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Obama okays assassination of American citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki


This is really sad.  Whatever happened to the justice and law of Democracy that Obama and the American government claim they represent?  Assassinating American citizens is the Democratic way? This call for the assassination of an American citizen who hasn’t been charged is anti-American, unconstitutional and will only increase intolerance amongst Muslim countries and America. I don’t agree with what al-Awlaki has said with regards to his call for Jihad, but this is outrageous. The fact that Obama approves of killing an American citizen who has not been charged for a crime is what concerns me.

I’ve pasted two articles from the New York Times and the Washington Post. After that I have included a good article by Glenn Greenwald. I also added two videos from Olbermann on this issue.

News articles

U.S. Approves Targeted Killing of American Cleric

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has taken the extraordinary step of authorizing the targeted killing of an American citizen, the radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who is believed to have shifted from encouraging attacks on the United States to directly participating in them, intelligence and counterterrorism officials said Tuesday.

Mr. Awlaki, who was born in New Mexico and spent years in the United States as an imam, is in hiding in Yemen. He has been the focus of intense scrutiny since he was linked to Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 people at Fort Hood, Tex., in November, and then to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian man charged with trying to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Dec. 25.

American counterterrorism officials say Mr. Awlaki is an operative of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the affiliate of the terror network in Yemen and Saudi Arabia. They say they believe that he has become a recruiter for the terrorist network, feeding prospects into plots aimed at the United States and at Americans abroad, the officials said.

It is extremely rare, if not unprecedented, for an American to be approved for targeted killing, officials said. A former senior legal official in the administration of George W. Bush said he did not know of any American who was approved for targeted killing under the former president.

But the director of national intelligence, Dennis C. Blair, told a House hearing in February that such a step was possible. “We take direct actions against terrorists in the intelligence community,” he said. “If we think that direct action will involve killing an American, we get specific permission to do that.” He did not name Mr. Awlaki as a target.

The step taken against Mr. Awlaki, which occurred earlier this year, is a vivid illustration of his rise to prominence in the constellation of terrorist leaders. But his popularity as a cleric, whose lectures on Islamic scripture have a large following among English-speaking Muslims, means any action against him could rebound against the United States in the larger ideological campaign against Al Qaeda.

The possibility that Mr. Awlaki might be added to the target list was reported by The Los Angeles Times in January, and Reuters reported on Tuesday that he was approved for capture or killing.

“The danger Awlaki poses to this country is no longer confined to words,” said an American official, who like other current and former officials interviewed for this article spoke of the classified counterterrorism measures on the condition of anonymity. “He’s gotten involved in plots.”

The official added: “The United States works, exactly as the American people expect, to overcome threats to their security, and this individual — through his own actions — has become one. Awlaki knows what he’s done, and he knows he won’t be met with handshakes and flowers. None of this should surprise anyone.”

As a general principle, international law permits the use of lethal force against individuals and groups that pose an imminent threat to a country, and officials said that was the standard used in adding names to the list of targets. In addition, Congress approved the use of military force against Al Qaeda after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. People on the target list are considered to be military enemies of the United States and therefore not subject to the ban on political assassination first approved by President Gerald R. Ford.

Both the C.I.A. and the military maintain lists of terrorists linked to Al Qaeda and its affiliates who are approved for capture or killing, former officials said. But because Mr. Awlaki is an American, his inclusion on those lists had to be approved by the National Security Council, the officials said.

At a panel discussion in Washington on Tuesday, Representative Jane Harman, Democrat of California and chairwoman of a House subcommittee on homeland security, called Mr. Awlaki “probably the person, the terrorist, who would be terrorist No. 1 in terms of threat against us.”

Source: New York Times

Muslim cleric Aulaqi is 1st U.S. citizen on list of those CIA is allowed to kill

By Greg Miller
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
A Muslim cleric tied to the attempted bombing of a Detroit-bound airliner has become the first U.S. citizen added to a list of suspected terrorists the CIA is authorized to kill, a U.S. official said Tuesday.

Anwar al-Aulaqi, who resides in Yemen, was previously placed on a target list maintained by the U.S. military’s Joint Special Operations Command and has survived at least one strike carried out by Yemeni forces with U.S. assistance against a gathering of suspected al-Qaeda operatives.

Because he is a U.S. citizen, adding Aulaqi to the CIA list required special approval from the White House, officials said. The move means that Aulaqi would be considered a legitimate target not only for a military strike carried out by U.S. and Yemeni forces, but also for lethal CIA operations.

“He’s in everybody’s sights,” said the U.S. official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the topic’s sensitivity.

CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano said: “This agency conducts its counterterrorism operations in strict accord with the law.”

The decision to add Aulaqi to the CIA target list reflects the view among agency analysts that a man previously regarded mainly as a militant preacher has taken on an expanded role in al-Qaeda’s Yemen-based offshoot.

“He’s recently become an operational figure for al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula,” said a second U.S. official. “He’s working actively to kill Americans, so it’s both lawful and sensible to try to stop him.” The official stressed that there are “careful procedures our government follows in these kinds of cases, but U.S. citizenship hardly gives you blanket protection overseas to plot the murder of your fellow citizens.”

Aulaqi corresponded by e-mail with Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, the Army psychiatrist accused of killing 12 soldiers and one civilian at Fort Hood, Tex., last year. Aulaqi is not believed to have helped plan the attack, although he praised Hasan in an online posting for carrying it out.

Concern grew about the cleric’s role after he was linked to the Nigerian accused of attempting to bomb a U.S. airliner on Christmas Day by detonating an explosive device he had smuggled in his underwear. Aulaqi acknowledged teaching and corresponding with the Nigerian but denied ordering the attack.

The CIA is known to have carried out at least one Predator strike in Yemen. A U.S. citizen, Kamal Derwish, was among six alleged al-Qaeda operatives killed in that 2002 operation but was not the target.

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Source: Washington Post

Glenn Greenwald’s Article

In late January, I wrote about the Obama administration’s “presidential assassination program,” whereby American citizens are targeted for killings far away from any battlefield, based exclusively on unchecked accusations by the Executive Branch that they’re involved in Terrorism.  At the time,The Washington Post‘s Dana Priest had noted deep in a long article that Obama had continued Bush’s policy (which Bush never actually implemented) of having the Joint Chiefs of Staff compile “hit lists” of Americans, and Priest suggested that the American-born Islamic cleric Anwar al-Awlaki was on that list.  The following week, Obama’s Director of National Intelligence, Adm. Dennis Blair, acknowledged in Congressional testimony that the administration reserves the “right” to carry out such assassinations.

Today, both The New York Times and The Washington Post confirm that the Obama White House has now expressly authorized the CIA to kill al-Alwaki no matter where he is found, no matter his distance from a battlefield.  I wrote at length about the extreme dangers and lawlessness of allowing the Executive Branch the power to murder U.S. citizens far away from a battlefield (i.e., while they’re sleeping, at home, with their children, etc.) and with no due process of any kind.  I won’t repeat those arguments — they’re here and here — but I do want to highlight how unbelievably Orwellian and tyrannical this is in light of these new articles today.

Just consider how the NYT reports on Obama’s assassination order and how it is justified:

The Obama administration has taken the extraordinary step of authorizing the targeted killing of an American citizen, the radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who is believed to have shifted from encouraging attacks on the United States to directly participating in them, intelligence and counterterrorism officials said Tuesday. . . .

American counterterrorism officials say Mr. Awlaki is an operative of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the affiliate of the terror network in Yemen and Saudi Arabia. They say theybelieve that he has become a recruiter for the terrorist network, feeding prospects into plots aimed at the United States and at Americans abroad, the officials said.

It is extremely rare, if not unprecedented, for an American to be approved for targeted killing, officials said.  A former senior legal official in the administration of George W. Bush said he did not know of any American who was approved for targeted killing under the former president. . . .

“The danger Awlaki poses to this country is no longer confined to words,” said an American official, who like other current and former officials interviewed for this article spoke of the classified counterterrorism measures on the condition of anonymity. “He’s gotten involved in plots.”

No due process is accorded.  No charges or trials are necessary.  No evidence is offered, nor any opportunity for him to deny these accusations (which he has done vehemently through his family).  None of that.

Instead, in Barack Obama’s America, the way guilt is determined for American citizens — and a death penalty imposed — is that the President, like the King he thinks he is, secretly decrees someone’s guilt as a Terrorist.  He then dispatches his aides to run to America’s newspapers — cowardly hiding behind the shield of anonymity which they’re granted — to proclaim that the Guilty One shall be killed on sight because the Leader has decreed him to be a Terrorist.  It is simply asserted that Awlaki has converted from a cleric who expresses anti-American views and advocates attacks on American military targets(advocacy which happens to be Constitutionally protected) to Actual Terrorist “involved in plots.”  These newspapers then print this Executive Verdict with no questioning, no opposition, no investigation, no refutation as to its truth.  And the punishment is thus decreed:  this American citizen will now be murdered by the CIA because Barack Obama has ordered that it be done.  What kind of person could possibly justify this or think that this is a legitimate government power?

Just to get a sense for how extreme this behavior is, consider — as theNYT reported — that not even George Bush targeted American citizens for this type of extra-judicial killing (though a 2002 drone attack in Yemen did result in the death of an American citizen).  Even more strikingly, Antonin Scalia, in the 2004 case of Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, wrote an Opinion (joined by Justice Stevens) arguing that it was unconstitutional for the U.S. Government merely to imprison (let alone kill) American citizens as “enemy combatants”; instead, they argued, the Constitution required that Americans be charged with crimes (such as treason) and be given a trial before being punished.  The full HamdiCourt held that at least some due process was required before Americans could be imprisoned as “enemy combatants.”  Yet now, Barack Obama is claiming the right not merely to imprison, but to assassinate far from any battlefield, American citizens with no due process of any kind.  Even GOP Congressman Pete Hoekstra, when questioning Adm. Blair, recognized the severe dangers raised by this asserted power.

And what about all the progressives who screamed for years about the Bush administration’s tyrannical treatment of Jose Padilla?  Bush merelyimprisoned Padilla for years without a trial.  If that’s a vicious, tyrannical assault on the Constitution — and it was — what should they be saying about the Nobel Peace Prize winner’s assassination of American citizens without any due process?

All of this underscores the principal point made in this excellent new article by Eli Lake, who compellingly and comprehensively documents what readers here well know:  that while Obama’s “speeches and some of his administration’s policy rollouts have emphasized a break from the Bush era,” the reality is that the administration has retained and, in some cases, built upon the core Bush/Cheney approach to civil liberties and Terrorism.  As Al Gore asked in his superb 2006 speech protesting Bush’s “War on the Constitution”:

Can it be true that any president really has such powers under our Constitution?

If the answer is yes, then under the theory by which these acts are committed, are there any acts that can on their face be prohibited?

If the president has the inherent authority to eavesdrop on American citizens without a warrant, imprison American citizens on his own declaration, kidnap and torture, then what can’t he do?

Notice the power that was missing from Gore’s indictment of Bush radicalism:  the power to kill American citizens.  Add that to the litany — as Obama has now done — and consider how much more compelling Gore’s accusatory questions become.

UPDATE:  When Obama was seeking the Democratic nomination, the Constitutional Law Scholar answered a questionnaire about executive power distributed by The Boston Globe‘s Charlie Savage, and this was one of his answers:

5. Does the Constitution permit a president to detain US citizens without charges as unlawful enemy combatants?

[Obama]:  No. I reject the Bush Administration’s claim that the President has plenary authority under the Constitution to detain U.S. citizens without charges as unlawful enemy combatants.

So back then, Obama said the President lacks the power merely todetain U.S. citizens without charges.  Now, as President, he claims the power to assassinate them without charges.  Could even his hardest-core loyalists try to reconcile that with a straight face?  As Spencer Ackerman documents today, not even John Yoo claimed that the President possessed the power Obama is claiming here.

UPDATE II:  If you’re going to go into the comment section — or anywhere else — and argue that this is all justified because Awlaki is an Evil, Violent, Murdering Terrorist Trying to Kill Americans, you should say how you know that.  Generally, guilt is determined by having a trial where the evidence is presented and the accused has an opportunity to defend himself — not by putting blind authoritarian faith in the unchecked accusations of government leaders, even if it happens to be Barack Obama.  That’s especially true given how many times accusations of Terrorism by the U.S. Government have proven to be false.

