Category Archives: Politics

Rich Muslim vows to pay all French burka fines

Masha’Allah, may Allah (swt) reward this brother. Read the original published article here.

On the eve of tomorrow’s Bastille Day celebrations, there is more revolution in the air in France and this time the ringleader is a flamboyant Muslim businessman called Rachid Nekkaz. The 38-year-old property developer is incensed that France has moved one step closer to banning the burka, with women caught wearing the full veil in public liable to a €150 fine and anyone convicted of forcing a woman to cover up facing a fine of up to €30,000 and a year in prison.

The first stage in passing the controversial law was today approved in the National Assembly with members of the Lower House voting overwhelmingly – 335 votes for to one against – to introduce the ban. If the French senators in the Upper House ratify the proposal in September, it will become law by the spring of 2011.

Nekkaz (above), along with the majority of France’s five million Muslims, is furious at what he sees as a persecution of his religion, pointing out that fewer than 2,000 French Muslims actually wear the full veil.

He has begun a campaign to fight the law and he’s pledged one million euros of his own money to pay the fines of any Muslim convicted. Speaking outside the National Assembly, Nekkaz said: “One million sounds a lot, but to protect one’s liberty it’s not much, and I hope that others in this country who hold the constitution dear and want to protect our fundamental liberty will join me in fighting this law.”

The debonair Nekkaz, a shining example of an integrated, modern French Muslim (he was born in France to Algerian parents), has set up a campaign group called ‘Hands off my Constitution’, and plans to raise the €1m by selling some of the properties he owns in the Parisian suburbs.

In front of the cameras he wrote a personal cheque for the seven-figure sum before describing the proposed law as ‘Anti-Constitutional’ and demanding that President Sarkozy shelves the idea.

That seems unlikely. Not only has Sarkozy described the full veil as degrading to women, but it’s an issue that has the overwhelming support of his UMP party. Justice Minister Michele Alliot-Marie said last week that wearing the veil “amounted to being cut off from society and rejecting the very spirit of the French republic that is founded on a desire to live together”.

And the likes of Nekkaz haven’t been helped in fighting the law by the muddled approach of the opposition Socialist Party. They would like to see a ban restricted to state institutions. But that notion was ridiculed by Alliot-Marie, who said it would be “legally incoherent” and impossible to enforce. “How could we convince the French people that freedom, equality and respect for the dignity of women begins in the train station but stops at the exit?”

The Socialists abstained in today’s vote in the Lower House and have said they will adopt a similar stance in September’s Senate vote, in which case it seems certain the law will be written into the French Constitution. But the country’s police force is bracing itself for a backlash. Security was increased at the National Assembly ahead of today’s vote and there are fears of street riots if the bill is passed.

Read more: http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/65806,news-comment,news-politics,rich-muslim-vows-to-pay-all-french-burka-fines#ixzz0tl354tad

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Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (ra): Speech After Conquering Jerusalem

After receiving the surrender of Jerusalem and completing the tour of Syria when Caliph Umar was returning to Madina he led the prayer at Jabiah. On this occasion he delivered an address which is preserved in history. The major part of his address was:

“O ye people I counsel you to read the Qur’an. Try to understand it and ponder over it. Imbibe the teachings of the Qur’an. Then practise what the Quran teaches. The Qur’an is not theoretical; it is a practical code of life. The Qur’an does not bring you the message of the Hereafter only; it is primarily intended to guide you in this life. Mold your life in accordance with the teachings of Islam for that is the way of your well being. By following any other way you will be inviting destruction.”Fear Allah (The One True God), and whatever you want seek from Him. All men are equal. Do not flatter those in authority. Do not seek favors from others. By such acts you demean yourself. And remember that you will get only that is ordained for you, and no one can give you anything against the will of God. Then why seek things from others over which they have no control? Only supplicate God for He alone is the sovereign.

“And speak the truth. Do not hesitate to say what you consider to be the truth. Say what you feel. Let your conscience be your guide. Let your intentions be good, for verily God is aware of your intentions. In your deeds your intentions count. Fear God, and fear no one else. Why fear others when you know that whatever sustenance ordained for you by God you will get under all circumstances? And again why fear when you know that death is ordained by God alone and will come only when He wills?

