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October 2010 eGazette – Separation of Church-Mosque and State

Al Islam eGazette


Means of Peace: Islam teaches that to attain external peace, peace within must first be established

Annual Convention in Germany on 26 June 2010

Address delivered by Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih V, Head of the Worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim community :

The poor think that the rich have peace of mind and are content. Upon closer analysis, however, we see that the rich are just as restless and distressed; and whosoever is restless and distressed cannot be deemed to be in a peaceful state. On a national basis, the same is true for the underdeveloped, developing and developed countries. Because of the modern modes of transport and the media, the world today has become a global village, and so this lack of peace can be openly seen in every part of the world.

To read more click here


The Muslim Times

Al Islam is announcing its first International News Blog, covering several countries and additional features. It aims at delivering a message of Universal Brotherhood. It already has more than a dozen Editors covering different countries and aims at covering each and every country, with a dedicated page, in near future, God Willing! It will cover already published news and will have a broad scope:

The mission statement of the Muslim Times is to promote the ‘Universal Brotherhood’ of mankind first presented in human history by the Holy Quran and practiced by the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace be on him and spelled out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in secular terms, in recent history. The Editors of The Muslim Times will be keenly looking for feedback and collaboration .

To see the homepage click here


The Prophet Muhammad and the Christian priests of Mount Sinai

The Holy Prophet Muhammad was the greatest pioneer of religious freedom and tolerance. When we say that, we literally mean it, for it would take history more than 1000 years to produce anything, remotely equal in generosity and tolerance, to the covenant that he gave to the Christian monks of Mount Sinai and to the Christians in general.

All the articles are mentioned in detail by a biographer of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace be on him, John Davenport.

The original document is either in the Monastery of Saint Catherine or royal treasury in Constantinople in Turkey.

To read more click here.


Constitution of Medina: the first written constitution of the world

The first written constitution of the world was the constitution of Medina, written by the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace be on him, in the seventh century, and not the Magna Carta.

It had 47 different clauses. William Montgomery Watt, a British biographer of the Prophet, has grudgingly quoted all 47 of them in one of his books Muhammad at Medina:

For more click here.


Murder in the name of Allah

By Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad

Hardly a day passes on which an Islamic event of a violent nature does not make headlines. The roots of all this militancy can be traced back to Pakistan and Egypt of 1950s.

In 1953 there were widespread demonstrations and anti-Ahmadi riots throughout West Pakistan, leading to an almost complete breakdown of law and order. The leading troublemakers were the Ahrar-i-Islam and the ulema (learned scholars), who had consistently opposed the creation of Pakistan. But it was Maulana Abu Ala Maududi, the founder of the Jamaat-e-Islami (the counterpart of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt), who became their voice. Martial law was proclaimed and the chief minister of the Punjab was replaced. A court of inquiry was set up jointly under Justice Mr. Muhammad Munir and Justice Mr. M. R. Kayani to investigate the causes of the disturbances.

No student of modem Islam should fail to read the report on the events of 1953. It explains in detail some of the problems that the new Muslim state was facing. But it is a judicial report and, as such, does not set itself the task of warning or advising. This book, however, is the work of a man of God—not simply a work written out of duty by a court official.

In 1955 Mirza Tahir Ahmad drew attention to certain aspects of the Munir Commission Report and spelt out the dangers the new Islamic state was facing. He showed the dangers Pakistan would face unless there was secular governance with religious freedom for all citizens and a separation of Mosque and State.

To read more click here


My take: Why Americans should care about Ahmadiyya Muslims?

By Maulana Nasim Mahdi published in CNN Belief Blog

Last weekend, more than 6,000 Ahmadi Muslims gathered in Virginia for their 62nd annual convention. But with more than 2 million Muslims living in the United States, why should Americans care about the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community (the official name for Ahmadi Muslims) and their convention?

Americans should care because the community, whose membership exceeds tens of millions in 194 countries around the globe, is one of the leading movements in Islam to bring Muslims out of the dark ages — divesting them of the fanatical beliefs that have been the source of so much bloodshed and violence in the world today.

