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A Walk Around Westminster After The Attack

Inayat's Corner - 2 April, 2017 - 20:50

 

After completing some upgrades of networking kit earlier today, I went for a walk around Westminster. I wanted to see what effect the terrorist attack eleven days ago had had on the area.

I saw additional bollard-type barriers on the pavement on Westminster Bridge which I don’t recall seeing previously. Presumably these were added almost immediately after the attack on the pedestrians on the Bridge that tragic day.

However, as can be seen from the pics above, the Bridge was thankfully just as busy as ever with tourists and visitors. If it wasn’t for the flowers and bouquets you would never know that this was the scene of a horrific attack less than two weeks ago.

It was lovely to see that normality had returned. There were many hijabis in the area – just as you would expect in an incredibly diverse city and tourist-magnet such as London.

I did get into a discussion with a Moroccan guy who gave his name as “Anis” who said that the UK’s democracy was fake. He said he knew someone close to him who was in Belmarsh prison without charge for a number of years now and had developed serious mental health issues as a result. Over a decade ago, the Blair government did introduce what was in effect indefinite detention without trial for those non-British nationals who were suspected of involvement in terrorism. It was an incredibly draconian and illiberal piece of legislation which has now been replaced by TPIMs. I told him that the UK had many failings – and the fact that Blair and his shameless cheerleaders in the UK press had not paid a price for the travesty that was the Iraq invasion was clearly high on that list – it was still a wonderful place to live. It is true that recent months have seen a rise in tensions as far right elements seek to exploit the nasty anti-immigrant and racist sentiment that accompanied the Brexit vote, but this remains a strongly functioning liberal democracy and that should be a cause for hope, not despondency.


Whatever happened in the San Serriffendum? | Brief letters

The Guardian World news: Islam - 2 April, 2017 - 19:10
Aung San Suu Kyi | HSBC’s gender neutral titles | Classifying exercise | Bristol University | April Fools’ Day

Aung San, father of Suu Kyi, recognised the divergent aspirations of the Shans, Mons, Karens, Chins, Burmans and a myriad of other national groups, including those like the Muslim Rohingyas who arrived and settled more recently (Report, 31 March). Independence from British rule was not just that, it was a challenge to form an inclusive Burmese identity not dominated by the majority Buddhist Burmans. Aung San Suu Kyi has never shown an understanding of the need to channel the contested idea of Myanmar identity into a constructive force. Instead, her view of Myanmar politics has been shaped by a single-minded focus on replacing the military rulers by elected rulers.
SP Chakravarty
Bangor, Gwynedd

• Why the retrograde step (HSBC to offer customers choice of gender-neutral titles, 31 March)? My current bank cards from HSBC carry no title, nor do letters in the Guardian. Unless it truly is optional, of course, and people wish to use such titles. Just please don’t say “the computer needs it”. I changed one bank account after it refused to accept creation of an account without a title.
Hilary Grime
Oxford

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What sort of judge weighs the victim and not the crime? | Catherine Bennett

The Guardian World news: Islam - 2 April, 2017 - 00:05
Men who inflict terrible violence on their partners are walking free from courts that treat their crimes lightly

Following the proliferation of sharia councils, and with them, disturbing reports of systematic discrimination against women by all-male tribunals, the government finally set up an inquiry.

A deeply compromised inquiry, admittedly; one with feeble terms of reference and presided over by interested theological parties, but still, a public acknowledgement that some sharia councils may be working, as the government said, in a “discriminatory and unacceptable” way.

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On the problem of proving hate

Indigo Jo Blogs - 1 April, 2017 - 17:15

A picture of Bijan EbrahimiYesterday I saw a post on the Disability Hate Crime Network group on Facebook about a crime in which a ‘vulnerable’ man was kept captive and tortured for more than a week by a gang of six males and one female who falsely accused him of being a paedophile. Last month all pleaded guilty to false imprisonment and occasioning grievous bodily harm (GBH) with intent and were sentenced to between 10 and 13 years each (one of the males, a juvenile, received four years’ detention). The ringleader, Stephanie Titley, had offered the victim, who is still alive and cannot be named, a place to stay but became abusive when rumours were spread that he was a paedophile; the gang punched and kicked him, used knives and a machete and burned him with cigarettes, leaving him with a broken jaw and ribs. The Facebook post by Stephen Brookes notes that recorded evidence suggests that the gang were motivated not by hatred towards a real or perceived disability but by the false belief that the victim had engaged in sexual acts with children, thus it did not fit the definition of a disability hate crime. To me, this strengthens my view that proof of hate towards disability should not be required in cases of violence towards a disabled person, especially a person with a learning disability.

