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Dr Kaukab Siddique | Editor-in-Chief Rabi' al-Thani 30,1429/ May 6, 2008, #27


Thinking outside the box: "The Qur'an is either an argument for you or against you. Islam is a cutting force; it is a vanguard movement that sets a standard for people. When you talk about struggle, change, revolution, this is the guidance. It sets the standard. It does not follow the lead of other people; it sets the example. You have to become comfortable with that. How do you become comfortable with that? You practice."
[Revolution by the Book by Imam Jamil Abdullah al-Amin, p.144]


Peace is Possible through Awareness
First International Islamic Conference in the U.S. after 9.11: Heavy First Endorser Begins the Movement to August 16, inshallah

May 5, 2008: Ramsey Clark is the first endorser of the international peace conference coming up on August 16. Mr. Clark, former attorney general of the U.S. is the leader of the anti-war movement in America. He has fought for the civil rights of Muslims and other oppressed people as no one else has. Other than our dear departed Iraqi brother Abdul Sattar, Ramsey Clark was the first American to visit Iraq to oppose the Gulf War and show support for the independence of Iraq. He also had the courage to provide legal defense to Saddam Hussain, the martyred President of Iraq who fought to the last, physically, in defense of his people.

Mr. Clark has also been unique in defense of the Blind Shaikh [Dr. Omar 'Abdel Rahman] and is still taking care of his legal rights in prison. The causes of humanity and peace which Mr. Clark stands for are too many to list here. His books against war are inspiring, scholarly and courageous. One of his most brilliant productions is about the people of Haiti.

Peace with honor, based on law, with self determination for all peoples, is possible if we give up the idea that Islam can be defeated by dropping bombs.

We thank Ramsey Clark for the generous spirit with which he accepted, considering that most of the time it is difficult to reach him, let alone talk to him.

A number of Islamic leaders are being invited, outstanding, independent and honest. Their names will be published as soon as they can confirm, inshallah.
We urge the Muslims of America to support this unusual effort to bring about Peace and Awareness.

Go to the conference web site: www.JAM4PEACE.org and talk to Br. Aziz.


CANADA! Let my people go!
Dear readers of New Trend: Asalamu alaikum
There are 382 names on the petition to free Momin Khawaja. Please add your name. Let's try to raise the number to at least 1000. It takes 5 minutes:
http://www.petitiononline.com /mkhawaja/petition.html

Also see "Montreal Perspectives," below. A major Canadian Muslim group is speaking out on the Momin case.


Israel's Anniversary: Day of Mourning for the Muslim World and all Humanity: Let's Focus on Dismantling this Terrorist Entity
by Badi Ali, Jamaat al-Muslimeen National Shoora, North Carolina

Sixty years back Israel was imposed on Palestine by the western powers who were victorious in World War II. The Palestinian people to whom Palestine belongs were not consulted. Military force was used to impose this illegitimate entity on us. We did not invite the occupiers. We resisted but the military forces supporting Israel overwhelmed us through the open ended support they gave the Israelis. Terrorism was systematically used by the Jews to force the Palestinian people to leave their homes. Blatant genocide has been used against us to create a military enclave in the heartland of Islam.

After the rape, the rape victim is being asked to recognize the rapist as a legitimate person who has the right to continue to occupy the victim's home and to keep the victm out.

Recognition of a terrorist occupation force as a legitimate state has absolutely no place in the Islamic way of thinking. The Muslims must not only resist but must come up with a viable program to dismantle Israel. In the Islamic belief system, there is no place for Israel. Prophet Muhammad, peace be on him, according to authentic hadith, led all the prophets, pbut, in prayers in masjid al-Aqsa in Jerusalem. This is the home of Muhammad, pbuh. He prayed here, and we Muslims cannot by any twist of any argument give it away to the occupiers.

I urge the Ummah of Islam to remember the Israeli anniversary as a DAY of MOURNING but the mourning must be Islamic in content: it should generate positive energy to DISMANTLE the terrorist entity. If the Muslim world recognizes that Israel is the enemy of the entire world of Islam, we could UNITEDLY put an end to Israel even by PEACEFUL MEANS.

