Muslims we have to get it together!

ATTENTION WEAK MINDED INDIVIDUALS!

…If you are the type that speaks Islam but doesn’t have it in your heart, this isn’t the post for you. If you are the Muslim who looks down your nose at other Muslims, this isn’t the post for you. If you are the Muslim who can only see Islam from your perspective, this isn’t the post for you. If you are the Muslim who isn’t willing to show others the beauty of Islam through you, this isn’t the post for you. However, if you truly love Islam, are willing to sacrifice to see it shine, and love the Muslim world, please continue to read on….

In many ways I know I’m singing to the choir, however I haven’t heard any good songs from the choir lately.

What will it take, what will have to be done, in order for us to realize we have to end our madness and get “it” together?

What is the “it”?

The “it” is pure, unadulterated Islam. The Islam of principle, conscious, and compassion. The Islam that is the light that shines forth from the Originator, Creator, and Sustainer of all. This light is supposed to shine from those who possess it.

So we have to ask ourselves, have we let our light shine today? When non-Muslims look at you, do they see the light of Islam reflected from your person? If not, why?

Sami Yusuf a great and wonderful singer in his song Al Mu’allim sang that the Prophet (saw) was most radiant when he smiled. I love that line among many others, but the radiant part really sticks with me today.

The Prophet (saw) was radiant when he smiled, meaning that the light shown forth from him was so pure that from something that we consider small such as a smile one could see the light of Allah (swt) and His revealed Word.

How many Muslims are smiling today? How many non-Muslims see radiance in us?

I bring this up because I truly believe that we have stained, sullied, and hidden the light of Islam from the world. It is the duty of each and every Muslim to radiate this light and our apathy towards such an inclination and purpose makes us part of the problem and the sole contributor for why that light isn’t so apparent today.

In so-called Muslim countries around the world there is little light and a lot of darkness. Who’s fault is it? Is it the Jews? Is it the West? No, the blame lies right at our own feet.

Collective self-responsibility is the only solution.

We are fractured and we are broken the shards of glass have become manifest for all to see.

We have to get it together.

Islam is the light and we are the glass from whence the light shines through. But we are broken and the windows are boarded up because of our indignation and lack of love, trust, and ultimately faith in Allah (swt).

We are fractured when we abandon the basic principles of Islamic practice.

Unfortunately when many Muslims hear the word “practice” automatically we think about ritual and culture.

We make our religion dark and denigrate it by making it small in this manner. We automatically jump to worrying ourselves with who is or isn’t praying, how they are praying, do the sisters cover or not, does the brother have a beard or not, etc. etc. etc.

We relegate and make this deen and light small by relegating ourselves to a consistent circle of insanity that keeps us in this cycle of wanting to be overlords and swatting at gnats rather than evaluating the substance of what our practice should be and what we should be focusing on, therefore allowing much worse to happen in our absence entangled in small and foolish gnat swatting. We do this over and over expecting different results.

Of course prayer is important, it’s one of the pillars of our faith, however is it our individual duty to relegate other Muslim’s prayer practices or our own?

As such, while we are spending time debating who’s praying, how much they are praying, and how they are praying, we have Muslim children being blown up on their way to school, if they even have one to go to. While we are debating whether or not you should pray with your arms folded, at your sides, or over your heart, Muslims are being killed by other Muslim in Sudan, Iraq, and around the world.

We constantly wrap our small thinking around ideals that we have that we want to project on others. We love to debate whether or not a sister is covered and want to dictate what it should mean to her to be a Muslim, but in all our dictates, have we spent nearly enough time focusing on what it means to be a Muslim man?

While we are debating what we should do with these sisters, Muslim men are abusing Muslim women. While we are focusing on the sisters who don’t wear Hijab, Muslim men are fornicating and lusting after non-Muslim women who make non-hijabi women look like women under Taliban rule in Burka’s.

We are open hypocrites. We will allow non-Muslim women to speak at the front of our Masjids addressing the congregation if they are politicians and such, but wouldn’t let one of our sisters so much as offer an opinion.

Of course Hijab is important, it’s in the Qur’an, however while we are debating what that means and whether or not it should be mandatory and under what conditions, our women are being harassed, beaten, and sexually assaulted, often times by Muslims. Muslim women are being raped in Darfur by Muslim men and we sit in our Masjids and Fiqh councils debating head wraps!

We are so concerned with a physical covering of cloth, but forget about the spiritual spiritual cover and order to protect the women, maintain them, and treat them as equals!

So while many an Imam or Islamic scholar or brother is lauding the virtue in cloth loud and determined, our voices become a whisper or is non-existent when it comes to talking to the men who don’t cover their women financially, spiritually, as real men and Muslims of character and substance should. Brothers are treating their women like dogs, who they use at their leisure. Often, they don’t support the women, won’t allow her to get an education, and various other atrocities, but this is OK right, as long as she is covered?

We love to enjoin in making our religion small. We want to wear Islam on our sleeves but refuse to let Islam in our hearts. As such while we knock the brothers who don’t wear a beard or won’t wear a thobe, our so-called Muslim lands are some of the worst examples of what a society should be and to make matters worse, we say with our mouths that our religion is the model, but if what we did was evaluated by what we say, many a person would laugh at us.

So we wonder why people say such horrid things. We wonder why they draw cartoons. We want to fight to the death for our rights, but refuse to protect and defend the rights of others. We want non-Muslims to respect us, but we won’t even respect ourselves.

How can you expect someone to respect a person who fights, kills, and steals from his brother? How can you expect someone to respect a person who beats, kills, rapes, and refuses to educate his sister? How can you expect a someone to respect that person, especially when their justification is based on a disagreement in text, religious practice, cloths on a head, a beard on a face, and even more minute things than that.

