Friday, March 4, 2011

US and Iran agree: Sharia is 'all you need...' (From the Archives)

Emperor's Clothes uncovers another suppressed news report!

The IDLO, Backed by the US and Iran, Planned Islamic Rule for Afghanistan

U.S. and Iran agree: Sharia, or Muslim religious law, is 'all you need...'

by Jared Israel

[Posted 26 May 2003]


WWW, 2003 (Archived) - If you have gotten the impression that the US is opposing Muslim extremism, the following will be shocking. At the end of 2002, the US, Iran and other powers convened a meeting in Rome to plan the creation of a new Muslim religious government for Afghanistan. A key official at the meeting announced that Muslim religious governments were in general a good idea for "developing" countries. There is overwhelming evidence that the sensational news of this shocking meeting was suppressed.

In the following text Jared Israel examines the nature of the Rome meeting and the purpose of its sponsor of record, the IDLO, and deals with the 64 dollar question: why is the US covertly creating Muslim extremist states while publicly opposing Muslim extremism?


1. Top legal group backs Sharia but the news isn't fit to print

2. Roundtable for Islamism

3. What is Sharia?

4. Who controls the IDLO?

5. The significance of the IDLO's endorsement of Sharia

6. Selling Muslims on self-destruction, or, 'Pride cometh before a fall...'

7. 'No news' ain't good news

8. A parting thought from Mr. Milosevic

[ ]

1. Top legal group backs Sharia but the news isn't fit to print

While doing research on the U.S.-led Empire's support for Muslim extremism in Iraq and Turkey, I chanced upon an important Associated Press (AP) dispatch whose contents were never made public.

Based on that AP dispatch, and some of my own research, this is what I know:

On the 16th and 17th of December, 2002, the powerful IDLO (International Development Law Organization) held a conference in Rome, ostensibly to discuss reforming the Afghan legal system.

This conference, or 'Roundtable' as it was called, was followed by a second conference, sponsored by the Italian government.

The AP reported that after the second conference, the director-general of the IDLO made a statement to the press. He said the conference had endorsed the use of Sharia, or Muslim religious law, as a sound basis for any modern legal system!

Nobody has published this news!

2. Roundtable for Islamism [1]

Searching the Web, I located the IDLO Website. There I learned a bit more.

According to a pre-conference mission statement, the purpose of the Roundtable conference was to help a commission trying to reform the Afghan legal system, laying the basis for a democratic, pluralistic society.

This sounds nice, but I have noticed that every time an Empire-controlled organization uses a nice word like 'democratic,' there's a catch: they are about to do something bad to ordinary people.

The IDLO Website has no report about the actual content of the discussions at the Roundtable. But we can get an idea from the mission statement and list of participants.

The mission statement begins:

"Afghanistan, an Islamic nation with a rich legal history, is in the process of ending decades of conflict and has entered a new period of reconstruction." [1A]

'Reconstruction' sounds nice, like 'democratic'. So where's the bad thing that's about to happen to ordinary people?

It's hidden in the phrase, "Islamic nation." For you see, the central issue during those "decades of conflict" was: should Afghanistan be defined in religious terms? Should it be governed by Sharia, Muslim religious law? Which in Afghanistan, and some other places, means domination by the harsh and repressive landlord class associated with Muslim fundamentalism.

Moreover, this conflict didn't just happen. The U.S. and its imperial allies in Europe and the Arab world put the whole financial/military/technical power of an Empire into empowering Islamic fundamentalism, and mujahideen terrorists, in Afghanistan. [2]

It would be nice to believe this policy has changed. Dream on. It is obvious from the list of participants that the IDLO Roundtable took as its starting point that Muslim religious law, Sharia, should govern Afghanistan.

Thus among the 60-odd participants were *none* of the teachers, professors, lawyers, judges or government officials who worked in the *secular* government that ran Afghanistan throughout the 1980s.

Instead there were officials from the current US-installed Muslim fundamentalist government, riddled with former mujahideen terrorists.

There were IDLO and UN officials.

There were government representatives from the US, Japan, Germany, Italy, *and Iran*! (Germany and Japan sent one representative each but Iran got three!)

