Monthly Archives: September 2013

American family rescued by Muslim hero

Revealed: American family rescued by Muslim hero of attack on Nairobi’s Westgate mall

Exclusive: American family the Waltons have told how they were rescued from the siege at Nairobi’s Westgate mall by a man who has been hailed a hero. Aislinn Laing reports.

Portia Walton is helped to escape by Abdul Haji Photo: GORAN TOMASEVIC/REUTERS
 

Faced with a long afternoon trapped in the house with her five children last Saturday, Katherine Walton decided on a quick excursion – a trip to Nairobi’s popular Westgate Mall.

On arriving together, her two teenage boys briefly went ahead with Mrs Walton following with her three daughters including four-year-old Portia.

Four hours later, the family lay pinned to the ground opposite the supermarket where they did their weekly shop as gunmen hurled grenades and sprayed bullets just yards from them.

“We were just going to meet my two older boys in the supermarket when we heard an explosion,” said Mrs Walton, a 38-year-old IT worker from North Carolina who moved to Kenya with her husband Philip and their children two years ago.

“I grabbed the girls and started running. A woman pulled us behind a promotional table opposite. I could see the bullets hitting above the shops and hear the screaming all around us.”

She remembers only fragments of the hours that followed which she spent huddled under the table, but, according to Mr Walton, 39, she saw enough of the attackers to be able to describe several of them in detail afterwards.

Mrs Walton and an Asian lady escape with two of the children (GORAN TOMASEVIC/REUTERS)

“She heard them talking to people, telling them to stand up followed by gunshots,” he recalled. “The thing that’s troubling her now is she can’t forget the smell of the gunpowder.”

During their ordeal, the couple’s three daughters, aged four, two and 13 months, were shielded and calmed by an injured Kenyan woman and two Indian women who hid with them.

“They were so still and quiet,” Mrs Walton said. “My baby was screaming when there was shooting but between that, she just slept. In one lull in the fighting, my two-year-old and the baby were playing together with my phone. I couldn’t understand how they could be acting like everything was fine.”

Yards away a man with a pistol who was shooting at a heavily armed young jihadi in a bandanna who was taunting him to come closer.

That man was Abdul Haji, the son of a former security minister in the Kenyan government, who had rushed to the mall after getting a text message from his brother who was trapped inside.

Abdul Haji and a fellow police offider in the mall. (GORAN TOMASEVIC/REUTERS)

“We saw a lot of dead people. Very young people, children, old ladies, you cannot imagine,” Mr Haji told the Kenyan television station NTV.

“From what they were doing, you could tell that these were not normal people. The fact that he was making a joke out of this whole thing made me much more angry and determined to engage them, and to shame them.”

Mr Haji said his father taught him to use a gun to protect their cattle from bandits when he was growing up.

Last Saturday, he used his skills to provide fire cover for the Kenyan Red Cross workers and, over a period of three hours, help to evacuate some of the 1,000 people who escaped the mall in the initial stages of a siege that would last three days and leave at least 72 people dead. As he stood with a fellow rescuer crouched outside the Nakumatt supermarket, Mr Haji said he noticed the women hiding under the table.

“Just a few minutes ago we were exchanging fire with the terrorists and these people were right in the middle of it, in the crossfire. We regrouped and we started to strategise on how to get them out of there,” he said.

Mr Haji helps another woman and child to flee the scene (GORAN TOMASEVIC/REUTERS)

He asked the women to move towards them but they indicated they had children with them and could not all run together.

Mr Haji said he asked Mrs Walton if one of the older children could be encouraged to run towards him.

Mrs Walton’s oldest daughter Portia emerged and ran across the deserted corridor.

The moment was captured by a Reuters photographer, Goran Tomasevic, in a dramatic image that was beamed around the world.

Mr Walton, who during the siege was 9,000 miles away on a business trip to the United States, said he reacted in disbelief when he first saw the photograph of his daughter striking out alone across the mall. “She’s not normally the kind of girl that would run to a stranger, particularly one with a gun,” he said.

His wife added: “I don’t know how she knew to do it but she did. She did what she was told and she went.”

Seeing the little girl running towards him gave Mr Haji fresh impetus to continue helping people out.

“This little girl is a very brave girl,” he said. “Amid all this chaos around her, she remained calm, she wasn’t crying and she actually managed to run towards men who were holding guns. I was really touched by this and I thought if such a girl can be so brave … it gave us all courage.”

One by one, the Walton family emerged and ran with Mr Haji and other rescuers until they reached the police lines outside the mall.

There, Mrs Walton was reunited with her teenage boys who had been trapped with another family in the basement of the mall but also had escaped.

“As we went out, it was so quiet and we started to get upset because we realised we were almost there,” Mrs Walton said.

“They soothed us, told us we were OK, we were safe and to stay calm. They did a wonderful job.”

Portia Walton is safely reunited with her mother. (GEORGINA GOODWIN/SAX)

Looking at the photograph now, Mrs Walton says she can see the fear etched on her daughter’s face. “I was worried about family in America seeing it because we haven’t really shared the whole story with them yet,” she said. “For me, I know the story behind it and that it ends well. I think I owe Mr Haji a hug or two.”

Since he has been identified, many Kenyans have hailed Mr Haji as a hero but he disagrees.

“I think I did what any Kenyan in my situation would have done to save lives, to save other humans regardless of their nationality, religion or creed,” he said.

Portia and her big brother have since been sent back to school in an attempt to establish “a new normal”, Mr Walton said.

“Our two-year-old cries a little bit more and Portia wants to stand a little closer but really they are doing exceptionally well considering,” his wife added.

Mr Walton said there was no question that they would now be leaving Kenya. “There will always be bad people in the world but it’s the comfort of knowing that there are good people that matters,” he said.

“The way this community drew together and responded was just incredible. It’s an honour and a privilege to be able to live among such good people.”

Asked what they would tell their children about the Westgate attack when they grew up, he said: “We will be truthful with them.

“It defies logic that they survived but we’re a family of deep faith and take a lot of comfort from knowing that God protected them.”

Hindutva-RSS Plot Foiled by RTI Query.

Hindutva-RSS Plot Foiled by RTI Query.

Updated about 10 months ago
Asia Channel :

Kerala: Response to RTI query from the Devaswom Board has yet again proved wrong the Hindutva propaganda regarding temple assets in Kerala.

The Saffron elements like RSS in Kerala since decades have been carrying out widespread campaigns that the assets of the Devaswomv Board [a socio-religious trust with government or community nominated members as trustees to manage 

Hindu temples] is filling the government treasury and that this income is being utilised for other purposes.