Note who is going to Israel to celebrate this terrorist entity. It is George Bush: the man who is among the most corrupted and conflicted of human beings. His hands are red with the blood of Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia and he is Israel's best friend. India and Israel are working together to crush the Muslims of Kashmir. Israel's lobby is trying to undermine Sudan through the suffering in Darfur.

How long has this horror called Israel continued? Sixty years! 21900 days! How much we have suffered! How much we have endured! Our children should release 21900 balloons on this day of mourning to remember the children Israel has killed. Generations of our people have been destroyed by this monster. Alhamdulillah! the dawn of Islamic resurgence is emerging and the night of Israel is moving towards its end.

"By the Dawn, by the ten nights, by the Even and the Odd, and by the Night when it passes away, is there not in these evidence for those who understand?" [The Qur'an 89:1-5]


Latest War News: Snippets [2 items from our Media Monitor]
SOMALIA:
May 4, 2008. More than 1,500 people in the central Somalian village of Dusa Morreb rallied to protest a U.S. air attack on the village which killed 25 people. The attack by the U.S. air force on May 1 was aimed at an Islamic leader named Aden Hashi Ayro who was among those killed. The protestors were women and children who condemned the U.S. policy of mass murder from the air killing all to kill one. African deaths mean nothing to the U.S., they said.

Meanwhile heavy fighting in the capital city Mogadishu continued as U.S.-backed Ethiopian armored columns attacked civilian populations which are resisting the occupation of Somalia by the hated Ethiopians. At least 80 civilians have been killed in the Ethiopian attacks.


IRAQ: Chaos and Breakdown: Air Attacks in Sadr City: Marines killed in Anbar Province

The statistics tell a grim story. Another 52 U.S. troops were killed in April and 6 have been killed in the first 4 days of May. Another 260 U.S. troops were wounded lightly and another 158 badly wounded in April. Of the dead, 12 U.S. troops were killed and 50 wounded in the fighting in Sadr city area of Baghdad and the rest against Al-Qaidah in Iraq. Most disturbing for the U.S. is the re-emergence of Al-Qaidah-in-Iraq in Anbar province. As New Trend had postulated, apparently the Islamic forces were regrouping and now are back on the offensive.

The U.S. government admitted that 4 marines, America's best, were killed in fighting in the Fallujah area on May 2. [Fox TV.] According to an earlier report [CNN April 16] 2 marines were killed in Anbar province and still another 2 in the same province earlier.

Women fighters linked to al-Qaidah are carrying out revenge attacks on Shi'ites who helped U.S. forces. On April 27, a woman martyrdom operator blew apart a wedding ceremony of Iraqis supporting the U.S. killing 35 and wounding 14 [in Balad Ruz, Diyala province.]. U.S. backed Shi'ite forces are still trying to subdue the Islamic city of Mosul but with little success. Most people in this major northern city support al-Qaidah.

In SADR CITY area of Baghdad, U.S. air strikes in populated areas have caused heavy civilian casualties. The death toll from U.S. air and tank bombardments has crossed the 700 mark, mostly civilians, including women and children. Of these 34 were killed in ONE air strike on April 28. Scores of Shi'ite fighters loyal to Moqtada al-Sadr have also been killed as the heavily armed U.S. forces backed by al-Maliki's Shi'ites advance into the Sadr city slums.

The slaughter is so bad that Tehran has announced that Iran will not cooperate with the U.S. any further if the attacks do not stop.


PAKISTAN's SHAME; General Miller Appointed to U.S. Embassy in Islamabad [From our Pakistan observer.]

General Miller was the commander of Guantanamo Bay [Gtmo] cages where hundreds of Islamic innocents were kept for years without charge. Chaplain Yee, a Muslim who tried to help the prisoners, has documented in detail the horrific crimes against Islam and Muslims carried out under the command of General Miller in Guantanamo. Desecration of the Qur'an was an ongoing process meant to humiliate and break the prisoners.

This General is now in Pakistan. Something is seriously wrong with Pakistan that it can accept such a man on its soil.
[See below the latest inside report from Gtmo related by a Sudanese journalist.]
James Yee's book For God and Country should be required reading for anyone who doubts that America is waging a war against Islam and specifically against the Qur'an. It's a heartbreaking story but it is also extremely inspiring. This American Muslim showed that Islam is stronger than America's military might although he fought without weapons.


