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10 Things You Didn’t Know About President Mursi

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By Yavus Selim

At times of great tribulation and turmoil, the first casualty is always the truth. Why? Because the greatest weapon in the hands of the oppressors and tyrants is their ability to manipulate the  facts  to suit their agenda. Because without the truth, we cannot see what is right and what is wrong. Without the truth, there is only falsehood… and injustice.

And that is how we find ourselves where we are in Egypt today, where the elected President of a nation – who was kidnapped and held incommunicado for months till his supporters could be imprisoned, crushed, tortured, killed and banned – stands trial for crimes that seem to multiply by the day. Depending on which side of the divide you fall, President Mursi is either a principled hero of epic proportions or a bungling nefarious criminal mastermind. So who is the real President Mursi?

Here are ten little known facts that may help provide us with some clues:

1. He is a Hafiz of the Quran

IMG_0312

One of the little known facts about the president is that he has memorised the entire Quran by heart. This is no mean feat and something that itself is worthy of praise. The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said: “The best among you (Muslims) are those who learn the Quran and teach it.” Abu Musa Al Asharee raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, “Part of showing glory to Allah is to show respect to a white-haired Muslim, and a carrier of the Quran who does not exaggerate in it nor ignore it and a just ruler.” An interesting combination of virtues there don’t you think?

2. He is intelligent

It is widely assumed that Mursi is not that bright. He is repeatedly portrayed as bumbling and dimwitted. His detractors point to a series of decisions that seemed to exacerbate anger against him – such as the taxation U-turns, the choice of governor for Luxor and his battle royale against the judiciary. And yet the majority evidence points to Mursi being much more academically gifted than any of his detractors. He has a PHD, is a professor and was the head of the Department of Engineering in Zagazig University. He has previously worked on various projects in America and was a visiting professor there. In his short time in office, he managed to achieve a fair amount and surrounded himself with individuals with proven track records in their fields.

3. He lived in an apartment

The Egyptian president has many palaces dotted around Cairo. They are sprawling in size and lavishly furnished. When Mursi walked into the Presidential palace for the first time, he had made up his mind that he would not live in any of them. He relented to carry out official government business in these vast palaces, but he would continue to live an apartment rented out for some time. This was how we were treated to the unbelievable sight of the President of a nation having death threats to his family being graffitied onto the walls of the elevator he used to get to his flat. Compare this to the other Muslim “leaders” who (and this is not an exaggeration) have toilets that are bigger than this President’s home.

4. He refused special treatment for his dying sister

Whilst Mursi was president, his sister fell seriously ill. When he went to visit her in hospital, the doctors told him that she may get better treatment if she was transferred to Europe or America. All they needed was the order from him and a medivac chopper and airplane would be commandeered. He refused stating that his family should not be favored above those of order Egyptians merely because of the position he held. His sister passed away in a government hospital like any other Egyptian citizen.

5. The Azaan takes precedence over his speech

[youtube]http://youtu.be/tiVipazXe00[/youtube]

When Mursi was delivering an important speech he was suddenly made aware that prayer time fell. Instead of ignoring the Azaan and continuing his speech or even just staying silent for a minute – Mursi loudly and proudly repeated the Azaan. The effect was electrifying and a generation of pious young Muslims saw that even their leaders submitted to the words of Allah.

6. The homeless widow

[youtube]http://youtu.be/LaJ-La1kGa8[/youtube]

The video above is of a homeless woman who used to sleep on the streets of Cairo. One day a car pulled up and Mursi himself got out of the back. He asked her why she slept on the streets. She told him that since she had become a widow, she was unable to continue paying for their apartment and eventually found herself on the street. Mursi said that no mother in Egypt should suffer like this and directed officials to provide her with a respectable apartment and enough of a stipend from the state to pay for it. Since the coup she has become homeless again.

7. He took part in aid work

Unknown

This is a picture of President Mursi visiting Banda Aceh, Indonesia following the devastating South Asian Tsunami that killed hundreds of thousands of people. He was there as part of an aid mission to help the survivors rebuild their shattered lives. Mursi isn’t just another scheming member of the deep state of Egypt who has done nothing but worked for their own advancement and that of their families since day one. When Bashaar Al-Assad sent him a congratulatory message on his election to the Presidency, Mursi replied “I do not recognize you as the rightful representative of the Syrian people.” Despite all protocols, he could not bring himself to be polite to the murderer of so many innocent people.

8. The worlds lowest paid leader

We get so used to seeing the sickening figures that business moguls, sports stars and so-called celebrities pull in that we expect our political leaders to be earning mega bucks as well. We’re not shocked when we see former Prime Ministers or Presidents become millionaires on the lucrative speakers circuit. Mursi could have taken the opportunity of being President to build a nest-egg for himself and his family. After all, he still lived in a rented flat. Maybe he could buy himself a house? It turns out that President Mursi was the lowest paid world leader. Read that again. In. The. World. He stipulated that his salary would be $10,000 for the entire year. At the time of his kidnapping, it transpired that he had actually not actually drawn any salary at all. He had been working for free.

9. He rarely missed Fajr in the mosque

[youtube]http://youtu.be/rSTyupalnQE[/youtube]

President Mursi was so keen not to miss any prayers in congregation and in the mosque that it became a running joke amongst the coup supporters who felt such outward displays of piety were pretentious. Yet, ignoring their cynicism, Mursi did not miss his prayers and he was often seen moved to tears by the khutba on Friday prayers.

10. No pictures please

IMG_0344

Egypt, like most Arab dictatorships, had the picture of their “benevolent” leader plastered across the walls of every building. You couldn’t go anywhere in Egypt without seeing Mubarak staring down at you. When Mursi was elected, he decreed that his picture should not be hung in any Government buildings and replaced the portraits of his predecessor with that of the name of Allah. This policy has been reversed and many Egyptians are once again deifying their overlord.

The truth is the first casualty of war. And I accept that the truth is much more complex than these 10 points. There have been mistakes – Mursi admitted as much. But, whether you love or hate him, I hope some of these facts will help you gain a better understanding of the man behind the figure of love and hate. I hope they can help point you in the direction of the truth.

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80 Comments

80 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Laila

    January 21, 2014 at 5:49 PM

    May Allah SWT free him and return him safely to us. Ameen.

    • Avatar

      ނަޝީދުAhmed Nasheed

      May 18, 2015 at 10:07 PM

      Dr. Mursi must be released from prision, he is a political and religious leader, cc is a Baaghee he must be hung. Nasheed from the Rep of Maldives.

    • Avatar

      Abdul Rahman

      June 4, 2015 at 12:03 PM

      May Allah help and guide Bro Mursi to freedom.

  2. Avatar

    sameel salim

    January 21, 2014 at 7:25 PM

    He can be all those things and still be incompetent. Not saying he is, I know nothing of him, but I do know ALOT of people who dislike him. They also must have valid concerns. But I didn’t know these facts, and they are pretty amazing on face value.

  3. Avatar

    Kingston

    January 21, 2014 at 7:47 PM

    We all knew this was going to happen these other corrupt kings and “presidents” couldn’t have someone around like him because he would make them look bad, and his and Egypt’s well being would encourage people of other countries to get rid of the governments. So what they did was for a whole year they made everything as hard as possible for his government. Violence/weekly protests shutting down main roads. Corrupt businessmen sabotaged Egypt’s economy, the Media which is owned by secularists attacked Mursi and the MB 24/7 – you had hypocrites like Bassem Youssef making fun of the Islamists whilst he’s silent now. etc.

    Then after only two days of mass protests the army stepped in, arrested him and declared a new temporary regime. Now they are pushing for Sisi to become president.

    • Avatar

      MM Hoque

      June 19, 2019 at 11:54 PM

      Thank you for speaking the truth.

  4. Avatar

    Ibn Ismail

    January 21, 2014 at 8:28 PM

    It’s obvious that there was some kind of conspiracy against Mursi after it was made clear that he was adamant about moving Egypt in a more Islamic direction. Now the Egyptians are being led on a leash by their western secular puppet, the murderer of Muslims, el-Sisi. I hope he gets what’s coming to him.

  5. Avatar

    Filipino

    January 21, 2014 at 11:55 PM

    Masha’Allah! AllahuAkbar! AllahuAkbar! AllahuAkbar!

  6. Umm Reem

    Umm Reem

    January 22, 2014 at 12:11 AM

    What a shame that a nation had a president like him and they couldn’t keep him as their leader…may Allah free him and honor him.

