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Losing the Black Banu Hashim

Muslim Matters - 9 January, 2017 - 11:53

By Kyle Ismail

“America is unique among western major democracies in that…a sizable number of its Muslims are native born converts…We are already a part of America, the Black community has secured that position for us. They are our Banu Hashim in the West… Through carelessness, through callousness, through… almost stupidity …we have not been taking care of our relationships in the Black community.”

–       Dr. Sherman Jackson, RIS 2016

I began studying Islam nearly 25 years ago in Southern Illinois, with teachers and mentors who were beloved by their community. They impressed upon me that compassion was the first prerequisite in working with people and transmitting knowledge. These teachers were living proof that this approach bore fruit because, until this day, they are respected business people, professors, and leaders. They garnered so much respect in the community, among Muslims and non-Muslims alike, that when the town’s first masjid was to be built it was highly-anticipated and welcomed in this primarily Black community. In fact, it was to be built right across the street from the neighborhood’s community center where the soon-to-be Resident Imam had served as Executive Director for many years.

Members of this Muslim community talked for years about hosting an appreciation dinner for the community’s founders and all the residents and graduates that they assisted in coming to Islam. But just last year members of the local neighborhood beat them to the punch by hosting an appreciation dinner for the masjid’s Resident Imam. Such is the example of my very first Muslim community. They cultivated and inspired a Black Banu Hashim for the Muslim community. The Muslims in that small university town will never need to worry about their place there so long as they cherish and maintain the relationships facilitated by decades and decades of service to the community.

This is high standard to maintain in the very complex, larger Muslim-American community. Since the first Muslims in America were enslaved in the antebellum South, their faith tradition was seemingly erased from the trajectory of their people until the highly unlikely emergence of pro-Islamic movements that would build a protective housing for an unwieldy religious development that spanned the 20th century. The mainstream Muslim community now boasts two Muslim congressmen and one congresswoman (and it is of no coincidence that they are of African descent) and a deep set of relationships in the Black community that serve to ensure Islam’s place in America, come hell or high water.

If our experience is to be a durable one, moments like this one will have to be navigated strategically, as high water has indeed come, in the form of a white-lash that threatens to turn back the clock toward a more caustic environment of racial rhetoric and open overtures to white supremacy. In Trump’s America, police violence against people of color and Islamophobic rhetoric has fueled a pendulum swing in the political discourse. It is in this environment that the dialogue at RIS 2016 has taken place.

If we are to be agents in answering the prayers of our enslaved Muslim forbearers, African American Muslims must do one thing far better than we have over the past three decades – care as much about our engagement with the Black community as any other aspect of our religious community work. And the weight that falls on immigrant-based Muslim communities is to develop an authentic analysis of systemic racism that can lead to real alliances and partnerships.

Dr. Jackson’s statement didn’t strike me as praise of African American Muslims and our transformative history. It struck me as a reminder of the maxims of that history, and a call to return to the type of community engagement that has been our life-blood. It wasn’t a chastisement of Shaykh Hamza Yusuf for his misleading and insensitive racial statements. It was a reminder that when these statements come from someone so respected and influential, they need to be moderated and mitigated by people who can navigated the very difficult terrain of balancing our Islamic identity up against our many societal obligations and relationships.

As the Banu Hashim protected Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) from his enemies when he was vulnerable, the Black community is ready to take a stand for us. This solidarity is admirably exemplified in recent memory when Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee came onto the House floor to cogently lambast Congressman Peter King for his Islamophobic campaign (Rep. Peter King Hearings). This is a representation of a protection that extends from a distinguished civil rights history. But African American Muslims must ask ourselves:

  1. Have we embraced an understanding of Islam that renders non-Muslim Black people persona non-grata?
  2. Do we support Black institutions of any kind or are we merely appendages of immigrant-based organizations?
  3. What issues are we engaged in solving in the Black community?
  4. Do we engage in interfaith dialogue and work in the Black community?

If we cannot affirmatively answer these questions, we are the primary subject of Dr. Jackson’s critique, not the aloof and ill-informed immigrant-based community.

Muslims whose parents or grandparents migrated to the United States must ask themselves:

  1. Who do we care enough about to put ourselves on the line for?
  2. Do we understand American history well enough to have a trenchant social analysis that can feed our advocacy and community work?
  3. Do we have friends and associates of different races and faiths that prevent us from maintaining stereotypes about the “other”?
  4. Have we challenged ourselves well enough to shed the psychology of our former colonizers?

