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By Syed M.Aslam
April 22 - 28, 2002

*** "HERE IN AMERICA, patriotism does not mean keeping quiet. It means speaking up... Important American values are being trampled. Special interests are calling the shots."

(Former US Vice President Al-Gore accusing President George W. Bush of taking America for ride."

*** "THIS IS THE WRONG way to be open to the world, it's a self-enslavement, participation in the Americanization of France."

(President of the International Francophone Forum, a group that defends the French language, Albert Salon criticizing the influential Paris daily Le Monde of undermining the French language by printing a weekly supplement in English)

*** "THERE WILL BE NO WITCH HUNTS, no persecution, no disrespect for free expression or thought. The country needs an opposition that is loyal to the country, that offers the nation real criticism and alternatives."

(Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez ruling out action against army officers who staged the US-backed coup putting him out of office for a couple of days)

*** "AMERICA WOULD WIN the trust of the world if it supported freedom, justice and human rights for all people... I BELIEVE that Will Smith, who is a dear friend, is on the verge of converting."

(Famed American singer and brother of Michael Jackson, Mohammad Sharif Jackson, saying that US must alter its pro-Israel policy in the Middle East. Jackson who converted to Islam 10 years ago also said that many entertainment personalities in the US are being drawn to Islam including rapper and movie star Will Smith who is on the verge of converting)

*** "WE WANT TO SAY that the Arab people are not fools to support America's economy and, accordingly, the brutal Zionists."

(Head of Women Students Union at the University of Sharjah explaining reason for removing American soft drinks at the university's premises. She also urged the traders to provide alternatives to American products to help a wide range of boycott at the national level)

*** "THEY ARE MY MODE of communication. They are my microphone. My tape-recorder. It is through these fingers that I connect with my vocal chords. Any my vocal chord is tabla."

(Indian tabla maestro Ustad Zakir Hussain explaining what his fingers mean to him)

*** "THE JAPANESE even bought huge buildings in New York, but luckily didn't buy the World Trade Center. If they had bought it then, now the Japanese would have been sadder than the Americans. Of course, we are also very sad."

(Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji's light-hearted quip on Japan's overseas investment)

*** "THEY SHOULD BE SHOT DEAD. I think they are Nazis, racists, I feel nothing for hatred for them. I never believed that Israel had the right to exist at all."

(Prominent British poet Tom Paulin's strong condemnation of Brooklyn-born settlers in Israel)

*** "WE WANT THE WORLD to know that we are treating students, tourists, people here for short period of time, as criminals. We're putting them into arbitrary detention, just like the worst totalitarian regimes we cry out all the time about in this country."

(Barabara J. Olshansky, a lawyer suing the Bush administration on behalf of US civil rights group the Centre for Constitutional Rights, for prolonged biased and unconstitutional detention of hundreds of Muslim men)

*** "I CANNOT become part of a dark page of history by playing a role in the presidential referendum."

(Judge of Balochistan High Court Tariq Mahmood who resigned in protest at the presidential referendum scheduled end this month to elect President General Pervez Musharraf for five years)

*** "WE DO NOT think America would intervene. We are not Muslims."

(Leader of world's most feared terror outfit Tamil Tigers, Prabhakaran, ruling out US intervention in world-torn Sri Lanka where he is waging a war for a separate homeland for minority Tamils)