The fronts of confrontation with Iran and its main allies are increasing. The ballistic missile that the Houthis launched against the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh is a dangerous military development that cannot be separated from the regional conflict with Iran in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. Diplomacy has failed due to Iran's ongoing refusal to withdraw its forces and militias from Syria. It had previously refused to withdraw from Iraq, where it is operating militarily. The latest of these operations is the advance on the Kurdistan region.
Iran is a remotely running the battles in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen. The countries in the region, as well as the United States, have failed in adopting a suitable policy that can confront Iran's expansionist strategy in the region. The Americans, who have incurred repeated losses in bombings and "Hezbollah" assassinations, have sufficed in confronting the proxy itself through kidnapping or assassinating collaborators or members of the party. Egypt and Arab Gulf countries have also made due with the policy of adopting political and economic measures against "Hezbollah."
Don't Let Iranian President Hassan Rouhani Trick You - He's No Moderate
By Amir Basiri, The Washington Examiner
In October, Hassan Rouhani , the Iranian regime's president, reiterated that Tehran will continue to develop ballistic missiles, defying the latest round of Congress-approved sanctions against Iran's ballistic missile program and a U.N. resolution calling on Iran "not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons."
This bit of news might come as a disappointment to those who view Rouhani as the "moderate" leader the U.S. and the international community should back against "hardliners" in Iran. But it won't surprise those who know the true nature that governs all the factions that compete within the theocratic regime ruling Iran.
Rouhani made deceptive claims and promises before May's presidential elections to strengthen his bid and portray himself as being at odds with the Revolutionary Guards. The IRGC, the notorious military body that only reports to Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran's unelected Supreme Leader, was designated as a terrorist organization by the Trump administration last month.
We all understand Iran, the regime with the ambition to dominate and gain influence. However, in fact we do not really know it. To Iran, the end justifies the means: from selling cigarettes to counterfeiting currencies, dealing drugs, money laundering, collecting Khums tax and using it for military purposes, establishing complex networks of companies in Africa, Latin America and Asia and sending clerics seeking loyalties from fighting coaches who train on weapons.
These are the secret activities of the Iranian empire, which tries to exploit everything it puts its hand on to serve its aims. It's through these cells and secret smuggling networks that it built and continues to build its nuclear program.
Although propagating disputes is its official hobby, Iran does not fight with its own troops. The last war the Iranian armed forces fought was against Iraq and it ended in 1988. During that war, the new Iranian regime sent whatever forces were left of the defeated Shah and got rid of them.
How They See Us: Sophia The Saudi Robot That Gets Saudi Citizenship Before Kafala Workers
By Tariq A. Al-Maeena
Irrespective of the fact that we became the first country to grant citizenship to a robot, the fact remains that we are not immune to criticism from different quarters for the best of our intentions. Sophia, the Saudi robot, became the target of many long-term residents and sons and daughters of Saudi mothers who felt annoyed that citizenship was granted to an artificial being.
"This robot has gotten Saudi citizenship before kafala workers who have been living in the country their entire lives," said a foreign journalist. A Saudi mother was upset that her children remained without their mother's nationality while "something made of metal and wires has more privileges to call this place home." And a Lebanese journalist, Kareem Chahayeb, chimed in that "A humanoid robot called Sophia got Saudi citizenship, while millions linger stateless. What a time to be alive." The robot will undoubtedly be the subject of debate for some time to come.
Moving on, for months now I have been observing the progress of a villa being built very close to mine. I couldn't help it. I had to navigate through treacherous terrain of wood beams, cement blocks and metal rods and every other imaginable roadblock to get to my place.
How To Counter Colonial Myths About Muslim Arrival In Sindh
Manan Ahmed Asif
It is a fact not so easily known, thus rarely acknowledged, that the British colonial project in India at one moment turned into an excavation of India's pasts. This excavation was aimed at exploring the arrival of various 'foreign' people, cultures, religions and politics into the Subcontinent. After all, the Indian peninsula had been the site of commercial, political and military incursions by the Portuguese, the Dutch and the Timurids since 1498. Surely, one reason for the excavation was that, as the latest foreigners to arrive in India, the British wanted a justification for their own arrival. The other reason is tied to the way in which the British saw themselves as heirs to the Romans.
