Latino Muslims mix religion & culture

By Ryan Schuessler in The Guardian;

America’s only mosque founded specifically to be a place for Spanish-language programming for Latinos. Flores had just taken the shahada, the Islamic profession of faith, at the mosque’s first-ever Cinco de Mayo celebration on Saturday, where community members with roots in Colombia, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Cuba and other countries served halal variations of their traditional foods, while celebrating their shared identity as Muslims

A lovely article about how Hispanic Muslims are able to combine their religion and their culture. In a time when Islam seems to be undergoing an “Arabifcation” where some Muslims think they need to dress and look like Arabs to be Muslims it’s refreshing to see people come together under our faith but still hold their culture, quite rightly, close to them.

Muslim doctor and sister helped convict pro-Isis hate preachers on Oxford Street

From The Independent:

A Muslim doctor and her sister have been praised for helping convict two pro-Isis hate preachers after challenging them and taking pictures of their propaganda to the police.

 

Sisters Asmaa and Reem Al-Jufaisha, 36 and 24 respectively, confronted the two men after seeing their stall in Oxford Street to rally support for the terrorist group.

 

Despite the men hurling abuse at them and calling them “khuffar”, a term used by extremists to insult those who aren’t Muslim, the women persisted in their confrontation.

 

They took pictures of the stall and the leaflets being handed out, which bore the Isis logo, and brought them to police.

 

Ibrahim Anderson, 38, and Shah Jahan Khan, 62, are now facing prison after being unanimously convicted of inviting support for a banned organisation at the Old Bailey, which they denied.

Some media outlets have consistently failed to mention that it was two Muslim women who confronted these men and tried to stop them. Since the above story was published both men have been convicted and jailed. The incredible thing about this story is that the Muslim women had to report these men to the police three times before they took any action!

France’s anti-terrorism laws leave Muslims in a state of fear

From The Verge:

Marie isn’t the only one looking for answers. There has been a steady stream of similar stories in the French media since President François Hollande implemented a state of emergency following November’s terrorist attacks in Paris, which killed 130 people. The laws, which were extended for three months in November, give security forces expanded powers to conduct warrantless house raids, seize personal data, and place people on house arrest — all without authorization from a judge. Thousands of raids have been carried out at homes and businesses, and hundreds of suspects have been placed under house arrest on what some say are tenuous grounds. A UN human rights panel, Amnesty International, and other rights groups have condemned the state of emergency laws, but Hollande’s administration has shown no signs of backing down.

Amar Toor reports on the story of Maria, a French Muslim who was subjected to a terrifying raid on her house due to her religion. Thousands of other  people have endured similar violations and threatening behaviour from the police.

It may not be in their constitution but in France being a Muslim is a criminal offence.

Death at Sea

A Muslim is a brother of a Muslim, unless you are Rohingya Muslims fleeing persecution from Burma

The Guardian, and many others, are reporting;

But this week’s callous move by Malaysian patrol ships to turn back two boats carrying about 600 people, many in critical physical condition, and similarly unconscionable, coordinated actions by Thailand and Indonesia may soon shift attention to one of the world’s other big migration crises.

After a government decision to close Malaysian ports, officials confirmed on Thursday that the two refugee boats had been intercepted off Langkawi and Penang islands, on Malaysia’s western littoral, and forced back out to sea.

It is believed one of these boats was later found drifting in Thai waters, where authorities have also made its occupants unwelcome. According to a banner written in English, the boat mostly contained members of Burma’s persecuted Rohingya Muslim minority.

Countries like Malaysia and Indonesia have shouted proudly about the fact that they implement Sharia Law in one way or another, and these Muslim majority countries apparently believe that they are expressing their Islamic belief as guided by the Holy Prophet (pbuh).

“A Muslim is the brother of a Muslim. He neither oppresses him nor humiliates him nor looks down upon him. The piety is here, (and while saying so) he pointed towards his chest thrice. It is a serious evil for a Muslim that he should look down upon his brother Muslim. All things of a Muslim are inviolable for his brother in faith: his blood, his wealth and his honour.”

— Sahih Muslim Book 032, Hadith Number 6219

I have to wonder which Islamic guidance has taught these so called Muslim nations to leave thousands of persecuted Rohingya Muslims to die at sea.

Is it one rule for the Hindus and another for the Muslims?

From The Guardian

So why was the imams’ letter a reason for Rahman’s election being voided but Patel’s letter not a reason for Cameron’s election being voided? Like Patel’s letter, it contained no sense of threat, nor implication of any spiritual consequences for those who chose to vote otherwise. Yet, in an astonishing display of double standards, the imams’ letter was used to void an election result and Patel’s letter has passed with barely a mention. So maybe this is, deep down, really about Islam. For just like English attitudes towards Catholicism in the 19th century, English attitudes towards Islam often regard it as some malevolent and foreign power, requiring exceptional legal treatment – including silencing at election time.

“Why are all the free-speech humanists so quiet about this?” asked Conor Gearty, professor of human rights law at the LSE. And the answer is probably that many of them dislike religion more than they support free speech.

