Friday, December 21, 2007


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7 Members share their thoughts, opinions and articles. Opinions are your own. Moderator comments for each item is followed by the actual postings.

1. Inayat Lalani :: It's no sin to shun the Hijab :: Moderator - Your note to Marylou is appreciated. Indeed, Hijab is a symbol of freedom to those who are told not to wear it or looked down if they wore it. Let it be the wearer's choice - no man or no government should regulate what a woman wears it.

2. Mohammad Irtaza :: Returning the 'Salaam' to non-Muslims :: Moderator - Irtaza, Thanks for writing this, it is a timely piece. God has said that if you walk one step towards him for the sake of goodness, he will take two steps towards you. There is a non-sensical myth out there that some one could mis-pronounce "As-Salaam-o-Alaikum" which could mean something else. God loves those who create peace for the humankind. I have an article on greetings that I will post below separately. By the way, I was at Church of the living God, an African American church this evening for Christmas - it was a great honor to be one of the five speakers right along with the Mayor of DallasTom Leppert and the Police chief. The Mayor has asked me to repeat my speech about greetings and reciting God's name in different religions at Dallas City Hall - Insha Allah, I will do that in January.

3. Zafar Iqbal :: Haneef wins Australia visa appeal :: Moderator - Zafar, thanks for bringing this up. I read a clear sign in it - the days of Neocons is fizzling out. Indians kicked out the extremists from federal government some four years ago, another con artist left the British Government, the Hawkish Mr. Hawk was dumped in Australia, Arial Sharon in Israel was replaced and now we have got the last one left - he will be gone on November 7, 2008. What is common in Haneef's case was the government was lying, just as our government was lying in case of the Holy land foundation. I am thankful to God that these democracies have such a good foundation of justice.

4. Arif Ali :: American Muslim Leaders: Past, Present and Future :: Moderator - Eboo Patel is doing a fabulous job of removing the layers of dust that has accumulated on Islam, so the Islam as it was intended - mercy for mankind emerges. I am pleased to highlight these from the article below .

These kids perfected multiple existences – they were Americans at school, Indians at home, and Muslims at the mosque. And in each setting, they heard a discourse of suspicion about the other spaces. This experience causes more than just confusion; it has the potential to create a profoundly debilitating identity crisis.

Many recent immigrants, Muslims included, build houses of worship like bubbles, meant to insulate their community (especially the kids) from the broader culture. Dr. Hathout built the Islamic Center of Southern California like a bridge.

5. Aishah Schwartz :: MAS Freedom Joins Local Interfaith Community Leadership in Inviting You to Watch 'In God's :: Moderator - Aishah, I could have joined the meeting, I was in DC from 17th thru 19th. Please not the 2-hour prime time special program will be broadcast Sunday, Dec. 23 on the CBS television network. I am pleased to see MAS getting involved in interfaith activities. This is the right thing to do in the long run.

6. Jerry Gordon ::Candle-light vigils vs. Muslim oppression of Christians :: Moderator - here is a typical Neocon guy, duping the Americans to cash in. I spent three days between December 17th and 19th with the Rev. Bishop Riah Abo-El Assal, Bisho of Nazareth and Bishop Saghbini of Lebanon in a world faith leader’s conference in Washington DC. What is happening is sad in Palestine, but not what this guy describes.

7. Greetings in different faiths:


From: "Inayat Lalani"
Date: Fri Dec 21, 2007 8:44 pm
Subject: Re: MuslimAgenda :: re:: :: It's no sin to shun the hijab

Well said MaryLou! It is Jahaliya resurrected but this time invested with Islamic vestments.
Inayat Lalani

On Dec 18, 2007 6:50 PM, Mike Ghouse wrote:

Thanks to Javed Jamil, Marylou Ghyst, Alex James, Shamim Siddidqi for
sharing their opinions.

Tarak Fatah and Farzana are inadvertently blaming the religion for
the acts of individuals. Islam did not kill Aqsa, nor did Islam
authorize such a heinous act.

