Sunday, September 28, 2008
Bilingual is a Hispanic American working in India and is writing extensively in a blog called Sulekha, where I have been writing for the last ten years. He and I did some information sharing and then he came up with this challenge and wanted me to respond to his six questions.
RESPONSE TO QUESTIONS ON THE WEBSITE SULEKHA.COM
While I agree with most of what you have said, I am pleased to respond to six of your questions and I will write them in a reverse order;
6) Recognize and celebrate the role of women and their right to education and freedoms.....
The women are mistreated all over the world; all of us Men need to stand up to it. When they condemn how Indian women are burnt for dowries, I found out that more women are killed in the US by their violent spouse/boy friends, compare that to women in Islam, fewer are beaten up. All of them are wrong. That is not a solace and things have to be changed. It is the stupid, insecure dumb Men do those things. Religion is simply a scape goat.
I have made a tough call to Muslims:
5) Promotes and demands a division between Religion and State (Countries)
Indian and US constitutions have laws against corruption and crimes yet all of it happens, in Texas we hang the criminals and death penalty is carried out by eloctrocuting them, yet we are a civilized society!
Islam the religion did not want monarchies, dictatorships or dynasties, yet the nations with larger Muslim populations have them. Prophet Muhammad did not appoint a successor upon his death, Ali would have been the right one but the Prophet did not want people to take it that because Ali was his cousin and son in law, he gave the keys to him. He was against dynasties or successive rulers, so the first four leaders in Islam were elected. People are people whether they are Muslims, Hindus or Christians, they want to control and run – BJP and congress are no different. The problem is not the religion, it is the people and we are making aggressive pushes to keep the state and religion separate. Does this happen in a secular democracy like US or India? No, religion still plays a major role.
4) Issues edicts on what will not be tolerated in prayers and in mosques
Yes, at least Muslims in America do not tolerate any sermons that incite hate or anger against any one. I will speak out and thousands of fellow Muslim will speak up when we see any such insinuations or inneundos. I have suggested every Mosque to do a recording of their sermons and post it on the website. Most mosques routinely invite the public to attend the sermons. It is open to all and keeps the places of worship dedicated to invividual attainment of peace. However, you "may" find a mosque here and there where violations take place. It happens in all other faiths worship places. Go to a church and listen to the hate sermons by Robertson, Falwell, Stewart, Hagee. For Armageddon to happen they will kill the entire population in the Palestine/Israel territory, their version of God is a cruel God who will massacre every one just so Armageddon can happen. Listen to Thackery, Modi, Togadia, Advani... poison spills out of their mouths. In the Middle east there are quite a lot of Hate Sermons; fortunately in India and other democracties it is not as prevalent. No value is placed on life by these extremists in all religions, they are the counterparts of the Talibans, the Wahhabis and the Ladens.
Check this out: http://hatesermons.blogspot.com/2008/03/hate-sermons-from-pulpit.html
3) Change the curriculum of Islamic education on all levels to something that is compatible with the world’s education.
There is a need for this badly and the progress is not visible yet. One of the Mosques in Dallas, take their students both male and female to interfaith workshops and other places where they are open to dialogue. That is not enough, but the signs are there. In Bangalore one of my cousins who heads a mosque is doing something similar, I have not had the chance to keep up with more of this, just because I don’t know, it does not mean it is not there. But a lot of focus needs to be made here. The responsibility for peace should not fall on any one, each one of us has to bear the burden for a better tomorrow.
2) Provide a recognized and universally approved translation for the Qur’an
Yes, this is a major problem area and significant work is being done on this. The best translation is by Mohammad Asad, fairly represents the essence of Islam that you talked about it so eloquently. It is on one of the major sites called Islamicity.com. I am yet to get it done. However, you can see Qur’aan search at www.worldMuslimCongress on the right hand panel.
Here are three critical items in that direction; I am hoping to do a Quraan translation where a Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jain, Jew, Oloriyo, Sikh, Shinto, Toltec, Wicca and a Zoroastrian can relate with it. Believe it or not, an Atheist can relate with it as well. The third link below is a prelude to it.
1. Develop a hierarchy in both the Sunni and Shi’s branches that is universally recognized and obeyed
It will take time but it is happening gradually and I will have to make time to find those articles and work in that direction. The following article on Ramadan brings together all the divisions towards the essence of the faith.
http://www.foundationforpluralism.com/Articles/The-spirit-rituals-and-politics-of-Ramadan.asp The comments after the article are good too.
