Aggregator

Jihadi attacks - November's 5,000 deaths broken down by country, victim and terror group

The Guardian World news: Islam - 11 December, 2014 - 05:59

Islamic State and Boko Haram behind most deaths, suggesting jihadism is moving from terrorism to more conventional fighting forces that try to gain or hold territory, report finds

More than 5,000 people, mostly civilians and overwhelmingly Muslims, were killed in jihadi attacks in November, according to a study documenting the toll of Islamist violence worldwide.

About 60% of these deaths were caused by the militant groups Islamic State and Boko Haram, suggesting a transformation in the nature of jihadi groups from terrorists to “more conventional forces that are fighting to gain or hold territory against state armies”, the report by the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and the BBC, said.

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India: VHP Seeks Statewide Ban On Mosque Loudspeakers

Loon Watch - 10 December, 2014 - 17:28

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The ill intent behind this proposed legislature by the fanatical Hindutva organization VHP is evident. Instead of resolving possible issues at a community level they resort to provocation and confrontation. (h/t: U. Budye)

The Hindu

Weeks after the Devendra Fadnavis government took steps to ban cow slaughter in the State, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad has stepped up its demand for the ban of loudspeakers in mosques across Maharashtra.

The outfit claims that the sound of azaan (Muslim call of prayer) is a major cause of noise pollution and will request the State government to implement laws curbing the use of loudspeakers in mosques.

“The year-long noise pollution caused by mosques is overlooked. But people are going to court to ban the use of loudspeakers during Hindu festivals like Ganapati and Navratri which have a limited duration,” said Vyankatesh Apdeo, VHP central committee member, on Tuesday.

It has demanded that the management of the four major temples —Siddhi Vinayak Temple (Mumbai), Sai Baba tempe (Shirdi), Vitthal Mandir (Pandharpur) and the Tulja Bhavani Mandir—should be handed over to Hindu trusts. Currently, the four temples are directly governed by the State.

“The money earned through donations to these temples should be used only for the welfare of Hindu society,” Mr. Apdeo said.

The VHP also has plans to organise campaigns against television shows and beauty contests to protest against “vulgarity” and what they feel is the “denigration” of women.

The VHP’s demands are going to be put forth on August 14, when then organisation will hold a Virat Hindu Sammelan in Mumbai to commemorate fifty years of its existence

‘Hate Crime': Taxi Cab Driver Survives Brutal Attack

Loon Watch - 10 December, 2014 - 17:15

seattle_adam_gaal ‘Hate crime': Taxi driver recounts brutal attack

By KOMO Staff Published: Dec 8, 2014 at 1:12 PM PST Last Updated: Dec 8, 2014 at 11:21 PM PST

SEATTLE – Officers arrested a 26-year-old man early Sunday after he called a taxi driver a “terrorist” and beat him unconscious, causing the cab to drift out of control and strike several parked cars before slamming into an apartment building in Seattle’s Magnolia neighborhood, police said. Investigators labeled the attack a “hate crime.”

Adam Gaal, the 34-year-old cab driver, told police the incident began when he picked up three men and a woman in Belltown just before 2 a.m. Sunday and drove them to the 4200 block of 27th Avenue West.

The suspect then gave Gaal his credit card to pay for the trip and apparently became angry at how long the transaction was taking, said Andrew Garber of the Seattle police.

“He says, ‘You know where you are? You’re in America, this is not where you come from. You are an immigrant this is not your country. You are terrorist. You are ISIS,” Gaal said.

The passenger, later identified as Jesse Fleming, then leaned across the seat and repeatedly punched Gaal in the face, Garber said.

Gaal lost consciousness and his foot slipped off the brake, causing the cab to roll downhill, strike several cars and eventually come to a stop after crashing into the stairs of an apartment building.

“He just jump on me and punching me, beating me, punching me and I become unconscious,” Gaal said.

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Texas Christian Man Plotted Terror Attacks With His IDF Roomate On Muslim Holy Sites in Jerusalem

Loon Watch - 10 December, 2014 - 17:06

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(h/t: Sumayyah)

According to The Guardian Israel has indicted a Texas Christian man for plotting to attack Muslim sites in Jerusalem. Where was he radicalized and what if he was Muslim.

Israeli officials say they have indicted a 30-year-old American Christian from Texas for plotting to blow up Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem. A 30-year-old American Christian from Texas has been indicted in Israel for plotting to blow up Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem. Israel’s Ministry of Justice said on Tuesday that a court had indicted Adam Everett Livix in connection with the plot. It said that Livix conspired with his roommate, an active soldier in the Israeli military, to obtain 1.4kg (3lb) of explosive material to use to blow up the unidentified Jerusalem holy sites. The ministry said the plot was discovered by a police agent in October.

