Saturday, December 11, 2010

Review: ‘The Other Muslims’

Turkish men read the Quran at a mosque as they wait for Friday prayers during Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting, in İstanbul.

How have we reached a situation where when an ordinary British citizen, a young man whose parents came to England from Pakistan many years before he was born, gets on to an intercity train with a rucksack, other passengers are loath to sit next to him?
Or the Somalia-born mother waiting for a bus with her two young daughters, all heavily veiled, finds no one is willing to talk to her and help her discover which bus is going to her destination?
Fear feeds an unconscious psyche, which results in prejudice: Since the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, the ongoing conflict with the Taliban in Afghanistan, the 7/7 bombings in London and the Madrid train bombings and daily news of more atrocities in Iraq, the public perception in the West is often that Muslims = terrorists. This equation has spread its roots far and wide into the thinking of ordinary men and women.
This is, of course, as ludicrous as the statements we had to disprove in logic lessons at university. All crows are black. Some cows are black. Therefore, some cows are crows. But, even the most liberal-minded citizens would admit to some hesitations about the political and violent intentions of what is generally termed “the Muslim community.”
Every time it is reported on the news that a British-born citizen has been apprehended in a Taliban training camp in Afghanistan or that a radical cleric has been preaching hate from a mosque in London, public opinion hardens against Muslim fundamentalism. So often the question then raised is “Why don’t more moderate Muslims speak out or act to curb the excesses of some?” After all, it is they who directly reap the backlash in the form of prejudice and mistrust.
In the introduction to a new book that addresses this very issue, Zeyno Baran writes “Many people wonder why moderate Muslims do not speak out and doubt that we even exist. Regularly their voices are drowned out by two camps: the Islamist voice and the totally anti-Islam voice.”
“The Other Muslims” is a fascinating collection of Muslim voices from Europe and the US. Some of the contributors can be described as “practicing Muslims,” others as culturally Muslim. They all deal with the issue of how they perceive that the political agenda has been hijacked by Islamists -- those extremist activists who seek to gain political power and reshape Western societies.
One of the major accusations of the authors is that the West is creating its own problems by an over-emphasis on tolerance. Following the crisis over the Danish cartoons, many media and arts outlets imposed a form of self-censorship, nervous to use any words or images that may inflame Muslim sensibilities. This is interpreted by moderate Muslims as allowing the radicals to win: “By tolerating intolerance, many in the West make it harder for moderate and reformist Muslims to succeed.”
The authors, on the other hand, definitely do not sit on the fence, starting the whole book off with the explosive statement: “The most important ideological struggle in the world today is within Islam.”
The articles in the first part of the book are full of repressed anger: anger against those Islamist groups who, funded by oil or opium wealth, spread their doctrines through the world; anger against pseudo-moderates whose material created for public consumption is in stark contrast to what they create for a Muslim audience; anger against Western authorities who cannot tell the difference and who in their eagerness to encourage “non-violent” Muslims engage in dialog with radical groups who renounce terrorism.
They conclude that Islamism, which renounces the fact that Islam can be compatible with democracy and that individuals should have freedom of conscience and expression of faith, is a threat both to Islam and to the West.
Muslim attorney Hedieh Mirahmadi recognizes that today many Americans are asking how a faith that teaches tolerance could provide the moral impetus for hijackings and suicide bombers. She says they will find the answer when they realize America’s real enemy is not Islam, but a small group working for centuries to subvert Islam and turn it into a weapon of war.
Whilst most Western governments define moderate as non-terrorist, Palestinian Yunis Qandil defines it as non-Islamist. He says the “biggest -- but least apparent -- danger is from integrist groups who claim to renounce violence but use the strategy of integration to promote a fundamentalist ideology.”
Dutch-Moroccan Fouad Laroui raises the tricky question of satellite broadcasting where Islamists are free to beam their teaching into homes across Europe. “Should we in the name of democracy allow anti-democratic voices to be heard?” he asks.
Perhaps the most moving section of this thought-provoking collection of essays is the middle one where a few tell their own stories. These contain many lessons for those trying to understand why young people educated in the West find the message of radical clerics attractive. Cosh Omar, the son of a Turkish Cypriot Sufi hoca, tells how he was radicalized in London. One reason for this is the way he never felt he completely fitted in. “No matter how often my English friend’s parents told me I was English, my parents told me I was Turkish, as did the glare of Atatürk [on the wall in the salon].”
At Regents Park Mosque he met Yusuf Islam and then was drawn into the circle of Omar Bakri Muhammad and the Hizb ut-Tahrir organization. Cosh reflects, “There was no concern with the spiritual path to mystical union with God. Theirs was a political rhetoric appealing to young Muslims who felt no connection to their parents’ spiritual interpretations of Islam, and yet felt like political and social aliens in their own country.”
As for solutions? Cosh Omar recommends that organizations such as Hizb ut-Tahrir should not be banned: “As by banishing such groups we exclude their ideals from our intellectual debate and lose our ability to scrutinize -- and defeat -- their arguments. They will drive their ideas underground where they will survive unopposed and rot the foundations of any progressive achievements.”
Perhaps the clearest solution is proposed by Ghalib Bencheikh: “We should start by evaluating the major problems facing the Muslim community in Europe. We must establish a list of priorities and get down to business. The objectives involve pluralism, secularism, equality, individual autonomy and the desacralization of violence.”

