Saturday, February 27, 2010

Muslim Condemn beheading of Sikhs by Taliban


Muslims Condemn beheading of Sikhs by the Talibans

Dallas, Texas, February 24, 2010.

In behalf of the World Muslim Congress and Muslims in general, we strongly condemn the Talibans for killing two members of the Sikh community in Pakistan. Jaspal Singh and Mohan Singh, who were beheaded for not converting to Islam.

Theses thugs wanted ransom from the two Sikh business men to re-divert the protection money to the rival factions. This is a criminal act to begin with and to add the name of religion is shameful and warrants severe punishment.

Islam is clear on the issue: Qur’aan, 2:256 “THERE SHALL BE no coercion in matters of faith”. It is a clear violation of Islam and the civic rules of the society. We demand that the Government of Pakistan find these criminals and punish them per their law.

The civility of a society is measured by how the weak and the minorities are treated. Prophet Muhammad had described it as a society where an individual, man or a woman, young or old can travel from Medinah to Damascus without any fear. We urge Pakistan to bring the law and order and protect and gaurantee the lives of every Citizen, particular the minorities of the nation.


Mike Ghouse, World Muslim Congress
To be a Muslim is to be a peace maker, one who constantly seeks to mitigate conflicts and nurtures goodwill for peaceful co-existence of humanity. God wants us to live in peace and harmony with his creation; Life and Matter. We are driven by the Qur'an, Al-Hujurat, Surah 49:13: "O mankind! We have created you male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that ye may know one another. The noblest of you, in sight of Allah, is the best in conduct. Allah Knows and is Aware."

Sikh community offers final prayers for two Sikhs beheaded in Pakistan

Amritsar, Feb 27(ANI): Hundreds of Sikh community members here on Saturday offered 'Antim Ardas' (final prayers) in memory of two Sikhs youths, who were beheaded by the Taliban in Pakistan. oneindiain121:

The prayers were organized at the conclusion of the "Akhand Paath" (continued recitation) of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the holy scripture of the Sikhs, at the revered Golden Temple.The prayers were organized under the aegis of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandhak Committee (SGPC), the main body responsible for religious affairs of the Sikhs."We organize these final prayers for Bhai Jaspal Singh and Bhai Mahal Singh who were brutally killed, so that their souls rest in peace...the Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee is also praying for a quick release and wellness of the other two who are still in the captivity," said Avtar Singh Makkar, president of the SGPC.It may be recalled that Taliban militants killed two Sikh traders for ransom in Pakistan's tribal region on Sunday. (ANI)
The Sikh Conundrum
This 28-year-old father of three owned a grocery store in Bara, Khyber Agency, but lived in Peshawar

He and three others were kidnapped by the TTP’s Tariq Afridi faction. The group operates in Orakzai Agency, but abducted them in Khyber, the turf of Mangal Bagh Afridi. Mangal, who has broken away from the Taliban, had imposed jazia on the Sikhs and was responsible for their protection.

Jaspal’s beheading has heightened tensions between Mangal and Afridi.
It’s February 21, Sunday, and an impenetrable fog of sorrow seems to have enveloped Mohala Jogan Shah, in the heart of Peshawar’s old city. It’s here that Jaspal Singh lived, the 28-year-old Sikh beheaded by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in the Terah valley. It’s here that his body was brought for the last rites, before it was taken for cremation on the banks of the Indus near Attock. Outside Jaspal’s house are Sikhs and Muslims, all mourning the dead man, perplexed at the bloody turn of events in this land of the Pashtuns.

In a small room in the house sits Jaspal’s father, Piyara Singh, his head bowed, hands clasping his knees. He meets everyone who walks in with an impassive glance, palpably shocked into stillness. In between the silence breaks. “I have no clue who killed my son...or even why. I am ruined,” he keeps repeating. A cousin of Jaspal adds, “We can’t say a word about this brutality. It’s better to keep mum.” He wouldn’t reveal his name. The fear of further reprisals hangs heavy.

The Sikhs were driven out of Orakzai after they couldn’t raise the Rs 12 mn jazia demand of Hakimullah Mehsud.

Among the crowd waiting outside are also Muslims, some of them neighbours, others whom the family have never met. For them, Jaspal’s beheading has somehow come to symbolise the death of certain values they have grown up cherishing. Present here is also Nasir Khan Dawar, a senior journalist who fled North Waziristan (one of the seven autonomous tribal agencies that together constitute the Federally Administered Tribal Area, FATA) because of threats to his life. Dawar says warily to Outlook, “We have all been living together for centuries, there’s never been any discrimination. Those who came here under the protection of the Pashtuns (the foreign militants on the run from Afghanistan) have now become our masters. There’s a continuous effort now to subsume our culture.”

The tribal culture has indeed changed beyond recognition. In FATA, death is a vulture now soaring in the sky, waiting to swoop down on the innocent. On January 16, Jaspal Singh had left Peshawar, along with Gurwindar Singh and Surjeet Singh, for the town of Bara, where he owned a grocery store (the other two were cloth merchants). Jaspal had recently shifted residence to Peshawar after the Khyber Agency had come under the sway of militants, preferring to commute to Bara, a mere 20 minutes drive away from his new home. From Bara, the trio travelled to the Terah valley, also in Khyber Agency, for business purposes.

When the trio reached the Mathra area in the Terah valley, the militants struck. The trio were abducted and soon the demands started for ransom money. Jaspal’s father denies this, but sources in the Sikh community say a whopping Rs 30 million was demanded. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Taliban’s Tariq Afridi group rang up newspapers to claim responsibility for the abduction. Sources say the trio were whisked away to somewhere in Orakzai Agency, adjacent to the Khyber. Here they languished for 34 days before the militants beheaded Jaspal as his two friends watched. (Contrary to media reports, they have not been killed.) His headless body was dumped in Kasha, from where local tribesmen ferried it to Peshawar.

Jaspal’s beheading, though, also reportedly sparked off tensions between two militants groups—the Lashkar-i-Islam headed by Mangal Bagh Afridi of Khyber Agency and the Tariq Afridi faction belonging to Dara Adamkhel in the frontier region of Kohat. Tariq moved his fighters to Orakzai Agency following military operations in the gun-manufacturing town of Dara Adamkhel; his men have now incurred the wrath of Mangal Bagh who perceives in the tragic drama an implicit challenge to his authority.

Of course, this isn’t because Mangal is bound to any noble cause; the Sikhs were paying jazia, the medieval tax non-Muslims paid in lieu for protection and the right to follow their religion. Jazia came into vogue here in April ’09 when militants under the command of Hakimullah Mehsud (the murderous TTP chief who died of injuries after a US drone attack in January) imposed a levy of Rs 12 million on the Sikhs. Incidentally, the community has been living peacefully in Orakzai Agency for decades. Though the ‘imposition’ was much criticised, the Orakzai tribesmen didn’t intervene, fearing reprisals from Hakimullah. The tribal elders also had no authority over him as he belonged to the Mehsud tribe of South Waziristan. Since the Sikhs could raise only Rs 3.5 million, the TTP looted the Sikh businesses and houses and then auctioned them. The entire community was ordered out of Orakzai, most of them shifting to Peshawar, a few choosing Khyber as their new home.

In comparison to the TTP’s levy, Mangal’s demand on the 300 Sikh families living in Khyber was a mere Rs 1,000 per head per year. Since the Sikhs paid jazia, there are many in the area who are asking: why exactly was Jaspal kidnapped and beheaded? Will Mangal now retaliate against Tariq? Well, if he did, it wouldn’t surprise anyone here.

Even today, some Sikh families continue to live in the Terah valley, understanding their fate is no different from that of the ordinary Pashtuns here, for they do not have the firepower to combat the militants. Perhaps it’s this that has inspired the Sikhs of Maidan area of the Terah valley to join the Ansar-ul-Islam which is now fighting Mangal’s Lashkar-i-Islam (incidentally, the latter has moved away from the TTP ever since the army launched operations here). “We have nothing to do with the sectarian differences among the Muslim groups, but we have to defend our land...where we were born and where we will live in the future as well,” says one Sikh elder.

But there’s no denying these are hard days for the Sikhs of FATA. Says Arbab Muhammad Tahir Khan, an influential Awami National Party leader, “Our forefathers would always educate us about being gentle towards the vulnerable segments of society. These minorities are very much part and parcel of our life. We cannot discriminate against them. It’s the responsibility of the state to provide justice and protect the lives and property of every citizen, irrespective of their religion.” Sadly, the state is largely missing from Pakistan’s tribal belt.

End product of a culture of violence

Friday, February 19, 2010

Can Jewish-Muslim dialogue work?

Can Jewish-Muslim dialogue work?

The Jewish News of Greater Phoenix published a letter and am glad it allowed to publish a different point of view as well. The following three letters are appended in the sequence; Cynthia Brooksworth, Dr. Jasser Zuhdi and Mike Ghouse (yet to be published).

"On Jewish-Muslim Dialogue


I found the article titled "Jewish-Muslim course uses texts to foster dialogue" (Jewish News, Feb. 12) a bit troublesome. To begin with, the author indicates that according to many Muslim scholars, Islam does not exhort Muslims to kill nonbelievers. This is blatantly untrue.

It takes very little research to find many quotes from Muhammad and the Quran that exhort the followers of Islam to "fight with the Jews 'til some of them will hide behind stones. The stones will (betray them) saying, 'O Abdullah (slave of Allah)! There is a Jew hiding behind me; so kill him'" and to "make war on non-Muslims until idolatry shall cease and God's religion shall reign supreme."

Muhammad said: "Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah. Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war."

And Sharia Law says: "'Jihad' means to make war on non-Muslims."

There are many other such passages in the Quran and in the sayings of Muhammad that are typical of what standard Islam teaches. It's not just the murderous jihadists who follow these words. The words are those of Allah and are immutable and for all time, according to most practicing Muslims.

