Open Thread: Turkey Coup Attempt

Loon Watch - 19 July, 2016 - 19:08


The events in Turkey have roiled the world, especially the Muslim majority world. Hundreds are dead, thousands injured and now there is statewide crackdown in which 6,000 people have been arrested. The coup attempt has been blamed by Erdogan on the Gulenist inspired Hizmet movement in coordination, or under the patronage of the CIA. The rivalry between Erdogan and Hizmet has been going on for quite some time now, as Erdogan accuses them of trying to create a parallel state and has arrested and disbanded Hizmet members and their institutions in Turkey.

What are your thoughts?

Erdogan demands extradition of Gulen:

Gulen responds to the charges:

Steve King: “Western” Civilization Created Everything

Loon Watch - 19 July, 2016 - 18:53


Here is Islamophobe and all around racist, US Rep. Steve King speaking in the familiar vernacular of racists and nativists on MSNBC.

“This ‘old white people’ business does get a little tired, Charlie,” King said. “I’d ask you to go back through history and figure out, where are these contributions that have been made by these other categories of people that you’re talking about, where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization?”

Hayes asked: “Than white people?”

“Than, than Western civilization itself,” King said. “It’s rooted in Western Europe, Eastern Europe and the United States of America and every place where the footprint of Christianity settled the world. That’s all of Western civilization.”

In response to the “Western civilization” myth that is advanced by White supremacists and their allies it is a good time to relate the words reportedly said by Gandhi: when asked, “what do you think of Western civilization?” he replied, “I think it is a good idea.”


Imran Hosein - 19 July, 2016 - 17:57

Imran N. Hosein

Turkish President Erdogan is, of course, quite correct that there was US (and hence NATO) involvement in the attempted coup against his government. He is also quite correct in his accusations against the Turkish Sufi Shaikh, Fathullah Gulen, accusing him of involvement in the coup. It would have been more honest of Erdogan, however, if he had also disclosed that he knew that the coup was coming, he knew that NATO was involved, and he knew that the followers of Gulen, as well as others who were opposed to his rule, were to be deceived and used as


Wilaya: The Goal of Believers | Dr. Shadee Elmasry

Muslim Matters - 19 July, 2016 - 16:20

Written by Dr. Shadee Elmasry

To believe in the tenets of faith makes one a believer. But the believers have another goal too: wilaya. Wilaya is a personal relationship with Allah that develops throughout one's struggles against the four enemies: ego, whimsical impulses, shaytan, and dunya. It is said that the wali is the one given tawfeeq (Divinely aided success) in conquering these four enemies.

What are the signs of these four enemies? The sign of the ego is that it is one's constant bad habit that he or she has a hard time getting rid of. The sign of shaytan's work is that he gets you to do a one-off thing that you never did before and don't really know why you did at all. The whimsical impulse (hawa) is a sudden urge to do something harmful to one's deen or dunya. Impulses are built in within us. Some people are more impulsive than others. But the Prophet peace be upon him gave us the way out: “None of you truly believe (fully) until your whim is in accordance to what I have brought” (Tabarani). So the person might still by impulsive, but his impulse demands him something good, as Allah and His Messenger peace be upon him define goodness. Lastly the dunya is any desires of the ego that conflicts with goodness as defined by Allah and His Messenger peace be upon him. Dunya is not 'stuff.' If it's just a habit of life that you have nice clothes since you were a child such that it would be unbecoming for you to dress otherwise, that's not dunya. But if it's any desire that leads you to sin or distracts you from worship, then it's dunya.

Wilaya is a special rank Allah bestows upon those who exerted themselves above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to worship. “He continues drawing near to Me with extra deeds until I love him.” This love comes with an official pronouncement in a heavenly ceremony led by the Angel Jibreel. “When Allah loves a person, He tells Jibreel 'I love so and so, so love him.' Then Jibreel loves him and then announces to those in the heavens: 'Verily Allah loves so-and-so, so love him.' Then they love him. Then acceptance (in the hearts of the believers) spreads for him on the earth (Bukhari).”

The wali has more rights and rewards with Allah than the normal believer. The wali is rewarded with Divine inspiration: “I become his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his foot with which he walks, his hand with which he strikes…” (Bukhari). This means that when the wali does something, unique results come about because it's inspired with Divine gifts. How many times has someone said a normal statement that you heard many times before, but it's impact was so heavy that it changed you.

The wali has the right of protection: “If he seeks My aid, I will protect him,” and “Whoever aggresses against My wali, I announce war against him” (Bukhari).

As a result of this protection, you never have to worry about a wali: “Do not fear for them” (10:62 Yunus).

