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Mosque attacked in Sri Lanka by Buddhist Mob

11 Aug

Colombo:10th Aug

Police intervene

A Buddhist mob has attacked a mosque in the Grandpass area of the Sri Lankan capital Colombo, leaving at least five people injured.

Buddhists and Muslims clashed after the attack, and police imposed a curfew in the area. Last month, a group of Buddhist monks had protested near the mosque, demanding it be relocated.In recent months hardline Buddhist groups have mounted a campaign against Muslim and Christian targets.Several houses were also damaged in Saturday’s clashes. Two of the injured were policemen guarding the mosque.A Muslim resident of the area said that a mob threw stones at the mosque when worshippers were performing evening prayers, the BBC’s Azzam Ameen reports from Colombo.The police and special task force commandos were dispatched to the area and have been able to bring the situation under control, a police spokesman told the BBC.

Buddhists monks had reportedly protested against the presence of the mosque but had agreed to allow Muslims to continue praying there until the end of the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan.

But area Muslims says Sri Lanka’s religious affairs ministry had given them permission to continue using the site and had also provided special police security due to the threat of possible attacks.

Army officers stand guard next to a damaged lorry at Fashion Bug's warehouse after an attack by unidentified men in Colombo March 28, 2013.A Muslim-owned clothing warehouse was one of the targets attacked in recent months

Fears of persecution

The past year has seen mounting religious tension in the country as hardline Buddhist groups have attacked mosques and Muslim-owned businesses, as well as churches and clergy.

In February, one group also called for the abolition of the Muslim halal system of certifying foods and other goods.

Buddhist hardliners accuse Muslims and Christians of promoting extremism and trying to convert Buddhists to their own faiths.

Both Muslims and Christians have denied the accusations, correspondents report.

The Buddhist Sinhalese community makes up three-quarters of Sri Lanka’s population of 20 million.

During Sri Lanka’s bitter civil war, the Muslims – a small Tamil-speaking minority, about 9% of the population – kept a low profile, but many now fear that ethnic majority hardliners are trying to target them.

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Indefinite dharna to bring Khalid Mujahid’s killers to justice completes 81 days

10 Aug

क्या सपा सरकार आतंकी मुकदमों की पुर्नविवेचना कराने का साहस रखती है,
यदि नहीं तो मुकदमों को वापिस लेने का ढकोसला बंद करे- रिहाई मंच
जनहित याचिका से जुडे़ प्रश्नों पर रिहाई मंच ने जारी की संक्षिप्त रिपोर्ट

लखनऊ 10 अगस्त 2013। रिहाई मंच ने आज एक संक्षिप्त रिपोर्ट जारी करते हुए
कहा कि राज्य सरकार न्यायालय और जनता दोनों को गुमराह कर रही है। माननीय
उच्च न्यायालय ने जो पत्रावलियां, आरोप पत्र और एफआईआर निचली अदालतों के
रिकार्ड से तलब किए हैं उनसे भी सच्चाई सामने नहीं आएगी क्योंकि निचली
आदालतों के रिकार्ड में सच्चाई है ही नहीं और सच्चाई को सामने लाने के
लिए आतंकवाद से संबन्धी मामलों की पुर्नविवेचना/अग्रविवेचना कराना आवश्यक
है। ऐसा न करके राज्य सरकार न्यायालय और जनता दोनों से सच्चाई छुपा रही
है और गुमराह कर रही है। रिहाई मंच के प्रवक्ता ने कहा कि पिछले दिनों
हमने गोरखपुर सीरियल ब्लास्ट पर एक रिपोर्ट जारी करते हुए राज्य सरकार से
पुर्नविवेचना की मांग की थी, जिस पर आज तक सपा सरकार ने कोई कदम नहीं
उठाया है। आज का सबसे बड़ा प्रश्न है कि क्या सरकार यह समझती है कि यह
मुकदमें इसलिए वापिस लेने चाहिए कि क्योंकि इनमें आरोपियों का झूठा
अभियोजन किया गया है ? यदि सरकार की यही मंशा है तो सत्य को सामने के लिए
साहस का परिचय देते हुए मामलों की पुर्नविवेचना क्यों नहीं कराती।

