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The Muslim Lords of CVE




The main idea behind Countering Violent Extremism (CVE), is that there is a way to intelligently articulate a future “path” to something called “radicalization” by Muslims, and this can be stopped before crimes are committed.  The Intercept last month  exposed a secret study by one of the principal purveyors of CVE, the FBI, that there is no such thing.  It is important for Muslims to understand that CVE is not only damaging to the community, it is fraud.

The ISPU Debate

On Labor Day Weekend in Chicago, the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU) hosted a debate at the annual ISNA Convention  on the Federal Government’s Muslim-only “Countering Violent Extremism” (CVE) initiative, if it was beneficial or harmful to “engage” with law enforcement on such programs.

Both Dr Muqtedar Khan and Kamran Bokhari, who spoke in favor of Muslim participation in CVE agreed there was no net-benefit in doing so, and yet despite this lack of net-benefit insisted that the Muslim community should do it anyway. The reasons to support CVE had to do with dealing with “extremism,” “radicalism,” and “anti-Americanism” that exist in the Muslim community.  Never mind that even if eliminating these things were laudable goals, (they are not) it is clear this is impossible to achieve through CVE.  Furthermore, attendees were told Muslims do not have a choice in the matter – either they choose to serve the government to help do away with these things or risk the government engaging with Islamophobes like Daniel Pipes to do this instead.

While all sides agreed CVE offers “no net-benefit,” there was no serious discussion of what the real benefits were and who within the community stands to benefit.  Sahar Aziz and Dawud Walid argued forcefully against CVE, citing the harms to individuals, families and the community as a whole, which was what they were supposed to do.

Despite clear indications most American Muslims who know about the issues – including the speakers who spoke in favor of CVE – appear to hold a negative opinion of it, the benefits may be powerful enough for the pro CVE side to prevail.  We need to understand what we are up against.

ISPU, the convener of the debate, unfortunately failed to question or disclose whether the two speakers favoring CVE personally benefit financially from the national security state. Neither of the speakers disclosed at the event what financial remuneration they receive from the Federal Government, foreign governments, think tanks and corporations with an interest in CVE, either directly or indirectly through their employers.

 The American Muslim Intellectual class sometimes serve as tools of imperial interests, as Dr. Hatam Bazian recently observed.  CVE is a great example of why this fact matters.

To his credit, Kamran , a former “extremist” who has since become an “expert” on “extremism” was at least up front in that he did not speak as a “Muslim activist,” but rather as a “professional” who deals with “extremism.” It is too communal a view, from his perspective, to consider things such as “benefit” or “harm”, but rather Muslims should adopt the government program targeting the Muslim community because it is the right thing to do, and because supporting CVE was somehow “logical.”

Muslims should do the right thing even if there is no financial benefit. Doing the right thing is inherently beneficial if you are Muslim. But is it really the right thing if a privileged few stand on the “benefit” side of the ledger while the most marginalized fall on the “harm” side? For the Muslim community, the benefit and harm should be subject to more scrutiny.  An early “Pilot Program” City, the Muslim community in the Los Angeles area had some early experience with CVE.  The community contemplated both benefit and harm.

The Southern California Muslim community was virtually united in opposition soon after February 2015 “CVE Summit” at the White House ended. That the Government’s CVE program in Los Angeles has been stuck in a ditch for nearly two years is no accident.  It took an organized effort, though keeping CVE out of our community continues to be an uphill struggle.  At an Imam teach-in in those early days and in many other public and private meetings on the subject, Muslim leaders and activists used a wide range of historical analogies or explanations for what it was. It was alternately or simultaneously “white supremacy” or “Cointelpro,” or portrayed as something like the Raj in India.


One Islamic Educator then said it was like “Braveheart” because it appeared the Federal Government was creating “lords,” a special class of official Muslim leaders.  CVE documents and prior experience with “Prevent” in the UK (to be renamed “Engage”) led to a similar conclusion: CVE will divide the Muslim community between the “engagers”- those who will do law enforcement’s bidding – and the non-engagers, which comprises of everyone who disagrees with the government’s preferred narrative about the Muslim community. The creation of “engagers” sometimes involved use of “astroturfing” by funding “Muslim leaders” that claimed to be independent, but upon further inspection, turned out to not be.  While I had written about an example of this in the United States, the British Human Rights Group CAGE found several in the United Kingdom. It is the nature of Astroturf groups to claim they are independent while in fact being severely compromised by financial rewards and government endorsement.


The medieval British nobility did not merely “engage” with the King or act as a class of official sycophants; they were oppressors who oppressed primarily to benefit themselves. As Michelle Alexander points out in her book “The New Jim Crow,” all oppressive systems have people from within the targeted group that benefit from the oppression. This was the case in American slavery, South African Apartheid, the occupation of Palestine, and everywhere else where a group was oppressed. There are always people from within the targeted group who serve as apologists for the system, justifying the fraudulent frame of dangerousness of their own group and profiting from the popular narrative they help nurture and sustain.

Muqtedar Khan, Associate Professor at University of Delaware, who has been the recipient of hundreds of thousands of dollars from the US Government for his work dealing with Islam and Muslims, relied on what could only be described as nihilism when he argued for a program with no net-benefit and in a moment of candid confession admitted that CVE was “awful.” Khan implied all government programs were bad anyway.  He is wrong of course. The National Parks Service is an excellent government program, as are plenty of others.

Muslims, according to Khan, cannot afford to be seen as being “dissidents” and at one point compared the Muslim community to a watermelon and the government to a knife. Either you get cut falling on the knife, or you get cut with the knife falling on you. The Muslim community will be cut. Get over it.  Khan readily admitted the program would do nothing to prevent any harsh treatment of Muslims that is a daily part of life in the war on terror (a frequent and easily refuted talking point by some). All we can do is assist the government so that some of us may be respectable. Nobility is nothing if not respectable.

Muslims should disagree with Khan.  We should be a community of dissidents when policies are unjust, and advocates when policies are just. We enjoin the good and forbid the evil. This is not complicated.

Neither CVE opponents Dawud Walid and Sahar Aziz’s central arguments concerning the harmful effects of CVE on the Muslim community were seriously disputed. You can see the entire debate here. The conclusion that CVE is a loathsome program and should be defeated is not a difficult one, unless a leader or activist stands to gain financially, or in some other way that provides the badges of nobility.

Advocacy has been important nationally, and organizations such as CAIR (despite some unfortunate disarray), Muslim Advocates, Muslim Justice League and others did exactly that. One insight in Southern California added a step: CVE was not merely a government program, but a system where newly constituted Muslim nobility, deputized by law enforcement to push a harmful narrative of the Muslim community and divide it. Petitioning the King would not be enough. If you want to stop it in its tracks, you must challenge the legitimacy of the nobility created by the government.

In the Los Angeles area, we were fortunate. The Muslim community has been generally well organized with solid leadership. There was just one significant organization in Southern California that supported CVE. They were unusual in that they also previously supported the Egyptian coup by General Sisi and the religious and ethnic profiling by police in Los Angeles. Their support of CVE was in character and easy to dismiss. They were exposed as compromised, which helped diminish their pro-CVE advocacy. A unanimous vote by the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California against CVE sent a clear message to Law Enforcement and all government agencies: We will not violate our community’s trust. We will not be servants of the national security state. We will not accept the narrative that our children are more dangerous than non-Muslim children. We will not be the oppressors.

Stronger Watermelons

Either the Southern California Muslim community is made of stronger stuff than watermelon, or the knife has been unusually dull.

Unfortunately, other Muslim communities in the United States have not been so fortunate. For example, the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIOGC), which serves as the regional council for Muslim groups in Chicago, developed its own CVE Program, funded by both the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security. Amazingly, it utilizes the “four stages of radicalization,” from the New York Police Department. This includes the notion that indicators of religiousness, such as giving up cigarettes, gambling or growing a beard can lead to terrorism. The concept was so obscene that the NYPD, after a lawsuit, agreed to remove the report “radicalization theory” comes from.  Yet, an organization of Mosques was somehow using this Islamophobic garbage as the basis for their program.

One speaker at the ISNA convention, in a panel unrelated to CVE, veered off his subject and spoke about his work with CIOGC in “deprogramming” Muslim youth as part of CVE. The narrative of Muslim leaders promoting CVE is to dehumanize Muslim youth and peddle Islamophobia by this portrayal of the future of our community as budding T-1000s, programmed killing machines in need of fixing. In exchange, Muslim leaders receive financial compensation and perhaps earn the respect of law enforcement and politicians.

The CIOGC move results in a community organization accepting government funds to act as a servant of law enforcement interests and against the interests of the most marginal within the Muslim community. Moreover, Muslim leaders are taking dictation from the government based on a fundamentally Islamophobic frame.  This is  perhaps an example of what Muhammad Ghilan recently referred to as the world’s largest Pavlovian experiment.  CIOGC is financially dependent on the fame of Muslims as inherently violent.  If they don’t perpetuate this frame, the money will stop.