However, responses to RTI reveal that on the contrary it’s the temple trust that receives money to the tune of eighty lakhs annually from the government !!

Sanghparivar leaders have reiterated these claims over and over again without any hesitation in any of their public meetings or programmes and they have been making use of media and online platforms as well to ensure credibility to these claims. They even ran a campaign in the name ‘wake up Hindu, wake up,’ to give an impression to the Hindu community members that they are being cheated and exploited by the state administration.

In order to add spice to their arguments they went on to say that, Muslims and Christians have escaped such exploitation because they have organised, influential political powers to represent them in the state political arena – the twist in the campaign was of course out of the hope that, it could help out the Hindutva prospects in Temple committee’s and Kerala politics.

The Saffron elements are found baselessly alleging that the mosques and churches receive financial aides and supports from the Government whereas Hindu temples do not receive any fund.

It was in order to tackle these baseless campaigns a few organisations like CPI brought forward several evidences in the form of the balance sheet of Guruvayur Devaswom board, Kerala budget to expose the truths behind this Hindutva propaganda

It was since then an RTI query was filed by KC Udayakumar before the Travancore Devaswom Board addressing these controversial questions in specific. The reply given by the board Public Information officer is quite capable of dismantling the age old saffron agendas. A few of the questions posed and information availed are as follows:

Q 1. How many temples are there under the Travancore Devaswom Board?
Reply: 1106 temples.

Q 2. Is it the Travancore Devaswom Board, which receive income from all temples managed under it?
R: Yes.

Q 3. Does govt receive any income derived out of Hindu Temples that come under Travancore Devaswom Board?
R: No.

Q 4. Does government receive any income from the Sabarimala Temple, who receives it?
R: No, Board receives.

Q 5. If government is the one receiving, how much percentage?
R: The question has no relevance.

Q 6. Does the Devaswom Board receive any financial aid from the Government? If true how much?
R: Yes, 80 Lakh Rupees per annum.

[Image Courtsey: Binoy Prabhakaran]

 
 
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Superman memory crystal

Superman memory crystal: 5D nano-glass to preserve data for million years

Published time: July 11, 2013 13:22 
Edited time: July 11, 2013 14:07
 
 
Photo: University of Southampton

Photo: University of Southampton

A research group in Britain has recorded data into a crystal of nanostructured glass. This future storage with practically unlimited lifetime and capacity exceeding Blu-Ray’s by 2,800 times might save civilization’s data for aliens if humankind is gone.

A group of scientists from University of Southampton has developed a ‘five-dimensional’ optical memory, having experimentally proven a possibility of recording data into nanostructured glass using a high speed (femtosecond) laser, which creates self-assembled nanostructures in fused quartz.

The creators of 5D memory has dubbed their invention ‘Superman memory crystal’, following the ‘memory crystals’ used in a number of movies featuring the superhero.

The method is called 5D because in addition to the three dimensional position of these nanostructures their refraction and polarization characteristics work as two additional parameters.

The newly-developed storage promises unprecedented data capacity of 360 Terabyte for a DVD-sized disc. The maximum capacity of a latest generation quad-layer Blu-Ray DVD is “only” 128 Gigabytes. The largest heat-assisted magnetic recording hard drive (HAMR), yet to be commercially produced, will have about 20 terabytes per disc.

Glass storage could preserve data for millions of years whereas a DVD guarantees only about seven years of faultless playback.

The nanostructured glass remains stable if exposed to temperatures up to 1,000°C. 

“We are developing a very stable and safe form of portable memory using glass, which could be highly useful for organizations with big archives. At the moment companies have to back up their archives every five to ten years because hard-drive memory has a relatively short lifespan,” said the head of the project Jingyu Zhang, pointing out that museums and national archives with their huge numbers of documents are going to be the first to benefit.

A joint project of University of Southampton’s Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) and Eindhoven University of Technology has presented ‘5D Data Storage by Ultrafast Laser Nanostructuring in Glass’ report at the Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO’13) in San Jose, California.

The ORC’s physical optoelectronics group supervisor Prof. Peter G. Kazansky, follower of the Nobel Prize laureate for the invention of laser, Aleksandr Prokhorov, shared that “It is thrilling to think that we have created the first document which will likely survive the human race. This technology can secure the last evidence of civilization: all we’ve learnt will not be forgotten.”

Technology similar to polarized sunglasses

Technically speaking, the process appears as follows. A femtosecond laser that produces extremely short (280 femtoseconds – or 280 quadrillionths of a second) and intense pulses of light encrypts data file into layers of nanostructured dots inside a quartz glass. The layers are placed very close, with mere five micrometers (one millionth of a meter) between them.  

These light impulses modify polarization and refraction of self-assembled dots as the light travels through the glass, somehow similar to the principle used in polarized sunglasses. Later the information encoded in dots’ 5D parameters can be read using an laser scanning device similar to the one used to read CD, DVD and Blu-ray discs and an optical microscope capable of untangling the polarized light reflected by the three-bit spots.

So far there is no talk about re-writing glass discs so they are going to be write-once-read-many (WORM).

Unlike modern DVD and Blu-Ray disks which record data on up to four layers, the 5D data storage will have hundreds of layers (around 400 layers for standard 1.2 mm CD), but will be made of glass instead of plastic encasing metal spraying with data.

So far the developers reported of a successful recording and reading of a 300kb text file on three layers of glass, but this is regarded only as a technological demonstration of this ground-breaking new technology with a very bright future.

Mechanics of Narendra Modi’s PR agency : APCO Worldwide – Orchestrating our Future

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In this dynamic and ever-changing world, Apco Worldwide stands tall as the giant of the lobbying industry. The firm, in its own words, offers “professional and rare expertise” to governments, politicians and corporations, and is always ready to help clients to sail through troubled waters in the complex world of both international and domestic affairs.

APCO Modi Great Game India

Margery Kraus founded APCO Associates in 1984 as a subsidiary to Arnold & Porter, one of Washington’s largest law firms, and from where APCO’s name is derived. Arnold and Porter is now Israel’s largest and longest serving registered foreign agent (not that there aren’t more than a handful of unregistered ones).

Beating the War Drum

Doing public relations for dictatorships is perhaps the more charitable part of Apco’s activities. Apco has a battalion of pro-war lobbyists under its wing. The firm is also a strong advocate of expanding armaments and the US military role in world affairs. In October 2004, Apco and Kissinger Associates (owned by Henry Kissinger) formed a strategic alliance. Beside Kissinger Associates, Apco also built a broad network or coalition of conservative pro-Zionist lobbyists and consultancy groups including Heritage Foundation, Frontier of Freedom, Jewish Policy Center, etc. In the name of war against terror, Apco helped to coordinate government communications to convince the public of the necessity of war. Its job also included manufacturing public opinion and feedback in supporting the war efforts. Basically it exploited Islam-phobia in Western society to sell aggression as the solution to regain security in the West.

