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

10 Aug 1098428_444649272315341_723547050_n

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.

 

 

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MSO Protested destruction of Roza-e-Hazrat Zainab and Hazrat Khalid bin Walid

27 Jul Dargah Ala Hazrat Bareilly Shareef

New Delhi:27th July2013

Muslim Students Organization of India MSO has condemned the attack on shrine of Hazrat Zainab and  Hazrat Khalid bin Waleed in strongest terms.MSO leader Shahnawaz Warsi today said that we must understand this Salafi US nexus in destroying Islamic nations.On the one hand Saudi Arabia is igniting passion against Shia community on the other hand U.S is providing all support, training and fund to Free Syrian Army.He said that deviated Muslims are considering it as Jehad while it is United States long term plan  in which these goons are killing each others.There is no doubt that Salafi fighters in Syria are doing terrorism in the name of Shia Sunni fights.They have crossed all boundries of being a human being when they ate the heart of a person.Muslims must understand this war is not holy war but U.S and Israel are waging their crusade against Islam and Muslims from behind.MSO is deeply concerned with the alarming situation in Syria and urges all parties to not touch Holy shrines of Islam and must know the US hidden motives in this War.

मुस्लिम स्टुडेंट्स ओर्गानिजेशन ऑफ इण्डिया (एम् एस ओ) की राष्ट्रीय कार्यकारिणी सदस्य एडवोकेट शाहनवाज़ वारसी ने कहा नवासी ऐ रसूल हज़रत जैनब और  पैगम्बर हज़रत मुहम्मद साहब के साथी सहाबी हज़रत खालिद बिन वलीद की मज़ार पर यह ताज़ा हमला सलफी और अमेरिका के सहयोग  की एक कड़ी है जिसको समझना होगा!

उन्होंने आगे कहा की  सऊदी हुकूमत और क़तर को यह समझना होगा की शियाओं के खिलाफ नफ़रत फैलाने से किसी का भला नहीं होगा और जिस तरह वोह सीरिया की हुकूमत को हटाने के लिए फंड दे रहा है और अमेरिका इस्राएल से हथियार  लेकर इन फसदिओं को मुहय्या करा रहा है उससे इस झूठे जेहाद की पोल खुलती है की अमेरिका क्यूँ तुम्हारे जेहाद में हिस्सा लेगा उसे किया पड़ी है की वोह जेहाद करेगा !शाहनवाज़ वारसी ने कहा की दरअसल सउदी की सलफी हुकूमत सुन्नी हुकूमत नहीं है बल्कि कट्टरपंथी और मुसलमानों को बाँटने वाली वहाबी सलफी हुकूमत है! सऊदी अरब और कतर जेहाद के नाम पर इस्राएल और अमेरिका की साजिशों का हिस्सा बने हुए हैं ! उन्होंने कहा इस सम्बन्ध में जल्द ही एम् एस ओ का एक डेलिगेशन सिरियन दूतावास जाकर अपना विरोध दर्ज कराएगा !

Saudi Salafis are Involved in Global Terrorism and Destruction of Muslim Countries: European Parliament Reveals

23 Jul Image

New Delhi:23rd July’13

A REPORT BY POLICY DEPARTMENT, EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT European Parliament reveals how Wahabi/Salafi groups are involved in the “support and supply of arms to rebel groups around the world.” The report, released in June 2013, was commissioned by European Parliament’s Directorate General for External Policies. The report warns about the Wahabi/Salafi organisations and claims that “NO COUNTRY IN THE MUSLIM WORLD IS SAFE FROM SALAFI TERRORISM AND DESTRUCTIVE OPERATIONS as they always aim to terrorize their opponents and arouse the admiration of their supporters.”

Report

The nexus between Arab charities promoting Wahabism/Salafism and the extremist Islamic movements has emerged as one of the major threats to people and governments across the globe. From EGYPT, SYRIA, MALI, AFGHANISTAN, PAKISTAN TO INDONESIA in the East, a network of charities is funding militancy and mayhem to coerce Muslim to conform to the Salafism. The same network also attack targets in Europe and North America. WHEN YOU READ THIS REPORT, YOU WILL REALIZE THAT THERE IS A STRONG NEXUS BETWEEN ZIONISM AND SALALFISM, WHERE ZIONISTS MIND AND SALAFI MONEY IS USED AS COMBINATION TO KILL INNOCENT MUSLIMS AND DESTROY MUSLIM COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD. Read more on this link. https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=ZGVmYXVsdGRvbWFpbnxoYWlkZXJub3Rlc3xneDo3NDEwMDI3NjViZTNjODZm

 

 