As Dawud Walid pointed out recently, CVE programs are a particular danger to Imams, and participation in CVE represents a fundamental breach of trust. By obvious extension, it is a breach of trust for any Muslim leader to financially benefit from the exploitation and stigmatization of our community. This needs to stop.

In Greek legend, King Agamemnon sacrificed his daughter Iphigenia so his ships get some fair wind on the way to Troy. Are we as a Muslim community willing to sacrifice the most marginalized and defenseless among us to avoid being seen as a “dissident community,” so some of us can perhaps get that fair wind?

Ahmed Shaikh is a Southern California Attorney. He writes about inheritance, nonprofits and other legal issues affecting Muslims in the United States. His Islamic Inheritance website is



  1. Avatar


    October 19, 2016 at 5:04 PM

    Some of the violent extremism, beheading, crucifixtion is rooted in the text. Let’s put our house in order. Send a message to the extremists that these Surahs have no place today. We must stop claiming the innerency of the Quran.

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      Abdullah O

      October 19, 2016 at 6:20 PM

      May Allah humiliate you.

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      October 19, 2016 at 7:07 PM

      Can you please give examples of surahs you would like removed?

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      October 19, 2016 at 10:06 PM

      Salaam Soraya,

      You said:

      I would argue that said extremism, etc is more the result of the de-contextualization (historically and textually) of said verses and not necessarily what said verses actually preach.

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      October 19, 2016 at 10:07 PM

      Salaam Soraya,

      You said:
      “some of the violent extremism, beheading, crucifixtion is rooted in the text”

      I would argue that said extremism, etc is more the result of the de-contextualization (historically and textually) of said verses and not necessarily what said verses actually preach.

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      Hue Man

      October 20, 2016 at 2:22 PM

      Its impossible to be Muslim and at the same time claim that the Quran has error. Its not the fault of Islam or Muslims that some people choose to interpret the Quran in their own way while ignoring 1400 years of scholarship. Whats odd is that the people who hold their very own opinion above that of the scholars tend to come to the same conclusions. Then they fall into two opposing camps. One that says all the scholars are wrong and no one is on the true path but them. One that says Islam is wrong or the quran is wrong. But what is most odd? Its that both these opposing views actually carry the same exact opinions of the Quran!

      So lets stay in the middle path, learn from the scholars, learn the meaning as intended to be understood. And lets not be arrogant in our personal opinions lest we fall into extremes.

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      November 5, 2016 at 7:05 PM

      There is no violent extremism rooting in the Text…! And stop trying to pretend your Muslim, my Christian friend.

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      November 10, 2016 at 5:58 PM

      There were various classical scholars who rejected abrogation within the Quran. Such as Ibn Sina, Ibn Rushd and Qadi Abdul Jabbar.

      Zaidi and Mu’tazila madhab rejected abrogation in the Quran.

      Abu Muslim Muhammad ibn Hajr al-Asfahani (d. 322/933) refuted the concept internal abrogation in the Quran.

      He used the following verse as evidence:

      (Quran 18:27) “AND CONVEY whatever has been revealed to you of the Sustainer’s Book. There is nothing that could alter His words and you can find no refuge other than with Him.”

      Abu Muslim concludes; Hence any abrogation, as could be interpreted in verse 2:106 relates to earlier divine messages and not to any part of the Qur’an itself.

      Also those who claim internal abrogation, strongly differ as to the number of verses being abrogated. Which proves that their concept is seriously flawed.

      Ironically Shah WaliuAllah only recognised five instances of abrogation. Even those five verses have been explained by scholars such as Muhammad Ghazali to show no abrogation but rather examples of specification or rulings for different situations.

      Relatively recent scholars who rejected abrogation in the Quran are; Sayyid Khah, Rashad Rida, Muhammad Ghazali and Muhammad Amin.

      Another point worthy of note is that there exists no verse from the Quran in which there is Ijma’a about its abrogation. In other words, for any scholar who claims that a particular verse has been abrogated, we can find other scholars who claim the same verse was not abrogated.

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    Muqtedar Khan

    October 19, 2016 at 9:05 PM

    Salam. This article falsely claims that I have received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the State department. But I do want to ask the author to identify when I personally received any money from the State Department? Please mention the years, and I will be happy to share (only with the editors of this website) my tax returns. It is unIslamic to make such serious accusations about fellow Muslims. The editors also did not have the basic journalistic courtesy to check with me or verify facts before printing such false accusations.

    The author links to my CV. He is perhaps referring to a grant received by the University of Delaware (I was the Principle Investigator) to bring scholars from the Muslim World to address Americans and take American scholars to Egypt and KSA to speak to Muslims. This grant, also received by ISNA, was done to improve people to people contact between Muslims, an exercise in public diplomacy and has nothing to do with CVE.

    Besides CVE is a DHS initiative and not a State department initiative. This is a deliberate attempt to malign a Muslim who had nothing but the bet interests of the community at heart. You may disagree with my Ijtihad but speculating on motive is dirty.

    Hardcore Islamophobes are more honest than this article, see how they reported the same thing:

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      Ahmed Shaikh

      October 19, 2016 at 9:51 PM

      Thank you for your comment Dr. Khan. You should read the article again. I said hundreds of thousands from the US Government, some of which is from the State Department, but that is not all. Your CV makes it clear you have benefited from government funds, including the Department of State and Department of Defense, both are agencies in the National Security establishment. For some reason you claim to be unaware that CVE is a major State Department priority. You can learn more about it at the State Department’s website

      I have no objection to you taking grants. However money influences behavior, this is well established. You have been dependent in large part on government funds and are advocating policies that are adverse to the interests of the Muslim community and by your own admission are “awful.” These are policies well respected civil rights organizations are fighting, and for good reason. My concern is that this should have been disclosed by ISPU and should have been part of the discussion.

      In many other environments, including the courts, conflicts of interests and financial ties that can cause bias are relevant. They should have been part of the discussion at the debate as well.

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      November 5, 2016 at 7:03 PM

      You must be an American version of Maajid Nawaz and the Quilliam foundation that we have here in the U.k…The Lord in Chief of CVE in the U.K.
      In the U.K. we have had toddlers investigated for reciting Bismillah, toddler investigated for drawing a picture of a Cucumber the teacher thought the child said he was drawing a “Cooker Bomb” another one investigated because he made a spelling mistake and wrote ” Terrarest House instead of the word “Terraced” House. The catalogue and buffoonery goes on and on! Witch hunts being carried out against Toddlers.

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    Muqtedar Khan

    October 19, 2016 at 10:32 PM

    I am not aware of any DOD grant I have received. Please enlighten me. The State department grant was 2008 and done by 2009 and the idea of CVE is 2015. You do not mention that Sahar Aziz actually worked for DHS. She took a regular paycheck (her work like my grant had nothing to do with CVE) but atleast be “fair and balanced” :) US is my country and I am an American and like Human Khan who actually died fighting for this country, sone of us actually care for the safety of our country and believe in cooperating with our government specially since we voted for it (President Obama).

    BTW here are my views on CVE which were ignored.

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      Kobie Williams

      October 20, 2016 at 12:04 AM

      Allah says, “Then, you are those [same ones who are] killing one another and evicting a party of your people from their homes, cooperating against them in sin and aggression. And if they come to you as captives, you ransom them, although their eviction was forbidden to you. So do you believe in part of the Scripture and disbelieve in part? Then what is the recompense for those who do that among you except disgrace in worldly life; and on the Day of Resurrection they will be sent back to the severest of punishment. And Allah is not unaware of what you do. ” Quran [Baqarah 85]

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      Ahmed Shaikh

      October 20, 2016 at 12:39 AM

      Perhaps you were not aware an entity you received funds from was part of the DOD? Please run your funding sources though Google and perhaps you will gain the awareness you seek.

      Look, I have no beef with you. Do your thing. My concern is the integrity of Muslim leadership and disclosures of actual or potential conflicts. Sahar Aziz was advocating in the interests of the marginalized in the Muslim community and against the policy goals of her former employer, DHS. We are not really concerned about the conflict, rather her employment history enhances her qualifications to speak. Furthermore, unlike what happened in your situation, her experience with DHS WAS disclosed.