APCO Tony Blair Great Game India

In addition to supporting George Bush, Apco also defended British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s unpopular move to enter the Iraq war. Apco had assisted Tony Blair to consolidate the war alliance. Together with the London-based Foreign Policy Institute, Apco prepared and published the pamphlet, ‘A Global Alliance for Global Values’ in which Blair declared:

“We must commit ourselves to a complete renaissance of our strategy to defeat those that threaten us.”

After the invasion of Iraq, Apco swiftly positioned itself to help American companies plunder Iraqi wealth and resources. In May 2003, Apco Worldwide launched a task force headed by Marc Ginsberg, the former US ambassador to Morocco, to help U.S. clients secure contracts for Iraq’s rebuilding.

Apco is described as a lobby firm that “specialises in helping corporations advance their goals by manipulating legislators, and drafting and advancing model legislation and regulations. Key tools include the creation of business coalitions and fake, corporate-funded ‘grassroots’ groups tailored to specific issues.

Recently there was a report published on the importance of finding a legal basis for an attack on Iran. Interestingly the authors, Jeffrey H. Smith and John B. Bellinger III, lawyers at Arnold & Porter, supplied such a basis.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/providing-a-legal-basis-to-attack-iran/2012/09/27/e30e87a4-043b-11e2-91e7-2962c74e7738_story.html

Israel Iran Great Game India

Israel: “Wiped off The Map”. The Rumor of the Century, Fabricated by the US Media to Justify An All out War on Iran

http://www.globalresearch.ca/israel-wiped-off-the-map-the-rumor-of-the-century-fabricated-by-the-us-media-to-justify-an-all-out-war-on-iran/

Would it be too much to ask that WAPO reveal that according to the Justice Department’s Foreign Agent Registration Act section, Arnold and Porter has been serving as Israel’s registered foreign agent since June of 1964?  Would it be a lot more to mention that since 2010 the firm has been receiving a $10,000 per month retainer for advisory services and “special projects?”  Could WAPO possibly trouble itself to inform readers that according to FARA filings the firm earned $1.2 million in fees in 2010 alone from the Israeli government?  Arnold and Porter is now Israel’s largest and longest serving registered foreign agent (not that there aren’t more than a handful of unregistered ones).

Arnold & Porter represented several Israeli government officials in US courts by arguing that sovereign immunity mandates provide blanket protection from legal liability for their actions. In 2007 the firm won dismissal of war crimes and crimes against humanity claims brought by Palestinians against former General Security Service head Avraham Dichter. In 2005 the firm won dismissal of similar claims against Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and other senior officials, Israeli military forces and an intelligence agency. In 2006 Arnold & Porter also won dismissal of similar claims focusing on a single Israeli official’s actions that resulted in civilian casualties in 1996. In 2008 Israel’s Treasury paid Arnold & Porter $483,401 to defend such actions. In the year 2010 the firm signed a renewable contract with Israel for a $10,000 per month retainer for legal and advisory services and “special projects” with $8,000 in allowed travel expenses. Arnold & Porter reported $1.2 million in fees from the government of Israel for the year 2010.

Excerpt : Smith wrote about Arnold & Porter in his book Divert.

The Wall Street MakeOver & Sicko Attack

Hughes Hubbard and Reed is the same law firm handling the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers.  After more than three years, customers have yet to be made whole. There are over 7600 law firms in New York City according to the legal web site, Martindale.com. Why SIPC has selected the same firm for two of the largest Wall Street collapses in history is noteworthy.

Hughes Hubbard and Reed hired the same public relations firm to handle both the Lehman and MF Global matters, APCO Worldwide.

Deadly Spin Great Game India

According to Wendell Potter, an insurance company public relations insider and whistleblower, writing in his book Deadly Spin, “One of the deceptive practices of which APCO has a long history is setting up and running front groups for its clients. In 1993, Philip Morris hired APCO to organize a front group called theAdvancement of Sound Science Coalition in response to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ruling that secondhand tobacco smoke was a carcinogen. Philip Morris also hired APCO to manage what it called a ‘massive national effort aimed at altering the American judicial system to be more hostile toward product liability suits‘ and to build a coalition to advocate for tort reform. According to the Center for Media and Democracy, the tobacco industry paid APCO almost a million dollars in 1995 to implement behind-the-scenes tort reform efforts and specifically to create chapters of ‘grassroots’ citizens’ groups called Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse.”

Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now!, interviewed Wendell Potter on November 17, 2010.  Potter revealed more about APCO and front groups:

“…there was a front group that was set up called Health Care America, and the sole purpose for it to be set up was to attack Michael Moore [who was about to release his documentary on health care, Sicko] and to attack the notion of a single-payer system in this country…the media contact for it was a guy named Bill Pierce, who I had known and worked with in the past…He was listed as a media contact, and if you called his number, you would have reached him at his desk at APCO Worldwide… There was an article that the New York Times wrote as a kind of a review of Sicko, not really a review but just a story about the movie actually premiering in the U.S. in June of 2007. And the New York Times story quoted the Health Care America spokesman as saying that this represented a move toward socialism. And there was not an —apparently not an attempt on the part of the reporter, or any reporter that I saw, to disclose the fact that this was funded largely by the insurance industry.”

Watch the video here : ”Push Michael Moore Off a Cliff”: Health Insurance Whistleblower Wendell Potter Details How the Industry Attacked Michael Moore’s Film Sicko –http://www.democracynow.org/2010/11/17/push_michael_moore_off_a_cliff

In the same month that Corzine was hired by MF Global, March 2010, there were confirmed news reports that APCO Worldwide had been hired by the Financial Services Roundtable, a Wall Street trade group, to promote the image of Wall Street as trustworthy.

APCO in its own words

“APCO is proud of its work over the past 25 years providing strategic communication services to many governments, including the Government of Malaysia. APCO has also provided services to many of the world’s leading companies and to international institutions such as the World Bank, United Nations, the European Commission and ASEAN, among others.”

Bilderberger Group Great Game India

What they fail to mention however is that those strategies are devised by their International Advisory Council Members such as Aleksander Kwasniewski (former president of Poland), Itamar Rabinovich (Israel’s former Ambassador to the United States and former Chief Negotiator with Syria in the mid 1990′s), Timothy Roemer (former US ambassador to India, who is now on New Delhi and Mumbai’s key staff) and others who are interestingly members of the Bilderberg Group and the Trilateral Commission.