In order for real dialogue to take place, the offensive texts from the Quran and the sayings of Muhammad should be discussed openly, especially those that are anti-Semitic, anti-Christian, anti-American and anti-infidel ("infidel" meaning anyone who isn't a practicing Muslim) and that exhort Muslims to kill nonbelievers. If that's what this course purports to do, I wish the teachers and students a lot of luck.

Cynthia Brooksworth


Some of us in the Valley have been doing Jewish-Muslim dialogue before it was in vogue, in fact before 9/11. Our small, local Jewish-Muslim dialogue group, the Children of Abraham, started in 2000 and continues to meet.

Rabbi Reuven Firestone's new, more ambitious efforts based in a graduate course at the University of California, Berkeley (as reported by Sue Fishkoff) seem to be headed in the right direction. But the real substance of the course will be revealed in the frankness of the dialogue between Rabbi Firestone and the interestingly unnamed Muslim scholar.

This is also, most importantly, with the assumption that they not be bogged down in tiring apologetics from the Muslim scholar, which would give students a false sense of ideological comfort.

The letter writer above dives right into the scriptural issues this type of dialogue desperately needs to address. The Islamic "scriptures" cited are radical interpretations, which radical Muslims (Wahhabis) would associate with "their" form of Islam but which are not the translations and interpretations of Muslim scripture that I learned in "my" Islam.

Yes, those excerpts do exist and do fuel global jihadists and their theo-political fascism. But the important thing is the brewing civil war within the "House of Islam" over whose interpretations will prevail.

The supremacist interpretations are real and gaining ground, but if they predominated from the faith of a quarter of the world's population, the world would have perished long ago. Each passage the letter writer cites has - and needs - an alternative interpretation and a clear rejection from modern Muslims.

For example, the so-called quotation in which the Prophet Mohammed states "And the Jew will hide behind the stone and the tree, and the stone and the tree will say: 'Oh servant of Allah, Oh Muslim, this is a Jew behind me. Come and kill him!" is a forgery. I and many Muslims believe it was never stated by the Prophet Mohammed, regardless of what the radical imams like Yusuf Qaradawi of the Muslim Brotherhood think.

To dismiss our evolving Muslim civil war over scriptural exegesis and authenticity in Islam and hand over the reigns of the faith to a vicious minority of radical Muslims would be to surrender.

We have a lot of work to do, and I hope and pray that some day the silent majority of Muslims wake up and convincingly demonstrate in the court of public opinion that the Bin Laden narrative is not "our Islam."

These realities can only come out in honest dialogue. If the dialogue denies the reality of radical interpretations, it will fuel dangerous apologetics. Similarly, if it exaggerates the radical narrative, it will fuel the dismissal of the most important solution to radical Islam - a modern Islam that chooses peaceful, pluralistic interpretations of scripture and history and ultimately separates mosque and state.

M. Zuhdi Jasser
President, American Islamic Forum for Democracy



Peace is the ultimate unstated goal of every faith and tradition; indeed, to be a muslim is to mitigate conflicts and nurture goodwill.

Just like Dr. Jasser, I was dismayed reading the quote ascribed to Prophet Muhammad. There is always a few among us (all of us) who find flaring conflicts as a source of livelihood and flood the market with un-verified statements, conflicts keep their business of fear monering alive.

There are several myths like that, it is time to face them squarely and adderss them. I ask the Jewish community to put every card on the table, let's find veracity to such statements and go from there. I will take up the challenge and time to address the myths, rather false myths about Islam and Quraan.

At this moment I beg apology from my Jewish, Christian, Hindu and people of other faiths for not paying attention to deliberate mis-translations of Quraan by Neocons Christians, Neocon Jews and Neocon Muslim to propagate myths about the Quraan.

Here is the link to an Apology to Jews, Christians and others

Mike Ghouse, President
World Muslim Congress,
(214) 325-1916

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Pictorial Report - Holocaust and Genocides

The III Annual Reflections on Holocaust and Genocides.
Sunday, January 24, 2010

This was an educational program, where 7 speakers reflected on 7 topics for 7 minutes each. Then 7 commentators made comments about 7 different situations. The topics ranged from the Holocaust to Genocides, massacres and tragedies.

This is perhaps the first time in our history that we have acknowledged the genocides of the indigenous Americans and Native peoples of Americas in a public forum along with other tragedies.

There is a shameless cruelty in us, either we shy away or some times refuse to acknowledge the sufferings of others, worrying that it will devalue our own or some how it amounts to infidelity to our own cause, and shame on us for justifying massacres that the victims deserved it or they asked for it.

Continued at:

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Good Muslim, Bad Muslim by Tariq Ramadan

The dust from the collapse of the twin towers had hardly settled on 11 September 2001 when the febrile search began for "moderate Muslims", people who would provide answers, who would distance themselves from this outrage and condemn the violent acts of "Muslim extremists", "Islamic fundamentalists" and "Islamists". Two distinct categories of Muslim rapidly emerged: the "good" and the "bad"; the "moderates", "liberals" and "secularists" versus the "fundamentalists", the "extremists" and the "Islamists".

This categorisation was not new. Literature produced during the colonial era, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, especially by orientalist scholars in Britain and France, depicted Muslims in the same binary manner. "Good" Muslims were those who either collaborated with the colonial enterprise or accepted the values and customs of the dominant power. The rest, the "bad" Muslims, those who "resisted" religiously, culturally or politically, were systematically denigrated, dismissed as the "other" and repressed as a "danger". Times have changed, but the old mindsets and simplistic portrayals continue to cast a shadow over today's intellectual, political and media debate about Islam. One reason why so many Muslim thinkers, activists and reformers today try to avoid the label of "moderate" is the perception of having sold out on their religion to the west and its suffocating terminology.

So what exactly are we discussing? Religious or theological practices? Political positions? Proclivity towards violence? Animosity towards the west? What do we mean when we brand someone a "moderate" Muslim?

Underlying the contemporary debate about, and the search for, "moderates" is a confusion of categories. Islam, it is claimed, draws no distinction between religion and politics; thus it is permissible to use the most general descriptive terms without distinguishing religious conceptions and practices from political programmes and actions. To adopt such a reductive perception of Muslims, and the "Muslim world", is to brush aside the most elementary descriptive and analytical principles that we would ordinarily apply to fields as diverse as theology and law on the one hand, and social sciences and political theory on the other. Given the acknowledged complexity of this rather sensitive subject, we must instead begin by ordering our priorities: first, the question in religious terms. Can we speak of moderation as opposed to excess in the way Muslims practise their religion? And how are we to categorise the diverse theological trends that coexist within Islam?

The theme of moderation in religious practice has been a constant in Islamic literature from the very beginning, during the Prophet Muhammad's life in the early 7th century. In the Quran and the Prophetic traditions that accompany it, Muslim women and men are called upon to exercise moderation in all aspects of their religious life. "God desires ease for you, and desires not hardship," the Quran reminds us, and Muhammad confirms: "Make things easy, do not make them difficult." Often cited is the example of easing the obligation to fast during the month of Ramadan for travellers, as a way of cautioning believers against excess. Such methods, from the very beginning, have been employed by most Islamic scholars to understand the Quranic quotation describing the Muslims as the "community of moderation".

During the first so-called Islamic century (or 8th century), two interpretations of religious practice sprang up: ahl al-'azîma, which applied the letter of the law to teachings, without taking either context or the need for "ease" into account; and ahl ar-rukhas, which considered not only these factors, but also the need for flexibility vis-à-vis the social context of the day, not to mention instances of need (hâja) and necessity (darûra). Over the past 13 centuries, most Islamic scholars and Muslims around the world (whether Sunni or Shia, irrespective of legal school), have promoted and followed the path of moderation and flexibility in the practice of their religion. While strictly devoted to fundamental principles (such as the content of the creed, or aqîda, including five prayers a day and fasting in Ramadan, and prohibitions such as avoiding alcohol and pork), they have adapted to new environments and changing times (for example, integrating aspects of new cultures, producing legal opinions for the latest scientific or technological challenges, and so on).

It is at this level that we can locate the initial misconception about Muslim moderation. In western societies where the practice and day-to-day visibility of religion are close to zero (even in the United States, where religion as a cultural and moral reference point is relatively strong), to speak of daily prayers, fasting, of religiously grounded moral obligations, prohibitions and dress codes is often seen automatically as verging on excess.

From this skewed viewpoint, moderate Muslims are those who adopt no distinctive dress, who consume alcohol and practise their religion "as we do ours" - that is, not really, or by making it invisible in the public sphere. But our histories, cultures and reference points are not identical; the notion of moderation has to be studied from within each system of reference. It cannot be imposed from outside.

Yet, at the same time, Muslims cannot, or should not, deny that among the diverse currents within Muslim-majority countries and communities - literalist, traditionalist, reform­ist, rationalist, mystical and, even, purely political - dogmatic and excessive interpretations can be found. It is largely within the literalist, traditionalist and politicised currents of Islamic thinking across the world today that we find the most closed-minded interpretations of the faith. These tend to generate legal opinions that take into consideration neither social nor historical contexts with regard to religious practice, cultural behaviour, human relations, women's rights and relations with "non-Muslims".

On the subject of non-Muslims, some groups (such as the literalist Salafis in Saudi Arabia or the traditionalist Tablighis in Pakistan) attempt to discourage Muslims from ­interacting with Christians, Jews or atheists, and even advise adopting a stance of hostility and rejection. Several of these minority Muslim groups - especially the so-called takfiris - criticise other Muslim tendencies, going so far as to call into question the Islamic character of their beliefs and practices.

Those of us who consider ourselves reformists are often attacked in internal Muslim debates for having "gone out of Islam" in our search for context and new understandings of religious texts. In the west, as well as in Asia and Africa, including in some Muslim-majority countries, I have repeatedly been called a kafir (disbeliever), a murtad (apostate) or an impostor seeking to adulterate Islam and destroy it from within. This happens to a large number of Muslim reformists - who, paradoxically, are at the same time considered "fundamentalist" and "extremist" within some right-wing circles in the west.