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    Kobie Williams

    October 20, 2016 at 9:24 AM

    When I hear about Muslim organization and leaders who are directly or indirectly involved with CVE this ayah in the Quran comes to mind when Allah says, Allah says, “Then, you are those [same ones who are] killing one another and evicting a party of your people from their homes, cooperating against them in sin and aggression. And if they come to you as captives, you ransom them, although their eviction was forbidden to you. So do you believe in part of the Scripture and disbelieve in part? Then what is the recompense for those who do that among you except disgrace in worldly life; and on the Day of Resurrection they will be sent back to the severest of punishment. And Allah is not unaware of what you do ” Quran [Baqarah: 85]

    These leaders are selling the ummah of Muhammad (PBUH) up the river. They are wanting the life of this world in exchange for the hereafter. What a miserable price!
    Allah says, “Those are the ones who have bought the life of this world [in exchange] for the Hereafter, so the punishment will not be lightened for them, nor will they be aided.” [Baqarah: 86]

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    October 20, 2016 at 2:30 PM

    You mean the verses that tell Muslims to defend themselves against non-Muslim aggressors? Like the verse below from the same Surah:

    “Would you not fight people who violated their treaties, tried to banish the messenger, and they are the ones who started the war in the first place. . . ?” [Quran 9:13]

    That’s what you find “troubling”?

    Also You obviously don’t know the context or meaning of what you’ve posted, which you probably cut and pasted it.

    There is no abrogation in the Quran. The Quran says:

    “Shall I seek other than GOD as a source of law, when He has revealed to you this book fully detailed? Those who received the scripture recognize that it has been revealed from your Lord, truthfully. You shall not harbor any doubt. The word of your Lord is complete, in truth and justice. NOTHING SHALL ABROGATE HIS WORDS. He is the Hearer, the Omniscient. If you obey the majority of people on earth, they will divert you from the path of GOD. They follow only conjecture; they only guess.” [Quran 6:114-116]

    The theory of abrogation was formulated centuries after Muhammad’s death by Sunni scholars like al-Shafi’i and ibn Qutaybah. Initially, abrogation was applied to resolve the contradictions between Sunni hadiths. But when Sunnis started applying it to resolve the numerous contradictions between their hadiths and the Quran, it caused quite a controversy.

    Needless to say, 7th century Muslims like Muhammad weren’t applying a theory that was formulated in the 9th century. That’s anachronistic.

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      November 5, 2016 at 7:15 PM

      He is clearly an Islamaphobe who has cut/paste partial verses from Surahs… and thinks he is being clever by pretending to be muslim.

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    October 20, 2016 at 7:17 PM

    @ Muhammed A

    if you are a non-muslim or a murtad then stop trying to deceive us by using a Muslim name.

    Regarding Surah 9, verse 1 indicates that the mushriks broke the treaty with the Muslims. treachery and perjury was made manifest from the side of idolaters. Therfore Allah, the Exalted, instructed His Prophet (peace be upon him) to break their covenant, too.

    The Quran is clear and surah 9 shows clearly the context of the following verse

    “When the sacred months have passed, then kill the Mushrikin wherever you find them. Capture them. Besiege them. Lie in wait for them in each and every ambush but if they repent, and perform the prayers, and give zakat then leave their way free.” 9:5

    the previous verse clearly shows which pagans are being referred in order to fight. these pagans were militant and broke the treaty by supporting aggressive groups against the Muslims.

    i noticed that you completely ignored the whole context of the surah and thus ignoring which pagans are discussed in the verses. you are just simply following the Typical tactic of kuffar and have just copied their foolish arguments against the Quran.

    The reasons for the ayat about the mushriks are summarised in verse 13:

    “Will you not fight a people who broke their oaths and aimed at the expulsion of the Messenger, and they did attack you first? Do you fear them? But Allah is most deserving that you should fear Him, if you are believers.”

    The above verse proves that the surah was revealed in relation to times of war. Also the ayat proves that all the verses about fighting were revealed to command the believers to defend themselves against the militant mushriks who tried to kill or exile the Messenger.

    regarding the verse:

    “O you who have believed, indeed the polytheists are filthy, so let them not approach al-Masjid al-Haram after this, their [final] year. And if you fear privation, Allah will enrich you from His bounty if He wills. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Wise.” 9:28

    The command was given since the mushriks do not have pure belief in Allah being the only God. hence the mushriks were spiritually unclean. Since Makkah is the spiritual centre of the Muslims and has the Kab’ah, it was necessary to keep it spiritually pure hence the prohibition of the mushriks to approach the Sacred Masjid.

    Maintaining the Masjid and its custodianship needs some conditions:

    From the point of belief, Faith in the Quran.

    From the point of practice, establishing prayers and paying alms are obligatory.

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    October 20, 2016 at 8:14 PM

    the verses about jihad such as:

    “Fight against those who do not obey Allah and do not believe in Allah or the Last Day and do not forbid what has been forbidden by Allah and His messenger even if they are of the People of the Book until they pay the Jizya with willing submission and feel themselves subdued.” 9:29

    need to be understood with the context of the surah which is:

    “Will you not fight a people who broke their oaths and aimed at the expulsion of the Messenger, and they did attack you first? Do you fear them? But Allah is most deserving that you should fear Him, if you are believers.” [Quran 9:16]

    Context of all the verses about jihad shows that fighting was ordained against those who were hostile to Muslims and who tried to exile the Messenger.

    verse 29 also proves besides militant mushriks who broke the treaty, there were also aggressive groups from people of the book. So the verse directs Believers to take jizya from them so that the defense for integrity and security is maintained and in return those who gave jizya will have protection.

    about the ayat; “Oh you who believe, fight those of the disbelievers who are close to you and let them find harshness in you.” 9:123

    verses 120 – 123 shows that the believers were intructed to be cautious and not go out of Madinah all at once since there were hostile disbelievers nearby. This is explained in the following ayat;

    And it is not for the believers to go forth [to battle] all at once. For there should separate from every division of them a group [remaining] to obtain understanding in the religion and warn their people when they return to them that they might be cautious. [Quran 9:122]

    So all your pathetic arguments against Surah 9 have been refuted. your lies and misquotations out of context have been exposed.

    Regarding the ayat in surah 8:

    It is not for a prophet to have captives until he engages in strong fighting in the land. You desire the commodities of this world, but Allah desires [for you] the Hereafter. And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise. [Quran 8:67]

    The above verse gives a rule that captives should not be taken unless there has been fighting and the enemies have been defeated. The verse only allows taking captives in case of war and thus prohibits taking captives when there is no fighting. This is a very just and reasonable principle given in the Quran.

    Quran directs us to strive against oppression and thus verses about fighting were revealed.
    It is obvious that many verses of the Quran mention justice. (5:8)
    The Quran invites people to peace (2:208).
    War is permitted in self-defense so the oppressors are defeated and societies become safe and stable. (8:60)
    Quran promotes peace, while deterring the aggressive parties (60:8,9; 8:60).
    Quran stands for peace, honesty, kindness, and deterring from wrongdoing (3:110).

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    October 20, 2016 at 8:46 PM

    regarding the concept of abrogation,

    Quran explictly states that is has no contradictions so it is impossible for latter verses to abrogate earlier verses since no verses oppose one another.

    [4:83] Will they not, then, meditate upon the Qur’an? Had it been from anyone other than Allah, they would surely have found therein much disagreement.

    Regarding the ayat which is used to support abrogation in the Quran;

    Whatever Sign We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring one better than that or the like thereof. Do you not know that Allah has the power to do all that He wills? [Quran 2:107]

    the signs mentioned in the above verse refers to the previous Revelations. It is pointed out that the previous Scriptures contained two kinds of commandments: (a) Those which, owing to changed conditions and to the universality of the new Revelation, required abrogation. (b) Those containing eternal truths which needed resuscitation so that people might be reminded of the forgotten truth. It was, thereof, necessary to abrogate certain portion of those Scriptures and bring in their place new ones, and also to restore the lost ones.

    Any reports which allege abrogation in the Quran should be rejected since it goes against the more authentic proof, the Quran. The Quran has been preserved as proven by many narrators and by carbon dated manuscripts. the hadith in sahih muslim Book 12, Hadith 156 should be investigated since its possible that abu musa was referring to a hadith which he used to recite and he forgot some of it. so what he referred to was not the Quran but a prophetic narration.

    There is no verse in the Qur’an which clashes with any other verse of the Book and which may therefore have to be regarded as abrogated. All parts of the Qur’an support and corroborate one another.

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      October 21, 2016 at 9:03 PM

      people who put the Quran together were able to distinguish between hadith and Quran since the quran was recited in prayer. prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) recited the Quran while leading the prayers so his companions could easily distinguish between Quran and hadith.

      Also the Prophet would tell his scribes to write the Quran and inform them which surah contains which verse. During the Prophet’s lifetime; the Quran was written on seperate sheets of leather or camel skin however it was not compiled into one mushaf since the Quran was still being revealed during his lifetime. But after the Prophet’s death, the revelation was complete and the Believers were able to compile the Quran in one mushaf.

