CIA’s Muslim Black Sites
Muslim Black Sites
Are you shocked by this title? Well, welcome to the real world, as they say.
I will not comment on what I am calling here Muslim Black Sites, for, that is what they are. They are torture chambers that the world calls Black Sites. And they are located in Muslim homelands, run by Muslim governments and their agencies and employees.
You will find their list in a special United Nations report made public on March 9, 2009.
With the exception of Ethiopia and Thailand the Muslim countries named by the United Nations are what some people would refer to as the core of the Islamic Crescent – from one end to the other, namely, Afghanistan, Egypt, (Ethiopia), Jordan, Pakistan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Syria, (Thailand) and Uzbekistan.
These countries are the virtual Who-is-Who of the Muslim world.
A large percentage of the American public opinion has rejected torture. The newly elected president of the United States declared on day one of his taking office that America does not and will not torture.
There are legal luminaries who are clamoring for the former torturers of the previous American administration to be investigated and prosecuted.
What Muslims must be asking is where are similar demands for rejecting torture from the public opinion in these Muslim countries?
Where is the declaration to reject and shun torture by the heads of states and governments in these Muslim countries?
Who is demanding that the former and present torturers in these Muslim countries be brought to book and prosecuted to the full extent of the law?
But the issues are far deeper than that. The most basic question Muslims must be asking is what kind of human and civil rights do the Muslim people enjoy in these and other Muslim countries?
To what degree can the broad masses of Muslims organize, protest and express themselves and petition their governments for redress of grievances?
That is why, in my view, there is no need for commentary of any kind with regard to the facts provided below. All you need to do is read the following paragraphs and draw your own conclusions.
Muslim Torture Chambers
The facts are obvious – if we believe the report by the United Nations that is. If the UN Rapporteur is not lying, which I don’t think is the case, then these are the facts.
Read the passage below and ask yourself: Is that why the Muslims are in the kind of mess they are? Is this part of the reason why Muslim problems never get solved? Because Muslims have foxes guarding the henhouse?
So, here is a report of the Special UN Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, issued on Monday, March 9, 2009, P. 18, paragraph 52, being presented to you without further comment or discussion:
According to this report, “a number of states facilitated extraordinary renditions in various ways.”
How exactly did they do it?
They “have provided intelligence or have conducted the initial seizure of an individual …”
What happened to that individual after he was identified or seized?
“…he was transferred …”
Transferred to where?
“… to (mostly unacknowledged) detention centres…” (Centres, UN document spelling).
And where exactly are those detention centers located? (Centers, my spelling).
“… in Afghanistan, Egypt, Ethiopia, Jordan, Pakistan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Syria, Thailand, Uzbekistan or to one of the CIA covert detention centres…” ((Centres, UN document spelling).
What are these detention centers called? (Centers, my spelling).
They are “often referred to as ‘black sites.’”
What do these detention centers do to these detainees that are transferred to them?
“In many cases, the receiving states reportedly engaged in torture and other forms of ill-treatment of these detainees.”
Spellings in these quotes are British as in the original report. Italics are mine.
Once again, who are those Muslim states to whom the CIA outsources the torture of prisoners that are sometimes kidnapped from the streets of third countries? Here is their list once again: Afghanistan, Egypt, Ethiopia, Jordan, Pakistan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Syria, Thailand and Uzbekistan.
So, Muslims, you wanted to know and I told you. What now? What comment could I add, maybe, other than saying: So help me God?
Is there such a thing in our Muslim lore as: God Save the Muslims? What if someone turns around and asks: From whom? Will our answer then be: From themselves?
Maybe I can also say, and I will: Allahummarham ummata Muhammadin, Sallallahu alaihi wa Sallam!
That means, Ya Allah, have mercy on the Ummat of Muhammad, Sallallahu alaihi wa Sallam!
Now do you see why I am generally reluctant to comment on current events?
My Approach to Current Events
That is why I am often reluctant to talk about current affairs. Among my reasons are the following:
(1) I often do not have the resources to have all the facts and information available to me in a timely fashion.
(2) I want to first lay down the groundwork of fundamental Islamic teachings around which a meaningful discussion of contemporary issues could take place. That is why I have spent the past nearly two years trying to clarify some basic Islamic concepts and ideas.
(3) I have no idea who if anyone reads Payaam-e-Maghrib. For, even though I have been now writing almost every week for well over a year and a half, I have not heard from a single individual, either agreeing or disagreeing with anything I say. Not one letter to the editor, to the best of my knowledge.
(4) Sometimes, frankly, I wonder about our ability as Muslims to handle the truth. And reality – current or past – is often about truth. Often unvarnished and unpleasant truth. Not in distant or abstract terms as it would be for many people when we quote a Hadith or an Aayat in a general way, but in terms of real happenings in the real world involving real people, toward whom you may have all kinds of mixed feelings and attitudes.
(5) Current issues are often transient in nature. They come and go with the rapidity of waves in the ocean. Core Islamic concepts, on the other hand, endure and they are forever. And it is our inability to understand them that has brought us to the sorry pass we are in.
(6) Yet, in spite of all this, there are times that clearly demand that certain current happenings around the world be addressed and spoken about using the Islamic criteria of truth, clarity, simplicity and usefulness. I have tried to address them in at least two instances that I recall: One, on the Pope and the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, when the Pope said in a speech show me one good thing Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) brought into the world. The other on British women’s right to cover their faces in public should they choose to do so. I hope I can rise to that challenge in the future as Allah allows me to do so.
(7) The present Payaam on CIA’s Muslim Black Sites is part of my new willingness to address some selected current issues in future, provided I can find the time and resources to do so. If Allah wants it to happen, it will. If he does not, then there is not a force in the world that will change that.
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