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Friday Khutbah: In Response to Anti-Islam Rally in Phoenix

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Which deeds are most beloved to Allah?

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This Khutbah was given on the same day the Anti-Islam rally was supposed to take place in Phoenix, Arizona.

Among other things, the Khutbah touched on the following:

1. The fact that everything in the universe is based on the Wisdom of Allah.  We have to trust that an unfortunate event, like armed haters intimidating worshipers in front of a mosque, will turn into something good at the end

2. The “myth” of drawing the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, and the “wise” way to respond

3. The two different approaches that the Quran recommends when it comes to people who are open-minded and people who are blinded by hateimage012

Sure enough, part of this came true the very next Monday when people of all faiths showed up at the very mosque that was under protest.  It was a breathtaking scene to witness over 800 people who all came in support of their Muslim neighbors.  Speeches were given, hugs were exchanged, and unity was affirmed.  Evidently, this show outnumbered the hate show of merely 200 people.  I will leave you with some pictures of this unprecedented event that took place at the North Phoenix mosque in the heart of Arizona:

 

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Born and raised in Lebanon, Hlayhel began attending study circles at his local mosque when he was ten. He came to the United States at 17 and studied electrical engineering at the University of Houston. At its MSA, he met Sh Yasir Qadhi and worked together to raise Islamic awareness on campus. Hlayhel studied traditional sciences of Aqeedah (Islamic creed), Fiqh (Islamic law) and Nahw (Arabic grammar) under Sh Waleed Basyouni and Sh Waleed Idriss Meneese among others. After settling in Phoenix AZ, he worked tirelessly, in the capacity of a board member then a chairman, to revive the then dead AZ chapter of CAIR in order to face the growing Islamophobia in that state and to address the resulting civil right violations. Today, he's considered the second founder of a strong CAIR-AZ. In addition, Hlayhel is a part-time imam at the Islamic Center of the Northeast Valley in Phoenix, husband and father of four. His current topics of interest include positive Islam, youth coaching, and countering Islamophobia.

33 Comments

33 Comments

  1. Avatar

    ConfusedGuy

    June 11, 2015 at 12:08 PM

    All of you Muslims are being so darn HYPOCRITICAL!

    It is really, truly, and totally mind boggling!

    It’s like a never ending episode of Twilight Zone! (I know that you’ve maybe never watched it as it was made by white devils, but hopefully you’ve at least heard of it?)

    If you look up Double Standards and Hypocrisy in the dictionary, you guys will be there front and center!

    I have said this on other threads, and no surprise (duhhhh!), no one could address or counter my points…. And NOTE: I’m NOT a Zionist, an Israeli apologist, or a Christian… Heck I used to be pro-Palestinian (and probably still am… by default anyone who’s not a rabid, fanatical Zionist probably falls into this category, at least according to the Israel apologists)

    You guys are ALWAYS saying how you want non-Muslims/white people to respect your religion, correct????

    HOWEVER, and this is the kicker… You say that all white people are EVIL, and that all white people are DEVILS!!!!!!!!

    You say that all white people are DEVILS!!!!!!!!!!

    You say that all white people are DEVILS!!!!!!!!!!

    And I personally, and no offense, do not agree with the religion of Christianity and the confusing “Trinity” doctrine (although I totally, 100% respect people of this faith…) HOWEVER, at least they are NOT calling white people (or black people, or Asian people, or Latino people, etc.) DEVILS!!!

    At least they don’t condemn a whole race of people ONLY because of the COLOR of their skin!!!

    • Avatar

      ibn bello

      June 11, 2015 at 4:10 PM

      Hello ,
      Please Dont be offended by them
      Rather look at what the religion teaches instead;

      In the Qur’an, it clearly states:

      “Oh Mankind, We (God) created you from a single pair of a male and a female (Adam and Eve), and made you into tribes and nations so that you may know one another (not so that you despise each other). Verily, the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah (God) is he who is most righteous of you.”
      The Qur’an, Chapter 49, Verse 13

      The Prophet (pbuh) also reiterated this point in his last sermon to the people, as can be seen from the following excerpt:

      “O people, Remember that your Lord is One. An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a black has no superiority over white, nor a white has any superiority over black, except by piety and good action (Taqwa). Indeed the best among you is the one with the best character (Taqwa).
      The Prophet’s Last Sermon as reported in Baihaqi.
      So please bro “Islam” and “muslims” are different.

      • Avatar

        ConfusedGuy (now less confused!)

        June 13, 2015 at 11:12 PM

        Dear ibn bello,

        Please forgive me and the way I acted. I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart. What you posted is nothing but the Truth. People of all races need to reflect on these words.

        Indeed, we all must look at the teachings and texts as far as this religion (and others), and NOT look at individuals, or what people may or may not say, or do and not do. It’s 100% clear that according to the teachings of Islam (including the Quran and the Sunnah) there is no room for racism, bigotry, or prejudice (this is basically true for the other Abrahamic religions as well).

        Again, please forgive me. And thank-you for writing me back, and for posting the beautiful text that you have posted.

        ConfusedGuy (now less confused!)

    • Avatar

      queenrafat

      June 12, 2015 at 2:05 AM

      who ever calls all white people devils is ignorant i don’t mean to be offensive so for you to think that majority of Muslims think white people are bad is unfair. there are so many white people who are Muslims and even those who are non Muslims there are a lot of them who are good. islam those not judge amyone base on skin color.

    • Avatar

      AbuYusuf

      June 15, 2015 at 11:20 PM

      Okay, now ConfusedGuy has got ME confused!

      Great post by the way. I do hope that Muslims throughout the country will remember this response from people of other faiths, and stand in support in others as well. Ultimately, anyone practicing any religion is simply trying to get closer to God. It’s not up to us to judge.

    • Avatar

      Faisal Abbasi

      July 8, 2015 at 7:34 AM

      You couldn’t be further from the truth. Islam is a religion that preaches equality for all people, and was the first religion to banish slavery over 1400 years ago. You are referring to The Nation of Islam which is a political movement in the US lead by Louis Farrakhan. The Nation of Islam was created in the days of the black Civil Rights Movement in America, which was fighting against slavery, and segregation of the African Americans. The founder of the Nation of Islam, Elijah Muhammad, who had studied world religions was greatly impressed with the Islamic injunctions regarding the fair treatment of all races of people and the famous last sermon of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) where he stated that a white person was not superior to a black person and a black person was not superior to a white person. Elijah Muhammad was so impressed with these words that he decided to name himself Muhammad and his political organisation, The Nation of Islam. Furthermore, history had shown that many black people that were shackled and shipped over to America from Africa by the white slave traders, were Muslims. But they were stripped of their original names and identities and were given Christian names like Thomas, Luke and Matthew. Because of the cruel history of slavery in America, African Americans took it upon themselves to form various movements, some more militant than others, to fight against the inhumane and unjust treatment of their people across America. This is why the Nation of Islam refers to whites as ‘the devil,’ as you have stated, and has adopted a fairly militant approach to dealing with the race issue in America, especially with its rhetoric. So you should not confuse the world religion Islam, which has over 1.7 billion followers across the globe with the Nation of Islam. They really have nothing in common with each other apart from their similar names and the fact that the members of the Nation of Islam refer to themselves as Muslims and quote from the Qur’an, often out of context. Just because you call yourself a Muslim, it doesn’t make you a Muslim. I hope you are clearer about the points you have raised. Please feel free to ask me any questions you may have.