    • Avatar

      muhammad ismiel

      June 1, 2015 at 2:08 PM

      Ameen,,, may ALLAH help the Muslims all over the world

  7. Amad

    Amad

    January 22, 2014 at 2:15 AM

    I’ll admit that Morsi may not have had the sharpest political acumen, but Id rather take a thousand honest men as leaders than shrewd liars and butchers that this ummah keeps getting … Consider what was before him- Mubarak– no intro needed, and what will be after him- Sissy– a pathological evil traitor and murderer. Like Imran khan in Pakistan, the people reject what is good for them and then they decry the cursed leaders that befalls them! What a tragedy!

    • Avatar

      ZAI

      January 23, 2014 at 9:55 PM

      I have serious doubts that someone who heads a political party that has a pseudo-fascist nationalist like Shireen Mazari in a high position is good for Pakistan.

  8. Avatar

    Mahmood-ul-Hassan Qureshi

    January 22, 2014 at 3:06 AM

    Wonderful….. What a great leader.May Allah(SWT) help him with all His blessings and more srengthen him with courage.Ameen.Janat is prepared for such people.

  9. Avatar

    abdullahi ali

    January 22, 2014 at 4:22 AM

    may Allah show the people of egypt the truth

  10. Avatar

    Talat Sultan

    January 22, 2014 at 5:07 AM

    All I can say is he has succeeded and we have failed. He was tested as a leader with wealth and power and it did not allure him. Everyone, we owe him a great debt of gratitude keep him in your duas.

    He will be remembered in history as the just ruler of Egypt and people will speak of him in years to come as if he were a legend allahuma barik mashallah tabarakallah.

    May allah protect him, his family and supporters and grant him freedom, justice and victory.

  11. Avatar

    Mark

    January 22, 2014 at 5:11 AM

    Morsi is a liar and deceiver who conned or bribed millions into voting for him to become president. The web of lies he spun during the electoral trail is incredible claiming he was a NASA rocket scientist on liberal tv then outright denying it of Islamist tv. He deserves to be where he is. Long live EGYPT for EGYPTIANS not Zionist Muslim Brotherhood.

    • Avatar

      Laila

      January 22, 2014 at 8:41 AM

      What on earth is a Zionist Muslim Brotherhood? You seem like a sad, confused angry guy.

      • Avatar

        Mark

        January 22, 2014 at 9:14 AM

        People with no common nationality, cultural background or common region brought together under a religious banner to create a new United Arab States for “Muslims” the same ad Israel

      • Avatar

        Mark

        January 22, 2014 at 9:20 AM

        What is sad Laila, that instead of questioning me you have to resort to personal insults

      • Avatar

        Musa

        May 17, 2015 at 4:08 PM

        Haha Laila the guy us comfused Zoinist and Muslim brotherhood in the same sentence

      • Avatar

        mohamud

        May 20, 2015 at 4:39 AM

        The people of Egypt got rid of a great Muslim and leader and replaced him with a Zionist sympathizer, May Allah protect him from any harm.

  12. Avatar

    Tangentwhizz

    January 22, 2014 at 6:40 AM

    1. As a Muslim, I really don’t care if my president knows the Quran by heart, it’s not a priority for any Moslem to do so. Even the Hadith you quoted says “learn” not “learn by heart”, because what really counts is understanding it, not reciting it.
    2. If you think that academically gifted equates to being smart, you need to re-evaluate your perception of intelligence.
    3. A) It wasn’t an apartment, it was a villa. B) Even if it was an appartement, believe me, nobody would have had the kind of access to write graffiti on his lift unless he was a resident of the building himself, and if so, it means that even his long time neighbors hated him, making him a bad Moslem since the prophet instructed us to take care of our 7th neighbor.
    4. Heartless, if he has no compassion to his own sister, how can he have any to the rest of the country.
    5. Unprofessional. “If the hour is about to be established and one of you was holding a palm shoot, let him take advantage of even one second before the hour is established to plant it”, if the prophet tells us not to interrupt our work when judgement day comes, do you really think we should do it for the call for prayer? Why do you think that Moslems have hours to do their prayers between each call for prayer and the other?
    6. Hypocritical! So he helped one homeless person? Is that really the only homeless person he saw in the street during his whole year? What did he do for the other homeless people of Egypt? The fact that he didn’t help his own dying sister but helped this one homeless person shows that this is a feeble PR attempt. If someone wants to help, he helps anybody who needs it, not only the ones that would improve his image. Both this point and the one about his sister clearly show that they were both done for the sake of public opinion that he’s fair and just, but in fact it shows that he’s nothing close to fair and just.
    7. And?
    8. The fact that he was a leading figure of the Muslim Brotherhood indicates that he is already extremely rich. When the brotherhood put put him in his position, it wasn’t for personal gains, nor was it for the well being of Egypt. It was to have a puppet who would cement the secret society at the helm of Egypt, the theft would come later. If you want examples go his abuse of power, don’t look at him (too obvious), look at his children, specially the two sons.
    9. What does that have to do with being a president?! Unless it’s the fact that he’s an early bird :D
    10. You obviously don’t live in Egypt. Why don’t you have him as a president where you are instead of trying to force him upon other people who don’t want him?

    • Avatar

      Mark

      January 22, 2014 at 7:16 AM

      You are very correct about your comment on Morsi’s villa in new Cairo but I would like to add that i lived in the same district and regularly he had the road closed and at least 2 APC’s and a couple of JEEP’s stationed outside

      • Avatar

        Tangentwhizz

        January 22, 2014 at 4:30 PM

        It was Morsi’s own idea during his electoral campaign, he urged Egyptians to revolt in Tahrir square and remove him from power if he failed them as a leader. Well, he did, so they complied. So there’s no reason to whine about it, we can either agree that this is what he proposed, that he should grow a pair (instead of scratching them in front of female dignitaries) and assume the consequences of his actions and words, or agree that this was a lie that he said for the sake of getting elected, which hardly makes him a good moslem regardless of how much he prays or recites the holly Quran, in fact it makes him the worst kind of Muslim, because he gives Islam a bad name.
        If you were in Egypt, you would have realized that the number of people who revolted against Morsi by far surpassed those who revolted against Mubarak; I know, I was there in both. Morsi has managed to put against him every single Egyptian who’s not linked to the Brotherhood, even the apathetics and the very religious Azhar and the Salafis; proof that it has nothing to do with Islam. That’s why now the Brotherhood is trying to get support from outside of Egypt, because those are the only ones who don’t realize that despite all the inconveniences, Egypt is a far more peaceful and stable place without Morsi and his friends.
        I also remember a conversation I had with a Brotherhood friend who was trying to convince me to vote for Morsi. At one point he told me “Are you worried because they’re religious? Because they’re not, at all!”. So I told him that this was precisely what I was worried about, at least if they were religious, they would fear God in their actions, but these don’t.
        Egypt is not some small country in the desert for some secret sect society to experiment with its ideologies on it, Egypt needs someone to manage it, not someone who’s trying to rule it by interfering between it’s people and God. That’s the whole idea about Islam, isn’t it; the Quran is the book of God, it’s his own words in a living language, you read it for yourself and do to your best abilities and understanding, but under no circumstances allow anybody to interfere between God and you. As Muslims we are lucky to have the example of Europe’s medieval dark ages ruled by the Vatican to learn from. As an educated Moslem (those whom God loves most) I want a President to manage the country, that’s where his limits end.

    • Amad

      Amad

      January 22, 2014 at 7:51 AM

      Wow, your hatred of the man has blinded you to even see basic goodness in this man. Bring us one leader who has these qualities in the Muslim world and we will gladly give up on Morsi.

      Who is your alternative? Sissi? Or some other anti democratic fulool?

      • Avatar

        Mahmud

        January 23, 2014 at 1:51 AM

        Amad-whats the big deal about democracy? The only thing we Muslims care about is that Allah’s word is highest. If there are some aspects of the democratic system which are acceptable under Islam, then fine, but it’s not something to call to.

    • Avatar

      Peter Hall

      May 27, 2015 at 9:53 AM

      Well said, if a bit harsh.

      I do not think being pious means he would be a good leader. If someone needs a Doctor, do you want the most pious Doctor or the most proficient. How would you feel if a surgeon stopped in the middle of an operation to pray?

      If you have a dam leaking, do you want a pious Engineer or a Engineer with the brains, focus and experience to fix the problem. Do pilots stop piloting an aircraft to pray?

