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While some souls in Congress were brave enough to speak out against this resolution, such as Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich, our two Muslim Congressmen failed to even show symbolic support for their Muslim brothers who are victims of a genocide being carried out by the Zionist state.

Muslim Congressmen Fail To Stand Up Against Palestinian Massacre

The US House of Representatives voted on January 9th on a resolution (H RES 34) aptly titled: “Recognizing Israel's right to defend itself against attacks from Gaza, reaffirming the United States' strong support for Israel, and supporting the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.” It was passed overwhelmingly by a vote of about 300-something to 5 (see the full voting record). The text of the resolution basically says that Israel can defend itself, it recognizes Israel for facilitating humanitarian aid to Gaza, and states the ultimate goal of the US is the continued existence of a democratic Jewish state. It also says Congress will work towards a cease-fire.

While some souls in Congress were brave enough to speak out against this resolution, such as Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich, our two Muslim Congressmen failed to even show symbolic support for their Muslim brothers who are victims of a genocide being carried out by the Zionist state.

Andre Carson from Indiana, actually voted in favor of the resolution. Words cannot even begin to describe how that feels, but betrayal is one that comes to mind. Keith Ellison refused to take a position, simply voting “present” and thus neither affirming nor negating the resolution. Surely, they have some explanation for what they said right?!

Keith Ellison's comments simply provided a lot of double-speak and political maneuvering.

I cannot vote against this resolution because I believe every country in the world has the right to defend itself.

I have been to Sderot and I have seen first-hand both the physical and emotional destruction caused by the rocket attacks launched by Hamas.

Israeli citizens living near the Gaza border have been repeatedly harassed and live daily in fear. Hamas, a terrorist organization founded with the goal of destroying Israel, has launched more than 6,000 rockets and mortars into Israel since 2005.

Last fall I voted for a resolution specifically condemning these rocket attacks into Israel.

At the same time I cannot vote for this resolution because it barely mentions the human suffering of the Palestinians in Gaza.

Over 750 people have been killed, including 250 children and 50 women, with over 3,000 people injured.

And even before the recent Israeli military operation, life for the people of Gaza had become increasingly unliveable — with shortages of food, fuel and basic medical supplies.

The 1.4 million inhabitants of the Gaza Strip existed in a state of dreadful isolation, cut off from the world, often including the world's media.

Earlier this year the people of Gaza broke through the walls separating Gaza and Egypt simply to purchase groceries.

We need to have compassion for the people of Gaza and the tremendous human suffering there.

That is why I will vote “present” on this resolution concerning the current conflict in Gaza.

History has shown that ground troops and air strikes have not resolved conflict in the Middle East. If we try to resolve conflict with military might and nothing else, then we will be no safer than we were before.

Diplomacy is necessary to save lives and yield a lasting peace with security.

The United States government, together with international partners, must play an active role in pursuing real peace with security in the Middle East.

Like a great politician, he said some of the right things about Gaza, and then failed to deliver. If he did indeed have compassion for the people of Gaza, he should have voted against the resolution and not “present,” thus refusing to take a stance. By voting “present” he simply undid any support he was trying to bring to the humanitarian situation in Gaza. For a system that teaches us the importance of every vote, and the significance of your voice, he showed the Muslim community some lip-service, but his actions in refusing to condemn the genocide in Gaza speak louder.

Perhaps it could be argued that the resolution does indeed have some truth to it. To anyone who makes even a cursory examination of the news though, they will see that the resolution itself is predicated upon a number of false precepts, chief amongst them is that Israel acted out of self-defense. A quick recap of some of the information pertinent to the resolution (please also see previous news roundup and comments for more):

  1. Israel broke the cease-fire, not Hamas. The invasion by Israel was planned months in advance. In fact, the Irish Times reported that no Israeli civilian or military member had been killed by any Hamas rocket from Gaza until December 27th, and that Israel quietly broke the cease-fire on November 4th (when we were busy with the election). This means the assumption of self-defense is no longer valid, to say the least.
  2. Support for a cease-fire is empty rhetoric. America refused to back a UN resolution calling for a cease-fire due to its special relationship with Israel.
  3. Israel has not facilitated humanitarian aid, but has in fact prevented it, and even targeted ambulances in its attacks.

These facts are not hidden from the public (in fact the articles here are all from non-Muslim media outlets), and definitely not hidden from America's own politicians. Ron Paul, who voted against the resolution, made the following comments in Congress about this resolution (source):

The resolution clearly takes one side in a conflict that has nothing to do with the United States or U.S. interests. I am concerned that the weapons currently being used by Israel against the Palestinians in Gaza are made in America and paid for by American taxpayers. What will adopting this resolution do to the perception of the United States in the Muslim and Arab world? What kind of blowback might we see from this? What moral responsibility do we have for the violence in Israel and Gaza after having provided so much military support to one side?

…I am appalled by the practice of lobbing homemade rockets into Israel from Gaza. I am only grateful that, because of the primitive nature of these weapons, there have been so few casualties among innocent Israelis. But I am also appalled by the long-standing Israeli blockade of Gaza – a cruel act of war – and the tremendous loss of life that has resulted from the latest Israeli attack that started last month.

There are now an estimated 700 dead Palestinians, most of whom are civilians. Many innocent children are among the dead. While the shooting of rockets into Israel is inexcusable, the violent actions of some people in Gaza does not justify killing Palestinians on this scale. Such collective punishment is immoral. At the very least, the U.S. Congress should not be loudly proclaiming its support for the Israeli government's actions in Gaza.

…The resolution in fact will lead the U.S. to become further involved in this conflict, promising “vigorous support and unwavering commitment to the welfare, security, and survival of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.” Is it really in the interest of the United States to guarantee the survival of any foreign country? I believe it would be better to focus on the security and survival of the United States, the Constitution of which my colleagues and I swore to defend just this week at the beginning of the 111th Congress. I urge my colleagues to reject this resolution.

Congressman Kucinich also had some strong (and eye-opening) words about the situation,

In Gaza, the United Nations gave the Israeli army the coordinates of a UN school, and the school was then hit by Israeli tank fire, killing about forty. The UN put flags on emergency vehicles, coordinating the movements of those vehicles with the Israeli military, and the vehicles came under attack, killing emergency workers. The Israeli army evacuated 100 Palestinians to shelter, and then bombed the shelter, killing thirty people.

Emergency workers have been blocked by the Israeli army from reaching hundreds of injured persons. Today's Washington Post: 100 survivors rescued in Gaza from roads blocked from Israelis. Relief agencies fear more are trapped, days after neighborhood was shelled. Today, the U.S. Congress is going to be asked to pass a resolution supporting Israel's actions in Gaza. I'm hopeful that we don't support the inhumanity that has been repeatedly expressed by the Israeli army. The U.S. abstained from a UN call for a ceasefire. We must take a new direction in the Middle East, and that new direction must be mindful of the inhumane conditions in Gaza.

So alḥamdulillāh, it does seem there are a few brave souls in Congress who see the reality of the situation. The question arises though – where were our Muslim congressmen?! Should our own brothers not be at the forefront in speaking out against this massacre? Speaking in support of their brothers and sisters who are falling victim to an act of oppression which is something no less than fully-fledged ethnic cleansing?

Andre Carson voted for the resolution. Meaning, he pledged his support for Israel and the furthering of their “Jewish Democratic” state through the invasion and genocide of innocent Muslims in Palestine.

Keith Ellison gave his implicit support for it, by refusing to speak against it. We are not asking him to change the world, but is it really too much to ask that as a Muslim, you have the courage to take a stand against a massacre of Muslims? Is it too much to ask that you at the least simply echo and support the statements made by some of your fellow Congressman? Do you seriously believe Israel was in the right?

It is troubling that a Muslim congressman can be so clueless about international politics. Does he really believe what he said about Israel? This is either deceit, or the height of ignorance – unacceptable either way for someone in this field, and representing the Muslim community of America. While it is true he was elected in Minnesota, he did raise funds from Muslim communities all over the country, making us believe this would make a positive difference and represent our interests.

Muslims in America have long been involved in trying to make their political voices heard. Various organizations have been set up that are very politically active, trying to influence policies in Washington. We have been told from early on that the only way to make a difference in society is to get involved. Even in regards to Gaza, some organizations who work to defend the civil liberties of American Muslims have been actively sending out emails encouraging Muslims in America to “write to their Congressman” or to hold rallies, or take some other form of civic duty in an attempt to “make your voice heard” and influence change. The fact that many of these organizations' action items failed to include basic duties such as supplicating to Allāh for our oppressed brethren is a side issue – but it shows the extent to which Muslims have bought into the 'work with the system' mentality.

This fight to get people to buy into working with the system gained a huge victory when Muslims proudly welcomed Keith Ellison as the first Muslim congressman. Finally! After all these baby steps, a small victory. A step in the right direction. Muslims were finally becoming “mainstream” in American society. Keith Ellison was even sworn in with the Qurʾān instead of a Bible! We finally had someone who could represent our voices. He could speak on our behalf in important forums where we previously lacked any access.

The basic premise of Muslim involvement in these arenas predicated on the belief that we knew the system was wrong. We knew that there are many things in politics that go against our religious principles. But we have tried to take a mature stance at objectively analyzing what we can do to avert the greater evil in favor of the lesser one. Have many Muslims lost sight of that? Definitely. Many who were more enthusiastic were often given a free pass because of progress that was being made. After all, we had a Muslim in Congress now. We can make strides in defending the civil liberties of American Muslims.

It was in that vein that many of us remained silent, when our first Muslim Congressman was chosen to be the Vice chair of a Gay Rights Committee. We were uncomfortable with this as Islam's stance on homosexuality is crystal clear. However, many tried to give him the benefit of the doubt, and try to take a more 'mature' understanding that this was part of working with the system. He was making some compromises en route to achieving what we were hoping would ultimately be the greater good for the Muslim community.

Fast forward now to the recent crisis that began a few weeks ago. When it comes to Muslim issues, there is definitely a list of priorities. As a Muslim, I find it hard to place many things above an all out massacre of innocent civilians. While no one is naive enough to think that 2 Muslim congressmen will be able to put through a bill that will result in a sudden reversal of foreign policy, we do expect them to at least take a symbolic stand when afforded the opportunity.

Let's make one thing clear: No one is denying that a Muslim congressman undoubtedly faces an undue amount of pressure, probably more than most other politicians – both within the Muslim community and the microscope outside of it.

The question that I have though, is at what point do we simply say that if this is the net result of working with the system, then it's not worth it?

It is true that this one issue is sparking the debate, but it is a large issue, and one that comes on top of the blind eye that we turned to many other 'smaller' issues. It seems painfully obvious now to me, that this “system” is an utter failure. What happened here is only a proof against civic and political engagement for Muslims. I have been hearing the 'dream' of having a Muslim congressman since I was in high school. The dream has been achieved, but with no benefit to the Muslim community whatsoever. The hard work that has gone into this from all these organizations, all the money that was raised to fund these campaigns, all of it has been a farce. If they cannot even take a symbolic stance against a massacre of innocent civilians, then what good is there?

The entire debate of “voting for a lesser evil” in elections and other issues all become moot when even a Muslim in the arena cannot speak out against something like this.

Imām Ibnul-Qayyim said, 'One of his (Shaytan) plots is that he always bewitches people's mind until they are deceived. No one is saved from his sorcery except those whom Allāh Wills. He makes attractive to the mind that which will harm it, until a person thinks of something as most beneficial, and he (Shaytan) discourages him from that which is the most beneficial, until he thinks that it will harm him. La ilaaha illAllah, how may people have been tempted by this sorcery!' [Quoted from, 'Aalam al-Jinn was-Shayateen by Umar S. Al-Ashqar].

What is even most perplexing is that we are not asking Ellison or Carson to do something unreasonable! Kucinich and Ron Paul's comments were sadly much more Muslim than anything our own Muslims are capable of. Could Ellison not echo those same sentiments from his fellow colleagues?

If they cannot take even a symbolic stand against genocide, then there is really no hope for anything else after that.

It is seriously time that we re-evaluate our strategy on these issues. What is the real end game here? I do not disagree with the theory of making our voices and concerns heard, I am questioning the manner in which we do it, and the extreme to which we have gone. Is there benefit of working with a system in which Muslims, when finally making it to the stage, cannot stand up for what is important to us?