Our community was founded 121 years ago by Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (peace be on him) in Qadian, India. He claimed that he was the messiah and reformer foretold by Mohammed, the holy prophet of Islam, and reintroduced Muslims to the enlightening ideas of the original, true Islam.

Terrorism, both at home and abroad, is one of the biggest threats our country faces. And so-called Muslims who have hijacked Islam to spread a message of hate and fear are at the root of this threat.

While the majority of Muslims in the world are moderate and peace-loving, the ideology espoused by some of their clerics is not. In fact, many American-Muslim conventions and mosques regularly promote the literature of extremist ideologues such as Abul Ala Maududi and Syed Qutb, the godfathers of the modern revival of Muslim extremism.

To read more click here


U.S. must support other countries’ separation of church and state in order to defeat extremism

By Dr. Nasim Rehmatullah

What does Pakistan’s foreign policy have in common with its domestic policy? Both seek to curb freedom of speech. Internationally, Pakistan introduced the defamation of Islam resolution in 1999 before the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. This resolution aimed to stop attacks against Islam by linking freedom to criticize Islam with incitement to violence. Domestically, the government of Pakistan adopted similar blasphemy provisions in 1984 with Ordinance XX, Section 298-B & 298-C, which established the insult of the Koran or the prophet Muhammad as a crime punishable with death. Extremists have used this “constitutional protection” to increasingly target minority groups they claim are “insulting” Islam.

To read more click here


Muslims for Peace


Islam teaches us how to create peace within ourselves and how to make peace with our fellow man — regardless of color, politics or beliefs.

Terrorism has never had a place in Islam. We have been condemning terrorism ever since our community was formed over 120 years ago. A new website Muslims for Peace has been created.

To go to the site click here

To watch a clip click here

To watch the AMC Peace Conference click here


Trinity and other dogma at the point of sword: Christianity drips with blood!

By Zia H Shah MD


Every day radical Muslims make headlines in creating violence of one form or the other in one or the other part of the globe. They draw condemnation of the international community and the media and rightly so. But, this also creates two illusions, one that Islam may be associated with violence and that Christianity may be a benign religion, a religion of peace and of turning the other cheek. Various authors have tried to rescue the name of Islam from this false accusation; here my focus is to portray some genuine snapshots from the Christian history of the past and more recent times. I would not have drawn my pen to expose this illusion if it was only a matter of a false image without any practical or gory consequences. But, the plans of a notorious pastor from Florida to burn the Holy Quran on September 11, 2010, remind us that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it, in slightly different forms and shades. The religious European wars of yesterday can find their expression in Islamphobia today! I warnings of Heinrich Heine’s are echoing and reverberating in my ears ‘Where books are burned, they will ultimately burn people also.’ There are countless precedents of this in not only Christian history but also in Muslim history.

It is with these concerns and dangers to the global village that I tabulate the Christian violence from Crusades, to inquisitions in Spain and elsewhere, to the Greek wars of the nineteenth century, to the laws against Unitarians, to the burning at stake of the Anabaptists, to the recent violence by the Serbians, to the conversion of the Barbarians on the point of sword by the Holy Emperors, to the history of the Dark ages, the cross of Christianity drips with blood, or shall we say pours blood. In fact it could be argued that the counter-intuitive dogma of Trinity and Original Sin can be and were established by coercion of one form or the other, and often at the point of sword!

This Google Knol is a collection of various snapshots that prepares us against the extremist right wing agenda that can take a violent turn at any moment. The Golden words of George Santayana will be repeated enough in this Google Knol, ‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,’ until these words can offer some competition to the repeated attempts of national television medium to portray Islam as violent and Christianity as possible benign panacea!

