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Rep. André Carson to become first Muslim lawmaker to House intelligence committee

Loon Watch - 13 January, 2015 - 21:45

Andre Carson

The Muslamic Sharia Law is here? Expect the GOP to try and use this as fodder to feed their base.

Pelosi to name first Muslim lawmaker to House intelligence committee

By Lauren French: 1/13/15 10:32 AM EST

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi announced in a closed-door meeting Tuesday she would name the first Muslim lawmaker to the House’s Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

A senior Democratic aide said Rep. André Carson of Indiana would be named in the “coming days” to the key national security-focused panel. Pelosi (D-Calif.) told lawmakers of the appointment during the members’ weekly caucus meeting.

Carson would be the first Muslim to serve on the committee and was the second Muslim to be elected to Congress. He already serves on the Armed Services Committee and worked for the Department of Homeland Security’s Fusion Center — the clearinghouse established by the federal government to streamline data sharing between the CIA, FBI, Department of Justice and the military.

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Merkel pledges to stand against intolerance as she joins Muslim rally

The Guardian World news: Islam - 13 January, 2015 - 21:34
German chancellor joins Muslim community in condemning Paris killings and admonishing growing anti-Islamic movement

Angela Merkel has condemned the marginalisation of Muslims and other groups as “humanly reprehensible”, pledging that her government would use all the means at its disposal to fight intolerance.

The German chancellor, who has taken the strongest stance of any European leader in the wake of the Paris attacks, joined a Muslim community rally at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin to condemn the killings and admonish the growing anti-Islamic movement in the country, a day after it drew record numbers of supporters.

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To Defend Our Beloved Prophet, Let Us Exemplify His True Ideals Say Imams

Muslim Matters - 13 January, 2015 - 20:42

Following the shocking murders in Paris, condemned by Muslims all over the world, and subsequent moves to depict the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) once again, Imams from around the world have come together to issue the following advice to those concerned about the depiction.

1.    For Muslims, love of the Prophet (peace be upon him) is a NECESSARY part of our FAITH. He is dearer to us than our parents and children. We prefer him to our own self.

2.    Accordingly we regret and are naturally hurt by the depiction of our Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be peace), a great personality held in high esteem by 1.8 billion Muslims and millions more, in such a manner.

3.    Muslims do believe in freedom of speech. And they do respect the right for people to say what they believe to be correct. However, freedom of speech should not be translated in to a duty to offend. Furthermore, it is common knowledge that absolute freedom of speech does not exist. There are laws to protect the dignity and properties of people. We urge governments, civil society and our media to foster a culture of mutual respect and unity, not one of division and disdain.

4.    Most Muslims will inevitably be hurt, offended and upset by the republication of the cartoons. But our reaction must be a reflection of the teachings of the gentle and merciful character of the Prophet (peace be upon him).  Enduring patience, tolerance, gentleness and mercy as was the character of our beloved Prophet (peace and Blessings be upon him) is the best and immediate way to respond. With dignified nobility we must be restrained, as the Qur'an says “And when the ignorant speak to them, they say words of Peace.”

Our aim is to not, inadvertently, give the cartoons more prominence through our attention. Muslims must remain calm and peaceful in their speech and actions. Repel harm with goodness is the Qur'anic imperative and by which the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) lived. If we feel strongly, the only course of action to us is with reasoned debate, civil activism and other legal avenues, God willing.

5.Muslims have to remember that by depicting the Prophet (peace be upon him) no one can ever tarnish his image, as he is way beyond what is depicted, as Allah says, 'We have elevated your remembrance'. We should spend such regrettable moments in supplicating with many litanies and prayers of blessings on the Prophet; may Allah's mercy, peace and blessing be upon his soul.

6. Engage with others about your feelings. Speak of your love for the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and do not be shy to let your non-Muslim friends know your justified displeasure at the mockery that is made of our faith. People need to know how much love we have for our Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him).

7.  Learn more and share more about the greatness of the Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). Hassaan bin Thaabit (may Allah be pleased with him) describes him with the following couplets:

“My eyes have never seen anyone more perfect than you
No woman has given birth to anyone more handsome than you
You have been created free from all defects
As if you were created the way you wished”

8. We should, through our actions and deeds, display the sublime character of the Prophet (peace be upon him). The Prophet faced many great challenges but he exhibited impeccable beauty of character in his actions. He did not react inhumanely or violently. He was attacked verbally and physically in Taif but he forgave the people. His uncle and companions were murdered but he reacted peacefully and in a humane manner. And there are many such examples from the life of the Prophet (peace be upon him) we must display.

