White supremacist convicted in plot to kill Obama with 'death ray' device

The Guardian World news: Islam - 21 August, 2015 - 22:17
  • KKK member Glendon Scott Crawford also wanted to harm Muslims
  • Jury unanimously finds man guilty of all three charges against him

A New York white supremacist was convicted by a federal jury on Friday of plotting to use a remote-controlled radiation device he called “Hiroshima on a light switch” to harm Muslims and President Barack Obama.

After less than three hours of deliberation in US district court in Albany, New York, the jury unanimously found Glendon Scott Crawford guilty of all three charges against him.

Related: Men built X-ray gun to shoot Israel opponents – FBI

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On Motherhood: 22 Things on Having Two Babies Under Two

altmuslim - 21 August, 2015 - 21:45
By Fatimah Popal 1) Don’t call your daughters a princess. They’ll believe you only to realize years later it was all a lie. I am not living in a palace full of chefs, an au pair or two, gardeners, chauffeurs, butlers and maids, or personal dressers. Instead, I am the commoner providing these services to [Read More...]

Environmental activism is taking root in Islam | Adam Khyas for the Conversation

The Guardian World news: Islam - 21 August, 2015 - 12:46
A group of Islamic scholars have called on the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims to take action on climate change. Religious principles support them

Muslims have a religious duty to take action against climate change, according to a declaration released by a major group of Islamic scholars, faith leaders and politicians from 20 countries. The Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change, launched in Istanbul, is aimed at the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims and suggests mosques and Islamic schools should immediately take action.

In using religious authority to call for stronger climate-change policies at the UN summit in Paris this December, the Islamic declaration follows a similar intervention by the pope earlier in the year.

Islam teaches an inter-connectedness between the environment and human beings

Related: Islamic leaders issue bold call for rapid phase out of fossil fuels

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Friday Links

Muslimah Media Watch - 21 August, 2015 - 09:43
Muslim women in Morocco are demanding a female-only beach so they can enjoy the summer weather without having to worry about keeping their bodies covered. A progressive Mumbai-based Muslim women’s group has published a survey whose findings are so stark that they should, finally, put an end to any further debate on the urgent need [Read More...]

9 Tips For A Happy And Healthy Pregnancy

Single Muslim Mums - 21 August, 2015 - 00:12


Mostly, when we think of divorced or widowed mums we think of those left behind with children in their care. However, what we forget is that sometimes these women become single mothers whilst still pregnant; imagine how tough that must be subhanallah! At a time when one perhaps needs their partner the most, to suddenly realise you have no-one there must be quite overwhelming; especially when it took two of you to become pregnant. Does this then mean that these women should not enjoy their pregnancies and that no positivity can be derived from this? Should they hide away and not celebrate this wondrous occasion?! I don’t think so! Remember, the situation you now face has already been decreed 50,000 years before the Earth was created by Allah swt in ‘The Preserved Tablet’ where everything that will come to pass has been recorded. Why then should women feel negative about something that was bound to happen anyway, especially if they were not to blame?!

Still, it’s not easy when all you see around you are ‘happy’ couples excitedly awaiting the arrival of their little bundles of joy. I know I felt left out and once again like I couldn’t relate to those around me. In that moment I was determined to enjoy what could well be my last pregnancy in a way I had previously not done so, by cherishing each and every moment – both the ups and the downs. I have compiled a list of tips that make for a healthy but also happy pregnancy in the hope that anyone who  is alone during pregnancy need not feel like they are the only ones to find themselves in such a situation. In sha Allah, this eases the anxiety for a mum out there and gives her something to hold on to in her time of need.


