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November 2014 eGazette – Racism in USA and Universal Brotherhood in Islam

– Do White Christians Care Enough About Racial Justice to Make it an American Reality? – Feds launch probe of Ferguson police department – The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Islam – 5 disturbing stats on black-white inequality – Macy’s settles racial profiling allegations from shoppers – The painful truths parents tell their black sons – Jimmy Carter: Southern White Men Turn To The GOP Because Of ‘Race’

Al Islam eGazette

Do White Christians Care Enough About Racial Justice to Make it an American Reality?

Source: On Faith

By Elizabeth Evans

Epigraph:

“The extinction of race consciousness is one of the most outstanding moral achievements of Islam.”

-Arnold Toynbee

Successful movements for women’s ordination and gay ministers have swept through Protestant churches, but the movement toward racial reconciliation is mixed, at best.

This past July, Episcopalians from all over the country gathered in Philadelphia to commemorate a groundbreaking event: the 1974 ordination of 11 women who defied church tradition and canon law to become priests. Forty years later, it’s hard to imagine the denomination without women priests. There were celebratory speeches, of course, but what I took away from the day were thewords of the African-American panelist, elder stateswoman, and prominent local Episcopalian Nokomis Wood: “The Episcopal Church was just beginning to talk about racial equity and racial justice. The conversation about women’s ordination just allowed [the church] to put it back further.”

I caught up with Wood at lunch, and asked her to amplify what she meant. She told me that the issue of women’s ordination had “derailed” the denomination’s nascent conversation about race. While there continued to be “parallel” dialogues, the challenge of racial injustice took a back seat to other social issues. And so it remains. What happened to the passion of the 1960s? What happened to the multiracial coalitions that fueled, often in the face of tremendous violence, the quest for racial justice for the descendants of slaves? Where are the prophetic faith community leaders advocating for biblically-based justice and structural social change? Who today is standing against persistent racism among many in Caucasian enclaves? Why is Sunday morning still, almost 50 years after the Voting Rights Act became law, the “most segregated hour in Christian America”?

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Feds launch probe of Ferguson police department

By Shimon Prokupecz, Pamela Brown and Greg Botelho, CNN

Epigraph:

O mankind, We have created you from a male and a female; and We have made you into tribes and sub-tribes that you may recognize one another. Verily, the most honourable among you, in the sight of Allah, is he who is the most righteous among you. Surely, Allah is All-knowing, All-Aware. (Al Quran 49:14)


U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced Thursday a Justice Department investigation into the Ferguson, Missouri, police department, which has come under fire for its past practices in the uproar over the shooting of Michael Brown.

Holder spoke about his recent trip to the area and about conversations he had with its residents.

“People consistently expressed concerns stemming from specific alleged incidents, from general policing practices and from the lack of diversity on the Ferguson police force. These anecdotal accounts underscore the history of mistrust of law enforcement in Ferguson that has received a good deal of attention,” Holder told reporters.

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The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Islam

By Zia Shah MD

Epigraph:

“If we could view Muhammad as we do any other important historical figure we would surely consider him to be one of the greatest geniuses the world has known.”

-Karen Armstrong


US Supreme Court Chamber: There is a Frieze above the Bench, which includes the Holy Prophet Muhammad among the 18 Great Law-Givers

With the election of a son of a Kenyan man to the highest office in USA we see gradual perfection of the vision expressed in the words, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” But at the same time, suicidal bombings by terrorist, the outrageous violations of human rights in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, the indifference to the so called collateral damage in air bombings, have again rekindled the question as to what are the human rights and where do they come from. The events since September 11, 2001 have jolted every citizen of the planet earth with renewed quaking and put them on a quest to look for answers. Is life of an American more sacred than a non-American? What if he or she is a Muslim? Are all humans truly created equal? Where did the words, ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal;’ come from? To one exposed to Western media only these noble words came from the pen of President Thomas Jefferson, as he authored United States Declaration of Independence in 1776. But a more cultured Westerner may know what Wikipedia mentions, under the heading all men are created equal, “Many of the ideas in the Declaration were borrowed from the English liberal political philosopher John Locke.” But that is where Western scholarship ends. Locke lived in the seventeenth and eighteenth century. Such is the dissociation of the Western writers in terms of ignoring the beauties of Islam, that they can attribute all such liberal ideas with a straight face to Western philosophers, despite the fact the Muslim literature has been replete with mention of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, saying to a crowd of more than a hundred thousand people, at the time of the final pilgrimage, an event that itself symbolizes human equality, “All of you are equal. All men, whatever nation or tribe they may belong to, and whatever station in life they may hold, are equal. Allah has made you brethren one to another, so be not divided. An Arab has no preference over a non-Arab, nor a non-Arab over an Arab; nor is a white one to be preferred to a dark one, nor a dark one to a white one.” The whole of his sermon is recorded in history and has been more famous and cherished than President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg address, in the Muslim world, over the centuries. This is where human equality began, not only for the Muslims but for the whole of humanity!