9. As citizens of our respective countries, we must not allow hate to creep into our hearts due to the horrific incidents of Paris. Muslims, non-Muslims and people of all backgrounds must come together and show unity and solidarity and not let it divide our communities. We must remember the statements of the Prophet (peace be upon him) such as: “Someone who unjustly kills a non-Muslim citizen cannot attain a whiff of Heaven, even though its fragrance is felt from a distance of forty years. (Bukhari), or, “He who hurts a non-Muslim citizen hurts me, and he who hurts me annoys Allah.” (Tabarani) And many other similar hadiths highlighting that Muslims are not allowed to hurt their non-Muslim brothers and sisters in humanity.

10. We must continuously supplicate to Allah that He rectifies our situation. Pray to Him that the chaos, injustice and oppression is lifted from all societies. We should pray to Allah so that He makes Britain, Nigeria, United States, India, United Kingdom, Australia, better, fairer and just countries for all. Pray to Him to aid the oppressed and the victims of the oppressors all over the world. Pray that He allows us to contribute to a more peaceful and just world. Sincerely pray at night and beseech Him to protect our honour and our dignity.

May Allah give us the ability to do what is right and avoid what is wrong. May Allah protect the whole of humanity from trials and tribulations.

Signed: 1. Mawlana Yunus Dudhwala (Head of Chaplaincy, Barts Health NHS Trust) 2. Dr Omer al Hamdoon (Muslim Association of Britain) 3. Imam Abdullah Hasan (Imams Against Domestic Abuse) 4. Imam Irfan Chishti (Chishtia Mosque, Rochdale) 5. Imam Shams ad Duha (Ebrahim College) 6. Sheikh Abdur Raheem Limbada (Tafseer-raheemi.com) 7. Imam Shafiur Rahman (Jibreel Institute) 8. Imam Ibrahim Mogra (MCB) 9. Imam Zuber Karim (Dundee Mosque) 10. Imam Abdul Wahhab (Plashet Grove Mosque) 11. Muhammad Ashraf Hansrot (Thornton Heath Islamic Centre) 12. Mawlana Abdul Mateen (Head teacher and Muslim Chaplain Quwwatul Islam Society London) 13. Mawlana Khalil Laher (Quwwat-ul-Islam Society London) 14. Imam Sulaiman Gani (Chaplain and Presenter on Iqra TV) 15. Imam Wasim Kempson (West London Islamic Cultural Centre) 16. Imam Yahya Adel Ibrahim (Al Kauthar Institute) 17. Imam Ghulam Moyhuddin (Ashton Central Mosque) 18. Mawlana Mujahid Ali (Hafs Academy) 19. Imam Saeed Algadi (Almuntada Trust) 20. Dr Abul Kalam Azad (Khateeb, Dockland Community Mosque) 21. Dr Mufti Abdur-Rahman Mangera (Scholar and Founder Zam Zam Academy) 22. Sheikh Zahir Mahmood (As Suffa Institute) 23. Shaykh Muhammad Umar Al-Qadri  (Al-Mustafa Islamic Educational & Cultural Centre Ireland) 24. Mawlana Adnan Qurayshi (Al-Ashraaf Secondary School) 25. Mawlana Zakaria Maljee (Stamford Hill) 26. Imam Ahmed Desai (masjid Quba, Bradford) 27. Mawlana Abdullah Rawat (Musallah an Noor Stoke Newington London) 28. Mufti Sajid (Azhar Academy Ltd/Quwwatul Islam Mosque) 29. Imam Tahir Talati (imam Zakariya Academy) 30. Imam Ilyas ameen (Azhar masjid) 31. Mawlana Muhammad Saleem  (Quwwat ul Islam) 32. Mawlana Zenulabedin Yakub (Masjide Tauheed) 33. Mawlana Said Ahmed (masjid e Salaam, Preston) 34. Mawlana Ilyas (masjid e Mahad, Preston) 35. Imam Yusuf Rios (Muslim Chaplain, The Shaukani Institute, United States) 36. Mawlana Muhammad ibn Ismail (Newham Ulama Forum) 