered that they couldn’t see the point.  I was really popular, these were my friends.  I was the class clown, class rebel and honor roll student, all at the same time.  Everybody liked me and was probably a little leery of me at the same time.

So everything and everyone feels familiar and utterly foreign to me at the same time.  There’s no crowd I don’t feel lonely in, no people I can consider wholly mine, none who consider me wholly theirs.

That’s probably why I travel, why I’m free.  I have nothing to gain or lose.  I feel like I can do anything.  There’s nothing to hold me back.  I’m always on the outside looking in, and the inside looking out.  It’s not so much that I transcend, it’s that everywhere is the same.  There are just the obligatory adjustments of language, currency, time zone, etc.  Hard times ain’t a hurdle for me.

So that’s why I said yes to the marriage.

Sometimes people say, “I wish I could’ve done that.”  Not about this “strange marriage” but other things I’ve done, like transferring to another university, or studying abroad.  I’m like “Why couldn’t you have?  You could’ve applied as easily as me…”  But it wasn’t the practicalities they were talking about.  It is only now, and I mean at this exact moment as I am writing to you, that I realize what it was really all about.

You can’t dream.

In Sociology, I learned that institutionalization means taking the present reality for granted to the extent that you can’t imagine anything else, even if you don’t like it, even if it feels wrong.

You can’t even picture yourself even trying.

This isn’t what you want, you’re not who you want, but at least you know what’s on the next page.  If you start choosing your own way, you won’t know, and that’s why you don’t choose it.  I don’t blame you, because I’m as scared as you.  But what I’m scared of is what’s on this page, and what I know is on the next one.  What I’m scared of is the way we feel right now.  The reason I take the risk isn’t because I’m stronger than you.  I have no idea what’s gonna happen next and I swear to God that I’m afraid.  But I know it’s our only chance, and that’s why I take it.  I’m not brave-  I’m just less afraid of change than the misery of things staying the same.

And that’s all this story is really about when you think about:  a choice.  One simple choice, and all the choices that were opened or closed to me after it.  Marry the girl or not.  At the same time, so much of that choice was beyond my choosing.  Her father chose Islam over culture and that gave his daughter the choice.  She, in turn, chose yes, which gave me the choice.  There is a verse in the Qur-an which is translated as “and you do not choose except as Allah Chooses”.  Before we choose anything, so much has been chosen before it for us to even be able to.

___

Now I’m gonna ask you a question, the answer to which is a question, that only I can answer.

Ready?

Do you know what my friend just texted me, tonight, right before I started writing this chapter?

“Based on the story i’m reading on the net. have you been back home with your wife yet?”

The answer’s no and yes:  no, I have not taken her to the land of my upbringing;  yes, for we are home wherever we are.  Wherever we arrive, we project an aura, the same aura, from our hearts, and its beams meet itself right at the top of wherever we are, then we bring it down, then it fills the entire space that we are in.  Then we are home, in our love, in our special culture.

Our dream is the only home we have, and by Islam we realize them:  that every person was made to live in peace- wholeness within, unity without.  Every person has the right to inherit that peace, the duty to uphold it, and the responsibility to pass it .  It is only that, truly, that unites my wife and I, across the chasms of culture, background, and personality:  we share the same dream.

Don’t underestimate them:  dreams are the most powerful things in this world. And the most dangerous.  Name anything, and we have more than enough of it.  Maybe they’re being squandered or hoarded, but there’s more than enough water, food, land, oil, everything.  The one thing there isn’t enough of is room for everyone’s dream to come true.  It is for this alone that wars are fought.  This, not money, is the root of all evil, for money is only a means to achieve.  This is the source of every lie- for at all times, every effort is being made to create your dream for you, because your dreams determine your choices.  Everyone wants you to choose as they have chosen, because in life, really, there are only 2 choices:  wake up to your dream one day, or somebody else’s.

Choose wisely.

The Osama Dialogues: Part 3

Daniel Al-Qãhırıï Oliver Obama: “Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader, in fact, he slaughtered many Muslims.

…so have you, Barack Hussein…

Now that he’s dead, can we start looking for the REAL 9-11 culprits? Or do we already know who they are?

6 people like this.

Daniel Al-Qãhırıï Oliver I was in NYC on 9-11, & all I can say is: never forget…

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=loose+change+final+cut&aq=1

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2296490368603788739#

… and you just don’t get it

you keep it copacetic

and you learn to accept it

and oh, you’re so pathetic

Colleague Z Are you saying it wasn’t Al Qaeda? That’s news to me.