Shin Bet Secretly Arrests, Imprisons Texas Christian Fundamentalist for Planning Dome of the Rock Terror Attack by Richard Silverstein on December 9, 2014

Last month, I discovered the Shabak was secretly holding a foreign citizen on suspicion of serious security offences. I tweeted this on November 26th (see tweet below). But I could not obtain further information except that his name was “Adam L.”

This morning, an Israeli security journalist confirmed the story in an e mail to me and within an hour the Shabak “coincidentally” released a full account of the arrest and charges against him. Haaretz’s Hebrew language story here.

As you read MSM accounts of this story and see this fact omitted, you may wonder why.

The suspect is Adam Livix, age 30, a resident of Texas and wanted there on drug charges. He appears to have jumped bail. As a a fugitive on the run, he might’ve fled to the West Bank to avoid capture. Bergman told me that Livix is a Christian fundamentalist and “probably not very stable.”

According to the Shabak release, he first traveled to the West Bank, where he lived in Hebron. During Pres. Obama’s trip to Israel last year, Palestinians allegedly approached him in hopes of organizing an assassination attempt.  He purportedly refused, then moved to Israel and started amassing stolen IDF weapons in order to blow up Muslim holy places.  I find this part of the story to be the most lacking in credibility.  I simply don’t believe Palestinians would attempt to assassinate the U.S. president.  It’s possible that Livix approached settlers or Palestinians with this goal in mind.  But not for Palestinians to have initiated such a plot.  I would challenge the Shabak to produce any evidence justifying this claim.

Livix was secretly arrested last month and has been held incommunicado since then. The Shin Bet statement claims that the FBI has been apprised of the arrest. I asked the agency for comment and they released this:

“We are aware of the recent arrest of an American citizen in Israel and are currently working with the Israeli authorities to assist in their investigation. The FBI continues to work closely with our counterparts in Israel to identify, apprehend, and hold accountable those who threaten the public with violence.”

This would presume that the domestic intelligence agency endorsed the Israeli secret police’s abusive treatment of Livix.   It also goes a long way to presuming Livix’s guilt since it presumes he “threatened the public with violence.”  My impression was that this needed to be proven in a court of law and couldn’t be presumed.  But given today’s release of the CIA terror report and the revelations of U.S. torture of suspected Al Qaeda militants, it appears we’re fine with Shabak’s torture techniques as well, even if used on U.S. citizens.  In fact, the CIA has exploited Israeli use of torture as a justifying precedent for its own brutality.

Generally, the Israelis arrest Jewish and Palestinians security suspects in secret.  They gag the media from reporting the story.  They hold victims without charge and without legal representation for periods of time determined solely by the secret police in collaboration with a malleable judicial system.  They use abusive interrogation techniques, even ones specifically excluded by Supreme Court rulings.  This is what Adam Livix has endured.  He has, in this case, the benefit of not being Palestinian and holding U.S. citizenship, so they probably went somewhat easy on him.  That is, comparatively easy, since U.S. officialdom has apparently washed its hands of him.

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Islamophobia is racism, pure and simple | Yassin Musharbash

The Guardian World news: Islam - 10 December, 2014 - 13:53
The Dresden protests are illegitimate and the attitude of German politicians towards false fears of ‘Islamisation’ needs to change

Islamophobia is on the rise in Germany. That is troubling enough. But what’s even more concerning is that many of those whom I would define as Islamophobic feel very good about it. They see themselves not as racist or xenophobic, but as defenders of democracy and human rights against the adherents of a religion they believe is incompatible with both.

Over the past few years the advance of Islamophobia can be easily observed. Anti-Muslim websites such as Politically Incorrect have expanded and become more aggressive, cherry-picking reports of crimes by Muslim perpetrators in order to confirm their prejudices; books with a clear anti-Muslim agenda – such as that of Thilo Sarrazin, a former Berlin finance senator – have sold hundreds of thousands of copies, including claims that Muslim immigrants are “dumbing down” Germany; parties such as Pro Köln, which hysterically warn of an “Islamic land grab”, have been founded.

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Ayad Akhtar, master Muslim ironist

The Guardian World news: Islam - 10 December, 2014 - 13:44

Fresh off a Pulitzer for Disgraced, Akhtar returns with a mordant play that explores similarities between free-market and Islamic fundamentalism

Ayad Akhtar’s new play The Invisible Hand opened this week at the New York Theatre Workshop. When the lights come on, you see a man sitting in a chair while close to him stands a bearded guard with a Kalashnikov strapped to his back. The seated man is an American banker being held by jihadists somewhere near Karachi. In the opening scene, the prisoner is holding out his hands for the other man to clip his nails, which the latter accomplishes not without some tenderness.

