This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/1406

'Moderate Arab' "I'm glad I look like a terrorist" Ray Hanania : "Al Zarqawi the only one who will fight back"

Hanania calls defendant friends Ballut and Fariz's support for Palestinian Islamic Jihad - "wearing their politics on their sleeve"
December 14, 2005

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Ray Hanania

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi

MIM: Hanania , who is fascinated by the concept of suicide bombings advised Arabs and Muslims to denounce them publicly, despite the fact they know they are justified, since it is counter productive to Arab attempts to play the victim and garner sympathy otherwise. He also stresses that this caveat is a necessary in order to bolster a facade that one is against terror. All of Hanania's condemnations of suicide bombings are followed by a reminder that Israel has 'attacked' them too.

For a list of Hanania's comments on suicide bombings see below:

In Hanania's article, praising Al Zarqawi and saying Jordan deserved to be attacked, Haninia follows his own advice by gratuitously mentioning writing that " suicide bombings happen elsewhere and no one says a word, especially when the victims are civilians in Israel".

In an article written on March 3, 2005 Hanania appears to have forgotten his own disingenousness and wrote:

"....Few complain when Palestinians are killed. But Israeli deaths always make great headlines, and contributes to Palestinian resentment..."

In the same piece he writes:

"...Suicide bombings are standing in the way of Palestinian justice, and we must open our eyes, be honest and recognize that fact..."http://www.ariga.com/2005-03-03-rayhanania.shtml

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http://usa.mediamonitors.net/content/view/full/22854

Zarqawi's message hitting home in Arab World

by Ray Hanania (Monday November 21 2005)

"The American government must firmly punish those engaged in torture, military abuses and embrace true freedoms not just for those with whom they agree, but with everyone."


Everyone in the Arab World is denouncing Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and his attacks against the people of Jordan these days.

It's politically correct, even though suicide bombings happen elsewhere and no one says a word, especially when the victims are civilians in Israel.

The truth is Zarqawi has a fundamental core base of support in the Arab World, despite the harsh attacks, the strong words of denunciation, and the tragedy Zarqawi brought on his own people – he's Jordanian and most of the victims of the triple suicide bombings were Arab and Muslim.

And, if we want to win the "War on Terrorism," we had better wake-up.

Zarqawi's attacks in Amman, Jordan did cause great human tragedy. It is hard for anyone to watch as the bodies of innocent civilians are dragged out of the carnage of what used to be a wedding or a popular hotel.

Yet, deep down, most Arabs and Muslims will forgive Zarqawi, mainly because his attacks are striking home.

For example, many Arabs are wondering out loud why Jordan's King Abdullah, who claims to be the voice of freedom and Democracy in the Middle East, continues to remain silent as Israel reeks havoc on the Palestinian civilian population.

Israel's continued abuses of Palestinian rights are outrageous. Yes, Israel has a right to fight the terrorists, but they have no right to destroy the lives of innocent family members who are related to suicide bombers.

Israel will destroy the home of the bomber's family and even destroy the homes of neighbors in what Israel calls collective punishment.

Israel continues to murder Palestinians it asserts are "terrorists." And some may be, but don't they have to abide by international laws? If someone is a terrorist, shouldn't they prove it in a court of law before they simply snuff out his or her life using an American-made missile that often also kills scores of nearby innocent Palestinian civilians?

Israel continues to confiscate Palestinian lands, is building the immoral and ugly "Wall" that they misleading call a "fence," and although they have "withdrawn" from the Gaza Strip, the fact is they continue to treat the entire population like prisoners in one large, ugly prison.

Worse, if you criticize Israel, officials in the United States are the first to stand up and denounce the critics. They don't care about the Palestinians.

And it's not just in Palestine.

What about in Iraq, where more and more we learn about torture and violations of human rights?

The alleged purpose of the war in Iraq was to free the Iraqi people. They're not free. They're living in a Hell, imprisoned under a new dictatorship that is different only from Saddam Hussein's tyranny by the fact that the Americans are better are "spinning" their actions.

How else can you explain the outrageous decision by the United States to avoid applying the fundamental basic rights of the Fourth Geneva Conventions to Arab prisoners?

Americans should remember that how we mistreat our prisoners will be exactly how other will mistreat our soldiers when they become prisoners.

Why isn't King Abdullah talking about all this?

Why isn't that other "Democratic" leader, Egypt's President Husni Mubarak also denouncing American atrocities in Iraq or Israel's continued violation of Palestinian rights in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and Eact Jerusalem?

The Arab and Muslim "street" recognizes that Zarqawi is the only person who is championing the rights of the downtrodden. He is the only one who is speaking out against the injustices. He is the only one doing something to fight back.

They know that war is about violence and death, and they are learning from Israeli and the American policies that innocent people are killed and brushed aside all the time without anyone complaining.