संक्षिप्त रिपोर्ट
रिहाई मंच ने इस समाचार पर कि माननीय उच्च न्यायालय लखनऊ की पूर्ण पीठ ने
उन सभी मामलों की पत्रावलियां तलब की हैं जो आतंकवाद से संबन्धित मामले
निचले न्यायालयों में विचाराधीन हैं जिन्हें वापस लेने के लिए सरकार ने
आवेदन किया है, इस संबन्ध में रिहाई मंच का कहना है कि अन्तर्गत धारा 321
सीआरपीसी किसी भी मामले को राज्य सरकार वापस ले सकती है यदि संबन्धित
सक्षम न्यायालय उसके लिए अपनी सहमति दे। विधिक प्रक्रिया के अनुसार सरकार
को मुकदमा वापस लेने के कारणों का उल्लेख अपने प्रार्थना पत्र में देना
होता है परन्तु तारिक कासमी और खालिद मुजाहिद के मामलों में सरकार ने
मुकदमें वापसी के लिए दिए गए अपने प्रार्थना पत्रों में तथ्यों को छुपाया
जो उसकी बदनियति का प्रमाण है। बाराबंकी न्यायालय के समक्ष सरकार ने
निमेष आयोग की रिपोर्ट को प्रस्तुत नहीं किया, जिसमें यह उल्लेख है कि
तारिक कासमी और खालिद मुजाहिद की गिरफ्तारी और उनसे की गई बरामदगी फर्जी
हैं। चूंकी इन तथ्यों के आधार पर बाराबंकी के न्यायालय के समक्ष
प्रार्थना पत्र प्रस्तुत ही नहीं किया गया इसलिए माननीय न्यायालय द्वारा
इस पर विचार नहीं हो सका और यह प्रश्न अभी भी खुला है और इस पर गहन
विवेचना की आवश्यकता है, इसलिए जो पत्रावलियां माननीय उच्च न्यायालय के
समक्ष जाएंगी उनमें कहीं भी निमेष आयोग की रिपोर्ट और उन तथ्यों का
उल्लेख नहीं होगा जिनमें यह कहा गया है कि तारिक कासमी और खालिद मुजाहिद
से की गई बरामदगी और उनकी गिरफ्तारी फर्जी है। फैजाबाद, लखनऊ और गोरखपुर
न्यायालय के समक्ष जो मुकदमें तारिक कासमी और खालिद मुजाहिद के विरुद्ध
लंबित हैं उन सभी में यह प्रश्न महत्वपूर्ण है कि जब तारिक कासमी और
खालिद मुजाहिद की गई गिरफ्तारी और उनसे बरामदगी फर्जी है तो इन जिला
न्यायालयों के समक्ष दाखिल किए गए आरोप पत्र भी गलत तथ्यों के आधार पर
हैं, क्योंकि यह सभी खालिद मुजाहिद और तारिक कासमी के कथित इकबालिया
बयानों पर आधारित हैं जो फर्जी गिरफ्तारी के बाद रिकार्ड किए गए। कानून
और न्यायालय का उद्देश्य सत्य की खोज करना है और विधि का यह स्थापित मत
है कि किसी भी बेगुनाह को सजा नहीं होनी चाहिए इसलिए माननीय न्यायालय को
स्वतः निमेष आयोग की रिपोर्ट का संज्ञान लेते हुए मामले की पुर्नविवेचना
के आदेश देने चाहिए।

जनहित याचिका नंबर 4683 (एमबी) सन 2013 रंजना अग्निहोत्री एवं अन्य
अधिवक्ता गण द्वारा दाखिल की गयी है। इसमें जो बिन्दु उनके द्वारा उठाए
गये हैं वे पूर्णतया विधिक महत्व के हैं और पूरी तरह एकेडमिक हैं जिनका
तथ्यों से कोई संबन्ध नहीं है। न्यायालय को निम्न बिन्दुओं पर विचार करना
है-

1.      क्या धारा 321 सीआरपीसी, संविधान के अनुच्छेद 14 की विरोधी है और इससे
भारत की सार्वभौमिकता, अखण्डता और एकता को खतरा है?
2.      क्या धारा 321 सीआरपीसी उन अपराधों पर लागू नही हो सकती जो कि
अनलाॅफुल एक्टिविटी (प्रिवेंशन) एक्ट 1967 और अन्य दाण्डिक विधि तथा
संविधान के 7वें शेड्यूल की सूची एक के बिन्दु नम्बर 1, 5, 12 के अंतर्गत
दंडनीय अपराध हैं।
3.      क्या राज्य सरकार और सरकारी अधिवक्ता को यह अधिकार नही है कि वह उन
मुकदमों को वापिस ले सके जो उपरोक्त कानूनों के अंतर्गत दंडनीय अपराध है
और जिन्हे केन्द्र सरकार से मंजूरी मिलने के बाद ही वापस लिया जा सकता
है।
4.      जब तक कि न्यायालय के समक्ष विचाराधीन मुकदमों का विधि अनुसार अंतिम
निपटारा न हो जाय तब तक उन मुकदमों को वापिस न लिया जाय।
5.      उच्च न्यायालय राज्य सरकार द्वारा जारी किये गये उस आदेश को रद्द कर
दे जिसमें आतंकी हमलों और बम ब्लास्ट के आरोप है और उससे संबंधित रिकार्ड
को न्यायालय तलब करे।
हमारा मानना है कि उपरोक्त बिन्दु जो जनहित याचिका कर्ताओं ने उठाए हैं
उन पर जो भी निर्णय माननीय उच्च न्यायालय से आयेगा उससे, कोई लाभ उन
व्यक्तियों को नहीं होगा जो झूठे आरोपों में जेल में बंद हैं। विधि का यह
स्थापित मत है कि सक्षम न्यायालय की सहमति के बिना कोई मुकदमा वापिस नहीं
हो सकता। विधि के इस सिद्धांत पर हमारा कोई विवाद नहीं है और न ही उन
विधिक एकेडमिक बिंदुओं से कोई लेना-देना है जो याचिका कर्ताओं ने माननीय
न्यायालय के समक्ष विचार के लिए प्रस्तुत किए है। रिहाई मंच चाहता है कि
मुकदमें वापिस लेने वाली सरकार यदि यह समझती है कि इन व्यक्तियों पर झूठे
आरोप लगाए गये हैं तो सरकार को चाहिए कि कवह सच्चाई न्यायालय के सामने
रखे और मामलों की पुर्नविवेचना/अग्रविवेचना कराकर आरोप पत्रों को सक्षम
न्यायालय से वापस ले। परन्तु सरकार ऐसा भी नहीं चाह रही है।

Open discrimination:Ahmedabad,Gujrat shopping mall charged entry fee from Muslims

10 Aug

Ahmedabad: 9th Aug 2013

Source: TOI1098428_444649272315341_723547050_n

Indian Muslims are facing deep discrimination in Modi’s Gujrat where even shopping mall are treating Muslims indiscriminately. On the occasion of Eid-ul Fitr 2013,Shopping Mall charged special entry fee from Muslim youths who came to mall for shopping.

