Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Islam in Spain

From Dr. May Dakhiel

Watch and thank who ever you believe in that we came, otherwise you'll be still living in the dark ages! It's a BBC Documentary and not Fox news or National Inquirer! I've put them in the order they appear.

I wish you can understand German then this would act as the real blow to your ignorance!

The Germans are objective and are willing to admit where knowledge came from and who stole knowledge from whom! It was the Muslims who transmitted knowledge from the Greeks, India, Persia, China documented it, giving credit to the original inventors and writers. Commented on each point, then developed the acquired knowledge and shared it with the West. But what did the West do? They took that knowledge, erased the original names and translated the works and took the credit for it! like or not it happened. Accept it or not, it happened. So deal with it.

In the following work you can get -"schaften muslimischer Forscher aus dem Mittelalter"

Muslim ties researchers from the Middle Ages below:

Wissenschaft und Technik im Islam

Science and Technology in Islam (5 Bände; ISBN 3-8298-0072-X) (5 volumes, ISBN 3-8298 to 0072-X) von Fuat Sezgin

by Fuat Sezgin 2003 Institut für Geschichte der Arabisch-Islamischen Wissenschaften

Institute for the History of Arabic-Islamic Science an der Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität

at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt am

Main Frankfurt (Kann in guten Buchhandlungen bestellt werden.)

(Can be ordered from bookstores )

Nützliche Links zum Thema:

Useful links:

Institut für Geschichte der Arabisch-Islamischen Wissenschaften (Uni Frankfurt) »The Institute for the History of Arabic-Islamic Studies (University of Frankfurt) Was die moderne Zivilisation dem Islam schuldet "What the modern civilization owes to Islam Blütezeit des Islams (Wikipedia) "Golden age of Islam (Wikipedia)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Indian Muslims; Amity Road

BOOK REVIEW - A road to Amity by Dr. Rafiq Zakaria

Thanks to Rafiq Zakaria for writing this book and thanks to Sreeram Chaulia for encapsulating the essence in his review so well. These are the very words I have written and talked about in bits and pieces all my life. I hope this book gets wide circulation and discussed through out India.

I strongly believe that justice, [also balance or equilibrium] is at the core of a secure, peaceful and a prosperous nation. The Bill Gates Model, where one's success translates to the success of all can be seriously looked at. The traditional words like Charity and Alms must be dropped from daily usage as they bond the disadvantaged to the dependency; instead we need to start talking about investment in human development. Bringing every one up on to a level playing field and let them compete from that point forward. It is investing in the sum total of each human being into a productive and contributing citizen to benefit her/him and that which benefits to the nation as a whole.


It would be like GDP of a nation, a sum total of goods and services produced in a nation. We can call is GHD - Gross human development which would factor in the sum total of all contributions towards the security and peace of the society, they very ingredient that ensures and sustains the economic prosperity of a nation.

This would include every effort to mitigate conflicts and seamlessly convert them into Goodwill to our words and actions would focus on getting along rather than harp on conflicts; it would be an institutional change. Just as the Japanese find it difficult to sit and do nothing, we would become a society where we would relentlessly work on building goodwill and would not sit quite until we resolve societal conflicts – without blaming and without score keeping, a requirement of Good will building.

I do hope that book also factor in the positive efforts made by Muslims in India today for a better India. The mainstream media can stoke this positive aspect of Indians into enhancing the Gross human development.

Jai Hind

Mike Ghouse is a Speaker, Thinker, Writer and a Moderator. He is a frequent guest on talk radio and local television network discussing Pluralism, politics, Islam, Religion, Terrorism, India and civic issues. He is the founder of the World Muslim Congress, a group committed to building bridges and nurturing a world of co-existence. He also heads the foundation for pluralism, an organization committed to studying religious pluralism and pluralistic governance. His personal website is and his writings are on the above websites as well as several of the ancillary Blogs listed on the sites.
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The road to amity

Indian Muslims: Where Have They Gone Wrong? by Rafiq Zakaria

Reviewed by Sreeram Chaulia

Few have steadfastly walked the thankless road to Hindu-Muslim harmony like Dr Rafiq Zakaria, one of India's most ardent liberal thinkers. The theme of Zakaria's 17th book is the nefarious role played by Muslim political leaders in impeding communal harmony before and after Indian independence.

M J Akbar, another rare specimen from the community of the enlightened, writes in the foreword that the flaw in Indian Muslim politics after 1857 was the minority complex based on the specious number game, the belief that Muslims, being only a quarter of the population, would always be subservient to Hindus. "Where have Indian Muslims gone wrong? Whenever they have forgotten their Indian roots."

Zakaria takes the bull by the horns by dilating on how the present generation of Indian Muslims is suffering the consequences of erroneous steps taken by its leadership of yore and now. In the 1940s, Muslim elites "gave Muhammad Ali Jinnah all the support he needed" for partition of the South Asian subcontinent. After 1947, "they resorted to the same manner of confrontation with the dominant Hindus, widened the divide and intensified the hatred" (p xxviii). Ordinary Muslims were indoctrinated with a "ghetto mentality" and divorced from the national mainstream owing to "obstinate adherence to outmoded traditions" and fear of the ulama (clerical class).

Despite differences in the character of Islam and Hinduism, there was no move for partition in medieval times. Muslim rulers who persecuted Hindu subjects made no effort to divide territories on communal lines. Common Muslims and Hindus had largely cordial relations, celebrating each other's festivals. Despite conflicts between ruling classes of the two communities, Indo-Saracenic art, music, literature and architecture flourished. Muslim poets, writers and philosophers "went into ecstasy over the secrets of human emancipation in the Bhagavad Gita" (p 38). Muslim musicians composed raagas in praise of the Hindu deities Krishna and Shiva. Urdu literature, from Amir Khusrau to Hasrat Mohani, bristled with respect for Hindu saints and spiritual precursors.

The real threat to India's unity came from Jinnah's "aggressive separatist stand". His pernicious "two-nation theory" poisoned communal ties as never before. His campaign to frighten Muslims that Hindus would subjugate them to "abject slavery" or "complete annihilation" inflamed misunderstanding and passions. Thousands of Indian Muslims combated the communal virus. Badruddin Tyabjee, Rehmatulla Sayani, Shibli Nomani, M A Ansari, Hakim Ajmal Khan, Maulana Azad, Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Hussain Ahmad Madni, Rafi Ahmad Kidwai, Syed Abdullah Barelvi, Humayun Kabir et al risked the ire of their co-religionists to uphold oneness of all faiths. However, the British "kept Jinnah in the forefront in any negotiation and did not allow him to be isolated" (p 100). Lord Mountbatten, the last viceroy of British India, convinced Congress leaders that "the only way to get rid of Jinnah was a divided India. Any form of a united India would start a civil war" (p 115).

In the aftermath of partition, prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru rushed to the rescue of innocent Muslim victims. His "anti-communalism was not one-sided. He fought Muslim communalism no less valiantly" (p 125). He opposed separate electorates and reservation of seats for minorities. His daughter, Indira Gandhi, was ever concerned about the psychosis through which Indian Muslims were passing. In her opinion, "Unless Muslims are made to feel that they are as much an integral part of India as Hindus, their attachment to secularism would remain hypocritical" (p 199).

The creation of Pakistan fueled Hindu-Muslim bitterness instead of easing it. Indian Muslims were more besieged than before 1947. Pakistan is "a constant threat to their safety and security in India". Persecuted Bengali Muslims "had to be eventually rescued by Indian armed forces, consisting mostly of Hindus". Average Muslims in Pakistan and Bangladesh still "groan under the iron heels of feudal cliques backed by the army" (p 162).

Zakaria strongly asserts that any solution of the Kashmir dispute on the lines desired by Pakistan will reopen the floodgates of vehement communalism. "The best way of silencing the Pakistanis and preserving Kashmir's integration with India is to strengthen the link between Kashmiri Muslims and Indian Muslims" (p 405). Terrorism perpetrated in the name of jihad in Indian Kashmir is a major cause of Hindu-Muslim hostility. Zakaria cites Imam Ghazali, popular as the "Rejuvenator of Islam": "If Muslims did not destroy terrorism, terrorism would destroy them" (p 203). To gloat over acts of terrorism and hold jashn (celebrations) depicts "utter crassness and lunacy".

The economic condition of Indian Muslims is worse than that of the Scheduled Castes and Tribes. Muslims have as much to blame as the government for their own backwardness in education. They fail to capitalize on common facilities for educational uplift. Purdah (veiling women) and fear of coeducation deter female children's progress in the secular world. Zakaria urges Indian Muslims to cooperate with Hindus through intensive contact on a daily basis. The former have "their place only in India and they have to get emotionally involved in her affairs, trends, ethos, conventions and traditions" (p 450).

Hatred can be overcome only by love. Since a generalized scare exists among Hindus that Muslims will demographically overtake them, Zakaria calls upon Muslims to eschew polygamy and adopt family planning vigorously. Triple talaaq (arbitrary divorce) and the hajj subsidy have to be abolished. The ostrich-like behavior of such leaders as Syed Shahabuddin and Imam Bukhari harms Muslims by keeping communal rancor alive. Hindus in turn have to live with 150 million Muslims, who cannot be wished away. Threats from the champions of Hindutva to eliminate Muslims have to cease.

