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Guardian: Government names most influential ‘pro-Islamic’ bloggers

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The Home Office’s counter-terrorism communications unit has named its top 20 most influential “pro-Islamic” political bloggers.

The list forms part of a mapping exercise carried out on behalf of the Home Office to estimate and track the scale and influence of Islamic bloggers in Britain.

The results of the exercise, which was carried out in 2008 but only published today, show that a network of Islamic bloggers who post on British politics does exist but is still relatively small and draws its information overwhelmingly from mainstream media, mainly the Guardian and the BBC.

The research was carried out by the Home Office research, information and communications unit (RICU) to see if there were new ways of ensuring the government’s counter-terrorism messages reached people in the Muslim community who did not read or watch mainstream media.

It pinpointed 140 “pro-leaning Islamic” blogs when it was carried out in 2008 by David Stevens of Nottingham University.

“Compared with other political blogging communities this is not terribly high,” the study says. “As suspected, any pro-Islamic blogging community is likely to be still in its early stages of development in quantitive terms. However the existence of Islamic blog-feed sites (that list recent posts across Islamic blogs in one place) indicates that the community is reaching something of a critical mass.”

The project is primarily concerned with how “radical Islamic messages” are disseminated in Britain, yet it notes that many blogs are not overtly or mainly political in this sense, but contain such messages or references to them.

It says a large anti-jihadist and anti-Islamic blogging community exists which is far larger and more cohesive than the pro-Islamic blogging community.

The top 20 list compiled as a “snapshot” in 2008 includes several based outside Britain but posting on UK politics in English. The top five sites listed are Ali Eteraz, Islam in Europe, the Angry Arab News Service, Indigo Jo Blogs/Blogistan and Daily Terror. Ali Eteraz is the author of Children of Dust – a memoir of Pakistan that was named on the New Statesman 2009 books of the year list – and has been a regular poster on Comment is Free.

The list only covers blogs published in English. Some, such as Angry Arab, which publish news articles in full from various sources draw heavily on the New York Times, al-Akhbar and Ha’aretz. But once these are excluded much UK-related material is drawn from the Guardian, the BBC and the Times. Very little material is drawn fromal-Jazeera, Islam Online or other Islamic-focused media.

A Home Office spokeswoman said that after the research was undertaken it was decided to focus on sending the government’s counter-terrorism messages to Muslim communities through national mainstream media, including publications such as the Muslim Weekly and Daily Jang.

Source: Guardian

The top 20 list appears in a Home Office document, titled Estimating Network Size and Tracking Information Dissemination among Islamic Blogs, which was written in 2008 but only published yesterday.
1) Ali Eteraz
The blog by Ali Eteraz, the author of the Islamic memoir Children of Dust, no longer appears online. Mr Eteraz now writes for The Guardian.

2) Islam in Europe
The Islam in Europe blog describes itself as “the premier source for news about the Muslim community in Europe”. It focuses on Belgium, the Netherlands and Scandinavia. The blogger – who identifies herself as Esther – is also on Twitter under the name IslamBlog and has a Facebook group called Islam in Europe Blog.

3) Angry Arab News Service
Written by the Lebanese academic As’ad AbuKhalil, based in the United States, the Angry Arab News Service describes itself as “A source on politics, war, the Middle East, Arabic poetry and art”.

4) Indigo Jo Blogs
Indigo Jo Blogs, at the domain blogistan.co.uk, claims to specialise in “politics, tech and media issues from a Muslim perspective”. It is written by Matthew Smith, also known as Yusuf, a 33-year old British convert to Islam who lives in New Malden, south London.
5) The Daily Terror
The Daily Terror describes itself as providing “selected annotated media/blog links on Muslims in Britain and whatever”. The blogger, Yunus Yakoub Islam, lives in West Yorkshire is on Twitter under the name Julaybib.

6) Yahya Birt
Yahya Birt is a British Islamic journalist whose bills his blog as “Musings on the Britannic Crescent”. He is on Twitter as YBirt.

7) Mujahideen Ryder
Mujahideen Ryder describes itself as “not the average Muslim blog”. It covers religion, sports, politics and the Middle East from a Muslim perspective and is written by a young Guyanese American who also works as a web developer in Maryland. The blogger is on Twitter under the name mujahideenryder.

