My Beloved Ramadan – A Photo Gallery

altmuslim - 24 June, 2016 - 22:23
This is Day 19 of the #30Days30Writers 2016 Ramadan series. Please click through to see the entire gallery of beautiful Ramadan photos. By Sadaf Syed I am afraid my heart will explode. When I feel distress, I whisper to God throughout the day; I supplicate directly to Him in the middle of the night; my [Read More...]

Muslim women kicked out of US cafe accused of ‘civilizational jihad’ by lawyer

The Guardian World news: Islam - 23 June, 2016 - 23:02

California cafe sued for ejecting women wearing hijabs files countersuit, led by lawyer who says womens’ claim is part of ‘jihad’ to weaken western civilization

A group of Muslim women who claim in a lawsuit they were kicked out of a California restaurant for wearing headscarfs have been accused of “civilizational jihad” by a lawyer for the restaurant, which has launched a countersuit.

The seven women, six of whom were wearing hijabs, were kicked out of Urth Caffe in Laguna Beach in April.

Related: Muslim women kicked out of California restaurant sue for discrimination

Related: Women kicked off Napa wine train 'for laughing' settle racial discrimination suit

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Trojan horse school case based on misinformation, tribunal told

The Guardian World news: Islam - 23 June, 2016 - 17:34

Lawyer for two former Park View principals says government handling of affair marred by fear and incompetence

The government’s handling of the Trojan horse affair involving schools in Birmingham was marred by fear and incompetence, creating a febrile atmosphere in which innocent explanations were rejected in order to blame “bad Muslims”, a tribunal has been told.

Andrew Faux, representing two former principals of Park View academy, the school at the centre of an alleged takeover by conservative Islamists in 2014, told the National College of Teaching and Leadership tribunal that the case against his clients rested on “snippets of misinformation”.

Related: 'Trojan horse' headteacher receives lifetime ban for professional misconduct

Related: Trojan Horse tribunal rejects Muslim teaching assistants' unfair dismissal claims

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Why Gun Control Should Focus on Right-Wing Violence instead of ‘War on Terror’ and Muslims

altmuslim - 22 June, 2016 - 20:15
By Dr. Maha Hilal and Darakshan Raja Last week 49 individuals were brutally murdered at the Pulse nightclub, which caters to  queer and trans Latinx communities in Orlando. This mass shooting is one of the deadliest within the past year, and specifically targeted POC Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer and Gender Non-Conforming (LGBTQGNC) communities. In [Read More...]

Pakistani Sufi singer shot dead in Karachi

The Guardian World news: Islam - 22 June, 2016 - 19:32

Outpouring of grief across Pakistan as famed musician Amjad Sabri is killed in Taliban gun attack on car

One of Pakistan’s most famous and respected musicians, celebrated for devotional songs from a centuries-old mystic tradition, has been shot dead by Taliban gunmen in Karachi.

Amjad Sabri, 45, was shot by two men on a motorbike as he drove through a congested area of the port city on Wednesday, Allah Dino Khawaja, the regional police chief, told Reuters. A relative travelling with the musician was injured but survived.

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The NY Times Whitewashes the Abuse of Palestinian Workers in Israel

Palestinians are pouring over the border from the West Bank to Israel daily, The New York Times tells us in a recent front-page story lavish with photos. The job seekers, many of them illegal, face tough commutes and low pay, but they continue to come in the tens of thousands, desperate for work.

In this article by James Glanz and Rami Nazzal we learn that up to 60,000 Palestinian workers without permits are on the job daily inside Israel, with another 75,000 in possession of permits who are laboring in the settlements and inside Israel. The story gives us a look at several of the illegals as they make their way over and through the barrier Israel has built around their territory.

Missing from the piece, however, is the full story of Palestinian workers inside Israel, both legal and illegal, and the abuse they endure. According to the Times, their most pressing problems are low wages, occasional arrests and interrogations and “being dropped off at a checkpoint as far as possible from where they were picked up.”