The press reports describe the man as ‘vulnerable’ and he has not been named; the latter is not usual in cases of people accused of sex crimes (which he formally was not, but rumours were spread to that effect), so the assumption is that he had learning difficulties. False accusations of such crimes are a common feature of violence against people with learning disabilities (as in the case of Bijan Ebrahimi, pictured, from 2013), even though false accusations of rape generally are quite rare. Why? I suspect the reason is that people associate ‘weirdness’ with ‘perverts’: we commonly refer to them as weirdos, and we tell children to be careful when outside (or keep them inside) because of “all the weirdos out there”. At the same time, people with learning difficulties also often exhibit ‘weird’ behaviour such as talking to themselves (which is quite often a nervous habit linked to past bullying) and may dress unfashionably and have such habits as carrying their belongings in a carrier bag rather than a ‘proper’ rucksack or sports bag. So, it’s easy for people to believe that someone with ‘weird’ habits is the type of weirdo that might molest a child, especially if he had been seen talking to a child he wasn’t related to, or had annoyed a woman (on purpose or otherwise).

When I was at boarding school, there was a boy in my form who was bullied for the whole time he was there, chiefly because he was fat. Towards the end, because of this and other problems (such as with his family), he took to drink and was a nightmare to live with, but was expelled for attacking a female former teacher (not sexually). Years later, I heard that the boy had spent time in prison, and another old boy I spoke to said that he was a “disgusting little boy” and as for his time in prison, he had “probably raped somebody”. Yet I didn’t believe he would have done something like that, and wasn’t convinced he was capable of overpowering an adult for that purpose. The logic ran, “he was a shit, rapists are shits, therefore he was probably a rapist”. This is the same sort of logic that would convince a group of ruffians that a ‘weird’ man who was ‘a bit slow’ might also be a child molester the moment someone even suggested it.

Of course, the majority of rapists and child-molesters are not weirdos in ill-fitting clothes; they are often respectable or admired people such as clergymen, teachers, pop stars, TV presenters and so on, or members of their victim’s family, but this does not occur to a lot of people. While it appears that the recordings of these thugs indicated that they were motivated more by the belief that he had molested a child than by his impairment, I would like to know if they contained any indication of awareness of his impairment — references to him being a “bit slow” or derogatory versions of the same, for example. As I have said in response to previous disability hate crimes, I believe that it should not be necessary to prove outright hostility to someone on disability grounds to aggravate assaults on disabled people into hate crimes, or crimes “aggravated by disability”; the culprits should have to be only aware of it, and there be no personal insult or grudge involved. This way, when a group of people abuse someone who is disabled because they thought the absolute worst of them because they acted weird, it would attract suitable punishment from the law.

Possibly Related Posts:


Boko Haram kidnaps 22 girls and women in north-east Nigeria

The Guardian World news: Islam - 1 April, 2017 - 02:16

Attackers loyal to faction headed by Abu Musab Al-Barnawi, son of Boko Haram founder Mohammed Yusuf

Boko Haram Islamists have abducted 22 girls and women in two separate raids in north-east Nigeria, residents and vigilantes said.

In the first attack on Thursday, the jihadists raided the village of Pulka near the border with Cameroon where they kidnapped 18 girls.

Related: Nigeria: Chibok families reunited with 21 girls kidnapped by Boko Haram

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Glorified Victims, Muslim Apologists, and Western Culture Worship

Muslim Matters - 31 March, 2017 - 03:22

Throughout my life, I’ve had several encounters with Muslim immigrants to America, and many of these experiences were not positive. I had an Arab high school teacher tell me that Black people in America could never be Muslim. In a predominately Pakistani masjid that I once frequented, the community’s sooq (store) stocked skin-lightening products that promised to be “the solution to pollution.” A Trinidadian friend told me that her father said she could marry anyone except a Black man. And upon meeting me for the first time, a sister from Somalia expressed surprise that I was a Black American, given that my books were so “well written”.

As I stated in the blogs I’ve written on these experiences, I could say that these experiences scarred me for life, that I went home in tears, and that these people’s bigotry incited within me that horrible inferiority complex due to my “Blackness” and my utter inability to be accepted not only by “White America” but also by the “real” Muslims of the world. But I won’t. That would be dishonest.

The truth is I thank Allah that, thus far, He has protected me from falling into the trap of the glorified victim in response to these hurtful experiences.

