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Wednesday, 8 September 2010

SELAMAT HARI RAYA - SAMBUTLAH DENGAN TAKBIR DAN TAHMID


KEPADA RAKAN-RAKAN BLOGGER DAN MUSLIMIN & MUSLIMAT


Umat Islam digalakkan menyambut hari raya "Aidilfitri dan "Aidiladha" dengan takbir dan tahmid sebagai bersyukur kepada Allah pada hari baik dan bulan baik tersebut. Allah berfirman:

 " ... Dan supaya kamu cukupkan bilangan puasa (sebulan Ramadhan) dan supaya kamu membesarkan Allah (dengan takbir dan tahmid) kerana mendapat pertunjuk-Nya dan supaya kamu bersyukur."  (Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayat 185)

"Hari Raya Aidil Fitri" yang juga terkenal dengan nama "Hari Raya Puasa" disyariatkan oleh Allah Taala untuk umat Islam merayakannya dengan penuh kesyukuran dan dengan pelbagai jenis amal bakti yang diredhaiNya. Kalimah 'Id' (hari raya) dalam bahasa Arab berasal dari perkataan 'Aud' ertinya yang berulang-ulang. Yakni peristiwa yang berulang-ulang pada tiap-tiap tahun yang membawa rahmat dan menggembirakan umat Islam.

Kemuliaan "Hari Raya Aidil Fitri" diterangkan di dalam Al-Qur'an seperti yang tertera di atas dan juga diterangkan di dalam hadith-hadith berikut:

Dari Abu Umamah r.a., dari Nabi Muhammad s.a.w. sabdanya: " Barang siapa mengerjakan amal ibadat pada malam hari raya (Aidilfitri dan Aidiladha) dengan mengharapkan keredhaan Allah semata-mata, hatinya tidak akan mati (pada hari kiamat) sebagaimana matinya hati (orang-orang yang kufur ingkar) pada hari itu."  (Riwayat Ibn Majah)

Hadith ini menggambarkan bahawa pada hari kiamat kelak, orang-orang yang beriman dan beramal soleh, hatinya hidup (bahagia dan gembira) kerana berjaya mendapat balasan yang baik dan keredhaan Allah Azza wa Jalla.

Sebaliknya orang-orang yang kufur ingkar, hatinya mati (hampa dan kecewa) pada hari itu, kerana dimurkai Allah dan ditimpakan dengan seburuk-buruk balasan.

" Barang siapa menghayati malam hari raya Aidilfitri dan malam hari raya Aidiladha dengan amal ibadat, sedang ia mengharapkan keredhaan Allah semata-mata, hatinya tidak akan mati (pada hari kiamat) sebagaimana matinya hati (orang yang kufur ingkar) pada hari itu."  (Riwayat Tabrani)

Dari Abu Hurairah r.a., dari Nabi Muhammad s.a.w., sabdanya: " Hiasilah hari-hari raya kamu dengan takbir."  (Riwayat Tabrani)

Dari Anas r.a., dari Nabi Muhammad s.a.w., sabdanya: " Hiasilah kedua-dua hari raya (Aidilfitri dan Aidiladha) dengan tahlil, takbir, tahmid dan taqdis."  (Riwayat Abu Nu'aim)

Menurut huraian ulama' rahimahullah, takbir hari raya - Aidilfitri dan Aidiladha - hukumnya sunat dan lafaznya yang lengkap adalah seperti berikut:

Takbir Raya
Allah Maha Besar, Allah Maha Besar, Allah Maha Besar, tiada Tuhan melainkan Allah dan Allah jualah yang Maha Besar, Allah Maha Besar dan bagi Allah jualah segala pujian.
Allah Maha Besar dengan segala kebesaran-Nya, segala puji tertentu bagi Allah tidak terhingga banyaknya, Maha Suci Allah pada tiap-tiap pagi dan petangnya. Tiada Tuhan melainkan Allah dan kami tidak menyembah melainkan Dia semata-mata dengan mengikhlaskan ibadat kepadanya walaupun dibenci oleh orang-orang kafir.
Tiada Tuhan melainkan Allah Maha Esa, amatlah benar dan tepat janji-Nya, ia telah memenangkan hambanya (Nabi Muhammad s.a.w.), ia juga telah menguatkan tentera-Nya dan Dialah jua yang telah mengalahkan musuh-musuh Islam yang bergabung dan berbagai-bagai golongan, tiada Tuhan melainkan Allah dan Allah Maha Besar, Allah Maha Besar dan bagi Allah segala pujian.

[Sumber: Islam Grid]

Sunday, 5 September 2010

GEREJA AMERIKA MERANCANG HARI MEMBAKAR QURAN, DENMARK TELAH LAMA MEMBAKARNYA, ORANG IRAN BERAMAI-RAMAI MEMBACANYA.