The Zionist Connection

The name Apco Worldwide suddenly gained fame (or notoriety) in Malaysia after Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim drew comparison of the firm’s image-building campaign for its Malaysian client to a similar campaign by the Israeli government.

Anwar in his speech in the Dewan Rakyat on March 17 said that Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s 1Malaysia concept was actually an imitation of the ‘One Israel‘ concept of the Zionist regime, who is also a client of Apco.

APCO Malaysia Great Game India

Among Apco’s speciality is to help its clients to “navigate the complex and often converging worlds of business, industry and finance, media, public opinion and society, and government and public policy.”

Besides Apco, Kraus also helped found and develop the Close Up Foundation, an educational foundation sponsored in part by the US Congress. But Kraus is also active in other organisations which are less educational in nature, such as chairing the advisory board of Group Menatep, a Russian holding company, and being involved in Teuza Fund, a venture capital fund publicly traded in Israel’s Tel Aviv stock exchange.

Within Apco, 50 individuals sit in its powerful International Advisory Council. They comprise of former politicians, business leaders and diplomats. At least three among them, Itamar Rabinovich, Shimon Stein and Doron Bergerbest-Eilon, are individuals who are directly linked to Israel and its notorious political and military institutions.

APCO Malaysia One Great Game India

Rabinovich was the Israeli ambassador to the US, and acted as the Zionist regime’s chief negotiator with Syria during the era of Yitzhak Rabin. A former president of the Tel Aviv University, Rabinovich is also the chairman of the Israeli-based Dan David Foundation, named after a Romanian-born Jewish philanthropist who was active in the Zionist youth movement of the 1940s.

Shimon Stein served as the Israeli ambassador to Germany, and according to Apco’s website, follows “a long and distinguished career in the Israeli government and Foreign Service”. Later, he served as minister-counselor for political affairs for the Israeli embassy in Washington.

Doron Bergerbest-Eilon is the former head of the protection and security division and a senior security official of the Israeli Security Agency (ISA), a position equivalent to the rank of Major General. In May 2005, Bergerbest-Eilon was awarded with The Director’s Recognition Award, the US Secret Service director’s highest commendation. Among his expertise listed are Security and Defence, with Singapore as one of his “regions of expertise”.

Apco’s involvement in various intelligence and security-related projects is done through its strategic partner and sister company Asero Worldwide. While Apco’s expertise is in the field of communications, Asero specializes in homeland security and risk management consultancy.

Ken Silverstein, the editor of Harper’s Magazine (June 30, 2007) described Apco lobbyists as the “crucial conduit through which pariah regimes advance their interests in Washington”. He exposed APCO’s specialised experience in working on behalf of authoritarian regimes such as Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan.

Apco and Asero have many overlapping consultants and management members. For example, Doron Bergerbest-Eilon who sits on Apco’s International Advisory Council was also founder and president of Asero Worldwide.

Mara Hedgecoth, the daughter of Apco CEO and President Margery Kraus also sits in Asero as Vice President. At the same time, Mara Hedgecoth also serves as Vice President and Director in Apco Worldwide.

ASERO’s (MOSSAD) Management Team :

Asero is almost like a retirement home for ex-Mossad and ex-Shabak secret services officials.

David Harel – Managing Director and Vice President, Israel. Former head of international relations for the protection and security division of the Israeli Security Agency

Oded Raz – Vice President, Former Senior ranking security official of the Israeli Security Agency

Gadi Kalai – Director, Former Regional Security Manager (RSO) of the Israeli Security Agency (ISA)’s North Region

One of Apco’s favorite legislators is Senator Joe Lieberman, who is a staunch supporter of military aid to Israel. Lieberman’s wife, Hadassah was Apco’s leading lobbyist for health care and pharmaceuticals clients.

MODI Makeover

Adolf Hitler was a brilliant propagandist. Narendra Modi too believes in the power of image. This is probably why the chief minister hired a US lobbying firm which has serviced clients like former Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha and President-for-life of Kazakhstan Nursultan Abishuly Nazarbayev.

APCO Aakriti Amhedabad Great Game India

This Washington-based firm, Apco Worldwide, was hired by Modi sometime in August 2007, in the run-up to an important Assembly election, to improve his image before the world community. Among its recent clients are Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a former Communist youth leader-turned-Russian billionaire with mafia links.

The firm has a distinction of taking contracts of boosting images of leaders who fell out of favour of their followers.

On the face of it Apco Worldwide’s brief is to build and sell Brand Gujarat to the international community. APCO, through its 32 offices across the globe, has been promoting Gujarat as a great investment destination. APCO has also been managing Modi’s own behaviour and projection, for which the cost has been over $25,000 per month since 2007.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/specials/Modis-image-builders-have-dictators-on-client-list/articleshow/2600140.cms?

APCO Mossad Modi Great Game India

Although TIME’s cover story is not an endorsement, it contains inaccuracies, half-truths and glaring omission of pertinent details on Mr. Modi’s tenure as Chief Minister. These betray its real objective – an attempt by APCO Worldwide, Modi’s PR firm in Washington DC – to combat negative coverage of their client’s documented connivance in gross human rights violations, in order to project him as a Prime Ministerial candidate,” said Mr. Shaheen Khateeb, President of IAMC.

Mr. Narendra Modi as the potential Prime Minister of India is a diplomatic and moral conundrum for the United States and other countries of common human values,” added Mr. Khateeb.

APCO Worldwide’s Plan for India

According to APCO Worldwide :

APCO Offices Great Game India

After a series of significant policy changes that started in 1991, India today is a trillion-dollar market with an enviable rate of GDP growth. India’s economy is fuelled by the combination of a large services sector, a strong and diversified manufacturing base and a significant agricultural sector that continues to provide a framework for the growth of the domestic economy. The country’s resilience in weathering the recent global downturn and financial crisis has made governments, policy-makers, economists, corporate houses and fund managers believe that India can play a significant role in the recovery of the global economy in the months and years ahead.

Today, India plays an increasingly important role in global geopolitics – not only as the world’s largest democracy, but also as an economic powerhouse that is coming into its own.

The 6 key industries they’re focusing on are :

  1. ENERGY AND RENEWABLES
  2. FOOD, CONSUMER PRODUCTS AND RETAIL
  3. INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGIES AND ENTERTAINMENT
  4. BANKING, FINANCIAL SERVICES AND INSURANCE
  5. HEALTH CARE
  6. SERVICES TO GOVERNMENTS

APCO Worldwide India Brochure

http://www.apcoworldwide.com/content/PDFs/India_Brochure.pdf

For Your Eyes Only

The best way one can surmise the working methodology of APCO Worldwide is aptly portrayed in the Bond movie Quantum of Solace’s character Dominic Greene and his Quantum organization.