      He was the Leader of Egypt, it was not his job to set examples of piousness, but to fix the country. How dare he put his own self, in front of the people he was charged to help, while he prayed, many more widows were cast out on the street, because he was not doing his job, saving one widow, was nothing but grandstanding, if that event happened at all.

      Egypt’s many problems will not be fixed by a pious man, and saying he is intelligent by having a PHD from Zagazig University, LOL really? It is ranked the 2,485th best University in the world!!! My 8yo daughter faces a more challenging academic environment at her primary school.

      http://www.4icu.org/reviews/1260.htm

      So trying to make a poor leader sound good by whitewashing the problems and his failure to address them only makes him look pathetic.

      Egypt needs someone to fix the economy, curb population growth, create security and provide a means to feed the population of Egypt without going and begging for hangouts from the Gulf states and Saudi Arabia.

      If he was a responsible leader he would of been working to fix the disaster that Egypt is, instead of worrying about being pious.

      The rule you pay for what you get never seemed so correct, I think the reason he did not collect his pay was out of shame at so little he achieved except make things worse.

      The responsibility of a leader of a Government is first to his country and the people within, being derelict in his duty because he was too busy being pious, is just as bad as if he was off with a prostitute or drinking with his buddies, he was not doing the job that Egypt, and its people needed.

      As to his alleged crimes, to be honest I think it in the most part fabricated. That does not excuse the real crime, which was neglect of his job because he was too busy being pious.

    • Avatar

      Ahmed

      May 29, 2015 at 8:51 AM

      …aaand folks, this is the reason why Egypt is where it is today.

      President doesn’t use taxpayer money for family’s medical expenses? “Heartless.” President helps out one homeless person? “Hypocrite.”

      I actually had to read the comment over again to make sure it wasn’t satirical. But then again, considering Egypt’s current state, it makes sense.

  13. Avatar

    Tangentwhizz

    January 22, 2014 at 6:43 AM

    P.S.
    He is a blatant liar, isn’t lying haram? In fact, to Islam, it is more important not to lie that any of the points you have enumerated above :)

  14. Avatar

    Umm Asmaa

    January 22, 2014 at 7:01 AM

    Assalaamu ‘alaykum,

    Wow! Thanks for sharing these points. Regardless of the different opinions or realities of the situation at hand, Allaah knows best the truth, these points definitely demand a level of respect for Mursi. May Allaah guide the people of Egypt to what’s best!

  15. Avatar

    Mark

    January 22, 2014 at 7:51 AM

    It has to be realised that it was millions Muslims of Egypt that rose up to demand the resignation of Morsi MISLIMS!! The Muslim Brotherhood are what? The only Muslims in Egypt that matter or are they superior somehow? What they have done is to use the word of Islam to benefit their own agenda for power subjugation of the masses and domination.

    • Amad

      Amad

      January 22, 2014 at 1:21 PM

      Millions rose up to usurp the democratic government that was instilled by millions more… Remember more people voted Morsi in than came on the street. And I hope you aren’t gonna spring the 33 million number on me because if you do, I am ready to sell you some sand in a desert.

      • Avatar

        Mark

        January 25, 2014 at 6:00 PM

        And millions voted for Gen. Ahmed Shafiq where was there representation in the Morsi government?

  16. Avatar

    Hisham

    January 22, 2014 at 10:29 AM

    Even if he was a good person, he was a terrible leader. And Gen Sisi may or may not be a good person but he is an amazing leader who cares for the people of Egypt. Most Egyptians hate Morsi and there must be a reason why they do that.

    • Amad

      Amad

      January 22, 2014 at 1:18 PM

      How could you call someone who spilled or allowed the spilling of the lives of thousands of people? We don’t have to agree on personalities but if sissi’s start tells us anything about him, then he is a great leader in the footsteps of tyrants and dictators… In this regard “great” becomes an adjective that is not associated with goodness.

      Wallahi, I can say that the Egyptian media has cast a spell over people that they are so blinded by hatred of one party, that they allowed butchery on their streets. This is why you see the media outside almost uniformly condemning the coup, that they have to be on the side of Islamists — a position they would never voluntarily choose had the situation been even gray. It isn’t. It is black and white– oppression of a military coup as clear as the sun on a bright day.

      The first step to clean your brainwashing is to remove yourself from the groupthink environment and approach the situation with a clean slate. And I am sure if you are even a little bit human, you will see the picture clearly too.

      • Avatar

        ZAI

        January 23, 2014 at 9:51 PM

        Br. Amad,
        Well said…but your advice must also apply to Islamists and their supporters.
        Those of us who are non-ideological when it comes to politics want a civil state.
        Islamists can participate like anyone else, win and legislate when they win…but
        the framework of the state must be civil and non-ideological., which means
        that if they lose they must accept the loss and step aside, and we have the right
        to remove laws they have passed.

        Morsi & co. tried to ram through a Brotherhood constitution that would be stuck in
        place whether they won in the future or not, and that made the coup inevitable. Ennhada in Tunisia has shown more political maturity and sense. Most Muslims are neither secularists, Islamists or any other thing in the ideological political sense…they simply want things like transparency, lack of corruption, good economy, rights in a civil state, a say in who governs them and the laws they pass… and better lives overall. Morsi failed to win over these people and army,ideologue secularists…and I refuse to omit this: the Saudis who wanted a counter-revolution….took advantage.

        Morsi might be a great guy…but he was a lousy politician and frankly, Islamists overestimate their popularity. Most Muslims are NOT ideologues…which is why Jamaat or JUI also get paltry 2% in Pakistan or kicked out of office by exasperated public in KPK. Initial victories have more to do with Islamists being better organized under dictatorial rule and sending a message to former regime…not love of their platform.

        Islamists must accept the fact most Muslims are not willing to trade military or secular dictators for religious dictators. They should also eschew group think, black and white thinking and play by the same rules. They should also condemn Islamist fanatics like Taliban who murder, terrorize and oppress as if competing with Sisi. Their oppression is also clear as the sun.

        • Avatar

          Mahmud

          January 31, 2014 at 3:36 PM

          Zai- your definition of “most Muslims” is irrelevant, ALL Muslims are not secularist disbelievers. Granted, a lot may care more for their lives then establishing Allah’s law in the land, but that doesn’t negate the fact that they accept it.

          *This comment was edited by the MM Comments Team in order to comply with our Comments Policy*

        • Avatar

          ABDUL SHAKOOR

          March 29, 2014 at 11:37 PM

          Dear ZAI, , ASSLLAMUALLIEKUM, , JAZAKALLAH being kind enough to heed , , please tell me how can be A Muslim secularist? How can he be a corrupt? How can he be non transparent? PLEASE do substantiate your points with reference & reliance on ISLAM, being non ARAB I know/feel you may understand my desire to enlightening myself. Please do the favour.

      • Avatar

        Mark

        January 24, 2014 at 2:32 PM

        Do you and other supporters of Morsi/MB/NASL/SAC actually mourn those who died at Rabia or were they sent to “suicide by cop” in order to gain public sympathy, to be used as a political tool, and for the murder of police and military to be justified? The same scenario as the female MB supporters in Alexandria, sent out to cause a commotion get themselves arrested to be used for propaganda.

  17. Avatar

    Mahmud

    January 22, 2014 at 10:51 AM

    Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

    It’s really sad to see some Muslims missing the point. The reality is, some of those who oppose Mursi are secularists. They are against Allah’s Sharia. The believe in a different law.

    That makes them DISBELIEVERS. Because a Muslim enslaves himself to Allah and accepts that Allah is the one who can legislate.

    • Amad

      Amad

      January 23, 2014 at 1:13 AM

      It is not as simple as that. There are many people who might not agree with the MB’s interpretation of an “Islamic state”, while there are also many scholars such as Tariq Ramadan who offer other insights into democracy and Islam. We cannot broad-brush anyone against MB as disbelievers. This is wrong and unhelpful.

    • Avatar

      ZAI

      January 23, 2014 at 9:28 PM

      Allah legislated, but it is human beings who interpret that legislation.

      • Avatar

        ahsan arshad

        January 25, 2014 at 10:18 AM

        but some of that legislation is clear that it does not need twisted interpretations. If twisted it is clear that they are going against the legislation.

        • Avatar

          ZAI

          January 25, 2014 at 3:08 PM

          True…but that is perhaps 5% total of the Qur’an according
          to scholars like Imam Suhaib Webb. Further, Islamists themselves
          twist things plenty by going beyond Qur’an and Hadith to enforce
          things Allah has not given them or any government permission to enforce
          or punish, but left up to individuals.