8 ) Rolled Up Trousers
The blog of Osama Saeed, now the Scottish National Party’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Glasgow Central, has turned its attention from Islamic matters to the more mainstream political issues of wind farms, high speed rail and Trident.

9) Ijtema
The Ijtema blog is written by what it calls “a congregation of Muslim bloggers”. It aims to bring together what its editors consider “the best of the Muslim blogosphere” and covers religion, art, family and current affairs. It is on Twitter under the name Ijtema.

10) Saifuddin
The blogger Saifuddin is an American Sunni Muslim who describes his blog as “the travelogues of a traveller”.

11) The White Path
The White Path blog is written by Mustafa Aykol, a Turkish political commentator, and covers the topics of religion, politics, science and culture. Its name is taken from the literal meaning of the author’s surname.

12) Gardens of Paradise
The Gardens of Paradise blog describes itself as “a pathway into a paradise containing rivers and birds, palaces and comforts; an endless bliss, eternal and everlasting. A pure life …” It aims to persuade its readers to convert to Islam.

13) Ahmed’s World of Islam
Ahmed’s World of Islam – a blog on religious wisdom and prayer – is no longer being updated. Its author now blogs on similar subject matter at Haq Islam.

14) Unique Muslimah
Unique Muslimah is a female Muslim blogger who lives in what she calls the “wild, wild West”. Her blog, she says, “exposes the delights, flashbacks and sombre experiences that adds a little spice to who she is today.”

15) AE
The AE – or Alternative Entertainment – blog is written by a British Muslim and covers religion, humour and current affairs.

16) Knowledge Seeker
Adnan Tariq has been visually impaired and partially deaf from birth. He blogs about Islamic knowledge.

17) Imam Johari
Written by Imam Johari Abdul-Malik, an American Islamic outreach worker, the Imam Johari blog rallies Muslim communities to stand up for the environment, end violence against women and work to eradicate poverty.

18) Sheikhy Notes
Edited by Arfan Shah, a British Muslim, Sheikhy Notes colleges notes and videos of lectures given by traditional Islamic scholars.

19) Islamic Thinkers Society
The Islamic Thinkers Society blog is written by what it describes as “less than a handful” of Muslims based in the United States, and aims to “bring change through intellectual and political struggle”.

20) MAQASID
The MAQASID blog is protected and requires a login to view.

Source: Telegraph

Formerly Mujahideen Ryder (now retired), I'm a Muslim American born in Brooklyn, NY with Guyanese parents currently living in Maryland working full-time as a web developer.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Avatar

    ASAWB

    March 24, 2010 at 3:34 PM

    MR?

    It’s no longer an active blog…

    • Avatar

      MR

      March 24, 2010 at 10:14 PM

      Alhamdulillah.

      It’s based on research on 2008 and only now it was released.

  2. Amad

    Amad

    March 24, 2010 at 4:16 PM

    When I first saw the report, my reaction was “are these a bunch of high-schoolers doing a little media project”??

    whats funny is they used data from Jan 08 – March 08 (!) using a lesser known “blogpulse” tool…. i dont know if this was deliberate or what, but comeon, 1 year old data for a very specific time period when a few months old in the blogosphere is considered ancient! Is there a message for us that Eteraz finds the first spot for a now dead blog?? Half of the blogs on the list are either defunct or have very little popularity. For instance, besides MM, the report missed MMW, Tariq Nelson, and many more influential blogs. It’s a farce and seems there is either a hidden agenda or extremely amuteurish work.

  3. Avatar

    M Risbrook

    October 14, 2010 at 1:51 AM

    This raises the question whether Muslims see blogs as an effective means of conveying information or whether they prefer alternatives such as videos. I find it somewhat perturbing that information is overwhelmingly obtained from the mainstream media, mainly the Guardian and the BBC, and very little originates from Islamic or Middle Eastern media sources. This raises another question whether the Muslim bloggers in question are members of a small, but highly vocal, minority from the Hampstead liberal mould who are promoting a watered down liberalised version of Islam. I don’t consider Indigo Jo Blogs/Blogistan to be a real Islamic blog but merely a blog run by a Muslim because a high proportion of articles are not about Islam, and neither are they directly relevant to the Muslim community in general. A colleague made the comment “90% of what is on that blog is a load of liberal left drivel that has nothing to do with Islam and looks like it’s been lifted out of the Grauniad”.