If they had permits, the article states, life would be better: Employers would have to treat to them “similar to Israeli workers in terms of wages and benefits, covering sick days, vacations, health insurance and pensions.”

The Times, however, fails to explain that the reality for many legal workers from the West Bank is far from this ideal scenario. As the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem found, in spite of the law on the books, “Palestinian workers employed in Israel and the settlements suffer blatant discrimination, and their social rights are systematically trampled by their employers and at times also by the Israeli authorities.”

The permit system, ostensibly created to improve security, adds to this abuse. Workers who demand their full rights often find their permits revoked. “There are the workers whose employers fire them when they are injured,” Haggai Matar writes in the Israeli magazine 972. “There are those who try to unionize, against whom employers can use the army, the permit regime and ‘security’ excuses in order to forbid them from working.”

The system, Matar states, creates a corps of “frightened subjects who lack basic rights, wake up every morning at 3 a.m. [in order to pass through checkpoints], and have almost no way of protecting themselves.”

And these are the legal workers, touted in the Times story as fully protected and almost on a par with Israelis. It follows that illegal workers have a much harder go, but the article splashed across the front of the newspaper yesterday gives a benign account of their working conditions.

“Some employers house [illegal] workers in trailers, some workers stay with relatives or friends, and some camp outside,” the Times story states, giving the impression that even illegal workers find comfortable quarters during their stays in Israel.

A B’Tselem report, however, paints a far different picture of “the most invisible workers in Israel,” many of whom are forced to sleep at their work sites for fear of meeting police on the outside. It highlighted one worker who spent nights at the work site with nothing more than a mattress and blanket and without any heat, water or toilet facilities.

In the Times, however, an illegal laborer, Abu Khalid, is quoted as cheerfully explaining how he ends his day: “We go find a water pipe to take a shower, and then we find a nice tree and sleep under it.”

Discerning readers will take pause at this, but the Times story continues in this light-hearted tone with an account of two young workers who “chuckled about a time when tight security forced them to go under the wall” by way of a water main.

The article turns a bit more somber with a quote from a worried father whose son makes the trek into Israel to help support the family. “When he comes and goes I have my hand on my heart for fear of something happening,” the father says.

Although B’Tselem has reported that police Israeli security forces “frequently beat Palestinians working illegally in the country, sometimes severely, and detain them for hours without food and water,” the article by Glanz and Nazzal spins the father’s concern as based on the threat of meeting Palestinian terrorists, not abusive members of the security forces.

“You don’t know who you are walking with,” a young laborer states, leaving the impression that he fears his traveling companions rather than the security forces.

Yet the percentage of troublemakers among those who cross into Israel appears to be negligible. The Times article states that—according to the security agency Shin Bet—over four months beginning last October, 21 Palestinians who attacked Israelis were in the country illegally. This was at the height of the “lone wolf” assaults, mainly by youth wielding knives.

Some 21 attacks is a trifling number considering that up to 60,000 Palestinians were illegally inside Israel daily during that time, yet the Times chose to give the attackers equal billing with the workers in its headline: “Smugglers in West Bank Open Door to Jobs in Israel, and Violence.”

The story also fails to give a full account of the notorious wall, referred to by Israelis as a “security barrier” and known to Palestinians and their sympathizers as the “apartheid wall.” Nothing is said about the arbitrary route of the wall, which snakes inside the West Bank, nor is there any mention of the International Court of Justice finding that the barrier is illegal and harmful.

In fact, a full 85 percent of the wall runs through Palestinian land, well inside the West Bank, giving the lie to claims that it is purely for defense against would-be terrorists. It cuts through neighborhoods, separates farmers from their fields and generally incorporates water sources and illegal settlement blocs in the “Israeli side” of the barrier.

Nor do we hear a word about the resounding vote against the wall passed down by the ICJ in 2004 in response to a request from the United Nations General Assembly. The court told Israel to stop construction of the barrier inside the West Bank, to dismantle all construction in the territory and to compensate Palestinians for losses incurred from the wall’s construction.

Israel has refused to comply with these demands and has continued to build the barrier inside the West Bank. It is now more than 60 percent completed.