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      October 23, 2016 at 1:56 PM

      Quran explicilty states:

      “Alif.Laam.Raa. This is a book whose verses have been perfected.” 11:1
      “……the words of God are unchangeable” 10:64

      These Quranic verses state clearly that the Quran has been perfected and cannot be abrogated or changed.

      On topic of intoxicants, the Relation between the verses;

      “O you who believe! do not go near prayer when you are Intoxicated until you know (well) what you say.” (4:43) and

      “O you who have believed, indeed, intoxicants, gambling, [sacrificing on] stone alters [to other than Allah ], and divining arrows are but defilement from the work of Satan, so avoid it that you may be successful.” (5:90)

      verse 4:43 simply states that an intoxicated person should not do salah. Hence the verse’s rulng still applies, the rule has not been cancelled at all therefore no abrogation. No where does the verse allow consumption of alcohol. The verse just gives a condition that a person must be sober for salah.

      regarding the different rations;

      O Prophet, urge the believers to battle. If there are among you twenty [who are] steadfast, they will overcome two hundred. And if there are among you one hundred [who are] steadfast, they will overcome a thousand of those who have disbelieved because they are a people who do not understand.” (8:65) and the very next verse which states:

      “Now, Allah has lightened [the hardship] for you, and He knows that among you is weakness. So if there are from you one hundred [who are] steadfast, they will overcome two hundred. And if there are among you a thousand, they will overcome two thousand by permission of Allah . And Allah is with the steadfast.” (8:66)

      verse 8:65 gives ideal standards which some can still follow. while the next verse 8:66 gives a concession to the weak. so again there is no clash. the ruling of both verses still apply.

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      October 27, 2016 at 9:50 PM

      regarding verse 2:106

      the substitution mentioned in 2:106 refers to previous scriptures since those books were forgotten and thus needed to be superseded. abrogation cannot refer to the Quran because:

      1. Quran says in 10:64 that the words in the Quran cannot be abrogated or changed.
      2. The words “cause to be forgotten” could not be applicable if the word ‘Ayah’ in verse 2:106 meant a verse in the Quran. How can a verse in the Quran become forgotten? For even if the verse was invalidated by another it will still be part of the Quran and thus could never be forgotten.
      3. The words “We replace it with its equal” would be meaningless if the word ‘Ayah’ in this verse meant a Quranic verse, simply because it would make no sense to invalidate one verse then replace it with one that is identical to it within the same book!

      thus its clear that verse 2:106 refers to the previous scriptures being abrogated and replaced by the Quran.

      As for 8:67

      it refers to taking prisoners only in case of war. it does not constitute a rebuke to Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) for letting the prisoners go due to several reasons:

      1. no previous commandment was given in the Quran to forbid ransom of prisoners therefore the prophet could not be rebuked for it
      2. the Prophet already took ransom for captives in nakhla prior to battle of badr and God did not rebuke him for that
      3. only two verses later in 8:69; God permits Muslims to take what they won in war

      it is onconceivable that God would rebuke the Prophet for accepting ransom and then at the same time allow war booty to be lawful.
      so verse 8:67 gives a rule that captives should only be taken after fighting.

      verse 9:29 gives permission to Muslims to defend themselves against hostile people of the book. Surah 9 gave persimssion to Muslims to fight those who have violated the peace treaty and killed people because of their belief. verse 9:29 needs to be understood with other verses;
      Quran encourages us to stand against aggressors on the side of peace and justice. (See 2:190,192,193,256; 4:91; 5:32; 8:19; 60:7-9). We are encouraged to work hard to establish peace (47:35; 8:56-61; 2:208).

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      October 29, 2016 at 11:07 PM

      Who exactly was oppressing Prophet Mohammad (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)?

      As regards the non-Muslims torturing the Muslims in Makkah at the beginning of the Prophet’s mission, then this is something confirmed without any doubt, as it was reported by many narrators and is well documented in seerah ibn ishaq.

      Also the makkan pagans tortured some of the Prophet’s followers such as khabbab, ammar ibn yasir and bilal. The pagans killed te parents of ammar. Abu Jahl speared old lady Samiya to death. Muslims bore their troubles patiently. They remained calm. Their faith in God and His Prophet was firm.

      It is this torture which was the cause of the first migration of the Muslims to Abyssinia and then the second migration to Al-Madeenah. In addition to this, Quraysh had plotted to kill the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) himself, and that was the cause of his migration (to Madeenah).

      in Madinah; the Prophet made a pact with the Jews and the other tribes of Medina. It was agreed that both non-Muslims and Muslims should live peacefully. Both should enjoy freedom of faith. Both would respect life and property. In all disputes the Prophet was to be Judge. Both agreed to defend Medina.

      The Makkan pagans failed to stop the Muslims emigrating to Madina which caused them rage. they changed their normal caravan routes and took to routes lying through areas around Medina and incited local tribes against Muslims. However no madani people responded to the pagans wish so the makkan pagans prepared for war. First a small party of Meccan pagans raided a place three miles outside the town which eventually triggered battle of badr.

      regarding khaybar; the Jews of Khaybar began hostilities. Efforts to make peace with them failed, which led to the conflict. it is worth noting that it was the jews of bani quraiza who broke the treaty and helped the pagan makkans to attack madina and that is why they were punished.

      regarding the battles by the Caliphs; the byzantine empire occupied northen arabia for centuries and thus the Muslims and arabs defended northen arabia and liberated it from the byzantine occupation. the sassanid empire was defeated since they occupied yemen for many years prior to the rashidun caliphate glory. So the semitic people defended semitic lands from two major empires.

      What good have Muslims brought to the world?

      some of the great contributions by the ummah:

      Development of algebra, trigonometry, and usage of arabic numerals.
      Muhammad bin Moosaa Al-Khawaarizmi developed algorithms and quadratic equations. Al-Khawarizmi’s work, in Latin translation, brought the Arabic numerals along with the mathematics to Europe, through Spain. The word “algorithm” is derived from his name.

      Two Muslim women, Fatima and Miriam al-Firhi, created the world’s first university, Al-Qarawiyyin in Fez, Morocco, in 859.

      Ibn Khaldun is another one of the most important Muslim thinkers in history. Recognized as one of the greatest historians ever and the founder of sociological sciences.

      As far as geography was concerned, Muslim scientists established that the world was round in the 9th century CE, and the first map of the globe was made during the Caliphate of Ma’moon.

      Medicine is another crucial contribution to civilization made by Muslims in addition to education and the university system. In 872 in Cairo, Egypt, the Ahmad ibn Tulun hospital was created (first hospital with nurses and a training centre).

      surgeon named Al-Zahrawi, often called the “father of surgery,” wrote an illustrated encyclopedia that would ultimately be used as a guide to European surgeons for the next five hundred years. Al-Zarawhi’s surgical instruments, such as scalpels, bone saws, and forceps are still used by modern surgeons.

      Jabir Ibn Hayyan, the founder of modern chemistry, transformed alchemy into chemistry through distillation, or separating liquids through differences in their boiling points. In addition to developing the processes of crystallization, evaporation, and filtration, he also discovered sulphuric and nitric acid.

      Al-Razi the famous physician and scientist, (d. 932) was one of the greatest physicians in the world in the Middle Ages. He stressed empirical observation and clinical medicine.

      Ibn Sina (d. 1037) was perhaps the greatest physician until the modern era. His famous book, Al-Qanun fi al-Tibb, remained a standard textbook even in Europe, for over 700 years.

      11th century Muslim scientist, Ibn al-Haytham, who developed the field of optics and described how the first cameras work. He was the first person to describe how the eye works. He carried out experiments with reflective materials and proved that the eye does not sense the environment with “sight rays,” as scientists had believed up until then. He also discovered that curved glass surfaces can be used for magnification.

      soap and shampoo was invented by Muslims.

      Although the first paper to write on was papyrus, a more superior type of paper, with better quailty, was produced by the Muslims, like the paper we know today. Also fountain pen was developed by Muslims.

      Many universal values are given in the Quran such as freedom of faith, no racism, proptection of minorities and upholding justice.

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      October 30, 2016 at 10:43 PM

      Ibn Sina was a Muslim since he believed in the Quran. No other peron can decide what he believd in.

      the question is why are you using a Muslim name on a muslim matter format.

      So what if many of the great contributers were Persian? Islam is based upon belief in the Quran which they believed in. It is not based upon one’s race or skin colour.

      Anyways Ibn al-Haytham was a famous arab scientist. He made significant contributions to the principles of optics, astronomy, mathematics, visual perception, and the scientific method.

      Another famous arab who contributed to humanity was Ibn al-Nafis a great physician mostly famous for being the first to describe the pulmonary circulation of the blood.

      What did the Prophet’s direct followers contribute to the world:

      Rashidun Caliphate introduced comprehensive welfare system to provide income for the needy, including the poor, elderly, orphans, widows, and the disabled.