UPDATE III:  Congratulations, Barack Obama:  you’re now to the Right of National Review on issues of executive power and due process, asKevin Williamson objects:  “Surely there has to be some operational constraint on the executive when it comes to the killing of U.S. citizens. . . . Odious as Awlaki is, this seems to me to be setting an awful and reckless precedent. ”  But Andy McCarthy — who is about the most crazed Far Right extremist on such matters as it gets, literally — is as pleased as can be with what Obama is doing (or, as Gawker puts it, “Obama Does Something Bloodthirsty Enough to Please the Psychos”).

UPDATE IV:  Keith Olbermann’s coverage of this story was quite good tonight — see here.


Olbermann Videos

More links

Some more good articles:

The 9/14 President
Barack Obama is operating with the war powers granted George W. Bush three days after the 9/11 attacks.
By Eli Lake

Assassinating Awlaki
By Kevin D. Williamson

Let’s Call Killing al-Awlaki What It Is — Murder
Kevin Jon Heller

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  1. Avatar


    April 9, 2010 at 4:29 PM

    May Allah protect him. Wherever he is.

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      April 9, 2010 at 9:57 PM


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        April 12, 2010 at 7:04 PM

        Allahummah Ameeen

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    Yasir Qadhi

    April 9, 2010 at 4:54 PM

    Way to go Olbermann!

    The order to legitimize assassinating Awlaki is wrong on all counts. It is morally wrong, it is constitutionally wrong, and it will in fact help spread the message of Awlaki rather than impede it.

    We disagree with the rhetoric of Alwaki, but in the end of the day it is rhetoric. If we believe we are on the truth, then we need to engage with that rhetoric and defeat it with more sound logic and evidence from within our tradition (and that is what many scholars around the world are doing).

    By targeting him, the administration is sending a clear message that they really don’t care about what is morally right or what the constitution itself says (whatever happened to due process of law?)

    Worse, if the administration succeeds in this cowardly deed, rather than stem the spread of Awlaki’s message, it will in fact popularize it beyond belief. If history has taught us anything, it has taught us that ideas cannot be erased by eliminating those who say them. If Awlaki dies, he will become a legendary martyr – a poster-boy cause celebre who will be invoked by hundreds and thousands of later followers. By brutally assassinating him, his words will become immortal. And that is the last thing that we need to happen…

    More and more, the ‘War on Terror’ is changing the face of America in ways that terrorists themselves could never have done. But there is still hope – plenty of people, such as Olbermann, are active in pointing out these double standards. We need to stand shoulder to shoulder with such voices, and point out the hypocrisy and double-standards whenever and wherever they appear.

    The world is not black and white – we are not with Awlaki in his message to American Muslims. But we are also not with the administration’s blatant disregard for the value of his life – and I say this as a Muslim, and as an American, and as a human.


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      abu Abdullah

      April 9, 2010 at 10:42 PM

      Allaah is preparing us for the victory…?

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      April 10, 2010 at 9:09 PM

      Asalamu Alaykum Sh. Yasir,

      May Allah subhana wa t’ala reward you, forgive your sins, and place sincerity in your heart.

      Would you deeply regret your statements on the day of judgement if you knew what Allah subhana wa t’ala loved Imam Anwar? Perhaps more importantly, let’s forget WHO he is for a moment, because we don’t love personalties, we love Islaam. But should we at least listen to WHAT he has to say?

      How is that you give much attention to these matters, but little attention to the NATO bombing of 27 Afghans on Feb 28, 2010? How is it that you know the details of attacks on the West, but no details of the Muslim casualties. I admit, this could be possibly due to the dissemination of informaton and propaganda to create sympathy for the West by the media, but do you even actively search to keep updated with what’s going on in the Ummah? Why do you think a general condemnation of the U.S. or Israeli government suffices, but then on the other hand you specifically, by name, condemn Muslims over and over again?

      I respect you, I love you for the sake of Allah, you’re our teacher. But I like the old Yasir Qadhi better. I’m not sure how this “new” was reformed. Allah knows best. I ask Allah to guide us to the straight path. The scholars have a responsibility to be aware of the picture, I think your SEX and UMMAH is a secondary priority at this moment brother.

      Your student,

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        Ibn Masood

        April 10, 2010 at 11:23 PM


        Akhi, the Ustadh said nothing against Al-Awlaki except for the fact that he and the majority of scholars around the world disagree with his views and his rhetoric on the basis of the Qur’an and the Sunnah.

        I don’t know what your thought process is, perhaps that you and one student of knowledge are correct and everyone else is wrong? But the fact of the matter is that the majority of scholars who have knowledge of this religion, its rulings and its fiqh, the vast majority even more than Anwar Al-Awlaki does, and more than you do. Fear Allah in dealing with the people of knowledge my dear brother. We amongst the laymen should recognize our ignorance and deal respectfully with those who possess more knowledge than us, especially with those who possess knowledge of the Shariah and its principles.

        As a Muslim, I would rather stand before Allah swt and say that I put trust in the vast majority of His knowledgeable slaves who brought forth proofs from the Qur’an, Sunnah, and juristic reasoning, instead of one or two slaves who relied more on political reasoning and rhetoric.

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          April 11, 2010 at 1:11 AM


          you go ibn masood! Well said. I think we as Muslims have to be very wary about rhetorics vs. the message of god. Muslims have got to learn how to distinguish the truth from the person.

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          April 11, 2010 at 11:27 AM


          Assalamu ‘Alaykum,

          Jazak Allahu khayr brother. Without going into the discussion of agreement of your post or not, I would remind you that the majority is not always right.

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            Ibn Masood

            April 11, 2010 at 9:27 PM



            Brother Sulaiman, such a general statement is dangerous to use, and to say so in such a sweeping manner would mean to invalidate the concept of Ijma’a in usul ul fiqh. Allah swt commands us in the Qur’an in Surah Nisa v. 59 to ‘obey those in authority amongst us’. Although this is usually used as one of the evidences to indicate that Muslims should obey their rulers; for the purposes of usul-ul-fiqh: this portion of the verse is used (amongst other sources) as evidence of the validity of ijma’a.

            Since this is a matter of fiqh. those who possess authority in fiqh are the fuqahaa from Ahlus-Sunnah, and if the vast majority of them agree upon something, that is a proof in itself in usul-ul-fiqh (in fact the scholars of usul-ul-fiqh comment that the entire field of usul-ul-fiqh can be said to be a tafseer of this verse).

            Therefore if someone such as Anwar Al-Awlaki chooses to go against an ijma’a, especially against scholars who have more knowledge and understanding of fiqh than he does, then inshaAllah it should be pretty clear to the ordinary Muslim where the authority lies. If he had been a scholar of very high and renowned standing in the knowledge of the shariah and fiqh, then that would have been another story.

            Nevertheless, we still agree with each other that it is wrong to do what the US government has ordered (both according to US law and according to the Shariah). We all agree that Anwar Al-Awlaki should be given a fair trial, he should be advised by Muslim scholars, he should be given an opportunity for justice, and this is how we support him as our Muslim brother. This doesn’t change the fact that we disagree with what he says.

            WAllahu Alam

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            April 12, 2010 at 5:49 AM

            I agree 100% with brother sulaiman and remember the “when on the day of judgement ALLAH swa will ask prophet ADAM as to bring forth his decendents who are destined for hell, but he will not know how,
            ALLAH swa will tell him 1 out of every 1000 will go to heaven and the rest 999 will go to hell”
            So this shouws us where the majority is going.

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            April 12, 2010 at 11:04 AM


            Assalamu ‘Alaykum,

            Jazak Allah khayr for your nice manners bro. Just an explanation, I did not mean to invalidate the concept of ijmaa’ nor I said that majority is not right. Rather, I meant majority can sometimes be mistaken as well and this can be seen from the time of Abu Bakr (ra) and all the other Sahabah (raa) who were against Usamah bin Zayd (raa)’s leadership and being sent to fight the Roman army whilst Abu Bakr (ra) was in favour of it. Similar issues with people who gave up Zakah. Again, I am not showing my support to any of the sides rather just mentioning this concept.

            Bro/sis Suhaim, I would advise you with the same advice given to me by our brother Ibn Mas’ood. If I am mistaken in the understanding of your comment, then please explain it to us in shaa’ Allaah.

            WAllahu Ta’ala A’lam.

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        bint amin

        April 11, 2010 at 3:04 PM

        Salaam Brother Baasel,

        Yes, these issues are important, very important infact. But the shaykhs new initiative on sex and the ummah is also very important. As a recent divorcee I understand the dire need for this topic- to develop better communication and fulfillment within a marriage has an effect on families which are the building blocks of this ummah. If we ae not stable and happy in our own homes how can we go out there effectively and give dawah? How can we raise our children to be strong practicing muslims when the husband and wife are in constant conflict and resent each other?

        Insha Allah I pray this new initiative helps our ummah to have stronger more successful marriages and in turn strengthen us as an ummah so we can tackle greater issues. Ameen

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          April 11, 2010 at 11:17 PM

          The point I was trying to make was, not only directed at our beloved Sh. Yasir Qadhi, but the growing pattern of Shayukh who….(let me draw an example, which will perhaps iterate the point I’m trying to make…)

          For example, take a look at the Ft. Hood incident. How many organization, imams, shayukh specifically, by name, going into details, condemned that event?

          Now I don’t feel, me as layperson can say what they did was right or wrong. But I do find it ironic, that around the same time, 10 Afghan children were executed by NATO’s ISAF on December 28, 2009. Nobody Imam even brought this to the attention of the Muslim masses, not in a halaqa, not in a khutba (to the best of my knowledge). Do our leaders, not have an obligation to specifically, by name, going into details, condemn inflictions upon the Muslim Ummah? Do they not have a duty to seek out that news and deliver it to the masses, even if the Western media over-exaggerates attacks upon Western soil in order to create empathy for the West?

          Absolutely. The topic on Sex and the Ummah is very important and our beloved Sheikh Yasir Qadhi should continue doing it. The way I said it was incorrect and perhaps I shouldn’t have brought it up at all, as it takes away from the point I was trying to make. I apologize to Br. Yasir Qadhi, I don’t want to try and discredit him, but I’d like him to answer my question without fear of being reprehended by the Media.

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            Ibn Masood

            April 11, 2010 at 11:34 PM

            If they don’t condemn such things, then more support will build in the USA for war abroad, and then more people will die in Iraq/Afghanistan.

            It’s a matter of what you can do and where you have the most effect with the limited circumstance, time and energy that your Creator has blessed you with.

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        Abdul Vakil

        April 12, 2010 at 6:22 PM

        Bismillah wa-saalamu ‘alaikum wa rahmatullah

        Dear brothers and sisters, let us acknowledge the clear distinction between what is ijma ul ‘ulema (unanimous concensus of the scholars) and what is JAMHUR ul ‘ulema (majority concensus of the scholars). While ijma is indeed a source of hukm/law, jamhur is not. We are obligated to follow the opinion that is closest and most sound in relationship to the Sunnah of our beloved Rasul salallahu ‘alayhi wa salaam, be that opinion held by one ‘alim or all. Allahu ‘alam.

        Wa-salaamu ‘alaikum wa rahmatullah

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          Abdul Vakil

          April 12, 2010 at 7:29 PM

          Astaghfirullah, I’ve erred in the closing of my previous statement. It was intended to have read: “We are obligated to follow the opinion that is closest and most sound in relationship to the Sunnah of our beloved Rasul salallahu ‘alayhi wa salaam, be that opinion held by one ‘alim or all BUT ONE.”

          Wa’alaikum as-salaamu wa rahmatullah

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      April 11, 2010 at 11:33 AM


      Assalamu ‘Alaykum Ustaadh Yasir,

      Jazak Allahu khayr for your comment. I have a few questions to ask.

      Ya Ustaadh, I do not understand how can speak about all the morality or issues of constitution when it would be against our Deen to let a kafir kill our brother whether we agree with him or not. How can we let them deal with someone who could be right or wrong. Is this is not against basic al-Walaa’ wal-Baraa’?

      Why do we call our brothers and sisters terrorists if the kuffar called them? Why do we not refute (if needed) the Shaykh by being polite or even if harsh. Why not address him and speak to him directly?

