PAKET UMROH BULAN FEBRUARI MARET APRIL MEI 2018





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saco-indonesia.com, Peristiwa yang menggelikan sekaligus miris telah dialami oleh salah satu bus Transjakarta dengan pelat nomor B 7489 IX yang telah melayani penumpang di koridor IV Pulogadung-Dukuh Atas. Ban belakang kiri bus tiba-tiba copot saat melintas di kawasan Matraman, Jakarta Timur.

Brakk... sepasang ban belakang kiri bus dengan nomor JT-039 itu terlepas dari as roda belakang. Ban juga sempat menggelinding sejauh 10 meter. Mobil yang dibawa oleh pramudi perempuan bernama Nunung itu mogok tak jauh dari flyover Matraman arah Manggarai, Rabu (26/12) .

"Saat dari pangkalan, memang sudah terasa tidak enak di bagian belakang. Tapi saya bawa saja," kata Nunung.

Perasaan Nunung telah terbukti, saat ban belakang bagian kiri itu terlepas. "Tadi penumpang sedikit," ujarnya.

Para penumpang yang sempat panik pun kemudian telah dipindahkan ke bus lainnya untuk dapat melanjutkan perjalanan. Lokasi copot ban itu berjarak 500 meter dari Halte Matraman.

Teknisi dari PT Trans Metropolitan kemudian memperbaiki as roda dan memasang kembali ban yang copot.


Editor : Dian Sukmawati

BAN BUS TRANSJAKARTA COPOT
kata mutiara

Hidup punya banyak pilihan dengan hal-hal baik dan buruknya masing-masing. Tentukan pilihanmu, lakukan yang terbaik.
Dalam hidup, jangan pernah biarkan pendapat seseorang tentangmu mengubah dirimu menjadi seseorang yang kamu tahu bukan dirimu.
Mencintai seseorang bukan hanya dengan mengucapkannya setiap hari, tapi juga dengan menunjukkannya dalam segala hal sepenuh hati.
Kadang, meski marah atas apa yang telah dilakukan dia yang kamu cinta, kamu tetap tak mampu berhenti mencintainya.
Sahabat sejati dapat menunjukkanmu bahwa hidup tak seburuk yang kamu pikirkan dan masalahmu tak sebesar yang kamu takutkan.
Hati-hatilah dengan hati. Jangan berikan pada seseorang yang tak bisa menghargai, karena ketika diberi, dia takkan sepenuhnya kembali.
Sahabat yang baik tidak akan meminta sahabatnya menjadi orang lain. Tetapi sahabat yang baik akan menerima sahabatnya apa adanya.
Kadang ketika lelah terus terluka, kamu memilih tuk menjauh dari segalanya, hanya karena kamu ingin melihat siapa yang akan menghampirimu.
Jangan menolak perubahan hanya karena takut kehilangan yang telah dimilki,karena dengannya kita merendahkan nilai yang bisa kita capai melalui perubahan itu.
Jika kita menetapkan ingin hidup ini seperti apa, lalu kerja keras untuk mencapai tujuan, kita tidak akan pernah kalah ,bahkan akan menang.
Jangan mengingat kebaikan yang pernah kamu lakukan, tapi ingatlah kebaikan yang orang lain lakukan kepadamu.
Ketika kamu merasa sendiri dan tak ada yang peduli, ingatlah bahwa ada seseorang di luar sana yang begitu ingin memiliki hidup yang kamu jalani.
Cinta mungkin akan membuatmu terluka, tapi ia membuatmu semakin dewasa. Jadilah pribadi yang selalu memaafkan, terutama hatimu.
Kebencian hanya merugikan diri sendiri, tersenyumlah ketika disakiti. Hati tanpa benci membentuk jiwa yang tegar dan damai.
Keyakinan merupakan suatu pengetahuan di dalam hati, jauh tak terjangkau oleh bukti.
Sakit dalam perjuangan itu hanya sementara. Semenit, sejam, sehari, atau setahun. Namun jika menyerah, rasa sakit itu akan terasa selamanya.
Jadilah diri anda sendiri. Siapa lagi yang bisa melakukannya lebih baik ketimbang diri anda sendiri?
Kebanggaan kita yang terbesar adalah bukan tidak pernah gagal, tetapi bangkit kembali setiap kali kita jatuh.
Sesuatu yang sangat sulit tuk melupakan seseorang yang telah memberimu begitu banyak hal tuk diingat.
Kau tak kan bisa kehilangan apa yang tak pernah kau miliki. Kau tak kan bisa memaksa bertahan pada seseorang jika dia ingin pergi.
Dalam cinta, jangan buang air matamu menangisi seseorang yang bahkan tak pantas tuk melihatmu tersenyum.
Ketika seseorang cukup kuat tuk buatmu terjatuh, kamu harus tunjukkan padanya bahwa kamu juga cukup kuat tuk bangkit berdiri.
Pertolongan Tuhan mungkin tidak datang terlalu cepat, tidak juga terlambat. Pertolongan Tuhan selalu datang di saat yang tepat
Jangan kamu lupa jangan kamu lengah atas berkat rahmat Allah maha kuasa.
Seseorang yang menemanimu dalam kesusahan jauh lebih berharga daripada seratus orang yang menemanimu dalam kesenangan.
Hidup itu seperti drama, dan kamu bisa memilih untuk menjadi penontonnya atau pemainnya.
Jangan bersedih ketika melakukan salah. Karena kesalahan kita banyak belajar, karena kesalahan kita menjadi pintar.
Cintai apapun yang akan kamu lakukan hari ini, kerena tidak ada yang menarik jika kamu tidak tertarik.
Kita semua pasti pernah salah, namun ada perbedaan besar antara salah yang buatmu dewasa dan salah yang sengaja dilakukan.
Jangan tangisi kesalahan, tapi tersenyumlah karena setiap kesalahan mengajarkanmu agar berupaya lebih baik lagi.
Kegagalan adalah cara Tuhan mengajarkan kamu tentang pantang menyerah, kesabaran, kerja keras dan percaya diri.
Bahagia bukan berarti segalanya sempurna. Bahagia adalah ketika kamu memutuskan tuk melihat segala sesuatu secara sempurna.

by yandre pramana putra
KATA MUTIARA

A. Pengertian Ghazwul Fikri (GF)

 

Ø Secara Bahasa

Ghazwul Fikri terdiri dari dua suku kata yaitu Ghazwah dan Fikr. Ghazwah berarti serangan, serbuan atau invansi. Sedangkan Fikr berarti pemikiran. Jadi, menurut bahasa Ghazwul Fikri adalah serangan atau serbuan didalam qital (perang) atau Ghazwul Fikri secara bahasa diartikan sebagai invansi pemikiran.

 

Ø Secara Istilah

Secara istilah, Ghazwul Fikri adalah penyerangan dengan berbagai cara terhadap pemikiran umat islam guna merubah apa yang ada didalamnya sehingga tidak lagi bisa mengeluarkan darinya hal – hal yang benar karena telah tercampur aduk dengan hal – hal yang tidak islami.

 

B. Makna Invansi Pemikiran (Ghazwul Fikri (GF))

 

Invansi / serangan pemikiran atau dalam bahasa arab dinamakan ghazwul fikri dan dalam bahasa inggris disebut dengan brain washing, thought control, menticide adalah istilah yang menunjukkan kepada suatu program yang dirancang dan dilaksanakan secara sistematis dan terstruktur oleh musuh – musuh islam untuk melakukan pendangkalan pemikiran dan cuci otak kepada kaum muslimin. Hal ini mereka lakukan agar kaum muslimin tunduk dan mengikuti cara hidup mereka sehingga melanggengkan kepentingan mereka untuk menjajah / mengeksploitasi sumber daya milik kaum muslimin.

 

C. Kelebihan – Kelebihan Invansi Pemikiran (Ghazwul Fikri (GF))

 

Invansi pemikiran atau ghazwul fikri (GF) dilakukan oleh para musuh islam dengan pertimbangan – pertimbangan bahwa dibandingkan dengan melakukan peperangan militer atau fisik, maka ghazwul fikri (GF) memiliki kelebihan – kelebihan sebagai berikut :

Aspek

Perang Fisik

Ghazwul Fikri

Biaya

Sangat mahal

Murah dan dikembalikan

Jangkauan

Terbatas di front

Sampai ke rumah - rumah

Obyek

Obyek merasakan

Sama sekali tidak merasa

Dampak

Mengadakan perlawanan

Menjadikan idola

Persenjataan

Senjata berat

Slogan, teori, iklan

 

D. Sejarah Ghazwul Fikri (GF)

 

Sejarah Ghazwul Fikri (GF) sudah ada setua umur manusia, makhluk yang pertama kali melakukannya adalah iblis laknatullah ketika berkata kepada Adam as., “ Sesungguhnya Allah melarang kalian memakan buah ini supaya kalian berdua tidak menjadi malaikat dan tidak dapat hidup abadi. “ (Q.S.Al – A’Raaf:20)

Dalam perkataannya ini iblis tidak menyatakan bahwa Allah tidak melarang kalian…karena itu akan bertentangan dengan informasi yang telah diterima oleh Adam as., tetapi iblis mengemas dan menyimpangkan makna perintah Allah SWT. Sesuai dengan keinginannya, yaitu dengan menambahkan alas an pelarangan Allah yang dibuat sendiri. Iblis tahu bahwa Adam as tidak punya pengetahuan tentang sebab tersebut. Demikianlah para murid – murid iblis dimasa kini selalu berusaha melakukan ghazwul fikri dengan menyimpangkan fakta dan informasi yang ada sesuai dengan maksud jahatnya. Setan melakukannya dengan cara yang sangat halus dan licin. Akibatnya, hanya orang – orang yang dirahmati Allah SWT yang mampu mengetahuinya.

 

 

E. Bidang – Bidang Yang di serang

 

1. Pendidikan

Pendidikan adalah aspek penting yang menentukan maju atau mundurnya suatu bangsa. Oleh sebab itu, bidang pendidikan merupakan target utama dari ghazwul fikri (GF). Ghazwul fikri (GF) yang dilakukan dibidang pendidikan, diantaranya dengan membuat sedikitnya porsi pendidikan agama di sekolah – sekolah umum (hanya 2 jam sepekan).

Hal ini berdampak fatal pada fondasi agama yang dimiliki oleh para siswa. Dengan lemahnya basis agama mereka, maka terjadilah tawuran, seks bebas pelajar yang meningkatkan AIDS, penyalahgunaan narkoba, vandalism, dan sebagaimananya. Ini adalah dampak jangka pendek.

Sedangkan dampak jangka panjangnya lebih berbahaya, yaitu rendahnya kualitas pemahaman agama para calon pemimpin bangsa dimasa depan. Ghazwul fikri (GF) lainnya dibidang ini adalah pada teknis belajarnya yang campur baur antara pria dan wanita yang jelas tidak sesuai dan banyak menimbulkan pelanggaran terhadap syariat.

 

2. Sejarah

Sejarah yang diajarkan perlu ditinjau ulang dan disesuaikan dengan semangat islam. Materi tentang sejarah dunia dan ilmu pengetahuan telah ghazwul fikri (GF) habis – habisan sehingga hamper tidak ditemui sama sekali pemaparan tentang sejarah para ilmuan islam dan sumbangannya dalam perkembangan ilmu pengetahuan.

Dalam sejarah yang dibahas hanyalah ilmuan kafir yang pada akhirnya membuat generasi muda menjadi silau dengan tokoh – tokoh kafir dan minder terhadap sejarahnya sendiri. Ketika berbicara tentang sejarah islam, di benak mereka hanyalah terbayang sejarah peperangan dengan pedang dan darah sebagaimana yang selalu digambarkan dalam kaca mata barat.