38. Imam Qari Asim (Mecca masjid, Leeds) 38. Mawlana Imran Ali (BMACC Bearsden, Glasgow) 39. Dr Mansur Ali (Cardiff University) 40. Imam Imtiyaz Damiel (Abu Hanifah Foundation) 41. Sheikh Jaffer Ali Ladak (Hyderi Islamic Cente) 42. Imam Shabir Moosa Adam (masjid Ibrahim, Australia) 43. Shaykh Arif Abdul Hussain (Al-Mahdi Institute) 44. Shaykh Muhammad Saeed Bahmanpour (Resident scholar, Islamic Centre of England) 45. Sheikh Muhammad Al-Hilli (Noor Trust) 46. Ayatollah Seyed Milani (AlKhoie Islamic Centre) 47. Mufti Salim Ismail (Upton Park Islamic Centre) 48. Moulana Muhammad Shahid Raza (Leicester Central Mosque) 49. Sheikh Abdul Qayyum (East London Mosque) 50. Sayyed Muhammad Al-Musawi (World Ahlulbayt Islamic League) 51. Imam Fahimul Anam (Beacon Institute) 52..Imam Fadel Soliman (Bridges Foundation) 53. Dr Jasser Auda (Qatar) 54. Imam Muhammad Mustaqeem Shah (al Mustaqeem Centre, Bradford) 55. Imam Abdur Rahman Anwar (imam, London) 56. Imam Amer Jamil (iSyllabus, Scotland) 57. Mufti Muhammad Ibrahim Qureshi (Islamic Center Northridge), CA 58. Imam Yasuf iban Steven Deardorff 59. Maulana Muhammad Mota -Jame  masjid  Batley, Birmingham
60. Imam Omar Suleiman- Resident Scholar -Valley Ranch Islamic Center, TX 61. Imam Ajmal Masroor (Palmers Green Mosque) 62. Imam Muhammad Tahir Kiyani (Batley, Birmingham) 63. Shybatu Hassan Ibrahim-Bayero University Kano, Nigeria 64. Barrister Unusa Karimu, Banjong Mosque
65. Mawlana Idris Abdus Salam, Darul Hidayah 65. Syed Zafar Mahmood, Zakat Foundation of India 66. Imam Abdul Hakim HamidMuslim Community of Palm Beach County 67. A Mushahid Kadir, Shadwell Jame masjid 68. Kasali Kehinde, Asst Ameer Akinmorin Janmaa (Adeyemi College Mosque, Ondo) Muslim Student Society Of Nigeria 69. Javaid Ali Khan, Millat 70. Bro. Nassib Said (Abushureim), Director of Outreach,  Coast Muslim Youth Forum (Kenya) 71. Imam Ajmal Masroor (Palmers Green Mosque) 72. Imam Muhammad Tahir Kiyani (Batley, Birmingham) 73. Imam Hassan Rabbani (Zia Ul-Qur'an Mosque) 74.Imam Adil Rehman (Beyond Boundaries) 75. Ustadh Abdur Raheem Green (iERA) 76. imam Fahim Hammadur Rahman (European Islamic Centre, Oldham) 77. Imam Shams Tameez (Aylesbury masjid) 78. Imam Abdul Malik Sheikh (Khateeb, Holborn Mosque) 79. Sheikh Shouaib Ahmed  Mirpuri (Abdul aziz ibn bazz masjid banbury) 80. Sheikh Abdul Hadi (Ameer Markazi Jamiat Ahlehadith, UK) 81. Imam Muhammad Ibrahim Mirpuri (Muhammadi masjid, Bham) 82. Sheikh Hafiz Sharrif Ullah (Al Huda masjid, Bradford) 83. Imam Hafiz Akhlaq Ahmed (masjid Ahlehadith, Bradford) 84. Hafiz Abdul Aala (masjid Muhammadi, Keighly) 85. Hafiz Hamood Ur Rahman (Makki masjid, Manchester) 86. Sheikh Mustafidh Gani (Beyond Boundaries) 87. Imam Aziz Ibraheeem (iman Trust Community Centre, Saint Helens, Merseyside) 88. Imam Rizwan Hussain Al azhari (imam Bashir Ahmed masjid, Southampton) 89. Mawlana Munawar (Khateeb, Balham Mosque) 90. Qari Ashraf (Tooting Islamic Centre) 91. Imam Choukri Majouli (Finsbury Park Mosque) 92. Imam Mubarak Manya (Zakariyya Jaame masjid, Bolton) 93. Imam Ashraf Ali (Muslim Welfare Association of Port Talbot, Wales) If you are a leader of a congregation and would like to add your name to sign this statement please fill out this form: [contact-form]

The post To Defend Our Beloved Prophet, Let Us Exemplify His True Ideals Say Imams appeared first on MuslimMatters.org.

