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Mike Ghouse

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

‘Islamic Jew-Hatred': It’s NOT in the Quran

Why would God want his creation to hate fellow Creation - when he says, whether you are a Jew, Christians or other, if you take care of fellow humans, you have your reward with me.

Mike Ghouse

Courtesy of Beliefnet

Common Word, Common Lord

‘Islamic Jew-Hatred': It’s NOT in the Quran

In the Name of God: The Infinitely Merciful and Compassionate Beloved
Pamella Geller has put up bus ads in Washington, D.C. that say:
Islamic Jew-hatred: It’s in the Quran. Two-thirds of all US aid goes to Islamic countries. Stop racism. End all aid to Islamic countries.
Her contention is flat-out wrong.
The Quran is full of positive references to the Children of Israel and Jewish history. Many of the Jewish Prophets, in fact, are mentioned more by name than the Prophet Muhammad himself (peace be upon them all). Here is what the Quran says about the Torah, the Jewish Scripture:
It is He Who sent down to thee (step by step), in truth, the Book, confirming what went before it; and He sent down the Law (of Moses) and the Gospel (of Jesus) before this, as a guide to mankind, and He sent down the criterion (of judgment between right and wrong). (3:3)
It was We who revealed the law (to Moses): therein was guidance and light…And in their footsteps We sent Jesus the son of Mary, confirming the Law that had come before him: We sent him the Gospel: therein was guidance and light, and confirmation of the Law that had come before him: a guidance and an admonition to those who fear God (5:44,46)
Does this sound like “Islamic Jew-Hatred” to you?
Here is but a small bit of what the Quran says about the Jewish Prophets:
Say ye: “We believe in God, and the revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to (all) prophets from their Lord: We make no difference between one and another of them, and to Him have we submitted ourselves. (2:136)
Behold, we have inspired thee [O Prophet] just as we inspired Noah and all the prophets after him – as We inspired Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob and their descendants, including Jesus, Job, Jonah, Aaron, and Solomon; and as We vouchsafed unto David a book of divine wisdom (4:163)
And We bestowed upon him [Abraham] Isaac and Jacob, and We guided each of them as We had guided Noah aforetime. And out of his offspring, [We bestowed prophethood upon] David, Solomon, Job, Joseph, Moses and Aaron: for thus do We reward the doers of good. And upon Zachariah, John, Jesus, and Elijah: ever one of them was of the righteous; and [upon] Ishmael, Elisha, Jonah, and Lot: every one of them did We favor above other people (6: 84-86).
Does this sound like “Islamic Jew-Hatred” to you?
Now, indeed, there are seemingly tough verses in the Quran about the children of Israel:
Those of the children of Israel who were bent on denying the truth have [already] been cursed by the tongue of David and of Jesus, the son of Mary; this because they rebelled [against God] and persisted in transgressing the bounds of what is right. (5:78)
There a few points here: first, the verse does not say that “all Jews are cursed.” The verse says that those children of Israel who did wrong were cursed by David and Jesus. And here is the scriptural evidence for this:
Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. (Matthew 23:33-35)
The wrath of God came upon them, and slew the fattest of them, and smote down the chosen men of Israel. For all this they sinned still, and believed not for his wondrous works.Therefore their days did he consume in vanity, and their years in trouble. (Psalm 78:31-33)
Moreover, there are some verses in the Quran that are oft-quoted by those who claim “Islamic Jew-Hatred” which seem to call Jews “apes” and “pigs and monkeys”:
And well you knew those among you who transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath. We said to them ‘Be ye apes, despised and rejected.’ (2:65)
And ask them about that town which stood by the sea: how its people would profane the Sabbath whenever their fish came to them, breaking the water’s surface, on a day on which they ought to have kept Sabbath – because they would not come to them on other than Sabbath-days!…And then, when they disdainfully persisted in doing what they had been forbidden to do, We said unto them: ‘Be as apes despicable!’ (7:163-166)
Say: ‘Shall I tell you who, in the sight of God, deserves a yet worse retribution than these? They whom God has rejected and whom He has condemned, and whom He has turned into apes and swine because they worshiped the powers of evil: these are yet worse in station and father astray from the right path [than the mockers].” (5:60)

Indeed, some Muslims have claimed that Jews are “pigs and monkeys,” apparently based on these verses. As horrible as their claim is, their use of the Quran is completely incorrect.
As the verses clearly show, the Quran is not saying “Jews are apes and monkeys.” In fact, there is no verse in the Quran – none – that says “Jews are apes and monkeys.” The verses above speak about the Sabbath Breakers: it was they who were turned into apes because they broke the law of the Sabbath. Commentator Muhammad Asad (a Jew who converted to Islam) explains this story:
Under Mosaic Law, they were obliged to refrain from all work – and, therefore, also from fishing – on Sabbath-days, with the result that the fish were more plentiful and would come closer to the shore on those days: and the inhabitants of the town took this as an excuse to break the Sabbath-law.
In fact, according to Asad, the term “be ye apes” may only be metaphorical and not literal:
As for the substance of God’s decree, “Be as apes despicable”, the famous tabii [student of the Prophet’s (pbuh) Companions] Mujahid explains it thus: ‘(Only) their hearts were transformed, that is, they were not (really) transformed into apes: this is but a metaphor (mathal) coined by God with regard to them, similar to the metaphor of ‘the ass carrying books’ (62:5)”…A similar explanation is given by Raghib. It should be borne in mind that the expression “like an ape” is often used in classical Arabic to describe a person who is unable to restrain his gross appetites or passions.
The point is: there is no basis for the claim that “Islamic Jew-Hatred” is in the Quran. In fact, there is no such thing as “Islamic Jew-Hatred.” Islam does not command Muslims to hate anyone, Jewish or otherwise.
Now, are there Muslims who hate Jews? Most definitely. Are there Muslims who cite the Quran as their basis for hating Jews? Most definitely. Are they correct in their interpretation? Most definitely not. Don’t put your filthy words in God’s Holy Mouth.

Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/commonwordcommonlord/2014/06/islamic-jew-hatred-its-not-in-the-quran.html#sI7icSHt4VWlKdFW.99

Sunday, October 12, 2014

If Malala were an Ahmadi Muslim?

Published at World Muslim Congress and Redeeming Pakistan
No copy rights - anyone can copy and post anywhere. 

By Mike Ghouse

On October 13, 2014, Dawn News paper Published, "a letter from Dr. Abdus Salam to Malala" at http://www.dawn.com/news/1137319/a-letter-from-dr-abdus-salam-to-malala which is produced below. Thanks for publishing it.

On October 10, 2014, three days before Dawn published, I wrote at   http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2014/10/malala-and-dr-abdus-salam-two-nobel.html

 I congratulated Malala for winning the Nobel Prize, and reminded her that she is not the first Pakistani to win the Nobel Prize, Dr. Abdus Salam has also won the prize and a great injustice is done to him by depriving him his place in Pakistan's history. As a Nobel Prize laureate she can consider working on getting him his rightful place in Pakistan, he is celebrated around the world for his research, and it is time Pakistan does it too. As a Muslim I celebrate you and Dr. Abdus Salaam.

A few years ago, when I was searching for Muslim Nobel laureates, I found Dr. Abdus Salam's name, but Pakistan did not list him. Here, I am trying to take pride in listing Muslims who have made it, and this country which was created for Muslims did not honor him properly, not only that they have desecrated his name and title on his headstone.  Is anyone going to do anything about it?

What's wrong?

Justice for Sunni Muslims regardless of injustice to others is not Justice. Quran talks about justice for all - it talks about telling the truth even if it goes against you. There are numerous examples set by Khulfa-e-Rashidun where they punished their own kith and kin for a complaint of injustice lodged by Jews, Christians and others of that time.  What's wrong with the Pakistani people to deny Ahmadiyya their rights (if you are not aware of it, please Google) -what is sad and shameful is the attitudes of Pakistani Americans living here in the United States who want to deprive Ahmadiyya from every possible human right. Should America do to them, what Pakistan does to Ahmadiyya? Do Pakistani American voices have strength?

We may have to ask Pew research to do a survey, if Muslims understand the word Justice means justice for every party or just them. Second part of that survey is how much brainwashing is done to Pakistanis after Bhutto-Zia combine passed the laws declaring Ahmadi's to be non-Muslims? Had it not been for the laws, and had it not been for Maududi, would Pakistanis have developed so much hatred for fellow Pakistanis?
I felt saddened, when Dean Obeidallah (not sure his origin) on facebook produced a picture of Muslim Nobel Prize Laureates that did not include Dr. Abdus Salam.

What I see is deliberate attempt of Pakistani Authorities to not give credit to an Ahmadi Muslim, that brainwashing has done it to Malala and Dean Obeidallah and many a current generation of Pakistani Muslims. I wonder if Malala were an Ahmadi, or a future scientist from Ahmadiyya Muslim Community wins, would Pakistan deny him or her rightful place in their history. If you read about Dr. Salam, despite the treatment, he preferred Pakistan; he was one of the greatest Patriots of Pakistan.

Of course there are many more Muslims, but missing the one whose name continues to be appreciated in the scientific community is not Kosher
Muslim voices will gather strength, when we are just, just to everyone. Until such time, no one will give a listen - all the Islamic nations can join together, but still will not have the power in their voices - we have been partial and unjust, when Muslims do wrong, we grudgingly or shamefully remain silent.

As a Muslim I am speaking up, would you?
Mike Ghouse
A Sunni Muslims
# # #
Now here is that letter from Dawn

Dear Malala,

Despite all that occurred, I'd always lugged around with me a sliver of optimism. They referred to me as Pakistan's 'only' Nobel laureate; I insisted on being called the "first".

I was born in a small town called Santokh Das; arguably not as beautiful as your Swat valley, but it did have much to offer. I grew up in Jhang, a city now tainted by its name's association with dangerous groups.
My father was an education officer working for the Punjab government. I have a feeling your father would've liked him.

Like you, I took a keen interest in my studies. I enjoyed English and Urdu literature, but excelled at mathematics. At a very young age, I scored the highest marks ever recorded then, in my matriculation exam.
My education, however, was never as politically challenging as yours.

I did not have to contend with the Taliban destroying my school, or forbidding boys from receiving education. But whatever barriers they constructed in your way, you bravely broke through them.
In fact, you continue to defy them with every breath you take.

Winning the Nobel Prize has enraged your attackers, as it has annoyed many of your countrymen.
It takes courage to walk through it all, and knowing you, courage is not in short supply.
Not a lot has changed in this country. You were mocked and alienated by your countrymen, when you did nothing wrong. I know something of that.

As a nation, we do not want to be celebrated.

What we wish for is to be pitied.

They were pleased with you as long as you were another local victim. But then, you cast off your victimhood and emerged as a hero, a beacon of hope for young girls around the world. That's where you lost them.
We don't like heroes, Malala.

We like battered souls that we can showcase to the world. We want to humiliate the 'colonialists' and the 'imperialists' for their crimes, real or imagined, against the Muslims of the subcontinent.

We want them to acknowledge the Iqbalian paradise we lost to the plots and schemes of the 'outsiders'. Any mention of the incalculable harm caused by perpetrators within us, does not assist that narrative.
We do not want to acknowledge the bigotry within, of which I know something too.

This is not something I had fully realised the day I received my Nobel Prize. Standing in ceremonial Punjabi garb among a group of men in tuxedos, I was proud to represent my country, though my country was far less thrilled being represented by me.