Hal ini lebih diperparah dengan sejarah nasional dan penamaan perguruan tinggi, gedung – gedung, perlambangan, penghargaan dan pusat ilmu lainnya dengan bahasa Hindu Sanksekerta, sehinga semakin hilanglah mutiara kegemilangan islam dihati para generasi muda.

 

3. Ekonomi

Ghazwul fikri (GF) yang terjadi dibidang ekonomi adalah konsekuensi dari motto ekonomi yaitu, mencari keuntungan sebesar – besarnya dengan pengorbanan sekecil – kecilnya. Ketika motto ini ditelan habis – habisan tanpa dilakukan filterisasi, maka tidak lagi memperhatikan halal atau haram, yang penting adalah bagaimana supaya untung sebesar – besarnya.

Hal lain yang perlu dicermati dalam system ekonomi kapitalisme, yaitu monopoli, riba dan pemihakan elit kepada para konglomerat. Mengenai monopoli sudah tidak perlu dibahas lagi, cukup jika dikatakan bahwa Amerika Serikat sendiri telah diberlakukan UU anti – trust (bagaimana di Indonesia?). Tentang riba dan haramnya bunga bank rasanya bukan pada tempatnya jika dibahas disini, cukup dikatakan bahwa munculnya dan berkembangnya bank tanpa bunga (bagi hasil), fatwa MUI, fatwa Universita Al Azhar Mesir, kesepakatan para ulama islam dunia membuktikan bahaya bunga bank dan haramnya dalam islam. Tentang keberpihakan kepada para konglomerat, semoga dengan perkembangan era reformasi saat ini dapat diperbaiki.

 

4. Ilmu Alam dan Sosial

Pada bidang ilmu – ilmu alam, ghazwul fikrii terbesar yang dilakukan adlah dengan dilakukannya sekularisasi antara ilmu pengetahuan dengan ilmu agama. Bahaya lainnya adalah penisbatan teori – teori ilmu pengetahuan kepada para ilmuan tanpa mengembalikannya kepada sang pemberi dan pemilik ilmu, sehingga mengakibatkan kekaguman dan pujian hanya berhenti pada diri para ilmuwan dan tidak bermuara kepada Allah SWT.

Hal lain adalah berkembangnya berbagai teori – teori sesaat yang sebenarnya belum diterima secara ilmiah, tetapi disebarkan secara besar – besaran oleh kelompok – kelompok tertentu untuk menimbulkan keraguan pada agama. Misalnya, teori tentang asal usul makhluk hidup (the origins of species) dari Darwin (yang sebenarnya merupakan kelanjutan dari penemuan Herbert Spencer) yang sebenarnya masih ada the missing link yang belum dapat menghubungkan antara manusia dank era, tapi sudah “ diindoktrinasikan “ kemana – mana. Atau, teori Libido seksualnya Freud, yang menyatakan bahwa jika manusia tidak dibebaskan sebebas – bebasnya keinginan seksualnya akan mengakibatkan terjadinya gangguan kejiwaan. Teori ini sudah dibantah secara ilmiah dan pencetusnya sendiri (Freud) yang terus menggembar – gemborkan kebebasan seksual, ternyata mati karena menderita penyakit kejiwaan (psikopath).

 

5. Bahasa

Ghazwul fikri (GF) dibidang bahasa adalah dengantidak diajarkannya bahasa Al – Qur’an di sekolah – sekolah karena menganggapnya tidak perlu. Hal yang nampaknya remeh ini sebenarnya sanagt besar akibatnya dan menjadi bencana bagi kaum muslimin Indonesia secara umum. Dengan tidak memahami Al – Qur’an, mayoritas kaum muslimin menjadi tidak mengerti apa kandungan Al – Qur’an, seperti firman Allah dalam surah Al Baqarah:78 artinya “ Dan diantara mereka ada yang buta huruf, tidak mengetahui Al – Kitab (taurat), kecuali dongengan bohong belaka dan mereka hanya menduga – duga “. Akibatnya, Al – Qur’an menjadi sekedar bacaan tanpa arti (Al – Qur’an hanya dinikmati iramanya seperti layaknya lagu – lagu dan nyayian belaka, yang akhirnya ditinggalkan seperti yang disebutkan dalam surah Al Furqaan:30 yang artinya “ Berkata Rasul : Ya tuhanku, sesungguhnya kaumku menjadikan Al – Qur’an ini suatu yang tidak diacuhkan “ dan surah Al Furqaan:31 yang artinya “ Dan seperti itulah, setelah kami adakan bagi tiap – tiap nabi, musuh dari orang – orang yang berdosa dan cukuplah Tuhanmu menjadi pemberi petunjuk dan penolong. “)

Dampak lain dari kebodohan terhadap bahasa Al – Qur’an adalah terputusnya hubungan kaum muslimin dengan perbendaharaan ilmu – ilmu keislaman yang telah disusun dan dibukukan selama hamper 1000 tahun oleh para pakar dan ilmuwan islam terdahulu yang jumlahnya mencapai jutaan judul buku, mencakup bidang – bidang akidah, tafsir, hadist, fiqih, sirah, tarikh, ulumul qur’an, tazkiyyah dan sebagainya.

 

6. Hukum

Ghazwul fikri (GF) pada aspek hukum adalah penggunaan acuan hukum warisan kolonial yang masih dipertahankan sebagai hukum yang berlaku, reduksi, dan penghapusan hukum Allah SWT dan Rasul – Nya. Rasa takut dan alergi terhadap segala yang berbau syariat islam merupakan keberhasilan ghazwul fikri (GF) dibidang ini. Penggambaran potong tangan bagi pencuri dan rajam bagi penzina selalu ditonjolkan saat pembicaraan – pembicaraan tentang kemungkinan adopsi terhadap beberapa hukum islam. Mereka melupakan bahwa hukum islam berpihak (melindungi) korban kejahatan, sehingga hukuman keras dijatuhkan kepada pelaku kejahatan agar perbuatannya tidak terulang dan orang lain takut untuk berbuat yang sama.

Sebaliknya, hukum barat berpihak (melindungi) pelaku kejahatan, sehingga dengan hukuman tersebut memungkinkannya untuk mengulang lagi kejahatannya karena ringannya hukuman tersebut. Laporan menunjukkan bahwa tingkat perkosaan yang terjadi di Kanada selama sehari sama dengan kejahatan yang sama di Kuwait selama 12 tahun, bahkan pooling yang dilakukan di masyarakat Amerika Serikat menunjukkan bahwa 1 dari 3 masyarakat Amerika Serikat menyetujui dijatuhkannya hukuman mati untuk pemerkosa.

 

7. Pengiriman pelajar dan mahasiswa ke Luar Negeri

Ghazwul fikri (GF) dibidang ini terjadi dalam dua aspek, yaitu : Brain drain dan Brain Washing. Brain drain adalah pelarian para intelektual dari negara – negara islam ke negara – negara maju karena insentif yang lebih besar dan fasilitas hidup yang lebih mewah bagi para pekerja disana. Hal ini menyebabkan lambatnya pembangunan di negara – negara islam dan semakin cepatnya kemajuan di negara – negara barat.

Data penelitian tahun 1996 menyebutkan bahwa perbandingan SDM bergelar doctor (S3) di Indonesia baru 60 per sejuta penduduk, di Amerika Serikat dan Eropa antara 2500 – 3000 orang per sejuta, dan di Israel mencapai 16.000 per sejuta penduduk.

Sementara brain washing (cuci otak) dialami oleh para intelektual yang sebagian besar berangkat ke negara – negara barat tanpa dibekali dengan dasar – dasar keislaman yang cukup. Akibatnya, mereka pulang dengan membawa pola piker dan perilaku yang bertentangan dengan nilai – nilai islam. Bahkan secara sadar atau tidak, mereka ikut andil dalam membantu melanggengkan kepentingan barat dinegara mereka.

 

8. Media massa

Berbicara mengenai ghazwul fikri (GF) yang terjadi dalam media massa, maka dapat dipilah pada aspek – aspek sebagai berikut :

· Aspek kehadirannya

Terjadinya perubahan penjadwalan kegiatan sehari – hari dalam keluarga muslim, missal TV. Dulu selepas maghrib, anak – anak biasanya mengaji dan belajar agama. Sekarang, selepas maghrib anak – anak menonton acara – acara TV yang kebanyakan merusak dan tidak bermanfaat. Sementara bagi para remaja dan orang tua dibandingkan dating ke pengajian dan majlis – majlis taklim, mereka lebih senang menghabiskan waktunya dengan menonton TV.

Sebenarnya TV dapat menjadi srana dakwah yang luar biasa (sesuai dengan teori komunikasi yang menyatkan bahwa media audio – visual memiliki pengaruh yang tertinggi dalam membentuk kepribadian baik pada tingkat individu maupun masyarakat) asal dikemas dan dirancang sesuai dengan nilai – nilai islam.

 

 

· Aspek isinya

Berbicara mengenai isi yang ditampilkan oleh media massa yang merupakan produk ghazwul fikri (GF) diantaranya adalah mengenai penokohan – penokohan atau orang – orang yang diidolakan. Media massa yang ada tidak berusaha ikut mendidik bangsa dan masyarakat dengan menokohkan para ulama, ilmuwan, dan orang – orang yang dapat mendorong membangun bangsa agar mencapai kemajuan IMTAK dan IPTEK sebagaimana yang digembar – gemborkan. Tetapi sebaliknya, justru tokoh yang terus menerus diekspos dan ditampilkan adalah para selebriti yang menjalankan gaya hidup borjuis, menghambur – hamburkan uang (tabdzir), jauh dari memiliki IPTEK apalagi nilai – nilai agama.

Hal ini jelas besar dampaknya pada generasi muda dalam memilih dan menentukan gaya hidup, cita – citanya dan tentunya pada kualitas bangsa dan Negara. Rpoduk lain dari ghazwul fikri (GF) yang menonjol dalam media TV, misalnya porsi film – film islami yang dapat dikatakan tidak ada. Film yang diputar 90% adalah film bergaya barat, sisanya adalah film nasional (yang juga bergaya barat), film – film mandarin, dan film – film india.

 

F. Sasaran dilakukannya Invansi Pemikiran (Ghazwul Fikri (GF))

 

Sasaran dari ghazwul fikri (GF) adalah sebagai berikut :

1. Agar kaum muslimin menjadi condong sedikit terhadap gaya, perilaku dan pola pikir barat, seperti dalam Q.S. Al Israa:73 yang artinya “ Dan sesungguhnya mereka hampir memalingkan kamu dari apa yang telah kami wahyukan kepadamu, agar kamu membuat yang lain secara bohong terhadap kami, dan kalau sudah begitu tentulah mereka mengambil kamu jadi sahabat yang setia.Q.S. Al Israa:74 yang artinya “ Dan kalau kami tidak memperkuatkan (hati)mu, niscaya kamu hampir condong sedikit kepada mereka.” Q.S. Al Israa:75 yang artinya “ Kalau terjadi demikian, benar – benarlah kami akan rasakan kepadamu (siksaan) berlipat – lipat ganda didunia ini dan begitu (pula siksaan) berlipat ganda sesudah mati, dan kamu tidak akan mendapat seorang penolongpun terhadap kami.” Dan Q.S.Al Israa:76 yang artinya “ Dan sesungguhnya benar – benar mereka hamper membuatmu gelisah di negeri (mekah) untuk mengusirmu daripadanya dan kalau terjadi demikian, niscaya sepeninggalmu mereka tidak tinggal sebentar saja.”

