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We are still receiving support for the letter. The best is this one from Br. Iqbal Yunus Khan, Toronto, who after asking us to add his name to the signatories, writes:
The governments in the middle east who depend for their existence on the support of U.S.A are worried that the masses may rise up in arms against their backer and they may lose every thing. This is the reason they are begging their Master not to attack Iraq.
The USA having assembled one of the biggest armadas cannot now back out. If for any reason they are forced to back out, the government of Tony Blair would fall, and President Saddam would gain enormous prestige. All this cannot be allowed and so war has to be waged by the Bush warmongers.
Islam will survive and the enemy would face defeat, Insha Allah.

[From Thom Saffold, Baptist clergyman in Michigan.]
[He probably read the article on the "Austin Muslims" list.]

I just wanted to drop you a note to say how much I appreciated this post. I'm going to write or call New Trend Magazine to see if they will allow me to reprint articles like these in my newspaper, The Street Wall Journal, which is published in Ann Arbor, MI. The American public at large needs accurate information about what Islam does and does not teach, as well as Muslim points of view on current issues, and many of the postings that originate with New Trend fit those requirements.

Is "Austin Muslims" a functioning group, or just an e-mail list?

BTW, I'm a Baptist clergyman who find that he has more friends at the local Islamic Center than in local churches, and feels much more at home surrounded by the multi-hued men in prayer there on Fridays than in churches.
[From Sis. Eileen, New Jersey.]
salaam alaikum- I want to thank you for the informative column on abortion. This is much needed information on what is usually a secret, with most people ill informed and giving home grown fatwas on this issue.

[From Sis. Hedaya, Georgia.]
Thank you very much for making the Islamic view of the abortion issue very clear. I have read and had been told that my view of pro-choice/anti-abortion (unless the mother life is at stake) based on Allah not forcing us to do anything and Allah showing mercy on all was wrong. I left the Pro-Choice camp years ago before converting to Islam. I left because the whole view of abortion by demand did not appeal to me. It was saying to me that women were not going to do or live in a truly heathy and respectful manner. No woman should want to live a life style that abortion by demand is available to cover up her lack of loving yourself enough to avoid relationships that she is not proud to admit in the open and live as committed partner with someone. Now that I am Muslim I know that means marriage and marriage only.

[From Sis. Um Ahmed, Florida.]
Just a short addition to your article on abortion - and I apologize for being in a hurry and not quoting the 'exact' text and names involved - but from my memory.....

Someone during the time of the Prophet, saws, had caused a woman to abort (I believe it was from hitting her in the stomach), and he was forced to pay recompense - in another case (depending on age of fetus) fasting was ordered. Sorry I do not have the details handy --- it has been many, many years since I studied this - maybe you recall the details.
[An opposing viewpoint which appeared on the muslims-n-georgia list.]

I'm afraid i didn't agree with the position of Br Siddiqui with regards to the issue of Abortion, and I felt compelled to make a response.

1} Allah says in the Qur'an"...And do not kill your children for fear of poverty.." Aren't we taught that Satan imspires us to fear poverty, and to kill our children? My dear brother quoted two Ahadith concerning fighting women, one losing the fetus, as support for his arguement, however I think he has overlooked the issue of INTENTION! The ladies in the stories found in the Ahadith did not intend to abort the baby, whereas in today's American society people are aborting babies usually to avoid the costs necessary to raise children! This breeds irresponsibility as well as lack of respect for human life. I hope I have showed my point.

2} My Brother also feels this is an issue of the Rich, as the "pro-life" people oppose Abortion yet support war against Iraq. This is an overgeneralization, just like it is to say that all Muslims support Osama Bin Laden! I'm sure there are people on both sides of the issue who support war, and those opposed to war. Moreover, this is a legitimate concern [i.e. Abortion] which affect many aspects of American society, and, unfortunatly, other societies as well, and needs addressed. Life is not cheap, it is sacred, and Abortion is indeed a sympton of the greater disease that affects American society.

We should oppose injustice and wrongdoing whereever we find it! We don't only find it in Iraq, Chechnya, Palestine, Kashmir and Mindanar, we find it in Abortion clinics in USA, in Police stations, in Drug-infested neighbourhoods, in the workplace, and on and on.

Sometimes we Muslims act like we only care about the Muslim world, however we should remember that Islam is a solution and an alternative for every human, in whatever area, and we should be ACTIVE where ever we need to be active, not just on "Muslim" issues.

I hope that I have not offended anyone by this response, and in the end, the Praise and thanks are due to Almighty Allah, the Lord of all the Worlds.
Khuda Hafiz
Br S Waheed
Br. Waheed missed the point: The verse "Do not kill your children...." is not about abortion but about infanticide. As was pointed out in our article, Hadith shows that the aborted fetus is not considered a child in Sharia. Also Br. S. Waheed is wrong about the pro-life people. They support war, while the pro-abortion people oppose war. He should go back and read the article again. He is supporting the pro-life people. The point of the article was that Islam has its own agenda and we should not support either side.

2003-01-26 Sun 11:25ct