I was demonized and successfully disenfranchised for my religious beliefs; I was not allowed to offer lectures in certain universities due to threats of violence; my work was belittled by my own people.

I decided that working abroad was better than being treated as foreigner in my own homeland. That only gave further wind to the hurtful theories about me being a 'traitor' to my country.

Now, the mantle passes to you, dearest child.

And with it, I regret to pass onto you the heart-wrenching burden it brings.

You are the new 'traitor'.
You are presented with the dire challenge of bringing peace and pride to a country, that doesn't want your gift.
Like a mother of a particularly rebellious child, you must find a way to love them nonetheless. Eventually, I pray, they will understand.

I had the privilege of being the first to offer this country a Nobel Prize. But now there are two of us.
And, I'm still counting.

Yours truly,
Abdus Salam

# # #
To be a Muslim is to be a peace maker who seeks to mitigate conflicts and nurtures goodwill for peaceful co-existence of humanity. Our work is geared towards building a cohesive society where no human has to live in apprehension or fear of the other. World Muslim congress is a think tank and a forum with the express goal of nurturing pluralistic values embedded in Islam to build cohesive societies.  If we can learn to respect the otherness of others and accept each other's uniqueness, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge. Mike Ghouse is a Muslim Speaker  thinker and a writer.

Denouncing ISIS from every Islamic Point of View

Way back in August, I wrote, if there was a Global Muslim organization that processes the application for Membership of Muslim organizations, the application from ISIS will be rejected outright, like the Drug Cartels would face applying for membership in a Church or a Synagogue associations.Now, I am pleased to present another article by Mohammad Yunus with more technical reasons to reject them.


Mike Ghouse
World Muslim Congress - for Muslims of all hues.
# ##
By Mohammad Yunus
 We the Moderate Muslims and/or mainstream Muslims of the world, who believe in the brotherhood of mankind, promoters of peace, coexistence with people of all faiths, do hereby, call upon you to immediately give up your unholy, unlawful and ill-conceived ambition to found an Islamic caliphate by rampaging through villages, towns and cities, brutally murdering people and forcing the non-Muslims to convert to Islam at gun point. 

We have been watching in absolute horror your cohorts and front-line soldiers occupying lands by forcing their inhabitants to flee to save their lives and waving the flag of Islam with one hand and AK-47 with the other. We are compelled to say that you are committing the most inhuman and diabolic crime of beheading innocent journalists and posting this barbaric act on the Internet to terrorize the world.

Witnessing with agonizing observation of your heinous crimes in the name of Islam, we have now decided to charge you of openly defying Islam’s express prohibition of terrorism, freedom of religion and its emphasis on justice, patience, peace, reconciliation, pluralism and other humanistic trajectories as illustrated below: 

1. Regardless of ground, killing of an innocent person is declared haram or forbidden in three of the Qur’anic verses (6:151, 17:33, 25:68), and as grave a sin as killing entire humanity (5:32).
“Say, Come! I will tell you what your Lord has really forbidden you! Do not associate anything with Him; be good to your parents; and do not kill your children for fear of poverty – We shall provide sustenance for you as well as for them – refrain from committing indecent deeds, whether openly or in secret; and do not kill the life which God has made sacred, save by right. That is what He has enjoined upon you, so that you may understand.”
Surah: Al-An’am (The Cattle) – Chapter: 6 – Verse: 151

2. The Friday Congregation prayer is normally preceded by the recitation of the verse 16:90 which commands justice (‘adl), goodness, generosity and forbids the abominable, the evil, and terrorism.
“God commands justice, kindness and giving their (due to) near relatives, and He forbids all shameful deeds, and injustice and transgression. He admonishes you so that you make take heed!”
Surah: Al-Nahl (Bees) – Chapter: 16 – Verse: 90

3. The Qur’an commands complete neutrality in justice whether it concerns “yourselves, or (your) parents or relatives, or the poor” (4:135) and “even those whom you may hate” (5:8).
“Believers, be steadfast in the cause of God and bear witness with justice. Do not let your enmity for others turn you away from justice. Deal justly; that is nearer to being God-fearing. Fear God. God is aware of all that you do.”
Surah: Al-Ma’ida (The Table) – Chapter: 5 – Verse: 8

4. The Qur’an commands kindness to all mankind regardless of color, race, religion, nationality or any other distinction (4:36).

5. The Qur’an does not furnish any example of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) or any of his followers coercing any single person to embrace Islam during the entire 23 year span of the revelation.

6. The Qur’an testifies that the pagan wives of men who had converted to Islam were allowed to leave their husbands and join the community of pagans without facing any social pressure or coercion to embrace the faith of their husbands (60:11).

7. Through the 12 year span of Meccan period (610-622), when the Muslims were “‘just a few in number, weak and helpless in the land, and were afraid that their enemies might oppress and kidnap them’ (8:26), they were commanded to endure suffering patiently (2:153)

8. The first eight years of the Medinite period (622-629), the Muslims fought against attacking armies (Badr and Uhud battles, Trench war – 624, 625, 627) or entered into peace treaty with their hostile tribes (Treaty of Hudaibiyyah, 628), and with the Jews of Khaybar (629).

9. Two of the Jewish tribes of Medina who had actively conspired with the hypocrites were exiled without any persecution or torture while some of the members of a third Jewish tribe were executed and expelled from Medina, but these actions were of purely political nature and lenient in historical relativism as the prevalent Mosaic Law prescribed massacre of the entire community for high treason they committed.

10. Mecca was integrated (630) without striking a blow. God withheld the hands of the Meccans from the Muslims and the hands of the Muslims from the Meccans (48:24) and God imposed on the Muslims the Word of restraint (taqawa), as they were entitled to it and worthy of it (48:26).