We have made ourselves over a billion weak individuals. We love to talk about the past, but we refuse to learn from it. How can we dare say we are Muslims and have Islam in our hearts when we live in the state we are in? The glory days are over, let’s focus on the days ahead!

A Muslim is supposed to be one in which their neighbors feel safe. A Muslim should want for his brother and sister what they have for themselves. A Muslim is supposed to be a protector and defender of the persecuted. A Muslim is supposed to be a protector and defender of the houses of worship where God’s name is remembered often.

Yet, in many a “Muslim” country not only do our neighbors not feel safe, but also the very Muslims within these populations do not feel safe. They don’t know when the next fatwa will be given that calls their practice somehow deficient and worthy of death, banning, or exile. Any difference of opinion can determine whether you live or die.

In many a “Muslim” country wealth is horded by the rich and so while the rich fancy themselves with golden faucets, grand Mosques, hotels, indoor ski resorts, and many other “luxuries”, our brothers and sisters amongst us have trouble just eating and living. When a natural disaster hits, oftentimes it’s the non-Muslim that can be relied on. When financial, economic, and sociological crises arise Muslim countries and Muslims are largely absent, well at least some have gold sinks.

In many a “Muslim” country, the main persecutor is not the non-Muslim, it’s not the Jews, it’s not America, it’s those who say they are Muslim. Oppression of the minority, oppression of the non-Muslim, oppression of the different practicing or opinionated Muslim, Oppression of the women, oppression of the poor, and many other oppressions are common place. We have become so vile that we will even burn down another’s house of worship because we don’t agree, yet as they run from the flames they cry out to the same God in whose name we claim as we set the fire!!!!

God does not require our defense!

If we truly want to set fires, lets set our hearts on fire for the love of Islam, for the love of our Prophet (saw) for the love of our fellow Muslims, and the love of all humanity. This is the fire and the light that Allah (swt) requests of us. This is the real Islam.

We have to stop kidding ourselves. Either God is real or He is not and we should stop playing games and wasting time.

However, if we truly believe God is real, then the best way to glorify and magnify Him is through our submission which we reflect in our every waking moment.

When people look at us, the light of Truth should be evident in our works.

All Muslim lands should be open to Muslims. Our societies should be the most tolerate, the most prosperous, the most educated, the most technological, the most equal, and the most desired.

If Allah (swt) is magnified as the Most in all things, our societies should reflect the most in the world.

Christians, Jews, Muslims, and non-Muslims should be banging at the doors to live amongst and with us. Instead of people increasingly fleeing from Muslim lands, the Islamic faith, and Muslims, they should be running toward them.

The Prophet (saw) did not beat Islam into the people, they came willingly many under great consequence physically because of the beautiful words of Allah (saw), the teachings of Islam, and the practice of the Prophet (saw).

So how can we expect anything given our words, our teachings, and our practice today? We have sowed what we reaped!

We can fix this if we are willing to get it together. We can clean up the glass, take down the boards, and put in new glass. We can let the light shine through and brighten up this world. However, it’s going to take great courage and great strength.

It’s going to take commitment and the honor of those who truly love Allah (swt).

We have to be firmly rooted in the idea that a Muslim is one who all flock to for help and protection. That means we have to recognize that all are God’s creation and as such should be dealt with in the best of manners.

In action and in speech none should be harmed by one who claims to represent Islam.

That means moving beyond our differences within and acknowledging that any who claim Allah (swt) is a brother or sister, regardless of their practice and ideas.

If we don’t agree with a practice or idea, then show them why in the best manner.

If what you have is true and better then it should be openly manifest.

You can’t force or punish a belief into the heart.

We have to be committed to treating our women as our equals. As such we have to uplift her, provide for her, and protect her. As such we have to allow her to choose her own destiny. You can tell a lot about a community by the way they treat their women! Women are the backbone of civilization and that’s why we are commanded to reverence the womb that bore us. She is our first teacher and guide, if we undervalue her, we undervalue ourselves, and undervalue He that Created her and us.

We have to be open to a pluralistic society consisting of all Muslims in every flavor, of every origin, and every idea.

The irony is that some of us have become masters at interfaith and Da’wa, but are reluctant to have intra-faith gatherings with other Muslims whom we disagree with and share and respect our differences!

Let’s begin an intra-faith Movement!

Coming together on the things we agree is much better than warring, killing, and oppressing one another on the things we don’t. We have much more in common than we don’t and a divided house cannot stand.

Muslims should have a mutual protection pact with one another. When one Muslim hurts or suffers all of us should hurt and suffer. As such a Muslim should be welcome in any Muslim country. We should do business with one another, support each other, and ensure our communities are prepared to compete in this day and age. We should ensure that homelessness, poverty, hunger, disease, and lack of education are a thing of the past.

There is much work to do, but we have to be willing to take the first step. Who is willing to join me in this effort? Who is willing to say that no matter what, he or she that utters the name of Allah (swt) is with me?

Despite our differences, flaws, etc. any who say they love Allah (swt) and the Prophet (saw) is as they were your blood. Let Allah (swt) sort out and deal with us on that which we differ.

Together, united, we can change the world, clean our communities, and restore that which Allah (swt) has intended.

Now I know that many will say that this is too lofty, and not realistic, but let me remind you that in 23 years Islam dominated the region. Let me remind you that we believe and serve the same God, that had the Israelites walk on dry ground, revealed the Book, came revealed to the illiterate one (saw) a message that transformed the world, that same God creates the storms, destroys civilizations, and brings back life again.

If your scared say your scared.

But if you truly believe, you know that nothing is too hard for God and there is nothing that cannot be accomplished by those who serve Him.