APCO Orchestrating Our Future Great Game India

Dominic Greene : Well, look at what we did to this country. The Haitians elect a priest…who decides to raise the minimum wage…from 38 cents to $1 a day. It’s not a lot, but it’s enough to upset the corporations…who were here making T-shirts and running shoes. So they called us, and we facilitated a change.

General Medrano : The difference is, my country’s not some flyspeck…in the middle of the Caribbean.

DG : But we’ve already begun destabilizing the government. We’ll supply the private security. We’ll pay off the right officials, and we have 26 countries…ready to officially recognize…your new Bolivian Government.

You want your country back. My organization can give it to you…

within the week.

You should know something about me and the people I work with. We deal with the left and the right, dictators or liberators. If the current president had been more agreeable, I wouldn’t be talking to you. So if you decide not to sign, you’ll wake up with your balls in your mouth and your willing replacement standing over you…if you doubt that, then shoot me, take that money and have a good night’s sleep.

Report by

Shelley Kasli

Independent Geo-Political Researcher

In my previous articles we already saw how Massoad through it’s dubious activities trained both the Tamilians and Lankans and profited heavily from it’s enormous illegal arms supply to both the sides eventually destablizing the region that not only put the two countries on a collision course but also lead to the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi through it’s Indian stooges.

Subramanian Swamy – The Mossad Stooge & The Assassination of Rajiv Gandhi & it’s Global Strategic Impact

Now an ex-RAW official has filed a case unveiling a riveting story of safe houses for Mossad, fake firms and secret funds, buying shopping complexes and even producing movies.

RAW & Mossad : The Secret Link – Mossad Safe Houses in New Delhi

 

REFERENCES :

Providing a legal basis to attack Iran

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/providing-a-legal-basis-to-attack-iran/2012/09/27/e30e87a4-043b-11e2-91e7-2962c74e7738_story.html

HP Adviser APCO Built Crisis Unit Handling Vioxx, Ford

http://www.firstpost.com/topic/organization/apco-worldwide-hp-adviser-apco-built-crisis-unit-handling-vioxx-ford-video-video-VYKVJH2C25Y-32690-1.html

MF Global: The Untold Story of the Biggest Wall Street Collapse Since Lehman

http://www.alternet.org/story/155078/mf_global%3A_the_untold_story_of_the_biggest_wall_street_collapse_since_lehman?paging=off

Aleksander Kwaśniewski – Bilderberger – International Advisory Council Members

http://www.apcoworldwide.com/Content/international_advisory_council/KeyStaff.aspx?ksid=9f78bc76-4b0c-4a7a-b32f-01b62d37afa6&name=AKwa&amp

How APCO wants to push everyone off a cliff.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/how-corporate-america-is-pushing-us-all-off-a-cliff/

Getting to know Apco and its Israeli links

http://malaysia-today.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=30720:getting-to-know-apco-and-its-israeli-links&catid=21:special-reports&Itemid=100135

How APCO transformed a mass murderer into a ‘messiah’

http://en.harakahdaily.net/index.php/articles/analysis-a-opinion/4585-how-apco-transformed-a-mass-murderer-into-a-messiah.html

Modi gets PR firm Apco Worldwide to hardsell Vibrant Gujarat

http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/modi-gets-apco-to-hardsell-vibrant-gujarat-2011/373266/

http://aakritiapco.com/ourwork.html

Apco: In mercenaries we trust

http://hornbillunleashed.wordpress.com/2010/04/01/6239/

The growth of Fascism in India and Israel

http://www.nchro.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6875%3Athe-growth-of-fascism-in-india-and-israel&catid=54%3Afascism&Itemid=33

APCO Worldwide India Brochure

http://www.apcoworldwide.com/content/PDFs/India_Brochure.pdf

True American

A Boy Makes Anti-Muslim Comments In Front Of An American Soldier. The Soldier’s Reply: Priceless.

This powerful social experiment set out to show us a glimpse of the disturbing discrimination many Muslims sadly face every day in America. I began watching this video thinking I would be left feeling disheartened and angry, but the words the soldier says at 5:05 are so powerful that I wish all people who held prejudice could hear him speak.

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Islam in Afghanistan

Afghanistan has been in the news recently because of the War on Terror, Osama Bin Laden, Tribal wars and Opium production. But Afghanistan is a diverse country with a rich heritage. It is so much more than what has been seen in the news. It has gotten a very bad reputation for the events over the past ten years, but there are many things about it that people miss. Here are a few facts about that most people do not know and show the country deserves a second look.

1

Afghanistan has rich mineral deposits. Afghanistan is a country on top of billions of dollars of untapped minerals. Much of this is natural gas and petroleum, but it is also a place where other rich minerals are deposited. Lapis lazuli, a beautiful blue stone used to be mined exclusively in Afghanistan. Many of the most brilliant works of art that include rich blues are only in existence because this mineral was used to make the blue pigment

2

There are over 30 different languages spoken in Afghanistan. Dari is spoken by fifty percent of the people in Afghanistan, however it is by no means the only language spoken. There are at least thirty minor languages spoken by the multitude of different cultures there. The second most popular language spoken in Afghanistan is Pashto at only 35 percent of the population.

3

The Afghan culture is over 2000 years old. There are very few places in the world where the culture has been preserved for this long. Because of the nomadic and tribal culture different regions have different cultures making it one of the most diverse cultures in the world. Afghans have pride in their culture and hold festivals to celebrate it.

4

They play the same sports as everyone else. Many people have seen pictures of people in Afghanistan dragging a goat around for fun, but most people don’t know football (soccer) is a much more popular sport. The Afghan football team has been competing on the world stage since 1941. Other sports Afghans love include cricket, volleyball, basketball, and boxing.

Islam is the official state religion of Afghanistan, with approximately 99.7% of the Afghan population being Muslim. About 90-95% practice Sunni Islam, belonging to the Hanafi Islamic law school, while 5-10% are Shi’as.[1][2][3][4] Majority of the Afghan Shi’as belong to the Twelver branch and only a smaller number follow Ismailism.

History

Early History

Built during the Ghurids in the 12th century, the Friday Mosque of Herat is one of the oldest mosques in Afghanistan.

During the 7th century, the Umayyad Arabs entered modern-day Afghanistan after decisively defeating the Sassanian Persians in Nihawand. Following this colossal defeat, the last Sassanid Emperor, Yazdegerd III, who became a hunted fugitive, fled eastward deep into Central Asia. In pursuing Yazdegerd, the route the Arabs selected to enter the area was from north-eastern Iran[5] and thereafter into Herat, where they stationed a large portion of their army before advancing toward northern Afghanistan. The Arabs exerted considerable efforts toward propagating Islam amongst the locals.

