Archive for September, 2013

It was only over a week ago that there was that tragic shooting in the U.S Navy base by Aaron Alexis, in which he shot dead 12 people in Washington. As more information unfolded it became apparent that Alexis was not a Muslim and in fact was a recent convert to Buddhism. Although the act was never deemed a terror attack by the media, despite a very similar occurrence years ago by Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan, who quiet quickly was labelled a terrorist,  this recent attack in the U.S navy base was in my opinion an act of terror and despite the sad circumstances and needless death indeed i took a breath of relief that indeed this terrorist was not a Muslim.

Until lo and behold just as if on cue and only over a week later we have a multitude of terror attacks conducted by supposed Muslims. One terror attack occurring in a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya where the death toll is rising and may reach 100 people (including Muslims) . Not to mention another attack that occurred at a historic church in Pakistan that killed over 80 worshipers. This news was simply a deafening, saddening and challenging dilemma that i had to face, it appears that “Muslims” are trying to outdo each other in the realm of terrorism.

Yet before anyone accuses the Muslims of being quite, already Pakistan’s religious leaders have said killing innocent minority members was un-Islamic. “Islam does not allow killing of innocent non-Muslims,” Sunni Muslim group – Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) spokesman Nawaz Kharal said. He said a decree was issued by 30 religious leaders, which termed the attack not only un-Islamic but a criminal act and a major sin. “Islam does not allow attacks on innocent minorities and makes it mandatory to protect their lives and property.”

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The horrific scene at Westgate Mall, Nairobi after a terrorist attack killed at least 68 people.

Now of course, i always have held the opinion that western imperial powers that attack Muslim nations at a whim and have destroyed countless lives and communities are indeed terrorists too, yet at the same token killing people at locations where they should feel safe like a shopping centre or a building of worship is simply crossing the line because those drones in Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq attack people who are in the cross-fire of warfare, and who constantly live in fear for their lives, whilst these attacks tend to occur in places where people wouldn’t expect, even for a minute, to be blown up by grenades or pelted with bullets.

The sad thing is it is getting difficult to tell people that my religion is a religion of peace when we are even told now that women converts in hijabs could orchestrate and dictate terror attacks, this leaves the playing field open to the public eye.  (Although the latest news suggests the “White Widow, Samantha Lewthwaite” may have nothing to do with it) . At least previously it was seen that Muslim women were innocent, but now since this supposed connection to a white Muslim convert and the Nairobi mall shooting we are being shown a whole new face of terror, Muslim, White ,Female. To me this is the nail in the coffin for every day Muslim citizens who at least felt they had members of their community who had little to fear in terms of abuse, retaliation and accusations, yet thanks to the media coverage of such attacks and the sheer reality that terror comes in all sexes, sizes and regions we are unfortunately feeding the fear of the already frightened, paranoia is at its boiling point.

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New face of terror? Even with little evidence, the media are indicating British Convert Samantha Lewthwaite is responsible for the Nairobi terror attack.

As Muslims we are left with very little options. Apparently us moderate Muslims are not loud enough in condemnation. Apparently we do not do enough. Apparently we secretly support terror and apparently we cannot be trusted. It is coming to the point where whether we decide to talk or not, we won’t be taken seriously and the frightening prospect of being labelled one and the same with the terrorists is getting nearer and nearer, which is why i would like to explain to you why these supposed Muslims are not following Islam, and as cliche and repetitive as it may sound they are truthfully hijacking the religion before they hijack a mall or church or a navy base.

The killing of random innocent civilians is wrong, plain and simple. The Qur’an, which is the holy book for Muslims makes it loud and clear.

Do not kill any soul, which God has made forbidden, except in just cause.” (Qur’an 17:33)

Do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden, except by right.” (Qur’an 6:151)

In fact the Qur’an goes as far to say that you are encouraged to befriend people who do not fight you for your religion, or evict you from your homes or cause aggression upon you. So if we know non combatants who do not fight us for our religion nor oppress us, we are encouraged to be their friends and treat them kindly, NOT BLOW THEM UP! There is no evidence that a single person inside the Nairobi mall or Pakistani church were actively fighting Muslims because of their religion.