Every indication is that Trump’s America and the psychological and political violence that is likely to ensue will require that we look at this experience through a broader lens.

The statements made at RIS 2016 were more than just insensitive, they were dangerously misleading, and they serve as a sign-post of a much worse kind of thinking that will likely come from conservative quarters in government to turn back the progress we’ve made. A couple of points that were particularly problematic, and that we need to really understand for ourselves are:

Point 1: Black-on-Black crime accounts for the lion’s share of violence taking place in America, and this is the cause of police brutality.

This is misleading and very dangerous. No other community is branded with such a moniker to explain the violence taking place intra-community although the vast majority of crime in any community could be characterized this way. Why isn’t crime and killing in the White community called White-on-White crime? This is in part because, for most of our history, we were far more likely to be killed by White people. In the 1960s, as racial violence shifted away from its traditionally overt and psychopathic form, more typical crime patterns emerged. The term Black-on-Black was used to denote the end of the era of Whites as the primary purveyors of community violence. It has now served as a dog-whistle to criminalize the Black community, exculpate White guilt, and implement a set of policies that led to what would become the prison industrial complex. Recent anti-racism movements such as the Black Lives Matter movement and others have worked to reduce the policy effectiveness of this trope, and turn both scrutiny and accountability on police departments. Statistics regarding police killings used by Shaykh Hamza are, sadly, false. We should know that there is no centralized data on the number of people the police actually kill because the FBI does not gather this statistic. Part of this movement for accountability is to request that the government actually gather this information.

If you are in doubt that such tropes are racist, ask yourself has any of the wanton violence happening in non-Black, Muslim-majority places ever been reduced to Syrian-on-Syrian violence or Iraqi-on-Iraqi violence? I sense that people who forget history don’t understand what the Black community in the US has endured and the casualties that we still suffer. Sections of our community constitute a forgotten underclass and those who would change that have to love the people instead of finding ways of blaming and indemnifying themselves through a condescending morality. It is the Prophetic example to obligate ourselves to do something with a real morality that has skin in the game.

Point 2: Racism isn’t the real issue for African Americans, it’s the breakdown of the Black family.

This represents an equally anti-intellectual formulation (I would invite readers to research articles or books by Professor William Julius Wilson to more deeply engage this topic). But it’s worth saying that any serious understanding of racism and white supremacy begins with a structural analysis. The family institution in our present time is largely impacted by the broader context of access to employment, affordable housing, education, and health care (not to mention the prison industrial complex). We work on these larger issues because of the fundamental impact that they have on our families. There will always be those who defeat the odds, but we strain the boundaries of reason and compassion when we expect that defeating the odds should be normative. When you consider that every system mentioned above is grounded in a history of institutional racism, to say that racism is not the problem but the breakdown of the Black family is the problem means that you understand neither.

It follows that we must seek solutions to these issues. Some points to keep in mind:

Alliance building is fundamental to the way forward, even with people with whom we don’t fully agree.

The Banu Hashim of the Prophet’s day (and our Black Banu Hashim) was a community fraught with issues and practices that we disagree with, but those sets of relationships still preserved a nascent Muslim community. We must have alliances with those who are fundamentally good, despite our serious disagreements. We would have no Black Banu Hashim if members of the Black community knew that the Muslim community had major anti-Black biases and that stereotypes about their violence, depravity, and pathology were so pervasive. These ideas among the broader Muslim community are part of what has hindered stronger alliances. We have to bother to actually know people and listen to their experiences. Immigrant-based communities have to step out of their narrow spaces so that when they hear disrespectful and half-baked formulations they won’t be tempted to applaud but can instead confidently discard them.

Just because you don’t see yourself as racist doesn’t mean that you don’t uphold racism in very substantial ways.

Anyone can think in stereotypes. Anyone can give wrong statistics and misleading information, and anyone can minimize the humanity of the other. We have no reason whatsoever to believe that people like Shaykh Hamza are racist. We have every reason to believe that the types of ideas he shared are counterproductive and feed into racist formulations that we are going to have to deal with, likely in the form of policies from the incoming administration.

I write this to encourage African American Muslims to engage in relationship-building within their own Black community. I also write this for Muslims who don’t understand why mistakes like this are a big deal, especially coming from trusted leadership. We need to fortify ourselves as a community against what promises to be a difficult four (or eight) years ahead. We have to address these types of ideas; because if we accept them they threaten our relationships in a black community that has preserved and protected us since our very origins in this country.