Forget the naysayers, the Shaitan already has their hearts, we have to lead, follow, or get out the way.

Contact me so that we can work together,

As Salaam Alaikum

salaam@theamericanmuslim.net

Rev. Wright and the Tragedy of Race Relations in America

Today at the National Press Club, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright gave another public testimony about who he is and what he believes. I thought it was a great speech and feel like he addressed the Q&A session succinctly and honestly. I also felt the same way last night as I heard his speech at the NAACP dinner in Detroit and the Bills Moyer interview on PBS. However, if you are one of the millions of Americans who read people like Michelle Malkin you didn’t get that message.

This is the most disheartening thing, emotion, and reality. Why is it that two different ears hear two different things. I truly believe that it has a lot to do with the individual. People tend to see and hear what they want to, even if it is clearly made manifest to the majority.

As it relates to Pastor Wright and by extension Senator Obama, I believe that those who still condemn Wright as if he said nothing to clarify his position or anything truthful, who are also the same ones that still criticized Senator Obama after his historic speech in Philadelphia, have not and will not change their minds because in their minds and their hearts they have already decided the matter.

It doesn’t matter what is said in context or otherwise, these people are the biggest obstacle to race. These were the first ones calling Rev. Wright a racist because of his comments about America as if by condemning American policy or action he was somehow talking about white people.

These same people are quick to condemn people such as Reverend Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton as those who always place the race card. Yet, it is they who are using race to fuel their indignation and condemnation of a man because he speaks about the struggles of blacks from a black theological perspective, all the while reminding the listeners and his congregation that we are all God’s children regardless of race or religion.

It’s blatant hypocrisy and self projection onto others. It makes zero sense to call a man a racist who is espousing that we are all the same before God. Yet, these same call Jeremiah Wright un-patriotic, even though he served honorably in both the United States Marine Corps and the United States Navy. In the context of American History, Patriotism never means that one must always agree with their government. If that was the case, we would all be loyal citizens of the British Crown.

What Reverend Wright and Senator Barack Obama have done was to expose that which we have swept under the rug for so long. We love to talk about the progress in America, but fail to address what Dr. Condoleeza Rice declared “A birth defect”. As long as we are unwilling to face our issues of race, we will continue to slumber and stumble in our ignorance. When this moment in time has passed, I would like to know how many are willing to state that racism is dead.

The venom being spewed about Wright or Obama is pure unadulterated Racism covered and masked under the guise and a myriad of terms, concepts, and ideas, in order to cover the evil that makes one a roadblock on America’s path to recovery.

If we do not seize this moment in history, we will be history.

So for the sake of truth below is the transcript of the speech Rev. Jeremiah Wright gave at the National Press Club and related videos from YouTube for this event and the NAACP Dinner.

May God open our hearts and minds.

NATIONAL PRESS CLUB SPEAKER BREAKFAST WITH THE REVEREND DR. JEREMIAH WRIGHT, SENIOR PASTOR OF THE TRINITY UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

TOPIC: THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE

National Press Club – Rev Wright Q & A (Part 1 of 3)

Rev Jeremiah Wright at NAACP in Detroit, Intro Pt1

Speaking of the Ahmadiyya Community…

I feel that I have to truly speak out against the crime against Jammat Ahmadiyya that was brought to my attention.  I posted the wonderful commentary by Mike Ghouse entitled “Ahmadiyya Muslims What Next” and he was absolutely right.

With all due respect, my Indonesian Muslim brothers and sisters must be loosing their minds.  In truth the entire Muslim world is loosing their mind, especially as it relates to this MUSLIM community.  Yes, I said Muslim community.  How in the world can you call yourself a Muslim and want to ban another group that says they are Muslim too?  So what if you don’t agree with their practice or even their theology.  The one thing that should bind us all is our belief in One God, Allah (swt) and our belief in the Prophet (saw).  Any person or group that upholds that is a Muslim.

This is where hypocrisy comes in.  Muslims are so quick to fight against one another over matters of variance in practice, but are so slow to embrace one another based on our commonality.  We will readily engage in interfaith with other religions, accept others with open arms, let them speak in our Masjids, etc.  But God forbid we do that with other Muslims who think or practice other than ourselves.

We love to bash the West and complain about how we are minorities and are denied equal rights, yet in our so-called Muslim countries we refuse to do that ourselves?  Why complain about something you won’t readily do yourselves?

This is why I understand why non-Muslims look at us with such strange looks.  Look at us, we are backward and confused when we can’t realize the obvious.  Muslims by definition are supposed to be the example of what the world should be.  I must say, if we define Muslim by the actions of those in Indonesia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and every other “Muslim” nation that bans this group or any other group, then I would rather be an apostate.

You can’t even be a Muslim acting the way they are acting.  A Muslim is supposed to be one in which his/her neighbors feel safe.  How in the hell can these “Muslims” call themselves such when not even fellow Muslims can feel safe in their presence?

How in the world can you say you are Islamically justified in banning a group that says there is no God, but Allah?  What kind of Muslim are you?

I am not Ahmadiyya, however, you can judge a tree by the fruit it bears.  This Jammat in all my experiences have been one of the most tolerant, welcoming, and peaceful community I have had the privilege to get to know.  I have Ahmadiyya friends, I have attended their functions, and I can tell you through my Sunni eyes, that if they are not Muslim, then I truly don’t know what Islam is and I should go back to being a Christian!

I know many of these brothers and sisters, I can tell you with resolute honesty that to me, they are as if we had the same parents.  I love these brothers and sisters, surely we disagree on matters of Fiqh, but so do my wife and I!  Some of us in our arrogance and lack of faith in Allah (swt) would rather swat at gnats.  We bring the chastisement of Allah (swt) on ourselves.