Fast forward to World War II. Dr. Andrew Conway Ivy was appointed by the American Medical Association as its representative at the 1946 Nuremberg Medical Trial for Nazi doctors. By 1945 he was probably ‘the most famous doctor in the country.’ He wrote, “Only in a moral world, a world of responsibility, can man be free and live as a human being should. Men are truly equal and free only as creatures of God, because only as the children of God and only in the sight of God and ultimate moral law are men truly equal.” In the Nuremberg trial he struggled with the question that if man-made law is the sole source of basic human rights, why condemn the Nazi assault on Jews, Gypsies, Poles, and political enemies; and having shaken by this perplexing trial he concluded:

“If God and the ultimate moral law are denied, there can be no absolute argument against slavery, against ‘might makes right’ and man’s greedy exploitation of man. If human beings have no absolute intrinsic value, no absolute intrinsic freedom of decision, no absolute liberty, no absolute duties, they possess only extrinsic value and may be used as chattels, slaves or serfs by those who have the intelligence and power.”

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5 disturbing stats on black-white inequality

Source: CNN

The protests in Ferguson, Missouri, have laid bare America’s ongoing racial divide.

One source of that tension is the large financial gap between black and white Americans.

The figures are staggering.

A typical black household has accumulated less than one-tenth of the wealth of a typical white one. And it’s only getting worse.

To read more click here


Macy’s settles racial profiling allegations from shoppers

Source: BBC

Epigraph:

O mankind, We have created you from a male and a female; and We have made you into tribes and sub-tribes that you may recognize one another. Verily, the most honourable among you, in the sight of Allah, is he who is the most righteous among you. Surely, Allah is All-knowing, All-Aware. (Al Quran 49:14)


The Macy’s store at Herald Square in Manhattan

Macy’s is to pay $650,000 to settle claims it racially profiled and detained ethnic minority shoppers at its flagship Manhattan shop. Under a deal with New York’s attorney-general Macy’s agreed to a series of changes at its 42 stores across the state.

Staff at Macy’s, one of US retailing’s big names, were said to have targeted shoppers because of their colour.
US actor Rob Brown was among customers suspected of theft or fraud.

Some complaints against Macy’s were from customers who, despite not concealing goods, were detained after moving between floors at the Manhattan store.

Other customers who spoke poor English, and were suspected of shoplifting or credit card fraud, were not allowed to make phone calls or have an interpreter, and were required to sign documents that they could not understand.

To read more click here


The painful truths parents tell their black sons

By Michael Martinez, Stephanie Elam and Erica Henry, CNN

Epigraph:

O mankind, We have created you from a male and a female; and We have made you into tribes and sub-tribes that you may recognize one another. Indeed, the most honourable among you, in the sight of Allah, is he who is the most righteous among you. Surely, Allah is All-knowing, All-Aware. (Al Quran 49:14)

From parent to son, uncle to nephew, grandparent to grandson, there’s a raw, private conversation being re-energized in America in the wake of violence in Ferguson, Missouri.

It’s an intimate lecture that most Americans won’t know, but parents like Kelli Knox of Southern California know it too well because it begins the loss of their children’s innocence and exposes them to a painful national truth that’s increasingly become a matter of life or death.

As challenging as parenting is, black families in particular are assuming more burdens: At kitchen tables and in living rooms, they hold honest talks with their boys about how life can be different for them and what they ought – and ought not – to do in public, especially near police.

Think twice about wearing a hoodie. Pull up your pants. Shut your mouth around police. Swallow your pride. Don’t drive with more than three friends. And keep your hands where they can be seen.

These are just a few examples of the rules that parents tell their young black sons – and sometimes daughters – about how to stay safe. Though stark and blunt, the admonishments follow a trend of violence that touches upon the most fiery issue in America: race.

To read more click here


Jimmy Carter: Southern White Men Turn To The GOP Because Of ‘Race’

Race is the primary reason white Southern men support the Republican Party, former President Jimmy Carter told Salon in an interview posted Thursday. Carter also pushed back against using the Bible to trample human rights.


President Jimmy Carter

When asked why white male Southerners have turned to the GOP, Carter said: “It’s race. That’s been prevalent in the South … . Ever since Nixon ran – and ever since Johnson didn’t campaign in the deep South, the Republicans have solidified their hold there.”

Republican proposals, such as cutting food stamps and assuming the guilt of minorities and the mentally ill who are in jail, appeal to the rich, he said.

“Those kind of things just exalt the higher class, which is the whites, and they draw a subtle, but very effective racial line throughout the South,” Carter said.

Carter also rejected interpretations of the Bible that are used to oppress women. He said individuals can find verses that belittle women but also many that pronounce the equality of all people.

“So, you know, you could find verses, but as far as Jesus Christ is concerned, he was unanimously and always the champion of women’s rights,” he said. “He never deviated from that standard. And in fact he was the most prominent champion of human rights that lived in his time and I think there’s been no one more committed to that ideal than he is.”

To read more click here


November 2014


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Eid-ul-Adha Sermon 6th October 2014 by Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad

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