Glorified Victims

For the purpose of this article, I use the term glorified victim to refer to anyone who, in response to mistreatment or bigotry, devises and/or propagates new religious teachings or scriptural interpretations, which are specifically designed to favor or “glorify” the victim in religious contexts. These teachings often purport to “challenge” existing systems of privilege within a faith tradition while in reality they merely create a new faith tradition. The teachings of glorified victims often contradict or oppose the faith they claim part of, or they contradict or oppose faith itself.

In other words, a glorified victim is someone who responds to wrongdoing with wrongdoing.

As a general rule, new religions or interpretations born from a glorified victim status have at their roots doctrines in response to something as opposed to doctrines that stand on their own regardless of circumstance.

In modern times, glorified-victim ideologies generally manifest as some form of anti-racism or anti-bigotry. The religion of the glorified victim, however, should not be confused with faiths that include anti-racism or anti-bigotry as part of their teachings. The glorified victim doctrine is based on specific anti-bigotry, whereas authentic religious doctrine is based on God’s revelations, which naturally include teachings of anti-racism and anti-bigotry.

However, ultimate religious truth points to only God and His revelation for all religious teachings.

Glorified Victims Rely on Being Victims

Ironically, glorified victim doctrines are powered almost entirely by the continuance of the very bigotry and mistreatment they claim to fight against. This is not to say that glorified victims desire bigotry and mistreatment; quite the contrary. However, it is to say that the most powerful tool that glorified victims have in gaining supporters and advocates is their ability to point the finger the other way, and thus deflect from the greater issue: religious honesty and authenticity.

But as long as glorified victims continue to have “proof” for the wrongs they’ve suffered, guilt and compassion (often incited by emotional manipulation) will cloud others’ ability to think critically such that they challenge the false religious claims of glorified victims.

In other words, to the glorified victims spreading unfounded religious beliefs, their worst enemy is true equality—because equality forces them to behave like full, intelligent human beings instead helpless, accosted victims. In this vein, they claim to want love and acceptance, but what they really want is irrational pity, as this shields them from religious accountability. I reflect on this “love shield” phenomenon in the following excerpt from my book PAIN. From the Journal of Umm Zakiyyah:

“Asking for theological proofs is not love,” she said—while she herself was making theological claims. So the demand for ‘love’ has now become the shield used to protect ourselves from accountability for our speech and behavior—even as we use God’s name to justify both. Thus, this ‘love shield’ allows us to tell endless lies and inflict endless wounds, while hiding behind demands of religious tolerance. Then we cower like an accosted victim in the face of any scrutiny or questioning, which we swiftly label “hate.”

I Was Almost a Glorified Victim

When I speak of the goals and thought processes of glorified victims, I am not speaking in theory. Before I took time to study Islam for myself, my beliefs were largely influenced by glorified victim doctrine, namely the “everything Black or Afro-centric is good” ideology, even when it contradicts Islam. Had Allah not guided me, I would have been part of spiritually destructive mentality that, till today, leads many practicing Muslims to excessively praise contexts of blatant shirk and immorality, as long as it makes “our people” (whether Black or Muslim) look good. In this mentality, glorified victimhood does not always manifest as overtly religious. It sometimes manifests as extreme cultural or religious pride as expressed in ostensibly non-religious contexts, such as music or entertainment. What makes glorified victimhood different from normal cultural or religious pride in contexts of music and entertainment is that glorified victimhood either obligates or praises blatant disobedience of Allah while verbally harassing, mistreating, or ostracizing Muslims who wish to obey Allah.

One of the most obvious examples of this is the excessive praise that the singer Beyoncé received following the release of the videos Formation and Lemonade. To be clear, I am not discussing people’s personal admiration or appreciation for the singer and her phenomenal talent, as personal recognition of powerful art and extremely talented entertainers is a natural human tendency (irrespective of haraam content). I am not even criticizing anyone who likes her music and performances. Here, I am speaking specifically about glorified victim mentality, which in this case manifests as an excessive level of admiration and appreciation that effectively makes admiration and appreciation for Beyoncé a religious obligation. Naturally, glorified victims would never use this terminology to describe their beliefs and behavior, but this does not make the description any less accurate.

In pro-Beyoncé glorified-victim ideology, Muslims who do not praise and appreciate the singer “as she deserves” are accused of having sick hearts—a belief that bears uncanny similarity to the Islamic belief system regarding those who do not praise and appreciate Allah as He deserves, thus resulting in spiritually sick hearts. Amongst Muslims whose praise of the singer have crossed Islamic bounds, friendships are cut off as a result of frustration with “blind people” who don’t appreciate her talent; social media posts are made blasting anyone who dislikes and criticizes her “empowering” songs and videos; and Muslims are called to openly praise her shirk as moving and beautiful because it highlights “African spirituality.”