  2. Avatar

    ConfusedGuy

    June 11, 2015 at 4:53 PM

    What?????

    Your prophet was not a “white” man, or what you all refer to as “devils” meaning European!!!!! So spare me the BS, sorry to be blunt. You say don’t worry about what your people say??????? They see me as an evil devil, that was only on the earth to do evil, despicable, heinous satanic things… You believe that we are all evil, dirty and filthy, and you want us gone?

    You think all whites are evil devils!!!!

    And you people are always talking about killing whites and evil crackers, including BABIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    These are YOU MUSLIMS are saying this over and over and over and over and over and well you get the point…

    There are thousands of videos of this, as you know what you are saying…

    • Avatar

      Aly Balagamwala

      June 12, 2015 at 7:40 AM

      Dear Confused Guy

      Please take some time out to learn Islam, not through random Youtube videos, but by going to the local mosque and talking to real muslims and asking the Imam of the mosque about Islam.

      Best Regards
      Aly

      *Comment above is posted in a personal capacity and may not reflect the official views of MuslimMatters or its staff*

      • Avatar

        ConfusedGuy (now less confused!)

        June 13, 2015 at 11:03 PM

        Aly Balagamwala,

        Please forgive me and the way I acted. I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart.

        Thanks for your advice. I know I can’t learn about Islam from random videos, or shaykh google. I think things can be enhanced to a certain extent, but at the end of the day, it’s nothing at all like going to a mosque/masjid and talking to someone in person, and learning from and asking questions directly to these people. Correct me if I’m wrong, but even of people have been Muslim for 50 years (regardless if they are converts or not), it’s always best to go to a person of knowledge to ask them in person, any questions that they may have.

        I again apologize to you, the MM crew and moderators, and everyone else, and I again want to thank the MM moderators for letting me post again, and letting me apologize to some of the posters here. Again thanks again for your comment.

        ConfusedGuy (now less confused!)

  3. Avatar

    ConfusedGuy

    June 11, 2015 at 5:00 PM

    “Kill em all” – Khallid Abdullah Muhammad

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=biadSUyWr0A

    • Avatar

      queenrafat

      June 12, 2015 at 2:09 AM

      i just watched the video you shared for crying out loud if you watched the video you would know the man wasn’t talking about Islam he was talking from his own personal grief. islam has never supported racism .

      • Avatar

        ConfusedGuy (now less confused!)

        June 13, 2015 at 11:04 PM

        Dear queenrafat,

        Please forgive me and the way I acted. I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart. What you said was indeed very logical and basically “common sense.” I think that people act like this (as far as the guy in the first video) and have these kinds of beliefs because they have really been traumatized in so many ways (not that this necessarily excuses it though). I’m not a psychologist though, and I’m the one that maybe needs help, lol. But hatred and racism didn’t start 100 years ago. This is something we all as people of bani Adam have suffered from in various degrees, although we must do all that we can to try to not have it in our hearts (as hard as this may be).

        Again, please forgive me, and thanks again for your words.

        ConfusedGuy (now less confused!)

    • Avatar

      erap

      June 12, 2015 at 2:11 AM

      So now Khallid Abdullah Muhammad is your prophet ?

      There are others who said otherwise and yet you choose Khallid Abdullah Muhammad ?

      Now, that’s hypocitical and double-standard.

      Looks like to you ALL Muslims are hypocrites. That’s seems to be the thinking of a narrow-minded person.

  4. Avatar

    ConfusedGuy

    June 12, 2015 at 7:40 AM

    Well, he’s your Muslim brother!!!!!!!! Ohhhhhh, it’s okay because he was only talking about his personal grief!!!!!!!!!!!! Ahhhhhhhh, poor guy, as guess we all should feel sorry for him…..

    Your MUSLIM BROTHER is only talking about KILLING all white people (who you all hate), including BABIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    And that white (DEVIL) woman are factories (when getting pregnant) for future evil WHITE DEVILS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    He even talks about digging up white DEVILS and killing them AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    He is YOUR MUSLIM BROTHER!!!!!!!!!

    What kind of god do you worship that says you can slaughter ALL white people???????!!!!!! (i.e. DEVILS if course)

    You people are the must RACIST, HATEFUL people I have ever heard!!!!!!!!!! You want to kill ALL white DEVILS!!!!! Ohhhh, nothing “personal” right!!!!!!!

    Your Allah and you Muslims says to kill WHITE BABIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    There are a lot if videos just like this of Muslim preachers!!!

    But, uhhh, nothing personal right??????!!!

    • Avatar

      t

      June 12, 2015 at 3:11 PM

      Hey confused guy, I am white European and muslim. And not a self hating one at that!

      • Avatar

        Jerome Boulter

        June 12, 2015 at 5:08 PM

        I am a white Muslim, too.

        I am also a white Muslim

        Narrated by Hazrat Uns(RZ)
        “Prophet Muhammad(pbuh)’s complexion was glowing white”
        (sahi Muslim, kitab ul Fazail. no 2330)

        Narrated by Hazrat Ali(AS)
        “Prophet Muhammad(pbuh)’s complexion was a beautiful mixture of white and red color”
        (Masnad Imam Humbal, no 944)

      • Avatar

        ConfusedGuy (now less confused!)

        June 13, 2015 at 11:13 PM

        t,

        Please forgive me and the way I acted. I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart. Of course there are European and white Muslims and Muslims of all different ethnicities and colors.

        I think that in general many non-Muslims are not generally aware of this (I could be very wrong of course, and maybe it’s only a small number?). And I know obviously it’s not that the people that aren’t aware of this are bad or have negative intentions, it’s just that in many countries (especially in the West) the majority of the adherents, including converts, to Islam are people of color (although all people have colors, lol) or non-European derived people, so one can understand why many people may think this.

        I think that there are even less people that are actually aware of the fact that there are majority Muslim countries in Europe, made up of indigenous Muslims, including Albania, Kosovo (I guess now considered to be a country), Bosnia and Herzegovina (although maybe the Muslims are less than 50%), and Chechnya (which was never historically part of Russia or Tzarist Russia until being occupied in the mid/late 1800s (?), and they tried again to get their independence after the fall of the Soviet Union; of course most people in the world – including many Muslims – I believe are not aware of the mass expulsions and ethnic cleansing that they repeatedly suffered from at the hands of Stalin and others).

        Thanks again for writing back to me, and please again forgive me.

        ConfusedGuy (now less confused!)

  5. Avatar

    mir

    June 12, 2015 at 7:44 AM

    verily those who do not understand the truth are misguided….

    • Avatar

      ConfusedGuy (now less confused!)