Jews and Muslims for justice and human rights | Letters: Joseph Pearlman, Yiftah Curiel and Nasima Begum

The Guardian World news: Islam - 13 January, 2015 - 19:06

Deborah Maccoby (Letters, 13 January) writes that the Board of Deputies of British Jews contributes to the rise in attacks on Jews because it claims “that the majority of Jews support Israel’s policies”. This is completely opposite to a report written by the Board, quoted on 8 May 2014 in the Jewish News, which notes “that communal surveys have pointed to overwhelming support for the two state solution and opposition to settlement construction”. Not to mention that the president of the Board, Vivian Wineman, is a former chair of the UK branches of Peace Now and of the New Israel Fund, each of which is prominent in promoting Jewish-Arab dialogue in Israel and the occupied territories.
Joseph Pearlman
London

• On the day that Jewish victims of a murderous terror attack in a Paris kosher grocery are laid to rest, we read a letter in the Guardian by an executive at “Jews for Justice for Palestinians”, holding Jews responsible for current levels of antisemitism. This is not only disrespectful to the victims at Hyper Cacher, but is also fundamentally wrong, based on the twisted logic that when Jews die, Jews must be to blame; 17 people died this week at the hands of jihadists, four of them simply for being Jewish. Rather than condemn the perpetrators, “Jews for Justice for Palestinians” choose to blame the victims. For shame.
Yiftah Curiel
Spokesperson, embassy of Israel

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Charlie Hebdo gunman’s wife had no idea he was extremist, lawyer says

The Guardian World news: Islam - 13 January, 2015 - 18:39
Saïd Kouachi reportedly kissed wife Soumya goodbye then told her he was going to Paris to see younger brother Chérif in Paris

The wife of the Charlie Hebdo gunman Saïd Kouachi had no idea her husband was a religious extremist or that he planned an attack on the satirical magazine, according to her lawyer.

Hours before Kouachi and his younger brother Chérif stormed into the publication’s office in Paris, leaving 12 people, including two police officers, dead, the gunman kissed his wife, Soumya, goodbye and left their home in the Croix-Rouge area of Reims.

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David Cameron supports Charlie Hebdo cover that depicts Muhammad

The Guardian World news: Islam - 13 January, 2015 - 18:27
Prime minister says he is not surprised at magazine’s decision to ‘fight for freedom of expression’ by picturing prophet

David Cameron has backed the decision of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo to publish a picture of the prophet Muhammad following a terror attack on its staff – even if it offends many Muslims.

The prime minister told Heart radio that it would be wrong for newspapers and other media to appease the “fanatical death cult of Islamist extremism” by holding back from publishing anything within the confines of the law.

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Angela Merkel joins Muslim community rally in Berlin

The Guardian World news: Islam - 13 January, 2015 - 17:26
German chancellor attends vigil for tolerance, in response to marches by far-right group Pegida in parts of country

Angela Merkel has joined a Muslim community rally in Berlin to promote tolerance, condemn the attacks in Paris and send a rebuke to Germany’s growing anti-Islamic movement.

“Hatred, racism and extremism have no place in this country,” she said in a speech earlier in the day. “We are a country based on democracy, tolerance and openness to the world.”

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As a Muslim, I’m fed up with the hypocrisy of the free speech fundamentalists

Mahdi Hassan - 13 January, 2015 - 13:49

The response to the inexcusable murder of Charlie Hebdo’s staff has proved that many liberals are guilty of double standards when it comes to giving offence.

 GettyProtests in Paris after the Charlie Hebdo killings. Photo: Getty

Dear liberal pundit,

You and I didn’t like George W Bush. Remember his puerile declaration after 9/11 that “either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists”? Yet now, in the wake of another horrific terrorist attack, you appear to have updated Dubbya’s slogan: either you are with free speech . . . or you are against it. Either vous êtes Charlie Hebdo . . . or you’re a freedom-hating fanatic.

I’m writing to you to make a simple request: please stop. You think you’re defying the terrorists when, in reality, you’re playing into their bloodstained hands by dividing and demonising. Us and them. The enlightened and liberal west v the backward, barbaric Muslims. The massacre in Paris on 7 January was, you keep telling us, an attack on free speech. The conservative former French president Nicolas Sarkozy agrees, calling it “a war declared on civilisation”. So, too, does the liberal-left pin-up Jon Snow, who crassly tweeted about a “clash of civilisations” and referred to “Europe’s belief in freedom of expression”.

In the midst of all the post-Paris grief, hypocrisy and hyperbole abounds. Yes, the attack was an act of unquantifiable evil; an inexcusable and merciless murder of innocents. But was it really a “bid to assassinate” free speech (ITV’s Mark Austin), to “desecrate” our ideas of “free thought” (Stephen Fry)? It was a crime – not an act of war – perpetrated by disaffected young men; radicalised not by drawings of the Prophet in Europe in 2006 or 2011, as it turns out, but by images of US torture in Iraq in 2004.

Please get a grip. None of us believes in an untrammelled right to free speech. We all agree there are always going to be lines that, for the purposes of law and order, cannot be crossed; or for the purposes of taste and decency, should not be crossed. We differ only on where those lines should be drawn.

