Sunday, June 28, 2009

Perez to Azerbaijan

Peres leaves for Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan

Dialogue is the hallmark of civil societies, where they resolve the conflicts by sitting down with each other, face to face and lay things out on the table.

The Muslim Neocons (Necons are insecure extremists of all faith labels) in Azerbaijan seem to match with the Christian and Jewish Neocons who do not want to talk with their adversaries. Who do you make peace with if not the adversary? To be a peacemaker is to mitigate conflicts and nurture goodwill.

I hope the majority of Azeri's see sense in building goodwill with other nations, and I sincerly hope the majority of Israelis ask their leaders to bring peace. It pays to resolve the issues and move on to live in peace and security. Let Hamas be a partner in the dialogue and start the process.

Mike Ghouse
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President Shimon Peres on Sunday embarked on what his office terms "historic visits" to the Muslim states of Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.

President Shimon Peres.
Photo: Ariel Jerozolimski

SLIDESHOW: Israel & Region World The visit to Azerbaijan is the first official visit by a high-ranking Israeli dignitary.

Although Beit Hanassi put an embargo on publicizing the visits prior to his departure, reports that the visits were to take place began appearing in the media of both Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan as well as media outlets in other countries more than a month ago.

Not everyone in Azerbaijan is happy about Peres's arrival. According to various Internet reports, some of the elders of the Supreme Council of the Islamic Party of Azerbaijan have protested the visit.

Chabad house in Kazakhstan 'navigating a spiritual desert'
"We are against the visit of the leader of the criminal Zionist regime and we express our protest against the invitation, sent to him. We demand categorically that the Azeri leadership cancel this visit," says a statement, released by the Nardaran believers.

"The Israeli president's visit to Baku will damage Azerbaijan's international image as a Muslim state and will be an insult to the Islamic world," the statement continues. "Building ties with the Zionist regime, hostile to the Muslims, could damage Azerbaijan as part of the Islamic world. We urge the government to prevent the visit as a sign of respect for the Islamic religion."

Foreign Ministry officials in Baku attribute the statement to meddling by Iran.

According to the Pakistan Daily, Peres will be in Azerbaijan "to consolidate energy and military ties with Baku which began in 1992."

The visits by Peres are intended to upgrade Israel's relations with both countries, each of which prides itself on having treated its Jews well and as having served as a haven for other Jews during World War II.

Peres is scheduled to travel with a large entourage, including Industry, Trade, and Labor Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer; National Infrastructures Minister Uzi Landau; Science, Culture, and Sport Minister Daniel Herschkowitz and Defense Ministry Director-General Pinchas Buhris, along with several CEOs of Israel's defense industries and 60 heads of major companies.

In Kazakhstan, Peres is slated to be the guest of honor at the Third Congress of leaders of World and Traditional Religions, where he is to deliver the keynote address.

He is also scheduled to hold meetings with President Nursultan Nazarbayev, whom he has met on previous occasions and whose singing voice, leadership and hearty personality he has publicly praised at various Kazakhstan functions in Israel. He is also expected to meet with other prominent Kazakhstan officials.

The businesspeople accompanying Peres plan to participate in a bilateral business forum in Astana. As part of the forum, cooperation agreements on peaceful space exploration and in areas of foreign policy, as well as on a Kazakhstan-Israel business forum, are expected to be signed.

Azerbaijan's priority fields for cooperation with Israel are agriculture, management of water resources, medical training and hi-tech. As in Kazakhstan, agreements are expected to be signed between the three ministers and their Azeri counterparts.

The visits to the two Muslim countries are a collaborative effort between Beit Hanassi, the Foreign Ministry, the Israel Export Institute, and the Israel Manufacturers Association.

In addition to the meetings with Azeri and Kazakh officials, Peres is expected to meet with members of the Jewish communities in both countries. In Kazakhstan - where Jews have lived for centuries - he is scheduled to attend the inauguration of a new synagogue.

He will also use the visits as a platform to make Israel's policies and aspirations for peace better known to that part of the world.

Democratic Faiths

To be a Muslim is to be a peacemaker, one who seeks to mitigate conflicts and nurtures goodwill for peaceful co-existence. God wants us to live in peace and harmony with his creation; that is indeed the purpose of religion, any religion. Mission statement

The following article “Democratic faiths” is an excellent piece on roots and sustenance of democracy, however, the author exhibits his inadequacy and bias in his research.

One of the most powerful sentences that has life altering effect on one is “finding the truth is one’s own responsibility”. It was a turning point in my life doing research on Qur’aan (, and that beautiful verse comes from Bhagvad Gita. If our feelings, opinions and actions towards others are based on the sayings of our Parents, Pastor, Pundit, Imam, Rabbi or clergy, then we have to realize that they are not going to be responsible for the pangs of our conscience in our solitude. Hence the responsibility to find the truth falls squarely on each one of us, to find salvation from malice and ill-will.

It is ironic that the author flips the very words that Prophet Muhammad had said in his last sermon “No wonder that democracy does not find any foothold in nations that discriminates between believers and non-believers, men and women, masters and slaves and even slaves white, brown and black. “ The Prophet had said nearly the same words and added "No man is superior to the other; all are equal beings in the eyes of God." The author has failed to understand and distinguish between religion and the people. All religions including Islam came into being to make us better beings and create better societies. Most of the people get it, and some don’t.

The Muslims around the world are waking up and figuring out the effects of cold wars, the power struggles of nations to control the resources and extricating themselves from these tentacles. It is time for Muslims to wake up and figure out how to bring sustainable democracies in their nations. While the majority of Muslims want the democratic form of governance which is indeed rooted in Islam, they have been unable to speak up against their rules, we Americans also have experienced that since 2001. The Saudi King made a statement that his subjects are not ready for democracy. Is that the faith he has in his people? No one is eternal and immortal, except the continuance of human race and it is our obligation to bring sustainable governance, where people are continually involved in its checks and balances for harmonius co-existence.

Nearly 2/3rds of Muslims live in democracies and about a 1/3rd under monarchies and dictatorships. The largest Muslim majority nation Indonesia is a successful democracy and the 2nd Largest Muslim population lives in Democratic India and the third and fourth largest Muslim majority nations (Bangladesh and Turkey) are also democracies. There are several more democracies out there. It is a shame that democracy has not reached every nation in Asia, Africa and South America, let alone Muslim Majority nations, the author has failed to identify this.

The freedom movement began with India’s freedom in 1947 and since then more nations have become free from colonialism and gone democratic than the recorded history of humanity. Among the Muslim majority nations, dictatorships began with Shah of Iran in 1952 and in 1956 with Ayyub Khan in Pakistan, and for the first time the Muslims clergy had their say in the governance of a nation was in Iran in 1979 since the fall of Ottomon Empire.

The author flaws the religion of Islam instead of finding the causes and cures. Democracy has its roots in Islam. The Prophet could have easily declared his successor and appointed Ali – who was the most qualified in every possible way to run the leadership, the only disqualification was Ali was his son in law and a cousin – and the prophet did not want it to become a dynastic rule, instead he desired the people elect the one with consensus. There is good research done by Dr. Abdul Aziz Sachedina on in the form of a book, the roots of democracy in Islam.

Author’s bias comes through when he subtly claims superiority for Hinduism and Christianity and shows his ignorance about Islam or rather Prejudice against Islam.

This is not how you build peaceful societies by creating bias against another faith. One has to find the truth, point the specific errors and not generalize it to suit one’s bias.

Mike Ghouse is a Speaker, Thinker and a Writer. He is a frequent guest on talk radio and local television network discussing Pluralism, Terrorism, India, Islam, Peace and civic issues. His comments, news analysis and columns can be found on the Websites and several Blogs listed on his personal website

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Democratic Faiths
by J. Ajithkumar

General elections, whether rigged, manipulated or impartial, are the most vital and visible signs of life in any functioning democracy. Be it presidential or parliamentary, democracy has been widely accepted as the nearest form to minimum acceptable governance embodying the vital elements of liberty, human rights and equality that are beyond-bargain parameters for dignified human existence. The harsh reality that many world nations are still suffering from greedy monarchies, military dictatorships and religious theocracies makes a mockery of all our claims of progress in this 21st century. There are several reasons for the flourishing or floundering of democratic institutions in different parts of the world. The latest elections in India and Iran provide a very good opportunity to look at some of the reasons for the sustainability of democracy in the current world.

Though various forms of democracy are under trial in different nations, we can easily notice that it is showing signs of survival only in certain environments. The very spirit of democracy, especially in countries offering universal adult franchise, seems to be compatible only with certain types of people and faiths. The strengthening or weakening of democracy as a form of government among 200 odd nations with 6 billion people gives some clear indications about the real faith of democracy. One can also draw very good conclusions about the thought process, mentality and behavior of the people, nation and faith of those who prefer essentially democratic arrangements for governance. In contrast we can also get glimpses about why certain faiths are incompatible with democracy. There must be underlying reasons for both.

Conceding Spirit

Enough and more clues about the reasons for success or failure of democracy in different nations can be obtained by analyzing the happenings in their recent elections. In the last one decade we have seen presidential elections in USA (2000, 2004, 2008), general elections in India (2004, 2009) and different types of elections in Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nepal. It will not take much effort to prove that the 2000 election in USA, 2009 elections in India and Iran were neither impartial nor fair. All these elections have been rigged in one form or another. Rigging of elections need not always be in the form of duplicate voting or over printing of ballots or even false counting of votes. It can be in the form of manipulating the tools for elections, including the election commissions that conduct the elections, or even by hijacking of mandate obtained in any election. In India the popular mandate in 2009 elections in favor of a particular political formation has been hijacked by installing an ˜unelected leader.