 

Daniel Al-Qãhırıï Oliver check out the videos, and there’s also a group called “architects and engineers for 9/11 truth”. that’s a start, not the finish, but there’s more than evidence out there to question the official story. there are two kinds of americans in my view: those who believe the george-washington-and-the-cherry-tree story and those who know he was the richest man inamerica when he became president, and forced soldiers to

fight at the threat of death. red pill, blue pill…

Daniel Al-Qãhırıï Oliver here’s some further reading:

http://english.aljazeera.net/focus/2010/07/201071994556568918.html

http://english.aljazeera.net/focus/2010/08/201081811555316381.html

http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2010/09/201094155358615769.html

these illustrate how and why the war on terror is forged and waged, in addition to what’s in the aforementioned video links…

Former Colleague/Coffee Mate You are a knucklehead! Osama himself claimed responsibility many times. Why not listen to him? Daniel, I know you are bright, but to think that Bin Ladin did not do these things is to wander far off into conspiracyland my friend.

Former Schoolmate ‎”It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds.” -Samuel Adams

Austin Muslim Former Colleague/Coffee Mate, who told us that Osama himself claimed responsibility many time? If you are going to base your facts on doctored videos of him speaking in arabic then your argument doesn’t stand. To this day, we have yet to know who was behind the attacks. If you think for a second that our govt. would never lie to us (wmds inIraq), then honestly nothing can change your mind.

Daniel Al-Qãhırıï Oliver I think it’s more important to evaluate evidence and analyze arguments, than to just pick a side. We all have certain inclinations, so only by thinking can we overcome our inclination to be inclined. I don’t care as much about someone agreeing with me as I do about that said someone constantly reading, thinking and self-evaluating.

The Osama Dialogues: Part 2

Daniel Al-Qãhırıï Oliver I’m sure of one thing: had “they” captured Osama bin Laden instead of killing him, and put him on trial for 9/11, they would NEVER have been able to convict him.

(Maybe that’s WHY they killed him, if it is indeed true that they have…)

1 person likes this.

Colleague X I only believe it because some Al Qaeda leadership is confirming it. I doubted it before though . Have you seen that hilariously badly done photoshop picture of him ‘dead’?

High School Colleague He was never charged with anything in connection to 9-11. There is absolutely zero evidence directly connecting him to the crime. They had to kill him, like you said. Thing is he’s been dead for a decade and now young Americans fill the streets and unite in their new found love of empirecial war.

Newscaster Well stated High School Colleague!

Australia Acquaintance That could be right..no words from dead men

Thailand Acquaintance maybe they killed him because he declared war on the U.S. and all its citizens (the fatwa in 1998), or maybe because he claimed responsibility for killing 18 US service members in Mogadishu in 1993…regardless he had plenty of offenses that cause people to get killed.

Daniel Al-Qãhırıï Oliver well, Thailand Acquaintance, I won’t argue with you about someone neither of us has met. But I’ll put forward a fact and a theory: Fact: Neither of us can sensibly claim to know the truth about Osama bin Laden. Theory: It doesn’t matter anyway because the real issue isn’t terror, or religion, or even a conspiracy. It’s dreams. You see, bro, they’re all being unevenly distributed, but the truth is that there is more than enough food to go around, more than enough oil, and more than enough of every other resource. That’s not why people are fighting, or ever have fought. The only thing there’s not enough of in this world is room for everyone’s dreams to come true. Every man faces a choice in his life: realize his dream or accommodate others’.

Former Colleague KSA Ah but you forgot the old US doctrine – “this world aint big enough for the both of us pardner”….Bin Laden never had anything to do wit 9 / 11 Al Qaeda is not an organization but a loose affiliation of groups joined by a common idea – and of course you can’t kill an idea – the only thong which will change this undercurrent of Islamic facism is the sweepin popular revolutions in the Middle East now a genuine Intifada against the old rulers that America has propped up for so long..

Former Colleague KSA The fact or myth that Bin Laden is dead has no impact on the status quo the guy retired from playing an active role in anything years ago…

Former Colleague KSA wow what an amazing typo – I can’t believe I wrote thong instead of thing!

SSS Alum if Osama bin laden never even existed how can he be killed? but more importantly if he never existed he isnt dead. If he didnt live and he didnt die why do we know his name? If he didnt live to speak the words we heard why were we listening? Let’s get back to what’s important: royal weddings. Peace.

 

Daniel Al-Qãhırıï Oliver ‎@ Former Colleague KSA: freudian slip?

The Osama Dialogues: Intro. + Part 1

The Osama Dialogues are a cut-and-paste of Facebook discussions surrounding posts I published about Osama bin Laden.  From Obama to Osama to Wills & Kate, no stone has been left unturned.  You’ll laugh, you’ll get pissed, you’ll agree…

…but you won’t regret reading them…
 Feel free to leave a comment and/or add me as a friend on Facebook!