Has your publication, for example, run cartoons mocking the Holocaust? No? How about caricatures of the 9/11 victims falling from the twin towers? I didn’t think so (and I am glad it hasn’t). Consider also the “thought experiment” offered by the Oxford philosopher Brian Klug. Imagine, he writes, if a man had joined the “unity rally” in Paris on 11 January “wearing a badge that said ‘Je suis Chérif’” – the first name of one of the Charlie Hebdo gunmen. Suppose, Klug adds, he carried a placard with a cartoon mocking the murdered journalists. “How would the crowd have reacted? . . . Would they have seen this lone individual as a hero, standing up for liberty and freedom of speech? Or would they have been profoundly offended?” Do you disagree with Klug’s conclusion that the man “would have been lucky to get away with his life”?

Let’s be clear: I agree there is no justification whatsoever for gunning down journalists or cartoonists. I disagree with your seeming view that the right to offend comes with no corresponding responsibility; and I do not believe that a right to offend automatically translates into a duty to offend.

When you say “Je suis Charlie”, is that an endorsement of Charlie Hebdo’s depiction of the French justice minister, Christiane Taubira, who is black, drawn as a monkey? Of crude caricatures of bulbous-nosed Arabs that must make Edward Said turn in his grave?

Lampooning racism by reproducing brazenly racist imagery is a pretty dubious satirical tactic. Also, as the former Charlie Hebdo journalist Olivier Cyran argued in 2013, an “Islamophobic neurosis gradually took over” the magazine after 9/11, which then effectively endorsed attacks on "members of a minority religion with no influence in the corridors of power".

It's for these reasons that I can't "be", don’t want to “be", Charlie – if anything, we should want to be Ahmed, the Muslim policeman who was killed while protecting the magazine’s right to exist. As the novelist Teju Cole has observed, “It is possible to defend the right to obscene . . . speech without promoting or sponsoring the content of that speech.”

And why have you been so silent on the glaring double standards? Did you not know that Charlie Hebdo sacked the veteran French cartoonist Maurice Sinet in 2008 for making an allegedly anti-Semitic remark? Were you not aware that Jyllands-Posten, the Danish newspaper that published caricatures of the Prophet in 2005, reportedly rejected cartoons mocking Christ because they would “provoke an outcry” and proudly declared it would “in no circumstances . . . publish Holocaust cartoons”?

Muslims, I guess, are expected to have thicker skins than their Christian and Jewish brethren. Context matters, too. You ask us to laugh at a cartoon of the Prophet while ignoring the vilification of Islam across the continent (have you visited Germany lately?) and the widespread discrimination against Muslims in education, employment and public life – especially in France. You ask Muslims to denounce a handful of extremists as an existential threat to free speech while turning a blind eye to the much bigger threat to it posed by our elected leaders.

Does it not bother you to see Barack Obama – who demanded that Yemen keep the anti-drone journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye behind bars, after he was convicted on “terrorism-related charges” in a kangaroo court – jump on the free speech ban wagon? Weren’t you sickened to see Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of a country that was responsible for the killing of seven journalists in Gaza in 2014, attend the “unity rally” in Paris? Bibi was joined by Angela Merkel, chancellor of a country where Holocaust denial is punishable by up to five years in prison, and David Cameron, who wants to ban non-violent “extremists” committed to the “overthrow of democracy” from appearing on television.

Then there are your readers. Will you have a word with them, please? According to a 2011 YouGov poll, 82 per cent of voters backed the prosecution of protesters who set fire to poppies.

Apparently, it isn’t just Muslims who get offended.

Yours faithfully,

Mehdi.

Mehdi Hasan is a New Statesman contributing writer and the political director of the Huffington Post UK, where this column is crossposted

Charlie Hebdo: a letter to my British friends | Olivier Tonneau

The Guardian World news: Islam - 13 January, 2015 - 12:07
It’s important to understand the role the magazine played for the French left, rather than judge its content out of context

The wave of compassion that met last week’s assault on Charlie Hebdo didn’t last long. Soon afterwards, all sorts of criticism started pouring down the web against the magazine, which was described as Islamophobic, racist and even sexist. Countless other comments stated that Muslims were being ostracised and finger-pointed. In the background lurked a view of France founded upon the “myth” of laïcité, defined as the strict restriction of religion to the private sphere, but rampantly Islamophobic. As a Frenchman and a radical left militant living in the UK, I was puzzled and even shocked by these comments and would therefore like to give you a clear exposition of what my leftwing French position is on these matters.

Firstly, a few words on Charlie Hebdo, which was often “analysed” in the British press on the sole basis of a few selected cartoons. It might be worth knowing that the main target of Charlie Hebdo was the Front National and the Le Pen family. Next came crooks of all sorts, including bosses and politicians (incidentally, one of the victims of the shooting was an economist who ran a weekly column on the disasters caused by austerity policies in Greece).

