It’s time saner minds prevailed

Muslim Americans are being forced to question why the country they call home is branding them as being unpatriotic

The real battle is being waged over the fundamental rights of Muslims in America. They are the last ethnic and religious minority who continue to be negatively stereotyped, lampooned and attacked with impunity.

The respected James Zogby, founder and president of the Arab American Institute (AAI), captured the charged atmosphere in the lead-up to the ninth anniversary of 9/11 in his recent column: “Now, nine years after 9/11, the hate and anger are back and it is not only Muslim Americans who are at risk, but the very soul of America; preachers of hate [both neo-conservatives with their anti-Muslim and anti-Arab axes to grind]; irresponsible mass media [including Fox News and a whole host of talk radio shows]; and politicians [some eager to exploit fear for political advantage and others too afraid to demonstrate leadership]. All have combined to create the current situation.

For Muslim Americans, this year’s anniversary of September 11 may be the most stressful one yet, and possibly the most consequential. A confluence of events and political developments has produced a situation more volatile than any since the immediate aftermath of the horrific terror attacks of 2001.”

Former US president George W. Bush, addressing the American people in the aftermath of Al Qaida’s attack, had said: “Our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of very deliberate and deadly terrorist acts.” He then launched three wars: the so-called war on terror; the Afghanistan war, and the Iraq war. All these wars have been inconclusive.

These wars, along with the media frenzy about 9/11, are influencing the behaviour of fringe elements in some radical Islamic movements, who have contributed to the anti-Muslim atmosphere. The flames are further fanned by anti-Muslim elements in the mainstream political and media establishments, spearheaded by the pro-Israel lobby, and those who would like to lead the US on a worldwide ‘crusade’.

In a recent article, I opined that Islamphobia disgraces America and its people. I highlighted the controversy and the polarisation surrounding the proposed construction of the Cordoba Islamic Centre near Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan. This, in my opinion, disgraced the US and put to test the much cherished concepts of constitutional rights, respect for all faiths and freedom of worship and alienated moderate and well-meaning Muslims who represent the Islamic mainstream.

The real battle is being waged over the fundamental rights of Muslims in America. They are the last ethnic and religious minority who continue to be negatively stereotyped, lampooned and attacked with impunity. And there are hardly any consequences for those who are waging such bigoted campaigns.

The real threat today is from those who are mouthing racist remarks or from cowards who are silent and not speaking out against such a venomous campaign. The likes of Sarah Palin and former US speaker of the House of Representatives and other influential figures in the Republican party are feeding the frenzy. And some, such as Bush, are maintaining a cowardly silence.

Palin and Gingrich are mainstream figures in the Republican party and possible candidates for the 2012 presidential election. Both have campaigned against the Cordoba Islamic Centre and have not come out strongly against the Quran burning stunt. Palin called on “peaceful Muslims” to “repudiate” the “ground-zero mosque” because it would “stab” American hearts. While Gingrich, said that “Nazis don’t have the right to put up a sign next to the Holocaust museum in Washington. There is no reason for us to accept a mosque next to the World Trade Center”.

It seems this bigoted bunch are emboldened by opinion polls. One poll found that almost 40 per cent of Americans believe Muslims should carry special identification cards! Other polls, like the recent Washington Post and ABC News poll, seem to validate these views. It found that two-thirds of Americans oppose building the Islamic centre near the former site of the twin towers.

Four in five of those opposed say their opposition is strictly because of the location. But 14 per cent of the opponents (or 9 per cent of all Americans) say they would oppose building it anywhere in the country. The Post-ABC News poll found that roughly half the country (49 per cent) holds an unfavourable view of Islam, compared with 37 per cent who have a favourable view. That is more negative than eight years ago.

In October 2002, 47 per cent said they had a favourable view of Islam and 39 per cent said they had an unfavourable view. About a third of the country now believes that mainstream Islam encourages violence against non-Muslims, while 54 per cent see the religion as peaceful. The percentage seeing it as peaceful has varied little over the past nine years, but the percentage saying they believe it encourages violence is about double what it was in 2002.

