Showing posts with label Islam Today. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Islam Today. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Russia's Complex and complicated relations with Iran--Religion, communism, Islam, Gorbachev, Khomeini, Putin and Khamenei

    Tuesday, August 30, 2022   No comments

About 33 years ago, the founder and the first leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran sent a letter to the (would be last) leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, to tell him, among other things, that he "must face the truth: the principal problem of your country is not the question of property, economy and liberty, but the lack of true belief in God. The same problem has led or will lead the West to decadence and deadlock." Khomeini died six months after sending the letter, on June 3, 1989, at the age of 86. The Soviet Union, which was officially known as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, was dissolved on December 26, 1991--at the age of 69, when Vladimir Putin, now the president of Russia, was 39 years old. Gorbachev died today, August 30, 2022, at the age of 91. Putin, now 69, just visited Iran (July 19, 2022) to establish a strategic partnership with Iran, now led by Khomeini’s successor, Ali Khamenei, 83 years old, who was 50 years old and president of Iran when the letter was sent. The Picture of the current two leaders, Putin and Khamenei, may capture the transformation the two nation-states and these two leaders went through.



The letter is being republished here to reflect on where these two countries (and the world) and these two leaders were then and where they are now.


Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Religion and Culture, emerging Chechen Islam': Muslims in Russia bring home an Olive Tree linked to the Prophet Muhammad and produce the first hand-written Quran

    Wednesday, July 27, 2022   No comments

The president of the Republic of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, visited the Mufti of the Republic, Salah-Khadji Mezhiev. The visit, the president said, "is undertaken when wise guidance is needed. He shares his knowledge with me, gives advice, tells a lot of interesting things about our religion. For me such meetings are very valuable."


He learned that after performing the Hajj, the Mufti visited Jordan for an olive tree sprout, "under which the venerable Prophet Muhammad ﷺ rested." Through the efforts of Sheikh Salah-Khadji, "a piece of this beautiful, centuries-old tree is now in our republic. Without any doubt, his work for the benefit of the Muslims of the Chechen Republic is noble and priceless," said Kadyrov.


The Mufti also shared with the president the result of the painstaking work of the renowned Syrian calligrapher of Chechen origin, Shukri Kharacho, who was tasked by the president to create a handwritten Quran, designed in Chechen styles. Shukri Kharacho managed to realize the unique style of Arabic writing and at the same time maintain simplicity for reading. After authority checks and reviews by an independent commission, this work will go into mass printing, the president explained.



Since the end of the war and the election of the first Kadyrov to the presidency, officials have embarked on two-track strategy: economic development and spiritual growth. Both plans involved support from the federal government of Russia. In order to limit influx of youth joining the Wahhabi-Salafi fighters, the leaders realized that they need to provide economic opportunity while redefining Sunni Islam in a way that does not conflict with local customs and historical legacies.


Ten years ago, Ramzan Kadyrov, during a meeting with religious leaders, he stressed the need to match spiritual development to the pace of economic development:


"The republic's economy is developing, cities and villages have been restored, but without a spiritually developed and highly moral society, the republic cannot have a future. Spiritual and moral education should be a priority for you. Therefore, you need to clearly coordinate your work and involve public organizations in it."


The level of growth in both areas is stunning as these images illustrate.

  






















Sunday, April 10, 2022

Mass demonstrations in support of Imran Khan in Pakistan's capital and other cities

    Sunday, April 10, 2022   No comments

Pakistan is likely to go through a challegning period in the weeks and months ahead, as the country and the world for that matter is adjusting to new circumstances and conditions bound to shape the global order.

The Pakistani Prime Minister, who was ousted yesterday, Imran Khan, posted a video clip on his Twitter page, showing a large demonstration in support of him in a square in the capital, Islamabad, on Sunday evening.

Commenting on the video, Khan wrote: "Never in our history have such crowds come out so spontaneously and in such numbers to reject the imported government led by fraudsters."

Al-Mayadeen's correspondent in Pakistan had reported that "supporters of Imran Khan demonstrated in support of him in the capital, Islamabad." Our correspondent added, "Other demonstrations by supporters of Imran Khan took place in the cities of Lahore and Karachi, while calls for demonstrations spread on Tuesday."

Today, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan asserted that his country was "being exposed to a foreign plot aimed at regime change". "Pakistan became an independent country in 1947, but today the struggle for freedom begins again against a foreign plot to change the regime," Khan said on his Twitter account.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Imran Khan was impeached by the Pakistani Parliament. Our correspondent said: "The result of the vote came in favor of the withdrawal of confidence from Prime Minister Imran Khan with 174 votes."

Late last month, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan announced that he had received a threatening letter from the United States. "The United States threatened to topple my government because I refused to establish military bases for it on our land," he explained.

