Saturday, March 05, 2005

A South African view of the PMU NA

Na'eem Jeenah writes in a South African news monthly, Al Qalam:

"Last year, three South Africans were invited to be on the Advisory Board of an organisation that was about to be launched in the US, the Progressive Muslims Union of North America. Quite an honour. However, after much reflection, istikharah and many emails, all three – Ebrahim Moosa, Farid Esack and I – declined."

Less than two months ago, a new organisation was launched in the US – the “American Muslim Group on Policy Planning (AMGPP)”.

(Ahmed Nassef, the executive director of PMUNA is also part of this group).

According to Muqtedar Khan, the group’s founder: “Its foundation is based on the premise that the American Muslim community is not only capable of providing valuable assistance to the US in the war on terror but can also play a pivotal role in helping build bridges of confidence, trust and communication between the US and the Muslim World.”

Let’s get this right: this Muslim “leader” is suggesting that American Muslims should be helping the Bush government in its war against the world (a.k.a War on Terror)! What does that mean? Supporting the occupation of Iraq? The war against Afghanistan? The torture in Guantanamo Bay, Baghram and Abu Ghraib? The erosion of civil liberties in the US itself? The wholesale privatisation of Iraq to American companies?

Click here to read complete article

Meanwhile, Ahmed Nassef, the executive director of the PMUNA has made an appearance at the Hillel . The appearance received positive coverage in the Los Angeles based Jewish Journal . And, of-course, on Nassef's own website, MWU.

A comment on MWU said:

"I am surprised, Ahmed Nassef, that you trumpet this event as you do. My experiences with them (Hillel) were at campuses in North America (during a speaking tour 2 years ago organised by the Vancouver-based Palestine Solidarity Group) when I spoke on Palestine and, more particularly, Israel as an Apartheid state. At one Vancouver campus, they repeatedly tore down the posters so that by the time the event happened, it was dominated by about 80% Hillel supporters.

At some other campuses they heckled, tried to disrupt and refused to listen. In Berkeley, members of Hillel joined a campaign to boycott a dinner organised by the Boalt Law Foundation. The dinner is the main annual fund-raising event to raise funds for disadvantaged students to study at Boalt Law School. The BLF's crime? They co-sponsored my lecture there. After much trauma for the BLF and Palestinians and Palestinian supporters at the university, a joint letter was issued. The complainants, including the Hillel members, could not even use the term "Palestinian students" in the letter; it had to be "students of Palestinian descent".

Click here to read more!

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