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Sunday Open Thread 12/22/08

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First of all, a huge jazakumAllahu khairan and much appreciation from us at MM to you, the readers, for your support and votes at the Brass Crescent Awards. MuslimMatters won the award for Best Group Blog, and we couldn’t have done it without you. May Allah purify our intentions and accept our good deeds, ameen.

Most of the hujjaaj have returned by now, with gifts and stories for friends and family and a personal spiritual experience for themselves that they will never forget. In the meantime, for those of us who still dream about visiting Makkah al-Mukarramah one day, check this link out for some beautiful pictures (like the one featured here) of this year’s Hajj and ‘Eid al-Adha around the world.

Some time ago, yours truly wrote a response to the novelist Sherry Jones’ book “Jewel of Medina.” At a more professional level, Lorraine Adams of the New York Times wrote a book review of the novel, commendable for its critical (although mostly neutral) take on it. It’s nice to see Ms. Jones’ book recognized for the junk it is.

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On the other side of the spectrum, a deeply disturbing article was written by Lawrence Kulak in the “5 Towns Jewish Times” publication. His article, titled “The Appropriate Response to Islamic Terror” concludes with the following:

the only way to deal with Islamic terrorists is the same way in which they deal with their victims. Muslims believe in the literal interpretation of the Biblical doctrine of an eye for an eye, and they do not have respect for anything perceived as a lesser standard of justice. They killed our innocents, and unless we kill theirs, they will go on killing ours. The Torah, however, preaches a doctrine which, if implemented by the West, could finally put an end to all Islamic terror: If somebody is coming to kill you, rise up and kill him first.

Hate speech and Holocaust, anyone?

A relevant follow-up to the above: “Making Islamophobia Mainstream.” Steve Randall and Isabel Macdonald do an excellent job in pointing out how Islamophobia is rapidly becoming more and more acceptable within mainstream media and the general public.

Children of a Mixed Message: how the generational dynamics have weakened the Muslim community in America and made it harder to raise our families” by Amer Haleem is a long and somewhat time-consuming read, but well worth it. I strongly encourage you all to take the time to read it… just like I’m going to, as soon as I’m done this  :)

Let us not forget Dr. Sami al-Arian:

www.FreeSamiNow.com

DOJ Admits: Dr. Al-Arian was Physically and Verbally Abused

Alexandria, VA – December 9, 2008 – Late last week, the Department ofJustice’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) sent a letter to Dr.Al-Arian’s counsel regarding its 18-month-long investigation regardingallegations that Dr. Al-Arian had been mistreated and abused byofficers from the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

The letter from the OIG states: “The OIG determined that thepreponderance of the evidence supports Al-Arian’s allegation that hewas verbally abused by two correctional officers during thetransportation process from FCC [Federal Correctional Complex]Petersburg to Alexandria, Virginia, on January 18, 2007, and April 12,2007. We also found that one of these officers physically abused Al-Arian on April 12, 2007, by pushing him into a wall at the USMS [U.S. Marshall Service] detention facility.”

Last January, during the course of the investigation, Dr. Al-Arian was given a polygraph examination regarding the incident. The FBI agent who administered the examination remarked that Dr. Al-Arian had
“passed with flying colors.”

It should be noted that, on average, the OIG investigates only one complaint out of every 10,000 submitted. There can be no doubt that the flood of letters and phone calls from thousands of conscientious people concerned with Dr. Al-Arian’s situation like you prompted the OIG to carry out this investigation.

Send a Brief Message to the OIG!

The Tampa Bay Coalition for Justice and Peace would like to urge Dr. Al-Arian’s supporters to send a brief email to the OIG, thanking them for their investigation, and urging them to hold the offending officers accountable to prevent future incidents from occurring. You can contact the OIG by email:

inspector.general@usdoj.gov
(Please make sure to BCC (not CC!!) tampabayjustice@yahoo.com )

texas-dawah.jpg

Finally, don’t forget about Texas Dawah. It starts in a few days and it is probably one of the best Islamic conference FOR FAMILIES in the nation. No doubt there are excellent conferences all around the nation, but this one is especially designed for families.

