France Begins Jailing People For Ironic Comments

Loon Watch - 21 January, 2015 - 21:58

France begins jailing people for ironic comments charlie-hebdo-cest-de-la-merde

Mock Charlie Hebdo cover circulated after the murder of the magazine’s cartoonists. The text says “Charlie Hebdo is shit. It doesn’t stop bullets.”

It may sound like an ironic joke, but it isn’t. Less than a week after the massive rallies in defense of “free expression,” following the murders of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, French authorities have jailed a youth for irony.

The arrest is part of a harsh crackdown on free speech in the country that has prompted criticism from national and international human rights organizations.

A 16-year-old high school student was taken into police custody on Thursday and indicted for “defending terrorism,” national broadcaster France 3 reports.

His alleged crime? He posted on Facebook a cartoon “representing a person holding the magazine Charlie Hebdo, being hit by bullets, and accompanied by an ‘ironic’ comment,” France 3 states.

The teen lives at home with his parents, has no prior judicial record and, according to prosecutor Yvon Ollivier quoted by French media, he does not have a “profile suggesting an evolution toward jihadism.”

The boy told prosecutors that he posted the cartoon because he thought it was “funny.”

The media reports do not include the drawing – presumably that could put journalists afoul of the law. So we do not know for sure what the youth is accused of sharing.

An actual Charlie Hebdo from July 2013 caused outrage for mocking Egyptian protestors killed after the military coup. The text says “The Quran is shit. It doesn’t stop bullets.”

An actual Charlie Hebdo from July 2013 caused outrage for mocking Egyptian protestors killed after the military coup. The text says “The Quran is shit. It doesn’t stop bullets.”

But the cartoon at the top of this page fits the description precisely. It was widely shared on social media, and published on 7 January on the website of the controversial French comedian Dieudonné. It is a mock Charlie Hebdo cover by the cartoonist Dedko.

The text says “Charlie Hebdo is shit. It does not stop bullets.” It appears quite heartless and cruel, but look at the copy of Charlie Hebdo that the person in the cartoon is holding.

It represents a real Charlie Hebdo cover that was published in July 2013, days after the military coup in Egypt. It caused outrage at the time because of its cruelty and insensitivity.

It shows an Egyptian protestor being shot through a copy of the Quran he is holding. The text says, “The Quran is shit, it doesn’t stop bullets.”

Assuming that the mock Charlie Hebdo cover is the one shared by the youth on Facebook, this incident sums up the sheer hypocrisy of France’s current national mood.

Anything mocking and denigrating Islam and Muslims is venerated as courageous free speech, while anything mocking those who engage in such denigration – even using precisely the same techniques – can get you locked up.

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Media Matters: Bill O’Reilly Lies About His Role Pushing Debunked “No-Go Zones” Myth

Loon Watch - 21 January, 2015 - 21:21


It is sad that Bill O’Reilly is one of the most influential news anchors on television.:

via. Media Matters

Fox News host Bill O’Reilly falsely claimed that he had no role in hyping the myth that Muslim “no-go zones” exist throughout France, just days after Fox News apologized for spreading the fiction. In fact, O’Reilly previously cited the so called “no-go zones” as one of the contributing causes of the Paris terror attacks.

On January 17, Fox correspondent Julie Banderas apologized for the network’s coverage “regarding the Muslim population in Europe” in the days following the terrorist attacks in Paris, explaining that there is no credible evidence to support the existence of Muslim “no-go zones.” Several other Fox hosts offered additional apologies throughout the day.

On the January 20 edition of The O’Reilly Factor, during a discussion about the Parisian mayor Anne Hildalgo’s announcement that she intends to sue Fox News for its “prejudiced” coverage following the attacks, O’Reilly denied that the Fox apology was about the Muslim “no-go zone” myth in France. He insisted that it was only about Steve Emerson’s ludicrous claim that the entire English city of Birmingham was Muslim-only and nobody else went to the city. O’Reilly also denied that he had anything to do with the “no-go zones” claim (emphasis added):

O’REILLY: All right, we got a minute. The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, said she’s going to sue Fox News for reporting on so-called no-go zones in Paris. They’re dominated by Muslims and police hesitate to go in there — at least that has been the reportage in some places. I didn’t have anything to do with this. But I will point out that the mayor is a socialist.