More troubling, perhaps, and making outside categorisation even more hazardous, is the tendency for some reformist, rationalist or mystic groups to develop, internally, the same dogmatic attitude towards their Muslim co-religionists, casting doubt on their legitimacy in the most categorical and exclusivist fashion. Moderation is multidimensional, and is not ­expressed only with reference to the west or to "non-Muslims".

Closer analysis of the political positions of the literalists, traditionalists, rationalists, reformists and mystics further complicates the task of understanding. I believe the question of political moderation is often a subjective one. Af­ghanistan provides a rather obvious example: the same people who, two decades ago, were hailed as "freedom fighters" against Soviet invaders are today described as "terrorists" when they resist the Anglo-American occupation of their land. And everyone can agree to condemn terrorist acts against civilians in New York, Rabat, Bali, Amman, Madrid and London, but how are we to describe the resistance movements in Iraq, Afghanistan or Palestine, fighting against foreign occupations that they consider illegal and illegitimate? Are Muslim members of the resistance to be deemed "extremists", while "moderates" become those who accept the occupying presence of American and British forces? Who decides, and based on what criteria?

I have had personal experience of these shifting definitions. The Washington Post once described me as the "Muslim Martin Luther", only for the Sun to then tar me as an "Islamic militant". In 2003, I was received at the US state department as an "open" and "moderate" Muslim. Less than a year later, under the same Bush administration, my criticism of American policy in Iraq and Palestine (where I recognise the legitimacy of the resistance without in any way condoning attacks against civilians and non-combatants) had transformed me into a potential "supporter of terrorism" and "extremist". I was forbidden entry into the United States. Then, six years later, the terrorism- and extremism-related accusations were dropped by the US authorities. The Obama administration has decided that my opinions are not dangerous and that I may be useful to the critical debate around Islam: I am now allowed to travel to the United States.

But the attacks on me continue. Being the grandson of Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood - the world's oldest and largest Islamic political group - I am dangerous by definition and I must not be listened to. Islam, my critics claim, allows dissimulation (taqiy­yah) and so I am accused of practising it in the extreme: all that sounds so fine to western audiences is in fact nothing but the presentable side of a far more obscure hidden agenda - it is claimed that I want to Islamise modernity, Europe and the Europeans, the whole west. So how can I be a "moderate", they ask?

Not only is political "moderation" an ill-­defined concept, but the confusion between religious and political spheres makes analysis even more problematic. People are quick, far too quick, to assume that because a woman or a man is religiously "liberal" with regard to Islamic practices such as wearing the hijab or drinking alcohol, for instance, she or he will hold equally "liberal" political views. In my ­experience, nothing could be further from the truth. There are innumerable cases of political personalities, intellectuals and civil society activists who are indeed Muslims with liberal views and practices but who publicly support the most hardline dictatorial regimes and/or the most violent resistance groups everywhere from Algeria to France. So moderation in religion cannot be correlated with its supposed political equivalent. In the western-generated analysis, however, there is a tendency to conflate these categories.

Relations with the "west" offer another interesting standard by which to evaluate the political and religious stances of contemporary Muslims. The violent extremist groups view their relations with the west only in terms of complete opposition and enmity, couched in religious, political, cultural and economic ­conceptual language. Nevertheless, the overwhelming majority of the world's Muslims - particularly western Muslims - recognise the achievements of western societies, while at the same time claiming the right to determine for themselves the parameters of their identity, the nature and extent of their religious practices, and their spiritual and moral convictions. Seen from this perspective, criticism and rejection of the west are linked only to a refusal to accept political, economic or cultural domination.

Even within Islamist ranks, strictly religious discourse is predominantly moderate with regard to the west, from Malaysia to Morocco by way of the current Islamist government of Turkey, whose objective is to join the democratic and secular European Union. The zone of tension and latent conflict is not defined by religion, and therefore has nothing to do either with Islam or with "moderate Muslims".

There are those in the west today who are keen to define moderate Muslims as those who are invisible, or look just like us, who support us, or even as those who have accepted the terms of their subjection. In turn, they want to declare all the rest as fundamentalists or extremists. Such self-serving judgements are ideological in nature and lead only to an intellectual confusion that prevents us from grasping the essentially political and economic nature of the debate. They cannot help us to understand the complex dynamics at work in Muslim societies. Once we have condemned the violent -- extremist groups that murder innocent civilians supposedly in the name of Islam, we must move forward and place their political positions in context.

There exists a strictly religious debate, couched in the language of Islamic jurisprudence and the fundamentals of faith, over the notion of moderation. If this is grasped - as it must be - it becomes possible to approach the more relevant political questions with far less prejudice and naivety. We should never forget that religious moderation, however it is defined, is perfectly compatible with a radical, non-violent, democratic political stance that rejects all forms of domination, exploitation and oppression.

Tariq Ramadan is professor of contemporary Islamic studies at Oxford University. His latest book is "What I Believe" (Oxford University
Press, £9.99)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Obama names Indian-American Muslim as special envoy

Obama names Indian-American Muslim as special envoy

Rashad Hussain is an activist par-excellence from my home town Dallas and is greatly influenced by the Indian ethos of Pluralism and inclusiveness. He would fit right in with President's Obama’s idea of one world, where we respect every nation and their sovereignty.

He will strengthen the pluralistic values of America, and President’s desire to encourage the community of nations to review our values of Liberty, Justice and co-existence as catalysts for prosperity. As a Special envoy to the OIC, Rashad will initiate a positive relationship between America and the Muslim nations, I am proud of his heritage; an Indian, a Muslim and an American.

We have to maintain a healthy balance within our communities and with all nations, what is good for America has got to be good for the world and vice versa to sustain the equilibrium, he is the right man for the job. May God bless him in uplifting America’s role in creating a better world for the good of all.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Bad Fatwa by Muslim-American body about airport body scanners

Bad Fatwa by Muslim-American body against airport body scanners

Speak up Muslims

The word "Fatwa" is wrongfully associated with "death threats", it may be wise for us, until we educate the public that it is merely an opinion, and instead use the word "Opinion". The word Fatwa carries a negative perception and until it is removed, it is not wise to use the word in this context. After all, we are using the English language to communicate and let the language be in English.

Furthermore, this "Fatwa" will be wrongfully propagated as Anti-American, which it is not, but the right wing media thrives on it, hate is their food and they will spew it out in the media. I just want to assure you, the majority, indeed the overwhelming majority of Americans would understand and silently support it, but they are good for nothing, just like the majority of Jews, Christians, Muslims or Hindus are good for nothing, they do nothing about anything.

Our wisdom should prevail and as Muslims one of our roles is to mitigate conflicts and nurture goodwill, it was one of the first examples set by the prophet when he reset the Aswad stone back into the wall of Kaaba.

I would urge Muslims to use the word "Opinion", that is what it is, it is not a legal binding enforceable opinion, at least in America.

The question is the safety of 301 Million Americans and we cannot compromise that, if we take the opposite stance, it will become an instrument of wedge. We had better think about such pronouncements. Work with the system, the system will work with you. America is the best hope for mankind.

Rogue run states like France may take the cue from it, and just to piss off Muslims, they may go ahead and do it, the idiot Geert Wilders will feast on it. What are we going to do about it? Nothing! What have we done with Switzerland, France, Australia and some other nations, nothing! What have we done with the human rights violations in Sudan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Iran, nothing! Then let's not give thoughtless opinions that affect the average Muslim, who is living his American dream of a home, a family, kids and retirement.

Did any scholar have had a chance to look at it and speak up against it? Let no opinion come out without any one opposing it, opposing has a corrective and tempering element in it that sets things right. Even the Prophet invited opinions, for what? To understand if there is another point of view.

Speak up Muslims, silent no more

Mike Ghouse
World Muslim Congress

Article Link:

Muslim-American body issues fatwa against airport body scanners

IANS, 12 February 2010, 12:47pm IST

Text Size:

WASHINGTON: Some Muslim-American groups are supporting a fatwa issued by a body of Islamic scholars forbidding Muslims from going through full body scanners at airports, a media report said.

The Fiqh Council of North America issued the religious ruling this week that says going through the airport scanners would violate Islamic rules on modesty, Free Press reported.

"It is a violation of clear Islamic teachings that men or women be seen naked by other men and women," reads the fatwa issued Tuesday. "Islam highly emphasises haya (modesty) and considers it part of faith. The Quran has commanded the believers, both men and women, to cover their private parts."

After the Christmas Day bombing attempt in Detroit by a Muslim suspect from Nigeria, some US airports are now in the process of buying and using the body scanners to find explosives and other dangerous materials carried by terrorists.

But Muslim groups say the scanners, which show in graphic detail the outlines of a person's body, go against their religion. One option offered to passengers who don't want to use the scanners would be a pat down by a security guard. The Muslim groups are urging members to undergo those instead.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) says it endorses the fatwa. "We support the Fiqh Council's statement on full-body scanners and believe that the religious and privacy rights of passengers can be respected while maintaining safety and security," Nihad Awad, national executive director of CAIR was quoted as saying.

Currently, there are 40 full-body scanners at 19 airports in the US, including two in Detroit, said spokesman Jim Fotenos of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). There are plans for 450 more body scanners in US airports, he said.

In a statement, the TSA said it is committed to keeping passengers safe and also protecting their privacy.

"TSA's mission is to keep the travelling public safe. Advanced imaging technologies are an important tool in a multi-layered security system to detect evolving threats such as improvised explosive devices.

"TSA's use of these technologies includes strong protections in place to safeguard passenger privacy. Screening images are automatically deleted, and the officer viewing the image will never see the passenger."

The TSA stressed that the body scanners are "optional to all passengers". Those who turn them down, "will receive equivalent screening that may include a physical pat-down, hand-wanding, and other technologies".

"Physical pat-downs are performed by transportation security Officers of the same sex as the passenger in a private screening area, if the passenger requests."