Peace is in your interest, my interest and every one's interest. Each one of us have to do our share of work in mitigating conflicts and nurturing good will. Those who simply point fingers, shame on them.
Mike Ghouse is a Speaker, Thinker and a Writer. He co-chairs the center for interfaith inquiry of the Memnosyne Foundation, president of the Foundation for Pluralism and is a frequent guest on talk radio and local television network discussing interfaith, political and civic issues. He is the founding president of World Muslim Congress with a simple theme: Good for Muslims and good for the world. His comments, news analysis and columns can be found on the Websites and Blogs listed at his personal website http://www.mikeghouse.net/. Mike is a Dallasite for nearly three decades and Carrollton is his home town. He can be reached at mailto:MikeGhouse@gmail.com
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Remnants of Muslim Jahilya (ignorance) from the early 2000, hoping you would read this article in the year 2020.
Women led prayers
Oppression of people and suppression of Ideas knocks off the balance in any given society and both go against the fiber of Islam; freedom and justice. Only Justice and fairness can restore peace and tranquility in any society.
Up until 611 AD, people in and around Mecca understood God in a physical form, there was a representation of God in iconic forms for every day, and for every act of nature there was an icon. Indeed it was their culture for thousands of years, as it was all over the world unbeknown to each other.
Now Dr. Amina Wadud, a Muslim woman has led the Friday congregational prayers for mixed genders, it is indeed a radical idea for those of us who are entrenched in thousands of years of traditions. We are shocked and are looking for a precedence, just as the tribes of Mecca around 611 AD. Fifty years from now or even in the year 2020, it is possible that the future Muslims will equate our shock to that of the Meccan tribes who opposed that radical idea. A few of them may even call you and I, the "Remnants of Muslim Jahilya (ignorance)” from the early 2000’s. It is time for us to think beyond the box and understand the full beauty of Islam; inclusiveness, equality, justness and openness to learning, the bigger Jihad to build a cushion for differences may become a reality for us.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) understood the human nature; he knew no one can be compelled to do anything against his or her will and sustain it. He was a blessing for his followers, whom he freed from the slavery of Priesthoodism, and gave them complete freedom to learn and understand God's book which he was leaving. He believed in individual responsibility, you are responsible for your deeds, he even said that to his daughter instead of giving her a free pass. He made sure that we recite “Malik-i-yom-iddin”, at least 17 times a day in the Fard (mandatory) prayers. Then some devotees add 20 or even 40 more times with their Sunna and Nafl prayers.
Most Muslims want to shy away from controversies, as would most people from other faiths, that encourages the few to jump up and down and make hell for others. Please don’t let any one speak against this freedom.
Please don’t demean, condemn or depreciate others if they celebrate Ramadan on a different day than you. Don’t encourage others to spend their time condemning each other; instead they can do something that is beneficial to all. God has not made a deal with your group behind others back, no one is right or wrong, let that be decided by God on the day of judgment and let’s not ruin each others happiness. Let this be a happy Eid, and I will attend as many Eid prayers as I can, you can do it too.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Who speaks for or represents Islam is an eternal question?
Agree with Dr. Farooq, OIC does not represent the Muslims.
We do not have a religious authority, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in his last sermon said that he is leaving the Qur’aan to his followers. It is up to the individual to read, learn and understand one’s responsibilities of living a righteous life.
Thank God we do not have one, nor was it ever intended by Islam or the Prophet. Even if we were to have a religious authority, wasn't Islam anathema to the business of clergy?
Now when it comes to governance of the people, it should be the people who decide what kind of governance works for them respecting every one's individual rights.
The hallmark of civil societies is their ability to reign in on their base temptations as a majority to cause the minorities to obey and adapt. Most of the Sharia laws are of spiritual guidance to one, however the part of Sharia laws that deals with the governance of people has not adopted to the needs of civil societies, nor is it needed. The intent was justice, and the civil laws of the societies serve justice and are universal, and serve the public at large much better. The exclusive Sharia Laws of governance do not serve the Inclusive societies that are emerging since the Middle of the last century and are not needed.