Highlighting the more liberal facets of the lives of historical figures can clean mental cobwebs. Shivaji, the Maratha warrior king, had one-third Muslim soldiers in his army. The supreme commander of his navy was a Muslim. The first thing Shivaji did after a conquest was to promulgate protection of mosques and Muslim tombs. "He was more liberal and tolerant than the best of European potentates" (p 315). Swami Vivekananda, the apostle of humanism, saw the real unity of India in Hindu-Muslim goodwill in the villages and averred, "A junction of the two great systems - Vedanta brain and Islam body - is the only hope" (p 327).

The politics of hate is eating into the vitals of India, last demonstrated in the communal horrors of Gujarat. Zakaria takes the electronic media to task for its deep-rooted neglect of progressive Muslim viewpoints. It gives undue publicity to mullahs and fanatics. "If a Muslim demonstrates backwardness, it is news. If he exhibits progressiveness, it is not news" (p 356). The most evident barriers against improvement of Hindu-Muslim relations are riots. Governments and political parties treat them as law-and-order problems, without tying them to economic problems of livelihood among all religious communities.

Indian Muslims live in depressed conditions as hewers of wood and drawers of water, lacking a cogent middle class. Zakaria asks them to harness inner strengths and be self-reliant. "Give up asking for doles ... never seek patronage" (p 427). The mindset of the community has to be transformed by "disarming terrorists and disowning bigotry" (p 464). Indian Muslim perception warrants sea changes. Religious prejudices and narrowness of spirit have to be won over by compassion of the likes of the greatest Sufi, Jalaluddin Rumi:

Then listen! I am lover of love
My love transcends all creeds

Suffused with Urdu, Persian and Hindi poetry, Zakaria's erudite publication will rate as yet another milestone in the peregrinations of the Indian Muslim caravan.

Indian Muslims: Where Have They Gone Wrong? by Rafiq Zakaria. Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mumbai, October 2004. ISBN: 81-7276-352-2. Price: US$11; 565 pages.

Pluralism and Volunteerism

I am pleased to share the following article on Pluralism from Jakarta, Indonesia. To be religious is to be a pluralist, one who consistently works on mitigating conflicts and nurturing good will. If we can learn to accept and respect the God given uniqueness of each one of the 7 billion of us, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge.

Mike Ghouse

Pluralism is not a solution; think altruism, volunteerism

Anand Krishna, Jakarta

"Pluralism is a ground fact here, so we have to accept it," says a politician whose party has a set of religious dogmas and doctrines as its guiding principles.

"Pluralism is against our beliefs," says a clergyman who represents the very same religious beliefs, dogmas and doctrines.

The politician may sound more tolerant and moderate than the clergyman, but actually both are saying the same thing. The politician does not appreciate pluralism, he only accepts it -- in his words he "respects" it -- because it is a fact here. This country is a pluralist country. This nation is pluralist, so he has to accept it.

Tolerance is never effortless. Tolerance can never be genuine and sincere. We cannot tolerate someone or something without a reason, whatever the reason is. A politician must tolerate, accept or honor pluralism because he has something to gain from it. He does not do so without any reason. He has his political agenda to take care of. He does so to ensure a larger constituency, more votes and of course more power.

A clergyman rejects pluralism outright because of the very same reasons in different terms. His constituency and votes are the "number" of people adhering to his interpretation of religious dogmas and doctrines. His power is the "blind faith" of such people in him. He cannot risk the possibility of losing them by accepting pluralism. He must stick to the principle, "However good others are, I am the best".

Both acceptance and rejection of pluralism actually mean one and the same thing. Neither is better than the other. As such, pluralism itself loses its value, importance and usefulness. Pluralism is not beneficial. In fact, it is harmful. For the very word "plural" is against the word "singular" -- therefore the conflict between the two cannot be avoided.

It is high time that we stop looking for comfort and solution in pluralism. We have been fighting each other because of pluralism. Let us find comfort and solution in something else, in something with a higher value than pluralism. Let us go beyond both, the singular and the plural.

Singular represents the number one and plural represents the number two or more. Now, numbers are mathematics. And mathematics is part of our left brain hemisphere. This is the part of our brain which is concerned with logic, which calculates profits and losses. Both the politician and the clergy are left brain people. They are logicians. They are concerned with their profits and losses. Hence, both have failed in delivering something of a higher value to this country.

Both the politician and the clergyman may stand on the roadside with sacks of rice or money to distribute to the less privileged ones, but don't you get deluded by them. They are not being charitable. The politician does so to win the election. The clergyman does the same to ensure a plot in heaven. Both have their personal interests in view.

What we need today, as recently pointed out by United Nations Secretary-General Ban ki Moon, is the spirit of volunteerism and altruism. We need people who can work without any personal motive and interest. We need people who can serve the society without thinking of their personal gain.

We need people who do not think in terms of singularism (I have just coined the word) and pluralism -- but in terms of what we Indonesians call kebhinekaan and keberagaman. It is very difficult to explain the two near synonyms in English. Both imply a "conscious, genuine and sincere appreciation, and not mere tolerance, toward the differences".

The founding fathers of the United States very well understood this. John Leland, a Baptist evangelist who worked with Jefferson and Madison to secure religious freedom in Virginia, said: "Let every man speak freely without fear, maintain the principle that he believes, worship according to his own faith, either one God, three Gods, no God, or twenty Gods; and let government protect him in doing so."

The first principle of our nation's ideology Pancasila speaks of ketuhanan or religiousness as the highest value. It does not define the word further, for one's belief is a personal matter, and cannot be defined by another. Our founding fathers were really genius.

Back to the United States, the agnostic Robert Ingersoll said in 1876 the nation was a place where religion had to make its own way; there would be no preferential treatment: "Every church has exactly the same rights, and no more; every religion has the same rights, and no more."

Once, we believed in the very same principles -- and we became a great nation. With all the domestic problems, our Sukarno was a name to reckon with. It was with a deep sense of pride that we would introduce ourselves overseas as a citizen of Sukarno's Indonesia. Alas, that sense of pride is now gone.

Let us think, and think hard what made Sukarno great. It was his openness, his genuine appreciation toward the differences, his firm belief in kebhinekaan and keberagaman. Politically and economically, he may be judged incorrect by many. But humanly he was 100 percent correct. Today, we still remember him for his humanity. History shall forget his mistakes in all other fields, but shall always remember his right attitude toward differences.

Indonesia is not divided between the Muslims and non-Muslims; Indonesia is not divided between the so-called believers and non-believers or infidels; Indonesia is not divided between the converts and non-converts. Indonesia, as Sukarno rightly said, "belonged" equally and alike to one and all. All for one, and one for all.

This broad view, this concept and philosophy of life, is currently being challenged by our own people -- by those who were educated overseas where such a concept is taboo. These people are everywhere, including but not limited to our Cabinet, our legislative body, our political parties and the streets. Some of them claim to be militant but nonviolent, others endorse violence. They conceal their relationship with each other, but actually they have the same vision, mission, agenda and political ambition.

Many of the issues surrounding pluralism, such as the Ahmadiyah and pornography issues, are "created" to deflect the attention of the general public from the real issues of increasing poverty, hunger, dwindling economy and the sale of our assets to large foreign corporations.

Let us unite to face the actual issues. Let us put an end to the conflict between the singular and the plural, let us go back to our own kebhinekaan and with that spirit save this nation from further degradation.

The writer is a spiritual activist. His websites are,,

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Protection for reformist Muslims

Reformist Muslims need legal protection from blasphemy accusations

Thanks to the University Campuses in the United States and Canada in general, and the Canadian Media in particular for taking the lead in giving space for opposing opinions. The resolution by Canada protecting religion from "defamation" is welcome news. The American Media has a lot more to learn, moving from propaganda to news coverage, and being honest in giving equal caliber an equal time. Sadly, American media is more of a business than a true media.

The concerns of Tarek Fatah and Farzana Hassan about blasphemy accusations are real, however, they will not materialize in the United States and Canada, it speaks well of our laws that protect our freedom.

Thank God, they are the same laws that prevent Pat Robertson, Tom Crendo and their ilk from becoming terrorists; either scheming to bomb or assassinate leaders of other nations.

Democratic form of Governance is preferred by Muslims indeed that is how the Muslim history took roots; the first four political leaders called Caliphs were elected through consensus after campaigning and challenging. The Prophet did not pass the political mantle to his legitimate heirs to prevent a monarchial or a hereditary form of governance. There was a clear separation of church and the state, as the faith was complete and no clergy was assigned to carry on the religious business, it was up to the individual to follow the only thing prophet left; The Qur’aan. Today, over 2/3rds of Muslims live in democracies, and the rest would opt for democracy, if they have their freedom.

Though the Propaganda would have you believe that Muslims want the Caliphate, but ask the Muslims or do an in-depth survey, you will be surprised that only a very small percentage of Muslims may want to live in strict religious system, perhaps the same percentage as the Neocons wanting a Christian form of Governance. However, if you probe further and give the option between a Just and a religious government, they will go for the Just governance, as that is what Islamic government means to the Muslims. I hope the University of Pittsburgh takes on this task.