So what they say the Messiah has come back?  What does that have to do with Shahaddah, Salah, Zawm, Zakat, and Hajj?  Do they teach against those things?  Do they even pray differently?  Many of us are so foolish that we would readily have the good Rev. Dr. such and such address us in the Masjid or non-Muslim Mayoral candidate whomever, but don’t let it be someone who calls themselves a Muslim that practices or believes a little different from us.  Don’t even let them in our households, bar them from burying their dead, and of all things bar them from the Holy House of all Muslims!

I condemn these detestable, hypocritical, and un-Islamic acts done against this community.  I pray Allah (swt) is swift in His chastisement against any Muslim or so-called Muslim state that wants to or has banned any Muslim or group that prays to Him.

How dare you brothers and sisters that do this.  In this time where Muslims should be gathering and supporting one another, you want to continue the divide.  Instead of being the defender and protector of the oppressed, you now want to be the oppressor.  Allah (swt) loves NOT the oppressor.

I sincerely tell you that you seal your fate and you will be brought to ruin as most “Muslim” nations like Pakistan, until you submit and unite.

I ask all Muslims who truly believe, to oppose these actions as well as those well recorded elsewhere.  All Muslim lands should belong to any who believe in Allah (swt), His messenger (saw), and the last day.  Any who oppose that, should be done away with.  They should not be supported in any manner as they have left the fold of Islam and have become a persecutor of fellow Muslims which is Haram.

I ask that we rally around the Ahmadiyya Community the latest and perpetual victim of “Muslim” violence, ignorance, and hypocrisy.  I ask that all Muslims get it together and aid one another.  It doesn’t matter if you pray with your arms folded, pray with your arms at your sides, pray with your hands on your heart, etc.  It doesn’t matter if you expect the Messiah to come with Imam Mahdi, expect Jesus (as) to descend from the clouds, or believe that he came 100 years ago already.  It doesn’t matter if you prayer toward the Holy House in Islamabad, Cairo, Jakarta, Paris, London, Dakar, or Washington DC.  Muslims we have to unite and be brothers and protectors of one another!

Oh Allah (swt), I ask that you guide our hearts and our minds.  I ask that you turn us nearer to you and forgive our transgressions.  I ask that you renew in us the spirit of true brother and sister hood.  I ask that you remind us that all are brothers who seek you and follow the Sunnah of the Prophet (saw).  Oh Allah (swt), I ask that you turn back the Shaitan who is winning over those who say they serve you in Indonesia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and everywhere where your name is uttered.  We seek refuge in you from Shaitan the accursed and ask that you deafen our ears to his whispers.  Oh Allah (swt) protect the Muslim oppressed, especially those oppressed by other Muslims, such as Jammat Ahmaddiya.  Oh Allah (swt) bless and strengthen them and all Muslims of conscience who speak out against such atrocities.  Oh Allah (swt) remind us to follow your perfected Deen and grant us your Mercy, for you are the Most Merciful, Compassionate, Dispenser of Grace.  It is to You Alone that we submit.

Ameen

Your brother in Islam,

Robert Salaam

Rev. Jeremiah Wright must hate Senator Barack Obama

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WHY????

Now I defended Rev. Wrights comments that were clipped, snipped, and distorted all over the news, blogs, and television. I still do, because I heard the entire sermons and in context know what he meant and taught.

HOWEVER!!!!

Given how malicious people have been about this and considering how nasty people have been,  why did he feel the need to come out about this now?

Why bring this “controversy” back in the news cycle? Hasn’t Senator Obama suffered enough? To make matters worse he called Obama a politician in his commentary which is news media and politic speak for “panderer” and “disingenuous”.

By coming out with this now, it’s almost like Rev. Wright must hate Sen. Obama and wants his campaign to fail.  Is he really that clueless or truly doesn’t care about politics?  Even Minister Farrakhan at his Saviors Day Address this year stated that he wanted to be careful of his speech because he didn’t want his words to be used to hurt Obama.  So why didn’t Wright just let it be and wait until next year to tell us how he truly felt?

The Obama campaign must be very upset. I know I would be. The Clinton and McCain camps must be loving this.

What must Obama do now?

In the last several weeks, every little knife in the Obama campaign has been self inflicted to a degree. Bitter-gate, no money from big oil, and of course Jeremiah Wright.

If the Obama campaign is reading this, please do us supporters all a favor: Get back on message. Go back to speaking about hope and change. Air brother Qasim Bashir’s videos. Remind us all why we support you. Don’t allow these things to drag you down. Remind people how important it is to change, inspire us, and make us dream again.

More importantly, give a major address that will address all these things like negative attack ads, the whole guilt by association fiasco, and the divisive politics that are tearing the party apart and be done with it.

Rev. Wright, WHY, WHY, WHY, WHY?

“I don’t talk to him about politics,” Wright said. “And so he had a political event, he goes out as a politician and says what he has to say as a politician. I continue to be a pastor who speaks to the people of God about the things of God.”

I think I get what he said, but did he have to say it like that? Why not just leave it at I don’t talk to him about politics?

Rev. Wright says ‘devious’ forces behind use of his words against Obama

I would have much rather seen this Jeremiah Wright!

Ahmadiyya Muslims, What next?

Ahmadiyya Muslims, What next?

Mike Ghouse

The real issue is not about who is a Muslim, but it is about the role of a majority in a diverse society.

Should the bad decisions of a few in the name of Islam, reflect on the Muslim community at large? Now, Indonesia is planning to ban the “heretical” Muslim sect, should that reflect on Islam? The least we can do is to speak up against the tyranny of one brand of Islam against the other.