A trip in the celebratory spirit ofEid turned out to be an experience in discrimination for many Muslims in Narendra Modi’s Gujarat. The Himalaya Mall, among the five biggest malls in Ahmedabad, on Friday announced a fee of Rs 20 from visitors from the minority community, to be returned to them only if they bought anything from the mall, and retained if they didn’t.
Many felt it was discrimination against a specific group on Eid when footfalls at the mall peaked.

“The security personnel were being selective. We saw people walking past without paying any fee. When we asked the security guards, they said that they have orders to follow and asked us to pay up. We’re shocked,” said Saiyad Shaikh, a resident of Delhi Chakla, who had come to the mall with his family.

Iliyas Ansari, who stays in Shahpur, said, “We’re willing to pay entry fee provided the mall charges it from everybody. Why discriminate against just one community?”

Deepa Bhatnagar, manager (operations) of Himalaya Mall, told TOI that it was a routine move to check visitors on a busy day. “We had employed the same mechanism in the past to keep troublemakers out. We are planning to charge entry fee during the coming festive season including Diwali. The fee is being returned if any purchase is made, so the entry is practically free,” she said.

Mall officials said that against a routine daily footfall of around 10,000, Friday saw a surge in the numbers to around 30,000. About the selective demand of entry fee, she said the administration had decided to exclude women and senior citizens only. “There was no attempt to exclude anybody or charge specific persons. And, Rs 20 is hardly a deterrent,” she said.

However, this correspondent observed a distinct pattern in which entry was allowed. Youth from specific age groups of the minority community were being scrutinized and asked to pay the fee while whereas women and many others were allowed to walk in without being charged.

Mall officials said last year during Eid they saw two group clashes inside the mall and a glass wall was broken. On Friday, the number of security personnel was increased and a team of policemen was deployed inside as well as outside the mall as authorities did not want any “trouble”.

Any discrimination on the basis of religion is unconstitutional and should not be tolerated. Such communal profiling shows that a deep divide persists in Gujarat, notwithstanding chief minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Sadbhavana’ mission.

 

 

Destruction of Holy sites in Syria:Pakistan summoned Syrian envoy

23 Jul

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Monday summoned a senior Syrian diplomat to strongly condemn what it called the ‘deliberate and wanton’ attacks on holy sites in Syria including recent attacks on Sayyeda Bibi Zainab’s shrine in Damascus.The foreign ministry conveyed Pakistan’s deep concerns over such ‘reprehensible acts.’According to the foreign ministry spokesperson, the government of Pakistan urged upon Syrian authorities to ensure safety and security of all holy shrines and buildings in Syria.

“The trend of desecration of the holy sites has hurt the sentiments of Muslims in Pakistan as indeed the world over. Such violations, which also fan sectarian strife, are most reprehensible,” the spokesperson added. Pakistan also called upon all parties involved in the Syrian conflict to observe the international humanitarian law and help protect the common heritage of mankind respecting the sanctity of the holy buildings and places of worship.

Islamabad summoned the Syrian envoy a day after countrywide protests against the desecration of holy sites.

Protesters also staged a sit-in outside the foreign office on Sunday, urging the government to denounce the attacks and take up the matter with concerned authorities.

On Monday, reports emerged that the mosque where Khalid Bin Walid, a companion of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and commander of Muslim forces known for his military prowess and conquests, had been buried in Syria, had been damaged by military shelling.

Egyptian revolution and fate of Political Islam

18 Jul

The Egyptian coup and the fate of political Islam

Political Islam must embrace pluralistic societies and reconcile religion with constitutionalism if it is to survive.

Imam Zaid Shakir Imam Zaid Shakir is the co-founder of Zaytuna college in Berkeley, California, and writes a blog for New Islamic Directions.

In his, Dictionary of Political Thought, the noted political philosopher, Roger Scruton, defines a coup d’etat as “a change in government by force resulting in a change of constitution, and brought about by those who already hold some form of power whether military or political. The institution of a coup thereby transforms the terms on which their office is held from a public trust into a private possession”.

We start with this definition to spare anyone the need for debating whether what recently transpired in Egypt was a coup d’etat or not. By any meaningful definition of the term, it was. Calling the change in power a coup does not deny the role that the massive uprisings of June 30, and beyond played in providing a justification or cover for the transition.

However, in analysing what happened, the uprising is of secondary importance. In any case, the events that have transpired, regardless of how we interpret them, will have far-reaching implications, both for Egypt and the region.

One of the questions being asked by many in the aftermath of the coup in Egypt is, “what does this mean for “political” Islam?” This is a critical question considering that in the Sunni Muslim realm, the Muslim Brotherhood, the party intricately associated with the ousted Egyptian president, Mohammed Morsi, has been the standard bearer of political activism in Egypt. In answering this question we have to emphasize that politics and every other affair in this creation starts and ends with almighty God, Allah.

To reiterate, we have to remain firm in our understanding that the affairs of the world are orchestrated by Almighty God and not anyone or anything is His creation. While we may search for the immediate causes of the situation in Egypt, and by so doing examine to role of the Egyptian military, the Tamarod movement, economic realities, behind the scenes machinations of Israel or the United States, the perceived or real incompetence of the Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, etc., at the end of the day we have to face an inescapable fact.

Any Muslim party endeavoring to rule democratically over a particular country in the Muslim world has to understand that the eclectic ideological nature of the citizenry of most modern Muslim nation-states, combined in many instances with a similar degree of ethnic, tribal or religious diversity makes it nearly impossible for it to pursue a strict, party-line first agenda

Namely, Allah, for a wisdom He understands best, did not want a Muslim regime controlling Egypt at this time. He thus created causative means (Asb?b), some mentioned above, to implement His Will. When we accept this reality we can move beyond the frustration and disappointment that is afflicting so many in light of the recent events.