The lasting scar of such tragic and deliberate policy is validating the conspiracy theory that the US is in a clash with the 1.5 billion Muslims all over the world. The alienation of millions of American Muslims, many of them third-generation citizens, is precipitating an identity crisis for them and forcing them to raise legitimate questions about how the country they call home is betraying them and branding them as unpatriotic and untrustworthy, simply because they belong to a faith which seems under siege.

Something’s got to give and saner people must show the courage and reverse this trend before we face an inevitable clash of civilisations.

By – Dr Abdullah Al Shayj, Chairman, Political Science Department, Kuwait University.

Eyes can Miss-lead

We Walk By Faith, Not Sight. Do You Believe??

A teacher was going to explain “evolution” to the children of Class-3.

Teacher asked a little boy: “Tommy, do you see the tree outside?”
Tommy, “Yes.”
Teacher, “Do you see the grass outside?”
Tommy, “Yes.”
Teacher, “Go outside and look up and see if you can see the sky.”
Tommy went outside, returned a few minutes later and said, “Yes, I saw the sky.”
Teacher, “Did you see God?”
Tommy, “No.”

Teacher, “That’s my point. We can’t see God because he isn’t there. He doesn’t exist.”

Next day a girl stands up in the same class and asks for permission to ask some questions from Tommy.
The teacher agreed and the girl asked the boy: “Tommy, do you see the tree outside?”

Tommy, “Yes.”
Girl, ”Tommy, do you see the grass outside?”
Tommy, “Yes.”
Girl, “When you went outside yesterday, did you see the sky?”
Tommy, “Yessssss (getting tired of the questions by this time).
Girl, “Tommy, do you see the teacher?”
Tommy, “Yes.”
Girl, “Do you see her brain?”
Tommy, “No.”
Girl, “Then according to what we were taught today in school, she must not have one!”


Surprise Conversions of British Working Women

Few days ago we learned how Lauren Booth, Tony Blair’s sister in law and famous journalist reverted back to Islam. We knew that since some time especially after 9/11, Islam spread rapidly in the America and Europe especially in white people. This phenomenon is especially observed in England. The Sunday times published a story on its edition dated Feb 22nd ’04, with the tag line “Islamic Britain lures top people” . It was written that;
“More than 14,000 white Britons have converted to Islam after becoming disillusioned with western values, according to the first authoritative study of the phenomenon. Some of Britain’s top landowners, celebrities and the offspring of senior Establishment figures have embraced the strict tenets of the Muslim faith.”

In England Yousuf Islam (a former music star Cat Stevens) was the only celebrity who reverted to Islam. After 9/11, while reporting inside Afghanistan, journalist Yvonne Ridley (now Mariam) was converted to Islam because of hospitality and respect of her captors Taliban. Amazingly Yvonne Ridley says that;
“Western feminism pales into insignificance” compared to the solidarity of Muslim women”

She also wrote that;
“I was asked to write about how Islam allows men to beat their wives. Sorry, not true. Yes, I’m sure critics of Islam will quote random Qur’anic verses or ahadith but all are usually taken out of context. If a man does raise a finger to his wife, he is not allowed to leave a mark on her body … this is another way of the Qur’an saying; “Don’t beat your wife, stupid”.

“Now let’s take a glance at some really interesting statistics, hmm. I can almost hear the words pot, kettle, black. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, four million American women experience a serious assault by a partner during an average 12-month period”.

“On the average, more than three women are murdered by their husbands and boyfriends every day . . . that is nearly 5,500 women battered to death since 9/11″.

“Now you tell me what is more liberating. Being judged on the length of your skirt and the size of your cosmetically enhanced breasts, or being judged on your character, mind and intelligence?”

“Glossy magazines tell us as women that unless we are tall, slim and beautiful we will be unloved and unwanted. The pressure on teenage magazine readers to have a boyfriend is almost obscene”.

(I am sure she haven’t met with Paki liberal :lol:)

Recently surprise conversion of Lauren Booth, Camilla Leyland, Kristiane Backer, Lynne Ali and others, made people to ask that;
” Why are so many modern British career women converting to Islam?”
The daily mail tried to get the answer of this question.