Di Amerika, gereja  Dove World Church di Gainesville, Florida, merancang Hari Membakar Quran Antarabangsa (International Burn A Quran Day) pada 11 September  (sempena peristiwa 9-11 di New York pada tahun 2001).  Rancangan ini telah mendapat liputan luas dari media antarabangsa. Berikut adalah petikan dari satu laporan:
The ironically named Dove World Church — whose pastor, Terry Jones, has written a book called “Islam Is Of The Devil,” which is also emblazoned on a sign outside the institution — is planning to host “International Burn A Quran Day” on September 11. But the radical church ran into a new roadblock yesterday as Gainesville city officials “denied a burn permit” for the church for the event, effectively telling them doing so would be illegal. The church, undeterred, sent out an e-mail to supporters promising to hold the burning event anyway:
Gainesville officials denied a burn permit for a church that plans to burn copies of the Quran on the ninth anniversary of the September 11 attacks. The Gainesville church, the Dove World Outreach Center, has a history of inflammatory comments and campaigns against Islam and remained defiant despite the burn permit denial.
In an e-mail sent out Wednesday, the church said, “City of Gainesville denies burn permit – BUT WE WILL STILL BURN KORANS.”
Under the city’s fire protection ordinances, the open burning of books is not allowed. The city’s fire chief, Gene Prince, told a local news station that the “church will be fined if it holds the book burning.” Mayor Craig Lowe, who has in the past referred to the church as a “tiny fringe group and an embarrassment to our community,” told The Gainesville Sun that he supports the officials’ in denying the book burning. “Based upon the law and the ordinances that have been set forward by the city of Gainesville, I support and respect the decision,” he said.
[Sumber: Think Progress]. [Laman web Dove World Church di sini].
Rujuk juga blog Just Read dan The Flying Kick mengenai rancangan ini.
Walau pun ramai menentang rancangan ini, ramai juga menyokongnya:
As of this writing, nearly 500 people have clicked “like” on the event’s webpage, which also features Photoshop images premised on the nuking of Iran and Mecca. One of these shows Mecca’s Grand Mosque full of pilgrims, with the simple tag: “Nuke It.”
[Baca seterusnya di sini]
Petikan di atas merujuk kepada reaksi menyokong rancangan ini di dalam  laman Facebook Dove World Church. Jelas komen-komen yang disiarkan di dalam facebook ini menunjukkan bukan saja lebih dari 500 yang menekan butang "Like"  (menyokong), tetapi juga betapa bencinya mereka terhadap Islam. Ada juga komen-komen yang memaparkan gambar Kaabah yang dibakar (lihat gambar sebelah kanan) dan gambar Kaabah dengan banner "holy shit" dan najis terletak di atasnya (gambar sebelah kiri). Banyak lagi gambar-gambar yang dengan terang menghina Islam. Bacalah komen-komen di link laman facebook Dove World Church yang di beri. Sangat menyakitkan hati!

Denmark, seperti orang Islam sedia maklum, telah lama membakar Quran, malah menghinanya dengan teruk. Lihat sajalah gambar-gambar di bawah:

Inilah yang berlaku di Denmark. Kiri: Membakar Quran. Tengah: Memijak Quran. Kanan: Menembak Quran.

Di Iran pula, umat Islam beramai-ramai membaca Quran. Gambar-gambar di bawah menunjukkan umat Islam di Iran membaca Quran di bulan Ramadhan.


Ya, kita sedia maklum mereka penganut Syiah tetapi mereka juga membaca Quran seperti kita. Kalau lihat saja bilangannya, malu juga rasanya.

Kapada orang Islam PAS dan UMNO, apa reaksi mereka? Tidakkah mereka bersama mahu membantah rancangan gereja Dove World Church dan apa yang berlaku berterusan di Denmark? Memandangkan penghinaan ke atas umat Islam di Malaysia yang semakin tidak terkawal, senario manakah yang mahu kita pilih: Amerika, Denmark, atau Iran? Apa yang berlaku di Amerika dan Denmark akan berlaku di Malaysia jika kita umat Islam tidak bersatu.


Saturday, 4 September 2010

LAILATUL QADR: THE NIGHT OF POWER


Imagine this. What if your boss told you that if you worked on one specific day, the company would give you 81 years worth of pay? What if you could earn the same amount of money for 81 years of work with just one night of labor? Would you agree to this bargain?

Allah, praised and glorified, has promised His believers an even better deal. Muslims can attain the same amount of blessings and rewards in one night of worship, as they would if they worshiped 1000 regular months. That’s over 81 years. That’s the blessing of Lailatul Qadr.

Lailatul Qadr, translated as the Night of Power, is the greatest night of the year. During this period, Muslims should spend their nights in worship and seek forgiveness, reward, and blessings of Allah.

What Should We Do During Laylatul Qadr?

Here are some recommended things that we should do during Laylatul Qadr.
 
1. Qiyamul Layl: Translated roughly as “Standing for Prayer at Night.” During any other time of the year outside of Ramadan, this prayer is the same as Tahajjud. However, during Ramadan, the Taraweeh prayer replaces Tahajjud, and Qiyamul Layl is a separate prayer Muslims can make at night. It is highly recommended that we make this prayer during Lailatul Qadr.