To emphasize that it is Allah who is the only effective “power-broker” in the world, reflect on the following verse from the Qur’an, “Say, O Allah, the owner of all sovereignty! You extend sovereignty to whosoever you please and you withdraw it from whosoever you please. You elevate whomsoever you please, and you debase whosoever you please. In Your Hand is all good, and You, over all things, possess power”, (Qur’an 3:26).

Accepting this reality and understanding that it is actualized in our world, is one of the greatest manifestations of Tawhid, or the affirmation of divine oneness. In this case, we are affirming that there is one effective source of power in this creation – Almighty God, Allah. This has to be our starting point in moving forward.

In turning to an analysis of the events that have transpired at the level of Asb?b and the interplay between them, there are those who argue that the coup in Egypt and the unceremonious dumping of the Muslim Brotherhood-backed regime there marks the end of “political” Islam. Ironically, among those making such a claim is Syria’s Bashar al-Asad, even as his venal and brutal regime is being preserved by the direct intervention of Hizbollah and Iran, two of political Islam’s stalwarts, in the Syrian civil war.

Political Islam, in some form, will continue to exist. However, for it to be viable on the global stage, it will need a major reformation. First of all, it cannot be sectarian. The limits of a sectarian political Islam are clearly displayed in Syria, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Muslim involvement in the contest for power that proceeds along sectarian lines leave no room for competing ideas in a struggle for hearts and minds.

Their only argument is blood and the ensuing carnage only generates fear and loathing in the hearts of the masses of ordinary believers. The political (and moral) bankruptcy of the various “Muslim” parties involved in the contest is plain. The slaughter generated by such groups may continue unabated for the short term, but such groups have no real political future.

Secondly, any meaningful manifestation of political Islam cannot be self-serving. One of the criticisms of Morsi’s regime is that it was self-serving. In other words, its primary focus was advancing the interest of the Muslim Brotherhood. Of course, this contention is amenable to debate. The perception though was real in to minds of many Egyptians.

Any Muslim party endeavoring to rule democratically over a particular country in the Muslim world has to understand that the eclectic ideological nature of the citizenry of most modern Muslim nation-states, combined in many instances with a similar degree of ethnic, tribal or religious diversity makes it nearly impossible for it to pursue a strict, party-line first agenda. Any group endeavouring to do so will alienate many parties whose support will be critical in any efforts to move the state in a new direction.

This makes the principal challenge for an aspiring Muslim ruling-party a constitutional one. In other words, a carefully crafted constitution has to adjudicate how the requisites of the Shari’ah, widely understood, and the historical approach to religious minorities living in Muslim lands, best articulated under the Ottoman Millet system, can best be reconciled with modern ideas of citizenship and individual rights.

Discussing the sectarian narrative in Egypt’s crisis

The task, while daunting, is not impossible if we accept that the arena to be governed by the constitution, the modern nation-state, has no historical precedent in the Muslim world. Therefore, there is no historical precedent for the constitutional order that needs to be created. That being the case, new arrangements must inevitably be created. Recognizing this fact frees us from the belief that there is some sort of ancient precedence that can be neatly retrofitted for the new political condition.

A Muslim ruling-party supervising such a constitutional process has to see itself as the servant of the people, and not the servants, or perhaps more fittingly, the slaves of a nonexistent historical precedence.

In the modern political arena, with its complexities, intrigues, and traps defined in large part by an American-dominated neocolonial order, the idea of the Muslim party as servants of the people, with all of their diversity, has to trump the idea of the Muslim party as guardians of a mythical historical order. The former approach is the only way to create the intellectual flexibility needed to begin even conceiving what the possible constitutional arrangement would look like.

Philosophically, such an approach is consistent with the saying attributed to the Prophet, peace and blessings of God upon him, “The leader of the people is their servant”. Although some point out that this saying is conveyed by a weak Hadith, another part of the same Hadith is considered authentic.

Namely, “The one serving water to the people is the last of them to drink”. The ethos of service and the subordination of the immediate interests of the ruling party is the only way to begin creating the good-will and broad-based of support (social and political solidarity) needed to insure against the kind of machinations that culminated in the ouster of the Morsi regime.

Another critical change needed for Muslim parties endeavouring to rule over contemporary Muslim nation-states is related to what we have discussed above. The broad-based nature needed to advance any sort of meaningful political project domestically has to be replicated internationally.

What has been dubbed the Arab “Spring” has been preceded by the Latin American “Spring”, the Eastern European “Spring” and the African “Spring”. In other words, all of these regions have preceded the Arab world in attempts to create democratic regimes after varying, in terms of their duration, periods of authoritarian rule.

One of the greatest checks against the vulnerability experienced by the fledgling regimes of Arab world is the creation of bonds of solidarity with the more assertively anti-imperial states of Africa, Asia and Latin America. In other words, Muslim parties have to understand that they cannot engage in truly independent policies in isolation.

Moving from the realm of ideas, once those ideas have been identified and articulated, in each of these areas involve trans-generational social and political movements

In the case of Morsi’s Egypt, it might have been helpful if his regime had taken an a priori stance against seeking loans from the IMF and instead announced that he would work with nations in Asia, Africa and Latin America to create an alternative international development bank.

Of course such a move would have not been favourably received in Washington, which as we are now learning, never favourably received the Muslim Brotherhood-backed regime to begin with. On the other hand, such a move might have created the political imagination in the masses of Egyptians needed for them to believe that the material sacrifices they were making were for greater goals and therefore worth enduring.

People will sacrifice where there is a belief that they are sacrificing for something greater than their immediate interests. However, where there is no higher belief or vision, both the people and non-visionary political parties perish.