The Muslims in the United States and Canada are like any other community living and breathing the freedom sustained in these two great nations. In the 1400 years of Muslim history, Muslims have never seriously and publicly challenged the Sharia Laws, the Hadiths (verbal traditions ascribed to the Prophet) any where in the world as they have done here in the North American continent. In the last five years that I have been managing a few forums, I have observed remarkable rational attitudes among Muslims who are not only from our continent but from all over the world. The dogma is constantly challenged and new consensus is silently emerging.

In a few years Muslim will take on the responsibility of peace makers. They will constantly seek to mitigate conflicts and nurture goodwill for peaceful co-existence. God wants us to live in peace and harmony with his creation; life and mater. Indeed, that is the purpose of religion, any religion.

Mike Ghouse is a Speaker, Thinker, Writer and a Moderator. He is a frequent guest on talk radio and local television network discussing Pluralism, politics, Islam, Religion, Terrorism, India and civic issues. He is the founder of the World Muslim Congress, a group committed to building bridges and nurturing a world of co-existence. He also heads the foundation for pluralism, an organization committed to studying religious pluralism and pluralistic governance. His personal website is and his writings are on the above websites as well as several of the ancillary Blogs listed on the sites.


Reformist Muslims need legal protection from blasphemy accusations

Farzana Hassan [president, Muslim Canadian Congress] and Tarek Fatah [founder, Muslim Canadian Congress]: "How long will it take the leadership of North America's traditional Muslim leadership to embrace the First amendment of the United Sates constitution and the doctrine of the separation of religion and state? Will the concept of freedom of expression survive ever-new challenges from the defenders of medieval traditions that bar any discussion or critique of religion?

These are questions bubbling below the surface right now, but eventually are bound to erupt into the open. Moreover, when they do, chances of a rise in overt racist backlash against Muslims of all shades and opinions is a likely outcome. Certainly, the events of the past few months provide ample evidence for this trend, with two human rights complaints making newspaper headlines and leading to fierce debates about the limits of free speech and what might constitute hate literature.

The first involved a human rights complaint against Ezra Levant, the editor of the defunct [Canadian magazine the] Western Standard, while the second, more recent one, was filed against Macleans magazine, by four Osgoode law students on behalf of the Canadian Islamic Congress. Needless to say, these complaints are justifiably interpreted as assaults on freedom of speech and conscience by Canadians both Muslim and non-Muslim, leading many to question the mandate of these commissions as well as the validity or otherwise of these human rights complaints.

Historically, orthodoxy has demanded abject compliance to the closed belief systems it guards. Therefore, the freedom to question, challenge, and evaluate dogma remains an elusive ideal for those who practice it, often at great risk to their lives and persons. Though in the West, "heresy" came to be accepted as valid religious expression in the seventeen hundreds in keeping with the first amendment; Muslim societies continue to be dogged by obscurantism and a stubborn resistance to modernity. Many a time, such intransigence results in lawsuits, human rights complaints and conspiracy theories against individuals perceived as threats to the status quo.

As an example, the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) recently approved a resolution protecting religion from "defamation". Once again, the drivers of this move were Islamist organizations who refuse to tolerate the slightest dissent over religious matters. What these tyrants and monarchs from the Arab world fail to realize or choose to pretend otherwise is the fact that critics of Islamist ideologies are not opposing Islam as a religion, but the use of Islam as a political ideology that hides behind religion for protection, while seeking political ascendancy.

For Muslims who believe in challenging religious dogma, who actively pursue the goal of bringing about reform in Muslim societies and who advocate the separation of religion and state, this becomes a particularly threatening scenario as charges of blasphemy and apostasy often occasion calls for the execution of "apostates" and "heretics". A Turkish man recently convicted of "ridiculing god" faces the death penalty in a Saudi prison while secular and moderate Muslims living in the West are frequently the targets of death threats or bullying tactics to silence them one way or another.

The law in Canada and the United States must look into formulating legal measures that protect reformists within various faith traditions. In particular, given the serious consequences that secular and reformist Muslims face in their efforts to challenge orthodox positions, charges of apostasy and blasphemy leveled against them by fundamentalists should be criminalized as legal safeguards against such bullying and silencing tactics. The United States and Canada must look into introducing legislation that will protect such individuals from these accusations often laden with threats to their lives and security.

As long as Islamists around the world use Islam as a political ideology in the footsteps of such jihadi ideologues as Hassan Al-Banna, Syed Qutb, Abul Ala Maudoodi and Ayatollah Khomeini, their Muslim, and non-Muslim opponents will have the right to challenge this ideology with full vigour. Hiding behind the skirts of religion to avoid being critiqued, these fascist cults demonstrate not just cowardice, but a cunningness that is fooling large segments of the liberal-left intelligentsia in the West, which will be among the first to suffer if and when Islamists use liberal democracy to extinguish its light."

Opinions expressed in JURIST's Hotline are the sole responsibility of their authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of JURIST's editors, staff, or the University of Pittsburgh.

Jew & A Muslim on Poverty

Relatively Courageous Rabbi, Semi-Brave Muslim Congressman Team Up to Save the World.
Don’t get me wrong—I admire both these guys. An ounce of courage is better than none.
by Kevin Barrett

Michael Lerner may be the bravest Rabbi in America...which isn’t saying much. Rabbi Lerner, among all American rabbis, has looked at the contradictions in the official story of 9/11 and written that he “wouldn’t be surprised” if it were a false-flag conspiracy. But that’s as far as he’ll go.

Keith Ellison is definitely the bravest Muslim in Congress...which also isn’t saying much, because he’s the only Muslim in Congress (at least until I get elected). Last year Rep. Ellison said that 9/11 reminded him of the Reichstag fire. After listening to the outraged howling from Fox News, he backed down and whimpered some abject apologies.

Don’t get me wrong—I admire both these guys. An ounce of courage is better than none.

While they’re only semi-brave, Rabbi Lerner and Rep. Ellison are totally visionary. The unlikely pair have just teamed up on a plan to save the world. They’re calling it the Global Marshall Plan: “Under the Global Marshall Plan, the United States would lead the other G-8 nations in dedicating an amount equivalent to 1-2% of each country's gross domestic product each year for the next twenty years to eliminating poverty once and for all and to healing the environmental crisis.”

The Marshall Plan, for you non-history-majors, was America’s wise and generous (and slightly self-serving) effort that rebuilt a ravaged Europe after World War II. It is credited with laying the basis for enduring peace and prosperity in Europe.

Could the rich countries, by donating just 1-2% of their GNP per year, lay the basis for peace and prosperity around the world? Rabbi Lerner and Rep. Ellison think so. Inspired by Rabbi Lerner’s vision, Congressman Keith Ellison recently introduced House Resolution 1078 to support the Global Marshall Plan...and the media completely ignored this amazing story.

It isn’t just Jewish and Muslim leaders behind this attempt to save the world. Developed by a rabbi and introduced by the first Muslim in Congress, the Global Marshall Plan is backed by an African American Protestant Congressman from Missouri, Emmanuel Cleaver, and a white male Catholic Congressman from Virginia, James Moran.

The powers that be seem to think we need to be permanently at war with something: First fascism, then communism, and now “terrorism.” If they really feel the need to organize society around some kind of hugely expensive “war,” why not fight a worldwide “war” against poverty and hunger and homelessness and disease and environmental damage?

Maybe the problem with the Global Marshall plan isn’t too much idealism, but too much common sense. The powers that be, including the controlled corporate media, just can’t deal with sanity.

Personally, I think that if the media revealed the truth about 9/11 to a shocked public, it would do wonders for visionary proposals like this one. That’s why I wish Rabbi Lerner and Keith Ellison were brave enough to go all-out for 9/11 truth.

Rabbi Lerner did make a great point in his essay “What Next: Will It Make A Difference If We End Up Exposing 9/11 As A Fraud?”: In that essay, published in 9/11 and American Empire v.2: Christians, Jews and Muslims Speak Out, Lerner wrote: “In fact, the kind of psychic trauma that would happen were charges of intentional involvement in 9/11 by the president, the vice-president, and other high office holders ever proved in a court of law would almost certainly open up political space for a serious discussion of the kinds of radical changes I’m suggesting...”

The 9/11 truth movement, while working to open up that political space, would do well to consider supporting the Global Marshall Plan, which could go a long way toward preventing future wars and the false-flag attacks that launch them.