Check out the schedules for the events, esp. the ones for kids! Awesome!

Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah

Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. MM Associates

    December 21, 2008 at 8:09 AM

    bismillah. [by abu abdAllah]

    may Allah accept from all the hujjaaj, forgive them their sins and excesses, and ease for them the path to all good in this life and in the next.

    so, i hope for all the hujjaaj who read this message, and for all those for whom the journey will be eased, and for all those whose Hajj will come soon, inshaAllah, that they have an awesome time this year at TDC which starts in just a matter of days, inshaAllah!!!

    and may Allah bring comfort and freedom to all the Muslims still held in prisons secret and not-so-secret all over the world, all of them who face charges that are outright lies, or prosecutions based only on their religion, or evil treatment by their jailers, or against whom falsehood has been spread.

  2. Manas Shaikh

    December 21, 2008 at 11:40 AM

    much happiness results. much du’a follows. inshaAllah.

  3. mohamed ali

    December 21, 2008 at 1:46 PM

  4. Amad

    December 21, 2008 at 1:58 PM

    Interesting commentary by Juan Cole on Rick Warren, who is slated to give the invocation for Obama’s inauguration. Apparently, Warren has had positive interactions with the Muslim community, which is rare among the Evangelical, but glad to get what we can get.

  5. Nihal Khan

    December 21, 2008 at 2:23 PM

    A poem on the murder of 2-year old Caylee Anthony

    For what Crime was she Killed? – by Nihal Khan

    http://nihalkhan.blogspot.com/

  6. Abu Noor Al-Irlandee

    December 22, 2008 at 12:54 PM

    People who want to discuss the Amer Haleem article mentioned above are encouraged to go to the forums for the blog where the article appears. You can register for those forums to participate in a variety of interesting discussions there, including one specifically on “Children of a Mixed Message.”

  7. smo

    December 22, 2008 at 7:39 PM

    They started with Interpal, now they are moving on…

    http://www.uwt.org/Press/Press-Release/Press-Release-19-12-08.asp

  8. abu abdAllah, the Houstonian

    December 22, 2008 at 11:47 PM

    bismillah.

    need a job? upsides: pay, travel, the possibility of improving understanding of Muslims from within the government. downsides: govt.-scale-pay, years away from family, the possibility of helping sell an anti-Muslim US government agenda.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/21/jobs/21officers.html?partner=permalink&exprod=permalink

    caption: Salman Khalil, hired in May, took a pay cut to join the Foreign Service.

  9. abu abdAllah, the Houstonian

    December 23, 2008 at 12:09 AM

    bismillah.

    http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2008/12/black-googlers-network-building.html
    so, is there a jamat-al-google for Muslims?

  10. Hassan

    December 23, 2008 at 4:18 PM

    One of the session at Texas Dawah Conference is called “meet on meat”, a chat over a cup of tea (more likely to turned into academic debate) between Sh Yaser Birjas And Sh Yasir Qadhi over the issue of halal meat. I hope the issue would be resolved once and for all.

  11. abu abdAllah, the Houstonian

    December 24, 2008 at 1:55 AM

    bismillah.

    “Jordanian Students Rebel, Embracing Conservative Islam” — NYTimes

    One of ten articles in a series about Muslim youth in the Muslim world: Generation Faithful.

    Wednesday morning, inshaAllah, i join TDC Ansaar as we finish turning the GRB Convention Center into the best Muslim Convention Site in America. if you’re in Houston on Thursday, join us — even if you haven’t registered — at one of the two sessions open to the public — breakfast in the morning with the TDC Speakers/Shuyukh and on Thursday night at 7 pm, Shaykh Yasir Qadhi’s talk.

    but of course, there’s much more available to everyone who register(s)ed for TDC. :) Allah subhanahu wata ala has even given us a forecast of warm weather in the 70s. so come on down and enjoy yourself in Houston, inshaAllah.