      June 13, 2015 at 11:11 PM

      Jerome Boulter,

      Please forgive me and the way I acted. I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart…

      Thanks for writing to me, and of course I know that anyone regardless of race or ethnicity can be Muslim, and I know that the Prophet (pbuh) was sent to the whole of mankind, and I believe also the jinns (what other religions would maybe call “spirits”), so it doesn’t matter how The Lord created us on the outside, all of that is so superficial, and unimportant, etc. He cares who we are on the inside, and how we feel, and what we believe in our hearts.

      And again, thank-you for writing to me.

      ConfusedGuy (now less confused!)

  6. Avatar

    Terry Heaton

    June 12, 2015 at 2:20 PM

    I don’t think Confused is as confused as he’d have us believe. Anonymous trolls are like that. He spews hatred, because we react, and that gives him/her the juice to carry on. The reality on the matter is that the American public wouldn’t broadbrush groups like the KKK, Westboro Baptist, the Oklahoma City bombers, and many, many others as “Christian,” because we know better. The same rules, however, don’t apply to Muslims, and this is the propaganda victory of Zionists and other profiteers who live off the confusion. Just because a visible leader calls himself Muslim doesn’t mean that he is, for only God/Allah looks upon the heart. It is sloppy thinking to postulate that all are guilty for the sins of the few. And don’t even get me started on the role our own government (CIA) has played in keeping the pot stirred.

    • Avatar

      ConfusedGuy (now less confused!)

      June 13, 2015 at 11:05 PM

      Terry Heaton,

      I don’t blame you for thinking some of these things, because of my immature behavior, and my writing style, and I hope you and others can accept my sincerest apologies (and the same again to the MM crew who I am very thankful have allowed me to post again).

      I may not make sense but I guess I’ll try to kinda explain how I have basically proceeded on my small journey, although maybe it will after all make at least some sense. But that said, to explain all of my ups and downs and the various things I have learned would basically require essays, and as I am writing this I’ve seen other people, beautiful and lovely people indeed, also post, so I intend to follow up with them also… Btw, I’m not able to see the time stamps, although I can see the dates, at least from an iOS device, but I know that you were one of the earliest posts to write to me, so you will be one of the first people, although maybe not the first, I write back to…

      When you (or anyone) are doing research, there are many conflicting things as far as the basic subject(s) of my previous posts. Of course I’ve read about the specific subject matter, and Islam in general and some comparative religion here and there, and I kinda thought that if I did some more web searches (shaykh google right? I know it’s not the best way to learn though), that I would see a lot of very strong stances and refutations pretty quickly (and as far as general web searches, you do see them later on, but not near the top, and I’m talking about specific key words). That said, when doing a general web search, it depends on the search words of course, and I can tell you (or others) exactly the words I initially used. But as far as certain key words, I didn’t get to the first Muslim (orthodox) site until like the 3rd page or so of the Google search. But if you search with specific Arabic/Islamic words you can get more results, and again I can get more specific (something a lot of regular joes might not know necessarily, and there are some words that one “group” basically never uses… So for others including of course Muslims, it’s good to know, if they don’t already know, and I guarantee that if I told most Muslims, that they’d be like, “of course,” but I guarantee that 90% of non-Muslims probably don’t know these various Arabic/Islamic key words). And I did gradually get more results, but a lot of it is really confusing, and hard to decipher. But on a side note, it’s pretty messed up, at least IMO, that when you’re searching (including on google or youtube) that wow, there are A LOT of NOI and other similar (i.e. 5%ers), and “out there” stuff (including, the black Hebrew Israelites, and even debates between the NOI types and this one group…). And if you are confused or “somewhat” confused, seeing all of the info, well, makes you even more confused or at least unsure in so many ways.

      And no offense to anyone, but a lot of this is the fault IMO of Muslim preachers/dawah guys (I’m sure that they would very much agree though), and I’m sure it’s because they are maybe not totally aware of the NOI beliefs or similar beliefs that many “Islamic” groups seem to carry, or at least the percentage of the websites that actually are out there on the web that adhere to these beliefs (or even in the real world). And it’s also because I’m sorry to say, but, IMO many imams and shaykhs do not want to offend or whatever.

      And I know that obviously there are racist, KKK types of “Christian” groups out there also, such as the CI (Christian Identity) movement and others, but this is the most prominent white supremacist type “Christian” group. Of course I wasn’t specifically making searches for the white racist groups or using the keywords that would bring them up, such as whites are the real chosen, or True Christians are white, or true Jews are white, etc., as I was at this point only trying to research Islam or True Islam (of course I’ve heard of them in the past). And ironically they (the CI types) have VERY SIMILAR ideas that the NOI types and also the black Hebrew Israelites have (and I know there are black and/or African American Jews that are not at all racist but I’m referring to the one ‘notorious’ group/groups). I mean it’s really weird how all of these groups have almost the same exact beliefs down to a T! They (the CI, black Hebrew Israelites, and the NOI types) all seem to believe that they are the “real Jews” or the Chosen and/or children of God, have a lot of “hate,” and at least for the most part, do totally believe in the NT word for word and Jesus (the fact that mainstream Jews – minus “messianic Jews” – don’t believe in Jesus or the NT, but only the OT or the Torah notwithstanding). I mean, they really HATE other races (to varying degrees), and while you may know that the NOI really hate whites, they surprisingly really don’t like Arabs (at least the so-called lighter or “white” Arabs) too much, at least to a certain extant, although they may not call them “devils,” and strangely the black Hebrew Israelites for whatever reason seem to not like Asians or people from the Indian Subcontinent (if you have the stomach for it, watch one of their videos from one of the streets of downtown NYC… if nothing else it’s interesting, although it will disturb you), although they seem to give Latinos and Native Americans an important role as far as also being part of “the chosen,” even though many natives of the Americas are believed to have roots from Asia… and some of these “Latino” guys could definitely be mistaken for white/European guys, whether Southern Mediterranean or whatever, but these guys are supposed to be mostly indigenous blooded, and this group also calls whites/Europeans “devils”).

      But I think that most non-Christians, including Muslims (people can correct me if I’m wrong) would not confuse the CI loons with actual Christianity, and Muslims would also not confuse this black Hebrew Israelite group with the Judaism practiced by mainstream Jews (although there are obviously also hateful Israelis/Jews, and a lot of this is somewhat in the mainstream or known, but it’s not the same as these black Hebrew Israelites). And look, there are things that I may understand more (?) that maybe many Muslims (heck many or most Christians!) would not understand about Zionist Christians (or Protestant “Dispensationalist” Evangelical, Scofield Bible, Christians to be more precise) compared to mainstream Protestant and Catholic Christians. I didn’t come from this background myself, but if you’ve for instance, studied the Palestinian issue, and in general the right-wing, neocon (whom are not primarily Christian or even religious), and the Evangelical Christian movement (especially in the US
      of the past 25-30 years or so), and what the origins of the Zionist Christian movement (starting from the late 19th century) you will really see a lot of the different factors and reasons why it seems that no matter what, the US govt. and politicians will support Israel (or mostly support them), and of course there are other factors, and one could argue more significant factors even, like the various lobbies. And no, the fact that the US/UK may eventually go to war against Iran, is not because of “Oil,” as IMO many people seem to believe. Sorry to digress so much…

      Also, I took a brief look at your blog, and I noticed that one of of the main things you write about seems to be social justice, but also advertising and marketing (?). I would be curious if you have ever touched on the subject of so-called “conspiracy theories” (and I don’t look at it in a derogatory way, although most Americans and basically all of the MSM seem to) and/or false flags. Anyway, sorry to go on and on, but I hope that at least you can put yourself in my shoes, or at least maybe understand where I’m coming from, and I will answer any questions you or others would like to ask me, but really right now I do need to focus on one thing!