There are so many killings daily by husbands in Canada, US, India and
elsewhere to control their wives, Parvez did the same thing, to
control his daughter he killed her to death. He used religion to see
if he can get away with it, or perhaps earn the sympathy of Muslims.
He is the criminal and he has got to go through the consequences for
his action.

Marylou, I don't believe his father was concerned about his image
with his Muslim friends, as not all girls wear Hijab, in the same
family one sister wears and other does not, kids wear, parent's
don't. If that was in Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan or Iran, and the girl
was raped, that action by father is possible, in the name of honor

Alex, there is not need for you to go on a diatribe against zionist.
It is getting away from the topice. the man killed the girl, and he
needs to be punished, nothing more.

In this case, it may be something else… religion is a poor excuse for
his ills. Islam has nothing to do with this.

Mike Ghouse


From: Mohammad Irtaza
Date: Fri Dec 21, 2007 6:44 pm
Subject: Returning the 'Salaam' to non-Muslims / comment

[1:1] In the name of GOD, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
[4:86] When greeted with a greeting, you shall respond with a better greeting or at least an equal one. GOD reckons all things.

Salaamun Alykum.

God Almighty designed the straightforward verses of the Quran for most of the people who would like to obey God's commandments.

[3:7] He sent down to you this scripture, containing straightforward verses - which constitute the essence of the scripture - as well as multiple-meaning or allegorical verses. Those who harbor doubts in their hearts will pursue the multiple-meaning verses to create confusion, and to extricate a certain meaning. None knows the true meaning thereof except GOD and those well founded in knowledge. They say, "We believe in this - all of it comes from our Lord." Only those who possess intelligence will take heed.

One such straightforward verse is the following:

[4:86] When greeted with a greeting, you shall respond with a better greeting or at least an equal one. GOD reckons all things.

So, according to the above commandment of God Almighty, if a non-Muslim extends the "Salam" to a believer, the believer shall respond with a better greeting like "Salamun Alykum" or at least an equal one like "Salam".

You quoted the following hadith which is falsely attributed to the Prophet Muhammad: "If a non-Muslim extends the 'Salaam' to you, say: 'Wa 'Alaykum'"

The above hadith is false because it violates the following Quranic principles:

1. It is not a better greeting nor even an equal one:

[4:86] When greeted with a greeting, you shall respond with a better greeting or at least an equal one. GOD reckons all things.

2. Only God makes the religious rulings, not His messenger.

[7:3] You shall all follow what is revealed to you from your Lord; do not follow any idols besides Him. Rarely do you take heed.

3. Messenger's sole duty is to deliver the message of God:

[64:12] You shall obey GOD and you shall obey the messenger. If you turn away, then the sole mission of our messenger is to deliver the message.

Assume that the hadith you quoted is correct. In that case the Prophet would have to face the following serious consequences from God Almighty:

[69:44] Had he uttered any other teachings.
[69:45] We would have punished him.
[69:46] We would have stopped the revelations to him.
[69:47] None of you could have helped him.

Satan will always try hard to make humans listen to him instead of God. There was a recent incidence in the New York City sub-way. A group of Christian teens greeted a group of Jewish teens with "Merry Christmas." Satan did not like this idea. He whispered the Jewish teens to respond with "Happy Hanukkah"! Satan was indeed successful and a fight broke out between them.

When people disregard God's rule and adopt man made rule, they essentially listen to Satan. When a non-Muslim extends "Salam" to a believer and a believer responds with a bad response like "'Wa 'Alaykum'", the so-called believer listen to Satan and not God. And, if the non-Muslim knows the correct response to "salam", he would not feel good about it. By returning a good greeting with a bad greeting is certainly not Islam.

[41:34] Not equal is the good response and the bad response. You shall resort to the nicest possible response. Thus, the one who used to be your enemy, may become your best friend.

What is the wisdom of the Quran on good word versus bad word?

[14:24] Do you not see that GOD has cited the example of the good word as a good tree whose root is firmly fixed, and its branches are high in the sky?
[14:25] It produces its crop every season, as designed by its Lord. GOD thus cites the examples for the people, that they may take heed.
[14:26] And the example of the bad word is that of a bad tree chopped at the soil level; it has no roots to keep it standing.

