Ali Ettefagh at PostGlobal

Ali Ettefagh

Tehran, Iran

Dr. Ali Ettefagh serves as a director of Highmore Global Corporation, an investment company in emerging markets of Eastern Europe, CIS, and the Middle East. He is the co-author of several books on trade conflict, resolution of international trade disputes, conflicts in letters of credit, trade-related banking transactions, sovereign debt, arbitration and dispute resolutions and publications specific to the oil and gas, communication, aviation and finance sectors. Dr. Ettefagh is a member of the executive committee and the board of directors of The Development Foundation, an advisor to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, and an advisor to a number of European companies. Dr. Ettefagh speaks Persian (Farsi), English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Arabic and Turkish. Close.

Ali Ettefagh

Tehran, Iran

Dr. Ali Ettefagh serves as a director of Highmore Global Corporation, an investment company in emerging markets of Eastern Europe, CIS, and the Middle East. more »

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Good Will and Genuine Diplomacy Wanted

Tehran, Iran - I have spent more than five hours today searching Google and world newspapers for articles about the Iran nuclear deal. Thanks to modern technology, I found more than 2100 headlines-- and that is just in English! What...

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All Comments (22)

Mikel Weeks:

regionalism squatterarchy merrymaking authoritativeness drippy maturable superaccomplished microtype
15916
http://www.angelfire.com/deojja/1.html

mahmoud:

Iran regim is one of the most dengerious regim in the world. It trys to export radical islamic idea to the world. look, wat did he done in: Iraq, lebenon, alger, palastin, Afganistan.
this regim is not ready to listen to the world, and he hasn't negotiation agenda to solve the crisis. war is the most useful way to sweep the regim so that the pease comes back to Iran and the region.

kt:

Oh, I think it's just human nature. Say Mr. Bob shares a neighborhood with Mr. Joe. Everyday, you hear old Mr. Joe preaching to his family in a loud voice calling Mr. Bob the "Great Satan." Everyday, his family responds by chanting loudly in unison, "Death to Mr. Bob!" Understandably, Mr. Bob tries to get the local police to prevent the Joe family from owning firearms. Mr. Joe protests saying that they don't mean any harm and accuses Mr. Bob of trying to become the neighborhood hegemon. Of course, given his daily family sermon, no one believes Mr. Joe's purported peaceful intentions. This is a gross oversimplification, of course, but this is how much of the west sees Iran today. We could add things like, a few decades ago, Mr. Bob's father cut off the right arm of Mr. Joe's father, and this terrible outrage burns in the hearts of the Joe family, awaiting vengeance, while at the same time, quite ironically, the current Mr. Joe has outlawed the use of the right arm by members of his family. Many of Mr. Joe's family who want to use their right arm have had to leave Mr. Joe's home and have moved elsewhere in the neighborhood, including to Mr. Bob's home, where they are sometimes persecuted by some of Mr. Bob's more idiotic children who think that they support the same Mr. Joe who just forced them to flee. These problems are certainly hard to solve, but I don't think that they are so hard to understand.

David Kusel:

Dear Sami,

You should also have mentioned that the finger on the biggest red button of all belongs to a religious fundementalist who practices "faith based" government.

God help us all !!! (I am an atheist)

Librejustitia:

Duh, come on, Sami! The US reserves the right to do all that because it's the world's sole superpower... The position must come with a few perks ;)

Sami:

Can any one tell me why no one is raising any objection as to why it is OK for US to have 20000 nuclear warheads. Why is it not a shameful thing to be the worlds leading arms merchant.You have invented and experimented on all sorts of biological and chemical bombs. You have 5000lbs bombs and Daisy cutters. You are using phosphorous rain and agent orange and depleted uranium. Old king Priam would have said "you have no shame".

Khalil Mohajer:

Iran should reward moderation

The very lack of diplomatic relationship between the two nations within the last twenty eight years has indeed caused ample misunderstanding, misreading, and confusion for extreme tendencies to seize the opportunity and gain political dividend. The unique aspects of American politics dictate to its politicians that the best adversary is the one with the least chance of creating barriers and the best ally is the one with the deepest pocket and influence to remove barriers for their campaign. This central principle in American politics takes precedent on all other priorities. All elected officials within the both major political parties are reminded of this fact in the first day of occupying a public office.

In this context Iran is a country that both major parties love to hate. It's an ideal enemy that attacking it brings only higher degree of visibility and for most of the time free, and more influential and wealthy friends who simply have no other mission in life but to hate Iran and Muslims. In other words the more antagonistic a politician's rhetoric against Iran the better his/her chances for acceptability within the American mainstream politics. Or for better words, making an enemy of Iran for an American politician who deeply suffers from public dissatisfaction and resentment is the safest and most economical means of holding on to his/her job and these days American voters may find such politicians in abundance.

Two minutes analogy, one minute response, ten second applause, thirty second ads, memorizing and rehearsing sound bites is the result of a peculiar nomination process of competing different interests with the above mentioned attitude of political survival. Naturally the terminology of "good will", "good faith" and "diplomacy" in the environment of American politics is altered to adhere and comply with the core principle of the institution. While America is preparing for the midterm election and future presidential candidates are positioning themselves to attract more activists and donors to their campaign, the appetite for diplomacy and negotiations with Iran is at its lowest level. Any sign of leniency will be an opening from heaven as dealing with terrorists by opponents and the candidate will be branded as weak on national security by the powerful anti Iranian circles.

