Category Archives: Positive Relations Islam & West

14 Muslims Make “Time 100 Power List” of most influential people in the world

Amongst Time Magazines 100 Power List 2011 are 14 Muslims and they are the most influential people in the world. Note that four of them are Islamic Sheikhs/Religious leaders – still believe Islam & politics don’t mix?

These 100 people are artists and activists, reformers and researchers, heads of state and captains of industry.

Their ideas spark dialogue and dissent and sometimes even revolution.

Click through to read their brief bio’s & contributions;

Hassan Nasrallah Hezbullah Leader

Feisal Abdul Rauf Sheikh

Muqtada al-Sadr Sheikh

Anwar al-Awlaki Sheikh

Wael Ghonim Spokesman for a revolution

Lamido Sanusi Africa’s central banker

Ahmed Shuja Pasha Intelligence Chief of the ISI

Fathi Terbil Human-Rights Lawyer

Saad Mohseni Media Mogul

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi Motormouth

Maria Bashir Afghan Law Enforcer

El Général Tunisian Rapper

Azim Premji Philanthropist

Ayman Mohyeldin Al Jazeera Journalist

1 Comment

Filed under Identity, Islam, Positive Relations Islam & West, Power & Leadership in Islam

An Easter Message to Christians worldwide from Bethlehem

If you are a true Christian than heed the words of Father Manuel Musallam, the Parish Priest of Gaza. He has written to the wider Church of God. His letter was made public today. Please take the time to read it and pray;

From the valley of tears, from blood-drenched Gaza, whose one and a half million residents have been robbed of the joy they once had in their hearts, I send you these words of faith and hope. As for love, that’s a word that even we Christians no longer dare utter, not even to ourselves. Today, the priests of the church are raising the banner of hope. May God have mercy and pity on us and leave a remnant in Gaza. May he not put out the light of Christ, which was spread by the deacon Philip at the time of the early Church. May the compassion of Christ be what reawakens our love for God, which is currently like a patient in a hospital’s intensive care unit. As a priest and a father, I bear the sad news of the death of a beloved girl who was a tenth grader at the Holy Family School and the first Christian to die in this war:

Christine Wadi’ Al-Turk:

Christine passed away on the morning of Saturday, January 2, 2009, due to fear and cold. The windows of her house were open to protect the children from being hit by flying glass fragments, and as missiles passed over her house and her neighbours fell victim to Israeli attacks, her entire body would shake with fear. When she could not longer bear it, she cried on her Creator’s shoulder and asked Him for a home and shelter with no crying, shouting, or wailing but joy and happiness.

My brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus, what you see and hear on your television screens is not the complete painful truth about what our people in Gaza are going through. Their suffering is so widespread over our land that no television or radio could report the whole truth about it. The brutal siege on Gaza is a storm that escalates by the hour; it is not only a war crime but a crime against humanity. Today, the suffering people of Gaza are appealing to the conscience of every human being with goodwill, but it will soon be our just God who decides the case.

The children of Gaza have been sleeping with their families in the hallways of their homes (if they have them) or in bathrooms, for protection. They tremble with fear at every sound, every movement, and every violent F-16 attack. While it is true that so far the F-16 jets have for the most part targeted the headquarters of the government and Hamas, they are located in residential areas no more than six meters away from people’s homes, the minimum distance required by construction law. That’s why people’s houses are severely affected by the violence, and it leads to the death of many children. Our children are suffering from trauma, anxiety, undernourishment, malnutrition, poverty, and lack of heating.

The situation in hospitals is unspeakably deplorable. Our hospitals were not properly equipped before the war, and now there are thousands of injured and ill patients streaming in, to the point that operations are being done in the hospital hallways, and many patients are being sent to Egypt via the Rafah Border Crossing. Some of them never return because they die on the way. The conditions in the hospitals are horrifying, heartbreaking, and hysteria-inducing.I would like to tell you a short story about something that happened in a hospital to the Abdul-Latif family. One of the children disappeared during the first attack, and his parents spent the first two days of the war looking for him but did not find him. On the third day, as the family was walking around a hospital, they found some people from the Jarada family gathered around a disfigured and injured boy whose leg had been cut off. His face was distorted not because of the F-16 attacks he had suffered but because of the glass that had fallen onto his face when part of the hospital was attacked.