*****

Daniel Al-Qãhırıï Oliver: A civilian’s a civilian, and Bush/Obama have admittedly directed the killing of many, many more of them than Osama bin Laden is even accused of. Is anyone out there ready to admit, though, that ‘democracy’ and “American” (military/industrial) ‘interests’ (hegemony), rather than Islam-“ism”/extremism/fundamentalism that is the true threat?

Like ·  1 person

Daniel Al-Qãhırıï Oliver Would people be more justified if they danced at the news of their deaths?

Like ·  1 person

Daniel Al-Qãhırıï Oliver Do they not see how their own logic is a proof againt them?

Like ·  1 person

Former Colleague/Coffemate Daniel, Justice is the thing Americans are celebrating

Colleague Z’s Husband They have NEVER sanctioned the killing of civilians!

Daniel Al-Qãhırıï Oliver ‎@ Former Colleage/Coffeemate: i agree. i’m only pointing out that if this is justice, similar retaliation against american leaders could also be considered justice, for they are guilty of some of the same crimes, in particular overseeing the killing of civilians. i don’t think though, that many people on either side are intellectually or morally mature enough to see things from the other side…

Former Colleague KSA Until proven guilty Osama was definitely a ‘civilian’ – the very method of his death (shooting an unarmed man in the head) shows how low we have sunk – I don’t hear any reports that he was able to defend himself or was armed. All I here wa…s a women tried to shield him (even if you consider him evil he was basically an old defenseless man confronted by a well armed group of determined well trained soldiers). It is amazing that a woman faced down several soldiers….she should be commended for her bravery. Sometimes you have to respect the bravery of your enemy. This kind of mutual respect was very clear throughout WWI and WWII – we have lost that altogether. What was the point of shooting Osama? By doing this we just lost the best source of information we could ever dream of – unless of course he was spirited away to some foreign prison (Gitmo) to be tortured year after year (more likely). At least question him put him on trial and let him prove his guilt or innocence to prove that we still have some shreds of humanity and are better than those who unleash terror in the world (GWB, Hitler, Saddam, Mubarak et al). Until we understand are enemy and respect that he too has a voice people will only resort to horrific acts of violence in a vain attempt to be heard. Dialogue not war is the only lasting answer – to kill a human soul (even a blackened soul) and then profit from T-Shirt sales and the media frenzy shows we have no more human dignity. It is a dark day for the West and can only

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Former Colleague KSA Only good I see coming from this is that once and for allPakistan has to admit they tolerate if not openly sponsor terrorism. The other good news (especially good if you’re an Indian) is thatPakistan’s air defense is non existent….

Colleague Z So are we, in fact, saying that the 9/11 victims do not get to be considered innocent civilians? Are we saying that the attack was okay becauseAmerica has killed civilians in the past? If so, and 9/11 was an act of war, then Osama does not get to hide behind the word ‘civilian’ either.

Colleague Z’s Husband I can not argue with pure fiction. If you choose to go down the road of complete uneducated conspiracy theories then that leaves facts by the way side and thus truth can not be found in your minds because the moment your presented with something you just don’t like you simply change the facts to soot your fantasies. So intelligent conversation and discussion are no longer yours to have.

Colleague Z’s Husband ‎”…to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear”

Daniel Al-Qãhırıï Oliver ‎@ Colleague Z’s Husband: i think what you are saying is absolutely true, for every perspective or side of an argument or debate. the truth is, speaking for my self, i am not knowledgeable about OBL or 9/11. i simply have not put in the time to investigate beyond a few videos, articles or conversations. and i am not well-studied enough in the sciences involved to draw a conclusion that i could reasonably expect others to accept.

Daniel Al-Qãhırıï Oliver there is a science of knowing. either you are knowledgeable about a thing from having studied or rare cases of people with verifiable intuition (e.g. einstein). if you do not fit either case on a given subject, you can still gain knowledg…e/certainty from someone who is knowledgeable/intuitive AND trustworthy. what other way is there to know something? you either study or are intuitive, or you pay attention to someone you know and trust who has studied or is intuitive. this i consider direct knowledge.

Colleague Z People who hate Bush try to find ways to blame Bush for 9/11. People who hateAmerica try to find a way to blameAmerica for it. People who watched the news after 9/11 heard Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden claim responsibility for it and watched Palestinians dance in the streets to celebrate it. What are we, as Americans, supposed to think?