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

[Note: Jamaat al-Muslimeen is an independent Islamic organization. It is not connected in any way to organizations with similar names in Trinidad and Karachi.]

Outreach: 128 Muslims in Silver Spring Maryland: A rich but Very Sleepy Community

May 2, 2008: Muslim Community Center [MCC] is a super rich community north of the Washington, DC beltway, about 33 miles south of Baltimore. After Juma' salat, Jamaat al-Muslimeen literature was give to 128 people from a great variety of nationalities. The literature announced the International Islamic Conference for Peace and Awareness coming up on August 16. It also documented the mass rally by Islamic women in Karachi, Pakistan against the blasphemous cartoons published in Denmark and the abusive anti-Islam video produced in Holland.

An analysis of Senator Obama's response to Rev. Wright and Min. Farrakhan was included in the documents.

The khutba was a rambling, sleepy one. It was not clear what the khateeb wanted to say. A janaza prayer was held but the crowd was not told the name of the deceased. The highlight of the day was when a brother brought a truckload of fruits and vegetables and sold them at discount rates. [This is a leaderless community, very rich but diffuse.]


Dr. Abdulalim Shabazz at Lincoln University for Commencement Ceremonies on May 4

One of Lincoln's greatest, Dr. Abdulalim Shabazz , Distinguished Professor of Mathematics, is visiting Lincoln U. He was welcomed by both faculty and students. On May 1, he performed the wedding ceremony for a Muslim student. Last year he was offered an Endowed Chair by Grambling University and decided to resign from Lincoln University owing to constant harassment and nit picking by the extreme right wing administration. It was a terrible loss for Lincoln.


One of America's Most Distinguished Imams to address National Shoora of Jamaat al-Muslimeen: Way to Muslim-Jewish Peace

On May 24 inshallah: Imam Warith Deen Umar, from Albany, New York, will address, inshallah, the National Islamic Shoora of Jamaat al-Muslimeen to be held in Greensboro, North Carolina. He will introduce his brilliant new book JEWS for SALAAM which is a groundbreaking work for the possibilities of peace between Muslims and Jews.

Imam Umar is honored by the Muslims of America owing to his refusal to sell out after 9.11 as most Muslim "leaders" did. He was steadfast although the American power structure, from the Wall Street Journal, to the FBI, the Police and Jewish senators like "Chuck" Schumer threw their united fitna against him.

His large, interracial, family has shown the power of the united Islamic family in times of stress.


Masaud Khan's Case: Innocent Victim in USA of India's Occupation of Kashmir
by Kaukab Siddique

FreeMasoudKhan.net

It's a land of great beauty with a peaceful, gentle population not at home at all with weapons and explosives. Most Muslims in America have forgotten Kashmir although human rights organizations provide stark facts about the ongoing agony of the people of Kashmir. Here are just three facts which should make us think:

i. 700,000 Indian troops are in Kashmir. This is the biggest occupation army in the world.
ii. Rape has been used by India to subjugate the Kashmiri people.
iii. Hundreds of thousands of Kashmiris are refugees. To escape Indian oppression, they fled to Pakistan and other countries.

Sympathy for the Kashmiri people is a natural phenomenon in Pakistan. Islamic organizations have tried to help the Kashmiri people. Some have linked up with the Kashmiri resistance. Pakistani governments of all shades have spoken in support of freedom for Kashmir. The K in Pakistan stands for Kashmir; thus Pakistan is incomplete without Kashmir.

Where does Masaud Khan come into the story? He is a middle class Pakistani from a well-to-do family. His father married an American woman who embraced Islam. They lived comfortably in Maryland, in one of the suburbs just outside Washington. The father passed away leaving behind substantial property in Karachi, Pakistan. Masaud Khan visited Pakistan for property reasons. As the stay became extended, his religious inclinations got him interested in KASHMIR. He is said to have visited an encampment set up by a pro-Kashmir Islamic group and to show his support, he fired three shots symbolically at India. That was the extent of his activism.