No election is perfect and the success of any democratic arrangement emanates from the spirit and willingness of contesting parties to accept defeat. Only if equanimity exists to accept defeat or victory on the part of each and every contesting party, prior to any election, can the democratic process end conclusively. Extreme contrasts in this regard are provided by the reactions of an erstwhile Indian Prime Minister as against the current stance of the ‘defeated’ Iranian leaders in the recent elections. “Our party may have been defeated but India has won” were the famous words of a statesman like Vajpayee when he got defeated in 2004. And Al-Gore and Advani went many steps further when they conceded defeat in elections which they have morally won for furthering democracy in their own nations. The fact that these leaders had the support of their followers (in India it is in hundreds of millions) shows the general characteristics of their faith. However, the unhealthy trend of certain families hijacking the rule under the guise of electoral victory in successful democracies is another factor that merits the attention of all those who value genuine democracy.

Basic Incompatibilities

There are certain basic incompatibilities between some dominant faiths and the essential spirit of democracy. The bare minimum belief that is needed for any favorable thought on democracy is the concept of equality of human beings. To accept anyone becoming the nation’s ruler, its majority must strongly believe that all of them have equal rights (even if they are not equals in every sense) and hence eligible to rule. In the case of genuine communism and theocracy, this concept of equality is non-existent. If workers are more equal than others in a communist setup, it is the rights of clergy to be more than others in a theocratic arrangement. No wonder that democracy does not find any foothold in nations that discriminates between believers and non-believers, men and women, masters and slaves and even slaves white, brown and black. The exhibition of universal brotherhood by hugging, singing, praying and preying together are only skin deep rituals in such societies.

Conceding equality to others is easy to preach but difficult to practice. It needs a strong underlying principle to accept equality as a natural concept. In Hinduism it is easily available in their belief of having the very same God present in everything animate and inanimate. And in Christianity it is provided by the belief that all are born as sinners. But having the very same starting point does not provide a good reason for considering other competitors as equal in the subsequent race for living. The belief that all are made by the same God does not automatically confer equality on everyone. Products can be of different value even if they are manufactured in the one and only producing company. It is difficult to consider them equal but there is no harm in having brotherly feelings that can subsidize, promote or confront the enemies together.

In very general terms it is easy to conclude that democratic process succeeds only amidst some of the world’s dominant faiths, and fails miserably in the case of others. The current turbulence in Iran and successful transformation from monarchy to a democratic republic in Nepal provide living examples for this argument. And in Pakistan, democracy has failed to make any foothold even after 60 odd years of free rule. In Iraq and Afghanistan it has miles to go before we can conclude that it is acceptable. There is a great message to humanity coming out of all these. It is about the misery and turbulence that awaits us if one of those undemocratic faiths comes to dominate the world. Silence of graveyards will be the only sign of equality that will be present among all nations then. Only by considering and respecting all others as our equals can we nurture democratic principles and that requires nothing less than the acceptance of same God’s presence in everything.

June 28, 2009

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Creation, Religion and God's will.

I see Islam and Qur’aan as a universal systems and not the exclusive religion of Muslims. Legitimate criticism and appreciation is invited. You are welcome to express it in the comment section at the end of this article.

Essence of creation, religion and God’s will.
Mike Ghouse

We exist, and that is a fact of life and perhaps depending on our orientation, we can trace us back to a singular source; be it the intelligent design, big bang or the evolution. For the sake of using a common word or a generally acceptable identification of that causer, we can name that creator and the sustainer, a God**(note below)*, love or simply the causer of life.

When the matter and life came into being, each one was designed to seek its own balance. For example, the Planet Jupiter has been precisely set to circumambulate around the sun, and it has been doing that for millions of years; it has its own place in the scheme of things, and designed to stay on its course, it respects the other planets' space and co-exists with them.

Whereas, the humans were not put on that trajectory, they were given the freedom to create their own space and balance. The creator is all about love and intentionally reached out to each one of the seven billion of us and delivered a beautiful formula called religion through the spiritual masters to live in peace with oneself and others.

Even though the claims of the self appointed guardians of religion tend to be based in arrogance, religion itself is opposed to arrogance. Indeed, religion is about humility. The claims of truth are fine, but when that truth is based on denying other versions of the truth, then it is sheer arrogance and strips the humility from religion and becomes dirty politics. Furthermore, claims like the best, the oldest, the wisest, the peaceful, the non-violent are all colored with arrogance and goes against the very grain of the religion; humility. We need to go back to the basics and do the research and give credit to God’s wisdom; let’s not lock up God and confine his words to mean exclusive benefits to us. God cannot be a small guy in his outlook towards his creation.

When you find in peace with yourselves and what is around you, when you feel that you do not hate any one, do not cultivate ill-will towards others and do not look down upon others, then you have become a peace maker yourselves. You have understood the wisdom of your own faith, and you would have earned the capacity to be a contributor towards peace and balance towards what is around you. You cannot be secure and safe when others around you are not. As beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, I would say, faith is in the heart of the believer.

Please remember that God did not skip any one, (Sura Hujurat 49:13) he reached every soul, every tribe and every community. Furthermore, he did not sign a deal behind any one's back to favor one over the other, or privilege one or the other, he just cannot do that, if he did that he would be a sneaky God and that is not what God is all about. Just as we love whatever little we create, God loves us all despite our shortcomings. He has blessed us with an opportunity to be our best in creating balanced societies (One self, to ones' own family to the world) where one can live without fear, where justness is the norm of the society.

What is God’s will?

Qur’aan has stressed our duties and obligations towards others, think of it, there are two parts to Islamic teachings; i) Connecting with the Creator for serenity and peace from within and ii) extending and sustaining that balance with others.

Islam has crated beautiful pathways to be in peace with oneself. Every act of worship; fasting, sharing (zakat), and Hajj has the component of bringing the communities together – to create harmony and build the idea of co-existence.

One who does good to others is dear to God. God cares those who care themselves (not exclusive but inclusive themselves) Doing goodness involves the existence of others. Prophet Muhammad explains the good deed as an act of planting the tree, knowing well that you may not be the beneficiary of its fruits and shade.

What is the ultimate will of God?
It is the harmony in creation through Justness.

Each one of us is dear to the creator and it is our individual and collective responsibility to keep that ecological, social, moral or spiritual balance within us and with what surrounds us; life and environment. Those who sin, i.e., creating an imbalance in the society through murder, theft, falsities or taking advantage of others, will pay a price for it in terms of un-settling emotions and discomfort within. Those who work for keeping that balance intact will rejoice a balanced tranquil life.

The verse of Qur’aan 49:13 can be summed up in the following manner. Please remember that God did not skip any one, he reached every soul, every tribe and every community.

Jesus was a Pluralist, he embraced every one and set the example to us that we should not reject any one because they are lepers, prostitutes or whoever we don't agree with, he was representing God's point of view. Moses was a Pluralist uniting the tribes to live in peace under One God; Muhammad was a Pluralist who brought all the differing tribes and faiths to co-exist and live their own traditions under the Madinah pact and he declared no man is superior to the other and that all are equal (acknowledging the otherness of other) in God's presence. Buddha was a Pluralist and taught the principle of pain (internal hell) and pleasure (paradise), Mahavir taught to accept the different views to find solace within; Krishna the Pluralist said whenever there is immorality on the earth, he will emerge and restore the balance back to the society; Zarthustra the Prophet of Pluralism taught the concept of what is good and bad some five thousand years ago; Pluralist Nanak said service to mankind with a blind eye amounts to creating beautiful societies, and Bahaullah, the pluralist said we are all one race and one humankind and all religions are beautiful. The Shamans in Cherokee, Mayan, Toltec and all other native traditions in America, Africa, Europe, Australia and Asia taught us to co-exist, live together with our differences. They were all God's men and women and God is all about pluralism; i.e. co-existence.

The day is not far when individuals of every faith, race and ethnicities will work with you in the same office and live in the same neighborhood, perhaps it is the same street and the same community. We have to learn to live with all and keep that elusive balance, and it comes from learning to accept the otherness of other, and respect the God given uniqueness of each one of us, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge.

It is sad that a few men, including a handful of Muslims attack the idea of co-existence. A majority of people in all faiths understand that Pluralism is not a religion, but a practice of 'living and letting others live'. It is simply an attitude of accepting the otherness of other and respecting the God given uniqueness of each one of us. Pluralism is an attitude of religious co-existence, letting others to be who they are and resisting the temptations to look down upon others who believe differently. What is the need for it?

By initiating and signing the Madinah pact, Prophet Muhammad boldly acknowledged the otherness of other religions and peoples and taught us not to live in denial. The Sura Kafirun incorporates the idea of co-existence and embodies the ideals of a civil society -

Mike Ghouse is a Speaker, Thinker and a Writer on Islam, Pluralism, interfaith, peace, civic issues and India. He initiated the World Muslim Congress with a belief that what is good for Muslims has got to be good for others and vice-versa for the world to co-exist in peace and harmony. He expresses his ideas through several forums and Blogs dedicated to each topic. He is a frequent guest on talk radio and local television network offering pluralistic perspectives on issues of the day. His comments, news analysis and columns can be found on the Websites and Blogs listed at his personal website

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In the compilation below, Non-inclusion of the names of other faiths, does not mean they are exlcluded. God has not skipped one soul on this earth, every one is reached, there is always an equalizer among a group, when that group goes nuts. - Mike Ghouse

Islam and Qur’aan are not exclusive
Mohammed Irtaza

The word Muslim is an Arabic word which simply means Submitter to God Alone. Anyone who submits to the will of God is Muslim in the Qur’aanic context. According to the Qur’aan, a righteous Jew, a righteous Christian, a righteous Muslim or any righteous person is Muslim in the eye of God(2:62, 5:69).