For a page of FAQs and other information on the Global Marshall Plan, go to

Dr. Kevin Barrett, coordinator of the Muslim-Christian-Jewish Alliance for 9/11 Truth, has taught English, French, Arabic, American Civilization, Humanities, African Literature, Folklore, and Islam at colleges and universities in the San Francisco Bay area, Paris, and Madison, Wisconsin. He grew up in a family of lapsed Unitarians (which is about as lapsed as it gets) and reverted to Islam in 1993, a move that gradually impressed upon him the gravity of the moral choices we make in this life. Barrett's dissertation is on Islam and Moroccan legend. He is also the author and illustrator of the cult classic A Guide to Mysterious San Francisco, published under the pseudonym of "Dr. Weirde." (He begs Allah's forgiveness for that slightly twisted book.) Barrett became a 9/11 truth activist in 2004 after reading David Griffin's The New Pearl Harbor and conducting follow-up research that convinced him Griffin had accurately summarized evidence indicating 9/11 was an inside job. In the summer of 2004 he founded 9/11 Truth Squad, a local group based in Madison, Wisconsin. In July, he rashly rejected a plum post-doc at the University of California because it was funded by the 9/11-disinformation-sponsoring CIA-linked Ford Foundation. In the summer of 2006, Republican state legislators and Fox newscasters demanded that Barrett be fired from his job teaching an introductory Islam class at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, but the University refused to buckle, and Barrett got high marks from his students. Barrett has led several 9/11 Truth Teach-Ins at the University of Wisconsin, including 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Truth Marathon on the third and fourth anniversaries of the attacks. He has appeared in several documentary films, lectures widely on 9/11 and hosts three radio programs on three different patriot networks:

Media coverage of Islam

Is Coverage of Arabs, Islam Good?
Western Media Under Scrutiny
Posted April 26, 2008 12:22 PM (EST)
Magda Abu-Fadil

Read More: Al Arabiya, Al Jazeera, Arab American Institute, Arab Human Development Reports, Bbc, Cbs, Council On American-Islamic Relations, Detroit Free Press, Disney, Helen Thomas, International Press Institute, Media Education Foundation, New York Times, Olumbia Journalism Review, Poynter Institute, Reuters, The Associated Press, The Guardian, The Seattle Times, The Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, Women & Media In The Middle East, Breaking Media News

The Bush administration has launched a new front in the war on terrorism, this time targeting language, according to an Associated Press report.

It said federal agencies, including the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security and the National Counter Terrorism Center, are telling their people not to describe Islamic extremists as "jihadists" or "mujahedeen."

Rather, it said terms such as "Islamo-fascism" are out since they "may actually boost support for radicals among Arab and Muslim audiences by giving them a veneer of religious credibility or by causing offense to moderates."

It explained that while Americans may understand "jihad" to mean "holy war," it is in fact a broader Islamic concept of the struggle to do good, says the guidance prepared for diplomats and other officials tasked with explaining the war on terror to the public.

It's a practice to which those of us who worked for international news agencies had to adhere -- I did in a previous incarnation -- notably since our careful choice of words legitimized our impartiality and enabled us to continue covering what may have been difficult or unpleasant news.

This brings to mind a speech and Power Point presentation I delivered at the International Press Institute's World Congress in Nairobi, Kenya in May 2005. Much of what I said three years ago is not only still valid, but has come back to haunt us.

Since 9/11, 2001, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and terror-related events worldwide, Western media have generally failed to provide fair and balanced reporting of Islam, the Arabs and have often mixed up the two.

The output has often been negative portrayals, sensationalism, jingoism and misperceptions about the fastest growing religion in the world.

There have been countless assumptions that Arabs are Muslims, and vice versa, not taking into account that the largest Muslim country is Indonesia, which is not Arab. Or that Christianity didn't begin in the Midwest or Deep South of the United States, but in the Middle East.

How can journalists be so ignorant, callous and irresponsible about such geographic and historical facts?

Laziness, deadlines, budgets and ill intent, sometimes all rolled into one.

If you were an Arab or a Muslim in America on and after 9/11, you would have felt outrage, shock and fear. You would also have become a suspect, especially if your first name were Osama or Jihad (a much misunderstood term).

Mosques were attacked, people wearing veils or turbans were assaulted and even an Indian Sikh mistaken for a Muslim was killed. That closely followed President George W. Bush's remarks about the "crusade" against terror, something that leaves a bad aftertaste in Arab and Muslim mouths.

Thanks to stereotypes, already long established by Hollywood movies and TV programs for young and old, we've had our share of belly dancers, greedy oil billionaires and bombers, Ali Booboo the desert rat, rag heads, Ay-rabs, camel jockeys, etc. The Walt Disney movie Aladdin's opening lyrics were:

"I come from a land, from a faraway place, where the caravan camels roam.
Where they cut off your ear if they don't like your face. It's barbaric, but hey, it's home."

Thank you very much. But where I live, SUVs, BMWs and Mercedeses roam, not camels, we don't cut off ears and my residence is a modern apartment with all the latest amenities.

I can just imagine the distorted image planted in many people's minds after seeing and listening to such a "cute" cartoon film.

What also worries me is the editorializing, pseudo-expert pontificating by TV "talking heads" and so-called reporting by journalists covering a region about which they may know very little and don't have the time or desire to learn about.

Foreign correspondents covering Arab and/or Muslim countries often lack knowledge on issues they report. But perhaps equally at fault are Arabs and Muslims who have failed to provide adequate, correct and reliable information to promote their cause.

Media Agenda?
What is the media agenda? Why do some stories get covered and others covered up?

On May 1, 2005 The Times of London published confidential minutes of a July 23, 2002 meeting between British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his cabinet members showing that Blair and U.S. President George W. Bush secretly agreed to wage war on Iraq for "regime change" nearly a year before their invasion of the country.

British and U.S. officials insisted for months after that they had no plans to invade. Why weren't U.S. media more probing all along?

The Washington Post reported in April 2003 that the Pentagon had no plans to count civilian casualties in Iraq. Did U.S. media react negatively? No. Why not?

Had dismembered Iraqi civilians been printed on playing cards like the Iraqi leadership's "Most Wanted List" that was all the rage at the start of the war, would they have received more attention?

Don't we all know the number of victims from the horrible terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field where one of the planes crashed on that fateful day? Are the lives of innocent civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine worth less?

Did reporters ask questions of officials like: "Why did the U.S. edit the 12,000-page Iraqi weapons report to the U.N. Security Council removing all names of U.S. firms that had previously sold weapons materials to Iraq in the past?"

While media in the Muslim and Arab worlds have opposed the war in Iraq and in other Muslim countries, their reports and editorial lines can hardly be viewed as monolithic. It is important to understand the nuanced handling of news coming from these sources.

Because of their reticence, or outright criticism of the Iraq war, channels like Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya came under attack by U.S. officials and their neoconservative supporters. The U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority and the subsequent Iraqi Governing Council had temporarily shut down Al Jazeera's bureau as punishment.

Al Jazeera has accused U.S. forces of deliberately targeting its bureaus in Kabul and Baghdad, and killing its Baghdad-based correspondent, for bringing the plight of the Iraqi people to the attention of the Arab and Muslim worlds, which Washington said was instigation to violence and terrorism.

Journalists have faced untold dangers in covering wars and disasters but the numbers have jumped dramatically since the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, with both Western and Arab/Muslim correspondents, cameramen and women being targeted by kidnappers, assassins' bullets and tank shells. The last three years have been the most deadly, according to various media-related organizations.

Reuters Gulf bureau chief Samia Nakhoul was lucky to have survived with serious head and body wounds from the U.S. Army tank assault on the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad, that targeted alleged snipers on the rooftop - something all hotel residents denied. Her cameraman died. Was her reporting an irritant?

In January 2004, author David Miller wrote in The Guardian that "information dominance" came of age during the war in Iraq, adding that the U.S. government's strategy was integrating propaganda and news media into the military command structure more fundamentally than ever before.

"Embedding" journalists with U.S. and British troops may have provided striking images, but they were short on context. "Unilateral" correspondents often got meatier stories.

The high-tech media briefing center set up by the Pentagon's Central Command in Qatar was big on plasma screens and fancy production facilities but short on substance, according to reporters at the scene.

In November 2003, BBC Director General Greg Dyke attacked U.S. TV coverage of the war in Iraq, saying: "News organizations should be in the business of balancing their coverage, not banging the drum for one side or the other."

"Shock and Awe," was the one of the war's catch phrases. Media headlines and video graphics referred to "Operation Iraqi Freedom," "Line in the Sand" and other such marketing gimmicks.

If, God forbid, Kenya were to meet the wrath of Pentagon planners, would the media trumpet the "Line in the Savannah?"

Do you remember seeing American TV anchors wearing flags in their lapels? Were they advocates or journalists?

Information, Infotainment or Cyber Wars?
New York Times media critic Frank Rich wrote in March 2004 that real journalism may be reeling, but faux journalism rocks, given the use of celebrities to interpret hard-hitting news. Remember the "heroic rescue" of Private First Class Jessica Lynch from an Iraqi hospital, or President Bush's made-for-TV landing on an aircraft carrier, with a "Mission Accomplished" banner as a dramatic backdrop?

The last time anyone checked, there were still troops in Iraq.

Rich's article was headlined: "Operation Iraqi Infoganda."

It wasn't until much later, when reports of prisoner abuses, misappropriation of defense funds and yet-to-be-found weapons of mass destruction, or mass deception, that U.S. media began a chorus of mea culpas for having rolled over and played dead, as veteran Washington journalist Helen Thomas has accused them of doing. She said the press failed to hold the White House accountable.

The fact that countless websites and blogs revealed reports of misinformation, stereotyping, anti-Muslim and anti-Arab venom, indicates new media are a double-edged sword that have also made traditional news outlets increasingly irrelevant.