11. The Qur’an is explicit that God alone will judge all humanity including the polytheists, the Sabians and the Magians (22:17) on the Day of Judgment and expressly forbids any compulsion in religion (2:256, 10:99, 50:45, 88:22).
“God will judge between the believers, the Jews, the Sabaeans, the Christians, the Magians and the polytheists on the Day of Judgement. Surely God is witness to everything.”
Surah: Al-Hajj (The Pilgrimage) – Chapter: 22 – Verse: 17

12. The Qur’an incorporates a mercy clause “But whoever (forgives as a gesture of) charity, this is the expiation for him” (5:45) after pronouncing like for like punishment (“a life for a life, an eye for an eye, a nose for a nose, an ear for an ear, a tooth for a tooth, and wounds like for like”).

13. The Qur’an brought the pre-Islamic custom of blood vendetta to an end by introducing a law of compensation for loss of life which has this mercy-cum-forgiveness clause: “But if any from the family (of the deceased) pardon him (one who caused the death), then he should follow this up with something appropriate (as compensation), and execute (the same) in a good gesture. This is a Concession and Mercy from your Lord.”

14. The Qur’an warns those who oppress innocent civilians and wreak terror (yabghyuna) on earth of severe punishment (42:42).
“Blame falls only on those who wrong men and transgress on this earth without justification – such will have a painful punishment.”
Surah: Al-Shura (Mutual Consultation) Chapter: 42 – Verse: 42

15. The Qur’an warns humanity against his restlessness (in pursuit of glory and gain) but approves of those “who believe and do good deeds, and exhort to truth, and exhort to patience” (103:3).
“I swear by the passage of time, that man is surely in a state of loss, except for those who believe and do good deeds and exhort one another to hold fast to the Truth, and who exhort one another to stead-fastness.”
Surah: Al-Asr (The Passage of Time) – Chapter: 103 – Verse: 1 – 3

16. The Qur’an forbids usurping other’s properties; such as by is driving others out of their homes (2:188).
“Do not consume one another’s property by unjust means, nor offer it as a bribe to the authorities, so that you may deliberately and wrongfully devour a part of other people’s wealth.
Surah: Al-Baqara (The Heifer) – Chapter: 2 – Verse: 188

17. The Qur’an grants peace and security at home without being disturbed by any intruder (24:61).

18. The Qur’an espouses rule of law by way of legal hearing and does not admit of any arbitrary punishment (7:159, 7:181).

19. The Qur’an calls for safe asylum of civilians caught in war (9:6).
“If any one of the polytheists seeks asylum with you, grant him asylum so that he may hear the word of God; then convey him to a place of safety. That is because they are a people who have no knowledge.”
Surah: Al-Tawbah (Repentance) – Chapter: 9 – Verse: 6

20. God does not love those who rampage through the land destroying sources of life and human generations (2:205).
“There are some men whose views on the affairs of this life may please you. They even call on God to witness whatever is in their heart, yet they are the most contentious of quarellers. When he turns away, he sets out to spread corruption in the land, destroying crops and cattle. God does not love corruption.”
Surah: Al-Baqara (The Heifer) – Chapter: 2 – Verse: 204-205

21. God does not love those who cause disorder (fassad) on earth (2:205, 28:78).

22. As the revelation was coming to a close after a transitional period of intense struggle and hostility, the Qur’an acknowledges the Christians and Jews as people of faith (5:44-47).
“We revealed the Torah, in which there is a guidance and light. By it the prophets who were obedient to Us judged the Jews, and so did the rabbis and the priests, according to God’s book which had been entrusted to their care; and to which they were witnesses. Have no fear of man. fear Me, and do not sell My revelations far a paltry sum. Those who do not judge by what God has sent down are deniers of truth.”
Surah: Al-Ma’ida (The Table) – Chapter: 5 – Verse: 44
“We caused Jesus, son of Mary to follow in their footsteps, fulfilling what had been revealed before him in the Torah. We gave him the Gospel, which contained guidance and light, fulfulling what was revealed before it in the Torah: a guide and an admonition to the God fearing.”
Surah: Al-Ma’ida (The Table) – Chapter: 5 – Verse: 46

23. In its closing phase, the Qur’an puts all humanity on a level religious plane (5:48, 49:13) by subjecting them all the common command to vie with each other in goodness (5:48) and cultivate moral excellence (taqwa, 49:13) – which it also identifies as the twin divine criteria of Judgment (2:62, 4:124, 5:69, 22:17, 64:9, 65:11).

“To everyone of you We have ordained a law and a way, and had God so willed, He would have made you all a single community, but He did not so will, in order that He might try you by what He has given you. Vie, then, with one another in doing good works; to God you shall all return; then He will make clear to you about what you have been disputing.”
Surah: Al-Ma’ida (The Table) – Chapter: 5 – Verse: 48
“Mankind! We have created you from a male and female, and made you into peoples and tribes so that you might come to know each other. The noblest of you in God’s sight is the one who fears God most. God is all knowing and all aware.”
Surah: Al-Hujurat (The Apartments) – Chapter: 49 – Verse: 13
24. The Qur’an’s expansive spiritual umbrella as a universal din (belief system) for all monotheists negates the notion of a global Islamic state or khilafah uniting only the Muslims of the World as one political body to the exclusion of the others.

25. The Qur’an’s complete silence about the political, civil, financial, or military administration that goes with a state indicates that it left statecraft to evolve with the progress of civilization. Hence, in the context of present day globalized society, the notion of khilafah or a Pan-Islamic state is antithetic to the Qur’anic message.
Now we revert to our charges against you.
Your terrorist activities, barbaric and arbitrary ways, and pan-Islamic political ambitions explicitly or implicitly conflict with each of the above twenty-five listed trajectories of the Qur’an, that among other things, distinguish the Qur’an as by far the most benevolent social discourse in human history. Thus, they are tailored transmute the character of Islam from a religion of peace and enlightenment to a cult of terror and ignorance (jahilliyah) – a grand conspiracy to take Islam back to the pre-Islamic era that is bound to fail as history’s clock cannot be set fourteen centuries backwards. 