The Western Muslim society has slowly been getting more and more politically active (and savvy). While I do not discount political participation en masse, I feel that we have lost sight of what I understand to be our initial intention in getting involved – averting greater harms to our community.

What I have seen, however, is that this type of civic and political engagement has not become a last resort, or even a means to a greater end, but for many people it has simply become the ends. Our duty as Muslims is to do what is in our power. If you cannot change it with your hand, change it with your tongue, and if not with your tongue, then know it is wrong in your heart. If we are falling short in making tahajjud and praying for them in our sujood, if we are falling short in making du‘ā’ for them in each ṣalāh, if we are falling short in helping them financially, if we are falling short in doing those things which make our supplications answered, if we are falling short in educating people, and falling short in establishing true Islam in our own houses – then I believe we have no business getting involved in a process that should in reality be our last resort.

This is not a call for complete disengagement, nor is it a call for sitting idly by. Politics is not the only vehicle through which society can be changed. We can increase our presence in the media, we can increase the dissemination of information on issues that affect us. We can still raise public awareness about the atrocities being committed. And in fact, we have to, because if there is one lesson in this – it is that no one else will do it for us.

As for those who believe that this stance is too harsh, and that trashing the system is 'throwing the baby out with the bath-water' – then I say this. If you still believe that this engagement is the proper course of action, then I ask what could have possibly motivated these Congressmen to favor Israel (one explicitly, and one implicitly)?

If it is really a case of “bad apples” and not a shortcoming with the system, then I challenge you and all the politically active Muslim organizations who backed Ellison with this: Send out emails on your email lists expressing your disapproval of what they did, in the same way that you previously encouraged people to support them. If you are a true believer in “writing your Congressman” and civic engagement – then write to Ellison, and these Muslim organizations. Let them know that you will not only refuse to re-elect them, but you will campaign against them because of this travesty.

Check out Keith Ellison at a Pro-Palestine rally just a few days before voting on the resolution. If you missed what the crowd is going crazy at, it's when he said, “I am not here to condemn anyone.” Ironically, the last part of the video contains a talk by a Jewish professor who did have the fortitude to condemn the Zionist state.

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Feel free to send this to your Congressman, or stick it on your placard at the next rally. As for me, my heart is too sad to think of anything other than this deep sense of loss in this time of crisis. May Allāh(swt) give the Muslims victory over their oppressors, and grant the families there patience, and grant them all Jannatul Firdaws, and may He forgive our shortcomings.

alhamdulillah allah dua imam quran salah

About ibnabeeomar

Omar Usman is a founding member of MuslimMatters, Qalam Institute, Muslim Strategic Initiative, and Debt Free Muslims. He is a regular khateeb and has served in different administrative capacities in various national and local Islamic organizations. You can follow him on Google+ or on Twitter @ibnabeeomar.

117 comments

  1. Great article as usual!

    It’s incidents like these that really begs the question of how effective/useful is it for Muslims to get involved in national politics.

    Allah knows best…

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  2. subhanAllah, my thoughts exactly.

    I was so excited about Ellison and Carson, but they have become pawns of the system rather than agents to change the system within.

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  3. Thanks for the report. I personally believe that pinning our hopes for justice in a few elected officials in the American political system is probably “wishful thinking” to the say the at least..

    as stated by other well experienced brothers/sisters on these issues, grass roots organizations are in my opinion the best way to start as that is where change begins and develops from there, not directly from the top…I am sure that American Muslims would agree that an organization like CAIR has been more beneficial for Muslims in the U.S. and they represent the Muslim populace as opposed to those elected officials who represent themselves and their own ideas and their own political perspectives. Therefore, it may somewhat questionable to “hold them to the stake”, we wish for them the best and assume they made their decisions based on the information available to them and I’m sure that they will ponder about some of their brave collegue’s positions….

    I’m sure one strong objective media outlet or civil rights / social welfare organization is more beneficial than a few politicians…because in the long run, that is what affects policy change and directly supports the citizens and not really the politicians themselves…

    Allah knows best…

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  4. Rami,

    regarding point 1 and 2 – the gist of these comments is basically that they are working with the system, and they had to take the stances they did to not jeopardize their future. my argument is – those are simply causes for why they voted the way they did. These concerns though, do not address the bigger question: If working with the system means that they cannot take a stand against genocide, then is it worth it? what is the greater good that we’re holding out for that would justify remaining silent on this issue? as i mentioned in the article, these points you raised are precisely the reason we remained silent about the gay rights committee, but what about this issue?

    point 3: well, it depends. as of right now, ellison and carson have not shown us any reason to prefer them over any other congressman. if i had to vote i would take ron paul or even kucinich over these 2 guys, despite the fact that they aren’t muslim. honestly, id simply rather we didnt have any muslim congressmen if it meant compromising on major and minor issues of our deen, because i have still yet to see anyone explain what the benefit is that outweighs this harm.

    point 4: it is nice that he took a stance on gitmo, but even mccain’s camp was hinting at closing gitmo. the public perception had turned enough of a tide that it was coming either way. this is not to discount keith ellison’s stance, but at the same time it is not something he uniquely contributed to either. would his stance on gitmo justify him being in office to vote on gitmo, if it means that to “keep his position” he would have to vote in favor of israel’s assault on palestine?

    overall though, you do raise an important issue of making excuses for our brothers. and i agree with that whole heartedly. these brothers though, have voluntarily put themselves into a system and position where they expect to be judged by their voting record. if they can fundraise in public, and they partake in a system which prides itself on transparency on these issues, then its only fair that we are able to question the stances that they take.

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  5. Excellent post Omer.

    Rami, Yes we should give excuses, but when the oppression and injustice is clear cut then there’s no room for politics in our situation. The time to stand up and speak the truth is now. That’s the whole point of having a Muslim official standing up for the truth is that we need him to stand up when the rest won’t. Yes it’s not easy and yes you may risk having issues with your party, but that’s where sacrifice comes in.

    Just because one criticizes one of the congressmen’s actions, doesn’t mean that we criticize all of them. Thus focusing on this action, it is clear that he should take a strong stance on it.

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  6. How dare you disparage our two Muslim congressmen! You are too emotional on this matter. You show a lack of political sense and understanding. These two men, while not perfect can do greatness in Congress. They have withstood much to be there. In a post 9/11 world Carson and Ellison are overcoming barriers. You clearly don’t understand politics. I remember Carson being vilified while running for office. Muslim have NO political power in America. Many immigrants have looked down on African American Muslims for years. Until 9/11 they received a wake up call they they too are niggaz. Your words are hypocritcal and in need of review. They are freshmen and must be methodical and rational. It isn’t enough to blog behind a computer and be an internet revolutionary. You must be active and halfway understanding. I challenge you to watch your words carefully when speaking against fellow Muslims.

    As salaam alaikum!

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  7. Assalamu Alaykum
    It is when us Muslims rely on other people, even other muslims like these congressmen, to give us victory is when we become disappointed when they do not come through for us when we want them to. We should fully rely on Allah, and ONLY on Allah to give us victory. It is time we go back to our religion and worship Allah with true tawheed and follow the sunnah of the prophet salla Allah alayhi wa sallam and be on what the companions were upon. It is then and only then Allah will give us victory. What saddened me in this video is not the congressman Keith Ellison said that he is not there to condemn anyone, he is only but one muslim even if he is a congressman, but what made me more sad is when one of the Muslims started saying a “revised” form of the Shahada, and instead of saying “Muhammad is the messenger of Allah”, he said some other pointless stuff, and what is worse is that most of the Muslims there repeated after him. If we have changed the Shahada, the basic pillar of belief in Islam, then what should we expect?? This video only re-affirmed my beliefs that protests are pointless and Muslims are wasting their time with them! It also showed me how far away from the sunnah of the prophet salla Allah alayhi wa sallam have we strayed.. it is sad, it is more sad than what is happening to our brothers and sisters in Gaza and throughout the world from humiliation and suffering, all of which is caused by the Muslim Ummah having strayed away from their own deen!

    the messenger of Allaah said: “The nations are about to call each other and set upon you, just as diners set upon food.” It was said: “Will it be because of our small number that day?” He said: “Rather, on that day you will be many, but you will be like foam, like the foam on the river. And Allaah will remove the fear of you from the hearts of your enemies and will throw wahn (weakness) into your hearts.” Someone said: “O Messenger of Allaah! What is Wahn?” He said: “Love of the world and the hatred for death.”

    The Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) also said,
    “When you start taking part in Eenah (illegal transactions that involve a type of interest), and you hold onto the tails of cattle and you become satisfied with cultivation (meaning you become preoccupied with worldly affairs) and you abandon jihaad for the cause of Allah, then Allah would permit your humiliation, and would not relieve you of it until you return to your Deen.”

    The Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said,
    “The Jews split up into seventy one sects, and the Christians split up into seventy two sects. And my Ummah shall split up into seventy three sects, all of them being in the Fire except one.” We said, ‘Which one is that, O Messenger of Allaah?’ He said, “The one that follows what I am upon and my Companions.”

    ‘We are the people whom Allah honored through Islam, so whenever we seek honor through other than it, Allah will disgrace us’.
    ‘Umar Bin al-Khattab

    What is happening to the Muslims around the world from humiliation and disgrace is because of our own sins and our own selves, because we are far away from our deen, the way the prophet and his companions used to practice it.
    The prophet Muhammad salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam predicted the future that we will be humiliated if we disobeyed Allah and committed sins and were away from our religion, and he peace be upon him also gave us the cure, the answer, the solution to that problem, which is to go back to our deen, to go back to practicing our religion properly with proper tawheed of Allah. This is the ONLY solution to our problem and to the state that the muslim ummah is in.

    So I call upon my fellow Muslims, LET US GO BACK TO OUR DEEN!

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  8. Logan – please explain to me the political benefit in them being there, that is greater than the harm of endorsing the genocide of over 800 innocent Muslims?

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  9. What these 2 muslim congressmen did remind me of the famous saying of Abu Ali Adakaaq who said that “The one who remains silent about the truth is a mute shaytan (devil), and the one who speaks with falsehood is a talking shaytan.”
    What a coincidence that he mentioned both congressmen in his statement! lol

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  10. Abd-Allah,

    Don’t equate these two men to devils. I am not interested in these quotes that have been used to justify many offenses. I am simply saying that they are helping to shape the minds of Americans. Whether or not one agrees with them or not, we can’t rest all of our hopes on two congressmen out of 435. Whenever I look around the country, many muslims don’t even know their own U.S. representative or have the influence to get a call returned. Both Ellison and Carson have low Muslim populations in their respective districts. They are doing what they must as trailblazers given the circumstances.

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  11. @ brother Rami, this “give 70 excuses” is NOT a hadith of the prophet peace be upon him. It is a saying of some of the scholars of the past.

    However, this “70 excuses” issue has been abused too much. Yes we are supposed to give our brothers and sisters excuses if we see them do or say something bad in certain situations, but we have abused this a lot! In some cases where you are NOT SURE, you give excuses so that you do not start ASSUMING things, but if things are clear and obvious, then there is no need to give ANY excuse! Lets say (and this is just an example so please don’t get stuck on it but try to understand the point I am trying to make) you see a brother drinking a bottle of beer, what excuse can you give him?? You think to yourself let me give him 70 excuses:

    1) Maybe he was thirsty to the extent of almost dying, and he could not find anything but this bottle of beer to drink, so it is ok because of dire need and necessity.

    2) ….

    3) WHO are we trying to kid here? WHAT excuse can you give him for doing something like that?

    In some things we CAN and are SUPPOSED to give other people excuses, but in other cases we CAN’T and SHOULDN’T give excuses.

    This “70 excuses” thing has unfortunately been abused by many muslims and used as an excuse to ignore the wrong that we see around us, and EVERY time anyone objects to something wrong that he/she sees, some one has to come out and say “give 70 excuses”

    We are supposed to enjoin the good and forbid the evil when we see it, not “give 70 excuses” EVERY time we see something wrong.

    It is almost as if that is the only thing we do, is give excuses to everyone about everything, just so that we don’t carry out our duty of correcting the wrong when we see it.

    Allah knows best.

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  12. @ brother Logan, I didn’t equate these 2 men to devils, someone else did. I just happen to agree! It doesn’t matter what their motives were for doing what they did, it doesn’t justify it. If they both didn’t want to vote against this resolution, they should have both stayed at home that day, but to go and vote FOR the resolution or KEEP QUIET regardless of the injustices, opression, and falsehood in it IS WRONG no matter what reason they had and no matter what anyone might think. I don’t care what they have done in the past, doing this ruins everything good that they have done in the past. Doing what they did is like “milking the cow and then spilling the milk that is in the bucket on the ground.” They should have stayed at home it would have been better for them!