It should be noted that the Republicans and the Bush administration have voluntarily cornered themselves to decisive victory in war on terror and the infamous "axis of evil". In spite of numerous facts and realistic analysis to highlight the fallacy of neo conservative initiatives in the Middle East yet the White House is adamant to maintain the course since any revision or reconsideration will be self defeating. The White House is desperately seeking some sort of a victory in the region after the Afghanistan- Iraq- Lebanon debacle and since they're confident that negotiations over the 5+1 package does not lead to a decisive victory for the administration and all indications are pointing towards further discussions, they have increased their negative campaign filled with innuendo and erroneous charges to set the framework and the criteria for the upcoming meetings. Meanwhile the Democrats just love to sit, watch and blame whatever the course the White House is willing to take and slowly draft a foreign policy resulted from the failures of Bush presidency which is more compatible with realities and the public sentiment, except to witness a decisive and a comprehensive deal with Iran that would blow their ambitions to regain the congress right out of the water which they could take some comfort that it could only be done through accepting of the facts by the Bush administration.

Iranians cannot change the political process in America and it is fairly apparent that the American public in general would not be able to do so in a foreseeable future. Iranian lobbying efforts in America at best could result in the lifting of some civic restrictions against Iranian-Americans as it is no match despite many success stories to its Zionist arch enemy's political machine that has penetrated deep in political, cultural, and educational institutions of America within the last 60 to 70 years. However Iran has gained sufficient strength for at least not rewarding its foes in the Middle East with an enduring credibility. American style of representative democracy is quite responsive to this notion even though the populist and extremist tendencies in America may seem defiant. The events of the last several years have brought about a consensus on the need to reform in the Middle East among American politicians on both sides of the isle. Iran unlike some past but influential Republican administration does not advocate status quo, nor is it in any shape or form along with most Americans hospitable to the Judeo Christian crusade of the present Republican administration. Iran's population with its multi ethnic texture who is the bearer of an ancient and rich culture living in peace and harmony with each other and bounded with faith, freedom, justice, and the love of land is both the mirror and the promise of the new Middle East. The White House and Iran have attempted to exert their own versions where in several incidents found areas for cooperation such as fighting against Taliban, Bin Ladin, and Saddam and in others collided such as resisting the Zionist invasion of Lebanon. Bush tried and failed to shape a Middle East where Iran is marginalized and surrounded by enemies and it will fail again by rolling the dice and betting on the policy of coercion, threats and intimidations. Building a new Middle East foremost requires an environment of understanding, constructivism, trust and respect. The parameter of Iran Reward contains these simple elements. I am optimistic that the American representative democracy is responsive to this observation as well while the populists and extremists knocking themselves out bashing Iran.

David Kusel:

WHY NOT TO ATTACK IRAN

Iran has every right to an extensive civil nuclear programme, as do all countries. This right includes building uranium enrichment facilities to produce the fuel for nuclear power stations.

At present, as a signatory of the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty, she has voluntarily foregone the right to build nuclear weapons. Were she to withdraw from this treaty, she could build nuclear weapons without contravening any international law or regulation. And she has every right to do so. Four of her neighbours have armed themselves with nuclear weapons in recent years, while the Non Proliferation Treaty has been in effect, Israel, China, Pakistan and India.

The present Iranian regime is seriously opposed to the American view of how the world should be run.
This does not make her a "Terrorist State" to be "taken out" as the next election-winning step in G.W. Bush's "War on Terror".

On the contrary, Iran has always opposed Al Qaida. This terrorist organisation, which really does promote international terrorism against the USA and her perceived allies, has its roots in the xenophobic Wahhabite Islam of Saudi Arabia. It was nurtured in the Saudi financed madrasas of Pakistan which were part of the US's proxy war against the Russians in Afghanistan. Saudi Arabia and the US spawned Al Qaida together.

Less than two years ago Iran put members of Al Qaida on trial herself, while the US was complaining about Iran's failure to hand over Al Qaida prisoners, not about her support of Al Qaida!
Iran was discretely helping in the real war against terror, without making it too obvious that, in this case, she was on the same side as the USA.
(See the Swiss based ISN report 9/12/2004) http://www.isn.ethz.ch/news/sw/details.cfm?ID=10337

Iran does support both Hamas and Hezbollah, which she sees as legitimate militias opposing Israeli occupation and aggression. Although this view is not shared by Israel and the US, much of the rest of the world has come round to the Iranian viewpoint, specially in the light of recent events. To many eyes, Israel's massive use of "state terrorism" against her Lebanese and Palestinian neighbours undermines the legitimacy of the state of Israel.

The Iranian president did not say that he wanted to "wipe Israel off the map"...this was a case of wilfull mistranslation. However, he does support the return of the Palestinian refugees and "one man one vote" in Israel. Much of humanity regards this as a legitimate, but impractical desire. But with Israel, desires like this earn their proponents top place on the list of countries to be nuked quickly...before it's too late!

If it wasn't so serious it would be funny, but Israel's hawks really are pushing for a US attack on Iran and its nuclear facilities. The coming war is openly discussed in serious Israeli newspapers where the advisability or otherwise of the use of nuclear weapons is debated.

The Bush administration now backs the idea and is only waiting for the right moment. They promote this attack as the next logical step in their "War against Terror" ......... failing to mention they now see it as their only hope of winning the coming elections, in spite of the Iraqi quagmire.

Added attractions of this lunatic, unjustifiable and illegal plan are that it pleases the powerful Jewish and Evangelical lobbies and it just might open a possible door to Iran's massive oil reserves.

Sadly those who govern the USA and Israel have their own plans for the Middle East and appear unworried by the sanity, justifiability or legality of their actions. The war they are planning endangers us all, not just Iranians, Israelis and Americans. But for Israel it is far worse...instead of saving herself with another pre-emptive strike, she really will be sowing the seeds of her own destruction.

Iran would never forgive, and unlike Israel and the USA she neither looses wars, nor counts her casualties.