Hazrat Zainab’s shrine (Roza) attacked by Salafis

22 Jul 579429-SayyedaZainabshrineAFP-1374260544-155-640x480

:MSO condemns this takfiris attack in harshest words.
सीरिया में सलाफी बागिओं ने हज़रत जैनब के रोज़ा मुबारक पर रॉकेट से हमला किया ! एम् एस ओ इस कायराना हमले की भरपूर लफ़्ज़ों में मज्ज़मत करता है और मुसलमानों से अपील करता है सीरिया की असला प्रोब्लम और वहाबी फितने के मक़ासिद को समझें !यह ईमान वालों को क़त्ल करते हैं बेईमानों को छोड़ते है!
BEIRUT: A rocket strike near a Shia shrine in Damascus killed a custodian of Bibi Zainab (AS) on Friday, activists and residents said, in an attack that could inflame sectarian tensions in Syria’s 28 month old conflict.

Opposition activists and residents said shrapnel killed Anas Romani, the respected caretaker of the gold-domed Bibi Zainab (AS) shrine in the capital’s southern suburbs, a renowned pilgrimage destination for Shias from Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and beyond.

There were conflicting reports about damage to the shrine. The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which has a network of activists across Syria, cited sources as saying the shrine’s blue-tiled sanctuary had been hit. But a local resident told Reuters the rockets landed outside the mosque.

The Syrian government accuses rebels of targeting Sayyeda Zainab shrine, which is now protected by hundreds of fighters from Iraq and the powerful Lebanese Hezbollah group.

They have been helping Syrian President Bashar al Assad’s forces battle rebels mostly from the Sunni majority, whom they accuse of threatening Shia symbols in Syria.

The rebels say they are only attacking pro-Assad forces in the area, though many in their ranks use sectarian rhetoric against Assad’s Shia supporters.

Syria’s uprising-turned-civil war has sectarian dimensions that risk spilling over into neighboring Iraq and Lebanon, which have both suffered their own communal conflicts.

Several Syrian minorities have supported Assad, including his own Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shia sect. They say they fear the rising Sunni current in the insurgency.

bibi-zainab-protest

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has said protecting Sayyeda Zainab is vital for his group, which now openly acknowledges its involvement on Syria’s battlefields, and has threatened “grave retribution” if any harm befalls the shrine.

Demonstrators on Sunday took to the streets in Karachi and twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi against a rocket attack on the shrine of Hazrat Zainab (A.S) in Syria.

Quran desecrated in Kashmir,Seven protesters killed

18 Jul kashmir

Kashmir: At least seven persons were killed and nearly 30 injured after the Border Security Force (BSF) fired at protesters outside their camp in Gool area of Jammu and Kashmir’s Ramban district on Thursday.

8675957 India Kashmir Protestors Killed.JPEG-0d393
According to locals, the protests erupted after the brother of a religious leader was allegedly roughed up by the BSF and Quran was desecrated on Wednesday night following an argument over offering late-night prayers during Ramzan.

Thousands of protesters surrounded the camp of 76 BSF Battalion around 5am and started throwing stones. Early reports said BSF personnel fired teargas shells to drive away the protesters, but opened fire after the camp came under attack.

The BSF did not immediately comment on the firing in Ramban, around 200 km from Jammu city. A high security alert was sounded for the entire state even as the injured were airlifted to Government Medical College, Jammu.

Senior police and paramilitary officials rushed to the spot. According to reports, locals took away four bodies.

In Srinagar, religious and separatist leaders called for a statewide shutdown in protest on Friday.

Tension had built up in Ramban, where the 76 BSF Battalion is deployed for the security of an under construction railway line, ominously since Wednesday night.  A local who did not want to be named said BSF personnel asked some people who had assembled in the local mosque to desist from late-night prayers.

“Following heated exchanges, the people moved away. The brother of the moulvi of the mosque, Abdul Latif, however, started offering prayers at an unused bridge nearby. There was an altercation between Abdul Latif and BSF personnel, who allegedly thrashed him.”

Preliminary reports from the government had a different version. Minister of state for home Sajjad Ahmed Kitchloo said a BSF patrolling party had intercepted a youngster roaming under suspicious circumstances. The youngster, identified as one Shabir, was questioned about his presence in the area and may have been beaten up by the security personnel, Kitchloo added.

He said disturbance was fuelled by statements from the moulvi of a local madrasa who denounced the action of the security personnel as having been sacrilegious.

Converts to Islam Growing in Number

17 Jul Zainab-Ismail-praying-at-a-mosque-Istanbul-Turkey

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.