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  13. @ brother Logan,

    “I am not interested in these quotes that have been used to justify many offenses”~ Logan
    you are the one who is trying to justify the offenses of these 2 men.

    “I am simply saying that they are helping to shape the minds of Americans”~ Logan
    what kind of shaping is this? this is more like deforming. if the Americans see that even the muslims agree that Israel has a “right to self defense” then do you think they would ever think about how wrong what Israel is doing to the Palestinians?!

    “we can’t rest all of our hopes on two congressmen out of 435″
    I am not resting ANY of my hopes on EITHER of these 2 congressmen nor on any of the other congressmen, I have hope in ALLAH and ONLY in ALLAH. But the fact that these 2 congressmen are muslims made all the difference here about how they voted.

    “Whenever I look around the country, many muslims don’t even know their own U.S. representative or have the influence to get a call returned”~ Logan
    HOW is this relevant to our discussion?

    “Both Ellison and Carson have low Muslim populations in their respective districts. They are doing what they must as trailblazers given the circumstances”~ Logan
    yea you are right, this justifies what they did.

    I appreciate your input on this brother Logan, but we each have his opinion, the only thing is that I fail to see the logic in yours. My bad, sorry to have failed you, I hope you can forgive me for that.

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  14. Wa alaykum alsalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu wa maghfiratuhu!

    @ brother Rami, I like your pre-emptiveness! Being pre-emptive though does not work all the time. Now, there is no backbiting in a fasiq! go ask the scholars about this, they know and will tell you that this is NOT backbiting. NO if a sin is public we don’t conceal it, I mean the person himself didn’t bother to worry about concealing it, then why should we?!! If we find out about a sin that someone did in PRIVATE then we should conceal it yes, but not if they publicize it. This is called Mujahara in doing sins, and it is NOT considered backbiting. If you are not sure about this ask a scholar. Imam al- Nawawi mentioned 6 cases/situations where backbiting is allowed and not considered wrong, and most scholars agree on this, and there are several hadeeths that support this.

    “He is not spreading bida, but taking a wrong stance.”~ Rami
    you said it yourself, he is wrong! If you agree with me that what he did is wrong, then why is there a problem in saying that what he did was wrong? No one is calling him a disbeliever for what he has done, and no one is sending him to hell for this, we are just saying that what he has done was wrong. This is how politicians work, they comply to what the people want to stay in office (supposidly to the people and not to the Israeli lobby), so when we express that what he did was wrong, it is so that he doesn’t REPEAT the same mistake in the future and so that he can learn a valuable lesson from this. We should have learned a valuable lesson from this incident too, which is to always rely on Allah alone! Now, if he was spreading a bida we should also speak up agaisnt what he is doing. Unfortunately though, us muslims do not always stand against what is wrong. You see, if we don’t say anything about the wrong that he did, we would have been just as wrong as he was in seeing something wrong and staying silent about it. Btw, this applies to both congressmen, I don’t know why we switched to talking about them both in the singular form. lol

    However, I do like the fact that you are actually checking what you have heard to make sure it is a hadeeth before quoting it and using it, that is good!

    Allah knows best.

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  15. I saw an interview with K. Ellison on Al-Jazeera where he seemed fairly impressive. He mentioned that it wasn’t a case of being pro-Palestinian or pro-Israeli, but to be on the side of peace. My own thoughts at the time (I’m from UK, so do not otherwise know him or American politics) was that he was taking a tactful approach, perhaps trying to bring people who have always been blindly pro-israeli to at least think a bit more about the topic. Supporting the resolution is criminal; abstaining in his environment may be a way of not alienating people who he wants to slowly convince. But, not knowing anything much about the US, I concede I know far less than other contributors here.

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  16. For me at least i believe that there is a difference when these politicians muslim or not say something about Israel or GITMO or any other super controversial topic in the news today. Obama, or even Ellison for that matter could get away with saying just about anything on GITMO, other politicians and Foreign Policy in the ME, but when it comes to Israeli and their lobby here in America no politician dares to say anything about them. This is just another explain of a coward politician, the only thing sad about it now is that its our very own Muslim Congressman!

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  17. When will you Americans learn that American democracy is NOT the answer for the Muslim Ummah. You will be disappointed again and again if you take this path. Stick to what is clear and stay away from the grey areas.

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  18. Regarding this article and the criticisms made to it…

    I personally don’t see a problem in writing it. As a Muslim brother of our Congressman, Omar, or anyone else for that matter, has the right to advise them when he feels they make a mistake. That’s all part of being a Muslim, and regardless of the comments against this article, I’m sure both Congressman understand that.

    The video at the end speaks pretty loud to me. Not here to condemn? Why not??

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  19. As Puff Daddy once said “It’s all about the Benjamin’s baby!”

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  20. Instead of putting pressure on American (even if they are Muslim!) politicians, instead put pressure on these supposed ‘Muslim’ countries such as Saudi to do something about this issue. I am absolutely sick of everyone complaining about how the U.S. should do something about this issue. The Arab and Muslim world needs to stand up for what is right and defend the oppressed. BOTTOM LINE. Logan could not have said it any better. We certainly cannot expect 2 congressmen to change the vote. It was going to be passed whether they voted in favor of it or not. Put the pressure where it belongs and thats with the powerful Muslim countries that can actually do something regarding this issue.

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  21. bismillah. innalhamdolillah. akhi, omar, between the two Muslims whose votes you describe, you devoted much more space in your article to attacking Ellison than the other one.

    let’s think about that. i hoped when i read the position you posted from Ellison that you had anything similar from the other one. because between the two of them, the other one has actually expressed more support for Israel’s butchery in Gaza.

    i am for Gaza. i am for the Muslims, the ones whose martyrdom raises them station-upon-station above me, the ones who cling so much to the dunya and among whom it was my qadr to be counted, and every Muslim in-between, because while we live we all have the hope and the need for Allah’s Guidance and Mercy, not for each other’s recrimination.

    there will be three camps that follow the Resurrection, light will shine brightly from one of them. and part of that light will stream from the wounds of the martyrs of Gaza, may Allah accept from all of them. another camp will be so desperate for light, but it will find only the horror of the company of those who rained bombs on Gaza’s babies, who denied food and medicine and call themselves “peacemakers.” and in between them will be a party who sat on the fence in this life, and look on with terror at the wall on which they now perch precariously.

    when i read what happened in the Congress, i pray for these two brothers of mine. for one, may Allah move him to repent, and may Allah accept it from him — he has cast a lot with the people who will have gained no light by the bloody murder they commit. and for Ellison, i remind him of the wall. not just the wall in Gaza that separated him from his brothers while he visited Sderot, but the wall from which those who abstain in this dunya may have to gaze.

    there is no doubt in my mind that among the wisdoms of this tragedy: (1) that Allah has blessed with martyrdom so many of our brothers and sisters who were merely the victim of Israeli indifference, and indifference to its victims more venomous than hate, that reminds of the indifference of those who assaulted the Kaaba itself and once sacked Makkah. and (2) that Allah has set out a situation that does not permit for fence-sitters — this is a fitnah of a kind with Uhud and the Battle of the Trench. no Muslim knows what is happening and does not choose a side. to persist on the fence itself becomes a choice. may Allah Guide us all.

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  22. wa alaykum alsalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu wa maghfiratuhu.
    @ brother Rami, some sincere advice is given publicly, other advice not. However, this is more than just advice. As I said in one of my previous comments, that staying silent about the wrong that these 2 brothers did is wrong in of itself. That hadeeth you quoted, we should have stopped them from opressing themselves, but we were late, they already opressed themselves, and others, by voting the way they did.

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  23. @ brother Ihssan,
    “powerful Muslim countries that can actually do something regarding this issue”
    wow, someone is out of touch from reality. Yes Saudi has oil but it is run by fear from the U.S. and they can’t do anything about this issue. They also do give a lot of donations, but just because they don’t publicize it we don’t know about them. You are right though, the entire Muslim world is falling short here, but just because others are doing wrong does NOT justify what these 2 brothers did, and it doesn’t matter if the resolution was going to be passed or not either way, but taking such a stance is wrong, and nothing will change that!

    “Put the pressure where it belongs ”
    the pressure belongs on each and EVERY muslim, to go back to his/her deen!

    On authority of Sufian bin Abdullah, may Allah be pleased with him said:
    I said: “O Messenger of Allah, tell me something about Islam which I can ask of no one but you”. He said:” Say:’I believe in Allah’, and thereafter be upright.”
    related by Muslim.

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  24. @Logan:

    many muslims don’t even know their own U.S. representative or have the influence to get a call returned. Both Ellison and Carson have low Muslim populations in their respective districts. They are doing what they must as trailblazers given the circumstances.

    but what are they doing? this is my question that is going unanswered. what precisely are the changes they hope to make, or the goals that they hope to achieve, and do those goals outweigh the harms of something like failing to take a stance against the massacre of innocent muslims?

    @Ihsaan:

    We certainly cannot expect 2 congressmen to change the vote. It was going to be passed whether they voted in favor of it or not.

    Remember, this is a resolution, not a bill. by definition, it is more symbolic in nature. its passing or not passing doesn’t change anything tangibly, but it is gauging the opinion of congress. carson and ellison made it quite clear where they stand.

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  25. @ brother ibnabeeomar, I agree with what you said, but our brothers here seem to be avoiding your question. I would think the ultimate goal would be a full pocket maybe, or even 2 full pockets, oh and they get to keep their seats in congress by pleasing the Israeli lobby. If you were looking for the ultimate goal or benefit from any muslim getting involved in American politics that is run by the Israeli lobby, the answer would be none.

    We all need to realize that the solution to this problem and all our problems as a muslim Ummah is to GO BACK TO OUR DEEN!
    I will keep saying this as it needs to be drilled in every muslim’s mind!

    GO BACK TO YOUR DEEN!

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  26. @Rami,
    jazakallahu khayr for your comments. though i disagree in technicality as it relates to this article, your reminders are good in refocusing us as to how our akhlaq should be in dealing with our fellow muslims.

    now on to the good stuff ;)

    Backbiting is when you say something that is true about a brother or sister. Buhtaan is when you say something that is false about a brother or sister.

    Backbiting is when you say something true about someone that they dislike having mentioned about them. Ellison’s comments were voluntarily made in a forum where every word is officially on public record. Furthermore, he did so in a system that operates upon the premise of holding officials accountable for their stances and statements in said forum. Therefore, I don’t think that it constitutes backbiting.

    Even if it did, I still believe it is permissible in this instance. Imam Nawawi says in Riyad al-Salihin (in the chapter on cases where backbiting is permissible) – “It is permissible to seek somebody’s assistance in forbidding the evil and helping someone change his or her immoral conduct. One can say to the person who can offer such assistance, so-and-so does such and such evil deeds. Can you exhort him? etc. This is permissible as long as one intends to forbid evil. ” He also said, “One who criticizes those who openly commit acts of disobedience … and making mischief.”

    If a sin is public, shouldn’t we conceal it, or should we spread it for all to know? He is not spreading bida, but taking a wrong stance.

    i don’t think this is practical. if we are going to conceal this, it is almost as if we need to do a hush-hush campaign to keep people from talking about something that he willfully put on public record. also, i think this stance taken to its full conclusion would preclude ever forbidding the evil.

    also, the important point here is not this one stance, but it is calling into question the legitimacy of this entire process. the question i have posed that has yet gone unanswered is what are the specific benficial objectives that are hoped to be accomplished by this type of political participation? what exactly is the “good” that people are aiming for that cannot be achieved through any other means? and at what types of harms would outweigh the possible good they’re hoping to achieve?

    As i have argued, I think that this issue with Israel and Palestine (further reinforced by the link you provided to the previous resolution where he actually voted against palestine) is a proof that the harms outweigh a phantom good we have yet to quantify or achieve.

    Lastly, it is sad that it took a situation like this, but I feel that what’s important here is we use it to evaluate our role in this arena, and forbid this evil (publicly) so people are aware of the dangers. and frankly, all the arguments or excuses that have been brought forth defending why ellison/carson may have voted this way are all proofs reinforcing this point.