Sami:

Dear Hamvatan,
Religion is a matter of interpretation.
This applies to all religions. Sure there are verses in both the Quran and the Bible that would make a moderate person uncomfortable.
But this is mostly so if one does a literal interpretation. Also it is difficult to bring it to confirm with our modern life. But religion has been a great motive force in the history of mankind. Imagine what would have happened if Jesus would have cut a deal with Pontius Pilate and compromised,or if Mohammad would have sued for peace and surrendered at the Battle of Badar. If you want to understand Islam read the Battle of Badar. If you want to understand Christianity read the trial of Jesus before Pontius Pilate. Though much of history is tainted with subsequent impurities as is natural. It is not too difficult to sift through the chaff and the hubris. Religion has always been exploited by powerful men to further their own agenda. Such examples are to be found every where. Even in this great beacon light of Democracy the Red Indians almost 30million of them were killed and destroyed and then you will find all sort of spin put on that story of a total genocide. Slavery and discrimination against the blacks of a kind unimaginable in a civilised society happened right here. It can happen again.
Even today 4 out of 5 blacks are rejected when they apply for home loans.
Muslims did not creat the Holocaust. The Christian nations fought 2 world wars that killed over 100 million people. They colonised and plundered millions. They did not do it in the name of Christ. But would Christ have approved it?
It is easy to offend someone when talking about religion. I beg to be excused.
There are many Christians and Jews who you will never hear in the main stream media the same way that decent muslims are seldom
discussed.
My children have grown up in American and this is their country. Their Islam will be an American-Islam not the Islam of the Wahabis or the Saudis or the Islam of the Ajami and Arabi. They get along fine with their Christian and Jewish and Hindu friends. Islam is a universal religion and will survive. It is already the fastest growing religion in the world.
It is a mistake to call it"Islamic Fascism" and to wilfully demean and insult one of the worlds greatest religions. Bin Ladin doesnot represent Islam in the same way the NeoCons do not represent Christianity.

(I)nsider:

As citizens of one of the greatest countries in the world Americans have a duty to protect their democracy.

They do that when they fulfill their jury duty. They protect their democracy when they go to the polls and vote. And some have to bear arms and defend their countries in foreign lands.

If you have not been among those who had to leave wife and infant children behind and spend your Christmas in a rat hole, or watch a friend die in your arms or had to wipe their brain off your face, you may owe it to them to step up, and defend America and its democracy.

You owe it to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, as well as your children and America's future generation to seek the truth, be informed citizens, and speak out courageously. And that is no easy task.

If you take your patriotic responsibility seriously, then I urge you to invest the significant time it requires to watch http://video.google.ca/videoplay?docid=-7828123714384920696 in its ENTIRETY. This is not about Arabs and Israelis. It is about the media and the fragility of democracy.

While I respect everyone's opinion, even when it has no basis in reality, we should beat the drums of war and violence with caution and responsibility, grounded in truth about what is happening around us.

To that end, I urge you all to read the Working Paper Number:RWP06-011 by John J. Mearsheimer, department of Political Science, University of Chicago and Stephen M. Walt, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. It is called "The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy". You can download it at:
http://ksgnotes1.harvard.edu/Research/wpaper.nsf/rwp/RWP06-011/$File/rwp_06_011_walt.pdf

It is 80+ pages!! But if you care about America, and what is happening to it all over the world, read it. Read it for the sake of your children and in honor of those who made the ultimate sacrifice; then form your own opinion.

HamVatan:

Dear Sami,

I have good knowledge about the popularity of Islam around the world. I am always open to new ideas, so I will look again at the Koran and see what I feel at this point in time.

But this is not the point. The point is the very fundamental question: Should I allow those who disagree with my way of thinking into my country? The Americans have asked themselves that question and time and again they have answered YES, and time and again it has proven the most valuable asset the United States has: diversity is what makes a nation strong, and allowing your neighbor to thinking differntly than you, no matter how wrong you may believe he is, is the sign of a man with integrity and with real belief in his faith. Those who are afraid of diverse opinions simply want to live the easy life of yes-men all around them. This is human, we all would like that. But Allah challenges us daily and we should embrace these challenges and become stronger people as a result.

Iran should be a nation partially defined by Islam, not wholly defined by a sect of self-proclaimed Muslims, the views of which the majority of other Muslims do not agree with.

And I will come back to Iran because the majority of people there believe like I do that its not our religion that makes us Iranian, its our traditions, proud culture, and beautiful heritage.

HamVatan

William Murray:

Islam and conflict around the world.

When we search for conflict around the world it immediately becomes apparent that Muslims, specifically Islamic extremists, are involved in most of the conflicts. The web gives us an excellent opportunity to assess the extent of the problem. For a moment let us just forget Iraq and the Lebanese conflict although the problem exists there as well.

Look at Turkey for example. There is a confusion within different groups from among the general Turkish public, researchers, and government circles. A report by the Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MIT) and the Security General Directorate of the Police in October 1991 mentioned no less than ten different Islamic organizations active in Turkey: Turkish Islamic Liberation Army (IKO), Turkish Islamic Liberation Front (TIK-C), Fighters of the Islamic Revolution (IDAM), Turkish Islamic Liberation Union (TIKB), World Sharia Liberation Army (DSKO), Universal Brotherhood Front-Sharia Revenge Squad (EKC-SIM), Islamic Liberation Party Front (IKP-C), Turkish Fighters of the Universal Islamic War of Liberation (EIK-TM), Turkish Islamic Fighters Army (IMO) and Turkish Sharia Revenge Commandos (TSIK). These organizations are causing problems for the Turkish government.

