In Dewsbury, students at Mr Dudha’s Islamic Tarbiyah Academy are taught that “the enemies of Allah" have schemed “to poison the thinking and minds of [Muslim] youth and to plant the spirit of unsteadiness and moral depravity in their lives".
Parents are told that they betray their children if they allow them to associate with non-Muslims.
A crackle in the brush. That's the sound the Afghan herder recalls hearing as he walked alone through a pine forest last month. When he looked up, he saw an American commando, his legs and shoulder bloodied. The commando pointed his gun at the Afghan. "Maybe he thought I was a Taliban," says the shepherd, Gulab. "I remembered hearing that if an American sticks up his thumb, it is a friendly gesture. So that's what I did." To make sure the message was clear, Gulab lifted his tunic to show the American he wasn't hiding a weapon. He then propped up the wounded commando, and together the pair hobbled down the steep mountain trail to Sabari-Minah, a cluster of adobe-and-wood homes--crossing, for the time being, to safety.Gulab's name means "Rose", hence the headline.
What Gulab did not know is that the commando he encountered was part of a team of Navy SEALs that had been missing for four days after being ambushed by Taliban insurgents during a reconnaissance mission in northeastern Afghanistan. An initial search mission to find the missing SEALs ended in disaster on June 28, when a Chinook helicopter carrying 16 service members was shot down over Kunar province, killing everyone aboard, in one of the deadliest attacks so far on U.S. forces in Afghanistan. Since then, the bodies of two of the missing SEALs have been recovered; another is still classified as missing, though the Taliban claims he was captured and beheaded.
One member of the team did survive. Though the military has not released the name of the SEAL (the U.S. military seldom gives out the names of its special-operations personnel), TIME pieced together his story on the basis of briefings with U.S. military officials in Afghanistan plus an exclusive account of how Gulab, an Afghan herdsman, rescued the wounded commando. What emerges is the tale of a courageous U.S. fighter facing impossible odds in unfamiliar terrain, stalked by the enemy and stripped of everything but his gun and his will to survive. But it is also a story of mercy and fraternity, showing that even in the war-scorched landscape of the Afghan mountains, little shoots of humanity sometimes have a chance to grow.
According to accounts provided to U.S. commanders by the surviving Navy SEAL, the commando team had come under fierce attack from a large group of Taliban fighters, who pounded their location with rocket-propelled grenades, mortars and a steady hail of small-arms fire. The clatter of the approaching Chinook may or may not have been audible to the SEALs, but the Taliban surely heard it. A second band of fighters turned and took a bead on the chopper, probably with a rocket- propelled grenade, and in what a U.S. official calls "a pretty lucky shot," knocked it out of the sky.
Now the four SEALs were truly alone. With night falling and the fog settling, they managed to slip through the Taliban fighters. Crawling and scrambling, they headed toward the high ridges, and the Taliban--who had them outnumbered, probably 5 to 1--gave chase.
U.S. officials say the commandos kept up a running fire fight with their pursuers for more than two miles. The known survivor recalls seeing two of his friends shot. At one point he blacked out, possibly from a mortar round landing close by. When he regained consciousness, two of his teammates--Petty Officer 2nd Class Danny Dietz, 25, and Lieutenant Michael Murphy, 29--were dead, and a third had vanished in the darkness and fog. The surviving SEAL dragged himself at least another mile up into the mountains. It was there he was found four days later by Gulab the shepherd.
After taking the SEAL to Sabari-Minah, Gulab called a village council and explained that the American needed protection from Taliban hunters. It was the SEAL's good fortune that the villagers were Pashtun, who are honor-bound never to refuse sanctuary to a stranger. By then, said Gulab, "the American understood that we were trying to save him, and he relaxed a bit."
The Taliban was not so agreeable. That night the fighters sent a message to the villagers: "We want this infidel." A firm reply from the village chief, Shinah, shot back. "The American is our guest, and we won't give him up as long as there's a man or a woman left alive in our village." As a precaution, the villagers moved the injured commando out of Gulab's house and hid him in a stable overnight, until it was safe for Gulab to make the six-hour trek down to the U.S. base at Asadabad and report that the SEAL--by then the subject of an intense search--was alive. Sometime later, Gulab went back to his village and then returned to Asadabad with the commando, this time reuniting the wounded and weary SEAL with his jubilant comrades.
The relief at recovering the missing commando has been tempered by the heavy loss of American life--and the knowledge that more fighting lies ahead. The Taliban's offensive shows no sign of waning and is apparently aimed at sabotaging September's parliamentary elections. U.S. Colonel Don McGraw, director of operations of the Combined Forces Command in Kabul, says that in the chaos of Afghanistan today, it is hard to distinguish among what is the work of the Taliban, drug traffickers and criminal gangs.
It is a testament to the persistent insecurity in Afghanistan that Gulab now fears that his act of compassion may mean his death warrant. After returning the SEAL, he went back to grab his family and flee before the Taliban would come round seeking revenge. In the mountains of Kunar, fear is rising again.
The message appeared on a website linked to the al-Masri brigade - named after an Egyptian al-Qaeda commander married to one of Osama bin Laden's daughters, who was believed killed in Afghanistan in 2001. "Withdraw the troops. We give you one month. Then we will act, starting a bloody war at the heart of Europe" read the text of the message.ITALY: EXPERTS TAKE IRAQ ULTIMATUM SERIOUSLY
Start with the claim that 400,000 frozen embryos otherwise would go to waste. The truth is that most of them are anything but "surplus." According to a 2003 survey by researchers at the RAND Corp., a California think tank, 88 percent of them are being stored for their original function: to make babies for their parents. Just 2.2 percent of the embryos have been designated for disposal and less than 3 percent for research. The latter group amounts to about 11,000 embryos
In fact it turns out that these embryos only represent a fraction of what would be needed to effect a cure. There will never be enough donated embryos, literally millions would be need for therapeutic purposes. Chapman believe that the real objective of getting a hold of those embryos is this:
[Pro ES advocates] want Americans to get used to the idea of destroying human embryos in research. Then it will be a small step to get the public to accept what they really want--creating human life in order to destroy it.
If you think "therapeutic cloning" is too far-fetched, there is already a gruesome precedent for using fetal material in research despite laws prohibiting it. Follow the links to fetal harvesting in Hyscience's post if you have a strong stomach. It makes destroying a few embryos seem insignificant.
In issues involving the value and sanctity of human life, the slippery slope is all too real. One tiny compromise is inevitably the camel's nose under the tent. We need only look at how physician-assisted suicide in Holland has morphed into the euthanasia of handicapped children.
The case for embryonic stem cell research is already riddled with fraud. So in terms of both morals and the basic facts of the matter we are looking into a bottomless abyss.