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Get the Muslim iCondemn App!

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Why don’t we Muslims ever condemn terrorism? This is a perennial question many intelligent, reflective people have asked over the years. Usually these people don’t have a single Muslim acquaintance and don’t know how to use a search engine, but that’s besides the point.

Some have argued that Muslims shouldn’t be required to condemn every single criminal act done in the name of their religion. After all, asking Muslims to condemn terrorism is akin to demanding Muslims assume guilt for the crimes of a deranged few, and that’s just racist. Or so the argument goes.

But I totally disagree.

themuslimskeptic

Rather than stopping our condemnations, I believe Muslims need to be making more condemnations. Much more. I just don’t feel like Muslims have done enough to denounce all the bad stuff we’re loosely, indirectly responsible for, probably. Why else are people always asking why Muslims aren’t condemning terrorism? Clearly, we need to take our condemnation game to the next level.

According to my calculations, we need to be denouncing things at fifty times the volume and at least twenty times the speed to meet all the demand. The problem is all that denunciation takes a lot of time and resources. We need a 21st century solution to this problem.

That’s why I am developing the world’s first Muslim denunciation app: The iCondemn®!

With the iCondemn®, Muslims can say “not in my name” at the speed of life!™ And non-Muslims no longer need to wonder whether 1.6 billion Muslims around the world feel the guilt and sincerely apologize for that latest reprehensible crime some idiot carried out while shouting “Allahu Akbar!”

Feast your eyes on these exclusive screen shots:

iCondemn Home Screen

-Beautiful home screen

iCondemn Screen 2

– With full international coverage, you get Muslim condemnations from all over the world!

iCondemn Screen 3

– With iCondemns®, you can join in on the condemnation. Just hit the “Condemn” button® to jump on the bandwagon! Some posts get MILLIONS of iCondemns® from people around the world!

iCondemn Screen 4

– Muslims are not afraid to be cultural critics, too.

iCondemn Screen 8

– Condemnations relating to American domestic issues feature prominently in the Condemnation Feed®.

iCondemn Screen 5

– Keep your finger on the pulse of Muslim self-consciousness!™

iCondemn Screen 6

– The iCondemn® app uses highly advanced technology to condemn even the most mundane evils.

iCondemn Screen 7

– The amazing thing about this app is that it even issues condemnations of events in the past, like the source of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and British imperialism. Also, finally, someone is speaking out about Nazi Cows.

iCondemn Screen 9

– With a $4.99 upgrade, the app comes with the Guilt-O-Meter®, which accurately gauges how nervous Western Muslims are feeling right about now.

Reviews

stars3

“I was waiting to see Muslims denounce Islam. Until they do that, this app is useless.”

– Sean Hannity, Fox News pundit

stars2

“It’s good to see Muslims finally taking responsibility for my life going down the crapper.”

– Dale Miller, unemployed

stars1

“I’m a Muslim and I love this app! It feels good knowing that my religion strongly opposes everything a certain segment of middle- to upper-class white non-Muslims find evil, offensive, objectionable, or slightly inconvenient.”

– Ahmad Khan, law student

stars1

“At first I was nervous this app was going to be preachy, but, to my surprise, all the condemnations are totally mainstream. There’s absolutely nothing anyone with a half decent human conscience wouldn’t immediately recognize as bad.”

– Aisha Kenner, accountant

Get the iCondemn® app today!

Daniel Haqiqatjou was born in Houston, Texas. He attended Harvard University where he majored in Physics and minored in Philosophy. He completed a Masters degree in Philosophy at Tufts University. Haqiqatjou is also a student of the traditional Islamic sciences. He writes and lectures on contemporary issues surrounding Muslims and Modernity. Email Daniel here .

58 Comments

58 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Miriam

    January 9, 2015 at 2:27 PM

    I hope this is a joke.

    • Avatar

      Tanveer Khan

      January 9, 2015 at 3:27 PM

      Read the captions (I’m not really sure what they’re actually called) to the articles in the screenshots and you’ll get your answer :)

      • Avatar

        Miriam

        January 9, 2015 at 5:21 PM

        Lol my phone didn’t load the screenshots before. Definitely clears things up.

    • Avatar

      Ahmed

      January 10, 2015 at 2:41 AM

      With Saudi emperor going around throwing money everywhere trying to survive his creation, you will make millions!

  2. Pingback: Get the iCondemn app! | Dating Jesus

    • Avatar

      JJones

      January 12, 2015 at 10:29 AM

      May I suggest a suicide app instead? Instant heaven for all Muslims! What could be better?

      • Avatar

        Inqiyaad

        January 12, 2015 at 9:49 PM

        ‘Friendly fire app’ sounds better, and for this I support our troops.

      • Avatar

        Umm Sulaimon

        January 12, 2015 at 10:24 PM

        Nah that won’t work unfortunately. You see suicide in Islam does not land one into heaven so the app would be flawed :).

  3. Avatar

    Ahmed

    January 9, 2015 at 6:12 PM

    Will iCondemn allow us to condemn the app itself? Or will that be part of the paid version only?

    • Avatar

      Rashad

      January 9, 2015 at 6:50 PM

      LOL! That’s hilarious…but no seriously, someone answer him, I want to know the answer as well.

    • Avatar

      Jamiela

      January 11, 2015 at 4:05 AM

      I think many people may even buy the paid version just to make use of this feature.