In December 2004, the Dutch Ministry of the Interior published a report entitled "From Dawa to Jihad". It was prepared by the Dutch general intelligence service (AIVD) and described radical Islam and examined how to address its threat to Dutch society. There are approximately one million Dutch Muslims of which about 95 percent are moderates. This implies that there are up to 50,000 potential radical Muslims in the Netherlands alone. Since September 11, 2001 the growth of radical Islamic groups, the polarization between Muslims and the remaining Dutch society and Islamic terrorism have all increased.

The capability of Dutch society to resist the threat of radical Islam is marginal; although there is an indication of a recent desire to become more resistant. The moderate organizations and individuals appear not to be able to counterbalance the radical contingent. The AIVD report dealt with Saudi influences in The Netherlands, mentioning a number of mosque organizations that originated from Saudi missions and financing. The Amsterdam Tawheed mosque, which in the past has put extreme anti-Semitic statements on its website, is linked financially, organizationally, and personally with the Saudi Al Haramain Foundation. Several other mosques are supported financially by Saudi charities as well. The Dutch report places the blame for the problem on the deeply-rooted ideology of strong opposition to the Western way of life among certain Muslim groups. It is interesting in that it does not claim that the problem of radical Muslims would disappear if there were peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Israel and Jews are not even mentioned in the report.

World Net Daily recently sent reporter Sherrie Gossett to a "mainstream" Muslim conference in Florida to find out about their beliefs and goals.

In her series, Gossett describes the radical agenda of many Muslim groups and how radicals are working to silence the moderate Muslims. At the beginning of the conference, held last December in Florida, several Islamic speakers voiced support for suicide bombers and referred to Jews as "Jewish crackers", "apes", and "pigs."

Gossett also exposed how radical Islamic media groups are working to silence opposition to Islamic political agendas. According to Gossett, "Community leaders, terrorism experts, and Middle East specialists say the groups are whitewashing their radicalism in order to get positive press, which they later parlay into community and political power. They also say the groups are holding themselves as moderates. In February of 1998, a statement appeared in the London-based Arabic Newspaper Al-Quds al-Arabi calling on all Muslims to kill Americans. The statement, published by Osama Bin Laden and his associates, purports to be a religious ruling, or fatwa, against the "Crusaders and Jews," whether civilian or military. This document is part of the evidence that links the bin Laden network to the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. In order to launch their Jihad against the "Infidels" of the West, the radical Islamite have established a kind of forward base among their enemies, operating under the protective umbrella of democracy, human rights, and freedom of speech and religion. The U.K. as well as the US has thus become a safe haven for the launching of Jihad against the rest of the Western world.

Zacarias Moussaoui who is being detained in New York on immigration-law violations, may have intended to become the 20th hijacker in the 9/11 terror attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. He was arrested two weeks before the attacks. Moussaoui's brother Abd Samad Moussaoui says Zacarias once loved America. Speaking to CBS news in the south of France in October 2001, Abd Samad said that his brother "once loved everything about America". However, he came to hate the U.S. after joining a radical Islamic group in London that brainwashed him. (CBS 48 Hours, 3 October 2001) Reuters reported on 17 October that Scotland Yard's anti-terrorist branch detectives are now trying to piece together Moussaoui's life in Britain. This was the result of a request by the American Federal Bureau of Investigation for the investigation of about two dozen terrorist suspects in the U.K.. Osama Bin Laden's Al-Qaida terrorist organization is known to have established an extensive support network in Great Britain, run through an office in London called the "Advice and Reformation Committee," founded in July 1994. The director of the office, appointed by bin Laden, is Khaled Al Fawaz, who is currently fighting an American extradition request. US authorities believe that Fawaz was involved in the planning and execution of the attacks on the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. In addition, the F.B.I. suspects Fawaz of publishing fatwas in August 1996, calling for a Jihad against American citizens.

In Indonesia an extremist Islamic group with alleged links to al-Qaida has set up a relief camp in the tsunami-stricken Aceh province on Sumatra island, raising concerns its fiercely anti-American members could stir up sentiment against U.S. and Australian troops helping to distribute aid. The group, Laskar Mujahidin, posted an English-language sign at the camp that reads, "Islamic Law Enforcement". Its members said they have been collecting corpses, distributing food and spreading Islamic teachings among refugees. The presence of the group, known in the past for the killing of Christians during a long-running sectarian conflict in another part of Indonesia generated fears that U.S. military personnel and others involved in relief work could become a terror target. It also underscores the fine line that foreigners, especially the American military, must tread between being welcomed as Samaritans or viewed as invaders in a country where suspicion of outsiders runs deep.

U.S., Australian and South Korean government officials said they were aware of security threats in the region and were taking precautions. One major aid agency said its staff had been ordered not to fly in U.S. helicopters. Analysts said that Islamic terrorists known to operate in Indonesia would be foolish to try to attack anyone helping the hundreds of thousands of tsunami victims because it could result in aid groups pulling out and sour the militants' chances of building popular support. But they warned that radical groups entering the disaster zone to help in the relief effort would also try to stoke anti-Western sentiment, and wait for an opportunity to attack if public support for outside help wanes. Ship-based U.S. Navy and Marine helicopter crews have flown scores of missions to coastal villages in recent days, delivering food and water and sometimes bringing injured survivors to the Banda Aceh airport. The Americans have been welcomed with gratitude, something the radical Moslems would like to end. Lt. Cmdr. John Daniel, a spokesman for the USS Abraham Lincoln battle group, said helicopter crews were not taking special security precautions and that the Indonesian military - which has long fought separatist rebels in Aceh was helping with security. "We feel safe with the Indonesian military there," Daniel said. "We are cautious, but we're not doing anything special."