[2:62] 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.

The Arabic word Islam simply means Submission (to the will of God). So, anyone who follows the religion of Islam is Muslim. The concept of Islam can easily be derived from this verse of the Qur’aan (42:13)

[42:13] He decreed for you the same religion decreed for Noah, and what we inspired to you (Mohammad) , and what we decreed for Abraham, Moses, and Jesus: "You shall uphold this one religion, and do not divide it." The idol worshipers will greatly resent what you invite them to do. GOD redeems to Himself whomever He wills; He guides to Himself only those who totally submit.

The above Qur’aanic verses, along with numerous other verses, confirm the truth that as far as God is concerned, there has always been one religion Islam, which was decreed for Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Mohammad. All the scriptures revealed to mankind from God advocate one and the same religion. This religion God calls Submission or in Arabic Islam. It is a mistaken concept among Muslim and non-Muslim alike that Islam was founded by Mohammad, who was happened to be an Arab. Satan successfully duped majority of people on earth including majority of ignorant Muslims by making them believe that Islam is an Arabian religion or a religion of Mohammad!

Submission to God as a religion is also described as Monotheism (in Arabic Hanifeyah) (3:67, 6:79, 10:105, 98:5) The principal command from God in all scripture is to worship God Alone, devoting all the religious practices to Him and rejecting all other idols (example:Jesus, Mohammad, Mary, Ali, St. Judah, Pope, Priest and so on)

Old Testament: "You shall have no other gods besides Me" (Exodus 20:3)
New Testament: "You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve." (Luke 4:8)
Final Testament: "You shall know that: "There is no other god beside God." (Quran 47:19)

Submission to God (in Arabic Allah) is the religion whereby we recognize God's absolute authority, and reach an unshakable conviction that God alone posses all power; no other idol possesses any power that is independent of God. The above Quranic verse (42:13) confirms that the religion that was revealed to Mohammad through the Final Testament (Quran) is not different from what was given to the previous prophets.

May God guide us,

Mohammad Irtaza is a researcher in Qur’aan based in Arizona and contributes his compilations about Qur’aan on different issues.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Muslims speak out against Harassment of Minorities

Muslims speak out against Harassment of Minorities

By Mike Ghouse

The Talibans have begun harassing Ismaili Muslims in Pakistan. They would not spare any one and will not be satisfied until the last person left obeys them. If this trend is not checked and criticized, they may think that they have the approval from the Muslims. They don't.

They need to know clearly and loudly that their ideology has no currency among Muslims and above all, their cruelty is not Islam, not one bit.

We must also acknowledge that only 1/10th of 1% of a group resorts to extremism, including Muslims. It has nothing to do with religion, it has everything to do with their insecurities, fears and inabilities to dialogue and co-exist.

A few thousand Talibans left in Afghanistan and Pakistan do not value a billion and a half Muslims who differ with them, you don’t mean a thing to them . When they usurp a little power, they take the steps in policing and compelling you to conformity. Please remember that God is about justice and he has not signed a deal with any one behind other people’s back. We have to find peace on our own, it is our individual and collective responsibility. We cannot have peace if we don't contribute any towards it.

Since the late 50's, minorities under Muslim labeled governments have not lived a life of freedom and peace. They are afraid of the majority and shamefully, we the members of the society are letting it happen. However, we have to acknowledge, what Islam says is one thing and what Bully Muslims (in our behalf) do is the other. Mind you, the bullyism is not exclusive to Muslims, you'll find them in every faith, culture, race and nations, Islam is no exception.

The persecution of Ahmadiyya Muslims in Pakistan is a living example; they cannot even say "As Salaam u Aliakum" or call their place of worship a Masjid. The epidemic has now crawled over into Bangladesh and Indonesia as well. Did the Pakistani lawmakers even pause to think about the legitimacy of Hudood Laws? Some thirty years later another Avatar of Zia ul Haq employed the same strategy of fear and got the Patriot Act passed here in the United States. Both the laws are a stain on the civil societies.

The Clerics in Malaysian government attempted to ban usage of the word "Allah" by Sikhs and Christians, how dumb can they be? No one has copy rights to any word of God, they belong to all mankind. Muslims don't own the Qur'aan either, it belongs to any one who seeks wisdom in it, just as other holy books. Did those clergymen know the verse “Alhamdu Lillahi Rabbul Aalameen?” God is the lord of all universes – they should know it, they recite it at least 50 times a day.

How many of us stood up to defend (Islam ) the rights of Minorities? The bully rule was in place in Pakistan with no major protest. The loud mouths (1/10ths of 1%) still defend the draconian, non-Islamic Zia ul Haq rules with the label of Islam on it. It is much like labeling the meat as the oxymoron phrase "Halal Pork". Have the Pakistani Muslims spoken against it? We are supposed to stand for justice, aren't we? Isn’t that what makes us Muslims?

Take it easy, we Americans are no different, we let Bush run all over us during the last six years, we did not even have the guts to speak out for the first four years, not even the rattish Senators and the congresspersons.

There is a request floating around asking the Ismaili Muslims to share their religious practices or have access to their place of worship. At one time I believed that it was a good idea to share it and put things to rest, but would that stop the inquisition? How do you expect the Minorities to share their practices, and why should they? To be persecuted while the majority shamelessly watches it?

Until you and I stand up for Justice, stand up for the rights of all human beings, including the minorities in either Sunni or Shia majority governments, we have not lived our religion nor have we contributed towards world peace, which is the purpose of Islam. The words used by the Prophet to describe one aspect of this stance was "Jihad" and the other is the inner struggle to be moral and to be righteous.

Those few among us, who who jump up and down pointing at the injustices done by the people of other faiths, nations and cultures, please know that our morality is not dependent on what others do or not do. We have to do our duty and leave it to God to give guidance to all.

Let the minorities among us have the freedom to share what they want and we should defend that right. Insha Allah, let's begin that with you and I. Will you stand up? Better yet, should others stand up for you when you are threatened?

Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims

Shia Muslims believe that the spiritual leadership of Islam was passed on to Hazrat Ali at Ghadir Qum, when the Prophet was returning to Medina from his last sermon. They also believe that the Prophet had assigned the spiritual leadership (Imamat) to Hazrat Ali pointing towards him when the verse “the Deen is complete now” was revealed. Furthermore, the Shia believe that the Prophet used the word “Aal” meaning family in his last sermon. The Shia Muslims beleive that the Prophet (pbuh) had said that he is leaving the book and his Aal for us to follow.

Ismaili tradition is a branch of the Shia tradition, where one believed the 12th Imam was taken by God, and the Ismaili's believe that the imamat continued down to Aga Khan, the current Imam.

Neither you nor they can judge who is a Muslim or not, that is the prerogative of Allah. However, most Muslims agree that on the Day of Judgment your ID will be simply Muslim and not any prefix or suffix, but more importantly, were you a good human being to God's creation?

The other important value of Islam is freedom. This may come as a rude shock to some Muslims that even the innocuous asking "that I am fasting are you?" "It's time for Salat" are subtle compulsions and Islam does not believe in compulsion. Prayer is between Allah and the individual and not the responsibility of a government or other being.

No one will come to your rescue on the Day of Judgment; neither your clergy nor the prophet would give you a free pass, it is your responsibility to earn it through good deeds.

It would be nice to be a part of the congregational prayer, it has its own beauty and the lord listens to the congregants who come together in peace to do the peaceful thing. There should be no compulsion or even suggestion. Let the individual do his or her duty, it is not you, not me that is going to have to respond to God, it is the follower. If you can recall that the Prophet even told his daughter Fatima that she ain't going to get a free pass to heaven, because she is his daughter, she had to earn it on her own. Prayers should remain one’s choice and no one should compel the other.

As Muslims, we do not have the time to do the Ijtihaad, the consultative decision making process on issues of the day. As a result we Muslims have been reduced to rituals, rather than the spirit. It is time to believe in the prime value of Islam; freedom.

Mike Ghouse is a Speaker, Thinker, Writer, Moderator and a Blogger on Pluralism, Interfaith, civil societies, Terrorism, Peace, Islam and India. A conflict mitigater and a goodwill nurturer. He is a frequent guest on talk radio and local television networks offering a pluralistic perspective on issues of the day. His comments, news analysis and columns can be found on the Websites and Blogs listed at his personal website

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Mike, I am no Islamic scholar, but I must say this. Every religion, Islam no exception, has its own sect(s).But, it's most unfortunate Islam is the only religion under which its minority sects have to live under constant fear of persecution and discrimination in Islamic countries where they too should have equal rights and opportunities as any other Muslim.