  4. Avatar

    mo

    January 9, 2015 at 9:40 PM

    I’d like to condemn the choice of “Mo” as an expression of a Muslim’s concern for their comfort in the guilt-o-meter. Why not pick on the “Sam” for Sameers or “Mary” for Mariams or “Morty” for Murtazas out there?

    I’m so offended I’m just going to sit and steep like my chai while grumbling about you young Muslims with all your technology and Facing books

    ;-)

    • Avatar

      Mo

      September 11, 2016 at 3:17 PM

      What you need is the iCondem app so you can condemn the iCondem app’s use of “Mo” as a term used in advertising the iCondem app. Obviously. Get it now!

  5. Avatar

    john Howard

    January 9, 2015 at 9:48 PM

    It’s all a big joke isn’t it ? Keep killing the kuffars and make it all a joke One day when the it goes the other way in the west and the massacres of hundreds of western living muslims occur will you find that funny? To date the non Muslims here in the west have shown amazing restraint in their reactions to the slaughters done against them from 9/11, 7/7, Spain, Australia, Bali. Mumbai, and now Paris There has been no mass murders or retaliations other than a few grafiti attacks and screams of abuse – absolutely trivial in comparison to what has happened to the kuffars.
    I guess as kuffars we don’t count in your eyes

    • Avatar

      Ismail

      January 10, 2015 at 5:01 AM

      Old McGrumpypants is back! Wondered where you had burrowed yourself into.

      • Avatar

        John Howard

        January 10, 2015 at 10:05 AM

        Yes I am to mourn the dead ivilians in France and the hundreds murderedby Boko Haram today in Nigeria, I guess that is a good reason to be grumpy but heh they are only kuffars
        You know I have tried to see the Muslim side of things but more and more I see that many of you are quite prepared to keep being blind to what is done in your religion’s name and that makes me wonder if all the protestations of wanting to be part of our western societies is actually true. Because right now I see racism and it is certainly not one sided. When Muslims start to demonstrate that these outrages are not in their name like they do when there is perceived outrage against their faith I might get less “grumpy”.
        I am glad Charlie Hebdo is back next week and I hope that their cartoons are even more outrageous in their attacks. In particular the targetted attack on that Jewish Delicatessan. The murder of the Cartoonists was terrorism designed to frighten people from making fun of Islam the other attack was a manifestation of ethnic cleansing of a minority much like what is going on in Syria and Iraq against the Christians and Kurds

      • Avatar

        Inqiyaad

        January 10, 2015 at 2:51 PM

        John, I agree, Muslims will never come out of their medieval mindset. They will never realize that ‘infidels’ and ‘kuffar’ belong in the era of crusades. They will never realize that the only moral way to kill innocent people in the modern world is to call them ‘terrorists’ or ‘collateral damage’.

        Also, they will never learn that there are ways other than taking a chainsaw to the neck to decapitate or kill people whom you disagree with, and their generations to come. Like, sprinkling some depleted uranium by pressing a button or using Madeline Albright’s favorite method.

    • Avatar

      David Jones

      January 10, 2015 at 5:05 AM

      Way to miss the point, John.

    • Avatar

      Inqiyaad

      January 10, 2015 at 11:30 AM

      John,
      Quite right! Still, Muslims cannot match the professional jesters in the western world. Forget the jesters, they cannot even match the very serious ‘leader of the free world’ in joking about snuffing out innocent lives. Heck, he did not even have a grudge against the old lady who was picking okra in her farm.

      Muslim innovation ends at apps like icondemn. We, western democracies and our allies, invent apps that give 3 minutes notice before blowing up whole residential buildings with our other inventions. We don’t spread our ideology with a sword. We use only superior technology of radar evading drones and phosphorus shells.

      Daniel, this is a good start and I wish there were more Muslims who could be as innovative as you, instead of wasting their lives. Only one problem though, how could you even think that this app was market ready? It does not have a feature to condemn people who use ‘freedom of speech’ as an excuse to further their anti-semitism and question JSIL’s right to exist.

    • Avatar

      Carlos

      January 11, 2015 at 11:11 PM

      Poor John. You can really see the generation gap when he starts talking.

  6. Avatar

    Kirana

    January 9, 2015 at 9:57 PM

    Awesome. For a fleeting moment I had the mad desire to want this app ironically (even though if it existed it wouldn’t actually advance harmony in the end).

  7. Avatar

    manal

    January 10, 2015 at 1:33 AM

    Love your satire..straight to the point! I hope people get the message behind it and stop asking Muslims ti denouce every crime! We should denouce the media for addressing those criminals with the religiin of Islam.

  8. Amad

    Amad

    January 10, 2015 at 2:05 AM

    Can this app predict when bad things are going to happen and start condemning before the press cycle? Kind of like minority report? Can you consider it in the next upgrade?

    • Avatar

      M. Mahmud

      January 15, 2015 at 10:49 PM

      Perhaps it can deal with it like the weather…….”we’re predicting rising Islamophobia over the next few weeks so stay warm ready your tongue with the condemnations, (make it a second dhikr!!!!!) Smile extra(it’s a sunnah after all) at every infidel from taxi cab to workplace and, if you don’t sport a beard, attach a fake one and visibly help old lady across the street. Could be your mom, but make sure she isn’t Muslamic looking.”