No, I’m not talking about friendly, harmless disagreement here. I’m talking about a full-fledged intolerant ideology that ignores all Islamic limits and in fact requires either ignoring or transgressing them. To those unfamiliar with the “BeyHive” (which has a very active Muslim segment), this might sound quite preposterous. And I would agree. But I assure you that this pro-Beyoncé glorified victim ideology is very, very real—hence my blog “What Muslims’ Celebration of Beyoncé Says About Our Souls.”

Western Culture As Glorified Victim Ideology

A phenomenon of nearly all glorified-victim doctrines is that they start off as relatively innocuous and even praiseworthy movements: “We’re only fighting against mistreatment, marginalization, and oppression by [insert privileged group here].” However, they eventually graduate to teaching specific religious doctrine that establishes belief systems that oppose or reinterpret the Qur’an and Sunnah for their own selfish purposes. Some glorified victims achieve this while remaining affiliated with orthodox Sunni Islam.

In the glorified-victim ideology rooted in Western culture worship, Muslims use Western anti-religion ideology to replace the Qur’an and Sunnah as the criterion in determining right and wrong, or in determining the norm with which everything else is compared. Consequently, everything in Islam that incites distaste in White American society is either reinterpreted, denied, or labeled “no longer applicable in modern times.” This is the glorified-victim ideology of Muslim apologists whose Islam is dictated more by seeking a positive Muslim image in the West than by seeking the pleasure of Allah in the Hereafter.

Because this ideology is backed by people of power, namely White America in non-Muslim circles and affluent Arabs and Desis in Muslim circles, it is far more destructive and insidious that that of the pro-Beyoncé glorified victim ideology that I discussed earlier. Ironically, those who adhere to the Muslim apologists’ glorified victimhood often berate the pro-Beyoncé Muslims for their un-Islamic beliefs and behavior, often under the umbrella of music being haraam. However, in truth, much of their disdain is linked more to anti-Black racism than it is to Islamic evidences.

Given that both White America and Arab/Desi Muslim immigrant cultures hold a disdain for African-Americans, holding up immoral Black people as an example of shame and wrongdoing comes quite naturally to Muslim apologists. Many of these apologists go as far as to approve of their own un-Islamic cultural practices and music while labeling Black culture and music (especially rap and hip-hop) as reprehensible and forbidden, even when musical instruments and immorality are not involved.

To be clear, I am not interested in contributing to the age-old music debate, as it is completely irrelevant in this context. The point I’m making is that the glorified victimhood of privileged Muslims, who are predominately Arab and Desi immigrants to America (and their descendants), manifests itself in ways that conflate anti-Black racism with religiosity while at the same time presenting violations of the Qur’an and Sunnah (which glorify their own cultures and religious insecurities) as Sunni Islam itself.

Those who favor the position that music is haraam are quite vocal in their view that music is unilaterally forbidden and, as aforementioned, often cite the immorality or rap and hiphop as proof of the evils of music. They sometimes go as far as to equate the very definition of “haraam music” with only American songs, while allowing their own “cultural music.” You’ll find zillions of lectures on the topic of music being forbidden, so much so that many Muslims are genuinely unaware that there exists a legitimate minority opinion that music that involves no indecency or immoral lyrics is permissible.

Meanwhile, these same anti-music Muslims completely ignore the Qur’an and Sunnah narrations regarding the warnings and prohibitions against leaving the land of Muslims and settling amongst non-Muslims. These warnings and prohibitions are much more firmly established in Islam than the view that all music is haraam, but it is very rare you’ll hear lectures about these warnings.

Why the religiosity surrounding music but no such concern about pledging one’s life to the flag of a country that persecutes Muslims as a matter of course? Because their Islam is tailored specifically to meet the needs of their own culture, even if indigenous Americans suffer as a result (hence their vilifying of American music while accepting their own). Also, as they maintain connection to their culture, they desire to be viewed as fully American at the same time (hence the widespread acceptance of attaining Western citizenship even when there is no Islamic need to immigrate). And it is not coincidental that these choices also allow them to continue their anti-Black racism under the guise of Islam, hence the endless fatwas classifying nearly every African-American cultural expression as “imitation of the kuffaar” even when no immorality is involved in the art, music, or entertainment.

The transgressions of influential Muslim apologists are much more harmful than that of pro-Beyoncé extremism mainly because their ideology uses the Book of Allah and prophetic statements as the platform to discount or deny the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah (or to discount or deny the validity of other points of views, like those in African-American culture). Yet their apologist, un-Islamic (and intolerant) teachings are widely accepted as Sunni Islam in the West.