Within thirty years of Muhammad's death Muslim Community was involved in a civil war that gave rise to the several sects into which Islam remains divided to the present day. The civil war began with the murder of the Caliph by the tribesmen, and ended with the restoration of imperial unity under a new dynasty of Meccan Caliphs, ruling from Damascus, but it left deep divisions within the community. The largest group was composed of those who recognized the authority of those political chiefs who were able to maintain it, by force of arms if need be. This was the origin of the majority party, called Sunnis or followers of Sunna (practice) of the Community at large. Opposed to them were two dissident groups: one which maintained the sole legitimacy in the headship of the Community after Prophet's death of his cousin and son-in-law 'Ali and his descendants, and held that the Community had erred in electing Abu Bakr and his two successors.-these were called Shi at Ali ( 'partisans of Ali) or Shi'a; the other which rejected both the Sunni and Shia positions and maintained not only the right of the Community to elect its own head but also its duty to depose him if he were found guilty of sin-these were called the Kharijites.(Khawarij) od 'Seceders'.

Ismailism - the branch of Shiism noted for its esoteric philosophy and regards Hazrat Ali as the legitimate successor to the Prophet. After Ali's assassination Islam was divided into Sunnite and Shiite sects.

The Shia believe in the five pillars of Islam, as do Sunnis, but categorize them differently. Shia beliefs include the following:

Theology of Shia (Usul al-Din)
Tawhid (Oneness): The Oneness of God
Adalah (Justice): The Justice of God
Nubuwwah (Prophethood): God has appointed perfect and infallible prophets and messengers to teach mankind the religion (that is, a perfect system of how to live in "peace" ("submission to God"))
Imamah (Leadership): God has appointed specific leaders to lead and guide mankind - a prophet appoints a custodian of the religion before his demise
Qiyamah (The Day of Judgment): God will raise mankind for Judgment

Ismailism is based on Sufism which escaped almost wholly from the Sunni madrasa. Ismailism is the pursuit of spiritual experience by bodily discipline and esoteric intuition. It is resistant to any kind of systematic and exoteric treatment. Under the belief and guidance of their Imam-of-the-Time Shiite law and theology developed independently of the Sunni community esoteric interpretation of the Qur'an and bring their Imam into the direct connection with the Active Intellect and confer on them a divine authority, which Sunnis reject. The Shia Ismaili Muslims, or Batinis ( followers of the esoteric interpretation of the Qur'an) The Qur'an is the word of Allah, which every Muslim must follow, but its commands can be hard to interpret. Therefore, Ismaili Muslims believe their Imam-of-the-Time, Aga Khan is spiritually blessed and empowered to interpret Qur'an.

I have attached herewith Aga Khan's interview on Islam, which I thought might satisfy many a Muslims quest for knowledge.

Aga Khan's Interview on Islam

Hasni Essa
Islam for Pluralism
# # #

Date: Friday, June 19, 2009, 6:09 AM


I had sent you urdu version of this news other day. Here's in English.

It's so terrifying to imagine what's going to be the future of Pakistan , and fate of minority Muslim sects, if Taliban were to take over Pakistan . According to this news Taliban has threatened Ismaili Muslim Community, which as you know is one of the most prominent Muslim communities whose spiritual leader is Aga Khan lV. His grand father Aga Khan lll was one of the founders of Pakistan , who was responsible for establishment of the All-India Muslim League which lead to the creation of the predominantly Muslim nation of Pakistan . Aga Khan lV has been a great benefactor of Pakistan , who built Aga Khan University Hospital which is a first-rate private academic institution which aims to empower the developing world through quality education, patient care, research and service.Without Aga Khan's beneficence and generosity Pakistan indeed would have been any third world country hard pressed for development.

Let us all pray and help Pakistan to be strong, and not become victim of Talibanization.

Hasni Essa
Islam for Pluralism

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Is Islam compatible with democracy?

Is Islam Compatible With Democracy and Human Rights?

There are several flaws in societies where Muslims form the majority, but that is not Islam. As Muslims we have allowed the tyrants to use the “Islam label” to run with their agendas, which is similar to the Neocons, to annihilate and oppress dissent. It is a catch 22, if the Muslim majority spoke, things will be alright, and on the other hand, those few tyrants keep them shut. This is not the characteristics of Muslims alone, it is the case with all majorities be it Israel, Palestine, Saudi Arabia and even in the bastions of democracy like the United States and the United Kingdom where the majority remained silent when the Neocons duped them about Iraq and went on about destruction.

The following article about Islam and democracy is an ongoing propaganda to malign Islam; it’s the business of the Neocons. (Extremists in all faiths whose modus operandi is destructive malignant methods to solve the world problems) I wish we had an organization set up who did not thing but investigate the funding source for these articles and their motivation.

President Obama’s initiatives in Middle East has all the elements of bringing security to the Jewish population in Israel and hope to the Palestinians, both peoples deserve it. I believe that would be the aspirations of majority of the Jews and Palestinians from that area. However, the Neocons supported by the lobby with the attitudes of “annihilating or oppressing the other” and seek peace through destruction. They have figured out how do derail President Obama’s initiatives, you will see the beginning of an onslaught of articles like this and a mass production of documentaries and movies to debilitate the religion. It pays them well, as long as the suckers pay, the Neocons will produce phobias and cash them.

I hope people will wake up and fund those organizations that clearly seek to mitigate conflicts and not the ones that aggravate the conflicts.

The article starts with the dumbest quote, asking the fox to guard the hen. Why would King Fahad say that democracy is suitable to our country? Then there is a quote from Hugronje that Islam has never favored democratic tendencies. Has this agency taken the time to paint the full honest picture of Muslims or Islam? Nearly 3/4ths of Muslim population lives in democracies, and the rest would opt for democracy if they have the choice or if we the western Neocons do not support the dictators, monarchs or oppressive regimes.

There are several flaws in the following article and I hope I can respond to some but urge the people, Muslims or not to present their point of view to show the flaws in it.

One of the major flaws quoted here “In Saudi Arabia, following a tradition of Muhammed who said “Two religions cannot exist in the country of Arabia “ On the other hand the Prophet initiated and co-signed the Madinah pact with Jews, Christians and others about co-existence and pluralism. How did these guys cook this up?

Look at the façade they carry with the organizations names they have set up to give the impression that they are fair and honest research organizations.

Article at:

Mike Ghouse is a Speaker, Thinker, Writer, Moderator and a Blogger on Pluralism, Interfaith, Terrorism, Peace, Islam, India and civil societies,. He is a frequent guest on talk radio and local television networks offering a pluralistic perspective on issues of the day. His comments, news analysis and columns can be found on the Websites and Blogs listed at his personal website Mike is a conflict mitigater and a goodwill nurturer.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Obama, Hujurat and Islamic Calligraphy

President Obama, Sura Hujurat and Islamic Calligraphy;
President Obama quoted the verse 49:13 from Sura Hujurat in his speech in Cairo. “O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other). Verily the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you.” (Qur’aan 49:13).

Indeed, Qur’aan is about living in peace and focussing on co-existence and Justice to life and Environment. In 2005, the World Muslim Congress chose this verse to base its Mission Statement and since then we have collected over 500 articles on Islam about co-existence.

President Obama has commissioned Mohammad Zakaria the famed Calligrapher to make a plaque to commemorate his trip to the Middle East with Sura Hujurat 49:13 inscribed on it. From Mr. Zakaria we learned that Obama knows the verse in depth and understands the full meaning of it. Mr. Zakaria was invited by the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslim Center in Dallas to make a presentation on Islamic Calligraphy.

By the way the Washington monument in DC has a Marble plaque with Arabic inscription on it; I will get that picture one of these days and post it in my calligraphy collections at:

I was blessed to witness the art of calligraphy that I cherish. When I am on the phone, I usually scribble notes in Urdu, Arabic and Persian styles of writing, if you have the flat nib pen or a pencil; it is a heaven to write. Mr. Zakaria honored me with his pen and I wrote Bismillah and I was beaming like a child for that simple act of writing. My late wife Najma’s father was a master calligrapher and some of his work is still around.

The "Eid Mubarak" stamp that you see, was Mr. Zakaria's work. He was also on the documentary "Message" by Michael Wolfe.

Zakaria is a Master Calligrapher who learned under the tutelage of Hamid in Turkey and now, he is an institution himself. Thanks to the Ismaili community for inviting me to witness the art of calligraphy that I cherish.

He showed slides of various forms of Calligraphy including the Kufa style writing that the Prophet had written to the Abyssinia’s king. It was amazing to see the different styles, fonts and the structures.

It is human to express and every aspect of nature expresses itself; a mother giving birth to a baby and the plant rejoicing with its expression when the flower blooms. Among a variety of expressions that humans crave, one of them is expressions in the form of writing, sketching, sculpting and arts.

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) discouraged Muslims from painting his picture or sculpting his bust for two reasons; Humility, which is one of the biggest foundation stones of Islam and the other one was his concern that generation’s later people may worship him as divine. Thank God, his message was heeded, today, no Muslim worships him and instead simply venerate him for his teachings of piety, humility and equality.

So what do Muslims do when their hands itch to paint? They found they could express it in Calligraphy. Thus Calligraphy originated and flourished in Islam. It is simply incredible and beautiful. This form of Art is predominently prevalent among Muslims, and I know of no other society that hones in on the art of Calligraphy.

Zakaria writes in his website "Read" was the first word of God's divine revelation to the Prophet Muhammad. Ever since, the written word has held a position of primacy in the Islamic religion.

“In the Islamic world, of course, calligraphy had always been as much an art as an occupation, and men of letters delighted in coining phrases to describe it. "If it was a flower," one early writer said of calligraphy, "it would be a rose; if a metal, gold." Another said, "The pen is the ambassador of intelligence, the messenger of thought, and the interpreter for the mind." But perhaps the best of these classical Arabic metaphors is this: "Calligraphy is music for the eyes." - Zakaria

“Words are the raw material of calligraphy, which is never divorced from meaning. But like music, true calligraphy also works on a wordless level, the level on which all great art functions. Together, the semantic cooperates with the aesthetic to enhance meaning; or, as another classical aphorism puts it, "Calligraphy gives to truth more clarity." - Zakaria

Different version of calligraphy for the words Allah, Muhammad, Bismillah…

You can visit to learn more about Calligraphy.