On the flip side, the battle for Muslim minds is not being fought by radicals in Falluja or in the mosques, wrote BBC Community Affairs correspondent Dominic Casciani, but on the Net. He quoted a European expert on Islam as saying governments must rethink how they are going to win that war.

Adding fuel to the fire, faith-based news from U.S. evangelical Christians has further damaged the Arab/Muslim psyche, already bruised by attacks in Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine and America itself thanks to the USA Patriot Act.

According to the Columbia Journalism Review's May/June 2005 issue, pro-war U.S. conservative evangelicals control at least six national television networks, each reaching tens of millions of homes, and virtually all of the nation's over 2,000 religious radio stations.

Their world view, lobbying power in Washington and adherents, including senior Pentagon officials who believe Islam is an evil religion, sets off international alarms.

The U.S.' faltering public diplomacy and attempts at democratization in the Arab/Muslim worlds is further being hobbled by these holier-than-thou false prophets.

A poll sponsored by the Council on American-Islamic Relations found 25% of Americans believed negative stereotypes about Muslims to be true and that Muslims "teach their children to hate."

Orientalism, extensively researched by the late Columbia University Professor Edward Said, seems alive and well in the 21st Century. It just fits into glib 10-second sound bites and clickable links with downloadable PDFs or MP3s.

We need to rethink our coverage of Islam and the Arab world. It's not just good PR, it's good business. Responsible journalism can go a long way towards minimizing the artificially juiced-up "clash of civilizations."

Some efforts to promote better understanding of Islam have included a primer called "100 Questions & Answers About Arab-Americans: A Journalist's Guide" published by the Detroit Free Press in the wake of September 11, 2001 ( It's something we can use and build upon.

USA Today ran an article entitled "Q&A on Islam & Arab Americans." (

The Poynter Institute in Florida ( came up with a series of online articles about "Understanding Ramadan," "Covering Muslims in America," improving cross-cultural reporting, and has provided guidelines for cultural competence. I think that's a step in the right direction.

The Seattle Times also came up with useful articles entitled "Understanding Turbans" ( and "Interpreting Veils" ( to help readers and browsers of their site decipher the significance of head coverings in the Muslim world and beyond.

Page from the Koran, Alexandria Library (Abu-Fadil)

A U.S. census report on Arab ancestry is helpful in educating the American public (and anyone else for that matter) on the integration and contributions of Arab-Americans.

It highlights educational, professional, economic and social trends, thereby "focusing constructive attention on a community that has been the subject of public suspicion and policies of racial profiling," said an Arab American Institute press release.

Maybe more Western countries should issue such reports about their Muslim and Arab communities.

Increasingly, American universities and colleges are hiring Muslim clerics to minister to Muslims and to organize activities that explain Islam to the non-Muslim community at large.
Some institutions have also been offering courses in Arabic and Islamic studies.

Why not have joint religious activities that extol the virtues of the different faiths and help bring people together?

There's merit to interfaith and cross-cultural gatherings. Start small, think big.

But more should also be done in newsrooms to help reporters, editors, producers, and webmasters provide the proper context for their stories. Preventive medicine is always best.

Likewise, we mustn't lose sight of media ethics in coverage of events, notably in war situations.

When are pictures of POWs considered propaganda? Should journalists be versed in the Geneva Conventions?

Should reporters cover up official misdeeds? Should they use close-ups of "local" victims but not of Western troops? Should they report on the mishandling of veiled Muslim women and turbaned men, or consider raids into people's homes as self-defense by troops? Are there double standards?

Casablanca, Morocco market (Abu-Fadil)

I think the Abu Ghraib scandal was an example of hesitant and below-par journalism. I know correspondents covering Iraq for European media who had complained about mistreatment of prisoners but whose reports were dismissed for months before CBS' "60 Minutes" show broadcast the first pictures of man's inhumanity to man in the U.S.

"Media Literacy in a Time of War" is a valuable guide produced by the Media Education Foundation and is available at I recommend it highly.

The use of terms like "smart bomb" (many are dumb and miss their targets), "decapitation" of enemy leadership, "dismantling of terror networks" (often a euphemism for crushing anyone who disagrees with the speaker) and other conveniently parroted clichés are examples of sloppy writing, bad editing and misinformation.

That's why it's important to have a multitude of sources for news reports -- with war coverage being a prime example of what can go wrong if one is limited.

The availability of countless Arabic language satellite stations supplementing the existing fare in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, etc., as well as print media and websites galore, may be time consuming for Western (particularly American) journalists to consult, but well worth the effort if they wish to be considered credible and fair reporters.

The Arab and Muslim worlds are undergoing various degrees of reform but still have a way to go. Since gaining independence from their former colonial masters, it's been a rough ride with mostly autocratic regimes supported and backed militarily by the major powers.

There's much soul searching about religion, fundamentalism, terrorism, education, the media, and more. The three Arab Human Development Reports published to date are good examples of this exercise and a stepping stone to what we hope will be a more enlightened future for countries in the regions we're examining today.

But if leadership is by example, they will need better examples of press freedom, fair and balanced reporting and professionalism from those who should know better.

Anti-Semitism, long considered anathema in Western society, notably following World War II, should be fully understood to include anti-Arab and anti-Muslim sentiments, since millions of Arabs and Muslims are Semites, too.

You're looking at an Arab-American Christian Semite who traces her roots 2,700 years to the original Semitic tribes of the Arabian Peninsula. And I'm about as globalized as they get.

There are many articulate Muslim and Arab women who can bridge this false divide. Provide them with a platform and you'll be pleasantly surprised. You'll beef up your bottom line, enlarge your constituency and bring down barriers.

You may read about some of them in this book: "Women & Media in the Middle East."

The late Pope John Paul II, in his message marking the 39th World Communications Day in 2005 quoted the General Epistle of St. James that said: "Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My bretheren, these things ought not so to be." (Jas 3:10)

He added that words have an extraordinary power to bring people together or to divide them, to forge bonds of friendship or to provoke hostility.

Journalists should remember these words when reporting on the Islamic world.

Indonesia going conservative?

Indonesia going conservative

Even the ultra-liberals would resist the idea of non-restrictive copulation between adults; some one has to bear the consequences of such acts. They may silently and reluctantly accept it, but will not put a bill board to encourage others to participate in such an activity.

It is a wrong idea to assume that, it is the religion that restricts sex outside of marriage. Even if we do not have an organized religion, these rules would have evolved and become a part of a society. It becomes even more important to encourage responsibility given the STD’s, Pregnancies, and Caring for the children born out of irresponsibility, dependencies and abortion. One irresponsible act can produce a series of undesirable situations.

However, being conservative sounds like patriarchal, where some one wants to control how others behave, the re-evolving ‘conservatism’ in Indonesia is fraught with patriarchal attitudes, thanks God it is in the evolving state, it can be checked.

The idea of placing chastity lock assumes women are at fault; actually it is the men who initiate and beg for non-customary favors. By the way the same logic applies when men want to keep the women from the public eye. There was a time in history where the woman was required to die with the husband, and the kings used to put chastity locks on their wives when they went out conquering lands; such was the control exercised by the conservative, insecure men. It is time; we men grow up and feel confident in our relationships.

The laws should be based on treating humanity on an equal footing. No should be assumed to be superior or inferior. Qur'aan, "Men and Women are each others garments". Just as the garments shield one from the cold and heat, the metaphor encompasses every aspect of life including the vows; in happiness and sorrow, sickness and health, poverty or wealth, weakness or strength, difficulties and comforts, men and women are indeed each other's garment. No matter what faith or culture you follow, the essence of the vows is the same; justice. ( )

Immorality stems from social injustice, in this situation, the men assume that the women need money and they can trade services, the assumption is based on social injustice where one takes advantage of the other, which leads to other imbalances in the society and depriving the members from security, peace and prosperity.

I hope Indonesia re-evaluates the idea and initiates the programs where the root cause for such thinking is burned out and every individual to immorality is assigned equal responsibility.

Mike Ghouse is a Speaker, Thinker, Writer and a Moderator. He is a frequent guest on talk radio and local television network discussing Pluralism, politics, Islam, Religion, Terrorism, India and civic issues. He is the founder of the World Muslim Congress, a group committed to building bridges and nurturing a world of co-existence. He also heads the foundation for pluralism, an organization committed to studying religious pluralism and pluralistic governance. His personal website is and his writings are on the above websites as well as several of the ancillary Blogs listed on the sites.
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Indonesia going conservative
Chastity belts open debate on Indonesia's growing conservatism
Massage parlor owners say they need to protect their workers. Critics say that's offensive to women.
April 27, 2008

JAKARTA, INDONESIA -- Chastity belts, which went out of fashion with knights in shining armor and damsels in distress, are making a comeback in the massage parlors of East Java.

In a bid to prevent any hanky-panky between masseuses and their clients, several massage parlors in the hill resort town of Batu are insisting that the women wear padlocks across the zippers of their work pants.

Franky Setiawan, owner of Doghado Massage Parlor, says he came up with the idea when men "bombarded" his staff with demands for sex after local authorities shut down the town's brothels. In recent years, conservative Islamic values have gained influence in a society that has long enjoyed liberal freedoms, such as easy access to alcohol, gambling and the sex trade.