      ConfusedGuy (now less confused!)

      Peace

  7. Avatar

    T.S

    June 12, 2015 at 4:00 PM

    I’m sorry but Guys his name says it all…

  8. Avatar

    ConfusedGuy

    June 12, 2015 at 5:42 PM

    Yes I am confused, and I guess of course my name is really accurate, really, really accurate right? (A little too accurate, I guess)

    If the moderators will please allow me to ask a few questions, as I have been trying to ask these for the last several hours, but I’ve been blocked, and it’s really my fault I know. I profusely apologize to the MM moderators and readers.

    I’m very sorry, because in the past several days (before posting here) I got emotional after just seeing a lot of the all whites are devils, ALL whites literally are “the devil,” whites can’t even be Muslims (if others see them as devils that would be hard) type stuff, and many other things related to that, as I had already mentioned earlier, so again please forgive me. I promise to be calm, collected and cool.

    You know what guys? I won’t bore you with a long story, but I have really thought a lot about being a Muslim… I grew up in a (secular) Christian household and as I alluded to before, for several years I knew in my heart that it makes no sense that god had a son… I mean it’s very ambiguous as Jesus never once said “I am God” or “Worship me.” The New Testament “Our Father” prayer says just that (meaning the “figurative” father to all of us, not the literal father; I’ve never heard Muslims mention this as a selling point, or Jews for that matter, although maybe Muslims/Jews have?), although it’s really a beautiful prayer, IMO: “Our Father who art in Heaven (…)” The bible is replete with son and father being used in figurative ways in many, many places, etc. Even in the OT, God is quoted in a verse as saying that Only God can be a Savior and no man can, I’m paraphrasing of course…

    So long story short, I’ve been I’m looking into Islam. But how can I accept that there are many(?) (or most, or a very small number?), that see me as a devil. One of the posters was nice (more than one), but how can I just not pay attention to it, or just brush it off as just his “personal grief,” (other that that, he’s a great guy! Lol) or something along the lines, and not worry about it? Can you please put yourself in my position, can you please try to emphasize with how I’m feeling???? I say this, ALL OF THIS as a potential Muslim. And when the last message was posted about God not guiding me, I really, really felt sad, and very, very depressed. The guy that wrote that (well intended or not), what if you were in my shoes, and the religion you wanted to maybe enter, made you not sure, because some called your race, only because of the color of you skin, literally the Devil? Please just try to related where I’m coming from…

    Here are my questions again:

    Is the guy in the video Muslim?

    Are the Nation of Islam (sometimes called black Muslims) Muslim yes or no?

    Are the Christians and the Jews of today believers? (I’m pretty sure they’re not, and that’s fine, nothing controversial at all; Christians world say the same about Muslims or Jews, and Jews about Christians, but it helps with my next question…)

    And to follow up, are the Nation of Islam believers? (if you want me to post their specific beliefs about God and His Prophets, etc., please let me know; and know again that they call one race literal devils)

    Thank-you and peace

    The Confused Guy ;)

    • Avatar

      THoltz

      June 12, 2015 at 7:29 PM

      Hi Confused Guy,

      I’m not Muslim but to answer your question about the Nation of Islam being Muslim or not, the answer is pretty much no. It is a black-nationalists religious movement founded in the mid 1900’s that is loosely based on Islam. One of it’s main difference with Islam is the teachings of race: In Islam all races are equal; in the Nation of Islam the white race is a devil race and colored races superior. Many African-Americans have left the Nation of Islam and joined mainstream (usually Sunni) Islam due to the racists philosophy of the Nation of Islam. Malcolm X is probably the most famous.

      The Nation of Islam does continue to evolve, though, at times dipping into Scientology and at others appearing to go more mainstream Islam.

      Hope that helps to clear up the confusion a little.
      http://www.beliefnet.com/Freeform/Faiths/2002/10/Chart-Nation-Of-Islam-And-Traditional-Islam.aspx

      Have a good day all. :)

    • Avatar

      Michael

      June 12, 2015 at 7:51 PM

      As a Muslim I am not permitted to say if the man posting the video is Muslim or not. I do not know what is in his heart, or what he does at his home at night alone. He may have asked God for forgiveness for his hateful speech. What I can say that if he is calling for people to kill white people, and that white people are Devils he is not acting in an Islamic manner. Race, economic status, gender, or any other classifications make one person superior to another. In the eyes of God the only thing that makes one man superior to another is their level of faith.
      When one of the posters mentioned that no one can guide a person who is misguided and no one can misguide someone who is guided, I believe they were referring to the fact that God is the only one who can bring a person to Islam. We can tell people about the faith through words and actions, but God is the one who puts the love of Islam in someone’s heart. Hope this helps.
      I converted 3 years ago and feel so blessed to have been guided to Islam. The path was not easy and was not without growing pains, but through patience, support of the Muslim community (both converts and born Muslims), and the will of God I am still practicing today.
      May Allah forgive me for any mistakes or misinformation I may have inadvertently put into my reply. I pray that the one true God guides you to the path of Islam.

      • Avatar

        ConfusedGuy (now less confused!)

        June 13, 2015 at 11:07 PM

        Michael,

        Please forgive me and the way I acted. I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart.

        Thank-you so much for taking the time to write to me. I really appreciate this. Thanks for sharing the the fact that you are also a convert.

        Can you, if you don’t mind, if you feel comfortable, tell me one of the hardest things that you have faced since becoming Muslim.

        And yes, I completely understand the issue of declaring that one is not a Muslim, and the serious ramifications of this. And of course I understand that no one can know what was in one’s heart before they departed the earth (and the guy in the video has since passed away).

        I have just learned that Muslims also will judge from the apparent, or what is outwardly visible and clear, etc., but of course this also means not looking into someone’s heart (only God can do this of course), or assuming so and so has such and such beliefs, etc., but if so and so is out in the open and says they have such and such beliefs then this is maybe a different issue basically.

        Again, thanks so much. I really want to thank-you for taking time to write to me, and I really believe what you have said has really helped me.

        Also thank-you so much for you prayers for me.

        ConfusedGuy (now less confused!)

  9. Avatar

    ConfusedGuy

    June 12, 2015 at 6:51 PM

    Hello,

    The first guy in the video, I don’t even know his name. But I can tell you that I really, really love him. He is a beautiful Muslim brother. It’s as if he in his khutbah (Friday Khutbah, just like the subject of this article) spoke to my heart, like The Lord is guiding me. I love this guy! Please pray for him and pray for me…

    The one below it, is Khalid Yassin, and it’s also good, and saw this prior to the first one I mentioned.