2. Doa: Roughly translated as “supplication”, this is an informal prayer in which the Muslim asks Allah for anything he or she may need or want. There is no specific method of making doa, but it is preferred that the Muslim requests blessings upon Prophet Mohammad (peace be up on him), prays for his/her parents, and asks Allah for forgiveness. Allah loves it when His slaves ask Him for things, so asking during Lailatul Qadr is especially beneficial. 

3. Leaving the mundane: Muslims should decrease their involvement in worldly actions during Lailatul Qadr. While it’s okay to eat, drink and sleep during the Night of Power, they should refrain from sexual relations and frivolous activities like watching TV or common gossip. 

What Does The Quran Say About Laylatul Qadr?

Lailatul Qadr is only directly referenced in one chapter of the Quran. This is chapter 97 which goes by the name Al-Qadr, meaning “The Power.” Though this is a short chapter, it is very profound when we consider the meaning behind the words.
Verily We have sent it down in The Night of Power (Lailatul Qadr)
And what will explain Lailatul Qadr to you?
Lailatul Qadr is better than a thousand months
Therein descend the Angels and the Spirit with the permission of their Lord, with every matter.
Peace therein, until the coming of dawn.
Now, let’s look at this chapter in depth. The following information is based on Ibn Kathir’s explanation of the Quran.
“Verily We have sent it down in the Night of Power.”
“It” in this verse refers to the Quran. Allah tells us that the Quran was sent down during Lailatul Qadr. And we know from previous verses in the Quran, that the Quran was sent down during the month of Ramadan.
Chapter 44, verse 1-4  state: Ha-Mim. By the manifest Book that makes things clear. We sent it down on a blessed night. Verily, We are ever warning. Therein (that night) is decreed every matter with wisdom.
So from this verse, we know that the Quran was sent not just during the month of Ramadan, but specifically during Lailatul Qadr.
And what will explain Lailatul Qadr to you? Lailatul Qadr is better than a thousand months.”
Allah explains the Night of Power as only He can. He tells us that Lailatul Qadr is better than a thousand months during which there is no Night of Power. Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) stated that whoever is deprived of good on Laylatul Qadr is truly deprived. Our prophet has also stated that whoever stands (prays) during Laylatul Qadr expecting the reward of Allah, will be forgiven their previous sins.
“Therein descend the Angels and the Spirit with the permission of their Lord, with every matter.”
Because of the magnificent blessings of this night, the Angels descend from Heaven. They come down in great numbers with the blessings and mercy of Allah. They visit the believers worshiping Allah whether they are reciting Quran, making dhikr (remembrance) or performing prayer.

“The Spirit” in this verse refers to the Angel Jibreel (Gabriel). We can see how important Lailatul Qadr is if the highest ranking angel of all is descending upon the earth. Angel Jibreel is the one who visited Prophet Muhammad with the first verses of the Quran.

The phrase “with every matter” means that during this night, the matters of life and death, the provisions of every human, is decided during this night. (See the verses from Chapter 44 above.) Truly, what a blessed night to seek the mercy of Allah!
“Peace therein, until the coming of dawn.”
Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) has stated:
“Verily, the month of Ramadan has come to you all. It is a blessed month, which Allah has obligated you all to fast. During it the gates of Paradise are opened, the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are shackled.”
With the gates of Hell closed and the devils locked up, Lailatul Qadr is full of peace for the Muslims until the dawn. The Angels give the worshippers tidings of peace until the dawn. All of it is good and there is no evil until the coming of dawn.
 
When Is Lailatul Qadr?
 

The question everyone has is: “When is the Night of Power? Which night is Lailatul Qadr?”

We already know from the Quranic verses above, that Lailatul Qadr occurs during the month of Ramadan. A narrative from Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her), the prophet’s wife, states: “when the last ten days of Ramadan began, the Prophet (peace be upon him) would stay up at night, wake his family and tie his lower garment tight.”

So now we know that Lailatul Qadr is during the last ten nights of Ramadan.

There is a statement from Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) that reveals more evidence. He stated:
“Verily I saw Lailatul Qadr, and I was caused to forget it, and indeed it is during the last ten (nights). It is during an odd night and I saw myself as if I were prostrating in mud and water.”
This shows that the Night of Power occurs during the odd numbered nights during the last ten days of Ramadan.

It was recorded that after he made this statement, Prophet Muhammad led his companions in prayer. While they were praying, it began to rain, and after Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) came up from prostration, his forehead was covered in mud and water. One narration states this occurred on the twenty-first nght.

However, another narration states that Lailatul Qadr may occur during another night.
“Seek it in the last ten (nights) of Ramadan. In the ninth it still remains, in the seventh it still remains, in the fifth it still remains.”
Yet another narration from the companion Ubay Ibn Ka’b states otherwise. When informed that another Ibn Mas’ud (another companion of our prophet) said whoever stands for prayer during the entire year will catch Lailatul Qadr, Ubay responded: “May Allah have mercy upon him. Indeed he knows that it is during the month of Ramadan and that it is the twenty-seventh night.”