Body scanners "do not produce photos", the agency said. Rather, the images "look like chalk outlines".

You are welcome to write your comments at this link:

Friday, February 12, 2010

Diversity is God's will Quraan 5:48

لكل جعلنا منكم شرعة ومنهاجا ولو شاء الله لجعلكم امة وحدة ولكن ليبلوكم فى ما ءاتىكم فاستبقوا الخيرت الى الله مرجعكم جميعا فينبئكم بما كنتم فيه تختلفون

For each (community) among you have We have appointed a way of providence (in conduct.)( Shir'ah=a way to a watering-place/path where everything meets/gets nourishment) and way of life (minhaj=open road, path of life). And if God had so willed, He could surely have made you all one single community: but [He willed it otherwise] in order to test you by means of what He has vouchsafed unto, you. So, outdo one another in doing good to the society. To God you will all return, and He will then make you understand wherein you differed. (5:48)

Shared by Arnold Yasin

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Petition for Native American Heritage Day

Please sign the Petition for Native American Heritage Day

My heart is in tune with the Native Americans, and sensitive to what they have endured over the centuries, it is time for all of us Americans to come together and acknowledge their contributions and honor their tradition with the Native American Heritage Day.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Little Support for Terrorism

Little Support for Terrorism Among Muslim Americans
by Richard Wike, Pew Global Attitudes Project, Greg Smith, Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life
December 17, 2009

Recent events such as the Fort Hood shootings and the arrest of five Muslim American students in Pakistan have raised questions about the threat of homegrown terrorism in the United States. However, the Pew Research Center's comprehensive portrait of the Muslim American population suggests it is less likely to be a fertile breeding ground for terrorism than Muslim minority communities in other countries. Violent jihad is discordant with the values, outlook and attitudes of the vast majority of Muslim Americans, most of whom reject extremism.
A Middle Class, Mainstream Minority Group
As the title of Pew Research's 2007 study suggests, Muslim Americans are "middle class and mostly mainstream." Compared with their co-religionists in other Western societies, they are relatively well integrated into mainstream society. Unlike Western Europe's Muslim populations, Muslims in the U.S. are generally as well-educated and financially well-off as the general population. Most (72%) say their communities are good or excellent places to live, and most believe in the American dream -- 71% say that in the U.S., most people who want to get ahead can make it if they are willing to work hard.
When asked whether they think of themselves first as an American or as a Muslim, 47% of Muslims in the U.S. think of themselves first in terms of their religion, while 28% identify themselves first as Americans and 18% volunteer that they identify as both. At 46%, French Muslims are about equally as likely as those in the U.S. to think of themselves first as Muslim. However, Muslim Americans are less likely to identify primarily with their religion than are Muslims living in Britain, Germany, and Spain.
Primary identification with religious affiliation is not unique to Muslims. Religious identity is almost equally as high among American Christians, 42% of whom say they think of themselves first as Christian. About half (48%) of Christians in the U.S. identify first as Americans, while 7% volunteer that they identify both with their nationality and their religion.1
Roughly six-in-ten Muslim Americans (62%) say that the quality of life for Muslim women in the U.S. is better than the quality of life for women in most Muslim countries, while 7% say it is worse, and 23% believe it is about the same. French Muslims are equally likely to think that life is better for Muslim women in their country, while in Britain, Germany and Spain, Muslims are somewhat less likely to hold this view.
Many Muslim Americans share the concerns of the broader population about Islamic extremism. Roughly three-quarters (76%) are very or somewhat concerned about the rise of Islamic extremism around the world, compared with 81% of the U.S. general population.2 About six-in-ten Muslim Americans (61%) are also worried about the potential rise of Islamic extremism in the U.S., although this is lower than the level of concern among the general public (78%).3
Few Endorse Extremism
Very few Muslim Americans hold a positive opinion of al Qaeda -- only 5% give the terrorist organization a favorable rating, while 68% express an unfavorable view, including 58% who describe their view as very unfavorable. About one-quarter (27%) decline to offer an opinion.
Support for suicide terrorism among Muslim Americans is similarly rare: 78% believe that suicide bombing and other forms of violence against civilian targets to defend Islam from its enemies can never be justified, and another 5% say these types of attacks are rarely justified. Fewer than one-in-ten American Muslims say that suicide bombing is sometimes (7%) or often (1%) justified.
Over the course of the decade, the Pew Global Attitudes Project has asked this same question of Muslim populations around the world, and results show that Muslims in the U.S. are among the most likely to reject suicide bombing. Among the populations surveyed recently, opposition to suicide bombing is highest in Pakistan (87% say it is never justified) -- a nation currently plagued by suicide bombings and violence by extremist groups. As recently as 2004, only 35% of Pakistani Muslims held this view. As Pew Global Attitudes surveys have documented, the growing rejection of extremism in Pakistan is part of a broader pattern in the Muslim world.
Most European Muslims surveyed agree that suicide attacks can never be justified. This view is especially prevalent in Germany, where 83% of the country's largely Turkish Muslim community say that suicide attacks are not justifiable. Most Muslims in Turkey, Indonesia, Jordan, Israel and Egypt agree, while fewer than half take this position in Lebanon and Nigeria. Palestinians are the clear outlier on this issue -- only 17% think violence against civilian targets can never be justified.
But Small Pockets of Support and Doubts About Sept. 11
Of course, although American Muslims largely reject extremist ideologies, results from the 2007 survey do reveal small pockets of support for extremism. And the survey found that younger Muslims in the U.S. are slightly more accepting of Islamic extremism than are older Muslims. Those under age 30 are more than twice as likely as those age 30 and older to believe that suicide bombings in the defense of Islam can often or sometimes be justified (15% vs. 6%). This pattern is consistent with findings from Europe -- Muslims under age 30 in Britain, France, Germany and Spain are slightly more likely than those in older age groups to endorse suicide attacks.
The survey also finds that native-born African-American Muslims are less likely than other U.S. Muslims to condemn al Qaeda completely. Only 9% express a favorable view of the organization, but at the same time, just 36% give it a very unfavorable rating.
And fewer than half of Muslim Americans -- just four-in-10 -- accept the fact that groups of Arabs carried out the Sept. 11 attacks. Roughly a third (32%) express no opinion as to who was behind the attacks, while 28% flatly disbelieve that Arabs conducted the attacks. Fewer highly religious Muslim Americans believe that groups of Arabs carried out the attacks than do less religious Muslims. The survey also finds that those who say suicide bombings in defense of Islam can often or sometimes be justified are more disbelieving than others that Arabs carried out the Sept. 11 attacks.

Religious Prejudice Stronger Against Muslims

January 25, 2010
In U.S., Religious Prejudice Stronger Against Muslims 43% of Americans admit to feeling some prejudice toward followers of Islam Analysis by the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- More than 4 in 10 Americans (43%) admit to feeling at least "a little" prejudice toward Muslims -- more than twice the number who say the same about Christians (18%), Jews (15%) and Buddhists (14%). The findings are based on a new Gallup Center for Muslim Studies report, "Religious Perceptions in America: With an In-Depth Analysis of U.S. Attitudes Toward Muslims and Islam," released Thursday.

In a separate question asking Americans to express their overall view about each of the four religions evaluated, Islam is the most negatively viewed. Nearly one-third of Americans (31%) say their opinion of Islam is "not favorable at all" versus 9% who say their opinion is "very favorable." This stands in contrast to Americans' views of Christianity and Judaism, which are far more likely to be "very favorable" than "not favorable at all," while Buddhism draws almost equally positive and negative opinions at the extremes.

Gallup conducted the nationwide U.S. survey between Oct. 31 and Nov. 13, 2009, spanning the Fort Hood shooting in which a U.S.-born Muslim military doctor killed 13 people on the Army base on Nov. 5.The new report further explores variables that are associated with extreme prejudice ("a great deal") toward followers of Islam as well as variables that may be related to lack of prejudice.

To download the full report, go to . Key findings from the report will also be released next month in Cairo, Egypt. The Gallup Center for Muslim Studies conducts its Washington, D.C., and Cairo launches with its Muslim West Facts partner, the Coexist Foundation.Survey MethodsResults for this Gallup Panel study are based on telephone interviews with 1,002 national adults, aged 18 and older, conducted Oct.31-Nov.13, 2009.

Gallup Panel members are recruited through random selection methods. The panel is weighted so that it is demographically representative of the U.S. adult population. For results based on this sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3.4 percentage points.In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

Stunned Passengers after Muslim bus driver pulls over

Stunned Passengers after Muslim bus driver pulls over

This is a ridiculous act of showoff, the Muslim man stopping the bus in the middle of the journey to pray with a busload of passengers waiting anxiously and watching him pray. What was he doing? Impressing others that prayer is important? It is indeed important, but not inconveniencing others. If he was on his own, he should do that, but he was carrying the responsibility of public transportation.

A Prayer is between an individual and God and not an act to show off, unless it is a congregational prayer. Ridiculous acts like this causes the states to enact banning religious activities in Public Square. I hope our Imams speak about this in our Mosques. The religion of Islam allows flexibility to pray, he could have prayed earlier on or later on.

These anomalies happen in one fashion or the other in every segment of the society, the issue is what we make of it. The right wing media will entertain this story for weeks. As a Muslim, I'd laugh it off as entertainment by the devout and I request you to share stories of your devouts in your religious tradition, together we can laugh it off and move on with life.

Mike Ghouse is a thinker, writer, speaker, optimist and an activist of Pluralism, Interfaith, Co-existence, Peace, Islam and India. He is a frequent guest at the TV, radio and print media offering pluralistic solutions to issues of the day. His work is reflected at three websites and 22 Blogs listed at
Passengers left stunned after Muslim bus driver pulls over and begins praying in the aisle
By Daily Mail Reporter 08th February 2010

The driver pulled over in his No.24 bus and began to pray in front of bemused passengers
A Muslim bus driver stunned passengers by pulling over mid-route and beginning to pray in the aisle.