Indonesia, the world's most populous Moslem country, is predominantly moderate but hosts dozens of radical Islamic groups. Non-governmental organizations of all kinds - religious, political and others - have rushed to Sumatra to help in the relief effort, many of them ferried in on Indonesian military planes

In her three-part series, Gossett describes the radical agenda of many Muslim groups and how radicals are working to silence moderate Muslims. At the beginning of the conference which was held last December in Florida, several Islamic speakers voiced support for suicide bombers and referred to Jews as "Jewish crackers," "apes," and "pigs."

In part 3, Gossett exposes how radical Islamic media groups are working to silence opposition to Islamic political agendas. According to Gossett, "Community leaders, terrorism experts, and Middle East specialists say the groups are whitewashing their radicalism to get positive press, which they later parlay into community and political power. They say the groups are holding themselves out as moderates, that they play the race card at will, and exaggerate the climate for Muslims in the U.S."


On 23 February 1998, a statement appeared in the London-based Arabic Newspaper Al-Quds al-Arabi calling on all Muslims to kill Americans. The statement, published by Osama Bin Laden and his associates, purports to be a religious ruling, or fatwa, against the "Crusaders and Jews," whether they are civilian or military. This document is part of the evidence that links the bin Laden network to the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.
It is not by chance that this fatwa was first published in England, where its publication was protected by democratic rights and freedom of speech. This is only one more example of the cynical exploitation of the freedoms of Western civilization by radical Islam for the advancement of their extremist goals, including the abolition of those very freedoms. In order to launch their Jihad against the "Infidels" of the West, the Islam have established a kind of forward base among their enemies, operating under the protective umbrella of democracy, human rights, and freedom of speech and religion. The U.K. has thus become a safe haven for the launching of Jihad against the rest of the Western world.
Zacarias Moussaoui, currently detained in New York on immigration-law violations, may have intended to become the 20th hijacker in the September 11 terror attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. He was arrested two weeks before the attacks. Moussaoui's brother Abd Samad Moussaoui says Zacarias once loved America. Speaking to CBS news in the south of France on 3 October 2001, Abd Samad said that his brother "once loved everything about America, including blue jeans and Bruce Springsteen." However, he came to hate the U.S. after joining a radical Islamic group in London that brainwashed him. [CBS 48 Hours, 3 October 2001]
Reuters reported on 17 October that Scotland Yard's anti-terrorist branch detectives are now trying to piece together Moussaoui's life in Britain. This was the result of a request by the American Federal Bureau of Investigation for the investigation of about two dozen terrorist suspects in the U.K.
Osama Bin Laden's Al-Qaida terrorist organization is known to have established an extensive support network in Great Britain, run through an office in London called the "Advice and Reformation Committee," founded in July 1994. The director of the office, appointed by bin Laden, is Khaled Al Fawaz, who is currently fighting an American extradition request. American authorities believe that Fawaz was involved in the planning and execution of the attacks on the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. In addition, the F.B.I. suspects Fawaz of publishing fatwas in August 1996, calling for a Jihad against American citizens.

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia - An extremist Islamic group with alleged links to al-Qaida has set up a relief camp in the tsunami-stricken Aceh province on Sumatra island, raising concerns its fiercely anti-American members could stir up sentiment against U.S. and Australian troops helping to distribute aid.
The group, Laskar Mujahidin, posted an English-language sign at the camp that reads, "Islamic Law Enforcement." Its members said Thursday they have been collecting corpses, distributing food and spreading Islamic teachings among refugees. The presence of the group, known for killing Christians during a long-running sectarian conflict in another part of Indonesia, generated fears that U.S. military personnel and others involved in relief work could become a terror target.
It also underscores the fine line that foreigners, especially the American military, must tread between being welcomed or viewed as invaders in a country where suspicion of outsiders runs deep. Indonesia, the world's most populous Moslem country, is predominantly moderate but hosts dozens of radical Islamic groups. Non-governmental organizations of all kinds religious, political and others have rushed to Sumatra to help in the relief effort, many of them ferried in on Indonesian military planes.

With very little research it is easily recognized that radical Islamic extremism is the main cause of conflict and turmoil around the world. It is sad to think that religion, any religion, could be so corrupt to adhere to this level of hatred for other humans on earth. We are fortunate in the US that we have a separation of church and state and freedom of religion. However, when a religion, any religion, uses its given freedom to promote hatred and violence, that religion must of necessity be controlled and removed as we would any other cancer on humanity.

Anonymous:

Islam and conflict around the world.

When we search for conflict around the world it immediately becomes apparent that Muslims, specifically Islamic extremists, are involved in most of the conflicts. The web gives us an excellent opportunity to assess the extent of the problem. For a moment let us just forget Iraq and the Lebanese conflict although the problem exists there as well.

Look at Turkey for example. There is a confusion within different groups from among the general Turkish public, researchers, and government circles. A report by the Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MIT) and the Security General Directorate of the Police in October 1991 mentioned no less than ten different Islamic organizations active in Turkey: Turkish Islamic Liberation Army (IKO), Turkish Islamic Liberation Front (TIK-C), Fighters of the Islamic Revolution (IDAM), Turkish Islamic Liberation Union (TIKB), World Sharia Liberation Army (DSKO), Universal Brotherhood Front-Sharia Revenge Squad (EKC-SIM), Islamic Liberation Party Front (IKP-C), Turkish Fighters of the Universal Islamic War of Liberation (EIK-TM), Turkish Islamic Fighters Army (IMO) and Turkish Sharia Revenge Commandos (TSIK). These organizations are causing problems for the Turkish government.