  12. intellect1429

    December 24, 2008 at 1:34 PM

    @ abu abdAllah, the Houstonian,

    I’m glad you caught that article in the NYT because I read through it also. I’ve been following these articles about Islamic revival, which they have labeled “Generation Faithful”. I find it so intriguing that they are monitoring the Muslim youth, as if they are expecting a massive wave of Islamic revival (which is a good thing for us Muslims to hear). But in these “Generation Faithful” articles they treat this revival as if its something dangerous and not mainstream. Of course they are biased in their writing about Islam and Muslims, but in this “monitoring” of the Muslim youth, it seems to me that its being portrayed as something to fear. I for one am always excited to hear that the youth are embracing Islam in the attempt to revive it in their secular socities, but I hope they channel it toward good.

    Isn’t it ironic how Islam has to be revived in “Muslim” countries, and we hear in North America are also attempting to revive and maintain our deen?

  13. J

    December 25, 2008 at 11:17 PM

    One of the session at Texas Dawah Conference is called “meet on meat”, a chat over a cup of tea (more likely to turned into academic debate) between Sh Yaser Birjas And Sh Yasir Qadhi over the issue of halal meat. I hope the issue would be resolved once and for all.

    Do the two (Yasir and Yaser) disagree on the issue?

  14. Amad

    December 26, 2008 at 12:28 AM

    Yes, they do disagree.
    Inshallah hope to have first tdc post tonight

  15. AnonyMouse

    December 26, 2008 at 1:27 AM

    I missed the Ilminar ‘cuz of bad sound quality :(

  16. Amad

    December 27, 2008 at 11:48 PM

    Salam
    We have not failed to notice the terrorism inflicted by Israel’s monsters upon innocent civilians. It never ceases to amaze me how the media is making every effort possible to paint every action of Israel as a justified response or retaliation for an injustice inflicted upon it! Excuse me? Who was blockading who? Who has declared war and siege upon a democratically elected govt?

    Inshallah, we’ll try to post something on this major crises. This is no different from Mumbai, as another brother said in another post. While the mumbai terrorists used guns, Israel’s terrorist IDF used planes. What more terror when your daily routine is suddenly interrupted by a missile landing all over the place… With no escape, and no place to hide.

    Pls use this open thread for comments relating to this crises, until we can post something ia. Many of us r at the conference, making it difficult to do something quickly (I am using my blackberry for this comment)

  17. Sarah

    December 28, 2008 at 7:29 PM

    As Salaamu Alaykum

    InshaAllah you all are doing well, and enjoying TDC/RIS/the weekend.

    I just wanted to announce the launch of the I Got It Covered website, a website for Hijabi sisters all around the world, which will launch tomorrow, December 29th, 2008 InshaAllah ta’ala.
    Site: http://www.igotitcovered.org

    For more information, and how it began, check it out here.

    JazakhumAllahu Khayrn
    Ma’salaam.

  18. sacbutteredtoast

    January 7, 2009 at 8:02 PM

    “[An interesting side note is that Thomas Jefferson in making this distinction in 1776 was influenced by the work of Francis Hutcheson (1694-1746), an Irishman associated with the Scottish Enlightenment in Glasgow whose definition of inalienable was influenced by the concept of Natural Rights in the work of John Locke (1632-1704), an Englishman, who was definitely influenced by the writings of his mentor, Edward Pococke (1604-1691), an Oxford scholar of Arabic who first encountered the concept of inalienable in ancient Islamic texts on Jurisprudence. I find it heartening that the American concept of inalienable rights was elucidated by Islam’s admonishing Commanders-in-Chief to respect the inalienable rights of their subjects. For they believed these Rights, being given by Allah, could not be taken away by the whims of an earthly politician. Imagine that! It’s a very small world for those who have the courage to examine things in depth and see how much we have in common instead of emphasizing what sets us apart.]”

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