Drive Carefully and think of including as many as you can in the celebrations,let each one celebrate in his or her own way. A must read article - July 4th is one of the best Muslim Holidays to celebrate -
The real issue is not about who is a Muslim, but it is about how the majorities treat their minorities.
Should the bad decisions of a few in the name of Islam, reflect on the Muslim community at large? Now, Indonesia is planning to ban the "heretical" Muslim sect, should that reflect on Islam? The least we can do is to speak up against the tyranny of one group of people against the other.
The easy option is to do nothing and let the world believe that it is Islam, and if we did that, we would lose our right to complain that it is not us, well it is us. The actions are not the work of a Looney brigade or some fringe groups; it is the government of Indonesia succumbing to please the few among them.
In the movie "A Bug's life", it just took one gutsy Flik to fend off the terrorizing grasshoppers, it takes two boys or two girls to stand up to the class room bully to end the tyranny. It would take a few passionate Muslims to speak out and persuade the establishment. I suggest every one to watch this movie to understand how our Neocons (extremist Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus and others - Jews claim Zionists are not extremists, and I take their word for it) work and how us, the silent majority should act.
The real question that we need to address is should we let a majority determine what one believes, wears or eats? Can the Majority in the United States do that? Can the majority in Indonesia do that? Should that work in India? Can the Sunni Majority in Saudi Arabia harass the Shia? Can the Shia Majority in Iran harass the Sunnis? We have to catch up with our own integrity. Those who were a majority elsewhere are a minority somewhere else.
God is about justice and he wants us to live in peace and harmony, after all, each one of us is his creation, and he will not discriminate any one of us. Qur’aan - 49:13 “O men! Behold, we have created you all out of a male and a female, and have made you into nations and tribes, so that you might come to know one another. Verily, the noblest of you in the sight of God is the one who is most deeply conscious of Him. Behold, God is all-knowing, all-aware.”
A majority of Muslims understand that Islam is a religion of peace, a religion of freedom and justice, and a religion that does not force people to behave. Indeed, if we start looking at ourselves, Alhamdu Lillah, Praise the Lord, the majority of us get along with all and live a life of peace and co-existence.
Every now and then, a "few" among us cross that line, when we let Governments, in the name of Islam start judging people's faith; we are making a gross error defying the very God we purport to follow. Don’t practicing Muslims recite this at least 50 times a day? Qur’aan, Sura “1:4 Lord of the Day of Judgment!” And “1:5 you alone do we worship; and unto Thee alone do we turn for aid.”
Is it up to God or the Government of Indonesia? When we object the Neocons to pre-empt God and bring the Armageddon as soon as possible and justify their ruthlessness in the name of God, then we must object any one taking over God’s decisions in the name of Islam.
When Hazrat Bakr was agreed upon to be the Caliph, the consensus was with him and the few who disagreed dropped their opposition and followed the leader in the same manner as Republicans and democrats who fight within until a candidate is nominated, then every one rallies around the selected one.
The problem with us or any majority of people is we do not give our consensus; we do not exercise our rights and by default give others, the right to govern us.
Not the Pakistani people, but the dictator in-charge, to appease a few, enacted the laws declaring Ahmadiyya group of people as non-Muslims, but then the Pakistani people start believing and legitimizing it. Americans are no different, if the President thinks Russia is evil, we jump with him and when he turns around and befriends China, and in a heartbeat we change our minds too. If he declares Islam is the danger… thank God, Americans are getting away from blindly following government and exercising independent judgment.
It is time for Muslims to stand up and speak out.
Remember the Good Samaritan American women during 9/11? They wore Hijab to show solidarity with Muslim women, the time is coming, when a whole mass of population will declare themselves Muslim to show solidarity with the Ahmadiyya, what are you going to do?
What prevents one from incorporating their group with the name Muslim or Islam? There are a lot of websites with the words Muslim and Islam, but they are actually anti-Islam. What are you going to do about it?
It is time for Muslims to wake up and act righteous and speak out.