There was a large group of pro-Sharia scholars, mainly from the Middle East. But not only. For example, the participant from Harvard Law School was one Frank E. Vogel, the "Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Adjunct Professor of Islamic Legal Studies." (!) He runs a Saudi-funded program at Harvard Law. (Just for the record, the Saudis do not fund educational programs out of love of learning. They spend their petrodollars to push Salafi Islam, the Muslim extremism known in the West as Wahabbi.) [H]

The Iranian wing of Muslim fundamentalism was represented by two Sharia judges, Mahmood Akhondy and Mohammad Reza Zandy, and by Ali Gholampour, Third Secretary in the Iranian Embassy in Rome. (The third secretary is often an intelligence post.) However, the Iranians had no representatives from U.S. Ivy League schools.

Clearly the conference was not aimed at encouraging Afghanistan to adopt a secular legal system or even to debate the issue. It was organized with an eye to making Sharia respectable in Afghanistan. And not just there:

[Excerpt from the AP dispatch starts here]

The conclusions of that meeting were that Islamic law has "all the elements that are really required to underpin a human rights agenda and a modern state agenda which are completely compatible with international standards," said William Loris, director-general of the International Development Law Organization, which trains lawyers and judges in developing countries. [3]

[Excerpt from the AP dispatch ends here]

Please notice that Mr. Loris did not confine his comments to Afghanistan. According to the IDLO chief, the conference ruled that Islamic law, or Sharia, has all the elements needed for *any* "modern state agenda"!

3. What is Sharia?

Sharia consists of elaborate rules governing every aspect of life, public and private. It is based on the rulings of Islamic scholars. They study religious texts including the Koran, which observant Muslims believe contains the word of God as revealed to his Prophet Mohammad, and the Hadith and Sunna, which are said to contain accounts of Mohammad's sayings and actions.

From these texts, Islamic scholars derive rules covering *every* aspect of life, including right and wrong opinions on contemporary issues. Thus human existence is governed by the decisions of a small number of men who have studied the writings, sayings and deeds of one man who lived 14 centuries ago.

Sharia criminalizes acts which modern secular societies leave to individual discretion, such as adult sexual relations and religious choices. 'Offenders' may be punished, and punishments, e.g., for adultery or for insulting Islam, may include death. The rules of Sharia discriminate against women, e.g. in court cases. Sharia makes non-Muslims second class citizens, at best. It grants religious scholars veto power over legislation, assuming there is a legislature. [4]

And most important, Sharia renders democracy as defined in non-Sharia societies impossible. This is because before a law can be put into effect religious scholars must decide whether it conforms to the words and deeds of Mohammad. How is it possible to make such a process coincide with democracy?

So it was big news that 5 months ago, the IDLO, the main organization training and advising legal personnel in 'developing countries', endorsed Sharia. And this news was indeed covered by two of the biggest news agencies, Associated Press and Agence France Presse, as well as by two Italian news agencies.

These agencies are not newspapers. Rather, they supply dispatches to newspapers and TV stations which subscribe to their services. The public reads an AP dispatch *only* if it is published by newspapers or broadcast on TV.

Yet despite the importance of this story, not one newspaper or TV station reported that the IDLO endorsed Sharia. Not one.

This article is the first time this news has been made available to the general public.

4. Who controls the IDLO?

How significant is it that the International Development Law Organization is pushing Sharia? That depends on the question: How influential is the IDLO? Answer: Very.

The IDLO (previously called the IDLI) is a project of the US-led Empire at the highest levels of power.

"Italy will continue to follow closely the activities of IDLO and its work with developing countries. The Italian Government already provides IDLO with substantial financial assistance for carrying out specific projects. In addition, the Government has granted IDLO a contribution by law..." - Carlo Ciampi, President of the Italian Republic, Addressing an IDLO meeting on 23 March 2003. [5]

The IDLO's main sponsors include: [6]

*The Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA);

* The Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (This fund is financed by the oil-exporting Arab countries and located in Kuwait. Given financial realities, it is surely dominated by the Islamic fundamentalist states - Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the Emirates. One can imagine its 'social development' policies...) [7]

* The Kuwait Fund for Arab and Economic Development.