In December 2004, the Dutch Ministry of the Interior published a report entitled "From Dawa to Jihad". It was prepared by the Dutch general intelligence service (AIVD) and described radical Islam and examined how to address its threat to Dutch society. There are approximately one million Dutch Muslims of which about 95 percent are moderates. This implies that there are up to 50,000 potential radical Muslims in the Netherlands alone. Since September 11, 2001 the growth of radical Islamic groups, the polarization between Muslims and the remaining Dutch society and Islamic terrorism have all increased.

The capability of Dutch society to resist the threat of radical Islam is marginal; although there is an indication of a recent desire to become more resistant. The moderate organizations and individuals appear not to be able to counterbalance the radical contingent. The AIVD report dealt with Saudi influences in The Netherlands, mentioning a number of mosque organizations that originated from Saudi missions and financing. The Amsterdam Tawheed mosque, which in the past has put extreme anti-Semitic statements on its website, is linked financially, organizationally, and personally with the Saudi Al Haramain Foundation. Several other mosques are supported financially by Saudi charities as well. The Dutch report places the blame for the problem on the deeply-rooted ideology of strong opposition to the Western way of life among certain Muslim groups. It is interesting in that it does not claim that the problem of radical Muslims would disappear if there were peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Israel and Jews are not even mentioned in the report.

World Net Daily recently sent reporter Sherrie Gossett to a "mainstream" Muslim conference in Florida to find out about their beliefs and goals.

In her series, Gossett describes the radical agenda of many Muslim groups and how radicals are working to silence the moderate Muslims. At the beginning of the conference, held last December in Florida, several Islamic speakers voiced support for suicide bombers and referred to Jews as "Jewish crackers", "apes", and "pigs."

Gossett also exposed how radical Islamic media groups are working to silence opposition to Islamic political agendas. According to Gossett, "Community leaders, terrorism experts, and Middle East specialists say the groups are whitewashing their radicalism in order to get positive press, which they later parlay into community and political power. They also say the groups are holding themselves as moderates. In February of 1998, a statement appeared in the London-based Arabic Newspaper Al-Quds al-Arabi calling on all Muslims to kill Americans. The statement, published by Osama Bin Laden and his associates, purports to be a religious ruling, or fatwa, against the "Crusaders and Jews," whether civilian or military. This document is part of the evidence that links the bin Laden network to the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. In order to launch their Jihad against the "Infidels" of the West, the radical Islamite have established a kind of forward base among their enemies, operating under the protective umbrella of democracy, human rights, and freedom of speech and religion. The U.K. as well as the US has thus become a safe haven for the launching of Jihad against the rest of the Western world.

Zacarias Moussaoui who is being detained in New York on immigration-law violations, may have intended to become the 20th hijacker in the 9/11 terror attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. He was arrested two weeks before the attacks. Moussaoui's brother Abd Samad Moussaoui says Zacarias once loved America. Speaking to CBS news in the south of France in October 2001, Abd Samad said that his brother "once loved everything about America". However, he came to hate the U.S. after joining a radical Islamic group in London that brainwashed him. (CBS 48 Hours, 3 October 2001) Reuters reported on 17 October that Scotland Yard's anti-terrorist branch detectives are now trying to piece together Moussaoui's life in Britain. This was the result of a request by the American Federal Bureau of Investigation for the investigation of about two dozen terrorist suspects in the U.K.. Osama Bin Laden's Al-Qaida terrorist organization is known to have established an extensive support network in Great Britain, run through an office in London called the "Advice and Reformation Committee," founded in July 1994. The director of the office, appointed by bin Laden, is Khaled Al Fawaz, who is currently fighting an American extradition request. US authorities believe that Fawaz was involved in the planning and execution of the attacks on the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. In addition, the F.B.I. suspects Fawaz of publishing fatwas in August 1996, calling for a Jihad against American citizens.

In Indonesia an extremist Islamic group with alleged links to al-Qaida has set up a relief camp in the tsunami-stricken Aceh province on Sumatra island, raising concerns its fiercely anti-American members could stir up sentiment against U.S. and Australian troops helping to distribute aid. The group, Laskar Mujahidin, posted an English-language sign at the camp that reads, "Islamic Law Enforcement". Its members said they have been collecting corpses, distributing food and spreading Islamic teachings among refugees. The presence of the group, known in the past for the killing of Christians during a long-running sectarian conflict in another part of Indonesia generated fears that U.S. military personnel and others involved in relief work could become a terror target. It also underscores the fine line that foreigners, especially the American military, must tread between being welcomed as Samaritans or viewed as invaders in a country where suspicion of outsiders runs deep.

U.S., Australian and South Korean government officials said they were aware of security threats in the region and were taking precautions. One major aid agency said its staff had been ordered not to fly in U.S. helicopters. Analysts said that Islamic terrorists known to operate in Indonesia would be foolish to try to attack anyone helping the hundreds of thousands of tsunami victims because it could result in aid groups pulling out and sour the militants' chances of building popular support. But they warned that radical groups entering the disaster zone to help in the relief effort would also try to stoke anti-Western sentiment, and wait for an opportunity to attack if public support for outside help wanes. Ship-based U.S. Navy and Marine helicopter crews have flown scores of missions to coastal villages in recent days, delivering food and water and sometimes bringing injured survivors to the Banda Aceh airport. The Americans have been welcomed with gratitude, something the radical Moslems would like to end. Lt. Cmdr. John Daniel, a spokesman for the USS Abraham Lincoln battle group, said helicopter crews were not taking special security precautions and that the Indonesian military - which has long fought separatist rebels in Aceh was helping with security. "We feel safe with the Indonesian military there," Daniel said. "We are cautious, but we're not doing anything special."