Edward Gibbon published the first volume of his book The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire in 1776, the year Great Britain lost 13 of its colonies in America. All six volumes of the book came out by 1788 to tremendous acclaim and sales. A central theme in Gibbon's work was his quest for historical linkages between Pax Britannica – the period of British-dominated world order – and Pax Romana.
US Pilgrims: Hajj Shows Tolerance, Peace And Patience Among Muslims
MINA: US pilgrims said the Hajj was an annual gathering in which pilgrims feel fraternity and unity. They also praised the Kingdom's efforts to organize the crowds.
Arab News surveyed several American pilgrims in Mina to learn their feelings about the Hajj, and the organization and preparedness they witnessed.
At the residence of the American pilgrims, Annewil Junil Camsel, a US citizen residing in Haiti, said that the whole world appreciates the ability of the Saudis to organize and control such massive crowds. "The hosting of more than 2 million pilgrims over a few days, and in a narrow geographical area, is very difficult," he said.
Camsel also said "Saudi society is good, tolerant and cooperative." He mentioned that he had lost his way when trying to find his tent, and when he approached several Saudis for directions, they insisted on taking him to its location.
Southeast Asia is currently witnessing the destruction of the Rohingya Muslim community. This is not the first time in modern history this has happened. The Cham Muslims of Cambodia were slaughtered during the rule of the bloody Khmer Rouge in the 1970s.
The Khmer Rouge killed 500,000 ethnic Cham Muslims, almost 25% of their 2 million victims. For perspective consider that the Cham Muslims were only 1% of Cambodia's population. Yet, there are still individuals who question whether it amounted to genocide even though there is documented evidence that the Cham were targeted due to their religious beliefs:
The Muslim Cham were rounded up by Khmer Rouge forces, forced to eat pork, and banned from using their traditional language. Qurans were collected and burned.
The current Prime Minister of Cambodia, Hun Sen, was a Khmer Rouge commander in areas where atrocities against the Cham were committed. Nowadays he proclaims to be a champion of religious diversity though in 2013 he said Muslims were "lucky to live in Cambodia."Oppression of Rohingya May Have Led Some To Raise Arms
What Covering Hate As A Muslim Journalist Taught Me About The Media
Overly simplistic coverage of Muslims has real-world consequences.
It's Sept. 9, 2016. A Trump supporter in Brooklyn has allegedly attacked two Muslim women and their babies. I think about my pregnant friends in the area. I don't want to call and worry them.
A month later, "***** Allah" and "***** Arabs" are among the anti-Muslim messages spray-painted on the Muslim Community Miraj Center in Bayonne, New Jersey. A friend texts me the photo of the mosque before it makes the news. I live 20 minutes from that center.
Another month goes by. A Muslim teacher in Atlanta is told to hang herself with her headscarf. Several of my friends are teachers. They all wear the Islamic headscarf, or the hijab. I can't stop thinking about them.
Donald Trump's proposed Muslim database resisted as politicians, celebrities and activists vow to register
Resistance comes as the White House bans all immigration from Iran, Syria, Sudan, Yemen and key ally Iraq
More American politicians and celebrities are pledging to register in President Donald Trump's promised Muslim database, to protest and frustrate a policy many view as Islamophobic.
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has added her voice to those of feminist icon Gloria Steinem, actress Mayim Bialik and activist Jonathan Greenblatt, writing on Twitter: "I was raised Catholic, became Episcopalian & found out later my family was Jewish. I stand ready to register as Muslim in #solidarity." All four are Jewish or have Jewish heritage.
But Rabia Chaudry, the Serial immigration attorney and author, has questioned the utility of these pledges: "For those who are well-intentioned and say they will register with Muslims, it did not work like that back then [under George Bush's failed NSEERS registry programme], and it will not now," she wrote.
Reminder: Ben Carson Is An Anti-Muslim Conspiracy Theorist Who Thinks Islam Isn't A Religion
Ben Carson: This is the guy Donald Trump has nominated to be HUD secretary.
President-elect Donald Trump has nominated a man for secretary of Housing and Urban Development who thinks Islam isn't a religion and has argued that there's a covert Muslim plot to destroy the U.S. from within.