Kyle J. Isma’il is a program officer for the Corporation for National and Community Service, the largest funder of nonprofit organizations in the country. For the past 15 years, Kyle has worked in government and and nonprofits at all levels to create positive change. He has served as national programs manager for Islamic Relief USA, the largest Muslim charity in the world whose mission is to alleviate poverty as well as the first associate director of the Inner-city Muslim Action Network (IMAN).  Kyle has worked to strengthen the Muslim community as well as broader local community regarding issues of community development, employment training, and financial education. Kyle graduated in 1999 with an MA from the University of Illinois in management. Prior to this, he completed an MA in American history at Southern Illinois University where he participated in teaching the university’s first seminar on the life and teachings of Prophet Muhammad, world and American history, and African American studies.

Muslim leaders call on Islamic body to step aside to save Sydney's Malek Fahd ​​school

The Guardian World news: Islam - 9 January, 2017 - 03:06

But Australian Federation of Islamic Councils spokesman Keysar Trad says ‘we have the best interests of the school at heart’

The Australian Federation of Islamic Councils’ financial mismanagement, governance failings, and self-interest has jeopardised the future of Australia’s largest Islamic school and its 2,500 students, leading figures from Australia’s Muslim community have alleged in an open letter.

AFIC should immediately terminate its agreements with Sydney’s Malek Fahd Islamic school so that the school can continue to operate, the letter, signed by nearly 40 prominent members of Australia’s Muslim community, says.

Related: Sydney's Malek Fahd Islamic school loses all federal funding

AFIC is operating as an undemocratic boys’ club with flagrant disregard for the wellbeing of Australian Muslims.

Related: Malek Fahd school accused of unexplained payments to Islamic body and staff

Continue reading...

Israeli Plot To “Take Down” Tory Minister Makes UK Headlines

Inayat's Corner - 8 January, 2017 - 04:09

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An Israeli Embassy official in the UK, Shai Masot, has been captured on undercover film talking about “taking down” the Deputy Foreign Secretary, Sir Alan Duncan, because he is “doing a lot of problems”. Masot also described the UK’s Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, as “an idiot” who was a good friend of Israel but “if something real happened…it would be Duncan.”

Masot was also captured on film separately with the Labour MP and member of the Labour Friends of Israel, Joan Ryan, saying that he had obtained “more than £1 million” to pay for sympathetic Labour MPs to visit Israel.

The story has been published on the front page of today’s Mail on Sunday – who also publish full transcripts of the conversations – and is also carried by a number of other major media outlets including the Observer, the Sunday Telegraph and the BBC.

Sir Alan Duncan is a well known critic of Israel’s illegal Jewish settlements in the Occupied Territories and in October 2014 he delivered a speech at the Royal United Services Institute in which he was scathing about the illegal settlements. Duncan said:

“No settlement endorser should be considered fit to stand for election, remain a member of a mainstream political party or sit in a Parliament. How can we accept lawmakers in our country, or any country, when they support lawbreakers in another? They are extremists, and they should be treated as such…Many settlers are state-sponsored militia, defying international law, driving out the rightful inhabitants from their land, and creating an illegal economy at the expense of those who have been cruelly displaced”.

The undercover footage was filmed by Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit and is part of a four part documentary called “The Lobby” that is scheduled to be aired on Jan 15-18.

The Israeli Embassy has issued a statement saying that their Ambassador, Mark Regev, has apologized to Sir Alan Duncan and have added that Shai Masot “will be ending his term of employment with the Embassy shortly.”

Back in 2009, Channel Four’s Dispatches series broadcast an episode called “Inside Britain’s Israel Lobby” presented by the seasoned journalist, Peter Oborne, in which he looked at how the Israeli lobby operates in the UK. The episode can still be viewed at this link.


No Breitbart, a Muslim mob didn’t set fire to Germany’s oldest church

Loon Watch - 7 January, 2017 - 22:45

No Breitbart, a Muslim mob didn't set fire to Germany's oldest church
St. Reinold’s Church in Dortmund. Photo: DPA.

Journalists have condemned a report by Breitbart news that claimed a mob of 1,000 men had attacked police and set fire to a church, calling the article a distortion of facts.

By Emma Anderson 5 January 2017 14:34 CET+01:00

Breitbart wrote an article about New Year’s Eve in Dortmund on Tuesday with the headline “Revealed: 1,000-man mob attack police, set Germany’s oldest church alight on New Year’s Eve”.