You quoted another false hadith attributed to the Prophet: If the 'People of the Book' extend the 'Salaam' to you say: 'Wa 'Alaykum'

This hadith is even worse than the previous hadith you quoted regarding greetings for non-Muslim.

The Quran is the best hadith and according to the Quran, the People of the Book
are believers if they meet the following Quranic standard:

[39:23] GOD has revealed herein the best Hadith; a book that is consistent, and points out both ways (to Heaven and Hell). The skins of those who reverence their Lord cringe therefrom, then their skins and their hearts soften up for GOD's message. Such is GOD's guidance; He bestows it upon whoever wills (to be guided). As for those sent astray by GOD, nothing can guide them.

[2:62][5:69] Surely, those who believe, those who are Jewish, the Christians, and the converts; anyone who (1) believes in GOD, and (2) believes in the Last Day, and (3) leads a righteous life, will receive their recompense from their Lord. They have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.

Thank you and may God guide us,

M. Irtaza

Added by the Moderator:

4:86 But when you are greeted with a greeting [of peace], answer with an even better greeting, or [at least] with the like thereof. Verily, God keeps count indeed of all things.

Lit., "greet with better than it, or return it". In the above context, this obviously refers to an offer of peace by people with whom the believers are at war as well as to individual persons who, while possibly belonging to the enemy, have, to all outward appearances, peaceful intentions. In accordance with the injunctions, "if they incline to peace, incline thou to it as well" (8:61), and "if they desist (from fighting), then all hostility shall cease" (2:193), the believers are obliged to make peace with an enemy who makes it clear that he wants to come to an equitable understanding; similarly, they must show every consideration to individual persons from among the enemies who do not actively participate in the hostilities (see also verse 94 of this surah).(Quran Ref: 4:86 )


From: Zafar Iqbal
Date: Fri Dec 21, 2007 9:28 pm
Subject: BBC E-mail: Haneef wins Australia visa appeal

Haneef wins Australia visa appeal

An Indian doctor briefly charged over failed bomb attacks in the UK in June has won a court battle to return to Australia on a work visa. The Federal Court of Australia dismissed an appeal by government lawyers against a judge's decision to restore Mohamed Haneef's visa.

Ex-Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews revoked the former Gold Coast Hospital registrar's visa on character grounds.

Dr Haneef was accused of links with failed attacks in London and Glasgow.

The decision by the former immigration minister to cancel the Indian doctor's visa was quashed by a federal court judge in August.

Second government defeat

Government lawyers then appealed the decision to the full bench of the court but lost the case on Friday morning.

2 July : Arrested in Brisbane
14 July : Charged with providing "reckless support" to terrorism
16 July : Granted bail, but kept in custody after work visa revoked
27 July : Charges dropped
29 July : Returns to India
21 Aug : Court overturns government visa decision

The BBC's Phil Mercer in Sydney says it is still not clear if Dr Haneef will be able to reclaim his work permit as the government still has the option of appealing to the High Court of Australia.

Dr Haneef was arrested on 2 July at Brisbane International Airport and held for several days before being charged with giving "reckless support" to terrorism.

But the case against the 27-year-old father-of-one collapsed and he flew out of Australia back to India on 29 July. He has consistently denied any wrongdoing.

The Australian government cancelled Dr Haneef's work visa after a magistrate granted him bail, then refused to reinstate it when charges against him were dropped.

He is currently visiting Saudi Arabia for the annual Muslim Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.

Dr Haneef is the cousin of Sabeel Ahmed, one of three people charged in the UK over the failed attacks.

Mr Ahmed's brother, Kafeel, was the driver of a jeep which crashed into Glasgow Airport in flames on 30 June. He died from his injuries in August.