2. Setelah kaum muslimin condong sedikit, tahapan selanjutnya adalah agar kaum muslimin mengikuti sebagian dari gaya, perilaku dan pola pikir mereka. Sebagaimana disebutkan dalam Q.S.Ad Dukhan:25 yang artinya “ Alangkah banyaknya taman dan mata air yang mereka tinggalkan.” Dan Q.S.Ad Dukhan:26 yang artinya “ Dan kebun – kebun serta tempat – tempat yang indah – indah.”

3. Pada tahap ini diharapkan kaum muslimin beriman pada sebagiannya ayat – ayat Al – Qur’an dan Hadist Rasulullah SAW, tetapi kafir terhadap sebagian yang lainnya. Sebagaimana dalam Q.S.Al Baqarah:85 yang artinya “ Kemudian kamu (bani israil) membunuh dirimu (saudaramu sebangsa) dan mengusir segolongan dari pada kamu dari kampong halaman. Kamu bantu membantu terhadap mereka dengan membuat dosa dan permusuhan tetapi jika mereka dating kepadamu sebagai tawanan, kamu tebus mereka. Padahal mengusir itu (juga) terlarang bagimu. Apakah kamu beriman pada sebagian Al Kitab(taurat) dan ingkar terhadap sebagian yang lain? Tiadalah balasan bagi orang yang berbuat demikian dari padamu, melainkan kenistaan dalam kehidupan dunia, dan pada hari kiamat mereka dikembalikan kepada siksa yang sangat berat, Allah tidak lengah dari apa yang kamu perbuat.”

4. Pada tahap akhir, mereka menginginkan agar generasi kaum muslimin mengikuti syahwat dan meninggalkan shalat. Sebagaimana dalam Q.S.Maryam:59 yang artinya “ Maka datanglah sesudah mereka, pengganti (yang jelek) yang menyia – nyiakan shalat dan memperturutkan hawa nafsu, maka mereka akan menemui kesesatan.”

 

 

G. Tujuan Ghazwul Fikri (GF)

 

1. Menghambat kemajuan umat islam agar tetap menjadi pengekor barat. Berbagai macam pendapat nyeleneh yang ditebarkan para orientalis lewat media cetak dan elektronik berhasil menyita perhatian umat islam dan mengetuk sebagian besar potensinya,baik untuk melakukan kajian, bantahan dan pelurusan.

2. Menjauhkan umat islam dari Al – Qur’an dan As Sunnah serta ajaran – ajarannya. Dengan keraguan – raguan dan penyesatan terhadap umat islam, ghazwul fikri (GF) menyeret orang – orang awam ke jurang yang memisahkan mereka dari keislaman – Nya. Bahkan ada sebagian yang keluar dari islam dan berpindah ke agama lain.

3. Memurtadkan umat islam. Inilah yang digambarkan Al – Qur’an dalam Surah Al Baqarah:217 yang artinya “ Mereka tidak henti – hentinya memerangi kamu sampai mereka (dapat) mengembalikan kamu dari agamamu (kepada kekafiran), seandainya mereka sanggup. Barangsiapa yang murtad diantara kamu dari agamanya, lalu dia mati dalam kekafiran, maka mereka itulah sia – sia amalannya di dunia dan akhirat, dan mereka itulah penghuni neraka, mereka kekal didalamnya.”

 

H. Dampak Positif dan Negatif Gahzwul Fikri (GF)

 

Ø Dampak Positif dari Ghazwul Fikri (GF)

Kemajuan ilmu pengetahuan dan teknologi yang mempermudah memberikan pekerjaan pada manusia yang ada di Negara ini.

Ø Dampak Negatif dari Ghazwul Fikri (GF)

- Perusakan akhlak umat islam terutama yang masih berusia muda.

- Berusaha menggiring umat islam kepada kekafiran, khususnya umat islam yang tipis pemahaman keislamannya.

- Menjauhkan umat islam dari agamanya dan mendekatkannya pada kekafiran.



* tentang ini saya meempunyai pertanyaan : bolehkah Islam Menggunakan Cara Ini Untuk Mengebngkan Islam?
kepada pembaca yang budiman, mohon jawabannya melalui komentar.
terimakasih untuk admin

 

GHAZWUL FIKRI (PERANG PEMIKIRAN)

Fenomena saat ini di Indonesia banyak sekali muncul perusahaan travel yang bergerak di bidang biro jasa perjalanan dan pelayanan ibadah umroh maupun haji. Hal ini tentu membawa berita baik bagi umat muslim. Beragam pilihan paket umroh beserta harga yang ditawarkan memberikan banyak pilihan alternatif bagi calon jamaah yang bermaksud menunaikan ibadah ke Baitullah.

Namun banyaknya lembaga penyelenggara ibadah haji dan umroh ternyata tidak serta merta memudahkan para calon tamu Allah untuk pergi ke tanah suci. Seringkali muncul berita kurang baik seputar jamaah umroh atau haji, seperti fenomena gagal atau batal berangkat, program tidak sesuai dengan harapan, fasilitas yang jauh dari apa yang ditawarkan sebelumnya, hingga adanya pembimbing atau pendamping ibadah umrah maupun haji yang justru menyimpang aqidahnya, serta masih banyak lagi masalah yang muncul.

Untuk itu keinginan atau niat untuk menjalankan ibadah ke tanah suci, persiapan fisik, mental dan finansial harus dibarengi dengan ketepatan memilih mitra lembaga penyelenggara ibadah. Berikut ini beberapa hal yang dapat dijadikan rujukan untuk memilih mitra penyelenggara umroh atau haji plus :

    Legalitas dan pengalaman dari lembaga penyelenggara ibadah.
    Program Ibadah Haji dan Umrah merujuk seperti yang dicontohkan Rasulullah SAW.
    Program yang sesuai dengan keinginan dan harapan kita.
    Pembimbing ibadahnya yang sesuai syariat Islam.
    Pihak penyelenggara memiliki program nilai plus dibalik penyelenggaraan ibadah haji maupun umroh yang diharapkan memberikan benefit tambahan bagi para tamu Allah.

Sengitnya persaingan bisnis di bidang travel agen umroh dan haji plus sendiri seringkali menambah runyam keadaan. Penggunaan bahasa iklan yang provokatif, bombastis, dan jor-joran seringkali justru menyesatkan serta membingungkan para calon jamaah. Hal ini banyak dijumpai di banyak media publik, seperti iklan media cetak maupun elektronik termasuk internet.

Untuk itu kecerdasan, kejelian memilih dan menentukan mitra biro umroh atau agen travel perjalanan ibadah dari para calon jamaah sendiri mutlak dibutuhkan sejak dini. Jangan sampai tergoda hanya karena faktor harga umroh yang murah saja misalnya. Tetapi harga yang ditawarkan mestinya juga perlu dilihat seperti apa fasilitas yang diberikan, jangan sampai akhirnya nanti Anda justru kerepotan dan ibadah menjadi tidak nyaman gara-gara fasilitas yang tidak mendukung. Atau jangan pula mudah tergoda dengan program-program tambahan dalam perjalanan ibadah yang akhirnya malah merugikan atau bahkan menyimpang dari syariat.

Konsultasi dengan pembimbing ibadah berpengalaman yang sudah Anda kenal baik adalah cara bijak sebelum Anda memutuskan. Atau sharing dengan teman, saudara, relasi yang pernah atau sering berangkat umroh/haji juga penting. Selanjutnya survey ke beberapa lembaga atau perusahaan travel umroh dan haji yang Anda ketahui untuk mendapatkan perbandingan yang sehat. Semoga artikel ini bermanfaat bagi Anda. Anda juga bisa pelajari di website ini untuk melihat penawaran kami. Tibalah saatnya Anda yang memutuskan.

Sumber : http://www.madinaprima.com

Baca Artikel Lainnya : MENGUNJUNGI MAKAN RASULULLAH

 

TIPS MEMILIH AGEN TRAVEL

 Tips Komunikasi
Bagaimana cara berkomunikasi dengan keluarga di tanah air ketika Anda tengah beribadah haji dan umrah? Berikut tips yang pasti berguna:

Dari Arab Saudi ke Indonesia

    Menggunakan Sambungan Langsung Internasional (tanpa operator) dari Arab Saudi ke Indonesia:
    00 62 + KODE KOTA + nomor yang dituju
    Dari kamar hotel harus menambah nomor depan (prefix number) yang berbeda untuk tiap hotel.
    Menggunakan sambungan telepon Indonesia Direct (collect call) dari Arab Saudi ke Indonesia:
    1 800 62 langsung terhubung dengan operator telepon di Indonesia yang kemudian akan menghubungi nomor yang dikehendaki.
    Menggunakan handphone
    01 016966 + no. handphone yang dituju (tanpa angka 0 di depannya)
    Menggunakan SMS, langsung saja seperti SMS di tanah air.

Dari Indonesia ke Arab Saudi

    Menggunakan Sambungan Langsung Internasional (tanpa operator)
    001 966 + KODE KOTA + nomor yang dituju
    Kode kota di Arab Saudi:
    Makkah: 2
    Madinah: 4
    Jeddah: 2
    Menggunakan operator 101
    Menggunakan sambungan handphone, langsung tekan nomor yang dituju seperti menelpon dengan handphone di tanah air.
    Menggunakan SMS, langsung saja seperti SMS di tanah air.

Sumber : http://birohajidanumrah.blogspot.com

Baca Artikel Lainnya : AMALAN YANG SETARA DENGAN HAJI DAN UMRAH

 

TIPS KOMUNIKASI KETIKA IBADAH HAJI DAN UMRAH

The 2015 Met Gala has only officially begun, but there's a clear leader in the race for best couple, no small feat at an event that threatens to sap Hollywood of every celebrity it has for the duration of an East Coast evening.

That would be Marc Jacobs and his surprise guest (who, by some miracle, remained under wraps until their red carpet debut), Cher.

“This has been a dream of mine for a very, very long time,” Mr. Jacobs said.

It is Cher's first appearance at the Met Gala since 1997, when she arrived on the arm of Donatella Versace.

– MATTHEW SCHNEIER

Cher and Marc Jacobs

Mr. Pfaff was an international affairs columnist and author who found Washington’s intervention in world affairs often misguided.

William Pfaff, Critic of American Foreign Policy, Dies at 86

The live music at the Vice Media party on Friday shook the room. Shane Smith, Vice’s chief executive, was standing near the stage — with a drink in his hand, pants sagging, tattoos showing — watching the rapper-cum-chef Action Bronson make pizzas.

The event was an after-party, a happy-hour bacchanal for the hundreds of guests who had come for Vice’s annual presentation to advertisers and agencies that afternoon, part of the annual frenzy for ad dollars called the Digital Content NewFronts. Mr. Smith had spoken there for all of five minutes before running a slam-bang highlight reel of the company’s shows that had titles like “Weediquette” and “Gaycation.”

In the last year, Vice has secured $500 million in financing and signed deals worth hundreds of millions of dollars with established media companies like HBO that are eager to engage the young viewers Vice attracts. Vice said it was now worth at least $4 billion, with nearly $1 billion in projected revenue for 2015. It is a long way from Vice’s humble start as a free magazine in 1994.