* The World Bank;

* The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

* USAID (This US funding organization, controlled by the foreign policy establishment, coordinates its work with both the CIA and the semi-covert National Endowment for Democracy. USAID is the funding agency that has been distributing tens of millions of Islamic fundamentalist schoolbooks in Afghanistan); [11]

* Coca Cola;

* The governments of Finland, France, Italy, Japan, Denmark, France, Netherlands and the USA;

* Microsoft;

The IDLO's current vice-chairmen are:

*Mohammed Y. Abdel-Aal Senior Legal Advisor Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (term expires 2004)

* Attilio Massimo Iannucci Deputy Director General General Directorate for Development Cooperation Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy (Permanent Representative) [8]

5. The significance of the IDLO's endorsement of Sharia

The IDLO Roundtable was no minor affair. The status of the IDLO, the presence of representatives from the US (including the State Department), Japan, Germany, Italy and Norway, the heavy presence of top officials from the US-installed Afghan government, and the stated purpose, to reform the Afghan legal system, all make it clear that the US-led Empire endorsed this conference.

By the way, isn't it interesting that three representatives of the Iranian fundamentalist government took part? The Roundtable was ostensibly called to advise a commission reforming the legal structure in *US-run* Afghanistan. If it is true, as we have been told, that a) the US wants to combat fundamentalism and encourage secular rule and b) the US and Iran are enemies then c) why would Islamist Iran be helping plan the reform of the legal system of a country conquered by the U.S.?

(Emperor's Clothes has documented that despite public displays of hostility, the U.S. and Iran have covertly cooperated in terror. [9])

The IDLO is not a propaganda outfit. It advises 'developing countries' about their legal systems.

The credibility of this 'advice' does not derive solely from the expertise of the advisers. Indeed, if the issue were only legal expertise, the 'developing countries' could do without the IDLO. This is after all the 21st century, not the 19th. Poor countries may lack cash (hence the term, 'poor'), but they do not lack trained personnel. For example, tens of thousands of highly educated Afghan citizens fled when the secular government was destroyed by the U.S. and Saudi-backed mujahideen a decade ago. Many would return if their help were desired to build a secular society!

When IDLO 'experts' arrive in a 'developing country' bearing the message that Sharia contains "all the elements that are really required," they are not speaking simply as experts. They represent the power of the US-led Empire, just like officials of earlier empires.

And indeed the discourse of NGOs and other organizations of the US-led Empire has an eerie similarity to the outlook of the British and other Empires past. Consider the much-used phrases, 'developing world' and 'emerging nations' (were they previously shrouded in mist?) and then read the words of Rudyard Kipling, the poet of the British Empire:

"Take up the White Man's burden-- Send forth the best ye breed-- Go, bind your sons to exile To serve your captives' need; To wait, in heavy harness, On fluttered folk and wild-- Your new-caught sullen peoples, Half devil and half child." -- The White Man's Burden By Rudyard Kipling [10]

In reality the 'developing' and 'emerging' nations - which we are amazingly told include the Republics of the former Soviet Union! - are quite developed.

They are cauldrons boiling with political struggle.

In many areas, Muslim extremism, with its central demand to impose Sharia, is locked in mortal combat with anti-Sharia forces. These may include trade unions, secularist military forces, advocates of women's rights or secular education, socialists, nationalists, communists, non-Muslim religious groups, and Muslims who believe religion should be a private affair. (Many Muslims who oppose Sharia are intimidated into silence by the deadly menace of the extremists.)

So when the IDLO endorses Sharia it is intervening with great power on one side of a world-significant political conflict. It is putting its weight behind theocratic rule, against all the above-named forces.

There are two questions we must answer:

1) In saying that Sharia has "all the elements that are really required," is the Western establishment helping or hurting societies with large Muslim populations?

2) Why doesn't the media straightforwardly report the existence of the US-led Empire's pro-Sharia policy?

6. Selling Muslims on self-destruction, or, 'Pride cometh before a fall...'

One might get the impression from the media that the use of Muslim religious law is a foregone conclusion in areas with large Muslim populations. But in fact, many of these areas have had strict secular constitutions (Turkey) or even communist societies (Central Asia, the Caucasus, the Balkans, and Western China) for many decades.

Most Muslims in these areas have (or used to have...) a secular orientation. It is the Western and Arab establishments and their satellites which have intervened to whip up Muslim fundamentalism to destabilize these areas, causing great suffering, including to Muslims.

*Case in point: Schoolbooks for extremism in Afghanistan*

Starting in 1983 and continuing to the present day, USAID has distributed tens of millions of Muslim fundamentalist schoolbooks in Afghanistan. During most of this period, the books had pictures depicting jihad fighters slaughtering infidels.

