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Dr Kaukab Siddique | Editor-in-Chief Jamada al-Thani 12, 1428/ June 27, 2007 #48


CORRECTION: Re: New Trend's report on Islam and Indigenous Peoples: Not "Red Indians"

The term "red" Indians is equivalent to 'redskin' which to many indigenous people of this land is similar to calling an African American a nigger. You should be more careful when talking about the first nations people especially when others are trying to introduce Islam to this population. Also don't forget that all of us who are not indigenous to this land are either invaders, descendants of invaders, or immigrants whom for different reasons are benefiting from the theft of this land and the near complete genocide of their original owners. Enlightened Muslims like yourself should have this even more clear in their minds since the injustice against the indigenous peoples of this continent mirrors that being committed against the Palestinian people. We are called to always stand up for justice and cannot be blind to this when we benefit from this injustice.

Respectfully,

Paula Ostrovsky-Redner [California]


Letter: Re: "Muslim" Zionists: Is there an alternative to Israel?

I really enjoyed this New Trend.

The anti-Israel demonstration on Sunday [June 10] was excellent, and lobbying today on Capitol Hill was also a positive experience. I wonder from your article "Jewish Zionists, Christian Zionists, "Muslim" Zionists Joust for Acceptance by White House/FBI/Zionist Media" what other option there is for Palestine and the state of Israel? Certainly the problems that arose in Rwanda and other artificial African states shouldn't continue to be repeated around Jerusalem; but what is your alternate solution since the state of Israel has been established?

Maryam [Washington, DC] [From a long letter.]


Editor's note: The alternative to Israel is Islam. The Muslim world can easily dismantle Israel if the majority of Muslims start following the Qur'an. "Drive them out from where they drove you out" is the absolute command of Allah Almighty in the Qur'an. Israel may even be dismantled without a war. It is an artificial entity created by the U.S. and the victors of World War II. It has no legitimacy.


Letter from Oman

An Arab Country's Suffering was Completely Censored by U.S. Media

A terrible storm struck Oman in the Arabian peninsula [June 6, 2007]. It was of no interest to the U.S. although America does good business there. New Trend got this brief report from a reader on June 10:

Thank God we are fine but it was really bad and strong; a lot of damage and people died but I don't know why our government doesn't want to say and reveal the truth. the government is saying that everything is going well and no need for help from outside but that is not true. People are missing, dying from thirst and hunger in most places because there is no way to reach them , no electricity, nothing!!!!!!!!!!!! You know in many places, people don't have place to stay and yet the government is saying everything is under control!!!!!!!!!!! yesterday, I went with some friends to take some food , water and other things to some damaged places. It took us 7 hours to reach places we used to reach in 10 minutes!!! Other places they are still looking for people but till now nothing is found!

Khalid


Jamaat al-Muslimeen News, P.O. Box 10881, Baltimore, MD 21234 [2 items only]

Outreach in Arab-American Community, Baltimore: 100 Get cutting edge Literature

June 22, 2007: Masjid Noor is located in northeastern Baltimore city. Jamaat al-Muslimeen literature was given to 100 people after juma [Friday] prayers. Most of the worshipper here are from a variety of Arab countries particularly Egypt, Syria, UAE and Lebanon.

The literature included five items: Jamaat's appeal to U.S. Muslims to condemn the British knighthood of anti-Islam hatemonger Salman Rushdie, analysis of the great Islamic victory in Gaza, the New Trend exclusive on the gang leader who has confessed to the shootings for which Imam Jamil was sent to prison, the Shi'ite destruction of the tomb of Talha, r.a. in Iraq, and a motivational article on making salat the center of one's life while living in America.


African-Americans and Israeli Jews: Unequal Relationship

by Sis. Aisha, Jamaat al-Muslimeen New York City

I found this article curious. Some male professional athletes have gotten in trouble for domestic disputes and assaults on "fellow Americans" and receive pay and playing time. But, this girl, who is African-American, hits an Israeli and gets fired.