Mike Ghouse is a Speaker, Thinker, Writer, Moderator and a Blogger on Pluralism, Interfaith, civil societies, Terrorism, Peace, Islam, and India. He is a frequent guest on talk radio and local television networks offering a pluralistic perspective on issues of the day. His comments, news analysis and columns can be found on the Websites and Blogs listed at his personal website Mike is a conflict mitigator and a goodwill nurturer. The theme is consistent in his speeches, writings and workshops he conducts.


Islamic and Inter-Community Relations

Islamic Perspectives of Inter-Community Relations

Mr. Yoginder Sikand is doing a phenomenal work of translating material on Islam from Urdu to English, there is a wealth of information out there that he is translating. Following is the work of Maulvi Yahya Nomani into English.

One after the other Muslim scholars are dusting off mounds of anti-social attitudes towards non-Muslims plugged in over centuries with no basis in Qur’aan. A lot of work is being done in Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Bangladesh, Egypt, United States and several other places. Aga Khan the spiritual leader of Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims has captured the essence of co-existence in Islam and has established an institution to bring out the aspect of co-existence that Qur’aan is all about.

I have written quite a lot on the subject of Pluralism and indeed and one such article is about community relations:

Our organization, the World Muslim Congress was founded on the verse 49:13 of Sura Hujurat and has over 800 articles in archives, most of them dealing with co-existence.

Mike Ghouse

# # #

Islamic Perspectives of Inter-Community Relations

Maulvi Yahya Nomani

(Translated from Urdu by Yoginder Sikand)

The issue of what Islam has to say about inter-community relations is one about which much misunderstanding exists. Anti-Muslim propagandists claim that Islam preaches hatred for non-Muslims, and that the Quran is a menace to world peace. They go so far as to argue that world peace is simply impossible as long as the Quran exists. In order to back their propaganda, they have deliberately twisted and misinterpreted certain verses of the Quran. Many people with little knowledge have fallen prey to this poisonous propaganda, which has been aggressively spread on an enormous scale through the media.

At the same time, we must also admit that some Muslims themselves entertain misunderstandings and extremist views about the issue of relations between Muslims and others that are based on a completely wrong interpretation of the Quran and the Sunnah, the practice of the Prophet. This calls for a detailed study, so that misunderstandings, wrong interpretations and extremist views about Islamic teachings regarding relations between Muslims and others can be countered.

It is true that Islam stresses that Muslims, here understood in the sense of true submitters to God, are distinct from others in terms of their religious views and ethical virtues. It cautions them from imitating others, especially their religious symbols and rituals, which Islam does not accept. It is also true that Islam strictly forbids befriending enemies of the faith and those who conspire against Muslims. At the same time, however, Islam exhorts Muslims to relate to other non-Muslims with softness, good manners, gentleness and love.

Respect for the Human Race

Islam teaches that all human beings, irrespective of community or race, are children of the same set of primal parents, and, so, are bound together by their common humanity. As the Quran states:

“O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you.” (Quran 49:13).

This basic Islamic teaching about the whole of humankind being children of the same parents stresses the need for consciousness of our common humanity and of us being brothers unto each other. This is why, according to a hadith report, the Prophet would, after finishing his prayers, supplicate with God, saying, ‘O Allah! Sustainer of myself and of everything! I bear witness that all human beings are brothers of each other.’

According to the Quran, human beings are creatures worthy of respect:

“We have honoured the sons of Adam […]and conferred on them special favours, above a great part of Our Creation.” (Quran 17:70)

This clearly indicates that Islam regards human beings as deserving respect, love and concern on the basis of their humanity. A hadith report well illustrates this teaching. Once, the Prophet was present along with some of his disciples when a funeral procession passed by. The Prophet stood up. Seeing the Prophet stand out of respect for the dead man, some of his companions informed him that the man had been a Jew. But, the Prophet responded, ‘Was he not a human being?’ After the Prophet, some of his companions, too, followed this example of his, as is related in the books of Hadith compiled by Bukhari and Muslim.

In another hadith report, the Prophet exhorted his followers to relate with kindness to all creatures thus:

‘God is merciful to those who are merciful. Deal with mercy towards creatures on earth and He in the heavens will be merciful towards you.’ (Sunan Tirmidhi, 1924; Sunan Abu Daud, 4941).

This hadith report very clearly expresses a basic Quranic teaching. The Quran states that the true path to salvation is through showing mercy and love to others:

“And what will explain to thee, the path that is steep? (It is:) freeing the bondman; Or the giving of food in a day of privation to the orphan with claims of relationship, or to the indigent (down) in the dust. Then will he be of those who believe, and enjoin patience, (constancy, and self-restraint), and enjoin deeds of kindness and compassion. Such are the Companions of the Right Hand.” (Quran 90: 12-18)

This is the path of salvation—not simply to be kind-hearted, but also to participate in the mission to promote, in practical terms, kind-heartedness and compassion for others. Such are the steps on the path to salvation. Islam does not restrict good behaviour simply to other human beings. Rather, it insists that Muslims should behave in this way with all living creatures. Thus, according to a hadith recorded in the Sahih of al-Bukhari, the Prophet said, ‘There is merit (sawab) in behaving well towards all living creatures.’

The Bond of Nation/Community (Qaum)

Islam recognizes a certain sort of brotherhood and feeling of oneness among members of the same community/nation as an established fact. This is expressed in the Quran in the form of various prophets, such as Hud, Saleh, Shoeb and so on, addressing the non-Muslim members of their communities as brothers, and, in this way, accepting a relationship of nation- or community-based brotherhood between Muslims and non-Muslims belonging to the same nation or community. When these prophets of God preached His message to their own people (who were not Muslims, or ‘submitters’ to God), they addressed them as ‘ya qaum’ or ‘O my people’, appealing to their hearts and reminding them of the common bond of community that they shared with them. This clearly indicates the sort of concern and love that Muslims should adopt when addressing their non-Muslim compatriots and in seeking to cement bonds with them.

The importance of how concern and love should infuse relations between people belonging to a common race or nationality, despite their religious differences, is evident from the fact that the Prophet Muhammad cared for the (the then non-Muslim) Egyptians just because the mother of the Prophet Ismail (Ishmael), son of the Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham), was from Egypt. The Prophet instructed the Arabs to remember this ancient racial tie, saying that they would soon conquer Egypt and that he wanted them to deal with the Egyptians kindly because they had the right to protection (haq-e zimma) and because their racial ties with the Arabs demanded this.

Kind Behaviour Towards Non-Muslims: Some Examples

Various Islamic teachings and Sunnah or practice of the Prophet indicate the kindness and concern that non-Muslims deserve from Muslims. The Quran mentions that needy non-Muslims are deserving of the financial assistance of Muslims, and that, therefore, they should be helped. In the Surah Al-Baqara of the Quran, God says that guiding others to the faith is not the work of human beings, and that God guides whom He wills. The Quran adds that we must not refuse to help a needy person simply because he or she refuses to accept Islam. It says that we shall be rewarded for whatever we spend in God’s way:

“It is not required of thee (O Messenger) to set them on the right path but Allah guides to the right path whom He pleaseth. Whatever of good ye give benefits your own souls and ye shall only do so seeking the "Face" of Allah. Whatever good ye give, shall be rendered back to you and ye shall not be dealt with unjustly.” (Quran 2:272)

This verse indicates that while providing financial help to others it is not necessary to distinguish between those who accept Islam and those who do not. In other words, all needy people are deserving of such help.

Elaborating on this verse, the noted scholar Imam Ibn Jareer Tabari wrote in his Tafsir-e Tabari that the verse commands Muslims not to deprive non-Muslims of charity. He was of the view that this was how numerous companions of the Prophet and those who came after them in the next generation understood this verse.

This was also the practice of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs. Thus, as mentioned in the Kitab al-Kharraj by Abu Yusuf, the Caliph Umar sent a letter to his governor, instructing him to provide for his poor and needy non-Muslim subjects from the wealth of the Muslims.

Reconciliation and Kind-Heartedness

Islam stresses kindness towards relatives, especially close relations, so much so that it says that God declares war against he who does not fulfill his responsibilities towards his relatives (Masnad Ahmad 1684; Sahih al-Bukhari 5987-5989). It also declares that those who sunder their relations with their relatives will have no place in heaven (Sahih Muslim, 2556).

Kindness towards and reconciliation with relatives applies to all relatives, Muslim as well as non-Muslim. It is their right. Islam seeks to cement relations, not to destroy them. Thus, non-Muslim relatives have all the rights over a Muslim, so much so that the Quran lays down that if a Muslim’s parents are not Muslim themselves, and even if they seek to pressurize their Muslim son or daughter to abandon Islam, they must be treated well under all conditions, although one should not yield to their pressure. As the Quran puts it:

“And We have enjoined on man (to be good) to his parents: in travail upon travail did his mother bear him, and in years twain was his weaning: (hear the command) "Show gratitude to Me and to thy parents: to Me is (thy final) Goal. "But if they strive to make the join in worship with Me things of which thou hast no knowledge obey them not; Yet bear them company in this life with justice (and consideration) and follow the way of those who turn to Me (in love): in the End the return of you all is to Me, and I will tell you the truth (and meaning) of all that ye did.”(Quran 31:14-15).