When the U.S. government decided to "prove" that it had broken a "jihad cell" in Virginia, Masaud was among those arrested. The prosecution [under the auspices of Ashcroft at that time] was determined to convict. It arrested a Korean convert to Islam who had been befriended by Masaud's family. The young Korean man had once lived in the basement of Masaud's home in Maryland. The U.S. brought him all the way from Korea to testify against Masaud. The man was convinced that his life would end if he did not testify against Masaud. He himself was to be tried as a terrorist! The Virginia "jihad" defendants were pressured to speak against each other to get shorter terms in prison. The government broke some of the defendants for this nefarious "witnessing."

Masaud was sentenced to 90 years! The court said it was 30 years for each of his three symbolic shots at India! His appeal has been turned down. During the trial, the government brought up the Neutrality Act against him. This law has seldom, if ever, been used. It says that any act against an ally of the U.S. is to be seen as an act against the U.S. Thus the new friendship between the U.S. and India has turned the Kashmiri freedom struggle into "terrorism."

Masaud's case is basically a political case. He is a staunch citizen of the U.S. and never broke U.S. law; never did anything against the U.S. The SILENCE of the Pakistani and Kashmiri citizens of the U.S. helped the government to get away with this shameful sentence: NINETY YEARS for a victimless crime! It boggles the mind. This is America under Zionist regime.

I urge Kashmiri-Americans and Pakistani-Americans to take up the case of Masaud. He is innocent; a victim of the Bush administration's determination to prove that it broke a "terrorist cell!"
Please join me in urging the regime to free Masaud Khan!


Montreal Perspectives
By Jalaluddin S. Hussain [Exclusive to New Trend]

Momin Khawaja's Case: Canadian Muslims Call for Fair Trial: More than Four Years in Solitary Confinement

Observe principle of transparency

Recently, an open letter was sent by the Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC), to the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper (and also to all the members of the Canadian House of Commons), regarding, Mohammed Momin Khawaja, the terrorist-suspect. In this letter the CIC has re-stated its principled stand of preserving the security of all Canadians, through the prosecution of individuals, who are believed to have genuinely participated in terrorist activities. However, this grassroots Muslim organization still believes, (as is evident from some of its recent electronic bulletins) that the prosecution process should be implemented only in accordance "with the rule of law and the principle of transparency".

It is unfortunate that in the case of Muhammad Momin Khawaja this "principle of transparency" has not apparently been followed. The CIC has therefore requested the Prime Minister of Canada to ensure that Muhammed Momin Khawaja gets a fair and prompt trial and his defence team is given free access to all the available evidences against him. It is worth mentioning that Mohammed Momin Khawaja has already suffered solitary confinement for more than four years, since March 2004. Now, his case needs to be proceeded against expeditiously. If the serious case of alleged terrorism is proved against him he should be punished severely..

Anti-immigration Bill.

The Bill C-50, (Budget Implementation Bill), which also incorporates sweeping immigration changes to the existing immigration laws, is being reviewed presenntly by the Senate Standing Committees on Immigration and Finance. While the Conservative Party of Canada, may have its own conservative and anti-immigration agenda to push, it is important to realize that Canada desparately needs a generous and flexible set of immigration laws, for immediate implementation.

The opposition political parties of Canada - the Liberal, the Bloc-Quebecois and the New Democratic Party - are right in demanding that::

- more dollar investment be made in the Canadian immigration sector;
- more application of skilled immigrants from all over the world be approved;
- more "family category" immigration, relating to skilled immigrants, be accepted.

Briefly, the second largest country of the world, Canada, with its meagre 33 million population and vast natural resources, need to radically overhaul its immigration policies and make it easier for the skilled and multicultural would-be immigrants to apply.

Stark statistics

A recent letter to the editor, in the daily "Dawn" of Karachi, Pakistan, by one Dr. Irfan Zafar, of Islamabad, was an eye-opener for me. This letter entitled; "Books not Bombs", mentioned the following interesting statistics:

- While India's current defence budget was 2.29 per cent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP), that of Pakistan was (a much smaller country), 3.13 per cent of its GDP;

- compared to India's literacy rate of 61 per cent (with a total population of around 1 billion), Pakistan's leteracy rate was 50 per cent (with a much smaller population of 165 million).

Pakistan and India are passing through critical times of their political history and it is therefore incumbent upon both of them to allocate more and more funds to their social, economic and educational budgets, instead of to defence.