We have to remember that the society during the life of Prophet Muhammad was pluralistic, many faiths co-existed and the Prophet had honored each one to practice their faith as it worked for them. Madinah pact was a testimony to that. However, when the governance part of Sharia Laws were written, the society was mono-religious and lacked sensitivity to other faiths and other people who differed from them, hence those laws did not reflect the practice of Prophet Muhammad to honor people who differed from Islam. Those man made laws do not have the elements of Islamic inclusiveness in them, as they do not contain universality of application.
Research is warranted to study formation of Islamic societies (not religion of Islam) during Multi-religious and Monopolistic-Religious times Islam has existed.
In a message dated 9/21/2008 1:21:27 A.M. Central Daylight Time, farooqm59@YAHOO.COM writes:
Salam and greetings.
The OIC doesn't speak for Muslims?
I would tend to agree that it may represent the unrepresentative governments of the Muslim World, but it does not represent the Muslims.
Is apostasy subject to ANY punishement according to Islam?As a Muslim, I definitely don't think so. Should the apostasy issue be used to silence critiques even among the Muslims? Absoutely not. For those who are interested, please see the Apostasy and Islam Blog (http://apostasyandislam.blogspot.com) and "On Apostasy and Islam: 100+ Notable Islamic Voices affirming the Freedom of Faith."Do the dictatorial or hereditary monarchies in the Muslim world have anything to do with Islam?I don't think so. Indeed, what we observe in the Muslim world's political infrastructure does not represent the legacy of revolution brought about by the Prophet Muhammad, rather it is rooted in the legacy of counter-revolution of Amir Muwabiya.
Can the practices of discrimination among different types of Arabs, between Arabs and non-Arabs and on top of that abusing the migrant works from various poor Muslim-majority countries represent some sort of apartheid?
Many would agree.
However, I can't but wonder why Mr. Fatah was raising these issues at a parallel conference of IHEU, which is essentially anti-religion in its stance. Indeed, IHEU does not represent humanism in general, but secular humanism, which is akin to secular fundamentalism.
OIC does not represent Muslims. Agreed. But I am wondering who was Mr. Fatah's intended audience through IHEU and whom does he represent?
Recently, there has been some discussion on this forum about Stephen Schwartz. Maybe I have not read enough of the works of Mr. Fatah. Would Mr. Fatah be kind enough to clarify if his thoughts and positions are any different from Mr. Schwartz's on the pertinent issues?
Dr. Mohammad Omar Farooq
From: Tarek Fatah tarekfatah@ROGERS.COM
Friday, September 19, 2008 4:53:59 PMSubject:
Islamic countries want Shariah Law into UN Declaration of Universal Human Rights
For sometime now Saudi Arabia has been using the UN Human Rights Council to water down the 1948 UN Declaration of Universal Human Rights and introduce Sharia law into the UN. Riyadh is using Egypt and Pakistan as well as Iran in using the 57-nation OIC to pursue the Saudi agenda. This week the International Humanist and Ethical Union sponsored a talk at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva to oppose the OIC move. The IHEU was also joined by the Cairo Centre for Human Rights in opposing the introduction of Sharia Law into the Human Rights discussion.
This was the first time the OIC move was opposed by Muslims at the UN. Also there was Naser Khedar, the Danish MP and head of the Danish political party, the Liberal Alliance.Here is the text of my speech at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, which sent the Arab League delegate into a fit.Tarek
18 September 2008 - 10:09
The OIC does not speak for Muslims
I speak to you as a Muslim who was born in Pakistan and lived there for 30 years and moved to Saudi Arabia where I worked for 10 years. Since 1987 I have called Canada my home. As an author, journalist and Muslim activist, I have seen the role and agenda of both the soft and hardcore jihadis unfold before my eyes and across the Muslim world.
I approach the issue of freedom of speech and freedom of expression embodied in the 1948 UN Declaration of Universal Human Rights as defending a treasured right that few of my co-religionists can dream off, let alone cherish or possess. We are over a billion strong, but almost all of us live under varying forms and degrees of dictatorship and oppression. Barring a few exceptions such as Turkey, Malaysia and Indonesia, and very recently Pakistan, Muslims live under the tyranny of rulers like those of Iran and Saudi Arabia who have used the religion of Islam as a tool to secure absolute power, and to trample all over the human rights of their citizens.