A large number of the inhabitants of northern Afghanistan accepted Islam through Umayyad missionary efforts, particularly under the reign of Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik and Umar ibn AbdulAziz.[6] In south, Abdur Rahman bin Samara introduced Islam to the natives of Zabulistan which was ruled by the Zunbils.[7] At times, Muslim leaders in their effort to win converts encouraged attendance at Muslim prayer with promises of money and allowed the Quran to be recited in Persianinstead of Arabic so that it would be intelligible to all.

miniature fromPadshahnama depicting the surrender of the Shi’a Safavid atKandahar in 1638 to the SunniMughal army commanded by Kilij Khan.

During the reign of Al-Mu’tasim Islam was generally practiced amongst most inhabitants of the region and finally under Ya’qub-i Laith Saffari, Islam was by far, the predominant religion of Kabul along with other major cities of Afghanistan. The father of Abu Hanifa, Thabit bin Zuta, was a native from modern-day Afghanistan. He immigrated to Kufa (in Iraq), where Hanifa was born. Later, the Samanids propagated Sunni Islam deep into the heart of Central Asia, as the first complete translation of the Qur’an into Persian occurred in the 9th century. Since then, Islam has dominated the country’s religious landscape. Islamic leaders have entered the political sphere at various times of crisis, but rarely exercised secular authority for long.

The remnants of a Shahi presence in Peshawar were expelled by Mahmud of Ghazni during 998 and 1030.[8] The Ghaznavids were replaced by the Ghurid Dynasty who expanded the already powerful Islamic empire. Believed to be first built during the Ghurids in the 12th century, the Friday Mosque of Herat is one of the oldest mosques in the country. During this period, known as the Islamic Golden Age, Afghanistan became the second major learning center in the Muslim world after Baghdad.[9][10]

After the Mongol invasion and destruction, the Timurids rebuilt the area and once again made it a center of Islamic learning. Shia Islam made its way to southern Afghanistan during the Safavid rule in the 16th century. Until Mir Wais Hotak liberated the Afghans in 1709, the Kandahar region of Afghanistan was often a battleground between the Shia Safavids and the Sunni Mughals.

Politicized Islam

Although Shariah courts existed in urban centers after King Ahmad Shah Durrani established an Afghan state in 1747, the primary judicial basis for the society remained in the tribal code of thePashtunwali until the end of the nineteenth century. Sporadic fatwas (formal legal opinions) were issued and occasional jihads were called not so much to advance Islamic ideology as to sanction the actions of specific individuals against their political opponents so that power might be consolidated. Prior to the religious opposition generated by the Soviet invasion in 1979, Islamic leaders generally only entered the political sphere at various times of crisis but rarely exercised secular authority for long.

The first systematic employment of Islam as an instrument for state-building was introduced by King Abdur Rahman Khan (1880–1901) during his drive toward centralization. He decreed that all laws must comply with Islamic law and thus elevated the Shariah over customary laws embodied in the Pashtunwali. The ulama were enlisted to legitimize and sanction his state efforts as well as his central authority. This enhanced the religious community on the one hand, but as they were increasingly inducted into the bureaucracy as servants of the state, the religious leadership was ultimately weakened. Many economic privileges enjoyed by religious personalities and institutions were restructured within the framework of the state, the propagation of learning, once the sole prerogative of the ulama, was closely supervised, and the Amir became the supreme arbiter of justice.

Men praying at the Blue Mosque (or Shrine of Hazrat Ali) in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif.

His successors continued and expanded King Abdur Rahman Khan’s policies as they increased the momentum of secularization. Islam remained central to interactions, but the religious establishment remained essentially non-political, functioning as a moral rather than a political influence. Nevertheless, Islam asserted itself in times of national crisis. And, when the religious leadership considered themselves severely threatened, charismatic religious personalities periodically employed Islam to rally disparate groups in opposition to the state. They rose up on several occasions against King Amanullah Shah (1919–1929), for example, in protest against reforms they believed to be western intrusions inimical to Islam.

Subsequent rulers, mindful of traditional attitudes antithetical to secularization were careful to underline the compatibility of Islam with modernization. Even so, and despite its pivotal position within the society which continued to draw no distinction between religion and state, the role of religion in state affairs continued to decline.

A mosque in Lashkar Gah, in the south of the country

The 1931 Constitution made the Hanafi Shariah the state religion, while the 1964 Constitution simply prescribed that the state should conduct its religious ritual according to the Hanafi School. The 1977 Constitution, declared Islam the religion of Afghanistan, but made no mention that the state ritual should be Hanafi. The Penal Code (1976) and civil law (1977), covering the entire field of social justice, represent major attempts to cope with elements of secular law, based on, but superseded by other systems. Courts, for instance, were enjoined to consider cases first according to secular law, resorting to the BCShariah in areas where secular law did not exist. By 1978, the government of the Peoples Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) openly expressed its aversion to the religious establishment. This precipitated the fledgling Islamist Movement into a national revolt; Islam moved from its passive stance on the periphery to play an active role.

Politicized Islam in Afghanistan represents a break from Afghan traditions. The Islamist Movement originated in 1958 among faculties of Kabul University, particularly within the Faculty of Islamic Law which had been formed in 1952 with the announced purpose of raising the quality of religious teaching to accommodate modern science and technology. The founders were largely professors influenced by the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, a party formed in the 1930s that was dedicated to Islamic revivalism and social, economic, and political equity. Their objective is to come to terms with the modern world through the development of a political ideology based on Islam. The Afghan leaders, while indebted to many of these concepts, did not forge strong ties to similar movements in other countries.

The liberalization of government attitudes following the passage of the 1964 Constitution ushered in a period of intense activism among students at Kabul University. Professors and their students set up the Muslim Youth Organization (Sazmani Jawanani Musulman) in the mid-1960s at the same time that the leftists were also forming many parties. Initially communist students outnumbered the Muslim students, but by 1970 the Muslim Youth had gained a majority in student elections. Their membership was recruited from university faculties and from secondary schools in several cities such as Mazari Sharif and Herat. These professors and students became the leaders of the Afghan Resistance in the 1980s.

Marxist rule and Mujahideens

The 1979 Soviet invasion in support of a communist government triggered a major intervention of religion into Afghan political conflict, and Islam united the multiethnic political opposition. With the takeover of government by the PDPA in April 1978, Islam had already become central to uniting the opposition against the communist ideology of the new rulers. As a politico-religious system, Islam is well-suited to the needs of a diverse, unorganized, often mutually antagonistic citizenry wishing to forge a united front against a common enemy; and war permitted various groups within the mujahidin to put into effect competing concepts of organization.