State terrorism

I wish I could have known the author of the following quote:

" War is terrorism and if war is terrorism then the biggest terrorists are militaries. The armed forces of the United States have killed more peoples than Noriega. Saddam Hussein, Bin Laden and McVeigh, combined".


Letter: Unbelievers, good or bad, do not have the same goals as Muslims do

Each of us should understand what unbelievers, such as Clinton, McCain, Obama, Nader and McKinney are saying when they discuss Foreign Policy. One candidate may be more humane than another, but the safety and sovereignty of Islam and Muslim peoples, and the rights of Muslims to enjoy the resources that Allah has put in our lands, is not the goal of their foreign policy.

Ma salaam
Maryam Sharron Muhammad [Washington, DC]
[The writer has sent a bibliographic listing of books about water resources for which we thank her. --Editor]


DEAD CHILDREN, that is....
Gaza - "A shocking and shameful situation"


reliefweb.int When it comes to violence and the pervasive sense of fear that it has created in every household, the statistics speak for themselves. The casualty figures for 2008 in Gaza are a total of 344 Palestinians killed and 756 injured. In those figures are the deaths of 60 undisputedly innocent children with a further 175 injured children.

But in reality, it's more than 60, that's just bombs, bullets and shrapnel, there are subtler methods:
Above & More: http://tinyurl. com/4crma5

http://freegaza.ps/english


Gitmo Sudanese released after six years 6 months: Saga of U.S. Tyranny and Racism: Pakistan's Shameful Role: Sami helped Bosnia and Chechnya 10 years before 9.11. U.S. Claims that was "terrorism."

Sami al-Hajj Hits Out At US Captors
Al Jazeera
May 2, 2008
http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/04F88FBD-BFA5-42D9-A9C4-D8E0979C79D6.htm

Al Jazeera cameraman Sami al-Hajj has hit out at the US treatment of detainees at the Guantanamo Bay military prison where he was held for nearly six and a half years.

Saying that "rats are treated with more humanity", al-Hajj said inmates' "human dignity was violated".

Al-Hajj, who arrived in Sudan early on Friday, was carried off the US air force jet on a stretcher and immediately taken to hospital.

Later, he had an emotional reunion with his wife and son.

His brother, Asim al-Hajj, said he did not recognise the cameraman because he looked like a man in his 80s.

Still, al-Hajj said: "I was lucky because God allowed that I be released."

But his attention soon turned to the 275 inmates he left behind in the US military prison.

'Dignity violated'

"I'm very happy to be in Sudan, but I'm very sad because of the situation of our brothers who remain in Guantanamo. Conditions in Guantanamo are very, very bad and they get worse by the day," he said from his hospital bed.

"Our human condition, our human dignity was violated, and the American administration went beyond all human values, all moral values, all religious values.

"In Guantanamo ... rats are treated with more humanity. But we have people from more than 50 countries that are completely deprived of all rights and privileges.

"And they will not give them the rights that they give animals," he said.

Al-Hajj complained that "for more than seven years, [inmates] did not get a chance to be brought before a civil court to defend their just case".

Free man

The US embassy in Khartoum issued a brief statement confirming that a "detainee transfer" to tlineSudan had taken place and saying it appreciated Sudan's co-operation.

Omar al-Bashir, the Sudanese president, visited al-Hajj in hospital.

A senior US defence official in Washington speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters that al-Hajj was "not being released [but] being transferred to the Sudanese government".

But Sudan's justice minister told Al Jazeera that al-Hajj was a free man and would not be arrested or face any charges.

Two other Sudanese inmates at Guantanamo, Amir Yacoub al-Amir and Walid Ali, were freed along with al-Hajj.

The two said they were blindfolded, handcuffed and chained to their seats during the flight home.

The Reprieve organisation that represents some Guantanamo inmates said Moroccan detainee Said Boujaadia was also released and flown home on the same aircraft as the three Sudanese.

According to a US defence department statement, five detainees were "transferred" to Afghanistan as well. It said that all those detainees, nine in total, had been "determined to be eligible for transfer following a comprehensive series of review proccesses".

Al-Hajj was the only journalist from a major international news organisation held at Guantanamo and many of his supporters saw his detention as punishment for the network's broadcasts.