But on January 9, O’Reilly cited Muslim “no-go zones” in France as a cause behind the terror attacks in Paris (emphasis added):

O’REILLY: France brought a lot of this terrorism on itself. We just talked about the no-go zones that they allow. They allow, 10 percent of the population is Muslim. They are all in there, they’re radicalized, they don’t assimilate.

UPDATE: O’Reilly also claimed that Fox News “isn’t even seen in France, because they block it.” But The Washington Post‘s Erik Wemple reports that a Fox spokesperson confirmed that the network reaches 13,680 homes in France but has a limited reach because it is only available in English and broadcasts on a U.S.-based schedule.

Pakistan business owners protest against Charlie Hebdo cartoons - video

The Guardian World news: Islam - 21 January, 2015 - 18:12
Thousands of people from Pakistan's business community stage a rally in Lahore, Pakistan, on Wednesday to protest against cartoons published in Charlie Hebdo magazine. Anger has been rising over the latest caricature of the Prophet Mohammad published on the cover of the weekly satirical journal following an attack by extremists on the magazine's Paris offices that killed 12 people on 7 January Continue reading...


Imran Hosein - 21 January, 2015 - 10:24

Dates: April 18, 19, 20 and 21, 2015
Location: Blue Horizon Resort, Tobago, Trinidad and Tobago

Conducted by Islamic scholar Imran N. Hosein

Islamic Eschatology is fast becoming recognized as the most important branch of knowledge of Islam in the modern age. Our seminar is meant to provide the latest knowledge of the subject to those who seek such knowledge. Here is an opportunity to spend at least 4 days with a leading Islamic scholar who specializes in Islamic Eschatology.

The seminar will take place at the Blue Horizon Resort in the Caribbean island of Tobago.

Those who would like to


Provisional Program for Mauritius and South Africa

Imran Hosein - 21 January, 2015 - 09:41


Mauritius:   Surah Kahf Unveiling the End of Time (Masjid Reduit) Confirmed Friday 23rd January after Esha    ISLAM RUSSIA CRIMEA AND ALLIANCE WITH RUM (Masjid Balfour, Beau Bassin) Awaiting confirmation for Saturday 24th Jan Esha   AS FROM MONDAY 26TH JAN:   1) ISLAM THE PETRODOLLAR AND THE FUTURE OF MONEY (Abdul Razack Mohamed Hall, Phoenix) Awaiting confirmation
2) THE QUR'AN/HADITH AND THE WORLD-ORDER OF GOG AND MAGOG (Taher Bagh, Port Louis) Awaiting confirmation
3) THE MALHAMA AND CONQUEST OF CONSTANTINOPLE IN AKHIR AL-ZAMAN (Centre Idriss Goomany, Port Louis) Awaiting confirmation   South Africa: Gauteng Province Contact: 
After Mahrib in Erasmia, Pretoria at


Know the Value of Structured Discipline: Art of Connection with Belal Khan

Muslim Matters - 21 January, 2015 - 05:00

Time is like hard drive space. If you have it, you're going to fill it with something.

Click here to view the embedded video.

A common excuse I hear among young professions like myself, when asked why we're not that involved in the community, the typical response is something along the lines of “I don't have the time,” “I have kids,” and “I'm working during the day and I need my weekends to spend time with family so I really don't have the time do anything else.”

There is some truth to it. But, so does every other excuse.

Many of us have commutes to work that are an hour each way. For some it's more. It's not so much about not having time, but not having the energy.

Recently I freed myself from the “shackles” of the train schedule, which is what I used to commute for about a year and half at my current job in Georgetown, Washington DC. I realized that I have a lot more time, but then I found myself spending a lot more time at the office.

Sometimes an hour or hour and a half more. But, I still have to go to the gym and so I do that and then get home and find that my time has simply shifted.

I realized that having structured discipline is really important. Especially if we want to give more value to communities, or want to give more value to our families.

If we want to pursue the dreams and hobbies that we have, and don't have that structured discipline where you block out time, then you'll never get to it.

The example of Friday prayers.