Sky terminates Deanna Jackson's contract for striking opponent - WNBA - Yahoo! Sports


Sky terminates Deanna Jackson's contract for striking opponent

May 23, 2007

CHICAGO (AP) -- The Chicago Sky terminated the contract of guard Deanna Jackson on Wednesday, one month after she hit an opposing player in a parking lot after Israel's national league title game.

Jackson, who spent the off season playing for Israeli team Anda Ramat Hasharon, was placed on indefinite suspension by the Sky following her arrest on April 24 for assaulting Elitzur Ramle guard Ina Gourevitch in a Jerusalem parking lot after an 81-68 loss in the championship game.

"Although we have been informed that there is still an ongoing investigation of Deanna's altercation with Ina in Israel, the general nature of the incident is not in dispute," Sky owner Michael Alter said. "Based on her decisions and actions that occurred after a game, Deanna has violated her collective bargaining agreement and player contract."

The two players had gotten into a skirmish and shouted insults at each other near the end of the game. Police said the clash spilled into the parking lot, where Jackson sought out Gourevitch and punched her, breaking her nose.

Jackson averaged 5.8 points and 2.6 rebounds in five WNBA seasons with Cleveland, Indiana and Chicago.


America's Million Dollar Mosques and Glittering Fund Raisers

Where's the Money?
By Bilal Siraj ul-Din

Masjid X will be having its monthly fundraising dinner. Masjid Y will be holding a silent auction to raise money for such-and-such. Please give sadaqah generously, brothers and sisters, for the cause of Allah. Such statements are part and parcel of jumu'ah khutbahs and standard masajid discourse. In masajid across the land, the call goes out to raise money, money and even more money. And indeed money comes pouring in, in response to this endless call. All this money--where does it go? To the institution of the masjid, or to help those in need?

Many masajid seem to have misplaced priorities on the issue of money and fundraising. One case in regards to the issue of money: Mammoth-sized masajid with matching mammoth-sized parking lots are being constructed. Or extensions to existing masajid are built. There is nothing wrong with having a large area for Muslims to congregate, especially in sizeable Muslims communities. But the mammoth-mosque construction is frequently going on in sparsely populated areas, while smaller, well-attended masajid in population dense areas are struggling just to provide basic amenities to their congregations, to pay their utility bills, or to develop a community school. What is the point of building structure after structure when members of the community are in need? Why don't the mammoth masajid allocate some of their funds to help the smaller masajid? Zakat and even sadaqah is meant for those who are less fortunate or suffering within a geographic area. Properly allocated, it could mean money for food, clothing, shelter, medicine, school tuition for children (Muslims should be able to send their children to Islamic schools if they wish, irrespective of income level, right?) and more. Yes, mammoth masajid may be an impressive structure to gaze at, and to brag about to one's neighbors. But, what is the utility of external beauty if the internal arena is rotten?

Another case is that of money sent overseas. In some masajid, money collected as sadaqah and fundraising often finds its way overseas. Some of it makes it to the immediate community, but the rest is sent to other countries. This isn't a wholly bad thing, because it is going to help Muslims. We must, however, stop and think. If there is money left over after the sadaqah boxes have been emptied and the fundraising money has been factored into a budget, should the money leave the community where it was raised when people in that community are still suffering, close to eviction, or to having their lights turned off? Should the money be sent overseas, while Muslims of the local community have no option but to eat high salt, hormone-injected food from grocery stores and fast food restaurants not worthy of the name, and halal food is beyond the budget of most? Or should it be used to meet the needs of those in the immediate area?

Sadly, we have assumed the habit of neglecting the needs of those in our community, focusing on cosmetic concerns in some cases, and simply passing the money over the heads of needy Muslims in others. We need ask, Where is the money? With all the fundraising dinners and other masajid-level money collection, why are some members of the Muslim community still in need? Why are there sisters with their children in homeless shelters? And why are Muslim children left with none but the public school option, with few chances of scholarships or tuition aid to attend an Islamic school? Where's all the money going?