    I really love this brother (still don’t recall his name, but I will try to get in touch with him). You are beautiful and I’ll pray for you, as I thank The Lord, as through him The Lord is guiding me, and I hope this beautiful person will also guide other people and also help other people who may have doubts…

    I again apologize to everyone. I hope the MM mods can post this. Please can you delete my other emotional posts, and leave this and the last one? If not that’s okay.

    Peace

    Nation of Islam (NOI) Vs The Muslims
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=72TmeZvc8dM

    Nation of islam are kuffar (disbelievers) not muslims – khalid yasin

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=yHhM7QAi9xU

  10. Avatar

    THoltz

    June 12, 2015 at 7:42 PM

    Hi again,

    This looks like an older article but it discusses Farrakhan and his possible movement toward orthodox Islam as he ages. All people mellow out as they age, especially if they continue to seek and incorporate a spiritual practice into their daily lives. (I’m sure even Khallid Abdullah Muhammed isn’t the same guy now.)

  11. Avatar

    THoltz

    June 12, 2015 at 9:12 PM

    Dear ConfusedGuy,

    I have to apologize for not reading through your posts more thoroughly earlier. I know see more of where you are coming from.

    For starters, you may not be aware that in Islam, questioning the faith of other Muslims is generally frowned upon (see Michael’s post above) so even if a Muslim feels in their heart that a certain individual is in fact not a Muslim, they will generally not directly come out and say so. Such matters are between God and the individual. Different perspectives are tolerated.

    As I am not a Muslim (but more academically oriented in my studies of religion), I can say that the Nation of Islam is not orthodox Islam, but rather a black-nationalist movement that clothed itself in Islamic clothing. The Nation of Islam has only been around for a little less than a hundred years and it’s teachings on race are contrary to Islamic teachings on race.

    I think you might get a lot out of mainstream Muslim figures such as Hamza Yusuf, Yasir Qadhi, and Nouman Ali Khan.

    Here is a beautiful video titled “Islam Kills Racism” about Malcolm X and his journey to orthodox Islam. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MqeSPF48tg

    (Try not to cry when watching it. I can’t!)

    Blessings to you, ConfusedGuy, and to your journey to the truth.

    • Avatar

      ConfusedGuy (now less confused!)

      June 13, 2015 at 11:07 PM

      THoltz,

      Please forgive me and the way I acted. I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart.

      Thank-you so much for writing to me and taking the time to do this. I really do appreciate this. I think the fact that you are also non-Muslim really shows that people of different faiths (or no faith as it were) and backgrounds can and of course always have worked together for the betterment and progress of the human family. I’m sure everyone here regardless of what they may believe in, really appreciates what you have said, and the links you’ve provided.

      Yes, I have read before that the NOI are basically black nationalists, and that they throw in the garb of Islamic teaching, to go along with this, or to be more specific, have incorporated various quasi Islamic doctrines that put race at the forefront of their actual creed or beliefs. And of course one can say that one of their main beliefs that makes them believers (in their eyes) is their actual race, and of course with this comes things that don’t jibe with the religion of Islam, nor the majority of other religions in the world.

      And thanks so much for the links. I have read the first paragraph or so, in one link, but I intend to sit down, and read the rest of it and also watch the video (and other links that other people may have included). I don’t think Farakhan has changed his views, at as far as what he has said in various videos (from late 2014 and 2015) but maybe he has, and he has a right to believe whatever he wants, of course.

      And yes, as I had mentioned a while ago, I completely do understand the issue of declaring that one is not a Muslim, and the serious ramifications of doing this. And again, of course I understand that no one can know what was in someone’s heart especially before they died (only God knows for sure).

      And thanks you so much for the links. I definitely plan to read this and the other articles and links that people have posted.

      Again, thanks so much. Thanks again for taking the time out to write me.

      ConfusedGuy (now less confused!)

  12. Avatar

    Indah Yusuf

    June 14, 2015 at 5:25 PM

    Qur’an 41:34
    “And not equal are the good deed and the bad. Repel [evil] by that [deed] which is better; and thereupon the one whom between you and him is enmity [will become] as though he was a devoted friend.”
    41:35) “But none is granted it except those who are patient, and none is granted it except one having a great portion [of good].”

  13. Avatar

    ymr

    October 11, 2015 at 1:17 PM

    Reminder that criticizing Islam is not being bigoted towards it followers. If Christianity can be criticized by muslims then they have the right to do so as well.

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#Current Affairs

Muslims Leaders Who Are Also Foreign Agents

When American Muslim leaders are also foreign agents, you need to consider FARA, the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Ahmed Shaikh explores how this law may apply to American Muslim leaders who fall into “Team UAE” and “Team Turkey”

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Which deeds are most beloved to Allah?

Alhamdulillah, by the blessings of Allah (swt) and readers like yourself, MuslimMatters has been an independent platform for our best thought leaders to educate us in our faith and catalyze change through powerful, necessary conversations. Since our humble beginnings as a basic wordpress blog in 2007, our content has remained free.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support us with a monthly donation of $10 per month, or even as little as $1. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Foreign Agents in the US have a meaningful effect on Americans in the United States.  Should Muslims in the United States adopt the foreign policy narrative of the United Arab Emirates?  Should we be against calling the mass killing of Armenians during World War I “genocide?” Can American Muslim leaders and nonprofits be the voice of governments, give them public relations advice and do their bidding?

These questions are largely irrelevant as the American Muslim community already has some activists and Islamic Scholars who are foreign agents.

I am not claiming being a foreign agent is inherently wrong, unethical or somehow prohibited in Islam. In many instances, being a foreign agent is fine, or at least you can find examples where the activity is harmless and maybe even beneficial. Non-Muslims serve as foreign agents, peddling influence and giving advice. Why can’t ordinary Muslims, even Muslim leaders, activists, and Islamic scholars do the same? What we need though is transparency about these relationships, similar to how we keep tabs on people who carry hazardous waste. It’s often a useful and beneficial service, but also, well, hazardous. 

As we have seen from recent cases Imaad Zuberi, Mike Flynn, and Paul Manafort , it is reasonable to expect more prosecutions of unregistered foreign agents in the coming months and years.

American Team Turkey vs. American Team UAE

My purpose here is not to re-litigate events during the first world war or the UAE’s murderous worldwide batil-slinging foreign policy. It is also not to offer a further critique of American Muslim leaders and scholars who blow smoke for one foreign interest or another. For that, you can read my recent article. Instead, it is to help American Muslims involved with foreign entities to be aware of the law so they can prepare accordingly. 

The “Team Turkey” vs. “Team UAE” saga playing out among the Muslim community’s leadership, including nonprofits and religious leaders, is dangerous, and there is potential legal jeopardy to members of both “teams.” The law in an individual case is often complex, and I am not claiming anyone referenced in this article is a criminal. However, anyone who thinks aspects of this article applies to them should seek legal counsel post haste.

Pariah status may rub off

In the eyes of the US government, the UAE may be up one day, and Turkey may be down. Pakistan is pretty much always “down” no matter who is in power in the United States, so Muslims working with that government and various political parties and institutions in that country should be especially sensitive about being a law enforcement target, even if they believe they are working for a worthy cause. Keep in mind how the Muslim community has been treated historically by the Justice Department. For this or any future US Administration, American Muslim leadership may be low hanging fruit for prosecutors. 

