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Islam means "submission to God in peace". Islam teaches there is only One God, whose primary name is "Allah" in the Arabic language. Islam is the same essential message given to all the prophets, from Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and finally to the Last Prophet, Muhammad, (peace be upon them all). They all proclaimed the same basic Divine message: worship only God, stop worshipping human beings and other created things There's a different between Islam and Muslims!! What's the purpose of life? What Do You Know About Islam? Not what you have heard about Islam, not what you have seen in the actions of some Muslims, but what do you really know about Islam?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Yvonne Ridley

Yvonne Ridley (born 1959, Stanley, County Durham, England) is a British journalist, war correspondent [1] and Respect Party politician best known for her capture by the Taliban and subsequent conversion to Islam after release and her outspoken opposition to Zionism and the perceived propaganda of the Western media. Ridley currently works for Press TV, the Iranian-based English language news channel.


As a young girl, she already had an ambition for professional reporting. Stimulated at 14 by the publication of a letter she sent to the Evening Chronicle in Newcastle, she was determined to become a journalist. At 16, she wrote to every newspaper group in the UK and subsequently she attended a journalism course at the London College of Printing. Since then she wrote for the Sunday Times, the Independent on Sunday, The Observer, The Mirror and the News Of The World and she was deputy editor of Wales on Sunday before her assignment with the Sunday Express, the tabloid that sent her to Afghanistan after 9/11.

She was the chief reporter of the Sunday Express at the time, having spent nearly 10 years in Fleet Street working for several newspapers including The Sunday Times, The Observer, Daily Mirror and Independent on Sunday. Ridley set out as a regional journalist nearly 30 years ago in her native North East. She has also worked as a broadcaster, producer and presenter on programmes for BBC TV and radio, CNN, ITN and Carlton TV travelling to Afghanistan, Iraq, Gaza and the West Bank. A founder member of Women in Journalism, she was also a promoter of women’s rights, although after she converted to Islam, she publicly criticised some aspects of the 'sisterhood' promoted by Western feminism She is also a founder member of the Stop The War Coalition and the RESPECT political party.
In her spare time Ridley travels throughout the UK and across the globe promoting peace and the anti-war message.[citation needed] She has also delivered lectures on issues relating to Iraq, Israel, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Kashmir and Uzbekistan, Women in Islam, the War on Terror and journalism at universities across the US, Australia, South Africa and the Middle East. Ridley is a founder member of the Friends of Islam, an All Party Parliamentary Group and Women in Journalism. In addition she is a member of the National Union of Journalists, the International Federation of Journalists, a founder of Women in Journalism, and is also a member of the Society of Authors. She has written two books called "In The Hands of the Taliban" and "Ticket to Paradise" and is currently writing and researching for two other titles including a biography of Osama bin Laden. Ridley is a patron of the UK-based pressure groups Cageprisoners and Hhugs. She also devotes much of her time to humanitarian work and charities.[citation needed]

Capture by the Taliban

Yvonne Ridley came to prominence on 28 September 2001, when she was captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan whilst working for the Sunday Express. Repeatedly refused an entrance visa, she decided to follow the example of BBC reporter John Simpson, who had crossed the border anonymously in a burqa.

Colleagues said Ridley responded to text messages from friends until 26 September 2001, after having told them she would attempt to cross the border from Pakistan into Afghanistan. It became clear that she had been discovered without passport or visa, and was held by the authorities after being arrested with her guides, the Afghan refugee Nagibullah Muhmand and Pakistani Jan Ali, in a village in the Dour Daba district near the eastern city of Jalalabad in Nangahar, close to the border with Pakistan. She was dressed like an Afghan, but it is believed she was caught after attempting to take photographs, an illegal activity under the Taliban. She was spotted two days later, on 28 September, after slipping across the border by local people who pointed her out to security forces, who took her to Jalalabad for further investigation on possible espionage charges, that carried the death penalty. Shortly before, the Taliban had asked all foreigners to leave the country and had said they would not issue visas to journalists. They threatened that anyone found using a satellite phone would be executed.

She would at least be prosecuted for entering the country illegally, reported the Afghan Islamic Press agency, quoting the Taliban's deputy foreign minister, Mullah Abdur Rahman Zahid.
Qudratullah Jamal, the Taliban's information minister, expressed the suspicion that Ridley was possibly a member of a military "special forces" unit like the British SAS.It was also suggested that she and other westerners could be kept by the Taliban as hostages.

The British high commissioner to Pakistan, Hilary Synnott, met the Taliban-ambassador in Islamabad, Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef and opened negotiations intended at a quick release of Ridley While the press in Britain speculated about the reason of her arrest and the seriousness of the suspicion, she was kept in solitary confinement for seven days and then moved to a prison in Kabul

In the prison in Kabul she met the Christian missionary Heather Mercer, who was also kept by the Taliban and was unaware of the latest developments

The same week British bombings on Afghan targets as part of the Operation Enduring Freedom began, while the whereabouts of Ridley were unknown to the British authorities and it was feared that these bombings would jeopardise her release.Then her release, ordered on 'humanitarian grounds' by Taliban-leader Mullah Mohamed Omar, was reported by Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef.After her release on 9 October 2001, when her Taliban captors escorted her from the Kabul prison to a Pakistan border post at the foot of the Khyber Pass, near Peshawar, she revealed that she had kept a concealed diary inside a box for a toothpaste tube and in the inside of a soap wrapper, and had been on hunger strike throughout her captivity, but denied to have been physically hurt in any way.
After the release of Ridley, her guides Jan Ali and Nagibullah Muhmand, as well as Basmena, the five-year-old daughter of the latter, were kept by the Taliban in a prison in Kabul, according to Reporters sans Frontières

Conversion to Islam

According her own account after her release, during her captivity she was asked by one of her captors to convert to Islam; she refused, but gave her word she would read the Qur'an after her release.

In freedom, she kept this promise, as she said partly to find out why the Taliban treated women as they do She said it changed her life.

The Qur'an, she says describing the holy book of Islam, is a "magna carta for women".

She converted to Islam in the summer of 2003, stating that her new faith has helped put behind her broken marriages and a reputation as the "Patsy Stone of Fleet Street." When comparing her treatment to female prisoners' held in American custody, such as Aafia Siddiqui, she said that in Taliban's custody she was given her full privacy as a woman, and was handed the key to the door of her cell to lock from the inside.In 2004, she described her journey of faith for the BBC's religion site (see A Muslim in the Family), as well as in other publications and on other occasions in which she emerged as a "fierce critic of the West".

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