  1. Look after number one! I know this may sound silly, but all too often we are caught up in the daily running of our lives: be it kids, work or something else. Throw in a break-up into the mix and you have chaos threatening to ensue if you can’t keep it together; making time for your wellness gives you a break from it all and helps you to regain focus. I let myself go in my pregnancy and I was the one who suffered. During pregnancy I suffered from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, this was caused by too much fluid being inside my veins especially in the Carpal Tunnel which is located inside your hand. As a result my fingers would go numb and tingly and often be accompanied by severe pain, bad enough that it kept me awake in tears at night. I never bothered getting it checked out as I never made time for myself. By the time I did, I had been suffering alone for months. Had I seen my GP earlier I could have saved myself a lot of trouble! Various exercises, a splint and drinking plenty of water eased my conditions thankfully!
  2. Listen to your body! By becoming attuned to your body you can save yourself so much headache in the long run. Rest when you need to rest and don’t try to push yourself too hard. I would get so sleepy during my first trimester and I would nap for long periods of time. With my other children I hadn’t had the chance to nap much when pregnant as there was only a year’s gap between them. I always sought to do housework over sleeping as I was worried I would be labelled as lazy but the absence of a man in my last pregnancy meant there was no-one to complain about a dirty house! My children were also 10 years older so they were in school and old enough to look after themselves if I needed a nap. Guilt free napping is a rare gift!
  3. Put your feet up with a cuppa! Some women suffer miserably with swollen feet and ankles; thankfully I didn’t suffer from this. I like to think that part of the reason why is that I always had my feet up when sitting down. I really miss my recliner now, but anything that raises your feet can be used to make a makeshift footrest if  you don’t have one. Alternatively, I would also soak my feet a lot to refresh them. I love tea tree oil products – they make your feet feel rejuvenated and re-energized!
  4. Embrace your situation, don’t fight it! I always imagined that one of the toughest aspects of being a single mum during pregnancy would be those dreaded hospital appointments alone. Like with most things, if you change the way you look at something you change the way it affects you. Instead of being miserable that I didn’t have my husband at my scans I embraced being able to savour this sacred moment all to myself – just me and peanut. In an ideal world it would be great to have a gushing husband declare how amazing seeing your baby for the first time is whilst he caresses your hand and then whispers how much he loves you. From experience I can tell you most men are NOT like that. The moment with a man is more often than not an anti-climax where they watch on awkwardly, not understanding how you can be so moved to tears by a blob on a screen. Experiencing this moment with a friend can actually be more of a moving experience than with a man; or better yet alone! Don’t lose sight of the big picture: you are going to be a mummy to a beautiful darling baby who will only have to look at you to melt your heart. Allah swt has showered you with such a precious gift that not all are fortunate to receive! When you have your little baby in your arms, you wont even remember the hospital visits!
  5. Go natural! Allah swt says in the Glorious Qur’an that man has been created impatient and we see examples of this all the time when it comes to having patience with ailments and problems. Instead of reaching for prescription or over the counter medicines to alleviate morning sickness such as Zofran (which is not FDA approved and linked to an increase in birth defects such as heart defects) stick to healthier and safer natural remedies. Ginger biscuits or any plain dry biscuits are great when nausea strikes. Tea can also work wonders especially herbal and watermelon is another one that did wonders for me. If you do decide that you require medication to manage your nausea, then please make sure you research it properly first including side effects. It’s a small price to pay for your baby’s health and well-being.
  6. Fresh air and walking is vital!! I was very lazy in my pregnancy and I paid the price big time! I wish I had been so much more active but I fell into bad habits subhanallah. Allah swt has given us an amazing free cure with simple fresh air – it lifts your mood, provides you with a clear supply of oxygen and is a massive aid during labor. The more you walk, the easier it will be in sha Allah. It will also make it easier for you to get back into shape after having the baby. Listen to something soothing as you walk or even a lecture, I listened to the Qur’an recitation a lot before bed and the effects when the baby was born were amazing mashallah! It used to calm her right down!
  7. Stay Positive! A healthy mind and heart leads to a healthy and happy pregnancy! We have so many blessings to be grateful for in our lives: our sight, our hearing, our limbs, our health, our minds. Even if this was all that we were given then it is still more than so many have and we should be thankful to Allah swt because it could have been so much worse. Look to those worse off to see just how much you have been blessed with. Focus on acts of worship a lot to bring you closer to Allah swt which will lighten the heart too. Remember, Allah swt says in the Qur’an that we are not burdened with more than we can handle. Allah swt gave us these challenges unique to us because He knew we would get through it and could handle it. Allah swt believes in you, do you believe in yourself?!
  8. Eat and drink yourself healthy! It’s never too late to start! drinking plenty of water flushes out toxins and makes your skin smooth and supple; it maintains your youth for so much longer. I suffered from bad cramps and gas when pregnant, so to avoid this and heartburn I cut out all the fizzy drinks and fried, greasy foods. I ate smaller portions of healthier snacks often – especially during my first trimester when all I seemed to do was graze on food! I also tried to eat dinner early to give me enough time to digest it before bed.
  9. Laugh and smile daily! A recent study found that laughing for 15 minutes a day can burn up to 40 calories! It lifts your mood, makes you more beautiful and compliments your pregnancy glow. It will also help you to feel more positive and more confident and shows your gratitude to Allah swt as you try to be content with His decree.