The easy option is to do nothing and let the world believe that it is Islam, and then we lose our right to complain that it is not us, well it is us. The actions are not the work of a Looney brigade or some fringe groups; it is the government of Indonesia succumbing to please the few among them.

In the movie “A Bug’s life”, it just took one gutsy Flik to fend off the terrorizing grasshoppers, it takes two boys or two girls to stand up to the class room bully to end the tyranny. It would take a few passionate Muslims to speak out and persuade the establishment. I suggest every one to watch this movie to understand how our Neocons (extremist Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus and others – Jews claim Zionists are not extremists, and I take their word for it) work and how us, the silent majority should act.

The real question that we need to address is should we let a majority determine what one believes, wears or eats? Can the Majority in the United States do that? Can the majority in Indonesia do that? Should that work in India? Can the Sunni Majority in Saudi Arabia harass the Shia? Can the Shia Majority in Iran harass the Sunnis? We have to catch up with our own integrity. Those who were a majority elsewhere are a minority somewhere else.

God is about justice and he wants us to live in peace and harmony, after all, each one of us is his creation, and he will not discriminate any one of us. Qur’aan – 49:13 “O men! Behold, we have created you all out of a male and a female, and have made you into nations and tribes, so that you might come to know one another. Verily, the noblest of you in the sight of God is the one who is most deeply conscious of Him. Behold, God is all-knowing, all-aware.”

A majority of Muslims understand that Islam is a religion of peace, a religion of freedom and justice, and a religion that does not force people to behave. Indeed, if we start looking at ourselves, Alhamdu Lillah, Praise the Lord, the majority of us get along with all and live a life of peace and co-existence.

Every now and then, a “few” among us cross that line, when we let Governments, in the name of Islam start judging people’s faith; we are making a gross error defying the very God we purport to follow. Don’t practicing Muslims recite this at least 50 times a day? Qur’aan, Sura “1:4 Lord of the Day of Judgment!” And “1:5 you alone do we worship; and unto Thee alone do we turn for aid.”

Is it up to God or the Government of Indonesia? When we object the Neocons to pre-empt God and bring the Armageddon as soon as possible and justify their ruthlessness in the name of God, then we must object any one taking over God’s decisions in the name of Islam.

When Hazrat Bakr was agreed upon to be the Caliph, the consensus was with him and the few who disagreed dropped their opposition and followed the leader in the same manner as Republicans and democrats who fight within until a candidate is nominated, then every one rallies around the selected one.

The problem with us or any majority of people is we do not give our consensus; we do not exercise our rights and by default give others, the right to govern us.

Not the Pakistani people, but the dictator in-charge, to appease a few, enacted the laws declaring Ahmadiyya group of people as non-Muslims, but then the Pakistani people start believing and legitimizing it. Americans are no different, if the President thinks Russia is evil, we jump with him and when he turns around and befriends China, and in a heartbeat we change our minds too. If he declares Islam is the danger… thank God, Americans are getting away from blindly following government and exercising independent judgment.

It is time for Muslims to stand up and speak out.

Remember the Good Samaritan American women during 9/11? They wore Hijab to show solidarity with Muslim women, the time is coming, when a whole mass of population will declare themselves Muslim to show solidarity with the Ahmadiyya, what are you going to do?

What prevents one from incorporating their group with the name Muslim or Islam? There are a lot of websites with the words Muslim and Islam, but they are actually anti-Islam. What are you going to do about it?

It is time for Muslims to wake up and act righteous and speak out.

Would you join me in writing to the Indonesian government to consider this ill-adivised proposal?

Please respond in the comments section below.

Mike Ghouse is a writer and thinker based in Dallas. He runs several websites and blogs including MikeGhouse.Net [ www.MikeGhouse.net ), theFoundation for Pluralism [ www.FoundationforPluralism.com ] and the World Muslim Congress [www.WorldMuslimCongress.com] He is a frequent guest on talk radio, discussing interfaith, political, and civic issues. In this piece, Mike reflects on media blunders and their impact on the course of recent political history.

Indonesia to ban Ahmadiyya Muslim sect

Indonesia is drafting a decree that will ban a Muslim sect that has been branded heretical by most Muslims.

The Ahmadiyya sect views itself as Muslim but it has been branded a heretical group by the Indonesian Ulema Council, the secular country’s highest Muslim authority, which has issued a fatwa against it.

A team with officials from two government ministries and the attorney general’s office has recommended the government ban the sect because its teachings deviate from the central tenets of Islam.

The team’s deputy head Wisnu Subroto says the religious affairs ministry, the home affairs ministry and the attorney general’s office are drafting a joint decree that will require Ahmadiyya followers to return to mainstream Islam.

He says the draft is expected to be completed later this month.

Indonesian Muslims rally for ban on Ahmadiyya sect

JAKARTA (Reuters) – More than 1,000 Indonesian Muslims gathered in front of the presidential palace on Sunday to press the government to ban a Muslim sect that has been branded heretical by most Muslims.

An Indonesian government team is drafting a decree that will ban the Ahmadiyya sect, which views itself as Muslim but has been branded a heretical group by the Indonesian Ulema Council, the secular country’s highest Muslim authority.

Chanting “Allahu Akbar (God is Great)” and “Disband Ahmadiyya”, the members of the Indonesian Muslim Forum (FUI), a group of about 50 Muslim organisations, urged President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to issue the decree.

“We are pushing the president to immediately issue a presidential decree disbanding Ahmadiyya,” FUI Secretary General Muhammad Al Khaththath told Reuters.

The FUI also asked the government to capture Ahmadiyya’s leaders and seize all its assets.

Thank you brother Mike Ghouse for your work and brothers and sisters we have work to do. How can we claim and fight for minority rights, yet not respect them for others?