  9. Avatar

    Most Rua

    January 10, 2015 at 3:33 AM

    Ha ha ha! Brilliant! I think you should create a Christian version too. Confession needs to be brought into the 21st century. Guilt needs to be updated and left online for all to see. You could call it iconfess. The inquisition, Catholic church child abuse coukd even have its own section.
    Congratulations! You’re onto a winner!!
    Missy Rua
    Ireland

    • Avatar

      Ismail

      January 10, 2015 at 5:05 AM

      I told a Catholic co-worker that he should publicly apologise for the Oklahoma City bombings by Timothy McVeigh.

      Why, I had nothing to do with it,” he said, thoroughly confused. Yeah, my point precisely…

  10. Avatar

    Tlo

    January 10, 2015 at 6:31 AM

    Awesome.
    Let’s build a “black” version too.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous

      January 12, 2015 at 5:37 PM

      I could use a Jewish version for whenever Israel does something awful…

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  12. Avatar

    Naadir Jeewa

    January 10, 2015 at 10:21 AM

    I condemn the lack of following Android Material UI standards.

    Set up the landing page & kickstarter, pronto!

  13. Avatar

    Jeff

    January 10, 2015 at 10:49 AM

    Not only was this thought provoking, but it went a long way toward dispelling my stereotypes of Muslim web sites. This is hilarious!

  14. Pingback: On Muslim “guilt” and the “obligation” to condemn | شراشيب بنات

  15. Zeba Khan

    Zeba Khan

    January 10, 2015 at 1:53 PM

    User Review: Bought it, used it, Meh.

    While the ability to search through existing condemnations was a plus for non-Muslim users, I was really left wanting for the ability to separate my contacts into condemnation categories according to religion, age, and current media crisis. I mean, seriously, I need separate lists for my Shia friends when something Sunnia-Shia goes down, and separate lists for my Indos and my Paks when things heat up between IndoPak.

    I can’t be the only one here who has some very specific condemning to do. The whole Muslims vs. The World narrative is a gross oversimplification of world politics, world religion, and the politics of world religions. Really people, there needs to be more than one category.

    A good effort, but at the end of the day, two out of five stars for no Whatsapp integration.

    • Avatar

      James

      January 12, 2015 at 5:22 PM

      It looks like a 1.0 product. I’m sure that the next upgrade will be more feature rich.

  16. Avatar

    A Pink Poodle

    January 10, 2015 at 2:38 PM

    Not condemning hard enough!!! /jk

  17. Avatar

    Aaminah

    January 10, 2015 at 2:52 PM

    You have to integrate social media with the app. What good is it for us to condemn if it doesn’t automatically send a tweet, Facebook status, Instagram photo proof, and Google+ update telling all our networks about it? That’s like, you know, basic social technology now.

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  20. Avatar

    Jamiela

    January 11, 2015 at 3:46 AM

    When all the Barack Obama supporters condemn his killing of innocent civilians in the middle east and all the Zionists ask for forgiveness fromm all the families they have brutally ousted from their houses and all the innocent children and adult Palestinians they bomb everyday, I, who do not even support the terrorists they do will perhaps consider questioning the actions of those they label terrorists’ whom I don’t even support. I believe any muslim terrorist can hold the moral high ground to those who bomb innocents without blinking an eyelid in the name of stamping out terrorism when they are the super-terrorists. Muslim terrorists are little league. They are the majors. We make such a fuss about muslim terrorists and ignore those who carry out wholesale terrorism as a matter of course. Does their terrorism not count because they’re not muslim? Is that really the prerequisite?

    Perhaps I’m the only one who is living in this place called ‘Reality’.

    I think this ridiculous app is just another attempt of the realterrorist-friendly masses at misdirection and is frankly insulting to fair-minded muslims and individuals who hold fast to the values of true justice, fairness, equality, religious freedom, and the right to defend onesself and ones property.

    We South Africans know Apartheid too well, how about we denounce Zionism as the apartheid system it is, how about we spend our time denouncing real major league terrorism? May Allah(the One God) open our eyes to the truth and guide us to treat each other fairly and with true justice.

    • Avatar

      Inqiyaad

      January 11, 2015 at 9:04 AM

      Jamiela,
      Please, don’t calm down. Please, Please, do not ever look up the dictionary for ‘satire.’

    • Avatar

      Ibn Adnan Al-Yutaawi

      January 11, 2015 at 11:20 AM

      2 wrongs don’t make a right. Even if one is far smaller than the other.

    • Avatar

      M. Mahmud

      January 15, 2015 at 11:31 PM

      I condemn you for not getting the joke. Oh sis of gullibility when will you and other Muslims learn to laugh? You have just grievously shamed us all.

  21. Avatar

    khalid

    January 11, 2015 at 7:46 AM

    Maasha Allah

  22. Avatar

    William

    January 11, 2015 at 1:49 PM

    nervous-about-Islam-white-guy, who found this really great. Thanks for helping me regain some perspective.