To conclude, what is necessary for the fulfilment of a coherent vision of political Islam is a “spiritually-rooted” political analysis; a meaningful modern Muslim constitutionalism; a fully articulated Muslim philosophy of service-oriented politics; and Muslim participation in a reconstituted global “Third World” movement. These matters are all individually worthy of book-length exposes.

Moving from the realm of ideas, once those ideas have been identified and articulated, in each of these areas involve trans-generational social and political movements. These are merely some areas, in my estimation, where “political” Islam might begin reconsidering a fundamental reorientation if they are to remain viable in light of the conditions currently prevailing in both the national and international political arenas.

Imam Zaid Shakir is the co-founder of Zaytuna college in Berkeley, California, and writes a blog for New Islamic Directions. 

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial policy.

Converts to Islam Growing in Number

17 Jul

By Hajer Naili

WeNews correspondent

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

For one woman it started with a quest for a closer connection to God. For another it was the surprising discovery that Islam might help her resist the domination of her Catholic father. First of two stories for Ramadan about Muslim women in the U.S.

NEW YORK (WOMENSENEWS)– For Zainab Ismail, a Bronx-born Hispanic woman, the turning point came in March 2009 after a wedding ceremony at a Catholic church.

“For some unknown reason, obviously now I know it was Allah–God–putting that thought and feeling in my heart, I no longer wanted to be Catholic. I didn’t know what I wanted to be but I no longer wanted to be Catholic,” Ismail recalls.

Less than three months later, Ismail embraced Islam and converted in June 2009.

“As a Latina, you are raised, if you got it, to show it, to flaunt it as much as possible,” says Ismail, 44, raised in a Puerto Rican Catholic family.

Now she shows very little of her skin. Instead she wears the hijab, the Islamic veil or headscarf.

Since the 9/11 tragedy, the Hispanic community in the United States has witnessed a significant rise in conversions to Islam, especially among women, says Imam Shamsi Ali, a Muslim scholar and imam of the 96th street mosque in Manhattan, on the border of the city’s Upper East Side and Harlem. They are “mostly educated, young and professional women.”

Although 9/11 incited bias and discrimination against Muslims, many non-Muslims, who some had never heard about Islam, also started to question the meaning of the religion, explains Ali.

The percentage of new female converts to Islam in the U.S. has increased 9 percent since 2000, from 32 percent to 41 percent, according to the 2011 U.S. Mosque Survey, which interviewed leaders at 524 mosques across the country. Latinos–men and women–accounted for 12 percent of all new converts in the United States in 2011.

In 2006, the number of Hispanic Muslims was estimated at about 200,000 by the American Muslim Council, which has not provided any new figures since then.

Ahmad Akhar, the Ibn Khaldun chair of Islamic studies at American University in Washington, D.C., gave several explanations for this increase in a 2011 story in Illume Mag on the rise of Hispanics converting to Islam in the United States. The most attractive part of Islam to Latinos seeking spirituality, he said, is its strict monotheistic orientation and structured belief system. Much more literature on Islam has been translated into Spanish in the United States, he added, which has made the religion more accessible to non-Arabic readers. By converting to Islam, some Latinos may also feel as if they’re connecting to their Spanish roots, which are embedded for 800 years in Islamic history in Spain’s southeast population centers ofGranada, Cordova, Seville and Andalusia.

Over the next two decades the number of Muslims living in the United States will more than double, rising from 2.6 million in 2010 to 6.2 million in 2030, according to a study published by the Pew Research Center in2011. The study also found that about 20 percent of the estimated 1.8 million Muslims currently in America, 18 and older, are converts.

Focus on Gender Equality

Imam Ali says that the strength of Islam for some female converts is linked to gender equality. “Islam came with the idea that all human beings are equal, including male and female,” he said an interview at the Indonesian consulate in Manhattan. “Women have an important role in societies, not only at home.”

He adds that it’s important to differentiate between “what Muslims do in Muslim lands and what Islam is about,” in response to some Westerners’ ideas about traditional Muslim societies where gender roles are well defined and sharply divided.

Shortly before converting to Islam, Ismail described feeling a “lack of connection with God.” At the time she was working as a fitness trainer and a fitness competitor.

“I was living the lifestyle of a celebrity personal trainer, traveling between Las Vegas, Miami and Hollywood, regularly. My lifestyle was what you see in the magazines, the videos, and all the parties. I wasn’t thinking about religion but when it was quiet I knew I was lacking a connection with God,” she remembers.

Her first exposure to Islam came in elementary school through hip hop culture, particularly Zulu Nation, a global hip hop group formed by Afrika Bambaataa in New York in the 1970s. The movement incorporated many doctrines, including Islam. But it wasn’t until about 15 years ago that she became more familiar with Islam when a friend, also a bodybuilder competitor, gave her a Quran.

Her mother has readily supported her choice of a new religion but it took her about eight months to tell her father, a born-again Christian pastor living in Orlando, Fla. He finally accepted her decision but they have agreed to “try not to speak about politics and religion.”

Now once a week Ismail teaches a fitness and nutrition class for women, called Fit for Allah, at M.E.C.C.A (Muslim Education and Converts Center of America) in Manhattan, which mainly provides Islamic education to new Muslims such as herself.

Living Under Male Authority

S.A. is another Hispanic female convert. She was born in Chicago and has Mexican parents, growing up between the United States and Mexico. S.A., 34, now resides in Queens, N.Y., and requested anonymity for this article.