The mother of Abu Hurairah, a companion of the Prophet, used to say bad things about the Prophet, but Abu Hurairah tolerated this. When he complained about her behavior to the Prophet, the latter prayed for her, rather than expressing hatred for her. Because of this, she was guided (Sahih al-Muslim, 2491).

The mother of Hazrat Asma bint Abu Bakr was a polytheist. In the wake of the Treaty of Hudaibiyah between the Muslims, led by the Prophet, and the Meccan pagans, relatives from both sides were able to meet each other. At this time, Hazrat Asma’s mother came to Medina to meet her, bringing along with her some gifts. Hazrat Asma thought of reciprocating this gesture by giving her mother some presents when she was returning. However, she hesitated for a bit, not sure if Islam allowed for Muslims to present gifts to their non-Muslim relatives. Accordingly, she approached the Prophet and asked him if she should seek to strengthen her ties (silah rahmi) with her mother. In reply, the Prophet said she must, and instructed her to give her gifts. (Sahih al-Bukhari 2602; Fath al-Bari).

Some commentators have claimed that Hazrat Asma’s mother had come to Medina because she was in need of help. But, the fact is that she was a well-off woman, and Hafiz Ibn Hajar and other scholars have written that she herself had brought gifts for her daughter. Thus, it could be that she wanted to restore her bonds with her daughter that had been earlier sundered. In other words, Hazrat Asma’s giving of gifts to her mother appears not to have been an expression of help to a needy mother, but rather, a way of expressing and fulfilling her duty of familial love.

Other Social Relations Between Muslims and Others

While Muslims have been forbidden to engage in such relations with non-Muslims that might undermine or destroy their religious distinctiveness, Islam stresses that Muslims must relate with concern, and a high standard of morality with non-Muslims in order to create a better society. Treating neighbours kindly is such an important Islamic teaching that in the corpus of Hadith, narrations relating to the Prophet, it has been said that not abiding by this teaching can sometimes even lead to the danger of one’s own faith being taken away. The Prophet thrice proclaimed that he who is a source of discomfort to his neighbour is not a true believer (momin) (Sahih al-Bukhari, 6016).

One’s neighbour, who deserves exemplary treatment, can be a Muslim or a non-Muslim, and the above-mentioned principle applies in both cases. This is well-illustrated in the following story. One day, a goat was slaughtered in the home of Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Umar. When he returned home, the first thing he did was to ask if some of the meat had been sent to the house of his Jewish neighbour. ‘I have heard the Prophet stressing the importance of kindness towards neighbours’, he said (Abu Daud, 5152).

One aspect of the life of the Prophet, which serves as a model for Muslims to emulate, is that even if an enemy is in great trouble one should supplicate for him with God. On the one hand, the Prophet would beseech God to punish bloody oppressors, but, on the other hand, we see the Prophet helping the Qureish of Mecca, who stiffly opposed him, when they were faced with a severe famine. In that critical situation, Abu Sufiyan, the Qureish leader who had stridently opposed the Prophet, came to him. Invoking their relationship, he said that the Quraish, the tribe that the Prophet himself belonged to, were dying, and requested him to beseech God. The Prophet prayed to God, and because of his prayer the situation was cured (Sahih Bukhari, 4824).
It is said that if a Jew present in the Prophet’s congregation would sneeze, the Prophet would do the same dua, ‘May God give you guidance and improve your condition’, for him as he would for a Muslim (Sunan Abu Daud 5040). Because they were so fond of this dua, some Jews would pretend to sneeze, but the Prophet still do this dua for them. In the Masannaf Ibn Abi Shiba, the Masannaf Abdur Razzak and the Sahih of al-Bukhari, there are numerous narrations about the Prophet making dua for non-Muslims. This clearly shows that Islam exhorts its followers to deal kindly with people of other faiths.

Commensality or eating together has great importance in building relationships. The Prophet used to invite non-Muslims for meals. Expressing concern for the oppressed and distressed, irrespective of religion, is something basic for good social ties, and the Prophet Muhammad also abided by this. He would visit the homes of non-Muslims when they were sick, to enquire about their health (Sahih al-Bukhari 5657). The Prophet also gave gifts to non-Muslims, and courteously accepted the gifts that they presented him with, as has been recorded in the books of Hadith. It is said that a non-Muslim ruler sent the Prophet a beautiful silken cloak, which the Prophet accepted (Sahih al-Bukhari 2616). He gave it to Ja‘afar bin Abi Talib, saying that he should send it to his ‘brother’, Najashi, the Christian ruler of Abyssinia, who had helped the Muslims (Masnad Ahmad 13214). The Caliph Umar sent a valuable cloth as a gift to a ‘polytheist brother’ of his, and the Prophet knew about this (Muslim 2068). The ruler of Aila sent the Prophet cloth and a mount, which were put to use (Sahih Bukhari 3161). At the time, when the Prophet was departing from this world, he instructed Muslims, especially their leaders, that delegations of guests (who were generally non-Muslims) that would come to them should be given presents while departing, as he himself had done (Sahih al-Bukhari 3053, Sahih al-Muslim 1637).

From these references to the shariah and the Sunnah, the practice of the Prophet Muhammad, it is clear that Islam stands for humanitarianism, love, concern, compassion, large-heartedness and good behaviour with people of other faiths, in general. That is to say, if a person who follows another faith is not an oppressor or an enemy of Islam or a conspirator or is not waging war against Muslims, Islam considers him or her worthy of help and solidarity and stresses respect for his or her humanity.

(This is a translation of excerpts from Yahya Nomani's Urdu book, al-Jihad [Lucknow: Al-Mahad al-Ali Lil Darasat al-Islamiya, 2009. Yahya Nomani works with the Lucknow-based Urdu Islamic monthly, al-Furqan)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Muslims Condemn action against Shah Rukh Khan

Muslims Condemn action against Shah Rukh Khan

A few Muslims in Mumbai have taken King Khans’ words out of context and have filed a case against him alleging that he maligned the Prophet. (News item below)

We the Muslims condemn the acts of the Aman group for initiating such an irresponsible act, and it is time for Muslims to speak out against pettiness like this. It is time for the flaunters to realize that stuff like this happens every day, you 'll find them in every group.

The filing of case against Shahrukh Khan by the Aman group deserves condemnation on two counts:

i) It is some thing the Prophet would not approve. The Prophet told his followers not to be judgmental about other persons, and if you hear negatives about others, it is your duty to find the truth before it gets out of your mouth. You should not spread falsities and you should not be in a position to regret.

ii) It is the dumbest thing and not a Muslim thing to do.

One Amit Lal writes: Please note the actual comment made by Shah Rukh before passing judgment. Khan said "According to you who is the most impressive figure in history?" Khan allegedly said, "There are lots of them, some negative ones like Hitler, Napoleon, Winston Churchill and if I can call it history, then Prophet Mohammed and from recent time Nelson Mandela." Here, Hitler is the negative figure, while all the others are the positive figures.

The role of a Muslim is to mitigate conflicts and nurture goodwill. Obviously King Khan was misrepresented, and even if he were to be wrong, forgive him, God loves the person who forgives.

Fellow Muslims, please speak up.
We should discourage all such acts.
Forgive this man and move on.

Mike Ghouse

FIR filed against Shahrukh for comment on Prophet Mohammed

King Khan is in trouble again. The Bandra police has filed a case against Shahrukh Khan yesterday (18th June) for hurting the religious sentiments of the Muslims. The Muslim community is not happy with the actor's remark on their Prophet Mohammed in the July issue of Time N Style magazine, in which he listed the Prophet as one of the most unimpressive personalities in history.

The police has filed an FIR against the actor following a complaint registered Shahrukh, the publisher of the magazine and the writer by the Mumbai Aman Committee, a religious organisation. The case was registered under section 295-a (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religion feelings or any class by insulting its religion beliefs) and 34 (acts done by several persons with common interest) of IPC.

The police revealed that they have registered a case against Shahrukh after receiving an application from an advocate, who alleged that the actor made some remarks against Prophet Mohammed, which has hurt the sentiments of the Muslim community. It added that he would not be arrested immediately but would take action after the probing is done. Shahrukh could be jailed for three years if convicted.

Shahrukh's comment has invited wrath from the Muslim community. Farid Sheikh, President of Mumbai Aman Committee, said that they would not allow Shahrukh's body to be buried anywhere in Maharashtra. Zarar Qureshi, secretary of the committee, also said that the actor has hurt the Muslim community by bracketed the Prophet Mohammed along with Adolf Hitler and Winston Churchill.

Meanwhile, Shahrukh, who is currently busy shooting for Karan Johar's My Name Is Khan in the US, said that he was misrepresented. He added that his most important objective in life is to stand up for the tenets of Islam.

SHAHRUKH'S MESSAGE - updated now

"In a message, the actor who is currently abroad shooting for Karan Johar's "My Name is Khan," said that there is no more important figure in history than Prophet Mohammad."Being a Muslim and standing up for the tenets of Islam is my most important agenda," he said.

The actor's response came a day after a First Information Report (FIR) was registered against him. Referring to protests on the issue, Shah Rukh said, "If they have seen my interviews about Islam and the Prophet, they should know that it is a writing error and not a thought or view I believe in." He said, "for all practical purposes... Prophet Mohammad is the most important positive figure in Islam". Khan's statement will be recorded on his return from the US."
Muslims hurt by Shahrukh's comments


A Muslim group by the name of Mumbai Aman Committee has taken objection to Shahrukh Khan's statements about Islam in a recent interview to a magazine. They alleged that King Khan had used unparliamentary language against the Prophet in the July issue of the Time and Style magazine which hurt the sentiments of the Muslim community.