Stop and think: How much money is being pulled in annually from masajid across the U.S. alone? Does anyone have the slightest clue? There seems to be no accounting of how much is collected. If there is no accounting, how then do we know how much is going back into the community? No percentage, range, or estimate is available. Are one hundred percent of the funds raised from the community going back into the community (I doubt it)? Fifty percent? Ten percent? Allah alone knows best how the money is being spent. But as long as the figures are enshrouded in mystery, Boards of Directors in masajid nationwide will determine, rightly or wrongly, how the money will be spent. The question is: Will they, in allocating monies, take into account (or even be aware of) the needs of the Muslims in their communities? The presence of needy and suffering Muslims in a great many communities nationwide seem to indicate not.


Letter: A Query from Iranian Reader about Shi'ism: Is New Trend Insulting Ali Sistani?

In the latest New Trend magazine, what does the writer mean by saying:
"Remember that the U.S. used artillery to damage the mausoleum of Shaikh Abdul Qadir Gailani and the tomb of Imam Abu Hanifah. Then too, the Shias did not restrain their American allies. In these graves, real saints are buried while in the Shi'ite shrine there is no verifiable evidence that any imam of the Shias is buried."

What does this mean? Our 10th and 11th Imams are buried in the Samara mosque.

and also:

"Iraqi Shi'ites committed a strategic error by siding with the U.S. in its occupation of Iraq. Sistani seems to have no idea that he is on the wrong side of history. Observers say, like his fellow sectarians in the time of Mongol onslaught, he is supporting anti-Islam forces. It's a blunder because the Islamic world is fighting the occupation armies and there is no sign of retreat."

Since when did Ayatollah Seyyed Sistani support the initial occupation of Iraq? "Fellow sectarians?" Isn't the writer indirectly insulting Ayatollah Seyyed Sistani? Irregardless, such ambiguous paragraphs do much more harm than good for the sake of the unity of our ummah. I don't know what he means by "inside job," but it was either Sunnis or US armed forces helping Sunnis blow up the mosque.

"Taftid," Baltimore, Maryland


Input from New Trend's Research Department on Iraqi Shi'ites

The following information is easily available:

Ali Sistani, spiritual leader of Iraqi Shi'ites, is not on the record for having opposed the invasion and occupation of Iraq by the U.S.
Sistani supported the "elections" carried out by the U.S. in its attempt to legitimize the CIA-related-agents it installed in Baghdad. Under international law, elections held under military occupation have no validity.
Sistani supported the administration of the Jaafari regime and now supports the Nuri al-Maliki [former CIA man] clique installed by the U.S.
Now for the Shi'ite Imams allegedly buried in the Samarra Shrine. Little is known about the so-called 10th and 11th "imams" of the Shi'ites, al-Hadi and al-Askari. The Shi'ite narrations about them are a bunch of myths and stories of "miracles" and epiphanies which cannot be verified independently or indirectly. These are evidently fabrications.
Al-Hadi and al-Askari were ordered to go from Madinah to Samarra by the Caliph al-Mutawwakil. When al-Hadi died, 254 Hijri, he was reportedly buried in his own house. When al-al-Askari died, 260 Hijri, he was also buried in the same house. Thus they had no public function and only by stretching the meaning of the word "imam" can they be called imams.
Is there a way to know that the current Shrine in Samarra is the same house in which the two were buried? No.
The general atmosphere of myth and ambiguity about the lives of al-Hadi and al-Askari comes from the story of the alleged "12th imam" who allegedly disappeared and for whose return the Shi'ites have been waiting for more than 1,200 years.
Was there really a "12th imam?" There is no such evidence. We read of various concubines of al-Askari who claimed to be pregnant with his son who would have been the 12th imam. But no such child was born. [*] [**]
The Shi'ite chronicler claims that there was such a child but no one had seen him, which is an contradictory claim because for the Shi'ites it was essential that the next imam be recognized. [***]
The Shi'ites first claimed that they had a 12th Imam who would appear "soon." This was known as the ghibat as-Sughra [the minor occultation.] When decades passed and the "imam" did not appear, the Shi'ites then claimed that the 12th Imam had gone into the ghibat al-kubra [the greater occultation] and would emerge at the end of time to fill the world with justice.
There is no place in the Qur'an or the authentic Hadith for any such claims. Hence by emphasizing these myths as part of their belief system, the Shi'ites have drifted far from Islam.
On top of these unislamic beliefs, the Shi'ites support the U.S. and do not object to the destruction of genuine Islamic mosques by the U.S. In fact Sistani and the Shi'ites have been silent about the destruction of entire cities by the U.S., such as Falluja, Tal Afar, Haditha, Ramadi, big chunks of Baghdad and Mosul and now Baqubah.


