Thursday, May 8, 2014

Moazzam Begg Denied Bail


Moazzam Begg

A bail hearing took place on Friday, May 2, 2014 in the Old Bailey courthouse of London for human rights campaigner Moazzam Begg, 45, who was arrested in February on terrorism charges relating to his work in Syria. High Court Justice Nigel Sweeney denied him bail. There is a total media blackout about what arguments took place in court.
“CAGE would like to comment on MB bail hearing… but we have been gagged along with every journalist who attended the court. We direct all media requests to the court and Her Majesty’s government,” reads the website of the organization Begg founded to support political prisoners of the War on Terror.
“It is alleged that between 14 July and 8 August 2013 he became concerned in an arrangement as a result of which money or other property was to be made available to another person, knowing or having reasonable cause to suspect that it would be or might be used for the purposes of terrorism. He is also accused of providing instruction or training between 9 October 2012 and 9 April 2013 knowing the person receiving it intended to use the skills for or in connection with  preparation of acts of terrorism,” reported the Independent, UK.
On March 14, 2014, Begg pled “not guilty” to the charges. A plea hearing is scheduled on July 18 and his trial date is October 6, 2014.
“British Muslims are becoming ensnared by increasingly intrusive and illiberal counter-terrorism policies targeting those deemed to be “extreme” in their faith,” reports Al Jazeera.
The much-beloved former Guantanamo Bay detainee was captured in Pakistan in 2002 by the US and detained in Bagram, the US prison in Afghanistan, before being transferred to the American prison camp in Cuba. The British citizen of Pakistani descent was released in 2005 from Guantanamo without ever being charged with a crime, though the CIA still considers him an Al Qaeda terrorist.
Begg lived in a home in Birmingham, England, which he bought for his family with his compensation money from the US. He is now being held in Belmarsh prison in London. After his sudden arrest in March, his home was raided and searched by a counter-terrorism unit of the police, which set up a “forensic tent” in his backyard and confiscated various things from the house. Police took away two cars belonging to Begg and his wife Sally, 42. A West Midlands Police spokesman told media that the police actions against Begg did ‘not imply any guilt’. Three other local homes were also raided.
A declassified Joint Task Force Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO) document leaked to the New York times dated November 1, 2003, states:
“Based on the detainee’s folder, the knowledgeability brief, and subsequent interrogations by JTF Guantanamo, the detainee is of significant intelligence value to the United States. Based on the above information, detainee poses a high threat to the U.S., its interests and its allies.”
Former Guantanamo guard, Terry Holdbrooks writes that he “will always be grateful that Moazzam was in GTMO when I was there.  He worked as an intermediary for the guards and detainees and continually helped keep the peace. His ability to reason with the most hate filled, brainwashed and socially inept of guards was a valuable asset for everyone. ”
Begg has reported in detail about British fighters in Syria and other issues related to the civil war, including his interviews with torture victims, on the Cageprisoners website. Begg is not being detained so that the US can find out some secret information. He is being isolated to prevent him from communicating with others.
“Begg was recently stopped by Kent Police at Dover Airport as he accompanied a Syria aid convoy. Several such convoys have been stopped and at least one, in December 2012, was found to contain £36,000 and $10,000 in cash. Police are still investigating what the money was for. Last October, Charity Commission chairman William Shawcross warned it was almost inevitable that some charity money would end up in the hands of terrorists.”
“There has been increasing concern from police and MI5 about an estimated 400 young British Muslims who have travelled to Syria to wage holy war with Al Qaeda-linked groups,” reported Sam Greenhill and Chris Greenwood in the UK Daily Mail.
British imam and author Abdalhaqq Bewley responds, “It appears that Moazzam and others are accused of supporting the training of recruits in Syria. But is it not natural and proper that British Muslims who have made the decision to go and fight –and that is very few by all accounts compared to those who are traveling to Syria for purely humanitarian purposes –that they should receive training before entering the war they want to fight in?
“Why, and on what basis, does that become a crime in British law, subject, apparently, to prosecution and imprisonment in the UK? Is the struggle of the Syrian people to free themselves from what they see as a tyrannical dictatorship, a struggle which was openly supported by the government here until a very short time ago, now being seen through the eyes of that very dictatorship and relegated to the category of being terrorist activity?”
Heba Dabbagh, author of “Just Five Minutes: Nine Years in the Prisons of Syria,” a book that Begg praised highly, prays:
“I ask Allah the Most High, the Greatest to release brother Moazzam from the distress and injustice that has come upon him and to appoint for his family patience to deal with this tribulation.”