“Allah has for the time being made me your ruler. But I am one of you. No special privileges belong to ruler. I have some responsibilities to discharge, and in this I seek your cooperation. Government is a sacred trust, and it is my endeavor not to betray the trust in any way. For the fulfillment of the trust I have to be a watch-man. I have to be strict. I have to enforce discipline. I have to run the administration not on the basis of personal idiosyncracies; I have to run it in public interest and for promoting the public good. For this we have the guidance in the Book of God. Whatever orders I issue in the course of day to day administration have to conform to the Qur’an. God has favored us with Islam. He sent to us His Messenger (Muhammad, pbuh). He has chosen us for a mission. Let us fulfil that mission. That mission is the promotion of Islam. In Islam lies our safety; if we err we are doomed.”

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CNN: “Being Muslim in America”

Very nice clip with my boy Arsalan Iftiar

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Reflections on the Problem of Black Suffering: Dr. Sherman Jackson & Dr. Cornel West

Got this from my boy darthvaider. I listened to the entire lecture and Q/A session and very much enjoyed listening to it. Although not necessarily revelatory in the sense that the ideas expressed have not been heard by those who have engaged or followed either speaker, but masha’Allah it was a very good forum and platform to launch future dialog and intellectual discourse on not only the issue of black suffering, but that of the Muslim experience and outlook for future progress in the US in the upcoming years.

Click here for the lecture.

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Extremists of any color or belief can commit terrorism: Arsalan Iftikhar

Link to article
By Arsalan Iftikhar, Special to CNN
March 10, 2010 3:46 p.m. EST

Editor’s note: Arsalan Iftikhar is an international human rights lawyer, founder of TheMuslimGuy.com and legal fellow for the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, a nonprofit research organization in Washington, D.C.

(CNN) — Within the last month, our country has witnessed two senseless, high-profile acts of criminal violence that would have been labeled terrorism if brown-skinned Arab Muslim men with foreign-sounding names had committed them.

Because two white men committed these acts of violence, however, our political and media chattering class never used the word “terrorism” in its discussions.

Most recently, John Patrick Bedell, a 36-year-old man from California, walked up to two security guards outside the Pentagon Metro station in suburban Washington and started shooting. He was then shot and killed. According to The Christian Science Monitor, Bedell appeared “to have been a right-wing extremist with virulent anti-government feelings” and also battled mental illness before his shooting rampage.

A few weeks ago, on February 18, another white anti-government extremist named Joseph Stack flew his small airplane into an Internal Revenue Service building in Austin, Texas, killing two people and injuring 13 others.

According to media reports, Stack had left behind a disjointed suicide letter in which he expressed his hatred of our American government and outlined grievances with the IRS, chillingly stating that “violence not only is the answer; it is the only answer.”

Both the Pentagon Metro and IRS attacks come at a time of “explosive growth in [domestic] extremist-group activism across the United States,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

A recently released law center report showed so-called patriot groups — steeped in anti-government conspiracy theories — grew from 149 in 2008 to 512 in 2009 — a 244 percent increase that the Southern Poverty Law Center report judged to be an “astonishing” rise in the one-year period since President Obama took the oath of office. The number of these groups that are domestic extremist paramilitary militias grew from 42 in 2008 to 127 in 2009, the report said.

Even so, for any reasonable observer who is still skeptical about labeling the recent Pentagon area shooting and IRS attack terrorism, keep one thing in mind:

Let us imagine that these Pentagon and IRS attacks had been committed by an olive-skinned Arab Muslim man named Ali Muhammad.

Our national media and political commentators would have wasted little time in calling both of these acts terrorism, and some might have also called for the closings of other IRS and federal government office buildings around the country as a necessary counter-terrorism safety precaution.

Instead, shortly after the IRS plane attack, some prominent media commentators immediately asked why people — especially conservatives on the right — were not calling the IRS attacker a terrorist.

“If this had been done by a brownish-looking Muslim guy whose suicide note paralleled Islamist political themes,” wrote media commentator Matthew Yglesias, then right-wingers would “demand that anyone who refused to label the attack ‘terrorism’ be put up on treason charges.”

In a recent piece, Robert Wright, of the New America Foundation, wrote: “In common usage, a ‘terrorist’ is someone who attacks in the name of a political cause and aims to spread terror — to foster fear that such attacks will be repeated until grievances are addressed.” Following suit, the IRS attacker’s suicide manifesto before his aerial kamikaze attack reads in part: “I know there have been countless before me and there are sure to be as many after … I can only hope that the numbers quickly get too big to be whitewashed and ignored” — at which point, God willing, — “the American zombies wake up and revolt.”

If this same above-mentioned suicide letter had been instead written by an Arab Muslim man named Ali Muhammad right before crashing his airplane into an IRS building, most of the right-wing blogosphere would instantaneously erupt with screaming headlines of another act of Muslim terrorism.