Allah does not forbid you to deal justly and kindly with those who fought not against you on account of religion and did not drive you out of your homes. Verily, Allah loves those who deal with equity.” (Qur’an 60:8)

Do these terrorists have a right to kill random people going about their business who are in no conflict with others? Most certainly not! Even if it is to provide a religious or political motive, it is an outright abomination according to the Qur’an to take a soul, without any right.

And whoever should do that [Kill without right] will meet a penalty.” (Qur’an 25:68)

Also one of the verses of the Qur’an was revealed in response to senseless killings. The Prophet Mohammed sent some of his men on an expedition, they passed by a man tending sheep who offered them a greeting of peace (Salam). They conspired that he only said that to protect himself from them, so they killed him and took his belongings. Then this verse of the Qur’an was revealed.

O you who have believed, when you go forth in the cause of Allah , investigate; and do not say to one who gives you a greeting of peaceYou are not a believer (Qur’an 4:94)

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The Qur’an is clear in forbidding killing unjustly.

Now as for attacking churches it is also abundantly clear in the Qur’an that churches and such structures should be preserved because essentially they still bare the name of Allah in them.

And were it not that Allah checks the people, some by means of others, there would have been demolished monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques in which the name of Allah is much mentioned. And Allah will surely support those who support Him.” (Qur’an 22:40)

Not to mention the Prophet Mohammed himself dictated a charter upon the Christians of Saint Catherines Monastery, Mount Sinai in 626 AD. This is called the “Achtiname Of Muhammad” where he states:

No compulsion is to be on them[Christians] . Neither are their judges to be removed from their jobs nor their monks from their monasteries. No one is to destroy a house of their religion, to damage it, or to carry anything from it to the Muslims’ houses.” – Prophet Muhammads Charter, St. Catherines Monastery, 626AD.

Even in the fiercest, most intense of battliefields (unlike these random terror attacks in public places, killing innocent civilians), the Muslim army are given strict protocol in warfare. Under the advice of Prophet Muhammad the first Caliph Abu Bakr said.

O people! I charge you with ten rules; learn them well! Stop, O people, that I may give you ten rules for your guidance in the battlefield. Do not commit treachery or deviate from the right path. You must not mutilate dead bodies. Neither kill a child, nor a woman, nor an aged man. Bring no harm to the trees, nor burn them with fire, especially those which are fruitful. Slay not any of the enemy’s flock, save for your food. You are likely to pass by people who have devoted their lives to monastic services; leave them alone.

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Most victims of Muslim terror attacks are other Muslims. These Canadian sisters were severely injured in the Nairobi mall bombing.

The bottom line is, i am not going to apologize for terrorist attacks that people who call themselves Muslims commit to. These people that tend to call themselves Muslims are acting contrary and obviously enough one who does not adhere to Islam, cannot possibly be a Muslim. To me it is about going way beyond that, it is about letting the public know that the things these criminals do, are in fact criminal in the eyes of the religion itself. Education is very important in times like these where Muslims do not get stressed and frustrated about losing this battle with terrorism, we have to make it clear that there is a difference between Muslims and Islam.

If we can let the people know these terrorists are not following Islam, then eventually their facade of being a “Muslim” will eventually disappear into thin air. These people are dangerous murderers who are clasping at any straw to dignify and excuse their evil behaviour. I am sick and tired of it, but i wont submit and let the terrorists win. I am a Muslim and i know what my religion teaches me, if people want to believe that these actions are indeed the works of Islam then that is their prerogative and ill sighted right, my job is to simply be a good example to the world out there and let them come to differentiate between Islam and Muslims, Muslims and Terrorists.