Now the White House justifies *continuing* to distribute millions of these schoolbooks (sans pictures) in Afghanistan because, they say, the books fit the religious orientation of local people! What hypocrisy! As if such sentiments, to the extent that they exist, do not derive in large measures from the *tens of millions* of extremist books that USAID distributed and which were the main schoolbooks for the innocent children of Afghanistan! Nothing like US aid! [11]

*Case in point: Saudi Arabia funds fanaticism*

It is precisely because so many Muslims are *not* fundamentalists that Saudi Arabia has spent billions of petrodollars proselytizing for Islamic extremism:

"The Saudi government has systematically financed the propagation of Salafi Islam, [also known as the Wahabbi sect] by spending hundreds of millions of dollars on three out of seven universities in Saudi Arabia [that] are religious universities. They built thousands of mosques around the world, including the United States. They have given free scholarships to non-Saudis, to come and study Salafi and become Salafi. They sent 2,000 Salafi clerics around the world every summer. They print books by the millions in every language to promote Salafi Islam. They have conventions, conferences." - Ali Al-Ahmed, interviewed on PBS, 9 November 2001 [11A]

So, Western and Arab governments and NGOs help the Islamists sell fundamentalism to Muslims.

In the U.S., salespeople say, "Don't sell the steak; sell the sizzle!" This means, close the sale by associating the product with some strong emotion.

In the case of Islamism, much of the sales pitch is based on pride and its flip side, shame. The Islamist says, 'We were civilized when Europeans were barbarians. But now look at us!' Thus, by evoking the emotions of pride and shame, the Islamist sells the past. Consider:

"...the provisions of the Qur'an are such that by their disciplined interpretation, with the aid of the Hadith and Sunna and other sources of interpretation, Islam can, as intended, provide the solution to contemporary social problems. Fourteen centuries ago Islam was a spiritual, social, and legal revolution. Its potential for effecting progress remains unchanged. This is essentially the belief of enlightened fundamentalist Muslims. Islamic fundamentalism is not, therefore, a regressive view of history and contemporary reality. Islam at the height of its civilization, between the seventh and eleventh centuries, was neither repressive nor regressive. It was a progressive, humanistic, and legalistic force for reform and justice." - Islamic Law -- the Sharia Middle East Library [12]

Note that the writer says, "Islamic fundamentalism is not...regressive..." But immediately after that:

"...Between the seventh and eleventh centuries, ...[Islam]"

Between the seventh and eleventh centuries? A thousand or more years ago? This reminder of past glory has powerful appeal in the Muslim world, and particularly in the Arab world, because of three factors:

a) Resentment towards anything that is presented as "Western" (e.g., classical liberalism, socialism, communism, Christianity, Judaism, etc.) as part of a rejection of Western colonialism, and current injustices, real or imagined;

b) The teaching of the Koran that God has ordained that Islam should rule the world and

c) The tremendous role of pride and shame in most cultures with large Muslim populations and the consequent passion over perceived loss of status.

Unscrupulous people, whether the Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin al Husseini, or the Muslim Brotherhood, or Fatah, created by Hajj Amin's followers, or the Ayatollah Khomeini or the Saudi fundamentalists - all have played the pride/shame card to foment Muslim extremism, with its imposition of Sharia.

But why did the British Empire support Muslim extremism? Why did the British sponsor the Muslim fanatic, Hajj Amin al Husseini, who distorted political life in the Middle East? [13]

Why did the US spend billions of dollars destroying the secular government of Afghanistan in the 1980s? Was it 'just' to fight the Soviet Union? Then why, after the Soviet Union disappeared, did the US continue - why does it still continue - to ship millions of Muslim fundamentalist textbooks into Afghanistan? [11]

Why does the US-led Empire advocate the imposition of Sharia today, as exemplified by the IDLO conference in Rome?

Consider this comparison.

Suppose someone tried to tell the people of Denmark:

* That the Vikings were World-changing explorers;

* That they had an immense and progressive impact in the 10th century;

* That therefore it is not regressive for Danes today to memorize the writings of the Vikings and to put Viking scholars in charge of all aspects of Danish life;

* That from their interpretation of Viking texts these scholars should tell Danes how to live - whether to shave their facial hair, appropriate measures for disciplining (!) their wives, proper methods of intimate hygiene, punishments for people who say negative things about Denmark or who seek to give up Danish citizenship, and when it is allowable to kill non-Danes who refuse to pay a special tax.