[*] Islamic historians indicate that the birth of al-Askari's son was attributed to his various concubines but is not proven to have ever happened. In his classic al-milal wun-nahl, the famous Andalusian scholar Ibn Hazm wrote: "Hasan Askari died without leaving any descendants and as a result the Shi'as broke into several sects. The majority of them insist that Hasan bin Ali [Askari] had a son but he was kept hidden. One very popular version is that AFTER Hasan's death his concubine Saiqal gave birth to a son. Other Shi'as say that it was not Saiqal but another concubine of Hasan named Sawsun who gave birth to a son. Of the two claims, the more evident is that of the concubine Saiqal because she claimed to be pregnant after Hasan died. As a result, the inheritance could not be distributed for seven years and there was a squabble on the inheritance between the concubine and Hasan's brother Ja'far bin Ali. Both sides had supporters. However the pregnancy led to a miscarriage, the issue fizzled and Hasan Askari's brother Ja'far got the inheritance."

[**] A popular Shi'ite compendium Bahar al-Anwar, by Mullah Baqir Majlisi, attributes a great variety of mythical stories and miracles to the alleged 12th Imam. This is a huge book but translation of relevant portions from its 13th volume are available to us. Similarly the Shi'ite book of traditions Al-Kafi of Kulayni, compiled in 328 Hijri, has provided readers with ten pages of myths to "prove" the birth of "Sahib-uz-zaman" the 12th imam. None of these are verifiable. A Shi'ite scholar has pointed out that: "...a great many traditions ascribing supernatural and superhuman characteristics to the Imams, propounded by the semi-ghulat circles in Kufa, crept into the Shia literature." [Origins and Early Development of Shi'a Islam by S.H. M. Jafri, p. 303] Another Shi'ite book Jannat al-Khulut attributes the birth of the 12th imam to still another concubine of Hasan Askari known as Narjis. Mythical and miraculous stories of Narjis abound. Evidently the 11th Imam lived in great luxury and had numerous concubines along with his wives.

[***] The Shi'ite historian admits that "Al-Hasan al-Askari did not make his son publicly known during his life-time and the ordinary people were not able to recognise him after his death." [Kitab Al-Irshad by Shaykh al-Mufid, translated by I.K.A. Howard, p. 523.] Mufid admits that Askari's brother Ja'afar disputed Shi'ite claims, including the existence of a son. He admits in a roundabout way that Ja'far got the inheritance, without admitting that such could have happened only if Askari did NOT have a son.


Exclusive to New Trend

An Appeal for Sanity
Is modern world in grip of clash of civilization ?