      • Avatar

        Mahmud

        January 31, 2014 at 3:37 PM

        Yeah Zai, the Sahaba were human and they implemented and we will follow this.

        *This comment was edited by the MM Comments Team in order to comply with our Comments Policy*

  18. Avatar

    Mark

    January 22, 2014 at 11:05 AM

    Teslam El Eyadi ya Hisham

  19. Avatar

    azmath

    January 22, 2014 at 11:56 AM

    Isn’t it obvious already? Egyptians don’t deserve Mursi. Its that simple. Truly, Allah will never change the condition of people until they change themselves. When the egyptians stop taking pride in their football and shisha, then may be Allah will open doors of Mercy for them and bless them with leaders like Mursi. for now, deal with sissy you sissies…

    • Avatar

      Mahmud

      January 23, 2014 at 1:49 AM

      May the disbelievers and hypocrites feel no moment of relaxation or satisfaction in the slightest until they enter Islam, may they be constantly worried and stressed, and may the foolish Muslims who are ignorant and opposed him see the error of their ways, regret it immensely and support Allah’s deen.

      And may Allah send down tranquility on all the Muslim Mursi supporters, and guide the mushrik Mursi supporters, few as they are.

  20. Avatar

    Abdullah

    January 22, 2014 at 12:37 PM

    He went the wrong path of democrazy.

    May Allah SWT free and forgive him. Amin.

  21. Avatar

    Mahmoud

    January 22, 2014 at 4:29 PM

    They missed the most important point.
    He is only president in modern history that refused to take a salary for his presidency.

    • Avatar

      Mark

      January 23, 2014 at 3:39 AM

      He didn’t need a salery when he used politician expenses to buy $300,000 worth of grilled chicken.

    • Avatar

      Farbash

      January 23, 2014 at 4:40 PM

      @Mahmoud

      You are incorrect sir. Where is your proof for saying that?

      Mayor bloomberg of new york has a salary of $1. And that $1 is because the law states that he must have a salary and cant work for free

      And the same things that have been said about Mursi were also sad about Ahmadinejad

      That he had a beat up car and lived in a small house

      Is that man an angel too?

      Here is an article from al arabiya

      http://www.alarabiya.net/views/2010/10/28/124053.html

      and here is a video saying that Ahmadinejad doesn’t take a salary

      whoopee doo

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyWul35JnjY

      Not taking a salary doesnt show the heart and character of a man

      • Avatar

        E

        January 23, 2014 at 7:38 PM

        Bloomberg is a billionaire. He doesn’t need a salary. Your comparison is not valid on so many levels.

  22. Avatar

    Ashraf wani

    January 23, 2014 at 1:35 AM

    Hats off U Morsi! What an inspirational Leader.

  23. Avatar

    Shah Abdul Manan, Seelu Sopore Indian Occupied Kashmir (J&K)

    January 23, 2014 at 1:43 AM

    President Dr. Muhammad Mursi is a Hero and Icon of Islamic world. We are with President Hafiz Dr. Muhammad Mursi. Live long Doctor Muhammad Mursi.

  24. Avatar

    Farbash

    January 23, 2014 at 4:32 PM

    This was not a very sound article. It uses black and white techniques to make its point.

    I have known many people who had at one point in time memorized the
    entire Quran. But if you dont keep up the practice of reciting and
    memorizing your Quran, eventually you will forget.

    Many of those same people that I met that were Hafiz when they
    were a teenager, but a few years later, they were no longer a hafiz.

    I dont know much about Morsi, except what the media tells me. I dont
    claim to know him or to criticize him. Allah knows the truth.

    But this article didnt seem very “scientific” in its reporting. It uses
    the same techniques that Fox news uses. Where are the sources?

    Even sources can be fabricated.

    Anyways.

    Please dont tell me that someone if someone recites the Azan, it means they are a good person’.

    There are videos of many arab dictators doing salat. Does that make them good?

    george bush goes to church. Does that make him good?

    Can we deny the millions he has killed?

    Also george bush and other american presidents have done a few good acts of charity here and there.

    Dont tell me someone helped a homeless person and they are now a good person

    Bashar al assad is “muslim”…..so was saddam hussein and gaddafi?

    are they good?

    That logic that this article presents is flawed

    I urge everyone to read the book: “You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways You’re Deluding Yourself”

    You can find it on amazon

    I am sorry, but this article panders to the minds of 10 year olds who dont think critically, who view everything as black and white.

    Again….I dont know much about Mursi, except what the media has shown. At the end of the day Allah is our Only Judge

    • Avatar

      Ahmed

      May 29, 2015 at 9:17 AM

      I think this is the only comment on this article that makes sense.

  25. Avatar

    Hisham

    January 25, 2014 at 12:56 AM

    The Morsi supporters are showing their colors yet again, they bombed a police station in Cairo, this is their modus operandi, to kill innocent people. They have been killing innocent Egyptians since they were kicked out of power and if they continue this way, every Egyptian and Arab will support eliminating every trace and supporter of this terrorist movement. I have been to Saudi Arabia and the Saudis absolutely hate Morsi and the Brotherhood for their terrorism in name of Islam

    • Avatar

      Mahmud

      January 27, 2014 at 9:42 PM

      So…..Hisham…..you are a Muslim….right? Why don’t you start a political party to implement Allah’s law.

  26. Avatar

    Mohammad Raza

    January 26, 2014 at 3:19 AM

    Where are the Americans and the Europeans now?

    When their precious democracy has failed in Egypt ?

    They wanted it got it and when it doesn’t suit them got rid of it?

    This is the curse of divided Muslims as seen in other muslim lands

  27. Avatar

    Tunde Olanrewaju

    January 27, 2014 at 4:00 PM

    Assalam Allaykum,
    when to worry about the spiritual health of one’s heart? As humas, we commit sins. Islamic teachings encourage us to ask Allah for repentance. But many of us get quite comfortable with committing those sins to the extent that the pleasure from those sins completely desensitizes us from the need to rectify those faults. if any of us find ourself in such a state, then as ibn Al-Qayyim stated, ‘When the heart becomes empty from such grief and one is happy with sin, then one should question his faith. Firoun (lanatulai) called 60000 magicians to come face Musa (allay Salam). But when those Magicians discovered the truth, they accept Allah SWT. They accept in the morning and were exterminated in the night. As they were been massacre, they ask Allah to use the pain to replace their misdeed they done before. To me Morsi has not failed, let us ponder as Muslims. May Allah free him and more Morsi among us. May Allah SWT give him courage and patient to pass test from Allah.

  28. Avatar

    Ibrahim

    January 31, 2014 at 8:44 AM

    Please put English subtitle to videos

  29. Pingback: عشر ميّزات لـ “مرسي” يجهلها الكثيرون | Akhbarturkey

  30. Avatar

    Some Young Guy

    February 3, 2014 at 2:46 PM

    “Truth is war’s first casualty.”

    This quote is from a song, by a band called One Day As A Lion.

    Please be original. And if you’re gonna plagiarize, then at least give proper credit where it’s due.

    On the bright side, someone on MuslimMatters is exposed to satanic music.

    • Avatar

      Aisha

      March 18, 2014 at 5:32 PM

      http://www.quotecounterquote.com/2010/02/first-casualty-of-war-is-truth.html

      You may want to research a bit before carrying out FALSE assumptions; who’s to say he got that quote from a song?

      IMHO, GENERAL words of TRUTH should not have to be given credit to unless the ORIGINATOR asks for that to be done.

      This is especially seeing as most quotes just get passed on from generations (forefathers etc.) usually by speaking then hearing, thus it’s had to know who said the quote ORIGINALLY.

      We call it SLANDER = completely FORBIDDEN in Islam.

      http://www.islamawareness.net/Backbiting/perspective.html

      *Some words have letters which are all capital for emphasis – to highlight that point.*

  31. Pingback: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About President Mursi | khamakarpress.com

  32. Avatar

    Aisha

    March 18, 2014 at 5:17 PM

    May Allah make it clear to us the truth from falsehood. Ameen ya Rabbil ‘alameen.

  33. Avatar

    Aisha

    March 18, 2014 at 5:36 PM

    *hard

    This is especially seeing as most quotes just get passed on from generations (forefathers etc.) usually by speaking then hearing, thus it’s *hard to know who said the quote ORIGINALLY.