Indonesia, the world's most populous Moslem country, is predominantly moderate but hosts dozens of radical Islamic groups. Non-governmental organizations of all kinds - religious, political and others - have rushed to Sumatra to help in the relief effort, many of them ferried in on Indonesian military planes

In her three-part series, Gossett describes the radical agenda of many Muslim groups and how radicals are working to silence moderate Muslims. At the beginning of the conference which was held last December in Florida, several Islamic speakers voiced support for suicide bombers and referred to Jews as "Jewish crackers," "apes," and "pigs."

In part 3, Gossett exposes how radical Islamic media groups are working to silence opposition to Islamic political agendas. According to Gossett, "Community leaders, terrorism experts, and Middle East specialists say the groups are whitewashing their radicalism to get positive press, which they later parlay into community and political power. They say the groups are holding themselves out as moderates, that they play the race card at will, and exaggerate the climate for Muslims in the U.S."


On 23 February 1998, a statement appeared in the London-based Arabic Newspaper Al-Quds al-Arabi calling on all Muslims to kill Americans. The statement, published by Osama Bin Laden and his associates, purports to be a religious ruling, or fatwa, against the "Crusaders and Jews," whether they are civilian or military. This document is part of the evidence that links the bin Laden network to the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.
It is not by chance that this fatwa was first published in England, where its publication was protected by democratic rights and freedom of speech. This is only one more example of the cynical exploitation of the freedoms of Western civilization by radical Islam for the advancement of their extremist goals, including the abolition of those very freedoms. In order to launch their Jihad against the "Infidels" of the West, the Islam have established a kind of forward base among their enemies, operating under the protective umbrella of democracy, human rights, and freedom of speech and religion. The U.K. has thus become a safe haven for the launching of Jihad against the rest of the Western world.
Zacarias Moussaoui, currently detained in New York on immigration-law violations, may have intended to become the 20th hijacker in the September 11 terror attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. He was arrested two weeks before the attacks. Moussaoui's brother Abd Samad Moussaoui says Zacarias once loved America. Speaking to CBS news in the south of France on 3 October 2001, Abd Samad said that his brother "once loved everything about America, including blue jeans and Bruce Springsteen." However, he came to hate the U.S. after joining a radical Islamic group in London that brainwashed him. [CBS 48 Hours, 3 October 2001]
Reuters reported on 17 October that Scotland Yard's anti-terrorist branch detectives are now trying to piece together Moussaoui's life in Britain. This was the result of a request by the American Federal Bureau of Investigation for the investigation of about two dozen terrorist suspects in the U.K.
Osama Bin Laden's Al-Qaida terrorist organization is known to have established an extensive support network in Great Britain, run through an office in London called the "Advice and Reformation Committee," founded in July 1994. The director of the office, appointed by bin Laden, is Khaled Al Fawaz, who is currently fighting an American extradition request. American authorities believe that Fawaz was involved in the planning and execution of the attacks on the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. In addition, the F.B.I. suspects Fawaz of publishing fatwas in August 1996, calling for a Jihad against American citizens.

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia - An extremist Islamic group with alleged links to al-Qaida has set up a relief camp in the tsunami-stricken Aceh province on Sumatra island, raising concerns its fiercely anti-American members could stir up sentiment against U.S. and Australian troops helping to distribute aid.
The group, Laskar Mujahidin, posted an English-language sign at the camp that reads, "Islamic Law Enforcement." Its members said Thursday they have been collecting corpses, distributing food and spreading Islamic teachings among refugees. The presence of the group, known for killing Christians during a long-running sectarian conflict in another part of Indonesia, generated fears that U.S. military personnel and others involved in relief work could become a terror target.
It also underscores the fine line that foreigners, especially the American military, must tread between being welcomed or viewed as invaders in a country where suspicion of outsiders runs deep. Indonesia, the world's most populous Moslem country, is predominantly moderate but hosts dozens of radical Islamic groups. Non-governmental organizations of all kinds religious, political and others have rushed to Sumatra to help in the relief effort, many of them ferried in on Indonesian military planes.

With very little research it is easily recognized that radical Islamic extremism is the main cause of conflict and turmoil around the world. It is sad to think that religion, any religion, could be so corrupt to adhere to this level of hatred for other humans on earth. We are fortunate in the US that we have a separation of church and state and freedom of religion. However, when a religion, any religion, uses its given freedom to promote hatred and violence, that religion must of necessity be controlled and removed as we would any other cancer on humanity.

Bill murray, Nokomis, FL

(I)nsider:

On April 26, 2006 Iran's supreme religious leader Khamenei stated:

"The Iranian nation and government advocate world peace and security and will never attack anyone in the future..."

According to the translation by Juan Cole, a University of Michigan Professor of Modern Middle East and South Asian History "Ahmadinejad did not say he was going to wipe Israel off the map because no such idiom exists in Persian" and "He did say he hoped its regime, i.e., a Jewish-Zionist state occupying Jerusalem, would collapse."

On 20 February 2006, Iran's foreign minister denied that Tehran wanted to see Israel "wiped off the map," saying "Nobody can remove a country from the map. This is a misunderstanding in Europe of what our president mentioned," Manouchehr Mottaki told a news conference, speaking in English, after addressing the European Parliament. "How is it possible to remove a country from the map? He is talking about the regime. We do not recognise legally this regime," he said.