And then the companion Abu Hurayrah reported that Prophet Muhammad stated:
“Verily, it is during the twenty-seventh or the twenty-ninth night. And verily, the angels who are on the earth during that night are more numerous than the number of pebbles.”
And Ubaidah Ibn Samit reported that Prophet Muhammad said:
“Seek it in Ramadan in the last ten nights. For verily, it is during the odd nights, the twenty-first, or the twenty-third, or the twenty-fifth, or the twenty-seventh, or the twenty-ninth, or during the last night.”
So, we can see that while there is ample evidence that Lailatul Qadr occurs during the odd numbered nights of the last ten days of Ramadan, there’s no absolute evidence of the exact night. What is for the Muslim then, is to spend each of the last ten nights involved in worship, hoping to catch the Night of Power.

Several scholars believe that the Night of Power moves about during the last ten nights from year to year, and is not necessarily the same night every year. There appears to be sound evidence for this theory. This gives us even more reason to seek Lailatul Qadr during each of the last ten nights, instead of just focusing on one particular day.

This night is also a good time to increase our understanding of Islam. This is a good time to learn Quran or memorize a new doa. Even if you only know the basics of Islamic beliefs, you should take advantage of Lailatul Qadr.

And Allah knows best.



Video:

Laylatul-Qadr (The Night of Power)



Thursday, 12 August 2010

TEN GREAT GOALS TO SET FOR THIS RAMADHAN

1. Eat, drink and be moderate

Almost all of us do it - once Iftar time hits, we just keep plowing food and drink into our mouths till it's hard to move afterwards. And those of us who do it know this is totally contrary to the spirit of Ramadan, through which we're supposed to learn self-control not self-indulgence. Let's try to stick to the Prophetic rule on eating: fill our stomachs with one-third food, one-third water and one-third breathing space, even in Ramadan.

2. Give a dollar [Ringgit] a day in charity...or five or ten

The Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, was always generous but even more so in Ramadan. Let's open our hearts and dig a little deeper in our wallets this year. Even less than a dollar a day adds up. Whatever you can give, it's the intention that counts.

3. Memorize 4 new Surahs

Memorizing the Quran often seems like a daunting task. But the key is doing it in small bites. Since there are four weeks in Ramadan, try to memorize one new Surah a week. Start off with a short, easy one. Once you've started, you'll build momentum and may even want to memorize a longer one the following week.

4. Go to Tarawih prayers

Post-Iftar, the first urge is to sleep after an exhausting day. But try your best to head out to the mosque for Tarawih prayers. Praying alone is wonderful, but doing it in congregation is fantastic. The community spirit is part of Ramadan's blessings. Don't miss it this year. If going every day is not possible, try going at least once week.

5. Attend the Tarawih prayer in which the recitation of the Quran will be finished

Call the local mosque and find out which day the Imam will be finishing the recitation of the Quran in prayer. Attend to not only hear part of the Quran's recitation in prayer, but also participate in the heart-rending Duas that follow it.

6. Stop swearing and/or backbiting - with a special box

It's hard not to shoot our mouths off when someone's upset us. Whether we utter those four-letter words or backbite about someone to our family and friends, we know this isn't the God-approved way of letting off steam. In Ramadan, when we want to build our spirituality, we've got to wage Jihad against our bad habits.
 
Try this: get a box and every time you catch yourself swearing or backbiting put some money in it. It could be a buck or less. The point is to choose an amount that makes it feel like punishment.

At the end of the month send the money to a charity or buy a gift for the person whom you've backbitten the most against.

7. Call/email your relatives

You'd think that given the easy access to email, competitive long-distance calling rates, phone cards, etc. these days, we'd keep in touch with family and friends more often. But the opposite seems to be the case, as we get caught up in life's "busyness."

Strengthening ties with family members and keeping in touch with friends is part of our way of life and an act Allah is very pleased with. This Ramadan, call family and friends or at least email them a Ramadan card and ask them how their fasting is going.

8. Go on a technology diet

Even if you work in the IT industry, you can do this. Avoid checking personal email and surfing the web during your fast. After Iftar, instead of plopping yourself in front of the screen, go to Tarawih. The same goes for the television. The point is to try to give our full attention to spiritual elevation this month.

9. Read 5 minutes of Quran a day...just five, not more, not less

Even if you feel you've got absolutely no time, set a timer or the alarm on your cell phone and find a relatively quiet place. You can read the first page of the Quran you open or follow a sequence. The choice is yours. The point is simply to connect with God through His revelation in the month of the Quran.

10. Forgive everyone who has hurt you

Still got a festering wound from the fight with your friend last year? Still upset about something your spouse said during a heated argument? Or are you still bitter about the way your parents sometimes treated you as a kid? Let go of the anger and pain this Ramadan and forgive those who have hurt you. Forgiving someone is not only good for the body, but it's also great for the soul. And in Ramadan, ten days of which are devoted to Allah's forgiveness, shouldn't we lesser beings forgive too?  