By: Amjad Malik, MA, LLM

Britain is in the grip of latest stir caused by the knighthood status granted to 'Satanic Verses' fame writer Salman Rushdie which has created an uproar in the Islamic world though the stalwarts of the ummah are quietly observing these developments. Several organizations have expressed dismay at the blatant disregard shown to the 2 million Muslims' sensitivities in the UK and over a billion around the world whilst granting a Knighthood to a writer. They questioned the wisdom of Tony Blair for such recommendations on the occasion of Queen Elizabeth's birthday and have called for withdrawal as this honour is given at a time when Muslims are on the edge to bridge the gap between two communities after the events of September 11th and 7 July. Muslims of Britain as well as the Western World are already subject to victimization via various heavy handed laws, and at this junction honouring Rushdie will contribute to widening the gulf between the two cultures and alienating the mainstream Muslim community.

PAKISTANI LAWS DETER CRIMES against RELIGION:
Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) of 1860 dates from the British colonial period: Sections 295 to 298 of the PPC dealing with religious offences dates back to that period and were intended to prevent and curb religious violence. The offences listed are: defiling a place of worship (s.295), acts insulting religion or religious beliefs (s.295 A), disturbing a religious assembly (s.296), trespassing on burial grounds (s.297), and utterances wounding religious feelings (s.298). These sections have a lot in common including the intention of the offender to hurt the religious susceptibilities of others which is considered integral to the offence; they also share a universal application, whereby hurting the religious feelings or any group is made an offence. In particular S. 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code says, " whoever by words either spoken or written or by visible representations or in any manner whatsoever, or by any imputation, innuendo or institution, directly or indirectly defiles the sacred name of the holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) shall be punished with death or imprisonment for life and shall also be liable to fine." Islamic Shariat Bench later declared that imprisonment can not be granted in Blasphemy proven cases and only death sentence is the right sentence for the convicted.

BRITISH BLASPHEMY LAW DOES NOT COVER ISLAM:
However these offences have little value to the West who take freedom of expression as a superior force to all other political and religious compulsions. Their Blasphemy law, however, protects Christianity but not Islam. Article 10 of European Convention of Human Rights 1950 which is a bit similar to Article 19 of the Constitution of Pakistan 1973 says: "1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinion and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This article shall not prevent States from requiring the Licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises." During the Salman Rushdie affair in 80's after writing a book 'Satanic Verses' Britain never prosecuted Salman Rushdie under Blasphemy Laws of Britain for defiling the Prophet of Islam as British laws only cover Christianity. Under Ex Parte Choudhary, private prosecution was not allowed either by British Courts due to lack of legal provisions. Britain since has introduced the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006 which intends to curb preaching religious violence; however it still does not address the core and causes of igniting religious hatred albeit blasphemy.
Holocaust Denial is a Crime!
However in the west denial of holocaust as to whether or not Jews were oppressed by Hitler's Nazi regime is a criminal offence in most part of Europe. Holocaust denial is illegal in a number of European countries: In Austria (article 3h Verbotsgesetz 1947) punishable from 6 months to 20 years, Belgium (Belgian Holocaust denial law) punishable from Fine to 1 year, the Czech Republic under section 261 punishable from 6 months to 3 years, France (Loi Gayssot) punishable from Fine or 1 month to 2 years, Germany (130 (3) of the penal code) also the Auschwitzlge law section 185 punishable from Fine or 1 month to 5 years, Lithuania, The Netherlands under articles 137c and 137e punishable from Fine or 2 years to 10 years, Poland, Romania, Slovakia,and Switzerland (article 261bis of the Penal Code) punishable from 6 months to 3-5 years. In addition, under Law 5710-1950 it is also illegal in Israel and punishable from 1 year to 5 years. Italy enacted a law against racial and sexual discrimination on January 25, 2007 punishable from 3 years to 4 years.

Now we see no Islamic countries in this list which outlaw holocaust denial as if one wishes to enact the law in those countries one is called to scratch their back too and amend home blasphemy laws to include the respect for Islam and its Prophet. Now looking at this tendency the way the West is showing insensitivity to the Muslim World's feelings, It will be quite illogical if Islamic countries in a fit start awarding Saddam Hussein a highest bravery award for saying 'God is one' on the gallows or Mullah Omer 'the sword of Ali award' for combating the foreign oppressor. These sentiments though exist which call for serious consideration by OIC and West to sit together and find a solution to this hugely charged issue as common man of each society calls for peace and harmony between ancient civilizations.