The Adul-Latifs approached the Jaradas to console them. When they reached the injured boy, Mr. Abdul-Latif realized that it was his son and not the Jaradas’. The families argued with each other over the issue and waited for the boy to wake up and tell them who he was so that he could be taken by the Abdul-Latifs.I will keep my letter brief. I lift our suffering up to God just as I have presented it to you. Our people in Gaza are being treated like animals in a zoo; they don’t get enough to eat, and they cry but nobody wipes their tears away. Instead of water, electricity, and food, there is fear and terror and restriction. Yesterday, the baker refused to give me bread, because he did not want to let me eat something made from flour not suitable for human consumption — which he had begun using when he ran out of good flour — so as not to insult my priesthood. I vowed not to eat any bread for the remainder of the war.

We want you to pray to God fervently and continually and to mention the suffering in Gaza before God in every mass or service that you hold. I send short letters with Scripture to the Christian community here to bring hope to their hearts. We have all agreed to say the following prayer every hour on the hour: “O God of peace, shower us with peace. O God of peace, bring peace to our land. Have mercy on your people, O Lord, and do not be angry with us forever.” I ask you to stand up now and say the same prayer. Your prayers with us will stir the world, showing it that any type of love that is not extended to your brothers and sisters in Gaza is not the love of Christ and His church, which does not let religious and social obstacles or even wars stand in its way. When your love is extended to us here in Gaza, it makes us feel that we are an indispensable part of Christ’s one universal church. The Moslems among us are our brothers and sisters. We share with them their joys and their sufferings. We are one people, the people of Palestine.

Despite all that is going on, our people in Gaza reject war as a way to achieve peace and insist that the road to peace is peace itself. We in Gaza are patient and have decided that we have no choice other than bondage or death for our country. We want to live so we can praise God in Palestine and to witness for Christ — we want to live for Palestine, not to die for her — but if we must die, then we will die honorably and bravely.Let us all pray together for the true peace that Christ gives. May wolves and lambs one day live together, and bulls and cubs graze together, and children be able to put their hands in the mouths of snakes without being harmed.And may the peace of Christ, “into which you were also called in one body,” be with you all and protect you. Amen.

Your brother,
Father Manuel Musallam
Holy Family Priest
Gaza
January 3rd

Source: Sevenoaks Blog

Leave a comment

Filed under Israel, Jumma Reminder, Morals & Ethics, Palestine, Positive Relations Islam & West, Zionism

Why Are Increasing Numbers of “Black Britain’s” Reverting to Islam? Listen Here: Young, Muslim & Black

In the last two decades, Islam has become the fastest growing religion among Black people in Britain, this at a time when the UK appears more disunited over faith, ethnicity and identity than ever before.

More than two thirds of Muslims in Britain are of South Asian ancestry, leading many to believe that Islam is the preserve of these communities.

In this programme the writer and presenter, Dotun Adebayo, explores this phenomenon and asks why is Islam providing such an attractive religious alternative to Christianity for Black Britons seeking spiritual answers?

What do they get from Islam that they can’t get from their original faith?

Is this just a rebellion against the family and society?

He will talk to young black people about the reasons for their conversion and to Bishop Joe Aldred from the Black Churches who explains where he thinks the Black Majority Churches are going wrong and why he thinks they need to smarten up and get their message across to young people so they are comfortable with church.

Originally broadcast on Radio 4

2 Comments

Filed under Documentary, Great Britain, Identity, Islam, Morals & Ethics, Positive Relations Islam & West, Reports & Findings

Islam Is Stuck In The Dark Ages

At number 1 on my countdown of the ridiculous things people probably believe about Islam is that Islam is stuck in the dark ages.