It's concerning that Ben Carson is set to fill a seat in Trump's Cabinet, a Muslim civil liberties group said Monday.
"Based on his past Islamophobic statements and policy positions, all Americans should be very concerned on how Dr. Carson would treat Muslim HUD employees or Muslims seeking agency services," Robert McCaw, government affairs director at the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said in a statement.
Carson, a retired neurosurgeon and former Republican presidential candidate who has never held public office, has made many blatantly incorrect ― not to mention deeply disparaging ― remarks about Islam.
Besides Breitbart, Inforwars is another one of Donald Trump's main sources of news and information. The connection between Trump and Infowars makes me wonder if Donald believes that some humans are alien lizards too, as Alex Jones do. Does the American president believe that some of the world leaders he talks to are lizards dressed as humans?
President Donald Trump claims that 3 million votes where cast by illegal immigrants. All of them apparently voted for Hillary Clinton. His source for that allegation is Infowars.com. Donald has agreed to be interviewed on Infowars and tweeted "news" from Infowars. Inforwars is no longer a fringe source of bizarre propaganda. Infowars is respected by the President of USA.
Trump claims to have witnessed that Muslims celebrated in New York when the twin towers were brought down by terrorists 2001. That claim was published in an article on Infowars in 2001 and retweeted by Trump. He links to an article in Infowars.
Myth or fact?
There were individuals (from various communities) that "celebrated" in the USA. No doubt. But no evidence or facts has ever been presented about hundreds or thousands of Muslims that allegedly celebrated in or around New York City when WTC collapsed.
How Should Muslims Living In The West Respond To The Rise Of Right Wing Populism?
There was a sigh of relief amongst many Muslims in Europe upon the news that Austria's far right presidential candidate, Norbert Hofer, had been defeated. A welcome result, but one that provides only temporary respite for a community that is the main target of the prejudice and hatred whipped up by far right populist leaders. There is a feeling of despair and hopelessness amongst Muslim communities, as though all we can do is watch as passive bystanders, as the tide of far right populism sweeps all before it. Yet Muslims can and should respond to tackle the populism of the far right, our futures depend on it, and inaction is no longer an option.
How do we respond? Firstly, political apathy amongst Muslims living in the West must be overcome. Historically, turnout amongst Muslims eligible to vote has been significantly lower than that of the wider population, both in the UK as well as in wider Europe. Undoubtedly much of this is borne out of a feeling of despair, that even if our voices are heard, nothing much will change. Add to this mix that over previous decades the political centre has shifted to the right when it comes to Islam and Muslims, whereby demonization of Muslim communities has become normalised, there is little wonder that Muslim communities don't really see the benefits of political engagement.
Yet it is down to religious and political leaders and activists within our communities to understand and convey the benefits of political engagement, no matter how angry and frustrated we may feel with the status quo. There is a feeling that things could not get any worse, but they can get a lot worse. We must act to stop those whose electoral success depends on whipping up hatred and animosity towards Muslim communities in order to deflect from the real causes of inequality and lack of opportunities that exist.
Is Sweden the "rape capital" of the world, as Breitbart and Islamophobes worldwide claim? What is the background to the high figures of reported rape in Sweden? Is it the so called "Muslim invasion of immigrants" that is responsible for it? Is "the Muslim rape culture" behind it? Or is it simply that Sweden has stronger laws against sexual offenses like rape, and that Swedish women are raised not to take shit!
I am from Sweden. When I went to school 30 years ago I heard about a case of two young white American exchange students who raped Swedish young girls. Many Swedes reacted with horror. Many blamed ALL Americans for the wrongdoings of these two. "All American white youngsters are like that, racists and rapists," "USA is insane," "Americans are rapists." "Too much American TV-violence."
Breitbart and Islamophobes worldwide do the same thing to Muslims. "Muslims rape women" they claim. "Muslims" are currently "raping" Europe, according to the Breitbart Senior editor Milo Yiannopoulos.
The so called "evidence" for this is the claim that the numbers of rapes allegedly is "skyrocketing" in Europe, and it is all blamed on Muslim immigrants.