If the 20th century was marked by travel – planes in flight – then the events of 9/11 ushered in the age of the burning aftermath. At least in the imagination of the west, the idea of free movement is now mocked by the nightmare of confinement. This is a specific fear: a dread vision of a man being held hostage by murderous zealots in an alien land, with beheading likely to follow.

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Strange Bedfellows: Extremists, Bigots, and the Quran

Loon Watch - 10 December, 2014 - 11:20

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Original guest article by Michael Elwood and Tarik Abdallah

Recently, there’s been a lot in the news as to whether extremists like ISIS are being true to the message of the Quran or not.

Some, like Rep. Keith Ellison and Prof. Rashid Khalidi claim that groups like ISIS take verses of the Quran out of context in order to justify their objectionable beliefs and practices (see: Islamic State group uses only half of a Quran verse to justify beheadings — see what’s in the other half). Others, like Sam Harris and Bill Maher, claim that so-called moderate Muslims either don’t know what their own scripture says (as incredible as that sounds!), or they’re simply lying about the “violent” and “hateful” contents of the Quran. We contend it’s extremists like ISIS, and critics of Islam like Harris and Maher, who are lying about the contents of the Quran. Below, we’ll give an overview of how they do this by taking verses out of context in order to make them appear to be advocating “violence” and “hate”.

First, we’d like to point out that taking verses out of context isn’t the only way that extremists try to justify violent and hateful interpretations of the Quran. There are two other ways that this is often accomplished. One way is to play on verses that are allegorical, or that can have more than one meaning, and try to tease a violent or hateful interpretation from them. The Quran itself mentions this:

“He sent down to you this scripture, containing straightforward verses – which constitute the essence of the scripture – as well as multiple-meaning or allegorical verses. Those who harbor doubts in their hearts will pursue the multiple-meaning verses to create confusion, and to extricate a certain meaning. None knows the true meaning thereof except GOD and those well founded in knowledge. They say, “We believe in this – all of it comes from our Lord.” Only those who possess intelligence will take heed” ~ Quran 3:7

In their footnote for 3:7, Prof. Edip Yuksel, Prof. Martha Schulte-Nafeh, et. al., point out that the verse about verses that can be interpreted in more than one way, can itself be interpreted in more than one way (See “Quran: A Reformist Translation”):

“The word [mutashabihat] can be confusing for a novice. Verse 39:23, for instance, uses mutashabihat for the entire Quran, referring to its overall similarity — in other words, its consistency. In a narrower sense, however, mutashabihat refers to all verses which can be understood in more than one way. The various meanings or implications require some special qualities from the person listening to or reading the Quran: an attentive mind, a positive attitude, contextual perspective, the patience necessary for research, and so forth.

“It is one of the intriguing features of the Quran that the verse about mutashabih verses of the Quran is itself mutashabih — that is, it has multiple meanings. The word in question, for instance, can mean ‘similar’, as we have seen; it can mean, ‘possessing multiple meanings'; it can also mean ‘allegorical’ (where one single, clearly identifiable element represents another single, clearly identifiable element).”

An example of a verse that can be interpreted in more than one way is 2:106. In this verse, some translate the word “ayah,” which means “miracle,” as “verse” in order to justify abrogating Quranic verses that are inconvenient for them (more on this later). An example of verses that are allegorical are the verses that describe heaven and hell, like 47:15. In this particular instance, the Quran actually tells us that the description is an allegory (mathalu):

“The allegory of Paradise [mathalu al-jannati] that is promised for the righteous is this: it has rivers of unpolluted water, and rivers of fresh milk, and rivers of wine – delicious for the drinkers – and rivers of strained honey. They have all kinds of fruits therein, and forgiveness from their Lord. (Are they better) or those who abide forever in the hellfire, and drink hellish water that tears up their intestines?”  ~ Quran 47:15

In his book, “The End of Faith,” and on his website, Sam Harris often cites these verses as evidence of what he calls “religious hatred” and “otherwordliness” in the Quran (see Honesty: The Muslim World’s Scarcest Resource). There are a few problems with this, however.

First, as his fellow atheist Joshua Oxley points out, these verses use imagery to portray the torments of hell:

“The verses cited aren’t quite as scary as he makes them out to be. Many of them use violent imagery–fire, mostly–to convey the judgment that us unbelievers will experience at the hands of God. Not at the hands of men and women on earth. But at the Last Day. Why should this constitute a particular kind of Islamic violence. . . . Does that scare you? It doesn’t scare me. These passages put the power into Divine hands to judge and cast out, not human. I couldn’t care less, unless individuals start citing that verse in hopes of having my head. At that point, it’s not the ‘unified message’ of the text that is to blame, but an inconsistent interpretation by the religious believer. And those are two very, very different things.