Would you join me in writing to the Indonesian government to consider this ill-adivised proposal?
# # # Additional appeal #1:
I am a Muslim, a Sunni if it makes a difference in building goodwill.
I do not believe in getting pushed into a box. I realize that it will take a while for all of us to get to that point. On the other hand there is nothing wrong in accepting the diversity among us, it is not the difference, it is our attitude towards the difference that needs to be evaluated.
First of all, please note that our forum or any other forum must values every opinion, I believe God has created us all equal, what we make out of it is our effort and God knows everything we do.
This is the reason you will find legitimate criticism of issues (not individuals) is published on this forum. As a publisher and moderator of this group, I can simply delete the criticism leveled against me every now and then, but I don’t. You should not be surprised that Brother Iftekhar Alvis’s criticism is published here, as Muslims we have to engage in dialogue, listen to different point of views and not be judgmental, we have to respectfully disagree, but not deny each others’ point of view. We cannot expect the good things to happen, if we do not pave the way for a dialogue and debate.
Several Imams, scholars and heads of organizations have expressed the need for the Muslim community to put our difference aside and come together for the common good of Muslims and the world. What is good for us has got to be good for others for it to sustain.
Ahmadiyya no doubt differ from the Sunni thought, but Sunnis also differ from Shia in the interpretation of Ahl-e-bait. But we have lived all along for over 14 centuries. Some of us have issues with the newer group in the family of Muslims and are eager to deny them a sense of belonging based on hearsay, fact or fiction. Politically they are not comfortable either as some of us are not. But most of us would like to embrace every one who calls himself/herself a Muslim, just as we boast that Prophet Essa, Musa, Ibrahim and others were Muslims because they believe in a God and the accountability day.
Islam is about Justice and when we deny some one the same rights as we have, then we cannot call it Justice. Our moral standing and Eemaan (faith) will be strong when we truly believe that Justice is not for our own kind, but for every human being, Muslim or not.
We have to take a position and embrace every Muslim and not do the hair splitting. If you give the Danda (stick) to orthodox Wahhabi, Shia, Sunni, Ismaili, Bohra, Ahmadiyya, Kurd or other group to lash out, they would declare every one to be a non-Muslim other than themselves and perhaps give each one of us at least one lash. Isn’t this the reason we have Islam where a rich or poor, Alim (scholar) or Jahil (ignorant) can stand in the same line in presence of God Almighty as equals? After all, if we die, each one of us will be buried on equal terms. Only Allah knows and he reserves the right to judge one’s Emaan, and one’s Niyyah and not any one else. This is our God given freedom.
If we need to have the moral strength, we have to consider dropping the barriers for greater good. We have to work for it, we have to do the Jihaad within, we have to fight the "desire" to compel others to be like us, isn’t this Jihad a legitimate Jihaad?
There is quite a lot of raw, civil and good expressions included in the comments sections http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2008/04/ahmadiyya-muslims-what-next.html .
Jazak Allah Khair Mike Ghouse
# # # Additional appeal #2:
I am not an Ahmadiyya, but as a Muslim, I will stand up for their right to practice their version of the faith as it works for them. We do not have to subscribe to their version, nor do we have to become obsessed in judging their Eeman (faith). You and I do not own ISLAM, Islam is not anyone' property to claim exclusive rights to it. Just as you subscribe to it, others do too, let every one subscribe in their own way. If God wanted us to be a homogenous beings, he would have made us Farishtas (angels), he wanted us to be unique.
May God bless you and cause you to become a part of the mainstream Islam, where every one is honored with their differences and accept every one as a Muslim, as long as they believe in God and his prophet and the day of judgment.
# # # Additional appeal #3:
I am speaking from a Majoritarianism V. Minoriatarianism perspective. The civility of a group is determined by how it treats its weak, its children, its women, it older folks.
A few of us claim that Islam has been around from Ibrahim's time and our explanation is that Islam means submission to the will of God, hence Musa was Muslim, and Essa was a Muslim. Yet, we do not want the same definition to be used by others.