  34. Pingback: "...And your Lord is never forgetful..." - Page 27 - Christian Forums

  35. Avatar

    g

    April 14, 2014 at 3:05 PM

    Hahhhhhhaaahhhaa he let his sister die bcoz he doesnt want to be treated like a special one?? Oh cmon hes suxx

  36. Avatar

    Ab Hamid Dar

    May 17, 2015 at 12:59 AM

    great personality

  37. Avatar

    Abdul azeem

    May 18, 2015 at 2:25 PM

    People who are blinded by the evil fail to see the qualities of such high orders in Mohd. Morsi…He worked in full cooperation with Palestinians and helped them with their preparation against the zionist
    oppression by opening Egypt border with palestine…which off course did not go down well with the cunning zionist neighbourhood, hence came a traitor, Sisi in picture…
    and rest is for all of us to see.

    I remember a beautiful quote by Imam Hasnul Banana..

  38. Avatar

    Abdul azeem

    May 18, 2015 at 3:00 PM

    “An idea will keep on living…if faith in it is strong”.
    Imam Hasan al-Banna.

    Long live Mohammad Morsi…Long live Ikhwanul Muslimoon…

    May Allah bless them and accept their sacrifices…

  39. Avatar

    Mubarrid

    May 19, 2015 at 12:00 PM

    The Qualities Of Morsi will certainly make tyrants and anti- islamic folk to hate him. when we refuse to judge people by God Fearing and good character but by personal hatred,then we will always have bad leaders.

  40. Avatar

    Mohammad Sazzad Hossain

    May 21, 2015 at 6:13 AM

    May ALLAH allocate honor for MURSI here and there.

  41. Avatar

    Azzam

    May 21, 2015 at 12:03 PM

    Bought tears to my eyes reading this

  42. Avatar

    Kent

    May 28, 2015 at 11:33 PM

    You Muslims have no idea how foreign and disconnected you sound to we regular Australians. Forget Arabic and all that Islamic foolishness and just live peacefully in Australia and become Australian. This means integrating and assimilating. Everything you do and say appears otherwise tot he vast majority in this country.

  43. Avatar

    Bob Hannah

    May 29, 2015 at 7:24 AM

    I along with many in the west welcomed the Arab spring movements as evidence that the region could finally advance politically. How tragically it has all turned out. Morsi was an elected leader, however his main opponent was from the old regime so it was a protest vote rather than overt support for him. The Brotherhood appears to be secretive, exclusionist and intolerant, not like a real political party. I would urge Muslims not to support it just because it claims to be Islamic. Major black marks against Morsi were his rejection of judicial verdicts (though the judiciary was in part composed of holdovers from the old regime, the rule of law is important) and his unwillingness to stop the blatant persecution of minorities in Egypt. Muslims really have to come to grips with the issue – do they want an Islamic state or a liberal democracy?

  44. Avatar

    M.Mazhar Rathore

    June 1, 2015 at 2:00 PM

    Morsi is the hero of the Muslim world and we love him

  45. Avatar

    Sadiq

    October 23, 2016 at 6:12 PM

    What a magnificent resume. Though not an Egyptian, i believe those against Mursi will really pay for it one day and Allah will raise His religion above everything. What they are against is the Islam and Sunnah. Its just as it is happening in my country Nigeria today though ours is not so religious, people sacrificing to vote a president to power and later revolting. may God help us

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#Islam

Doors Of Mercy Are Open | Worship In The Days of Closed Masajid

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closed masjid
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By Lisha Azad

WHATSAPP NEWSFLASH: Mosques to be indefinitely closed across the country for all prayers! 

As I crept out of bed, I could hear the imam at my neighbourhood masjid recite the Qur’an melodiously in prayer. And then a sad thought engulfed me – this would be the last Fajr Jama’ah (congregational) prayer for days to come.

And no more Jumu’ah! 

This shocking WhatsApp message was followed by videos, audios, and writeups from imams across the globe who admitted that they broke down in tears at this news of mosque closures in their country, fearing that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)’s displeasure on humanity could perhaps be the reason that was leading to this pandemic and now this worldwide shutdown. These fears were also echoed in our young imam’s words when he described this closure as the saddest day of his life. 

I am not a 5 times-a-day masjid-goer. As a woman, it is not fardh on me to attend prayers at a masjid. However, living in a Muslim-majority country close to a masjid means being able to listen to the Adhan and the Iqamah, LIVE, five times a day. From the comfort of my home. It’s a blessing being able to respond to these calls of prayer and thereby getting blessings and rewards for it. These calls to prayer remind the men in my family to rush to attend congregational prayers and reap its massive rewards.  

Having lived the most part of my life in a Muslim-majority in the Gulf, the Adhan and Iqamah are also the most natural sounds of my daily life. Therefore, having to listen to a shortened Adhan commanding the believers to pray in our homes that day, Dhuhr onwards and thereafter no Iqamah feels surreal, to say the least. 

While the Shahadah is reiterated even in the shortened Adhan, what I miss the most are the words, “Hayya ‘Ala As-Salah, Hayya ‘Ala Al-Falah (Come to Salah, Come to Success)”.

Five times a day, I was so used to hearing these words urging the believers to hasten to prayer that would bring perpetual prosperity. From Tuesday onwards, I began to actually question myself as to how much I truly equated success with Salah. I also miss responding to those words of the Adhan with the words “La Hawla Wa La Quwatta Illa Billah (There is no might or power but with Allah)”. In hindsight, I have to admit that like many of my Muslim brothers and sisters, especially those living in Muslim countries, I too had taken the Adhan and the Iqamah for granted. 

As one of the world’s continuously resounding sounds, these calls to prayer are the most distinctive feature and clearly experienced symbol of Islam for more than 1000 years. Starting with the testimony of the Shahadah, the Adhan and thereafter the Iqamah helps both Muslims and non-Muslims bring to mind the very essence of Islamic beliefs and the importance of living our lives dedicated to the remembrance of the Almighty. 

My husband tells me of a colleague, Mr. Lee, who was visiting a Muslim country for the first time. He recalled how captivated Mr. Lee had been by the tuneful Adhan when he first heard it and how he wanted to know what it was all about. Those melodious words eventually led him to enquire and learn more about Islam. 

Although alarm clocks and mobile phones are sufficient to remind us to pray these days, both the Adhan and the Iqamah are proclamations of the greatness of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), of how we need to hasten to make Salah and how through Salah, we can attain success. Brothers and sisters, think about it!

If we are able to hear the Adhan and then the Iqamah being pronounced 5 times a day, it is as if we are announcing to the world that ours is a Muslim country or at least a country where Muslims are free to practice the Sunnah of the beloved Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and live their lives freely according to the dictates of Islam.  

While the reasons for the shortened Adhan, no Iqamah and cancellation of the daily/weekly community prayers that are being enforced today worldwide are completely legitimate, it’s the actual and indefinite closure of the mosques worldwide that’s disturbing.

In effect, here’s what we would be actually missing in the coming days (Hadith references at the end of the article):  

* The chance to erase our sins by walking to the mosque in a state of wudu

* The reward of walking to the mosque in a state of ablution (wudu) and gaining a’jr for every step we take

* The opportunity to make dua’ to bring light upon ourselves, to have the doors of His mercy opened to us and to ask for His abundant blessings upon us while walking to and entering/exiting His house

* The chance to make accepted dua’s between the Athan and the Iqamah

* The chance to pray Nafl prayers in the masjid after the Athan and before the Iqamah

* The rewards of the Jam’aah prayers – 25 to 27 times more reward than individual prayers prayed at home or in the marketplace! 

* The 5-a day chance and reward to personally exchange face-to-face salams with our neighbours 

* The weekly opportunity to meet our brothers and sisters from the Ummah at large

* The chance to engage in congregational dua’a and istighfar 

* The chance to be in the blessed company of angels while gaining knowledge 

* The chance to have the angels pray for us as we wait in the mosque 

As it is rightly said, “We only realize the value of a thing when it is lost.” So how could we bring back the value and reward of attending jama’ah prayers? I was deep in thought when I came across this Hadith,

Worship in a time of turmoil is as if he had emigrated to me.” (Source: Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2948). What a fantastic thought to keep being motivated to perform acts of worship during difficult days! 