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  27. First off, I know Ihssan is a typical male name but this time it belongs to a sister. :)

    I would like to think that I am not out of touch with reality with it comes to this topic. Saudi can’t do anything about the issue? Well, if thats the case then you certainly cant expect two politicans to do anything! These filthy rich countries have time to import call girls from Australia and build toilets out of gold, but they cant do anything right? Thats a bunch of (you can fill the word in here…) I hold these Muslim countries more responsible than any politician or the West.

    Lastly, when it all boils down no one truly knows what intentions either of them had. As a matter of fact I think it was absolutely rude and ridiculous how the protesters pretty much booed Ellison off the podium. Give the brotha a chance before we jump on the gun. The fact that he came to speak to the protesters meant that perhaps he wanted to do some good.

    On a another note I find it so ironic that Muslims get so riled up about these issues. We have serious issues here, in the U.S., that should be dealt with. How many of our brothers own liquor stores in some of the most destitute of areas (Isa’s Liquor Store is right here in Chicago!!!)? This money is being funneled right back into masjids and our schools. No one ever says anything about that. Or what about the brothers who beat their wives and no one is holding them accountable. Yet, when it comes to these issues (and realistically speaking we cant do very much about this issue) we throw our hands up in utter disapproval.

    We are really screwed up.

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  28. Gazacaust-Request to Scholars on MM

    I request the esteemed scholars on this Blog to compile in one post the Quranic Aayah and Hadith (from the seven books on Sunnah) specifically on the issues of dealing with fitn in the end times. The common masses can enlighten themselves from your hard works on Ilm. Is there anything better you can offer in the path of Allah SWT?. You know it well in Quran and Sunnah people with knowledge cannot keep quite and not pass this knowledge, you will be held accountable for not sharing the skills you posses for the benefit of Islam and the Ummah. We are counting on Allah SWT through you

    I just find there are too many “opinions” these days not the real practical solutions from Quran and Sunnah. What have we learned from the Lessons of Battle of Uhad and the fall of Andalusia, oppressions in not just in Gaza but also throughout the world 24/7/365/1000 plus years?

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  29. Ihssan – as the article says, no one is expecting them to do anything. i’m not saying ellison is at fault for not making the US government stop supporting Israel. I’m only saying – why didnt he vote against this resolution, and criticizing him for not speaking out against it in the same manner as other congressmen did.

    as for your other points.. just because people dont speak out enough about x,y, and z issues doesnt mean that they should also fail to speak out against a,b, and c. that’s really just a tactic to distract attention from the real point of the post. also, you will find many social issues are addressed here inshallah, and if you feel passionately about them, you are free to submit a guest article to us and we’ll review it and post it inshallah. however – none of that changes the validity of any of the points raised here.

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  30. salam
    Disclaimer: I haven’t read all the comments. I would have written a response-post, but unfortunately can’t due to time. I would add that what this post does show is the diversity of opinions on MM, from political rah-rah’ing to political lamenting.

    First of all, no one can accuse me of being soft on the Gaza issue, and of not being on internet’s fore-fronts of seeking help for them. So, keep this in mind when you read the following.

    Let me say at the outset that I STRONGLY disagree with this post, in its essence and its intent. I apologize in advance for my strong reply… I let Omar know it was coming :)

    While these posts will surely cheer up the many arm-chair critics among Muslims (our favorite past-time), I believe that it offers no solutions and provides no benefit except to cause hard-feelings towards other Muslims. I lay my conclusion based on the following points, and I am not going to argue for them, but rather will let everyone accept what they wish, and reject what they wish:

    1) Most people who take such positions have never themselves been involved in politics. Of course there are exceptions, like Br. AbuAbdallah. However, it takes one to know and understand how the system works, and how difficult and arduous this journey is, before one can make truly wise judgements of what the politicians can or cannot do.

    2) While I disagree with the votes of my 2 Muslim brothers, I would have taken the effort to write a post that was in the form of advice, and encourage others to write to them in a gentle, humble and kind manner. What is the expectation after this post? Send them hate-mail? Tell them to quit?

    3) The post is not fair because it provides no examples of how these Muslim congressmen contributed to Muslim issues. How many of us would have gone to CAIR dinners, despite the witch-hunt against CAIR? Keith Ellison did. On a related tangent, do you know what is the single biggest issue that causes people to have a different image/feel towards Muslims? It is knowing/interacting with other Muslims. Don’t you think having these 2 Muslims on the Hill, talking to other congressmen and politicians gives an opportunity for Muslims to be “known” as “fellow human-beings” than anything else?

    4) We are short on patience, and high on expectations. I mean what have we done so great to deserve something great? We have BARELY touched the surface of political involvement, and we expect to have our issues crowned in gold? It takes time, wisdom, and patience for change to happen. It is a sad reality that while many of us are still struggling on the issue of voting, we want to suddenly have major change happen at the center.

    5) Did you compare past resolutions on Israel with this one? Maybe my memory is weak, but past resolutions have been even stronger in support of Israel, so perhaps these 2 congressmen, who are in the midst of the things more than you and I, saw something we didn’t.

    6) How shameful and despicable it is that a man who comes to your rally, to show support, despite tremendous pressure from external lobbies, is booed down? I mean what did the people expect to achieve? That Obama will show up next after the way that their “own” was treated? Doesn’t it show that Muslims are not even ready to listen, let alone discuss? How does that reflect on us? Think about it.

    7) I think people need to realize that Israel-Palestine issue is the LAST issue that Muslims will have any success with. It is an ignorance of the Israel lobby, the AIPAC, (please read the book “Israel Lobby”) that leads us to question why things happen a certain way in politics. That why, even when the public is split 55:45 on the Gaza massacre, the Congress has only 5 members who voted nay. There is a reason for this. And if you want our newly minted politicians, who need time to flower and “marinate” to commit immediate political suicide, then that is our short-sightedness, not theirs.

    8.) Why does the I/P issue have to become a litmus test for everything? Why are not the issues of people dying all over the world, including Africa, not excruciatingly scrutinized for the positions of our Muslim candidates? Think about it.

    9) Such drivel only drives the wedge between indigenous Muslims and immigrants. Yes, Keith and Andre are “their own”, and we have to recognize the psychological grievances and attachments that come with this. Why do we expect 2 converts, who always lived in America, who only heard one side of the story for most of their lives, to be as driven towards Palestine as born-Muslims who have always been exposed to both sides, or even more towards the Palestinian cause?

    In conclusion, this approach is wrong. It is based on emotion and punch, rather than knowledge and understanding. Results come with patience, not frustration.

    wallahualam

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  31. @ Sister Ihssan,

    “but this time it belongs to a sister”
    oops, sorry sister!

    “you certainly cant expect two politicans to do anything!”
    I never did expect them to do anything. like I said, it would have been better for them to have stayed at home that day if they didn’t want to do anything.

    “These filthy rich countries have time to import call girls from Australia and build toilets out of gold, but they cant do anything right? Thats a bunch of (you can fill the word in here…) I hold these Muslim countries more responsible than any politician or the West.”
    agreed! but you can’t force people to spend their own money where you want them to, as long as they are paying their Zakat.

    “Lastly, when it all boils down no one truly knows what intentions either of them had.”
    Intentions don’t matter when it comes to things ike this. If a person steals and get caught, he is going to jail (in this country) no matter what his intentions were!

    “rude and ridiculous how the protesters pretty much booed Ellison off the podium”
    I agree the protestors didn’t act as they are supposed to, which is why I don’t support protests to begin with, because people get emotional and lose any sense. Besides, these protestors have bigger problems than bad manners, they changed the Shahada if anyone noticed.

    “How many of our brothers own liquor stores in some of the most destitute of areas ”
    I don’t know, how many?

    “No one ever says anything about that.”
    NOW THAT IS WRONG! but just because no one says anything about this doesn’t justify other wrongs! Someone has to say or do something about this. Who is this Isa guy that owns a liquor store anyways? This just shows the state of the muslim Ummah after we left forbidding the evil. Let me ask you this sister, did you say something against the wrong that you see?

    “Or what about the brothers who beat their wives and no one is holding them accountable”
    Or the sisters that beat their husbands, because that happens too, and both are wrong! but again, the wrong doesn’t justify other wrong. That is why we should go back to our deen, and forbid the evil because it is our duty!

    “we throw our hands up in utter disapproval.”
    we are supposed to do that with regards to anything wrong that we see.

    “We are really screwed up.”
    I hope you didn’t just realize that. We have been screwed up since a long time, since the time we went astray from our deen!

    again, sorry the name confusion sister!

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  32. Abd-Allah, what does “go back to your deen” mean?

    Pack our bags and do hijrah? Stop being part of the society?

    This is empty rhetoric and somehow implies that being part of the society and political landscape is exclusive of deen. Remember, man proposes, and God disposes (as Abu Ameenah said). We do our part, our efforts, and then leave it to Allah.

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  33. ^ My response was in reference to other comments that readers left not your article per say.

    Also, the point was not to ignore these issues that have been occurring regarding this ,but rather to put our efforts towards things that we actually have the power to change (and those were the issues that I listed.)

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  34. May Allah help Br. Keith make the right decision.

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  35. “you are free to submit a guest article to us and we’ll review it and post it inshallah.”
    Yea, I tried that, I sent in my article 10 days ago as a guest, it hasn’t been published yet. I guess it is a slow process to review the articles that come in…

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  36. LESSON AND MORALITIES FROM BATTLE OF UHUD: (from Ar-Rahheq Al-Makhtum by Safiur Rehman Al Mubarakpuri)

    Ibn Al-Qaiyim has made a pointed reference to the battle of Uhud and given full elucidation of the Divine benefits and moralities that resulted from it. Some Muslim scholars, on the authority of Ibn Hajar, said: The reverse in Uhud resulted from the neglect on the part of the archers of the explicit command of the Prophet (Peace be upon him), and leaving the spot which they were ordered to safeguard to the end. In other words, the success of the Muslims depends upon their obedience to the Prophet (Peace be upon him). As long as they carry out his behests, Allâh will help them in facing all kinds of odds. But when they will set aside his commands in their pursuit of worldly riches, they are bound to come to grief.

    Another relevant issue of great significance says that it is customary for Prophets to be tried with different adversities; nevertheless, the final outcome is positively in their favor. Should the Muslims be victorious all the time, great many pretenders to Faith will enter the fold of Islam, and consequently the clear line of demarcation between true believers and hypocrites will become blurred. Contrarily, if the Muslims were to be defeated all the time, the final objective of the ministry of Prophets will not be affected. It is wise then to combine both success and failure so that sifting between true Muslims and hypocrites could be realized.

    In the aftermath of the battle of Uhud, the hypocrites disclosed their real intentions in words and in deeds, consequently, the Muslims got to realize the existence of those wicked elements working secretly in their own homeland; and of course there would be appropriate measures to be taken in due course of time.

    A third point in this context refers to purposeful deferment of victory in some areas in order to check the pride of the soul and teach the believers how to observe full patience in times of adversity. Trials and tests are provided by Allâh in order that the true believers could deservedly occupy their abode in the blessed Hereafter. Martyrdom, the highest ranks that the true friends of Allâh could occupy, is provided by Allâh to function as a passport, granted by the Lord, leading to Paradise. In brief, fight in the cause of Allâh is a golden opportunity for the true believers to have their sins effaced, and a Divinely-devised event for the disbelievers and enemies of Allâh to face destruction and annihilation in recompense for their disbelief, tyranny and transgression.

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  37. Abd-Allah, what does “go back to your deen” mean?

    Pack our bags and do hijrah? Stop being part of the society?

    Amad, this is really unfair, and you are jumping from one extreme to the other. just because someone opposes involvement in the political process does not mean they are not part of society. an example of this would be organizations who call on you to write to your congressman but fail to encourage you to make dua.

    my argument is we need a holistic approach. the primary head of that is reforming islam in our own lives, and the societal part is taking up other ventues that integrate us without compromising the deen.

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  38. @Gohar

    My own thoughts at the time (I�m from UK, so do not otherwise know him or American politics) was that he was taking a tactful approach, perhaps trying to bring people who have always been blindly pro-israeli to at least think a bit more about the topic.

    See the link (http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2008/roll093.xml#N) Ellison has explicitly favored Israel before.