Given all the unrest in the world, the situation of the Middle East and the general circumstances surrounding the Islamic world, many people ask the question, ''How are we supposed to believe Islam is a religion of peace when all these wars are being waged in the name of Islam?''
They are right in a sense, as war is not the way to bring peace. So there is one fact that we have to keep in mind: Those who prefer war in the name of Islam are making a major mistake.
Regrettably, a majority of the Islamic world has abandoned the Holy Quran now; they are resorting to resources other than the Glorious Quran and follow non-Quranic ways. This is the reason behind the wars waged in the name of Islam, the reason behind the system of tyranny and why they try to introduce religion through oppression and persecution instead of democracy. Another painful outcome of this non-Quranic religion is the rise of a primitive and crude lifestyle built around misogyny, a general hostility towards art and beauty in life and a notable lack of refinement.
I've studied radicalization and Islamophobia often plants the seed
By Sarah Lyons-Padilla, who is a research scientist at Stanford SPARQ: Social Psychological Answers to Real-world Questions
The evidence shows that alienating an entire religious community, as Donald Trump has done, will make us less safe. There are better ways to fight extremism
Speculation has been rife about the motives of Omar Mateen, the 29-year-old man who killed 49 and injured at least 53 in a gay nightclub in Orlando. Reports say that he called 911 to pledge his allegiance to the Islamic State shortly before opening fire.
Following an attack of this nature, we can expect two streams of reactions. President Obama, Hillary Clinton and others are of the first type, urging us to condemn retaliation against Muslims. In contrast, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is of the second, insisting that the US strictly scrutinize or even ban Muslims from entering the country.
I Do Not Feel Guilty About My Islamic Faith and You Shouldn't Either
Guilt is an interesting feeling. Everyone I know has felt guilt, guilt as a feeling is hard to identify and we may not even be aware that the unsettling feeling we are vaguely aware of is actually guilt. Guilt in psychology is defined as a cognitive or an emotional experience that occurs when a person believes or realizes accurately or not that he or she has compromised his or her own standards of conduct or has violated a moral standard and bears significant responsibility for that violation. It is closely related to the concept of remorse. (''Guilt''. Encyclopedia of Psychology. 2nd ed. Ed. Bonnie R. Strickland. Gale Group, Inc., 2001. eNotes.com. 2006. 31 December 2007)
Donald L. Carveth, Phd from York University in Canada in the abstract of his article The Unconscious Need for Punishment: Expression or Evasion of the Sense of Guilt? states:
In Civilization and Its Discontents and other writings, Freud equates the unconscious need for punishment expressed in various patterns of self-torment and self-sabotage with the unconscious sense of guilt. But there are cogent clinical and theoretical grounds for distinguishing between genuine guilt and the unconscious need for punishment that serves as a guilt-substitute the function of which is precisely to ward off an unbearable sense of guilt.
How Islamophobia is driving young Canadian Muslims to reclaim their identity
Pressure to answer for Islamic extremism might explain why young Muslims feel more Muslim than Canadian
Laya Behbahani never questioned her Canadianness until a recent incident at the Vancouver airport.
The 31-year-old lecturer at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, B.C., was born in Iran and moved to Canada when she was 13. While going through the passport check after returning home from a trip, she said, she was pulled aside by a border services agent and questioned about her religion and why she frequently travels outside the country.
At one point, Behbahani said, the agent asked her: "How Canadian do you really feel?"
Man Asked Cabbie If He Was Muslim Before Beating Him, Prosecutors Say
COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE A suburban man is charged with a hate crime after he walked up to a Chicago cab driver, asked him if he was Muslim and then beat him when he responded "yes," prosecutors said.
The driver was stopped at a red light near Division and Larrabee streets about 3 a.m. Feb. 21 when 37-year-old John Alletto walked up, opened the driver's door "and asked if he was Muslim," prosecutors said.
The 42-year-old driver replied, "yes," and Alletto began to punch the man in his head, neck and body, Assistant State's Attorney Lorraine Scaduto said during a bond hearing Wednesday.
At that point, the driver's passenger got out of the cab, prosecutors said.
When a witness approached, Alletto yelled out that the driver was Muslim, according to Scaduto. The witness said it was racist to attack a Muslim and called Alletto "a racist," Scaduto said.