So while they are outraged at the death of innocent Arabs and civilians in Amman, Jordan, they also are asking themselves quietly why they should be outraged when the American and Israeli publics are not outraged at all by their own governments' abuses?

Israel and the United States must begin to impose the same standard of value on the life of an Arab, a Palestinian or a Muslim. The United States should force their tyrant allies, including in Egypt, to impose real Democracy and respect the rights of all civilians.

The American government must firmly punish those engaged in torture, military abuses and embrace true freedoms not just for those with whom they agree, but with everyone.

Until that happens, Zarqawi will remain the only available answer to the growing discontent in the Arab and Muslim Worlds.

That's a frightening future that can only be blamed on the injustices that Americans are willing to turn their back on in Iraq, Israel and the rest of the Middle East.


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http://www.aljazeerah.info/Opinion%20editorials/2005%20Opinion%20Editorials/December/9%20o/Al-Arian%20Case%20an%20Indictment%20of%20US%20Government%20By%20Ray%20Hanania.htm

Al-Arian Case an Indictment of US Government

By Ray Hanania

Arab News, December 9, 2005

Anyone who knows Ghassan Ballut and Hatem Fariz also knows they cannot be the terrorists the Justice Department makes them out to be.

I know both men, two of four co-defendants in a trial touted as a showcase of the Bush administration's "war on terrorism", but that most Arab-Americans have known is a sham. Their co-defendants are Sameeh Hammouda and Sami Al-Arian.

The acquittal of the "Tampa Four" on all 51 indictments this week proves that you can't twist international causes that are unrelated to the war against Al-Qaeda and turn them into proof of terrorist activity.

Ballut and Fariz are members of the National Arab-American Journalists Association, which I helped found back in the late 1990s. We have more than 145 members across the United States.

Palestinian Muslims, Ballut and Fariz lived here in Chicago, and they wore their politics on their sleeves, but in a respectful manner.

Both writers are "Islamists" in the positive sense. They believe strongly in their Islamic faith and they also believe just as strongly that Israel is guilty of committing injustices against the Palestinian people.

They often spoke harshly of Israel, maybe more harshly than myself and others, but they never at any time denounced, criticized or spoke in threatening ways against the United States, their adopted country.

And that is where the Justice Department continues to go wrong. Desperate to prove that they are effectively fighting the "war on terrorism," President Bush and Attorney General John Ashcroft have charged anyone who is Arab and has uttered harsh words about anything.

But the conflict against Israel and the attacks of Sept. 11 are not related, just as the war in Iraq has more to do with oil and Bush family vengeance than with protecting this nation from another terrorist assault.

Too many innocent people who have spoken out against Israel are either in jail or are being charged unfairly like Ballut and Fariz. That's not to say there isn't terrorism against Israel or that suicide bombings are justified. Suicide bombings are immoral and wrong. But criticizing Israel is not the same as supporting international terrorism.

There is also the case of Mohammad Salah, who lives in Chicago. Salah was arrested in Israel in 1992 and charged with supporting Hamas. He was forced to sign, under torture, a confession in Hebrew, a language he does not speak or read. He served five years in an Israeli jail where he claims the torture continued until he was released by Israel in 1997.

Salah and his attorneys were about to conclude a deal that would allow him, his wife and three children to live the rest of their lives here in the US when Sept. 11 happened. Ashcroft immediately turned to Salah as the "poster boy" of his misguided "war on terrorism."

In the past four years, the US government has harassed, intimidated and persecuted Salah. The family lives in the basement of a small apartment, barely able to make ends meet, after all of their possessions and money were confiscated. Friends who want to help have been threatened with imprisonment too, for contributing to the defense of an alleged "terrorist".

Like Ballut and Fariz, Salah often spoke harshly against Israel. But he never said a bad word against the United States, the American people nor did he ever say anything that would suggest he supported violence.

I do not know Al-Arian, though I have read some of his statements that have earned him the reputation of being a firebrand Islamist. Nor do I know Hammoudeh. But I do know Ballut and Fariz, and I was included on the defense witness list, prepared to testify on their behalf during the trial if called upon.

Clearly, Americans should be concerned by this jury's verdict, and not concerned that four suspected terrorists are now free and may pursue further acts of violence.

No. We should be concerned that our government is ineffectively fighting the "war on terrorism." We should be concerned that all the Bush administration lies, the distortions, the arrests of the innocent, the weakening of our constitutional rights under the Patriot Act have made this country more vulnerable to terrorist attack.

These politically motivated prosecutions intended to veil the Bush administration's failure to fight the real "war on terrorism" are making this country less and less safe.

While we focus on the wrong front, the real terrorists, like Osama Bin Laden, remain at large plotting, planning and waiting for the moment to strike again.