Photo
 
At the Vice after-party, the rapper Action Bronson, a host of a Vice show, made a pizza. Credit Jesse Dittmar for The New York Times

But even as cash flows freely in Vice’s direction, the company is trying to keep its brash, insurgent image. At the party on Friday, it plied guests with beers and cocktails. Its apparently unrehearsed presentation to advertisers was peppered with expletives. At one point, the director Spike Jonze, a longtime Vice collaborator, asked on stage if Mr. Smith had been drinking.

“My assistant tried to cut me off,” Mr. Smith replied. “I’m on buzz control.”

Now, Vice is on the verge of getting its own cable channel, which would give the company a traditional outlet for its slate of non-news programming. If all goes as planned, A&E Networks, the television group owned by Hearst and Disney, will turn over its History Channel spinoff, H2, to Vice.

The deal’s announcement was expected last week, but not all of A&E’s distribution partners — the cable and satellite TV companies that carry the network’s channels — have signed off on the change, according to a person familiar with the negotiations who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the talks were private.

A cable channel would be a further step in a transformation for Vice, from bad-boy digital upstart to mainstream media company.

Keen for the core audience of young men who come to Vice, media giants like 21st Century Fox, Time Warner and Disney all showed interest in the company last year. Vice ultimately secured $500 million in financing from A&E Networks and Technology Crossover Ventures, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm that has invested in Facebook and Netflix.

Those investments valued Vice at more than $2.5 billion. (In 2013, Fox bought a 5 percent stake for $70 million.)

Then in March, HBO announced that it had signed a multiyear deal to broadcast a daily half-hour Vice newscast. Vice already produces a weekly newsmagazine show, called “Vice,” for the network. That show will extend its run through 2018, with an increase to 35 episodes a year, from 14.

Michael Lombardo, HBO’s president for programming, said when the deal was announced that it was “certainly one of our biggest investments with hours on the air.”

Vice, based in Brooklyn, also recently signed a multiyear $100 million deal with Rogers Communications, a Canadian media conglomerate, to produce original content for TV, smartphone and desktop viewers.

Vice’s finances are private, but according to an internal document reviewed by The New York Times and verified by a person familiar with the company’s financials, the company is on track to make about $915 million in revenue this year.

Photo
 
Vice showed a highlight reel of its TV series at the NewFronts last week in New York. Credit Jesse Dittmar for The New York Times

It brought in $545 million in a strong first quarter, which included portions of the new HBO deal and the Rogers deal, according to the document. More of its revenue now comes from these types of content partnerships, compared with the branded content deals that made up much of its revenue a year ago, the company said.

Mr. Smith said the company was worth at least $4 billion. If the valuation gets much higher, he said he would consider taking the company public.

“I don’t care about money; we have plenty of money,” Mr. Smith, who is Vice’s biggest shareholder, said in an interview after the presentation on Friday. “I care about strategic deals.”

In the United States, Vice Media had 35.2 million unique visitors across its sites in March, according to comScore.

The third season of Vice’s weekly HBO show has averaged 1.8 million viewers per episode, including reruns, through April 12, according to Brad Adgate, the director of research at Horizon Media. (Vice said the show attracted three million weekly viewers when repeat broadcasts, online and on-demand viewings were included.)

For years, Mr. Smith has criticized traditional TV, calling it slow and unable to draw younger viewers. But if all the deals Vice has struck are to work out, Mr. Smith may have to play more by the rules of traditional media. James Murdoch, Rupert Murdoch’s son and a member of Vice’s board, was at the company’s presentation on Friday, as were other top media executives.

“They know they need people like me to help them, but they can’t get out of their own way,” Mr. Smith said in the interview Friday. “My only real frustration is we’re used to being incredibly dynamic, and they’re not incredibly dynamic.”

With its own television channel in the United States, Vice would have something it has long coveted even as traditional media companies are looking beyond TV. Last year, Vice’s deal with Time Warner failed in part because the two companies could not agree on how much control Vice would have over a 24-hour television network.

Vice said it intended to fill its new channel with non-news programming. The company plans to have sports shows, fashion shows, food shows and the “Gaycation” travel show with the actress Ellen Page. It is also in talks with Kanye West about a show.

It remains to be seen whether Vice’s audience will watch a traditional cable channel. Still, Vice has effectively presold all of the ad spots to two of the biggest advertising agencies for the first three years, Mr. Smith said.

In the meantime, Mr. Smith is enjoying Vice’s newfound role as a potential savior of traditional media companies.

“I’m a C.E.O. of a content company,” Mr. Smith said before he caught a flight to Las Vegas for the boxing match on Saturday between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao. “If it stops being fun, then why are you doing it?”

As Vice Moves More to TV, It Tries to Keep Brash Voice

HOBART, Tasmania — Few places seem out of reach for China’s leader, Xi Jinping, who has traveled from European capitals to obscure Pacific and Caribbean islands in pursuit of his nation’s strategic interests.

So perhaps it was not surprising when he turned up last fall in this city on the edge of the Southern Ocean to put down a long-distance marker in another faraway region, Antarctica, 2,000 miles south of this Australian port.

Standing on the deck of an icebreaker that ferries Chinese scientists from this last stop before the frozen continent, Mr. Xi pledged that China would continue to expand in one of the few places on earth that remain unexploited by humans.

He signed a five-year accord with the Australian government that allows Chinese vessels and, in the future, aircraft to resupply for fuel and food before heading south. That will help secure easier access to a region that is believed to have vast oil and mineral resources; huge quantities of high-protein sea life; and for times of possible future dire need, fresh water contained in icebergs.

It was not until 1985, about seven decades after Robert Scott and Roald Amundsen raced to the South Pole, that a team representing Beijing hoisted the Chinese flag over the nation’s first Antarctic research base, the Great Wall Station on King George Island.

But now China seems determined to catch up. As it has bolstered spending on Antarctic research, and as the early explorers, especially the United States and Australia, confront stagnant budgets, there is growing concern about its intentions.

China’s operations on the continent — it opened its fourth research station last year, chose a site for a fifth, and is investing in a second icebreaker and new ice-capable planes and helicopters — are already the fastest growing of the 52 signatories to the Antarctic Treaty. That gentlemen’s agreement reached in 1959 bans military activity on the continent and aims to preserve it as one of the world’s last wildernesses; a related pact prohibits mining.

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But Mr. Xi’s visit was another sign that China is positioning itself to take advantage of the continent’s resource potential when the treaty expires in 2048 — or in the event that it is ripped up before, Chinese and Australian experts say.

“So far, our research is natural-science based, but we know there is more and more concern about resource security,” said Yang Huigen, director general of the Polar Research Institute of China, who accompanied Mr. Xi last November on his visit to Hobart and stood with him on the icebreaker, Xue Long, or Snow Dragon.

With that in mind, the polar institute recently opened a new division devoted to the study of resources, law, geopolitics and governance in Antarctica and the Arctic, Mr. Yang said.

Australia, a strategic ally of the United States that has strong economic relations with China, is watching China’s buildup in the Antarctic with a mix of gratitude — China’s presence offers support for Australia’s Antarctic science program, which is short of cash — and wariness.

“We should have no illusions about the deeper agenda — one that has not even been agreed to by Chinese scientists but is driven by Xi, and most likely his successors,” said Peter Jennings, executive director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute and a former senior official in the Australian Department of Defense.

“This is part of a broader pattern of a mercantilist approach all around the world,” Mr. Jennings added. “A big driver of Chinese policy is to secure long-term energy supply and food supply.”

That approach was evident last month when a large Chinese agriculture enterprise announced an expansion of its fishing operations around Antarctica to catch more krill — small, protein-rich crustaceans that are abundant in Antarctic waters.

“The Antarctic is a treasure house for all human beings, and China should go there and share,” Liu Shenli, the chairman of the China National Agricultural Development Group, told China Daily, a state-owned newspaper. China would aim to fish up to two million tons of krill a year, he said, a substantial increase from what it currently harvests.

Because sovereignty over Antarctica is unclear, nations have sought to strengthen their claims over the ice-covered land by building research bases and naming geographic features. China’s fifth station will put it within reach of the six American facilities, and ahead of Australia’s three.

Chinese mappers have also given Chinese names to more than 300 sites, compared with the thousands of locations on the continent with English names.

In the unspoken competition for Antarctica’s future, scientific achievement can also translate into influence. Chinese scientists are driving to be the first to drill and recover an ice core containing tiny air bubbles that provide a record of climate change stretching as far back as 1.5 million years. It is an expensive and delicate effort at which others, including the European Union and Australia, have failed.

In a breakthrough a decade ago, European scientists extracted an ice core nearly two miles long that revealed 800,000 years of climate history. But finding an ice core going back further would allow scientists to examine a change in the earth’s climate cycles believed to have occurred 900,000 to 1.2 million years ago.

China is betting it has found the best location to drill, at an area called Dome A, or Dome Argus, the highest point on the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. Though it is considered one of the coldest places on the planet, with temperatures of 130 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, a Chinese expedition explored the area in 2005 and established a research station in 2009.

“The international community has drilled in lots of places, but no luck so far,” said Xiao Cunde, a member of the first party to reach the site and the deputy director of the Institute for Climate Change at the Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences. “We think at Dome A we will have a straight shot at the one-million-year ice core.”

Mr. Xiao said China had already begun drilling and hoped to find what scientists are looking for in four to five years.

To support its Antarctic aspirations, China is building a sophisticated $300 million icebreaker that is expected to be ready in a few years, said Xia Limin, deputy director of the Chinese Arctic and Antarctic Administration in Beijing. It has also bought a high-tech fixed-wing aircraft, outfitted in the United States, for taking sensitive scientific soundings from the ice.

China has chosen the site for its fifth research station at Inexpressible Island, named by a group of British explorers who were stranded at the desolate site in 1912 and survived the winter by excavating a small ice cave.

Mr. Xia said the inhospitable spot was ideal because China did not have a presence in that part of Antarctica, and because the rocky site did not have much snow, making it relatively cheap to build there.

Anne-Marie Brady, a professor of political science at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand and the author of a soon-to-be-released book, “China as a Polar Great Power,” said Chinese scientists also believed they had a good chance of finding mineral and energy resources near the site.

“China is playing a long game in Antarctica and keeping other states guessing about its true intentions and interests are part of its poker hand,” she said. But she noted that China’s interest in finding minerals was presented “loud and clear to domestic audiences” as the main reason it was investing in Antarctica.

Because commercial drilling is banned, estimates of energy and mineral resources in Antarctica rely on remote sensing data and comparisons with similar geological environments elsewhere, said Millard F. Coffin, executive director of the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies in Hobart.

But the difficulty of extraction in such severe conditions and uncertainty about future commodity prices make it unlikely that China or any country would defy the ban on mining anytime soon.

Tourism, however, is already booming. Travelers from China are still a relatively small contingent in the Antarctic compared with the more than 13,000 Americans who visited in 2013, and as yet there are no licensed Chinese tour operators.

But that is about to change, said Anthony Bergin, deputy director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. “I understand very soon there will be Chinese tourists on Chinese vessels with all-Chinese crew in the Antarctic,” he said.

 

Top News China’s Intents Are Questioned as It Builds in Antarctica

Hired in 1968, a year before their first season, Mr. Fanning spent 25 years with the team, managing them to their only playoff appearance in Canada.

Jim Fanning, 87, Dies; Lifted Baseball in Canada With Expos

Mr. Miller, of the firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges, represented companies including Lehman Brothers, General Motors and American Airlines, and mentored many of the top Chapter 11 practitioners today.

Harvey R. Miller, Renowned Bankruptcy Lawyer, Dies at 82

Hockey is not exactly known as a city game, but played on roller skates, it once held sway as the sport of choice in many New York neighborhoods.