Articles of Interest, April 23, 2008

Craigslist grouses about eBay lawsuit

Craigslist has responded to a lawsuit filed by eBay, noting that it “came to us out of the blue,” according to a posting on its craigslist blog Tuesday.

The popular online classified-ad site issued its response after eBay on Tuesday filed a lawsuit, alleging that its 28.4 percent stake in Craigslist was diluted by more than 10 percent in January. eBay, which acquired its minority stake in 2004, submitted its lawsuit under seal and, as a result, few details are readily available.

  • What is Ebay up to? I personally like both sites, but given the way corporations work, I wouldn’t be surprised if something nefarious is going on?

Will these LED bulbs kill consumer skepticism?

LED lightbulbs: Are you ready to make the switch?

High price and a strange color. No, we’re not talking about a hairdo. Those are the two factors that have kept light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, from becoming a mainstream light source.

But that might change soon, said Zach Gibler, chief business development officer of Lighting Science Group, which plans to announce distribution deals with major retailers for its LED bulbs that screw into a regular socket.

LED bulbs for household use have already been around for some time, but their success has been limited. The main obstacles have been that they cost more than incandescent lightbulbs and emit a sometimes unnerving color of light.

Lighting Science Group this week plans to introduce a portfolio of LED replacement white lightbulbs that it hopes will attract more consumer interest. The product line uses the same sockets as Edison bulbs.

  • Seems viable. I believe that if there are environmentally safe alternatives for the various products we use day to day, we should use them, regardless. The biggest problem is affordability. I hope to see a day when the government will invest in these technologies to ensure that they become affordable and help the economy in the long run.

US Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain (R-AZ) (R) attends the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast in Washington, April 18, 2008. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

McCain content to let Democrats keep fighting

TOLEDO, Ohio (Reuters) – Republican John McCain‘s presidential campaign is content to let Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton fight on.

The prospect for an even longer Democratic battle resulted from Clinton’s defeat of Obama in Pennsylvania on Tuesday, meaning the contest is likely to last at least another two weeks until May 6, when North Carolina and Indiana vote.

As top McCain adviser Mark Salter said, Democrats should “take their time — don’t rush.”

Republican strategists believe McCain has benefited from having won his party’s nomination in March, giving him time to raise much-needed cash and lay the groundwork for his general election campaign, even though the Democratic battle has dominated U.S. headlines.

  • Wouldn’t you? Let Clinton continue to do the dirty work for McCain. She’s pretty good at it. Let her, her campaign, and her supporters destroy the party. That way, the Republicans can come in the fall mocking the Democratic Party for their incompetence and confusion, and offer up a GOP as a stable, reliable, alternative.

Robotic vigilante: Homemade ‘Bum Bot’ patrols in Atlanta

ATLANTA – Cars passing O’Terrill’s pub screech to a halt at the sight of a 300-pound, waist-high robot marked “SECURITY” rolling through downtown long after dark.

The regulars hardly glance outside. They’ve seen bar owner Rufus Terrill’s invention on patrol before — its bright red lights and even brighter spot light blazing, infrared video camera filming and water cannon at the ready in the spinning turret on top.

“You’re trespassing. That’s private property,” Terrill scolds an older man through the robot’s loudspeaker. The man is sitting at the edge of the driveway to a child care center down the street. “Go on.”

The man’s hands go up and he shuffles into the shadows. Almost immediately, a group of men behind him scatters too.

The Bum Bot’s reputation, it seems, has preceded it.

The electronic vigilante — on the beat since September — has enraged neighborhood activists, who have threatened protests. Street people say it’s intimidating. And homeless advocates question the intentions of its inventor, who uses the Bum Bot as a marketing tool and a political prop.

Terrill, a 57-year-old ex-Marine, asserts his motives are pure: He says more police now patrol the area at night, the park across the street feels safer and he’s had no break-ins since the cube-shaped robot, which Terrill controls with a wireless remote, has roamed the area. To Henrik Christensen, director of Georgia Tech’s Robotics and Intelligent Machines Center, the Bum Bot exploits the kind of anxiety that underlies the Terminator movies.

  • Great idea! We need more concerned citizens like this. Good to go Marine, Semper Fidelis

Bill Clinton: Obama Played Race Card On Me

ABC News’ Rick Klein Reports: Bill Clinton accused Barack Obama’s campaign of “playing the race card on me” and told a Philadelphia radio station that the Obama campaign took his Jesse Jackson comment and “twisted it for political purposes.”

And as the interview concluded, Clinton turned to an associate and said, “I don’t think I should take any s–t from anybody on that, do you?”

Making a campaign stop and enjoying another interrupted breakfast at Pamela’s P&G Diner Tuesday morning in downtown Pittsburgh, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., was asked to respond to Clinton.

The Democratic nomination frontrunner seemed confused by the comments.

“So, former President Clinton dismissed my victory in South Carolina as being similar to Jesse Jackson and he is suggesting that somehow I had something to do with it,” Obama said laughing, “Ok, well, you better ask him what he meant by that. I have no idea what he meant. These are words that came out of his mouth, not out of mine.”

Watch the VIDEO HERE.

And at President Clinton’s first polling stop in Pittsburgh, he too appeared unwilling to discuss the incident.

“No, no, no, that’s not what I said,” Clinton told a reporter who asked about the radio comments, “You always follow me around and play these little games. And I am not going to play your games today. This is a day about election day, go back and see what the question was and what my answer was. You have mischaracterized it just to get a another cheap story to divert the American people from the real urgent issues before us, and I choose not to play your game today.”

Watch the VIDEO HERE.