Since you claim to be waging a jihad in God’s way, your willful defiance of the Qur’an’s humanistic trajectories renders you a hypocrite of the highest order – perhaps more intense than even those of the Prophet’s era. Therefore, based on the Qur’anic castigation of the hypocrites of its era, you and your ideologues stand liars (9:42, 9:107, 58:18, 63:1), deviants (fasiqun) (9:96, 9:67), intense in kufr and hypocrisy (9:97, 9:101), the comrades of Shaytan (58:19), the most despised among the Prophet’s followers (58:20), divinely cursed (9:68, 33:73) and relegated to the lowest depths of the hellfire (4:145) – God alone knows what fate awaits you in His court.
Furthermore, in our view your campaign of terror, your targeting of the Christians and Yazidis who were living side by side with Muslims for fourteen centuries, your killing of fellow Muslims, beheading of journalists and posting of this barbaric act on the Internet and other crimes including kidnapping, loot and arson constitute a “war against God and the Prophet,” the perpetrators of which were historically ‘slain or crucified or had their hands and feet amputated from opposite sides, or expelled from the land” (5:33). In other words, from the Qur’anic perspective, what you and your allies are doing is a ‘manifestly immoral’ act, as obvious as murder before the eyes of the next of kin or public, a daylight robbery, deliberate ramming of car on little children waiting for school bus, pushing a guy from the roof of a high-rise building for fun – to give some simple examples. 

We, therefore, unanimously declare you as inveterate criminal and most despicable like the Kharijites of early Islam – the first breakaway sect in Islam that justified killing of all non-Muslims as well as the Muslim who opposed them including their own parents and caused “rivers of blood to flow in the first three centuries of Islam.” We most strongly and unreservedly condemn you and warn you that unless you give up terror and seek peace, you are set to be destroyed as you have crossed the limits set by God and His Prophet (58:20) and waged a war against God and His Prophet by perpetrating heinous crimes against humanity (5:33).
All in all, we have given serious thought to the contents of the letter and are responsible for any breach of divine trust (amanah) or intellectual dishonesty in the framing of this letter, which we are impelled to issue as witness to the Qur’anic message (2:143).
May God guide you to His ways and lead you to peace and surrender.
Submitted by: “Morally Conscious and God Fearing Muslims” all over the world.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Eid Mubarak - Eid-e-Ghadir Mubarak

Congratulations to Shia Muslims on the auspicious occasion of Eid al-Ghadir considered as the greatest Eid of Shia tradition.

We can make this world a better place to live for entire humanity in general and Muslims in particular - God says he has made us into different tribes and communities, and the best ones among us, per him, are those who learn about each other - and respect the otherness of others, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge. A few among us are hung up with Shia, Sunni, Ahmadi and whateverelse, we don't have to agree, but we can learn to live with each other with our differences. That is what Islam is about; Peace! Please remember, Islam is not a religion of imposition or compelling.  May God guide us guidance to shelve our arrogance and humbly acknowledge each other. If you are a Sunni or other Muslim, please wish Happy Eid-Ghadir to our Shia brothers and sisters.

Mike Ghouse,

At least 17 times a day, we proclaim, "Only Allah is the Malik-i-Yomiddin" and I hope we mean it and not judge anyone's faith. www.WorldMuslimCongress.com

Eid Ghadir Mubarak

The following is copied and edited from the Ahl-e-bayt site and I hope you value it.
"Today I have perfected your religion and completed my favor upon you, and I was satisfied that Islam be your religion." (The Holy Quran, 5:3)

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) stops at a place called Ghadir. He summons those who have gone forward to return and wait for the followers to join. Them, he climbs an eminence and gives a sermon:
 "Praise be to Allah; I testify that He is the Lord and I am His servant. Gabriel has descended to me thrice, and has ordered me from Allah to stop on this land to proclaim His message. Am I not your Wali (more precious to you than your own lives)?" People replied:" Yes". He continued:" Am I not your prophet and leader?" Again, all the people confirmed. It was then that he took Ali ibn Abi Talib's (PBUH) hands and raised them high, and said, "Whoever has me as his Master (Wali), Ali is his Master (Wali)". (Note: This is not in the Sunni Literature)

 After that, those that were present came to Ali (PBUH) at the tent which Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) had ordered to be set up, and congratulated him on his new position. They addressed him as Amir al-Mu'minin (Ruler of the Faithful). Historians have mentioned numbers up to 120000 for the people present at that time.

Then, the following verse of the Quran was revealed:" Today, those who disbelieve have despaired of your religion; so fear them not and fear Me. Today I have perfected for you your religion and have completed My favor upon you, and I was satisfied that Islam be your religion."(6)

 In the Holy Quran, the terms "Yaum" and "Yauma'izin" usually refer to the resurrection day; however, the former is used in this verse referring to the issue of Imamate. Since the Holy Quran starts talking about important issues with the terms "Al" and "Yaum", it is indicated that the aforementioned verse, in which the term "al-Yaum" is repeated twice, contains important news. That important news is indeed appointing the Master and Ruler of the Muslim community after Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP).

 This important event made the disbelievers disappointed. The enemies of Islam would say: " … we are waiting to see him die" (7), so his religion would be removed; because it is possible to fight against the book and the law and to interpret them according to one's desires; however, such divine Leader could not be fought. Therefore, the event of Ghadir made the disbelievers despair of this hope due to the fact that a leader was appointed for the Muslims who possessed virtues such as bravery, wisdom, patience and constancy, just like Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP). There, a divine successor was appointed by Allah to continue Prophet's path and supervise the Muslims after Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP).