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Egyptian student jailed for proclaiming that he is an atheist

The Guardian World news: Islam - 13 January, 2015 - 09:45

He is sentenced to three years on blasphemy charges for Facebook entry

It is dangerous in Egypt nowadays not to conform. If you support the Muslim Brotherhood you could end up joining many hundreds of Islamists in jail.

If you are a journalist, as the Al-Jazeera staff know well, jail is a real possibility. Now it appears that if you are an atheist you could well be jailed too.

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21 Lessons in Leadership from the Prophet | Part 9

Muslim Matters - 13 January, 2015 - 06:00

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

Law of the Picture: People Do What People See

image

The Law of the Picture states that people will follow the leader not just in their speech, but more importantly in their actions. Followers do what they see their leaders doing. This is an absolutely critical concept for leaders to understand. If you lead in any capacity, at work, home or in your community, know that you are being watched! I have to admit that I have made my fair share of mistakes during my time as a school principal. I remember one incident in which I was joking around with one of the students and I gave him a funny nickname, or what I thought was a funny nickname, but unfortunately the other students picked up on it and started referring to him with the same nickname. It wasn't derogatory by any means; however I could tell that the student didn't really love being referred to by that nickname. So I tried hard to convince the other students that it was not a good thing to call him and I apologized profusely. The nickname did eventually go away, however the fact that the student may have felt bad due to my account very much saddens me to this day. I ask Al Ghafoor to forgive me for my insensitivity.

This incident and many others taught me a powerful lesson on the importance of always trying to behave with ihsaan, in particular in a leadership role. I say that because when you're not in a leadership position, your actions may not impact others in as great a way as it will when you're a leader. This principle goes so far and so deep. Just look at the Muslim leaders in the west and those who follow them. Followers of a particular movement talk like the leader, act like the leader and even start to change their physical appearance to match the dress and style of the leader.

All of this is precisely why the statement of Aisha raḥimahullāh (may Allāh have mercy upon him) who said that the Prophet's character was like a walking Qur'an is so incredibly profound! He walked his talk! His character was so beautiful that the Sahaba studied and emulated his every move. The minute details of his life have been studied and followed more than any other person's in human history. It's the reason why you see people throughout the world brushing their teeth with miswaaks, wearing long garbs, turbans and cologne (athar).

Followers do what they see, so what are your followers doing?

Reflection Questions on the Law:

  • How do you ensure that your actions are congruent with what you say?
  • Can you think of examples of good and bad actions that your followers have done directly as a result of the example that you set? How do those things make you feel?
Law of Buy-In: People Buy into the Leader, Then the Vision

The Law of Buy-In states that people will not buy into what your vision is until they buy into you as a person and as their leader. Think about this for a second…it is almost never the case that a vision propels people forward without a credible leader pushing that vision forward. Social Media has changed that phenomenon a bit, however for a viral video, message or cause to really make a broad impact, there are leaders that take center stage and make that cause real and take it beyond what it was only on Facebook, Twitter, Vine or Youtube.

In terms of the Prophet's ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) life, this is law provides a fascinating insight into Allah's Divine wisdom in selecting and preparing the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) in particular to carry out this message. A man of great integrity; a man of the noblest character; a man of great internal and external strength; a man of excellent dress and of medium height and build; the most handsome of men; a man of balanced temperament; a man of great wisdom and patience; an orphan and a former shepherd; this was the man that was selected by Allah to bring the final and perfect message from God to mankind.

It was easy for the people to buy into the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) because he exemplified Noble Character and had an amazing combination of perfectly balanced qualities. Even when his enemies tried to defame him, they really couldn't because anyone who met him and met them would know clearly who was on the path of truth and who wasn't. When people met him, they knew just by looking at him that he was a person of honesty and integrity; that they were not looking at the face of a liar or dishonest man.

Obviously, we can't share the physical attributes of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), but we can try to emulate his character and prophetic qualities. If we want to be leaders and agents of positive influence, then people will have to buy into us before they buy into what we're selling.

Reflection Questions on the Law:

  • When taking on a new position of leadership, was it easy or difficult to get the people to buy into you? How so?
  • When trying to set a new vision for your organization, school or community, what steps do you need to take in order to get them to first buy into you and then your vision?

The post 21 Lessons in Leadership from the Prophet | Part 9 appeared first on MuslimMatters.org.

Condemning the Charlie Hebdo Attack & Respecting Prophet Muhammad ~ Dr. Yasir Qadhi

Muslim Matters - 13 January, 2015 - 05:00

In this timely khutbah, Shaykh Dr. Yasir Qadhi gives his frank comments on the recent killing of the cartoonists in France.