This world and everything in it is temporal. This message is stated throughout the Qur’an. From this we learn that nothing stays constant and eternally in this life – our worries; sadness; and problems included. This life is so short and is a gift to us; none of us know when we may pass from this world; do you really want to waste precious moments crying over what was not meant to be in your life rather than welcoming that which is? Pregnancy is a gift bestowed upon us from the One Who Created us all, let’s make the most of it and enjoy every moment that we can :)

Book Review: Makkah to Madina: A Photographic Journey of the Hijrah Route

Muslim Matters - 20 August, 2015 - 22:37

There are many journeys that made history. Think Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) crossing the Red Sea, Hannibal crossing the Alps or  Caesar crossing the Rubicon. But there's one journey that irrevocably altered the course of human civilisation more than any other and it was made when two friends crossed the Arabian desert taking them from oppression in Mecca to the incubation of a nation-state in Madinah.

The Hijrah – a journey so epic that Umar raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) and the great companions of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) who were alive at the time, chose it as the epoch of the age and the start of the Muslim Calendar.


Most of us are aware that the journey took place, but the actual route is one that is not as widely known. It is this route, with all its twists and turns, that Dr Abdullah Al-Kadi spent years of his life studying and researching. He did not just limit himself to dusty books and venerable scholars. Like any good scientist, he spent time out in the field and traversed the route of the hijrah many times over so that he could be familiar with even certain oddly shaped rocks that were used as milestones along the way.


To give you an idea of how much painstaking time and effort he put in, by the time his book was published, Dr Al Kadi had traversed a cumulative total of over 30,000 miles. The distance between Mecca and Madinah is only 275 miles.

Dr Al-Kadi was accompanied at various stages of his travels by his family and Peter Sanders – the renowned British photographer. The fruit of this collaboration can be seen in the gorgeously detailed scenes captured throughout the book.

This book is filled with locations and stories that even the most well read of us will find interesting. A well, a scribbled name on a rock face and an almost lunar looking passage way are just some of the features that remind us that this was not just a journey, but a dramatic escape.


Sometimes we are in danger of thinking that the life of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) has been so well documented that there is nothing new left to discover. Through his painstaking research and publishing this beautiful book, Dr Al-Kadi proves that even more than 14 centuries later, there is still so much more to learn.

To me, that is one of the greatest discoveries of all.

Note: You can purchase it here:



West Virginia Man Charged In Statue Of Liberty Bomb Threat Hoax

Loon Watch - 20 August, 2015 - 20:30

 Lubbock County Sheriff's Office)

John Paul Smith is charged with conveying false and misleading information and hoaxes. (Credit: Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office)

Another fake terrorist attack by a White Southerner attempting to fearmonger about Muslims and Islam.