Mujahideen praying in Kunar Provinceduring the 1980s Soviet war in Afghanistan.

The mujahidin leaders were charismatic figures with dyadic ties to followers. In many cases military and political leaders replaced the tribal leadership; at times the religious leadership was strengthened; often the religious combined with the political leadership. Followers selected their local leaders on the basis of personal choice and precedence among regions, sects, ethnic groups or tribes, but the major leaders rose to prominence through their ties to outsiders who controlled the resources of money and arms.

With the support of foreign aid, the mujahidin were ultimately successful in their jihad to drive out the Soviet forces, but not in their attempts to construct a political alternative to govern Afghanistan after their victory. Throughout the war, the mujahidin were never fully able to replace traditional structures with a modern political system based on Islam. Most mujahidin commanders either used traditional patterns of power, becoming the new khans, or sought to adapt modern political structures to the traditional society. In time the prominent leaders accumulated wealth and power and, in contrast to the past, wealth became a determining factor in the delineation of power at all levels.

With the departure of foreign troops and the long sought demise of Kabul’s leftist government, The Islamic State of Afghanistan finally came into being in April 1992. This represented a distinct break with Afghan history, for religious specialists had never before exercised state power. But the new government failed to establish its legitimacy and, as much of its financial support dissipated, local and middle range commanders and their militia not only fought among themselves but resorted to a host of unacceptable practices in their protracted scrambles for power and profit. Throughout the nation the populous suffered from harassment, extortion, kidnapping, burglary, hijacking and acts dishonoring women. Drug trafficking increased alarmingly; nowhere were the highways safe. The mujahidin had forfeited the trust they once enjoyed.

Taliban

The Friday Mosque in Kandahar. Adjacent to it is the Shrine of the Cloakand the tomb of Ahmad Shah Durrani.

In the fall of 1994 a group called the Taliban came forth vowing to cleanse the nation of warlords and criminals. Their intention was to create in a “pure” Islamic government subject to their own strict interpretations of the Shariah. Many of its leaders were one-time mujahidin, but the bulk of their forces were young Afghan refugees trained in Pakistani madrassas (religious schools), especially those run by the Jamiat-e Ulema-e Islam Pakistan, the aggressively conservative Pakistani political religious party headed by Maulana Fazlur Rahman, arch rival of Qazi Hussain Ahmad, leader of the equally conservative Jamaat-e-Islami and longtime supporter of the mujahidin.

Headquartered in Kandahar, mostly Pashtuns from the rural areas, and from the top leadership down to the fighting militia characteristically in their thirties or forties and even younger, the Taliban swept the country. In September 1996 they captured Kabul and ruled over two-thirds of Afghanistan.

The meteoric take over went almost unchallenged. Arms were collected and security was established. At the same time, acts committed for the purpose of enforcing the Shariah included public executions of murderers, stoning for adultery, amputation for theft, a ban on all forms of gambling such as kite flyingchess and cockfights, prohibition of music and videos, proscriptions against pictures of humans and animals, and an embargo on women’s voices over the radio. Women were to remain as invisible as possible, behind the veil, in purdah in their homes, and dismissed from work or study outside their homes.

Islam in Afghan society

For Afghans, Islam represents a potentially unifying symbolic system which offsets the divisiveness that frequently rises from the existence of a deep pride in tribal loyalties and an abounding sense of personal and family honor found in multitribal and multiethnic societies such as Afghanistan.

Afghans conducting their afternoon prayer in Kunar Province (December 2009).

Islam is a central, pervasive influence throughout Afghan society; religious observances punctuate the rhythm of each day and season. In addition to a central congregational mosque for weekly communal prayers which are not obligatory but generally attended, smaller community-maintained mosques stand at the center of villages, as well as town and city neighborhoods.Mosques serve not only as places of worship, but for a multitude of functions, including shelter for guests, places to meet and gossip, the focus of social religious festivities and schools. Almost every Afghan has at one time during his youth studied at a mosque school; for many this is the only formal education they receive.

Because Islam is a total way of life and functions as a comprehensive code of social behavior regulating all human relationships, individual and family status depends on the proper observance of the society’s value system based on concepts defined in Islam. These are characterized by honesty, frugality, generosity, virtuousness, piousness, fairness, truthfulness, tolerance and respect for others. To uphold family honor, elders also control the behavior of their children according to these same Islamic prescriptions. At times, even competitive relations between tribal or ethnic groups are expressed in terms claiming religious superiority. In short, Islam structures day-to-day interactions of all members of the community.

Men praying inside theGardens of Babur in Kabul.

The religious establishment consists of several levels. Any Muslim can lead informal groups in prayer. Mullahs who officiate at mosques are normally appointed by the government after consultation with their communities and, although partially financed by the government, mullahs are largely dependent for their livelihood on community contributions including shelter and a portion of the harvest. Supposedly versed in the Qur’anSunnahHadith andShariah, they must ensure that their communities are knowledgeable in the fundamentals of Islamic ritual and behavior. This qualifies them to arbitrate disputes over religious interpretation. Often they function as paid teachers responsible for religious education classes held in mosques where children learn basic moral values and correct ritual practices. Their role has additional social aspects for they officiate on the occasion of life crisis rituals associated with births, marriages and deaths.

Afghan politicians and foreign diplomats praying at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.

But rural mullahs are not part of an institutionalized hierarchy of clergy. Most are part-time mullahs working also as farmers or craftsmen. Some are barely literate, or only slightly more educated than the people they serve. Often, but by no means always, they are men of minimal wealth and, because they depend for their livelihood on the community that appoints them, they have little authority even within their own social boundaries. They are often treated with scant respect and are the butt of a vast body of jokes making fun of their arrogance and ignorance. Yet their role as religious arbiters forces them to take positions on issues that have political ramifications and since mullahs often disagree with one another, pitting one community against the other, they are frequently perceived as disruptive elements within their communities.

Veneration of saints and shrines is opposed by some Islamic groups, particularly those ascribing to the Salafi or Ahle Hadith methodology. Nevertheless, Afghanistan’s landscape is liberally strewn with shrines honoring saints of all descriptions. Many of Afghanistan’s oldest villages and towns grew up around shrines of considerable antiquity. Some are used as sanctuaries by fugitives.