“City kids had no rinks, no ice, but they would do anything to play hockey,” said Edward Moffett, former director of the Long Island City Y.M.C.A. Roller Hockey League, in Queens, whose games were played in city playgrounds going back to the 1940s.

From the 1960s through the 1980s, the league had more than 60 teams, he said. Players included the Mullen brothers of Hell’s Kitchen and Dan Dorion of Astoria, Queens, who would later play on ice for the National Hockey League.

One street legend from the heyday of New York roller hockey was Craig Allen, who lived in the Woodside Houses projects and became one of the city’s hardest hitters and top scorers.

“Craig was a warrior, one of the best roller hockey players in the city in the ’70s,” said Dave Garmendia, 60, a retired New York police officer who grew up playing with Mr. Allen. “His teammates loved him and his opponents feared him.”

Young Craig took up hockey on the streets of Queens in the 1960s, playing pickup games between sewer covers, wearing steel-wheeled skates clamped onto school shoes and using a roll of electrical tape as the puck.

His skill and ferocity drew attention, Mr. Garmendia said, but so did his skin color. He was black, in a sport made up almost entirely by white players.

“Roller hockey was a white kid’s game, plain and simple, but Craig broke the color barrier,” Mr. Garmendia said. “We used to say Craig did more for race relations than the N.A.A.C.P.”

Mr. Allen went on to coach and referee roller hockey in New York before moving several years ago to South Carolina. But he continued to organize an annual alumni game at Dutch Kills Playground in Long Island City, the same site that held the local championship games.

The reunion this year was on Saturday, but Mr. Allen never made it. On April 26, just before boarding the bus to New York, he died of an asthma attack at age 61.

Word of his death spread rapidly among hundreds of his old hockey colleagues who resolved to continue with the event, now renamed the Craig Allen Memorial Roller Hockey Reunion.

The turnout on Saturday was the largest ever, with players pulling on their old equipment, choosing sides and taking once again to the rink of cracked blacktop with faded lines and circles. They wore no helmets, although one player wore a fedora.

Another, Vinnie Juliano, 77, of Long Island City, wore his hearing aids, along with his 50-year-old taped-up quads, or four-wheeled skates with a leather boot. Many players here never converted to in-line skates, and neither did Mr. Allen, whose photograph appeared on a poster hanging behind the players’ bench.

“I’m seeing people walking by wondering why all these rusty, grizzly old guys are here playing hockey,” one player, Tommy Dominguez, said. “We’re here for Craig, and let me tell you, these old guys still play hard.”

Everyone seemed to have a Craig Allen story, from his earliest teams at Public School 151 to the Bryant Rangers, the Woodside Wings, the Woodside Blues and more.

Mr. Allen, who became a yellow-cab driver, was always recruiting new talent. He gained the nickname Cabby for his habit of stopping at playgrounds all over the city to scout players.

Teams were organized around neighborhoods and churches, and often sponsored by local bars. Mr. Allen, for one, played for bars, including Garry Owen’s and on the Fiddler’s Green Jokers team in Inwood, Manhattan.

Play was tough and fights were frequent.

“We were basically street gangs on skates,” said Steve Rogg, 56, a mail clerk who grew up in Jackson Heights, Queens, and who on Saturday wore his Riedell Classic quads from 1972. “If another team caught up with you the night before a game, they tossed you a beating so you couldn’t play the next day.”

Mr. Garmendia said Mr. Allen’s skin color provoked many fights.

“When we’d go to some ignorant neighborhoods, a lot of players would use slurs,” Mr. Garmendia said, recalling a game in Ozone Park, Queens, where local fans parked motorcycles in a lineup next to the blacktop and taunted Mr. Allen. Mr. Garmendia said he checked a player into the motorcycles, “and the bikes went down like dominoes, which started a serious brawl.”

A group of fans at a game in Brooklyn once stuck a pole through the rink fence as Mr. Allen skated by and broke his jaw, Mr. Garmendia said, adding that carloads of reinforcements soon arrived to defend Mr. Allen.

And at another racially incited brawl, the police responded with six patrol cars and a helicopter.

Before play began on Saturday, the players gathered at center rink to honor Mr. Allen. Billy Barnwell, 59, of Woodside, recalled once how an all-white, all-star squad snubbed Mr. Allen by playing him third string. He scored seven goals in the first game and made first string immediately.

“He’d always hear racial stuff before the game, and I’d ask him, ‘How do you put up with that?’” Mr. Barnwell recalled. “Craig would say, ‘We’ll take care of it,’ and by the end of the game, he’d win guys over. They’d say, ‘This guy’s good.’”

Tribute for a Roller Hockey Warrior

GREENWICH, Conn. — Mago is in the bedroom. You can go in.

The big man lies on a hospital bed with his bare feet scraping its bottom rail. His head is propped on a scarlet pillow, the left temple dented, the right side paralyzed. His dark hair is kept just long enough to conceal the scars.

The occasional sounds he makes are understood only by his wife, but he still has that punctuating left hand. In slow motion, the fingers curl and close. A thumbs-up greeting.

Hello, Mago.

This is Magomed Abdusalamov, 34, also known as the Russian Tyson, also known as Mago. He is a former heavyweight boxer who scored four knockouts and 14 technical knockouts in his first 18 professional fights. He preferred to stand between rounds. Sitting conveyed weakness.

But Mago lost his 19th fight, his big chance, at the packed Theater at Madison Square Garden in November 2013. His 19th decision, and his last.

Now here he is, in a small bedroom in a working-class neighborhood in Greenwich, in a modest house his family rents cheap from a devoted friend. The air-pressure machine for his mattress hums like an expectant crowd.

 

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Mike Perez, left, and Magomed Abdusalamov during the fight in which Abdusalamov was injured. Credit Joe Camporeale/USA Today Sports, via Reuters

 

Today is like any other day, except for those days when he is hurried in crisis to the hospital. Every three hours during the night, his slight wife, Bakanay, 28, has risen to turn his 6-foot-3 body — 210 pounds of dead weight. It has to be done. Infections of the gaping bedsore above his tailbone have nearly killed him.

Then, with the help of a young caretaker, Baka has gotten two of their daughters off to elementary school and settled down the toddler. Yes, Mago and Baka are blessed with all girls, but they had also hoped for a son someday.

They feed Mago as they clean him; it’s easier that way. For breakfast, which comes with a side of crushed antiseizure pills, he likes oatmeal with a squirt of Hershey’s chocolate syrup. But even oatmeal must be puréed and fed to him by spoon.

He opens his mouth to indicate more, the way a baby does. But his paralysis has made everything a choking hazard. His water needs a stirring of powdered food thickener, and still he chokes — eh-eh-eh — as he tries to cough up what will not go down.

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Mago used to drink only water. No alcohol. Not even soda. A sip of juice would be as far as he dared. Now even water betrays him.

With the caretaker’s help, Baka uses a washcloth and soap to clean his body and shampoo his hair. How handsome still, she has thought. Sometimes, in the night, she leaves the bedroom to watch old videos, just to hear again his voice in the fullness of life. She cries, wipes her eyes and returns, feigning happiness. Mago must never see her sad.

 

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 Abdusalamov's hand being massaged. Credit Ángel Franco/The New York Times

 

When Baka finishes, Mago is cleanshaven and fresh down to his trimmed and filed toenails. “I want him to look good,” she says.

Theirs was an arranged Muslim marriage in Makhachkala, in the Russian republic of Dagestan. He was 23, she was 18 and their future hinged on boxing. Sometimes they would shadowbox in love, her David to his Goliath. You are so strong, he would tell her.

His father once told him he could either be a bandit or an athlete, but if he chose banditry, “I will kill you.” This paternal advice, Mago later told The Ventura County Reporter, “made it a very easy decision for me.”

Mago won against mediocre competition, in Moscow and Hollywood, Fla., in Las Vegas and Johnstown, Pa. He was knocked down only once, and even then, it surprised more than hurt. He scored a technical knockout in the next round.

It all led up to this: the undercard at the Garden, Mike Perez vs. Magomed Abdusalamov, 10 rounds, on HBO. A win, he believed, would improve his chances of taking on the heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, who sat in the crowd of 4,600 with his fiancée, the actress Hayden Panettiere, watching.

Wearing black-and-red trunks and a green mouth guard, Mago went to work. But in the first round, a hard forearm to his left cheek rocked him. At the bell, he returned to his corner, and this time, he sat down. “I think it’s broken,” he repeatedly said in Russian.

 

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Bakanay Abdusalamova, Abdusalamov's wife, and her injured husband and a masseur in the background. Credit Ángel Franco/The New York Times

 

Maybe at that point, somebody — the referee, the ringside doctors, his handlers — should have stopped the fight, under a guiding principle: better one punch too early than one punch too late. But the bloody trade of blows continued into the seventh, eighth, ninth, a hand and orbital bone broken, his face transforming.

Meanwhile, in the family’s apartment in Miami, Baka forced herself to watch the broadcast. She could see it in his swollen eyes. Something was off.

After the final round, Perez raised his tattooed arms in victory, and Mago wandered off in a fog. He had taken 312 punches in about 40 minutes, for a purse of $40,000.

 

 

In the locker room, doctors sutured a cut above Mago’s left eye and tested his cognitive abilities. He did not do well. The ambulance that waits in expectation at every fight was not summoned by boxing officials.

Blood was pooling in Mago’s cranial cavity as he left the Garden. He vomited on the pavement while his handlers flagged a taxi to St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital. There, doctors induced a coma and removed part of his skull to drain fluids and ease the swelling.

Then came the stroke.

 

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A championship belt belonging to Abdusalamov and a card from one of his daughters. Credit Ángel Franco/The New York Times

 

It is lunchtime now, and the aroma of puréed beef and potatoes lingers. So do the questions.

How will Mago and Baka pay the $2 million in medical bills they owe? What if their friend can no longer offer them this home? Will they win their lawsuits against the five ringside doctors, the referee, and a New York State boxing inspector? What about Mago’s future care?

Most of all: Is this it?

A napkin rests on Mago’s chest. As another spoonful of mush approaches, he opens his mouth, half-swallows, chokes, and coughs until it clears. Eh-eh-eh. Sometimes he turns bluish, but Baka never shows fear. Always happy for Mago.

Some days he is wheeled out for physical therapy or speech therapy. Today, two massage therapists come to knead his half-limp body like a pair of skilled corner men.

Soon, Mago will doze. Then his three daughters, ages 2, 6 and 9, will descend upon him to talk of their day. Not long ago, the oldest lugged his championship belt to school for a proud show-and-tell moment. Her classmates were amazed at the weight of it.

Then, tonight, there will be more puréed food and pulverized medication, more coughing, and more tender care from his wife, before sleep comes.

Goodbye, Mago.

He half-smiles, raises his one good hand, and forms a fist.

Meet Mago, Former Heavyweight

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The 6-foot-10 Phillips played alongside the 6-11 Rick Robey on the Wildcats team that won the 1978 N.C.A.A. men’s basketball title.

Mike Phillips, Half of Kentucky’s ‘Twin Towers’ of Basketball, Dies at 59

WASHINGTON — The former deputy director of the C.I.A. asserts in a forthcoming book that Republicans, in their eagerness to politicize the killing of the American ambassador to Libya, repeatedly distorted the agency’s analysis of events. But he also argues that the C.I.A. should get out of the business of providing “talking points” for administration officials in national security events that quickly become partisan, as happened after the Benghazi attack in 2012.