How would the Danes respond?

Mr. Loris of the IDLO would not have the nerve to tell Danes that the writings of the Vikings have "all the elements that are really required to underpin a human rights agenda and a modern state agenda which are completely compatible with international standards."

If an organization with the power of the IDLO tried to foist such nonsense on the Danes, what would the Danes think? They would think: "These people want to colonize us and therefore they want to tie us to backward and outdated ideas which, in their generous opinion, 'are all we need' to be outdated, and backward, so they can take advantage of us!"

That is precisely the role of Sharia. It was the great and passionate advocate of the Turkish nation, Kemal Ataturk, who pulled Turkey out of certain destruction precisely by driving the caliphate - the religious center of the Muslim world - from Turkey. By doing so he cut the link between politics and religion in Turkey. [14] [Also see footnote on genocide in Turkey 14A]

Why, today, do we see the US-led Empire backing the institution of Sharia law in Turkey? As I will show in two upcoming articles, during both the Clinton and Bush governments the White House and Foreign Service have violated Turkish sovereignty by intervening in favor of Recep Erdogan, the leader of the Islamic fundamentalist party in Turkey.

Why has the US done this?

Why did the British Empire eighty years ago oppose Kemal Ataturk and back the Turkish Sultan? Why? Why do you think? Because Ataturk was a secularist and a modernizer who wished Turkey to be independent of foreign domination whereas the Sultan was a backward-looking Islamist in league with the British.

In the modern world adherence to Sharia law reduces the intellectual, political and scientific power of a people and renders them weak so they can be ruthlessly exploited economically, politically and militarily, so they can be used by Great Powers as a destructive force against secular states.

That is precisely the case with this Empire of Western and Arab Establishments run by the Americans. It is not love for Muslims that causes the Empire to back the fundamentalists, openly in Afghanistan and then Bosnia, covertly in Kashmir and Chechnya, openly in Kosovo and Macedonia, openly and covertly in Palestine. It is not love for Muslims that is behind the Empire's secret alliance with the Iranian destroyers of Iran and its open love affair with the Saudi destroyers of Arabia. [15]

The operatives of the US-led Empire understand the power of pride and shame in Muslim cultures. They go to the Muslims and they say: "To be great again you must do what you did 14 centuries ago. Sharia has 'all the elements that are really required...'"

And in this way, they push many people to *look backwards*.

'We are going on a trip,' say the Muslims. 'Shall we perhaps take the Land Rover?'

'On no,' say the Imperialists, 'No, no, you take this one-thousand-three-hundred-year-old camel. It is really all you need...'

And meanwhile, the Imperialists fly First Class.

Societies which look backwards self-destruct. That is a law of history.

If you would know anything, know this: you can't go home again because *home is no longer there*. You can love the past, or you can hate it, and in any case hopefully you will learn from it. But you *cannot* live in the past.

When people try, it is not the past they get but a present which is terrible. We must move forward, re-think, find new solutions out of human creativity, "climb the stairway of our own achievements," or we will not have a "progressive and humanistic effect." Quite the contrary.

The British told Turkey, 'Keep the Caliphate. It is really all you need.' And When Kemal Ataturk drove the Caliphate out of Turkey he declared, 'We will show them!' - meaning the West - 'We will show them that we can achieve just as much as they!' And to that end he removed from Turkish politics the religious baggage that held down Turkish political life so they could create a great modern nation.

God save the Muslims from these Empire builders who, posing as friends, sponsor fundamentalist leaders, saying that Sharia is "all you really need."

Yes, all you really need to be hopelessly backward, to be losers in *somebody else's* Empire, to be slaves.

7. 'No news' ain't good news

Most of what appeared in the Associated Press dispatch was misleading or sketchy, but it did include a) the fact that the IDLO had sponsored the Roundtable conference and b) director-general Loris' statement endorsing Sharia.

This was clearly newsworthy.


1) The US-led Empire *claims* it is battling Muslim fundamentalism;

2) The main demand of Muslim fundamentalism is to impose Sharia;

3) Yet the Empire is pushing Sharia.