In the Western world, at least in the national television media, we seem to be moving from the highest ideal of individual responsibility and freedom of religion to guilt by association and tribal guilt when it comes to Islam and the Muslims, the media seems to be creating negative stereotypes of the Muslims and Islam. If we distinguish the good from the bad and moderate from the extremist and judge the Muslims by the same criteria, as we will judge a Christian or a Jew or follower of any other religion, then we will have a peaceful global village.

To read more click here


‘Where books are burned, they will ultimately burn people also’ − Heinrich Heine’s predictions and his love for Islam

By Abdul Haq Compier Heinrich Heine

The planned book burnings on September 11th brings back a tradition of intolerance which has plagued the Christian world throughout, and which augurs more violence to come. In his 1821 play, Almansor, the German writer Heinrich Heine wrote, ‘Where books are burned, they will ultimately burn people also’ (‘Dort, wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man auch am Ende Menschen.’ ). The phrase is often quoted to show that Heine had an intuition about the coming of the Holocaust. What is not often put forward, is that Heine was in fact talking about the burning of the Quran. In the work with the Arabic title ‘Almansor’, Heine is commenting on the crimes committed against Muslim Spain by the Christian Reconquista.

Heinrich Heine was one of the 19th century German authors who strongly identified with the Arab-Muslim heritage. In those days, Arabic and Persian was studied by the greatest of poets and turbans were worn in Berlin to express the love for Islamic literature. Authors include the best of German philosophy and literature, such as Johann Gottfried von Herder, Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, August von Platen, Rainer Maria Rilke, Friedrich Rückert and Christoph Martin Wieland. The most celebrated of all, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, wrote in his books confessions of having converted to Islam. His work sports titles such as ‘Western-Eastern Divan’, ‘The Song of Muhammad’, etc.

For more click here.


Religious Freedom in America

By Amjad Mahmood Khan


A few weeks ago, America celebrated its 234th year as a nation. As members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, we proudly joined in this celebration. For some Americans, a showing of loyalty by American Muslims might come as a bit of a surprise. With America mired in two wars with Muslim majority nations (Iraq and Afghanistan), and recent Gallup polls showing an unprecedented level of discrimination against American Muslims, it would appear difficult for American Muslims to take pride in the country they live in.



Yet despite all of the polls and negative media attention paid to Islam in America, there probably isn’t a better time in our history to be proud to be an American Muslim. This may sound like a tall claim, but some international perspective might help. Consider for a moment the state of religious freedom for Muslims in Europe over the past few months.

In his characteristically clear and elegant style, Davies shows how recent scientific discoveries point to a perplexing fact: many different aspects of the cosmos, from the properties of the humble carbon atom to the speed of light, seem tailor-made to produce life. A radical new theory says it’s because our universe is just one of an infinite number of universes, each one slightly different. Our universe is bio-friendly by accident–we just happened to win the cosmic jackpot.

While this ‘multiverse’ theory is compelling, it has bizarre implications, such as the existence of infinite copies of each of us and Matrix-like simulated universes. And it still leaves a lot unexplained. Davies believes there’s a more satisfying solution to the problem of existence: the observation we make today could help shape the nature of reality in the remote past. If this is true, then life, and ultimately consciousness, aren’t just incidental byproducts of nature but central players in the evolution of universe.



Read more online.


October 2010


What’s New at
www.alislam.org

Holy Quran – Truth Revealed An MTA video (English) defending the Holy Quran while showing its beautiful teachings.

Sahih Bukhari with Urdu translation and commentary – first five volumes Read online or download PDF files.

New Book: A Gift for An-Nadwah English translation of Tuhfatun-Nadwah by Hadrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, the Promised Messiah and Mahdi(as).

New Book: The Truth Revealed English translation of Sachcha’i ka Izhar by Hadrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, the Promised Messiah and Mahdi(as).

An Introduction to the Hidden Treasures of Islam (English) Comprising introductions and brief summaries of each of the 91 books written by Hadrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, the Promised Messiah and Mahdi(as).