“Harris, quite frankly, presents Scripture here as a fundamentalist would. It is a dry, topical understanding, devoid of historical or textual context, that makes proof-texting possible. There is no room for interpretation, for conversation, for nuance. No different schools of thought. It’s decided, ‘The text as a whole says X’. Islam becomes a robotic, artificial existence, and humankind mere automatons. And I feel like Harris should know better. When you have a bigger audience to speak to, you take on the responsibility of presenting yourself and others with as much integrity and honesty as possible. And this article just doesn’t measure up. . . .

“Please, anyone and everyone, don’t take Harris’ analysis as your own understanding of Islam. I have to say something. This atheist, who is not a Qur’anic scholar, but who was lucky enough to spend four year in undergrad studying Islam, is interested in the Muslim and secular communities engaging in dialogue over real issues. Poorly-reasoned critiques, more diatribe than discourse, will never get people to the table. And in a society with a profound ignorance of the nature of Islam, it’s even more dangerous to promulgate some of the worst misconceptions.

“Everyone deserves to be as generously understood as possible, and it’s about time the Muslim community got similar treatment from our secular circles. If I read a Muslim thinker picking any secular text apart in this kind of manner, I’d be equally miffed.” ~Joshua Oxley, When You Just Shouldn’t Say Anything: Sam Harris and the Qur’an

Second, Harris isn’t categorically against torment. He’s just against the torment of non-Muslims (or infidels as he likes to call them) in an afterlife he doesn’t believe in, by a God he doesn’t believe in. But as he has said in his book “The End of Faith,” and in a Huffington Post article aptly titled “In Defense of Torture,” he’s all for the torment of Muslims in this life.

It’s hard to understand how the torment of some non-Muslims in the afterlife constitutes “religious hatred,” but the torment of some Muslims in this life doesn’t constitute “secular hatred”.

Third, despite Harris’ subjective impression that the Quran is full of “otherworldliness,” the objective reality is quite different. The number of times the Arabic words for this life (dunya) and the afterlife (akhira) both occur in the Quran exactly 115 times (see “Quran: A Reformist Translation”). It reminds me of the Christian apologist Dave Miller who tried to demonstrate that the Quran, unlike the Bible, emphasizes hell more than heaven. He wrote:

“While the Bible certainly emphasizes the certainty and inevitability of eternal punishment, it places the subject in proper perspective and provides a divinely balanced treatment.”   ~ David Miller, Hell and the Quran

But despite Miller’s subjective impression of the Quran placing an emphasis on hell, the objective reality is quite different. The Arabic words for heaven (jannah) and hell (jahannum) both occur in the Quran exactly 77 times (see “Interpreting the Qur’an: A Guide for the Uninitiated” by Clinton Bennett). If that’s not “balanced treatment,” what is? It should also be pointed out that Christian apologists claim that overall the Quran, unlike the Bible, is more violent (see Dark passages: Does the harsh language in the Koran explain Islamic violence? Don’t answer till you’ve taken a look inside the Bible, also see Danios’ article: What the Quran-bashers Don’t Want You To Know About The Bible).

Another way extremists and critics try to justify violent and hateful interpretations of the Quran is to just ignore or explain away “peaceful” and “loving” verses in the Quran. One of the ways they try to accomplish this is by claiming that all the “peaceful” and “loving” verses of the Quran have been conveniently abrogated. Verse 2:106, mentioned earlier, critics claim can be interpreted in more than one way through abrogation. Many also claim verse 9:5 abrogates all the other “peaceful” and “loving” verses. However, some scholars disagree:

“A popular argument against such a reading of the text is based on the claim that verses such as 22:39-40 and 2:190 have been abrogated by the so-called ‘verse of the sword,’ 9:5. Proponents of this argument generally cite the portion of the verse, which says, ‘then kill the polytheists wherever you find them,’ claiming that this abrogates any previous verses that seem to restrict fighting and killing non-Muslims. However, this argument is problematic for two very important reasons.

“First, as John Burton has clearly demonstrated, there is no agreement among Muslim scholars, past or present, on the nature of abrogation, or on the specifics of the abrogating and the abrogated.[16] More important to the present discussion, however, is the fact that a literal reading of 9:5, in the surrounding context demonstrates that its message is the same as that found throughout the Qur’an.” ~ Prof. Aisha Musa, Towards a Qur’anically-Based Articulation of the Concept of ‘Just War’

For a lengthier treatment of abrogation, see Dr. Israr Khan’s article Arguments for Abrogation in the Qur’an: A Critique. Also see the article Abrogation, the biggest lie against the Quran.

