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Sunday Open Thread 11-1-2009 | And now for something completely different…

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Bismillah-irRahman-irRaheem. As salamu alaykum wa Rahmat Allahi wa Barakatuhu.

posted by abu abdAllah Tariq Ahmed

Inspired by a response to last week’s open thread, I’ve spent some time checking out the world as reported by Al Jazeera English. So this week, less of the New York Times, and more about events in the Muslim world. What do you think of that?

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From Gawking:
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=re5xRt6WKCA[/youtube]

…To a revealing look at a Hawk:
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8GgwFl5jxM[/youtube]

…To a better look at events at Al Aqsa than any US news source provided:
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xE7yIzmdRt4[/youtube]

…To reports like this one from the front-lines of Waziristan:
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3l85dCkXbw[/youtube]

Al Jazeera’s Youtube channel, http://www.youtube.com/user/AlJazeeraEnglish, lets viewers pick and choose through much of the content from this satellite channel.

The channel covers stories in America and the West as well, and covers stories in the Muslim world that are more a cause of shame than anything else: the success of a brewery, for example. So, not perfect. But overall, I am enjoying the look at a different perspective of events in the Arab and Muslim world, different from what one sees from American news sources.

How about you?  What kind of content would you like to see more of in a Sunday Open Thread?  Should conversation starters be strictly news?  From any particular sources?

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.

Bismillah walhamdolillah. May Allah accept my repentance and yours. I am an attorney, a stepfather, a husband, a son, and a Muslim. Studying Islam is a means, reflecting what I have learned is a must, and to Allah is the inevitable return. If you would like my help, know that Allah is the source of all aid. If you would like to contact me, try tariqnisarahmed at Gmail, LinkedIn, Twitter, or add me as a friend on Facebook.

15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. iMuslim

    November 1, 2009 at 8:13 AM

    “And now for something completely different…” – Are you a Monty Python fan, bro Tariq? :)

  2. Mariam

    November 1, 2009 at 8:26 AM

    I did not see anything on the killing of an African American Muslim leader in Detroit.

    • abu abdAllah Tariq Ahmed

      November 1, 2009 at 10:55 AM

      Inna lillahi wa inna alayhi rajioon. Allahummajurhum fee museebatihum wakhlufhum khayrum minhum. Any links you wish to post would be much appreciated, sister. News has been known to occur without my knowledge. ;)

      Your mention of the tragic events in Detroit, the shooting of an imam was news to me. I just did a search and found a great article in the Detroit Free Press. But more responses, especially from readers in Detroit, would be welcome.

      By the way, I attended a Muslim Advocates’ event yesterday, alhamdolillah. I mention it because the ACLU had a representative there, and she was very keen to help train Muslim lawyers to accompany Muslims (and other persons) whom the FBI has asked to interview. I am not saying that such interviews led to the killing of this imam. Only Allah Knows.

      But the DFP article does mention the use of informants, and many informants, as the ACLU confirmed yesterday, are recruited through interviews. How? By manipulating interviewees until the FBI feels it can force the person to help it by informing/spying on others.

      Muslim Advocates has a video discussing the improper and proper way to respond to interview requests. The interviews in the video use dialogue from actual interviews of Muslims and Arabs. Though the video uses music, and its not perfect, you can learn a lot about how a person can protect themselves.

      Several of our readers have asked about the training since I mentioned that I intended to get one set up, bi’idhnillah. Alhamdolillah, we are closer to that goal, now.

      • Holly Garza

        November 1, 2009 at 4:45 PM

        JazkaAllahum Khayer for the links and information

  3. Abu Noor Al-Irlandee

    November 2, 2009 at 2:48 PM

    Here is a blog post raising some of the important questions surrounding the FBI killing of our beloved Imam Luqman Abdullah.

    I was blessed to know Imam Luqman for many years and to attend his janazah, which was a beautful testimony to the true character of the Imam as the huge crowd of brothers and sisters from all over the country overflowed the masjid in a poignant testimony to the true character of the imam.

  4. Praying on one leg.Mashaallah.

    November 4, 2009 at 6:53 PM

  5. Stinger

    November 6, 2009 at 1:13 AM

    Tariq Ahmed said:

    “protect us all from agents of shaytan (or the government) who foment and spread discord for the sake of taking advantage of it.”