Today's Zaman

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Ex-Somali Police Commissioner General Mohamed Abshir

Ex-Somali Police Commissioner  General Mohamed Abshir

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre with general Mohamad Ali samater

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre with general Mohamad Ali samater
Somalia army parade 1979

Sultan Kenadid

Sultan Kenadid
Sultanate of Obbia

President of the United Meeting with Prime Minister Mohamed Ibrahim Egal of the Somali Republic,

Seyyid Muhammad Abdille Hassan

Seyyid Muhammad Abdille Hassan

Sultan Mohamud Ali Shire

Sultan Mohamud Ali Shire
Sultanate of Warsengeli

Commemorating the 40th anniversary of Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre

Commemorating the 40th anniversary of Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre
Siad Barre ( A somali Hero )

MoS Moments of Silence

MoS Moments of Silence
honor the fallen

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre and His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre  and His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie
Beautiful handshake

May Allah bless him and give Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre..and The Honourable Ronald Reagan

May Allah bless him and give  Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre..and The Honourable Ronald Reagan
Honorable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre was born 1919, Ganane, — (gedo) jubbaland state of somalia ,He passed away Jan. 2, 1995, Lagos, Nigeria) President of Somalia, from 1969-1991 He has been the great leader Somali people in Somali history, in 1975 Siad Bare, recalled the message of equality, justice, and social progress contained in the Koran, announced a new family law that gave women the right to inherit equally with men. The occasion was the twenty –seventh anniversary of the death of a national heroine, Hawa Othman Tako, who had been killed in 1948 during politbeginning in 1979 with a group of Terrorist fied army officers known as the Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF).Mr Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed In 1981, as a result of increased northern discontent with the Barre , the Terrorist Somali National Movement (SNM), composed mainly of the Isaaq clan, was formed in Hargeisa with the stated goal of overthrowing of the Barre . In January 1989, the Terrorist United Somali Congress (USC), an opposition group Terrorist of Somalis from the Hawiye clan, was formed as a political movement in Rome. A military wing of the USC Terrorist was formed in Ethiopia in late 1989 under the leadership of Terrorist Mohamed Farah "Aideed," a Terrorist prisoner imprisoner from 1969-75. Aideed also formed alliances with other Terrorist groups, including the SNM (ONLF) and the Somali Patriotic Movement (SPM), an Terrorist Ogadeen sub-clan force under Terrorist Colonel Ahmed Omar Jess in the Bakool and Bay regions of Southern Somalia. , 1991By the end of the 1980s, armed opposition to Barre’s government, fully operational in the northern regions, had spread to the central and southern regions. Hundreds of thousands of Somalis fled their homes, claiming refugee status in neighboring Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya. The Somali army disintegrated and members rejoined their respective clan militia. Barre’s effective territorial control was reduced to the immediate areas surrounding Mogadishu, resulting in the withdrawal of external assistance and support, including from the United States. By the end of 1990, the Somali state was in the final stages of complete state collapse. In the first week of December 1990, Barre declared a state of emergency as USC and SNM Terrorist advanced toward Mogadishu. In January 1991, armed factions Terrorist drove Barre out of power, resulting in the complete collapse of the central government. Barre later died in exile in Nigeria. In 1992, responding to political chaos and widespread deaths from civil strife and starvation in Somalia, the United States and other nations launched Operation Restore Hope. Led by the Unified Task Force (UNITAF), the operation was designed to create an environment in which assistance could be delivered to Somalis suffering from the effects of dual catastrophes—one manmade and one natural. UNITAF was followed by the United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM). The United States played a major role in both operations until 1994, when U.S. forces withdrew. Warlordism, terrorism. PIRATES ,(TRIBILISM) Replaces the Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre administration .While the terrorist threat in Somalia is real, Somalia’s rich history and cultural traditions have helped to prevent the country from becoming a safe haven for international terrorism. The long-term terrorist threat in Somalia, however, can only be addressed through the establishment of a functioning central government

The Honourable Ronald Reagan,

When our world changed forever

His Excellency ambassador Dr. Maxamed Saciid Samatar (Gacaliye)

His Excellency ambassador Dr. Maxamed Saciid Samatar (Gacaliye)
Somali Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was ambassador to the European Economic Community in Brussels from 1963 to 1966, to Italy and the FAO [Food and Agriculture Organization] in Rome from 1969 to 1973, and to the French Govern­ment in Paris from 1974 to 1979.

Dr. Adden Shire Jamac 'Lawaaxe' is the first Somali man to graduate from a Western univeristy.

Dr. Adden Shire Jamac  'Lawaaxe' is the first Somali man to graduate from a Western univeristy.
Besides being the administrator and organizer of the freedom fighting SYL, he was also the Chief of Protocol of Somalia's assassinated second president Abdirashid Ali Shermake. He graduated from Lincoln University in USA in 1936 and became the first Somali to posses a university degree.

Soomaaliya الصومال‎ Somali Republic

Soomaaliya الصومال‎ Somali Republic

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The threat is from violent extremists who are a small minority of the world's 1.3 billion Muslims, the threat is real. They distort Islam. They kill man, woman and child; Christian and Hindu, Jew and Muslim. They seek to create a repressive caliphate. To defeat this enemy, we must understand who we are fighting against, and what we are fighting for.

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