    Also, I’m 100% willing to concede it’s being tactful. My question remains: What is the ultimate goal of this tactfulness? What is the end objective that will result from this tact that means we should overlook this issue? [this is not directed at you specifically but I just mean in general on this point]

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  39. BTW an interesting quote i just read earlier today from John Maxwell’s book Developing the Leader within You:

    We cannot lead anyone else farther than we have been ourselves. Too many times we are so concerned about the product that we try to shortcut the process. There are no shortcuts when integrity is involved. Eventually truth will always be exposed.

    Recently I heard of a man who interviewed a consultant to some of the largest U.S. companies about their quality control. The consultant said, “In quality control, we are not concerned about the product. We are concerned about the process. If the process is right, the product is guaranteed.” The same holds true for integrity; it guarantees credibility.

    When the Challenger exploded, America was stunned to discover that Quality Control had warned NASA that the space shuttle was not fully prepared to go. But production said, “The show must go on!” Crash

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  40. The fact that my clear points seem to substantiate your position is a clear case of cognitive dissonance. :)

    As I mentioned, I am not going to argue any further on what are fairly obvious positions. If you had this argument 10-20 years from now, after Muslims actually did something significant and made real inroads, then it would make sense. But the lack of patience and the rush for results boggles my mind.

    wallahualam.

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  41. Amad, this is really unfair, and you are jumping from one extreme to the other. just because someone opposes involvement in the political process does not mean they are not part of society. an example of this would be organizations who call on you to write to your congressman but fail to encourage you to make dua.

    Trust me, I know where this always goes. The political system is part of the process of living in this country. If you cannot be part of what ultimately affects you, in the hope that you can make a change, no matter how small, whether it is at your city-wide level or national level, then that’s fine if you want to live here. But then one should shut up completely, stop complaining about the politicians and politics, stop complaining about the unfair system, stop complaining about the funds going to Israel, stop complaining about Islamophobia in political speech, in other words, just shut up, and take the abuse, and wait for it to get worse for the future generations. Because lack of participation will ensure that. I guarantee you… of course if Allah allows the system to remain as it is historically.

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  42. btw one thing i want to say – “whoever does not thank the people has not thanked Allah” – even though we (obviously) disagree (strongly) about the discussion here, i must say jazakallahu khayr to amad for helping organize the gaza action items post and giving a good list of real action items that everyone can do. it is stuff like this that i feel is a good mix of addressing what we can do from different angles.

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  43. @Amad,

    I don’t think speaking out against Andre Carson and Keith Ellison has anything to do with race/convert issues. Our imprisoned Imam Jamil al Amin is a convert and an indigenous African American yet he has the courage to speak out against this injustice from his prison cell. Also, many other indigenous muslims and muslim leaders have spoken out, written letters, and protested against Israeli attacks against Gaza. I have seen them at these rallies and they too are upset with our two elected brothers.

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  44. stop complaining about the politicians and politics, stop complaining about the unfair system, stop complaining about the funds going to Israel, stop complaining about Islamophobia in political speech, in other words, just shut up, and take the abuse, and wait for it to get worse for the future generations. Because lack of participation will ensure that. I guarantee you… of course if Allah allows the system to remain as it is historically.

    are politics the ***ONLY*** way to prevent those harms?

    broken record :)

    What is the ultimate objective in Muslims being involved in politics? Can you quantify the good you hope to attain from it? What are the tangible changes you are working towards? Do those goals and does that good justify the compromises that must be made in ones religion? Are those compromises necessary if the objectives outlined can be achieved through other means?

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  45. @ brother Amad,
    NO it doesn’t mean pack your bags and do hijra.

    “This is empty rhetoric and somehow implies that being part of the society and political landscape is exclusive of deen.”
    this is empty rhetoric???????????? I will give you the benefit of the doubt here that you misunderstood me, because this is not my “rhetoric”!!! This is what OUR PROPHET peace be upon him said when he was giving us the solution to our problems and the ONLY solution that will remove the humiliation from the muslim Ummah. BTW, I never said that we should not be part of the society. please do quote me if I have said so, because I KNOW I did not say anything of the sort. I said go back to your deen and worship ALLAH with true tawheed, and practice Islam like the prophet and the way the companions practiced and understood Islam. How did you understand that I am saying that we should stop being part of society??? I never said anything of the sort, not even something close or vague that can be understood that way. Please quote my words and show me WHERE I have said that we shouldn’t be part of society??

    “We do our part, our efforts, and then leave it to Allah.”
    exactly! but do you honestly think that we are doing our part?? and if you say yes we are doing our part then please do tell me what is our part according to your beliefs?

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  46. There are other issues that plague our communities besides the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. Let’s invest our efforts where we can actually make a difference. Amad brings up excellent points.

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  47. As-Salaamu ‘Alaykum
    This is no time to be looking for excuses! If these people can’t take the heat, they should have not gone into the kitchen to begin with. I swear by Allaah, they have shown their betrayal. These are times when real men need to take a stance.

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  48. For those who think CAIR has done good, think again! They are treacherous as we have been accustomed from them. I have written to them many times over the years and they continue to show their disregard to Allaah, His Messenger and the believers. They are useless and need to repent!
    Do you know that they have constantly take a stance against the mujaahideen in Afghanistan? And now, rather than standing with the Mujaahideen in Ghazah, they are being “politically correct” and avoiding that. What’s the matter with us, have we no backbone!? Yeah, I know, it’s all about hikmah isn’t it? Brothers and sisters, let’s stop abusing those wonderful terms and concepts!

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  49. Brothers, sisters we should stop here!!!!!!!

    This is why the Yahud are laughing at us because we can’t look past our own differences and cannot focus our attention to the real issues.

    Leave this topic and move on to what is more beneficial.

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  50. “Leave this topic and move on to what is more beneficial.”
    AGREED! like GOING BACK TO OUR DEEN!

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  51. *the gloves are off* :)

    While these posts will surely cheer up the many arm-chair critics among Muslims (our favorite past-time), I believe that it offers no solutions and provides no benefit except to cause hard-feelings towards other Muslims.

    the article does provide non-political examples. MR’s post that he linked to also does the same, and shows ways of accomplishing the same goals you wish to accomplish but without being involved in politics.

    1) Most people who take such positions have never themselves been involved in politics. Of course there are exceptions, like Br. AbuAbdallah. However, it takes one to know and understand how the system works, and how difficult and arduous this journey is, before one can make truly wise judgements of what the politicians can or cannot do.

    I agree. but my question remains: What is the quantifiable objective you hope to gain from the system that outweighs the harms?
    Your point here is only reinforcing mine – the evils of the system are great enough that we need to come up with an alternate strategy.

    2) While I disagree with the votes of my 2 Muslim brothers, I would have taken the effort to write a post that was in the form of advice, and encourage others to write to them in a gentle, humble and kind manner. What is the expectation after this post? Send them hate-mail? Tell them to quit?

    to re-evaluate our strategy in this field, and alert people to the evils of being involved with it.

    3) The post is not fair because it provides no examples of how these Muslim congressmen contributed to Muslim issues. How many of us would have gone to CAIR dinners, despite the witch-hunt against CAIR? Keith Ellison did. On a related tangent, do you know what is the single biggest issue that causes people to have a different image/feel towards Muslims? It is knowing/interacting with other Muslims. Don�t you think having these 2 Muslims on the Hill, talking to other congressmen and politicians gives an opportunity for Muslims to be �known� as �fellow human-beings� than anything else?

    this argument would actually reinforce my point of using other avenues. muslims will be “known” as “fellow human-beings” by their own personal interactions and their own representation of islam to others. furthermore, people like kucinich and ron paul do not hold the views they do because they suddenly realized muslims were human after keith ellison was elected.

    and on top of that – is THIS the goal?? Being involved in politics “makes us human” to other politicians? Do you not think being put in a compromising position of defending homosexuals and endorsing israel’s massacre of muslims outweighs this benefit?

    4) We are short on patience, and high on expectations. I mean what have we done so great to deserve something great? We have BARELY touched the surface of political involvement, and we expect to have our issues crowned in gold? It takes time, wisdom, and patience for change to happen. It is a sad reality that while many of us are still struggling on the issue of voting, we want to suddenly have major change happen at the center.

    again, this is ALSO reinforcing my stances. i think we actually agree more than we disagree despite your attempt to pit us against each other and destroy the spirit of brotherhood :)

    how much hard work went into it, and how much did it produce in terms of results? we need to evaluate other strategies (media, information campaigns, social projects like MR mentioned in his article such as building hospitals) and see if they are more viable in attaining our goals.

    5) Did you compare past resolutions on Israel with this one? Maybe my memory is weak, but past resolutions have been even stronger in support of Israel, so perhaps these 2 congressmen, who are in the midst of the things more than you and I, saw something we didn�t.

    I thought this would come up, that’s why i made sure to prove the factual inaccuracies of this resolution. Also check the comment where that shows ellison previously backed an anti-palestine resolution.

    6) How shameful and despicable it is that a man who comes to your rally, to show support, despite tremendous pressure from external lobbies, is booed down? I mean what did the people expect to achieve? That Obama will show up next after the way that their �own� was treated? Doesn�t it show that Muslims are not even ready to listen, let alone discuss? How does that reflect on us? Think about it.

    in all fairness, he showed up to a pro-palestine rally, taking place in response to a massacre, and he says “im not here to condemn anyone” – i mean come on… what else was he expecting the outcome to be after saying that? in either case, this point neither proves nor disproves my conclusions :)

    7) I think people need to realize that Israel-Palestine issue is the LAST issue that Muslims will have any success with. It is an ignorance of the Israel lobby, the AIPAC, (please read the book �Israel Lobby�) that leads us to question why things happen a certain way in politics. That why, even when the public is split 55:45 on the Gaza massacre, the Congress has only 5 members who voted nay. There is a reason for this. And if you want our newly minted politicians, who need time to flower and �marinate� to commit immediate political suicide, then that is our short-sightedness, not theirs.

    again reinforces my point. is not the negative consequence of this issue enough to outweigh that good? and what exactly is that good you are aiming for, and at which price will it come? especially if that good can be achieved through other avenues?

    furthermore, you missed what i said in my article where im not dismissing political participation en masse. but i am saying it needs to be used when other avenues that don’t require us to compromise so much of our deen fail or are not viable. the only real objective you stated so far is “humanizing” muslims, but as i stated above, i dont think that is compelling enough.

    8.) Why does the I/P issue have to become a litmus test for everything? Why are not the issues of people dying all over the world, including Africa, not excruciatingly scrutinized for the positions of our Muslim candidates? Think about it.

    because when you support an oppressor killing innocent muslims, it has much deeper implications.

    9) Such drivel only drives the wedge between indigenous Muslims and immigrants. Yes, Keith and Andre are �their own�, and we have to recognize the psychological grievances and attachments that come with this. Why do we expect 2 converts, who always lived in America, who only heard one side of the story for most of their lives, to be as driven towards Palestine as born-Muslims who have always been exposed to both sides, or even more towards the Palestinian cause?

    you can disagree, but i don’t think there is any need for calling it drivel. also throwing in the race/convert card is really unnecessary. my stance would be the same even if it were a fob :)

    So to avoid another line-by-line debate, I will summarize all my points as follows and await the answer:

    What is the ultimate objective in Muslims being involved in politics? Can you quantify the good you hope to attain from it? What are the tangible changes you are working towards? Do those goals and does that good justify the compromises that must be made in ones religion? Are those compromises necessary if the objectives outlined can be achieved through other means?

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  52. Just a correction on the the following comment:

    “Both Ellison and Carson have low Muslim populations in their respective districts.”

    Keith Ellison represents the 5th District in MN which includes the city of Minneapolis and that has a huge Muslim population. His first election to office I think was partly due to the number of Muslims who voted for him.

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  53. How can we expect to change the united states and the world when our own leaders are playing for the other team.

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  54. @ Younus Kathrada – For those who think CAIR has done good, think again! They are treacherous as we have been accustomed from them… They are useless and need to repent!

    i understand they are not perfect (as nobody else is), but please rethink the words you chose – treacherous, useless is really not being fair.

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  55. @Any and All commenting – disagree with your brothers and sisters with your tongue but not your hearts.
    May Allah reward you for being concerned with the Muslim congressmen, our brothers and sisters in Gaza and the ummah etc.

    but remember we are all accountable for what we say (and type).