Right now, the UAE, in particular, aggressively buys loyalty, buys people in positions to peddle influence on its behalf. It uses straw donors and funnels its money around the United States through various entities to get what it wants. These tactics work for them now, but it may not work forever. Any Muslim majority country can get “pariah” status and the social and political environment in the United States may turn against that country and its agents.

If the political winds in the United States change against the UAE, their leadership will probably not be affected. Things may be different for their agents in the United States, however. The same may well be true for agents of Turkey. We can learn from their best known non-Muslim foreign agent, former Trump National Security Advisor Michael Flynn

The United States has a long history, going back to its founding, of being suspicious of foreign influence in government and public opinion. Various clauses of the constitution and several laws exist to address this historic concern, though many are quite weak.  The one that Muslim leaders with ties to foreign governments should be most concerned with is the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).

Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) 

Anyone who closely followed the Mueller investigation into the 2016 Presidential election is likely somewhat familiar with FARA.  However, of more interest should be the prosecution and guilty plea last year of Dr. Nisar Ahmed Chaudhry, who was prosecuted for activities that are remarkably common for Muslim leaders, especially immigrants.

It’s not a crime to be an agent of a foreign government. The crime, as those paying close attention to current events, will understand,  is in not registering with the Justice Department. In short, it’s a federal crime for agents of foreign entities or people engaged in political or other activities in the statute, with some exceptions, to not register under this law. US Law defines the term ” foreign agent”- it is not necessarily pejorative. It does not mean being a spy.

Indeed, foreign influence-peddling is an entire industry. Often, people who engage in “influence peddling” are not especially sophisticated and may not be paid at all. They may simply be immigrant activists who love their homeland.

In the case of Chaudhry, he pleaded guilty to not registering an unincorporated group he created in his home, the “Pakistan American League,” and his work as a “foreign agent.” His crime? He spoke to officials in the Pakistani government, and worked in Pakistan’s interests in D.C. area government and “think tank” circles by organizing “roundtable discussions.” He was not paid for his work as an “agent” by Pakistan.  All of this is legal, except that he failed to register.

A Law About Transparency

Foreign Agents need to report on their activities or risk fine and imprisonment. Every six months, the US Attorney General issues a report on foreign agents who register under this law to Congress. You can find the most recent report here. These reports offer a helpful description of registered foreign agents operating in the United States, but anyone can take a deeper dive into the reporting if they want to. FARA is about transparency.

FARA does not prohibit speech or activities by anyone. The purpose is to inform the public and government about the source of information used to attempt to influence them. FARA is an old law that US Muslims need in our communities right about now. 

Enforcement of this law had been mostly dormant for years, and the Mueller investigation is said to have given it new life. Registrations under the law are up.

FARA is broader than you might think

FARA is not just for agents of foreign governments. Being an agent of a foundation, royal family, oligarch, or any other entity or person can trigger the same requirements and cause criminal liability for those who fail to register. Many registrations under FARA involve agents of entities and people that are not governments. 

As we have seen from Chaudhry’s case, Muslim leaders, activists, and scholars don’t need to be paid to be “foreign agents” under the law. Congress understood foreign agents could work for nonmonetary benefits. A foreign agent does not need to agree with everything the foreign principal does and says. A Muslim leader who gives certain kinds of advice to a foreign entity may need to register to avoid criminal liability. It does not matter if the foreign principal ignores the advice. FARA is not just a law about foreign lobbying, indeed lobbyists have a separate registration system and law.  Virtually any work to influence public opinion or give advice will fall under the law. There are many opportunities for Muslim leaders to get themselves into serious trouble

Religion or university affiliation may not save foreign agents 

There are exceptions to FARA reporting requirements. For example, diplomats, many journalists, and bona fide trade and commercial enterprises do not need to report.  Say Muhammad is the agent of a Turkish exporter of Turkish delight, selling delicious packaged desserts to grocery stores around the Midwest. Muhammad does not need to register under FARA. 

Similarly, those involved in bona fide religious, academic, or fine arts pursuits are exempt. So if Saad, a US Citizen, is hired by the Saudi government to teach Quran recitation to children of employees of the local Saudi consulate, Saad would not need to register. 

 If, however, the Turkish Delight company asked Muhammad to write op-eds and hold meetings to prevent tariffs on Turkey, well, that’s different. If Saad starts to give public relations advice to his Saudi employers, he should call a lawyer. It’s worth noting that FARA is not the only registration and disclosure statute. A lawyer with expertise in this area can help them sort it out. 

Learn from others

Carrying water for a foreign entity’s political agenda, a regular occurrence by some American Muslim leaders is not bona fide religious or academic activity. Such conduct falls squarely into a danger zone under the law. The US Justice Department has confirmed the religious and academic exception’s narrow scope. The Overseas Korean Cultural Heritage Foundation, for example, wanted an opinion they are exempt from registration.   They were working on developing a museum, which is an academic institution. However, the Justice Department advised the foundation must register under FARA. The reasons, among other non-nefarious sounding things, were exhibits on bilateral relations between South Korea and the United States.

In 2017, TV station RT America and news outlet, Sputnik, “both Russian-funded but with production companies in the US, registered as ‘foreign agents’ under pressure from the Justice Department.”

Muslim leaders with ties to foreign entities should also look to the example of the American section of the World Zionist Organization. The WZO has appropriately registered itself as a foreign agent. Its work seems reasonably standard for a Zionist organization, though. WZO “participated in workshops, seminars, and conferences and distributed materials to increase support for the foreign principal’s educational, cultural, and religious goals.” The foreign principal was the World Zionist Organization in Israel, not the government of Israel itself. Still, it needed to register. 

Even if someone falls into an exception to FARA, another related statute may well cause liability. So anyone who has to look around for exceptions should check with an attorney. 

Sunshine in the Muslim community

Much of the work against CVE involved learning what Muslim leaders working with governments were up to. Because of the federal “Freedom of Information Act” and state Public Records Acts, we have a better idea of what Muslim leaders have been collaborating with the war on terrorism against our community. The availability of public records has also kept some Muslims away from unsavory funding opportunities. There is always a risk they will be found out. Who needs that drama? As the late US Supreme Court Justice Luis Brandies famously said, “sunshine is the best disinfectant.” 

Some in the Countering Violent Extremism space have looked to foreign governments and organizations, particularly in the UAE. Working against the US Muslim community, which includes naming groups such as CAIR and MAS “terrorist organizations,” and investing in anti-Muslim surveillance is fundamental to UAE foreign policy. Foreign entities are not subject to the Federal Freedom of Information Act or state Public Records Acts.

Covertness can be beneficial when prosecuting the war on terrorism in our communities on behalf of a foreign master. However, security-state contractors working with foreign entities are engaged in an inherently political enterprise and should register. Unfortunately, nobody from the Muslim community in the CVE sector has. They should either start or quit foreign-sponsored CVE altogether. 