 The next section of the verse talks about perfection of religion and completion of favor. Obviously, it does not refer to materialistic favors, because the creatures are constantly blessed by such favors from Allah (SWT), and they are not such that could be completed; hence, another type of favor (which is indeed superior to and more important than materialistic favors) is meant. According to the event of Ghadir, this favor is nothing but the favor of Imamat (Leadership) and Wilayat (Mastership). Even Allah (SWT) has admired the favor of prophethood and Imamat as His greatest favors in the Holy Quran, and has used the term Minnah (a significant and enormous favor which is difficult to receive and maintain) regarding these two favors:" Certainly Allah conferred a great favor upon the believers when He raised among them a Messenger from amongst themselves." (8); "And We desired to bestow a great favor upon those who were deemed weak in the land, and to make them the Imams, and to make them the inheritors."(9)

 And finally, the endeavors of all the prophets before Islam and the 23 year endeavors of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) became fruitful on the day of Ghadir, and the argument on mankind became complete.

  It is noteworthy that according to the knowledge of Hadith, there are few events reported to be as authentic as the event of Ghadir. Mas'ood ibn Nasser Sajestani in the book "Wilayatkade", which is printed in seventeen volumes, narrates this event on the authority of one hundred twenty people. Muhammad bin Jarir Tabari in the book "Radd Alaa al-Kharqouziah", narrates the event of Ghadir from seventy-five different routes, and Ibn Ouqdah mentions 125 different narrators for this Hadith in the book of Wilayat.

It is quoted from Abou al-Ma'ali Jowni that:" I saw a book in a bookbinding store which contained the Hadith of Ghadir, and it was written on its back:" Volume 28 of the routes for the Hadith of Man Kuntu Mawlah (the beginning phrase of the Hadith of Ghadir which means whoever has me as Master)". Sayyid Murtada writes that:" We have not come up to a single Islamic sect that denies the event of Ghadir". Finally, the book of Al-Ghadir by Allamah Amini is the most general and complete encyclopedia for narrations about the Ghadir event.

  Based on the above, it is on us to celebrate this great Eid. There is a Hadith in Sahih Muslim narrating from Taariq ibn Shahab that:" A group of Jews told the second Caliph that:" If such a verse had been revealed to us (Today I have perfected for you your religion and have completed my favor upon you) and we knew that day it had been revealed, We would have celebrated that day."

-           Al-Ghadir, by Allamah Amini
-           Tafsir al-Mizan, by Ayatullah Jawadi Amuli
-           Explanations of the Event of Ghadir,  by Ayatullah Jawadi Amuli,
-            Haqq al-Yaqin, by Allamah Majlisi

Friday, October 10, 2014

Malala and Dr. Abdus Salam - two Nobel Prize Laureates in Pakistan

Congratulations Malala,

We are proud of you, you are a role model for Muslims, and I have written a few articles appreciating your work. Muslims badly needed a role model.

Please remember you are not the first Pakistani to win the Nobel prize, Dr. Abdus Salam also has also won the prize and a great injustice is done to him by depriving him his place in Pakistan's history. As a Nobel prize laureate please work on getting him his rightful space in Pakistan, he is celebrated around the world for his research, and it is time Pakistan does it too. As a Muslim I celebrate you and Dr. Abdus Salaam.
To be a Muslim is to be a just person.
Thank you

Mike Ghouse
(214) 325-1916 - text/talk
World Muslim Congress

To be a Muslim is to be a peace maker who seeks to mitigate conflicts and nurtures goodwill for peaceful co-existence of humanity. Our work is geared towards building a cohesive society where no human has to live in apprehension or fear of the other. World Muslim congress is a think tank and a forum with the express goal of nurturing pluralistic values embedded in Islam to build cohesive societies.  If we can learn to respect the otherness of others and accept each other's uniqueness, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge. Mike Ghouse is a Muslim Speaker  thinker and a writer.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

‘It’s gross, it’s racist’: Ben Affleck and Bill Maher clash over criticizing Islam

Bill Maher, these are my words, but in sophisticated language, “It’s the only religion that acts like the mafia,” Maher said. “They will f*cking kill you if you say the wrong thing, draw the wrong picture, or write the wrong book.”

I wrote as a part of the film script, "We have learned and have come to anticipate what a few Muslims will do when someone criticizes Islam, Prophet Muhammad, or threatens to burn the copies of Quran." 
Indeed, I am making a film on it. To build cohesive Societies where no human has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of the other, we wanted to mitigate conflicts and nurture good will and invariably offer pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.

Watch this on YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XduMMteTEbc
and this one too - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ibKWVTFSak 

The whole show is based on these write ups:

Two Islams - Mangled up and Pristine - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-ghouse/two-islams-the-mangledup-_b_5748280.html

Fixing Sharia Laws - http://sharialaws.blogspot.com/2014/01/fixing-sharia-laws.html

Maher clash over criticizing Islam

Arturo Garcia

03 Oct 2014                   
Actor and director Ben Affleck on 'Real Time with Bill Maher,' on Oct. 3, 2014. [YouTube]

Watch this on youtube - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XduMMteTEbc

Bill Maher and author and neuroscientist Sam Harris battled actor/director Ben Affleck on Real Time on Friday concerning Maher’s recent remarks criticizing Islam.
“Why are you so hostile about this?” Maher asked Affleck.
“It’s gross, it’s racist,” Affleck replied.

“It’s so not,” Maher insisted, though Affleck compared it to using the term, “Shifty Jew.”
“You’re not listening to what we are saying,” Maher insisted.

“You guys are saying, if you want to be liberal, believe in liberal principles,” Affleck said, referencing Maher’s monologue last week. “Like, we are endowed by our forefathers with inalienable rights, all men are created equal.”

Harris, who had complained about criticism of the Muslim religion being dismissed as Islamophobic, countered that liberals should be allowed to criticize bad ideas.