    May Allah help the Muslims and make this incidence a means to awaken the ummah

    Nahyan

    ps. interesting article, i also agree with Amad with regards to the tone of writing it and some points raised
    @ Amad – “We are short on patience, and high on expectations” – beautifully put akhi

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  56. CAIR=treacherous?

    With all due respect, subhanAllah, if CAIR is treacherous, I shudder to think what those organizations actively working against Muslims would be represented as?

    May Allah forgive us all for our injustice towards our own.

    What a great way to deflect attention from the real issue here (Gaza) to fighting within. Whether we like it or not, and I know that was not what was intended, bringing this issue up at this time can only have this consequence: The replacement of focus on an issue that unites us, by an issue that divides us.

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  57. I dont know if this is true…but i heard that hamas is sending rockets to towns who are actually occupied lands by the zionist state…
    so correct me if i’m wrong…and if i’m right..then those people living in these towns are considered combatants and not innocent civilians.

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  58. @ brother Amad, you didn’t answer my question. WHERE did I say that we should not take part of society? You didn’t quote me yet? Did you look in my comments and not find anything of this sort so you realized that you were quick in making assumptions and accused me of things I didn’t say? If so then I do expect an apology, but in all cases I forgive you.

    Eventhough we are all arguing here and differing about things, but in the end we are all brothers and sisters in Islam, so love your brothers and sisters! I love you ALL for the sake of Allah! I even love those of you who are wrong ~ lol

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  59. chuah,
    two things: 1. sderot is in Israel proper, not the West Bank.
    2. even if it was in the West Bank, it would still be wrong/immoral (by both religion and gov’t) to kill someone not carrying a weapon, and not part of the military.

    As Much as I currently want to shoot the Prime Minister of Israel, doing so would not be a good thing.

    Also, the loss of 1000 people is not a genocide (though naturally it is immoral and wrong).
    http://www.historyplace.com/worldhistory/genocide/index.html
    figures on what historical genocides would be.
    Now, naturally, one does take into account how many people are in the populace (it was certainly genocide when smallpox blankets killed almost all of a few indian tribes). but I don’t believe this to be the case.

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  60. What a great way to deflect attention from the real issue here (Gaza) to fighting within. Whether we like it or not, and I know that was not what was intended, bringing this issue up at this time can only have this consequence: The replacement of focus on an issue that unites us, by an issue that divides us.

    Honestly, I think that this is something that will occur no matter what, especially on a forum like this. These aren’t isolated incidents, and when we start talking about something this big, it will inevitably lead onto other tangents. As much as we may dislike it, that’s how it is.

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  61. Salaam aleikum,

    Why care about Gaza? Its time for a celebration!!! BYOB (Bring Your Own Baklava) while Gaza burns!!!

    —————————————————————————————-

    ——————————————————————

    It’s almost time for the Muslim Inauguration Celebration on Monday, January 19, 2009 from 7:00 – 11:00 p.m., and space is running out fast! With the limited number of tickets available, we encourage you to pre-purchase tickets. Tickets are currently on sale for $100. This event is a joint sponsorship of the Washington Academic Leadership Institute, and the Muslim Social Network. The Honorary Host Organization is the Congressional Muslim Staffers Association.
    Attire: BLACK TIE (Tuxedos, Gowns)
    Location:
    The Thurgood Marshall Center
    1816 12th Street NW
    Washington, DC 20009

    Buy Tickets at: http://www.wali-dc.org/Events_Calendar.html

    In case you haven’t heard, a number of prominent Muslim and Non-Muslim figures in politics, entertainment, and the Local and National communities are confirmed or invited, including:
    Political:

    Congressman Keith Ellison, D-MN
    Representatives of the Obama administration
    Representatives from the Congressional Muslim Staffers Association
    Reverend Walter Foundroy former DC Congressional Delegate
    Entertainment:
    The Nappy Roots (Guest Appearance)
    Tray Chaney from HBO’s hit series, The Wire (Guest Appearance)
    L’Tynna and Company
    Local and National Leaders:
    Imam Dawud Walid – CAIR Michigan
    Imam Johari Abdul-Malik – Muslim Alliance of North America, Dar Al Hijrah Islamic Center
    Imam Yusef Saleem – Masjid Muhammad, DC
    Representatives from the Washington Interfaith Conference
    Judge Hassan Al-Emin

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  62. As salaam alaikum

    I havent read all the comments – but I agree with brother Amad’s which i did read. .

    This issue is highly emotional and sensitive. And it is entirely appalling that any1 one condone Israel’s response (almost 1,000 Palestinians killed in less than 2 weeks) :(

    However – we shouldnt be so quick to dismiss Keith Ellison’s decision to vote “present”. He has spoken out against the Gaza attacks on many news outlets and has written a press release at the beginning of the ‘war’. (Read: http://www.hahmed.com/blog/2009/01/10/muslim-congressman-keith-ellison-on-the-gaza-war/ ). He is a very wise man and is doing a great job representing not only his constituency in a Minnesota but all Muslims as the first muslim congressman (calling out obama for his staff removing hijabis from rally, personally vowing to call out any in any public office speaking islamophobic rhetoric, etc.).

    I will admit that i was greatly disappointed in Andre Carson’s vote – i do not know him very well and do not know why he voted the way he did.. However, I have met and seen Keith Ellison on multiple occaisions and believe he is very wise and an incredible asset for not only our ummah but our country (the US). We should be careful where we direct our emotions in times of anger, especially when we are pointing fingers on brothers like Hajji Keith Ellison who do have the same goal in mind as we do (end to Palestinian injustice, enjoining good, forbidding evil, and ultimately pleasing Allah (swt)).

    And Allah (swt) knows best.

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  63. Miako…

    the towns hamas are targeting i believe are those three; Ashkelon, sderot and netivot…got it at this link

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7812136.stm

    now are those cities from the occupied territories since 1967…if they are, then those living in those areas are not civilians but combatants who usurped land from the palestinians.

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  64. Aslamu-alaikum:
    @Anonymouse
    Honestly, I think that this is something that will occur no matter what, especially on a forum like this. These aren’t isolated incidents, and when we start talking about something this big, it will inevitably lead onto other tangents. As much as we may dislike it, that’s how it is.

    so why do you ONLY NOTICE it when i happen to get off on a tangent……………….and START to moderate only when i happen go along with blog that has gone off on a tangent already.
    Ok let me be clear…………….people may have already gone off on a tangent when i start blogging. and you guys only start moderating when that happens(i get on to blog) i mean seriously that is unfair……………sister you are going to have to come to realize the need and URGENCY for Polygyny whether it goes along with your views or not…………
    STOP FOCUSING ON ME………….. uh its beginnning to irritate me now.
    btw i read your unedited post before it was edited “about moderating”
    salam

    -Editor note: Okay, I unmoderated this comment to make a point. When you add comments to the blog, it is as if you are talking on the phone. No one really needs to know what your schedule is, where you are going, your time-crunch, etc. Pls write a comment in a coherent way. Write one or two instead of 20. Try to collect your thoughts, write as concise as possible, and then proof-read. Stay on the topic as much as possible. Yes, some people go off tangents, but if they always do it, then they too will be moderated. -editor

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  65. i read about as much of the comments as i could. and i must say that we all are missing the picture. shaytan is a clever one he is and we should be active in opposing oppression wherever we know it to exist, even within our own communities. but i pray that allah guide us to success.

    allah is the best of knowers

    p.s.
    what about SUDAN?

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  66. This is one of the rare times I have to agree with Amad on his comments here :)

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  67. @ Amad re: your comments at 12:36 Jan 13th

    Co-sign 100%. My sentiments exactly

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  68. I was also disappointed to learn that Sheila Jackson Lee (TX) voted for the resolution and was actually one of the co-sponsors. It is surprising since she was one of the most outspoken critics of the Iraq war. This should remind us all to only place our trust in Allah.

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  69. You know, Fatah also wants to work with the Israeli politics to bring change….

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  70. @ brother Amad,
    ” Why do we expect 2 converts, who always lived in America, who only heard one side of the story for most of their lives, to be as driven towards Palestine as born-Muslims who have always been exposed to both sides, or even more towards the Palestinian cause?”

    What does the “covert” thing has to do with it? Please do not treat our fellow muslim brothers and sisters who are “converts” as second class muslims just because they weren’t born muslims. I am amused how no one caught on that. Some “converts” care about the Palestinians more than you and I do.

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  71. @ Abd-Allah

    Actually Amad has a point on converts. He is not saying that each and every convert does not care about Palestine. He only said that many are not as driven as Palestinians are – and generally I find this to be true. This is not to say we do not care about the issue.

    I just wanted to defend Amad against the accusation of treating us (converts) like “second class citizens”. Some converts may care about the Palestinians more than you or Amad. Others may not. Others are inbetween. It IS a factor in the equation

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    • jazakAllahkhair Br. Tariq,
      I appreciate the support on the intent of my comment. One problem is that many Muslims have never really interacted (on a deeper level) with indigenous Muslims, beyond an Imam Siraj lecture! Which is also why going to MANA conference was such a wake-up call for me. Furthermore, what was missed in my comments is that I never said talked about the support of Gaza among indigenous Muslims. So, you made my point much more succinctly.

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  72. ASA:
    Please invite the two brothers in US Congress (Carson, Ellison) and let them explain to the American Muslim community why they did, what they did about the Resolution in Congress. Now that you had your say let’s hear their say.
    Masood

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  73. wa alayikum alsalam wa rahmatullah
    @ brother Masood Rab,
    “Now that you had your say let’s hear their say.”
    I believe they already had their say and they said it loud and clear when they voted in congress the way they did, don’t you think?

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  74. Masood. Excellent thought. We are working on trying to arrange an interview with Br. Keith, to get his side of the story, which apparently few care to hear about!

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  75. abu abdAllah, the Houstonian

    bismillah. innalhamdolillah. though i did post one comment earlier, alhamdolillah, i was not able to check for follow-ups because Allah caused the site to become incompatible with my mobile phone. :) so i got some studying done.

    Amad, i do not think i agree with Omar as much as you presumed.

    my reproofs of Omar’s article differ from yours in tone and in tack, but i did not say it was correct to attack either Congressman. it’s not the words of Congress that kill Gazans, it’s the money and arms that they send to Israel with votes on substantive legislation. this measure was bitter, only that.

    still, i did and still do encourage an appropriate response. a response to fit the situation.

    i sincerely believe that the ongoing massacre of Gaza is an event that sifts the ranks of Muslims as dirt is separated from gold nuggets — by vigorous shaking. as though we were deeply anesthetized or already punchdrunk, the ummah as a whole failed to be moved by Israel’s “mere” blockade of Gaza in which deprivation of medicine alone took more than 200 lives. clearly, it was not enough.

    then came a week of bombardment, and the agitation of the ummah could finally be witnessed on a large scale. but it was still not enough. Allah gives power to whom He Wills, and He gave power of arms, money, and diplomacy to Israel and to other nations that they could use for good or for evil. to do good or to stop it. to do evil or to stop it. Allah suffices as Witness for all that they (or any of us) do.

    Every Decree of Allah is purposeful. And there is no fault in His Plan. SubhanAllah al-Adheemi wa bihamdihi! i do not comprehend even a small part of Allah’s Wisdom, but we have all witnessed that Allah permitted Israel to follow the shocking and murderous bombardment of Gaza with an escalation so inhuman that it raised from the ummah a howl of pain. indeed, 250,000 protestors in Madrid bear witness that the whole world has felt the concussive force of this imperative.

    if the whole world is sorting out into those who decry the evil of Israel’s deeds in Gaza, those who call Israel’s bloody hands clean, and the diminishing camp of those who still keep to the fence between, so, too, are the Muslims, subhanAllah.

    this is precisely the time to act, to be sure whose side you are on.

    so make dua that Allah will guide our two brothers who seek to serve honorably in Congress. exhort them with kindness that softens hearts, not with reproaches that harden hides. invite them through respectful letters to ask themselves into which of the three groups will the Gazans martyred by Israel be resurrected, and then into which group would their vote tend to fall.

    i’m not offering political advice, because these are not political times: it’s not you, or Omar, or me, or the Muslim public to whom our brothers should turn, but to Allah, always to Him. and Allah is the One Who accepts repentence, Who is the most forbearing, Whose Mercy surpasses in scope every comparison, and Who Forgives sin. may He forgive me for my sins and excesses, and for all of us. ameen.

