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Open Thread Sunday 1/25/09

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brave-falasteeni-boyGaza: Reflections, Responses, and Coverage

Since the Gaza crisis began roughly two weeks ago, MM has devoted the majority of its posts towards responding to the dire situation. Starting with political and media coverage, revive-a-sunnah and action-alerts, and special posts by Sheikhs Yaser Birjas, Yasir Qadhi, and Dr. Ali Shehata, we have done our utmost to bring attention to all aspects of the tragedy. May Allah accept our intentions and deeds, ameen.

Now we want to know what YOU thought of the way MM handled coverage of the situation. Do you think we needed more political analysis? More spiritual reminders? Stronger encouragements? Please do let us know, as it is through constructive criticism and sincere advice that we may strive to do better for the sake of Allah. JazaakumAllahu khairan.

Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah

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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.

Now some link-love for you all:

Obama’s website asks visitors to “Reevaluate the Level of Aid to Israel.”

Reevaluate whether the level of and the basis for the aid we provide Israel is appropriate given our tough economic circumstance. Presently I fail to see the benefits to our country that would justify the extraordinarily high per-capita level of aid.

 Click here and VOTE UP!

We turn our attention back to Palestine with the following:

Another War, Another Defeat. The Gaza offensive has succeeded in punishing the Palestinians but not in making Israel any more secure. John Mearsheimer discusses here at the American Conservative.

Two Surgery Teams Complete Missions in Palestine (From the Palestinian Children’s Relief Fund)

On January 15, two foreign volunteer teams of surgeons completed surgerymissions to Palestine in which dozens of sick and injured children had freecare that otherwise was not available to them. In early January, a plasticand reconstructive team led by surgeon Dr. Maher Anous from Seattle, Washington arrived in the West Bank town of Nabluswith anesthesiologist Dr. Hafez Sami from Illinois and OR nurse Candi Anous.

They treated dozens of burned and injured children who otherwise would notget the care that they needed locally. Dr. Anous led a mission to Gaza in2003 through the PCRF, but was not able to get into Gaza during this tripbecause of the IDF assault.

On January 15, a 3-member team from Massa, Italy went to Makassed Hospitalin East Jerusalem to provide life-saving open-heart surgery on sick babiesborn with congenital heart disease. Led by Dr. Steafno Luisi, who hasoperated on dozens of Palestinian children in Palestine through the PCRFover the past two years, as well as treating several Arab children sent tohim for free through the PCRF in Italy, the team performed many difficultoperations on children who were born with serious heart defects.

This is part of the ongoing PCRF program to build the first and only pediatriccardiac surgery program in Palestine. In 2007 and 2008, nearly 400 childrenhad life-saving heart surgery in Makassed through the hard work of the localPalestinian team and the visiting PCRF teams from all over the world.

Fans of Jon Stewart may want to thank him for his segment on Gaza. I’m starting to think that we’re better off watching The Daily Show with Jon Stewart for more accurate reporting than your local (and national) news stations.

Sister Fauzia Khan has a message for MM readers:

Assalaamulalaikum,

On Saturday I attended the Human Appeal GAZA FUNDRAISING dinner. We were informed in detail of the terrible state Gaza is in. One of the main problems is Medical aid or the lack of facilities to administer it. Br Moin told us that one of the ways to get aid across to  the people is via a mobile clinic. This mobile clinic would be fully equipped and would be able to administer aid to people who have very few places left to go to for medical aid. The advantage of the mobile clinic is that it takes aid to the people, there by getting over the hurdle of the people not having transport themselves.

The cost of these clinics is £25,000.

During the event the cost of 3 mobile clinics was either raised through donations or pledges to raise donations through family and friends.

I pledged that I would raise £1000 through my email contacts and through my facebook list.

So I am humbly asking you, please dig deep and give what ever you can .

You can phone:

Human Appeal International 2009 Charity no.1005733 T: +44 (0) 161 225 0225

Please call now . When you call PLEASE LET THEM KNOW YOU ARE DONATING FOR  THE MOBILE CLINIC for GAZA. PLEASE ALSO LET ME KNOW IF YOU HAVE DONATED AND HOW MUCH AS I HAVE BEEN ASKED TO TRACK THE £1000 THAT I PLEDGED. JUST DROP ME AN EMAIL.