Iran's official position, which has not changed since the beginning of the revolution is that there are over 3 million Palestinians living as refugees outside Palestine. They should have the right to come back and along with the Jewish people participate in a referendum that will determine the future structure of a fair, equitable, non-racist, non-apartheid non-colonial government in Palestine.

sami:

Dear Hamvatan.
Iam not from Iran but I can tell you: my guess is as good as yours- Iran doesnot need you and I think you too can do without Iran. No one cares about what you think of Mohammad. But this is a fact.
Islam is a universal religion and has embraced hundreds of different linguistic and ethinic groups from all over the world.
It is probably more diverse than Christianity , 1.5 Billion people take the name of Mohammad and proclaim it five times a day and have consistently done so for 15 centuries. I would seriously invite you to take a new look at Islam.
There is something missing in your analysis and I cannot figure out whether it is lack of knowledge or simply honest misunderstanding.

Tom Nicholson:

What Dr. Ettefagh says is all true, and if Iran was a free, open society tolerant of a free press, guaranteeing women's rights and religious freedom, then there would not be so much suspicion directed toward it. Dr. Ettefagh has conveniently overlooked the religious fascism, suppression of free speech , denial of the Holocaust, and support of terrorist militias in Iraq and Lebanon, that characterise the Iranian leadership today. Why in a sane world would any nation want to give the mullahs the bomb? They should reopen their facilities completely to the IAEA if they want to be respected. But I don't worry about Iran as much as I used to. They will build their army and peak way too soon, just as most dictatorships do. The mullahs don't have the patience to wait until they are really strong strategically, because they know that time is not on their side.

HamVatan:

Dear Dr. Ettefagh,

I am and Iranian engineer living in the United States. After visiting Tehran for the Persian New Year, as I was leaving the country, tears ran down my face. Only after visiting my country this year did I realize how much in love with Iran I am. I would do anything to come back and help build my country. I know millions of others feel the exact same way.

But will Iran accept me? I grew up with a Muslim family, yet as I analysed the world around me and my inner self, i found that I cannot consider myself a Muslim. I do not believe that Mohammad was a necessarily prophet. I have read the Koran, it is a beautiful book, but I don't know if its the word of God. I have enormous faith in God, but that is pretty much it. I don't think science can answer everything, and that religion, when used in a non-politicized manner, can be a comforting element of a person's life.

If I come to Iran, will I be accepted there? Will I be able to think freely? You know what the answer is sir. The answer is no, i will not. If I don't get in line with the group-thought that is in Iran, then i won't be accepted. When I'm not accepted, i won't be able to fully contribute to this great country. When I can't fully contribute there but can when I'm in the U.S., which country do you think I will choose to live in? THIS is what people mean when they say FREEDOM. Iran is not a free country, because I will not be accepted there.

With all due respect.

Brigitte Meier, Everett, Ma. USA:

Thank you for an immensely important article which acts to set things right side up again.

It is tragic that the US government uses threats and false accusations to overpower Iran and justify its intention to destroy Iran because it is in the way of its current dangerous and illegal foreign policy objectives. That is really the obstacle in between Iran and the US: they are not negotiating about the same issues. Iran negotiates its rights under the NPT. The US negotiates Iranian submission under US energy and hegemony objectives. Agreement is a priori excluded. The US attitude is more reminiscent of Mafia practices than of diplomacy, which then necessitates all the spin to hide it.

Anonymous:

QUOTE"People of the Middle East see the statement WIPE ISRAEL OFF THE MAP as something quite different."UNQUOTE

Are you quite sure ALL people of the middle east hold this view or for that matter all people of Iran? It seems that you are asking your readers to take quite a leap of faith with you. The problem, as it seems to me, is that many people living in the middle east take the more extreme view.

A lot of the the international concern would be much allayed if you didn't have such an extremist for a leader. The same certainly applies to us. I look forward to the day when moderates once again rule governments and we can once again work together in good faith.

Aren Haich:

The phrase WIPE ISRAEL OFF THE MAP can be interpreted in many ways.

Most people in the West understand it to mean that Iran, somehow, is going to nuke Israel even though it is Israel which has the capability -- even without US help -- to turn Iran into a nuclear wasteland overnight.

People of the Middle East see the statement WIPE ISRAEL OFF THE MAP as something quite different. They see it as a gradual dissolution of the Jewish state, which will quite naturally come about when Palestinians - including the refugees -- acquire the same political rights as Jews in the original territory of Palestine.

Being WIPED OFF THE MAP need not be cataclysmic at all.

Soviet Union figured as the largest entity on the world atlas less than 20 years ago. Soviet Union has been WIPED OFF THE MAP without bloodshed, and is never to return.

Israel could also vanish from maps when true democracy reigns in all of Palestine under one flag.

Hassani:

Iran isn't using any "pretext to refuse to oblige by its treaty obligations" since in fact there's nothing in the NonProliferation Treaty that requires Iran to give up enirhcment as the US and EU demand. Too bad that Iran isn't simply rolling over and playing dead for the benefit of others.

Anonymous:

Honest diplomacy is a key ingredient to any successful international relationship. The key word there is "honest." The pretext that Iran uses to delay abiding by its treaty obligations is a continuing smoke screen while it continues to ferment international discord and attempt to insert a wedge between nations that have insisted on its treaty compliance. The most recent response to the UN's proposal is demonstrative of this tactic.
By its own admission, Iran's goal is to develop weapons to remove Israel. It supports and finances unrest in the Middle East to take the focus off of its intentional disregard of its agreements and treaty obligations. Just last week, it turned away the IAEC inspectors that were there to test Tehran's promise of transparency, while at the same time shelling northern Iraq and setting off "test" missiles.
The world is focused on Iran's actions because of Iran's actions.
Honesty is a rare commodity when dealing with any diplomacy, and even rarer when dealing with Iran.

PostGlobal is an interactive conversation on global issues moderated by Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria and David Ignatius of The Washington Post. It is produced jointly by Newsweek and washingtonpost.com, as is On Faith, a conversation on religion. Please send us your comments, questions and suggestions.