FARA is your friend

We have a strong need for transparency among Muslim leaders and organizations. Foreign interests have been looking to influence the US Muslim civil society for several years. It may well be that agents of foreign nation-states or entities in them have valuable things to say. The purpose of FARA is not to deny your ability to hear them and learn from them. However, knowing someone is a foreign agent will help us place the information provided by a Muslim leader, activist or scholar in a better context. 

Muslim leaders and organizations should strongly encourage each other to look at FARA when any foreign entity is involved. If for no other reason, to avoid potential criminal liability.

If you are a Muslim leader, activist or scholar working with a foreign principal, retain legal counsel. You need to know if registration is required. If it is necessary, and it often will be, provide a fulsome disclosure and keep updating it. You can be sure there will be at least a few Muslims reading it. 

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#Current Affairs

A Closer Look At The Congressional Hearing on Human Rights in South Asia

Hena Zuberi

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Kashmir hearing in Congress
Which deeds are most beloved to Allah?

Alhamdulillah, by the blessings of Allah (swt) and readers like yourself, MuslimMatters has been an independent platform for our best thought leaders to educate us in our faith and catalyze change through powerful, necessary conversations. Since our humble beginnings as a basic wordpress blog in 2007, our content has remained free.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support us with a monthly donation of $10 per month, or even as little as $1. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Expectations on Capitol Hill were pretty low going into the House Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and Nonproliferation’s historic hearing on “Human Rights in South Asia”. Previously, hearings on India have not been critical and the Kashmiri Muslim point of view has not been discussed.

Chairman of the sub-committee Brad Sherman (D-CA) wasted no time setting the stage for where he wanted to go with this hearing, stating, ”the entire world is focused today on what is happening in Kashmir.” He also pointed to the state of the 2 million-minority population in Assam. Missing from his opening statements were remarks on the state of the rest of the minorities in India, esp. Christians, Sikhs, Dalits, and Muslims. Ranking member Ted Yoho (R-FL) was soft on the gross realities of the occupation, highlighting one case of a Kashmiri constituent, and referred to the abrogation of Article 370 as an internal matter of India. He also brought up the Indian talking point of economic progress in the region but this concept was thoroughly dismissed by later testimony and Q&A.

The State department veteran Alice Wells, Acting Secretary on South and Central Asian Affairs seemed woefully ill-prepared for the critical nature of the hearing. Both Wells and Assistant Secretary for Human Rights Destro could not or did not present solid facts and figures about detention and tried to explain away the oppression as “inconveniences”. They were unable to comment or provide clarity on the situation on the ground in Kashmir, with Destro saying, “we are in the same information blackout as you are.” Some of Sec. Wells’s comments were of direct Indian government persuasion.

Several of Justice For All’s talking points were raised during the hearing.

There was commentary on the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar asked about the anti-Muslim program. She questioned the panel on the public statements by Indian officials that only Muslims have to prove their birth records. Rejecting the notion that a democratic ally cannot be policed, she said that the United States does that in many situations and “this should not be an exception.”The human rights abuse doesn’t cease to exist even if it is the law. Is it consistent with international human rights?” asked Chairman Sherman, along the same lines.

Destro observed that the appeals process “may disadvantage poor and illiterate populations who lack documentation”. “We are closely following this situation and urge the Government of India to take these issues into consideration,” he added.

”The human rights abuse doesn’t cease to exist even if it is the law. Is it consistent with international human rights?” asked Chairman ShermanClick To Tweet

Wells testified that “violence and discrimination against minorities in India, including cow vigilante attacks against members of the Dalit and Muslim communities, and the existence of anti-conversion laws in nine states” are not in keeping with India’s legal protections for minorities.

Congresswoman Alice Spanberger, (D-VA) a former CIA intelligence officer, asked whether India has shared examples of terror attacks and incidents that have been thwarted due to the communications blockade. When Wells stated that she could not comment, Spanberger asked for a classified hearing so that US officials could give their assessment on the validity of the national security argument of the Indian government. Chair Sherman associated himself with her questioning and vowed to take her suggestion seriously.

Chairman Brad Sherman, as well as several other Congresspeople both on and off the House Foreign Relations Committee, asked several pertinent and critical questions.

Questioning the Indian Government narrative Chairman Sherman asked if the United is “supposed to trust these government of India officials when the government of India doesn’t allow our diplomats to visit?” Representative Sheila Jackson asked if reputable Indian diplomats or journalists had ever been denied entry into any state in the United States?

Indian American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) referred to a report about the detention of dozens of children in Kashmir and said detention without charges is unacceptable. She expressed her concerns about religious freedom in India and said that she proposes to bring a bipartisan resolution in Congress.

Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas and David Cicilline of Rhode Island both had a heavy human rights approach to the questioning. Congresswoman Lee asked Assistant Secretary Destro if he would describe the situation as a “humanitarian crisis,” Mr Destro said, “Yes, it is.” She then went on to call the United States government to stop a potential genocide.

Washington has not changed its stance on the designation of the Line of Control. Chairman Sherman brought up the issue of disputed territory to the State Department.“We consider the Line of Control (LoC) a de facto line separating two parts of Kashmir,” answered Wells. “We recognize de facto administrations on both sides of LoC.”

The subcommittee focused on personal testimonies as well as human rights organization Amnesty’s testimony during the second half of the hearing.

Though no Kashmiri Muslims testified, the panel presented electrifying testimonies from Dr. Nitasha Kaul, a Kashmiri and Dr. Angana Chatterji, an anthropologist at the University of California, Berkeley. Bearing witness to the rising fascism and Hindu nationalism’s grip on India, both witnesses brought up beef lynchings, with Chatterji raising the concern of the genocidal inclinations of the Modi government. 

“Hindu majoritarianism – the cultural nationalism and political assertion of the Hindu majority – sanctifies India as intrinsically Hindu and marks the non-Hindu as its adversary. Race and nation are made synonymous, and Hindus –the formerly colonized, now governing, elite – are depicted as the national race,” said Dr. Chatterji.

Kashmiri witness Dr. Nitisha Kaul stated in her testimony that “human rights defenders, who were already under severe pressure, since August 5 are unable to function in Kashmir. For instance, every year on 30 August, the UN Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearance, Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons led by Ms Parveena Ahangar, organises a vigil protest involving hundreds of elderly women and men whose sons had become victims of for instance, in the most recent parliamentary elections, the voters’ turnout was very low and in many booths, not a single vote was cast.”

Kaul emphasized the extension of the oppression, by highlighting that this year the peaceful gathering of elderly parents mourning and waiting for their disappeared sons was not allowed. She shared Ahanga’s quote: “This year we have been strangled, and there was no coming there was no coming together because, through its siege, India has denied us even the right to mourn.”

Ilhan Omar challenged Indian journalist Aarti Tikoo Singh’s take that the siege was in place to save Muslim women from “terrorists.” This is a trope that is often used to wage war and is especially used in the so-called “war on terror.” “It is a very colonial move on the part of the nation-states around it as if they are “liberating Kashmiri women,” said Dr. Kaul.