Persecution News and Updates

For latest updates about the persecution of peaceful Ahmadiyya Muslim Community please visit www.ThePersecution.org or at the The Persecution Blog


www.reviewofreligions.org

The Review of Religions


www.muslimsunrise.com

Muslim Sunrise

Pakistan’s Black Friday – May 28, 2010 (Fall 2010)



Obama defends right to build mosque near 9/11 site

But let me be clear. As a citizen, and as President, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country. (Applause.) And that includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in Lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances. This is America. And our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable. The principle that people of all faiths are welcome in this country and that they will not be treated differently by their government is essential to who we are. The writ of the Founders must endure.



Read more online.



Sumbul Ali-Karamali: Who’s Afraid of Shariah?

Hasn’t the whole notion of shariah in America gotten a bit out of control? No, it hasn’t — it’s gotten hugely, obscenely, ignorantly out of control. How many of those anti-Islam protesters holding “NO SHARIA LAW” signs (as if anyone were advocating shariah law in the U.S.) actually know what the word means? I’d say, oh, none. Roughly.

Shariah (also spelled shari’ah or sharia or shari’a) is the Arabic word for “the road to the watering place.” In a religious context, it means “the righteous path.” Loosely, it can mean simply, “Islam.”

There are six principles of shariah. They are derived from the Qur’an, which Muslims believe is the word of God. All Islamic religious rules must be in line with these six principles of shariah.

Aha! The six principles must be about killing infidels, veiling women, stoning people for adultery, honor killings and female genital cutting, right? Nope.

Here they are, the six principles of shariah:

1. The right to the protection of life.

2. The right to the protection of family.

3. The right to the protection of education.

4. The right to the protection of religion.

5. The right to the protection of property (access to resources).

6. The right to the protection of human dignity.



Well, bless me, as a pledge-of-allegiance-reciting, California-raised Muslim girl, these six principles sound a lot like those espoused in my very own Constitution of the United States. Except that these were developed over a thousand years ago.

To read the full article click here.


France’s ban on the Islamic veil has little to do with female emancipation

By Prof. Joan Wallach Scott (author of: The Politics of the Veil.)

That only a few thousand women wear face coverings in a country that has 4-6 million people from Muslim countries in its population raises the question of why this issue has become the focus of nationalist campaigns, not only in France, but in other western European countries as well. What is it about covered women that so draws the ire and fear of so many, some western feminists included? How have politicians, many of whom have worked hard to keep women out of political office, been able to use feminist themes of emancipation and equality in the politics of the ‘clash of civilizations?’ Why has it been so easy to identify the veil as an instrument only of oppression, even when ethnographers and historians tell us it has multiple meanings, and when some women who wear it insist that they have chosen it because it positively signifies their femininity and their devotion to God?

To read the full article click here.


Down the slippery slope

By Mujeeb ur Rahman

The founding fathers of Pakistan envisioned her to be a modern democracy and a secular state. They were very clear that it will not be a religious or a theocratic state. The Quaid-i-Azam in his memorable speech of August 11, 1947, to the constituent assembly of Pakistan, while stating the principle on which the new state was to be founded, said;

‘We are starting with this fundamental principle that we are all citizens, and equal citizens, of one state.’

He went on to say:

‘Now I think we should keep in front of us as our ideal and you will find that in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense because it is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the state.’

The Quaid-i-Azam was the founder of Pakistan and the occasion on which he thus spoke was the first landmark in the history of Pakistan. The speech was intended both for his own people including the non-Muslims, as well as the outside world, and its object was to define clearly as possible the ideal, the attainment of which the new state was to devote all its energies.

In 1949, ‘The Objectives Resolution’ was adopted by the constituent assembly of Pakistan. This resolution marked the first departure from the vision of the founding fathers. During the assembly debate the minority representatives took strong objections to the ‘objective resolution’. However, Liaqat Ali Khan was at pains to explain that Pakistan will not be a theocratic state and that, ‘If there are any who still use the word theocracy, in the same breath as they polity, they are either labouring under a grave misapprehension or indulging in mischievous propaganda.’

To read more click here.