Therefore, here’s what I researched and came up with to avoid missing out on the above rewards (wherever possible, detailed references have been included at the end of the write-up):

  • Institute congregational prayers on time with our families – Praying on time is one of the best deeds that we can do. Scholars maintain that the smallest number that counts for prayer in congregation, apart from Jumu’ah prayer, is two: the imam and the person who is praying behind him, who should stand to his right. Even the Jumu’ah is valid if there are 3 or more people praying in congregation. (Source: Islamqa.info)
  • Start a family halaqah – Family halaqahs are a great way to involve all ages including the elderly and the very young in a circle of learning. And how much there is to learn and benefit from – dhikr, dua’a, knowledge of the Prophets and Sahabas, fiqh, Islamic history…what better way to have the angels lower their wings upon us as seekers of knowledge and pray for us! 
  • Make dua’a together as a family – This is another great way to have the angels make dua’ for us to be blessed with the same things that we make dua’ for, for the entire Ummah. Remember to use the most powerful dua’as and dhikr for maximum reward and effect. 
  • Use Quarantine is actually Qur’an-Time – Just as this phrase is trending these days, let us turn to reading/memorizing/perfecting the recitation our Noble Book. Let us actively seek to apply its timeless wisdom and teachings to correct and improve our lives whilst getting rewarded 10 times over for every letter recited. 
  • Increase the sending of Salawat on Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) – One salat on the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) is 10 blessings upon ourselves and through this simple act, we can also expect an increase of reward and erasure of sins as mentioned in the Hadith. Also, our salam reaches him wherever we may send it from and we will be rewarded for it always. What a great way to gain ajr! 
  • Connect creatively – The coronavirus pandemic has socially and severely distanced us. However, the Internet is now perhaps the best thing that ever happened in human history. What better time than to refresh those virtual friendships/relationships and drop a line to ask after others. We could also use other non-contact ways to connect with neighbours and friends by phoning/chatting with them on social media and once in a while, surprising them with a delicious dish on their doorstep! 

Finally, it pays to remember the Sahih hadith that states that acts of worship during times of difficulty/illness/travels are rewarded similarly as when done at home in times of good health and ease. Therefore let us set good intentions and act upon them by doing good deeds as much and whenever we can in our good times, so as to continue reaping the rewards during our difficult days. 

May Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) guide us, forgive us and keep us all steadfast on His Deen, Aameen! 

Hadith References

  • The Prophet said: Supplications (dua’s) offered in between the (two) calls for prayer (i.e. Adhan and Iqamah) will never be rejected.” – Abu Dawud 
  • Allah’s Apostle ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, “The reward of the prayer offered by a person in congregation is twenty-five times greater than that of the prayer offered in one’s house or in the market (alone). And this is because if he performs ablution and does it perfectly and then proceeds to the mosque with the sole intention of praying, then for every step he takes towards the mosque, he is upgraded one degree in reward and his one sin is taken off (crossed out) from his accounts (of deeds). When he offers his prayer, the angels keep on asking Allah’s Blessings and Allah’s forgiveness for him as long as he is (staying) at his Musalla. They say, ‘O Allah! Bestow Your blessings upon him, be Merciful and kind to him.’ And one is regarded in prayer as long as one is waiting for the prayer.” – Narrated by Abu Huraira (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 11, Number 620)
  • Allah’s Apostle said, “The angels keep on asking for Allah’s Blessing and Forgiveness for anyone of you as long as he is at his Musalla (praying place) and does not do Hadath (passes wind). The angels say, ‘O Allah! Forgive him and be Merciful to him.’ Each one of you is in the prayer as long as he is waiting for the prayer and nothing but the prayer detains him from going to his family.” – Narrated by Abu Huraira (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 11, Number 628) 
  • He who follows a path in quest of knowledge, Allah will make the path of Jannah easy for him, and indeed, the angels lower their wings for the seeker of knowledge, being pleased with what he does…” – As narrated by Abud-Darda (RA) and quoted in Abu Dawud & At-Tirmidhi
  • Whoever supplicates Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) to exalt my mention (i.e., send salah) Allah will exalt his mention (i.e., send salah) 10 times and remove from him 10 sins and raise him 10 degrees.” – As quoted in Sahih Muslim 

Lisha Azad is a children’s author with four published books, a freelance writer with hundreds of articles, features, opinion pieces and interviews published in the past 20-plus years in the Middle East. 

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#Current Affairs

When Racism Goes Viral: The Coronavirus And Modern Muslim Orientalism

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Lumping an entire people together for collective punishment, reveling in their suffering, and sniggering at their food choices isn’t an exercise in science, Sunnah, or compassion. It’s good, old-fashioned orientalism.

In the eight weeks since it was identified, the 2019 novel coronavirus has infected nearly 12,000 people in China alone, 200 of whom did not survive. Symptoms are flu-like in nature, and global side effects include acute, apparently contagious… racism.

Online, in Muslim as well as non-Muslim spaces, social media feeds are sniggering “Eww, you eat gross things! Of course you’ll get gross diseases!” In the midst of this human tragedy, orientalist tropes about the Chinese are being sloppily repackaged as health concerns over the coronavirus, and served with a side of bat soup.

Yes, bat soup.

The coronavirus in question is found in bats, and thanks to the scientific expertise of social media, videos of Chinese people consuming anything from bat soup to baby mice and rats are popping up as “proof” of the disease’s cause.

However the coronavirus made the jump from bats to humans, the initial source of the outbreak seems to have originated from the Wuhan Seafood market, where a number of employees and a few shoppers were the first casualties to the infection. The 2019-nCoV is moving from person to person the same way the flu does, and what a person eats – or doesn’t eat – has no bearing on whether they contract the virus or not.

In an article titled, No, Coronavirus Was Not Caused by ‘Bat Soup’–But Here’s What Researchers Think May Be to Blame, Health.com writes:

“Coronaviruses in general are large family of viruses that can affect many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In rare cases, those viruses are also zoonotic, which means they can pass between humans and animals—as was the case with Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory system (SARS), two severe coronaviruses in people.

Initially, this novel coronavirus was believed to have started in a large seafood or wet market, suggesting animal-to-person spread, according to the CDC. But a large number of people diagnosed with the virus reportedly didn’t have exposure to the wet markets, indicating that person-to-person spread of the virus is also occurring. However, it’s still possible that the novel coronavirus began with an infected animal at the market—and then went on to person-to-person transmission once people were infected.”

Being uncomfortable with things you’ve never considered edible before isn’t necessarily a racist reaction. When my husband told me he ate a chocolate-covered cricket once, I hid my toothbrush for a week, but that’s not what’s happening right now. There is a deadly virus threatening a group of people, and the internet sees fit to make fun of them. Why? Because orientalism.

Orientalism is the “intellectual” framework through which Western societies create a clear and permanent line between Western superiority and “Oriental” inferiority. If orientalism were an Instagram filter, it would take any picture of any person, event, or thing, and distort its appearance to be “other,” and in some way inferior.

Orientalism is the “intellectual” framework through which Western societies create a clear and permanent line between Western superiority and “Oriental” inferiority. If orientalism were an Instagram filter, it would take any picture of any person, event, or thing, and distort its appearance to be “other,” and in some way inferior.Click To Tweet

The inferiorizing feature is step one, because in order to position yourself as a winner, the other guy has to be a loser in some way.

The otherizing is the step 2, and both steps are important because if you say that your little brother is a loser, in the end you’re still family and you’ve got his back. This would be inferiorizing, but not otherizing.

But if you say that other kind of guy is a loser, then you have no common ground. And when the other kind of guy is in trouble, you need only gloat and make nasty comments on Twitter. That’s inferiorizing with otherizing. Orientalism can be loosely translated as US vs THEM, normal versus weird, and local versus invasive foreign, or exotic.

The otherizing of orientalism is so subconsciously embedded in people that it even creates auditory illusions to maintain the “otherization” of the subject being viewed. As crazy as that sounds, everyone has their own experience. Mine for just last month played out as follows. A homeless man approached my window and said “Ma’am, do you have two dollars?”

I smiled and responded to him, “I have exactly two dollars!”

As I dug around for my wallet, he cocked his head and said, “Your accent. There’s something different about it. Something… foreign, exotic?”

“It’s Chicago,” I said, handing him two dollars.

He blinked a few times. “What’s Chicago?”

“My accent. It’s Chicagoan. English is my first language. My accent is from Chicago.”

He narrowed his eyes at me suspiciously, this gatekeeper of Chicagoness. “What part of Chicago?”

“North side, Lincolnwood area,” I said. “I grew up on Devon Ave.”

“Pulaski Park!” he beamed, pointing to himself. “I’m from Chicago too!”

We smiled at each other, basking for a moment in our mutual Chicagoness. Then I waved and drove away, adding his insistence of my  exotic“otherness” to the dozens of other peoples’ who have heard my perfectly flat, perfectly blandly midwestern accent and perceived something foreign. I call that one “hearing with your eyes.”