Barely a day goes by without news of gross violations of human rights of Muslims living in so-called Islamic countries. Whether it is honour killings of sisters and mothers or the harassment of gays and calls for their death; whether it is imprisonment of political opponents or attacks on minorities, we Muslims who live in the West are constantly reminded of the rights we enjoy under secular parliamentary democracies as individual human beings.
It is our lives as Muslims in the West that compels us to step forward and expose the duplicity of the OIC when it seeks to water down the 1948 UN Human Rights Declaration and substitute it with so called Islamic human rights. We are alarmed that not only is the UN declaration under attack, but that the Rappateur on Freedom of Expression is being asked to report back on those who are brave enough to question medieval superstitions that challenge the elementary norms of reason and rationalism . Allowing the OIC States to oversee individual human rights is like putting the fox to guard on the chickens.
Life in the OIC countries is the reason why millions of Muslims have escaped and taken refuge in Europe and North America. We are testament of their failures. They rule their populations with a sense of entitlement that they believe is their God-given right, and millions suffer under their tutelage. I urge you to not fall for the charm offensive of those who falsely claim to speak on behalf of Muslims and Islam. They do not, and their record speaks for itself.
While the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran claims he is answerable only to Allah, the King of Saudi Arabia claims to rule in God’s name. Next door in Egypt, a military dictator has monopolised power for 30 years, jailed his critics and his opponent Ayman Nour continues to rot in prison. The difference is that while Iran and Saudi Arabia oppress Muslims in the name of Islam, the Egyptian dictator does so in the name of American sponsored moderation. The result for the ordinary Muslim is the same: the complete absence of human dignity that can only be guaranteed if the 1948 UN Declaration is honoured and implemented in letter and in spirit.
The use of Islam to slaughter fellow Muslims is not a new phenomenon. In 1965 Islamist vigilantes massacred a million of their fellow countrymen in Indonesia; in 1971 Pakistani armed forces conducted a genocide that killed one million Muslim Bangladeshis in the name of Islam. In 1979 an Islamist Military man, General Zia ul Haq who presented himself as the ultimate saviour of Islam, hanged the elected Prime Minister of Pakistan. Five years later, the Sudanese Islamists and the Muslim Brotherhood hanged the great Islamic scholar Muhammad Mahmood Taha after accusing him of apostasy.
After stifling individual liberty and freedom of thought and debate that would include even discussing Islam and how it has been used to oppress and plunder, the Islamists, led by Saudi Arabia and Iran, have brought their agenda to the United Nations Human Rights Council with the aim of legitimising their suffocating ideology. After depriving their own populations of the rights the rest of humanity seeks to embrace; after creating failed societies, the Islamists are using the OIC to validate the crimes that have led to trauma and dysfunctional societies across the Muslim world. We should not let them succeed.
As a Canadian, I am deeply proud of my country’s contribution in the drafting of the 1948 UN declaration. As a Canadian Muslim I am conscious of the fact that the 1948 declaration gave me the rights to practise my faith as I deem fit in a country where my community is less that 3% of the population, yet is treated as equals.
Why should Muslims only enjoy human rights and freedom of expression to discuss their own religion where they live as minorities, yet never be able to do so where they form a majority? Why should I fear for my life simply because I ask why so many Muslim societies have failed despite their enormous natural wealth?
Today the same people who have smashed human rights with an iron fist where they govern, and oppress Muslims under their rule, have the audacity to appear before the UN and demand that that their vile policies be validated by the Human Rights Council and that anyone who dares to criticise the principles under which they govern as absolute monarchs, dictators or self-anointed guardians of Allah, be silenced. This should not happen. I as a Muslim urge you to not abandon the millions of Muslims who do not have a voice.
To suggest that any criticism of Islamism , the political ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Iranian Ayatollahs, is anti-Islamic is a bogus and fraudulent position. I would contend that my religion Islam demands that I stand up to these bullies and take away from their right to put padlocks on poetry and chastity belts on independent thinking.
People who were not insulted or offended when the Saudis demolished the Prophet Muhammad’s 1400-year-old House in Mecca, but who ran wild at the sight of Danish cartoons, can at best be described as men who have got their priorities wrong, and at worst as hypocrites.
These Islamists and the governments they control propagate man-made Islamic shariah laws as an alternative to western secular democratic law, yet they oppose any scrutiny of the very same shariah laws that sanction slavery, racism, misogyny and homophobia. My message to these dictators is this: If you continue to pour millions into Canada and other Western countries to promote Islamism, then don’t complain if we Muslims join our fellow citizens and put your political ideology to scrutiny.