The Rising Tide in Germany of Islamophobia and Anti-Immigration Views

Loon Watch - 9 December, 2014 - 19:43

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As IBTimes reported The Bavaria’s ruling party, Christian Social Union (CSU),  has put forward a proposal saying that immigrants should speak German not only in public but in the home as well.

The draft law has sparked outrage with dozens taking to social media to voice their dissent. Twitter users are commenting on the issue using the hashtag #YallaCSU. Yalla is an Arabic word that can be translated as “let’s go” and “hurry up”.” writes Ludovica Iaccino.

In German City Rich With History and Tragedy, Tide Rises Against Immigration

By ALISON SMALEDEC. 7, 2014

More refugees are seeking asylum in Germany than in any other country, straining Germans’ tolerance for foreigners and taxing the government’s ability to find housing for them.

DRESDEN, Germany — As it does every Advent, this history-laden city has erected the gift stalls, the glühwein stands and the Ferris wheel of Germany’s oldest Christmas market, around the Frauenkirche, the 18th-century church that was magnificently rebuilt after the Allies’ catastrophic bombing in 1945. But this year, there is tension behind the seasonal jollity.

For the past seven Mondays, people have taken up the battle cry of East Germans protesting their Communist government 25 years ago — “Wir sind das Volk!” (“We are the people!”) — and fashioned it into a lament about being overlooked by political leaders of the present.

Dresden’s demonstrators, echoing the populist fears coursing around Europe, are a motley mix of far right-wingers in the National Democratic Party, or N.P.D., young hooligans and ordinary folk who feel ignored as foreigners pour into Germany — at least 200,000 this year alone — seeking jobs or asylum.

Ahmad Mahayni, a Syrian refugee, had to leave his exiled family in Jordan in August so that he could fly to Berlin to seek asylum.

First hundreds, now thousands have responded to the summons from a previously unknown activist, Lutz Bachmann, 41, and an organization called Pegida, a German acronym for a title that translates roughly as Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West.
Continue reading the main story

On Monday, a record 7,500 showed up despite teeth-chattering cold, for an hour long march through Dresden’s center, a mix of grim Socialist architecture and gems of the pre-1945 past. National flags were flown. One placard said, “We miss our country,” while another demanded, “Protection of the Heimat,” or homeland, “not Islamization.”

Carefully kept at shouting distance by the police, several hundred opponents yelled their disagreement. “Refugees are welcome here!” they chanted in English before blocking the Pegida crowd from reaching Dresden’s famed Theater Square, bordered by the beautiful Semperoper opera house and the Zwinger museum, home to one of the finest European art collections.

Despite its rich culture and its present-day prosperity, Dresden is no stranger to right-wingers or hatred of foreigners. But as dissatisfaction simmers throughout Europe over the arrival of migrants, events in this city of 530,000 people have come as a surprise.

“They are clearly Nazis,” said Kathi Wetzel, 50, when asked at her food stall about the demonstrators, though, she added, the marches also swept up “simple hangers-on who don’t really know why they are going along.”

Martin Landseck, 32, pouring beer at another stand, took a far less definite attitude. “Let’s wait and see,” he said, about which side has the better case.

Clearly, Pegida has touched a nerve. In Germany, where the economy is still growing and more people have jobs than ever before, no equivalent has emerged to France’s Marine LePen and her populist National Front, and no leaders have ridden discontent to power like Prime Minister Victor Orban in Hungary.

The Islamization evoked by Pegida is hardly imminent, with only about 2 percent of the population in the Saxony region foreign, and only a fraction of those Muslim.

But right-wingers and soccer hooligans banded together in Cologne this fall and overran police officers in violent protests they said were aimed at Islamic extremism. Dresden is almost the anti-Cologne — determinedly antiviolent and careful in its fliers and patriotic placards to stay on the right side of laws banning hate speech — yet focused on many of the same targets.

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Nutcase Nicolai Sennels Still Posting on Rev. Deacon Robert Spencer’s JihadWatch

Loon Watch - 9 December, 2014 - 19:08

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Spencerwatch

For some years now Nicolai Sennels has been posting on Rev. Deacon Robert Spencer’s blog, JihadWatch. Sennels is very popular in the “counterjihad” movement that has spawned the likes of Anders Breivik and the EDL.