Shahadah is the door that opens every one to be called a Muslim. In fact, that is the first thing required of any one to be a Muslim. As Muslims we have to strive for Justice - and Justice is negation of oppression.
Learning about others is critical and I have been to the Ahmadiyya Mosque, and at least the Qur'aan I picked from the Mehraab (book shelf), walking around the Masjid was the same, as I glance through many of the Sarah's. www.Alislam.org is their website.
Sunnis declaring Shia as non Muslim and vice-versa (Mecca's Mufti) is an endless loop. We have to leave the judgment to Allah and accept the diversity within Islam. Our fight should be focused on dismantling the false propaganda against Muslims – The Ahmadiyya are doing a good job in sharing about Islam, and I have been in their company a few times in the interfaith meetings. I did not hear anything contrary, at least in the public.
Alhamdu Lillah, Indonesian government is not going to pass the laws. However, this issue will not go away. The politics in us has to manufacture an enemy, and for a few among us, Ahmadiyya are the easy prey. We don't need to eat from the same plate, but let's do our jihad against this hostility.
A few of my friends suggest me not to take up these issues, I disagree, God has DNA'd each one of us to do a few things in life. Some of us are volunteers and serve others and some don't. Some day more and more Muslims will see the wisdom of Sura Hujurat, verse 49.
My role model is Prophet Muhammad, and I would like to emulate as much as I can, as most of the Muslims do. One of his roles was to speak up and stand up for justice, it did not matter to him if Khadija and Ali were the only two followers, then later on with 313 followers he stood up against the ooo's. He stood his ground despite the persecution. There is a lot we can learn from this.
# # # Additional appeal #4:
In the previous posting a clarification was made that we have the right to judge one's deviant social behavior as to theft, fornication, cheating etc, where as one's faith, an inner matter will be judged by God on the Day of Judgment, only God knows and is aware of our intentions.
To me Prophet Muhammad was the last prophet. Ahmadiyya interpretation works for them, as they believe in it. Neither Shia, Sunni, Ahmadi, Wahhabi have to accept each other’s point of view, we do differ on different issues. Each set has its own peculiarities that the others do not share, that is given, and we have to live with it, as we cannot compel any one to believe what he or she does not.
The choices are: i) compel them to change their belief ii) deny them their right to believe in Islam in their own way iii) and deny them the right to call themselves Muslims. This assumes that we don't need to consult and that when consulted and if the majority agrees to impose all the three choices, we have to go by the majority. None of this can be good for all times.
What if the whole nation of Indonesia becomes Ahmadiyya or powerful, can they reverse the above choices made by Sunni Muslims? Would that be legitimate? The Criminal Ferdinand has done that in 1492, Criminal Hitler has done that around 1940, in both instances the world stood by doing nothing.
Most Muslims believe that Islam is for all times, it is big enough to accommodate and live with the whole diverse universe without conflicts and without compelling others to be subservient, and letting every one who he or she is remain who they want to be. God's model of diversity is impeccable with the matter, the Sun, the planets, and the whole universe obeys God, meaning they do what they were created for. He wants us to know each other and the best among us is the one who is best in conduct, Allah is aware.
Mohammed Irtaza quotes Qur'aan below “those who take heed and lead a righteous life, will have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.”
I am grateful to almighty that I am not obligated to any one but God. I do not fear any one but God. Thanks God I do not intend to please anyone at the cost of pleasing the creator. Speak the truth as I know and understand. Thanks God again, no Imam, no Muslim scholar, No Muslim has ever pushed me to compromise, we debate, we argue, but no one has ever compelled me. The Public should know that Muslims debate and discuss issues, and they agree and disagree. They are as democratic as anyone can get. For every three Muslims, we can find five opinions.