Islam is a religion, but Islamism is a political ideology. They are not the same despite what the OIC claims. Everyone has a right to practise Islam without fear of persecution. However, Islamism is nothing more than the use of Islam to secure power over an already marginalized community of Muslims. Proponents of Islamism had better be prepared for criticism, not just from non-Muslims, but from Muslims, who have been the primary victims of this totalitarian ideology.
My message to the OIC is this: Please clean your own house before trying to subvert the 1948 UN Declaration of Human Rights. Go first and end the slave-like conditions of dark skinned Muslims in the Persian Gulf before spreading your failed ideology and recipe of failure to the UN.
Those who behead people in public and stone women to death, practise apartheid in their Kingdom and wave the sword of apostasy over the heads of their fellow Muslim critics, should be the last people to speak on behalf of their victims. Too many Muslims have fallen victim to your rule. We do not want the UN to be tainted by sanctioning these practices.
If the agenda of the OIC is allowed to succeed, and so-called Islamic Human Rights is allowed to deviously “compliment” the 1948 UN Declaration, then ladies and gentlemen, my speech today would be in violation of the Charter of Islamic Human Rights because I have spoken against the Shariah.
Equality of all human beings, not just in their dignity and respect, but equality of their rights before the law must remain sacrosanct. Otherwise you would have failed the one billion Muslims of this world who live under regimes that implement thought control as a holy doctrine.
Perhaps, I could best explain the relationship between Islam and Islamism this way. Islam is to Islamism, as Uranium is to weapons of mass destruction.
In closing, I want you to imagine a scenario from the good old days of the Cold War. How you would have reacted if the Warsaw Pact countries came to this session and said: “We want the rest of the world to embrace communism. However, there cannot be any discussion about the demerits or flaws of our political ideology because we feel offended when the rest of you discuss it; you are not experts”?. You would have laughed in their faces. You certainly would not have said: “We agree, there can be no discussion of communism in this forum”.
Today you have to reject the OIC demands with the same vigour that the free world rejected the Gulags.
Tarek Fatah is founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress and author of “Chasing a Mirage: The Tragic Illusion of an Islamic State” (Wiley 2008).
This speech was given at the IHEU parallel conference "An analysis and Discussion of Religion and Freedom of Expression at the Human Rights Council" held at the UN Human Rights Council on 17 September 2008.
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Saturday, September 20, 2008
Mike Ghouse, Dallas, Texas
The Spiritual masters have captured the human gravity for rituals and have molded it with the art and science of self-discipline in their respective religion. The noble purpose of each one of them was to bring a balance in our lives and a balance with things that surround us; life and environment. Every faith is composed of a set of unique rituals to bring discipline and peace to human life. Fasting is one of the five key rituals that Muslims around the world observe.
Continued at: http://www.foundationforpluralism.com/Articles/The-spirit-rituals-and-politics-of-Ramadan.asp
Sunday, September 14, 2008
CAIR’s Indifference to Obsession DVD Distribution
by Sheila Musaji
This week, 28 million copies of a DVD of the film “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West” will be distributed free of cost in newspapers across the country. I was unable to find anything in the Muslim media, or on the websites of any of the major Muslim organizations in the U.S. including where is CAIR, and this leads me to ask where is CAIR when we actually need them. (I am stressing CAIR’s responsibility only because they are the only major organization whose mission is to be an advocate for American Muslims.) According to their vision and mission statement: “CAIR’s vision is to be a leading advocate for justice and mutual understanding. CAIR’s mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.” The following is what I have been able to discover in the media about this propoganda campaign.
A DVD of the film “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West” has been bundled inside more than 70 newspapers and magazines and delivered nationwide to subscribers. “There is no greater threat than radical Islam,” said Gregory Ross, spokesman for the Clarion Fund, a New-York based nonprofit organization that is paying newspapers to distribute the DVD. “It needs to be pushed to the forefront of the political discussion.” (Controversial film on Islam delivered nationwide, Yonat Shimron)
Copies of the DVD were distributed free at the DNC, and at the RNC by the recently formed group watch obsession.org. Earlier this year, the Florida Attorney General required employees to watch this video.