The group has given a written complaint to the police asKing them to file a case under section 504 of the IPC (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) against Shahrukh. A senior police official has confirmed receiving the complaint and said thorough investigation will be doing before registering a case against Shahrukh.

Shahrukh who is Los Angeles shooting for My Name Is Khan has stated that he was he was misrepresented and added that there was nobody in the history more important to him than Prophet Mohammad. He added that being a Muslim and standing up for the tenets of Islam was his most important agenda in life.

Qatar Initiative on Education

These initiatives can bring about positive changes in the society - Mike

QF sends invites for world education meet

Abdulla bin Ali al-Thani
By Peter Townson

Some 1,000 leading opinion leaders, decision-makers and academics from diverse sectors in over 120 countries will gather in Qatar later this year to participate in the first-ever global summit dedicated to monitoring the 21st century’s challenges to education: WISE (World Innovation Summit for Education).

The programme, which has been initiated by the Qatar Foundation under the patronage of its chairperson, HH Sheikha Mozah Nasser al-Misnad, will take place in Doha from November 16-18.

“During three days, WISE will endeavour to bring together multi-disciplinary thinking that will enable a global educational network to think differently, implement change and collectively meet the many educational challenges facing us,” explained a spokesperson.

Chairman of WISE and vice-president of education at Qatar Foundation, Abdulla bin Ali al-Thani said: “Education systems have been frustratingly slow to adapt and respond in an integrated and co-ordinated way, despite extraordinary advancements in how we as individuals interact with each other and the world.”

“WISE first edition will bring together 1,000 world leaders to explore, experiment and establish new ways to anticipate and provide the educational evolutions, competences and patterns of tomorrow. It is critical that graduates from the next generation are equipped to think beyond their borders, and to meaningfully compete, connect, and co-operate with their peers on a global scale,” he added.

He explained that Qatar Foundation has this week sent the first WISE invitations to international influential leaders with stakes in education.

In its inaugural year, the central theme of the summit will focus on ‘Global Education: Working Together for Sustainable Achievements’, as well as sub-themes of pluralism, sustainability and innovation.

The programme for WISE is available at

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Israel and Palestine, a Common Vision

Islamists and the West: Time for a Common Vision?

If you are a moderate Israeli or Palestinian, Jew or a Muslim, you will find value in this piece by Ahmed Yousef.

The real enemies of Peace in the Middle East are the right wingers on both sides of the issue. They are the ones who believe in annihilation of the other to achieve peace, dialogue is not part of their brain system. Sadly, we the Americans are duped by our media to see only one point of view without questioning it, some of us have lost to see another point of view at all.

The right wingers on either side of the issue may not like this piece as they may never had an opportunity to extricate themselves from the massive doses of propaganda they may have inhaled.

The goal should be peace – Hope for Palestinians to live a normal human life and Security for Israelis who can live a normal daily life.

Two critical things emerge in this commentary;

i) “The Palestinian cause lives in the hearts and minds of 1.5 billion Muslims spread over five continents. It is the pivotal factor in matters of war, peace, as well as other complex problems in the Middle East. Thus, a just resolution of the Palestinian case is vital for achieving stability, security, and prosperity in what is called the Middle East arc of crisis.” Indeed, this issue is the epicenter of a whole lot of problems, the Muslims have been talking about it, writing about it, but American Media had no inclination to pick on this.

ii) “Thus Hamas (both as a movement and as a government) fell victim to the misguided policies of the George W. Bush administration not only toward the Palestinian people and their national cause but also toward the peoples of the Arab and Islamic regions more broadly." And I would add, toward the people of Israel. The Neocons have done more harm to Israel's security than Hamas could ever dream of.

While Hamas Charter calls for annihilation of Israel, the Israeli leaders have called for the elimination of the Palestinians, both are wrong and both really don’t mean it, but use it to dig in their heels and literally impose their thoughts on to the common Israelis and Palestinians.

Full story:

Mike Ghouse is a Speaker, Thinker and a Writer. He is a frequent guest on talk radio and local television network discussing Pluralism, Terrorism, India, Islam, Peace and civic issues. His comments, news analysis and columns can be found on the Websites and several Blogs listed on his personal website

No Shari'ah in America

Sharia laws are not divine, if you believe that they are, that is your choice, they are made by men with the intent of serving justice. Sharia laws are no doubt influenced by Qur'aan, but there is a huge human element in it, which misses the Mercy that Quraan is flooded with.

The Personal Sharia helps one follow his relationship with God like prayers, festivals, fasting, zakat, hajj and other rituals, which most Muslims follow. Where as the Public Sharia deals with more than one person and is subject to human fallacy and cannot be universally applicable. It needs Ijtihad and it is hard to come by, the Neocon (extremist) Muslims will hang you.

The recitation of Bismillah is not for God, it is for us to understand its value and make it a part of our life, an average Muslim perhaps says it over 50 times day, it is such a beautiful prayer we are blessed with. The Sharia laws of Taliban, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, some laws of Pakistan and Malaysia are not based on equity and Mercy. I am positive, very few Muslims want to live under those laws, not me and not a majority of Muslims. Hence for us, the American Muslims and American Muslim women our civil laws serve justice and we have no need for the Public Shariah laws.This group exchanges are about the topic and not me or you, please avoid comments on any one's persona, usually a reason not to post the comment.riginal postings and
Shari'ah continues to be a hotly debated item among Muslims and discussions are always welcome, with each successive discussion, we can learn more about the topic. However, most American Muslims are content with laws of the land and would not want Sharia laws, as the models practiced elsewhere are not good examples, You can visit this site and do the control find for "Sharia" - a lot of information will appear. Reference: You are welcome to write your comments at the end of this corrospondence as well.

Dear Hussain, Thank you for sharing your opinions about Sharia.

The issue is about serving Justice to humankind; the American Justice system is one of the most humane systems in the market today, not the best, but the most humane and serves the human aspirations well – freedom and justice.

The personal Sharia deals with how you connect with the divine and the things you need to do to be at peace with yourselves. In fact all of the guidance in ‘how to’ (the ritual part) comes from the Personal Sharia and the way I perform my prayers, fasting etc are guided by it.

The public Sharia, the rules that affect the conduct between individuals, and regulation of the same was designed by men with good intentions and perhaps may work in exclusive societies where Muslims reside. The safeguards from carrying on mis-justice are not fail proof in the system when it comes to dealing with divorce and apostasy for instance. There is no consensus on the issues. Many a Muslims have not extricated themselves from years of conditioning that Sharia is divine, it is not, and it is made by humans for humans.

What they practice in Afghanistan, Sudan, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and Iran are gross injustices to the individual, it is the law of the Mullah rather than justice, and that kind of extremism is encroaching in Malaysia, Bangladesh and Pakistan now; it is not justice anymore.

Compare that to the Justice system in America, again made by men for men to serve justice. The mistakes are made in this system as well, but the ordinary people are usually served with Justice. Gross injustice is rare. The system has the ability to correct itself to serve justice, and there is a process of consensus building as well, and not bulldozing a fatwa on a poor soul. The tyrants have killed the element of Ijtihaad and consensus building in the Public Sharia and certainly a majority of American Muslim women and men do not feel the need for it, they have done without it.

The intent of Sharia law was good and was based on Justice; the essence of Islam. However, it has lost all its traction of good governance, self correction and Ijtihaad to the authoritarianism which shamelessly proclaims their nations to be Islamic in Character. Elimination of crime in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere is a myth, they just do not report the rapes and injustices, instead the victim is punished. With Free press and democracy, the government would be responsible to the public in serving as justly as it can.

Qur’aan starts with the guidance about learning, and the prophet says, if we have to learn we can even go to China, thank God we have gone on and are living in such democracies where learning is continual. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)’s society accommodated every faith, in fact, he took the initiative to legitimize co-existence, but that society disappeared within 100 years of his death and mono-religious society emerged. However, that society has taken refuge in democracies and I welcome our civic laws, despite its flaws.

Mike Ghouse is a Speaker, Thinker and a Writer. He is a frequent guest on talk radio and local television network discussing Islam, Pluralism, Terrorism, India, Peace, political and civic issues. His comments, news analysis and columns can be found on the Websites and Blogs listed on his personal website

# # #

From Hussain Khan, Tokyo

American system of justice is producing a rotten way of life, full of crimes, drugs, homicides, financial and political scandals, rapes, divorces, disintegration of family life and what not
How a pious Muslim can recommend such a rotten collective life to American Muslims?

“ If we study Quran, Sunnah and principles of Ijtehad, Shariah can render a better system of justice than what is now prevailing in America. Despite being orthodox, Saudi system of justice has almost eliminated crime in Saudi Arabia. Taliban also eliminated crime and drugs from Afghanistan during a brief period of their rule. Can you claim that American system of justice, with which you are satisfied and happy, can eliminate crime, drugs, rapes, divorces and several other evils in their social, economic, financial and political lives? Do you think the new financial regulations being introduced by Obama can cure all the financial ills of interest and leveraged-based, speculative American Capitalism? Will the debt-ridden American society be saved by such cosmetic measures of Federal Reserve Board, as printing dollars and rescuing banks and the bankrupted companies like General Motors and Chrysler, which were once pride of America, through those printed dollars in addition to trillions of Federal debt sold in bonds to China, Japan and other Asian countries? Can American system of justice produce that level of Morality, which Islam can? Are there no scandals in Wall Street and in entire financial and political life in America? You are recommending such a rotten system to Muslims! How it can be superior to a collective life that Sharia would produce? We should rather make Dawah to non-Muslims for divine Shariah to save them from their present wretched, hell-like life, full of stress and with lack of peace of mind and heart. Allah has sent guidance to us not only for the private life. It is our duty and mission as a Muslim to let them appreciate that they are now suffering in their collective lives due to not accepting the divine guidance in their financial, economic, political, social, family and all other walks of life.”