    • Avatar

      M. Mahmud

      January 15, 2015 at 10:51 PM

      Mate, you cracked me up after a second LOL

  23. Avatar

    Ayo

    January 11, 2015 at 2:10 PM

    With all that’s happening all around the world, only one point of view I have the common enemy “Satan” is on the winner side, only good understanding can make one belief that Satan is expanding is territory by days. Using anyone that can fall victim by any name.
    We should all remember that it’s not religion that guaranteed heaven, but religious.
    Anybody can come in any name to perpetrate evil, it doesn’t mean he/she truly represent what is acclaimed.
    Will you accept your family to be condemned because of one black sheep in the house?
    We all know how to deny our image breakers and mock rivals that have been condemned by same image breakers. Let stop being hypocrite, rally round your rivals while in need.
    God’s kingdom is large enough to contain all, there’s no need for religion or any other forms of rivalry.
    All should more be concerned about what account to give on the D day!

  24. Avatar

    emma

    January 11, 2015 at 7:01 PM

    somebody please explain why that first review is there of the fox news pundit……a bit confused here? and why is one of the condemnations against BDS against Israel??? We need to be doing BDS people! either i’m confused or most everyone else is….

    • Avatar

      Beth

      January 12, 2015 at 5:17 AM

      Emma – The whole thing is a spoof. Quite rightly most followers of Islam are hacked off by being asked to condemn acts which ANY sane person would condemn. Just as I, as someone brought up in the Christian tradition, would be hacked off for having to apologize for the actions of violent Christians like those in the LRA or those in the USA who murder doctors who carry out abortions.
      As for the Sean Hannity review – he didn’t really say that, but he is so blinded by his own ignorance that if he were to review the app, that is what he would say. As for BDS, well i deduce that some Moslem leaders have stated that sanctions against Israel would be counter productive; not a position you would expect them to take. Hope this helps!

  25. Avatar

    JohnT

    January 12, 2015 at 5:14 AM

    Loved the app! Great piece of satire and a welcome riposte to the “if they don’t condemn and apologise they’re responsible” wingnuts.

  26. Avatar

    Sezan92

    January 12, 2015 at 9:13 AM

    “If all muslims dont download this app they arent ‘Moderate Muslim’ yer”
    -Bill Taher
    “Maybe Muslims are peaceful but if they dont install this app , they hold the responsibility for not condemning!”
    Rubayat Murdoch

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  29. Avatar

    Ivor

    January 15, 2015 at 6:33 AM

    Okay, been trying to download the app onto my phone (Nokia 6210) without much success. ;) I am an atheist. Am I allowed to using it too? Perhaps you could develop a separate app for those of us who know that terrorist extremism has nothing to do with any faith called iKnowitaintU.

  30. Avatar

    M. Mahmud

    January 15, 2015 at 11:12 PM

    I condemn soggy cornflakes and the bad traffic that afflicts us all. Neither represent the diverse and beautiful tradition of Islam. I would like to join hand in hand with my fellow Americans to also protest the rise in the price of cheese. Islam does not support such evil.

    I also openly condemn Call of Duty for the horrific PTSD many teenagers have received after hours of shooting up digital Muslims terrorists. Yes, I condemn my cartoon coreligionists and would like to make it known that Islam is a religion of peace and does not support traumatizing 12-40 year old CoD fans. These brave men in basement have sacrificed themselves for our country and as a true patriot and a proud American Muslim I will not hesitate to fund the USDVA and to treat carpal tunnel and eye strain. It’s the least I can do. AMERICA!!!!!

  31. Avatar

    M. Mahmud

    January 15, 2015 at 11:28 PM

    I condemn Muslims for using water to cleanse their bottoms. Retaining a small amount of fecal matter in ones bottom is a time honored Western tradition and every time I shake hands with a non-Muslim who has just relieved himself I am honored, oh absolutely honored to know how far we have progressed. Sometimes I sniff my hand afterwards and and take a deep moment to reflect on the great glory of our glorious civilization of gloriousness. AMERICAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YEAH BABY!!!!!

  32. Avatar

    Draw Dignity

    January 18, 2015 at 2:33 PM

    DRAW DIGNITY, NOT HATRED: Ban Hate-Mongering Caricatures of Religious Figures

    Speaking about condemnation, there is a petition to the United Nations to recognize that some caricatures of religious figures pass the line of free speech and can fall into the zone of hate speech, as this is done intentionally to provoke violence to or from a religious group.

    This petition isn’t just for Muslims. It’s also not just about freedom of speech or just about hate speech. It’s about drawing the balancing line between the two. It’s for anyone who wants to draw this line for themselves, for anyone who has the right to be offended by caricatures of religious figures that are primarily designed to promote hatred and violence. No one should have to receive the same treatment. It is one thing to have freedom of speech and even the freedom to insult. This intention is up to the speaker to decide. But it is wholly another to have the *right* to go through emotional, social, political abuse through willfully-provoking hate speech due to one’s beliefs. That, is *wrong*.

    Please help us gather 100 000 signatures to garner the attention of the United Nations and be one step closer to human equality everywhere.

    Read more about the reasons for running this petition, sign up for it here and pass it on: {http://bit.ly/drawdignity}

    Twitter – http://twitter.com/drawdignity
    #drawdignity

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Featured Home

Mass Shootings in America: All of the Above

Imam Zaid Shakir

Published

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We express our deepest condolences to the families of those who have perished in the latest instances of mass slaughter in our public square, this time in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. We further pray that all of those wounded recover from their injuries. This violence, which can increasingly be described as American as apple pie, is a tragic example of a society wrestling with a debilitating spiritual disease.