  • You know I used to love President Clinton (as did most blacks) I proudly display my Presidential Service Badge Award signed “William Jefferson Clinton” and have had nothing but good comments about him in the past. However, this shrewd and ridiculous campaign he and his wife are running is getting more and more hypocritical and disgusting. How in the world can he make this claim, when they have been owning the “remember Obama is black” tactic from the beginning. He was the one dismissing Obama early on for the large black vote and downplaying his victories. It was their surrogates like that idiot and destroyer of blacks Bob Johnson talking about MLK. It was Geraldine Ferraro who used the same exact line against Obama that she did against Jesse Jackson in the 80’s once again saying that both were somehow Affirmative Action candidates. It has been and was Hillary Clinton who brought up Farrakhan, Hamas, and Rev. Wright in the debates to court white voters. The Clintons have been using the race card to divide and conquer the party. The record speaks for itself.

Osama-Obama Sign Removed From Church

JONESVILLE, S.C. (WSPA, WLTX) — A sign that caused heated arguments outside of a church in Jonesville has been taken down.

Last week, Pastor Roger Byrd of Jonesville Church of God put the sign up which reads “Obama Osama Humm Are They Brothers?” Today, the sign was taken down.

Pastor Byrd said the sign was not meant to be racial or political but rather to make people think. “His name is so close to Osama I feeling might be Islamic therefore he doesn’t recognize Christ,” Pastor Byrd said.

Barack attends Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago.”

Eugunia Foster is offended by the church sign. “I’m embarrassed and hurt. I’m surprised a small town like Jonesville still has this separation. It is racial and hatred,” Foster said.

Pastor Byrd told WSPA-TV he would ask his congregation to vote on whether to keep the sign. They voted unanimously to keep the sign up Sunday night.

Jonesville Church of God does not have any African American members.

  • And there you have it. Pseudo Christians strike again. How can a guy not be Christian when for over a month the news has been airing “controversy” about his former PASTOR of over 20 YEARS! Obviously, there are other motives for this sign and it sure doesn’t surprise me. I wonder what these types are going to do when there is a black President?

Al Qaeda chief slams Muslims for lack of support

Al-Qaeda number two Ayman al-Zawahiri criticised Muslims for failing to support Islamist insurgencies in Iraq and elsewhere in a new audiotape posted Tuesday on the Internet.Osama bin Laden’s top lieutenant also blasted Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas over their reported readiness to consider a peace deal with Israel.

“I call upon the Muslim nation to fear Allah’s question (at judgement day) about its failure to support its brothers of the Mujahedeen (holy Warriors), and (urge it) not to withhold men and money, which is the mainstay of a war,” he said.

He also used the two-and-a-half hour message to urge Muslims to join militant groups, mainly in Iraq, where he claimed that the insurgency against the Iraqi government and the US-led coalition forces is bearing fruit.

  • Great! I’m glad they are upset. True Muslims will never join in acts of terror and murder against innocents. In fact, we need to be working that much harder to rid the world of terrorists all together. Now if the press will only show that Muslims are against terror, so much so, that Al Qaeda is mad we won’t support them. So much for all Muslims support terrorism argument!

Why Palestinian Unity Is Not an Option for Abbas

Just days after the Hamas-Fatah clash last June in Gaza, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas looked firm and composed as he shook hands with members of his new emergency government. He made sure his move appeared as legitimate as possible, issuing decrees that outlawed the armed militias of Hamas, and also suspended consequential clauses in the Palestinian Basic Law, which had thus far served as a constitution.

The Basic Law stipulates that the Palestinian Parliament must approve of any government for it to be constitutional. Abbas simply decreed that such a clause was no longer valid, effectively robbing Palestinians of one of their greatest collective achievements — democracy.

This system, when truly representative, is indeed precious and meaningful. Considering the impossible circumstances under which Palestinian democracy in particular was spawned and nurtured — military occupation, international pressure, extreme poverty — it was also deeply historic. Contrary to the conventional wisdom that followed the US occupation in Iraq, Arabs showed themselves as ultimately capable of carrying out democratic process.

Unfortunately, the achievement of democracy cannot guarantee its preservation.

  • You cannot expect a viable democracy until you are willing to deal with the elected officials of the people. Because we helped create this situation, we have ensured more years of strife in the Middle East. Accept the vote, accept the government, and deal with the government appropriately if you disagree through policy. Let the people get rid of them if that is their will.

Darfuri women at a refugee camp in Chad, 2007

Darfur deaths ‘could be 300,000’

An estimated 300,000 people may have died as a result of the Darfur conflict, the UN head of humanitarian affairs John Holmes says.

That is an increase of 50% from the previous figure of 200,000 killed in the five years of fighting in the region in western Sudan.

Mr Holmes gave the revised total to a meeting of the United Nations Security Council in New York.

Sudan disputes the figure, saying 10,000 are now known to have died.

The previous figure of 200,000 came from a 2006 study by the World Health Organisation.

It included those killed in the fighting itself as well as people who died from disease and malnutrition because of the conflict.

The 2006 figure “must be much higher now – perhaps as much as half again,” Mr Holmes said.

He said the new total was an extrapolation from the previous figure and was not based on a new study.

  • Whatever the figures, whatever the numbers, MUSLIMS the time to act is now. Let’s get our heads out of our butts and stop this slaughter of fellow Muslims.

Maajid Nawaz: After years in an extremist group, he wants to draw young Muslims away from militancy.
Mark Rice-Oxley

British ex-jihadis form ranks for tolerance

The Quilliam Foundation was launched Tuesday as a counterweight to political Islam among young Muslims.

They once plotted insurrection in Britain. Young, middle-class, and angry, they were the vanguard of a generation of disaffected Muslims that, at its most extreme, gave rise to the July 7, 2005, transportation bombers.