“Islam is the motherload of bad ideas,” Harris argued.
“Jesus,” Affleck said in frustration.
“That’s just a fact,” Maher said, backing Harris up.

—> NEXT ON RAW STORY: Bill Maher on ‘born-again booty callers’: Who do you have to blow to get thrown out of Congress?

Journalist Nicholas Kristof then cut in, telling Maher he was painting an “incomplete” picture of the religion by failing to account reformers like activist Malala Yousafzai.

“Or how about the more than a billion people who aren’t fanatical, who don’t punish women, who just want to go to school, have some sandwiches, and don’t do any of the things you say all Muslims do?” Affleck said.

But Harris countered that the strongest voices in Islam belong to not only extremists, but conservative Muslims who, while criticizing terrorist groups, still follow practices that keep other members of their communities “immiserated.”

“It’s the only religion that acts like the mafia,” Maher said. “They will f*cking kill you if you say the wrong thing, draw the wrong picture, or write the wrong book.”

Former Republican National Committee chair Michael Steele pointed out that Muslim clerics from several countries have condemned the actions of groups like the Islamic State, without getting much attention for it.
“Where was the coverage?” Steele asked. “Where was that story to create a different picture?”
Affleck then rebuffed Maher’s attempt to laugh the discussion off.

“I’m simply telling you, I disagree with you,” Affleck said, before Maher cut him off.
“I know, and we’re obviously not convincing anybody,” Maher said.

Maher did not address criticism directed toward him by religious scholar Reza Aslan, who said on CNN that his views on the religion were “not very sophisticated.”
Watch the discussion, as posted online on Friday, below.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Muslim American Orgs. Must Condemn Islamism Not Just ISIS

Muslim American Orgs. Must Condemn Islamism Not Just ISIS
Courtesy : Jewish Voice New York


The Muslim-American community has stood up to condemn ISIS. It now needs to confront the Islamist ideology that bred it and other groups like it.

The Muslim-American community, including organizations with radical histories, swiftly and unequivocally condemned the Islamic State terrorist group (formerly and commonly known as ISIS). These statements are welcome, but they need to go further and challenge the Islamist basis of the group and those like it.

The vast majority of condemnations of the Islamic State focus on its violent tactics and not its belief that Muslims are commanded to wage jihad to build an Islamic state, i.e. a government based on Islamic law (sharia). Nor is its belief that Muslims must rebuild a caliphate being confronted.

President Obama is being criticized for stating that the Islamic State is “not Islamic.” The understandable objective was to avoid depicting the campaign against the Islamic State as a war on Islam, but the obvious truth is that the Islamic State is following an interpretation of Islam. Many Muslims feel it is an incorrect interpretation, but it is still an interpretation.

The Islamic State claims that its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was an Islamic preacher and has a doctorate in Islamic Studies from the Islamic University of Baghdad. It also says he is a direct descendent of the Prophet Mohammed, the founder of Islam.

The Islamic State implements governance strictly based on sharia, or Islamic law. The very name of the Islamic State implies a fusion of mosque and state. The concept of the caliphate declared by the Islamic State is rooted in Islamic history and doctrine, even if most Muslims reject the Islamic State’s caliphate.

These fundamentally anti-Western goals emanate from the Islamist ideology that believes in sharia as a code of governance (which is also known as Political Islam). Not all Islamists support the Islamic State, but all members of the Islamic State are Islamists.

By declaring that the Islamic State is “not Islamic,” the Muslim world is relieved of its responsibility to challenge the group’s Islamic basis. Its origins can thus be blamed on the West or a murderous lust for power. The fundamental ideology of the Islamic State and similar groups is left untouched.

The Islamic State must be fought by challenging the basis of its name: an Islamic state with sharia governance. Limiting condemnations to tactics leads to endless arguments about which tactics are appropriate under what conditions. The debate needs to focus on the ultimate purpose of those tactics.

In truth, the Islamic State is acting on a popular agenda in the Muslim world. A 2007 World Public Opinion poll found that 74% of Pakistanis, 71% of Moroccans, 67% of Egyptians and 49% of Indonesians desire a caliphate that absorbs every Muslim country. The objective of strictly implementing sharia in every Muslim country was supported by 79% of Pakistanis, 76% of Moroccans, 74% of Egyptians and 53% of Indonesians.

A 2013 poll found that most Muslim countries want sharia as the official law of the land. Massive numbers specifically favor the brutal corporal punishments of sharia instituted by the Islamic State. Terrorist groups like Hamas, Hezbollah, Al-Qaeda and the Taliban still get double-digit support.

These pillars of the Islamic State’s ideology are left untouched in most Muslim condemnations of the group. For example, the U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations, a coalition of Islamist groups, issued a condemnation of the Islamic State and its ideology without specifying what that ideology is.

It cites a Quranic verse about how the taking of one life is like killing all of mankind, yet leaders in the coalition have supported violent jihad and Hamas. Obviously, that means that the coalition and its fellow Islamists believe this verse does not forbid killing altogether.

This public condemnation and referencing of this verse makes the coalition look “moderate” but does nothing to address the beliefs of the Islamic State and other jihadists that killing is sometimes permissible.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) issued a condemnation of the “actions” of the Islamic State, calling them “un-Islamic and morally repugnant.” But their statement focused solely on tactics, specifically the murdering of civilians and religious scholars and attacks on houses of worship.

Another CAIR statement blamed the rise of the Islamic State on “the fuel of injustice” and “the lack of freedom and justice in the region.” In other words: The West.

For example, CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad reacted to the beheading of American journalist James Foley by tweeting that “Israel is the biggest threat to world peace and security.”

Former CAIR-Tampa leader Ahmed Bedier tweeted, “ISIS is not a product of Islam, it is a product of George Bush’s and Obama’s failed wars and policies in Iraq and Syria.” It was re-tweeted by Hassan Shibly, current director of CAIR-Tampa.