Peace, Salam 🙂

I have withheld writing about the Syrian crisis for a long time and even now i am reluctant to do so, but i will be very careful in what i say and how i say it. It is a very sensitive issue for many people, not only abroad in Syria itself but communities worldwide, including my family and friends that have loved ones still there. So i will tread lightly and carefully in respect to those facts, but in this piece i will be investigating if indeed the almost inevitable U.S military strike in Syria will be beneficial for it’s nation and the people, not to mention i will look deeper into exactly why U.S President Obama is so passionate about taking action, particularly military action and if his intentions appear as pure as he attempts to portray them.

First of all let me tell you how ill informed i am about Syria itself, many people have a lot to say about the scenario, yet i have kept silent and continue to do so. I do not know who the “bad guys” and the “good guys” are. I don’t know what forms a “rebel” and i don’t know who is at fault or to blame. All i do know is a lot of people are dying in Syria, a lot of innocent men, women and children for what appears to be no significant reason, and as usual in all things dealing with the political spectrum it is usually the innocent that have to pay the price. It depresses me that this ancient country that was once a hotbed for tourism that enjoyed some form of pluralistic living in relative peace and security has become a place of death and destruction, perhaps not entirely but for what it’s worth, too many people are dying unnecessarily and it needs to be addressed.

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Sad reality: People are dying in Syrian unrest.

The death toll is massive and it ranges depending on the source but one thing is for sure, this internal conflict has gone on for too long and indeed it is time for some form of action and before you know it the United States has stepped forward and offered a solution, a military strike. Forgive my skepticism of the predictable nature of this supposed rescue effort and my mistrust of the American political anomaly, but let me get back to that later. Yes, Syria appears to have a problem and yes it would be great to resolve this issue but will armed and ready warships off the coast of Cyprus be a solution to the troubles and misfortune of the Syrian people, i highly doubt it, will it cause a sudden era of peace to have Bashar Assad arrested, exiled or killed? I Highly doubt it, and are the Americans intentions behind this planned military strike truly for the well being of the Syrian people and for the betterment of the region ? I highly doubt it.

What hauntingly echo’s almost in the form of a sound byte is the United States accusing Syrian (political) forces using chemical weapons on their own people and that suddenly and swiftly military action must be taken. Despite Inspectors not finding any convincing or conclusive evidence that it is indeed a fact, and with little information as to who is directly responsible the war drums start beating and President Obama has made a prompt and definite decision that the best course of action is war, with another Middle Eastern Nation about supposed “weapons” that must be stopped and a wicked dictator that must be toppled. I don’t know who to trust anymore which is why i repeat myself, i don’t know who is good or who is bad in this scenario, all i care about are the people. All of this sounds similar to what was said during the hotly contested Iraq War, which turned about to be not only a war based on a lie but a war that continues to leave a scar on Iraq, which is permanently bleeding to this day with more civil unrest and terrorism.

Forgive my skepticism to the United States and their push for a military strike on Syria, to me it is like ripping off the scab of one that is injured and letting it bleed up again, it is not fixing the problem but in fact is simply a reliving of the nightmare that the Syrians already are in, more death, more destruction and more chaos. It almost appears that the intentions behind a military strike on Syria is nothing more than the United States trying to leave its footprint on this Earth, stridently proving itself to the international community at hand, as if to chant “we are a superpower and will do as we wish, with or without your support and with or without the backing of our own constitutions both domestically and internationally.”

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Is Obamas “solution” of military action a cure?

What strikes me as bizarre is Obamas quote that this military strike on Syria will be in the best interest for the security of the United States of America. Let me set out one basic and fundamental fact about this war that i can confidently say. The United States is NOT striking on grounds of self defense. This is an aggression and never has Syria been a threat to the United States and this internal conflict has had no connection to any dangers for any American civilians on American soil, there is no connection.  Yet oddly enough President Obama tries to sell people some myth by claiming that “I always preserve the right and responsibility to act on behalf of America’s national security.” Yet the most blatantly obvious thing about such a statement is that no, a military strike on Syria will not protect America, it will in fact open up more gates and doors to terror attacks, retaliation and hostility that actually WILL endanger the lives of innocent American civilians and i hate to break it to you, but it would be justified. Why?