No matter what, you know that the Friday prayer services are at a particular time. Thus you make sure that your boss, supervisor, or employer knows that you're not available during that time. Doesn't matter what sort of meeting or project is going, that time is booked.

Similarly, if you have things that are important to you, then you need to make it a commitment.

A personal example is these videos.

The first time I did a series like this, I realized that I needed to set aside some time to do it regularly. I come home from work, pray, record the video, and I go to the gym.

Those 15-20 minutes, I spend recording the video, however many takes it takes to get a good take (tongue twister :p). The idea was that I set that time.

If you really want to do thing, make sure you set the time and you announce it verbally. This way other people can hold you accountable for it.

Then, do it.

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The Bigots in Our Backyard

Muslim Matters - 21 January, 2015 - 00:40

What do you call people protesting an anti-Terror conference? Yes, you read that right. An entire conference dedicated to condemning extremism, terror, and hate in the name of Islam, hosted by Muslims, was graced by protestors who claimed to be conducting a #freespeechrally. To break it down these people are against those who are against terrorism. Would that make them pro-Terror?

That would make sense considering some of the scary signage and chanting that were seen in various locations all over Texas this past weekend, in protest of SoundVision's “Stand with the Prophet Against Terror and Hate” seerah Conference that took place in Dallas and Houston. The conference featured imam Siraj Wahhaj, Prof. John Esposito, and imam Abdul Malik Mujahid.

In an official statement, imam Mujahid, president of Sound Vision, expressed disappointment about planned protests of the conference.

“We are disappointed that a rally aimed at standing with Prophet Muhammad against hate and terror is being opposed. Some designated hatemongers, such as Pamela Geller, are terrorizing a family event through their protests. We have been threatened physically and verbally, and have beefed up security for our event because of this. Who, now, is doing the terrorizing?

We also ask who is the enemy of free speech? How ironic that those who accuse Muslims of opposing free speech have placed hundreds of calls and pressured Garland's Curtis Culwell Center to cancel our event. How can you claim to be in favor of free speech and deny that very right to those you disagree with?

We invite all protesters to visit our website,, to discover that we stand for Islam, we fight for America, and we preach freedom and democracy. This is why the U.S. State Department is supporting our work and our voice. Our aim has, and continues to be, sharing our faith through education, discussion, and debate.”


“Bible & Gun”

Local news channels gave a decent amount of coverage to the event, and multiple attendees told the same story. On the one side were the #freespeechrally protestors, headed by Pamela Geller, a professional anti-Muslim bigot, blaring threats and profanities into their bullhorns. On the other side were the #OneLove ralliers, protesting the other protest. Confused yet?

According to some accounts, several of the #freespeechrally protestors were armed, and they were intentionally making threats and throwing insults. Some of the more memorable signs read, “Qur'an is hate speech,” “I'm the infidel your imam warned you about,” “Bible and Gun,” “Go home and take Obama with you,” and much more profane words were screamed out during the event.

An organizer of the #OneLove counter rally, Huma Yasin, who is a lawyer in the Dallas area had these comments, “Never in my life have I experienced that level of hate in such close proximity, real, palpable vitriolic hatred. In life, things are rarely 100% pure, but if there was ever a pure contrast, Saturday was the moment – one side exemplified bitter hatred and the other love and compassion.”

She described one of the most moving scenes of the protest – when the Muslims amongst the counter-protestors congregated for asr prayer, the #freespeechrally participants revved up their motorcycles and circled the worshipers, trying to drown out the sounds of the prayer. Unfortunately for them, there were many supporters of other faiths who had come to show solidarity with the Muslims, and they formed a physical barrier to protect the worshipers as they prayed.


Muslims and non-Muslims forming a human barricade to protect those praying.

Yasin said, “When my brothers and sisters gathered for congregational prayers, they knew it would be too much of a security threat for them to pray together, so they had to break the congregation into two sessions. Each session formed a human chain protecting those prostrating themselves in love and humility to their Lord. All around motorcyclists came and revved their engines so that the people praying would be disturbed, using megaphones to heckle those who were affirming their love of God and, through God, their love for humanity. While this was happening, I had my heart in my throat… I kept thinking, my kids… my kids are watching this. Is this really the world they're growing up in? But then, I thought you know what? Yeah, they are watching this. And we talk about stories of the Prophet all the time, including when he ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was being abused and verbally accosted and our focus is always on how he responded. This was their opportunity to LIVE the seerah. They know the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) experientially now. They understand how difficult it is to fight hate with love.”