Future of Islam in the United States

17 Jul People pray at at the Imam al-Khoei Foundation in New York

By Reihan Salam

One of the central questions surrounding the Boston Marathon bombings is whether they portend a larger wave of terror attacks by homegrown Islamic radicals. The culprits, two brothers of Chechen origin, one of whom was a naturalized U.S. citizen, had both lived in the country for more than a decade. While the older brother is reported to have been sullen, resentful and ill at ease in his adopted country, the younger brother was by all accounts a well-mannered kid, whose main vice was marijuana. Many fear that if these two men could turn viciously against the country that gave them refuge, the same might be true of at least some small number of their co-religionists.

I grew up in a Muslim household in New York City’s polyglot outer boroughs, and the Tsarnaev brothers strike me, in broad outline, as recognizable figures. The younger brother’s Twitter feed, which has attracted wide attention, reads like dispatches from the collective id of at least a quarter of my high school classmates. Also recognizable is the brothers’ lower-middle-class but gentrifying Cambridge milieu, which bears a strong resemblance to the neighborhood in which I was raised. So like many Americans of Muslim origin, I’ve been struggling to understand what exactly went wrong in their heads. How could a “douchebag” and a “stoner” and here I’m paraphrasing the words of the Tsarnaev brothers’ acquaintances and friends ‑ have committed one of the most gruesome terror attacks in modern American history? We might never have a good answer to this question, and certainly won’t have a good answer anytime soon. But what we can do is get a sense of what we do and don’t know about U.S. Muslims, and what it might mean for our future.

Although I can’t claim to be representative of U.S. Muslims as a whole, my experience leads me to believe that America’s Muslim community will grow more secular over time. My parents are originally from Bangladesh, a Muslim-majority country of 150 million that is currently in the throes of a violent clash over the role of Islam in public life. While Bangladesh has made impressive strides in a number of social indicators in recent decades, its poverty has sent large numbers of migrants to India, the Persian Gulf, Europe, Southeast Asia and, over the past two decades in particular, the United States.

The Bangladeshi community has largely escaped notice in the United States, as it remains relatively small; when I was growing up, it was smaller still. My first years were thus spent not in a Bangladeshi enclave but rather in a neighborhood with a large Hasidic Jewish population. We later moved to a neighborhood that was home to large numbers of African evangelicals, Tibetan Buddhists, Russian Jews and South Asian Muslims. Although hard numbers are difficult to come by, New York City’s Muslim population appeared to have grown considerably over the course of my childhood. Head scarves and other traditional modes of dress are common in heavily Muslim precincts of Brooklyn and Queens, particularly among more recent immigrants. Yet it remains to be seen if this kind of very visible religious devotion will persist among second-generation South Asian Muslims, particularly if religious belief continues to fade in the population as a whole. I certainly haven’t seen it among my peers, but I know only a narrow spectrum of second-generation South Asian Muslims. These people identify more as Asian Americans than as members of a global Islamic community.

The best survey evidence offers only a limited and inconclusive portrait of America’s Muslim community. The Pew Research Center estimates that there are 2.75 million Muslims living in the United States, and that 63 percent were born outside of the country. Of this foreign-born slice of the Muslim population, 45 percent arrived in the United States after 1990 and 70 percent are naturalized U.S. citizens. This population is incredibly diverse. Roughly 13 percent of all U.S. Muslims are native-born African-Americans. Some U.S. Muslims are highly educated professionals leading integrated lives, while others are less-skilled workers earning poverty-level incomes in ethnic enclaves.

According to Pew, 69 percent of U.S. Muslims claim that religion is an important part of their lives; 47 percent report attending worship services on a weekly basis. These numbers closely parallel the numbers for U.S. Christians. It is also true, however, that one-fifth of U.S. Muslims seldom or never attend worship services, a sure sign of secularization.

Another sign is that a large majority of U.S. Muslims appear to be comfortable with religious pluralism. Pew found that 56 percent of U.S. Muslims believe that many different religions can lead to eternal life while 35 percent believe that only Islam will get you there. Similarly, 57 percent of U.S. Muslims believe that there are many valid ways to interpret Islamic teachings, as opposed to 37 percent who maintain that only one interpretation is valid. Suffice it to say, the notion that many different religions are of equal value is not likely to be embraced by the religiously orthodox. Indeed, one possibility is that this more relaxed approach to the demands of religion represents a way station on the road to abandoning religion entirely.