      Rashidun caliphate was fundamentally based on justice and compassion. These are the central values of Islam that are expressed through a sincere belief in the existence of one God and by seeking to act in a way that is pleasing to Him. By singling Him out for worship and being conscious of one’s accountability.

      The Qur’an clearly states in this regard:

      “O you who believe, be steadfast in your devotion to God and bear witness impartially: do not let the hatred of others lead you away from justice, but adhere to justice, for that is closer to being God conscious. Be mindful of God: God is well acquainted with all that you do.” [Quran 5:8]

      The popular historian Karen Armstrong points out how these values established an unprecedented coexistence:

      “The Muslims had established a system that enabled Jews, Christians, and Muslims to live in Jerusalem together for the first time.” [history of Jerusalem]

      lets see what some famous thinkers had to say about the Prophet of Islam:

      Montgomery Watt (Scottish historian, and Emeritus Professor in Arabic and Islamic studies)

      “His readiness to undergo persecutions for his beliefs, the high moral character of the men who believed in him and looked up to him as leader, and the greatness of his ultimate achievement – all argue his fundamental integrity. To suppose Muhammad an impostor raises more problems than it solves. Moreover, none of the great figures of history is so poorly appreciated in the West as Muhammad.” [W. Montgomery, Mohammad at Mecca, Oxford 1953, p. 52]

      George Bernard Shaw (Irish playwright and a co-founder of the London School of Economics) stated

      “He must be called the Saviour of Humanity. I believe that if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world, he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring it much needed peace and happiness.” [The Genuine Islam]

      Michael H. Hart (professor of astronomy, physics and the history of science) wrote

      “My choice of Muhammad to lead the list of the world’s most influential persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular level.” [The 100: A Ranking Of The Most Influential Persons In History, New York, 1978, p. 33]

      Now to the many Islamic teachings which the world benefits from;

      esteems knowledge, education, and learning (35:28; 4:162; 9:122; 22:54; 27:40; 29:44,49).
      rejects intermediaries between God and people (2:48; 9:31-34).
      promotes consultation and representation in public affairs (42:38; 5:12).
      stands for accountability, and defiance of false authorities (6:164)
      prohibits bribery (2:118)
      promises justice for everyone, regardless of their creed or ethnicity (5:8).
      acknowledges the rights of citizens to publicly petition against injustices committed by individuals or government (4:148).
      encourages the distribution of wealth, economic freedom and social welfare (2:215, 59:7).
      recognizes and protects individual right’s to privacy (49:12).
      recognizes the right to the presumption of innocence and right to confront the accuser (49:12).
      provides protection for witnesses (2:282).
      does not hold innocent people responsible for the crimes of others (53:38).
      protects the right to personal property (2:85,188; 4:29; exception 24:29; 59:6-7).
      stands for peace, honesty, kindness, and deterring from wrongdoing (3:110).
      encourages charity and caring for the poor (6:141; 7:156).
      stands for the oppressed (4:75).

      “O you who believe, uphold justice and bear witness to God….” [Quran 4:135]

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      October 31, 2016 at 10:22 PM

      well you asked what Muslms have contributed to the world and I gave you a comprehensive list of scholars and scientists’ contributions. Then you reject that by saying most of them were not arabs, which is a bizarre argument since most Muslims are non-arabs. Muslims do not have to be Arabs since the religion is based upon belief in the Quran and not based upon ethnicity.

      Now when i gave you more proofs of successful muslim works, you change the topic by mentioning the contributions of non-muslims, which does not refute anything of what I said earlier. The list i gave refutes your pathetic allegation about Muslims doing nothing beneficial to the world. Unlike you, I don’t reject other people’s contribution simply because of their ethnicity or religion.

      now to your other allegation about Islam being spread by the sword. The historian De Lacy O’Leary stated in the book “Islam at the cross road” (Page 8): “History makes it clear however, that the legend of fanatical Muslims sweeping through the world and forcing Islam at the point of the sword upon conquered races is one of the most fantastically absurd myth that historians have ever repeated.”

      As for Michael Hart, Muslims resort to quoting a Jewish author and other non-muslims for unbiased perspective. Nothing amusing about it whatsoever.

      Why not quote Winston Churchill? Because he was a racist, a coloniser and fascist.

      other notable contributions of Muslims:

      Al Hassar, a mathematician from Al-Maghreb, developed the modern symbolic mathematical notation for fractions, where the numerator and denominator are separated by a horizontal bar.

      In the field of technology, engineers such as Al-Jazari, who invented the crankshaft – an essential component in the steam engine and internal combustion engine

      The mechanical alarm clock was invented by Taqi al-Din.

      The question is why are you still using a Muslim name if you are so hateful of it. Clear hypocrisy shown there!

      Also what has the Islamophobes contributed to the world?

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      November 3, 2016 at 9:35 PM

      Proper understanding of 16:101

      “When We substitute one Ayat (revelation) in place of another, and God is fully aware of what He reveals, they say, “You made this up”. Indeed most of them do not know.”

      The substitution spoken of here is concerned with one of two things:
      a- The substitution of one Scripture in place of another.
      This first meaning is given evidence to in the following verse:
      “Then we revealed to you this scripture, truthfully, confirming previous scriptures, and superseding them.” 5:48
      Here, the words “superseding them” confirm that the previous scripture were substituted with the Quran.

      b- The substitution of one law within one Scripture with another in a subsequent Scripture
      This second meaning is also given evidence to in the Quran where various issues that were prohibited to the previous people of the book were made lawful in the Quran.

      As an example, we are told in 2:187 that sexual intercourse between married couples during the nights of the fasting month was made lawful, while it was prohibited previously.
      We are also told in 6:146 that God prohibited for the Jews all animals with undivided hoofs; and of the cattle and sheep the fat was prohibited. These were made lawful in the Quran.

      This verse 16:101 does not speak about the substitution of one verse in the Quran with another.

      The evidence to that is given within the same verse (16:101):
      The key to the meaning of the verse lies in the words:
      ” …… they say, “You made this up”

      Here we must stop and ask, who is likely to tell the messenger “You made this up” ? and why? For sure it cannot be his followers, his followers are not likely to tell him “You have made it up”…………….it has to be those who do not believe in him, which focuses on the followers of previous scripture who feared that their scripture was in danger of being “substituted” with the Quran. In actual fact, till this day, the Jews and Christians accuse Muhammad that he fabricated the Quran himself!
      Once it is established that this verse speaks of the reaction and words of the disbelievers, then the next question would be : are they accusing Muhammad of substituting one verse in the Quran with another? The Jews and Christians do not care if one verse in the Quran is substituted for another, after all they do not believe in the whole book! They will not complain that one verse in the Quran is being substituted with another!

      However, if they fear that their Scripture is being substituted by the Quran, they will immediately accuse the messenger that the Scripture he brings (Quran) is not from God but that he “made it up” himself.

      The words “You have made it up” indeed stand as a true indicator from God Almighty that the substitution spoken of in this verse is not related to one within the Quran, but indeed a substitution between one scripture and another.
      As mentioned before, the substitution of the previous scripture with the Quran is confirmed in 5:48

      Also there has always been disgreement as to the number of verses abrogated by those who claim there is internal abrogation within the Quran. Which again refutes the abrogation theory within the Quran.

      all the examples you gave were explained and have been shown that they were examples of either exception to the general rule or specification or different rulings based upon various situations. None of the verses you quoted prove internal abrogation.

  9. Avatar

    Shiraz Canucki

    October 20, 2016 at 9:58 PM

    Salam Ahmad

    The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) also published the four point NYPD garbage theory in a booklet they published.

    Please check it out on their website, they are so proud of it:

    • Avatar

      Ahmed Shaikh

      October 20, 2016 at 11:06 PM

      Thank you for that information. I hope there are people willing to hold leadership accountable for malfeasance.

  10. Avatar

    Mohammed K

    October 21, 2016 at 12:50 PM

    Salam Br. Ahmed Shaikh,
    This is only about one paragraph you have included in your report concerning CIOGC. I have not read the rest of the report yet and hence not commenting on it.
    Regarding the CIOGC work, your information is 100% incorrect, except for the fact that CIOGC is working on some violent extremism aspects. The rest of your information regarding funding sources, topic areas we are working on, any relation to the NYPD report, etc. are 100% incorrect. I do not know what your sources of information are.
    You probably do not intend to be spreading false information, nevertheless, please consider the following hadith and consider publishing the correct information:

    Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, كَفَى بِالْمَرْءِ إِثْمًا أَنْ يُحَدِّثَ بِكُلِّ مَا سَمِعَ “It is enough sin for a person to speak everything that he hears.”
    Source: Sunan Abu Dawud 4992
    Grade: Sahih (authentic) according to As-Suyuti

    • Avatar

      Ahmed Shaikh

      October 21, 2016 at 7:15 PM

      Is this Muhammad Kaiseruddin? If so you know you failed to return my call, same with Ms. Haleem. I have been sitting on this information about CIOGC’s program for almost a year now, though the information in my post has been confirmed to me by more than one person as well as documentary evidence. It is unfortunate that you did not read the article (nor did you presumably read the links I provided) that support what I discussed. Your organization is involved with CVE. You might as well own this fact and defend it if you can. I provided a link to a slide deck that is from CIOGC concerning the “Bystander program”- which is CIOGC’s CVE product. It contains a reference to the “four stages of radicalization.” This, to anyone know knows the subject, is discussing the discredited “radicalization theory” that came from the NYPD. If may be that you don’t know this history. However the mere fact that you don’t know these things does not make them untrue. You should know that you are pushing discredited junk science on a mostly trusting community.