The wali will never be left sad as Allah says clearly and simply: “They will never be left sad” (ibid). This is good news for those close to a wali, since he or she will be sad if they are not in Paradise with them, so that it can be hoped that the wali will be allowed to intercede for them.

So…how is wilaya achieved? Simple: keep their company and imitate them, then hopefully we'll be resurrected in their company. “Be with the truthful ones” (9:119 Tawba). But how do we know who is a wali? We are not required to delve into that, but Allah has given us a number of signs to look for:

1 The wali is a person of knowledge. His statement, “He draws near to Me with recommended acts” indicates that the wali knows the difference between obligations and recommendations.

2 The wali fears doing the haram. “His awliya are the people of taqwa” (10:62 Yunus). Taqwa is doing what you have to do in religion and avoiding what we must avoid, in matters of beliefs, actions, and inner states (for example, the direct creation of Adam and Hawa is an obligatory belief; universal validity of religions is a prohibited belief; envy is a prohibited inward state; love of the Ahl al-Bayt and Companions is an obligatory inward state, and so on). This also requires knowledge, which is another indication that the wali is a person of knowledge.

3 The wali exerts him or herself in worship. “He continues drawing near to me with extra deeds.” Laziness regarding spiritual work, like dhikr, tahajjud, and fasting, is not the attribute of a wali.

These are the signs of the awliya. If we see these signs in someone, we should keep their company. And if we don't find any, then we should read about the past ones in the biographies of the awliya.

May Allah make us amongst them and resurrect us with them. We ask Allah to put the awliya in our path and inspire us to love them and honor them, and make them love us and help us on our journey. Ameen.

Muslim Basketball Players Urge FIBA To Allow Hijab

Muslim Matters - 19 July, 2016 - 15:58

Ummah Sports

On August 6, the women's basketball tournament at the 2016 Summer Olympics will tip off in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with 12 teams representing 12 countries vying for the 12 gold medals awarded to the players on the squad that finishes No. 1.

Despite the presence of two Muslim-majority countries in the tournament (Turkey and Senegal), not one of the 144 players expected to compete in Rio will be wearing the traditional hijab headscarf on the court. And that's not simply because none of them want to — but also because the rulebook does not allow them to.

FIBA, basketball's international governing body, currently has a rule known as Article 4.4.2 that prohibits players from wearing any “headgear” or “hair accessories” on the court, with the exception of headbands that do not exceed five centimeters in width.

That prohibition includes headgear and accessories worn for religious reasons, such as hijab headscarves for Muslim women, yarmulkes for Jewish men and turbans for Sikh men.

That prohibition covers all basketball games, leagues and tournaments sanctioned by FIBA — which includes most professional leagues outside of the United States, the Olympics, the FIBA World Cup, and regional contests like AfroBasket, EuroBasket and the FIBA Americas tournament.

Raisa Aribatul

Raisa Aribatul

Thanks in large part to public and political pressure resulting from the efforts of Muslim female basketball players who took to social media protesting Article 4.4.2 with the hashtag #fibaALLOWhijab, FIBA finally announced in September 2014 that they would begin a two-year “testing phase” during which they would allow hijab and other previously banned headgear in some international competitions (such as the 3-on-3 basketball tournament at the Youth Olympic Games) and review the results before voting whether or not to officially change Article 4.4.2.

Which brings us to August 2016. On a yet-to-be announced date in the same month that the Rio Olympics will begin, FIBA's board will hold a meeting to vote on the headgear issue.

As the vote approaches, Muslim female basketball players are again using the power of the Internet and social media to urge FIBA to allow hijab headscarves and other religious headgear worn by basketball players around the world.

Indira Kaljo and Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir, two Muslim American women who played college basketball in the U.S. and have been at the forefront of the #fibaALLOWhijab movement, are spearheading the campaign through to acquire signatures and support to influence FIBA's decision.

Here is a video posted by Kaljo explaining the campaign:

Click here to view the embedded video.

Kaljo finished her collegiate career at Tulane University in 2010 before playing professionally in Ireland and then in her native Bosnia. Raised in a Muslim family, she did not decide to wear hijab until after her first season in Bosnia, at which point she learned about the FIBA rule. Kaljo, 28, has not played professionally since then.

With her basketball career on hold, Kaljo founded and now serves as president of Global Aktivne, a nonprofit organization based in Saudi Arabia that aims to empower women and girls through sports and other avenues.

Abdul-Qaadir is the all-time leading scorer (male or female) in Massachusetts high school history. In 2010, she made history again by becoming the first player to wear hijab in an NCAA Division I basketball game. She finished her collegiate career at Indiana State University in 2014, where she was named all-conference, and it wasn't until she began to pursue a pro career that she learned of the FIBA rule.