“At New Year’s Eve celebrations in Dortmund a mob of more than 1,000 men chanted ‘Allahu Akhbar’, launched fireworks at police, and set fire to a historic church,” the alt-right website reported.

The report was attributed to local news site Ruhr Nachrichten, which fired back on Wednesday, accusing Breitbart of “using our online reports for fake news, hate and propaganda.”

Ruhr Nachrichten pointed out how Breitbart attributed separate unconnected incidents to a larger, collective “mob”.

There was in fact a total of around 1,000 people gathered to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Leeds Square, including “large and small groups” of young, foreign men as well as families with children, according to Ruhr Nachrichten.

The original report by the local news site from that night describes how some individuals did start launching fireworks from within the crowd towards police, who told them to stop but were ignored. Broadcaster WDR reported that officers then issued orders for some people to leave and took some into custody.

While Breitbart wrote that the “mob” set the roof of Germany’s oldest church on fire, Ruhr Nachrichten pointed out that this was also not accurate.

St. Reinold is not Germany’s oldest church – that would be the Cathedral of Trier – and a small fire had started on some netting on scaffolding around the church, not the roof, due to one firework.

And while Breitbart states that the “fireworks were launched at” the church, there was no indication from local news outlets or from the fire services that the fire had been started intentionally.

The fire was small and lasted 12 minutes before firefighters put it out, Ruhr Nachrichten reports.

Police told local media that overall it was a quiet night.

Continue reading …

Da’wah in The 21st Century; Taking Lessons From The Messenger ﷺ

Muslim Matters - 7 January, 2017 - 00:34

By Anjum Fatima

Introduction

The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) in his last sermon said:

All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and may the last ones understand my words better than those who listen to me directly.”

From this it is clear that the responsibility of relaying Allah’s subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) message after the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), has been laid down upon the whole Muslim community.

The best daa’i in the world was undoubtedly the Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). So it is then understood, that to be a daa’i in today’s world one should closely observe the methods which were used by our beloved Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) in order to formulate the basic steps in spreading the word of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He).

Dawah and the Da’i

Da’wah is an Arabic word derived from the root word da’aa; meaning “to call” or “to invite” (Da’wah A-Z by dr.Bilal Philips, pg 1). In the AlMaani English-Arabic dictionary the word is defined as such: “is to call, call out to, request – ask somebody, especially politely, in speech or writing to do something, to call upon, appeal to, invite.” Hence, a person who calls people to the word of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), either voluntarily or in a group, is called a daa’i.

From this we can conclude that the task of inviting people to Islam, creating an awareness among people about their real purpose in this life, and the like, is termed da’wah, and that the person who performs this task is known as a daa’i.

The Prophet’s life in Makkah:

The message which the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) brought to Makkah was in total contradiction with the idolatry practices that the Makkans followed at that time. As the kaa’bah was situated in Makkah, the Makkans took great pride in it as it was a source of honor and respect for them being the caretakers and trustees of kaa’bah. As his ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) message was completely contradictory to the practices and beliefs of the Makkans, the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) started his mission secretly. He first invited people who were close to him, and this period of confidential invitations lasted three years. During this period even actions like performing salah were done secretly. Only after these three years, did the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) proclaim the message of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) openly and in public.

Except for a few, most Makkans opposed his message. The ones who did accept Islam in its early stages were mostly from the poor and weak for not having any support, and the non-believing Makkans formed different groups in order to abuse them. The Muslims were tortured so much that they were forced to migrate to Abyssinia. It was not too long after that the Muslims were socially and economically boycotted. It was a period of test and trial for the Muslims, having faced a lot of hard times during this boycott.

Following that, the death of Abu Talib and the Prophet’s ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) wife KhadijahraḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) formed the year of grief for the Muslim ummah. After the death of Abu Talib, the Makkans conspired against the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) to either kill him or imprison him. In spite of all this, the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) kept approaching different people in order to convey the message of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). Heṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) even migrated to Taif, but only faced rejection from everywhere. It was at this time that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) opened the gates of Madinah for the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and his companions. [Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi – Tafhim al-Qur’an-surah Al Anaam & The Noble Life of Mohammedṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) by Mohammed Abdul Hai]

How the Challenges that the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) Faced Formed how he gave dawah

First: The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) began his da’wah by first calling upon his relatives. It was a challenge for the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) to call upon his relatives such as his uncle and aunt who followed a religion in total contradiction with the message of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) but the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) never gave up hope and called his relatives repeatedly. Hence, while doing da’wah it is obligatory for us to convey the message first to those nearest to us.