Naturally, except for sharing the spiritually destructive admiration for Western culture, Muslim apologists are not a monolithic group. Thus, they have both overlapping and opposing beliefs amongst themselves. Nevertheless, they do generally share one common belief rooted in Western culture worship: their obsessive need to reinterpret the definition of Islamic marriage and “women’s rights” such that polygyny is either forbidden, outdated, or presented as “disliked” or “not preferable” in Islam.

Because this glorified victim ideology (which points to the wrongs of patriarchy and “bad men”) is taught by some of the most respected and celebrated Muslim imams in America (who seek to appease Western culture), this un-Islamic belief system goes largely unchallenged, even though it violates teachings of the Qur’an itself.

Other popular glorified-victim beliefs of Muslim apologists include the redefining of hijab to mean only “modest dress” without a head covering, and the inclusion of non-Muslims as believers who can enter Paradise even after having rejected Islam on earth. In the latter belief, I’ve never met any other believers in “the Abrahamic faiths” who feel the need to apologize for believing that their religion represents ultimate truth in front of God while seeking to adjust the reality of the Hereafter to appease disbelievers in their faith.

Unfortunately, many Muslims are more than happy to show White America that they are willing to deny or apologize for their Lord’s teachings if it means they’ll earn “cool points” as American citizens (or hopefuls).

However, it is important to point out that there are indeed many Muslims in America (including African-American, White, immigrant, etc.) who do not fall in the category of any of these groups. Just as there are African-Americans who appreciate their culture without crossing Islamic bounds in overpraising talented singers and entertainers, there are also Arabs and Desis who appreciate their cultures without crossing Islamic bounds in silencing legitimate disagreement, participating in anti-Black racism, or favoring Western culture over authentic Islamic practice. As the Prophet (peace be upon him) taught us, there will always be a group of Muslims upon the truth, and that group includes people of all colors, backgrounds and ethnicities.

We’re All Flawed, We’re All Hurting, and We All Need Patience

Here is something to remember about the progeny of Adam, whether convert or born-Muslim, or layperson or scholar: We are all flawed, we are all hurting, and we all need patience, within ourselves and amongst each other. But just as a person’s privilege due to skin color, wealth, or status does not give them right to dictate the lives of others, our suffering (or glorified victimhood) does not make us the authorities of Allah’s religion. We have no more right to define “Islamic faith” due to our suffering (or religious inferiority complexes) than others do due to their privilege.

In the end, humility and submission to God is what is required of all believers; and it is God, and God alone, who defines that belief.

 

Umm Zakiyyah is the internationally acclaimed author of more than fifteen books, including the If I Should Speak trilogy, Muslim Girl, His Other Wife and the newly released self-help book for Muslim survivors of parental and family abuse: Reverencing the Wombs That Broke You, with contributions by Haleh Banani, cognitive behavioral therapist.

To learn more about the author, visit ummzakiyyah.com or subscribe to her YouTube channel.

 

 

Canada: Islamophobic Mob Disrupts Townhall Meeting, Rip Apart Quran

Loon Watch - 30 March, 2017 - 22:47

These are the self-proclaimed heroes of freedom of speech, freedom of religion and western civilization who decry so-called Muslim intolerance but will happily disrupt a townhall event on some trumped up fear and anxiety that Muslim school children are taking over public schools by privately praying together for 15 minutes.

Sadly, these same types are the ones who are leading the US government now.

The “Jew Killing Hadith” And The Myth of An Antisemitic Genocide In Muslim Scripture

Loon Watch - 30 March, 2017 - 21:51

via. Huffington Post, By Yaqeen Institute

How an apocalyptic tradition played into the hands of anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim hatemongers

A Jordanian cleric visiting Canada recently misleadingly cited a hadith without context or explanation, which rightly triggered condemnations from the Muslim community as well as numerous headlines around the world. A hadith is an oral report transmitted from the Prophet Muhammad, and can be incredibly complex as one needs to evaluate all the chains of transmission of a particular statement recorded in a hadith in order to arrive at an appropriate conclusion of what the particular hadith is actually talking about. In this case, a single phrase was cited, one describing rocks and trees calling out to Muslims, “There is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.”

This is not the first time that this text has been used to foment anti-Semitic sentiment within the Muslim community. Muslim leaders and scholars must forcefully denounce such rhetoric and clarify Islam’s unequivocal condemnation of all forms of anti-semitism, racism, discrimination, and xenophobia. Of course, Islamophobes pounced on the opportunity to trigger alarm bells and generate a new wave of propaganda accusing Muslims of genocidal ambitions towards Jews, and to claim that Islam is inherently anti-Semitic and a threat to Western civilization.