If you find it very difficult to forgive everyone, forgive at least three people.

Happy Ramadan !!!

[Source: The above is taken in its entirety from an article in Islamicity.
]

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

SELAMAT MENYAMBUT RAMADHAN


KEPADA RAKAN-RAKAN BLOGGER ISLAM DAN MUSLIMIN & MUSLIMAT AMNYA


INGATLAH, MUSUH-MUSUH ISLAM SEDANG MENCUCUK JARUM MEREKA. 
SEMOGA KITA BERMUHASABBAH DIRI, MERAPATKAN SAF DAN BERSATU DEMI AGAMA DAN NEGARA TERCINTA.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

CHILDREN OF GAZA: SHOCKING DOCUMENTARY ON ISRAEL'S INHUMAN TREATMENT

While condemnations and calls for action still reverberate around the world, and while the world bickers over the rights and wrongs of the Israeli blockade on Gaza, hundreds of thousands of children continue to bear the brunt of it. 

Shown below is a shocking, yet touching, five-part documentary on the extent of Gazan children's sufferings at the hands of the inhuman Israelis.

For the source of the documentary and background information, click here.
CHILDREN OF GAZA
By Jezza Neumann
07 June, 2010
Countercurrents.org
A Must Watch Documentary
First Broadcast Monday 15 March 2010 - Runtime 48 Minutes
In December 2008, the Israeli Defence Force attacked Gaza. Around 300 children were among the 1,300 Palestinians that were killed.
After the ceasefire, BAFTA-winning filmmaker Jezza Neumann arrived in Gaza to follow the lives of three children over a year.
Surrounded by the remnants of the demolished Gaza Strip and increasingly isolated by the blockade that prevents anyone from rebuilding their homes and their lives, Children of Gaza is a shocking, touching and uniquely intimate reflection on extraordinary courage in the face of great adversity.
PART 1

PART 2

PART 3

PART 4

PART 5

Read here for more information on the 800,000 children of Gaza.

Monday, 7 June 2010

ISRAEL BANS THE BASICS OF LIFE

The unsuccessful attempts by the Freedom Flotilla ships and the Rachel Corrie to deliver humanitarian aids to Gaza mean that the Gazans continue to be deprived of the basic necessities of life. Watch the following video entitled "Israel Bans The Basics of Life" to understand what such deprivation means to the people of Gaza.


The Rachel Corrie was reported to be the 10th attempt of "Breaking the Siege" campaign to deliver humanitarian aid to besieged Gaza, a humanitarian duty the UN had poorly and almost not delivered. Five of these trips were successful, while the rest had suffered from Israeli piracy and kidnapping.

This has not deterred pro-Palestinian activists to launch a campaign to send another aid ship to the Gaza Strip in their continuing efforts to break the siege. As reported here, two non-governmental groups, the Free Palestine Movement and Reporters Without Limits plan to send a ship, which will carry educational supplies for the children of Gaza, from a Lebanese port next week. Many more will follow.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

MALAYSIANS ON RACHEL CORRIE ARRIVED SAFELY IN JORDON

UPDATE: 

Here's a Reuters' photo of the Malaysians on the Rachel Corrie, who are posing with our national flag upon their arrival in Amman, Jordan today. Click here for the report.

ORIGINAL POST:

Latest report from The Star:
KUALA LUMPUR: The six Malaysians on board the seized MV Rachel Corrie arrived safely in Jordan at about 5pm Sunday after Israeli authorities expelled them early Sunday.
Like the 12 Malaysians captured by Israelis on Monday's raid on the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara, the six are expected to board a flight home to Malaysia as soon as possible.
One of the six, journalist Shamsul Akmar, said that Israeli authorities had confiscated their cameras, laptops and mobile phone SIM cards.
As Malaysia has no diplomatic contact with Israel, the six would try to get their possessions back through the Thai embassy in Israel, he said.
“Generally, we were well treated,” said Shamsul.
Read the rest of the report here.
Meanwhile, the 12 Malaysians on Mavi Marmara arrived home today:
SEPANG: The 12 Malaysian volunteers, who were on board a humanitarian aid ship attacked by Israel while on its way to blockaded Gaza, returned home on Sunday.
They arrived at 5.40am at KLIA and were greeted by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, his officers, Foreign Ministry representatives and the volunteers' family.
The volunteers, who were accompanied by Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman and several ministry officers, arrived from Istanbul by a Malaysia Airlines flight.
They had taken off from the Queen Alia International Airport in Jordan at 11.20am (4.20pm Malaysian time) on Friday and flown to Istanbul where they were on transit until Saturday evening.
Read the rest here.
Syukur Alhamdulillah.