Second: It was challenge for the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and his companions to stay patient while the Makkans abused the converted Muslims, but were able to bear it due to their strong faith and sincere belief and trust in Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). Whenever da’wah is done, its approach should affect the masses in such a way that it makes them spiritually strong and hence bring them from ignorance to light.

Third: It was also challenging for the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) after facing refusal(to accept Islam) from the people of Taif, but the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) continued to invite tribes during the hajj season. From this it is clear that da’wah should not be confined to any limitations but it should be done at every place where people gather. Apart from this, da’wah should not be stopped if it is not getting any positive response as it is Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) who changes/turns the hearts of the people.

Fourth: It was additionally difficult for the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) to prepare the Muslims for the first battle, the battle of Badr. During this period, Muslims were very few and this formed a challenge for the Muslims in having to battle with the Makkans. But as Muslims were very strong in their belief, and their trust and love for Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) and His Messengerṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was so much that they were ready to do anything. As a result of their strong belief, Allah gave the Muslims victory. Therefore the Muslims were having sincere faith and Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was a true guide. The da’wah approach should be sincere so that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) may fill the hearts of the masses with guidance. [The life of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) highlights and lessons by Dr. Mustafa as-sibaa’e]

Characteristics of a Daa’i
  • Knowledge: Before imparting knowledge to others it is necessary to acquire knowledge . While inviting people, a caller must never feel weak because of lack of knowledge. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) also instructed in the Quran Say: This is my way and I invite to Allah with certain knowledge.” [Surah Yusuf;108]  The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) is also reported to have said: “When there are no people of knowledge available, people will make the ignorant men as their leaders and hence become astray.” (Bukhari]
  • Patience: It is necessary for a caller to work patiently and calmly. As Allah says in Quran “And We appointed, from among them, Leaders, giving guidance under Our Command, so long as they persevered with patience and continued to have faith in Our Signs.” [Surah As-Sajdah:24]
  • Responsible: Every Muslim is responsible for conveying the message of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) to the masses, hence it also forms the greater responsibility for a daa’i to convey the message of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). As Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says in the Quran: “Your responsibility is only to convey [the message] and the accounting is on Me.” [Surah Ar-Ra’d;40]
  • Wisdom:A daa’i should be capable enough to take things in a positive manner whenever required. He/she should be able to understand the situation and get adjusted to it using authentic sources. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says in the Quran: “Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom.” [Surah An-Nahl;125]
  • Gentle: Being gentle while conveying the message makes people attracted toward the message and the listener will calmly listen to the message, where as being harsh may discourage the listener. Hence the daa’i needs to be gentle in their speech. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says in the Quran: “And by the mercy of Allah you dealt with them gently.”[Surah Ali-Imran;159]
  • Morality: A daa’i should have high moral standards just as the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was a man who held high standards in manners and the Muslims followed him. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says in Quran: “And indeed, you are of a great moral character.” [Surah Al-Qalam;68] The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) also stressed on this trait by saying: “The best of you is the best among you in conduct.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

The wisdom in that the da’wah had taken place secretly for the first three years of reveleation, shapes the function of the daa’i in such a way that if the call is being done in a totally unfamiliar place, then the daa’i need not proclaim the call openly until a minimum number of supporters has been attained, so that after proclamation if the leader is being harmed then the other members could carry out the message further to masses.

The Prophet’s ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) wisdom in also having some of his companions migrate to Abyssinia shapes the role of a daa’i in such a way that if a daa’i finds its companions in any danger, a leader can make them move to any safer place. [The life of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) highlights and lessons by dr. Mustafa as-sibaa’e]

In the present day, Islam is judged by its people and not necessarily by reading the teachings of the Quran and Sunnah. Hence this forms the greater challenge for a daa’i to clear the misconception about Islam. The misconceptions such Islam allows people to kill innocents in the name of jihad, Muslims are extremist, Islam is spread on the basis of sword, etc., and to provide clarity on topics such as a Muslim woman’s dress code, polygamy, and the like. These are all the common challenge questions which people ask a Muslim daa’i. During the Prophetic era, the Jews and people of other faiths used to ask several questions from the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). Therefore even today people ask questions due to ignorance claiming that Islam is not a peaceful religion.