Story from BBC NEWS:


From: Arif Ali
Date: Fri Dec 21, 2007 11:31 am
Subject: American Muslim Leaders: Past, Present and Future

Talk to some Muslim kids, and they will tell you stories of growing up in three worlds – a racial/ethnic world (South Asian, Arab, African-American, etc), a religious world (Hanafi, Ithna'ashari, Ismaili, Sufi, Salafi, or other, depending on their Muslim theology), and American youth culture (which includes everything from MTV to the SATs).
Eboo Patel

Everybody has multiple identities within themselves, especially in America, where hyphenated identity is not only the norm, but also part of our national story and strength. The great American poet William Carlos Williams even wrote, "The pure products of America / go crazy."

But you also go crazy if you feel like your different identities are constantly at war with each other, and that's one of the main challenges that some Muslim young people in America experience. About 75% of the American Muslim community are immigrants or children of immigrants, coming to these shores as a result of the 1965 Immigration Act. Many members of the immigrant generation tried to raise their children in an imagined version of mid-century Karachi or Cairo, with all of the attendant treasures, traditions and prejudices of those societies. But their kids were crossing borders that they didn't see dozens of times a day.

These kids perfected multiple existences – they were Americans at school, Indians at home, and Muslims at the mosque. And in each setting, they heard a discourse of suspicion about the other spaces. This experience causes more than just confusion; it has the potential to create a profoundly debilitating identity crisis.

Dr. Maher Hathout, a physician who immigrated from Egypt, understood the dangers of these internal conflicts long before most other immigrant Muslims. He set up a mosque in the early 1970s that was intentionally American and that welcomed Muslims from all ethnic backgrounds and from the various schools of Muslim theology.

Many recent immigrants, Muslims included, build houses of worship like bubbles, meant to insulate their community (especially the kids) from the broader culture. Dr. Hathout built the Islamic Center of Southern California like a bridge. It engaged positively and proactively with the broader American society, and is currently a leader in interfaith programs with both Christians and Jews. In 1988, Dr. Hathout decided that the outreach model of the Islamic Center needed to be taken national, and so he and a group of friends formed the Muslim Public Affairs Council, which works largely in public policy, media and youth engagement.

I have been quoting Dr. Hathout for years. One of my favorite lines of his is, "Home is not where your grandparents are buried, it's where your grandchildren will be raised." I met him for the first time last weekend at the recent MPAC Convention in Long Beach. At least at first blush, the man lived up to the legend.

I was impressed by his frank talk about both the fact of Islamophobia in America and the reality that Muslim extremism opened the door to the climate of fear and hatred we see today. I was also struck by how an elderly man who walks with a cane connected effortlessly with Muslim teenagers.

Once organizations start engaging with power players in DC, they often forget the importance of nurturing young people. Not MPAC. Working with youth continues to be a central part of what they do. They have one of the best papers I've read on the identity challenges that young Muslims in America face. They consulted on the new sitcom Aliens in America, which is about the experiences of a Muslim exchange student from Pakistan in a small town in Wisconsin. And they continue to organize vibrant youth programs, both at their national conventions and in Washington DC.

In fact, some of the most important young Muslim leaders in America cut their teeth at MPAC, including Ahmed Younis, Safiya Ghori, Edina Lekovic, Shahed Amanullah and Nadia Roumani.

This generation of American Muslims is building an American Islam that will have three defining characteristics:

1) It will be a big tent for all believers, not a small room for only the purists; 2) It will seek to contribute to all aspects of human civilization, not obsess exclusively over a handful of causes; and 3) It will be just as concerned about the future of the country we live in as it is about the places of Islam's glorious past.
As my generation of American Muslims works to construct a coherent and relevant American Muslim identity, we need to remember that people like Maher Hathout pioneered it.

Eboo Patel

From: Aishah Schwartz
Date: Fri Dec 21, 2007 7:06 am
Subject: MAS Freedom Joins Local Interfaith Community Leadership in Inviting You to Watch 'In God's

MAS Freedom Joins Local Interfaith Community Leadership in Inviting You to Watch 'In God's Name' Sunday, Dec. 23 on CBS

WASHINGTON, D.C. (MASNET) Dec. 20, 2007 – MAS Freedom (MASF), as the civic and human rights advocacy entity of the Muslim American Society (MAS), joins the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS), the Inter Faith Conference of Metropolitan Washington (ICMW), Reston Interfaith (RI), and the Muslim Campus Ministry (MCM), at George Mason University Campus Ministries Association in inviting you to watch "In God' s Name," a major television event addressing some of the most challenging and profound questions of our time. The 2-hour prime time special program will be broadcast Sunday, Dec. 23 on the CBS television network.