The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was sent as a mercy to the world, and his seerah is replete with incidents of forgiveness and love.

These incidents, put together, form the rule: other incidents that are invoked as evidence are the exception and must be understood in the overall context of the seerah.

We also need to look at the context of this violence: there are political and social causes that allow radical voices to be heard and acted upon. Without understanding these root problems, we will never understand why such violence occurs.

The Shaykh also touches on the clear double-standards that exist: what 'freedom of expression' is being defended when modest sisters cannot express their freedoms by dressing they way they choose to?

The post Condemning the Charlie Hebdo Attack & Respecting Prophet Muhammad ~ Dr. Yasir Qadhi appeared first on MuslimMatters.org.

Pathetic “World Leaders”: Photo-Op By Some of the Greatest Violators of “Free Speech”

Loon Watch - 13 January, 2015 - 02:33

Look at this pathetic contrast:

World_leaders_Charlie_Hebdo_France

This was just an opportunity for many of these politicians to score some points in the media and claim that they are at the forefront of “freedom” and the so-called existential battle for “free speech.”

Jeremy Scahill was on DemocracyNow! where he deconstructed this cheap “circus of hypocrisy“:

JEREMY SCAHILL: Yeah, well, I mean, first of all, you know, what we saw yesterday on display, on the one hand, was very heartening, to see so many people come into the streets. And, you know, one of the core issues of press freedom, if this is a moment where the whole world is saying we have to have a free press, and that no matter how controversial or hateful some of the speech is or may be interpreted in some communities, that we judge a free press by how we treat the journalists or the stories that we don’t like or that we’re offended by.

But on the other hand, this is sort of a circus of hypocrisy when it comes to all of those world leaders who were marching at the front of it. I mean, every single one of those heads of state or representatives of governments there have waged their own wars against journalists. You know, David Cameron ordered The Guardian to smash with a hammer the hard drives that stored the files of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. Blasphemy is considered a crime in Ireland. You had multiple African and Arab leaders whose own countries right now have scores of journalists in prison. Benjamin Netanyahu’s government in Israel has targeted for killing numerous journalists who have reported on the Palestinian side, have kidnapped, abducted, jailed journalists. You know, there’s this controversy right now: Why didn’t President Obama go, or why didn’t Joe Biden go? You know, Eric Holder was there already and was representing the United States.

I think that we should remember—and I was saying this on Twitter over the weekend—that Yemen should have sent the Yemeni journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye as their representative. He, of course, was in prison for years on the direct orders of President Obama for having reported on secret U.S. strikes in Yemen that killed scores of civilians. Or Sudan should have sent Sami al-Hajj, the Al Jazeera cameraman who was held for six years without charge in Guantánamo and repeatedly interrogated by U.S. operatives who were intent on proving that Al Jazeera had some sort of a link to al-Qaeda. So, you know, while there is much to take heart in, in terms of this huge outpouring of support for freedom of the press, hypocrisy was on full display in the streets of Paris when it came to the world leaders.

How did Fox News' Birmingham blunder make it to air? Because everything does | Joe Muto

The Guardian World news: Islam - 12 January, 2015 - 22:25

For some hosts and producers at a network that traffics in outrage and over-the-top, factually questionable claims, Steven Emerson is an irresistible guest

Where does Fox News get its facts? I could show you, but we’d need an extra-powerful flashlight and several cocktails to loosen up Steve Doocy.

Now that I’ve ruined your day by putting the thought of that horrifying, hypothetical spelunking excursion in your head, let me hit you with a totally unsurprising and predictable bit of information: Fox is making headlines this week for a wildly inaccurate assertion made on its air.

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Charlie Hebdo: Brother of killed Algerian police officer says ‘do not mix up extremists with Muslims’

Loon Watch - 12 January, 2015 - 21:56

merabet family Charlie Hebdo: Brother of killed Algerian police officer says ‘do not mix up extremists with Muslims’

The family are mourning Mr Merabet’s ‘barbaric’ death

By: Lamiat Sabin Saturday 10 January 2015

The family of a police officer who was shot dead outside the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris while he patrolled the streets urged people “not to confuse extremists with Muslims.”

In a tearful press conference, the brother of Ahmed Merabet, 42, who spoke in French on behalf of the family, said they are devastated by the “barbaric” death in the hands of terrorists from the same home country who claim to be acting in accordance with Islam.

Dressed in black, five members of the family – two men and three women – stood in a line to address the press conference with brother Malek in the middle. Mr Merabet, who is one of 17 murdered by masked gunmen in a three-day siege, is survived by his wife.