My sincere request to my Muslim brothers and sisters is to resist the temptations to deny Ahmadiyya to call themselves Muslims. In the long haul, it is the good thing do for Muslims and all. Let people live the way they want to, that is God's intention. God would have made the whole world Christians, Muslims, Hindus or Jews, he could have done that, but like his cosmos is diverse, he expects us to be different and maintain that uniqueness. He wants us to learn about each other so we can live in Harmony. Quraan, 49:17
Mike Ghouse is a Speaker, Thinker, Writer and a Moderator. He is a frequent guest on talk radio and local television network discussing Pluralism, politics, Islam, Religion, Terrorism, India and civic issues. He is the founder of the World Muslim Congress, a group committed to building bridges and nurturing a world of co-existence. He also heads the foundation for pluralism, an organization committed to studying religious pluralism and pluralistic governance. His personal website is http://www.mikeghouse.net/ and his writings are on the above websites as well as several of the ancillary Blogs listed on the sites.
Indonesia plans to ban "heretical" Muslim sect JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia is drafting a decree that will ban a Muslim sect that has been branded heretical by most Muslims, an official said on Friday. The Ahmadiyya sect views itself as Muslim but it has been branded a heretical group by the Indonesian Ulemas Council, the secular country's highest Muslim authority, which has issued a fatwa, or edict, against it. A team with officials from two government ministries and the attorney general's office has recommended the government ban the sect because its teachings deviate from the central tenets of Islam, said the team's deputy head Wisnu Subroto. He said the religious affairs ministry, the home affairs ministry and the attorney general's office were drafting a joint decree that would require Ahmadiyya followers to return to mainstream Islam.
"The content is a strong warning to Ahmadiyya followers to not deviate from the core teachings," Subroto told Reuters.
He added that the draft was expected to be completed later this month. Mainstream Muslims reject Ahmadiyya's claim of the prophethood of its founder, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, who died in 1908 in India. Most Muslims believe that Mohammad is the last of the Prophets.
Some of the sect's other teachings are also considered deviant by both Sunni and Shia, the two major branches of Islam, and some Muslim countries do not accept the Ahmadiyya’s as Muslim. In the past, Islamic radicals have damaged mosques and other facilities belonging to Ahmadiyya’s in Indonesia.
The Indonesian Muslim Forum (FUI), a group of some 50 Muslim organisations, on Friday urged President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to disband Ahmadiyya and seize all its assets. Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim nation, but groups branded as deviant or heretical periodically spring up.
Around 85 percent of Indonesia's 226 million people are Muslims. Most of them are moderates who tolerate other beliefs.
Bully pulpit Apr 24th 2008 BANGKOK From The Economist print edition
SEVERAL thousand hardline Muslims protested outside President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's palace in Jakarta on April 20th demanding that he ban Ahmadiyah, an unorthodox but moderate Muslim sect founded in 19th-century India that claims around 200,000 members across Indonesia. At an earlier meeting of one of the groups involved, a leader was filmed chanting “Kill Ahmadiyah! Kill! Kill! Kill!” Far from having these extremists arrested for inciting violence, Mr Yudhoyono was this week considering pandering to them by issuing a decree to restrict Ahmadiyah's freedom of worship. One group of advisers has urged him to do so, while others were counselling against a move that would violate constitutional guarantees of religious freedom.
“X” marks the spotThe proposed ban has its roots in Mr Yudhoyono's tender treatment of the Indonesian Ulemas Council (MUI), a semi-official group of Muslim clerics that was created during the authoritarian regime of Suharto (1966-98). The president nodded his approval as the MUI issued fatwas against “deviant” sects. On April 23rd Abdul Salam, a self-proclaimed prophet who leads another unorthodox group, al-Qiyadah al-Islamiah, was jailed for four years for blasphemy. MUI's fatwas have also given vigilante groups an excuse to attack sects' members and their homes and mosques. In Ahmadiyah's case the fatwas have also prompted another Suharto-era creature, the Co-ordinating Board for Monitoring Mystical Beliefs in Society, to launch an inquisition.