"We had a hard time rejecting this kind of client because they try over and over and over again, persuading our workers with their dangerously sweet words," Setiawan said by phone this month from Batu, explaining that he wanted his 14 masseuses to feel safe and morally upstanding, while protecting the massage industry's image.

But Meutia Fardia Hatta Swasono, minister for women's empowerment in the world's most populous Muslim nation, calls the return of the chastity belt an affront to all women.

"It is not the right way to prevent promiscuity. It insults women as if they are the ones in the wrong," she told reporters this month. "It is not that we oppose the administration's effort to uphold morality, but the problem is their way of treating masseuses as if they're all committing prostitution."

A 27-year-old masseuse, who identified herself only as Sani, said she knew that padlocked pants came with the job at Setiawan's place when she joined 18 months ago, "so it's nothing special."

"We find it comfortable wearing them," said the mother of two children.

A clothing designer before getting into the massage business in 2000, Setiawan called on his garment-making skills to create his lockable uniform.

The chastity belts of Renaissance Europe were often bulky contraptions made of iron plates, maybe with the rough edges taken off by touches of velvet or leather. Setiawan wanted something much more minimalist.

"I considered the fashion trend when designing the uniform," he said.

He settled on black pants that zip up at the side, where a padlock is slipped through two cloth loops and snapped shut each time a masseuse meets a client.

The uniform includes a red blouse worn each day except Mondays and Fridays, the Muslim holy day, when his employees wear batik shirts. All of them have zippers up the back, which remain unlocked, Setiawan said.

He stores the padlocks and keys in a special box at the cashier's counter. When a customer arrives for a massage, given in a private room behind a curtain, the "cashier calls one masseuse, asks her to prepare things and locks her pants," Setiawan said. "Because the masseuse knows the drill, she usually pees before that. And when the client is done, the masseuse comes to the cashier, and the cashier opens the padlock."

Once in a while, Setiawan said, he checks once in a while to make sure no one lifts the keys to cut copies.

Locking up women's pants seemed such an elegant solution, Setiawan suggested that other massage parlor owners try it during a meeting of their association about two months ago, when the main item on the agenda was "how to handle some naughty guests."

At least four owners agreed to start dressing their masseuses in similar uniforms and padlocks, he said, and others plan to follow suit soon.

But local reports have portrayed the move as a government order. Municipal official Imam Suryono said, "This new policy is still in the form of a suggestion. But in the future, we expect this policy to be enacted as city legislation."

Putting women and their pants under lock and key has inflamed an already heated national debate over the government's role in enforcing morality and strikes many here as bureaucracy run amok.

Last month, Indonesia's parliament passed a bill that makes it a crime to look at violent or pornographic material on the Internet. The penalty is up to three years in prison.

News that massage parlors were clamping down on prostitution soon followed, and with all the publicity, Setiawan is suddenly losing customers. Many of them never knew that they were getting kneaded and soothed by securely fastened women because the padlocks were hidden beneath their long tops, he said.

"It's not because the padlocks, but because they are not comfortable with the journalists" poking around, he added.

The objections of Swasono, the women's empowerment minister, were echoed on the editorial pages of the Jakarta Post, where the majority of 26 reader comments published one day this month ridiculed locking up women's pants.

Some called it a throwback to the Middle Ages, or even the Stone Age. Calling for fair treatment, one said, "The customers' hands should be chained too to prevent them from sexually harassing the masseuse."

Another suggested that modern technology offered a better solution: monitoring the women and their clients by closed-circuit TV.

Amid news that officials in the capital, Jakarta, were weighing the padlock option for its massage parlors, a Post reader wrote, "Jakarta should consider locking up the hands of politicians to prevent corrupt officials from taking bribes."

Muslim Medical Clinics

Article follows my comments;
Alhamdu Lillah (Praise the Lord) the Muslim community is expressing its desire to serve and contribute towards nation building.

The following article has touched upon the steps in the growth of a community, starting out from building the places of worship, and the other basic to give the necessary education to retain the youth in the faith and culture one was raised to the third frontier; serving the community at large.

One in 15 Americans cannot afford health insurance, the very basic need for a healthy family. The entry of Muslim community to take the responsibility to participate in serving the community is a great welcome in building a healthy nation by individual initiatives.

Thank God, I am pleased to announce that Dallas/ Fort Worth has four such Muslim initiated clinics in the Metroplex; Al-Shifa Clinic in Mid Cities, IANT Clinic in Plano, Ismaili Community Clinic in Carrollton and a Muslim driven clinic in Plano. I have the information for one and we need to work on getting the info for the other three. Here is info for Al-Shifa Clinic -

One of the duties of a Muslim is meet his or her obligations of Charity, in this respect; charity is lifting every one on to a level playing field, a platform of social justice.

Mike Ghouse

Muslim health clinics work to close gap in medical care for uninsured, underinsured
By M. Kay Siblani - Editor
Friday, 04.25.2008, 02:07pm

At three clinics, Muslims constitute less than five percent of the patients

Just as Catholic and Jewish communities founded hospitals in the middle of the last century where their faith communities as well as the general population could receive quality healthcare, Muslim community based health organizations (MCBHOs) across the country today are helping tremendously to close the gap in service to uninsured and underinsured populations in large urban areas. That was the result of an extensive study done by the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU), a Muslim think tank based in Michigan. The group released the results of the study in a national telephone news conference in conjunction with the Association of Muslim Health Professionals (AMHP) Foundation, based in California.

The pilot study was based on 43 interviews with individuals representing 10 Muslim community-based health organizations in four cities identified as having American Muslim populations above 50,000: Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles and Houston. The study also included a review of relevant literature and on-site visits of the health facilities. The research was approved by the Institutional Review Board at the Boston University School of Medicine.

The report said Muslim community-based health organizations have a history that spans at least two decades in the United States. This was the first study to closely examine how they have developed and how they are providing free or low-cost primary care services.

"This analysis of 10 prominent MCBHOs in these cities opens a window into the state of American Muslim public health service. With these health organizations, American Muslims are following in the tradition of other religious minorities, including Catholics and Jews, in initiating a new wave of institution building that had in decades past concentrated on mosques and schools. The rise of MCBHOs in recent years can be seen as an indication of the American Muslim community's growing civic and public service role in the cultural mainstream and the emergence of a new American-born generation of Muslims dedicated to serving the only country they have ever known," says the study's Executive Summary.

One of the study's co-authors is Lance D. Laird, a Fellow at ISPU and a comparative religion and Islamic studies scholar. He is an adjunct assistant professor and post-doctoral fellow in general pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine. He conducts medical anthropology research and cultural competency training as a senior consultant to the Boston Healing Landscape Project, an institute for the study of religions, medicines and cultures of healing.

Wendy Cadge, the other author, is also a fellow at the ISPU. She is an assistant professor of sociology at Brandeis University and the author of "Heartwood: the First Generation of Theravada Buddhism in America," published by the University of Chicago Press in 2005. Professor Cadge was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholar in Health Policy Research at Harvard University.

Of the Muslim community-based health organizations in this study, the earliest to emerge were NISWA (Arabic for "women"), which formed in 1990 to assist with the mental health, domestic violence and social service needs of Muslim families in Los Angeles; University Muslim Medical Association (UMMA) Community Clinic, the most well-known Muslim organization to offer medical services, which emerged in South Central Los Angeles in 1996; Shifa Clinic Houston, which began providing primary health services in the region in 1997; Muslim Family Services (MFS) of Detroit, originally founded by the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) in New York, which began providing marital counseling and psychotherapy for Muslims in 1998.

Several other Muslim community-based health organizations have emerged steadily since the turn of the century, including Al-Shifa Clinic in San Bernardino (2000), the Ibn Sina Foundation Clinic in Houston (2001), Inner-city Muslim Action Network (IMAN) Health Clinic in Chicago (2002), the Compassionate Care Network (CCN) in Chicago (2004) and the Health Unit on Davison Avenue (HUDA) Clinic in Detroit (2004). Organizations like Zaman International in Detroit, dedicated to providing humanitarian relief as well as culturally competent end-of-life care and women's shelters, are slowly emerging. Other Muslim-initiated community health programs are developing in Chicago, Baltimore, Northern Virginia, Las Vegas, Buffalo and elsewhere, building on the models established by these pioneering organizations.

Indeed, last weekend, U.S. Congressman Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, assisted with the grand opening of the Muslim Clinic of Ohio in Cincinnati, with Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) Director Salam al-Marayati, a group unrelated to ISPU or the AMHP or its foundation.

Just over half of the MCBHOs were initially started by American Muslims to serve particular ethnic and immigrant communities. This included providing Muslim patients with culturally and often linguistically appropriate care. But other MCBHOs, such as Los Angeles' UMMA Community Clinic, from the beginning, emerged in response to a universal commitment to serve urban populations that lacked access to insurance and health care. Today, the majority of MCBHOs serve the broader community, both Muslim and non-Muslim. Notably, at three major institutions, Muslim patients represented less than five percent of the population served.