The driver stopped the bus without warning before removing his shoes and, using a fluorescent jacket as a prayer mat, beginning to chant in Arabic.

Passengers said they feared the driver could be preparing for a terror attack. No one was able to get on or off the vehicle during the five-minute prayer session. Passenger Gayle Griffiths complained to Transport for London about the bizarre incident on the No.24 bus in Gospel Oak, north London, this week.

Mother-of-one Miss Griffiths, 33, of Camden, north-west London, had boarded the bus a few minutes earlier on her way home from work. She says that she even feared at the time that the driver might be a fanatic planning to blow up the bus. She said: 'I have done the journey a million times before but I was in a hurry to get home to pick my little girl up from school.

'We had just picked up and let off people at a bus stop and moved off again when the driver stopped the bus very suddenly. 'He got out of his cab, leaving the engine running, and walked towards the middle exit door. 'He laid out a fluorescent jacket on the floor and I thought that somebody must have been sick and he was covering it up. 'I didn't really think much of it.
'But then he took off his shoes and began praying. I was gobsmacked and quite bewildered.'
Miss Griffiths said the bus driver didn't give the passengers any explanation as to what he was doing.

'He hadn't addressed the passengers at all,' she said. 'I didn't say anything and nor did anyone else. I thought it would all be over in 30 seconds but it went on for over five minutes.

Passenger Gayle Griffiths
'It even went through my mind that this might be some sort of terrorist attack with the bus blown up because I had heard that suicide bombers prayed before attacks. 'As the engine was running anyone could also have got in the cab and driven off with a bus full of passengers.
'He was also blocking the exit, so if something had happened we would not have been able to get off. 'Everyone was looking round in a mix of shock and amazement. It was truly bizarre, ludicrous and aggravating. 'We are delayed often enough as it is in London. 'We live in a multi-cultural society but there is a time and a place for prayer and the middle of a journey with a busload of passengers is not it.'

Transport for London said it had apologised to all the passengers for the delay to their journey and said all Muslim drivers are being reminded that they should pray during statutory rest periods rather than hold up services. A TfL spokesman said: 'A route 24 bus was delayed following a decision by the driver to stop the bus to pray. 'The bus company, London General, has had a word with the driver as this is not something that should be happening. 'TfL apologises to passengers for any inconvenience this may have caused them.

'We understand that there is some flexibility in the Muslim faith as to the times of day that drivers can pray. 'TfL and the individual bus operating companies acknowledge and value the diversity of their staff. 'As diverse employers, TfL and the bus operators provide suitable prayer or quiet rooms at garages and other key locations for staff who wish to practise their faith.'We have asked London General to remind drivers who have a requirement to pray to use these facilities during their rest periods.'

You are welcome to share your comments;

Monday, February 8, 2010

An appeal to Muslims about Dr. Afia Siddiqi

An appeal to Muslims about Dr. Afia Siddiqi
Friday, February 5, 2010

Today a Manhattan jury found Afia Siddiqui guilty of all charges. Siddique is the Pakistani scientist accused of shooting at her US captors while in custody in Afghanistan. The defense team was counting on the lack of physical evidence against Siddiqui to lead to an acquittal.

My concern is what is floating on the net, “that she fought for Islam” that amounts to twisting the issue from Justice to “religious” one; I believe it is short-sighted and wrong. The issue is about justice, and it has been painful to read and watch the trial, rather the mis-trial and the apparent denial of justice to Dr. Afia Siddiqi.

I appeal to Muslim hallucinaters around the world to keep the issue to Justice otherwise, we will invoke the Neocons to cook up imaginary enemies and change the nature of the issue. It may cause further harm to Dr. Siddiqui’s appeal.

Our system of Justice and our Jury is fair, but we do make mistakes and the system is amenable to that and we need to have patience and honor it.

If you demonstrate, please do it peacefully and make an appeal to justice. Kindly avoid religious slogans, condemnations or other unproductive methods; you may harm the appeal for justice to Dr. Siddiqi by your demonstrations.

As Muslims please follow what the Prophet would have done; pray for the well being of Afia and appeal to the sense of Justice.

Mike Ghouse is a thinker, writer, speaker, optimist and an activist of Pluralism, Interfaith, Co-existence, Peace, Islam and India. He is a frequent guest at the TV, radio and print media offering pluralistic solutions to issues of the day. His work is reflected at three websites and 22 Blogs listed at


The Terror-Industrial Complex -

Wikipedia :
Please be aware that all that you see in Wiki is not truthful, finding the truth is your own responsibility.

Jury convicts Afia Siddiqui for attempted murder

LHCBA condemns verdict against Aafia

New Yorker goes on a hunger strike to protest MIT trained Neuroscientist's guilty conviction -

The Curious Case Of Dr. Afia Siddiqui –

Pakistan request US to release neurologist on humanitarian ground -


Here are three recent articles on Dr. Siddiqi:

1. By Yvonne Ridley
2. Saeed Qureshi.
3. Wikepedia Profile

Dr. Afia Siddiqi by Yvonne Ridley
By Yvonne Ridley

Many of us are still in a state of shock over the guilty verdict returned on Dr Aafia Siddiqui.

The response from the people of Pakistan was predictable and overwhelming and I salute their spontaneous actions. From Peshawar to Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore and beyond they marched in their thousands demanding the return of Aafia.

Even some of the US media expressed discomfort over the verdict returned by the jurors … there was a general feeling that something was not right. Everyone had something to say, everyone that is except the usually verbose US Ambassador Anne Patterson who has spent the last two years briefing against Dr Aafia and her supporters.

This is the same woman who claimed I was a fantasist when I gave a press conference with Tehreek e Insaf leader Imran Khan back in July 2008 revealing the plight of a female prisoner in Bagram called the Grey Lady.

She said I was talking nonsense and stated categorically that the prisoner I referred to as “650” did not exist. By the end of the month she changed her story and said there had been a female prisoner but that she was most definitely not Dr Aafia Siddiqui.

By that time Aafia had been gunned down at virtually point blank range in an Afghan prison cell jammed full of more than a dozen US soldiers, FBI agents and Afghan police.

Her Excellency briefed the media that the prisoner had wrested an M4 gun from one soldier and fired off two rounds and had to be subdued. The fact these bullets failed to hit a single person in the cell and simply disappeared did not resonate with the diplomat.

In a letter dripping in untruths on August 16 2008 she decried the “erroneous and irresponsible media reports regarding the arrest of Ms
Aafia Siddiqui”. She went on to say: “Unfortunately,
there are some who have an interest in simply distorting the facts in an effort to manipulate and inflame public opinion. The truth is never served by sensationalism…”

When Jamaat Islami invited me on a national tour of Pakistan to address people about the continued abuse of Dr Aafia and the truth about her incarceration in Bagram, the US Ambassador continued to issue rebuttals.

She assured us all that Dr Aafia was being treated humanely had been given consular access as set out in international law … hmm. Well I have a challenge for Ms Patterson today. I challenge her to repeat every single word she said back then and swear it is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

As Dr Aafia Siddiqui’s trial got underway, the US Ambassador and some of her stooges from the intelligence world laid on a lavish party at the US Embassy in Islamabad for some hand-picked journalists where I’ve no doubt in between the dancing, drinks and music they were carefully briefed about the so-called facts of the case.

Interesting that some of the potentially incriminating pictures taken at the private party managed to find the Ambassador was probably hoping to minimize the impact the trial would have on the streets of Pakistan proving that, for the years she has been holed up and barricaded behind concrete bunkers and barbed wire, she has learned nothing about this great country of Pakistan or its people.

One astute Pakistani columnist wrote about her: “The respected lady seems to have forgotten the words of her own country’s 16th president Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865): “You
can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some
of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time”.

And the people of Pakistan proved they are nobody’s fool and responded to the guilty verdict in New York in an appropriate way.

When injustice is the law it is the duty of everyone to rise up and challenge that injustice in any way possible. The response – so far – has been restrained and measured but it is just the start. A sentence has yet to be delivered by Judge Richard Berman in May.

Of course there has been a great deal of finger pointing and blame towards the jury in New York who found Dr Aafia guilty of attempted murder.

Observers asked how they could ignore the science and the irrefutable facts … there was absolutely no evidence linking Dr Aafia to the gun, no bullets, no residue from firing it.

But I really don’t think we can blame the jurors for the verdict - you see the jury simply could not handle the truth. Had they taken the logical route and gone for the science and the hard, cold, clinical facts it would have meant two things. It would have meant around eight US soldiers took the oath and lied in court to save their own skins and careers or it would have meant that Dr Aafia Siddiqui was telling the truth.

And, as I said before, the jury couldn’t handle the truth. Because that would have meant that the defendant really had been kidnapped, abused, tortured and held in dark, secret prisons by the US before being shot and put on a rendition flight to New York. It would have meant that her three children – two of them US citizens – would also have been kidnapped, abused and tortured by the US.

They say ignorance is bliss and this jury so desperately wanted not to believe that the US could have had a hand in the kidnapping of a five-month -old baby boy, a five-year-old girl and her seven-year-old brother.

They couldn’t handle the truth … it is as simple as that.

Well I, and many others across the world like me, can’t handle any more lies. America’s reputation is lying in the lowest gutters in Pakistan at the moment and it can’t sink any lower.

The trust has gone, there is only a burning hatred and resentment towards a superpower which sends unmanned drones into villages to slaughter innocents.

It is fair to say that America’s goodwill and credibility is all but washed up with most honest, decent citizens of Pakistan.

And I think even Her Excellency Anne Patterson recognizes that fact which is why she is now keeping her mouth shut.

If she has any integrity and any self respect left she should stand before the Pakistan people and ask for their forgiveness for the drone murders, the extra judicial killings, the black operations, the kidnapping, torture and rendition of its citizens, the water-boarding, the bribery, the corruption and, not least of all, the injustice handed out to Dr Aafia Siddiqui and her family.