A September 10 press conference featured several Muslim-American leaders making strong condemnations of the Islamic State and calling on their community to stop radicalization.

Imam Mohamed Magid of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society Center said, “Young people, please don’t listen to this ideology.” Because he did not specify what that ideology is, all the audience knows is that the Islamic State is wrong for killing non-combatants. The issue of sharia is not addressed.

Azhar Azeez, President of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), said ISIS has “no basis in the teaching of Islam.” This statement gives the impression that it is not a product of an Islamic interpretation.

Azeez says Islam does not condone terrorism or killing civilians or destroying civilian infrastructure. ISIS would probably agree with this statement because it does not consider its actions to be “terrorism” or its targets to be “civilian.” The statement will do nothing to dissuade a Muslim dabbling in Islamism.

Azeez’s rejection of attacks on civilian infrastructure is ironic considering that Imam Johari Abdul-Malik of the Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center spoke at the press conference. In 2001, he said that attacks on bridges, power plants, the water supply and other infrastructure in Israel are justifiable as long as you don’t take innocent life.

Abdul-Malik does deserve credit for using the word jihadist and mocking how the Islamic State is appealing to youth by looking "cool." He said, “Nothing is cool about being a jihadist, you’re a loser.”

However, Abdul-Malik failed to challenge the specific interpretations of the Islamic State. He rejected linking the Islamic State to Islam in any way, arguing that the KKK was never linked to Christianity. Instead, he indirectly blamed the West by saying the Islamic State was exploiting anger over how Muslims are treated around the world.

Imam Talib Shareef of Masjid Muhammad asked the media to refer to the Islamic State as the “anti-Islamic State.”

He stated that the Islamic State is contradicting religious coexistence that occurred under the Prophet Mohammad’s Islamic state. However, by saying that the Islamic State does not represent a true Islamic state, it is implied that the pursuit of an Islamic state is noble.

Of the major Muslim-American groups, the one that has gone the furthest in confronting the ideological basis of the Islamic State is the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC). It was founded by Muslim Brotherhood ideologues and has had a pro-Islamist past, but it has also taken some stances against Islamists like former Egyptian President Morsi.

Its D.C. office director, Haris Tarin, spoke at the September 10 press conference. Its President, Salam al-Marayati, has written several articles about the Islamic State and its beliefs.

In one of the articles, al-Marayati wrote, “This ‘caliphate’ [declared by the Islamic State] is a disturbed and failed attempt to recreate the glory days of the Islamic civilization of over 1,000 years ago, yet it is a forgery of anything close to Islam.”

Unfortunately, al-Marayati is ridiculing the caliphate of the Islamic State, not the desire to rebuild a caliphate. This is similar to the ruling of Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Yousef al-Qaradawi who only opposes the Islamic State’s caliphate because of how it was accomplished.

Al-Marayati blames both the West and Islamic interpretations. He writes that “ISIS is the toxic and dogmatic response to centuries-old colonial propaganda that aimed to demonize and dehumanize the Muslim world.” However, “The failed response by Muslims is political Islam.”

In another article, al-Marayati says that the ideology of the Islamic State and those like contains takfirism, essentially an Islamic version of the Puritans who brand Muslims as apostates and persecute them. He uses Islamic history against the Islamic State by comparing them to the Kharijites, a sect of radical Muslims in the seventh century that waged war on those they saw as apostates.

He says the Islamic State is a product of modern takfirism that causes an “unholy alliance of clergy and state” spread by “co-opting religious authority, fabricating religious texts, and spreading selective interpretations and applications of Islam by establishing schools and funding those that would teach their literal and absolutist Islamic narrative.”

Confronting takfirism is an improvement because it specifies an adversarial ideology rooted in Islamic interpretation, but it is still too narrow. It is still a practice of Islamism, albeit a particularly aggressive one. The term thus enables Islamists to offer a group like the Muslim Brotherhood as a “moderate” alternative to the takfiri Islamic State and Al-Qaeda.

Muslim-American groups need to launch a systematic refutation of the overall Islamist ideology. This means challenging the works of popular Islamist preachers like Ibn Taymiyyah, Hassan al-Banna, Maulana Maududi, Yousef al-Qaradawi, Sayyid Qutb, Ayatollah Khomeini and Muhammad al-Wahhab.

The youth must not be taught to idolize foreign Islamists like Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan and Tunisian preacher Rachid Ghannouchi or American ones like Zaid Shakir and Siraj Wahhaj.

This means promoting progressive reformation and ijtihad, the independent interpretation of doctrine. Muslims must not be afraid to criticize the determinations of Islamist jurists, and texts with anti-Islamist points of view should be encouraged. Former Islamist and current Muslim reformist Tawfik Hamid writes about this need in a new Clarion Project article, and he’s published a "Modern Interpretation of the Quran."

Muslim activist Mike Ghouse writes that there are two Islams “mangled up” and Muslims need to welcome criticisms of authoritative scholars from the past like Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn Kathir. He says:

“The mistake we have made is to give their word a near equivalence of Quran and the Prophet; we can judge them against historical relativism but should not regard their work as integral component of Islamic teachings. All said, we must admit that whatever their intentions might have been, the medieval scholars messed up the interpretation of Quran. Instead of building cohesive societies, they were inclined to forge exclusive authoritarian societies.”

Ghouse is not disputing the fact that the Islamic State is practicing a version of Islam. He’s disputing that it is the right version of Islam. And he recognizes that the core problem is resistance to critical examination of sharia teachings.

The Muslim-American community has stood up to condemn the Islamic State. It now needs to step up to the greater challenge of confronting the Islamist ideology that bred it and other groups like it.

Ryan Mauro is ClarionProject.org’s national security analyst, a fellow with Clarion Project and an adjunct professor of homeland security. Mauro is frequently interviewed on Fox News.
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