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A West Virginia man was arrested Wednesday for allegedly calling in a hoax threat to blow up the Statue of Liberty.

Jason Paul Smith, 42, of Harts, West Virginia, was arrested in Lubbock, Texas, authorities said. According to federal prosecutors, he made a call to 911 on April 24 using an iPad and a service that helps hearing-impaired people make phone calls. In the call, Smith identified himself as an “ISI terrorist” named “Abdul Yasin” and threatened that “we” are preparing to “blow up” the Statue of Liberty, prosecutors said.

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Malcolm X’s autobiography didn’t change me, it saved me | Lemn Sissay

The Guardian World news: Islam - 20 August, 2015 - 18:58
Aged 17, I felt like an outsider. This book opened the door to reading – and to discovering my identity

Were Malcolm X’s autobiography to be published today, would it be called “hate speech”? Would he be blindfolded and shackled, dressed in an orange jumpsuit, and imprisoned in Guantánamo Bay? What’s certain is that its subject matter, first published in 1965, would be branded extremist, and most probably terrorist.

I read this book aged 17, when the word Muslim wasn’t used as a threat to the status quo, and it helped me understand 20th-century America: without Africans, it made me realise, there would be no America. Since then, it has travelled with me throughout my life and feels even more resonant now than it did when I first read it. But back then I needed it. I needed it bad.

Related: Malcolm X assassination: 50 years on, mystery still clouds details of the case

Slavery had raped its way into his DNA

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Pick Up Artists: Veiling Misogyny with Islam

Muslimah Media Watch - 20 August, 2015 - 18:28
*Trigger Warning: Rape, Sexualized Violence, Misogyny* Toronto boasts a wonderfully diverse population. It is probably one of the most diverse cities in the world. And it is also home to the largest Muslim community in the country. There are different Islamic centres, and incredible organizations like Outburst! that advocate for the rights of Muslim women. [Read More...]

10 Muslim Athletes To Watch At The Track And Field World Championships

Muslim Matters - 19 August, 2015 - 05:08

Despite the fame and accomplishments of Muslim athletes like Muhammad Ali, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Mesut Ozil, to name a few, there is still a surprisingly high percentage of both Muslims and non-Muslims who are not quite sure if playing sports is encouraged or even allowed in Islam.

Short answer: It is.

Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) has made halal for mankind that which is beneficial to our physical, mental and spiritual health, and has made haram that which is harmful. While there are certain things about the culture humans have cultivated around sports that would fall into the latter category — idolatry, alcohol, steroids, greed, violence, obsession, escapism, etc. — the sports themselves are acceptable as long as we participate without falling into those traps.

The most obvious benefit of playing sports is physical fitness, which benefits a Muslim in at least three of Islam's five pillars: performing daily prayers, fasting during the month of Ramadan, and completing the rigors of the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.

The Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was an athlete in his own right, reportedly participating in running, swimming, archery and horseback riding. And then there is the famous story in which the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) accepted a challenge from Rukaana, a wrestling champion in Mecca, and defeated the renowned strongman — after which Rukaana converted to Islam.

In many ways, track and field is the simplest and more pure of modern sports. To paraphrase the USA Track and Field “You're Welcome” television ad, track and field forms the foundation for almost all other sports. If you want to go deeper, you could use track as a metaphor for life: Getting to the finish line matters, but how you do it — attention to detail, relentless practice, commitment to excellence, learning from mistakes, staying in the right lane — ultimately proves the difference between success and failure.

From August 22-30, more than 2,000 track and field athletes representing more than 200 countries will compete for gold, silver and bronze medals at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships in Beijing, China.