Just as tragic as the violence are the narrow, mutually exclusive frames that seem to trap our pundits, polemicists, and politicians when attempting to meaningfully analyze what is happening. Liberals declare the problem is rooted in racism, aided and abetted in part by the President’s rhetoric and actions, along with a lack of any meaningful gun control. Conservatives say it is an issue whose root cause is found in mental health, video games, and the erosion of the family. Each side dismisses the arguments of the other. If we are fair, we must admit that all of the above-mentioned factors, and perhaps others, contribute to the problem.

Anyone who dismisses the rhetoric and actions of President Trump as a factor contributing to the climate of racial and anti-immigrant animosity growing in this country cannot be taken seriously. Certainly, not all of the now 251 mass shootings that have occurred in the country this year were racially motivated. For those that were, it is clear from the screeds left by the perpetrators of these atrocities, their online activity, the groups and individuals they identify with, as well as the warped ideology they espouse that there is an overlap between their words and ideas and many of those expressed by the President. That overlap is owed to a conscious policy pursued by President Trump.

The President understands that there are large numbers of radical White nationalists who, like many on the extreme left, have become disenchanted with mainstream politics as well as the two mainstream parties. He knows that they can be encouraged to become supporters of the Republican Party if the Republican Party supports them. Encouraged by the likes of Steve Bannon and Steve Miller, Trump sends messages to this growing constituency to ensure that issues concerning them will be represented by his administration. Hence, rhetoric and policy prescriptions formerly confined to the dark dungeons of the internet have become mainstreamed under the current administration.

It is not the least ironic that the very day of the El Paso shooting, President Trump retweeted a message from the fear-mongering, hate-inspiring, British anti-Muslim bigot, Katie Hopkins. Among other things, Hopkins, has called for a “final solution” for Muslims in the aftermath of the suicide bombing of a Manchester pop concert in 2017. This past May, when an audience member at one of his rallies shouted, “shoot them” in response to Trump’s question as to how to stop migrants from entering the country, the President joked approvingly. His effort to end birth right citizenship and his staunch support of voter suppression, both designed to undermine the growing political strength of expanding minority populations, can only be described as racially motivated.

Such actions, coupled with the President’s words decrying immigrant populations as rapists, murderers, and invaders, calling for a ban on Muslims entering the country, his praise and support for white nationalists, both nationally and globally, his describing countries the US has historically helped to under-develop, such as Haiti, as s—t hole countries and a long list of other open and “dog-whistle” racist statements send a clear message to racists that bigoted hatred is not only fine, it has an ally in the White House.

Many failed to grasp Trump’s racism because they do not fully realize its nature. The brilliant African American novelist, Toni Morrison, who passed away earlier this week, captured the essence of racism when she said, “Racism is not a goal it is a path, a path to power and money, a manipulation and a tool…” Throughout his career and now as President this is exactly what Trump’s racism is and has been.

While it would certainly be a stretch to claim that Trump’s words are directly responsible for the actions of white supremacist terrorists, it is increasingly incredulous to claim that the President’s rhetoric is not a factor in massacres such as the recent one in El Paso. Words convey meanings and those meanings matter. Consider this recent excerpt from a letter penned by the leaders of the National Cathedral:

Make no mistake about it, words matter. And, Mr. Trump’s words are dangerous. These words are more than a “dog-whistle.” When such violent dehumanizing words come from the President of the United States, they are a clarion call, and give cover, to white supremacists who consider people of color a sub-human “infestation” in America. They serve as a call to action from those people to keep America great by ridding it of such infestation. Violent words lead to violent actions.

It is similarly incredulous to claim that significantly tighter gun control policies, such as strict background checks, bans on assault rifles and large-capacity magazines, would do nothing to stem the growing frequency of deadly mass shootings in America. In response to a shooting that left 35 people dead in Tasmania in 1996, Australia overhauled its gun laws, significantly tightening them. Since then, there has only been one mass shooting in that country, in June of this year. That incident resulted in four fatalities.

Critics of more stringent gun laws will argue that states here in America with tight gun laws do not necessarily experience fewer gun-related fatalities than those with lax laws. I would counter that a uniform national plan would yield significantly different results. What does it mean for California to have tough gun laws when a potential killer can go to Nevada and purchase a weapon banned in California–as happened last month with the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooter.

A seldom-discussed issue is the fact that there was an assault rifle ban in the United States for ten years, from 1994-2004. During that period, overall gun-related homicides were not significantly reduced; however, a recent study (DiMaggio, et al. 2019) concludes that mass shooting fatalities, 86% of which involve assault rifles, were down 70%. That percentage would likely have been much higher had it been accompanied by an effort to get rifles purchased before the ban off the street. It is time for more conservatives to listen to the voices of those on the left who advocate such policies.

So too would those on the left do well to listen to conservatives who are arguing that video games are a major factor in desensitizing young people to killing. Anyone who thinks otherwise should read Lt. David Grossman’s insightful book, On Killing. During World War II, only fifteen to twenty percent of American soldiers engaged in combat would fire their weapons at the enemy. Grossman shows how insights from behavioral psychology, derived primarily from the work of B. F. Skinner and I.P. Pavlov, were employed by the military to raise the firing rate to over 90% in Vietnam. Video game manufacturers employ those same techniques to create in our children the potential to likewise become desensitized killers.