Sennels, in much the same way as earlier racist pseudo-scientists, focuses his Islamophobic output in his supposed field of expertise: psychology. These bona fides are supposed to be enough to lend credence to what is in effect Sennels’ new-age racist Scientism. Sennels theories claim in effect that Muslims are a racial group of inbreds who are genetically inferior to non-Muslims. For more on Sennels see Sheila Musaji’s excellent article at The American Muslim aptly titled, Nicolai Sennels’ Nazi Style Propaganda.

Of course we relay this as part of being the studious fact compilers we are, there is in reality no difference in the views Sennels and Spencer. That’s why he continues to write there.

Israel indicts Texas Christian for plot to attack Muslim sites in Jerusalem

The Guardian World news: Islam - 9 December, 2014 - 16:23

Israeli officials say they have indicted a 30-year-old American Christian from Texas for plotting to blow up Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem

A 30-year-old American Christian from Texas has been indicted in Israel for plotting to blow up Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem.

Israel’s Ministry of Justice said on Tuesday that a court had indicted Adam Everett Livix in connection with the plot.

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Non-Conferenced

Muslimah Media Watch - 9 December, 2014 - 10:00
Normally, I jump at the chance to speak at women’s conferences and participate in any way that will allow me to speak about my advocacy and organization around Women in sport. As a Muslimah living in the Toronto area, I have been very fortunate to be in a region that is bursting with female scholarship [Read More...]

21 Lessons in Leadership from the Prophet | Part 5

Muslim Matters - 9 December, 2014 - 05:00

Part 1 | Part 2  | Part 3 | Part 4 

Law of Respect: People Naturally Follow Leaders Stronger Than Themselves

image

The Law of Respect states that people will only follow those who are stronger than themselves. To understand this law within the context of the Prophet's ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) life, you simply need to look at the caliber of people who chose to follow him. Umar ibn al Khattab, Abu Bakr as-Siddiq, Khalid bin Waleed, Ali bin Abu Talib, Uthman bin Affan, Asma bint Yazid, Muad ibn Jabal, Musab ibn Umayr, Asma bint Abu Bakr, Az-Zubayr ibn al Awam, Talha bin Zaid, Sumayyah bint Khubbat, Abdullah ibn Masud, Abu Ubaydah ibn al Jarrah, Rumaysa bint Milhan, Salman al-Farisi, Suhayb ar-Rumi, Abu Dhar al-Ghifari and Hamza just to name a few.

Leaders, warriors, poets, business moguls, chieftains and scholars from various places of various ages and talents all chose to follow the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). The greatest united collection of human beings to ever walk the face of the earth was assembled under his leadership and followed him to the extent that their level of loyalty to him was something that the world had never witnessed before.

They followed him because they respected him and knew that he was stronger than them, because people don't follow leaders who have a lower capacity then themselves. Another example of the strength of the Prophet's leadership is that, after his death, the Muslims were never completely unified again.

Reflection Questions on the Law:

  • What do you do intentionally to become a stronger leader every day?

The post 21 Lessons in Leadership from the Prophet | Part 5 appeared first on MuslimMatters.org.

Hindu Nationalist Girl’s Camp: We’ll Build Bombs, We’ll Shoot Dead Muslims, We’ll Reclaim India

Loon Watch - 8 December, 2014 - 22:22

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By Emperor

Hindutva, or Hindu Nationalism, which combines a fundamentalist understanding of Hinduism with Indian nationalism has been on the ascendancy for decades, culminating in the presidential victory of the fascist Narendra Modi.

Hindutva organizations are highly organized, they are also opponents of Hindus converting to either Christianity or Islam. They have spearheaded anti-conversion legislation in numerous states that prevent or make near impossible the conversion of a Hindu to another religion; often justifying it as a necessary measure to counteract the use of material incentives by missionaries.  However, they have no compunction themselves in aggressively offering monetary incentives to Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism in highly publicized ‘reconversion ceremonies.’

For years now Hindutva groups, such as the Sangh Parivar have been holding training camps for youth where they are indoctrinated in an ideology that has as its central doctrine the subjugation and elimination of non-Hindu religions.

The following video highlights the dehumanizing and violent indoctrination that Hindtuva groups are leaving on the impressionable minds of India’s young girls (h/t: Abu ‘Alimah).

Girls in the video can be seen speaking of their supremacist beliefs, their love and desire for fighting and killing non-Hindus. This sort of mentality has already caused significant damage in the past to relations between India’s various religious and ethnic groups and it promises to perpetuate hate and violence.:

Also read:

-Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer: Wipe Pakistan Off The Map

1,000 Years of Scientific Texts From The Islamic World Are Now Online

Loon Watch - 8 December, 2014 - 21:03

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A massive undertaking by the Qatar Digital Library that preserves a millennium of scientific work. (h/t: S. I.)