Shrines vary in form from simple mounds of earth or stones marked by pennants to lavishly ornamented complexes surrounding a central domed tomb. These large establishments are controlled by prominent religious and secular leaders. Shrines may mark the final resting place of a fallen hero (shahid), a venerated religious teacher, a renowned Sufi poet, or relics, such as a hair of the Prophet Muhammad or a piece of his cloak (khirqah). A great many commemorate legends about the miraculous exploits of Ali ibn Abi Talib, the fourth caliph and the first Imam of Shi’a Islam believed to be buried at the nation’s most elaborate shrine located in the heart of Mazari Sharif, the Exalted Shrine. Hazrat Ali is revered throughout Afghanistan for his role as an intermediary in the face of tyranny.

Festive annual fairs celebrated at shrines attract thousands of pilgrims and bring together all sections of communities. Pilgrims also visit shrines to seek the intercession of the saint for special favors, be it a cure for illness or the birth of a son. Women are particularly devoted to activities associated with shrines. These visits may be short or last several days and many pilgrims carry away specially blessed curative and protective amulets (usually a tawiz) to ward off the evil eye, assure loving relationships between husbands and wives and many other forms of solace. It should be noted however, that like saint veneration, such practices are generally not encouraged in Islam.

Shi’a Islam in Afghanistan

Abu Fazl Mosque in Kabul during construction in 2008, which is the largestShi’a mosque in Afghanistan.[11]

About 5-10% of the Afghan population practice Shi’a Islam.[1][2][3] The most numerous Shi’a sect in Afghanistan is the Twelver Shi’a, who are mostly of the Hazara ethnic group living in theHazarajat of central Afghanistan, and the Farsiwan of Herat Province. Mixtures occur in certain areas such as Bamyan Province where Sunni, Twelver and Ismaili may be found. Twelver Shi’a are also found in urban centers such as KabulKandaharGhazni, and Mazar-i-Sharif where numbers of Qizilbash and Hazara reside. Urban Shi’a are successful small business entrepreneurs; many gained from the development of education that began in the 1950s.

The political involvement of Shi’a communities grew dramatically during the politicized era during and following the Soviet invasion. Politically aware Shi’a students formed the hard core of the Afghan Maoist movement of the 1960s and early 1970s. After 1978, Shi’a mujahidin groups in the Hazarajat, although frequently at odds with one another, were active in the jihad and subsequently in the fighting for the control of Kabul. During the political maneuvering leading up to the establishment of The Islamic State of Afghanistan in 1992, the Shi’a groups unsuccessfully negotiated for more equitable, consequential political and social roles.

Ismailism

The Ismaili Shi’a accepted Ismail ibn Jafar instead of Musa al-Kadhim as the successor to Imam Jafar as-Sadiq. Ismaili communities in Afghanistan are less populous than the Twelver who consider the Ismaili heretical. They are found primarily in and near the eastern Hazarajat, in the Baghlan area north of the Hindu Kush, among the mountain Tajik of Badakhshan, and amongst the Wakhi in the Wakhan Corridor.

Ismaili are seen to follow their leaders uncritically. The pir or leader of Afghan Ismaili comes from the Sayyid family of Kayan, located near Doshi, a small town at the northern foot of the Salang Pass, in western Baghlan Province. During the 1980s Soviet war in Afghanistan this family acquired considerable political power. The Serena Hotel in Kabul is owned and operated by Ismailis.

Ahmadiyya

The Ahmadiyya is considered a movement that began in the late 19th century by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in QadianIndia. It was seen as apostasy by most other Muslim groups, and accordingly only 12 years after Mirza Ghulam’s claim of mahdi-hood, a couple of Ahmadiyya members were stoned to death in Kabul during 1901 to 1903. Later in the 1920s, King Amanullah Khan had several Ahmadiyya members forcibly reverted, and in 1924 affiliation with Ahmadiyya became a capital offense.[12]

Sufis

The Cheshtiya order was founded by Mawdid al-Cheshti who was born in the twelfth century and later taught in India. The Cheshtiya brotherhood, concentrated in the Hari River valley around ObeKarukh and Chehst-i-Sharif, is very strong locally and maintains madrasas with fine libraries. Traditionally the Cheshtiya have kept aloof from politics, although they were effectively active during the resistance within their own organizations and in their own areas.

Herat and its environs has the largest number and greatest diversity of Sufi branches, many of which are connected with local tombs of pir (ziarat). Other Sufi groups are found all across the north, with important centers in Maimana,Faryab Province, and in Kunduz. The brotherhoods in Kabul and around Mazari Sharif are mostly associated with the Naqshbandiya. The Qadiriya are found mainly among the eastern Pushtun of WardakPaktia and Nangarhar, including many Ghilzai nomadic groups. Other smaller groups are settled in Kandahar and in ShindandFarah Province. The Cheshtiya are centered in the Hari River valley. There are no formal Sufi orders among the Shi’a in the central Hazarajat, although some of the concepts are associated with Sayyids, descendants of the Prophet Mohammad, who are especially venerated among the Shi’a.

Afghanistan is unique in that there is little hostility between the ulama (religion scholars) and the Sufi orders. A number of Sufi leaders are considered as ulama, and many ulama closely associate with Sufi brotherhoods. The general populace accords Sufis respect for their learning and for possessing karamat, the psychic spiritual power conferred upon them by God that enables pirs to perform acts of generosity and bestow blessings (barakat). Sufism therefore is an effective popular force. In addition, since Sufi leaders distance themselves from the mundane, they are at times turned to as more disinterested mediators in tribal disputes in preference to mullahs who are reputed to escalate minor secular issues into volatile confrontations couched in Islamic rhetoric.

Despite the Afghan Sufis stable position in Afghan society, Sufi leaders were among those executed in 1978-1979 following the communist Saur Revolution, among them Baha’uddin Jan, the pir naqshbandi of the Aimaq of Purchaman DistrictFarah.[13]

A few masjids of Afghanistan

Name Images Province City Year Remarks
Abdul Rahman Mosque Abdul Rahman Mosque in March 2010.jpg Kabul Province Kabul 2009 Largest mosque in Afghanistan
Friday Mosque of Kandahar
Mosque in Kandahar.jpg
Kandahar Province Kandahar 1750  
Friday Mosque of Herat Friday Mosque in Herat, Afghanistan.jpg Herat Province Herat 13th century  
Shrine of Hazrat Ali Mazar-e sharif - Steve Evans.jpg Balkh Province Mazar-i-Sharif  ?  
Mosque of Jalalabad Jalalabad minarets.jpg Nangarhar Province Jalalabad  ?  
Lashkar Gah Mosque Lashkargah Mosque.jpg Helmand Province Lashkar Gah  ?  
Khost Mosque Khost Mosque.jpg Khost Province Khost  ?  

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