A CALL FROM GAZA


Reproduced below is a statement from The Free Gaza Movement (with slight editing):  
CALL FROM GAZA TO THE CITIZENS OF THE WORLD TO BREAK THE SIEGE
Written by Free Gaza Team - 06 June 2010
Besieged Gaza, Palestine, 5.6.2010
One-and-a-half years after the Israeli army perpetrated a massacre upon the population of Gaza, Apartheid Israel commits another crime against partisans of Palestine in international waters. The world is moved at the plight of Palestinians and their supporters. All of the seven crossings between Gaza and Israel, including the Rafah Crossing—the only access Gaza has to the external world—remain hermetically sealed.
We request that the citizens of the world oppose this deadly, medieval blockade. We no longer rely on governments. The failure of the United Nations and its numerous organizations to condemn such crimes proves their complicity. Only civil society is able to mobilize to demand the application of international law and put an end to Israel's impunity. The intervention of civil society was effective in the late 1980s against the apartheid regime of South Africa. Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu have not only described Israel’s oppressive and violent control of Palestinians as Apartheid, they have also joined this call for the world’s civil society to intervene again.
We, therefore, ask people of conscience and civil society organizations to put pressure on their governments until Israel is forced to abide by international law and international humanitarian law. Without the intervention of the international community which was effective against apartheid in South Africa, Israel will continue its war crimes and crimes against humanity, as articulated by the Goldstone report.
We call on civil society organizations worldwide to intensify the anti-Israel sanctions campaign to compel Israel to end its aggression.
Signatory Organizations:
The One Democratic State Group
University Teachers' Association
Arab Cultural Forum
Palestinian Students’ Campaign for the Academic Boycott of Israel
Association of Al-Quds Bank for Culture and Info
Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlements
International Solidarity Movement
Palestine Sailing Federation
Palestinian Association for Fishing and Maritime
Palestinian Network of Non-Governmental Organizations
Palestinian Women Committees
Progressive Students Union
Medical Relief Society
The General Society for Rehabilitation
Gaza Community Mental Health Program
General Union of Palestinian Women
Afaq Jadeeda Cultural Centre for Women and Children
Deir Al-Balah Cultural Centre for Women and Children
Maghazi Cultural Centre for Children
Al-Sahel Centre for Women and Youth
Ghassan Kanfani Kindergartens
Rachel Corrie Centre, Rafah
Rafah Olympia City Sisters
Al Awda Centre, Rafah
Al Awda Hospital, Jabaliya Camp
Ajyal Association, Gaza
General Union of Palestinian Syndicates
Al Karmel Centre, Nuseirat
Local Initiative, Beit Hanoun
Union of Health Work Committees
Red Crescent Society Gaza Strip
Beit Lahiya Cultural Centre
Al Awda Centre, Rafah
The above statement made reference to the Goldstone Report. Readers can read the report in its entirety here to understand the untold suffering of the Gazans  as a result of the draconian Israeli's seige of Gaza. Notwithstanding the many contentious claims pertaining to the report, it has played a key role in the effort to specifically target Israeli troops in both boycott movements and law-fare attacks. The siege is an human tragedy, if at all we need such reminder. 

RACHEL CORRIE UPDATES 2

UPDATE:

According to a statement from Ygal Palmor, spokesman for the Israeli foreign ministry as reported in the British newspaper The Guardian here, the Rachel Corrie passengers from Ireland and Malaysia would be deported immediately. The Irish passengers would be offered flights from Ben Gurion airport; the Malaysians – whose government has no diplomatic relations with Israel – would be taken by bus to the land border with Jordan. If they refused to comply with summary deportation, they would be taken to a detention centre until their case could be heard by a court, Palmor said. All those deported would be refused entry to Israel for around 10 years, he added.

If correct, then it's good news. Is our government aware of this? Or is it just another Israeli media spin?
 
ORIGINAL POST:

In my previous post, I've posted updates from early morning yesterday up until the time the Israelis took control of the Rachel Corrie ship. Now it seem certain that the Israeli navy had boarded and seized control of ship - apparently without the violence that characterized the bloody attack on the Mavi Marmara earlier - and diverted to Ashdod Port where it has reportedly docked.
 Israeli military vessel leaves the navy port of Ashdod to meet the Gaza-bound Rachel Corrie

Reuter's photo of Israeli Defence Force boats approaching the Rachel Corrie

According to the passengers' account reported here, their cameras and cell phones have been confiscated and they would be allowed to fly out to their homelands today. Despite an initial tense standoff, the passengers, including six Malaysians, are reported to be unharmed although their actual conditions have yet to be confirmed. There is so far no news of when or whether they will be released, notwithstanding the aforementioned report.

Watch here the latest videos from the Witness Gaza website:
Video showing the Israelis soldiers boarding the Rachel Corrie

The Rachel Corrie before the departure to Gaza; also narrates the draconian siege of Gaza, Israeli atrocities and the sufferings of the Gazans.