In the Times story it has become an inconvenience to Palestinian workers looking for employment in Israel, little more. The devastation and dislocation created by the wall get no mention in the newspaper’s account; the daily humiliations and suffering of West Bank workers, legal and illegal, are glossed over; Israeli abuses are once again obscured; and Times readers are left in ignorance.

Barbara Erickson

[To subscribe to TimesWarp, scroll to the bottom of this page for email, follow @TimesWarp on Twitter or like Times Warp on Facebook.]

Filed under: Palestinian workers in Israel Tagged: apartheid wall, B'Tselem, Illegal workers, International Court of Justice, Israel, New York Times, Palestine, Palestinian workers, security barrier, West Bank

Online Courses

The Black Hijabi - 22 June, 2016 - 12:25

Welcome everyone!

I originally said I was going to write a piece about the Orlando shooting and I still will. I’ve decided to postpone until I can put more thought and effort into because I found an article very similar to what I was writing and well…. plagiarism. What I am going to touch on this week is: taking online courses.

I, like many others, fell under the guise of the Disnified vision of “Oooooo online courses are easy!” “It’s all online!” “You can do it in your pajamas!” No. No. NO. These all apply if you take one online course, and do not work a job, or take other courses. In all honesty, I miss the classroom. I have one course this Summer that isn’t online and two that are. I hate online classes because I always feel like I’m forgetting something. A paper, a museum visit, a quiz, an exam, something.  I spend twice as long double and triple checking assignment due dates which soon, thanks to me picking up a second job, I won’t have the time to do. Working two jobs and taking 10 credits isn’t bad……. as long as your time management skills are on point.

I’ve been asked time and again, “Why so much?” “Why are you putting yourself under all of this pressure?” etc. Honestly, I wanted the challenge. It’s forcing me to grow up and mature in ways I probably wouldn’t have done so otherwise (e.g. trading out my sleep hours for homework hours). If you don’t challenge yourself, you won’t grow, and you won’t know all that you’re capable of. So push yourself to your limits not just this Summer, but everyday for the rest of your life. The worst thing that can happen is that you get up with scraped knees. They’ll heal. It’s better to try and fail, than to never try and always wonder, don’t you think?

The Surah of Light (Nur) | Sh Ahsan Hanif

Muslim Matters - 22 June, 2016 - 07:47

The chapter of Light contains the verse of light; one of the most commented upon verses in the Qur'an. In verse 35, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) sets forth a parable. It is a parable of the light of Allah, and how He is the light of the heavens and earth. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) describes His light as a niche within which is a candle. The candle is encased in glass which twinkles and gleams like a star. The fuel of the candle is the rich and pure oil of the blessed olive tree, from the blessed land of Quds, which itself is so bright that it almost glows even when untouched by fire. It is light upon light and Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) guides to His light whomsoever He wills.

There are many commentaries for this verse and what Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) is referring to here. One of the more famous ones is that the verse is a parable of faith. The candle refers to the light of īmān. Īmān is found in the heart or the glass which itself is originally pure and gleaming. The heart in turn, is within the chest or the niche. The blessed oil that in itself shines bright is the Qur'an. When the two lights merge; the light of īmān with the light of the Qur'an it is an unstoppable combination. That is light upon light.

Thus the message of the Sūrah is the light of īmān and how to attain it, and it is after this that the Sūrah is also named. Yet when we look at the rest of the Sūrah, the verses before and after the verses of light, they all speak about a single topic, but seemingly completely unrelated to the verse of light. The topic found predominantly in this Sūrah is one of modesty. Therefore, what is the connection of the verse of light with the rest of the Sūrah?

From verse 2 onwards we find the topic of chastity and modesty, whether encouraging it or mentioning those things that go against it. Verse 2 speaks about the punishment of fornication. Verse 4 is about the punishment of those who accuse chaste women of adultery without proof. Verses 6-9 are about accusations of adultery between spouses. Verses 11 to 22 then relate to us the incident of the slander of 'Ā'ishah and her innocence.