Explanation of the misquoted hadith

A story about a supernatural apocalyptic battle between good and evil

When we look up different narrations of the Hadith in question, we find out that the phrase being quoted is actually part of a larger narrative in the genre of eschatology (the part of theology dealing with the end times and the Day of Judgment), describing the return of Jesus and the apocalyptic battle between Jesus and the Dajjal (Antichrist). [1] In this battle that will take place between the armies of Jesus and the Dajjal, several miracles are said to occur including that the Dajjal will melt when Jesus sees him, and that inanimate rocks and trees will speak and identify soldiers of the Dajjal (Sunan Ibn Majah 4077).

This is a story about a battle between two groups of soldiers involved in war, one side of which is clearly unjust; it does not refer to innocent civilians. And it’s not actually a battle about ‘Muslims versus Jews’! As a matter of fact, Muslims believe that all righteous Christians, Jews, and Muslims will be following Jesus after he returns (Qur’an 4:159), while misguided Christians, Jews, and Muslims will be following the Dajjal. Indeed, other Hadith demonstrate that many of the Dajjal’s forces will actually be deviant Muslims (Sunan Ibn Majah 179).[2]

Jews are amongst the good guys in the Muslim apocalypse

Moreover, the vast majority of Jews will NOT be followers of the Dajjal, as hadith commentary describe that the Dajjal’s followers will come from only two out of the twelve Israelite tribes, while most Jews will be righteous folk amongst the forces of good uniting with virtuous Christians and Muslims (Fayd al-Bari, Anwar Shah Kashmiri, 4/197). [3] After all, the Dajjal will be a murderous dictator who claims to be God, an anathema to all followers of the Abrahamic tradition as well as to all people of conscience.

Muslims do not believe that rocks and trees will be pointing out random innocent bystanders, but rather soldiers of the Dajjal – combatants who are themselves involved in killing innocent people. It is about these specific combatants in the Antichrist army that rocks and trees will say, “There is one hiding behind me, come and slay him!” The religious identity of the Dajjal’s soldiers includes evildoers from all backgrounds (including misguided Muslims). Other variants of the hadith state that the rocks and trees will simply say, “Here is a rejector of truth hiding behind me!” (Musnad Ahmad 3546), and do not use the word “Jew” to describe them.

Therefore, this hadith describes a future battle between warriors and can only occur after the return of Jesus; in no way can this hadith be interpreted as a prescription to go out and harm civilians or peaceful members of any faith community. The Qur’an explicitly condemns violence against civilians and non-combatants, stating “Whoever kills a soul it is as if he has slain all humanity,” (5:32) and, “So if they withdraw and do not fight you, and offer you peace, then God gives you no way against them,” (4:90). War is only permitted in defense against aggression or to aid the oppressed, as in the case of Jesus fighting against the Dajjal’s forces.

The question of Anti-Semitism and the Armageddon

All three Abrahamic faiths (Islam, Christianity and Judaism) have well-established traditions about a prophesied Messiah who will engage in a battle against the forces of evil in the end times, whether it be the return of Christ who will battle all the nations of the earth, or the coming of the Masiach ben Yossef who will destroy the Edomites and enemies of Israel. [4] All three groups have had to explicate these esoteric eschatological passages in order to steer clear of antagonism towards other communities. In 2012, A DNC County Chairman resigned after he said, “The Christians just want us to be there so we can be slaughtered and converted and bring on the second coming of Jesus Christ.” [5]The Bible describes the Armageddon in painful terms regarding the enemies of Christ/Israel (See: Zechariah 14:12). [6] It’s necessary for people of all faiths to not allow their texts about the end times to be hijacked in a way that validates hateful speech or actions in the present. All Abrahamic faiths have eschatological teachings that are esoteric and require careful critical interpretation. The mainstream leaders of all faith communities have consistently emphasized tolerance and respect for others.