Americans of all stripes are abandoning organized religion at a brisk pace. While less than a 10th of Americans born from 1928 to 1945 are religiously unaffiliated, the same is true of one-third of Americans born from 1990 to 1994, according to a Pew Research Center survey released late last year. This dynamic seems to apply to U.S. Muslims as much as it applies to U.S. Christians. Part of the reason could be that the hold of religious communities on our lives has grown more tenuous. Peter Skerry, a political scientist at Boston College who has been studying the cultural and political integration of U.S. Muslims and Arabs for more than a decade, has observed that only one-third of U.S. Muslims report going to a mosque for social or religious activities apart from regular services. It doesn’t appear that mosques have become the kernels of tight-knit communities, as the churches that were so central to immigrant life a century ago did.

Even if secularization does take hold, there is no reason to believe that religious extremism will fade away. Indeed, the opposite could come to pass, as a shrinking number of moderate Muslims leaves behind a more isolated core of orthodox Muslim believers who see themselves in conflict with an increasingly secular America. Even as the vast majority of U.S. Muslims integrate into U.S. cultural, political and economic institutions, some small minority might continue to find in Islam a convenient excuse for anti-American rhetoric and action. The Tsarnaev brothers, after all, didn’t live in a hotbed of Islamic radicalism; they lived in Inman Square, a neighborhood that is best known for its large Portuguese-speaking population. Perhaps the brothers would have been less likely to embrace extremism had they been rooted in a stronger Muslim religious community, complete with stronger role models. Or perhaps we need to accept the fact that some irreducible number of people will commit vile, despicable crimes no matter what we as a society do to prevent them.

Our best hope is that just as the terrorist violence committed by left-wing radicals in the 1960s and 1970s eventually burned out, Islamic radicalism will soon be an unhappy memory. But we’d be foolish to dismiss the darker possibility that a tiny subgroup of Muslim fanatics will continue to pose a threat for many decades to come.

AL-GHAZALI AS AN ISLAMIC REFORMER

17 Jul Sufism:  Peace, Love, and Poetry in the Islamic world

An Evaluative Study of the Attempts of the Imam Abu H?amid
al-Ghazali at Islamic Reform

Notwithstanding the enduring and rich “legacy of is?lah? (Islamic reform),” the study of
it is relatively scarce and remarkably limited to the modern times. The present study attempts to shed some light on this legacy by evaluating the contribution of an
outstanding pre-modern Muslim scholar, al-Ghazali. Surprisingly, some studies create
an absolutely positive picture of him, while others portray him in an extremely negative light. Thus, this study raises the question of whether it is justifiable to classify him as a mus?lih? (Islamic reformer).

In light of the analysis of the concept “is?lah?” and the complexity of al-Ghazali’s time, the study demonstrates his lifeexperience and erifies that he devoted himself to general is?lah?at a late period of his life, after succeeding in his self-is?lah?. Further, the study assesses his is?lah?i teachings in general, namely those formulated in the Ih?ya’, and evaluates the claimed effects of his attempts at is?lah?. The study also highlights a number of strengths and weaknesses of al-Ghazali’s efforts and critically discusses some of the criticism directed at him.

By weighing up the points for and against al-Ghazali, this study concludes by
asserting that classifying him as a muslih? appears to be fairly justified.

http://www.yanabi.com/uploads/84fd6779b889423c29487ef7000043f8.pdf

http://www.ghazali.org/

CONTEMPORARY RADICAL ISLAM AS A CONSEQUENCE OF TRADITIONAL LEGACIES AND GLOBALIZATION

17 Jul download (1)

The most recent wave of Islamic revivalism began in the second half of the twentieth century as a nonviolent movement of expressing ideological differences and discontent with the political, economic, and social condition among Muslims and inspired a reformation of the Muslim identity. Today, contemporary radical Islam, with militancy and

terrorist tactics as its cornerstone, has all but overshadowed the call for a nonviolent struggle and has permeated several internal conflicts across the globe.

The Muslim separatist movement in the southern Philippines is one such conflict. Following decades of discontent and sporadic violence, armed conflict broke out in late 1972 when the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) launched coordinated attacks against the government. Following a failed peace agreement in 1976, divisions began to form within the MNLF and in 1984 the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) was established. The MILF, as the name indicates, placed more emphasis on Islam. In 1991, the radical Abu Sayyaf group (ASG) broke off from the MNLF claiming as its main purpose the establishment of an Islamic state. By the mid-1990s, what had originated as a nationalistic struggle advocating the concept of the “Moro” identity, had evolved and produced two increasingly radical
groups.

After conducting a diachronic comparative analysis, this thesis concludes contemporary radical Islam in the southern Philippines is a fusion of both traditionalism and globalization. Furthermore, the causal factors evolved with respect to each group’s ideology, objectives, and tactics. Whereas the MILF was more representative of the legacy of traditional Islam, the ASG was much more a product of globalization. Read Full Article  

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