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    omar suleiman

    April 9, 2010 at 5:26 PM

    Asalaamu Alaikum Wa RahmatAllahe Wa Barakatu,

    Unfortunately our administration is falling into that same trap of “kill every terrorist” and the world will be ok. What they dont understand is that every time they act in this manner, they are contributing to the message of extremists and, in fact, radicalizing thousands of Muslim youth.

    I have to admit that the most heartbreaking aspect of this all is watching Anwar Awlakis father plead with the government not to kill his son while also pleading to his son not to preach violence. I cant imagine how hard this must be for him. May Allah make it easy for him and guide Anwar Awlaki back to the proper manhaj. May Allah protect us in these times of trial and tribulation. ameen

    wa salaam,
    Omar Suleiman
    Masjid Abu Bakr Al Siddique, New Orleans, LA

    • Avatar


      April 11, 2010 at 11:35 AM


      Assalamu ‘Alaykum Ustaadh Omar,

      Jazak Allahu khayr for your comment.

      Ustaadh Omar, do we need to think that the American Government/Administration is our own if we reside/are citizen of it? Even if such a government is a non-Muslim on top of that, it is killing our own brothers and sisters?

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    Anonymous Brother

    April 9, 2010 at 9:43 PM

    So what exactly would you have the government do? Would you have them stand idly by while this man terrorizes the US and plots against this country, never mind the fact that people like him are the reason Muslims live in fear of getting sent to Guantanamo if they visit the wrong website.

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      Brother in deen

      April 9, 2010 at 11:54 PM

      I agree wholeheartedly brother. People like anwar awlaki are the reason why we good peace loving Muslims have to live in fear because we came across the wrong website. Or that somebody brings up his name etc. He doesn’t deserve to be called Imam if all he does is cause rifts and division between the Ummah. We are supposed to be one yet he calls for unnecessary jihad against people who’ve done nothing to us. An Imam is supposed to guide not confuse. Forgive my harsh attitude.

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        Uncle Tom

        April 10, 2010 at 8:45 AM

        hahaah LOL “peace loving muslims”

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        Yaqeen needed

        April 10, 2010 at 10:19 PM

        ‘Peace loving muslims’- Self praising will not help you on the Day of Judgment brother. If he des not deserve to be called Imam, do we truly deserve to be called muslims. I mean who are we musliming to these days

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          Brother in Deen

          April 10, 2010 at 11:30 PM

          I cannot love peace? So that means I cannot say that I love the Prophet Muhammad peace and blessing be upon him? I love you as my brother/sister but I do not see any logic in that. Again forgive me if I came at people with a harsh attitude.

    • Avatar


      April 10, 2010 at 1:51 AM

      I would want the US to apply the full extent of the law again Sheikh Anwar. Which is to say afford him free speech as a citizen. You can have people on FOX stay dumb stuff about the president but when some guy says something and he’s a Muslim… all hell has to break loose? Why don’t you go apply your energy on the Michigan militia who is real, local, deadly, militarized, and poised to attack… yet they are sitting in court with lawyers arguing their first amendment rights.

      If you know anything about being an American, it’s that you have to stand up for your rights. Seems like you’re not even ready to open your mouth or move your pen for them. Grow some.

    • Avatar


      April 10, 2010 at 7:04 AM

      We are asking for due process only, to establish his guilt for some crime, you can not just assissinate people without trial.

      • Avatar


        April 11, 2010 at 6:10 AM

        Due process doesn’t exist anymore under the “Patriot Act.” Habeas Corpus is no longer a right.
        After reading all of the above (and other posts and years of social interaction with muslims) and, most of all, looking into myself I have to come to this simple realization;
        We do not understand nor do we live ‘Bismillar-Rahmanir-Raheem’

        We say it but don’t understand it. We don’t live it, therefore we suffer. We are in rough shape as an ummah. We must go back to the beginning and start from there. I realize this sounds too simplistic but I do think this the root cause of the fitnah we experience in our lives.

        If we truly understood and realized ‘Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim’ we would be able to transform ourselves and this world instantaneously, bi’ithnillah.

        Shall we stay to true form and argue about it? To prove who’s wrong and who’s right, and be active participants in the kuffar strategy of ‘divide and conquer.’? :)

  5. Avatar


    April 9, 2010 at 11:25 PM

    Ron Paul
    Febuary 25th 2010
    Ron Paul to Obama on the floor of congress

    • Avatar


      April 10, 2010 at 7:08 AM

      I just love him, may Allah guide him to Islam

  6. Avatar

    Abu Rayyan

    April 10, 2010 at 4:09 AM

    Assalamu Alaikum,

    After reading this heart-breaking and unjust intention to murder Sh. Anwar Al-Awlaki (may Allah preserve him and guide him back to the truth) by Obama and his barking hounds, let me ask a simple question: where are all those who overtly and enthusiastically endorsed Obama for President, singing his praises, sporting the “Yes we can” logo on this blog, sipping the honey-coated poison he was handing out to the masses, swaying to his every move, deeming him to be better than Bush and Company? Where are those who said “we should take the good from Obama and leave the bad”??? Where are those who parroted Obama’s empty rhetoric about confronting “violent extremism”, a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black?!

    As this article shows more clearly than ever, Bush never authorized the extrajudicial murder of an American citizen, yet Obama has. The illegal drone strikes (that constitute ethnic cleansing and war crimes as per international law) on Pakistan were limited during Bush’s time, yet Obama has exponentially increased them, wreaking havoc and destruction on Pakistan and unleashed a vicious civil war there.

    This man Obama reminds me of the Dajjal in the future. Remember, the Dajjal will also have a way with words and be able to hypnotize and cajole many ignorant people into following his army of evil. Similarly, Obama also is able to influence the masses with his eloquence, yet at heart he is immeasurably more evil, tyrannical and brutish than Bush could ever have been. May Allaah give Obama what He (swtj) gave every tyrant in history: a swift and befitting punishment in this life and the next.

    • Avatar


      April 10, 2010 at 7:11 AM

      “Yes we can” assissinate people without trial…

    • Avatar


      April 10, 2010 at 4:27 PM

      Very nice and wise words, AR

    • Avatar

      Yaqeen needed

      April 10, 2010 at 10:24 PM

      The silence is deafening

    • Amad


      April 11, 2010 at 1:08 AM

      If the support of Obama by “absolute” supporters, or by those who believed him to be the lesser of the two evils (as I did), is to be shaken by a few incidents in the big picture of a million things that go on, then that support was not well founded in the first place.

      Awlaki said some plain reckless things, but to put a death penalty on him for it, is plain reckless as well. Americans, from the left to the right (yes, even the NRO had a piece against this permission to murder), are taking Obama to task for it. This is how the American system works. Unlike the right-wing, there is actually hope that Obama could be convinced otherwise as he has a brain in his head compared to Bush, for instance.

      Obama has done some good things as well. The medical bill was relevant to Muslims in America (remember he is America’s president, not Muslims’), a bill of compassion that is an Islamic value. He has inducted two practicing Muslims in his circle of influence, something that would never happen before or with McCain. He has ordered removal of references to Islam and Muslim in terrorism-related documents. There is more pressure on Israel than one can remember historically .In other words, the Muslim American’s entire framing of the issue is not related to just one or two of his policies, it is broader than that.

      Yes, I agree that his rhetoric has far outweighed his actions. Many of us are disappointed by this, but we will continue to push for “real change” and will give him TIME for that change. At the same time, we will not become fatalistic and resort to emotionally charged name-calling. Only Allah knows who is Dajjal and who is not. I have heard the same thing even before he had a chance to enter the White House. I am not sure who such statements is intended to help.

      If we were interested in positive change, we would stop bemoaning the “pharoah America”, the “dajjal Obama” and take time to write to the White House, to the Congressmen, to the newspapers, to the magazines, and express our logical arguments against bad foreign policies. And of course make dua’ to the Lord who controls all hearts and minds. I think if you were to ask Awlaki’s father, he would probably appreciate real action more than emotionally-charged words.

      • Avatar

        Abu Rayyan

        April 11, 2010 at 2:01 AM


        You are still insisting that Obama is the lesser of two evils. I couldn’t disagree more with this unfounded assertion.

        Obama may have done some things that made health care for ordinary Americans more accessible. That is wholly besides the point. I’m sure Pharaoh also handed out subsidies to his people while carrying out his genocide against the people of Musa (as) at the same time

        My main beef with Obama is the way he has been treating Muslims since he became president. I think he is a very cunning fellow, which makes him all the more dangerous for Muslims, much more so than the blithering idiot that Bush was. As for him adding “practicing” Muslims to his close circle, that is as meaningless as you telling me that Hitler might have had a few Jewish advisers who were part of his close circle. What matters is how Obama is treating Muslims as a whole, not a few Uncle Toms on his payroll, to be frank.

        Please tell me know why any Muslim should have an ounce of support for Obama after the following:

        1. Obama is responsible directly for the wholesale destruction and murder of thousands of innocent people in the tribal areas of Pakistan. By all international norms, these are war crimes and extrajudicial murders. Obama, by ordering these drone attacks and justifying them repeatedly, has innocent Muslim blood (of thousands) on his hands. Last I heard, you were supposedly very much against “violent extremism”. I’m sure you’d agree that Obama’s terrorism and slaughter of innocents in Pakistan fully qualifies as violent extremism.

        2. Obama’s administration has done nothing to end the unjust detentions of countless falsely imprisoned Muslims, including Sh. Ali Al-Timimi and Sister Aafia Siddiqui. Rather, he has continued to allow kangaroo trials to take place where any concept of justice and rule of law is blown to smithereens. Now, don’t tell me that the executive branch and judicial branch are separate so we can’t pin this on Obama; ultimately, he is the commander-in-chief and is responsible for any and all war crimes carried out under his presidency.

        3. Obama has drastically expanded his war on Islam (Yemen being the latest Muslim land he wants to pillage), but in order to lessen Muslim outrage, he dropped the term “war on terror” in favor of “war on violent extremism”. Yet, I don’t see any action being taken against the warmongering, violent extremist terrorist Jewish thugs in occupied Palestine, I don’t see any action against the violent thugs that trample their populations in Muslim lands. No, we just see more handouts being given to these criminals for them to carry on in their crimes and tyranny. A few empty words of warning to Israel does NOT constitute opposition.

        4. Obama continues to escalate the Crusade in Afghanistan, a war that is both unjust and illegal. If he says that he is justified because he wants to defeat terrorism, then other countries should be allowed to invade the US as well, since the number of terrorists in the US (including far-right Christian militias, Timothy McVeigh-style terrorists, CIA, FBI, etc) far exceeds their number anywhere else.

        Ultimately, as Muslims, our point of reference is the Quran and the Sunnah according to the understanding of the pious predecessors. And we know without a shadow of doubt that the Jews and Christians will never be our well-wishers; we Muslims have to look after ourselves.

        Never will the Jews nor the Christians be pleased with you (O Muhammad Peace be upon him ) till you follow their religion. Say: “Verily, the Guidance of Allâh (i.e. Islâmic Monotheism) that is the (only) Guidance. And if you (O Muhammad Peace be upon him ) were to follow their (Jews and Christians) desires after what you have received of Knowledge (i.e. the Qur’ân), then you would have against Allâh neither any Walî (protector or guardian) nor any helper. [Surah Al-Baqarah, Verse 120]

        • Amad


          April 12, 2010 at 12:35 AM

          It’s interesting, and a bit sad that even when we agree with the premise of a specific post, that putting a death sentence on Awlaki is unjust and illegal, we still have to argue about the politics of the situation to death.

          As for your points, it seems like a case of deja vu every time we have a post that mentions the name “Obama”. Same song and dance :)

          I will not go round and round with you on this issue, except to say a few basic points:

          -Our framing of the issue and the entire positioning of how we see America’s President’s role is quite different in this context. While I agree with you that Obama can do, indeed has to do, much better in foreign policies in Muslim lands, I am not surprised at his actions, based on his clear pre-election promises and stated agenda. He inherited the war on terror, and unfortunately didn’t remove the terror that America is causing, esp. in extrajudicial killings (such as drone attacks). But, foreign policy is not the only thing that Muslims in America care about. There are other things that affect the daily lives of the American Muslims. Removing passengers from Muslim countries from special screening, and removing Islamic references from documents, as examples, are indeed important, and we will continue to claw our way into the political landscape and increase our influence. Having Muslims in the circle of influence is critical and may Allah help them use their influence wisely. Shutting ourselves out because everyone is too evil will only hurt our own communities. That covers most of your points.

