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Monday, May 22, 2017

22 killed in suspected suicide attack at Ariana Grande concert in Britain

Muslim historians claim Abdelkader saved 15,000 Christians, which may be a bit of an exaggeration. But here was a man for Muslims to emulate and Westerners to admire After the Manchester massacre… yes, and after Nice and Paris, Mosul and Abu Ghraib and 7/7 and the Haditha massacre – remember those 28 civilians, including children, killed by US Marines, four more than Manchester but no minute’s silence for them? And of course 9/11… Counterbalancing cruelty is no response, of course. Just a reminder. As long as we bomb the Middle East instead of seeking justice there, we too will be attacked. But what we must concentrate upon, according to the monstrous Trump, is terror, terror, terror, terror, terror. And fear. And security. Which we will not have while we are promoting death in the Muslim world and selling weapons to its dictators. Believe in “terror” and Isis wins. Believe in justice and Isis is defeated. So I suspect it’s time to raise the ghost of a man known as the Emir Abdelkader – Muslim, Sufi, sheikh, ferocious warrior, humanist, mystic, protector of his people against Western barbarism, protector of Christians against Muslim barbarism, so brave that the Algerian state insisted his bones were brought home from his beloved Damascus, so noble that Abe Lincoln sent him a pair of Colt pistols and the French gave him the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour. He loved education, he admired the Greek philosophers, he forbade his fighters to destroy books, he worshipped a religion which believed – so he thought – in human rights. But hands up all readers who know the name of Abdelkader. Close Modal Dialog This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button. Share: Salman Abedi - what we know about the Manchester attacker Facebook Google+ LinkedIn Pinterest Tumblr Twitter Direct Link Embed Code Salman Abedi - what we know about the Manchester attacker We should think of him now more than ever. He was not a “moderate” because he fought back savagely against the French occupation of his land. He was not an extremist because, in his imprisonment at the Chateau d’Amboise, he talked of Christians and Muslims as brothers. He was supported by Victor Hugo and Lord Londonderry and earned the respect of Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte (later Napoleon III) and the French state paid him a pension of 100,000 francs. He deserved it. When the French invaded Algeria, Abdelkader Ibn Muhiedin al-Juzairi (Abdelkader, son of Muhiedin, the Algerian,1808-1883, for those who like obituaries) embarked on a successful guerrilla war against one of the best equipped armies in the Western world – and won. He set up his own state in western Algeria – Muslim but employing Christian and Jewish advisors – and created separate departments (defence, education, etc), which stretched as far as the Moroccan border. It even had its own currency, the “muhamediya”. He made peace with the French – a truce which the French broke by invading his lands yet again. Abdelkader demanded a priest to minister for his French prisoners, even giving them back their freedom when he had no food for them. The French sacked the Algerian towns they captured, a hundred Hadithas to suppress Abdelkader’s resistance. When at last he was defeated, he surrendered in honour – handing over his horse as a warrior – on the promise of exile in Alexandria or Acre. Again the French betrayed him, packing him off to prison in Toulon and then to the interior of France. Muslim man comforts elderly Jewish woman in symbol of Manchester unity 4 show all Yet in his French exile, he preached peace and brotherhood and studied French and spoke of the wisdom of Plato and Socrates, Aristotle and Ptolemy and Averoes and later wrote a book, Call to the Intelligent, which should be available on every social media platform. He also, by the way, wrote a book on horses which proves he was ever an Arab in the saddle. But his courage was demonstrated yet again in Damascus in 1860 where he lived as an honoured exile. The Christian-Druze civil war in Lebanon had spread to Damascus where the Christian population found themselves surrounded by the Muslim Druze who arrived with Isis-like cruelty, brandishing swords and knives to slaughter their adversaries. Abdelkader sent his Algerian Muslim guards – his personal militia – to bash their way through the mob and escort more than 10,000 Christians to his estate. And when the crowds with their knives arrived at his door, he greeted them with a speech which is still recited in the Middle East (though utterly ignored these days in the West). “You pitiful creatures!” he shouted. “Is this the way you honour the Prophet? God punish you! Shame on you, shame! The day will come when you will pay for this … I will not hand over a single Christian. They are my brothers. Get out of here or I’ll set my guards on you.” Muslim historians claim