She describes her Catholic family as conservative, with a strong patriarchal structure. She lived under the authority of her father and brothers for years although she supported the family financially as she was the oldest child. “I supported my family because I wanted to and because of the cultural belief that this is the duty of the eldest son or daughter,” says S.A., adding that her father is a well-off businessman in Mexicoand the United States. S.A. has worked as a chief financial officer and aviation broker.

S.A. never thought of becoming Muslim. In fact, she says she had “bad connotations” about Islam after 9/11. Like many non-Muslims, she felt resentment toward Islam after the tragedy. She eventually turned to Islam after learning more about women’s rights in the Islamic faith, discovering she could have rights she had never had in her male-dominated household.

Islam helped her stand up against her father and his beliefs, S.A. says. “There are a lot of injustices, and when I started learning about Islam and the rights of women it definitely helped me liberate and, of course, caused chaos in my house,” she said in an interview at the Islamic Center of N.Y.U. in Manhattan. She was dressed in a long royal blue skirt and a black blouse, her face and neck veiled by a niqab, which covers everything but her eyes. Her family in Chicago doesn’t know yet she covers her face.

Her journey toward Islam began a few years ago, when she started to question the existence of God and decided to attend classes about religions. She was reluctant to learn about Islam. As hard as she tried to stay away, however, she remembers that her Internet searches kept ending up on Islamic websites. Eventually, she decided to look closer, even though she wasn’t thinking about leaving her Catholic faith.

“Little by little, I started identifying with a lot of teachings of Islam,” S.A. explains.

In particular, the rights of women in Islam caught her attention. S.A. says she was surprised to find out that men are asked to help women in the daily household chores. She was also pleased to learn that she had no obligation to share her salary with her father or any other male relative as mentioned in Islam.

“If it wasn’t about the balance I found in Islam between men and women, I think I would still be doing a lot of things that made me suffer,” S.A. says, referring to the years she stayed silent and lived under her father’s domination.

“My dad expects me to do everything: to go to work, to bring home the paycheck, to take care of my brothers and my sisters like they are my kids, to pay half of the bills. He’s never thought about me,” says S.A.

Fear of Backlash

Guadalupe Marcado, who goes by the name Lupz Muslimah, was hesitant to convert to Islam because of her sexual orientation. She is a member of the LGBT community. “It was one of the main reasons I was scared to come to Islam. You hear all these stories about how they treat LGBT members in other countries; and it’s frightening.”

Born and baptized Catholic, Lupz Muslimah, 24, converted to Islam in November 2011. Her father is Puerto Rican and her mother is from Andalusia.

Her journey to Islam started when listening to rap music, especially what she calls “revolutionary songs,” where she says she found several mentions to the Prophet Muhammad and religions. This led her to beginning questioning her faith.

She now attends Rutgers University in New Jersey and expects to graduate in October with a major in criminal justice and a minor in psychology and LGBT studies.

She says she has been facing “a lot of backlash” from some Muslims because of her sexual orientation, but she will keep advocating for the LGBT community. She remembers a Muslim woman who told her one day that she would never pray next to her because of her sexual orientation; but Lupz Muslimah was also pleasantly surprised to hear other women saying they would pray next to her no matter what her sexuality.

Within her own family, Lupz Muslimah has also battled stereotypes. She recalls her father telling her “you wanna be a terrorist now!” after he saw her during her first prayer. To ease tensions within her family, Lupz Muslimah used the Bible and the Quran to show her parents that both texts are quite similar. They slowly accepted her choice.

When she decided to cover her hair, Lupz Muslimah had a hard time with family and friends who knew her as a model wearing “tight clothes or barely any clothes.” Some Muslims didn’t spare her either. “You shouldn’t wear the hijab because your jeans are too tight, or you shouldn’t wear the hijab because your shirt is too low or too tight,” some Muslims told her.

She has also had remarks because of her lip piercings and tattoos. For a short time, Lupz Muslimah took out her piercings to avoid being judged. She eventually put them back as she realized she “will always be judged no matter what.”

She admits to being always nervous to go out but she tends now to ignore people’s remarks and keeps remembering she is “not doing this for the people.” “I am doing this for me and God,” she says.

Hajer Naili is a New York-based reporter for Women’s eNews. She has worked for several radio stations and publications in France and North Africa and specializes in Middle East and North Africa.

http://www.womensenews.org/help-making-comments-womens-enews-stories.

Aside

Mumbai terror attack was faked?

16 Jul

An Indian home ministry former officer has disclosed that a member of the secret service team had accused incumbent governments of ‘orchestrating’ the terror attack on Parliament and the 26/11 carnage in Mumbai.
The former Indian investigator Satish Verma has said that India itself was behind Parliament in Delhi and Mumbai terror attacks.
According to Indian media‚ the fake encounter case involving a senior officer Under-Secretary of Interior Ministry Ishrat Jahan has submitted an affidavit in the court stating that a member of CBI and SIC investigation team Satish Verma told him that in the terrorists attacks on Parliament in Delhi and Mumbai terror attacks were pre-planned.
A key government official, R V S Mani said that Satish Verma, until recently a part of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe team, told him that both the terror attacks were set up “with the objective of strengthening the counter-terror legislation (sic).
Mani has said that Verma narrated that the 13.12. 2001(attack on Parliament) was followed by Pota (Prevention of Terrorist Activities Act) and 26/11 2008 (terrorists’ siege of Mumbai) was followed by amendment to the UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act).
The official has alleged Verma levelled the damaging charge while debunking IB’s inputs labelling the three killed with Ishrat in the June 2004 encounter as Lashkar terrorists.
Contacted by Times of India, Verma refused to comment. “I don’t know what the complaint is, made when and to whom. Nor am I interested in knowing. I cannot speak to the media on such matters. Ask the CBI,” said the Gujarat cadre IPS officer who after being relieved from the SIT is working as principal of the Junagadh Police Training College.
The attacks were launched to strengthen the anti-terrorism laws.
It may be recalled that India had accused Pakistan of its involvement in both of the attacks and started a propaganda campaign maligning Pakistan based organizations and its agencies for the attacks.
Afzal Guru and Ajmal Kasab have already been hanged by Indian government in parliament and 26/11 cases respectively.