Seized in 2001

He was seized by Pakistani intelligence officers while travelling near the Afghan border in December 2001.

Despite holding a legitimate visa to work for Al Jazeera's Arabic channel in Afghanistan, he was handed to the US military in January 2002 and sent to Guantanamo Bay.

Al-Hajj, who is originally from Sudan, was held as an "enemy combatant" without ever facing trial or charges.

Al-Hajj was never prosecuted at Guantanamo so the US did not make public its full allegations against him.

But in a hearing that determined that he was an enemy combatant, US officials alleged that in the 1990s, al-Hajj was an executive assistant at a Qatar-based beverage company that provided support to Muslim fighters in Bosnia and Chechnya.
The US claimed he also travelled to Azerbaijan at least eight times to carry money on behalf of his employer to the al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, a now defunct charity that US authorities say funded armed groups.

The US also clamed he met Mamdouh Mahmud Salim, allegedly a senior lieutenant to Osama bin Laden who was arrested in Germany in 1998 and extradited to the United States.

His lawyers have always denied the allegations.

'Element of racism'

Al-Hajj had been on hunger strike since January 7, 2007.

David Remes, a lawyer for 17 detainees at Guantanamo Bay, told Al Jazeera that the treatment al-Hajj received "was more horrific than most" and that there was "an element of racism" in the way he was treated.

He said he had been in contact with the lawyer representing al-Hajj and it appeared the cameraman had been "psychologically damaged".

"The Europeans would never receive this treatment," Remes said.

About 275 detainees remain at Guantanamo and the lawyer said European detainees had all been returned to their country, leaving nationalities such as Yemenis - who now constitute one third of the inmate population.

Remes said al-Hajj had been released because the Bush administration "wants to flush as many men out of Guantanamo as quickly as possible ... as Guantanamo has become such an international badge of shame".

"Once the Supreme Court said the men could have lawyers the pressure increased [on the US] and condemnation isolated the US administration. Guantanamo was a PR disaster," he said.

"Unfortunately Americans appreciate violations of rights but they have no sympathy for men held at Guantanamo as the [Bush] administration has done such a good job in portraying them as the worst of the worst and as evil doers.

"I've met many prisoners, gotten to appreciate their suffering ... we know them as humans not as worst of worst, we've met their families.

"I've been to Guantanamo and the human dimension of Guantanamo is a story yet to be told," Remes said.

Al Jazeera concerns

Al Jazeera had been campaigning for al-Hajj's release since his capture nearly six and a half years ago.

Wadah Khanfar, the network's director-general who was in Khartoum to welcome al-Hajj, said "we are overwhelmed with joy".

But he criticised the US military for urging al-Hajj to spy on his employers.

"We are concerned about the way the Americans dealt with Sami, and we are concerned about the way they could deal with others as well," he said.

"Sami will continue with Al Jazeera, he will continue as a professional person who has done great jobs during his work with Al Jazeera.

"We congratulate his family and all those who knew Sami and loved Sami and worked for this moment."


Polygamy and Societal norms: A Muslim Response to the Tragedy in Texas: Children separated from Mothers
by Shamsuddin Waheed [By special permission to New Trend.]

The nation and perhaps the entire world have been paying attention to the recent raid on a compound belonging to the Fundamentalist Church of Latter day Saints [FLDS] in El Dolado, Texas. It has been said that sexual abuse of children, forced marriages and assault was taking place on the property.

As the days continue to unfold, so do the details of the circumstances surrounding the initial investigation, the raid on FLDS property and the subsequent action of taking hundreds of children into state custody, the accusations continue to fly. One which sticks out in my mind is that children were "indoctrinated" to accept marriage. For more, see the following link, http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080418/ap_on_re_us/polygamist_retreat .

Do not all parents "indoctrinate" their children? I found the wording of that very arrogant and condescending. In any case, it has now been said that the initial investigation was the result of a prank, a bad joke, on the part of a FLDS detractor [ see http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/23/AR2008042303551.html?hpid=sec-religion ]

Nonetheless, the beliefs, dress, and moral code of the followers of this Mormon breakaway faction are very odd to mainstream American culture, the most striking is their practice of polygamous marriage. Those who enter into polygamy have traditionally been seen as sexual deviants, acting contrary to Biblical norms. In the days of early Mormonism, polygamy, better described as Polygany, was seen as a command from God. Persecution from both society as well as the government forced the movement to abandon it in 1890 [see http://www.religioustolerance.org/lds_poly.htm ]. This was not universally accepted among Mormons, leading to schisms, the FDLS being just one of many such examples.