The DVD seems to only be distributed in swing election states. (‘Terror’ DVD Getting Delivered to Millions This Weekend—via Newspapers, Gregg Mitchell) “Aimed at voters in the battleground states the week of September 11, the film is more than a scare tactic or a campaign ploy. It smacks of classic propaganda, boosted through this clever marketing deal by association with the authority of the New York Times brand. The point is to frighten viewers and, it seems clear, to frighten American voters across the country in order to raise security concerns ahead of all other issues in the election.” (Right-Wing Terror Film Delivered To Swing-State NY Times Readers, Denise Dennis)
The DVD is being distributed as paid advertizing: “According to reports in the Huffington Post, 28 million copies of the film are being delivered this week. The DVD has already been inserted into copies of The New York Times distributed in Midwestern states. This weekend and next, it is slated to be distributed in many newspapers in the electoral battleground states of Ohio, Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania and Colorado, in addition to North Carolina.” (Muslims Rap DVD in Advertiser, Tim Funk) “Funding is coming from a New York-based group called the Clarion Fund, a shadowy outfit whose financial backers are unclear. ... Although supposedly a 501 c(3) non-profit, this week the Clarion Fund’s website featured an article supporting John McCain.” (Pro-McCain Group Dumping 28 Million Terror Scare DVDs in Swing States, Eric Ose)
‘’The threat of Radical Islam is the most important issue facing us today,’’ reads a paragraph on the sleeve of the DVD. ‘’But it’s a topic that neither the presidential candidates nor the media are discussing openly. It’s our responsibility to ensure we can all make an informed vote in November.’’ (Is DVD a wake-up call or propaganda?, Josh Drobnykj)
“Anyone can see an electoral vote pattern to the targeted areas, with almost all of the battleground or “swing” states represented. (The daily newspapers in only one such state appear to have refused the ad, Minnesota.) These papers have allowed themselves to be caught up in a “neo-con” propaganda scam in the context of the presidential campaign, and during 9/11 week. As of Saturday, September 13, the rationalizations of the publishers and ad personnel at the two N.C. newspapers were either beggarly excuses for new sources of revenue, or politically naïve in the extreme. (Delivering Propaganda, As If It is Toothpaste, William E. Jackson, Jr.)
And, even fringe groups like the United American Committee are getting in on the distribution and advertising of this DVD and sent out an email saying: “We are assisting in the distribution of MILLIONS of copies of the film ‘Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West’ launched by the Watch Obsession Committee. THIS SATURDAY an airplane hauling a banner with a menacing photo of bin-Laden will be flying over Los Angeles promoting the film, and at the same time a truck with the same message will be circling the streets of L.A., everyone in America must see this film and wake up to the threat posed to our way of life by Islamic aggression.”
Representatives from both presidential campaigns said they were not aware of the DVD mailing. (DVD on radical Islam offends Lemoyne recipient. Carrie Cassidy)
We think we have a watchdog in Washington, D.C. and that they are looking out for the community when it is under attack. This is not the first time that that watchdog has turned out to be toothless, deaf, dumb, and blind. This propoganda campaign against Islam and Muslims is one of the most serious concerted efforts to marginalize and demonize the entire American (and International) Muslim community that I can remember seeing in 30 years of Islamic work, and CAIR is silent when we need them to be speaking out loudly.
It is time for ordinary Muslims to demand answers from CAIR and our other national organizations. What are their resources, and where is the money going? Why is such a major incident being ignored?
In 2006 a Washington Post poll found that 58% of Americans say there are more violent extremists within Islam than in other religions and 46% have a negative view of Islam. In 2007, a CNN poll found that 53 percent of Americans believe conflict between Islam and Christianity is “inevitable,” up from 45 percent in 2003.
You can bet that this campaign will negatively influence the attitudes of Americans towards Islam and Muslims and that a poll done anytime in the next few months will show that percentage to have risen again, dramatically. You can also bet that lots of ordinary Muslims will have to answer questions from their co-workers, school-mates and neighbors in the coming weeks, and where will they get some help? Why is it that our key advocacy organization with a paid staff is unable to flag and identify issues and act proactively on behalf of the community?
