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Wednesday, 30 June 2010

WorldCup2010: Spain 1 Portugal 0

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — David Villa finished off a move of Spanish perfection to finally break down Portugal's defensive wall Tuesday and give the European champions a 1-0 win and spot in the World Cup quarterfinals.
Villa scored his fourth goal of the tournament in the 63rd minute, while Cristiano Ronaldo again failed to inspire Portugal.

A trademark Spanish passing move found Andres Iniesta in the center. He flicked the ball through to Xavi Hernandez, who backheeled to Villa charging in on the left.

The Barcelona-bound striker saw his first shot blocked by Portugal goalkeeper Eduardo, but on the rebound, he coolly slotted home with his right foot.

"It was one of my best goals because it got us through to the next round," Villa said. "Keep scoring so we can keep going."

Portugal's only defensive weakness had been on its right flank, where Ricardo Costa struggled. He was sent off for elbowing Joan Capdevila in the 89th minute, stifling a late Portuguese drive.

Spain will now play Paraguay in the quarterfinals on Saturday at Ellis Park.

Exactly two years after Spain ended a 44-year drought by winning the European Championship, the team stayed on course to become the first European titlist to add the World Cup since West Germany did it in 1974.

Spain was about teamwork, and it showed from the start. Fernando Torres and Villa immediately moved down the left, looking to exploit Portugal's weakness on right back. Within the first seven minutes, Eduardo had to make three quality saves to keep Portugal in the game on angled shots from Spain's two strikers.

Yet strangely enough, Spain did not continue to pound Portugal's weak right side and instead settled for the intricate passing game through the center it has become famous for.

Once Portugal's defense settled, it proved why it has one of the best in the world, conceding only one goal in its last 12 matches. It clogged play in the center and Spain got frustrated to the extent that it was reduced to long-range attempts Gerard Pique.

"We never lost our confidence," Villa said. "We know the potential we have and what we can give."

Portugal's problem was that Ronaldo was yet again off form. Right before the opening whistle, he looked up at the night sky and started pleading with his arms outstretched, almost begging to finally make his mark on a huge game.

The heavens didn't respond.

Ronaldo's best attempt came from a free kick in the 28th minute when he launched the ball from 35 meters (yards) with such unpredictable dipping swerve and speed that all Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas could do was block it with his body and see the ball bounce free.

Otherwise, Portugal could rely little on its captain. As he was pointing left and right where his teammates should go, he often walked.

In four games, he had shown only a few flashes of his brilliance.

Early in the second half, Portugal almost got the breakthrough it wanted when a cross from Hugo Almeida bounced off the leg of Carles Puyol and the deflection sailed marginally wide of Casillas' goal.

For all of Torres's running, he still showed he had not fully recovered from his right knee operation in April. Instead of scoring the winner like he did two years ago to, he was replaced by Fernando Llorente in the 59th, and the match immediately changed.

Llorente had a great header on his first touch of the ball, which Eduardo saved. But two minutes later, Villa scored the lone goal.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

What Is Jihad?

Bismillahir Rahman ir Raheem,

Never has there been a word more misrepresented in the media than Jihad.

Humans have been fighting and killing each other for millennia, developing ever more effective ways and enhancing technology to facilitate this killing. People fight to defend themselves, or to attack others. Wars are fought for land, tribe, nation, legacy, fortune, religion , independence, or resources like water and oil.

Today's many wars are mostly fought over resources, like the US and UK fighting for securing 'their' oil in Iraq or Afghanistan, or for land and its minerals as in parts of Africa, or civil wars in South America.

Islam addresses fighting and warfare, laying down rules for when and how it should occur. Islam does not allow wars for material gain, taking other people's resources and lands, or to convert people from their religion . Islam does not sanction the invading and pillaging of the past, nor the colonialism of the present, which all lead to enslaving and impoverishing the conquered people.

Muslims are required to follow the Islamic rules of warfare, if they were to go to war. Examples include: no killing of innocent people, no killing of women and children , no burning of crops or trees, only fight those that fight you, no wanton destruction.

Jihad, then, is the striving of Muslims when they go to war and are governed by these laws. Primarily there are two types of Jihad. The first is when Muslims rally to fight and expel invading armies from their land. Examples are when the Crusaders invaded Palestine during the eleventh and twelfth centuries, or when the Mongols invaded Central Asia, Persia, Iraq and Syria in the thirteenth century. This defensive Jihad aims to protect the citizens and their land by pushing the occupiers out.

The other type of Jihad is only undertaken by an Islamic State. Its aim is to eradicate 'fitna' (injustice and oppression) where it is exists in other places, and replace unjust and oppressive ruling with a just rule under the auspices of the Islamic State. There are three parts to it: first, to invite the people to accept Islam by explaining the Islamic belief and what Islam has to offer people. This is done by dialogue and discussion and maybe over some time. Secondly, the people are invited to unify with the Islamic State, whether or not they become Muslims, enjoying peace, justice, security and protection, thereby ending the injustice and oppression. Historically some non-Muslim peoples opted for this option, which is in exchange for a small yearly tax (taken as a token in exchange for their protection, since they are alleviated from contributing in other financial ways to the society, as the Muslims are obliged to do). The third and final course of action after the first two have failed is war. Such a war is called Jihad and it has its rules, like no wanton destruction or targeting of civilians. When an Islamic State goes to war, it can never be for money, land, or riches -unlike the current and past colonial occupations of the last two centuries.

Jihad is often seen by Western people as barbaric, as a result of the propaganda constantly pushed by thegovernment and media to portray Muslims as bloodthirsty, massacring killers, bent on forcing the world to change their religion . They have even coined the phrase 'holy war' for Jihad to encourage this false opinion. However, an Islamic State would commit to the Islamic foreign policy, showing the world what Islam really is and how Islam can truly make their lives and society better, even if they do not become Muslim. Jihad is a last resort in this process. The Islamic belief is never to be forced upon people once land is taken, with 1400 years of history bearing testimony to this.

When Western nations invade Muslim countries they destroy the infrastructure of the country causing more deaths than those caused by their bullets and bombs. It is estimated that a million or so civilians have died in the Iraq war, which was launched ostensibly to convert the Middle East to following liberal democracy, yet was driven by Western greed for securing resources - their 'vital security interests'. What further exposes the immorality of such warfare is that contracts are awarded to US and UK companies to rebuild the infrastructure, making the invaded country pay for it as well (Iraq as an example).

Whilst neo-colonial Western powers wage war and invade for resources, places of strategic importance and further increasing their luxurious way of living, Islam expressly forbids that war be waged for such selfish reasons. Even when war does occur, Islam does not allow the kind of killing and destruction that the Western powers have perpetrated over recent years.

This article was reproduced from the website Islam-Explained.

Wal hamdulilahi Rabbil alameen
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