Although she's certainly talented enough to make her living as a basketball player somewhere on this planet, the 25-year-old Abdul-Qaadir has not played a minute of pro ball. She went on to finish her Master's degree at Indiana State and currently works as the athletic director at Pleasant View School, an Islam-based school in Memphis, Tenn., that serves pre-kindergarten through high school students.

Other current and former players involved in the campaign include Ki-Ke Rafiu (Nigeria), who played basketball at Georgetown University; Raisa Aribatul (Indonesia); Asma Elbadawi (United Kingdom); Ezdihar Abdulmula (UK); Merve Sapci (Turkey); and Raabya Pasha (UK), who played at the University of Bradford.

I have not been able to find out exactly when Article 4.4.2 became part of the rulebook established by FIBA, an organization that has been in existence since 1932.

Which means I cannot guess how many Muslim women over how many years have been impacted by the rule; how many were denied the opportunity to play professionally; how many were denied the opportunity to represent their countries in the Olympics; or how many Muslim girls never pursued basketball seriously because they were told and shown that people like them were not welcome on the court.

“I was under the impression that it was inappropriate for Muslim women to participate in sport for the simple reason that I had never seen a Muslim female athlete wearing a Hijab in the media,” Elbadawi wrote in her essay. “Therefore it seemed like playing anywhere outside of the school environment and level was an unachievable goal.

“Having visibly Muslim girls playing sport on our screens and competing in basketball will impact the lives of many young girls because playing basketball will become an (achievable) goal.”

Click here to view the embedded video.


Indira Kaljo —

Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir —

Ezdihar Abdulmula —

Asma Elbadawi —

Ki-Ke Rafiu —

Raisa Aribatul —

Raabya Pasha —

Nice was a tipping point. France needs real action on terrorism now | Rachida Dati

The Guardian World news: Islam - 19 July, 2016 - 13:08

It’s time for the French government to stand up to radicalisation in a constructive and unrelenting way that will secure the long-term security of the country

The Nice outrage is the fourth terrorist attack suffered by the French people over the last 18 months. We are now at a crossroads. How many more victims must there be before this carnage stops? And what practical steps must be taken to tackle this issue head on?

Related: The Nice attack heralds a new kind of terror – one we can’t define | Peter Beaumont

We must enable young people. We must break the cycle of despondency that leads to radicalisation

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The most troubling thing about Pauline Hanson's view of Muslims? The facts no longer matter | Susan Carland

The Guardian World news: Islam - 19 July, 2016 - 06:29

It is horrifying to realise that nothing we do – short of denouncing our religion entirely - can change the unfair beliefs people have about Islam

The most troubling aspect of the current debate about Muslims in Australia is that facts are irrelevant.

So despite the fact that Australian Muslim leaders and spokespeople have publicly condemned terrorism and Islamic State again and again and again and again, Pauline Hanson can announce on Q&A that the “Grand Mufti won’t even come out and condemn the terrorist attacks that happened overseas”, and a Glen Iris mother can call ABC Melbourne local radio and say that Muslims need to start condemning terrorism.

Related: 'I'm proud of you': son's praise after father took on Pauline Hanson on Q&A

Related: TV host Sonia Kruger calls for end to Muslim migration to Australia

Related: The Pauline Hanson resurgence: as a Muslim, I'm surprised it took so long | Mehreen Faruqi

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Pauline Hanson questioned about the basis of her 'Islamophobia' on Q&A – video

The Guardian World news: Islam - 19 July, 2016 - 03:22

On ABC’s Q&A, audience member Khaled Elomar questions the One Nation senator on her policies towards the religion of Islam, which include a ban on all Muslim immigration to Australia. ‘Ms Hanson, what is the basis of your Islamophobic feelings – hate, fear, or ignorance?’ he asks. Pauline Hanson responds by asking Elomar why terrorist attacks are occurring so regularly around the world

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'I'm proud of you': son's praise after father took on Pauline Hanson on Q&A

The Guardian World news: Islam - 19 July, 2016 - 01:51

Khaled Elomar, who challenged One Nation leader on ABC show, says: ‘Australian Muslim youth are being told they are not welcome in their own country’

“I’m proud of you, and I’m a proud Australian,” Khaled Elomar’s 11-year-old son told him when he returned home after his exchange on Q&A with One Nation leader Pauline Hanson.

“In all honesty, I didn’t have to say a single word,” Elomar told Guardian Australia of his return home after his question on the ABC program on Monday. “My son stood at the door and said ‘I’m proud of you, and I’m a proud Australian’.”