Verse 27 is about the etiquettes of seeking permission before entering the houses of others so as to preserve their modesty. Verses 30 and 31 are the command of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) for the believing men and women to lower their gazes and guard their chastity. We then have the verses of light from 35 to 42.

Verse 58 then speaks about the need for those under the age of maturity to seek permission before entering upon their parents in their private rooms during certain times of the day and night. Verse 60 is about the concession for old women when it comes to their dress code. The following verse, 61, also speaks of concessions, but this time for the blind, sick and disabled. The Sūrah then concludes.

As you see from the previous few paragraphs, the Sūrah more or less speaks only about modesty, the main exception to this being the verses of light. Therefore, what is the relationship between these two distinct topics?

The verse of light speaks about the light of īmān, not only in terms of its power and glory when it is shining bright, but also its fragility if we do not protect it. We can never take it for granted. The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, “A man will wake up with īmān but sleep as a disbeliever, and a man will be a believer at night and awake a disbeliever.”[1] It is as fragile as a candle that can be extinguished with a simple blow of breath or a slight wind. Therefore, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) informs us of the issue which will help preserve that light of īmān for us, and its opposite will extinguish it; and that is modesty.

If a person preserves their modesty and stays away from anything that diminishes this, they preserve the light of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) which He places in the hearts of the believers. The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, “Īmān is seventy odd branches… and modesty is a branch of īmān.”[2] It is reported that a man was once on his way to see 'Uthmān raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) during his caliphate. On the way he passed by a beautiful woman and began to stare at her. He then continued until he reached 'Uthmān. When 'Uthmān saw him he said, “How dare one of you commit zinā and then enter upon me.” The man said, “O 'Uthmān, do you receive revelation? How do you know what I did?” 'Uthmān replied, “Rather, it is a light which Allah places in the faces of the believers, so when they sin it diminishes.”[3] This is why the scholars would say that knowledge is the light of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), and Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) does not give His light to those who sin.

Thus, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) combines between light and modesty, as through the preservation of modesty does one's light shine bright, and with a lack of modesty, that light becomes weaker and dims.

[1] Sunan al-Tirmidhī

[2] Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim

[3] Madārij al-Sālikīn

The Moral and Physical Benefits of Fasting in Ramadan

altmuslim - 21 June, 2016 - 22:54
This is Day 16 of the #30Days30Writers 2016 Ramadan series. By Seidu Malik The month of Ramadan is once again upon us and millions of Muslims all over the world are fasting as a religious duty. It is worthy of note that before Islam came into existence, most of the world major religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, [Read More...]

Notts Casual Infidels Post Investigated For Supporting Murder of MP Jo Cox

Loon Watch - 21 June, 2016 - 19:36


The presence of Islamophobic hate pages on Facebook and other social media platforms has been noted by Loonwatch and others for quite some time; recall Garibaldi’s expose on SIOA, the mother of all Islamophobic hate pages. These incubators of hate are where the anti-Muslim/anti-Left messaging, including violence is nurtured and disseminated to a wide audience of like-minded individuals.

Police are now investigating a Nottingham based hate group calling itself Notts Casual Infidels that stated that the murder of MP Jo Cox was an indicator of them “taking it to the next level.”

Nottingham Post

Police have said they are investigating a far right campaign group’s social media post following the death of MP Jo Cox.

The Notts Casual Infidels group has since deleted its Facebook post, which carried a link to a Guardian article following the story after news broke of the 41-year-old mother’s death.

Mrs Cox was killed by gun shots and stab wounds.

A spokesman for Nottinghamshire Police, said: “We are aware of social media posts commenting on the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox which appear to have been attributed to a group claiming to be from Nottinghamshire, and our enquiries with regard this social media activity are on-going.”

The post, which was later deleted due to criticism from anti-fascist campaign groups and Facebook users, said: “We knew it was only a matter of time before we take it to the next level. We have been mugged off for Far to (sic) long.”

Spokesman Jamie-Ray Upton told the Post the Facebook update “came across wrong”.

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