Ahmed Merabet, 42, died outside the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine Malek said that the French national, who originates from Algeria, was proud to defend the country and stood by the national principles of “Liberté, égalité, fraternité” (liberty, equality and fraternity) and he worked for the police force for eight years.

Mr Merabet was “a pillar” for the family who looked after his mother and close relatives, Malek said before he choked up with emotion and had to pause while the other male member of the group comforted him.

The brother said that murderous gunmen who took the life of his sibling should not be considered the same or be interchangeable with law-abiding Muslims around the world.

Mr Merabet was shot dead as he was patrolling the 11th arrondissement where the offices of the satirical magazine are based. Footage of his death shocked the world, with many commemorating his dedication to protecting those who chose to exercise freedom of speech, even against his religion, with the once-trending hashtag #JeSuisAhmed.

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Fox guest: Stop appeasing Muslims and ‘exterminate this scum that is plaguing the planet’

Loon Watch - 12 January, 2015 - 21:36

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Sounds like some of the trolls that pop in the comment sections here.

Fox guest: Stop appeasing Muslims and ‘exterminate this scum that is plaguing the planet’

Fox News on Saturday hosted a Marine veteran who argued that countries like the United States and France were too concerned with the civil liberties of Muslims, and that governments should “exterminate” the terrorists that were “plaguing the entire planet.”

Nick Powers, who became a conservative celebrity after he threatened ISIS in a letter last year, told the hosts of Fox & Friends that French law enforcement agencies had been right to act quickly to kill the terrorists who attacked Charlie Hebdo.

“It just makes the thinks of the past 14 years that we’ve spend fighting terrorist groups, and how the rules and regulations and political correctness especially has caused us to be tied up,” he opined. “You know, our hands are tied behind our backs, and we’re fighting an organization that has no regards to human life.”

Fox News host Brian Kilmeade pointed out that many believe that the United States was “better than that.”

“They go an assassinate people on the street, we can’t harshly question people,” Kilmeade declared. “What do you say to people who question us?”

“War is never going to be pretty,” Powers replied. “And anybody who tries to make it pretty is a complete moron. You have to get dirty, you have to exterminate this scum that is plaguing the entire planet.”

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Phony Terrorism Expert “Steven Emerson” Manages To Get All Of England Laughing At Him

Loon Watch - 12 January, 2015 - 21:22

StevenEmersonDeception

By Emperor

Islamophobia kills brain cells, just ask Fox News “counterterrorism expert” Steven Emerson.

A regular over the years on Fox News, Steven Emerson, is a well known tool in the American Zionist establishment, beloved by AIPAC and other such lobby/advocacy organizations. Before his most recent idiocy, Emerson’s most famous gaffe was blaming the Oklahoma City bombing on Muslims, saying things like, “Oklahoma City, I can tell you, is probably considered one of the largest centres of Islamic radical activity outside the Middle East.”

Over the years Emerson has made millions from the counter-terrorism/Islamophobia industries (check out: million$$$ of reasons to promote hate and suspicion of Muslims). He has made several movies depicting Muslim Americans as a Fifth Column. His website, The Investigative Project on Terrorism is known to publish articles promoting racism and Islamophobia.

In this context it becomes understandable why Emerson would make a complete and utter ass out of himself by claiming that the English city of Birmingham was “totally Muslim,” and that there are “no-go areas” all over the place. This got all of England (and the world) laughing at him, with the satirical Twitter hashtag #FoxNewsFacts trending:

Steven_Emerson_FoxNewsFacts

Even Prime Minister David Cameron chimed in to describe Emerson as “a complete idiot“; funny how the leader of Britain understands this but the morons in Congress still bring Emerson on for “expert testimony” (i.e. bash Muslims). Emerson, used to living in his own world, may try to spin this as a compliment, after all his previous honors include being described as the “Worst Person in the World.”

Steven Emerson exposes himself as a know-nothing jackass–again:

Also Read:
-Apology For ‘Muslim Birmingham’ Claim

Birmingham laughs off Fox News commentator’s caliphate claim

The Guardian World news: Islam - 12 January, 2015 - 19:23
At central mosque and in Balti Triangle, there is bafflement over suggestion that city is a no-go zone for non-Muslims

The train passengers’ calm consumption of crisps and bored checking of emails on the 11.43am to Birmingham suggested they hadn’t heard the news. Their destination, a city of more than a million people, had shockingly become Britain’s first caliphate and a no-go zone for non-Muslims – at least, according to an “expert” on Rupert Murdoch’s US-based Fox News channel.

“There are actual cities like Birmingham that are totally Muslim where non-Muslims just simply don’t go in,” Steve Emerson, a commentator on terrorism, told millions of viewers on Sunday.

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