Children and adults alike, in various parts of Dallas and Houston, got to see the face of bigotry first hand (yes, it is 2015), ironically, on the weekend before this country celebrated the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr. Despite or, perhaps, because of the extra media attention, the SoundVision conference was a success. However, these events make it painfully clear that anti-Muslim bigotry has hit a new and unprecedented high.

Even as millions of normal peace-loving Muslims the world over are exasperated at having to condemn and make excuses for all the crazies out there, the anti-Muslim bigots seem to be multiplying and demanding censures, apologies, and mass deportation of the millions of Muslim citizens of this country. As almost all of the Muslims at this event, and across the country, point out – we are home. We are as American as the rest of you, and when you 'rally' for free speech you do realize that very same amendment of the Bill of Rights also grants freedom of religion don't you? According to our founding fathers, they go hand in hand. So don't raise your voice in 'free speech' (even vile speech spewed in hate) if you can't stand by the rest of that amendment.

bigots5This ultimately leads to the question – what do we as Muslims do about all the hate? Is it even our problem? (Yes) Is it now normal for Muslims to find protestors screaming obscenities at them outside their mosques and conferences? The answer is actually not complicated at all. In Dallas, lovers of peace and co-existence, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, handed out flowers, water, and red balloons to the protestors who were screaming obscenities and threatening physical violence. Why? Simple enough. That is what Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) would have done.

An old woman  and a neighbor of the Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) made a habit of throwing trash in his way whenever he passed by her house, trying her best to irritate him. One day, when he walked out of his home there was no garbage. This made the Prophet inquire about the old woman and he came to know that she was sick. The Prophet went to visit her and offer any assistance she might need. The old woman was extremely humbled and at the same time ashamed of her actions in light of the concern that the Prophet showed her. By seeing the example of compassion of Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), she became convinced that Islam must be a true religion.

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Arsalan Iftikhar is Right, Gov. Bobby Jindal is “trying to scrub the brown off his face”

Loon Watch - 20 January, 2015 - 22:53


Gov. Bobby Jindal’s whole career path has been predicated on how much he can suck up to the racist White establishment/privilege elements of the GOP. He is, as Hamid Dabashi notes about the neo-colonized, a Brown guy with a White mask on; for the GOP he’s the token Brown politico.

This point was made by Arsalan Iftikhar who called out Jindal for championing the laughable and debunked conspiracy theory perpetuated by Islamophobes about “No-Go Zones.”

Not surprisingly, Jindal gave his anti-Muslim speech at the British Neoconservative think tank founded by Douglas Murray, The Henry Jackson Society, a hotbed of Islamophobia. When Jindal was pressed to name any so-called “No-Go Zones,” he deflected (blaming the “radical Left”), highlighting not only that this is a subject he is ill-prepared to discuss but that these are talking points fed to him by the likes of now discredited “Fox News terrorism experts” such as Steven Emerson.

For calling Jindal out and not apologizing for his remarks, (Iftikhar said he’d only “apologize to Bobby Jindal when he apologizes to seven million American Muslims for advancing the debunked ‘Muslim no-go zones’ myth”) Iftikhar has been banned by MSNBC.

What will the consequences for Gov. Jindal be, especially considering he has not retracted his ridiculous comments but instead has chosen to double down?

This is Perhaps the Oldest Recording of the Quran using Edison’s Wax Cylinder Phonograph

Muslim Matters - 20 January, 2015 - 22:41

A highly controversial figure, Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje, from the Netherlands, traveled to study the Hajj in 1885/1302H on a scholarship from the Dutch Government.

Once in Mecca, he embraced Islam according to some and was spying according to others  and was known as Abdul Ghaffaar. There he took photographs and made various sound recordings. In this recording of the Qur'an, Surah Duha is being recited using Thomas Edison's newly-invented wax cylinders. 'He stayed for five months, documenting the run-up to Hajj, but although he had intended to stay for the pilgrimage, he was forced to leave after unfounded accusations of his involvement in an attempt to steal a historical artifact' by the French government.