As someone who writes about the news, I can't exactly ignore it. Still, lately, I have been tempted. So many of the breaking news alerts I receive on my phone now seem to have something to do with a certain leading political candidate saying hateful and ignorant things about me.
Sure, it's not me personally, but religion is personal. And when someone denigrates my faith, I can't help but take it personally -- especially when that individual appears to have so much public support.
That said, I cannot bring myself to believe that my fellow Americans truly support the idea of banning me from my own country or interning me or even just debasing me, simply on account of my religion. Over the past few weeks, however, I have felt more fear and hatred in the air than ever, and I am not alone. I have never before found it so difficult to watch, read or listen to the news without feeling personally targeted.
Presidential candidate Donald Trump's recent call to ban all Muslims from entry into the United States has shocked not only Americans, but all reasonable, fair-minded people around the world. The full repercussions of Trump's exclusionary, prejudicial comments are still coming into focus, but the world should take note of America's polls showing support for comments unbecoming the leader of any country, much less such a powerful one.
Because Trump's comment to block all entry for Muslims is so blatantly, unapologetically discriminatory, it marks a new low in the worsening political atmosphere in the U.S. Because blocking entry to all Muslims, or any religious, cultural or ethnic group would be impossible, it also marks a frightening shift toward unreality. That poor grasp of the actual situation of most Muslims, not to mention his contempt for the traditions of American openness and acceptance of immigrants, needs to be refuted.
Is the Repellent Mockery of Others the New American Norm?
"Wisdom begins in Wonder" - Socrates
Why are most articles written with sentences in the declarative instead of the interrogative structure? Is it because people prefer to be told what to think instead of being asked to think? If yes, could this preference explain some of the seeming madness going on in America today? Could it be that Americans have gotten so accustomed to being told what is and what is not, that thinking about (seriously, giving deep and intense thought) to what they are being told is too substantial a task? Has an entire segment of the American population become a collection of sponge brains whose sole desire is to soak up assorted propaganda and falsehoods for some type of consolation -- with no consideration of yesterday's truths and no concerns about tomorrow's consequences?
As Americans prepare to elect our next "commander-in-chief", are we giving intelligent and critically informed discernment to what those who propose to be our leaders are telling and showing us? For example, does the discourse surrounding the American presidential race bother anyone who might be a parent? Or a teacher? Or, just an adult? Are there any among us who is genuinely concerned about the verbal and nonverbal messages that our leaders are sending our children? When America's leaders speak and act, do they care that our collective youth are not only listening and watching, but are also impacted by what they hear and see?
Recently, our university's Muslim chaplain reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in a talking to a small group of Muslim parents about what Muslim college students thought about the recent Paris attacks. College students because we have all grown up in the almost immediate aftermath of 9/11.
We were five students in total and among us we were two undergraduates and three graduates, three boys and two girls. We all come from very different backgrounds and thus could offer different perspectives on the questions the parents asked us. Questions like what kind of language should we use when we talk about these kind of events to our children? Should we tell them that those people aren't actual Muslims? How early should we expose our children to these news? How do we approach the whole process of "condemning violence" as Muslims? How do we ensure our children are safe and have the means and confidence in their schools to deal with what might come at them?
Trump, Political Rhetoric and the Death of My Father
When Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump spews his openly bigoted, anti-Muslim nonsense, it makes great headlines, drums up support from the most racist elements of his base and gives newsrooms something to lead with. As he rises in the polls and raises funds, and as T.V. ratings increase, newspapers sell and sites get more clicks, real-life consequences happen.
The FBI recently released its annual Hate Crime Statistics Report and according to those figures the number of hate crimes overall fell in 2014 from the previous year -- except when it came to the Muslim community. Anti-Muslim incidents rose and one can only imagine what the final results for 2015 will be. Since the tragic Paris attacks, there is yet again an increase in Muslim backlash; everything from attacks on women wearing hijabs to gunshots at a family's home, to vandalism, threats and even armed gunman protesting outside mosques. But in addition to these horrendous acts, what doesn't get any attention at all is the many ways in which both the overt and subliminal messaging of anti-Muslim rhetoric has seeped into the American psyche and created ingrained biases that can be just as dangerous as hate crimes -- and yes, even deadly.