She should then pick up the phone to the US President and tell him to release Aafia and return Pakistan’s most loved, respected and famous daughter and reunite her with the two children who are still missing.

Then she should re-read her letter of August 16, 2008 and write another … one of resignation.

Yvonne Ridley is a patron of Cageprisoners which first brought the plight of Dr Aafia Siddiqui to the world’s attention shortly after her kidnap in March 2003. The award-winning, investigative journalist also co-produced the documentary In Search of Prisoner 650 with film-maker Hassan al Banna Ghani which concluded that the Grey Lady of Bagram was Dr Aafia Siddiqui

Verdict on Dr Afia
By Saeed Qureshi

When Dr Afia was first picked up by the moles of intelligence in March 2003 in Pakistan against the charge of her association with the Al-Qaida terrorists. She was secretly kept in Afghanistan’s notorious Bagram prison for 5 years without any trial. Finally when a British female journalist disclosed her presence by hearing her screams as prisoner number 650, the concerned American authorities reluctantly moved her to the United States. Here too it took considerable amount of time for her case of abetment of Islamic terrorist to be initiated before the court.

But while the previous charge seems to have been pushed on the back burner, a new charge was framed and brought against her. She was accused of snatching a gun from an American soldier with a view to fire at him. Now when one looks at the hearing the whole case put up by the prosecution is replete with contradictions. It is utterly unimaginable for a delicate, educated women reduced to a skinny skeleton of bones after years of rigorous incarceration to first snatch a gun and then aim at some one. The whole incident took place behind a curtain with no direct witness.

The case otherwise calls for mercy to the defendant on humanitarian grounds. Someone from the American penal and legal system should have a heart and honest courage to point out the clumsy way she is being prosecuted in the American court. A totally mentally and physically broken women whose fault or crime is yet to be established conclusively, has been so much brutalized that one disdains the claims of the upholders of human rights and refinement of human civilization in the present age of enlightenment.

Even if there was scuffle that in normal circumstances can take place, did she deserve 5 years of unwarranted stay in one of the most horrifying prisons of wild land called Afghanistan? Have a heart and look closely at the credentials of the case that even a child can figure out is frivolous and is being blown out of proportion by the quarters who would in any case like her to be declared a convict. The justice stands totally wounded and abandoned by the people who are so powerful to get a convoluted verdict irrespective of the merits of the case.

Dr. Afia, a U. S. citizen and a refined woman did not actually hurt anyone, did not injure any one nor was implicated in any offence that would entitle her to such a long jail term without trial which she has already gone through. By all indications she is a law abiding US citizen with good academic record. What is called Christian mercy was not shown to her and where is the noble concept of benefit of doubt?

She has never been given a chance to give her point of view so that there would have been a clearer picture whether she was wrongly picked upon mere doubt or there was some substance behind that. After all she is an American citizen but perhaps her tag of being a Muslim American is an anathema to her tormenters who in any case wanted to prove them justified. Who is going to restore to her the 7 years of her life that this sophisticated women spent in the stinking and dreadful dungeon of Afghanistan and in U.S. prison.

Her children were not her accomplices if at all she came under suspicion of her abductors. How and why these innocent souls were made to suffer so enormously? Has the conscience of the entire world gone dead? What kind of war on terror is being waged when the pristine concept of justice is audaciously trampled to the extent that the future of the small kids of a suspect female also stands darkened?

The trust of fair trial for those who are rightly or mistakenly apprehended loses its validity when seen the crude and discriminate way all are targeted alike: the hardened and proven criminals and those with scant suspicion or drummed up charges like Dr. Afia.

Since Dr. Afia has already suffered immensely and perhaps unjustifiably she deserves a presidential pardon or reconsideration of the verdict handed out by an ambivalent jury which took two days to reach this otherwise controversial decision. The whole case is shrouded in unclear proceedings and is supported perhaps by doubtful and spurious evidence. For the human conscience, the American spirit of humanism, the constitution of the United States of America, for the sake of a fair legal system and for sanctity of the immortal Bill or Rights, Dr. Afia is eligible to be freed and rejoin her family and children also suffering trauma and agony all these years along with Dr. Afia’s harrowing afflictions and unspeakable tribulations.

You are welcome to post your “thoughtful” comments on this link, knee-jerk responses will not be posted, our goal is to create positive change and not rhetoric.


Monday, February 1, 2010

Can Women Be Imams?

Dr. Krausen’s presentation evokes the God given intellect in us. She demurs, “if this is a sign of a development towards a more rational approach to the issue, or whether it is merely an attempt to be politically correct.”, indeed, It is my observation over the last 10 years of work, debates and discussion forums, that it is a development. My comments follow the article - Mike Ghouse

Can Women Be Imams?
Halima Krausen

In the face of the controversy over Amina Wadud's Friday prayer, Muslim scholar Halima Krausen argues that we should have the courage to ask our own questions, to study the matter conscientiously and to reach conclusions which make sense in our times

Koranic traditions must be taken seriously, Krausen says, but it is also necessary to ask questions about their contemporaneity too. Following the Friday prayers led by Dr Amina Wadud in New York on 18th March and the emotional public debate to which that event led, I have repeatedly been asked for my view on the matter. I believe the issue may seem simple, but is more complicated than it appears. So I'd like to contribute a few ideas to the discussion, rather than put forward a clear opinion.

The first point to make is that it's absolutely unclear what we're talking about. Far from defining a clear "rank," the term "Imâm" is used for a wide spectrum of different meanings.

The word Imâm is related to the word umm, "mother"

In the Koran, the word is used in a more fundamental way and refers to leading exemplary figures like Abraham (Sura 2:124) or the judges of the Children of Israel (Sura 32:23-24) or the potential of all upright people in general (Sura 25:74; 28:4-5); but it can also refer misleadingly to characters like Pharaoh and others like him, who lead one "to the fire" (Sura 28:39-41).

The word Imâm stems from the root "amma" – move forward, lead, be in front – and is related to the word "umm" – mother – which goes beyond the biological aspect towards the meaning "Source, basis, being."

The second apparently unclear point in the current debate is one of methodology. Both supporters and critics of the Friday prayers in New York draw hasty conclusions either from specific traditions (since the Koran itself doesn't deal with the issue directly) or from assumed principles, without examining their background or taking account of their context.

"The gates of legal innovation are closed"

One of the most frequent arguments is that "this has never happened before and has never been considered possible in the past, and therefore should never happen."

There is indeed a methodological principle called Istishâb – the extension of a legal ruling – which applies in cases where the original conditions for the ruling remain the same. This prevents legal and social experiments from being carried out for their own sake, and requires urgent reasons for change, especially regarding prayers and services ('Ibâdât).

This principle has been tacitly overemphasised in Sunni schools of legal thought, and this overemphasis has been strengthened by the doctrine that allegedly "the gates of Ijtihâd (Islamic legal innovation) are closed" – a view which has often led to legal inflexibility.

The ontological equality of man and woman in the Koran

But there have been changes even in liturgical matters: while we assume that we are following the example of the prophet in such matters as ritual prayer (which in principle we no doubt do), in fact we follow the standardised instructions of Muslim teachers from the formative period of Islam, whose details can vary from one school to another. And at least in the diaspora, we tend to feel the need to simplify even those differences for the sake of Muslim unity, rather than to use the dynamic which they offer as a way of deepening the riches of our spiritual and cultural life.

On the other hand, the supporters of change cite the ontological equality of man and woman in the Koran and the fact that the same terms are used to refer to their practical and spiritual responsibilities (e.g. Sura 4:1, 33:35, 9:71 etc.). They overlook impatiently the development of Islamic tradition in the past and demand immediate reform in the direction of justice and equality here and now.

Islam knows no hierarchy of office. All the same, in the classical Fiqh, questions of priority regarding who should lead communal prayers were often not decided solely on the basis of knowledge, skill in recitation or piety. Issues of social hierarchy also played a role.

Women may lead prayers – for women

Within the patriarchal structures which ruled in the largest part of the Muslim world at that time, the idea that a woman might lead public prayer would have been seen as very strange.

Most schools of law consider that women can lead prayers for women. There are tendencies which discourage woman from doing so, and, in the case of Mâlikite school, prohibit them from doing so, evidently on the basis of a Hadîth according to which "a people which entrusts its matters to a woman can never win success."

It's an argument which is often called upon to support opposition to women holding positions of leadership, but it's an argument which neither fulfils the necessary criteria of authenticity, nor can it be brought to conform to the image of the Queen of Sheba as presented in the Koran, nor does it conform to the principle that men and women, as mutual friends and allies (Awliyâ'), "should offer each other good and deny each other evil" (Sura 9:71).

At the same time there are confirmed reports that the wives of the prophet certainly led prayers for women, which are verified by details such as that the (female) Imâm stood in the rows together with the other women.

Some scholars said women may lead mixed prayers

We are far from knowing all the debates of the past on this subject. We only have access to that which was recorded in writing and has been preserved. Indeed there were scholars who had nothing against women leading even mixed ritual prayer, among them Abu Thawr al-Kalbi (died 876), Abu Isma'il al-Muzani (died 879), al-Isfahani (died 884), the founder of the Zâhirite school, at-Tabari (died 923), or Ibn Taymiyya (died 1328).

We don't know many details of the arguments they used, but we also have no evidence that their positions called forth a storm of protest in their time or that they were condemned by their contemporaries. This could be because the cases they mentioned were regarded as exceptional (for example, that a woman may lead the Tarawîh prayers during the month of Ramadan when no man is available who knows the Koran by heart, or that a woman may lead her husband, their children and their slaves when she is the most learned of them).

One could argue that the Tarawîh prayers are not obligatory and that prayers with the family are not public, and that one should not transform exceptions into rules. On the other hand, one could understand such exceptions as confirmation of the theory that it's not reasons of theology or principle, but social reasons which are decisive in these rulings.