Abdelkader saved 15,000 Christians, which may be a bit of an exaggeration. But here was a man for Muslims to emulate and Westerners to admire. His fury was expressed in words which would surely have been used today against the cult-like caliphate executioners of Isis. Of course, the “Christian” West would honour him at the time (although, interestingly, he received a letter of praise from the Muslim leader of wildly independent Chechnya). He was an “interfaith dialogue” man to please Pope Francis. Abdelkader was invited to Paris. An American town was named after him – Elkader in Clayton County, Iowa, and it’s still there, population 1,273. Founded in the mid-19th century, it was natural to call your home after a man who was, was he not, honouring the Rights of Man of American Independence and the French Revolution? Abdelkader flirted with Freemasonry – most scholars believe he was not taken in – and loved science to such an extent that he accepted an invitation to the opening of the Suez Canal, which was surely an imperial rather than a primarily scientific project. Abdelkader met De Lesseps. He saw himself, one suspects, as Islam’s renaissance man, a man for all seasons, the Muslim for all people, an example rather than a saint, a philosopher rather than a priest. But of course, Abdelkader’s native Algeria is a neighbour of Libya from where Salman Abedi’s family came, and Abdelkader died in Syria, whose assault by US aircraft – according to Abedi’s sister – was the reason he slaughtered the innocent of Manchester. And so geography contracts and history fades, and Abedi’s crime is, for now, more important than all of Abdelkader’s life and teaching and example. So for Mancunians, whether they tattoo bees onto themselves or merely buy flowers, why not pop into Manchester’s central library in St Peter’s Square and ask for Elsa Marsten’s The Compassionate Warrior or John Kiser’s Commander of the Faithful or, published just a few months ago, Mustapha Sherif’s L’Emir Abdelkader: Apotre de la fraternite? They are no antidotes for sorrow or mourning. But they prove that Isis does not represent Islam and that a Muslim can earn the honour of the world. More about: Manchester attack Islam ================================ Thu May 25, 2017 | 5:18 AM EDT UK police stop sharing information on Manchester attack with U.S. after leaks ‹ 15/15 A woman holds flowers as she takes part in a vigil in central Manchester. Reuters/Darren Staples 1/15 A woman looks at flowers for the victims of the Manchester Arena attack, in central Manchester Britain. Reuters/Stefan Wermuth 2/15 Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May speaks outside 10 Downing Street in London. Reuters/Toby Melville 3/15 Mourners are reflected in balloons as they stand beside floral tributes near the Manchester Arena in central Manchester, Britain, May 24, 2017. Reuters/Jon Super 4/15 A Muslim woman wearing a Union Flag head scarf is seen near the Manchester Arena in central Manchester, Britain, May 24, 2017. Reuters/Jon Super 5/15 People take part in a vigil in central Manchester. Reuters/Peter Nicholls 6/15 Flowers and messages are left for the victims in central Manchester. Reuters/Stefan Wermuth 7/15 Women pay their respects following a vigil in central Manchester. Reuters/Peter Nicholls 8/15 People take part in a vigil in central Manchester. Reuters/Peter Nicholls 9/15 Flowers and messages for the victims of the Manchester Arena attack, in central Manchester. Reuters/Darren Staples 10/15 A young woman reacts as she holds a rose while looking at the messages and floral tributes left for the victims of the attack on Manchester Arena, in central Manchester. Reuters/Jon Super 11/15 Women wait to take part in a vigil in central Manchester. Reuters/Darren Staples 12/15 A message is left for the victims in central Manchester. Reuters/Stefan Wermuth 13/15 City council employees move flowers from the townhall in Albert Square to St Ann's Square in Manchester, Britain. Reuters/Peter Nicholls 14/15 Messages and floral tributes left for the victims of the attack on Manchester Arena lie around the statue in St Ann's Square in central Manchester. Reuters/Jon Super 15/15 A woman holds flowers as she takes part in a vigil in central Manchester. Reuters/Darren Staples 1/15 A woman looks at flowers for the victims of the Manchester Arena attack, in central Manchester Britain. Reuters/Stefan Wermuth › UK police stop sharing information on Manchester... By Andy Bruce and Kylie MacLellan | MANCHESTER/LONDON British police have stopped sharing information on the suicide bombing in Manchester with the United States, the BBC reported on Thursday, because of fears that leaks to the U.S. media could hinder a hunt for a possible bomb-maker still at large. The row came as police pressed a fast-paced investigation into Monday's bombing, which killed 22 people at a music venue packed with children and raised fears a further attack could be imminent. Troops have been deployed to guard key points and eight people have been arrested. Authorities have