A daa’i should choose the most appropriate approach while delivering the message, and should be clear in his conversation while communicating with the masses. While talking to any person, one should listen to the person calmly and patiently and read the situation before explaining to them. A daa’i should always refer to the Prophet’s ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) way of life and his methodology while doing da’wah. It is a work of a daa’i to just convey the message of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) and then “He (Allah) guides whom He wills to a straight path.” [Surah Al-Baqarah;142]

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

  • Mohammed Abdul Hai (2009). The noble life of Mohammed (PBUH) .New Delhi, A.H Faheem.
  • Maulana Wahiduddin Khan (1998) Mohammed: A Prophet for all humanity.Nizamuddin, Goodword Books.

REFERENCE LIST:

For The Coming Year: What Would You Like To See?

Loon Watch - 6 January, 2017 - 20:20

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By Garibaldi and Ilisha

Dear Loonwatchers,

First, I want to thank you for your continued commitment to reading and engaging, you have made the site worthwhile and better. I will admit that over the past year, and even before then, the output of our content has really slowed, and I want to apologize for that. The main reason for this is that we, the writers (all volunteers), just cannot commit the hours of research, writing and editing necessary to produce good material AND balance work-life responsibilities (i.e. we need to recruit MORE writers).

The election of Donald Trump as president of the United States has emboldened the same Islamophobes that we have challenged, refuted and exposed for years now. Many of these same Islamophobes will be in positions of power or close to the “officials” who will make up the incoming administration.

Paying attention to and investigating the inner machinations, policies and programs formulated by Trump and his team of bigots is going to be crucial for the next four years (Trump may not last that long but his administration will). I’d like to say that I feel the media and social media activists are up to the task but our present-day reality is that we are traversing uncharted waters, where “fake news” and lies are given credence and repute over facts and truth. For quite some time the trend of online media consumers has been to consume that news which already conforms to one’s worldview or ideological and political convictions. (So my question here is how can we be effective in this environment?)

The new political and media landscape means we have to change things up here at Loonwatch, it isn’t 2009 anymore. Your feedback as how best to realize this change is vital. Our initial remit has been fulfilled: taking on the loons and Islamophobes on the internet. Many of our articles, have helped shed nuance and light in the conversation on Islam, Muslims and Muslim Americans. The same articles have challenged the prejudiced narratives about Islam and Muslims. When it comes to legitimacy, the likes of Spencer and Geller have been defeated on the plane of ideas and banned from travel to the UK; a nation with strict laws against hate speech. While Spencer and Geller may have been defeated their propaganda has been taken up by others who have political cache, and with Trump’s election has propelled the ideas of the Islamophobia movement into a greater relevance.

I hope you can share what you would like to see this year? How can we improve? What topics, issues should be covered? I can predict that for sure, consistent content is on the top of the list. As a way of starting us off I want to ask: how valuable and interested are you in seeing more satire? Would you like more articles and media that take on concepts that are twisted by Islamophobes, such as articles done by Danios in the past on Jihad, Taqiyyah, etc.? Any of your thoughts and ideas, whether it be related to design of the site, content and media, integrating social media, and animation are welcome, don’t hold back!

Real Housewives of Isis: 'They want Muslims to be offended, but we aren’t'

The Guardian World news: Islam - 6 January, 2017 - 16:33

BBC2 sketch has been criticised as ‘morally bankrupt’ but many say satire is British tradition and can help fight terrorism

As 23-year-old student Zarina watches Real Housewives of Isis on a phone amid the bustle of Whitechapel market in the east end of London, she puts her hand to her mouth and gasps before bursting into laughter.

On the screen a hijab-wearing character models a suicide vest for her fellow jihadi wives. “What do you think?” she asks. “Ahmed surprised me with it yesterday.” The pal reacts by excitedly posting a picture on Instagram, saying: “Hashtag OMG. Hashtag Jihadi Jane. Hashtag death to the west, ISIS emoji.”

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Charlie Hebdo journalist quits after magazine 'goes soft'

The Guardian World news: Islam - 6 January, 2017 - 15:31

Zineb El Rhazoui claims weekly hit by Paris attacks is bowing to Islamic extremists and no longer daring to draw Muhammad

One of Charlie Hebdo’s most outspoken journalists has said she is leaving the French satirical magazine because it has gone soft on Islamic extremism.

Zineb El Rhazoui accused the weekly of bowing to Islamic extremists and no longer daring to draw the prophet Muhammad.

Related: Charlie Hebdo puts broken-down Angela Merkel on cover of first German edition

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