By Mark Strauss, io9 

Between the 9th and 19th centuries, Arabic-speaking scholars translated Greek, Latin and even Sanskrit texts on topics such as medicine, mathematics and astronomy, fostering a vibrant scientific culture within the Islamic world. Some of the most influential texts are now available at the Qatar Digital Library.

The library, a joint project of the British Library and the Qatar Foundation, offers free access to 25,000 pages of medieval Islamic manuscripts. Among some of the most significant texts:

The Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices (1206 A.D.), which was inspired by an earlier, 9th-century translation of Archimedes’ writings on water clocks. Devices such as the “Elephant Clock” (pictured below) were the most accurate time-keeping pieces before the first pendulum clocks were built in the 17th century by the Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens.

1,000 Years of Scientific Texts From The Islamic World Are Now OnlineExpand

Another water clock design features balls dropping onto a cymbal from a bird’s head.

1,000 Years of Scientific Texts From The Islamic World Are Now OnlineExpand

This is one of the only three recorded copies of an influential treatise on the construction and use of astrolabes by Abū al-Rayḥān Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad al-Bīrūnī (973-1048), containing 122 diagrams.

1,000 Years of Scientific Texts From The Islamic World Are Now OnlineExpand

A translation (615 AD) of Ptolemy’s mathematical and astronomical treatise, The Almagest.

1,000 Years of Scientific Texts From The Islamic World Are Now OnlineExpand

An Arabic version of De Materia Medica, an encyclopedia of herbs and medicine written in the first century AD by Pedanius Dioscorides, a Greek-born, Roman physician. This translation was completed in Baghdad in 1334 A.D.

Continue reading…

Glenn Beck faces a lawsuit over his conspiracy theories on Boston Marathon bombing

Loon Watch - 8 December, 2014 - 20:53

American Broadcaster Glenn Beck Hosts Rally At Jerusalem's Western Wall

Glenn Beck must face a  lawsuit for his slander of a Saudi victim of the Boston Marathon bombing.

by Kyle Mantyla on Tuesday, 12/2/2014 2:54 pm

Following the Boston Marathon bombing last year, Glenn Beck set out on a mission to prove that the government was engaged in a massive conspiracy to cover up the truth, during which he repeatedly asserted that one of the victims who was injured in the attack was really an al Qaeda operative responsible for the bombing.

In the weeks following the bombing, Beck repeatedly insisted that Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi, a spectator who was briefly considered to be a “person of interest” by investigators though quickly exonerated, was really an al Qaeda “control agent” and the “money man” who had financed the entire operation and had recruited the Tsarnaev brothers to carry it out.

In response to these unfounded claims, Alharbi eventually sued Beck for defamation and slander, and Beck’s lawyers responded by trying to get the lawsuit thrown out on the grounds that Alharbi was “involuntary public figure” which would require Alharbi to prove not simply that Beck made false accusations against him, but that he did so with “actual malice.”

Of course, it was Beck himself who continued to focus attention on Alharbi, meaning that Beck’s legal team was essentially arguing that Alharbi became a public figure as a result of Beck’s attacks … which they said means that Alharbi cannot now sue Beck for those very same attacks because he was a public figure.

Needless to say, this novel legal argument did not get very far with the federal judge hearing the case

Continue reading …

The New Republic and the Beltway media’s race problem

Loon Watch - 8 December, 2014 - 20:47

Marty_Peretz

Then-owner of The New Republic Marty Peretz, at left, in 2005 Jemal Countess/WireImage

So there were ‘Mass resignations’ at The New Republic  (TNR) following the resignations of editors Franklin Foer and Leon Wieseltier, over the direction the current owner Chris Hughes was taking the magazine. But where were these great principles when Marty Peretz former owner was using his position at TNR for his anti-Black, anti-Latino, anti-Arab, Islamophobic rants?

The New Republic and the Beltway media’s race problem

by Max Fisher on December 5, 2014, 2:50 p.m. ET @Max_Fisher max@vox.com

There’s little doubt that The New Republic’s young owner, Chris Hughes, treated its beloved editor, Frank Foer, poorly. Hughes’ new CEO, Guy Vidra, criticized Foer’s leadership while sitting right next to him at an all-staff meeting. Hughes hired a replacement before firing Foer — which Foer had to learn about through rumors. Hughes, a newcomer to journalism who bought his way, publicly humiliated Foer, along with also-fired literary editor Leon Wieseltier. It’s an ugly, unkind way to treat an editor, an employee, and the well-respected leader of a newsroom. Much of the publication’s masthead, outraged, has resigned in solidarity and protest.