Most of the organizations in the study were founded by first-generation American Muslim physicians who were motivated by a desire to "give back" to society, in keeping with the Islamic tenets of serving those in need. The emergence of MCBHOs also represents the emergence of a new American-born generation of Muslims that has successfully established roots and financial stability and is seeking to provide public service to underserved communities. Many of the MCBHOs were providing community-based health care well before 9/11, yet most leaders acknowledged that the current climate has strengthened their sense of urgency, purpose and commitment to providing — through these health initiatives — a highly visible manifestation of "what Islam is all about."

Many who provide health care services in MCBHOs do not distinguish themselves from other free clinics or networks and describe their organization's Muslim identity as mostly derived from the nominal identification of the majority of providers. Although the organization may have been founded and/or run by Muslims or affiliated with an Islamic center, all medical services are "open to everyone."

The study also says MCBHOs provide a critical, cost-savings safety net. Because they rely largely on volunteers (and, in some cases, private donations), MCBHOs likely provide better health care at less cost than many other forms of primary health care providers. These clinics are likely to be particularly good at locating and providing health care to the underserved, especially low-income communities who live in urban areas who might not otherwise access health care services. Funding for MCBHOs mirrors those of other community-based health organizations and clinics. Nearly all clinics studied receive grants from city, county, state or federal government sources and rely on non-Muslim charitable foundations, in addition to donations from local and national American Muslim groups, the study says.

Many interviewees in the study explained the rise of MCBHOs in the past few years as a sign that the American Muslim community is coming of age. Several interpreted the emergence of UMMA, for instance, as indicating the emergence of a new American-born generation of Muslims dedicated to serving the only country they have ever known. The story of the UMMA Community Clinic, organized by second-generation American Muslim activist medical students, represents one trajectory in the emergence of these MCBHOs, one shared in significant ways with HUDA and IMAN. For instance, Dr. Faisal Qazi, who served as a young resident in Detroit, is frequently mentioned as the driving force behind the creation of HUDA, which followed the UMMA model. Nevertheless, the Muslim Physicians of Greater Detroit, an organization composed largely of older, first-generation American clinicians, also played a role in organizing and funding the initiative. African American Muslim social workers and community organizers like Mitchell Shamsuddin also partnered with these immigrant Muslims in the creation of HUDA, and the Muslim Center of Detroit now provides the space for the clinic. The IMAN Health Clinic is the brainchild of Sherene Fakhran, then a Northwestern University medical student, who enlisted two young South Asian-American physicians, Drs. Rima and Ahsan Arozullah. The latter also cite UMMA as part of their inspiration. The larger IMAN organization itself is the product of collaboration between second-generation Arab American and African American Muslims.

Says Rodwan Saleh, president of the Islamic Society of Greater Houston, who addressed the Shifa Clinic Houston fundraiser "I see us as Americans. This is our home, not a home away from home. We chose to come here; we chose this country as our country. America is our country. We were given chances here for education, business; we were allowed to be who we are. Now it's time for us to pay back the country that accepted us with open arms."

Friday, April 25, 2008

Tolerance In Islam - Pickthall

Tolerance In Islam
An Abridged Version of the 1927 Lecture
by MM Pickthall
Full Article in the E-Book


Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall was an Englishman, an orientalist, and a Muslim who translated the meaning of the Holy Qur'an. His translation was first published in 1930 and he was supported in this effort by His Highness, the Nizam of Hyderabad (the ruler of Deccan, in the South), India. Pickthall traveled extensively to several Muslim countries, including Syria, Palestine, Turkey, Egypt, Arabia and India. He spent several years in India and had interacted with the Muslims of India.

In 1927 Pickthall gave eight lectures on several aspects of Islamic civilization at the invitation of The Committee of "Madras Lectures on Islam" in Madras, India. Parts of Pickthall's lectures were made available in India at various times. All of his lectures were published under the title "The Cultural Side of Islam" in 1961 by Sh. Muhammad Ashraf Publishers, Lahore from a manuscript provided by M.I. Jamal Moinuddin. The book has gone through several reprints since then.

An abridged version of his fifth lecture on the "Tolerance in Islam" is presented below. His long lecture frequently used quotations from the Holy Qur'an to emphasize many points and to support his analysis and conclusions. The major theme of his lecture is retained here. All of Pickthall's eight lectures draw upon his vast knowledge of Islamic history, the Western religious, political and intellectual history through the ages, and their reasons for rise and fall. His lectures are very enlightening, analytically useful, and of great value even today.

An Abridged Version of Pickthall's Lecture

In the eyes of history, religious toleration is the highest evidence of culture in a people. It was not until the Western nations broke away from their religious law that they became more tolerant, and it was only when the Muslims fell away from their religious law that they declined in tolerance and other evidences of the highest culture. Before the coming of Islam, tolerance had never been preached as an essential part of religion.
If Europe had known as much of Islam, as Muslims knew of Christendom, in those days, those mad, adventurous, occasionally chivalrous and heroic, but utterly fanatical outbreak known as the Crusades could not have taken place, for they were based on a complete misapprehension.

Innumerable monasteries, with a wealth of treasure of which the worth has been calculated at not less than a hundred millions sterling, enjoyed the benefit of the Holy Prophet's (Muhammad's) Charter to the monks of Sinai and were religiously respected by the Muslims. The various sects of Christians were represented in the Council of the Empire by their patriarchs, on the provincial and district council by their bishops, in the village council by their priests, whose word was always taken without question on things which were the sole concern of their community.

The tolerance within the body of Islam was, and is, something without parallel in history; class and race and color ceasing altogether to be barriers.

One of the commonest charges brought against Islam historically, and as a religion, by Western writers is that it is intolerant. This is turning the tables with a vengeance when one remembers various facts: One remembers that not a Muslim is left alive in Spain or Sicily or Apulia. One remembers that not a Muslim was left alive and not a mosque left standing in Greece after the great rebellion in l821. One remembers how the Muslims of the Balkan peninsula, once the majority, have been systematically reduced with the approval of the whole of Europe, how the Christian under Muslim rule have in recent times been urged on to rebel and massacre the Muslims, and how reprisals by the latter have been condemned as quite uncalled for.

In Spain under the Umayyads and in Baghdad under the Abbasid Khalifas, Christians and Jews, equally with Muslims, were admitted to the Schools and universities - not only that, but were boarded and lodged in hostels at the cost of the state. When the Moors were driven out of Spain, the Christian conquerors held a terrific persecution of the Jews. Those who were fortunate enough to escape fled, some of them to Morocco and many hundreds to the Turkish empire, where their descendants still live in separate communities, and still speak among themselves an antiquated form of Spanish. The Muslim empire was a refuge for all those who fled from persecution by the Inquisition.

The Western Christians, till the arrival of the Encyclopaedists in the eighteenth century, did not know and did not care to know, what the Muslim believed, nor did the Western Christian seek to know the views of Eastern Christians with regard to them. The Christian Church was already split in two, and in the end, it came to such a pass that the Eastern Christians, as Gibbon shows, preferred Muslim rule, which allowed them to practice their own form of religion and adhere to their peculiar dogmas, to the rule of fellow Christians who would have made them Roman Catholics or wiped them out.

The Western Christians called the Muslims pagans, paynims, even idolaters - there are plenty of books in which they are described as worshiping an idol called Mahomet or Mahound, and in the accounts of the conquest of Granada there are even descriptions of the monstrous idols which they were alleged to worship - whereas the Muslims knew what Christianity was, and in what respects it differed from Islam. If Europe had known as much of Islam, as Muslims knew of Christendom, in those days, those mad, adventurous, occasionally chivalrous and heroic, but utterly fanatical outbreak known as the Crusades could not have taken place, for they were based on a complete misapprehension. I quote a learned French author:


"Every poet in Christendom considered a Mohammedan to be an infidel, and an idolater, and his gods to be three; mentioned in order, they were: Mahomet or Mahound or Mohammad, Opolane and the third Termogond. It was said that when in Spain the Christians overpowered the Mohammadans and drove them as far as the gates of the city of Saragossa, the Mohammadans went back and broke their idols.
"A Christian poet of the period says that Opolane the "god" of the Mohammadans, which was kept there in a den was awfully belabored and abused by the Mohammadans, who, binding it hand and foot, crucified it on a pillar, trampled it under their feet and broke it to pieces by beating it with sticks; that their second god Mahound they threw in a pit and caused to be torn to pieces by pigs and dogs, and that never were gods so ignominiously treated; but that afterwards the Mohammadans repented of their sins, and once more reinstated their gods for the accustomed worship, and that when the Emperor Charles entered the city of Saragossa he had every mosque in the city searched and had "Muhammad" and all their Gods broken with iron hammers."

That was the kind of "history" on which the populace in Western Europe used to be fed. Those were the ideas which inspired the rank and file of the crusader in their attacks on the most civilized peoples of those days. Christendom regarded the outside world as damned eternally, and Islam did not. There were good and tender-hearted men in Christendom who thought it sad that any people should be damned eternally, and wished to save them by the only way they knew - conversion to the Christian faith.