As expected, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gloated (and spinned) on the peaceful ending to a standoff between the  Israeli navy and  Rachel Corrie. He said: "We saw today the difference between a ship of peace activists, with whom we don't agree but respect their right to a different opinion from ours, and between a ship of hate organised by violent Turkish terror extremists" (emphasis added). Read his statement here. What a spin! The bloody attack on the Mavi Marmara demonstrated that it was the Israelis that showed utter disrespect for others and that the only evidence of hate came from the Israelis attackers themselves.

The Free Gaza Movement has issued a statement that it remains undeterred by the Rachel Corrie setback and that it will be back with another humanitarian mission to Gaza in the next couple of months:
Therefore, we are putting Mr. Netanyahu on notice that we are returning in the next couple of months with another flotilla, that his actions and the actions of his soldiers have energized thousands of people who have stepped forward with offers to help and participate on the next voyage. We’d also like to remind Mr. Netanyahu that siezing our ship, the Rachel Corrie, is yet another violent act from a long series of violent acts against civilians that Israel has committed this week.
Click here for the full statement.
Will the Perdana Global Peace Organisation organise another mission?

Meanwhile, watch the following video of the Israelis bloody attack on the Mavi Marmara. This is reportedly the whole video without Israel's edits/tampering.


Saturday, 5 June 2010

RACHEL CORRIE UPDATES


1.40 AM

Organisers of the MV Rachel Corrie trip to Gaza said they lost contact with the ship. Audrey Bomse of the Free Gaza Movement said: "The situation is we lost all contact with the boat. We assume this was sabotage by the Israelis." Read the report here. Probably the Israelis had sabotaged (jammed) the communication channels.

 3.20 AM

The same Israeli commandos who launched the assault on aid ships Mavi Marmara bound for Gaza will also try and stop the Irish aid ship Rachel Corrie. Their plan is to board the Rachel Corrie.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made clear late Thursday that the ship will not be allowed into Gaza but will be boarded and brought to an Israeli port.

The Israelis have asked that Rachel Corrie would voluntarily sail to Ashdod Port rather than be boarded.

Read the report here.

The same is reported in The Jerusalem Post here. In addition, Netanyahu said he was considering letting more goods into Gaza.

4.20 AM

The Israeli and Irish governments have agreed to divert the
Rachel Corrie ship to the Israeli port of Ashdod instead of the coast of Gaza. But passengers on board the Rachel Corrie have rejected the proposed agreement. Read the report here. It looks like a standoff is imminent. I can't imagine what the consequences will be.

But according the the Haaretz here, following the passengers' rejection of the agreement, Israel's forum of seven high ranking ministers have decided to go ahead with the plan to stop the ship and take it over, as was done with the Mavi Marmara previously. Trouble brewing?

May Allah protect the passengers.

5.15 AM

According the Christian Science Monitor report here, the Israel is mulling over easing the blockade on the Rachel Corrie ship now heading nearer to Gaza.

Are the Israelis softening their stand? Most the reports quoted above are from Israeli and western media. So, knowing their media spin, we have to view them with caution. Further, the Los Angeles Times report here and the Arab News here are expecting a showdown.

Whatever happens, may Allah protect the passengers. 

The best minute-by-minute update is through Google News, apart from direct contact with the Malaysian passengers which other bloggers may have.

3.30 PM

According to the Free Gaza Movement report here, the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) has been contacted by the Rachel Corrie ship at about 9.30 am KL time (about 3.30 am Rachel Corrie time). Reportedly the ship had been followed by Israeli ships for about 2 hours, and that 2 other ships were approaching from the port side. The equipment on board had been jammed by the Israeli navy, and that they expected their satellite phone to be jammed soon as well. The line was reportedly bad, and the IPSC were unable to determine the exact location of the Rachel Corrie relative to their destination.

Another report here said the Rachel Corrie was just a few dozen miles (kilometers) from the Gaza Strip, and was being tailed by three Israeli naval boats.

Both the above reports seem to be consistent with A Voice's post here. A Voice has direct contact with the Malaysian passengers on board the Rachel Corrie.

Incidentally the Free Gaza Movement is also updating minute-by-minute through its freegazaorg twitter here (see below).
According to the twitter report, which remains unconfirmed, the Rachel Corrie was stopped in international waters at about 10.30 am and a request to ship to identify was issued, but there was no boarding of the ship yet. The ship still refused a second call to go to Ashdod.

It sure look like a standoff with neither side refusing to yield. Let's pray nothing untoward happens.

5.30 PM

Latest update from A Voice:
MV Rachel Corie had been intercepted by the Israeli Navy at around 2:45 pm Malaysian times. It is being towed away to the Israeli Port of Ashdod, the same destination the Israeli had offered for landing but was rejected.
The Free Gaza Movement's freegazaorg twitter has provided the same report, although it said the Rachel Corrie has been forcibly seized by the Israeli navy and is being towed to Ashdod; all on board are reported to be safe. It also reported the Israeli navy have denied that they have boarded. Possibly the ship has just been towed without the Israeli boarding. Maybe, but you never know with the Israelis. After all, they have lied before with regard to the attack on the Mavi Marmara.