What could be a more shocking, scandalous news story? The US went to *war* in Afghanistan supposedly to save the local people from fundamentalism. But now the U.S. led Empire is using Afghanistan as a showcase for marketing Sharia throughout the 'developing world.'

So tell me once again, why did the U.S. go to war in Afghanistan?

This is the type of news story that reporters live for. Supposedly.

And indeed Associated Press and Agence France Presse did cover the meeting. Both wire services posted dispatches on December 19th describing the IDLO's role. Thousands of newspapers and TV news programs received those dispatches. And yet we could find only *two* news reports on the Rome meetings!

One was a BBC report, which stated:

[Excerpt from the BBC begins here]

Mr Karzai has made it clear that Afghanistan, a predominantly Muslim society, intends to maintain sharia law, while at the same time establishing pluralistic democracy and an independent judiciary.

A preliminary conference of international lawyers meeting here in Rome earlier this week recommended that special measures should be taken to protect and promote the rights of women and children in Afghanistan.[16]

[Excerpt from the BBC ends here]

How amazingly misleading.

Notice that the BBC leaves out the fact that the IDLO sponsored the 'preliminary conference'! Instead, the IDLO Roundtable is presented as some generic 'conference of international lawyers,' a neutral body of experts. How could the BBC *overlook* the name of the sponsoring organization?

And how could it overlook the fact that this was *not*, most definitely not, a 'conference of international lawyers.' The briefest examination of the guest list makes it clear that this was not a neutral body of international lawyers. The legal people at the conference were advocates of Sharia, mostly from the Middle East and Afghanistan - hardly a typical body of "international lawyers." Moreover, this was an explicitly *political* conference; officials took part who are involved in the foreign policy of Iran, the US, Germany, Japan, and so on. What on earth were they doing there if this wasn't a conference controlled by the US-led Empire?

By omitting such details, the BBC could then portray Mr. Karzai as an independent leader. Hence the statement, "Mr. Karzai has made it clear that Afghanistan, a predominantly Muslim society, intends to maintain sharia law, while at the same time establishing pluralistic democracy and an independent judiciary."

In fact:

a) Mr. Karzai was handpicked to be President of Afghanistan by Zalmay Khalilzad, the member of the U.S. National Security Council in charge of Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf. (If you think this may be hyperbole, check out footnote [17])

Coincidentally, Mr. Khalilzad was a key figure in the original mujahideen war against the Afghan secular government and its Soviet sponsors during the 1980s. [2]

b) Mr. Karzai is the puppet leader of a conquered country and

c) This conference, set up by the IDLO, an organization openly controlled by the US Empire, was obviously *designed* to limit Afghanistan's choices to...well, let's see:

-- "What will you be having today, Mr. Karzai? Would you like a little Sharia? It's in season."

-- "Why no, no. No, I think today I'll try the Muslim religious law."

Given this 'choice', Mr. Karzai "made it clear" he wants Sharia. He did? Gee, I didn't know puppets talked.

So much for the BBC. As for the other published report, it provides comic relief. It consists of a brief note in the December 23, 2002 edition of something called 'World Markets Analysis'. Never heard of it? Me neither. Nevertheless, 'World Markets' gets the prize because it is the *only* publication that actually mentioned the IDLO. True, it didn't quote Loris' statement about endorsing Sharia. But it did report the earth shaking news that Sharia was to be updated so it would "also draw on international commercial law"!

How can the failure of the entire English and French language media to cover the story of the IDLO's endorsement of Sharia be explained? I can think of only one explanation.

Many people in the West supported the attack on Afghanistan because they were convinced - due to misinformation - that this war would end fundamentalist rule in that tortured country. Do you remember Barbara Bush's speech, exhorting the West to save Afghan women from the extremists?

If these millions of honest but misinformed people learned that the US-led Empire was working together with various Muslim fundamentalists, including from Iran, to use Afghanistan as a base for spreading Sharia throughout the 'developing countries', they would be outraged.

To avoid this problem, the powers-that-be suppressed the IDLO/Sharia story. This suppression did not happen spontaneously. How could it have? How could thousands of newspaper editors decide independently *not* to publish the news that the US-led Empire was endorsing Sharia, in direct contradiction to its much-stated aims?

The suppression had to have been organized.