In January the board said it had decided not to call for a ban because Ahmadiyah's leaders in Indonesia had issued a statement affirming that Muhammad was the last prophet, rather than Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Indian mystic who founded the group. But this month the board declared that since Ahmadiyah had gone back on this pledge to “correct” its beliefs, a ban was now in order. Government officials then said that a decree against Ahmadiyah, though not necessarily an outright ban, was being prepared. Last weekend, police forced Ahmadiyah to cut short its annual congress in Bali.
As elsewhere, there are differences among Indonesia's Ahmadis over the meaning of their founder's claims to prophethood. However, under Article 29 of Indonesia's constitution—“The state guarantees all persons the freedom of worship, each according to his own religion or belief”—their beliefs are their own affair.
Unfortunately, it is not that simple. The constitution's guarantee of religious freedom is immediately preceded by an apparently contradictory affirmation that “the state shall be based upon the belief in the one and only God.” Indonesian law requires citizens to belong to one of six officially approved religions even though three are not monotheistic: Buddhists and Confucianists have no god; Hindus have lots of them. Now that Indonesia is a democracy, the constitutional guarantee of freedom of worship might be thought to trump all other arguments. But the mess has yet to be cleared up by the courts.
Yet Mr Yudhoyono's government can do the right thing when pushed. After the Bali bombings in 2002 it rounded up most leaders of Jemaah Islamiah (JI), the jihadist group responsible. Three of the bombers were sentenced to death and face execution shortly. Two more JI leaders, arrested last year, were sentenced to jail terms this week. However, while it is contemplating banning peaceable Ahmadiyah, the government has been reluctant to prohibit JI despite its atrocious violence. It may do so now that the courts, in this week's sentences, have at last labelled JI a terrorist group. There have also been no moves to ban the local chapter of Hizb-ut-Tahrir, a radical group that, although it does not preach violence, does call for the downfall of the Indonesian state and its replacement with a caliphate.
Mr Yudhoyono may believe that he is avoiding conflict by appeasing the country's vociferous but unrepresentative radical Islamist fringe. His liberal critics retort that the state has a duty to protect minorities, rather than sacrifice them to some supposed public good. In any case, suppressing Ahmadiyah and al-Qiyadah al-Islamiah would be more likely to damage Indonesia's stability and unity than letting their members worship freely. The country's many Hindus, Christians and members of other faiths would surely be asking themselves: “Are we next?”
Some Ahmadiyah members have called for help from the United Nations' Human Rights Commission. The outside world—which has so far seen Mr Yudhoyono as a democrat, a reformist and a leader of moderate Islam—might indeed make it clear to him that giving in to the bullies and repressing a peaceable religion would have unfortunate consequences.
I feel that I have to truly speak out against the crime against Jammat Ahmadiyya that was brought to my attention. I posted the wonderful commentary by Mike Ghouse entitled “Ahmadiyya Muslims What Next” and he was absolutely right.
With all due respect, my Indonesian Muslim brothers and sisters must be loosing their minds. In truth the entire Muslim world is loosing their mind, especially as it relates to this MUSLIM community. Yes, I said Muslim community. How in the world can you call yourself a Muslim and want to ban another group that says they are Muslim too? So what if you don’t agree with their practice or even their theology. The one thing that should bind us all is our belief in One God, Allah (swt) and our belief in the Prophet (saw). Any person or group that upholds that is a Muslim.
This is where hypocrisy comes in. Muslims are so quick to fight against one another over matters of variance in practice, but are so slow to embrace one another based on our commonality. We will readily engage in interfaith with other religions, accept others with open arms, let them speak in our Masjids, etc. But God forbid we do that with other Muslims who think or practice other than ourselves.
We love to bash the West and complain about how we are minorities and are denied equal rights, yet in our so-called Muslim countries we refuse to do that ourselves? Why complain about something you won’t readily do yourselves?
This is why I understand why non-Muslims look at us with such strange looks. Look at us, we are backward and confused when we can’t realize the obvious. Muslims by definition are supposed to be the example of what the world should be. I must say, if we define Muslim by the actions of those in Indonesia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and every other “Muslim” nation that bans this group or any other group, then I would rather be an apostate.