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  76. CAIR=traecherous and I stand by that. They have proven it in their attitude towards the mujaahideen over the years. Clearly there are ignorant people advising them and running the show. Who says it’s going off track (deflecting from the real issue). I believe this is part of the reason we are facing such problems (as in Ghazzah). When people like CAIR who supposedly represent the Muslims show harshnes towards the believers and mercy towards the kuffaar, there is something very wrong. Therefore, I maintain what I said and see no injustice in the words at all. Rather, I take full responsibilty and am prepared to meet Allaah with them. Should I be convinced that I erred, I will publicly apologise and retract the statements as I have made them publicly for the last few years.

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  77. fastaqim.blogspot.com

    BarakAllahu feekum ya Shaykh Younus.

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  78. As Shaykh Charles Barkley once said, “if it smells like a rat, looks like a rat, and sounds like a rat…it’s probably a rat.”

    May Allah guide Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul to Islam.

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  79. salaam

    its disgusting what these two muslims did in my eyes. JazakAllahu kair for the post. It was definately important to make a new thread on this. This is not a minor issue.
    I dont know the other congressman much but I know Keith Ellison has done alot and has not been afraid to show he is muslim. Hes done alot of stuff with CAIR and also just recently went to hajj. I dont understand. He goes to a pro palestininan rally and does not vote for them. He seems very confused. But its aboslutely no excuse. I bet by now 10000 people have been killed.

    Bravo nonmuslims who stood up for justice.. sometimz I really wonder about the muslims.. so many arab countries and muslim countries but noone helps, noone does anything. It is ususally the nonmuslims who are brave. Look at the man who fired the Israeli ambassador over this conflict. SubhanAllah! I dont know which leader he was, but he wasnt Muslim.

    PLease go to CAIR and thank the NONMUSLIM congressman who stood up for justice

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  80. CAIR is not treacherous. They have done a lot for Muslims in America and probably more than most of us complaining about the affairs of the Muslims across the world. The state of the Muslims wont fix itself; either you fix it or stop complaining.

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  81. Aslamu-alaikum
    @ASIM
    CAIR is not treacherous. They have done a lot for Muslims in America and probably more than most of us complaining about the affairs of the Muslims across the world. The state of the Muslims wont fix itself; either you fix it or stop complaining.
    I CONCUR
    salam

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  82. Amad
    Aslamu-alaikum:
    I dont’ mind about Keith’s story i want to know why?
    We should always ask their perspective, but don’t be surprised if they are faced a lot of critisizm from us.
    Will they be able to handle our WRATH.
    salam

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  83. Asim, that is your opinion. I have been watching/monitoring them for a long while and base my opinion on those observations. Indeed, they may have done some good, but their total disregard towards the Sharee’ah and lack of support (rather open opposition) towards the defenders of truth renders them treacherous.
    As for fixing our affairs, I agree with you and by the Grace of Allaah and only that, I (walhamdulillaah) am doing my best to do my part as well as trying to empower others to do the same.
    Just because we see some good in a group (like CAIR) it doesn’t mean we remain silent when they make huge blunders that are acts of kufr. And trust me, they’ve done a great deal of that (and yes, I have written to and advised them over the years). They are praised for the good, but I refuse to let them get away with treachery and betrayal of the ummah! Again, I know what i am saying and have a response for when I am standing before Allaah.

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  84. This whole episode teaches us a very important lesson: election of a Muslim does not by itself entail that the Muslim will act according to the values and interest of Islam or the Ummah. All it means is that a person was elected and that person claims to be a Muslim.

    When the two bros. were elected they took no oath of allegiance to defend and promote the interest of Islam and the Ummah, rather, they took an oath to defend and promote the interest of the US.

    The most important question is yet to be answered by those who disagree with the author, he has stated, “What is the ultimate objective in Muslims being involved in politics? Can you quantify the good you hope to attain from it? What are the tangible changes you are working towards? Do those goals and does that good justify the compromises that must be made in ones religion? Are those compromises necessary if the objectives outlined can be achieved through other means?”

    The fact that Amad has failed to provide a response to these questions prove that he is the peddler of empty rhetoric.

    The dilemma can be stated in this way: 1) the efforts (e.g. resources, talents, networking, funding) required to even exist on the political scene in any meaningful way are huge; 2) the obstacles (e.g. different interests/lobbying groups) are great; 3) most importantly, the objective and goals are unclear; 4) the results in the form of perceived progress are minimal, achieved extremely gradually, and quite susceptible to reversal; 5) the compromises, maneuvering, and tactics along the way will directly challenge core Islamic values and ahkam shar’iyya.

    If the landscape looks like this, shouldn’t we put our intellectual capital to use somewhere else, where we can exert ourselves exhaustively for a goal that is clear and substantiated by Islam, in which we don’t have to compromise our Islam?

    Those Muslims who have taken leadership roles to define what a functional existence for Muslim will look like in the US should at least provide some answers to the author’s questions and a solution or framework for the dilemma.

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  85. @ brother Asim and EVERYONE,
    “CAIR is not treacherous. They have done a lot for Muslims”

    What a person does for Muslims and Islam is NOT a criteria for how good he/she is. Allah can give victory to the muslims using a hypocrite. The incident in one of the battles when the prophet peace be upon him said about a muslim man who was fighting with the muslims that this man is an inhabitant of hell, and so the companions were amused how this man who is fighting so bravely for the muslims is going to hell, so one of the companions followed him and kept observing him during the battle until this man had a lot of wounds and couldn’t take the pain anymore and wasn’t patient and so he killed himself with his own sword. So, what people do for Islam can not be used as a scale for how good they are. Now, I am not saying that CAIR or these 2 congressmen are hypocrites, only Allah knows what is in people’s hearts, but we can not use the good that they have done for Islam in the past as an excuse to ignore the wrong that they do, especially if it is something major. Just because someone does a lot of good, it does not make them perfect, and when they do make mistakes, and everyone will make mistakes at some point, we should not ignore the wrong or try to justify it using the good that they have done, but we should correct them.
    Allah knows best.

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  86. “CAIR is not treacherous. They have done a lot for Muslims in America …”

    this discussion should BEGIN with the fact that they (along with the peddlers of Ellison and Carson), first vociferously and proudly endorsed Bush for President in 2000 and bragged about how it was they using the “Muslim” vote which got him elected to office in the first place.

    1.5 million dead Iraqis, nearly 1 million dead Afghans, and now nearly 1,200 dead Palestinians, we owe them that much as Muslims.

    regards,
    Sameer

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  87. “endorsed Bush for President in 2000 and bragged about how it was they using the “Muslim” vote which got him elected to office in the first place.”

    That just proves they are not fortune tellers.

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  88. I would agree with Amad’s point that perhaps there is some “bigger picture” that we’re all missing, a greater good, if you will. There’s just one problem…

    No one knows what that greater good is, no one knows when we will have finally arrived, and by the way, no one asked me or anyone else whether we agreed with this hazy vision of the future.

    So in absence of said vision, the least we should be able to expect from Muslim politicians is that they stand up for Muslims, even if it means committing political suicide.

    I particularly don’t like the “bigger picture” argument because then we can afford the same argument with some minor modifications related to details of context to support our corrupt Muslim governments overseas.

    Bottom line, stand up, or get out.

    Siraaj

    PS: Side note related to this argument, for those you who believe in the greater good of Keith Ellison abstaining and Andre Carson voting yes – you realize that by making the statements you have made, you’re essentially saying, “keith ellison and andre carson voted as they did because they HAD to, not because they WANTED to.” Whether that is wishful thinking or the truth is debatable, but what is not is your intent – to defend a Muslim brother who you think has voted a certain way for a greater good.

    Isn’t that interesting? Because if I was a true big-picture thinker, the first thought on my head would be, “This blog is one of the biggest blog on the net, and surely the vultures will be swirling to see this discussion of Muslims upset with Keith Ellison. Better to just agree with it and say, “Yeah, Ellison’s a phony, he’s not one of us.” But instead, you’re not – you’re leaving the door open to the vultures who will say, “Ah ha! Look over there – Muslims defending Ellison, saying it’s for the greater good to obtain something else later. Proof that they’re up to something, and that Ellison is not only representing his district, he’s a tool of the greater national Muslim community to push their interests!”

    But you weren’t thinking of that big picture, were you? Seems like you’re speaking out on principle for your brother’s actions, despite the implication of your comments.

    That’s what we wish Ellison and Carson would have done for the men, women, and children of Ghazzah.

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  89. Congressman Ron Paul Fiercely Against House Support for Israel Attack on Gaza

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnQbSD4Jguk

    interesting…

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  90. Powerful words from CAIR on this issue:

    As Americans, we expect our representatives in Congress to reflect our views. Yet the U.S. House of Representatives recently ignored the millions of American voters who believe in an even-handed Mideast policy.

    The vote on House Resolution 34 was 390 in favor, with only five representatives voting no. The rest voted “present.” Ninety percent of House members voted to support Israel’s attacks on Gaza, at the same time that American voters are split on the issue.

    Congress seems to be out of step with the American people.

    There is little doubt that these same members of Congress who voted for Resolution 34 would condemn the U.S. Army if it took part in war crimes like those committed by Israel in Gaza. Yet these elected officials seem to lack the will or the courage to question Israel, even when it uses American tax dollars and weapons to commit its crimes.

    The Bush administration and Congress are making it more difficult for America to recover from its perceived loss of moral leadership around the world. Congress is also making it more difficult for President Obama to pursue change based on balance and fairness.

    America need not take sides in the decades-long conflict in the Middle East. But America should always be on the side of justice.

    Through its actions, Congress is unfortunately and unnecessarily turning the Muslim world against our nation.

    Only an even-handed approach to the Middle East conflict that recognizes the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people will have any chance of ending the seemingly endless cycle of violence in that troubled region.

    It is time for ordinary Americans to ask their elected representatives to make sure they accurately reflect their views, not the views of agenda-driven special interest groups.

    -Nihad Awad, “Congress Out-of-Step with America on Gaza”, Islam OP-Ed sent out on CAIR’s email list dated Jan. 14, 2008.

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  91. siraaj – jazakallahu khayr, you much more eloquently said what i was trying to say :)

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  92. Siraaj, barak Allahu feek…..I loved your comment bro.

    wassalam

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  93. some food for thought from this article:
    Children of a Mixed Message: how the generational dynamics have weakened the Muslim community in America and made it harder to raise our families

    Most importantly, we are aware of the programs our leaders make and the decisions they take, and, vitally, what these choices represent—that is, how they seem invariably to correlate and line-up with the decisive events and demands of outside voices and pressures in American society. The rationale for all of this, of course, is that we are trying to position ourselves advantageously in society by ensuring the mainstream that we are just like them, only Muslim. Are we? If these are the ends that “Islamization” has come to, then the Janis Joplin syllogism of inverted negation, I guess, is sorta right: Islam is just another word for nothing left to believe—even though virtually everything we know about Islam and see in the world belies this desperately reductive logic.

    But we first ought to free ourselves of two fears: One is of being blamed for “making fitnah” if we speak out against decisions that clearly put the interests of “party” and “persuasion” before the wellbeing of the community. This is an old device by which some seek to overthrow the minds of others, when their real goal is to maintain this rather insulting culture of paternalism that much of our community remains steeped in.

    The other is the accusation that one is a “fundamentalist,” “fanatic,” or other such loaded term when one refuses to bless the latest expressions of what is termed “progressive,” or to acquiesce in the most recent assertion of the unalienable rights of “culture.”

    Both of these charges seek to de-legitimize the critical voices of “troublemakers” born to swell the receiving side of the microphones, and to ridicule into silence those labeled “idealistic,” or “simplistic”—people who would take the Muslim community off the treadmill of an evermore elite and out-of-touch American mainstream and onto alternative paths that just seem to run in so much more harmony with the Qur’an and the model of the Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, and which hold so much more consistently with the intellectual heritage of the scholars.

    And here’s where the generational rubber meets the squealing Muslim family road. With the pioneer generation’s every whimpering genuflection for the sake of mainstream acceptance, we have further alienated our own youth’s hearts and minds because we have given them the clear signal, not with our vacuous words, but with our fatuous deeds, that Islam is not worth taking a hard stand for. When the going gets tough, the tough give in.

    Our youth now also use the yardstick of cozying up to acceptance from power, often in the form of peer pressure, to legitimize the actions they increasingly take. And what exactly is that power play for the young in this land?