said the 22-year-old bomber, British-born Salman Abedi, was part of a network and had recently returned from Libya, where his parents were born. Police chiefs have made clear they are furious about the publication of confidential material in U.S. media, including bomb site photographs in the New York Times, saying such leaks undermined relationships with trusted security allies. "This damage is even greater when it involves unauthorized disclosure of potential evidence in the middle of a major counter-terrorism investigation," a National Counter Terrorism Policing spokesman said in a statement. British Prime Minister Theresa May will raise the issue with U.S. President Donald Trump when she meets him at a NATO summit in Brussels later on Thursday, a government source told Reuters. ADVERTISEMENT The pictures published by the New York Times included remains of the bomb and of the rucksack carried by the suicide bomber, and showed blood stains amid the wreckage. "I think it's pretty disgusting," said Scott Lightfoot, a Manchester resident, speaking outside a train station in the city. He criticized media for publishing such material. "Who's leaking it? Where's it coming from? This is British intelligence at the end of the day, people shouldn't be finding out about this." "BOMB-MAKING WORKSHOP" The Financial Times reported that such images are available across a restricted-access encrypted special international database used by government ordnance and explosives experts in about 20 countries allied with Britain. It said the database was built around a longstanding U.S.-British system. The BBC said Manchester Police hoped to resume normal intelligence relationships soon but was currently furious. The bombing, which took place at the Manchester Arena indoor venue just after the end of a concert by U.S. pop singer Ariana Grande, was the deadliest in Britain since July 2005, when 52 people were killed in attacks on London's transport network. Related Coverage UK PM May to chair emergency committee meeting at 0830 GMT: spokesman UK PM May to raise intelligence leaks with Trump: UK government source UK suicide bomber was in Germany days before Manchester attack: Sky UK stops sharing information on Manchester attack with United States after leaks: BBC The Manchester attack has caused revulsion across the world because it targeted children and teenagers, who make up the bulk of Grande's fan base. The victims ranged from an eight-year-old schoolgirl to parents who had come to pick up their children. U.S. channel ABC News reported that police had found a kind of bomb-making workshop in Abedi's home and he had apparently stockpiled enough chemicals to make additional bombs. British news website The Independent also reported bomb-making materials which could be primed for imminent attacks had been found in the raids following the Manchester bombing. The report said one suspect device was blown up in a controlled explosion. Britain views the United States as its closest ally, and the two countries also share intelligence as part of the "Five Eyes" network which also includes Australia, Canada and New Zealand. After Trump defended his decision to discuss intelligence with the Russians during a White House meeting, May said last week that Britain would continue to share intelligence with the United States. (Writing by Guy Faulconbridge and Estelle Shirbon; Editing by Ralph Boulton) ---------------------- Tue May 23, 2017 | 2:01 AM EDT 3h ago | 01:15 Blast kills at least 19 at concert; suicide bomber suspected Nineteen killed in suspected suicide attack at... X By Michael Holden and Andrew Yates | MANCHESTER, England At least 19 people were killed and 59 wounded in an explosion at the end of a concert by U.S. singer Ariana Grande in the English city of Manchester on Monday, in what two U.S. officials said was a suspected suicide bombing. Prime Minister Theresa May said the incident was being treated as a terrorist attack. If confirmed, it would be the deadliest militant assault in Britain since four British Muslims killed 52 people in suicide bombings on London's transport system in July 2005. Police responded to reports of an explosion shortly after 10:33 pm (2133 GMT) at Manchester Arena, which has the capacity to hold 21,000 people, where the U.S. singer had been performing to an audience that included many children. A witness who attended the concert said she felt a huge blast as she was leaving the arena, followed by screaming and a rush by thousands of people trying to escape the building. A video posted on Twitter showed fans, many of them young, screaming and running from the venue. Dozens of parents frantically searched for their children, posting photos and pleading for information on social media. "We were making our way out and when we were right by the door there was a massive explosion and everybody was screaming," concert-goer Catherine Macfarlane told Reuters. "It was a huge explosion - you could feel it in your chest. It was chaotic. Everybody was running and screaming and just trying to