Monday, May 5, 2014

Learning to Be Happy With Less


The Path Towards Self-Realization: Part VII
TASK #3: Learn to be happy with less. Find the good in unpleasant situations, but most of all, appreciate all you have, and learn not to need unnecessary things. Drink water from the river of life one cup at a time.
Gain a broader perspective in order not to be overwhelmed by the vastness of life. What you are learning is making you more and more aware of how much there is to learn! It can be really frightening to look at the vastness of the universe and the minuteness of yourself. One can’t help but wonder, “What’s the use? My existences is inconsequential to the universe!” But you must have faith in what your inner voice is telling you, what the universal spirit is telling you through the voice of Psyche – that there is a reason for your existence, because you were born.
Everyone has a purpose which they learn upon giving up their false ego and hearing the true voice of the spirit. You have a place in this world, and you are inseparable from this world. Don’t let life in the world be a prison. Let it be a door to even greater things! You are beautiful because you are a part of this grand scheme of the universe. It is a wonderful thing to discover, and worth all the pain and agony.
TASK #4: This is your hardest part of the journey. The last dry stretch of land! [insert warning about loss of friends.] It defies all rational thought. Understand that, and go on. Do not attempt this last task until you have completed the first 3 tasks [See Journey Towards Self-Realization: Part VI] as best as you possibly can. You will know when you are ready for the fourth task.
First, it is a very good idea to find a pillar of strength to guide you. A religion, a book such as “Siddhartha,” Mohammad, the Bible, a prophet or guru of some sort. Someone pure, whom you can trust absolutely. Someone who has already gone through it.
As hard as it might be, concentrate all of your energy on the inner journey. You’re ALMOST there! Though others may need your help now, it is better to finish this quest first, and then go back and help them. Don’t try to pull in others with you, or try to convert them to your way of thinking. This is your journey, and it will be your treasure, which you can share with them.
Give up control over your fate. Whatever happens is destined to happen. The universe is like a big clock, and the voice which guides you will guide you correctly. Have faith in it; absolute trust, for if you let go of it, you’ve lost your lifeline.
Meditate, journey into the labyrinth of your mind, remembering, accepting, remembering, shuddering, remembering! Don’t stay too long in the underworld or you’ll stay there forever. Stay until you have what you need, and get out again. The voice will guide you.
Then – you will find it. The thing that will rip you apart, shatter your old self – no longer will you be the same! You will experience incredible suffering, because the wound is now exposed: Don’t give in! Expose every bit of it and cling to your faith and love of life and the wisdom you’ve gained through your other tasks.
You will be utterly demolished and weak, and terribly, terribly uncertain and afraid. Don’t worry. Sit, and wait. Meditate calmly. Now you are trying to heal the wound.
Let your feminine and masculine traits act together to create a new birth inside you. Create art, let compassion flow from within you. It may be hard to get started, but once it’s going it is like rain falling on the desert! Flowers bloom, the parched earth begins to heal once more.
Now, the same aspects of your personality, whose struggling imprisoned the Psyche before, can act as life-savers. They can give you strength to go on. No longer is there separation, but peace within. There is meaning and harmony in all that you see. A love for the universe which is indestructible.
Compassion, selfless giving is the healing river, which smooths out all the rocks and jagged stones. Let it flow – through you and motivate you, for in this love there is strength and beauty. There is a balance inside you as long as you are going, flowing on the river, knowing what is important and worthwhile, giving and loving a symphony of life and nature!
If you want this truth, it is yours. If your true desire is to be set free from the prison of your self, you will be liberated.
It’s never an easy path, but remember the first step is to say: “I am a seeker.”
Acknowledge that you want this something, and that you are willing to go through pain to find yourself. Your true self. The rest will follow. The Lord provides for those who seek.