          -It is easy to throw in a verse to try to “seal the argument”, but I am sure that you take the help of Jews and/or Christians everyday in your life, whether directly or indirectly. The verse is more specific to the following in religion, not in everyday life. And it is another standard part of the fatalistic approach that we can never work with Jews & Christians, so there is no point in trying.

          -As for Muslim prisoners, if you understand the political system of America, then you will know that the commander-in-chief cannot arbitrarily release prisoners. There is a system of checks and balances. Pardon may be an option at the end of his term, but I am not holding my breath on it. You only have Bush and his crazy admin to blame for the laws that they put into place and then used in a draconian sense.

          Finally, you ignored an important part of my comment. What would Awlaki’s father or children like from us? To sit and fret? Or to become active in promoting the illegality and unconstitutionality of this extrajudicial death warrant in the media and political circles, such that Obama’s admin has to take a step back on it? I think we all know the answer. So, let’s stop with the circular arguments and do something about it! And yes, this tangential discussion is also over.

        • Avatar


          April 14, 2010 at 11:37 AM

          Excellent points Abu Rayyan.

          Unfortunately many people are unable to distinguish between being Muslim as part of one body, and being an American, and so are not able to see things through under the shade of Islam. Time will reveal the true US agenda at hand, then there will be a lot of regret and hopefully repentance.

      • Avatar


        April 11, 2010 at 5:09 PM

        is to be shaken by a few incidents in the big picture of a million things that go on, then that support was not well founded in the first place.

        On the contrary (for me), I am not to be impressed by “very few” good incidents in the big picture of a million things that go on, I (personally) disliked Obama on every issue, except for very rare few (and half of those few he is changing as well, so there was definitely change in some thing). But compared that to Mccain his few were slightly more. Its good thing I can not vote yet.

      • Avatar


        April 11, 2010 at 5:11 PM

        The medical bill was relevant to Muslims in America (remember he is America’s president, not Muslims’), a bill of compassion that is an Islamic value

        What? I am shocked, perhaps we live in different islamic (and economic) realities. There is nothing good in that bill, kindly read it.

        • Avatar


          April 12, 2010 at 8:50 AM

          what exactly is not good about it? could you kindly spell it out, and state why? with evidence?

          • Avatar


            April 14, 2010 at 10:38 PM

            Sure, depends on which angle you are looking at it.

            1. Insurance being haram (in general sense, scholars agree, and ofcourse scholars have allowed in specific fatwas). I know many brothers who have volunteered to abstain from taking health insurance (and some of them can afford it, infact the company would be paying most of the premium). And now they are forced to be involved in it due to the mandate thing

            2. From ethical aspect. You should not force anyone to purchase a product without their will, be it government provider or private.

            3. Worse yet (related to 2), you have to buy a product from private companies, and make them rich.

            4. From economic aspect, be ready to premium hikes, many insurance providers are adjusting to new law, and just seeing how they can still rip people of.

            5. Being a muslim we should be charitable, and I want to be charitible the way I want, and to where I want to donate. This would infringe my ability to be independent. Any goverment intervention seems slipperly slope for more things to come.

            6. Although there would have been good advantage of having cheap medication imported from Canada, ofcourse insurance companies (who were lobbying for this law) made sure there would remain ban on that.

            7. Unconstitional executive order, for which Bush was always criticised.

            As far as evidence, I think what I mentioned is common knowledge, otherwise you can read the bill.





  7. Avatar


    April 10, 2010 at 4:24 AM

    I’m sorry but I think if AA is directly involved with attacks on the US then its fair for them to target AA. AA gave up his citizenship when he said he cannot bear to stay in the land whose government attacks Muslims.

    • Avatar


      April 10, 2010 at 4:42 AM

      Assalamu ‘alaikum,

      Already obama administration has shown blatant disregard of life by invading Afghanistan, Iraq, bombing Pakistan and Yemen. It has hidden the murder of our brothers in guantanamao, imprisoned brothers and sisters. The shocking thing is that muslims still think that they can trust USA govt to have any humanity and respect for muslims and mankind.

      The Prophet(saw) said,”One drop of a Muslim blood is worth more than the Ka’bah and it’s surroundings”(Bukhari and Muslim)

      • Avatar


        April 10, 2010 at 9:36 AM

        We could say similar things about the Saudi’s, Pakistani’s, Somali’s, etc.

        Who has killed more Muslims than Muslim countries?

        • Avatar

          Abu Bakr

          April 10, 2010 at 10:14 AM

          Important note: hating the American regime in no way precludes hating the puppet governments of the Muslim world.

          • Avatar


            April 10, 2010 at 1:05 PM

            Whatever you want to call these governments. They are in power with the permission of Muslims. Without the cooperation of Muslims, they would not be in power.

        • Avatar


          April 10, 2010 at 4:29 PM

          We in the Muslim world never elected these governments. BTW zardari was not elected. And ask anyone in pakistan how fair and free these elections are

        • Avatar

          Yaqeen needed

          April 10, 2010 at 10:32 PM

          By SK’s standard, it would seem 2 wrongs make a right

    • Avatar


      April 10, 2010 at 7:13 AM

      if AA is directly involved with attacks

      An “if” that is to be determined by court of law.

      • Avatar


        April 10, 2010 at 7:20 PM

        Well, the “Patriot Act” essentially transformed America into a Neo-Feudal system. Just wait, things will much, much worse.

  8. Avatar


    April 10, 2010 at 8:22 AM

    How ungratefull we Muslims are.

    We come to a country which gives us freedom and opportunities which Muslims in “Muslims Countries” can only dream about. Then we spend all time and energy complaining and whining.

    How would you expect any country to respond to a citizen who is traitor and has betrayed the trust of his birth country?

    • Avatar


      April 10, 2010 at 10:11 AM

      Typical fox news argument, America gave you freedom of speech, so you do not have freedom to say anything against a country that gave you freedom of speech.

      • Avatar


        April 10, 2010 at 1:15 PM

        It may seems that the only right Muslims have is the right to critisize, we also have the right to show gratitude and be thankfull.

        I am asking for a balanced approach.

        Are Muslims unable to find any good in this Country?

        I am gratefull to Allah that he has allowed me live in a country where I can earn a living and practise my faith without harm or persecution.

        • Avatar


          April 10, 2010 at 3:29 PM

          So should we be thankful while commenting on a post about government illegally trying to assissinate people?

          I am grateful too for the things you mentioned, should not make you and me blind and not to criticise in a specific thread.

        • Avatar


          April 10, 2010 at 4:35 PM

          “practise my faith without harm or persecution.”
          Well u can go to jail if u practice ur faith correctly in that country. Can u say and preach that it is obligatory upon Muslims to kill American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. If not, you are as free to practice your “deen” almost anywhere. Infact Allama Iqbal, the grاat subcontinenal poet (died 1939) had said:
          ملّا کو ہو ہے ہند میں ازاں کی اجازت
          ناداں یہ سمجھا ہے کہ اسلام ہے آزاد

          Just because he is allowed to say the azaan in India, the foolish cleric thinks that Islam is free (to be practiced)

    • Avatar


      April 10, 2010 at 10:11 AM

      How would you expect any country to respond to a citizen who is traitor and has betrayed the trust of his birth country?

      By taking him to courts at least. Assassination is not an option

    • Avatar


      April 10, 2010 at 11:02 AM

      Oh really.. You will sell the blood of your brother for your freedom?

  9. Avatar


    April 10, 2010 at 8:56 AM

    If you can’t beat them in debate, kill them! This is essentially what the “freedom loving” yanks are saying.

    • Avatar


      April 10, 2010 at 9:34 AM

      Are you a freedom loving yank?

      Or just another Muslim choosing to live in America, WHY?

      Because, the reality is that there is no better place for you to go to. If there was, you would be there.

      Every place and person has positives and negatives. If you are only going to focus on the negatives, that is your choice.

      • Avatar

        Abu Bakr

        April 10, 2010 at 10:11 AM

        Excuse me… but how do you know she lives in America?

      • Avatar

        Yaqeen needed

        April 10, 2010 at 10:53 PM

        ‘the reality is that there is no better place for you to go to….’

        You speak with so much certainty as if you have ALL knowledge. Hmmm. Smacks of the typical american muslim arrogance. Be careful not to practise the takabbur of shaytaan and his similitudes

        For the true believer, the dunya is a prison not forget that. For the sell outs, well…

        • Avatar


          April 11, 2010 at 7:03 AM

          Can you please explain what is takabbur?

          If there is a better place to go, you would be there.
          Does it hurt you to admit that America is a great place to live and worship Allah?

          • Avatar


            April 11, 2010 at 11:34 AM

            SK, if you love something then you want it to be the best that it can be. We criticize some American policies that do not live up to the backbone of this country, the constitution, out of a desire for this country to live up to its slogan “liberty and JUSTICE for ALL”

            Criticism leads to more progress, it doesn’t mean we hate America and do not look for the good in it. I love America and think that it is the best country to live in the world in many ways, but it is flawed, and I will give constructive criticism and point out those flaws out of my love for it to be better.

            Bottom line, Anwar Al-Awlaki did not order for those attacks to take place. Supporting them through rhetoric does not constitute justification for an assassination. He is an American citizen that has the right to freedom of speech. However, as we know, in this environment, that isn’t really the case anymore (especially with Muslims).

            I feel bad for him because, as you all can read on another article on this website, he wasn’t always like this. He was tortured in Egypt and wrongfully imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay. Only after those instances did his rhetoric begin to change. None of us know what we would say or do or feel had we been under those same circumstances.

          • Avatar

            Brother in Deen

            April 11, 2010 at 7:58 PM

            Mr./Ms. SK. Your comments are very premature in accusing your fellow Muslim brothers and sister that anytime they badmouth American policies, they’re automatically anti-American. No. That is not the case. In fact, it is far from reality. America is a great country to live in. Is it the best? Maybe. Democracy has its ups and downs. Nevertheless to assume such things like that is not only shameful but an attack on all Muslims. As much as I disagree with anwar awlaki, I still believe that he should be given a fair trial. You are acting in a very thuggish manner and MM should act accordingly regarding your statements.

          • Avatar


            April 11, 2010 at 9:22 PM

            Asalalam a lacum

            I want to thank everyone for their comments.

  10. Avatar


    April 10, 2010 at 10:34 AM

    I don’t expect good from them or from the democratic system or from Obama for that matter. I have husn ud dhan with Allah and husn ud dhan with my muslims brothers and sisters. So not much disappointed over what Obama or any other democratic system would do.

  11. Avatar


    April 10, 2010 at 12:18 PM


    Assalamu ‘Alaykum,

    I do not understand how can the shuyukh trust the lies in the media about any muslim and specifically Imam Anwar ‘Awlaki حفظه الله and believe in it. Whatever happened to the ayah, “O you who believe! If a rebellious evil person comes to you with a news, verify it, lest you harm people in ignorance, and afterwards you become regretful to what you have done.” [49:6]?

    WAllahu Ta’ala A’lam

    • Avatar

      Yaqeen needed

      April 10, 2010 at 11:01 PM

      barakallah fik

      For a large number of muslims, esp the sell outs, this ayah has been impeached or buried
      its a classical example of abandoning the quran And more importantly hte talbees iblis that is ongoing in the ummah. Sadly there are those who will blindly follow those you described as shuyuukh. its ghuruur – deception- on a massive scale. These days people prefer to follow these shuyuukh than quran and sunnah even when the truth is, as it is said in arabic, as clear as the difference between night and day

      • Avatar

        Al Amin

        April 10, 2010 at 11:51 PM

        American system = Pharouh system

  12. Avatar


    April 10, 2010 at 3:56 PM

    My Allegiance will always be with the Muslims. No evidence has even been presented showing the Shaykh involved directly with planning attacks. He has become a target for his ‘speech’. Ya Muslims speak the Haq and do not fear the blame of the blamers.