"In God's Name", a production in association with the acclaimed French filmmakers Jules and Gedeon Naudet, will explore the complex questions of our time through the intimate thoughts and beliefs of 12 of the world's most influential spiritual leaders. These diverse and powerful voices offer provocative, compelling and enlightening perspective on myriad issues in our post-9/11 world, including the rise of terrorism, fanaticism, intolerance and war.

On the day of the terrorist attacks in September 2001, Jules and Gedeon Naudet were caught in the collapse of the World Trade Center. Jules was shooting inside when the South Tower fell. "On Sept. 11, we faced death and thought we had lost each other," said Jules Naudet. "This harrowing experience was the first step in a journey that would take us around the world searching for answers to the meaning of life."

The brothers' quest took them to Egypt, England, India, Israel, Japan, Lebanon, Russia and the Vatican, as well as Illinois and South Carolina.

"We chose these 12 leaders because of the vast number of believers - more than four billion - that their faiths represent," said Gedeon Naudet. "We also wanted to explore the diversity of spirituality in our world today."

The program marks the first time that this distinct group of leaders has appeared in one broadcast. These spiritual beacons speak out about violence and hatred and reveal their own thoughts about faith, peace, unity, tolerance and hope. Viewers will see them in intimate settings, including their homes and personal places of worship. Ultimately, through the eyes of these 12 very different religious figures, the filmmakers discover the common ground among believers around the world.

The 12 leaders featured in this special, in alphabetical order, are:

Alexy II, Patriarch of Moscow and head of the Russian Orthodox Church
Amma (Sri Mata Amritanandamayi), a Hindu spiritual leader
Pope Benedict XVI, head of the Roman Catholic Church
The Dalai Lama (Tenzin Gyatso), spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists
Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, a prominent Shiite Muslim leader
Bishop Mark Hanson, Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and President of the Lutheran World Federation
Michihisa Kitashirakawa, Jingu Daiguji (High Priest) of the Shinto Grand Ise Shrine
Yona Metzger, Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel
Dr. Frank Page, President of the Southern Baptist Convention
Imam Muhammad Sayyed Tantawi, Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar and a prominent Sunni Muslim leader
Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jathedar Sri Akal Takht, the Sikhs' highest authority
Dr. Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury and head of the Church of England

"In God's Name" is produced by filmmakers Jules and Gedeon Naudet and CBS News' Susan Zirinsky, who last collaborated as the executive producers of the Peabody and Emmy Award-winning film "9/11" for the Network. Mark Koops of Reveille, which represents the Naudets, serves as an executive producer. Also for CBS News, Nancy Kramer and Peter Schweitzer are the senior producers on the project, Mead Stone, Mike Vele and Basil Pappas are the producer-editors, Susan Mallie is the producer and Sarah Prior is the associate producer.

SOURCE: Common Tables


Candle-light vigils vs Muslim oppression of Christians
by Jerry Gordon

It is almost Christmas and the world will once again focus attention on the birthplace of Jesus in Bethlehem. A Bethlehem that has become virtually devoid of local Christians as they have been driven out by threats, violence and intimidation.

Soon only a handful of Christians will be left in the Palestinian territories and the Islamist and terrorist groups Fatah-PLO and Hamas will have virtually complete control to achieve their next objective-the elimination of the Jewish State of Israel.

They have continued this malevolent quest by recently desecrating the Tombs of Biblical Joshua and his father Caleb in Samaria. This Christmas season, we see evidence of that in the dhimmi statements of the Vatican’s Latin Patriarch for Jerusalem Michael Sabbagh denying Israel’s Jewish sovereignty. All said while supporting the aims of Palestinian leadership intent on driving his co-religionists out of the Holy Land - the birthplace of Jesus.