The biennial meeting of the world's best runners, throwers and jumpers will not be without a Muslim presence. Here are 10 Muslim athletes to watch at the World Championships:

***** *****

Mo Farah

Mo Farah

Mo Farah

5,000 meters
10,000 meters
Great Britain

One of the world's most recognizable and decorated athletes has been in something of an experimental phase since his back-to-back, double-gold performances at the 2012 Olympics (in London) and 2013 World Championships. Set for life as a British national hero and set for a while as the man to beat in the 5,000- and 10,000-meter races, Farah has spent the past year and change trying out the marathon, half-marathon, indoor two-mile (setting a world record) and 1,500 meters. In Beijing, the 32-year-old Farah will get back to his bread and butter, however he will have to overcome off-the-track distractions both good (his wife, Tania Nell, recently gave birth to the couple's third child) and bad (his coach, Alberto Salazar, was recently accused of providing steroids to athletes).

Abdul Hakim Sani Brown

4 x 100m relay

Just 16 years old, Sani Brown is one of the youngest competitors in the World Championship field. He earned his spot among the big boys with a double-gold effort at the 2015 World Youth Championships in Colombia, where he won the 100- and 200-meter sprints with personal-best and meet-record times of 10.28 and 20.34 seconds, respectively. Sani Brown's time in the 200 is actually the second-fastest in history at the youth level, behind Usain Bolt's 20.13 seconds.

No Japanese sprinter has ever broken the 10-second barrier in the 100 or the 20-second barrier in the 200, something Sani Brown is expected to do before his 18th birthday and before he finishes high school. With the Olympics coming to Tokyo in 2020 — when Sani Brown will be approaching his athletic prime at 20 years old — he is to Japanese track and field right now what LeBron James was to American basketball when he was in high school: the future.

Tirfi Tsegaye


Just like New York City is called a hotbed for NBA point guards, and South Florida produces many NFL wide receivers, the central Ethiopian town of Bekoji is known as the birthplace of elite distance runners. Tsegaye's resume includes victories at the Paris Marathon, Tokyo Marathon, Dubai Marathon and Berlin Marathon — with course records in Tokyo and Paris — as well as second-place finishes in Shanghai, Berlin, Turin, Paris and Toronto. And yet at best, she could only be considered the third-most accomplished runner from her hometown. That's because Bekoji has also produced Kenenisa Bekele and Tirunesh Dibaba, both three-time Olympic gold medalists and five-time World Champions.

Tsegaye, 30, has yet to win an Olympic or World Championship medal, but she is one of the top marathoners in the world and she is still in her prime; last year she set her personal-best time by covering the 26.2-mile Berlin course in 2 hours, 20 minutes and 18 seconds.

Amel Tuka


Still looking for its first World Championship medal of any color, one of Bosnia-Herzegovina's best hopes just happens to be in one of this meet's deepest and most competitive events. The men's 800 final should be a star-studded affair that includes world record holder David Rudisha (Kenya), reigning world outdoor champion Muhammad Aman (Ethiopia), reigning world indoor champ Ayanleh Soulemain (Djibouti) and 2015 Diamond League leader Nijel Amos (Botswana).

But the man with the fastest 800 time in the world this year is Tuka, the 24-year-old who ran 1:42.51 in Monaco on July 17, a race in which he beat Aman and Amos. That two-lap performance was the third time this year Tuka has set his country's national record in the 800. He also owns Bosnian-Herzegovina's national record in the 400, with a time of 47.19 seconds.

Muhammad Aman


While Tuka taking the title in the men's 800 would be something of a surprise, a win for Aman would not. The 21-year-old has claimed World Championship gold in each of the last three years: 2012 World Indoor Championships, 2013 World Championships (outdoor), and 2014 World Indoor Championships.

Aman is considered the toughest challenger to Rudisha, having already beaten him head-to-head when Rudisha was arguably the most dominant athlete on the planet. And ever since Rudisha set the world record (1:40.91) at the 2012 London Olympics, Aman's best times per year have been better than Rudisha's in 2013, 2014 and 2015. In other words, Rudisha may hold the unofficial title as the fastest 800-meter runner in the world, but Aman has been consistently faster than the fastest for three years running.