The official, Michael J. Morell, dismisses the allegation that the United States military and C.I.A. officers “were ordered to stand down and not come to the rescue of their comrades,” and he says there is “no evidence” to support the charge that “there was a conspiracy between C.I.A. and the White House to spin the Benghazi story in a way that would protect the political interests of the president and Secretary Clinton,” referring to the secretary of state at the time, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

But he also concludes that the White House itself embellished some of the talking points provided by the Central Intelligence Agency and had blocked him from sending an internal study of agency conclusions to Congress.

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Michael J. Morell Credit Mark Wilson/Getty Images

“I finally did so without asking,” just before leaving government, he writes, and after the White House released internal emails to a committee investigating the State Department’s handling of the issue.

A lengthy congressional investigation remains underway, one that many Republicans hope to use against Mrs. Clinton in the 2016 election cycle.

In parts of the book, “The Great War of Our Time” (Twelve), Mr. Morell praises his C.I.A. colleagues for many successes in stopping terrorist attacks, but he is surprisingly critical of other C.I.A. failings — and those of the National Security Agency.

Soon after Mr. Morell retired in 2013 after 33 years in the agency, President Obama appointed him to a commission reviewing the actions of the National Security Agency after the disclosures of Edward J. Snowden, a former intelligence contractor who released classified documents about the government’s eavesdropping abilities. Mr. Morell writes that he was surprised by what he found.

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“You would have thought that of all the government entities on the planet, the one least vulnerable to such grand theft would have been the N.S.A.,” he writes. “But it turned out that the N.S.A. had left itself vulnerable.”

He concludes that most Wall Street firms had better cybersecurity than the N.S.A. had when Mr. Snowden swept information from its systems in 2013. While he said he found himself “chagrined by how well the N.S.A. was doing” compared with the C.I.A. in stepping up its collection of data on intelligence targets, he also sensed that the N.S.A., which specializes in electronic spying, was operating without considering the implications of its methods.

“The N.S.A. had largely been collecting information because it could, not necessarily in all cases because it should,” he says.

The book is to be released next week.

Mr. Morell was a career analyst who rose through the ranks of the agency, and he ended up in the No. 2 post. He served as President George W. Bush’s personal intelligence briefer in the first months of his presidency — in those days, he could often be spotted at the Starbucks in Waco, Tex., catching up on his reading — and was with him in the schoolhouse in Florida on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, when the Bush presidency changed in an instant.

Mr. Morell twice took over as acting C.I.A. director, first when Leon E. Panetta was appointed secretary of defense and then when retired Gen. David H. Petraeus resigned over an extramarital affair with his biographer, a relationship that included his handing her classified notes of his time as America’s best-known military commander.

Mr. Morell says he first learned of the affair from Mr. Petraeus only the night before he resigned, and just as the Benghazi events were turning into a political firestorm. While praising Mr. Petraeus, who had told his deputy “I am very lucky” to run the C.I.A., Mr. Morell writes that “the organization did not feel the same way about him.” The former general “created the impression through the tone of his voice and his body language that he did not want people to disagree with him (which was not true in my own interaction with him),” he says.

But it is his account of the Benghazi attacks — and how the C.I.A. was drawn into the debate over whether the Obama White House deliberately distorted its account of the death of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens — that is bound to attract attention, at least partly because of its relevance to the coming presidential election. The initial assessments that the C.I.A. gave to the White House said demonstrations had preceded the attack. By the time analysts reversed their opinion, Susan E. Rice, now the national security adviser, had made a series of statements on Sunday talk shows describing the initial assessment. The controversy and other comments Ms. Rice made derailed Mr. Obama’s plan to appoint her as secretary of state.

The experience prompted Mr. Morell to write that the C.I.A. should stay out of the business of preparing talking points — especially on issues that are being seized upon for “political purposes.” He is critical of the State Department for not beefing up security in Libya for its diplomats, as the C.I.A., he said, did for its employees.

But he concludes that the assault in which the ambassador was killed took place “with little or no advance planning” and “was not well organized.” He says the attackers “did not appear to be looking for Americans to harm. They appeared intent on looting and conducting some vandalism,” setting fires that killed Mr. Stevens and a security official, Sean Smith.

Mr. Morell paints a picture of an agency that was struggling, largely unsuccessfully, to understand dynamics in the Middle East and North Africa when the Arab Spring broke out in late 2011 in Tunisia. The agency’s analysts failed to see the forces of revolution coming — and then failed again, he writes, when they told Mr. Obama that the uprisings would undercut Al Qaeda by showing there was a democratic pathway to change.

“There is no good explanation for our not being able to see the pressures growing to dangerous levels across the region,” he writes. The agency had again relied too heavily “on a handful of strong leaders in the countries of concern to help us understand what was going on in the Arab street,” he says, and those leaders themselves were clueless.

Moreover, an agency that has always overvalued secretly gathered intelligence and undervalued “open source” material “was not doing enough to mine the wealth of information available through social media,” he writes. “We thought and told policy makers that this outburst of popular revolt would damage Al Qaeda by undermining the group’s narrative,” he writes.

Instead, weak governments in Egypt, and the absence of governance from Libya to Yemen, were “a boon to Islamic extremists across both the Middle East and North Africa.”

Mr. Morell is gentle about most of the politicians he dealt with — he expresses admiration for both Mr. Bush and Mr. Obama, though he accuses former Vice President Dick Cheney of deliberately implying a connection between Al Qaeda and Iraq that the C.I.A. had concluded probably did not exist. But when it comes to the events leading up to the Bush administration’s decision to go to war in Iraq, he is critical of his own agency.

Mr. Morell concludes that the Bush White House did not have to twist intelligence on Saddam Hussein’s alleged effort to rekindle the country’s work on weapons of mass destruction.

“The view that hard-liners in the Bush administration forced the intelligence community into its position on W.M.D. is just flat wrong,” he writes. “No one pushed. The analysts were already there and they had been there for years, long before Bush came to office.”

Ex-C.I.A. Official Rebuts Republican Claims on Benghazi Attack in ‘The Great War of Our Time’

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ate in February, Dr. Ben Carson, the celebrated pediatric neurosurgeon turned political insurrectionist, was trying to check off another box on his presidential-campaign to-do list: hiring a press secretary. The lead prospect, a public-relations specialist named Deana Bass, had come to meet him at the dimly lit Capitol Hill office of Carson’s confidant and business manager, Armstrong Williams. Carson sat back and scrutinized her from behind a small granite table, as life-size cardboard cutouts of more conventional politicians — President Obama, with a tight smile, and Senator John McCain, glowering — loomed behind each of his shoulders. (The mock $3 bill someone had left on a table in Williams’s waiting room undercut any notion that this was a bipartisan zone; it featured Obama wearing a turban.)

Bass seemed momentarily speechless, and not just because no one had warned her that a New York Times reporter would be sitting in on her job interview. Though she knew Williams — a jack-of-all-trades entrepreneur who owns several television stations and a public-affairs business and who hosts a daily talk-radio show — through Washington’s small circle of black conservatives, the two hadn’t spoken in years until he called her two days earlier. He had been struggling to come up with the perfect national spokesperson, he told her. Then, at the gym, her name popped into his head; Williams was fairly certain she was the one. Sitting across from a likely candidate for president, Bass was adjusting to the idea that her life might be about to take a sudden chaotic turn.

“It’s like getting the most random call on a Monday that you simply do not see coming,” she said. “Oftentimes, that is how the Lord works.”

Continue reading the main story

His life in brain surgery
has prepared him for the
presidency, he maintains,
better than lives in
politics have for his rivals.

Carson concurred: “It’s always how he works in my life.” Carson is soft-spoken and often talks with his eyes half closed, frequently punctuating his sentences with a small laugh, even if the humor of his statement is not readily apparent. Bass told Carson that she had been a Republican staff member on Capitol Hill then worked for the Republican National Committee. In 2007 she started a Christian public-relations firm with her sister. She enjoyed working on the Hill, she said, but the pay wasn’t as high as the hours were long. “We figured that we worked like slaves for other people, and we wanted to work for ourselves.”

Carson stopped her. “You know you can’t mention that word, right?” Carson waited a beat, then laughed, and Williams and Bass joined in. He was getting to the point; he needed a professional who could help him check his penchant for creating uncontrolled controversy just by talking.

The Ben Carson movement began in 2013, when Carson, a neurosurgeon, whose operating-room prowess and up-from-poverty back story had made him the subject of a television movie and a regular on the inspirational-speaking circuit, was invited to address the annual National Prayer Breakfast in Washington. With Barack Obama sitting just two seats away, Carson warned that “moral decay” and “fiscal irresponsibility” could destroy America just as it did ancient Rome. He proposed a substitute for Obamacare — Health Savings Accounts, which, he said, would end any talk of “death panels” — and a flat-tax based on the concept of tithing. His address, combined with the president’s stony reaction, was a smash with Republican activists. Speaking and interview requests flooded in. Carson, then 61, announced his planned retirement a few weeks later, freeing his calendar to accept just about all of them. In the months that followed, his rhetoric became increasingly strident. The claim that drew the most attention, perhaps, was that Obamacare was “the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery.”

Bass’s own use of the word prompted Carson to ask her what she thought about that incident. She considered for a moment.

“If you want to reach people and have them even understand what you’re saying, there is a way to do it, without that hyperbole, that might be. . . . ” She paused. “I just think it’s important not to shut people off before they —”

Carson jumped in. “That doesn’t allow them to hear what you’re saying?”

Bass nodded.

Likening Obamacare to slavery — and slavery was incomparably worse, Carson said — had its political advantages for a candidacy like his. It was the kind of statement that stoked the angriest of the Republican voters: conservative stalwarts who can’t hear enough bad things about Obama. This, in turn, led to more talk-radio and Fox News appearances, more book sales, more donations to the super PAC started in his name, more support in the polls. (The day before the meeting, one poll of Republican voters showed Carson statistically tied for first place with Jeb Bush and Scott Walker.)

Rhetorical excess was good for business, but Carson now wants to be seen as more than a novelty candidate. He has come to learn that such extreme analogies, while true to his views, aren’t especially presidential. They alienate more moderate voters and, perhaps even more damaging, reinforce the impression that he is not “serious” — that he is another Herman Cain, the black former Godfather’s Pizza chief executive who rose to the top of the early presidential polls in 2011 but then bowed out before the Iowa caucuses, largely because of leaked allegations of sexual misconduct, which he denied but from which he never recovered. Cain lingers as a cautionary tale for the party as much as for a right-leaning candidate like Carson. The fact that Cain, with his folksy sayings (“shucky ducky”) and misnomers (“Ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan”), reached the top of the national polls — much less that he was eventually followed there by the likes of Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, who all topped one or another poll in the 2012 primary season — wound up being a considerable embarrassment for the eventual nominee, Mitt Romney, and for the longtime party regulars who were trying to fast-track his way to the nomination.

Carson liked Bass and, without directly saying so, made it clear the job was hers for the taking. Carson’s campaign chairman, Terry Giles — a white lawyer whose clients have included the comedian Richard Pryor and the stepson of the model Anna Nicole Smith and who helped reconcile the business interests of the descendants of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. — had assembled a mostly white campaign team, including many from the 2012 Gingrich effort, and Carson wanted a person of color to speak for him. Bass said she would have to mull it over, pray about it. Carson nodded approvingly. “Pray about it,” he said. “See what you think.”