Grossman writes these chilling words, words which should cause us to drop our polarizing political posturing and come together for the sake of our children:

Through operative conditioning B.F. Skinner held that he could turn any child into anything he wanted to. In Vietnam the U.S. armed forces demonstrated that Skinner was at least partially correct by successfully using operant conditioning to turn adolescents into the most effective fighting force the world has ever seen. And America seems intent on using Skinner’s methodology to turn us into an extraordinarily violent society (Grossman, On Killing, p. 316).

We should note that the same psychological techniques employed by the military to turn passive civilians into mindless killers are employed by the makers of video games. While it is certainly true that not all video gamers become mass murderers many if not most of our recent mass shooters have been video game addicts. More research has to been done to establish if there is a direct causal link between video games and mass killings, however, there is enough evidence to suggest that this is an issue not to be glibly dismissed when we examine the causes of the epidemic of mass killings sweeping this nation.

As for mental illness, studies show that the majority of mass shooters, for a wide variety of reasons, suffer from some form of mental illness, the most common being depression, suicidality, and various thought disorders. This is a sensitive issue; however, it is one that must be actively countenanced for this is the area where we find the most easily detectible “red flags” which alert us to the descent of a person into the dark states that give birth to the kinds of atrocities we have been witnessing all too often. Saying this is not to deny the fact that a person suffering from a mental illness is far more likely to be a victim of violence than a perpetrator.

Concerning the breakdown of the family, this factor is oftentimes neglected in the intensifying debate around mass shootings. The most worrying consequence of that breakdown is the eradication of the societal forces that civilize males. Those forces are eroding in the face of a withering assault on the traditional family. One of the justifications for that assault is that the traditional family is currently being blamed for fostering the qualities associated with “toxic masculinity.” Therefore, it has to be destroyed. In fact, masculine toxicity, as defined by those advocating its eradication, can be viewed as a direct result of the unrelenting assault on the traditional family.

That assault is being pushed by those whose stated goal is the destruction of society as we know it. Consider these words by the pioneering feminist activist, Betty Friedan:

The changes necessary to bring about equality were, and still are, very revolutionary indeed. They involve a sex-role revolution for men and women which will restructure all our institutions: child rearing, education, marriage, the family, medicine, work, politics, the economy, religion, psychological theory, human sexuality, morality and the very evolution of the race. (quoted from, New York Times Magazine, March 4, 1973)

In the almost forty years since Friedan issued this declaration of war on the traditional family and society, the forces she helped to lead have wreaked havoc in all of the areas she identified. Perhaps the most worrying reality concerning the war she declared is that those who have assumed leadership after her generation ceded command are exponentially more radical and reckless in their vision for society and gender relations.

The greatest casualty in this war, by design, has been the properly socialized male. By removing the male from his traditional role of a protector and maintainer of women, a role codified in the Qur’an (4:34), we open the door to the uncivilized, barbaric, “toxic” male, adding another factor to the many conditions which make mass shootings possible.

In the prescient words of George Gilder:

Such single males–and married ones whose socialization fails–constitute our major social problem. They are the murderers, the rapists, the burglars, the suicides, the assailants, the psychopaths…         (George Gilder, Sexual Suicide, p. 105)

Hence, we find that virtually all of our recent mass shooters have been males who were unable to affirm their sexuality in normal ways through normal relationships. Like all of the other factors mentioned above, as a society, we will have to address this factor also, no matter how unpopular or controversial.

In conclusion, let me repeat, all of the above factors contribute to the uniquely American problem of mass shootings. To effectively begin to work towards eliminating them, we will need to remove ourselves from the left/right false dichotomy that limits our creativity, civility, and intellectual honesty. That should be easy for members of the “Middle Community.” Our primary objective in how we approach the vexing issues of today should be finding credible solutions and not confirming dead end political orthodoxies. Those solutions do not belong exclusively to the political party advocating them. Let us put aside the stultifying partisan nonsense tearing us apart, claim what is rightfully ours, and put it to work for the betterment of our society.

“The word of truth, wisdom, is the lost property of the believer. Wherever he finds them he has more right to them.”

Prophet Muhammad

Imam Zaid Shakir

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Ten Things You Didn’t Know About The Kaaba- Video

Dr Muhammad Wajid Akhter

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Every Muslim knows the Kaaba, but did you know the Kaaba has been reconstructed several times? The Kaaba that we see today is not exactly the same structure that was constructed by Prophets Ibrahim and Ismail, may the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon them. From time to time, it has needed rebuilding after natural and man-made disasters.

Watch to learn ten things that most people may not know about the Ka’aba, based on the full article Ten Things You Didn’t Know About the Ka’aba.

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OpEd: Why We Must Reconsider Moonsighting

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Ed. Note: We understand that this is a matter of debate in many communities, MM welcomes op-eds of differing points of view. Please use this form.

When the Crescent Committee was founded in 2013, the Muslim community of Toronto was hopeful that this new initiative might resolve the long-standing problem of mosques declaring Eid on different days. This moonsighting organization was to follow global moonsighting as a methodology – if the crescent were to be sighted anywhere in the world, they would declare Eid. Global moonsighting was seen as a potential way of solving the yearly moonsighting debate which local sighting had been unable to solve thus far. It was hoped that this approach would also ensure congruence with Fiqh Council of North America’s (FCNA) lunar calendar which determines the Eid day in advance based on astronomical calculations.