    I think we should wait until a full investigation is carried out before making a judgment. I’m am no friend of the rough handedness often used by law enforcement to subjugate suspects but resisting arrest and using a firearm while resisting isn’t the best way to deal with the FBI. Also, if you think the government is such a Shaytaan I hope you aren’t living in the US because you are taking benefits from this same government while blaming it for your problems. Muslims already have a fragile relationship with the people here, it is our duty to present Islam in a better way than the media, not to reinforce stereotypes.

    As Muslims who live here we need to follow the laws of this country and to help make it a better place, period. If someone isn’t willing to do that then they should go elsewhere because there are millions of Muslims in this country who do want to improve and benefit from society here. Like I said lets not pass judgment until a full investigation is carried out.

    Peace

    • abu abdAllah Tariq Ahmed

      November 6, 2009 at 10:48 AM

      Since you took offense with the prayer I offered, “Stinger,” maybe you should practice what you preach. Selectively quoting from my prayer does not make your advice more sincere, either. My comment indicates that I do not know exactly what took place that day or in the days that preceded it.

      If anyone were to “foment and spread discord for the sake of taking advantage of it,” I would seek refuge with Allah from that person. I believe that government “anti-terrorism” agents too often fall exactly into that category. And yet even that might well be justified if these agents were infiltrating actual terror cells that already existed and that planned to hurt innocent people.

      But 8 years show that the FBI and other agents “successes” have come from planting operatives among innocent people, fishing for malcontents, literally urging people to do evil, encouraging them to scheme, providing them means they might not otherwise ever have had — in other words every single element of what a lay person would call entrapment, but in a fashion to skirt the law and build a case. And those are the cases where the government can point to a plan — one their own operative devised — foiled by “timely” intervention.

      Yet there are also so many other cases such as the abduction and torture of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui or the case of Shaykh Dr. Ali Timimi — a case so absurd that no rational person would look at the circumstances of his conviction and conclude anything other than that the justice system had been manipulated to achieve a political “victory.”

      Yes, I ask refuge with Allah from the tyranny of such agents.

      And as for my patriotism, or as for my opinion of the rest of the government, since you do not know me at all, your comments reek of a rush to judgment, don’t they? I have worked for the government, I have been more than willing to fight to defend America, and unlike you — I do not hide my name.

    • abu abdAllah Tariq Ahmed

      November 6, 2009 at 11:12 AM

      Last night my family happened to watch coverage of the tragedy at Fort Hood from three sources. On local TV, because we live in Texas, the coverage included impact on families of the military. It included a statement by CAIR. It seemed fair in as much as the reporters and anchors avoided speculation.

      FOX news was like watching a lynch mob looking for its pitchforks and white hoods. The host/anchor interviewed a former coworker of the accused shooter, and kept trying to get the man to say that the shooter was an extremist Muslim. There was no end to speculation. And no attempt to avoid a “rush a judgment.”

      MSNBC’s host Rachel Maddow is no favorite of mine, but her coverage of the tragedy went a long way to improving my opinion. She did rattle off a list of other tragic shootings, but her list included the non-military mass shooting that took place decades ago in the town next to the base, and killings within the military regardless of the religions of the killers. And switching to MSNBC after FOX was like stepping out of Salem during a witch hunt.

      I know some readers may have mixed feelings when it comes to Muslims who serve in the military, but I felt fearful for them that yesterday’s tragedy will be a burden or a smear on them. Of course no one in the military looks at other “fraticides” — deliberate killings of one soldier by another — and says, “we’d better watch all the baptists now, because that guy who killed his sergeant was one.” But Muslims in uniform already bear a heavy load of extra scrutiny and take all kinds of abuse — now that will likely increase.

      It’s especially sad that pressure on Muslims in the military may increase, because as one analyst on MSNBC pointed out — the accused is a psychiatrist who used to treat soldiers every day. And it may have simply been stress from what he heard every day that pushed him over the edge.

  6. Mohammed Khan

    November 6, 2009 at 11:38 AM

    A white 44 year old Texan US soldier killed five of his fellow countrymen a few months ago and no mention of his religion and no question of loyalty to country:

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/05/12/iraq.soldiers.killed/

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camp_Liberty_killings

    • abu abdAllah Tariq Ahmed

      November 6, 2009 at 4:18 PM

      Tellingly, the Fox News coverage of that particular tragedy also does not probe a link to religion. Snapping under stress was more than enough explanation then. The first three links are Fox News.

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