You can’t even be a Muslim acting the way they are acting. A Muslim is supposed to be one in which his/her neighbors feel safe. How in the hell can these “Muslims” call themselves such when not even fellow Muslims can feel safe in their presence?
How in the world can you say you are Islamically justified in banning a group that says there is no God, but Allah? What kind of Muslim are you?
I am not Ahmadiyya, however, you can judge a tree by the fruit it bears. This Jammat in all my experiences have been one of the most tolerant, welcoming, and peaceful community I have had the privilege to get to know. I have Ahmadiyya friends, I have attended their functions, and I can tell you through my Sunni eyes, that if they are not Muslim, then I truly don’t know what Islam is and I should go back to being a Christian!
I know many of these brothers and sisters, I can tell you with resolute honesty that to me, they are as if we had the same parents. I love these brothers and sisters, surely we disagree on matters of Fiqh, but so do my wife and I! Some of us in our arrogance and lack of faith in Allah (swt) would rather swat at gnats. We bring the chastisement of Allah (swt) on ourselves.
So what they say the Messiah has come back? What does that have to do with Shahaddah, Salah, Zawm, Zakat, and Hajj? Do they teach against those things? Do they even pray differently? Many of us are so foolish that we would readily have the good Rev. Dr. such and such address us in the Masjid or non-Muslim Mayoral candidate whomever, but don’t let it be someone who calls themselves a Muslim that practices or believes a little different from us. Don’t even let them in our households, bar them from burying their dead, and of all things bar them from the Holy House of all Muslims!
I condemn these detestable, hypocritical, and un-Islamic acts done against this community. I pray Allah (swt) is swift in His chastisement against any Muslim or so-called Muslim state that wants to or has banned any Muslim or group that prays to Him.
How dare you brothers and sisters that do this. In this time where Muslims should be gathering and supporting one another, you want to continue the divide. Instead of being the defender and protector of the oppressed, you now want to be the oppressor. Allah (swt) loves NOT the oppressor.
I sincerely tell you that you seal your fate and you will be brought to ruin as most “Muslim” nations like Pakistan, until you submit and unite.
I ask all Muslims who truly believe, to oppose these actions as well as those well recorded elsewhere. All Muslim lands should belong to any who believe in Allah (swt), His messenger (saw), and the last day. Any who oppose that, should be done away with. They should not be supported in any manner as they have left the fold of Islam and have become a persecutor of fellow Muslims which is Haram.
I ask that we rally around the Ahmadiyya Community the latest and perpetual victim of “Muslim” violence, ignorance, and hypocrisy. I ask that all Muslims get it together and aid one another. It doesn’t matter if you pray with your arms folded, pray with your arms at your sides, pray with your hands on your heart, etc. It doesn’t matter if you expect the Messiah to come with Imam Mahdi, expect Jesus (as) to descend from the clouds, or believe that he came 100 years ago already. It doesn’t matter if you prayer toward the Holy House in Islamabad, Cairo, Jakarta, Paris, London, Dakar, or Washington DC. Muslims we have to unite and be brothers and protectors of one another!
Oh Allah (swt), I ask that you guide our hearts and our minds. I ask that you turn us nearer to you and forgive our transgressions. I ask that you renew in us the spirit of true brother and sister hood. I ask that you remind us that all are brothers who seek you and follow the Sunnah of the Prophet (saw). Oh Allah (swt), I ask that you turn back the Shaitan who is winning over those who say they serve you in Indonesia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and everywhere where your name is uttered. We seek refuge in you from Shaitan the accursed and ask that you deafen our ears to his whispers. Oh Allah (swt) protect the Muslim oppressed, especially those oppressed by other Muslims, such as Jammat Ahmaddiya. Oh Allah (swt) bless and strengthen them and all Muslims of conscience who speak out against such atrocities. Oh Allah (swt) remind us to follow your perfected Deen and grant us your Mercy, for you are the Most Merciful, Compassionate, Dispenser of Grace. It is to You Alone that we submit.
Visit Robert Salaam’s site at http://salaamsblog.wordpress.com/