Aspects Of Islamic Faith - 63: The Last Prayer Of The Day
Arab News & Information - By Adil Salahi
GOD requires us to pray five times every day. These are obligatory in the sense that missing any one of them, without a valid reason, is a sin that is liable to punishment by God. Each prayer has a time range during which it is properly and timely offered. When the time has lapsed, any Muslim who missed it, without reason, has incurred a grievous sin, which he needs to repent. Such repentance must be accompanied by a resolve not to repeat such omission.
In addition, we are recommended to offer voluntary prayers, i.e. sunnah. These accompany each one of the five obligatory prayers, either before or after the obligatory part. One strongly recommended prayer is the Witr, which is offered after Isha, the last obligatory prayer of the day.
What The Qur'an Teaches: Moses’ Secret Exposed - Fearful, Vigilant In The City
Arab News & Information - By Adil Salahi
In the name of God, the Lord of Grace, the Ever Merciful Next morning, he was in the city, fearful, vigilant, when he saw the man who sought his help the day before again crying out to him for help. Moses said to him: ‘Indeed, you are clearly a quarrelsome fellow.’ But then, when he was about to strike the one who was their enemy, the latter exclaimed: ‘Moses! Do you want to kill me as you killed another man yesterday? You want only to become a tyrant in the land, and you do not want to be one who sets things right.’ (The Story, Al-Qasas: 28: 18-19)
Why Don't More Families Recycle? "But Waste Not By Excess: For Allah Loveth Not The Wasters." - Quran 6:141
"But waste not by excess: for Allah loveth not the wasters." (Quran 6:141)
One question that has puzzled me since I took shahada 20 years ago, is why I don't see the Muslims recycling their garbage. Surely, there are exceptions, but I continue to be completely baffled by the general level of environmental disregard. I would have thought that in 20 years, we would have made more progress in terms of our consciousness about the burden we put upon our fellow citizens to cope with our daily waste.
Recently I was visiting an Iraqi family for dinner. When I inquired why they preferred to live in America even after the political situation had stabilized back home, they told me that Iraq is a terrible place to live because it's full of garbage.
"Just By 3 Verses You Can Knock Down The Shi'ah Madzhab! -- Sheikh Abdul Muhsin Al-Ahmad
"I swear by Allah just with these 3 verses, you can uproot the big Shi'ah madzhab. Yes, big madzhab according to the human view but it is small and a dwarf. Just with 3 verses. I don't want you to debate the Shi'ah laypersons but debate their chiefs and leaders."
"in only 2 minutes you can show that you are right and he is wrong." 3 verses in surah Fathir, az-Zumar and Yunus.
Sheikh Abdul Muhsin Ahmad spoke of his experience debating Iranian officials who were Rafidhi and triggered them receive hidayah after reading these 3 verses.
What The Qur'an Says: Setting Scene For An Eventful Story
Arab News & Information - By Adil Salahi
In the name of God, the Lord of Grace, the Ever Merciful Ta. Sin. Mim. These are verses of the Book that makes things clear. We shall relate to you some of the story of Moses and Pharaoh, setting forth the truth for people who will believe. Pharaoh exalted himself in the land and divided its people into castes. One group of them he persecuted, slaying their sons and keeping their women alive. For certain, he was one who sows corruption. - (The Story, Al-Qasas: 28: 1-4)
Hoping for and seeking shaheed is a form of deed which is from amongst the most important. Rasulullah shalallahu 'alaihi wasallam also avidly hoped for dying shaheed:
"By Him in Whose Hands my soul is! I would love to be martyred in Allah's Cause and then come back to life and then get martyred, and then come back to life again and then get martyred and then come back to life again and then get martyred." [HR Al-Bukhari]
What The Qur'an Teachers : Unbelievers’ Argument In Hell
By Naushad Shamim Al-Haq
In the name of God, the Lord of Grace, the Ever Merciful Before the fire they are brought, morning and evening, and then on the Day when the Last Hour comes, it will be said: Cast Pharaoh’s people into the worst suffering. They will contend with one another in the fire: The weak will say to those who were arrogant, “We have been your followers, so can you relieve us of some share of the fire?” The arrogant will reply: “We are all in it together. For God has judged between His creatures.”