 

MSO Nizamabad organised Job Mela

12 Dec

Nizamabad 12/12/2011

Muslim Students Organization M.S.O Nizamabad Unit Organised a Job Mela in Nizamabad for the Muslim Students and youths with a great success.

In this program around 600 students Male/Female participated.and 4 companies came to recruit .
They selected 150 students of various background for Job.
S.H Infotech, Vijay Fertilizer ,Techno Soft Solution, Techno Tech were the companies which participated in this Job Mela.
President:
MOHD ABDUL ZEESHAN RAZVI
Unit Nizamabaad
along with MOHD FARHAN RAZVI,MOHD IRFAN RAZA (V.President),MOHD MIZBA UDDIN,SYED JUNID SATTERY,MOHD IMTIAZ ,MOHD MUSHTAQ HUSSAIN RAZA ,worked hard to make this JOB Mela a grand success.

Repent or face social boycott: Idara Tahqeeqat-e-Imam Ahmad Raza Kashmir to ‘Christian converts’

31 Oct


Baramulla:
30-10-2011
Muslims have expressed serious concern over the alleged role of Christian missionaries in converting young Kashmiri Muslim boys and girls to Christianity.
Idara Tahqeeqat-e-Imam Ahmad Raza Kashmir ,General Secretary ,Advocate Mudasir Naqshbandi, addressing a press conference here on Sunday, he said some Christian missionaries are trying to alter the Muslim majority character of Jammu and Kashmir at the behest of America and Israel. “We ask Muslims who have fallen for the trap of these missionaries and converted to Christianity to present themselves before Ulema before Eid-ul-Azha, and seek repentance from Allah,” he said.
“ Otherwise, Idara Tahqeeqate-e-Imam Ahmad Raza Baramulla Kashmir will convene a joint session of Ulema and Muftis on November 11 and issue a fatwa(decree) for social boycott against these converts,”
He said the Ulema and the people Of J&K will not remain silent over the activities of Christian missionaries. “ They are luring young Muslims with money to convert and we will go to any extent to stop their activities,” he said.
Mudasir Naqshbandi said, being a Muslim majority state, liquor should have been banned in Jammu and Kashmir. “Instead, the government under a well planned conspiracy is promoting liquor among youth ,”
He said it was ironic that the government had allowed a liquor shop opposite the Children’s hospital in Sonawar. “If the government doesn’t revoke the license of the liquor shop, would take to the streets,” he said.
He appealed youth to follow the footsteps of Hazrat Amir Kabeer, Sheikh Noor-ud-Din Noorani, Sarkary Ala Hazrat Imam Ahmad Raza (Alhi Rehma)and fight the conspiracies being hatched against Islam.