Related: Pauline Hanson and Sam Dastyari clash over Islam on ABC's Q&A

Related: Pauline Hanson: Matthew Canavan warns against insulting her

Related: Radicalisation in Australia: Muslim leaders work to dissipate 'fixation' with Isis among youths

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Pauline Hanson: Matthew Canavan warns against insulting her

The Guardian World news: Islam - 19 July, 2016 - 01:10

New resources minister says while he disagrees with Hanson, insulting the One Nation leader means insulting her voters

The new resources minister, Matthew Canavan, has warned that the political class should not “insult” Pauline Hanson and her voters despite vehemently disagreeing with them.

In an interview on Sky on Monday, Canavan said that some individual Muslims want to damage Australia but Muslims should not be treated as one group.

Related: Pauline Hanson and Sam Dastyari clash over Islam on ABC's Q&A

Related: Pauline Hanson's back, and the disaffection genie is well and truly out of the bottle | Katharine Murphy

Related: Pauline Hanson should not be a 'scorned species', John Howard says

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Pauline Hanson asks Sam Dastyari on Q&A: are you a Muslim? – video

The Guardian World news: Islam - 18 July, 2016 - 23:58

One Nation leader defends her views on Islam as Labor senator, whose family migrated from Iran when he was five, asks if she would have banned him. Dastyari says her policy positions are ‘hurtful’ and ‘painful’ for the thousands of migrants like him and his parents. Hanson responds by citing Japan as an example of a country with very low numbers of Muslim migrants and no ‘terrorism on the streets’, in contrast to France and Belgium.

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Being Black and Muslim in the Post-9/11, Post-Ferguson Era

altmuslim - 18 July, 2016 - 21:25
By Kameelah Rashad, MS, MRP, MEd “The dead won’t let me sleep The living won’t let me die in peace My heart filled with the yesterday that never happened My hands filled with my face My long breaths bleeding between my fingers” — Amir Sulaiman, Come To The Hills (We Must Win) On the last [Read More...]

Turkish community of London react to country's military coup

The Guardian World news: Islam - 18 July, 2016 - 18:38

Fear for Turkey’s future is common among its expatriates with some believing the coup was staged

Mangal, located in the north London neighbourhood of Dalston, is one of the capital’s most popular Turkish kebab shops with nearly 20 years’ history; a frequent haunt of artists Gilbert & George and endorsed by the likes of Jamie Oliver and Yotam Ottolenghi.

This weekend, as turbulent events unfolded in Turkey following a failed military coup, the attention of its owners – like that of most Turkish diaspora living in the UK – was shifted towards their homeland. The restaurant’s co-owner, an avid Twitter user famous for his sarcasm, started live-tweeting the coup attempt on the restaurant’s account, which has more than 25,000 followers.

Related: Turkish diaspora in EU divided over Erdoğan following failed coup

Related: The death penalty must not be the legacy of Turkey’s quashed coup | Mary Dejevsky

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Little mosque on the prairie reveals a century of religious coexistence

The Guardian World news: Islam - 18 July, 2016 - 18:06

Tucked away in the rolling grasslands of north-western North Dakota is a tiny mosque – a milestone in Islam’s long history in the United States

Sitting in her white pickup truck at the gates of the Muslim cemetery in Ross, North Dakota, Lila Thorlaksen had a simple answer to a question about those who fuel the growing anti-Muslim sentiment in the United States.

“That’s their problem,” she answered matter-of-factly.

Related: Latino Muslims at country's only Spanish-speaking mosque: 'Islam changed my life'

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Pauline Hanson and Sam Dastyari clash over Islam on ABC's Q&A

The Guardian World news: Islam - 18 July, 2016 - 16:02

One Nation leader defends views on Islam as Labor senator demands to know whether she would have barred his five-year-old self from Australia

Twenty minutes into ABC’s Q&A program, Pauline Hanson realised she was sitting next to a Muslim.

The Muslim in question was Sam Dastyari, a Labor senator for New South Wales, who had been recounting the story of his migration to Australia as a five-year-old born in northern Iran in an attempt to rebut one of Hanson’s rightwing One Nation party’s key policies, which calls for a ban on all future Islamic immigration.

I have never understood why it is so hard for some people to embrace peaceful Muslims and condemn Islamic extremism at the same time. #qanda

It's excruciating having someone on TV tell someone else what their religion is about. "Your religion says..." #QandA


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Imran Hosein - 18 July, 2016 - 13:54




STAROBA CORNER, Jalan 1/23E dan Jalan 4D/6,






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