    The anti-Islamic blogs are in a completely different world. I’m inclined to say that most of the prominent and active anti-Islamic blogs are collaborative rather than personal efforts. They are highly likely to be the products of Zionist activist groups.

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#Current Affairs

My Heart Shook In New Zealand

Mohsin Ansari

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One would imagine that a person would be dead-tired and ready to crash in his bed after a grueling, 36-hour journey from Christchurch, New Zealand to Washington, DC. And I will admit, that was the way I felt. Yet somehow, all my somnolence vanished as soon as my head rested on my pillow and I closed my eyes to rest. A wave of recollections fell over me: memories of the survivors, the emotions they expressed, and their feelings of an uncertain future as they planned their lives after the loss of their family members. These feelings instantly took away all the desire to get rest and sleep. I sit upright now and begin writing this reflection of a once in a lifetime experience- a voyage of grief and hope to Aotearoa- land of the white cloud as the indigenous people call New Zealand.

With lost baggage, long flights and too many connections, at times it seemed unlikely that my eldest son Moaz and I would make it to Jumm’ah and Janazah prayers in Christchurch, New Zealand. But Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) accepted our prayers so that we could fulfill the guidelines set by our beloved, the Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). We were able to fulfill one of the rights of a Muslim over the others; that when he is sick visit him, and when she dies, offer her funeral and be part of her burial.

Hagley Cricket Ground was supposed to have a cricket test match between Bangladesh and New Zealand that Friday. Commentators reckon that it would have been the final day of that test match. But the 22nd of March 2019, brought a much bigger crowd to this world-famous cricket ground than what anyone would have seen on the final day of that test match.

Officials and security directed us towards the VIP area as they wanted to pay respect to the guests who traveled all the way from the USA, Canada, and Australia. The environment of love, solidarity, and respect, coupled with the hijab-clad women standing in solidarity with Muslims in that enormous crowd, created an impact which cannot be articulated by mere words. Every single uniformed female officer was carrying their firearm while donning a hijab; creating a welcoming gesture in a rather somber and gloomy atmosphere.

I do not have the words to thank the leadership of Charity Australia and the Islamic Forum of Australian Muslims (IFAM) for providing us with logistics, facilitating meeting the families of the “shuhudaa” (martyrs) and arranging to visit those injured in the tragedy. ICNA, Helping Hand, and Charity Australia banners highlighting the slogans of “American Muslims stand in solidarity with Victims of Christchurch New Zealand” were the center of attention for thousands of local New Zealanders gathered in solidarity that day. Their hugs, sincere prayers and tearful eyes were the greatest gift that I want to share with everyone reading these reflections.

Right after Jumm’ah, the majority of the crowd attended the collective Janazah prayer of 27 of the martyrs. In those emotional moments, I met with the most courageous woman on earth, the wife of 51-year-old Shaheed Naeem and the mother of 21-year-old Talha Naeem, the two spirited souls who gave their lives to save others in the mosque that day. She is one of the strongest women I have ever met. She mentioned that her husband, Naeem, was a person who lived the life of a man of service, always ready to help others. She described Talha as an angel who was too pious and too noble to be away from Jannah too long. We heard similar feelings from Naeem’s mother (grandmother of Talha) the next day when we visited their home.

The visit to the home of New Zealand’s national soccer team player, Atta Elayyan (33), was not only emotional but also deeply inspiring. Atta lost his life and his father (the founder of Al-Noor Masjid) was severely injured during this brutal and hateful attack. There were several scholars from the United States, including Sheikh Omer Suleiman, in the visit to Atta’s home. We could offer nothing to console the brave mother of this shaheed, who greeted us with words of courage and wisdom. We had no words to accompany the tears in our eyes, except prayers for the most noble young man who helped so many in coming close to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He).

Our visits to Al-Noor Masjid and the Linwood Islamic Center were also filled with memories of love, harmony, and reverence. There was a continuous influx of hundreds of visitors, not only from New Zealand, but also from different countries including, but not limited to, Australia, Fiji, and Canada.  Thousands and thousands of flower bouquets and other items of love were left by these visitors. I was really thrilled to see that local Muslims left many Qur’ans and flyers with basic concepts of Islam and addressing the common misconceptions about Islam for those visiting. I witnessed many people visiting these mosques were taking those Qur’ans and other books with them in order to learn more about Islam.