      CIOGC’s program being funded by DHS does not necessarily mean you received funds directly, but rather people who helped develop the program were funded by DHS. The CVE grants have not been issued yet to non-profits, though I am informed CIOGC applied. CIOGC has stated that it has received money from the Department of Justice, and I linked to this as well.

      I invite you to return my phone call, perhaps we can clear everything up and I can update my post about your program with information you have provided. I do hope that I can update it with an announcement that you are scrapping your CVE program and will not involve your organization in anything that stigmatizes Muslim youth or assumes a presumption of dangerousness of Muslims not present with other population groups.

  11. Avatar

    a stupid brave beard....oops.....

    October 22, 2016 at 11:52 AM


    • Avatar


      November 6, 2016 at 10:25 AM

      @Mohammed A the truth finally revealed … An evangelist pretending to be a Muslim cutting/pasting and regurgitating European colonial propaganda against Islam from Islamaphobe websites . Firstly all your propaganda was dismantled point by point by Shaykh Ahmed Deedat more then 30 years ago, that too with debates with your biggest Evangelists. In addition to that many of Your ex- Christian priests and preachers have dismantled your propaganda on The Deen show those interviews also available on youtube… atleast have the courage and conviction to be open about who you are , instead of making a rather poor attempt @ practicing deceit, and subterfuge.

  12. Avatar


    November 12, 2016 at 6:16 PM

    God sent Jesus to bani Israil to revive the spirit of the Torah and to clear their misunderstandings. Also Jesus was sent as the Messiah to warn the misguided clerics of their hypocrisy since some preached what they didn’t practise. For example some rabbis forbade gambling to the people but they themselves practised it.

    Historically there were many sects in early Christianity who had a range of beliefs regarding Jesus. Early Christians who denied Jesus being God were persecuted by the Roman Authorities. From this point onwards the Trinitarian belief became widespread amongst Christians. There were various movements in early Christianity which denied the Trinity, among the more well known of them is Arianism.

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#Current Affairs

Kashmir: Gateway in Turmoil

Abu Ryan Dardir



A dark day looms over Indian-Administered Kashmir, a Muslim majority region at the heart of a dispute between Pakistan and India. The two countries are at odds over its governance, with direct impact to the welfare and security of the Kashmiri people. On Tuesday 8-6-19, the Indian Parliament passed a bill that strips Kashmir of statehood and places them under indefinite lockdown.

“Kashmiri leaders are appealing to the world to stop the imminent genocide of Kashmiris. Genocide Watch in Washington, DC has already issued a Genocide Alert for India, the so-called “largest democracy in the world” because it has cancelled citizenship of four million Indian citizens, mostly Muslims. This reflects the early stages of a genocide in process.” –

Kashmir is home to massive energy resources, such as oil and natural gas, non-ferrous metals, uranium, gold, and is abundant in hydropower resources. These too are factors considered in the political movements of India and China. Kashmir’s geopolitical advantages are no secret, and adding China to the political struggle makes three countries trying to benefit from Kashmir’s geographical position.

Kashmir neighbors the Xinjiang Uyghur borders, and China has played a role in both areas. China’s stronghold on Xinjiang revolves around access to Europe and Central Asia. China needs Kashmir to access the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. Kashmir is landlocked between China, Pakistan, and India. Pakistan hopes to use infrastructure built under the CPEC initiative to connect by land directly to both China and Central Asia. With that said, Pakistan wants to take advantage of its geographic positioning by serving as a gateway to Afghanistan, then Central Asia, using the CPEC corridor (the China-Pakistan-Economic-Corridor), which has parts of that corridor that go through Pakistan-controlled Kashmir.

This is upsetting India. India’s ambassador to China, Gautam Bambawale, made a comment in an interview about CPEC saying it “violates our territorial integrity. India believes the CPEC project undermines Indian sovereignty because it passes through a Pakistan-administered part of Kashmir that is still claimed by India.” India also fears the chances of a People’s Liberation Army presence or even a Chinese naval base in Pakistan’s Gwadar seaport, as part of the CPEC corridor.

India has been working on its own project, International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), it is intended to link trade routes between India and Central Asia, Russia, and Europe. Unlike its competition (Pakistan and China), India is unable to directly trade through the land to those regions using INSTC. To make this corridor successful, India will need to collaborate with Iran and use their ports.

India needs Kashmir, and Modi is using hateful nationalism to get the people to support his actions. The part of Kashmir that is needed is not under India’s control, and must be occupied in order for India to have direct access to Central Asia, Russia, and Europe. 

Birds of a feather flock together.

Israel’s Minister for Construction and Housing Yifat Shasha-Biton, while addressing a conference of Indian realtors’ body Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (CREDAI), called India an “economic power” with whom Israel shares common values.  India using colonization tactics has made allies with the Israeli government, a master on occupation and oppression. 

“Kashmir is under siege…do not let the enforced silence drown our voices.”:

Please keep the people of Kashmir in your prayers. We cannot sit idly while this occupation continues. SoundVision has shared 5 things anyone in America and Canada can do. 

A message from a Kashmiri

“Around 10 pm, a message flashed across our phones announcing that, as per the request of the central government, all domestic networks were to be shut down indefinitely. All mosques, any place equipped with a loudspeaker, began announcing total curfew from 5 am tomorrow……..

You have stripped us of our rights and incited unrest yet again into a peaceful and beautiful place. This time, I pray, you will not escape the international consequences your actions deserve. Rest assured Kashmiris will not break and Kashmir is not gone. Our stories, our language, our heart and our people are stronger than any country can dream. Even under these circumstances, I am sure inshaAllah one day we will be free. One day, Kashmir will be free.” Sanna Wani via Twitter

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Muslims for Migrants | A Joint Letter By Imam Zaid Shakir & Imam Omar Suleiman

Imam Zaid Shakir




Abu Huraira (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah upon him) said, “He who gives respite to someone who is in straitened circumstances, or grants him remission, Allah will shelter him in the shade of His Throne, on the Day of Resurrection, when there will be no shade except its shade.” (Tirmidhi, 1306)

He also said, “There is no leader who closes the door to someone in need, one suffering in poverty, except that Allah closes the gates of the heavens for him when he is suffering in poverty.” (Tirmidhi, 1332)

The message is clear, the way we treat the most vulnerable of Allah’s creation has consequences to us both individually and collectively, and both in this life and the next.

As the humanitarian crisis at the southern border deepens, there is a deafening silence from most corners of the American Muslim community. One might ask, “Why should that silence be concerning?” Shouldn’t the nation of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah upon him) who was himself an orphan and a migrant sent as a mercy to the worlds be the first to be moved with the images of children in cages? Migration and asylum are God-given rights that individuals and nations would do well to respect. These rights are affirmed in the Qur’an and the Sunnah of our Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah upon him).

Concerning migration, the Qur’an states unequivocally: 

As for those whose souls the angels take while they are oppressing themselves, the angels will say to them, “What was your former state?” They will respond, “We were oppressed in the land.” The angels will counter, “Was not Allah’s earth spacious enough for you to migrate therein.” (4:97)

 The oppression referred to in this verse specifically focuses on persecution because of faith, but the general meaning of the wording can accommodate any form of oppression which involves the denial of a person’s Divinely conferred rights.

Migration lies at the very heart of the prophetic tradition in the Abrahamic religions. Abraham himself was a migrant. His son Ismail was a migrant. The Children of Israel along with Moses were migrants, as was Jesus. Not only was our Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah upon him) a migrant, he twice sent many of his Companions (May Allah be pleased with them) to Ethiopia to seek the protection of the Negus. The fact that the Muslim calendar is dated from the migration of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah upon him) from Makkah to Madinah indicates the lofty place migration has in the life of the Muslim community and in the consciousness of its members. 