8. A parting thought from Mr. Milosevic

Commenting on the state of the Western mass media, the much-demonized Slobodan Milosevic said:

"By deceiving their public through a systematic manufacturing of lies, their government and their media have abolished democracy for their own people precisely to the extent to which they have withdrawn the people's right to truthful information. You can have the best possible mechanism for democracy, but if you feed it with lies, it cannot produce results that are humane, honest, and progressive."

Consider this chilling thought: If Emperor's Clothes had not chanced upon the AP dispatch, the very important fact that the IDLO is pushing for Sharia in 'developing countries' might never have seen the light of day. Deprived of this information (and how much more?), fed the lie that Western Establishments are trying to bring democratic, secular solutions to the 'developing world', how can people in the West make intelligent political decisions?

Mr. Milosevic spoke the truth.


Jared Israel Editor Emperor's Clothes

Footnotes and Further Reading

[1] The term 'Islamist' does not mean someone who follows the Muslim religion. It means someone who wishes Muslim religious law to control social and political life. A good example of an Islamist is Alija Izetbegovic, falsely represented in the Western media as the shining example of a moderate Muslim. See, "Moderate Democrat or Radical Islamist? - Alija Izetbegovic, the Bosnian Leader Backed by Washington," by Francisco Gil-White at

[1A] If the following hyperlink to the IDLO Roundtable mission statement and list of participants doesn't work, please cut and paste it into your browser.

[2] Whenever the U.S.-led Empire is caught sponsoring Muslim terrorists it argues that, 'We only did it for the sake of expediency,' i.e., to satisfy some immediate need.

This reminds me of the man who pays the rent for a second flat, which is occupied by his mistress. When the wife learns about the mistress, the husband protests his innocence, explaining, "I only see her when I need to."

In the case of Afghanistan, the argument is that the U.S. 'only' sponsored the mujahideen (to the tune of billions of dollars) to fight the Soviet Union. This is contradicted by the overwhelming evidence that the U.S. insisted the mujahideen fight on to destroy the Afghan secular government, even after it was clear the Soviets would pull out.

See for example the article from Tass quoted in "Zalmay Khalilzad - Envoy for Islamic Terror," at and scroll down to the subheading for *May 1988*

[3] Associated Press; December 19, 2002; Headline: Karzai Pledges Equal Justice For All At Conference On Reforming Judiciary Byline: Nicole Winfield; Section: International News; Distribution: Europe; Britain; Scandinavia; Middle East; Africa; India; Asia; England Associated Press Writer Dateline: Rome.

The IDLO has posted, in full, the media coverage of the Roundtable and subsequent conference, so you can read the AP dispatch there. All the reports listed are wire service dispatches. These are not read by the public unless they are published by the media. The only actual media source is a BBC article which fails to mention the IDLO.

The AP dispatch is the first one on the page, at Afghanistan_Press_Articles.pdf+idlo+afghanistan&hl=en&ie=UTF-8t

[4] A few thoughts on Sharia:

"The Qur'an is the principal source of Islamic law, the Sharia. It contains the rules by which the Muslim world is governed (or should govern itself)..." -- 'Islamic Law—the Sharia'

The rules of Sharia, torturously argued by Muslim scholars, are based on the accumulated interpretations of 1300-year-old religious texts. There are many rules; they are intricate; breaking these rules is *sometimes* a violation of law:

"The rulings of shari`ah for all our daily actions are five: prescribed, recommended, permissible, disliked and unlawful. The distinctions between the five categories are in whether their performance (P) and nonperformance (NP) is rewarded, not rewarded, punished or not punished (see the table)." For full text, go to

Often there is more than one possible interpretation, and since the rules cover the most intimate areas of private life, and also public life, and since violating them *may* be a serious affront to God, those with authority to rule on Sharia wield immense power.

Moreover, it takes years of study to master Sharia, something ordinary Muslims have neither the time to do nor, in many cases, the education. (This is especially true since the key writings are in Arabic, not the native tongue of most Muslims!) Thus Sharia is obscure for ordinary Muslims. This obscurantism magnifies the power of those who issue rulings. And the obscurantism is in turn magnified by the methods of reasoning approved for the study of Sharia. Try making sense of the following explanation of the rules for deriving laws from Muslim religious texts:

"According to these rules, for example, one initially is to refer to a specific provision and then to a general provision dealing with a particular situation. No general provision can be interpreted to contradict a specific provision, and a specific rule will supersede a general proposition. A general provision, however, is always interpreted in the broadest manner, while a specific provision is interpreted in the narrowest manner. Reasoning by analogy is permitted, as are applications by analogy, except where expressly prohibited. Simplicity and clear language are always preferred."