The acquittal of the "Tampa Four" sends a loud and clear message that we need to change how we define the "war on terrorism" and re-examine what this country is really doing.

— Ray Hanania is an award winning Palestinian journalist and author. He can be reached at www.hanania.com.

'

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MIM: Hanania's empathy with suicide bombers and their families naturally extends to live terrorists as well. In addition to defending Al Zarqawi, and Al Arian and two of his co defendants, he wrote about Mohammed Saleh, who was found guilty in the murder of 17 year old David Boim who was shot by Hamas terrorists outside Jerusalem waiting for a bus home.

In an article about Hamas operative Mohammed Saleh he calls him an "Arab American Dissident"

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November 10, 2005 Southwest News-Herald - City Edition

Salah: An Arab American Dissident

If anyone symbolizes the American Gulag, it is Mohammed Salah.

Salah lives with his wife and three children in the basement of a two-flat in Bridgeview, a suburb of Chicago with a large Muslim population. All of his assets were seized after he was indicted August 20, 2004 on terrorism charges.

Arab

http://www.swnewsherald.com/news_inside/2005/11/111005c_rh_salah.php

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November 10, 2005 Southwest News-Herald - City Edition

Salah: An Arab American Dissident

If anyone symbolizes the American Gulag, it is Mohammed Salah.

Salah lives with his wife and three children in the basement of a two-flat in Bridgeview, a suburb of Chicago with a large Muslim population. All of his assets were seized after he was indicted August 20, 2004 on terrorism charges.

Arab Americans believe Salah and others like him are being targeted because the American government is doing a poor job of catching the real terrorists. Osama bin Laden, who happens to be a member of the same Saudi family that invested in Texas oil ventures with the Bush family, remains on the loose.

Salah's story is amazing mainly because he wasn't indicted by the United States until years after he finished a five year sentence in an Israeli jail in November 1997.

Israel accused Salah of passing money to Hamas, the terrorist organization responsible for most of the suicide bombings in Israel. But those terrorist attacks took place while Salah was in jail, and, Hamas was not designated as a terrorist organization until after Sept. 11.

According to Salah, he was tortured by the Israelis and forced to sign a confession in Hebrew, a language he doesn't speak.

U.S. Attorney John Ashcroft, who like many in the Bush administration were caught with their pants down on Sept. 11, needed to show the public he was doing something. Ashcroft has incredulously cited the Salah case as a victory in the War on Terrorism.

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Hanania on sucide bombings:

"Palestininan Refusniks open letter to the Jewish people"

* "I condemn the recent suicide bombings. It is a disgusting mutilation of the real conscience that is the Palestinian people. But please don't brush off the brutality that is upon the Palestinian people, either."

http://www.ariga.com/2004-01-15-hanania.shtml

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"Palestinian response to suicide bombings must be tough"

*My Arab community doesn't understand the threat the suicide attack and future suicide bombings pose to Palestinian rights.

http://www.ariga.com/2005-03-03-rayhanania.shtml

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"Hamas- Sharon's Terror Child"

"...Hamas initially turned to the more extreme form of violence, suicide bombings, as a means of retribution for egregious Israeli attacks against Palestinians. .."

http://www.counterpunch.org/hanania01182003.html

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"Al Arian case an indictment of US government "

"...That's not to say there isn't terrorism against Israel or that suicide bombings are justified. Suicide bombings are immoral and wrong. But criticizing Israel is not the same as supporting international terrorism..."

http://www.aljazeerah.info/Opinion%20editorials/2005%20Opinion%20Editorials/December/9%20o/Al-Arian%20Case%20an%20Indictment%20of%20US%20Government%20By%20Ray%20Hanania.htm

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"Failure to denounce terrorism undermines Muslim/Arab groups"

"...Suicide bombings are the most reprehensible form of violence in the Middle East. They have overshadowed Sharon's terrorism..."
http://www.freemuslims.org/news/article.php?article=43

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"No Better then Israel"

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3141173,00.html

"...Regardless of the pain and suffering inflicted by Israel upon Palestinians, suicide bombings remain an immoral, unjustified heinous act of murder..."

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"Palestinians Undermine Credibility with Silence"

"...It is wrong to claim that you support compromise and peace if you cannot stand up with moral courage and denounce suicide bombings. Suicide bombings are not justified and are immoral. Pushing individuals to serve as suicide bombers is even more morally reprehensible.

Peace is possible, but only if Israelis and their supporters, especially in the American Jewish community, recognize the need to define the line between right and wrong..."

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"The Moral equivalency argument- again !"