Additionally, history records the massive migrations of those Muslims who fled from oppressive, tyrannical, violent rulers or invaders. One of the most famous examples we can relate in this regard is the massive westward migration of those escaping the advancing Mongol hordes. Among those refugees was the great poet, Rumi, who along with thousands of others fled his home in Balkh, located in present-day Afghanistan, eventually settling in Konya, in the heart of Anatolia. Others migrated for economic reasons. The historian, Richard Bulliet, theorizes that the economic collapse of Khurasan, a once-thriving Sunni intellectual hub in eastern Iran, led to the migration of large swaths of its population to Syrian and Egypt. In his view, the many scholars among those refugees led to an intellectual revival in the lands they settled in.

As for asylum, it can be granted by both the state and an individual Muslim to individuals or groups. The foundations of this principle in prophetic practice was established during events which occurred during the conquest of Makkah. The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), as the de facto head of state, issued an oath of protection to the people of Mecca when he declared, “Whosever enters the house of Abu Sufyan is safe. Whosoever casts down his weapons is safe. Whosoever closes his door [and remains inside] is safe.” (Sahih Muslim, 1780) Ibn Ishaq’s version adds, “Whosoever enters the [Sacred] Mosque is safe.” (Narrated in Sirah Ibn Hisham, 4:35)

Those enjoying these protections from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah upon him) had not committed a crime and although they had not traveled to another land seeking refuge, the description of their land had changed from one under the authority of the Quraysh to one under the authority of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah upon him). In this “new” land they were being guaranteed safety and subsequently freedom even though they had not yet embraced Islam.

 A related event is Imam Ali’s sister, Umm Hani, granting asylum to al-Harith bin Hisham and Zuhayr bin Ummayya that same day. When faced with the prospect of their execution by her brother, Imam Ali, she locked them in her house and went to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah upon him) to inform him that she had granted them asylum. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah upon him) responded, “We grant asylum to those Umm Hani has granted asylum to and we protect those Umm Hani has extended protection to.” (Sirah ibn Hisham, 4:42) In other words, the entire Muslim community, globally, is bound to respect the oath of protection or asylum granted by even an individual Muslim.

This idea of the entire Muslim community respecting a grant of asylum extended by even a single Muslim is strengthened by the Hadith:

 The protection of the Muslims is one and the least of them can grant it. Whosoever violates the asylum extended by a Muslim upon him falls the curse of Allah, His angels and all of humanity. Never will an obligatory or voluntary act be accepted from him. (Bukhari, 3172)

Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) praised the Ansar of Madinah for how they loved those that migrated to them and preferred them even over themselves. (Quran: 59:9) They bore no resentment to those that migrated to them and sought reward only from Allah for sustaining them. They knew that supporting those in need was only a means of goodness in their lives rather than a burden. These powerful Islamic teachings have been codified by our scholars into a sophisticated system of amnesty, asylum, and respect for the status of refugees.

Hence, when we view the sickening conditions those migrating to our southern borders are exposed to, we should be touched and moved to action knowing that our religion grants those fleeing persecution, oppression, or ecological devastation, the right to migrate and to be duly considered for asylum. Our actions, however, must be based on principle and knowledge. We should further vigorously defend the dignity our Lord has afforded to all human beings, and our obligation to assist those who are suffering from recognized forms of oppression.

We must also understand that the rights to migration and asylum have been codified in the most widely accepted Muslim statement on human rights: The Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam, Article 12; the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), Article 14; the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man (ADRDM), Article 27; and the American Convention on Human Rights (ACHR), Article 22. The United States is a signatory party to the UDHR, and by way of membership in the Organization of American States (OAS), reluctantly accepts the authority of the ADRDM and the ACHR, although she has never ratified the latter two.

Our view on this issue should also be informed by the knowledge of our own country’s history as a nation of immigrants in the Native’s land. It should further be shaped by understanding the way nativist and white supremacist tendencies have fueled xenophobic and exclusivist policies and how in many instances our sometimes misguided policies have created many of our most vexing human rights challenges. It must also be informed by our obligation as American citizens.

For example, we need to understand that the overwhelming majority of families, children and individual adults arriving at our southern border from the “Northern Triangle” of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras are fleeing intolerable levels of violence. That violence is not just that of ruthless street gangs, such as MS-13, it also emanates from government-sponsored death squads, many of which were organized and trained by the CIA or the US military at the former School of the Americas based at Fort Benning, Georgia. The infamous Battalion 316 of Honduras was an American-trained death squad responsible for hundreds of extrajudicial killings in that country during the 1980s and into the 1990s as well as the kidnapping and torture of thousands of Honduran citizens during the same period. These death squads are beginning to reappear in the wake of a wave of right-wing regimes assuming power throughout Latin America.

The combination of American political and economic pressure through the mechanisms of neocolonialism used to control and systematically under-develop former and present “banana republics,” the International Monetary Fund (IMF), plutocratic regimes increasingly beholden to Washington DC, integrating the violence of both death squads and drug cartels into their crushing of both popular dissent as well as any attempts at economic diversification and stratification help to create the conditions producing the waves of migrants moving towards our southern border. Long before they sought to cross our borders, our borders crossed them.

Long before they sought to cross our borders, our borders crossed them.

Despite the history, the way that the Trump administration has chosen to deal with the current crisis, largely for cheap race-baited political gain, has challenged the God-given rights to migration and asylum, exacerbated the humanitarian crisis at the border, and diminished the standing of the United States internationally. It is critical to understand, however, that just as the policies producing the floods of migrants from parts of Latin America are not uniquely a product of the Trump administration, Trump is not the first racist to occupy the White House. We could mention Richard Nixon, who famously embraced Kevin Philip’s “southern strategy,” to wrest the south from the control of the Democrats; we could mention the KKK-loving, segregationist, Woodrow Wilson; we could mention the slave-driving, genocidal ethnic cleanser Andrew Jackson, as well as others.

What makes Trump unique, as Greg Grandin emphasizes in his latest book, The End of the Myth, is that Trump is a racist who has appeared at a time America is no longer, via conquest or economic domination, expanding her frontiers. With the ensuing erasure of the myth of American exceptionalism, the “American people” can no longer point to our global economic or political domination as the difference between “them” and “us.” 

Unable to deflect our nagging national problems, one of the most vexing being the race issue, by looking outward, large numbers of white Americans are turning inward with xenophobic frenzy. That inward turn creates a focus on outsiders who threaten “our” rapidly disappearing “purity.” Hence, the border, symbolized by the wall, becomes not just an indicator of national sovereignty, it becomes a symbol of white identity. A symbol Trump invokes with seldom matched mastery. Vested with the passion emanating from the defense of an embattled race, innocent brown children taken from their mothers and imprisoned in overcrowded, feces-stained gulags become easily dismissed collateral damage.

Generally speaking, the same playbook that has been employed against the Muslim and other immigrant communities, specifically refugees from the Middle East, has been employed against the immigrant community as a whole. In far too many instances, America’s destructive foreign policy leaves helpless populations running to our shores, increasingly to be dehumanized and disregarded again in order to pander to the worst of our domestic propensities., migrants, Muslims

So we call upon the Muslim community to not only assist in efforts to support our migrant brothers and sisters but lead the way. Get involved in advocacy work, support immigrant justice organizations, join the sanctuary efforts and lend yourself and your wealth in whatever way you can to be at their aid. By the Grace of Allah, we have launched a campaign to reunite as many families as we can. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah upon him) said, “Whoever separates a mother from her child, Allah will separate him from his loved ones on the Day of Resurrection.” (Tirmidhi, 1566) We hope that in reuniting families, Allah will reunite us with our beloved ones on the Day of Resurrection, and specifically with the beloved Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah upon him) in the highest gardens of Paradise.

Imam Zaid Shakir, Imam, Lighthouse Mosque

Imam Omar Suleiman, Founder & President, Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research

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#Current Affairs

Were Muslim Groups Duped Into Supporting an LGBTQ Rights Petition at the US Supreme Court?




Muslim organizations, Muslim groups

Recently several Muslim groups sent an amicus brief to the US Supreme Court to support LGBTQ rights in employment.  These groups argued“sex” as used in the Civil Rights Act should be defined broadly to include more types of discrimination than Congress wrote into the statue.

A little background. Clayton County, Georgia fired Gerald Lynn Bostock. The County alleged Bostock embezzled money, so he was fired. Bostock argues the real reason is that he is gay. Clayton County denied they would fire someone for that reason. Clayton County successfully had the case dismissed saying that even if Bostock is right about everything, the law Bostock filed the lawsuit under does not vindicate his claim. The case is now at the Supreme Court with other similar cases.

The “Muslim” brief argued the word “sex” should mean lots of things, and under the law (Title VII of the Civil Rights Act), LGBTQ discrimination is already illegal.  American law has developed to provide some support for this argument, but there have been divisions in the appellate courts. So this is the exact sort of thing the US Supreme Court exists to decide.