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Williams knew the party was intent on protecting the eventual 2016 nominee from the same embarrassment Romney suffered. Already, suspiciously tough articles about Carson were showing up in conservative magazines and on right-wing websites. “They’re protecting these establishment candidates,” Williams said. “This is coming from within the house. This is family.” At the very least, he wanted to make sure that Carson didn’t do their work for them. (Carson would commit another unforced error a week later, when he told CNN that homosexuality was clearly a choice, because a lot of people go in prison straight and “when they come out, they’re gay”; he later apologized.)

“We need somebody to protect him, sometimes, from himself,” he told Bass — laughing, but only half kidding.

A candidacy like Carson’s presents a new kind of problem to the establishment wing of the G.O.P., which, at least since 1980, has selected its presidential nominees with a routine efficiency that Democrats could only envy. The establishment candidate has usually been a current or former governor or senator, blandly Protestant, hailing from the moderate, big-business wing of the party (or at least friendly with it) and almost always a second-, third- or fourth-time national contender — someone who had waited “his turn.” These candidates would tack predictably to the right during the primaries to satisfy the evangelicals, deficit hawks, libertarian leaners and other inconvenient but vital constituents who made up the “base” of the party. In return, the base would, after a brief flirtation with some fantasy candidate like Steve Forbes or Pat Buchanan, “hold their noses” and deliver their votes come November. This bargain was always tenuous, of course, and when some of the furthest-right activists turned against George W. Bush, citing (among other apostasies) his expansion of Medicare’s prescription drug benefit, it began to fall apart. After Barack Obama defeated McCain in 2008, the party’s once dependable base started to reconsider the wisdom of holding their noses at all.

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Republican candidates at a pre-straw-poll debate, held at Iowa State University in 2011. Credit Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

This insurgent attitude was helped along by changes in the nomination rules. In 2010, the Republican National Committee, hoping to capture the excitement of the coast-to-coast Democratic primary competition between Obama and Hillary Clinton, introduced new voting rules that required many of the early voting states to award some delegates to losing candidates, based on their shares of the vote. The proportional voting rules would encourage struggling candidates to stay in the primaries even after successive losses, as Clinton did, because they might be able to pull together enough delegates to take the nomination in a convention-floor fight or at least use them to bargain for a prime speaking slot or cabinet post.

This shift in incentives did not go unnoticed by potential 2012 candidates, nor did changes in election law that allowed billionaire donors to form super PACs in support of pet candidacies. At the same time, increasingly widespread broadband Internet access allowed candidates to reach supporters directly with video and email appeals and supporters to send money with the tap of a smartphone, making it easier than ever for individual candidates to ignore the wishes of the party.

Into this newly chaotic Republican landscape strode Mitt Romney. There could be no doubt that it was his turn, and yet his journey to the nomination was interrupted by one against-the-odds challenger after another — Cain, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul; always Ron Paul. It was easy to dismiss the 2012 primaries as a meaningless circus, but the onslaught did much more than tarnish the overall Republican brand. It also forced Romney to spend money he could have used against Obama and defend his right flank with embarrassing pandering that shadowed him through the general election. It was while trying to block a surge from Gingrich, for instance, that Romney told a debate audience that he was for the “self-deportation” of undocumented immigrants.

At the 2012 convention in Tampa, a group of longtime party hands, including Romney’s lawyer, Ben Ginsberg, gathered to discuss how to prevent a repeat of what had become known inside and outside the party as the “clown show.” Their aim was not just to protect the party but also to protect a potential President Romney from a primary challenge in 2016. They forced through new rules that would give future presumptive nominees more control over delegates in the event of a convention fight. They did away with the mandatory proportional delegate awards that encouraged long-shot candidacies. And, in a noticeably targeted effort, they raised the threshold that candidates needed to meet to enter their names into nomination, just as Ron Paul’s supporters were working to reach it. When John A. Boehner gaveled the rules in on a voice vote — a vote that many listeners heard as a tie, if not an outright loss — the hall erupted and a line of Ron Paul supporters walked off the floor in protest, along with many Tea Party members.

At a party meeting last winter, Reince Priebus, who as party chairman is charged with maintaining the support of all his constituencies, did restore some proportional primary and caucus voting, but only in states that held voting within a shortened two-week window. And he also condensed the nominating schedule to four and a half months from six months, and, for the first time required candidates to participate in a shortened debate schedule, determined by the party, not by the whims of the networks. (The panel that recommended those changes included names closely identified with the establishment — the former Bush White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, the Mississippi committeeman Haley Barbour and, notably, Jeb Bush’s closest adviser, Sally Bradshaw.)

Grass-roots activists have complained that the condensed schedule robs nonestablishment candidates — “movement candidates” like Carson — of the extra time they need to build momentum, money and organizations. But Priebus, who says the nomination could be close to settled by April, said it helped all the party’s constituencies when the nominee was decided quickly. “We don’t need a six-month slice-and-dice festival,” Priebus said when we spoke in mid-March. “While I can’t always control everyone’s mouth, I can control how long we can kill each other.”

All the rules changes were built to sidestep the problems of 2012. But the 2016 field is shaping up to be vastly different and far larger. A new Republican hints that he or she is considering a run seemingly every week. There are moderates like Gov. John Kasich of Ohio and former Gov. George Pataki of New York; no-compromise conservatives like Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania; business-wingers like the former Hewlett-Packard chief executive Carly Fiorina; one-of-a-kinds like Donald Trump — some 20 in all, a dozen or so who seem fairly serious about it. That opens the possibility of multiple candidates vying for all the major Republican constituencies, some of them possibly goaded along by super-PAC-funding billionaires, all of them trading wins and collecting delegates well into spring.

Giles says his candidate can capitalize on all that chaos. Rivals may laugh, but Giles argues that if Carson can make a respectable showing in Iowa, then win in South Carolina — or at least come in second should a home-state senator, Lindsey Graham, run — and come in second behind Bush or Senator Marco Rubio in their home state of Florida, he could be positioned to make a real run. But that would depend on avoiding pitfalls like Carson’s ill-considered comments on homosexuality. Rather than capitalizing on the chaos, Carson may only contribute to it.

Ben Carson is, in many ways, the ideal Republican presidential candidate. With a not-too-selective reading of his life story, conservative voters can — and do — see in him an inspiring, up-from-nowhere African-American who shares their beliefs, a right-wing answer to Barack Obama. Before he was born, his parents moved to Detroit from rural Tennessee as part of the second great migration. His father, Robert Solomon Carson, worked at a Cadillac factory. His mother, Sonya — who herself had grown up as one of 24 children and left school at third grade — cleaned houses. When Carson was 8, Sonya discovered that Robert was keeping a second family. She moved, with her two sons, into a rundown group house. It was in a part of town that Carson described to me as crawling with “big rats and roaches and all kinds of horrible things.” Sonya worked several jobs at a time and made up the shortfall with food stamps. (Carson has called for paring back the social safety net but not doing away with it.)

Carson recounts this story in his best-selling 1990 memoir, “Gifted Hands,” which also became the basis for a 2009 movie on TNT, starring Cuba Gooding Jr. as Carson. Raised as a Seventh Day Adventist, Carson realized that he wanted to become a physician during a church sermon about a missionary doctor who, while serving overseas, was almost attacked by thieves but found safety by putting his faith in God. When Carson, then 8, told his mother his new dream, “She said, ‘Absolutely, you could do it, you could do anything,’ ” he told me. Forced by his mother to read two extra books a week, he made it to Yale, then to medical school at the University of Michigan, where he decided to specialize in neurosurgery. He was selected for residency at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, where he was named director of pediatric neurosurgery at 33, becoming the youngest person, and the first black person, to hold the title. He drew national attention by conducting a succession of operations that had never been performed successfully, most famously planning and managing the first separation of conjoined twins connected through major blood vessels in the brain.

Carson, a two-time Jimmy Carter voter, traces his conservative political awakening to a patient he met during the Reagan years. During a routine obstetrics rotation, he found himself treating an unwed pregnant teenager who had run away from her well-to-do parents. When Carson asked her how she was getting by, she informed him she was on public assistance; this led him to ponder the fact that the government was paying for the result of what he did not view as a “wise decision.” The incident, he says, fed his growing sense that the welfare system too often saps motivation and rewards irresponsible behavior. (When we spoke, he suggested that the government should cut off assistance to would-be unwed mothers, but only after warning them that it would do so within a certain amount of time, say five years. “I bet you’d see a dramatic decrease in unwed motherhood.”)

Carson’s friends at Hopkins say they do not remember him being particularly outspoken about his conservatism. He devoted most of his public engagement to urging poor kids in bad neighborhoods to use “these fancy brains God gave us,” through weekly school visits, student hospital tours and, ultimately, a multimillion-dollar scholarship program. “His issues were always medical care for the poor, education for the poor, equal opportunity — helping the less fortunate and really inspiring them as an example,” a mentor who named him to the chief pediatrics-neurosurgery post at Hopkins, Dr. Donlin Long, told me.

Even when Carson got the chance, in 1997, to speak in front of President Bill Clinton, at the national prayer breakfast, he mostly discussed the lack of role models for black children who were not sports stars or rappers. (There was possibly an oblique reference to Clinton’s sex scandals, when he told the audience that, if they are always honest, they won’t have to worry later about “skeletons in the closet.”)

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Ben Carson at CPAC on Feb. 26 in Oxon Hill, Md. Credit Dolly Faibyshev for The New York Times

In 2011, Carson’s politics took a strident turn, mirroring that of many in his party during the Obama years. “America the Beautiful,” his sixth book, which he wrote with Candy Carson, his wife of 39 years, included a get-tough-on-illegal-immigration message and offered anti-establishment praise for the Tea Party. It suggested that blacks who voted for Obama only because he was black were themselves practicing a form of racism. (Earlier this year he admitted to Buzzfeed that portions of the book were lifted directly from several sources without proper attribution.) His prayer-breakfast performance in 2013, and the extremity of his remarks in the months afterward (Obamacare is the worst thing since slavery; the United States is “very much like Nazi Germany”; allowing same-sex marriage could lead to allowing bestiality), left some of his old friends bewildered. Students at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine protested his planned convocation address there in 2013, and he eventually backed out. When I asked Carson about the view at Hopkins that he had changed, he said his themes are still the same: “hard work, self-reliance, helping other people.” If he had become more overtly political, he said, it was only because the Obama years had led him to believe that “we’re really moving in a direction that is very, very destructive.”

None of this went unnoticed by campaign professionals. In August 2013, John Philip Sousa IV and Vernon Robinson, each of whom professes to be a virtual stranger to Carson, and who had previously been active in the anti-illegal-immigration movement, started the National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee. Sousa was just coming off a campaign to defend the sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, Joe Arpaio, from a recall effort, and he told me that he found Carson’s lack of political experience refreshing. “We have 500 guys and gals with probably a collective 5,000 years experience, and look at the mess we’re in,” he said.

Many others in the party feel the same way. Carson’s PAC finished 2014 with more than $13 million in donations, more than Ready for Hillary. Much of its money has gone toward further fund-raising, but Sousa — the great-grandson of the famous composer — points out that their effort has already built far more than just a war chest, organizing leaders in all 99 of Iowa’s counties. Regardless, Carson credits the fund-raising success of Sousa and Robinson with persuading him to enter the race.

Very early the morning after the job interview, Carson was in a black S.U.V., heading from Washington to the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Oxon Hill, Md., where he was to give the opening candidate speech of the Conservative Political Action Conference. The event, which functions as an early tryout for Republican presidential contenders, tends to skew rightward in its audience, drawing many of the same sorts of people who shouted at Boehner in Tampa. As such, it tends to favor anti-establishment candidates, but the news leading up to this year’s event was that Jeb Bush hoped to make inroads there.