Subramaniam Swamy Spewed Venom against Indian Muslims in DNA News Paper

22 Jul

New Delhi. 22nd July 2011 Friday

Seema Mustafa V Subramanian Swamy

Subramanian Swamy in his true insightful but provocative style has written an article in DNA July 14: ‘How to wipe out Islamic Terror. Much of the article is on Islamic terrorism and how it threatens Hindus in India. In response Seema Mustafa, a noted journalist, has responded with another article in DNA July 19 titled ‘Dr Subramanian Swamy has inflamed passions through blatant falsehoods’. I have read only a few of Mustafa’s articles which have come across as good, sensible pieces of journalism. This particular piece of hers in response to Swamy stands out in some ways. Falsehoods she says. Okay, so before I come back to her article let’s try and understand what Swamy has said.
Swamy’s strongly worded article revolves around 5 goals that he attributes to the Islamists or the ‘unfinished’ Islamic business for India if you like. I believe these being central to his article would constitute the falsehoods that Seema Mustafa is talking about.
Goal 1 (Falsehood 1) : Overawe India on Kashmir.
I need not go into the history of Pak-funding of militants, frequent incursions, Kargil war and all that. They never happened. Lakhs of Hindu Pandits displaced violently from their homes and are refugees in their own country. Falsehood, never happened. SmitaPrakash, another prominent journalist writes chillingly about how teenagers and youths were paid money in the stone pelting exercise. Oops, falsehood again! Geelani and company go around the country  with inflammatory speeches. Falsehood! Again! Hoisting Pakistani flags at Lal Chowk on Republic Day. Falsehood, never happened. There you go, Mustafa disproves Swamy’s goal no.1
Goal 2 (Falsehood 2): Blast temples, kill Hindu devotees.
Blasts at Varanasi this year. Oops, that wasn’t a temple, that was some Sulabh Sauchalay. Daring attack on Akshardham in Gandhinagar (Gujarat) in 2002. Again Akshardham is hardly a Hindu temple. Sai Baba temple blast in 2002. Misreported. Sankat Mochan temple blast. What a lie! All these are falsehoods because Muslims and Christians may have died in these temple blasts too. There might be more and I guess all of those are falsehoods too. Mustafa exposes Swamy’s lie on this one too.
Goal 3 (Falsehood 3): Turn India into Darul Islam.
That’s a blatant lie by Swamy. This statement by the Imam Bukhari of Delhi was falsely reported by media all over. “We were rulers here for 800 years. Inshaallah, we shall return to powerhere once again”” and threatens “this country is in for another partition,so let us be prepared for nation- wide riots and violence. ” I would recommend readers to go through the post ‘Life,Liberty and the pursuit of Sharia. Swamy is a liar. It is not just India, this particular falsehood is for the whole world and not just India. Mustafa, once again, brilliantly exposes the falsehood.
Goal 4 (Falsehood 4): Change India’s demography by illegal immigration, conversion, and refusal to adopt family planning.
Read my post ‘Make Mumbai aseparate state. There isn’t still a handle on the number of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan or other places in Mumbai, Assam, Bengal and other places. The vote-bank hugging ‘secular’ government simply loves this. And when was the last time you ever heard of population control, family planning etc.? Those terms died in the late seventies. Mustafa doesn’t have much to say on this so her silence proves it to be an absolute falsehood. Bravo!
Goal 5 (Falsehood5): Denigrate Hinduism through vulgar writings and preaching in mosques, madrassas, and churches to create loss of self-respect amongst Hindus and make them fit for capitulation.
Well, I suppose at all mosques and madrasas they are only preaching love for humanity. I guess the FBI in the USA is stupid to be keeping a close vigil on all major mosques. The UK does it now too. Some mosques in Germany have even been shut down. It is only in India that Swamy is stupid to peddle this lie. Once again Seema Mustafa has nothing to say on this. So once again her silence on this proves it to be a falsehood. We would never get to know what goes on in mosques and madrasas because our ‘secular’ government considers that too important a sentiment to offend.
So now that Seema Mustafa has clearly established the falsehoods in Swamy’s article let’s see what she actually had to say in her piece. Much or almost all of her article is an ad hominem attack on Swamy and is basically an opinion piece. It neither confronts the basic premise of Swamy’s central arguments nor does it offer a solid, logical and factual rebuttal of his contentions. Needless to mention, Swamy’s article also contains quite a bit of his opinions and his solutions to the goals are basically his opinions, some of which are also impractical. But a response basically requires disproving the theories stated in an article. To that end, Swamy’s article contains nothing but commonly known facts which he outlines in the 5 goals. None of that is a big secret to anyone, anywhere in the world.
Swamy’s article has drawn absolutely excellent responses from the people of this country, mostly non-Muslims, to put him and his exhortations in their place” says Seema. Oh yeah? How do you know? Did you carry out a survey? Did you research all the respondents in all forms of media? This is the typical defence of the secularist. Everyone says so, so it must be balderdash. Since when is that childish logic the foundation of mature debate?
The Hindus, he keeps insisting, are the targets. But when blasts take place in crowded market places in Mumbai or any other part of India, the targets are the people of India, Dr Swamy. Hindus and Muslims and Sikhs and Christians and Parsis and Jains and Brahmins and Dalits and all those who are at the spot die because the bomb cannot differentiate among religions and castes. India, as we have grown up to understand it, is a secular, democratic country belonging to all who are its citizens” writes Mustafa. First note how cleverly and significantly she segregates Hindus, Brahmins, Dalits as three distinct entities. Isn’t that a common secular strategy? That’s the first line of attack of secularists. Separate Hindus into different groups.Wouldn’t it be funny to suggest bombs kill Shias, Sunnis, Protestants and Catholics? Well, only in case of Hindus the bombs know the segregation I suppose..
There is a saying in Goa: “If you throw a stone it will invariably land on a bar”. But, of course, there is a tiny chance it can also land on a church. Same is true for people dying from bomb blasts I suppose. The bombs aimed at Hindus invariably land on other religious groups.
Yeah, bombs don’t know who they kill – brilliant. I don’t walk backwards ‘cuz I don’t have eyes in my ass! But those who plant bombs do know who their intended target is. I suppose those who planted bombs at Zaveri Bazar didn’t know there might be Muslims and Christians in the area. Of course, they also didn’t know that bazar is a predominantly Hindu and Jain bazar or a majority are Gujaratis. Of course, secularists conveniently forget that people have been dragged out of buses in Kashmir, Hindus have been sorted out and lined up separately and killed. So when terrorists have the opportunity they would indeed choose their specific targets. It’s only when it is not possible or inevitable that some collateral damage has to be accepted. How intelligent would it be to suggest that the 9/11 attack wasn’t Islamic terror because Muslims also died in those towers? Yeah, sure, we are so convinced of this line being churned out by politicians, now we have to be reminded repeatedly by journalists, that’s all.
Does anyone remember the Israeli raid on Entebbe airport in 1976. An Air-France airline was hijacked by terrorists and landed at Entebbe airport in Uganda. The terrorists allowed all to go except Jews. Does that explain that when the chance is available terrorists do choose who they wish to target or kill?  I can believe politicians can make silly statements but can’t believe journalists too expect people to be so naïve.
Seema suggests Swamy may even face charges of hate speech or some law-violation. Well, I suppose he has no right to air his views some of which are based on facts but the likes of Digvijay Singh delight our secularists. I have yet to see one really strong piece in any major media outlet that questions the utterances of that man. Never mind that either. Let’s see some more brilliance from Mustafa.
It (India) is home to all religions, and it is a vibrant democracy that thrives on plurality and diversity. The terrorists, al-Qaeda, Lashkar or the Aseemanands…” Hahahhaha! That really takes the cake! You win Seema! Aseemanand, whose arrest is full of controversy and still not convicted of anything, is sweepingly bracketed with Al-qaeeda and LeT. So fools like me finally realise now, through the wisdom of the likes of Seema Mustafa, that Aseemanand is as big a threat to India and Hindus as are Al-Qaeeda and LeT. I guess that is what RG meant by 99% terror stopped!
There, the falsehoods of Subramanian Swamy stand thoroughly exposed. On behalf of Seema Mustafa should I say, ‘QED’?
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