 REMEMBER – NO DONATION IS TOO SMALL, PLEASE COLLECT AS MUCH AS YOU CAN FROM FAMILY AND FRIENDS TO HELP THE PEOPLE OF GAZA.

MAY ALLAH Reward you

wasalaam, Fauzia

The next big new thing in the Islamosphere! Check out and welcome MuslimahSource.org to the online world:

We are pleased to announce the launch of MuslimahSource.org! The site is the online phase of what we hope and pray will blossom into a full-fledged organization that works to improve the condition and elevate the status of women in Muslim communities worldwide.

It’s hard to be a woman in today’s world, and Muslimahs face particular challenges.

Muslim women are underrepresented in mosques and Islamic centers. Issues regarding Muslim women, and issues regarding the broader Muslim community, are often discussed without even consulting any women. Classes in Arabic, tajweed and Islamic studies often restrict attendance to males, leaving out a crucial half of the Ummah.

We believe that Islam teaches the Ummah better than that. After all, Allah ta’ala says in the Holy Qur’an, “…I shall not lose sight of the labor of any of you who labors [in My way], be it man or woman: each of you is an issue of the other…” (3:195).

We believe that through education, support, and guidance, Muslim women can solve the problems concerning their place in the Muslim community, as well as address the issues that face both Muslim men and women.

Please participate in discussion here, forward articles to your friends, and contribute. Most importantly, please keep us in your dua`a’!

As-salaamu `alaykum,
http://www.muslimahsource.org

Those interested in issues of Islamic finance may be interested in this blog: http://www.musliminvestor.net

A little old, perhaps, but still interesting: The NY Daily News reports that Muslim high school students feel safer at school than on the street.

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.

11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Gohar

    January 26, 2009 at 12:26 PM

    Anyone with a heart could see that what was going on in Gaza was obscene. However, i still think it would have been useful to list each and every argument the pro-isrealis were using to defend themselves, and then provide a response to them. Not sure what the best way would have been to get this done – maybe this could have been a collective effort by all the readers, until each claim was answered.This would have then helped empower the readership to ring talk shows etc to counter what these zio-nazis were saying.

  2. Mohammad S.

    January 26, 2009 at 5:10 PM

    As-Salam `alaykum

    “Now we want to know what YOU thought of the way MM handled coverage of the situation. Do you think we needed more political analysis? More spiritual reminders? Stronger encouragements? Please do let us know, as it is through constructive criticism and sincere advice that we may strive to do better for the sake of Allah. JazaakumAllahu khairan.”

    I thought that there were more pages dedicated to the political aspect of the situation, rather than the spiritual one. Not that I can really blame you, since the Dua’s we can make for the ikhwan in Falasteen are the same each day; but the situation may not be the same every day, thus it requires more reporting.
    However, I would still like to see some more spiritual-related posts about what we can do to help, besides donating money etc.
    The ‘Using Hikmah in Trying Times’ program is along the lines of what I’m trying to say.

    Wassalam

  3. James

    January 26, 2009 at 6:52 PM

    This CBS Video has just been brought to my attention

    http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=4752349n

    Pretty jaw dropping to see something like this in the US media (I’m not in the US).

    The reporter says basically there are 3 options for Israel: ethnic cleansing; democracy (and the end of Israel as a Jewish state); or apartheid. And it goes on to take seriously the argument that an apartheid system is already in place.

    Hardly news to most of us, and it’s plenty flawed (the illegality of the settlements isn’t mentioned once, for instance), but still, I haven’t seen anything like this from a major US network before.

  4. Abd- Allah

    January 26, 2009 at 11:43 PM

    My suggestion would be less political updates where you post information that we can read or see in other media related websites or news agencies, and more spiritual analysis of the issue, like the cause of the situation that the Ummah is in currently, and how can we improve ourselves and find a solution to this recurring crisis where the muslims around the world are being humiliated. The thing is that what happened recently in Gaza is nothing new to the Muslim Ummah, and similar massacres have happened before to muslims around the world, and will unfortunately continue to happen in the future if we do not do anything about it. So as much as it was important for us to have discussed the situation in Gaza and tried to find solutions and ways to help our brothers and sisters there because that situation was current and urgent, but it was as important for us to discuss the cause and find a solution of the bigger problem that faces Muslims throughout the world, which is constant humiliation and suffering. I think we have to realize that even though this issue in Gaza has calmed down, yet this theme has been a recurring theme and will come back again in the future where some opressor will kill and murder a big number of muslims somewhere in the world, so we need to look at the big picture and discuss and figure out the solution to the major problem that our Ummah faces which is constant humiliation and killing of our people.