This recording was exhibited in Dubai's Empty Quarter Gallery.

Click here to view the embedded video.




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Paris mayor: I'm suing Fox News over false report on Muslim 'no-go' zones

The Guardian World news: Islam - 20 January, 2015 - 22:11
  • Anne Hidalgo tells CNN that ‘the honor of Paris has been prejudiced’
  • Fox News reported there were areas where even police feared to tread

The mayor of Paris plans to sue Fox News for its reporting on the city in the wake of the attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

“When we’re insulted, and when we’ve had an image, then I think we’ll have to sue, I think we’ll have to go to court, in order to have these words removed,” Mayor Anne Hidalgo told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday. “The image of Paris has been prejudiced, and the honor of Paris has been prejudiced.”

Related: Iranian newspaper shut down for showing solidarity with Charlie Hebdo

Related: Bobby Jindal unapologetic after Muslim 'no-go zones' comments

Continue reading...

Bobby Jindal unapologetic after Muslim 'no-go zones' comments

The Guardian World news: Islam - 20 January, 2015 - 14:53

The Louisiana governor echoes Fox News comments in a prepared speech for a British thinktank and later defends them on CNN as ‘speaking the truth’

Some countries have allowed Muslims to establish autonomous neighbourhoods in cities where they govern by a harsh version of Islamic law, Louisiana’s governor, Bobby Jindal, said on Monday during a speech in London.

The Republican, who is considering a presidential campaign in 2016, later defended – and repeated – the statement after facing reporters’ questions.

Related: Fox News man is 'idiot' for Birmingham Muslim comments – David Cameron

Continue reading...

21 Lessons in Leadership from the Prophet | Part 10

Muslim Matters - 20 January, 2015 - 12:22

Part 1 | Part 2  | Part 3 | Part 4  | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9

Law of Victory: Leaders Find a Way for the Team to Win


The Law of Victory states that leaders always figure out how to lead their teams, companies, communities and even countries to victory. Obviously, in sports, defining victory is simple whereas in the real world what being victorious really means is quite ambiguous. However, the principle remains. Leaders know how to drastically improve the situation of whatever it is that they are leading. Steve Jobs is a great example of this law. Apple was a big hit in the 80's then died down after he left, only to rise to its greatest prominence upon his return to the company in the early 2000's.

The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) exemplified this law greater than any other human being in history. How he went from receiving the message and being the world's only 'Muslim' to becoming the leader of his people, to being a source of guidance and inspiration for over 1 billion people over 1,400 years later is unfathomable. Despite all odds, with the help of Allah and the support of his companions, he was able to fulfill his mission.

Reflection Questions on the Law:

  • How have you helped those whom you are responsible for leading to victory?
  • What were the key components you needed in order to become victorious?

Law of the Big Mo: Momentum is a Leader's Best Friend

The Law of the Big Mo states that once momentum is created by the leader, it helps to propel your mission and/or organization faster and farther then you could have ever expected. Once momentum is established, great things happen and the leader is given far more credit than he deserves. The hard part is creating that momentum and that's where the leadership ability of the leader comes into play. He is responsible for creating that momentum and this is no easy task. Just look to the life of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and you'll see how difficult it can be.

One can argue that the 'Tipping Point' for the Prophet's message spreading rapidly was the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah. Up until that point, Islam had definitely gained traction amongst some of the masses and a new capital city was established in Madinah, however it really thrived after the signing of Hudaybiyyah.

It took the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) the entire time in Mecca and then 6 years after the hijra in order to take the message to the point where it spread rapidly and was widely accepted. After Hudaybiyyah, Islam has never stopped growing.

Momentum will take the vision and mission of your company, community and country farther than you could have imagined. It really is a leader's best friend.

Reflection Questions on the Law:

  • How have you created positive momentum in your various leadership roles?
  • What are some of the positive outcomes that have occurred as a result of this momentum that exceeded your expectations?