  13. Avatar


    April 10, 2010 at 4:42 PM

    Isn’t Obama the same guy who was given a Noble Peace Prize? Peace my foot!

  14. Avatar

    Another Sister

    April 10, 2010 at 9:24 PM

    Hasbi Allahu wa ni’mul waqeel.

  15. Avatar


    April 11, 2010 at 1:07 AM

    salaam bro/sis,

    you frighten me with your assertions and i plead you not to ever put the prophet p.b.u.h under the same banner, with a guy, we clearly hardly know very little about.

    anybody, can do the same thing that you did. if you have enough passion for anyone, without even vetting him objectively.

    unlike AAA, the prophet p.b.u.h. was approved and chosen by Allah s.a.w. Who are you to put this AAA guy, under the same kind of status as the prophet? What kind of knowledge do you have of him?

    And please tell me which Muslim country in this world is free of injustice and corruption? As far as I know, Muslim or non Muslim no country is. Not even Saudi Arabia.


    forgive me if I sound harsh. I just feel that people have to be careful before they make statements in the world wide web. And think about the impact it has on impressionable people.

    • Avatar


      April 11, 2010 at 1:12 AM

      typo error Allah s.w.t
      may god forgive me!

      (bashful face)

      • Avatar


        April 11, 2010 at 11:57 PM

        you are not harsh but you believe american propoganda..

        • Avatar


          April 12, 2010 at 8:53 AM

          we’re all believers of some form of propaganda. trust me on that one.

        • Avatar


          April 12, 2010 at 9:02 AM

          and if I am, so what?

          Is it not the truth, what I said about Muslim nations?

          look I’m a Muslim, but I’m not going to support my fellow Muslims, if they partake in idiotic activities. A muslim is not immune from sin, or idiocy. A muslim is simply a believer in Islam. And how he or she interprets Islam. That’s subjective. If I disagree with a Muslim brother or a sister. I’ll say so. And I think I am not wrong at all for chastising those who talk about a guy, they hardly even know as if he is some kind of beloved savior. And putting him up there with the prophet, is downright insulting.

          You guys are looking at the forest for the trees. No wonder, our ummah is weak. Constantly bickering over nonsense.

          I think Ali said it best…

          Do not seek to know the Truth (al-Haqq) according to other people. Rather first come to know the Truth—and only then will you recognize Its people.

  16. Amad


    April 11, 2010 at 1:14 AM

    Yemen not going after radical US-born cleric

    Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Qirbi said Saturday that al-Awlaki is not a terrorist and is not on Yemen’s own wanted list. Yemeni security officials believe he is hiding in an area of the mountainous country that has become a refuge for Islamic militants.

    “Anwar al-Awlaki has to us been always looked at as a preacher rather than a terrorist and shouldn’t be looked at as a terrorist unless the Americans have evidence that he has been involved in terrorism,” al-Qirbi said.

    • Avatar


      April 12, 2010 at 5:04 PM

      I <3 my Yemani's!

      I get the feeling that if Imam Anwar was in any other country, his blood would be shed by now!

      May Allah guide and protect us all!

  17. Pingback: Update: Obama OK’s Assassination of US Citizen « Muslim Student Association at the University of Tennessee

  18. Avatar


    April 12, 2010 at 8:07 PM

    Congratulation to all the Muslims who have put this man ( Obama) in office. Muslims will never be Americans regardless of the place you were born. No Muslim country will help him and sooner or later they will catch him and kill him ( may Allah protect him) and that’s what i at least think. Muslims are getting too comfortable in this country. Religion consists of more than praying your daily prayers, fasting and praying sakat. You have to migrate from the land of kufr to the land of Islam. But many of us think we won’t be accepted or will have a hard life or our children wont have education and health care.

    Put your trust in Allah and plan your future carefully. Things will change in America ‘cuz anyone one of us could be next.


  19. Avatar


    April 13, 2010 at 10:44 AM

    Asalamualikum. I read all the comments one by one and the most beautiful and profound comment was by sister muslimah. I love Yemen but i dunno why i wasn’t born in Yemen:/. No wonder why is called darul tawheed. I guess land of tawheed belongs to tawheedists like AA hafiduallah. ( By no means do i support terrorism in its any way shape or form).
    A message to Sheikhuna Yasir Qadhi- ” ……wa ma khairul ma’akireen”
    Wa salam

  20. Avatar


    April 20, 2010 at 12:39 PM

    Assalamualaikum wr wb,

    We have to respect the person from whom we have gained knowledge.

    May Allah swt bless the Muslim ummah with unity, Ameen

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#Current Affairs

The Perennial Siege: Kashmir’s Tense Lockdown Anniversary

A year after the revocation of Article 370—special status of the valley, Kashmir continues to be under security lockdown, intermittent internet restrictions, almost negligible functioning of education system, amid reports of continuous detentions and across-the-board human rights violations.

Two-day curfew has been imposed in Indian-administered Kashmir in anticipation of containing any form of dissent ahead of the 5 August anniversary—the day Indian government stripped Kashmir of its special status. Officials say the curfew is meant to prevent violence by groups planning to observe 5 August as “black day”.

On August 5 2019, the state was split into two federally administered regions and its semi-autonomous status was revoked. The decision to revoke article 370—part of Indian constitution that guaranteed Kashmir special status—an action with potentially devastating consequences for Kashmiri identity and community was met with anger and feeling of betrayal in the region although it was widely welcomed in the rest of the country. In preparation for this, it put Kashmir into a complete lockdown at midnight on Aug. 4, 2019. Eight million Kashmiris were restricted in their homes. In-an-effort to impose a complete communication blockade, internet connections were cut, and phone connections were terminated.

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Everything seems to have come to a halt, and the past experiences have begun to conjure the images of unprecedented violence. Since the revocation or illegal annexation of Kashmir on August 5, the betrayed and besieged population, including me, treated like a prisoner in a forsaken paradise on earth, continue to mourn India’s deceptively organized virulent manifestation of democracy. The fact-finding report, Women’s Voice, counters the state narrative of “return to normalcy,” indicating that 13,000 boys and young men were detained illegally after August 5, including some as young as 14, with some imprisoned for up to 45 days, and with families paying as much as 60,000 rupees ($850) for their release

Kashmiris, however, saw their integration as a threat to the state’s ethnic character, and a milestone on the road to the realization of the BJP’s dream of a fundamentally Hindu nation. Many legal commentators decried the Indian government’s unilateral abrogation as “illegal,” calling it an “unconstitutional deed,” which was “accomplished by deceitful means” (Noorani 2019). 

The Problem oF Kashmir

A brief context of the conflict offers a perspective to understand the problem of Kashmir. “The world is reaping the chaos the British Empire sowed,” Amy Hawkins wrote in Foreign Policy, and “local populace is still paying for the mess the British left behind in Hong Kong and Kashmir.” The anti-colonial uprisings in the Indian subcontinent, China, the Arab world and elsewhere did not result in freedom or democracy for the nations ruled by the British Empire”. In Kashmir, the British left a bleeding wound amid the partition of colonial India. Kashmir in post-partition and to be more succinct, post-1947 emerged as a boiling pot from the cultivation uterus of the two-nation theory.

Since then, Kashmir is known to be the most heavily militarized zones in the world. More than 7 million soldiers have been deployed, as per the reports, to counter what the Indian army itself claims as “cross-border terrorism”. This myth has been busted time and again because of the actions of the Indian government in the last three decades. If there were any doubts earlier, they should have cleared by now. Their real enemy is the Kashmiri people, especially “Kashmiri Muslims”, the hindrance in the way of turning India into a “Hindutva nation” claims Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan in 2019 U.N. general assembly speech.

India’s decision to abolish the state’s nominal autonomy last year is the most far-reaching move in the region in the last 70 years and has been pushed by the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) as a development-focused action to “mainstream” the only Muslim-majority state in the subcontinent. While the government —which justified the shutdown as “preventive” — and the leading Indian media outlets are propagating an image of the region as slowly returning to “normalcy”, the reality on the ground, as documented by the New York Times, is very different. 

Kashmir continues to simmer under the siege.

Post 5—August SiegeAnd  Defiance

This season’s siege is more crushing than ever, possibly the worst since the first one nearly 30 years ago, a stratagem designed carefully to humiliate an entire population. There is also an unwavering manifestation of defiance, as by now the Kashmir street is sufficiently educated politically to not pin its hopes on an infusion of benevolence in the government’s Kashmir policy or any practical outcome from the partial solidarity from the international community. The mass arrests, in thousands, including minors and pellet victims [including a cancer patient] holding 7 million populations under eight hundred thousand jackboots has unveiled the façade of Indian democracy. 

“No government in the world has blocked Internet access as frequently as India. An incredible 213 times in just three years”, reports Time Magazine, “which is far more than Syria, Iran, Turkey, and Egypt together”. And more than half of those shutdowns have been enforced on Kashmir—is that because, questions Abid (PhD scholar, Dept. of political science department, Kashmir University) “of the special (autonomous) status Kashmir “enjoyed” in the larger Indian union? Will they also ban clean air, now that the special status has been erased?” 

Picking out promising adolescents; sometimes old men and even women, they branded them, as with batons and red-hot irons, to forcefully teach them how to behave. Abid Khan, 28, and Idrees, 29 from Shopian district in South Kashmir were raided in the middle of the night, tortured for hours by dozens of army men. Khan says he was dragged out and blindfolded along with his brother, who has learning difficulties, on August 14. “They gave electric shocks to my brother on the road outside our home. I heard him scream painfully,” quoted in AFP story, showing marks on his arms, legs and buttocks. Khan said. “Then they gave me electric shocks again on my genitals and wounds. One of them said ‘I will make you impotent’.” On September 13, Irshad Ahmed, a 12-year-old boy from neighboring Buchpora, Srinagar, suffered a serious head injury. His hospital registration card noted that it was a ‘fire-arm injury’, adding the word “alleged”. Those accompanying him said he had been hit by a cluster of pellets in his head. The bar has been raised so high for all forms of political dissent, and the detentions, numbering in thousands have choked any form of political activity on the ground. What remains still is an unwavering manifestation of the overarching defiance against the government-enforced execution of oppression. 

Pandemic Lockdown- In and Out of Kashmir

Since the world has now entered the sixth month of Covid-19 restrictions. With self-isolation, physical-distancing and e-learning online education, for most populations the robust internet and phone service has still provided a lifeline to let them work and be engaged and entertained. But in the Himalayan territory of Kashmir, the repression and militaristic method in the latest indignity in a 73-year cycle of oppression, militarization and scarcity especially since last year August in Kashmir has intensified: communications were completely cut in August 2019 and were only beginning, even after weeks pandemic broke out. Since March, only 2G is available, and only sporadically. As Waheed Mirza, novelist and political commentator on Kashmir asserts “A military siege is like a chokehold on an entire people”.  

For the world, asserts Arundhati Roy:

“Kashmir and Kashmiris signify as a prototype to learn the craft of surviving under a lockdown. For the former, it is a self-imposed precautionary measure experienced for the first time in the recent history by the world to fight against an unseen disease; as for the latter, it is the endless fight against the continuation of a seven month long enforced siege against their will.”

 This reality soon turned into a buzzword “the world is turning into Kashmir”. Azad Kashmir President Sardar Masood Khan asserted India has been using the “cover of the coronavirus” to “mow down” Kashmiri youth and change the Muslim-majority character of the disputed region.  

According to news reports on Kashmir, anyone who violates curfew–even those with valid passes allowing them to leave their homes–risks being detained by soldiers or police and possibly beaten. Even doctors, who’ve been celebrated as heroes elsewhere in the world, report being harassed on their way to work in Kashmir, which already suffers an acute lack of medical resources and staff. Limited access to information has also obstructed Kashmir’s coronavirus fight. The region uses 2G internet, an online connection so slow that it is nonexistent elsewhere in the world. Indian authorities have cut online access in Kashmir 55 times since it was restored in March 2020. According to the Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Societies, a local group that documents and litigates human rights abuses “this has delayed doctors’ ability to read emerging treatment guidelines and new research on the disease”.

For some, the repressive methods allude to the fact that the Indian government’s priorities in Kashmir have not been changed by the pandemic. “Any administration that is willing to impose the longest Internet shutdown in history only believes in the right of censorship and surveillance,” says Mishi Choudhary, the legal director at the Software Freedom Law Center, a group that campaigns for Internet freedoms. The period post 5 August 2019 has changed the whole political landscape of the region. This season’s siege is more crushing than ever, possibly the worst since that first one nearly 30 years ago, a stratagem designed carefully to humiliate an entire people. 