But now, in one of the most visible assaults on political Islam from within the British Muslim community, a network of ex-radicals launched on Tuesday a movement to fight the same ideology that they once worked to spread.

The Quilliam Foundation – named for a 19th-century British convert to Islam – aims to propagate a tolerant and pluralistic view of Islam among young Muslims who are the most vulnerable to radicalism.

“We are trying to rescue our faith from those who have sadly hijacked it,” says Ed Husain, author of “The Islamist,” a book about his own radical years, and deputy director of the foundation. “There is a Western Islam in the making and it is not arrogant or extreme.”

Mr. Husain has said that as long as Islamist militants provide “social honor” for suicide bombers and spuriously use doctrine to justify violence and political aims, “then we will continue to see mass murderers being respected as martyrs.”

Guided by mainstream Muslim scholars and supported by prominent politicians and academics, the group of around a dozen ex-radicals plans to expose what it calls the weaknesses of Islamist rhetoric and actions – in short, to recapture Islam from the ideologues and terrorists.

  • This is great news! I wonder why our policy won’t allow for us to generate similar efforts. If we really want to win this “War on Terror” it’s going to have to be won with the aid of Muslims.

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Another American Spy for Israel

NEW YORK — The federal government indicted on Tuesday, April 22, an American engineer in the Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey for disclosing classified defense information, including on nuclear weapons, to Israel.

“We have been cooperating fully with federal investigators and will continue to do so,” Peter Rowland, a Picatinny spokesman, said in a statement cited by ABC news.

Ben-Ami Kadish, who worked as a mechanical engineer at the Army’s Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center at the Picatinny Arsenal, spied for Israel from 1979-1985.

He provided the consul for science affairs at the Israeli Consulate General in New York, identified in the indictment as “CC-1,” with US national defense information, including restricted nuclear weapons data.

  • Am I the only one that has a problem with this? Why is Israel spying on us? What have we done? What are they looking for? More importantly, why isn’t this looked at as an act of hostility from a foreign government? Imagine the fallout had this been Egypt, Saudi Arabia, or some other Muslim majority country? What if it was Russia?

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Heavy Metal Islam

WASHINGTON — In his book Heavy Metal Islam: Rock, Resistance, and the Struggle for the Soul of Islam, University of California-Irvine professor Mark LeVine explains why harsh melodies appeal to young Muslims in the Middle East.

He believes young people in the Middle East turn to heavy metal music as an act of rebellion against oppression, censorship and authoritarianism.

IslamOnline.net interviewed Professor LeVine about how heavy metal in the Middle East reflects the existing and changing social conditions in the region.

  • Music has always been a tool to help sooth or relate emotion. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that this type of music has a grip on Muslims living in oppressed communities and oppressive conditions. Hip-Hop has also had the same effect.

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UK Exhibit Shows “Human” Muslims

LONDON — A London exhibition is showcasing the human faces of British Muslims through photography and storytelling challenging stereotypes and misconceptions about Muslims and their religion.

“It’s about people seeing each other as human,” Michael Cleere, the community cohesion coordinator for Southwark Council, the organizer, told the BBC News on Wednesday, April 23.

Twenty Muslims from London’s southern Borough of Southwark are the heroes of the two-week “Peace by Piece” exhibition, which ends on May 3.

The exhibition features photography and audio interviews with Muslims from a wide range of backgrounds as they go about their ordinary lives.

It celebrates the contributions of some 20,000 Muslims of diverse origins who live in the multicultural Southwark borough.

  • Exhibits such as this speak near and dear to my heart. This has been the mission of my site and efforts to show through action and words, that Muslims are just as much a part of the societies that we live in as everyone else. I truly believe Muslims have to define who we are ourselves or risk others doing it for us as they are now.

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TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE

HILLARY’S PENNSYLVANIA WIN

April 23, 2008 — Hillary Clinton refuses to die. Having been given up for dead after losing Iowa, she rebounded in New Hampshire. Then a string of 11 straight consecutive losses – followed by a win in Ohio and a tie (in delegates) in Texas. Now, she’s won Pennsylvania.

Problem is, it doesn’t mean anything.

Decisive Win Can’t Forestall A Daunting Task

Pennsylvania Democrats threw a much-needed lifeline to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton last night, offering a fresh incentive to keep pursuing her dimming hopes of winning the party’s presidential nomination and turning the May 6 primaries in Indiana and North Carolina into critical showdowns against Sen. Barack Obama.

Clinton’s path to the nomination remains extraordinarily treacherous even after the victory in Pennsylvania. Her margin was decisive, but even some of her most loyal supporters privately expressed doubts last night that she can prevail in the long battle against Obama.

The Low Road to Victory

The Pennsylvania campaign, which produced yet another inconclusive result on Tuesday, was even meaner, more vacuous, more desperate, and more filled with pandering than the mean, vacuous, desperate, pander-filled contests that preceded it.

Voters are getting tired of it; it is demeaning the political process; and it does not work. It is past time for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton to acknowledge that the negativity, for which she is mostly responsible, does nothing but harm to her, her opponent, her party and the 2008 election.

  • I lumped these all together because they are all saying the same thing: Hillary Clinton has not done anything to stop the inevitable. Her campaign will continue to deceive people about her prospects and continue the falsehood that somehow suggests that Obama can’t win the same exact states she has won and which twice in 2004 and 2000 the Democratic candidate won. So what she won PA, NY, and CA? The Democratic Party always does. The real question is can she win where Obama has won and has the ability to win where no Democrat has ever been competitive? Surely, the Democratic nominee Barack Obama will win the normative “Blue States”, but he has the ability that she does not, to take “Red States” as well. When will the Obama campaign make this case?