It was still dark when we set out, and I joked with Carson about the hour, telling him he’d better get used to it. He retorted that his career in pediatric brain surgery made him no stranger to early mornings. This is a big theme of Carson’s presidential pitch: that neither the rigors of the campaign nor those of the White House can faze a man who held children’s lives in his hands. His life in brain surgery has prepared him for the presidency, he maintains, better than lives in politics have for his rivals. At the very least, he says, it conditioned him against getting too worked up about any problem that isn’t life threatening. “I mean, it’s grueling, but interestingly enough, I don’t feel the pressure,” he said.

At the convention hall, we were quickly surrounded by admirers. Two women were already waiting to meet him — white, middle-aged volunteers for Carson’s super PAC, who had traveled from South Carolina. One of them, Chris Horne, was holding a dog-eared and taped Bible. A founding member of the Charleston Tea Party who went on to work for Gingrich’s successful South Carolina primary campaign in 2012, Horne lamented over the attacks that Carson was sure to face. “You served us, you served the Lord, just don’t let them steal that from you,” she said. Her friend told him, “You’ve got God behind you!” Such religious evocations trailed Carson constantly while I walked the CPAC floor with him. Evangelicals are impressed not only with his devotion to their politics but also with his career path; as one of them told me, what’s more pro-life than saving babies?

During our ride to the conference, Carson told me his speech was not looking to “feed the beast.” When his appointed time came, he kept his remarks as tame as promised. “Real compassion” meant “using our intellect” to help people “climb out of dependency and realize the American dream,” he said. The national debt is going to “destroy us,” Obamacare was about “redistribution and control,” but Republicans better come forward with their own alternative before they repeal it, he said.

Because his speech was first, and it started several minutes early, the auditorium was slow to fill. Still, the first day saw a crush of people seeking autographs and pictures as he roamed the hall. The Draft Carson committee’s 150 volunteers swarmed the auditorium, collecting emails and handing out “Run Ben Run” stickers. After a quick interview with Sean Hannity, the conservative-radio and Fox News host — his second in two days — Carson was off to Tampa.

In the hours that followed his talk, the hall offered a view in miniature of what the next 12 to 14 months might hold for the party. Chris Christie, sitting across from the tough-minded talk-radio host Laura Ingraham, boasted about his multiple vetoes of Planned Parenthood funding, his refusal to raise income taxes and his belief that “sometimes people need to be told to sit down and shut up.” Cruz, an audience favorite, warning his fellow Republicans against falling for a “squishy moderate,” declared, “Take all 125,000 I.R.S. agents and put ’em on our Southern border!” Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, surging in polls, boasted that if he could face down the 100,000 union supporters who protested his legislation limiting collective bargaining for public employees, he could certainly handle ISIS. The next day, the traditional CPAC favorite Rand Paul spoke, packing the hall with his supporters who chanted “President Paul.” He warned, counter to the overall hawkish tenor of the event, that “we should not succumb to the notion that a government inept at home will somehow become successful abroad.” But he also vowed to end foreign aid to countries whose citizens are seen burning American flags. “Not one penny more to these haters of America.”

Perhaps the defining moment came near the end of the conference, when Jeb Bush spoke. In a neat trick of political gamesmanship — and a show of establishment muscle — his team had bused in an ample cheering section for the dozens of cameras on hand for his appearance. But a small contingent of Tea Party activists and Rand Paul supporters staged a walk out. When Bush began a question-and-answer session, they turned and left the auditorium to chant “U.S.A., U.S.A.” in the hallway, led by a man in colonial garb waving a huge “Don’t Tread on Me” banner. Plenty of other detractors stayed in the hall and peppered Bush’s remarks with booing as he stood by positions unpopular with the conservative grass roots: support for the Common Core standards and an immigration overhaul that provides a “path to legal status” for undocumented immigrants. Bush took it all in good humor, but finally seemed to give up.

“For those who made an ‘oo’ sound — is that what it was? — I’m marking you down as neutral,” he said. “And I want to be your second choice.”

Bush strategists told me they would not repeat Romney’s mistakes. Of course they would love to glide to an early nomination, they said, but they are prepared for a long contest and won’t be wasting any energy bending under pressure from a Paul or a Cruz or a Carson.

No one doubts that the pressure will increase, though. Despite the best wishes of the party’s leaders, GOP primary voters have given little indication that they will narrow the field quickly.

Before I left, I spotted Newt Gingrich, himself a fleeting presidential front-runner during those strange primary days of 2012. I asked him whether he thought all the party maneuvering — all the attempts to change the rules and fast-track the process — would preclude someone from presenting the sort of outside primary challenge he had carried out in the last election.

“No,” he told me, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. “Look at where Ben Carson is right now.”

Jim Rutenberg is the chief political correspondent for the magazine. His most recent feature was about Megyn Kelly.

Ben Carson Says He’ll Seek 2016 G.O.P. Nomination

A 214-pound Queens housewife struggled with a lifelong addiction to food until she shed 72 pounds and became the public face of the worldwide weight-control empire Weight Watchers.

Jean Nidetch, 91, Dies; Pounds Came Off, and Weight Watchers Was Born

As he reflected on the festering wounds deepened by race and grievance that have been on painful display in America’s cities lately, President Obama on Monday found himself thinking about a young man he had just met named Malachi.

A few minutes before, in a closed-door round-table discussion at Lehman College in the Bronx, Mr. Obama had asked a group of black and Hispanic students from disadvantaged backgrounds what could be done to help them reach their goals. Several talked about counseling and guidance programs.

“Malachi, he just talked about — we should talk about love,” Mr. Obama told a crowd afterward, drifting away from his prepared remarks. “Because Malachi and I shared the fact that our dad wasn’t around and that sometimes we wondered why he wasn’t around and what had happened. But really, that’s what this comes down to is: Do we love these kids?”

Many presidents have governed during times of racial tension, but Mr. Obama is the first to see in the mirror a face that looks like those on the other side of history’s ledger. While his first term was consumed with the economy, war and health care, his second keeps coming back to the societal divide that was not bridged by his election. A president who eschewed focusing on race now seems to have found his voice again as he thinks about how to use his remaining time in office and beyond.

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Obama Speaks of a ‘Sense of Unfairness’

Obama Speaks of a ‘Sense of Unfairness’

At an event announcing the creation of a nonprofit focusing on young minority men, President Obama talked about the underlying reasons for recent protests in Baltimore and other cities.

By Associated Press on Publish Date May 4, 2015. Photo by Stephen Crowley/The New York Times.

In the aftermath of racially charged unrest in places like Baltimore, Ferguson, Mo., and New York, Mr. Obama came to the Bronx on Monday for the announcement of a new nonprofit organization that is being spun off from his White House initiative called My Brother’s Keeper. Staked by more than $80 million in commitments from corporations and other donors, the new group, My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, will in effect provide the nucleus for Mr. Obama’s post-presidency, which will begin in January 2017.

“This will remain a mission for me and for Michelle not just for the rest of my presidency but for the rest of my life,” Mr. Obama said. “And the reason is simple,” he added. Referring to some of the youths he had just met, he said: “We see ourselves in these young men. I grew up without a dad. I grew up lost sometimes and adrift, not having a sense of a clear path. The only difference between me and a lot of other young men in this neighborhood and all across the country is that I grew up in an environment that was a little more forgiving.”

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Organizers said the new alliance already had financial pledges from companies like American Express, Deloitte, Discovery Communications and News Corporation. The money will be used to help companies address obstacles facing young black and Hispanic men, provide grants to programs for disadvantaged youths, and help communities aid their populations.

Joe Echevarria, a former chief executive of Deloitte, the accounting and consulting firm, will lead the alliance, and among those on its leadership team or advisory group are executives at PepsiCo, News Corporation, Sprint, BET and Prudential Group Insurance; former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell; Senator Cory Booker, Democrat of New Jersey; former Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.; the music star John Legend; the retired athletes Alonzo Mourning, Jerome Bettis and Shaquille O’Neal; and the mayors of Indianapolis, Sacramento and Philadelphia.

The alliance, while nominally independent of the White House, may face some of the same questions confronting former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton as she begins another presidential campaign. Some of those donating to the alliance may have interests in government action, and skeptics may wonder whether they are trying to curry favor with the president by contributing.

“The Obama administration will have no role in deciding how donations are screened and what criteria they’ll set at the alliance for donor policies, because it’s an entirely separate entity,” Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, told reporters on Air Force One en route to New York. But he added, “I’m confident that the members of the board are well aware of the president’s commitment to transparency.”

The alliance was in the works before the disturbances last week after the death of Freddie Gray, the black man who suffered fatal injuries while in police custody in Baltimore, but it reflected the evolution of Mr. Obama’s presidency. For him, in a way, it is coming back to issues that animated him as a young community organizer and politician. It was his own struggle with race and identity, captured in his youthful memoir, “Dreams From My Father,” that stood him apart from other presidential aspirants.

But that was a side of him that he kept largely to himself through the first years of his presidency while he focused on other priorities like turning the economy around, expanding government-subsidized health care and avoiding electoral land mines en route to re-election.

After securing a second term, Mr. Obama appeared more emboldened. Just a month after his 2013 inauguration, he talked passionately about opportunity and race with a group of teenage boys in Chicago, a moment aides point to as perhaps the first time he had spoken about these issues in such a personal, powerful way as president. A few months later, he publicly lamented the death of Trayvon Martin, a black Florida teenager, saying that “could have been me 35 years ago.”

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President Obama on Monday with Darinel Montero, a student at Bronx International High School who introduced him before remarks at Lehman College in the Bronx. Credit Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

That case, along with public ruptures of anger over police shootings in Ferguson and elsewhere, have pushed the issue of race and law enforcement onto the public agenda. Aides said they imagined that with his presidency in its final stages, Mr. Obama might be thinking more about what comes next and causes he can advance as a private citizen.

That is not to say that his public discussion of these issues has been universally welcomed. Some conservatives said he had made matters worse by seeming in their view to blame police officers in some of the disputed cases.

“President Obama, when he was elected, could have been a unifying leader,” Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, a Republican candidate for president, said at a forum last week. “He has made decisions that I think have inflamed racial tensions.”

On the other side of the ideological spectrum, some liberal African-American activists have complained that Mr. Obama has not done enough to help downtrodden communities. While he is speaking out more, these critics argue, he has hardly used the power of the presidency to make the sort of radical change they say is necessary.

The line Mr. Obama has tried to straddle has been a serrated one. He condemns police brutality as he defends most officers as honorable. He condemns “criminals and thugs” who looted in Baltimore while expressing empathy with those trapped in a cycle of poverty and hopelessness.

In the Bronx on Monday, Mr. Obama bemoaned the death of Brian Moore, a plainclothes New York police officer who had died earlier in the day after being shot in the head Saturday on a Queens street. Most police officers are “good and honest and fair and care deeply about their communities,” even as they put their lives on the line, Mr. Obama said.

“Which is why in addressing the issues in Baltimore or Ferguson or New York, the point I made was that if we’re just looking at policing, we’re looking at it too narrowly,” he added. “If we ask the police to simply contain and control problems that we ourselves have been unwilling to invest and solve, that’s not fair to the communities, it’s not fair to the police.”

Moreover, if society writes off some people, he said, “that’s not the kind of country I want to live in; that’s not what America is about.”

His message to young men like Malachi Hernandez, who attends Boston Latin Academy in Massachusetts, is not to give up.

“I want you to know you matter,” he said. “You matter to us.”

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