Chatterji bore witness to the woes of Kashmiri women who bear the brunt of the Indian occupational forces’ sexual brutality. “The woman’s body becomes the battlefield,” she said replying to a question by Congresswoman Houlahan from Pennsylvania. Dr. Kaul stated that the 1944 new Kashmir manifesto contained an entire section on gender rights. She spoke on the equity and equality in Kashmir: “They go to protests. Women become heads of households because of dead husbands.”

She also reminded the committee that BJP’s Amit Shah, also part of the government in 2002 and responsible for the program on Muslim community stated that Western human rights cannot be blindly applied here in India.

Representative Wild from Pennsylvania asked why the Indian government would not allow transparency. When human rights organizations and journalists can work in active war zones, she rejected the anti-terrorism narrative pushed by Ravi Batra, a last-minute BJP addition to the panel. “When there isn’t transparency something is being hidden and this is what really concerns me terribly,” said Wild.

A Sindhi-American witness spoke on minority rights in Pakistan, especially the forced conversion of Hindus. This is a concern that needs to be tackled by Muslims as there is no compulsion in Islam and is antithetical to the religion.

During the hearing, Amnesty International reported thousands in detention under the Public Safety Act while the State Department numbered it at hundreds. Dr. Asif Mahmoud, a key organizer, presented the health situation in Kashmir.

The overall situation of the Rohingya was covered and links were made to the start of the genocide in Burma and the parallels in India. The members of the House referred to it as genocide with the State Department still calling it ethnic cleansing.

Although the hearing focused on the current state of Jammu and Kashmir and not much was brought up about self-determination or the plebiscite, Kashmiri-Americans and their supporters left the hearing room satisfied that their voices were heard for the first time in the halls of the US Congress.

What was most concerning point of the entire hearing was that Kashmir was not brought up categorically as disputed territory and the issue was referred to as an integral matter of India. This needs deep, consistent and long-term work by advocates of Kashmir. With the continuous rise of RSS, Indian minority issues need a much sharper focus, and a regular pounding of the pavements of Congress to educate the Foreign Relations committees.

Some action items for American Muslims post-hearing.

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#Current Affairs

What We Should Know About The Slaying Of An Imam 10 Years Ago In Dearborn

Dawud Walid, Guest Contributor

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informant jibril imam Luqman
Which deeds are most beloved to Allah?

Alhamdulillah, by the blessings of Allah (swt) and readers like yourself, MuslimMatters has been an independent platform for our best thought leaders to educate us in our faith and catalyze change through powerful, necessary conversations. Since our humble beginnings as a basic wordpress blog in 2007, our content has remained free.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support us with a monthly donation of $10 per month, or even as little as $1. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

October 28, 2019 marks 10 years since the tragic homicide of Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah who was shot 20 times in Dearborn, Michigan by a special FBI tactical squad. The homicide of Imam Abdullah was the culmination of the FBI spending over a million dollars in a so-called counterterrorism investigation which included rental of a commercial warehouse and freight trucks, the purchase of expensive electronic items and payment to at least 3 confidential informants. The raid on that fateful day in which Abdullah was killed and some of his congregants were arrested had nothing to do with terrorism-related charges, yet the imam and by extension the Detroit Muslim community was smeared in the process.

The FBI and the Department of Justice (DOJ) claimed that agents were compelled to kill Abdullah because he purportedly shot a law enforcement canine during the arrest raid. CAIR-Michigan filed a lawsuit against the FBI for wrongful death and fraud in this matter because there was no forensic evidence that corroborated that Abdullah had a firearm much less shot an FBI dog, which the bureau considered a law enforcement officer. There were no proofs provided that any gunpowder was on Abdullah’s hand or fingertips which would have existed if he had fired a gun, and none of his DNA nor fingerprints were found on the alleged gun. In fact, there was not even a picture of a gun at the scene nor did the Dearborn Police see any gun. The FBI blocked the Dearborn Police from entering the scene of the homicide for over an hour after the shooting which allowed the FBI special tactical team to leave with the purported firearm. In other words, the shooters of Abdullah, who headed back to DC without even being questioned by the Dearborn Police, are the only source that he had a gun. We believe that the FBI used what is known as a throwaway gun in a coverup when they killed the imam.

To add insult to injury that tragic day when Abdullah was shot 20 times including in the back and groin, law enforcement used their helicopter to fly the injured FBI dog, which was most likely shot by friendly fire, to a veterinarian hospital instead of using it to fly the imam to a close-by hospital. When the Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Michigan and the Acting US Attorney held a press conference about the incident, it was followed up later with special recognition for “Freddy” the FBI dog while the imam was painted as a type of extremist who wanted to establish sharia in the Westside of Detroit.

To add insult to injury that tragic day when Abdullah was shot 20 times including in the back and groin, law enforcement used their helicopter to fly the injured FBI dog, which was most likely shot by friendly fire, to a veterinarian hospital instead of using it to fly the imam to a close-by hospital.Click To Tweet

The lawsuit which we filed against the FBI was dismissed not because of the merits of our arguments but due to the federal government during the Obama administration suppressing information. The FBI would not release the names of their shooting squad which forced us to name them as John Does. The DOJ countered that we did not have standing on behalf of the family because we did not name actual persons. When we refiled using the names of the Special Agent in Charge and the head of the tactical team, neither who were actual shooters, the DOJ argued that the statute of limitations ran out in our complaint. We submitted an appeal to the US Supreme Court regarding the coordinated suppression of evidence; however, our appeal was denied. We still hold to this day that the FBI wrongfully killed the imam which was followed up by a systematic coverup.

Since the homicide of Abdullah, we now know that government surveillance against the Muslim community and the suspected terrorist watchlists grew tremendously during the Obama years in comparison to the Bush era. Also, the Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) which further targeted the community began under the Obama administration. Government spying and the broad usage of confidential informants, some who act as agent provocateurs, in our community are still concerns of ours. Where Americans pray or who we associate with that may have unpopular political views should not be predicates for FBI surveillance. In many cases, this has led to young American Muslims being criminalized. For Imam Abdullah, it led to his demise.

During the 10th anniversary of this tragedy, I ask us all to recommit ourselves to standing for the civil liberties of all Americans to not be mass surveilled and for none of us to aid and abet any governmental programs that facilitate of the violation of our 1st Amendment rights falsely in the name of public safety and national security. Click To Tweet

As my mentor, the late Ron Scott with the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality said when he stood with us in this case, “We are not anti-police; we are anti-law enforcement misconduct.” It is not our position that law enforcement be completely abolished. We are, however, against the unethical usage of informants which is part and parcel of the prolific history of the FBI in targeting prominent Americans such as Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali, whose religious and political views were viewed as threatening by the status quo. During the 10th anniversary of this tragedy, I ask us all to recommit ourselves to standing for the civil liberties of all Americans to not be mass surveilled and for none of us to aid and abet any governmental programs that facilitate of the violation of our 1st Amendment rights falsely in the name of public safety and national security. We never want to see another homicide such as what took place to Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah due to overzealous actions predicated upon misguided FBI policy.

Photo: Luqman Abdullah, second from left. FBI informant “Jibril,” third from left. Credit: Intercept

21 Shots and the Pursuit of Justice: An Imam (Luqman Ameen Abdullah) Dies in Michigan

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