Persecuted Muslim Sect Uses Brochure Campaign to Push for Peace

By SAMUEL G. FREEDMAN (Published: August 6, 2010)

Qasim Rashid squinted through his sunglasses and pointed toward the Kamikaze ride and the Curly Fries stand, shimmering under the August sun at the Wisconsin State Fair. “Team of two,” he said to several of the eight young men gathered around him. “That way.”

After the rest of the volunteers had departed in pairs, each one carrying a bundle of exactly 210 brochures, Mr. Rashid and his partners, Maanaan Sabir and Ryan Archut, headed down the midway past the Fun Slide and the World’s Smallest Horse. There, at one compass point in the middle of Middle America, they went about attesting that there were Muslims for peace.

It said so, in those exact words, right next to the image of a dove, on the cover of the pamphlets they had come to distribute. Inside the flier, a headline announced “Love For All — Hatred For None,” and a slash mark cut through the word “Terrorism.”

“Sir, can I offer you a free ‘Muslims for Peace’ brochure?” Mr. Rashid, 28, a law school student at the University of Richmond, asked the first passer-by.

“I’ll take one,” the man replied, “because I’m not racist.”

So began the latest sally in the month-old effort by the Ahmadi Muslim community in the United States to present Islam as a religion that abhors violence. For the Ahmadis, making that argument is far from an act of naïveté or convenient rationalization. They have been persecuted by Muslim extremists — most recently in a May attack on two mosques in Pakistan — for adhering to a pacifistic interpretation of Islam propounded 120 years ago by the sect’s messianic founder.

To fundamentalist Muslims, the Ahmadi beliefs amount to apostasy. To Ahmadis like Mr. Rashid, however, an Islam that renounces violence is exactly the message Americans need to hear.

To read more click here.


Conflicted loyalties of Muslim-American youth

By Faheem Yunus

A few years ago, on a 4th of July cookout, I met a group of youth who were feeling alienated and downright embarrassed about declaring their Muslim identity. “Am I a foreigner Muslim living in America or a Muslim American who was born oversees?” one of them asked. “Being a Muslim and an American is not easy,” remarked the other.

This conflict manifests itself when a third-grader calls in sick to celebrate Eid at the end of Ramadan and along the way turns from a “Bilal” into a “Bill.” Years ago, when my patients would say, “Doc, you look very familiar,” I would respond, “You may have seen my picture in the post office.”

Today is the celebration of American independence and of the notion that men and women from all over the world come to this nation to live in shared values of freedom and liberty. But this 4th of July is a time when Muslim American youth find it increasingly difficult to experience that national identity.

To read more click here.


Secularism is an Islamic Doctrine

By Ismat Sarah Mangla and Anees Ahmad

This past weekend, more than 6,000 Ahmadi Muslims gathered in Virginia for the 62nd annual convention of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA, where this important issue was discussed. Mr. Naseem Mahdi, the missionary-in-charge and a vice president of the community, delivered a keynote speech on the question “Are Muslims required to obey non-Muslim governments?” The answer, according to Mr. Mahdi and the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, is a resounding yes.

From the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s perspective, there is no doubt: Secularism, is, in fact, an Islamic doctrine. “Islam,” Mr. Mahdi said, “does not promote a system that divides the citizens of a country into classes, where Muslims are first-class citizens, and everyone else is not.”

The Holy Qur’an states: “Indeed, Allah commands you to give over the trusts to those entitled to them, and that, when you judge between men, you judge with justice.” (4:59). This verse mandates that the Muslims accept the most capable person as their ruler, irrespective of faith. And once that ruler is appointed, Muslims must obey him: “Obey…those who are in authority among you” (4:60). Prophet Muhammad himself said, “You should listen to and obey your ruler, even if you [despise him]” (Bukhari). This is sufficient evidence of Islam’s mandate for the separation of mosque and state.

To read more click here.


Secularism vs Shariah Law

MTA program “Faith Matters”

To watch a clip online click here.

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