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Monday, April 04, 2022

See how almost a quarter of humanity ushered in Ramadan, their holiest month

    Monday, April 04, 2022   No comments

Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar, began this weekend for the 1.8 billion Muslims around the world. From sun-up to sundown, the physically able among them will fast — abstaining not just from food but also so much as a sip of water.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Plans to build a mobile prayer room for Muslim attending the Pyeongchang Winter #Olympics dropped

    Saturday, February 10, 2018   No comments
Plans to build a mobile prayer room for Muslim visitors to Pyeongchang Winter Olympics have been scrapped after a strong backlash from local religious activists.

Kim Yeong-ju of Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) told Korea Exposé that the government’s top tourist body had originally planned to place a Muslim prayer room near the city hall in Gangneung, the biggest host city of the games.

But the plan had been dropped because of “strong complaints from local people… primarily for religious reasons,” Kim said. The backlash was so severe, he added, that local officials “could no longer do their jobs.”

Last week, KTO acknowledged the lack of facilities for visiting Muslims as a problem and declared its aim to create a “Muslim-friendly Korea.”


This goal came a step closer in early February with the opening of a cafeteria serving certified halal food to Muslim athletes competing at Pyeongchang.

KTO’s plan to provide a mobile Muslim prayer room for the duration of the winter games was a further reflection of its stated goal to expand its reach in the Muslim tourism market.

But not everyone shares this welcoming agenda.

In January, the Pyeongchang Olympics Gangwon Citizens’ Islam Countermeasure Association, a newly-formed civic group, began circulating a Google form titled “Petition against the Installation of a Pyeongchang Winter Olympics Muslim Prayer Room.”

The petition makes various Islamophobic claims, including that the people of Gangwon Province — where Pyeongchang is located — are collectively opposed to Islam, and that South Korea must be wary of the religion in its radical form. As of Feb. 8, it had gathered more than 56,000 online signatures.

In a call with Korea Exposé, Seo Ji-hyun, director of operations at the countermeasure association, said, “People who have lived in Egypt have told us that Muslims don’t need to pray on airplanes. Let the same apply when they’re in South Korea.”

Seo went on to denounce the entire Muslim faith, saying “The nature of Islam is to take over the world. We must ban it from the start.”

Seo claimed that Pyeongchang county was heavily in debt and wanted to use Muslim money to pay it off, but was unable to cite sources to back up this assertion.

Pyeongchang’s local tourist information center confirmed that there would now be no prayer room available for Muslim visitors at the Olympics. A consultant at the games’ official hotline also told Korea Exposé that hotline staff had received no information regarding Muslim prayer rooms in the area.

Such strong reactions to all things Islamic are not unusual in South Korea. In fact, the countermeasure association behind the prayer room petition consists of existing Islamophobic groups led by a single figure named Jeong Hyeong-man.

Jeong’s previous activities have included a press conference simultaneously opposing both halal food and the introduction of a law banning discrimination against homosexual people, and warnings about “the increase of Muslim terrorist bases in Korea” during his tenure as head of civic group Citizens’ Association for a Proper Country.

Such activism has led to the cancellation of various Islam-friendly government projects in South Korea, including the planned construction of a halal complex in the western city of Iksan.

KTO’s decision in Gangwon Province appears to be at odds with the growing nationwide awareness of the need to meet the demands of Muslim tourists.


Cover image: A rendering of KTO’s once-planned Muslim prayer room (Source: KTO)

Source

Saturday, September 09, 2017

The Rohingya Genocide

    Saturday, September 09, 2017   No comments
Nobel laureate issues heartfelt letter to fellow peace prize winner calling for her to speak up for Rohingya in Myanmar
  
  The Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu has called on Aung San Suu Kyi to end military-led operations against Myanmar’s Rohingya minority that have driven 270,000 refugees from the country in the past fortnight.
 
The 85-year old archbishop said the “unfolding horror” and “ethnic cleansing” in the country’s Rahkine region had forced him to speak out against the woman he admired and considered “a dearly beloved sister”.
...

On Tuesday, the United Nations secretary general, Antonio Guterres, said the government clearance operations in Rakhine “risked” ethnic cleansing. A Change.org petition to revoke Aung San Suu Kyi’s Nobel peace prize had reached 377,332 signatures by Friday. source

...

Myanmar's security forces have been attacking the Rohingya Muslims and torching their villages since October 2016 in a bid to push them out of the western state of Rakhine.

The attacks have intensified since August 25, following alleged armed attacks on police and military posts in Rakhine.

Prior to that, the Muslims were frequent targets of Buddhist mobs. Tens of thousands of Rohingya were driven from their homes in another wave of violence in 2012.

The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, confirmed Thursday that some 164,000 Rohingya Muslims had fled Myanmar’s Rakhine to seek refuge in camps in Bangladesh since the harsh crackdown against them.

The UNHCR spokeswoman, Vivian Tan, said the figure could go up further as thousands were still crossing the border.

...

World's largest stateless community

The Rohingya are the world's largest stateless community and one of its most persecuted minorities.

Using a dialect similar to that spoken in Chittagong in southeast Bangladesh, the Sunni Muslims are loathed by many in majority-Buddhist Myanmar who see them as illegal immigrants and call them "Bengali" - even though many have lived in Myanmar for generations.