Daniel Al-Qãhırıï Oliver going back to ObL/9-11, very few people have direct access to the facts with the knowledge to understand them. very few people know and trust someone with such access and understanding. (books of course, preclude having to actually talk t…o somebody, but the author’s credentials should be verified.) as such, no matter what people think about ObL/9-11, they should be most sure of the fact that thinking is all they do about it. you don’t know. and if you unjustifiably claim to know what you only think, you are feeding the “conspiracy theories” of the other side. “most people think they know, but i know that most people only think.” i for one am unconvinced by any explanation that has been offered of ObL/9-11 simply because i have not had the chance to meet my own standards of verifiability, and no one i’ve met has either. i think it is dishonest for most of us to feel otherwise…See More

Daniel Al-Qãhırıï Oliver ‎@ Colleague Z: the 9/11 civilians were innocent civilians, but who killed them? who killed them? we’ve all heard a lot, but what can anyone be sure of unless they review the evidence themselves, or if the accused are put on trial if they can be? without that everything else is speculative/incidental. without producing the methodology, evidence and results of thorough studies, or a conviction in a convincingly-fair trial, each person is just forcing everyone else to doubt his/her claim and therefore convincing them, by default of their own. it’s vicious cycle of baseless bravado and doubt fed by all sides.

Colleague Z Well, I thought someone claiming responsibility answered that question..

 

Daniel Al-Qãhırıï Oliver the last thing i’ll add now is: (1) i don’t hate bush. i disagree with him but i respect him as a fellow human, husband and father (i’ve even met his daughters at a high school party). i disagree with people disrespecting him or talking about him in ways which they would not like with themselves. (2) my doubts about ObL/9-11 are not based on my being a Muslim. they started when i was in NYC on 9-11, and, generally, before that. i simply have never let anyone make up my mind for me, and until now, i’ve not been presented with anything fully convincing, from EITHER side…

Daniel Al-Qãhırıï Oliver @ becky: are you in the office? we coulda done this over coffee… anyway, you’re right, and this is why i am of the opinion that he should have been put on a trial in which this statement of his, after being verified, would have led to an easy conviction. would that not have put all rational doubts to rest, and saved the masses from the temptation of irrational far-flung theories?

Daniel Al-Qãhırıï Oliver ‎@ Colleague’s Husband: the drone strikes in pakistan andafghanistan alone refute what you are saying

Colleague Z’s Husband We do not in any way target civilians on purpose the only civilians are accidental causalities of war. By implying that we do target civilians you are either ignorant of the facts or your trying to istugate the uneducated masses to belive the lies.

Colleague Q There are people who consider the Iraqi and Afghani people killed by US forces as collateral damage… There are people who consider the ones killed on 9/11 as collateral damage too.

 

Daniel Al-Qãhırıï Oliver ‎@ Colleague Q: (as salamu alaykum) this is part of my point. and i’m sure neither you nor i fit into either of these groups, btw.

@ Colleague Z’s Husband: let’s assume for the sake of (not having an) argument that

you are correct. even so, the taking of a life, even if

unintentional, still incurs a penalty. if a man oversaw or a group committed voluntary manslaughter against hundreds of people, what

would you say the penalty should be? would they not be told to stop? (i’m anticipating the excuse that it is to stop terror, but is it not then terror and indiscriminate killing itself?) we’re moving towards something like the film “minority report” where people are punished

for crimes we anticipate them committing. either way, i’m not taking sides, for the Qur-an says to seek justice even against yourselves.

i’m only calling for all criminals to be punished, and all murderers

to be executed, after convicted in a fair trial, unless their victims’ families accept a ransom from them and choose to forgive. would you call that fair?

Colleague Z’s Husband Ah but you see the huge difference is that those radical Islamist who killed innocents in 9/11 did it on purpose. the causilties of war done by our troops are regretted by even the most battle hardened soldiers. The brainwashed morons who killed innocents in 9/11 and those morons who support it, kill innocents and think its ok matter of fact they celebrate it. that is called evil. So please don’t even compare those who accidently kill the innocent and regret what has happened to those who take pride in shedding innocent blood.

Daniel Al-Qãhırıï Oliver ‎@ Colleague Z’s Husband (and this point is also pertains to Former Colleague/Coffeemate’s last comment on this post): this is one issue on which we are unlikely to agree.

Allah says in the Qur-an that mankind is the most argumentative thing, which is a criticism, not a compliment. Prophet Muhammad is quoted as saying “do not argue, even when you’re right”. i find that as an injunction never to argue, for when does one argue, except when they feel they are right? so i’ll leave you with a question whose answer i also seek: have you or any trustworthy, knowledgeable person you know well observed evidence, from a thorough investigation, about the 9/11 culprits? if the answer is yes, please pass that to me. if it is no, then how can you or anyone in a like position insist that it was Islam-“ists” and, further, that it was ONLY Islam-“ists”?

Moving from that point, both accidental and intentional killing, in every legal system that i know-U.S., Judeo-Christian, Islamic, etc.- incur a penalty. i only insist that such penalties be incurred by all. doing so would prevent the accident. (perhaps visualizing another perspective would be useful: what if hindus were accidentally killing christians in the your country while trying to target criminals? how acceptable would you find it?)