Mental health workers say “Kashmir is witnessing an alarming increase in instances of depression, anxiety and psychotic events”.  Doctors Without Borders estimated after surveying 5,600 households in 2015. Nine of 10 have experienced conflict-related traumas. The figures are much higher than in India, according to other surveys.

Education: The Perennial Casualty

Ten months after India unilaterally revoked Kashmir’s autonomy, reports New York Times, “education stands as one of the crisis’s most glaring casualties”. Previously, Kashmiri Valley in particular suffered huge education losses as the students were forcibly kept away from schools and colleges by frequent official curfews and restrictions, shutdowns, incidents of violence and prolonged political unrest stretching for months, the worst of these witnessed in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2016. “The long school closures in the valley cause major disruptions in young people’s educational and professional development, producing feelings of insecurity, helplessness, and demoralization,” said Haley Duschinski, an anthropologist at Ohio University specializing in Kashmir.

Around 1.5 million Kashmiri students remain out of school. All educational institutions are closed, and most government and private schools are shut—except for few intermittent opening of educational institutions for some weeks, one of the clearest signs of the fear that has gripped Kashmir since the Indian government locked down the disputed territory. Parents in the Kashmir Valley also show this fear that “they are terrified of sending their children out with any exception reaction from the public amid troops deployed everywhere and on the prowl for trouble”. 

“What if the school or a bus carrying children is attacked?” asked Saqib Mushtaq Bhat, a father worried about violence by Indian troops or militants. “What if there are protests and their faces get shot by pellets?’’ Amid only 2G internet services working in the valley, G.N. Var, chairman of Private Schools Association of Jammu and Kashmir (PSAJK) which has 2,200 schools associated with it, termed it ‘denial of right to education’. The research scholars across the valley have equally suffered due to low speed internet and hugely affected the mental stability of people across the spectrum of the society. 

He said, “The restrictions on high speed internet are making it difficult for our students to avail online courses and access information which is vital in their career-building. We see it as a denial of the right to education.”  Reports suggest “no government in the world has blocked Internet access as frequently as India with 55 Internet blackouts in 2019 alone, including the longest in recorded history, 213 days, when Delhi put the valley on lockdown last year August.

Settler Colonialism

So far, anti-insurgency operations have proved equally devastating for Kashmiris amid the pandemic. As of June 30, 229 killings, 107 CASO’s (cordon and search operation), 55 internet shutdowns, 48 properties destroyed in the first half of 2020. Children and women continued to be victims of violence in J&K as 3 children and 2 women were killed in the first half of 2020. India continues to take possession of Kashmir despite being hit ever harder by the pandemic.

With all the constitutional amendments and new laws India has instituted in Kashmir especially since 5 August last year, the Palestinian case is often invoked to find the parallelism of how this sounds like the beginning of settler colonialism. The recent developments that highlight this process are, on the contrary, a further deepening and expansion of a matrix of control characteristic of such a project, duly aided through laws, to ensure the eventual elimination of the native.

The Jammu and Kashmir administration’s order to withdraw a 1971 circular that made it mandatory for the Indian Army, the Border Security Force and the Central Reserve Police Force to obtain a “no objection certificate” to acquire land in the region is also seen as part of a settler colonial project. Not only has the decrees evoked a sharp reaction among locals, which have long feared Delhi’s forceful integration of the restive region with the Indian union, but observers are also accusing Modi’s right-wing dispensation of using the Covid-19 pandemic to advance its Hindu settler colonial enterprise in the region, saying it is a page right out of the Israeli playbook to transform the region’s demographics. United Kingdom-based Kashmiri lawyer Mirza Saaib Bég argues that “J&K’s demography is bound to be altered beyond belief. And at a speed so astonishing that the procedure for issuing a domicile certificate will seem, unfortunately, a quasi-colonial project”.

Around 400 thousand people have been granted domicile certificates in Indian-administered Kashmir till July, 2020 proving right the fears of the beginning of demographic changes in the Muslim-majority Himalayan region. The certificate, a sort of citizenship right, entitles a person to residency and government jobs in the region, which till last year was reserved only for the local population. “The whole purpose of revoking Article 370 was to settle outsiders here and change the demography of the state. Now this provides the modalities and entitles so many categories of Indians whose settlement will be legalised over here.” – Kashmiri law professor and legal scholar Sheikh Showkat Hussain (Al Jazeera, April 1, 2020).

Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden said, “India should take all necessary steps to restore the rights of all the people of Kashmir.” He also asserts “Restrictions on dissent, such as peaceful protests or shutting or slowing down the internet weakens democracy,” in a policy paper posted on his website. Pakistan’s ministry of foreign affairs said in a statement that India’s latest step was a vindication of the country’s “consistent stance that the major intention behind the Indian Government’s illegal and unilateral actions of 5 August 2019 was to change the demographic structure of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and turn Kashmiris into a minority in their own land”.

“This has long been part of the RSS-BJP’s ‘Hindutva’ agenda,” the statement added.

An  Indian Consul General in New York, Sandeep Chakraborty’s recent call for the ‘Israel model’ in Kashmir should ring alarm bells for the Muslim world. He flagrantly asserted “I don’t know why we don’t follow it. It has happened in the Middle East. If the Israeli people can do it, we can also do it,” Chakravorty said.

Kashmiris on Twitter were quick to call out Al-Jazeera, accusing them of “promoting settler colonialism”. The social media users were mainly drawing a parallel with expansionist or colonial settlements of Israeli Jews in Palestine or of Han Chinese in Xinjiag to forcibly settle and diffuse indigenous identity.


Kashmir is transformed into an open prison where the state works with a self-proscribed impunity to confiscate or mitigate basic universal rights, while the Indian state is trying to entice assimilatory participation of the common people. That territory-wide control by the state and its various institutions is countered through years of survival, persistence and resistance against the state’s operations over Kashmiri lives.

One inevitable fact that successive union governments since India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru have arrogantly with military highhandedness ignored is the political question of Kashmir. The recent political expedition of the Indian government in Kashmir paradigmatically problematized the political destiny of Kashmir and future of Kashmiris. Even in the 21st century globalized world, in the middle of a global pandemic, 8 million people are denied access to education, livelihood, entertainment, and health respite via a medium that has become an essential service for the rest of the world.

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#Current Affairs

Indian Myths Channel Genocide in Kashmir

India is a land and society of myths. More so now than ever before, under the Hindutva-inspired Bharatiya Janata Party government led by the claim of the myth manufacturer Modi: “India is a democracy; it is in our DNA.”

A much talked about myth has been that India is a secular state, and in the light of the post August 5 2019 developments in Kashmir and the Indian mainland, much sighing is being aired that Indian secularism is endangered.

However, the question arises, when was India secular? Was India “secular,” when it invaded Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) on October 26, 1947 on the pretext that a non-Muslim should rule a Muslim-majority state, or was it “secular” when Hyderabad Deccan was invaded and annexed on September 23, 1948 on the pretext that a Muslim could not rule over a Hindu majority?

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Based on a myth about the birthplace of the mythical “Lord Rama,” the 600-year old Babri Mosque was attacked and demolished on December 6, 1992. India’s Supreme Court validated the goon squad’s action on November 9, 2019. Today, the mosque’s attackers rule India.

Even the national anthem ‘Vande Matram’ is not secular, where Muslims object to its idolatrous aspects. For instance, the fourth stanza, addresses motherland India as, “Thou art Durga, Lady and Queen, with her hands that strike and her swords of sheen, Thou art Lakshmi lotus-throned…”

When a Muslim sings these words, he is forced to equate his country with the Hindu goddesses Durga and Lakshmi, thereby deifying the land of India. This goes against the concept of tawheed (the Absolute Oneness of God), according to which a Muslim cannot supplicate to anyone except God.

The other long-standing myth, which India validated through a presidential fiat last year, is that J&K are its “integral” part – a territory it has occupied since September 1947 with a million-man force. In doing so, it served up another myth: the constitutional relationship between J&K and India.

Subodh Varma (“Some Myths About Article 370, 35A and Kashmir”, Sabrang India August 8, 2019) explains that in the process of effectively scrapping Article 370 of the Constitution through a presidential order supported by a Lok Sabha (lower house) resolution, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its supporters regurgitated a slew of myths, half-truths and sleights of hand that have been part of its parent, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) propaganda for decades. Ironically, many parties and opinion leaders who do not subscribe to the RSS ideology also repeated them, which show how far these myths have traveled. Meanwhile, social media went ballistic with RSS/BJP supporters posting bizarre claims while others started offering land for sale in Kashmir.

Arun Jaitley (d. August 24, 2019), who served as finance minister from 2014 to 2019, had tweeted on August 4, “J&K integration with India took place in October 1947. Article 370 came into force in 1952, Article 35A came in 1954, four and seven years later respectively. How can Articles 370 and 35A be a condition precedent to merger?”

He had sought to prove that Articles 370 and 35A were somehow unrelated to J&K’s “joining” [albeit perforce] the Indian Union implying that they are unnecessary and also that they were the result of some [past] Congress governments’ stupidity.

This is a lie.

On October 26, 1947, India invaded J&K, obliging its ruler, Raja Hari Singh, to sign the Instrument of Accession (IOA); the Dogra ruler’s ancestor having purchased the territory and its citizen from the British. However, this document states that the Indian parliament could only legislate on the state’s defense, external affairs, communications and some ancillary subjects. The agreement’s Clause 5 reads: “The terms of this my Instrument of Accession cannot be varied by any amendment of the Act or of Indian Independence Act unless such amendment is accepted by me by an Instrument supplementary to this Instrument.” Clause 7 says: “Nothing in this Instrument shall be deemed to commit me in any way to acceptance of any future constitution of India or to fetter my discretion to enter into arrangements with the Government of India under any such future constitution.”

Simply stated, it says that many things left pending in the IOA were to be settled later through negotiations. After its invasion, India, which faced the Kashmiri resistance till 1949, finally seeking a UN-negotiated armistice, has yet to lay out the laws and governance mechanism. Accordingly, the UN Security Council adopted successive resolutions call for a plebiscite where the Kashmiris would vote freely to decide their future.

The UN continues to recognize Kashmir as a disputed territory.

The 1947 partition agreed upon by Muslim and Hindu leaders with Britain, the departing colonial ruler, reads that Muslim majority states would merge with Pakistan. Kashmir is a clear case.

To preserve the IOA’s spirit and to reassure the Raja, Article 370 was moved in India’s Constituent Assembly in May 1949, which was voted to be part of the Indian Constitution in October 1949. Consequently, Presidential Orders were issued in 1950, 1952 and 1954 to settle various issues. Jawaharlal Nehru  -India’s first prime minister- and his interior minister Vallabhbhai Patel (d. 1950) were part of these negotiations, which negates the RSS myth that Patel opposed Article 370.

The RSS propped up the full integration bogey to stir up agitation against the land reforms initiated by the Raja-appointed Sheikh Abdullah government. The RSS gave it a communal hue as the landowners were mostly Dogras and Pandits and most peasants were Muslims.

The RSS/BJP propaganda about Article 35A hides the fact that Raja Hari Singh had proclaimed the Hereditary State Subject Order in 1927, which allowed only the state’s residents to own land and to government jobs. The state’s assembly voted to include this order in the J&K Constitution. In keeping with the IOA terms regarding the preservation of rights of state’s residents, Article 35A was added to the Constitution through the Presidential Order of 1954.

Kashmir’s annexation falls under RSS ambition of a pure Hindu India.

The RSS states that J&K, with its “oppressive Muslim-majority character, has been a headache for our country ever since Independence.”

RSS alleges that forces “inimical to Bharat never wanted Kashmir to integrate itself with Bharat …  and in October 1947, these elements conspired with the enemy to defeat every move to save the situation from our [Indian] side.” While, India continues to loudly claim that it was Pakistani tribal fighters and not Kashmiri freedom-fighters who confronted the Indian invading army, RSS claims that it was its fighters who fought alongside Indian troops, adding that if a ceasefire had not been agreed upon, its fighters would have helped completely conquer J&K.