By Hussain Khan, Tokyo

Sharia is never an impediment to progress. It is very strange that a pious Muslim like you can think of abandoning Shariah to achieve progress. The truth is rather the reverse of it. Muslims can progress through Sharia. I again recommend you to read Feldstein, a Harvard Law Professor, book on Shariah. He maintains that Muslims became and remained rulers of the world for 12 centuries as long as they maintained Sharia as their Supreme Law. They became wretched and slaves of the West due to abandoning Shariah in private and public life.

Through Itjehad you can accommodate modernization. All your quote is 100% right. Modernization is of course not Westernization. All your quote does not imply that Sharia should be abandoned for achieving the objectives of progress as desired by you and by all Muslims. Better you also go through Allama Iqbal book “Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam” ,based on his six lectures in Madras in English. Due to the door of Ijtehad being open until the Last day of Qiyama, Sharia can accommodate all latest changes in science, technology and in all kinds and in all branches of knowledge. Rather Muslims had been the pioneers of all sciences during the peak days of their rule and suzerainty over the world for centuries. It is a very outdated idea that Shariah is an impediment to progress. This reflects paucity of knowledge and utter ignorance about Shariah. Better to study what is Sharia before proclaiming that American Muslims do not need it. It is a great misunderstanding that Sharia can ever be an impediment to progress. I recommend to read above referred-to book of Allama Iqbal to clarify the concept of Sharia. Allama Iqbal was neither a Mullah nor a partner of any FATWA factory, which you are always condemning. He was a great scholar and had a PHD degree in Philosophy from Germany. He has given his reasons that Shariah can never be a hindrance to progress in any age.

Even the development of Islamic civilization since 7th to 18th century or up to the Industrial Revolution of England indicates that Muslims remained pioneers of all sciences and knowledge, under the inspiration of Quranic verses to seek signs of God in all branches of knowledge and sciences, as long as they were pious Muslims and accepted Quran and Hadith in all walks of life, not simply in private life, as you suggest. Today we are not good Muslims and that is the cause of our lack of progress. If we could become pious Muslim like you not only in private life but even in our political, social, economic, financial and all sectors of collective life, we can again reach to the same pinnacle of humanity and scientific progress which had made the Bedouins of Arabia not only the rulers of the world in political field but also made them the Masters and pioneers of knowledge in all its branches and sciences. Our progress lies not in abandoning Shariah, rather in understanding it and in its implementation in all sectors of life, be it private, collective or public life

Your problem is different. As I have written elsewhere, I quote it here again with some improvement: “This is an age of democracy. You have to solve problems in a democratic way. In the long run, you will have to negotiate with the Taliban You like it or not, there are people in Swat valley who want Sharia, a system of justice based on divine Law. They are familiar to this system for the last 110 years before their forced annexation into Pakistan by a military dictator, Gen. Yahya Khan. He cancelled all Sharia immediately after the takeover of Swat to Pakistan.

They do not want a system of justice based on American Law, as pleaded by Mike Ghous, a pious Muslim, for American Muslims. Such pious Muslims are described in Quran as, AFATUMENOONA BEBADHIL KITABE WO TAKFURUNA BEBADH. “Do you believe in a certain part of the holy Book and refute the other part”. Such pious Muslims are ready to follow Islam in their private lives but want to follow American system of justice instead of the one based on Quran and Sunnah for their public or collective life.”

If we study Quran, Sunnah and principles of Ijtehad, Shariah can render a better system of justice than what is now prevailing in America. Despite being orthodox, Saudi system of justice has almost eliminated crime in Saudi Arabia. Taliban also eliminated crime and drugs from Afghanistan during a brief period of their rule. Can you claim that American system of justice, with which you are satisfied and happy, can eliminate crime, drugs, rapes, divorces and several other evils in their social, economic, financial and political lives? Do you think the new financial regulations being introduced by Obama can cure all the financial ills of interest and leveraged-based, speculative American Capitalism? Will the debt-ridden American society will be saved by such cosmetic measures Federal Reserve Board, as by printing dollars and rescuing banks and the bankrupted companies like General Motors and Chrysler, which were once pride of America, through those printed dollars in addition to trillions of Federal debt sold in bonds to China, Japan and other Asian countries? Can American system of justice produce that level of Morality, which Islam can? Are there no scandals in Wall Street and in entire financial and political life in America? You are recommending such a rotten system to Muslims! How it can be superior to a collective life that Sharia would produce? We should rather make Dawah to non-Muslims for divine Shariah to save them from their present wretched, hell-like life, full of stress and with lack of peace of mind and heart. Allah has sent guidance to us not only for the private life. It is our duty and mission as a Muslim to let them appreciate that they are now suffering in their collective lives due to not accepting the divine guidance in their financial, economic, political, social, family and all other walks of life.

Best regards,
Hussain Khan, Tokyo
Visit JAPAN MUSLIM THINK TANK (still under construction) website

From: []
Sent: Thursday, June 18, 2009 3:33 AM
Subject: Fw: American imposed war in Pakistan condemned by a Toronto magazine

It's amazing how hypocritical some muslims can be, and still talk about sharia which if applied in its entirety, these people don't realize, could be impediment to progress.
Let me quote, which I read elsewhere..................

- modernization does not necessarily mean westernization.Non-Western societies
can modernize and have modernized without abandoning their own cultures and
adopting wholesale Western values,insttitutions, and practices.Modernization,
instead, strengthen those cultures and reduces the relative power of the West.
In fundamental ways, the world is becoming more modern and less Western.

Islam and modernization do not clash.Pious Muslims can cultivate the sciences,
work efficiently in factories, or utilize advanced weapons.Modernization requires
no one political ideology or set of institutions.As a creed, Islam satisfies management
consultants as well as peasants.The Shari'a has nothing to say about the changes
that accompany modernization, such as the shift from agriculture to industry, from
countryside to the city, or from social stabilty to social flux, nor does it impinge on
such matters as mass education, rapid communications, new forms of transportation,
or health care.

Zina, muslims like

--- On Tue, 6/16/09, Zina Khan wrote:

From: Zina Khan
Subject: American imposed war in Pakistan condemned by a Toronto magazine
Date: Tuesday, June 16, 2009, 3:45 PM
You must define categorically for us what is Islamic, in the trues sense of the word? why are you guys chasing Pakistan only?

In Saudi Arabia if you are found wandering the streets during the time of Salaa and have a green colored Aqama, then you are liable to get caned and forced into one of those building they "mis" call Masjid in the Kingdom.

This is what is perceived as the true "Islamic" state by some of you folks !

Islam has looked at humanity with the eye of justice and logic and has enacted rational laws for it....not your man made trash that you are trying to propagate ..

Islam does not deprive anyone of his share nor given him more than his due. Every effort carries a reward and it is necessary for the society to honour this that what you see happening in and around you?

A good society does not allow that a hard worker should starve, and an idle person should benefit from the proceeds of the formers’ work. can't even provide basics to the ordinary hardworking people and yet the rich vaderas with their gun totting goons have all the amenities in life...why? are these people also not muslims like you folks? are they also not human?

Muslims of the twenty-first century should beware of the renewed onslaught on their beliefs being conducted today from within our Communities all in the name of Qur'an and Sunna,but actually supported by certain regimes pursuing specific ideologies, they are taking over the mosques built by Ahl al-Sunna in Europe and North America - mostly Indian and Pakistani immigrants -- by means of elections and fundings -the reality of such beliefs is different from those of the main body of Muslims!

Muslims are into narcotics? are they not? Taleban grow and sell drugs to buy bombs to blow up people and kill and subjugate which sharia is this?

A Saudi prince who shares whisky in the evening, sentences a man to prison in the morning for drinking !

All kinds of liquor is available freely in Middle East countries including Iran - it trickles into their mouths in China Cups as it is served in "Tea Pots" - I haven't found an islamic country as yet which does not sell alchohol and where some "good" muslims like you folks are transgressing the prohibitions against wine and spirits ! If the rich drink imported ones , the poor make their own ! so? which sharia is this? you want me to go on ?

--- On Tue, 6/16/09, Hussain Khan, Tokyo wrote:

From: Hussain Khan, Tokyo
Subject: American imposed war in Pakistan condemned by a Toronto magazine
Date: Tuesday, June 16, 2009, 8:19 PM

This article pleads that America has imposed a war on Pakistan to weaken it. countrymen are killing each other. Government objective is to please America. War could have been avoided by accepting Sharia rule in Swat. Instead of trying to avoid war, Zardari preferred to kill those who want Sharia in the same way as Musharraf killed Lal mosque students due to their demand enforcing Shariah in Pakistan. And yet Pakistan is called an Islamic state as its name is, 'Islamic' Republic of Pakistan. Where is it 'Islamic'? Those who demand Sharia have been cornered to become 'terrorists' and deserve killing by Pak army. This article is also available by clicking below:


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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.