Because Theodore Kaczynski, the Unabomber; Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh; Atlanta, Georgia, Olympic bomber Eric Rudolph; the Pentagon shooter and IRS attacker were all white men motivated by their respective ideologies, surprisingly, the term “terrorism” has never seemed to stick to any of them. To prove my point even further, the recently indicted American woman Colleen LaRose, who called herself “Jihad Jane,” can rightfully be termed a wanna-be terrorist. But why does this not apply to other white extremists?

If our nation is truly conducting a ”war on terror” and not a “war on Islam,” it is our duty as Americans of all colors, political persuasions and nationalities to condemn and distance ourselves from all acts of terrorism, regardless of the race or religion of those who commit violent acts in the name of extreme ideology. Simply put, terrorism is terrorism, whether it is committed by a white, black or brown person anywhere in the world.

If we as a nation fail to adequately condemn all acts of terrorism equally, the only clear message that we will be sending to the rest of the world is that the word “terrorist” applies only to those with olive skin and foreign-sounding last names.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Arsalan Iftikhar.

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Pregnant Muslim Woman Killed by German Racist in Court

  • STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Sherbini killed in courtroom as she prepared to give testimony against man 
  • The man was convicted of calling Sherbini a “terrorist,” “bitch” and “Islamist”
  • Many Egyptians shout hostile slogans against Germany during her funeral

 

(CNN) — Hundreds of Egyptians took part Monday in the funeral of Marwa Sherbini, an Egyptian woman who was stabbed to death last week in the German city of Dresden in a crime believed to be racially motivated.

Sherbini, 33, was stabbed to death Wednesday in a courtroom as she prepared to give testimony against a German man of Russian descent whom she had sued for insult and abuse.

The man, identified in German media as Alex A., 28, was convicted of calling Sherbini, who wore a headscarf, “terrorist,” “bitch” and “Islamist” when she asked him him to leave a swing for her 3-year-old son Mustafa during an August 2008 visit to a children’s park.

He was fined and appealed the ruling. The two were in court Wednesday for that appeal when Alex A. attacked, pulling out a knife and stabbing Sherbini 18 times. He also stabbed her husband three times and attacked another person.

According to Arab media, police officers tried to intervene to end the fight, and a number of shots were fired. One hit the husband, who fell unconscious and is currently in intensive care in the hospital of Dresden University.

Sherbini was three months pregnant at the time of her death.

Hundreds attended Sherbini’s funeral in Alexandria, Egypt, her hometown, among them government officials, including Egyptian Manpower Minister Aisha Abdel Hadi and Telecommunications Minister Tariq Kamel, Egyptian media reported.

Many shouted hostile slogans against Germany and called for Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to take a firm stand on the incident. Egypt’s grand mufti, Mohammed Sayyed Tantawi, demanded the severest punishment to be issued against Alex A.

Berlin witnessed angry protests on Saturday, when hundreds of Arabs and Muslims demonstrated after a funeral prayer that called her killing an outrageous racist murder against Muslims.

In a phone call with Al Arabiya, Marwa’s brother, Tariq Sherbini, said, “Extremism has no religion. My sister was killed simply because she wore the veil. This incident clearly shows that extremism is not limited to one religion or another and it is not exclusively carried out by Muslims.”

“We are only asking for a fair punishment,” he said, adding that his sister was not a radical. “She was a religious woman who prayed and wore her headscarf, but she was killed because of her belief.”

Anger about Sherbini’s death smoldered online, as Twitterers and bloggers pushed the cause.

“She is a victim of hatred and racism,” tweeted Ghada Essawy, among many other Arab twitters and bloggers. Essawy called Sherbini “the martyr of the veil.”

Various videos circulated on YouTube calling on Egypt to take action and urging Germany to address what their makers saw as a new wave of hatred against Arabs and Muslims in its community.

One video showed various pictures of a young happy Marwa saying that “The woman stood up for her rights and she was killed. May God bless her.” The English font in the video presentation asked “when will Egypt cares for its citizens’ rights inside Egypt and abroad.”

Sherbini and her husband moved to Dresden in 2003, after the husband received a grant to study genetic engineering in the renowned Max Planck Institute. He was scheduled to present his Ph.D. thesis in the coming days. 

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President Obama Speaks to the Muslim World from Cairo, Egypt

Without a doubt one of the best speeches I’ve ever heard from any politician, whether he/she be American or from any other country

 

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