Camilla Leyland says that;
“In the West, we are stressed for super ficial reasons, like what clothes to wear. In Islam, everyone looks to a higher goal. Everything is done to please God. It was a completely different value system”.
Kristiane Backer wrote in out line of her book “From MTV to Mecca” ;

“I was lost but now I’m found”
“the glitter of showbiz promised nothing new for me. I didn’t want to pursue my professional career at any price. My orientation had changed. I wanted to integrate every aspect of my life into my new found value system”.

Lynne Ali says;
“I am so grateful I found my escape route. This is the real me — I am happy to pray five times a day and take classes at the mosque. I am no longer a slave to a broken society and its expectations”.

These revelations are strange for many ordinary Muslims of Pakistan like me. Because Muslims all over the world and especially in Pakistan have adopted an apologetic behavior. Bombardment of allegations, intense Islamo-phobic media campaign along with loss of innocent lives in war on terror brought us all in a defensive position The campaign against fundamental Islam is so intense that talking about Jihad can make you vulnerable to all sorts of problem from condemnation and criticism up to disappearance.

I can understand that the motives behind the war against terror, the reason to become ally is also comprehensible although extremely disgusting and shameful. I can also understand the anger and frustration of those who lost their loved one but understanding Islam-o-phobia with in known Muslims of the Pakistani society isn’t easy. There could be many reason and interpretations and ranges from upbringing to the local cultural aberrations in male dominant society or wrong doing in the guise of religion. One reason is described by Kristiane Backer when she gives her psycho analysis for unsavoriness of some Muslim women against Islam;

“I know women born Muslims who became disillusioned an d rebelled against it. When you dig deeper, it’s not the faith they turned against, but the culture”.

Whatever the reason may be, one thing is certain that many of us do not know our religion and message delivered by Islam.The message is so powerful that it can change you with in days. It brings blessings in the lives of followers. Those who have intact natural wisdom, are attracted by it. This message is so essential for all humanity that it should be delivered by any and all means. It can not be done without getting control of state.
We need a genuine Islamic leadership with a vision for Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The leadership which could eliminate all sorts of injustices, poverty and ignorance and could show the real picture of Islam by using state power in education sector and mass media.

Copied from: Fundamentalist
Courtesy: Dr Jawad Ahmad Khan

Hajj and Eid Mubarak

اللہُ اکبر اللہُ اکبر لَا اِلَہَ اِلْاللہ وَحْدَہُ لَا شَرِیْکَ لَہُ
لَہُ الّمُلْکُ وَ لَہُ الْحَمْدُ وَ ھُوَ عَلٰی کُلِّ شَیٍ قَدِیر
اللہُ اکبر اللہُ اکبر لا اِلہَ اِلاللہ و اللہُ اکبر اللہُ اکبر و للہِ الحمد
اللہُ اکبر اللہُ اکبر لا اِلہَ اِلاللہ و اللہُ اکبر اللہُ اکبر و للہِ الحمد
اللہُ اکبر کبِیرہ والحمدُللہِ کثیِرہ و سُبحَان اللہِ بکرۃً و أصِیلا

Allaho Akbar, Allaho Akbar, La ilaha il-Allah, wahdahu la shareeka lahu,
lahul mulko wa lahul hamdo wa howa ala kul-li sayyin Qadeer
Allaho Akbar, Allaho Akbar, La ilaha il-Allah, wa Allaho Akbar, Allaho Akbar, wa lil’lahil hamd
Allaho Akbar, Allaho Akbar, La ilaha il-Allah, wa Allaho Akbar, Allaho Akbar, wa lil’lahil hamd
Allaho Akbar kabeera, wal-hamdulillahi kathira, wa sub-han Allahi bukratan wa aseela

May Allah accept Hajj of those who had the privilege of performing Hajj this year
I wish a Happy Eid ul Adh-ha to all the Muslims on the globe.
May all of you pursue your lives in good health and with success in your pious goals and prosperity. Aameen