Leyla Rajabi

Leyla Rajabi

Leyla Rajabi

Shot Put

Born in Belarus, Rajabi converted to Islam and decided to represent Iran in athletic competition after marrying Iranian sprinter Payman Rajabi. With the latter decision she immediately became the best female shot putter in Iran, breaking the national record in her first meet by more than three meters.

Rajabi, 32, owns gold medals from the 2009 Asian Indoor Games, 2010 Asian Indoor Championships and 2013 Islamic Solidarity Games in Indonesia. At last year's Asian Games she took home the silver medal. Rajabi's best throw so far this year measured 18.04 meters (over 59 feet), making her one of the top 30 shot putters in the world and coming up just shy of her personal best of 18.13m.

Ihab Abdelrahman El Sayed


In an event that has traditionally been dominated by athletes from European and Scandinavian countries, there is a revolution of African and Caribbean javelin throwers challenging the status quo. Kenya's Julius Yego has the world's best throw this year at 91.39 meters, while Trinidad and Tobago's Keshorn Walcott ranks No. 2 with a 90.16-meter toss. A bit further down the list is 26-year-old El Sayed. His best throw of the year, 85.50 meters (over 280 feet), is tied for 10th-best in the world and puts him in legit medal contention at the World Championships. A year ago, El Sayed set a personal best with an 89.21-meter throw, a mark that would've been good enough to win a gold medal at the last World Championships in 2013.

Tugba Guvenc

3,000m Steeplechase

The steeplechase is the oddball obstacle course of track and field; a blend of traditional distance running, cross country, and a child's fun summer day of jumping over stuff and splashing in a wade pool. At 21 years old, Guvenc is one of the rising stars in the event, and the World Championships could be the stage on which she makes her name among the steeplechase elite and becomes known to a legion of track fans outside of Turkey.

This summer, Guvenc won a gold medal at the European Under-23 Championships in Estonia, setting a meet record by finishing in 9:36.16. Earlier this year she also established her personal best time of 9:33.34, putting her among the top 25 female steeplechasers in the world going into the biggest meet of her nascent career so far.

Kariem Hussein

400m Hurdles

Only six 400-meter hurdlers — five Americans and one Kenyan — have posted faster times this year than the 26-year-old Hussein, whose 48.45-second season's best is better than that of 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Javier Culson, 2015 Pan Am Games gold medalist Jeffery Gibson, and three-time African Championships gold medalist L.J. Van Zyl, among others. Hussein is the reigning European champion in an event that a lot of people who follow track believe is the toughest in the sport; one that requires equal parts speed, strength, endurance, technique and strategy.

Mutaz Essa Barshim

High Jump

This is either a sign of how good Barshim has become, or a sign of how how high expectations are for him: In 2015, he owns the two best high jumps in the world (2.41 meters on May 30 in Oregon; 2.38m on May 17 in Shanghai), and he currently sits atop the Diamond League standings — and yet this has been considered a down year for the 24-year-old human pogo stick.

Barshim finished third at the Asian Championships, and despite his overall No. 1 Diamond League ranking (think of the Diamond League like track's version of the UEFA Champions League), he hasn't won in four straight Diamond League meets.

In 2014, Barshim won the Diamond League title and gold medals at the World Indoor Championships, the Asian Games (outdoor) and the Asian Indoor Championships. He also turned in a personal-best jump of 2.43 meters (over 7 feet, 11 inches) that is the second-best in history. Maybe it's because it seemed a foregone conclusion that this would be the year Barshim breaks Javier Sotomayor's world record of 2.45 meters that has stood since 1993, but the book on Barshim going into the World Championships is that he's struggling. It will take only one giant leap in Beijing to change that narrative, but it's a leap that has eluded him all year.

Mutaz Essa Barshim

Mutaz Essa Barshim


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