We also met Mr. Aziz, the unsung hero who repeatedly attacked the killer with different objects including an empty gun —which the killer had discarded. The terrorist fired on Aziz multiple times, but Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) not only saved him, but he also forced the killer to flee from the Linwood Islamic Center. Mr. Aziz was one of the reasons why the number of casualties in this mosque was only seven, compared to the 43 martyrs in Masjid Al-Noor. We also met certain individuals whom Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) saved miraculously. A young man showed his trousers fenestrated with holes of bullets but had no signs of injury. The husband and wife who entered the premises of the mosque and only to be showered with a burst of 26 bullets while in their car, leaving it completely destroyed. Yet Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) saved both of them while they took shelter in their vehicle.

The visit to the hospital’s ICU was simply heartbreaking but at the same time increased our resolve and commitment to help these families as much as possible. We encountered a Turkish brother who was in a coma for nine days and met his elderly parents, who spoke to us in the very little English they knew. The only thing which we could understand from their hushed voices was the request for du’a and tears of helplessness in their eyes. The 71-year-old father of a local Pakistani from Hafizabad, who had arrived two weeks ago to visit his son, was now on a ventilator fighting for his life. As a physician who has worked in ICU settings for a long time, I simply did not have enough medical reasoning which could have provided him any words of hope!! Similarly, I was not able to provide any glimmer of hope to a brother from Bangladesh whose wife will never be able to walk again and will be paralyzed for the rest of her life.

While I saw hope and felt resilience from every victim in that hospital, this hospital visit was brutally heartbreaking.

Lastly, I cannot imagine the pain, agony, and helplessness that the father of Mucad Ibrahim must feel after losing his 3-year-old son in his own arms. I gave him the longest hug possible, as he taught the whole world the meaning of Beautiful Sabr (Patience).

After seeing the devastation caused by the terrorist attack, and the work that must still be done to heal the community, Helping Hand USA, ICNA Relief Canada, and Charity Australia have formed an organization called the “Christchurch Family Support Network”. The operations have already begun, and our team is on the ground. The first group of mental health professionals with a background in Islamic Integrated counseling are set to leave to provide victims and their families immediate psychological assistance.

We ask Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) to accept our work, bring healing to the community, protect our brothers and sisters, and accept the shuhadaa’ in the highest level of Paradise.

Dr. Mohsin Ansari is the Vice President Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) and the Chairman of Helping Hand USA (HHRD)

 

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Because Muslims Matter | Honoring The Martyrs Of #Christchurch

Hena Zuberi

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As the days go by, it is easy to forget the names and faces of the people who passed away. The horror of the act eclipses their memories. We do not want that to happen to our brothers and sisters in New Zealand.

اللهُـمِّ اغْفِـرْ لِحَيِّـنا وَمَيِّتِـنا وَشـاهِدِنا ، وَغائِبِـنا ، وَصَغيـرِنا وَكَبيـرِنا ، وَذَكَـرِنا وَأُنْثـانا. اللهُـمِّ مَنْ أَحْيَيْـتَهُ مِنّا فَأَحْيِـهِ عَلى الإِسْلام ،وَمَنْ تَوَفَّـيْتَهُ مِنّا فَتَوَفَّـهُ عَلى الإِيـمان ، اللهُـمِّ لا تَحْـرِمْنـا أَجْـرَه ، وَلا تُضِـلَّنا بَعْـدَه

Allaahum-maghfir lihayyinaa, wa mayyitinaa, wa shaahidinaa, wa ghaa’ibinaa, wa sagheerinaa wa kabeerinaa, wa thakarinaa wa ‘unthaanaa..

O Allah forgive our living and our dead, those who are with us and those who are absent, our young and our old, our menfolk and our womenfolk… [7]

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Shaykh Yahya Adel Ibrahim’s Message in the Wake of the #ChristChurchMosqueShooting

Shaykh Yahya Ibrahim

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We offer our condolences to our Muslim brothers and sisters in New Zealand and to all Kiwis. We feel your pain. We see your tears. We hear your cries and we mourn with you. The Ummah is with you- Editor’s note

Live broadcast:

The Mosque Massacre today in #NewZealand – From Hate, Love may bloom

Posted by Yahya Adel Ibrahim on Friday, March 15, 2019

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