As a community we need to wake up and realize that we need to be much more proactive at the grass-roots and to demand more of our national organizations. Contact CAIR National at:
453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E. Washington, DC 20003 Tel: 202.488.8787 Fax: 202.488.0833 firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: The Huffington Post has a list of the newspapers distributing the DVD
SEE ALSO: numerous resources in online article at http://www.theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/cairs_indifference_to_obsession_dvd_distribution/0016693
Third International Congress on Islamic Feminism
Barcelona 24th-27th October 2008
The Third International Congress on Islamic Feminism has been announced by Junta Islàmica Catalana (Catalonian Islamic Board) and will take place in Barcelona, 24th-27th October 2008.
The conference will be focused on the problems of Muslim women in the Global era. Many Muslim women today are facing a double oppression: economic (neo-liberalism) and political (religious fundamentalism). The Congress will consider the responses given by Islamic feminists to this situation, and their contribution towards the construction of a new civil society worldwide, based on a culture of human rights and Qur’anic values such as democracy, social justice, freedom of conscience and gender equality.
Distinguished Muslim personalities will be attending, such as Bouthaina Shaaban, Syria's Minister for Refugees and candidate for Nobel Peace Prize; and Baroness Uddin, the first Muslim woman becoming member of the House of Lords in Britain.
Third International Congress on Islamic Feminism
The Third International Congress on Islamic Feminism will focus on the problems of Muslim women in the globalization era, who are facing a double oppression: economic (neo-liberalism) and political (religious fundamentalism). We will analyze the response given by Islamic feminists regarding this situation, and their contribution towards the construction of a new worldwide civil society, based on a culture of human rights and universal values such as democracy, social justice, freedom of conscience and gender equality.
The relationship between global feminism and Islamic feminism.
Various strategies for improving Muslim women's rights promoted by human rights associations on a national and international level.
A panel that will be focused on masculinity and the involvement of men in Islamic feminism.
Related issues: Third world feminism; Millennium Goals of UN; Alliance of Civilizations; access to education; feminism, culture of war and communal violence; feminism and Islamism; secularism, cultural diversity and human rights; interreligious dialogue; Quranic hermeneutics; spirituality and feminism.
To continue with the achievements of the First and Second Congress on Islamic Feminism, contributing towards the emergence of a pro gender equality Muslim women's movement, on a theoretical and practical level.
To analyze the strategies undertaken by Muslim feminists to cope with new forms of oppression arising from globalization, with particular emphasis on the alliance between neo-liberalism and religious fundamentalism.
To place Islamic feminism in the context of globalization, as part of global feminism and in relation to the anti-globalization movement.
To help consolidate Islamic feminism as a transnational movement through the creation of networks of organizations working in the field of women's rights in Islam.
From: WUNRN ListServe
Date: September 14, 2008 1:17:31 PM EDT
Subject: Third International Congress on Islamic Feminism
Friday, September 12, 2008
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Please mark your calendar! join Texas Muslim Democratic Caucus at our annual Event "An iftar with Democrats" on September 25th, 2008. This forum has traditionally served as an opportunity for Muslim community to meet with the Democratic leadership of this area to interact and exchange views.Texas Muslim Democratic Caucus (TMDC) is an accredited Caucus within the Texas Democratic Party. We seek to increase cooperation and coalition building with other Democrats and the Muslim community.Stakes are very high for our country and for us this year, forces of intolerance are busy taking the country to further extremism this election year. 2008 will be a defining election for us and for our coming generations, issues of war and peace will be settled this year. Neo-Cons are back in their game, who knows how many more thousands or millions of innocent lives they plan to play with. Big corporations war profiteers and their lobbyists are not content with the plunders of our economy since last eight years, they are still conspiring to add more billions. We still see our brothers and sisters harassed and intimidated at airports, schools and by law enforcement agencies.
However, this can be changed with your participation in political process. So let's organize, lets discuss how we can help our Democratic candidates to bring peace to this country and the world. Lets put the country back on track of prosperity, justice and common sense. Like our presidential candidate Barak Obama said in an interview "We need to change the mindset of war". So come join us at the iftar dinner and explore how we can support our democrats win election this November
The iftar dinner in 2006 and 2007 went really successful with the Muslim community as it built the enthusiasm in voters. A number of 2006 statewide and local candidates, party officials and friends came to acknowledge and encourage Muslims participation in Texas electoral process. Our efforts, undoubtedly, contributed to the Democratic victory in all Dallas county races in 2006.Muslims participation in electoral process is producing favorable results for Democratic Party in North Texas . We are witnessing an upsurge of Muslim political power throughout the state of Texas . TMDC goal for 2008 includes, statewide voter registration campaign, precinct chairs appointments, and maximum numbers of district, state and national convention delegates, and elections to state executive committees.