I have lost track of people who have tried to insist that I have an accent. One woman even went so far as to imply that I was lying about being a native English speaker, that I must have some other first language, because there’s “Something else in there, I can hear something foreign! But you’re very articulate though.”

(To form your own opinion on my exotic accent or the lack thereof, visit the MuslimMatters podcast here!)

Compliments like “You’re so articulate!” or “You’re so different!” give you partial credit for your exceptionality, while still discrediting every other member of your general race, religion, region, or hemisphere. The left-handed compliment has a long history, and follows a predictable pattern. Take, for example, this excerpt from The Talisman, a crusade-genre fiction published in 1825.

In this scene, our gallant, invading knight finds himself unable to defeat the enemy “Saracen,” aka – Muslim defender of the Holy Land. In grudging admiration, the knight concedes:

“I well thought…that your blinded race had their descent from the foul fiend, without whose aid you would never have been able to maintain this blessed land of Palestine against so many valiant soldiers of God. I speak not thus of thee in particular, Saracen, but generally of thy people and religion. Strange it is to me, however, not that you should have the descent from the Evil One, but that you should boast of it.”

Translation: “Your people and your religion are the spawn of satan, but not you. I speak not thus of thee in particular. You’re so cool for Muslim!” Spoiler alert: turns out it’s Salahuddin.

From the crusades to colonialism to America’s chronic invasion of Muslim lands, the misrepresentation of people from Over There is both a cause and effect of policy decisions. Orientalism creates the “bad guys” necessary to justify the “good guy” response by “proving” the bad guys to be so weird, inferior, and intrinsically bad that it becomes necessary to call for the good guy cavalry. That gives the good guys permission to take over the resources that the bad guys are too incompetent to manage anyway, and overthrow the governments they’re too stupid to run, and free the women that they’re too barbaric to appreciate.

One excellent reference on this is Dr. Jack Shaheen’s brilliant documentary Reel Bad Arabs, which summarizes a hundred years of Hollywood’s orientalist portrayal of “Arab Land,” a mythical, exotic, treacherous, incompetent, and seductive place, whose capital city is apparently Agrabah which, in 2015, a public policy poll found that 30% of GOP voters were in favor of bombing.

Another side effect of orientalism is the refusal to allow for individual accountability and the insistence on collective blame. “Western” men who harm and oppress women are rightly labeled as jerks and abusers who don’t represent Western morals, ethics, or ideals through their individual actions. Same for white racists, extremists, and criminals in general.

However, Muslims jerks who do the same are awarded representative status of the entire Muslim population (1.9 billion) and Islamic tradition (1441 years). The perception as all Muslim men based on only the worst of them seems ludicrous on paper, and such generalizations are no longer acceptable to make about race, but are still perfectly popular to make about minority religious groups.

Orientalism enables the belief that Muslims are terrible terrorists who are terrible to their women. If they say otherwise, it’s because their religion is terrible and lying about it is part of the religion too. They don’t deserve their own lands or resources, they’ll just use them for more terribleness. We should go in there and save them from themselves! And also, make lots of predictable, idiotic romance novels and movies in which a poor, beautiful Oriental Female is rescued through the power of Love and Freedom. Because just as violence is the natural state of the Muslim man, oppression is the natural state of the Muslim woman. Miskeena. Habibti.

Human beings can be horrible to each other. No ethnic, religious, or racial group is any exception. The problem arises when individual horribleness is elevated to collective attribution, and that collective attribution is used to justify collective punishment, as well as collective suffering.

When millions of Americans get sick from the flu, and tens of thousands die every year, why aren’t we making fun of the weird things that white people eat? Like Rocky Mountain Oysters (which are bull testicles) and sweetbreads (which are bits of an animal’s pancreas and thymus glands)?Click To Tweet

When millions of Americans get sick from the flu, and tens of thousands die every year, why aren’t we making fun of the weird things that white people eat? Like Rocky Mountain Oysters (which are bull testicles) and sweetbreads (which are bits of an animal’s pancreas and thymus glands)? What about snails, frog legs, crawfish, chocolate covered ants, and those tequila-inspired lollipops with an actual worm candied in the center?

The filtering effect of orientalism means that our weird foods – be it maghz masala and katakat– are quirky and fun, but their weird foods are disgusting and totally cause to celebrate infectious disease.

If the tables were turned and a deadly coronavirus originated from say, Saudi Arabia, would it be alright to ridicule Muslims for what they ate, or how they lived? What if that specific coronavirus actually originated in camels.

Yes, camels. The Islamophobic internet would have a field day with that one. Yes, we ride camels and prize camels and even eat camels – and they’re delicious I might add – but if a deadly virus originated from camels, found its way into humans in the Middle East, and from there caused death and destruction in other countries- would it be our fault? Would we deserve scorn? Would the suffering and death of our people be justified by how “gross” it is that we eat camels, even if only a few us actually do, and the rest of us prefer shawarma?

Pause for dramatic emphasis. Open the Lancet. Read.

“Human coronavirus is one of the main pathogens of respiratory infection. The two highly pathogenic viruses, SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, cause severe respiratory syndrome in humans and four other human coronaviruses induce mild upper respiratory disease. The major SARS-CoV outbreak involving 8422 patients occurred during 2002–03 and spread to 29 countries globally.

MERS-CoV emerged in Middle Eastern countries in 2012 but was imported into China.

The sequence of 2019-nCoV is relatively different from the six other coronavirus subtypes but can be classified as betacoronavirus. SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV can be transmitted directly to humans from civets and dromedary camels, respectively, and both viruses originate in bats, but the origin of 2019-nCoV needs further investigation.

The mortality of SARS-CoV has been reported as more than 10% and MERS-CoV at more than 35%.”

MERS-CoV, or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome –Coronavirus emerged in 2012, traveling from bats to camels to humans, killing 35% of the people who contracted it. It originated in Saudi Arabia and found its way across the continent all the way to China. So could the Chinese internet have been justified in ridiculing our deaths because we ate camels?

Could they legitimize posting “gross” videos of whole, pit-roasted camels? Could they say it was science, not racism, as they moved on to our other “gross” foods, like locusts and the dhab lizard?

Read more about the Sunnah of the Dhab Lizard.

Locusts and lizards have as much to do with MERS-CoV as mice and rats have to do with 2019 novel coronavirus, but doesn’t our grossness in general mean we deserve our fate?

No, it doesn’t. Making fun of what people eat isn’t science, epidemiology, or the sunnah. It’s racism, and it is hugely disappointing to see Muslims hurt others with to the same tropes that are used to hurt us.

No, it doesn’t. Making fun of what people eat isn’t science, epidemiology, or the sunnah. It’s racism, and it is hugely disappointing to see Muslims hurt others with to the same tropes that are used to hurt us.Click To Tweet

Orientalism is alive and kicking both of our communities in the teeth — Chinese and Muslim – but to further complicate the matter, there’s the ongoing genocide of the Uighur Muslims in China, and that’s rooted in orientalism too.

The Chinese government has imprisoned 3 million Muslims in concentration camps, a number equal to the entire Muslim population in America. It is not unexpected that some people wishfully assume the 2019 novel coronavirus epidemic to be the comeuppance that the Chinese government deserves for its cruelty, but that’s sad and wrong on many, many levels.

People cheering the coronavirus on fail to understand a few very big, very important things about the situation. I will list them, because the internet is no place for subtlety and these points have to stand out for those who would sail over the entire article so they can trash it in the comments. They are as follows:


  1. The entire population of China is no more responsible for the actions of its government than you are for yours. If you hate Donald Trump, his border wall, the separation of families, the Muslim Ban, cuts to medical benefits, and corruption in general but STILL live in America, then you understand that a great, frustrated, and powerless mass of citizens can have little to no effect on its government’s choices. Such is politics. Such is life. Such is China too.

    This guy is all our fault specifically. So I hope we all die of the flu.

  2. The coronavirus’s lethality is exponentially higher in people with poor health and weak immune systems. Like the flu, the coronavirus is overwhelmingly most lethal to children and elderly. The coronavirus is not targeted at, nor limited to the Chinese leadership for its crimes against humanity. Unfortunately, that is not how epidemics work.
  3.  The spread of Coronavirus – like all respiratory infections – is greatly accelerated through close living quarters as well as poor sanitation and hygiene. The 3 million Uighur Muslims interred by the Chinese government are imprisoned in distressingly cruel, cramped, and unhygienic conditions. Their close proximity as well as population density mean that if the virus makes it into the captive population, hundreds of thousands – if not millions of Muslims – would die. Don’t root for the coronavirus. It does not discriminate based on religion or race, even if you do.