But Hughes’ predecessor, Marty Peretz, did much worse. In the years of Peretz’s ownership, from 1974 to 2007 and then partially until 2012, he gave himself the title of editor-in-chief and regular space in the magazine and on its website, which he frequently used to issue rants that were breathtaking in their overt racism. The columns typically came during periods of turmoil for the minorities he targeted: often blacks and Latinos, later focusing especially on Muslims and Arabs.

“A publication that buoyed racism was tolerable. a publication that fired two beloved white men was not.”

The overwhelmingly white writers and editors who worked for Peretz knew his work was monstrous, and often struggled over the morality of accepting his money (as did I, during my brief internship there). But none ever resigned en masse as they did over the firing of two white male editors today. That fact is just a particularly egregious example of a much larger problem among the elite Beltway publications: a lack of diversity and a begrudging tolerance of racism that go hand-in-hand.

Here are the sorts of things that Peretz wrote or said over the years; all but the speeches here ran on the New Republic’s pages or website.

Quoted speaking on the “cultural deficiencies” of “the black population”:

Citing statistics on out-of-wedlock births among blacks, Martin Peretz, editor in chief of The New Republic, said, “So many in the black population are afflicted by cultural deficiencies.” Asked what he meant, Peretz responded, “I would guess that in the ghetto a lot of mothers don’t appreciate the importance of schooling.” Mfume challenged Peretz, saying, “You can’t really believe that. Every mother wants the best for their children.” Peretz agreed, then added, “But a mother who is on crack is in no position to help her children get through school.” Some in the audience of 2,600 young Jewish leaders hissed at Peretz’s remarks.

Writing on the “lives of Africans”:

The truth is that no one has ever really cared about the lives of Africans in Africa unless those lives are taken out by whites. No one has cared, not even African Americans like [Jesse] Jackson and [Susan] Rice. Frankly — I have not a scintilla of evidence for this but I do have my instincts and my grasp of his corruptibility — I suspect that Jackson was let in on the diamond trade or some other smarmy commerce.

Writing on the “deficiencies” of “Latin society”:

Well, I am extremely pessimistic about Mexican-American relations, not because the U.S. had done anything specifically wrong to our southern neighbor but because a (now not quite so) wealthy country has as its abutter a Latin society with all of its characteristic deficiencies: congenital corruption, authoritarian government, anarchic politics, near-tropical work habits, stifling social mores, Catholic dogma with the usual unacknowledged compromises, an anarchic counter-culture and increasingly violent modes of conflict.

By far his worst screeds, though, were reserved for Muslims and Arabs, whom he famously argued should all be stripped of free speech rights:

But, frankly, Muslim life is cheap, most notably to Muslims. And among those Muslims led by the Imaam Rauf there is hardly one who has raised a fuss about the routine and random bloodshed that defines their brotherhood. So, yes, I wonder whether I need honor these people and pretend that they are worthy of the privileges of the First Amendment which I have in my gut the sense that they will abuse.

On the “higher standards of civilization” that “we” (that most telling pronoun) hold than do Muslims:

I actually believe that Arabs are feigning outrage when they protest what they call American (or Israeli) “atrocities.” They are not shocked at all by what in truth must seem to them not atrocious at all. It is routine in their cultures. That comparison shouldn’t comfort us as Americans. We have higher standards of civilization than they do. But the mutilation of bodies and beheadings of people picked up at random in Iraq does not scandalize the people of Iraq unless victims are believers in their own sect or members of their own clan. And the truth is that we are less and less shocked by the mass death-happenings in the world of Islam. Yes, that’s the bitter truth. Frankly, even I–cynic that I am–was shocked in the beginning by the sectarian bloodshed in Iraq. But I am no longer surprised. And neither are you.

And no one resigned — including me, while I was an intern at the magazine for four months. Though I was unpaid, I eagerly accepted the resume-boosting prestige that came from working there. And, like the rest of the staff, I did it knowing it meant turning a blind eye to Peretz’s frequent screeds on the magazine’s website, fully aware that they were not just the crazy rants of an old racist but were in fact palpably damaging to the minority families who had to live in a society that was that much more intolerant because Peretz enjoyed a platform that legitimized his views.

Continue reading …

Peace in Aloneness: Muslim Women in the Ivory Tower

Muslimah Media Watch - 8 December, 2014 - 06:00
For the last month, I have been looking into the literature on discrimination in academia, reading books with titles such as Making Our Voices Heard: Women of Color in Academia and Overcoming Adversity in Academia: Stories from Generation X Faculty. At the same time, I have been attending a course intended to teach academic teachers [Read More...]

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