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Message to the animal rights lobby: women aren’t vermin

Indigo Jo Blogs - 20 January, 2015 - 11:03

These days a regular annoyance is getting an email from a petition-hosting organisation (having absent-mindedly signed up for their emails when you signed a petition once) asking you to free someone who’s been “caged” for so many years and opening the email and finding that this someone is an animal, not a human being. The other day it was a bear which had been held captive in an ice-cream parlour (?!) for some years. As someone who has been following (and sometimes participating in) the efforts to get the illegal prison at Guantánamo Bay shut down and the illegally abducted detainees sent home, or to a safe place, it’s offensive to see an animal compared to them, or to a person held when they are innocent. The animal rights lobby routinely indulge in this tactic: during the protests against live animal exports in the UK a number of years ago, one woman was seen on TV comparing them to trains taking people to the gas chambers.

Usually, the comparison is with abuse of women, and although the organisations are run by men, there is apparently no shortage of female fanatics willing to let themselves be assaulted or humiliated by way of comparison with the fur, meat or circus industries. The other day I saw a video of some animal rescuers putting a man head-first down a manhole, and at the mention of animals I immediately assumed it was a grown-up version of the schoolboy bullies’ game of putting a boy’s head down a toilet and flushing it, and I thought “hey, makes a change from humiliating women, but could you try campaigning without abusing anyone?”. But no, the man being put down the hole was actually rescuing a duck, but it shows how the likes of PETA have coloured people’s views of animal rights or rescue organisations.

Picture of a woman standing outside a stone cottage holding a baby. She is obviously frightened as she can hear the hunt pack approaching.The latest example is from the League Against Cruel Sports, who three weeks ago released a video, What if it was you?, showing a young woman hearing the hounds approaching, putting her baby in a cot and then fleeing through some woods before being overrun, climaxing with a scene of the woman lying on the ground terrified, while the hounds bark off camera, before cutting to the now motherless baby lying in her cot. This is a grotesque comparison. Foxes are hunted because they are vermin; chiefly because they menace livestock, particularly when they are too old and sick to hunt wild animals. There is cruelty around hunting, and I do not believe the claims that many foxes evade the hunt by going to ground (because they are known to dig them out) or that they only kill old and sick foxes, and it causes other problems for people living in the surrounding areas, but it’s still not comparable to the abuse of a human being and in a country where a woman is killed every two to three days by men, and where official figures showed last year that more than 1.1 million women reported domestic violence of some sort in 2013 (and that’s not counting unreported violence), comparing a form of cruelty that’s not currently happening much (and is currently illegal) against verminous animals to widespread violence against human beings is offensive.

The video is part of a long-standing trend to consider the welfare of animals as being of equal or greater importance to that of people, or even people’s lives — consider the campaign of intimidation against people who breed animals for medical research which is vital to save human lives, and when cornered about this fact, they often resort to eugenic arguments — essentially, let sick and disabled human beings die. The majority of civilised people the world over regard it as quite acceptable that animals be used for milk, meat, clothing and other uses by people as long as there isn’t unnecessary or gratuitous suffering caused, i.e. cruelty. Perhaps some people regard themselves as equal or inferior to foxes or rats, but if you don’t, and you don’t think that of friends of yours who have suffered violence or abuse (and you probably know a few), think carefully before you share a video that compares the murder of a woman by a group of men with dogs to fox-hunting. That difference — it’s a woman, not an animal — is not a minor detail.

Possibly Related Posts:

Sponsored: Why is Guidance Residential the #1 U.S. Islamic Home Financing provider?

Muslim Matters - 20 January, 2015 - 06:00

For many working Muslim-Americans, home ownership is something beyond the fulfillment of the quintessential American Dream. It is a major financial investment that must resonate with their faith. A company in this space must not only adhere to Islamic financial principles but also apply it in the modern mortgage market. The answer is a Sharia-compliant home financing company—Guidance Residential.

Guidance Residential entered the Islamic home finance space and quickly became the country's leading provider of Sharia-compliant home financing owing to the below reasons.