And now we come full circle. When Muslims ridicule the Chinese for “being gross,” they are simply echoing the same racist, Orientalist talking points that labeled the Chinese – and later the Japanese – as the “Yellow Peril,” a filthy, faceless, monolithic mass deserving all of our scorn and none of the individual considerations that we insist on for ourselves.

Given the abuse that Muslims have been subject to by orientalist tropes, it should make us all the more aware of its dangerous cultural impact. We know what it’s like to be looked down on, laughed at, and blamed for our own suffering. We know what it feels like to have our foods gagged at, our accents mocked, and our cultural clothing turned into Halloween costumes.

Worse still, we know, very painfully and very currently, what it looks like for an entire people to be treated as a disease in and of themselves. China has declared Islam to be a contagious disease, an “ideological illness,” and on this very basis is it holding 3 million Muslims hostage. In an official statement loaded with situational irony, the Chinese Community Party officially stated,

“Members of the public who have been chosen for reeducation have been infected by an ideological illness. They have been infected with religious extremism and violent terrorist ideology, and therefore they must seek treatment from a hospital as an inpatient.

… There is always a risk that the illness will manifest itself at any moment, which would cause serious harm to the public. That is why they must be admitted to a reeducation hospital in time to treat and cleanse the virus from their brain and restore their normal mind … Being infected by religious extremism and violent terrorist ideology and not seeking treatment is like being infected by a disease that has not been treated in time, or like taking toxic drugs … There is no guarantee that it will not trigger and affect you in the future.” – source

The dangers of racism and orientalism are real, and the victims number the millions. Knowing how much damage orientalism causes in our community, we must commit to never, ever stooping to the same ideologies that are used to justify our own oppression. No matter how many bats people eat, or how evil their government can be, people are individual people. We stand on equal footing, equally deserving of respect, compassion, and acknowledgement of our humanity.



The Orientalist mindset that diminishes and distances us from each other strips us of our dignity, whether we are its victim, or its the perpetrator. Such racism is antithetical to the Prophetic compassion and mercy that Islam demands from us as Muslims. When Muslims celebrate the suffering of innocent people as some sort of epidemiological revenge for the suffering of innocent people, that’s not Islam.

That’s prejudice.

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#Current Affairs

Why Israel Should Be ‘Singled Out’ For Its Human Rights Record

Unlike other countries, ordinary citizens are complicit in the perpetual crimes committed against defenseless Palestinians.

israel, occupied Palestine
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Why is everyone so obsessed with Israel’s human rights abuses? From Saudi Arabia, to Syria, to North Korea to Iran. All these nations are involved in flagrant violations of human right, so why all the focus on Israel – ‘the only democracy in the Middle East’? Clearly, if you ignore these other violations and only focus on Israel, you must be anti-Semitic. What else could be your motivations for this double standard?

This is one of the most common contentions raised when Israel is criticized for its human rights record. I personally don’t believe in entertaining this question – it shouldn’t matter why an activist is choosing to focus on one conflict and not others. What matters are the facts being raised; putting into question the motives behind criticizing Israel is a common tactic to detract from the topic at hand. The conversation soon turns into some circular argument about anti-Semitism and the plight of the Palestinian people is lost. More importantly, this charge of having double standards is often disingenuous. For example, Representative Ihan Omar has been repeatedly accused of this recently and her motives have been called ‘suspicious’ – despite her vocal criticism of other countries, especially Saudi Arabia.

However, this point is so frequently brought up, I think that perhaps its time activists and critics simply own up to it. Yes – Israel should be singled out, for some very good reasons. These reasons relate to there being a number of unique privileges that the country enjoys; these allow it to get away with much of the abuses it commits. Human right activists thus must be extra vocal when comes to Israel as they have to overcome the unparalleled level of support for the country, particularly in the US and Canada. The following points summarize why Israel should in fact be singled out:

1) Ideological support from ordinary citizens

When Iran and North Korea commit human right abuses, we don’t have to worry about everyone from journalists to clerics to average students on campuses coming out and defending those countries. When most nations commit atrocities, our journalists and politicians call them out, sanctions are imposed, they are taking them to the International Court of Justice, etc. There are instruments in place to take care of other ‘rogue’ nations – without the need for intervention from the common man.

Israel, however, is unique in that it has traditionally enjoyed widespread ideological support, primarily from the Jewish community and Evangelical Christians, in the West. This support is a result of the historical circumstances and pseudo-religious ideology that drove the creation of the state in 1948. The successful spread of this nationalistic dogma for the last century means Israel can count on ordinary citizens from Western countries to comes to its defense. This support can come in the form of foreign enlistment to its military, students conducting campus activism, politicians shielding it from criticisms and journalists voluntarily writing in its support and spreading state propaganda.

This ideological and nationalistic attachment to the country is the prime reason why it is so incredibly difficult to have any kind of sane conversation about Israel in the public sphere – criticism is quickly seen as an attack on Jewish identity and interpreted as an ‘existential threat’ to the nation by its supporters. Any attempts to take Israel to account through standard means are thwarted because of the political backlash feared from the country’s supporters in the West.

2) Unconditional political support of a world superpower

The US is Israel’s most important and closest ally in the Middle-East. No matter what war crimes Israel commits, it can count on America to have its back. This support means the US will use its veto power to support Israel against actions of the UN Security Council, it will use its diplomatic influence to shield any punitive actions from other nations and it will use its military might to intervene if need be. The backing of the US is one of the main reasons why the Israeli occupation and expansion of the colonial settlement enterprise continues to this day without any repercussions.

While US support might be especially staunch for Israel, this factor is certainly not unique to the country. Any country which has this privilege, e.g. Saudi Arabia, should be under far great scrutiny for its human rights violations than others.

3)  Military aid and complicity of tax-payers

US tax-payers are directly paying for Israel to carry out its occupation of the Palestinian people.

Israel is the largest recipient of US-military aid – it receives an astonishing $3 billion dollars every year. This aid, according to a US congressional report, “has helped transform Israel’s armed forces into one of the most technologically sophisticated militaries in the world.”

Unlike other countries, ordinary citizens are complicit in the perpetual crimes committed against defenseless Palestinians. Activists and citizens thus have a greater responsibility to speak out against Israel as their government is paying the country to carry out its atrocities. Not only is this aid morally reprehensible, but it is also illegal under United States Leahy Laws.

4) The Israeli lobby

The Israeli lobby is one of the most powerful groups in Washington and is the primary force for ensuring continued US political support for the nation. It consists of an assortment of formal lobby groups (AIPAC, Christians United for Israel), think-thanks (Washington Institute for Near East Policy), political action committee or PACs, not-for-profit organizations (B’nai B’irth, American Jewish Congress, Stand for Israel) and media watchdogs (CAMERA, Honest Reporting). These organizations together exercise an incredible amount of political influence. They ensure that any criticism of Israel is either stifled or there are serious consequences for those who speak up. In 2018 alone, pro-Israel donors spent $22 million on lobbying for the country – far greater than any other nation. Pro-Israel lobbies similarly influence politics in other places such as the UK, Canada, and Europe.

5) One of the longest-running occupation in human history

This point really should be the first one on this list – and it is the only one that should matter. However, because of the unique privileges that Israel enjoys, it is hard to get to the crux of what it is actually doing. Israel, with U.S. support, has militarily occupied the Palestinian territories (West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem) since 1967. The belligerent occupation, over 50 years old, is one of the longest, bloodiest and brutal in human history.

Israel continues to steal land and build settler colonies the West Bank – in flagrant violation of international law. It has implemented a system of apartheid in these territories which is reminiscent of the racist regime of South Africa. The Gaza strip has been under an insufferable siege which has made the living conditions deplorable; it has been referred to the world’s largest ‘open-air prison’. In addition to this institutional oppression, crimes committed against Palestinians include: routinely killing civilian protesters, including teenagers and medics, torture of Palestinians and severe restrictions on the everyday movement of Palestinians.

The brutality, consistency and the duration for which Israel has oppressed Palestinians is alone enough reason for it being ‘singled out’. No other nation comes close to its record. However, for the reasons mentioned above, Israel’s propaganda machine has effectively painted itself as just another ‘liberal democracy’ in the eyes of the general public. Any attempt to bring to light these atrocities are met with ‘suspicion’ about the ‘real’ motives of the critics. Given the points mentioned here, it should be evident that the level of support for Israeli aggression is uniquely disproportionate – it is thus fitting that criticism of the country is equally vocal and unparalleled as well.

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