And while "Arab terrorists" are "taking" the lives of civilians in suicide bomb attacks in Jerusalem and elsewhere in Israel, Netanyahu is "destroying" the lives of innocent Palestinians through a sweeping policy of harassment that borders on violence..."

http://www.radioislam.org/historia/zionism/hanania_moral.html

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"Did you hear the one about?" (Blog)

"...It proves that by standing up to Israel s brutality, and even in the face of losing so many innocent Palestinian lives either to Israeli Army murder or suicide bombings, the Palestinians will defeat Israel..."

http://www.highclearing.com/index.php/archives/2002/09/02/1124

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"...For example, in nearly every instance when an Israeli civilian is murdered by a Palestinian suicide bomber, the attacker is decried as a "terrorist" and the victims are portrayed in the most personal way possible. We learn everything about the Israeli victim.

In contrast, Palestinian Arabs who are murdered by Israeli government hit squads, or who are killed while protesting against Israeli's occupation of their homes and land, are portrayed as little more than statistics..."

http://www.chicagomediawatch.org/02_1_onesided.shtml

The True Essence of Patriotism
Saturday, December 15 2001

By Ray Hanania

Patriotism should never be based on emotion, although it often always is. But the fact is that patriotism often prevents the public from learning the truth about events, especially with respect to such great tragedies as war and conflict.

It is more likely true than not, that Osama Bin Laden was involved, some how, in the terrorist attacks of September 11. But the issue of whether or not he ordered the strikes or directed the strikes is something we may never know clearly, at least for several decades.

And, when it is finally known, it will be irrelevant, not because of justice and truth, but because of the reality of the passing of time and the escalation of events.

Questioning President Bush and American policy is not easy, even with that mild challenge of the ?party line.? But the real American will question his or her government, and the real American will not accept in a wave of emotional hysteria, the assertions of any government, including their own.

In 1964, the United States was trying to find a ?legal? way to engage the North Vietnamese in a full-scale military assault.

At that time, the threat was ?communism,? not terrorism. The North Vietnamese had defeated the French, and were planning a takeover of the entire peninsula. The French retreat had opened up the likelihood that the South Vietnamese regime would fall, unless the United States could intervene.

They needed an attack that we might today considered an act of terrorism, against an American target. Since the North Vietnamese would not attack the United States and provide a justification for war, President Lyndon Baines Johnson simply made an attack up.

On August 5, 1964 on national TV, President Johnson claimed that North Vietnamese torpedo boats had launched an "unprovoked attack" against the U.S. destroyer, the USS Maddox. The USS Maddox, Johnson said, was on "routine patrol" in the Tonkin Gulf when it was attacked on Aug. 2.

Johnson said that two days later, North Vietnamese PT boats followed up the attack on the USS Maddox with a "deliberate attack" on a pair of U.S. ships.
Days later, the Congress approved the ?Gulf of Tonkin Resolution? and the United States unleashed one of the most massive air assaults in history against the North Vietnamese.

A wave of patriotism swept through the United States as Americans rallied behind their president and denounced this ?cowardly act of aggression? by the North Vietnamese. Americans went out and bought American flags, displaying them on their homes and on their cars, just as they are today. The North Vietnamese deserved to be attacked.

The American news media fell right in line, too, with wild screaming headlines about the need to destroy the Communist threat.

The problem, of course, was that Johnson had made the entire story up. Yes, the Maddox had engaged the North Vietnamese, but it was USS Maddox that provoked the fight. The claim that the North Vietnamese had attacked two more American ships days later was an outright lie. It never happened.

It was difficult for anyone to challenge the President or to speak out against our military escalation into Vietnam.

It was unpatriotic. How could anyone disbelieve a president? How could anyone disbelieve the media reports? Vilified by the President and the media and all of its spin doctors, how could anyone not believe that the North Vietnamese had committed such heinous, unprovoked attacks against innocent American military vessels?

The truth took many years to come out, but not before more than 68,000 American lives had been lost in a war that should never have taken place. Johnson cautioned that Americans should prepare for a long drawn out battle, but that the better trained and better equipped American military would eventually rout the backwards, ragtag peasant, Communist forces.

History has a way of smoothing out the wrinkles, blurring the truth and casting many otherwise patriotic Americans as ?traitors? and ?cowards? and ?turncoats.?

President Johnson may have harbored fears that the lie would be found out, but he knew that once the conflict started, the lie would become less and less relevant as the conflict escalated and the North Vietnamese responded with force to defend themselves.

It all sounds all too familiar. Not just in Afghanistan, but in Israel, too.

Democracy is not about the defense of government, but about the intrinsic ability to challenge government. It?s about the ability to disbelieve in the face of overwhelming opposition.

The real patriots are those who force the government to prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that what they claim is true, is in fact true.

Because the actions we take today have ramifications we may never see until many years later when short little wars drag on long into the future.

(Ray Hanania is a Palestinian American journalist and author. His columns are archived on the web at www.ArabAmericanView.Net. He can be reached at rayhanania@aol.com.)

This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/1406