In any case, I find it very strange that while Homosexuality is acceptable and legal, persons with multiple sexual partners [married or otherwise] cannot face any legal consequences for their actions or lifestyle choice, individuals seeking marriage, of their own free will, are roundly condemned and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

We venture to call this Evident Hypocrisy! We are asking here, why the hypocrisy? Please explain why polygamy is wrong, and yet homosexuality is not? Why is polygamy immoral and contrary to state law, when plural relationships, usually without marriage, or simply "playing the field" are acceptable, without fear of government interference?

Sometimes it is asserted that Polygamous relationships place an unfair burden on state and national resources .However, would not any other relationship, with its consequent children, also place the same burdens? It seems to me that such reasoning is untenable, an excuse to simply attack what is different, something which presents a totally different set of values and morals, in many cases exposing our own inadequacies as a nation and society.

Polygamy in Islam

In Pre-Islamic Arabia, a variety of marriages and relationships were seen as acceptable, including polygamy. However, an unlimited polygamy was practiced. The Qur'an limits the number of wives a man is allowed to take to four, and what is most interesting about this is that the Qur'an itself links polygamy to social welfare.

"And if you are fearful that you cannot be just with orphans, then marry women of your choice, two, three or four. And if you fear the inability to be just [again], then one woman ..that is the most suitable in preventing you from being unjust." [Qur'an 4:3]

The Muslim community, under the leadership of Muhammad, pbuh, were under much pressure, as men had been falling in battle, leaving behind widows and children with no means of support. This was a solution to several problems,but the main one addressed is that of social welfare. Any religion that does not give guidance for practical situations of like nature does not deserve much attention. In the above cited Qura'nic text, it appears that it is suggested that instead of guardians being appointed to manage the inheritance [if any] of the family, the guardian himself, or someone willing to take on this role, should unite with that family, take on the responsibilities and struggles together, as a means of overcoming pressure, but also to build a cohesive family, a large body that will be there for mutual support financially, spiritually, and so forth.

This has little to do with sexual adventure. The Qur'an is presenting an alternative family system, with limitations of course. It should also be noted that rulers and leaders often took on wives from other nations/tribes/families etc.. as a means to build traditional relationships and solidify alliances. This is apparent in the figure of Solomon, whom the Bible says had as many as 700 wives[ 1 Kings 11:3]. The Prophet Muhammad himself had similar reasons in mind, as we see that he also married several widows.

Conclusion

Polygamy is not for everyone, indeed it is not recommended for those financially or emotionally incapable of handling such responsibilities. In any case, as an institution it does not deserve the sort of bad press it has received and continues to receive.
If it is to be practiced, it should be for the correct motivations, and not simply for "adventure". Marriage, whether in polygamy or not, should never be rushed into. We suggest following the advice of Muhammad himself, which is to pray [salaat al -Istikhaarah] and then seek advice from people [Ft.1].

This was by no means a comprehensive look at Polygamy, but nonetheless we pray that this has caused you to at least consider the choice of others and not look at it with contempt. I am also interested in the views of those who have experience in polygamy, from any religion, in order to have a productive and meaningful discussion.

Footnotes

[#1] Al Qahtaani, Sa'eed, Fortification of the Muslim through remembrance and supplication from the Qur'aan and Sunnah, pp. 105-108 [Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Dar al Khair, 1996 edition]

http://shamsuddinwaheed.blogspot.com/2008/04/polygamy-and-societal-norms.html


The writer lives in Cleveland,Ohio, and lectures at various mosques. He teaches the Qur'an and Quranic Arabic and has a forum called islaminviewforum.com, and contributed to the recentlyy published book The language of revelation, designed to teach Arabic from a Qur'anic base. His appendices deal with a variety of topics, mostly related to Qur'anic terms, such as the usage of Imtihaan, Fitnah and Bala' in the Qur'an.

2008-05-06 Tue 19:32:11 cdt
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