We are encouraging Democratic candidates for various offices to bring their campaign materials for distribution among attendees.
When?: Thursday September 25, 2008 @ 6:30 p.m.Where?: Bar B Que Tonite, 2540 Old Denton Rd. #173 . Carrollton Texas 75006(Phone: 972 466 0786)Thank You
President ElectTexas Muslim Democratic Caucus
RSVP: Syed Hassan 682 429 9954
Aftab Siddiqui 817 706 7495
Inayat Lalani 817 504 0636
Alhamd o Lillah, the first ever Democratic Muslim Caucus at Democratic party national convention in Denver Colorado got excellent media coverage (see for yourself). So if you missed the first ever Muslim Caucus at a major party national convention, then see below for some of the media reports. The news is out from India to Taiwan to UK that Muslims seek fair share in US political system. We are out we are enthusiastic and we have numbers. Muslims are destined to be enfranchised, we are a part and parcel of American society, we will overcome all our difficulties.
So my congratulations to all my brothers and sisters in Islam and all my fellow Americans on the success of a great event and thank America for winning our hearts and minds
Texas Muslim Democratic Caucus
Member steering Committee AMDC
- http://www.hindusta ntimes.com/ StoryPage/ StoryPage. aspx?sectionName =&id=a97c3aa0- c1ce-4e0b- 9e25-2847fc75e1c 2&&Headline=US+ Muslims%2c+ Arabs+becoming+ political+ faithful&strParent=strParent ID
- http://worldmuslimc ongress.blogspot .com/2008/ 06/inshallah- texas-muslims- organize. html
- http://news. yahoo.com/ s/thenation/ 20080826/ cm_thenation/ 917348561
- http://news. yahoo.com/ s/ibd/20080825/ bs_ibd_ibd/ 20080825general
- http://biz.yahoo. com/ibd/080825/ general.html? .v=1
- http://www.thenatio n.com/blogs/ jstreet/348561
- http://muslimmedian etwork.com/ mmn/?p=1812
- http://worldmuslimc ongress.blogspot .com/2008/ 06/inshallah- texas-muslims- organize. html
- http://ztruth. typepad.com/ ztruth/2008/ 08/the-texas- muslim-democrati c-caucus- --a-first. html
- http://dawudwalid. wordpress. com/2008/ 08/26/historic- muslim-meeting- at-dnc/
- http://www.texasobs erver.org/ blog/index. php/2008/ 06/06/inshallah- texas-muslims- organize/
- http://www.flickr. com/photos/ pritheworld/ sets/72157606950 498012/
- http://www.guardian .co.uk/world/ 2008/aug/ 26/uselections20 08.democrats2008 5?gusrc=rss&feed=worldnews
- http://blogs. reuters.com/ from-reuterscom/ 2008/08/26/ inside-the- tent-muslim- caucus-a- first/
- http://www.taiwanne ws.com.tw/ etn/news_ content.php? id=723119&lang=eng_news&cate_img=83. jpg&cate_rss=news_ Politics&pg=4
- http://www.denverpo st.com/headlines /ci_10277774
- http://uspolitics. einnews.com/ news/democratic- caucus
- http://theworld. org/taxonomy_ by_date/1/ 20080826
- http://www.investor s.com/editorial/ IBDArticles. asp?artsec= 16&issue=20080825
- http://www.xanga. com/worldstechpo d/pulse/875021/ item.html
- http://www.indystar .com/apps/ pbcs.dll/ article?AID= /20080824/ LIVING09/ 808240362
- http://www.minnpost .com/stories/ 2008/08/26/ 3113/ellison_ gets_star_ treatment_ at_dems_first- ever_muslim_ caucus
- http://www.theworld .org/
Voice of Moderate Muslims
SUCCESSFUL NAATIA MUSHAERA ON 2.21.14
Moderate Islam Speaker
August 19, 2013| Dallas, Texas
Text/Talk: (214) 325-1916
Mirza A Beg
PLANNED MUSLIMS RESPONSE TO QUR'AN BURNING BY PASTOR JONES ON 9/11/13 IN MULBERRY, FLORIDA
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 (www.UnitydayUSA.com) 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.