6.15 PM

Press Release by Minister of Foreign Affairs as reported by The Free Gaza Movement:
Malaysia strongly demands Israel to ensure the safety of all the humanitarian activists onboard the cargo vessel MV Rachel Corrie that was seized by the Israeli Defence Force early morning of 5 June 2010.

Malaysia also demands for Israel not to take any drastic and violent military action on the unarmed passengers of the Rachel Corrie. All the humanitarian activists on board the Rachel Corrie should be given the necessary assistance to ensure their safety. Malaysia also calls on Israel to ensure a safe passage for the vessel to Gaza to deliver the humanitarian cargo. In this regard, Malaysia urges the International Community to persuade Israel to allow the humanitarian vessel to reach Gaza safely.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is closely monitoring the developments as there are six Malaysians on board the Rachel Corrie.

Dato' Sri Anifah Aman
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Malaysia
5 June 2010
According to reports here and here, the Israelis had in fact boarded and taken control of the Rachel Corrie, allegedly with the permission and compliance of the passengers.

MORE ISRAELI ATROCITIES AND PROPAGANDA REVEALED...AND RACHEL CORRIE

More news of eyewitnesses' account of Israeli atrocities on board the Mavi Marmara have filtered through the international media.

Israel killed more than 9, threw wounded into sea, witnesses say

Planes carrying 520 aid volunteers and nine dead bodies of activists killed by Israeli security forces on Monday returned home on Thursday, with many claiming mistreatment at the hands of Israeli military officers and other officials and additional allegations that not everyone has returned.
Activists say some people who were initially on the flotilla are missing. They are also telling stories of horror, carnage and pure barbarism at the hands of Israeli officials. In a shocking account, Humanitarian Aid Foundation (İHH) President Bülent Yıldırım, who returned on Thursday, said a photographer, whose first name was Cevdet, was shot in the forehead by a soldier one meter away from him. “Our Cevdet [Kılıçlar], he is a press member. He has become a martyr. All he was doing was taking pictures. They smashed his skull into pieces. We soon made out that these were real bullets they were firing. Rubber bullets also kill because you shoot at very close range, between one-and-a-half and two meters.”
Kevin Ovenden of Britain, an activist on the ship that arrived in İstanbul on Thursday, also said a man who had pointed a camera at the soldiers was shot directly through the forehead with live ammunition, with the exit wound blowing away back of his skull...
...Another witness, Yücel Köse, who was on the ship Gazze repeated Yıldırım’s allegations of missing people. “The Mavi Marmara was bombed right in front of our eyes. They threw the wounded into the water,” he said. Köse said the soldiers were upset when some of their men were held by activists aboard the Mavi Marmara...
People thrown into the sea
Activist İdris Şimşek, who also arrived on Thursday, claims that four wounded activists were thrown into the sea. Şimşek also stated that there was immense psychological pressure on the activists. Şimşek said they expected some harassment but had no inkling of what would happen, noting that they were not expecting an armed attack. He also mentioned that there were no weapons, including a small Swiss army knife that some foreign press organs claimed was on the ship. He stated, as many other activists have, that the person who was waving a white flag to surrender was shot by soldiers. He said that he saw many people lying in puddles of blood after the soldiers opened fire...
[Emphasis added]
Read the full report here.
As expected, the Israeli government is continuing its relentless media spin.

The Israeli government's media madness
For weeks the Israeli government has bombarded journalists with statements, press releases and videos - all professing that Gaza is not suffering a humanitarian crisis, there is no shortage of goods entering the Strip and even mocking the suffering of people in Gaza by recommending restaurants to visit in the coastal territory.
It also went so far as to claim those on board the Freedom Flotilla had links to al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations. They showed us edited video clips of military footage supporting their version of events as to what happened onboard the Mavi Marmara -  reports that are now widely discredited by eyewitness accounts.
That is the Israeli narrative of events and it is certainly within their rights to espouse it.
But the most recent video distributed on Friday by the Israeli government press office (which belongs to the Israeli prime minister's office and is responsible for accrediting foreign journalists) is distasteful and insulting to those killed and injured on the Freedom Flotilla, and quite frankly disturbing - especially since it was made by the Jerusalem Post's deputy managing editor, Caroline Glick, who also moonlights for the American Center for Security Policy in Washington, DC.
Read the full report here.
Meanwhile, the Gaza-bound vessel MV Rachel Corrie, with six Malaysians on board, is on its way. Read the Free Gaza Movement report here. May God be with them.
According to a report here, the vessel is due to arrive in Gaza at 8 am on Saturday (Gaza time). However, Israeli Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, said that the ship would not be allowed to reach the blockaded area. He stated: "We shall not allow the ships to reach Gaza. Not now and not later on. We intend to direct the Rachel Corrie ship to the Ashdod port and transfer its civilian goods to Gaza following a security check." Read further reports here and here. Let's pray for their safety.

Watch the latest video updates on Witness Gaza website. Hopefully, it will show updates on the Rachel Corrie trip. You can also get updates from the Free Gaza Movement website here.