War is a conflict between nations, it is not where big brother beats little brother to a pulp and little brother walks away, sometimes little brother will fight back and that is the war concept that the United States doesn’t understand- once you aggressively attack a sovereign, independent nation recognized by the International Community, you have enabled a war. Aggression leads to retaliation, hence a response to this war- however it is carried out, is justified. If America attacks Syrians on their own soil in a war that is not self defense but an aggression and Syria responds accordingly by attacking Americans on their own soil – that is no longer terrorism, but simply the codex of warfare.

It is just hypocrisy beyond belief that even if it is true, that if Syria has used chemical weapons that it justifies a military strike. If America intend to be honest and expect the same treatment if they commit the same offenses then according to Americas own policy, it is in fact justified that America be attacked for using and supplying Chemical weapons in Falluja, Iraq (in 2004). Which is why until this day, the marks of those chemicals are seen on the Iraqis of that area because they are having severely deformed children from the effects of the Chemical weaponry used against them during the illegal Iraqi war. My question is who is putting America under scrutiny and check for doing that? What nation has told the United States that for such actions they will be attacked? None. Yet if the United States finds others doing it, then apparently it justifies a military strike. The hypocrisy is mind baffling, which is why i do not support a military strike on Syria, to me no matter how much they try and dress it up, i see it for the empty, hollow and shallow truth that it is, none of this will do anything to make anything better, anywhere.

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Is a lack of public support strong enough a case to stop military action?

The Good News is that the United Kingdom, who typically and initially supported the Military Strike on Syria, just as they blindly did for Iraq have backed away from their support. The British parliament conducted a vote and the huge majority voted against military action in Syria, which almost guarantees the United Kingdom will have no play in this almost certain strike. Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned the United States against an attack stating that if the US attacks Syria that “We have our ideas about what we will do and how we will do it in case the situation develops toward the use of force or otherwise. We have our plans.”

Iran’s most powerful authority, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said “I believe the Americans are making mistakes in Syria and they have felt the impact and will certainly suffer loss“, whilst China has diplomatically tried to the warn the United States in a way that hurts the most, economically. Chinese Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao said “Military action would have a negative impact on the global economy,”

In saying that, it is not only most of the international political bodies that disagree with Americas rush to strike Syria, it is the people of the countries themselves. A recent PEW research poll revealed the the majority of the American people do not support a strike on Syria. Results show that just 29 percent of Americans favored airstrikes on Syria.  

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Other nations have had their say on the military campaign.

The depressing thing is that President Obama doesn’t really care about the opinions of his people, he is quoted to have said “We can send a very strong message.” To me this is what it is all about, flexing that big American muscle and letting the world know that despite being on the brink of a tragic debt, that the United States is still indeed the worlds super power and that their political system is beyond its U.N charters, it’s people, and the international community itself. I don’t hate America or Americans, i am not a left or right wing nutter nor do i have an agenda up my sleeve in regards to the Syrian situation.

I believe in a resolution, i hope for peace in Syria and i wish the problem is resolved sooner rather than later, but i will not back up another war that President Obama is intimidating the world with. He said “My credibility isn’t on the line. The international community’s credibility is on the line“. So in essence, if you are not with me, in supporting an aggressive strike against a sovereign nation for committing a supposed crime that America itself has committed (and was unpunished for)- then you as a nation lose credit.  I refuse to support this disingenuous case for war, it is nonsense to assume civil warfare stops with international military intervention, there may be a cure to many diseases out there but the disease of war doesn’t have a cure, it simply is a kettle that continually boils and it is only a matter of time before that hot water spills over the edges again and that cycle just keeps on repeating itself. If President Obama really cared about the interest of the American and Syrian people, he’d keep out of Syria.

Peace, Salam.