The awarded writer's contribution is disputed too and it is not only conflicting but has caused hurt to scores of human souls around the world. British Government must have gauged the fallout as a result of such an honour announcement and the assessment seems faulty over this knighthood and gives rise to the contention whether it is intentional to stir worldwide outcry to secure public support for aggression or an unintended lapse. Queen's regiment has already been insensitive to the public pulse at the death of Lady Diana, the princess of Wales and here too showing little regret over this episode where thousands of Muslim protestors are on the streets.

There is further fuel on the fire by careless statements of politicians, one of which is of Mr. Ejaz Ul Haq, a Minister of Religion of Pakistan, trying to justify suicidal attacks on the writer which has no basis in Islamic teachings and in law here and abroad. In particular his call is not wise when 1 million Pakistanis reside in Britain and contribute heavily in national economy including his own clan. Whilst urging communities to remain calm and use their right to protest in a maximum peaceful manner, I feel the time has come for two ancient civilization to sit together and try to form a group of countries to have a joint 'Memorandum of Understanding' to identify and not to allow harbouring each other's common criminals who defile each others religious faith. Prophet Muhammad(PBUH) did something similar 1400 years ago and made a pact with his opponents known as 'Hudabiya Pact' and here too the Western world must have a dialogue to secure interfaith harmony in order to bring two extremes to the middle to avoid future conflict.

Blasphemy laws in Pakistan, Iran and Saudi make blasphemy punishable by death; writers of such books walked free in British-run India for writing 'Colourful Prophet' around 100 years ago, and now for writing 'Satanic Verses' and publishing 'Danish Cartoons' ridiculing the Prophet. Similarly denying holocaust, that Nazis did or did not oppress the Jews, is a criminal offence in the West but in the Islamic world if not penalized. If a joint attempt to 'give and take' policy is not adopted, I am afraid a chain of uncalled events may emerge from within this episode which will be regrettable but will be disastrous to the efforts of bringing the unity in this global village. When law does not address public anxiety and no forum on which a complaint can be lodged is available then those who mutilate public feelings on the name of freedom will deepen the gulf further and clash of civilization begins as was quoted by the US president wrongly or rightly at the time of 9/11 referring to crusades.

We must all discourage any attempt to use or stir violence on religious basis; however realizing the nature of situation OIC and Western World including European Union, US, Russia, China, and India must consider setting up a forum to adjudicate such matters and give serious thought to the calls of Muslim countries & West for interfaith harmony. Islamic countries jointly must come up with a unanimous unstinted resolution as to where no negotiation is possible and where there is a compromise possible on the name of freedom of thought and expression and or to include protection to Western belief.

There was no dearth of individuals like Ghazi ilam Din then in India, or Amir Cheema now in Germany in this day and age who were and are willing to take law into their own hands on the name of love for their religion and their Prophet when no law or legal forum is available to address their concerns when countries show blatant disregard to their sentiments. The decision is simple: it's one man's freedom against 1.5 billion Muslims' sensitivities. Muslim world unanimously banned the film 'Passion of Christ' which fantasized Jesus Christ in fiction; same reciprocal concession must be offered from the West which does not cost them a penny. Why both societies do not act together to fill the lacuna so that any frenzied writer may not stir religious sentiments and defile each others sacred belief as current law does not address those common grouses of each community. This way we can stop the clash of civilization and nip the evil in the bud in order to save humanity; one man's unnatural death is the death of the whole of humanity.


Amjad Malik is a Solicitor-Advocate of the Supreme Court (England), an expert of human rights law and Chair of Association of Pakistani Lawyers: 21 June 2007

2007-06-27 Wed 18:26:08 cdt
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