It was not until the Western nations broke away from their religious law that they became more tolerant; and it was only when the Muslims fell away from their religious law that they declined in tolerance and other evidences of the highest culture. Therefore the difference evident in that anecdote is not of manners only but of religion. Of old, tolerance had existed here and there in the world, among enlightened individuals; but those individuals had always been against the prevalent religion. Tolerance was regarded of un-religious, if not irreligious. Before the coming of Islam it had never been preached as an essential part of religion.

For the Muslims, Judaism, Christianity and Islam are but three forms of one religion, which, in its original purity, was the religion of Abraham: Al-Islam, that perfect Self-Surrender to the Will of God, which is the basis of Theocracy. The Jews, in their religion, after Moses, limited God's mercy to their chosen nation and thought of His kingdom as the dominion of their race.

Even Christ himself, as several of his sayings show, declared that he was sent only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel and seemed to regard his mission as to the Hebrews only; and it was only after a special vision vouchsafed to St. Peter that his followers in after days considered themselves authorized to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles. The Christians limited God's mercy to those who believed certain dogmas. Every one who failed to hold the dogmas was an outcast or a miscreant, to be persecuted for his or her soul's good. In Islam only is manifest the real nature of the Kingdom of God.

The two verses (2:255-256) of the Qur'an are supplementary. Where there is that realization of the majesty and dominion of Allah (SWT), there is no compulsion in religion. Men choose their path - allegiance or opposition - and it is sufficient punishment for those who oppose that they draw further and further away from the light of truth.

What Muslims do not generally consider is that this law applies to our own community just as much as to the folk outside, the laws of Allah being universal; and that intolerance of Muslims for other men's opinions and beliefs is evidence that they themselves have, at the moment, forgotten the vision of the majesty and mercy of Allah (SWT) which the Qur'an presents to them.

In the Qur'an I find two meanings (of a Kafir), which become one the moment that we try to realize the divine standpoint. The Kafir in the first place, is not the follower of any religion. He is the opponent of Allah's benevolent will and purpose for mankind - therefore the disbeliever in the truth of all religions, the disbeliever in all Scriptures as of divine revelation, the disbeliever to the point of active opposition in all the Prophets (pbut) whom the Muslims are bidden to regard, without distinction, as messengers of Allah.

The Qur'an repeatedly claims to be the confirmation of the truth of all religions. The former Scriptures had become obscure, the former Prophets appeared mythical, so extravagant were the legends which were told concerning them, so that people doubted whether there was any truth in the old Scriptures, whether such people as the Prophets had ever really existed. Here - says the Qur'an - is a Scripture whereof there is no doubt: here is a Prophet actually living among you and preaching to you. If it were not for this book and this Prophet, men might be excused for saying that Allah's guidance to mankind was all a fable. This book and this Prophet, therefore, confirm the truth of all that was revealed before them, and those who disbelieve in them to the point of opposing the existence of a Prophet and a revelation are really opposed to the idea of Allah's guidance - which is the truth of all revealed religions. Our Holy Prophet (pbuh) himself said that the term Kafir was not to be applied to anyone who said "Salam" (peace) to the Muslims. The Kafirs, in the terms of the Qur'an, are the conscious evil-doers of any race of creed or community.

I have made a long digression but it seemed to me necessary, for I find much confusion of ideas even among Muslims on this subject, owing to defective study of the Qur'an and the Prophet's life. Many Muslims seem to forget that our Prophet had allies among the idolaters even after Islam had triumphed in Arabia, and that he "fulfilled his treaty with them perfectly until the term thereof." The righteous conduct of the Muslims, not the sword, must be held responsible for the conversion of those idolaters, since they embraced Islam before the expiration of their treaty.

So much for the idolaters of Arabia, who had no real beliefs to oppose the teaching of Islam, but only superstition. They invoked their local deities for help in war and put their faith only in brute force. In this they were, to begin with, enormously superior to the Muslims. When the Muslims nevertheless won, they were dismayed; and all their arguments based on the superior power of their deities were for ever silenced. Their conversion followed naturally. It was only a question of time with the most obstinate of them.

It was otherwise with the people who had a respectable religion of their own - the People of the Scripture - as the Qur'an calls them - i.e, the people who had received the revelation of some former Prophet: the Jews, the Christians and the Zoroastrians were those with whom the Muslims came at once in contact. To these our Prophet's attitude was all of kindness. The Charter which he granted to the Christian monks of Sinai is extant. If you read it you will see that it breathes not only goodwill but actual love. He gave to the Jews of Medina, so long as they were faithful to him, precisely the same treatment as to the Muslims. He never was aggressive against any man or class of men; he never penalized any man, or made war on any people, on the ground of belief but only on the ground of conduct.

The story of his reception of Christian and Zoroastrian visitors is on record. There is not a trace of religious intolerance in all this. And it should be remembered - Muslims are rather apt to forget it, and it is of great importance to our outlook - that our Prophet did not ask the people of the Scripture to become his followers. He asked them only to accept the Kingdom of Allah, to abolish priesthood and restore their own religions to their original purity. The question which, in effect, he put to everyone was this: "Are you for the Kingdom of God which includes all of us, or are you for your own community against the rest of mankind?" The one is obviously the way of peace and human progress, the other the way of strife, oppression and calamity. But the rulers of the world, to whom he sent his message, most of them treated it as the message of either an insolent upstart or a mad fanatic. His envoys were insulted cruelly, and even slain. One cannot help wondering what reception that same embassy would meet with from the rulers of mankind today, when all the thinking portion of mankind accept the Prophet's premises, have thrown off the trammels of priestcraft, and harbor some idea of human brotherhood.

But though the Christians and Jews and Zoroastrians refused his message, and their rulers heaped most cruel insults on his envoys, our Prophet never lost his benevolent attitudes towards them as religious communities; as witness the Charter to the monks of Sinai already mentioned. And though the Muslims of later days have fallen far short of the Holy Prophet's tolerance, and have sometimes shown arrogance towards men of other faiths, they have always given special treatment to the Jews and Christians. Indeed the Laws for their special treatment form part of the Shari'ah.

In Egypt the Copts were on terms of closest friendship with the Muslims in the first centuries of the Muslim conquest, and they are on terms at closest friendship with the Muslims at the present day. In Syria the various Christian communities lived on terms of closest friendship with the Muslims in the first centuries of the Muslim conquest, and they are on terms of closest friendship with the Muslims at the present day, openly preferring Muslim domination to a foreign yoke....

From the expulsion of the Moriscos dates the degradation and decline of Spain. San Fernando was really wiser and more patriotic in his tolerance to conquered Seville, Murcia and Toledo than was the later king who, under the guise of Holy warfare, captured Grenada and let the Inquisition work its will upon the Muslims and the Jews. And the modern Balkan States and Greece are born under a curse. It may even prove that the degradation and decline of European civilization will be dated from the day when so-called civilized statesmen agreed to the inhuman policy of Czarist Russia and gave their sanction to the crude fanaticism of the Russian Church.

There is no doubt but that, in the eyes of history, religious toleration is the highest evidence of culture in a people. Let no Muslim, when looking on the ruin of the Muslim realm which was compassed through the agency of those very peoples whom the Muslims had tolerated and protected through the centuries when Western Europe thought it a religious duty to exterminate or forcibly convert all peoples of another faith than theirs - let no Muslim, seeing this, imagine that toleration is a weakness in Islam. It is the greatest strength of Islam because it is the attitude of truth.

Allah (SWT) is not the God of the Jews or the Christians or the Muslims only, any more than the sun shines or the rain falls for Jews or Christians or Muslims only.


Allah: Allah is the proper name in Arabic for The One and Only God, The Creator and Sustainer of the universe. It is used by the Arab Christians and Jews for the God (Eloh-im in Hebrew; 'Allaha' in Aramaic, the mother tongue of Jesus, pbuh). The word Allah does not have a plural or gender. Allah does not have any associate or partner, and He does not beget nor was He begotten. SWT is an abbreviation of Arabic words that mean 'Glory Be To Him.'

s or pbuh: Peace Be Upon Him. This expression is used for all Prophets of Allah.

ra: Radiallahu Anhu (May Allah be pleased with him).

"The Meaning of the Glorious Koran," An Explanatory Translation by Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall, a Mentor Book Publication. (Also available as: "The Meaning of the Glorious Koran," by Marmaduke Pickthall, Dorset Press, N.Y.; Published by several publishers since 1930).

Pickthall writes in his foreward of 1930: "...The Qur'an cannot be translated....The book is here rendered almost literally and every effort has been made to choose befitting language. But the result is not the Glorious Qur'an, that inimitable symphony, the very sounds of which move men to tears and ecstasy. It is only an attempt to present the meaning of the Qur'an-and peradventure something of the charm in English. It can never take the place of the Qur'an in Arabic, nor is it meant to do so...."

For the serious readers of the meaning of the Qur'an in English, it is recommended that it should be read along with a good commentary to comprehend the essential meaning and scope of verses. Either Yusuf Ali's or Mawdudi's commentaries are a good starting point. The former presents the meaning Ayah (verse) by Ayah with footnotes and includes a detailed index of the topics mentioned in the Qur'an, while the latter presents commentaries for each Surah (chapter) of the Qur'an.


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quraan burning

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

August 19, 2013| Dallas, Texas

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

Mirza A Beg
(205) 454-8797


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Thank you.


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