    -Please do not use bold tags for comments -Editor

  5. Dawud Israel

    January 27, 2009 at 12:13 AM

    Suggested topic of discussion:

    Will Obama’s bombing Pakistan push BAMS and immigrant Muslims further apart in the USA?

  6. Ibrahim Siddiq

    January 27, 2009 at 2:54 AM

    Assalaam alaykum.

    Just a brief clarification. The change.gov website that the Obama transition team set up is closed for all practical purposes. Although the website is still up, if you go to the home page, you will see the notice that the “transition is over.” President Obama’s administration has re-designed the official White House website to accept citizen input. Please visit that website to voice your concerns to the new administration.

    We pray Allah to favor us with His Guidance and to grant peace and stability to the world.

    Ibrahim

  7. abu abdAllah

    January 27, 2009 at 9:45 AM

    bismillah. if you visit MM from an iPhone, most Blackberrys or similarly “cool” phones, you can ignore this comment because the site probably looks the same on that device as it does on your desktop computer, alhamdolillah.

    but for the rest of us… :)
    visit the newly updated http://m.muslimmatters.org from your mobile browser. it’s an easy to remember URL — just muslimmatters.org with an extra “m.” at the front.

    mm, mmm, good.

    if your phone still needs a differently formatted page, you can also try:
    http://www.google.com/gwt/n?u=http%3A%2F%2Fmuslimmatters.org

    but you’ll want to write that one down, first. :) it’s a mouthful. one nice side benefit of the long URL: you can use it to view many web sites from older phone browsers that would not otherwise display properly — just substitute the other site’s URL for “muslimmmatters.org” in the long address above.

  8. abu abdAllah, the Houstonian

    January 27, 2009 at 7:50 PM

    bismillah. (via mobile browser)

    i think if we have reached a critical mass of writers/contributors, that people who complain about format could be satisfied by a virtual subdivision of the site.

    think of it as an analog to newspaper sections: opinion, news, weather, etc.

    sure, we have nominal divisions now. but writers choose which section to publish in, and many writers gear their content to major current events. and there are readers who seem to want more differentiated content.

    imagine if the tab on MM took readers to different content, placed there at the editorial direction (not discretion, but affirmative direction) of MM.

    so, there might be a tab for reflections/theological/spiritual content and another action-items/current-events/less-scholarly content. there could be more tabs than those, and i have not offered names so much as descriptions.

    the current content categories could be retained as appropriate under both tabs. and writers could offer content to either tab or leave it completely to editorial choice, but editors would actually assign content to a tab.

    cookies could establish which tab is displayed by default when a user comes to MM. either always display most recently-updated, last-visited, or a user-specified tab.

    how does the tab idea help?

    a lot of readers who share the desire of writers to respond to particular events often and while they are still developing will appreciate the current event tab. it would heavily cover a given subject while it is topical.

    a good name for the tab given that events would be responded to as they develop: “first-responders/awwul-ul-Muslimeen.”

    the other tab, for example, might only look back at an event after it has reached a major milestone, or might make a more scholarly attempt to approach events that are not nec. current. such a tab might well be named “for people of dhikr” emphasizing the tab’s emphasis on reflection.

    i like those names because they extol and exhort the best qualities of what are competing purposes at MM.

    that they compete at all is evidenced most of all by the fact that many pieces published recently were written 1-2 months ago, alhamdolillah.

    with the “for people of dhikr” tab, they could have been published in parallel to articles about Gaza, much as newspapers and scholarly journals alike, around the world, continued to publish content that had no reference to current events.

  9. Abd- Allah

    January 27, 2009 at 8:13 PM

    I second the suggestion of brother abu abdAllah, the Houstonian. There is no direct relation between the two of us by the way, just in case you were wondering whether I am that abdAllah which he is the abu of.

  10. Muslimah

    February 3, 2009 at 1:07 AM

    Assalam u alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu

    I was soo happy to view muslimahsource.com !!

    Jazakillah for launching such a wonderful website

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