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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

US ex-Guantanamo guard prays in Makkah

Former soldier converted to Islam after chat with Moroccan prisoner:

When US soldier Terry Brooks was sent to join military guards at the infamous Guantanamo prison that houses Moslem militants from Taliban and Al-Qaeda, he had not thought he would embrace the religion of those prisoners. After a few chats with a Moroccan inmate, he converted to Islam in 2003.

Brooks was caught by local reporters this week praying in the western Saudi town of Madina before heading for nearby Makkah to perform his first pilgrimage (Umra), which he said had been his dream over the past years.

The Saudi Arabic language daily Okaz said it waited for Brooks to finish his prayers and talked to him about his conversion to Islam. He credited “prisoner number 590” named Ahmed Al Rashdi of Morocco for his “landmark” decision. After converting, he was expelled from the army.

Brooks told the paper he was sent to Guantanamo long before 2003 and later started to mingle with some prisoners there.

Emirate 24 |  read full report

Monday, May 23, 2011

How I came to love the veil.


Iused to look at veiled women as quiet, oppressed creatures — until I was captured by the Taliban.
In September 2001, just 15 days after the terrorist attacks on the United States, I snuck into Afghanistan, clad in a head-to-toe blue burqa, intending to write a newspaper account of life under the repressive regime. Instead, I was discovered, arrested and detained for 10 days. I spat and swore at my captors; they called me a “bad” woman but let me go after I promised to read the Quran and study Islam. (Frankly, I’m not sure who was happier when I was freed — they or I.)
Back home in London, I kept my word about studying Islam — and was amazed by what I discovered. I’d been expecting Quran chapters on how to beat your wife and oppress your daughters; instead, I found passages promoting the liberation of women. Two-and-a-half years after my capture, I converted to Islam, provoking a mixture of astonishment, disappointment and encouragement among friends and relatives.
Now, it is with disgust and dismay that I watch here in Britain as former foreign secretary Jack Straw describes the Muslim nikab — a face veil that reveals only the eyes — as an unwelcome barrier to integration, with Prime Minister Tony Blair, writer Salman Rushdie and even Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi leaping to his defense.
VR | 22Oct,2006 - read full post


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Working people frequently ask retired people what they do to make their days interesting.


Well, for example, the other day, Mary my wife and I
went into town and visited a shop. We were only in
there for about 5 minutes. When we came out,
there was a traffic warden writing out a parking ticket.

We went up to him and I said, 'Come on, man,
how about giving a senior citizen a break?'
He ignored us and continued writing the ticket.
I called him a dumb ass. He glared at me and started
writing another ticket for having worn-out tyres.

So Mary called him a shit head.  He finished the
second ticket and put it on the windshield with the first.
Then he started writing a third ticket.
This went on for about 20 minutes.
The more we abused him, the more tickets he wrote.
Just then our bus arrived, and we got on it
and went home. We try to have a little fun each day
now that we're retired. It's important at our age.