get out." Ariana Grande, 23, later said on Twitter: "broken. from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don't have words." May, who faces an election in two-and-a-half weeks, said her thoughts were with the victims and their families. May and Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the opposition Labour Party, agreed to suspend campaigning ahead of the June 8 election. "We are working to establish the full details of what is being treated by the police as an appalling terrorist attack," May said in a statement. "All our thoughts are with the victims and the families of those who have been affected." May will hold a crisis response meeting on Tuesday. Manchester Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said police were treating the blast as a terrorist incident and were working with counter-terrorism police and intelligence agencies but gave no further details on their investigation. ADVERTISEMENT Related Coverage VIDEOBritish police treating deadly concert blast as 'terrorist incident' VIDEODeadly blast at Manchester Ariana Grande concert VIDEOVideo captures chaos at Manchester Arena VIDEOPeople flee Manchester Arena after deadly blast at Ariana Grande concert 'Pls help me...': Frantic parents hunt for missing kids after UK concert blast Chinese President Xi Jinping sent his condolences over the blast to Britain's Queen Elizabeth, Chinese state media reported. SUICIDE BOMBER? There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but U.S. officials drew parallels to the coordinated attacks in November 2015 by Islamist militants on the Bataclan concert hall and other sites in Paris, which claimed about 130 lives. Two U.S. officials who spoke on condition of anonymity said initial signs indicated that a suicide bomber was responsible for the blast. "In the absence of conclusive evidence, the choice of venue, the timing and the mode of attack all suggest this was terrorism," said a U.S. counter terrorism official who also spoke on condition of anonymity. Islamic State supporters took to social media to celebrate the blast and some encouraged similar attacks elsewhere. [L8N1IP096] Britain is on its second-highest alert level of "severe", meaning an attack by militants is considered highly likely. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security was monitoring the situation in Manchester closely but said it had no information to indicate a specific credible threat involving music venues in the United States. British counter-terrorism police have said they are making on average an arrest every day in connection with suspected terrorism. In March, a British-born convert to Islam ploughed a car into pedestrians on London's Westminster Bridge, killing four people before stabbing to death a police officer who was on the grounds of parliament. The man was shot dead at the scene. In 2015, Pakistani student Abid Naseer was convicted in a U.S. court of conspiring with al Qaeda to blow up the Arndale shopping center in the center of Manchester in April 2009. Related Coverage Islamic State supporters celebrate Manchester attack online, no official claim No indication of threat to U.S. music venues after Manchester blast: U.S. Ariana Grande says she is 'broken' in tweet after Manchester attack Britain suspends election campaign after suspected attack UK police say controlled explosion was precautionary PARENTS' ANGUISH Manchester Arena, the largest indoor arena in Europe, opened in 1995 and is a popular concert and sporting venue. Desperate parents and friends used social media to search for loved ones while the wounded were being treated at six hospitals across Manchester. "Everyone pls share this, my little sister Emma was at the Ari concert tonight in #Manchester and she isn't answering her phone, pls help me," said one message posted alongside a picture of a blonde girl with flowers in her hair. Paula Robinson, 48, from West Dalton about 40 miles east of Manchester, said she was at the train station next to the arena with her husband when she felt the explosion and saw dozens of teenage girls screaming and running away from arena. "We ran out," Robinson told Reuters. "It was literally seconds after the explosion. I got the teens to run with me." Robinson took dozens of teenage girls to the nearby Holiday Inn Express hotel and tweeted out her phone number to worried parents, telling them to meet her there. She said her phone had not stopped ringing since her tweet. "Parents were frantic running about trying to get to their children," she said. "There were lots of lots children at Holiday Inn." For a graphic showing where the blast hit, click: tmsnrt.rs/2rbQAay (Additional Reporting by Alistair Smout, Kate Holton and David Milliken in LONDON, Mark Hosenball in LOS ANGELES, John Walcott in WASHINGTON, D.C., Leela de Kretser in NEW YORK, Mostafa Hashem in CAIRO, and Ben Blanchard in BEIJING; Writing by Guy Faulconbridge and Nick Tattersall; Editing by Sandra Maler, Toni Reinhold and Paul Tait)

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