Between prejudiced doubt and uncritical approval

The case of Umm Waraqa is often given as a precedent in the current debate. In the various versions of her story, which all add a bit to the picture, we learn that she was one of the women who knew the Koran by heart, and that the Prophet called on her to be the Imâm of the members of her household (Ahl Dârihâ).

Critics have tried to prove that there are weak points in one or other of the Isnâd (chains of transmission) which put the authenticity of the tradition into doubt. On the other hand, the example is used uncritically to back the demand for equal rights for women in leading public prayers.

Between these extreme positions, a debate is taking place as to who the members of her household were and whether the situation was a private or a public one.

A Development Towards A More Rational Approach?

There seem to be no examples of women who led Friday prayers, but there were many women who became famous as preachers on other occasions. We only have to look in the classical collections of biographies to find them.

But we would be deceiving ourselves if we left it at that and simply ignored the many statements which say, for example, that the voice of women is seductive, that the welfare of a woman is dependent on the satisfaction of her husband, that a woman's memory and intellect are inferior, or that women cause temptation and disturbance (Fitnah). These views come from Koran verses taken out of context, traditions and general assumptions.

In fact I'm surprised at the fact that such arguments are scarcely to be found in the current debate, and I ask myself if this is a sign of a development towards a more rational approach to the issue, or whether it is merely an attempt to be politically correct.

Islam's rich cultural variety

The debate over the role of the woman as Imâm is symptomatic. What we really need is a critical evaluation of the situation as required by the Muslim Ummah.

To start with, aside from the stereotypes, there isn't anything like "the position of woman in Muslim society." Parallel to the various possibilities for women in the service which are dependent on the views of specific schools of law and local customs, there are, between Morocco and Indonesia, between Central Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, varied climatic and economic and political conditions (which, to be sure, may not necessarily be just), historical experiences, and social and family structures, varying from a clearly patriarchal system to matrilineal structures with every shading in between. All are rooted in the same Koranic and prophetic sources and all make their own contribution to a rich cultural variety.

There's an astonishing contradiction between the high proportion of women students at universities in Muslim countries and the high proportion of illiterate women in the same countries, between the expression of high regard for women and the practical difficulties put in the way of giving women a bigger say in decision making processes, between the lip service paid to the delicacy of women and the off-putting ugliness of the women's areas in many mosques or the rough comments on the duty of obedience of a women towards her husband.

In my own daily work with Muslims in Europe, I meet people from different Arab countries, many of them students or refugees with different backgrounds as far as their education and political attitudes are concerned. Many of them insist on strict separation of the sexes, which may not always be a disadvantage, since it often encourages initiative and solidarity among women.

Does difference necessarily lead to fragmentation?

I am often surprised by the support given to daughters who want to study, and by the attempts in other families to restrict and control their daughters. There are Turkish migrants who are often strongly influenced by the clear role expectations of their rural background, while the next generation works its way through a labyrinth of values and norms between the cultures as they wrestle with their identity.

Many Muslims, especially women, are frightened. They are frightened of difference: they fear it may lead to the fragmentation of their society, to such an extent that they become incapable of dealing with contradictions and differences of opinion.

Many Muslims, especially women, are angry – angry about stereotypes from outside and ignorance and superstition inside the community to which they are repeatedly challenged to react. This gives them scarcely any time for constructive thought. They are angry, because they feel themselves cheated of their spiritual and cultural inheritance, and they are angry about the lack of any possibility of working at the development of a contemporary interpretation and application of the values they hold.

What are our options?

Should we, like uncritical slaves, obey everything which is declared in the tone of command, without questioning the sense of it? Or should we work towards the Koranic ideal under which men and women are partners (Sura 9:71), with the same moral values and religious duties (Sura 33:35) and the same duty to work together to build a just society?

And on another level: should we make women's education and the improvement of women's position in society into a priority, both in the general society and in the Muslim community in particular? Or should we push forward with symbolic actions from which one might expect that they will have an influence on the situation? Or are there perhaps yet other ways to improve things?

Final comments

Currently there are more questions than answers. Ijtihâd is necessary in many areas, and there are many legal rules which have moved away from the spirit of the Koran, even if they are founded on some fragment of the text.

Aside from that, the teaching that Mohammed is the final messenger of God is not the same as saying that the situation of the past must never change. It's much more the starting point for a more mature way of contributing to the welfare of human society.

I certainly don't want to be misunderstood as meaning that I lack respect for any of the scholars of the past. Whatever their position, they have tried hard not simply to follow isolated statements or hasty conclusions from precedent, but to work systematically within the framework of their respective methodology, experience and society.

In the same spirit, we should not follow them blindly. We should have the courage to ask our own questions, to study the matter conscientiously and to reach conclusions which make sense in our times.

Halima Krausen is a Muslim scholar and lecturer for the Initiative for Islamic Studies in Hamburg, Germany. (Translation from German: Michael Lawton)


Mike Ghouse comments:

Dr. Krausen’s presentation evokes the God given intellect in us. She demurs, “if this is a sign of a development towards a more rational approach to the issue, or whether it is merely an attempt to be politically correct.”, indeed, It is my observation over the last 10 years of work, debates and discussion forums, that it is a development.

My comments follow the article - Mike Ghouse

She asks, “ Should we, like uncritical slaves, obey everything which is declared in the tone of command, without questioning the sense of it? Or should we work towards the Koranic ideal under which men and women are partners (Sura 9:71), with the same moral values and religious duties (Sura 33:35) and the same duty to work together to build a just society?” The Neocon Muslims usually are afraid of the freedom; they find safety and security in being uncritical slaves. A new thought frightens them; I wish God had made them angels, completely free from the burden of thinking and taking the responsibility.

I agree with her that most of “These views come from Koran verses taken out of context, traditions and general assumptions.” And, “One of the most frequent arguments is that "this has never happened before and has never been considered possible in the past, and therefore should never happen."

Women and men are created to be full partners in life, as Dr. Krausen quotes, “should we work towards the Koranic ideal under which men and women are partners (Sura 9:71), with the same moral values and religious duties (Sura 33:35) and the same duty to work together to build a just society?”

Not all, but many a Muslims are afraid to speak up, even for the sake of discussion. The one who speaks up gets fiercely pounced, so he or she never speaks again. This is how the bullies shut out much of the freedom. I have consistently observed this among Muslims, Jews, Hindus and others. By the way, it is not about Muslims, it is about men, no matter what faith they wear, their phobias are the same.

For some men, the only source of feeling superior (false security) is by considering women to be inferior, a dumb logic, they are so weak that their whole being gets threatened by even feeling their spouse or other woman to be on par. Women are not inferior to men in any form or shape, on the Day of Judgment; it is their deeds that will be accounted for just as much as men’s deeds. A good deed is what you do to make Allah’s creation better; people and environment.

A generation or two from now, it may become a common thing for women to lead mixed gender prayers, Qur’aan orders men to lower their gaze and focus on piety, and pray to God and not look at women’s back. That is a ridiculous argument and those men should wear full Burqa with solid cover on their faces. Indeed, it is a test to those few men, to check their intention of going to the Mosque; to pray or to loaf.

Mohsin Maqbool Elahi "Can women be Imams?" is an extremely difficult question to answer. Besides, I am no Islamic scholar to do that. However, I do know that it is NOT allowed for men to offer their prayers behind women due to various and obvious reasons.

However, where the question "what are our options?" is concerned, we should definitely make women's education and ... See Morethe improvement of women's position in society into a priority, both in the general society and in the Muslim community in particular. Pakistan lacks far behind many other Islamic states where these are concerned. Come to think of it even the men stand nowhere near in comparison.

The situation in our rural areas is even worse which is why entire families migrate to urban areas looking for labour. And those who can't find work or rather don't want to work turn to crime.

I am surprised that you being a Muslim scholar and lecturer for Islamic studies use 'Mohammed' for the Prophet's spelling when it should be Muhammad (peace be upon him). 'Mohammed' is an anglicised version which is not used anymore for his name. Besides, Muslims are always supposed to write 'peace be upon him' after his name in veneration which you have not. This is the least we can do to show our profound respect for the final messenger of Allah.
And, please, no offense meant.

Sadikha Hassain I strnongly beleive follow the rules and regulations of Quran and Huzoor Momammed sav. why to make changes and additions?

Amina Akram Faizan bhai ,the expereinces i ahve had last few days are so abrupt that , its sick and sick of people all around here.

Mike Ghouse - Women and men are created to be full partners in life, as Dr. Krausen quotes, “should we work towards the Koranic ideal under which men and women are partners (Sura 9:71), with the same moral values and religious duties (Sura 33:35) and the same duty to work together to build a just society?”

Not all, but many a Muslims are afraid to speak up, even for the sake of discussion. The one who speaks up gets fiercely pounced, so he or she never speaks again. This is how the bullies shut out much of the freedom. I have consistently observed this among Muslims, Jews, Hindus and others. By the way, it is not about Muslims, it is about men, no matter what faith they wear, their phobias are the same.

For some men, the only source of feeling superior (false security) is by considering women to be inferior, a dumb logic, they are so weak that their whole being gets threatened by even feeling their spouse or other woman to be on par. Women are not inferior to men in any form or shape, on the Day of Judgment; it is their deeds that will be accounted for just as much as men’s deeds. A good deed is what you do to make Allah’s creation better; people and environment. ... See More

A generation or two from now, it may become a common thing for women to lead mixed gender prayers, Qur’aan orders men to lower their gaze and focus on piety, and pray to God and not look at women’s back. That is a ridiculous argument and those men should wear full Burqa with solid cover on their faces. Indeed, it is a test to those few men, to check their intention of going to the Mosque; to pray or to loaf?

41 minutes ago · Mike Ghouse - Mohsin, in academic circles, the name Muhammad is commonly written with or without (pbuh). Even in Quraan where ever Prophet's name has appeared, there is no (pbuh). It is our culture that we use. It is not a religious requirement. It is fully acceptalbe to just write Muhammad, he is our prophet, no matter how many suffixes or prefixes we add, it... See More is not enough. It is ok not to add them as well.