The Involvement Of Muslim Groups

In Supreme Court litigation, parties on both sides marshal amicus briefs (written arguments) and coordinate their efforts to improve the effectiveness of their advocacy, there are over 40 such briefs in the Bostock case. Groups represent constituencies with no direct stake in the immediate dispute but care about the precedent the case would set.

The Muslim groups came in purportedly because they know what it’s like to be victims of discrimination (more on that below). The brief answered an objection to the consequences that could come with an expansive definition of the term “sex” to include gay, lesbian, and transgender persons (in lieu of its conventional use as synonymous with gender, i.e., male/female). In particular, the brief responded to the concern that “sex” being defined as any subjective experience may open up more litigation than was intended by making the argument that religion is a personal experience that courts have no trouble sorting out and that, like faith, courts can define “sex” the same way.

While this may be interesting to some, boring to others, it begs the question:  why are Muslim groups involved with this stuff? Muslims are a faith community. If we speak *as Muslims* is it not pertinent to consult with the traditions of the faith tradition known as Islam, like Quran, Hadith and the deep well of scholarly tradition?  Is our mere presence in a pluralistic society enough reason to ignore all this and focus on building allies in our mutual desire to create a world free of discrimination?

Spreading Ignorance

In July of 2017, the main party to the “Muslim” brief, Muslims for Progressive Values (MPV), was expelled from the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) Convention bazaar.  I was on the Executive Council of the organization at the time but had no role in the decision. The reason: MPV was dedicated to promoting ignorance of Islam among Muslims at the event. The booth had literature claiming haram was good and virtuous. Propaganda distributed at the table either implied haram was not haram or alternately celebrated haram.

For any Muslim organization dedicated to Islam, it is not a difficult decision to expel an organization explicitly dedicated to spreading haram. No Muslim organization, composed of Muslims who fear Allah and dedicate their time to Islam can give space to organizations opposed the faith community’s values and advocates against them in their conferences and events.  Allah, in the Quran, tells us:


Indeed, those who like that immorality should be spread [or publicized] among those who have believed will have a painful punishment in this world and the Hereafter. And Allah knows, and you do not know.

It would be charitable to the point of fraud to characterize MPV as a Muslim organization. That MPV has dedicated itself to promoting ignorance of the religion within the Muslim community is not in serious dispute.  The organization’s leader has been all over the anti-Sharia movement.

Discrimination against Muslims is bad, except when it’s good 

The brief framed the various organizations’ participation by claiming as Muslims, we know what it is like to be on the receiving end of discrimination. This implies the parties that signed on to the Amicus petition believe discrimination against Muslims is a bad thing. For at least two of the organizations, this is not entirely true.

MPV is an ally of another co-signer of the Amicus petition, the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC).  Both have records that show an eagerness to discriminate against Muslims in the national security space. They both applied for CVE grants. Both have supported the claim that Muslims are a national security threat they are somehow equipped to deal with. I have written more extensively about MPAC in the past; mainly, it’s work in Countering Violent Extremism and questionable Zakat practices.

MPAC’s CVE  program, called “Safe Spaces,” singled out Muslims as terrorist threats. It purported to address this Muslim threat. In June of 2019, MPAC’s academic partner released an evaluation Safe Spaces and judged it as “not successful” citing the singling out of Muslims, as well as a lack of trust within the Muslim community because of a lack of transparency as reasons why the program was a failure. Despite its legacy of embarrassment and failure, MPAC continues to promote Safe Spaces on its website.

MPV was a vigorous defender of MPAC’s CVE program, Safe Spaces.  MPV’s leader has claimed the problem of “radicalism” is because of CAIR, ISNA, and ICNA’s “brand of Islam.”

Law Enforcement Approved Islam

In 2011, former LAPD head of Counter-Terrorism, Michael P. Downing testified during a congressional hearing on “Islamist Radicalization” Downing testified in favor of MPV, stating:

I would just offer that, on the other side of the coin, we should create opportunities for the pure, good part of this, to be in the religion, such as the NGOs. There is an NGO by the name of Ani Zonneveld who does the Muslims for Progressive Values. This is what they say, “Values are guided by 10 principles of Islam, rooted in Islam, including social equality, separation of religion and state, freedom of speech, women’s rights, gay rights, and critical analysis and interpretation.” She and her organization have been trying to get into the prison system to give this literature as written by Islamic academic scholars. So I think there can be more efforts on this front as well.

Downing was central to the LAPD’s “Muslim Mapping” program, defending the “undertaking as a way to help Muslim communities avoid the influence of those who would radicalize Islamic residents and advocate ‘violent, ideologically-based extremism.” MPAC was a supporter of the mapping program, which was later rejected by the city because it was an explicit ethnic profiling program mainstream Muslim and secular civil rights groups opposed.  MPAC later claimed it did not support the program, though somehow saw fit to give Downing an award. Downing, since retired, currently serves on MPAC’s Advisory Council.

Ani Zonnevold, the President and Founder of MPV, currently sits on the International Board of Directors for the Raif Badawi Foundation alongside Maajid Nawaz and Zuhdi Jasser.

MPV has also been open about both working for CVE and funding from a non-Muslim source, the Human Rights Campaign, and other groups with agendas to reform the religion of Islam. It’s hard not to see it as an astroturf organization.

Muslim Groups Were Taken for a Ride

Unfortunately, Muslim nonprofit organizations are often unsophisticated when it comes to signing documents other groups write. Some are not even capable of piecing together the fact that an astroturf organization opposed to Islam, the religious tradition, was recruiting them to sign something.

There are many Muslims sympathetic to the LGBTQ community while understanding the limits of halal and haram. Not everyone who signed the brief came to this with the same bad faith as an MPV, which is hostile to the religion of Islam itself. Muslims generally don’t organize out of hostility to Islam. This only appears to be happening because of astroturfing in the Muslim community. Unfortunately, it was way too easy to bamboozle well-meaning Muslim groups.

Muslims are a faith community. MPV told the groups Islam did not matter in their argument when the precise reason they were recruited to weigh in on the case was that they are Muslim. Sadly, it was a successful con. Issues like the definition of sex are not divorced from Islamic concerns. We have Islamic inheritance and rules for family relations where definitions of words are relevant. Indeed, our religious freedoms in ample part rest on our ability to define the meaning of words, like Muslim, fahisha, zakat, daughter, and Sharia. Separate, open-ended definitions with the force of law may have implications for religious freedom for Muslims and others because it goes to defining a word across different statutes, bey0nd the civil rights act. There would be fewer concerns if LGBT rights were simply added as a distinct category under the Civil Rights Act while respecting religious freedom under the constitution.

Do Your Homework

Muslim organizations should do an analysis of religious freedom implications for Muslims and people of other faiths before signing on to statements and briefs. A board member of MPV drafted the “Muslim” Brief, and his law firm recruited Muslim nonprofit organizations to sign on. CAIR Oklahoma, which signed up for this brief, made a mistake (hey, it happens). CAIR Oklahoma’s inclusion is notable. This chapter successfully challenged the anti-Sharia “Save our State” law that would have banned Muslims from drafting Islamic Wills. Ironically, CAIR Oklahoma’s unwitting advocacy at the Supreme Court could work against that critical result. For an anti-Sharia group like MPV, this is fine. It is not fine for a group like CAIR.

CAIR Oklahoma is beefing up their process for signing on to Amicus Briefs in the future. No other CAIR chapter signed on to the brief, which was prudent. CAIR chapters are mostly independent organizations seemingly free to do whatever they want. CAIR, as a national organization needs to make sure all its affiliates are sailing in the same direction. They have been unsuccessful with this in the past several years. CAIR should make sure their local chapters know about astroturf outfits and charlatans trying to get them to sign things. They should protect their “America’s largest Islamic Civil Liberties Group” brand.

Muslim Leaders Should Stand Strong 

American Muslims all have friends, business associates and coworkers, and family members who do things that violate Islamic norms all the time. We live in an inclusive society where we respect each other’s differences. Everyone is entitled to dignity and fair treatment. No national Muslim groups are calling for employment discrimination against anyone, nor should they.

However, part of being Muslim is understanding limits that Allah placed on us. That means we cannot promote haram or help anyone do something haram. Muslim groups do not need to support causes that may be detrimental to our interests.  Our spaces do not need to be areas where we have our religion mocked and derided. Other people have the freedom to do this in their own spaces in their own time.

Some Muslim leaders are afraid of being called names unless they recite certain words or invite particular speakers.  You will never please people who hate Islam unless you believe as they do.  Muslims only matter if Islam matters.

If you are a leader of Muslims, you must know the limits Allah has placed on you. Understand the trust people have placed in you. Don’t allow anyone to bully or con you into violating those limits.

Note: Special thanks to Mobeen Vaid.

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