This year, however, all those hopes were put to the test. Early afternoon on June 3rd, the 29th of Ramadan, the Crescent Committee (CC) started receiving reports that the moon was sighted in Saudi Arabia. Given that it was not possible for it to be seen there based on visibility charts, the committee required corroboration from another country in order to declare Eid. As the day progressed, they got reports from Iraq, Nigeria, Brazil, Mali and even from Maryland in the US. All those reports could not be relied upon because either the committee was unable to get in touch with their contacts in those countries or because the reports did not satisfy the criterion they laid out.

As they were sifting through the reports, the CC was shocked to learn that one of its founding members, the Islamic Foundation of Toronto (IFT), had already declared Eid! IFT is one of Toronto’s oldest and biggest mosques and their leadership decided to declare Eid based on the announcement from Mauritania. Mosques following FCNA’s calendar were already celebrating Eid the next day, so IFT thought it best to join with them with hopes of preserving unity.

With one of its own members having declared Eid and mounting pressure from the community given it was past 10 pm, the CC decided to wait to receive the final (hopefully positive) reports from California. This meant having to wait till sunset on the West Coast which would mean midnight on the East Coast. Unfortunately, even from California, there were no confirmed reports. Finally, at midnight, the Committee declared that they would complete 30 days of Ramadan and celebrate Eid on the 5th of June.

Alas, after spending a frustrating day waiting for an announcement till midnight, Toronto Muslims were told that this was going to be another year with two Eids in the city. This year, however, the split was not between proponents of astronomical calculations and moonsighting, but been proponents of the exact same moonsighting methodology!

Solving a 50-year old problem

This year’s debacle in Toronto represents nothing new. There have been numerous failed attempts to unite the moonsighting community. In 1995, the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the Ministry of Warith Deen Muhammad joined hands to form the ‘Islamic Shura Council of North America’ with hopes of having a unified Eid declaration. Just like the Crescent Committee, this too was eventually disbanded due to dissenting voices. Other examples to unite and better organize moonsighting include the 2007 National Moonsighting Conference in California and the 2009 National Hilal Sighting Conference in New York. These attempts simply haven’t worked because there are far too many independent mosques and far too many moonsighting methodologies – uniting everyone in the absence of a governing authority is nearly impossible.

The story also highlights the three main problems that proponents of moonsighting have struggled to solve for nearly half a century in North America and other parts of the Western world. These can be summarized as follows:

1) Mosques declaring Eid on different days based on differing moonsighting methodologies. This has created notorious divisions within the community and has led to the awkward situation of families, often living in the same city, not being able to celebrate together. It can also lead to endless argumentation within families as to which mosque to follow with regards to this issue.

2) The unpredictability of the Eid date means that Muslims continue to have difficulty taking time off from work and planning family vacations. This problem is particularly challenging for the hourly-waged working-class individuals who work in organizations with little flexibility. The process of having to explain to an employer the complications surrounding Eid declarations can be a source of unnecessary hardship for many. It is not uncommon for many to take off a day which ends up being the ‘wrong day’.

3) Delayed announcements, especially during the summer months, due to process of receiving and verifying reports after sunset. Not knowing whether or not the next day will be a holiday, often until the late evening, has been a continued source of distress for families every year.

It was the desire the solve these very problems that brought together a group of visionary Muslim jurists and astronomers in Herndon, Virginia in 1987. Organized by the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), the Lunar Calendar Conference was one of the first attempts to find an innovative solution to the problems posed by traditional moonsighting. A detailed history of the events leading up to the conference and its aftermath have been documented before. In short, Muslim scholars and mathematicians continued work on the astronomical lunar calendar for nearly two decades after the conference and it was finally adopted by FCNA and ISNA in 2006.

A valid methodology from the Shariah

While opposition to FCNA’s lunar calendar was quite strong when it was first introduced, there has been growing acceptance of astronomical calculations over the past 15 years as a result of continued research and education on this subject.

The use of calculations to determine the dates of Ramadan is something which numerous reputable scholars have allowed throughout Islam’s history [1]. While this has always been the view of a small minority, championed mainly by scholars in the Shafa’i legal school, it is still based on a sound interpretation of religious texts. The difference of opinion on this issue arises from hadith of the Prophet where he stated,  “If [the crescent moon] is obscured from you, then estimate it” (فإن غم عليكم فاقدروا له ). A detailed exposition in support of calculations from a classical perspective was recently presented by Shaykh Salahuddin Barkat.

Shaykh Musa Furber, one of America’s leading Shafa’i jurists, also comments on the towering figures from our tradition who supported calculations: “Since the time of Imām al-Nawawī, there has been an evident trend within the Shāfiʿī school of law for acceptance for the personal use of calculations for fasting. While a small number of earlier Shāfiʿī scholars did accept it, it seems to have been confined to a small minority within the school. It was not until the time of Imam al-Nawawī (may Allah grant him His mercy) that the opinion amongst scholars of the school started to shift towards accepting calculations as valid and even binding — even if limited to the calculator and whoever believed him. Although al-Subkī (may Allah grant him His mercy) is usually accredited with causing this shift, some scholars credit Imam al-Nawawī’s himself with starting this trend. The opinion was accepted by both Shaykh al-Islām Zakariyā al-Anṣārī and Imām al-Ramlī, though not by Imam Ibn Ḥajar (may Allah grant all of them from His mercy). These imams form the basis for reliable opinions in the late Shāfiʿī madhhab.”