There are really three big negative stereotypes about Islam — that it hates women, that it’s violent and that it hates any kind of scientific progress.

I’ve covered the first two already, but how can you argue against the third?

Their governments are based on ancient religious texts!

And what diseases has Iran cured?

Historically, Islam has a immense track record.

Science and math as we know it wouldn’t even exist without Islam.

The Islamic Golden Age caused a revolution in virtually every field of human thought, during which Al-Khwarizmi invented Algebra from the Arabic al-ğabr (in Arabic script ‘الجبر’) (“completion”) — and advanced everything from geography and exploration to the arts, architecture, philosophy, urban development, medicine and health.

The Muslims actually came pretty close to sharing all this brilliance with the truly ass-backward kingdoms of Christian Europe, who were still burning their “scientists” alive for heresy against the church.

Since the Islamic caliphates blanketed every country they conquered with schools, libraries, public works and the most comprehensive system of social welfare on the planet.

In fact, the case has been made that if the caliphates succeeded in conquering all of Europe an Italian Renaissance would have been unnecessary and one that was only possible by the discoveries made by the Muslim empire and it’s scholars.

The Akh is currently away and will be returning in the New Year.

3 Comments

Filed under Humour, Islam, Islamophobia, Positive Relations Islam & West, Western Hypocrisy

Western Cultures Are Far More Humane & Superior Than The Bloodthirsty Muslims Ever Were

I’m at #2 on my countdown of the ridiculous things people probably believe about Islam. At #2 is the myth that Western cultures are far more humane than the bloodthirsty Muslim ones ever were.

It’s always been within the Western/Orientalist narrative that Islam is a violent religion.

Part of it has to do with how abruptly Islam was all up in everyone’s face.

For instance, while Hinduism took about 1,000 years to spread through India, and Christianity took about 400 years to go from persecuted cult to the state religion of the Roman Empire, Islam went from one guy’s epiphany to the dominant political and religious force in the Middle East and North Africa in about 100 years.

So a lot of people have reached the conclusion that the religion spread like holy wildfire for one reason: the sword.

The next logical leap from this viewpoint is that as a people, Muslims must be violent and barbaric conquerors. Even before 9/11, you saw this portrayal in popular culture all the time:

But actually…

The Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) laid out some pretty progressive rules of warfare, and medieval Muslims out-niced the Christians in battle by a landslide. Especially since Muhammad (PBUH) personally issued “a distinct code of conduct among Islamic warriors” that included:

* No killing of women, children or innocents — these might include hermits, monks or other religious leaders who were deemed non-combatants;
* No wanton killing of livestock or other animals;
* No burning or destruction of trees and orchards; and
* No destruction of wells.

In short, Muhammad (PBUH) wanted his armies to fight like hippies….during the freaking Dark Ages with dignity that had never been seen on the battlefield….and they did.

The biggest territorial gains were made after Muhammad’s (PBUH) death.

Maybe that was when Islam earned its bloodthirsty reputation?

Not exactly.

His successors codified the existing rules and made them the standard for the Muslim armies. Which probably explains why the Muslim army conquering Europe “exhibited a degree of toleration which puts many Christian nations to shame,” in the words of one expert.

So while Christian crusaders were beheading enemies and tossing their severed heads like oversized footballs, their Muslim counterparts had a whole honour code that led them to feed the armies of their defeated enemies.

Stay tuned as #1 will appear later today.

Leave a comment

Filed under Humour, Islam, Islamophobia, Positive Relations Islam & West, Racism, Western Hypocrisy

Ridiculous Things you Probably Believe About Islam – #3 All Muslims Are Arabs

I’m counting down the top myths people have about Islam & Muslims. At #3 on my countdown is the myth that all Muslims are Arabs.

Do you remember that crazy lady with the Einstein hair who asked John McCain if Barack Obama was an Arab?