Whilst the Lahore Ahmadiyya UK Jamaat was imploring Muslims to vote, in the recent General Election, and to become an integral part of the political system in the UK, we and many others were and are being undermined by those who claim to value democracy and free speech but who infact would shun those values to stop any perceived Islamic influence on this country.

Muslims should vote in the British General Elections

Some Muslims are distributing leaflets saying that Muslims should not take part in elections in the Western Countries. They say it amounts to committing shirk.

They do not, however, produce any verse from the Holy Quran to support what they say. This khutba shows that, on the contrary, the Holy Quran gives clear instructions about who Muslims should elect as their leader as well as examples of how Allah expects leaders to behave. These are further supported by how the leaders of early Islamic communities behaved.

If we separate and isolate ourselves then we will become an irrelevance to the political and social structures of this country with no voice in the higher echelons of government and no influence on policy.

So we implor every Muslims in Britain to go out and vote tomorrow to influence and affect the political landscape of this country.

Muslims will never be united

The Holy Quran in chapter 3 verses 101 to 104 speaks of the need for the Muslims to be united together. However, when we look around we find that Muslims rather than be united are fighting each other.

Tracing the history of current disputes from WWI to this day it is clear that Muslims have killed more Muslims than non-Muslims have.

Muslims protest in London over cartoons

It has been reported that thousands of Muslims gathered near Downing Street to protest against cartoons which showed the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s).

A leaflet issued by the Muslim Action forum (MAF), who organised the rally, said recent republishing of cartoons, caricatures and depictions of Muhammad by satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and other publishers is a “stark reminder” that freedom of speech is “regularly utilised to insult personalities that others consider sacred”. The group also expressed “deep regret” at the Paris terror attacks, which included a massacre at Charlie Hebdo, saying they were a “violation of Islamic law”.

Whilst these cartoons are offensive to all Muslims we should be following the guidance given to us in the Holy Quran and ignoring those who mock us and our religion, because it is Allah who will judge them for what they do.

The Holy Quran 25:63

And the servants of the Beneficent are they who walk on the earth in humility, and when the ignorant address them, they say, Peace!”

Rather than march against these acts we should be focusing our energies on making sure every Muslim lives their lives in accordance to the guidance given to us. There are seemingly millions of ‘un-educated’ Muslims who only know what so called Imams have told them, and resort to violence far too quickly. It is these people that need to be brought back to the book of guidance.

Why I don’t believe people who say they loathe Islam but not Muslims

By Andrew Brown
This article first appeared in The Guardian

It is a trope among people who loathe and fear Islam that their fear and loathing has nothing in common with racism because Islam is not a race, the implication being that hating Muslims is rational and wise whereas hating black people is deeply irrational and stupid.

Some people who claim that Islam is profoundly evil will also say that they bear Muslims no ill will but I don’t think they are telling the truth. It is really difficult and indeed psychologically unnatural to claim that you hate an ideology without hating the people in whose lives it is expressed. Religions, nations, and even races are all shared imaginative constructs (although nations and races have other characteristics as well) and if you really want to extirpate them, you must extirpate the people who imagine them as well.

I remember George W Bush explaining that we were not going to war with the Iraqi people, but with the Iraqi government. Since then, something like a million of the Iraqi people have died as a result of our not going to war with them. The distinction is no doubt a great comfort to their surviving relatives but it’s not very useful for predictive purposes.

Racial and religious hatreds have one thing in common: they are not inspired by the race or religion of the hater, but by the religion or race of the victim. This is clearest in the case of antisemitism, which can appear as either a racial or a religious hatred, or indeed both. What’s constant is that it involves hating Jewish people, whatever the reasons given. Similarly, if you hate black people, you hate them on racist grounds whatever the colour of your own skin, and if you hate Muslims, Catholics, Quakers or Mormons, you hate them for their religion – whatever your own beliefs. So it is perfectly possible for religious hatred to be motivated by atheism and it may be quite common in the modern world.

The claim that Islam isn’t a race and so it is entirely rational to hate and fear it gains its moral force from the implicit claim that there is something uniquely horrible about racial hatred. I don’t think there is, though I see why we assume it: 50 or 60 years ago racial prejudice was an entirely natural part of English life. In order to change that, it was necessary to mark it as a uniquely dreadful and disfiguring condition: racism became a kind of moral leprosy. Without in any way wishing to roll back that progress, it’s worth noting that in other societies and at other times racial prejudice has not been the most urgent incitement to communal hatred.

But if we allow that the crimes of Stalin, or of Mao, were comparable to those of the transatlantic slave trade in ambition if not in duration, they are not excused in the slightest by saying that the most terrible atheist dictators were not very racist at all.

Stalin and Mao would have enthusiastically endorsed Sam Harris when he wrote that “there are some beliefs so terrible that we are justified in killing people just for holding them”, just as they would have endorsed his defence of torturing prisoners.

In the end, the position of people who claim that hatred of Islam is somehow superior to hatred of black people is pretty much like Alan Partridge boasting that at least he’s not David Brent.