Islam denounces all forms of anti-Semitism and racism

The Prophet Muhammad taught his companions to respect people of all faith backgrounds and to care for everyone. He said, “Donate in charity to people of all faiths” (Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah 3/177) [7] and he personally used to donate money regularly to sponsor a Jewish family in his community. [8] When the Prophet saw the funeral procession of a Jew passing by, he stood up out of respect. When some companions pointed out that the deceased was not Muslim, he rebuked them stating, “Is it not a human soul?” (Sahih Bukhari 1250). The lesson here is to respect all humanity. Some Jews converted to Islam and yet others, like the Rabbi Mukhayriq, continued to practice Judaism and still remained on good terms with the Prophet (Seerah Ibn Hisham 1/518). Even when the Prophet passed away, he had his armor mortgaged to a Jewish person (Sahih Bukhari 2759), a narration that shows he maintained good relations with Jews until his death. As the Qur’an says, “(God) instructs you to deal kindly and justly with anyone who has not fought you for your faith or driven you out of your homes: God loves the just,” (60:8). According to Al-Tabari, one of the earliest commentators, this verse encourages good relations with “all the sects, creeds, and religions,” (Tafsir al-Tabari 60:8). These Qur’anic teachings have inspired Muslims throughout the ages. During World War II, the Grand Mosque in Paris rescued Jews fleeing the Nazis and provided them with a safe haven and means of escape. This is the legacy that Muslims must recall and revive.

In addition to respecting other faiths, Islam prohibits harming others and places great emphasis on Muslims maintaining positive relationships with those outside the faith. The Prophet Muhammad issued a stark warning about persecuting others, “Whoever harms a non-Muslim at peace with us will never smell the fragrance of paradise, although its fragrance can be found a distance of forty years of travel,” (Sahih Bukhari 6516). On the Day of Judgment, the Prophet himself will argue on behalf of persecuted non-Muslims and against the Muslims who persecuted them, “If anyone wrongs a non-Muslim at peace with us, violates his rights, burdens him with more work than he is able to do, or takes something from him without his consent, then I will be his advocate on the Day of Resurrection.” (Sunan Abi Dawud 3052). This stunning indictment should make any Muslim think twice before hurting anyone.

Yaqeen Institute will be releasing a full research paper studying the relationship between Muslims and Jews during the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad and during Islamic history by the end of April 2017.

[1] Fath al-Bari by Ibn Hajar al-’Aqsalani, Sharh Sahih Muslim by al-Nawawi, Umdatul-Qari by Badr al-Deen al-’Ayni.

[2] T​his narration states that he will emerge from the deviant group known as the Khawarij (Sunan Ibn Majah 179), and according to commentaries on Ibn Majah, he will emerge at the head of a great army (“jaysh al-adheem”) of Khawarij (Shuruh Sunan Ibn Majah, edited by Raed Sabri Ibn Abi Ulfah). Another narration ​(​Sahih Bukhari 1881) states that he will be joined by the inhabitants of Makkah and Madinah who are Munafiqeen – those who outwardly claim to be Muslim but whose insincerity in faith will be evident once they join forces with the Dajjal.

[3] Fayd al-Bari explains, “This is only about the Jews whom Jesus is fighting against, namely those in the armies of Dajjal.” In fact, if Dajjal is followed by a cult of seventy thousand wearing green shawls this amounts to less than 0.5% of the global population, a tiny fraction.

[4] “Appendix II – Mashiach in Jewish Law by Rabbi Dr. J. Immanuel Schochet, from his book “Mashiach – the Messianic Era in Jewish Law” on Chabad.org. Dr. Schochet writes, “Interestingly enough, according to Pirkei deR. Eliezer ch. 28 (in non-censored versions), the Ishmaelites (Arabs) will be the final kingdom to be defeated by Mashiach.” http://www.chabad.org/library/moshiach/article_cdo/aid/101747/jewish/Appendix-II.htm#footnote6a101747

[5] http://americanvision.org/6370/christians-just-want-jews-slaughtered-and-converted/

[6] http://biblehub.com/zechariah/14-12.htm

[7] Musannaf ibn Abi Shaybah, and Silsilah al-Saheehah vol 6, p628. Arabic: ( تصدقوا على أهل الأديان كلها)

[8] Kitab al-Amwal, Abu Ubayd al-Qasim ibn Sallam d224H, pp727-728, Dar alShuruq 1989​. Arabic: ( عن سعيد بن المسيب أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم تصدق على أهل بيت من اليهود بصدقة ، فهي تجري عليهم ​).

Guest Authors:

Dr. Nazir Khan is a Research Director at Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research. He is also an Imam and member of the Manitoba Fiqh Committee. He holds an ijaazah in theology, Quran and Hadith and is the founder ofSpiritualPerception.org

Imam Omar Suleiman is the Founder and President of the Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research, and an Adjunct Professor of Islamic Studies in the Graduate Liberal Studies Program at SMU (Southern Methodist University). He is also the Resident Scholar at Valley Ranch Islamic Center and Co-Chair of Faith Forward Dallas at Thanks-Giving Square.