The plight of Christians in the Palestinian territories has been highlighted by an Israeli lawyer and senior staffer at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) Justus Weiner. Weiner has been unstinting in spotlighting the flight of Christians from the Palestinian territories and excoriating the ‘apathy’ of the West in coming to their aid. I have written of that flight in a FrontPageMagazine article, entitled “A Tale of Two Palestinians”.

David Meir-Levi has a suggestion: mounting candle light vigils, sit ins at Palestinian and Arab states’ legations here in America, the EU and UK: countries like Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and the Sudan, for starters. The candle light vigils and sit ins would draw attention to the plight of Christians in the Middle East, particularly at a time when the world media’s attention is drawn to the birthplace of Jesus, Bethlehem.

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quraan burning

Planned Muslim Response to Qur'an Burning by Pastor Jones on September 11 in Mulberry, Florida

August 19, 2013| Dallas, Texas

Mike Ghouse
Text/Talk: (214) 325-1916

Mirza A Beg
(205) 454-8797


We as Muslims plan to respond to pastor Terry Jones' planned burning of 3000 copies of Quran on September 11, 2013 in positive terms.

Our response - we will reclaim the standard of behavior practiced by the Prophet concerning “scurrilous and hostile criticism of the Qur’an” (Muhammad Asad Translation Note 31, verse 41:34). It was "To overcome evil with good is good, and to resist evil by evil is evil." It is also strongly enjoined in the Qur’an in the same verse 41:34, “Good and evil deeds are not equal. Repel evil with what is better; then you will see that one who was once your enemy has become your dearest friend.”

God willing Muslims will follow the divine guidance and pray for the restoration of Goodwill, and on that day many Muslim organizations will go on a “blood drive” to save lives and serve humanity with kindness.

We invite fellow Americans of all faiths, races, and ethnicities to join us to rededicate the pledge, “One nation under God”, and to build a cohesive America where no American has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of fellow Americans. This event is a substitute for our 10th Annual Unity Day Celebration ( held in Dallas, but now it will be at Mulberry, Florida.

Unwittingly Pastor Jones has done us a favor by invigorating us by his decision to burn nearly 3000 copies Quran on September 11, 2013. Obviously he is not satisfied by the notoriety he garnered by burning one Qur'an last year.

As Muslims and citizens we honor the free speech guaranteed in our constitution. We have no intentions to criticize, condemn or oppose Pastor Terry Jones' freedom of expression. Instead, we will be donating blood and praying for goodness to permeate in our society.

We plan to follow Jesus Christ (pbuh), a revered prophet in Islam as well as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) – that of mitigating the conflicts and nurturing good will for the common good of the society.

We hope, this event and the message will remind Muslims elsewhere in the world as well, that violence is not the way. Muslims, who react violently to senseless provocation, should realize that, violence causes more violence, and besmirches the name of the religion that we hold so dear. We believe that Prophet Muhammad was a mercy to the mankind, and we ought to practice what we believe and preach. We must not insult Islam by the negative reactions of a few.

We can only hope it will bring about a change in the attitude of the followers of Pastor Jones, and in the behavior of those Muslims who reacted violently the last time Pastor sought notoriety – We hope this small step towards a bridge to peaceful coexistence would propel us towards building a cohesive society.

Like most Americans a majority of Muslims quietly go about their own business, but it is time to speak up and take positive action instead of negative reaction. May this message of peace and goodwill reverberate and reach many shores.

Lastly, we appreciate the Citizens of Mulberry, Florida, Honorable Mayor George Hatch, City Commissioners, police and Fire Chiefs for handing this situation very well. This will add a ‘feather of peace’ in the City’s reputation. We hope Mulberry will be a catalyst in showing the way in handling conflict with dignity and peace.

We thank the Media for giving value to the work towards peace rather than conflict.


Thank you.


The people in Dallas are making an effort to understand and clean their own hearts first, when we are free from bias, it would be easy to share that with others. Islam teaches us in so many ways to "respect the otherness of others" and it is time we find simple practical ways of doing it.