RSS blames the large Muslim presence for J&K being conferred a special status under Article 370, even after its total “accession.”

On December 11, 1991, BJP president Dr. Murli Manohar and Narendra Modi, and also, the now interior minister Amit Shah, led the 15,000 mile “Ekta Yatra” (Unity March) from Kanyakumari -a Tamil Nadu coastal town, the southernmost town in mainland India- which culminated in Srinagar’s Lal Chowk on January 26, 1992 to hoist the Indian flag, signaling that they had “arrived to settle the account.”

RSS claims: “The endless appeasement of the Muslim population, especially in Kashmir, practiced by the successive governments at Delhi, has been the bane of our government’s Kashmir policy. Just as too much mollycoddling and lack of discipline spoil the child, so has been Kashmir, a problem created out of our own folly.” RSS alleges that Pakistan arms militants for armed revolt from within India.

Amit Shah has harped the long-repeated party line that Article 370 is the root cause of spread of terrorism. As a corollary, it is also said that the article was the source of sentimental belief in a separate Kashmir, providing ground to cross-border terrorists to exploit.

However, it is the erosion of Article 370 that has led to increasing disenchantment of Kashmiris and their search for a way out. For instance, Article 370 provided for extending provisions of law to J&K through Presidential Orders, issued after concurrence of the state assembly. However, the 1954 Order has extended almost the entire Constitution to J&K. Out of the 97 entries in the Union List, 94 have been made applicable to the state and out of the 47 entries in the Concurrent List, 26 have been extended to the state. This has largely reduced the state’s powers. Overall, Article 370’s provisions were used at least 45 times to extend Constitution’s provisions to J&K.

Not only have the J&K rights been increasingly restricted, but also the spirit of the section has been violated by simply getting the state government to rubber stamp such extensions.

Also, the J&K Constitution was amended several times using Article 370. For instance, Article 356 was extended removing a similar provision in the J&K Constitution (Article 92), which called for President’s concurrence for imposing President’s rule. Article 370 was used for the extension of President’s rule. Even Article 249 (parliament’s power to make laws on State List entries) was extended to J&K through a recommendation of the governor, bypassing the state legislature.

In the past, Congress governments and later BJP, used these measures to manipulate the politics of the state to install ministries or impose President’s Rule.

Another myth, really a blatant lie, proffered by BJP, is that development was not possible because Article 370 didn’t allow it. Post-August 5, Indian politicians and opinion leaders continue to harp that with the removal of special status, including J&K will now become part of global India. Seriously, how Article 370 stopped any government from providing or encouraging more investment and industry in the state when most provisions of the Constitution, including Union list entries were extended to the state. The Union governments could have undertaken any economic measures or programs they wanted in J&K. In fact, there was nothing except unkempt promises of colossal special packages. No Indian government undertook any economic or political measures that would provide sustainable and long-term benefits to J&K.

Simply, the removal of Article 35A will now free real estate sharks to gobble up properties and use it for setting up private businesses including private schools. It is difficult to believe that private investment will flow into J&K, when an occupied people there are discontented and uncertain.

Indian propagandists in and out of government harp on the myth Articles 370 and 35A, and the arrangements they enshrine, were unique to J&K. In fact, Nagaland, Assam, Manipur, Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, and Goa enjoy similar provisions. In other states too, there are laws preventing non-domiciliary persons from owning land.

The Narendra Modi-led central government had, after the revocation of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, recently announced that people will now be able to buy land in Kashmir. As a result, the 1971 circular, which restricted land acquisition and requisition without a ‘No Objection Certificate (NOC)” from the Home Department, has now been replaced by the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013. And, the displacement of Kashmiris with the replacement of Indians has begun the process of ethnic cleansing, leading to a genocide of the Kashmiri people.

Citizens of India ought not to live by the myth of living in the largest democracy and in greatness but instead should heed to Gandhi, “as human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world – that is the myth of the atomic age – as in being able to remake ourselves.”

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On British Muslims & Racism: Do Black Lives Matter?

Q. As Muslims, what should our stance be on racism or racial discrimination, and should we be supporting social justice movements like Black Lives Matter (BLM)? And isn’t all of this support for BLM privileging justice for black people over others, especially when we Muslims realise the increasing Islamophobia and injustices being perpetrated against our fellow Muslim brothers and sisters around the globe?

A. At the outset, let me be clear about how I intend to engage these concerns. And that is by rooting them in mainstream teachings of Islam so as to address the issue of racism in a manner that might be meaningful in a British context, and recognised as being Islamic in a Muslim one. I have divided the response into five parts: [i] Islam & racism; [ii] modernity & racism; [iii] Britain & racism; [iv] Muslims & racism; and [v] BLM & racism.

I. Islam & Racism

Although the following verse is not speaking of the modern social construct of racism per se, it is speaking to the pre-modern concept of groupings of people related by significant comment descent; in terms of location, language, history and culture. Thus we read in the Holy Qur’an: O mankind! We have created you from a male and female, and then made you nations and tribes that you might know one another. Truly, the noblest of you in the sight of God is he who is the most pious. God is indeed Knowing, Aware. [Q.49:13]

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The Prophet ﷺ brought skin colour into the mix in these words: ‘O mankind! Indeed your Lord is one, and indeed your father is one. Truly, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab, nor a non-Arab over an Arab; nor white (ahmar, lit. ‘red’ or ‘reddish’) over black, nor black over white – except by piety. Have I not conveyed [the message]?’1

In fact, the Qur’an doesn’t only negatively condemn such discrimination, but it positively and actively celebrates diversity too: And of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the differences of your languages and your colours. In this are signs for people of knowledge. [Q.30:22]

The above verses and prophetic statement, then, were a total restructuring of the moral or ethical landscape prevalent throughout Arabia at the time. True worth would no longer be determined by skin colour, lineage, or even by grandiose shows of courage or generosity. Rather, true worth would be measured by taqwa – ‘piety,’ ‘godliness’ and ‘mindfulness’ of God’s commands and prohibitions.

Once, when one of the Prophet’s wives hurled a racial slur (or ethnoreligious insult, as we might say today) at another co-wife in a state of annoyance, disparagingly called her ‘the daughter of a Jew’, the Prophet ﷺ said: ‘Indeed, your [fore]father [Moses] was a Prophet; your [great] uncle [Aaron] was a Prophet; and you are married to a Prophet. What can she boast to you about?’2 Again, when one companion insulted another person, by insulting his mother because she was a non-Arab, the Prophet ﷺ said to him: ‘You still have some pre-Islamic ignorance (jahiliyyah) in you.’3 Thus no Muslim has even the slightest right to resurrect the vile attitude of racism; xenophobia; tribal bigotry; or insulting people due to them being seen as the ‘Other’, when the Prophet ﷺ radically eliminated such attitudes from the believer’s worldview and relationships. Ibn Taymiyyah said: ‘There isn’t a single verse in God’s Book that praises someone or censures someone due to just their lineage. Instead, praise is due to faith and piety, while blame is because of disbelief, immorality or disobedience.’4

II. Modernity & Racism

In the 1830s, Samuel Morton, an American craniologist, amassed and studied hundreds of human skulls so as to measure differences in brain size between people from various ethnic backgrounds. Morton believed he had used science to prove that white people were intellectually superior to other ‘races’. In his Crania Americana, Morton declared that not only did white people have larger brains and thus were intellectually superior to all other races, but also that black people had the smallest brains sizes and were hence inferior to all others. Morton and others used this conclusion as a ‘scientific’ justification to continue slavery in the United States and negatively stereotype black people. Many hold Morton to be the founding father of scientific racism. It’s here that, based upon this pseudo-science and on certain superficial differences in physiological traits, the categorisation of people into distinct ‘races’ begins in earnest. And while the institutional racism, racial prejudice, and white supremacy that was to follow were directed at all races in Morton’s descending hierarchy, providing adequate grounds to treat other races differently, in terms of rights and privileges, it would be black people (at the supposed bottom of the heap) that would bear the greatest and most sustained brunt of it.

Of course, modern science has long since shown that brain size isn’t necessarily related to intelligence. Instead, brain size is tied to things like environment, climate and body size, while intelligence is more related to how many neurons, or how efficient the connections between neurons, are in the brain. Indeed, modern science has also largely debunked the biological basis of race, showing that there is as much genetic diversity within such racial groups as there is between them. Science now regards race as a conventional attribution; a social construct, but not a scientifically rooted or valid classification. And while today we tend to favour the term ethnicity over the arbitrary construct of ‘race’ based upon skin colour and physiognomy, race remains, for some, a focus of individual and group identity, particularly members of socially disadvantaged groups, like blacks, where it oftentimes is a source of pride and joy. All this has led many anthropologists to argue that since there is no scientific basis for race, we should just chuck the whole idea in the bin. Others say that if we’re going to continue to insist on the social fiction of racial differences, let it be based on ethical considerations that enhance justice, fairness and familiarity between peoples, not hatred, discrimination and xenophobia. In fact, this latter way of looking at ethnic or racial divides is probably more in keeping with what Islam wants for humanity. After all, God made of us nations and tribes lita‘arafu – ‘that you might know one another.’

The above, then, amidst the activities of European empires and colonialism is where such modern ideas of racial discrimination and racism were birthed; ideas and realities which still reverberate frustratingly down to these present times. Just how many ordinary white Britons internalised the racist pseudo-science over the past one hundred and fifty years or so, not because they were particularly bad or evil people, but because they believed the ‘science’, is anyone’s guess. Add to that the usual xenophobia that often exists against the outsider, the modern feats and achievements of white Western Europe which feed into the idea of white exceptionalism or supremacy, and the political utility of whipping up blame against immigrants in times of national difficulty and economic downturn, make for well-entrenched myths and discrimination against people of colour.

III. Britain &Racism

Although the history of the United States is drenched in racism; with the issue of race still being the most painful, divisive one for its citizens, it is racism in Britain – my home, and where I was born and raised – that I’d like to confine my remarks and anecdotes to. And in Britain, just as in America, while peoples of diverse ethnic minorities have undeniably been, and continue to be, victims of racism, it is discrimination against black people that is by far the more endemic and systemic.

The recent anti-racist protests that are taking place across the country aren’t just to show anger about the death of yet another black man, George Floyd, at the hands of yet another American police officer. They are also protests against the systemic racism here in Britain too. Long before racism against blacks, Asians, and Eastern Europeans, Jews as a people, and also the Irish, suffered racism in Britain. Jewish people still do.

Whilst structural or institutional racism is difficult to conclusively prove, the lived reality of people of colour, as well as statistics after statistics, or report after report, all point to similar conclusions: Britain has a race problem. It doesn’t just have a problem with casual racism (now called micro aggression; as experienced in schools, jobs or everyday life), or racism born from unconscious bias (snap decisions conditioned by cultural upbringing or personal experience); it has a problem of systemic racism too – racial discrimination and negative stereotyping within many of its key institutions: the police force and the criminal justice system deemed to be among the main culprits.

It is, of course, argued that although Britain does indeed have individual racists, and that acts of racism do tragically still occur here, but Britain itself; even if it may have been in the recent past, isn’t institutionally racist anymore. We have the Equalities Act of 2010, as one of the clearest proofs against any institutional racism.

Or the case has been put that, ever since the Macpherson Report of 1999, which came as a result of the murder of Stephen Lawrence, in 1993 – and the two words in it that stood out from the rest of the 350 page report, that London’s Metropolitan Police was ‘institutionally racist’ – Britain’s police forces have internalised the criticism and have come on leaps and bounds since then: individually and institutionally. So to describe Britain’s police forces as still being systemically racist is unjust and unfair; or so the argument goes.

Be that as it may; and while many positive changes of both mind and structure have been sincerely made, the stark, present-day statistics tell us another story. Modern Britain is a place where black people, in contrast to white ones are: 10 times more likely to be stopped and searched; 4 time more likely to be arrested; twice as likely to be temporarily excluded from school; and 3 times as likely to be permanently excluded from school; and twice as likely to die in police custody. From any unbiased standard, does this look anywhere like equality? And just as importantly, are we saying that institutional racism is totally absent from these numbers?5

For most of my life, I’ve lived on one council estate or another in East London. In my pre-teen years, I grew up on an estate in Chingford, where most of the people were white, with a few Afro-Caribbean families and a couple of Asian ones: my family being one of them. I, like many other non-whites of my generation, encountered my share of racist abuse; and for a short time, a little racist bullying too. On the whole, I got along with most kids on the estate and at its primary school, regardless of colour; and they got along with me.