By the way, Muhammad is as anglicized as Mohammed. There is no international ruling to use one or the other. I understand it is only in Pakistan it is has to be written in certain way, that is not the case in other nations.
34 minutes ago · Mike Ghouse - I laud Dr. Amina Wadud for restoring the rights of the women, that Islam initiated to begin with. Dr. Wadud, Asra Nomani, and Naeema Ghafoor were on my Radio show on the day of the Juma prayers several years ago.

It was a shame and embarrassment that a few right wingers, intolerant and insecure Muslims held ugly placards outside the prayer.... ... See MoreThe women were afraid of doing the prayers in the Mosque, so they went to the church. Reminded me of the persecution the early Muslims endured in praying in public places and they hid and prayed.

Amina Akram We are thinking of women leading the prayer , when can the women be allowed in the mosque.

Mike Ghouse - Amina, it is a shame that we can pray together in Mecca and not our own mosques. Fortunately, in the US, women and men go to prayers together, but pray in two different separated areas.. it will change in a few years, when our girls will not put up with up it. Although a few men act ugly in Allah's house, but a few have dared to change it too. May Allah give the courage to women to stand up for their rights.

- Please watch Asra Nomanis Public Television documentary ... the Morgan Town Mosque or something like that.

- My late wife Najma and I were challenged to enter the Jumia Masjid in New Delhi, we went any way and the Nayab Imam was staring at us, we did our Nafl prayers together. ... See More

- Najma and I steppted into the Mosque on the left to Taj Mahal, the Imam stood in my way, I asked hm to produce a document of ownership or let me pray in Allah's house as I would pray in Mecca... Najma and I prayed together in that Mosque. He later came and we had a long chat... he was OK.
a few seconds ago

More comments at:


Salamun Alykum.

Both believing men and women shall attend the Congregational Prayer as understood from this verse - "O you who believe, when the Congregational Prayer (Salat Al-Jumuah) is announced on Friday, you shall hasten to the commemoration of God, and drop all business. This is better for you, if you only knew." (Quran 62:9) Please note that this verse is addressed not only to believing man, but also to believing woman.

Leading a Congregational Prayer is a righteous work. The Quran recognizes that men and women are endowed with unique qualities (Quran 4:32). Yet, the Quran teaches us that men and women are equal and they can do any righteous work for which they will be rewarded - "Their Lord responded to them: "I never fail to reward any worker among you for any work you do, be you male or female-you are equal to one another. Thus, those who immigrate, and get evicted from their homes, and are persecuted because of Me, and fight and get killed, I will surely remit their sins and admit them into gardens with flowing streams." Such is the reward from God. God possesses the ultimate reward." (Quran 3:195) Based on this verse, male and female are equal, and an woman may lead a prayer since it is a righteous work.

One of the purpose of the Congregational Sermon (Khutba) is to advocate righteousness and forbid evil. The believing men and women are allies of one another and they can advocate righteousness and forbid evil as understood from this verse - "The believing men and women are allies of one another. They advocate righteousness and forbid evil, they observe the Contact Prayers (Salat) and give the obligatory charity (Zakat), and they obey God and His messenger. They will be showered by God's mercy. God is Almighty, Most Wise." (Quran 9:71) Since, this verse does not specify the type of audiences, a woman may deliver sermon or advocate righteousness or forbid evil to a group of male and female worshipers.

But, can a woman really take a leadership role ? The Quran detailed out the story of Queen Sheba (Quran 27:22-44). She represented a democratic leadership who consulted with her people before making decisions - "She said, "O my advisers, I have received an honorable letter. It is from Solomon, and it is, "In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful." Proclaiming: "Do not be arrogant; come to me as submitters."" She said, "O my advisers, counsel me in this matter. I am not deciding anything until you advise me." (Quran 27:29-32) After witnessing what God gave to Solomon, she became Muslim. The Quran does not indicate that her leadership role is offensive.

But, is it an innovation if woman leads a Prayer with men present in the Congregation? The Quran is a complete(Quran 6:38), perfect (Quran 18:1-2) and fully detailed (Quran 6:114) book. The Quran has no such ruling that leads us to believe that woman cannot be an Imam with men present in the congregation. Please remember that the Quran condemns religious innovations. Any religious ruling not authorized by God Almighty is an innovation as understood from this verse - "You do not worship beside Him except innovations that you have made up, you and your parents. God has never authorized such idols. All ruling belongs to God, and He has ruled that you shall not worship except Him. This is the perfect religion, but most people do not know." (Quran 12:40)

Can you imagine how many religious innovations were made up by our respected imams and scholars just by quoting religious edicts (fatwas) !? The ancient religious scholar manufactured the following religious edict which was falsely attributed to the Prophet to discourage women to go to a mosque.- "Narrated Ibn Umar: The prophet (p.b.u.h) said, "Allow women to go to the Mosque at night." (Vol 2, Book 13, No 22, Bukhari hadith translated by M. Muhsin Khan) !!!!! The following modern religious edict is fabricated by Assembly of Muslim Jurists in America (AMJA) because they failed to resist the right of women to go to a mosque - "A unanimous consensus for the entire Ummah (Muslim community) in the east and west (is) that women cannot lead the Friday prayer nor can they deliver the (sermon). Whoever takes part in such a prayer, then his prayer is nullified, whether he was an Imam or a follower." !!!!!!!!! So, according to the new fatwa, woman may now go to a mosque but she cannot lead a prayer !!!!!

Is there any possibility that the ruling on "woman as imam" existed during the time of Abraham, since God Almighty taught him how to offer salat prayer (Quran 21:73) and Muhammed was enjoined to follow the religion of Abraham (Quran 16:123) ? We simply do not know how women were treated during the time of Abraham. We do not know if God Almighty decreed equality of law (Quran 3:195) for both men and women during Abraham's time. We even do not know if that ruling on "woman as imam" was relevant or premature during that time frame. Slavery is a relevant subject during Muhammed's time (Quran 2:177-178; 4:25) . But, is slavery a relevant subject during our time when it is universally recognized unacceptable practice !? The mathematical miracle of the Quran (Quran 74:30-35) is relevant during our time because the miracle can be verified with the help of a computer (Quran 27:82). But, could that miracle play any significant role during Muhammed's era when numerical system were not even developed and people used alphabets for counting !?

Only fifty years ago, women were not even allowed to pray in the mosque despite the fact that the Quran permits them to pray in the mosque (Quran 62:9). Today, it becomes a reality at a very small scale but with the segregation of men and women !!

Only God Almighty has the full knowledge of the past, present and future of all seven universes. Based on such knowledge, He designed His Quran such a way that it can be effectively applied to any situation for all the generations and generations to come.

Thank you and may God guide me,
Muhammed Irtaza


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quraan burning

Planned Muslim Response to Qur'an Burning by Pastor Jones on September 11 in Mulberry, Florida

August 19, 2013| Dallas, Texas

Mike Ghouse
Text/Talk: (214) 325-1916

Mirza A Beg
(205) 454-8797


We as Muslims plan to respond to pastor Terry Jones' planned burning of 3000 copies of Quran on September 11, 2013 in positive terms.

Our response - we will reclaim the standard of behavior practiced by the Prophet concerning “scurrilous and hostile criticism of the Qur’an” (Muhammad Asad Translation Note 31, verse 41:34). It was "To overcome evil with good is good, and to resist evil by evil is evil." It is also strongly enjoined in the Qur’an in the same verse 41:34, “Good and evil deeds are not equal. Repel evil with what is better; then you will see that one who was once your enemy has become your dearest friend.”

God willing Muslims will follow the divine guidance and pray for the restoration of Goodwill, and on that day many Muslim organizations will go on a “blood drive” to save lives and serve humanity with kindness.

We invite fellow Americans of all faiths, races, and ethnicities to join us to rededicate the pledge, “One nation under God”, and to build a cohesive America where no American has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of fellow Americans. This event is a substitute for our 10th Annual Unity Day Celebration ( held in Dallas, but now it will be at Mulberry, Florida.

Unwittingly Pastor Jones has done us a favor by invigorating us by his decision to burn nearly 3000 copies Quran on September 11, 2013. Obviously he is not satisfied by the notoriety he garnered by burning one Qur'an last year.

As Muslims and citizens we honor the free speech guaranteed in our constitution. We have no intentions to criticize, condemn or oppose Pastor Terry Jones' freedom of expression. Instead, we will be donating blood and praying for goodness to permeate in our society.

We plan to follow Jesus Christ (pbuh), a revered prophet in Islam as well as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) – that of mitigating the conflicts and nurturing good will for the common good of the society.

We hope, this event and the message will remind Muslims elsewhere in the world as well, that violence is not the way. Muslims, who react violently to senseless provocation, should realize that, violence causes more violence, and besmirches the name of the religion that we hold so dear. We believe that Prophet Muhammad was a mercy to the mankind, and we ought to practice what we believe and preach. We must not insult Islam by the negative reactions of a few.

We can only hope it will bring about a change in the attitude of the followers of Pastor Jones, and in the behavior of those Muslims who reacted violently the last time Pastor sought notoriety – We hope this small step towards a bridge to peaceful coexistence would propel us towards building a cohesive society.

Like most Americans a majority of Muslims quietly go about their own business, but it is time to speak up and take positive action instead of negative reaction. May this message of peace and goodwill reverberate and reach many shores.

Lastly, we appreciate the Citizens of Mulberry, Florida, Honorable Mayor George Hatch, City Commissioners, police and Fire Chiefs for handing this situation very well. This will add a ‘feather of peace’ in the City’s reputation. We hope Mulberry will be a catalyst in showing the way in handling conflict with dignity and peace.

We thank the Media for giving value to the work towards peace rather than conflict.


Thank you.


The people in Dallas are making an effort to understand and clean their own hearts first, when we are free from bias, it would be easy to share that with others. Islam teaches us in so many ways to "respect the otherness of others" and it is time we find simple practical ways of doing it.