No?

Well, let me refresh your memory:

We’re willing to bet there’s more than a 20 percent chance this woman meant to say “Muslim” but accidentally said “Arab” because same thing, right?

And even if you’re not in the tea party camp, where you’re convinced “Arab” and “Muslim” are interchangeable, you’ve probably operated under a similar assumption: that non-Jewish Middle Eastern people are Muslim and that most Muslims live in the Middle East.

But actually…

Only about 20 percent of the entire world’s Muslim population is Arab or North African.

For comparison, about 22 percent of the global Christian population is African, yet when somebody says “Christian,” you don’t immediately picture a man from Africa. Equating “Muslim” with “Arab” makes just as much sense.

While we in the West have been conditioned to associate Islam with the Middle East, a whopping 61.9 percent of all Muslims — AKA the supermajority — don’t live in the Middle East at all; most Muslims live in the Asia-Pacific region. Indonesia alone is home to more than 200 million Muslims, and the Indian subcontinent has roughly a half-billion Muslims.

It works the other way, too. For example, if you think being Arab guarantees you being Muslim these days, well, i’m sorry to disappoint. As much as 10 percent of the world’s Arab population is Christian (that’s more than 14 million people).

That means there are 1 million more Arab Christians than, oh, I don’t know … the world’s entire Jewish population.

Stay tuned as I’ll be rounding up the countdown with a double post tomorrow.

1 Comment

Filed under Humour, Islam, Islamophobia, Positive Relations Islam & West, Western Hypocrisy

Ridiculous Things you Probably Believe About Islam – #4 America Is A Judeo Christian Nation, To Hell With The Moslems

I’m counting down the top myths people have about Islam & Muslims. At #4 on my countdown is the myth that America is a Judeo Christian nation & Islam has no place in the US of A.

Taking aside from the fact that all three religions are monotheist, Abrahamic faiths, why is it that America has such a problem with Islam?

It’s easy to stand on a soapbox and publicly bluster about what you think the Founding Fathers would think about the godless, multicultural United States today. After all, these were Christian, God-fearing men, damn it.

They certainly wouldn’t put up with all this tolerance for these terrorist religions.

It’s a good thing some Americans are standing up for good old-fashioned American values and passing laws to prohibit Islamic law from taking over the U.S., because that’s totally around the corner!

Somewhere, Thomas Jefferson is smiling in his grave!

But actually…

Even if they were staunch Christians (or deists, whatever), plenty of the Founding Fathers had a healthy admiration for the Muslim faith. Thomas Jefferson, for example, taught himself Arabic using his own copy of the Quran and hosted the first White House Iftar during Ramadan.

Maybe Thomas Jefferson was the only one who felt this way?

Nope.

John Adams hailed the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as one of the great “inquirers after truth.”

Benjamin Rush, who was so Christian he wanted a Bible in every school, but he also said that he would rather see the opinions of Confucius or Mohammad “inculcated upon our youth” than see them grow deprived “of a system of religious principles.”

Benjamin Franklin once declared: “Even if the Mufti of Constantinople were to send a missionary to preach Mohammedanism to us, he would find a pulpit at his service.”

Even George Washington personally welcomed Muslims to come work for him at Mount Vernon.

So, why all this Founding Father/Muslim love?

Probably because Sultan Mohammed ben Abdallah of Morocco was the first world figure to recognise the independence of the United States of America from Great Britain in 1777.

Another reason was that the Founding Fathers were smart enough to distinguish between terrorists and everybody else on the whole damn planet, as demonstrated in the Treaty of Tripoli in 1797.

It was in this agreement that the U.S. declared:

“The government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian Religion, as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Mussulmen [Muslims].”

Next time you hear racist views of american commentators, you’d be best served remembering some of these facts.

Number 3 on the list is up tomorrow.

Leave a comment

Filed under Humour, Islamophobia, Positive Relations Islam & West, Western Hypocrisy