For my entire teen years, I lived on another estate in Leytonstone, where this time most of the residents were black. It was the mid 1970s, and it was a time when many young black people were, I wouldn’t say suffering an identity crisis, but more that they were searching for an identity. For unlike their parents, they were neither Jamaican, Bajan [Barbadian], or Trinidadian, nor did they feel (or were made to feel) totally British. Instead, young black Britons were turning to their Blackness to make sense of their place in Britain, developing a sense of collective cultural identity in the process. I felt a greater affinity to that culture, than I did any other. Voices like Bob Marley, Burning Spear, the Wailing Souls and Black Uhuru spoke to our plight and our aspirations. But whilst their conscious lyrics of roots reggae was coming out of Jamaica, it was home-grown, British reggae artists that would tell our own specifically British story: artists like Steel Pulse, Black Roots, Mikey Dread or, particularly for me, Aswad (or early Aswad, from ’76-’82). Aswad sang of African Children (which I’d swap in my mind for ‘immigrant’ children) ‘living in a concrete situation;’ in ‘precast stone walls, concrete cubicles. Their rent increasing each and every other day; Structural repairs are assessed and yet not done; Lift out of action on the twenty-seventh floor; And when they work, they smell.’ All of us youths crammed into the estate’s small youth centre, smiled, nodded away approvingly, and perfectly identified with the message when we first heard such conscious lyrics booming out at us. Whilst Marley spoke of the daily ghetto struggles of growing up in the concrete jungle of Kingston 12; Trenchtown, for me, Aswad spoke of parallel struggles growing up in the concrete situation of Leytonstone E11. We all a feel it, yes we a feel it!

Back to racism. My one little anecdotal proof of black victimisation from the police comes from the time when I was living on Leytonstone’s Cathall Road Estate. Police raids were a fairly usual occurrence on our estate as well as in the youth centre; sometimes with actual justification. In the youth centre, the police (usually with their police dogs), would stomp in; turn off the music; stamp out any spliff that was lit up; and then we’d all be told to line up against the wall with our hands behind our heads. Every time this happened, without exception, when it came to searching me, they never did. They’d simply insist that I leave the centre, or go home, which I would. I’d then usually come back half an hour or an hour later, and resume playing pool, table-tennis or bar football; or just soak up the vibes (not the spliff). Once, after a raid had happened, I came back to the centre, only for one of my close Rasta friends to advise me that it would be best if I stay home for a few days. I asked why? He told me that some people who hang out at the centre, but who don’t really know me, nor live on the actual estate, are saying that it’s odd that I never get searched and that maybe I was a grass. It would be an understatement if I said that I was scared stiff. I took the advice, and stayed away from the centre for a week, till I got the nod that things were all okay. A month or so later, and yet another raid. But this time, for me it was a Godsend: they actually searched me! I felt relieved, vindicated, and took it as a badge of honour. My point being is that throughout the ’70s and ’80s, there were countless times when I saw specifically black people stigmatised and victimised by the police.

To be honest, by the mid 1980s, with the Anti-Nazi League and Rock Against Racism doing their thing against the far-right National Front; with Reggae and Two-Tone Ska bands and gigs more and more mixing blacks and whites; and with attitudes of the young positively changing, I thought (perhaps naively) that racism in Britain would liklely be a thing of the past by the mid ’90s. Optimism, of course, is entirely healthy, as long as it doesn’t become blind to realism.

IV. Muslims & Racism

Here I’d like to speak about something that some Muslims will find uncomfortable: which is that we [non-black]Muslims need to admit the anti-black racism that infects our own communities. Sadly, racism against black people – including fellow black Muslims – is all too common among British Asian Muslims of Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi descent. Whether it is being stared at by elderly Asians in the mosque and so made to feel self-conscious, to the way we of South Asian descent use the word kala, ‘black’, in a derogatory way; or whether it’s about marriage, or thinking all black Muslims must be converts and then dishing out patronising praise to them over basic acts like making wudhu – this un-Islamic nonsense; this jahiliyyah, simply has to stop.

We must speak to our elders about their anti-black racism. We need to respectfully discuss why so many of our mosques continue to make black Muslims feel unwelcome, or drive them away, and what can be done about it? Yet while our masjids are undeniably masjids; ‘Most mosques function as “race temples” created as enclosures for single ethnicities, and their mono-ethnic and introspective leadership are generally unfamiliar with any novelty occurring outside their silos.’6 Such ‘race temples’ are where Ethnic Islam rules the roost, even at the cost of shari‘ah race equality, sirah hospitality, or sunnah unity.

But racism isn’t just an issue with South Asian elders? It lurks in the hearts and minds of my generation too; and maybe that of my children’s? It’s less the stares or the ignorance about Black achievements, and more the negative stereotyping; post-colonial complexes; desperation to whiten-up; or outright racism when it comes to marriage. Here as an Asian Muslim parent, I’m happy for my daughter or son to marry – religiously speaking – some adamant fasiq or fasiqah – especially if they are of a lighter complexion: but I could never accept them marring a godly, well-mannered, responsible Black person! But we convince ourselves we are not racist: after all, I love the sahabi, Bilal. I weep when I read Bilal’s life story. My good friend, Bilal, is black. But the proof is in the pudding, and the truth is that we need to move beyond tokenism; beyond Bilal.

Those Muslims who make an issue of colour; whose racist or tribal mindsets lead them to look down upon a person of darker colour or treat them unequally, let them consider the son-in-law of the Prophet ﷺ, and fourth Caliph, sayyiduna ‘Ali b. Abi Talib. The classical biographers all state: kana ‘ali adam, shadid al-udmah – ‘Ali was black, jet black.7 Or take our master ‘Umar who is also described in the same terms.8 The colour, adam may refer to skin complexion which is dark brown, like a native American; or darker still, like in native Australian aborigines; or jet black, like many Africans. When the phrase, shadid al-udmah is added, ‘extremely dark’, then there’s no mistaking what is meant: a person who, for all intents and purposes, is black. Such a description seems quite usual for the Arabs among the sahabah. Black skin is also the colour of the lady with whom the whole Muhammadan saga begins: our lady Hagar (Hajarah); she was a black Egyptian. Or consider the Prophet Moses, peace be upon him. Our Prophet ﷺ once said: ‘As for Moses, he was tall and dark brown, as like the men of al-Zutt.’9 The Zutt were a well-known tribe of tall dark men from the Sudan.10 After knowing the above, if we are still going to look down at people merely due to their darker complexion, then what ghustakhi; what mockery and disrespect will we be possibly drowning in?

Islam is neither racist nor colour blind. It wants us to understand that skin colour has no intrinsic worth, only piety does. Yet at the same time, it allows us to celebrate differences in a way that does not offend Heaven, and in a way that causes us to offer joyful thanks to the One Who is the Maker of all Colours.

Islam is neither racist nor colour blind. It wants us to understand that skin colour has no intrinsic worth, only piety does. Yet at the same time, it allows us to celebrate differences in a way that does not offend Heaven, and in a way that causes us to offer joyful thanks to the One Who is the Maker of all Colours.Click To Tweet

So let’s have the conversations. Let’s have some serious introspection. Let’s listen to what Black Muslims have to say. Let’s desire to be healers, not dividers. Let’s educate ourselves about the reality of Black lives in general, and Black Muslim lives in particular. Olusoga’s Black & British and Akala’s Natives are good places to start. Sherman Jackson’s Islam and the Problem of Black Suffering is, with its theological insights, a must read. Above all, let’s work towards not just being non-racist, but anti-racist.

Change, thankfully, is in the air. For urban, millennial Muslims, and those of a generation younger still, these older ethnic divides are more and more of an irrelevance in their lives (though I’m not sure how much this applies to those raised in ethnic silos in Britain’s less urbanised cities). Such millennials have heard the stories of the intra-ethnic fighting; the anti-black racism; the token hospitality to black Muslims, but without ever giving them a voice; and the fruitless attempts to make the ‘race temples’ more inclusive, and how after decades, it’s a case of banging heads and brick walls. So owing to this, they are seeking to create more inclusive, culturally more meaningful spaces; away from all this toxic, ethnic Islam. Surely that’s where the rest of us should be heading too?

V. BLM & Racism

The Qur’an says: Help one another in righteousness and piety, help not one another in sin or transgression. [Q.5:2] Between this verse and the hilf al-fudul pact the Prophet ﷺ upheld and endorsed even after prophethood, we have a solid religious basis for supporting any individual or group working for issues of social justice: be it for Muslims or non-Muslims; be it led by Muslims or non-Muslims.

The Black Lives Matter movement has proven itself to be a powerful and effective vehicle over the past five years to demand reform in terms of anti-Black racism; with their current focus on justice for George Floyd and his family. Thus, how can Muslims not support it? Of course, we cannot give any organisation carte blanche support. Religiously, we Muslims cannot give unconditional support to anybody save to God and His Prophet ﷺ. Given that BLM has a few stated aims that are inconsistent with Islam’s theology (‘freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking’ is one of them, for instance), our activism must be guided by sacred knowledge and illumined by revealed guidance. Our intention is not supporting BLM, as such. Instead, it’s a case of making a stand against injustice, in this case anti-Black racism: supporting those individuals or organisations that are likely to be the most effective in achieving this goal. (It should go without saying, that we can work for justice for more than one cause or more than one set of people at the same time). And this is what the above verse and the hilf al-fudul pact have in mind. And just like the BLM describes itself as ‘unapologetically Black’, perhaps some of us need to be a tad more unapologetically Muslim?

But let’s take our focus off such theological nuances for now, and tie a ribbon around the whole thing and say: Let us, at least in spirit and in principle, if not in body, fully support Black Lives Matter as a cause, more than as a movement, in seeking to resolve structural racism; get justice done for all the George Floyds and all the Stephen Lawrences; and to get people to reflect on their own attitudes to racism and the racial ‘Other’ – ensuring our knee isn’t on the necks of others. We should support the overall goals of any grassroots movement that is working for a fairer, more just and tolerant Britain for everyone: black or white. Of course, for that to happen, from a Black Muslim perspective, anti-Black racism as well as an ever-growing Islamophobia must be tackled. Currently in Britain, God forbid that you are ostensibly a Muslim and Black!

Racism affects all people of colour. But when it comes to Black people, they face a unique anti-black prejudice as the ultimate Other, propagated both by white majorities and even other ethnic minorities. As a marginalised community South Asians, no doubt, have their own prejudices thrown their way. But they are not the same lived experiences as that of Black people. And while it can be easy to lump everyone together and perceive ourselves as having a shared trauma, statistics show that this equivalence is not really true.

In closing, I’d like to thank my youngest daughter, Atiyyah, for inspiring me to revisit and renew my ideas on anti-black racism; and my friend, Dr Abdul Haqq Baker for prompting me to write this piece, offering invaluable suggestions, and then reviewing it for me.

Wa’Llahu wali al-tawfiq.

1. Ahmad, Musnad, no.22978. Ibn Taymiyyah declared its chain to be sahih in Iqtida’ al-Sirat al-Mustaqim (Riyadh: Dar Ishbiliyah, 1998), 1:412.

2. Al-Tirmidhi, no.3894, where he declared the hadith to be hasan sahih.

3. Al-Bukhari, nos.2545; 6050.

4. Majmu‘ Fatawa (Riyadh: Dar ‘Alam al-Kutub, 1991), 35:230.

5. GOV.UK: Black Caribbean Ethnicity Facts and Figures.

6. Abdal Hakim Murad, Travelling Home (Cambridge: The Quilliam Press, 2020), 49-50.

7. See: Ibn ‘Asakir, Tarikh Madinat al-Dimashq (Dar al-Fikr, 1996), 42:24.

8. As per Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr, al-Isti‘ab fi Ma‘rifat al-Ashab (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1971), 3:236

9. Al-Bukhari, no.3438.

10. Ibn Hajr al-‘Asqalani, Fath al-Bari bi Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari (Cairo: Dar al-‘Alamiyyah, 2013), 8:61.

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