  • $3.3 billion financed for Muslim-American homeowners
  • Strict Sharia-compliance — Guidance's operations are purely focused on Sharia-compliant products and services. Guidance is neither a subsidiary nor an operator of a Riba-based banking institution.
  • Independent Sharia board comprised of notable scholarly authority headed by Justice Muhammad Taqi Usmani
  • AMJA endorsement of Guidance's Declining Balance Co-ownership Program
  • $2 million donated for Muslim-American community initiatives

After three years of development, a multi-million dollar research and development budget, and discussions with 18 law firms, Guidance Financial Group (parent company of Guidance Residential and in turn a subsidiary of Capital Guidance) unveiled the 'Declining Balance Co-ownership Program' that provides a fully riba free Sharia-compliant home financing option.

As the #1 U.S. Islamic Home Financing provider, Guidance has financed over $3.3 billion to Muslim-American homeowners. This has been possible mostly because of strict Sharia compliance and the efficacy of an independent Sharia board.

Guidance retains the most authoritative Sharia supervisory board in America and comprises of world-renowned scholars many of whom currently serve or have served on the board of the industry's leading standard setting body, the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI). The Chairman of AAOIFI's Sharia Board, Justice Muhammad Taqi Usmani, is the long time Chairman of Guidance's Independent Sharia Board.

More recently, the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA), an advisory group to the Muslim-American public with experts in Islamic jurisprudence, issued a statement of support for Guidance and its program. After a review of all Islamic home financing programs that claim to be Sharia-compliant, AMJA named Guidance Residential and its Declining Balance Co-ownership Program as a permissible path to Muslim-Americans in need of home financing.

Since 2002, Guidance has supported many community-based organizations and has quickly become the largest corporate sponsor of Muslim-American community initiatives. Guidance has committed nearly $2 Million in a span of 12 years for such initiatives.

Guidance Residential has become the #1 U.S. Islamic Home Financing provider through the dedication of its team, an eye for a quality finance product and strict adherence to Sharia compliance. A famous teaching by Bukhari states, “A person's happiness includes a big house, a good neighbor, and a steady mount.” I think we can all agree that if you add a sound financial partner to the mix, the sky is the limit!

Learn more at

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French Professor Refuses to Teach Because of Hijabi Student Then Disrobes

Loon Watch - 19 January, 2015 - 23:25


It’s heartening to see the solidarity that the “veiled student” received from her fellow classmates.

French Professor Refuses to Teach Because of Student Wearing Hijab


Gregory Lafarge, lawyer and professor at the professional school of the Barreaux of the Appeal Court of Paris (EFB), refused to teach his courses and left the amphitheater, in protest of a student wearing a headscarf, according to Le Figaro.

“The professor approached the veiled student probably to ask her to remove her veil, but her classmates prevented him from doing so,” said Paul, one of the students in the class, to Le Figaro.

Henri Leclerc, another student who witnessed the incident, reportedly explained, “the professor reacted very badly and immediately left the amphitheater, before returning, apparently furious, and taking off his clothes, yelling ‘my religion to me is naturism.’”

After the incident, the majority of students reportedly applauded and defended their classmate. They were astonished by the behavior of their professor.

Sebastian, a student, told Le Figaro that “There have always been veiled students, but we have never seen such incidents.”

The veiled student expressed herself later on Facebook, saying that “I respect those who find my outfit offensive, but I think I have a right to be here.”

Continue reading…

Electronic Intifada: Islamophobic rally in Texas as senators push for anti-Palestinian bill

Loon Watch - 19 January, 2015 - 22:42


H/T Lithium2006

Islamophobic rally in Texas as senators push for anti-Palestinian bill

By Patrick Strickland

A new bill introduced in the United States Senate demands that President Barack Obama move the US embassy from its present location in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, as reported by the right-wing Times of Israel website.

Sponsored by hardline Republican Senators Dean Heller of Nevada and Ted Cruz of Texas, the bill – the Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act of 2015 – is an updated version of previous bills that sought the same goal.

The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 grants the president “authority to waive certain funding limitations for Department of State acquisition and maintenance of buildings abroad until the US Embassy in Jerusalem has officially opened,” according to the US Congress’s website.

Heller’s and Cruz’s new bill, if passed, will eliminate the president’s authority to delay or not implement the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995. In other words, it is an attempt to force the United States to move its embassy to Jerusalem.