    Power for young people in America is the power to get close to the girls, the power to get to know the boys, the power to leave home, the power to live in coed dorms, the power to be-bop, the power to hip-hop, the power to rap rad, the power to take off hijab, the power to smoke, the power to do dope, the power to watch porn, the power to club, the power to make love.

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  94. salaam,

    I skimmed the majority of the posts so apologies if this has been already posted.. But, I can’t really say that I’m at all suprised at what Carson and Ellison did. The fact that we have two muslims in congress really doesn’t mean all that much to the muslim community in general. These guys are up against a machine that will swoop down on them if they don’t toe the party line when it comes to Israel. Now, I know that 5 people voted against it.. but most of those guys (Kucinich, Paul, Rahall, etc) are established and really have nothing to fear. These two guys are freshman congressman who are just starting to get their careers on track. I’m not condoning what they did, but what I am saying.. is these guys really don’t have a choice! Now that said, I don’t think we muslims just throw our hands up and say this is our fate in life. We’re not going to make a dent on the national level, but where Muslims can be effective is on a local level. We can strengthen and support our civil rights organizations (which largely operate on razor thin budgets, and with mostly volunteers), we can dedicate ourselves to changing public opinion and educating people – which means we have full time people dedicated to these effort, etc. But, going to congress and hoping that they will help us is fools gold my friends.

    ma salaam,
    ars

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  95. I listened to the above video on Al-Jazeera concerning Keith and he seems like a strong and vocal person. I don’t see any weakness in him and he also explained his side very well.
    I am glad to hear his side.

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  96. Thanks “N”… gives a flavor of what Keith is doing behind the scenes. More good than many of the internet-screamers will ever.

    Thank you Br. Keith for all the good that you are doing. May Allah forgive your errors, and make you a force of positive changes and positive dawah of Islam and of Muslims to the Congress. Many of us are behind you and understand your position and are willing to forgive your errors.

    May Allah forgive us all. And forgive us for our shortcomings and the harshness expressed in some comments towards other Muslims and Muslim organizations.

    I should also add that because of my respect for people of knowledge, I will hold myself back from arguing, but wallahi, I am saddened by the lack of understanding and recognition that is being shown to CAIR… I have dealt personally with those people, I have taken help from them, I know people who have been helped by them, I know the positive force they are in this country DESPITE their shortcomings. Allah is the Best Judge of all affairs.

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  97. If you’re position is peace and not taking a side, then you should vote against the bill that takes a side, not abstain.

    Siraaj

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  98. as-Salamu Alaikum,

    I grove sick seeing Muslims criticizing each other, but themselves.

    If you don’t read at least 1 juz of Quran a day and act upon it,
    if you don’t bother to wake up for tahajjud or least to say salatul fajr,
    if you miss your prayers, or perform it like the chicken eating their feed stuff,
    if you forget to include in your supplication all muslim brothers suffering around the world,
    if you still eat two or three times a day while others starving to death,
    if you don’t cry ever for the reasons known,
    if you still sleep like bears do in winter,
    if you still insist on sinning,

    Then, just shut up and do your homework first.
    Sorry for being rude but that’s the reality of it.

    I challenge myself and leave the door open for others to admit:
    “Have you not been disobedient to Allah, these calamities would not had happened.”

    [Read to story of Qawmu's-Salih]

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  99. bismillah. just a few observations. not too many Muslims who read the comments on this page will ever want to run for Congressional office. if they do, they probably won’t think of these comments as coming from their constituency. we’d be “those people.” there’s something sad about that.

    i am no scholar, may Allah forgive me for not having become one. but perhaps because of my lack of knowledge, i would have a lot of concern about taking the job description of “lawmaker.” on the other hand (a left hand? wAllaho’Alim) if only people with less concern take the job, or if i treat every person who takes the job as if they do not care about the risks it entails, i am more likely to marginalize the views of Muslims like me, and i’m assuming Muslims like all of us.

    how many of us really pay attention to the treaty of hudaybiyah? to the dissatisfaction of some very senior sahabah with that outcome?

    already i know there are keyboards clacking with outrage to the beat of “how dare you compare that vote with the treaty of hudaybiyah!” perish the thought, and perish your rage. i’m not comparing the treaty with the vote, but the reaction of the sahabah with (most of) our reactions.

    i do not want to give ellison and the other guy any kind of free ride. but the nature of their office is to make compromises. especially to barter in compromises what is noxious for what is most prized. when the sahabah saw the treaty, all they could see was what was noxious to them — the end of sanctuary for Muslims fleeing Quraysh. they could not see, for some time, that Allah had guided the Prophet sull Allaho alayhi wa sallam to victory.

    we know that these two brothers lack such Guidance. so shouldn’t we expect their barters to be in even more noxious terms? doesn’t that mean Amad’s tack — look at what they have done that is positive, look at what votes they have swayed to their side — has some redeeming features? deserving at least acknowledgment?

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  100. Assalaam Alykum,

    Brother Amad sometimes you should take your own advice and stop calling people names. You have a bad habit of doing that. I would have wrote you personally but you keep doing this in public so I am advising you here.

    In one post you called other people Kooks and now you are calling them Internet screamers. You made all kinds of excuses for people like Keith and Carson but your tongue does not stop for other brothers who are angry when they see these people taking sides with the zionist.

    Suhail

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  101. ^ you are right aki suhail because Allah (swt) does not like the person who has a bad mouth.

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  102. Abu Abdallah-
    it’s interesting you mention hudaybiyah, because it’s one of the things i have been thinking about most in this situation. i agree to some extent, and i believe this is why some of us overlook the stances taken on issues like gay rights, abortion, and military spending. we do understand that sometimes compromise is necessary for a greater good.

    immediately before hudaybiyah though, was the bayat-ur-ridwaan. the muslims as you know, since they set out for hajj they only carried a bare minimum of weaponry. despite this, when they feared uthmaan had been assassinated, they pledged to fight and avenge it.

    so in these 2 examples, i see instances where we compromise for a greater good, and i also see a time for taking a stand. for me personally, i feel that the gay rights,etc could be chalked up to that type of compromise, but i cannot bring myself in my heart to say the same for this issue of the massacre by israel. to me this seems more of the instance of taking a stand.

    where do you draw the line? that is my fundamental question and it has yet gone unanswered. there is no denial of benefit, but we cannot let that make us turn a blind eye to when that benefit gets outweighed by the harm.

    i feel i have not phrased some of my contentions properly, so allow me to try to ‘rephrase’ a bit – i am not trying to debate political involvement period. a more distinct way of saying it, is how do we assess the benefit/harms of mainstream political integration? that seems to be more of the core issue. i think the fact that in the interview with keith ellison posted above, that he admits siding against israel is “politically unsafe” – it something that merits discussion.

    the way i see it, to engage politics – we see guys like kucinich and paul who are taking the stances that we agree with. could a different strategy be to engage the other “non-junior” congressmen with other types of campaigns to sway them, or bring more information to them, etc. i’m not saying thats the solution – but i am trying to show that other avenues do exist, even within politics. and if’ we’re honest about our specific objectives, we need to be open to seeing what legitimate ways they can be achieved. what i fear for though, is people just become attached to one solution – and as the article i quoted above says:

    The other is the accusation that one is a “fundamentalist,” “fanatic,” or other such loaded term when one refuses to bless the latest expressions of what is termed “progressive,” or to acquiesce in the most recent assertion of the unalienable rights of “culture.”

    i think too often a big dichotomy is unfairly created with no room for middle ground. you are either 100% behind every single one of these efforts, individuals, and organizations, or you are some kind of regressive/fanatic, etc. you know – with us or against us ;)

    lastly, regarding “internet screamers” – amad – by virtue of this being a blog, aren’t all of us, by definition, internet screamers? :)

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  103. Omar:

    lastly, regarding “internet screamers” – amad – by virtue of this being a blog, aren’t all of us, by definition, internet screamers? :)

    I’ll respond to you and by virtue of this, Suhail as well:

    So, the answer Omar, is “no”. There are different flavors of speech and writings, even on blogs, by authors of posts and of comments. Some people are smooth and calm, and you can see a lack of emotion in their writings, which keeps them away from trouble (but also away from a lot of attention). Others like to scream in their writings, and love to editorialize. So, I would say many of my posts fall into the category of “internet-screaming” because it accomplishes my purpose of getting attention to my topic and sometimes seeking the emotions necessary to make the discussion interesting and even beneficial.

    The bottomline: unlike what was assumed of this phrase, internet-screaming is good or bad, totally based on context. Hope that makes sense.

    P.S. Br. Suhail, I hope you share your criticism of name-calling with some of the others that you hang out with online, because it seems that you are immune to some of the excesses there meted out to others, including me. I should also add that if all you could come up with is “kooks” as my “name-calling” repertoire, then I should remind you that that was something which was mistakenly assumed by one specific person to be attributed to him and then he took great pains to transmit that at every web point possible, while he himself constantly cursed and asked for Allah’s punishment upon others.

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  104. Omar, for your “broken record” question ;), my answer is look at the history of the Jewish people in America. See how they took their time, energy and patiently broke into the system. Once they got established, see how they are able to have a dominating position on foreign affairs of their interest, vis-a-vis Israel. So, if we cannot even see this history which is there right in front of everyone, then I don’t know how else anyone can answer your question. I come back to my broken record, inAllaha ma’as sabireen. Be patient for results, especially when you have barely scratched the surface of efforts and involvement.

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  105. my answer is look at the history of the Jewish people in America. See how they took their time, energy and patiently broke into the system. Once they got established, see how they are able to have a dominating position on foreign affairs of their interest, vis-a-vis Israel.

    So our goal is to dominate foreign affairs in favor of our homeland country (not sure which one it is bro). Your statement reminded me of the following hadeeth:

    Abu Sa’id al-Khudri reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) said, “You would tread the same path as was trodden by those before you, inch-by-inch and step-by-step, so much so that if they entered into a lizard’s hole, you would also follow them.”

    We said, “Allah’s Messenger, do you mean Jews and Christians (by your words) those before you?”

    He said, “Who else (than those two religious groups)?”

    Washington is more like a pigpen, but anyway…

    Siraaj

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  106. I agree with Siraaj, many of the Jews do not stick to their religious teachings and they participate in haraam acts which allowed them to get where they are. For Muslims to do that, it means we have to compromise some of the islamic teachings to fully engage this process and get involved and then dominate like the Jews. Another thing is that the Jews came and sat in an empty ‘seat’ so to speak, as there was no dominating group before them but only different individuals that were influential, but now for the Muslims it is harder because we have to kick the Jews out of this ‘seat’ which they are firmly sitting on before we can even try to sit in it

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  107. Salam Br. Siraaj,
    I am kind of disappointed at your comment, because you usually make profound comments, not strawman’s argument :)

    So, what if I had said, “look at the jewish community and how they have won so many Nobel prizes in fields of science, engineering, etc., and how they have developed their academia”… would you throw that hadith at me? My point is that the applicability of that hadith is more in religious affairs, of how the past nations have gone awry in religious matters. It applies for instance where Muslims take saints for worship. There are many areas where we can try to emulate Jews and Christians, in public and civil life. That is where they have done well, and we can learn lessons from them. Throwing that hadith is not constructive in the context of this discussion.

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  108. I sincerely disagree with Amad and I think he has not answered the “big picture” or “end resut” question.
    If we can’t standup for the slaughter in Palestine, what and when are we going to standup?

    Also, you can’t say let’s follow the jewish example and then be upset that someone gave you a hadith about NOT following their example.

    Wallahu Alim, this is a sticy situation and I’ll give benefit of doubt, to a certain extent, with Keith Ellison.

    But Andre Carson?
    What are you doing…

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  109. this comment was passed along to us:

    Asalaamu Alaykum,

    I was contacted by Congressman Andre Carson and wanted to share it with the MM community. I also think it should be posted on the MM article that condemns his yes vote on the Israeli resolution.

    “My vote wasn’t against my Palestinian brothers and sisters. In fact, I have met with Democratic leadership asking for increased humanitarian aid to my brothers and sisters. The yes vote was in support of a separate Palestinian State and humanitarian aid in which the resolution calls for. The resolution calls for America’s support of Israel’s right to defend itself and the condemnation of terrorism. As a muslim representing Indiana I have to consider both muslim and non muslim interests. I am always fighting for the downtrodden. Salaams!”

    This was given as a response to my question on why he voted yes and why did he not at least condemn the civilian casualties.

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