Justin Parrott is a Research Fellow at Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research. He holds a BA in Physics, English from Otterbein University. He also holds a MLIS from Kent State University and a MRes in Islamic Studies in progress from University of Wales. He currently serves at NYU in Abu Dhabi.

AIPAC: Jewish Defense League Terrorists Attack Protesters

Loon Watch - 30 March, 2017 - 20:52

JDL terrorist thugs are back, and up to the same tactics they honed in the days of terrorist Rabbi Meir Kahane, attacking Palestinians and anti-Israeli apartheid protesters.

The JDL was designated a terrorist organization by the US government, and their Kach party, which has a significant following among Israeli settlers is banned in Israel. The JDL was responsible for nearly 7% of terrorist attacks in the US between the years of 1980-2005 according to the FBI.

At the conference the JDL freely operated with their classic hatred, intimidation, and violence. The following graphic video illustrates the violent nature of the attack which was first captured and shared by the Institute for Middle East understanding (IMEU).:

Kamal Nayfeh

Will AIPAC condemn the brutally violent JDL attack on Kamal Nayfeh, an elderly Palestinian, and several IfNotNow protesters? IfNotNow, has urged AIPAC to denounce the JDL attack and has reported that during the Conference AIPAC members were supporting the JDL.

According to IfNotNow, AIPAC’s leadership has so far remained silent on these events: “We watched as AIPAC members walking into the conference shook hands with and vocalized support for the JDL presence. AIPAC therefore must take responsibility for the JDL violence. Until this moment, AIPAC leadership has been silent.”

Up until today there has been no censure or condemnation by AIPAC officials of these terrorist JDL goons. Most top mainstream Jewish news sites have not reported the attack or the JDL’s presence at AIPAC, that includes: The Jerusalem Post, YNet, TabletMag, JNS, and Arutz Sheva. Haaretz, the Forward and The Times of Israel did report the attack. The comment section at some of the sites where this was reported is troubling.

Times of Israel:

The Forward reported the identity of two of the JDL attackers who’ve been formally charged.:

The Metropolitan Police Department identified the two people who were arrested as Yosef Steynovitz and Rami Lubranicki. An article on the conservative website Politichicks named Lubranicki as the creator of the group American Bikers United against Jihad.

Steynovitz was charged Monday with assault with significant bodily injury, which is a felony. Lubranicki was charged with simple assault, a misdemeanor, according to the Washington Jewish Week article.

This should be treated as a hate crime and additional charges should be brought against these two and all those who participated in the attack.

The Islamic Enlightenment by Christopher de Bellaigue – review

The Guardian World news: Islam - 30 March, 2017 - 12:00
A celebration of an age of reformers in Istanbul, Cairo and Tehran provides a powerful corrective to lazy, prejudiced thinking

Fifteen years ago, I sought out the oldest surviving folios of Plato’s philosophy. My hunt took me first to the Bodleian library in Oxford, and then past vats of indigo and pens of chickens in the souk in Fez, through the doors of al-Qarawiyyin mosque and up some back stairs to its archive storeroom. There, copied out and annotated by the scribes of al-Andalus, was a 10th-century edition of Plato’s works: in my hands was evidence of a Renaissance, in Islamic lands, three centuries before “the Renaissance” was supposed to have happened.

The jibe too often heard today that Islam is stuck in the dark ages is simplistic and lazy – as evidenced by this vigorous and thoughtful book about Islamic peoples’ encounters with western modernity. One of the pertinent questions Christopher de Bellaigue asks is: did a rational enlightenment follow on from Islam’s deep-rooted interest in the works of Plato and other classical philosophers? The answer he gives is: yes, in certain places and at certain times.

Egyptians were horrified to learn Napoleon’s troops trod on carpets with their boots and didn’t shave their pubic hair

Research has identified 8,000 women who taught and preached within 150 years of the death of the Prophet Muhammad

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Being a Muslim under Trump is risky. That's why many are hiding their identity | Khaled A Beydoun

The Guardian World news: Islam - 30 March, 2017 - 11:00

The decision to act as non-Muslim as possible is an emergent phenomenon – but not an entirely new one

Two weeks after Donald Trump was elected president, Nora decided to remove her headscarf – for good. Weighing on the mind of the 23-year-old were recent assaults against conspicuous Muslims like herself. State suspicion and private violence would only get worse under Trump, she feared. So she hid part of her identity from the world.

Many Muslim men and women, like Nora, choose to conceal their Muslim identity – or express it in a way that is less “threatening” to others. Some take things one step further: they undertake the extreme measure of erasing their Muslim identity altogether by passing as non-Muslim in public.

Related: Border agents stopped Muhammad Ali Jr. Here’s how we can all fight back

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