Though the bill stands little chance of surviving both the Congress and the Senate, it reflects an increasingly reactionary and pro-Israel agenda of right-wing American legislators. Cruz’s sponsorship also highlights the influential nature of Christian Zionism among Texan legislators.

Cruz, a prominent member of the Christian Zionist community in Texas, has a long history of promoting reactionary policies at home and supporting Israel’s racist policies and ethnic cleansing abroad.

As Cruz and other Texas leaders push for anti-Palestinian legislation, Islamophobia spreads on the ground. Hundreds of right-wing protesters gathered in Garland, a suburb of Dallas, on Saturday to demonstrate against a conference being held by the Muslim community organization Sound Vision.

According to the event’s Facebook page, the annual conference’s stated mission is to combat Islamophobia and “stand against terrorism and hate together with the Prophet …” Expecting a large turnout, Sound Vision rented the Curtis Culwell Center from the Garland Independent School District, as many local religious and civic organizations often do.

Upon catching wind of the conference, the Garland Tea Party and other local right-wing groups began complaining to local news outlets weeks before the event took place. Unabashed racism was on full display.

A Facebook event to protest Sound Vision’s annual conference was created by a group of motorcyclists — it is laden with Islamophobic myths and violent rhetoric, often associating all Muslims with the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. Ahead of the protest, several of the bikers debated whether or not they ought to bring guns, despite it being illegal under federal law to carry weapons on school grounds.

One Facebook user, Jonathan Peugh, stated his intention to bring a pig to the protest — ostensibly believing that the mere presence of pigs is somehow offensive to Muslims. On its website, the Tea Party-affiliated nonprofit organization Voices Empower posted an article suggesting that a new Islamic educational complex is a smokescreen for plans to establish a “Muslim village” in Dallas.

Debora Green, the article’s author, was parroting the widespread claim that cities across Europe have so-called “no-go Muslim areas.” This claim, peddled by Islamophic hate groups and anti-Muslim figures, has been demonstrated as false time and again.

Once the event was underway on Saturday afternoon, protesters assembled outside, waving American and Israeli flags and taunting Sound Vision conference attendees. Ruben Israel, a protester who traveled from Los Angeles with the group Bible Believers, told the Dallas-Fort Worth NBC affiliate that Muslims are “trying to promote that they are a bunch of peaceful people. I have issues with that.”

Greg McKinley, another protester, claimed the conference’s attendees are “a faction of people who want to destroy [the United States],” as shown in another NBC report.

Others held up signs absurdly claiming Muslims are trying establish “Sharia” — Islamic law — in Texas and the rest of the United States. One man brandished a poster reading: “Go home and take Obama with you.”

“We pay our taxes to that school, and I don’t want [Muslims] here,” Lavona Martindale said, as bigoted chants like “You’re not welcome here!” rang out.

A similar protest is scheduled to take place outside a Houston hotel holding a conference for local Islamic religious organizations on Sunday night.

Read the complete article at Electronic Intifada

Chuka Umunna does a runner when others might blather

The Guardian World news: Islam - 19 January, 2015 - 20:01
The shadow business secretary confuses Sky’s Dermot Murnaghan with unusual honesty about not having read Eric Pickles’ letter to Muslim leaders

On reflection, Chuka Umunna may now wish he had come better prepared. With most of Westminster talking of little else but Eric Pickles’ letter to Muslim leaders all morning, it was not unreasonable of Sky’s Dermot Murnaghan to ask the shadow business secretary if he thought it was patronising. But Umunna had not read it and was not going to pretend he had. Murnaghan looked amazed. “I can do you a few more minutes on David Cameron’s employment speech, if you like,” Umunna said helpfully.

This was not what Murnaghan had in mind at all. “We’ve already forgotten the prime minister’s fairly dull speech,” he said (in as many words). “Just give me a few words that will make a story. Patronising or not patronising, that is the question.” Realising that he was now the one being patronised, Umunna did a runner mid-interview.Ministers must often wish they could do the same during departmental questions in the Commons. But saying “thank you for asking me that question but, the thing is, I really haven’t mugged up on that. I know I should have done and I apologise for that, but I am not going to waste everyone’s time by blahing on non-committally about something I know nothing about,” isn’t an option.

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