Understandably, this opinion was considered weak and ignored through much of Islamic history. Some limited its scope and allowed it only when the moon was obstructed or for use by experts in astronomy. There really is no need for calculations in Muslim lands where there exists a centralized authority to sight the crescent and there are public holidays for the entire populace. However, in secular countries with Muslim minorities, this position must be revisited as it offers a very practical solution to the crises we find ourselves in.

Only one way forward

According to a 2011 survey of over 600 mosques in the US, the adoption rate of FCNA’s calendar stood at 40%. At the writing of this article nearly 8 years later, this number has likely increased to over 50%. The survey indicated that about 40% of the mosques followed local sighting while the remainder followed global sighting. Given the recent shift towards global moonsighting, it is likely that the moonsighting community is evenly split between the two positions at this time.

These statistics represent the only logical way forward to solve this decades-old problem: the most efficient way of achieving unity is by converging behind FCNA’s lunar calendar. This methodology is the only real solution to the crises we currently find ourselves in. Not only does it address all our needs, but this approach has also shown to provide immense ease and facilitation for Muslim communities that have followed it in the past 15 years.

The moonsighting leadership has failed to unite despite a half-century of effort; it is inconceivable at this point that this would ever happen. Even if it did miraculously happen, 50% of the community would still be following FCNA’s calendar and all three of our main problems will remain unaddressed. Additionally, with the current trend of uniting behind the approach of global sighting, ‘moonsighting’ has largely become an administrative exercise. It involves the hilal committee simply waiting for reports from abroad and trying to ascertain their veracity. Only a handful of communities go out looking for the moon and establish the sunnah of moon sighting in a bonafide sense.

In large communities where differing Eid dates is a reoccurring problem, advocating for the adoption of the lunar calendar must come from the grass-roots level. Muslims most affected by this problem should lobby their local mosques to change their positions and unite behind FCNA’s lunar calendar.

While it may seem impossible to get the leadership of mosques to abandon an old position, it has already been done. In 2015, nine major mosques in the Chicago area set aside their differences and put their support behind the lunar calendar. This is an incredible feat and has created ease in the lives of thousands of people. If similar initiatives are taken in other cities split along lines of lunar dogmatism, it is conceivable that the moonsighting issue could be resolved in North America within the next five to ten years.

The Prophet told us to calculate the moon if it is obscured by clouds. Today, the moon is not obscured by physical clouds but it is clouded by poor judgment, distrust, egotism, disunity, and pride. We must resort to calculations to determine the birth of the new moon, not because it is the strongest legal position or a superior approach, but because our status as minorities in a secular land necessitates it.

References:

[1]  From SeekersGuidance: Scholars upholding this can be traced all the way back to the first Islamic century. The textual basis for this opinion is the hadith narrated by al-Bukhari, “When you see it [the new moon of Ramadan] then fast; and when you see it [the new moon of Shawwal], then break the fast. If it is hidden from you (ghumma ‘alaykum) [i.e. if the sky is overcast] then estimate it (fa-qdiru lahu);” (al-Bukhari, hadith no. 1900). The last verb, fa-qdiru, can be validly understood to mean calculation. Of the scholars who held this, are Abu al-‘Abbas b. Surayj (d. 306/918), one of the leading founders of the classical Shafi‘i school, the Shafi‘i scholar and renowned mystic Abu al-Qasim al-Qushayri (d. 465/1072), the leading Shafi‘i judge Taqi al-Din al-Subki (d. 756/1355), the Shafi‘i legal theorist al-Zarkashi (d. 794/1392), the renowned Maliki legal theorist al-Qarafi (d. 684/1285), and some Hanafi scholars. The late Shafi‘i commentator al-Qalyubi (d. 1069/1659) held that all sighting-claims must be rejected if calculations show that a sighting was impossible, stating, “This is manifestly obvious. In such a case, a person may not fast. Opposing this is obstinacy and stubbornness.” See al-Mawsu‘ah al-fiqhiyyah al-kuwaytiyyah, c.v. “Ru’yat al-hilal,” vol. 22, pp. 31-4. The leading scholar of the late Shāfi‘ī school Muhammad al-Ramli (d. 1004/1596) held that the expert astronomer was obliged to follow his own calculation as was the non-astronomer who believed him; this position has been used by some contemporary Shafi’i scholars to state that in the modern world, with its precise calculations, the strongest opinion of the Shafi’i school should be that everyone must follow calculations; see ‘Umar b. al-Habib al-Husayni, Fath al-‘ali fi jam‘ al-khilaf bayna Ibn Hajar wa-Ibn al-Ramli, ed. Shifa’ Hitu (Jeddah: Dar al-Minhaj, 2010), pp. 819-22. See also the fatwa of the Hanafi scholar Dr Salah Abu al-Hajj (http://www.anwarcenter.com/fatwa/معنى-حديث-لا-تصوموا-حتى-تروا-الهلال-ول) last accessed 9/5/2016) which states, after arguing against relying on calculations, “However, the position of [following] calculations is the position of a considerable group of jurists, so it is a respected disagreement in Islamic law, whereby, if a state were to adopt it, it is not rejected, because the judgment of a judge removes disagreement, and the adoption of a state is [as] the judgment of a judge.

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