I do not exaggerate when I say Sharia covers the most intimate details of private life. Thus one must constantly be on guard to make sure one is carrying out daily activities in conformity to God's word, as set down by a legion of scholars.

The effect of this can be to encourage compulsiveness and passivity. For an idea what these rules may cover, see


Regarding the treatment of non-Muslims under Sharia law, see "Rights of Non-Muslims in an Islamic State," by Samuel Shahid at

[5] Speech by Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, President of the Italian Republic at a private meeting with the IDLO board, March 28, 2003


[7] The HQ of the Arab Fund for Social and Economic Development has to be seen. If they'd scrimped a little putting up this building, they could have Funded a lot of Social Development for poor Arabs...


[9] For more on US-Iranian relations, go to

[10] "The White Man's Burden," By Rudyard Kipling McClure's Magazine 12 (Feb. 1899).

[11] 'Bush & the Media Cover up the Jihad Schoolbook Scandal, by Jared Israel at

[11A] We have provided a link to the transcript of the PBS broadcast on Saudi support for extremism, and also a link to our own page, which includes the full text of the broadcast but takes you direct to the quote cited above.

[12] Islamic Law--the Sharia Middle East Library

[13] "'Palestine Is Our Land And The Jews Are Our Dogs'- Anti-Semitism, Misinformation, And The Whitewashing Of The Palestinian Leadership," By Francisco J. Gil-White *


[14A] Regarding Ataturk and the genocide against the Armenian and Greek populations of Turkey during and after World War II, please see, "Regarding the Armenian and Greek Genocides in Turkey," at

[15] Regarding the involvement of the US-led Empire in terror in the Balkans, see, "The Terrorists Attacking Macedonia Are Nato Troops, Not Rebels," by Jared Israel and Rick Rozoff

* The US-Iranian alliance behind the Islamist terror in Bosnia is documented and discussed in the article, "U.S. & Iran: Enemies in Public, but Secret Allies in Terror," by Jared Israel, Francisco Gil-White, Peter Makara, and Nico Varkevisser at

* Regarding the US-Saudi sponsorship of the mujahideen in Afghanistan - to the tune of billions of dollars - see: 'Washington's Backing of Afghan Terrorists: Deliberate Policy,' by Steve Coll

And also see, "Afghan Taliban Camps Were Built by NATO,"

* Regarding our contention that the U.S. never severed covert ties to Osama bin Laden, see "Bin Laden in the Balkans," at

And also see, 'Newspaper Articles Documenting U.S. Creation of Taliban and bin Laden's Terrorist Network' at

And also see, "Gaping Holes in the 'CIA vs. bin Laden' Story," by Jared Israel at


[17] Saying that U.S. envoy Khalilzad picked Hamid Karzai to be President of Afghanistan is not hyperbole. It is well known that Karzai was elected at an Afghan grand assembly, a loya jirga, held in Germany two years ago. Here's how the LA Times described the process of 'electing' Karzai:

"Although challenged by two other candidates, his victory was preordained by the controversial influence of U.S. and other foreign advisors, which could taint the credibility of his tenure. Mohammad Zaher Shah, the nation's former king, withdrew from the political stage on the advice of President Bush's envoy [Zalmay Khalilzad]. Former President Burhanuddin Rabbani's departure from the race is believed to have been arranged in return for a prestigious title to be bestowed later. Still, Karzai's selection--he received 1,295 of the 1,575 votes cast--clearly reflected majority sentiment among those gathered for the weeklong convocation. Even his rivals joined in the spirit of celebration over what they see as the beginning of a new age in their homeland." (My emphasis) -- Los Angeles Times June 14, 2002 Friday Home Edition Section: Part A Main News; Part 1; Page 1; Foreign Desk Headline: The World; Karzai Chosen As Leader, Vows To Rebuild Nation;

Note that the first part of the above quote, where the Times states that the envoy (that's Khalilzad) got two candidates to withdraw, renders humorous the second part, about how the results reflected everybody's wishes. In today's Afghanistan, the elite, convened by Khalilzad, are free to democratically do whatever Khalilzad tells them, after which they are free to joyously celebrate their independence.


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