They are not officially recognised as an ethnic group, partly due to a 1982 law stipulating that minorities must prove they lived in Myanmar prior to 1823 - before the first Anglo-Burmese war - to obtain nationality.

Most live in the impoverished western state of Rakhine but are denied citizenship and harassed by restrictions on movement and work.

More than half a million also live in Bangladeshi camps, although Dhaka only recognises a small portion as refugees.

Rohingya refugees from Myanmar's Rakhine state set up shelters at a refugee camp at Unchiprang near the Bangladeshi border town of Teknaf. (AFP Photo)

    Over 250,000 refugees enter Bangladesh from Myanmar

Sectarian violence between the Rohingya and local Buddhist communities broke out in 2012, leaving more than 100 dead and the state segregated along religious lines.

Then last October things got much worse.

...
Who are the Rohingya?

Described as the world’s most persecuted people, 1.1 million Rohingya people live in Myanmar. They live predominately in Rakhine state, where they have co-existed uneasily alongside Buddhists for decades.

Rohingya people say they are descendants of Muslims, perhaps Persian and Arab traders, who came to Myanmar generations ago. Unlike the Buddhist community, they speak a language similar to the Bengali dialect of Chittagong in Bangladesh.

The Rohingya are reviled by many in Myanmar as illegal immigrants and they suffer from systematic discrimination. The Myanmar government treats them as stateless people, denying them citizenship. Stringent restrictions have been placed on Rohingya people’s freedom of movement, access to medical assistance, education and other basic services.

After centuries in Myanmar, it's estimated that half their population has fled to Bangladesh with horror stories of rapes, killings and house burnings.
 ...


Read also, Who are the Rohingya and why are they fleeing Myanmar?




Desmond Tutu condemns Aung San Suu Kyi: 'Silence is too high a price'





Thursday, August 24, 2017

Almost all of Germany's 4.7 million Muslims feel connected to the German society... the feeling is apparently not mutual

    Thursday, August 24, 2017   No comments
...
Most Muslims are well integrated into German society, an international research project published on Thursday revealed. But they also face Islamophobia, with nearly one in five Germans saying they would not want Muslim neighbors.
  A new study by Germany's Bertelsmann Foundation looked into the level of education, employment and social engagement of Muslims in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France and the United Kingdom, and found that 96 percent of German Muslims - both of first and following generations - felt connected to Germany. The study did not cover Muslims who arrived after 2010.


"The international comparison shows that it is not religious affiliation that determines the success of opportunities for integration, but the state and the economic framework," said Stephan Vopel, an expert on social cohesion at the Bertelsmann Foundation.

"This study proves that the reality, when it comes to participation of Muslims in society, isn't as bleak as it is often presented in the media," said Ayse Demir, spokeswoman for the Berlin-based Turkish community organization TBB. "It shows that a lot of Muslims feel integrated, but there is a lack of acceptance - and that's also our perception. Participation isn't a one-way street: It needs to come from both sides."

Demir blamed the media for this disconnect. "We're having a right-wing shift in Germany and in Europe," she said. "At the moment a lot is being instrumentalized: Muslims are being presented as the 'enemy' - and of course that gets used by right-wing populists, and then people verbally attack Muslims."  source

Thursday, August 10, 2017

'Islam is in a transformative process'

    Thursday, August 10, 2017   No comments
Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im
Muslims feel conflicted about certain aspects of historical Islam, says the Islamic scholar Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im. How does the notion of Sharia fit within the idea of a secular state?
Sharia in a secular state -  isn't that a contradiction in terms?
Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im: The question is: what does one mean by Sharia? People tend to think of the legal end of it, as if that is the whole principle of Sharia. But Sharia consists of the whole normative system of Islam founded in the Koran, the Sunna and the hadith, or tradition of the Prophet. So it is not possible - even in a secular state - to deny Muslims the right to turn to Sharia to answer questions such as how to pray or how to fast.   

Sharia cannot be enforced by the state anywhere. There is absolutely no possibility to enact Sharia as a law of the state whether it be in a so-called "Muslim majority country" or a tiny Muslim minority anywhere. The nature of Sharia defies codification. It is about the interpretation that people choose through their own conviction.

So what is Sharia for you?
Sharia provides moral guidance for Muslim individuals. State and religion should be clearly separated. For me, as a Muslim, I need the state to be secular so that I can practice Islam through conviction and choice. The need of the state to be secular derives from an Islamic point of view; it has nothing to do with the European Enlightenment. The state has nothing to do with my being a believer or an atheist.

If state and religion are to be clearly separated, what role can religion play in public discourse?

I make a distinction between the state and politics. The state has nothing to do with Islam, but politics is a field where religion is always relevant. You cannot keep religion out of politics. Just like the CDU [editor's note: Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats] in Germany believes that its political platform is inspired by Christianity, believers - whatever their religion - act politically out of their conviction as believers. Whether you ban Sharia from politics or not, Muslims will continue to act in ways that are consistent with their understanding of Sharia. You cannot prevent that possibility unless you disenfranchise Muslims. source...

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