• Who are we?

    HassanAndHabiba-Large
    We present 'The Hassan and Habibah Show', a live social affairs program on an English language, British based international satellite channel called 'The Islam Channel'

    A famous companion of prophet Muhammad (S), Salman (R) said:
    “Give everyone who has a right; their full rights completely.”

    Muhammad (saw) responded:
    “Salman spoke the truth!”
    (recorded in Sahih al-Bukhari, Sahih Muslim)
  • Index To Our Site

    H&H SHOW SUMMARIES

    Sexual Intimacy in Islam (new!)
    Hayaa and Ghirah
    Not Without Her Make-Up
    Islamic View on Ethnicity, Nationality & Race
    The Status of Motherhood
    Forced Marriage
    Backbiting
    Dealing with the in-laws and women's rights
    Keeping Family Ties

    Coming soon:
    Islamic Wedding Days
    Who defines Beauty?
    Why are we Muslim?
    Obesity and Health
    Eating Disorders, Anorexia and Bulimia
    Domestic Violence
    Depression
    Spouses from abroad
    The Practicalities of Burying the Dead in Shariah & UK Law
    Were the Sahaba (ra) Jokers?
    Fostering & Islam
    Interracial Marriages
    Infertility & Having Children
    Islamic Medicine
    Abusive Parents
    and many more that we have done, listed soon with all the related info...


    H&H ACTIVITY & ARTICLES:

    DEPICTION OF PROPHET MUHAMMAD(S) AS A TERRORIST
    Is this Saddam's Iraq? Or Iraq under the crusaders for 'democracy' : torture, murder and chemical weapons?
    Islam Is The "Evil Ideology"
    America Redefines Torture For Itself & Outsources It To Others
    Severe & Prolonged Injustice Drives People Mad
    "Islamic Feminism"?
    A MUSLIM COMMUNITY RESPONSE TO ANTITERRORISM MEASURES
    Anecdotal evidence that being sex obsessed is not "natural" to humans
    Scrap Pakistan's pro-rape 'hudood' laws, & liberate women from servitude to men

    ISLAM RELATED ARTICLES (updated soon)

    The fiqh of Music: The opposing arguments, by Shaykh Salman Al-Oadah
    Ijtihad: Applying Islam in the 21st Century
    Top Islamist Sheikh Salman al-Oadah Publicly Challenges Bin Laden: FULL TEXT
    The category of actions in the Shariah
    Misusing at-Tabari to attack Islam
    Hospitality Or Overbearingness?
    How to avoid common Problems in Ramadhan


    COMMUNITY RELATIONS

    Channel 4 Distorted Mosque Programme - police ask for prosecution under race laws against the Channel

    BBC: Muslim 'demonised' by UK media

    Airline Hijack Liquid Explosives Plot 'leader' Charges dropped!

    The Guardian: If this onslaught was about Jews, I would be looking for my Passport

    BNP supporters found with rocket launchers, chemical weapons, and explosives, but The Mail doesn't blink an eye lid

    New Labour "Muslim" MP's, and the art of Spin

    London Mosque leading way on climate change

    ISLAMIC HISTORY & CIVILISATION

    The Idependent: Muslim Scholars cracked
    cracked Rosetta-stone code 800 years before the West

    The Independent: Islamic Scholars used quantum mathematics 500 years before it was discovered by the west in the 20th Century

    PALESTINE

    BBC: Israel fears equal voting rights for Arabs; Olmert warns of 'end of Israel

    Principles, Hamas and the politics of expediency

    Hamas and Israel's "Right to Exist", By Virginia Tilley

    The Israel Lobby in America, by Professors John Mearsheimer & Stephen Walt

    Indendent Jewish Voices: A Time To Speak Out

    British Medical Journal: "Palestine; the assault on health and other war crimes"

    Will $1Billion be buried with Arafat?

    "WAR ON TERROR" NEWS & COMMENT

    BBC: US Backed Egyptian Regime "Fabricated Terror Group"

    The Guardian: Democracy, not terror, is the engine of political Islam

    Benazir Bhutto: "Bin Laden was murdered"

    George Monbiot: How the neoliberals stitched up the wealth of nations for themselves

    What is Al Qaeda's cause and  justification for killing America's and it's Allies' civilains?
    Professors Quintan Wiktorowicz and John Kaltner Explain

    BBC Documentary: The Power of Nightmares;  the making of the terror myth

    The Fury of Fallujah

    OTHER WORLD NEWS & COMMENT

    Abu-Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, building worlds first zero-carbon eco-city

    The Guardian: Is Segregation The Only Answer To Sexual Harassment?

    Bhutto & Zardari Worth Billions!

    Stark Warning From Imran Khan to Benazir Before Her Death

    The Times: The Lie of Late Motherhood

    Review of "The Surrendered Wife: A Practical Guide to Finding Intimacy, Passion and Peace with Your Man"

    Not Without Her Make-Up

    Children find food wrapped in McDonald's packaging 'six times tastier'

    Ban Islam?

    Britain's forgotten Indian holocaust: 10 million in 10 years

    In Pakistan we have Selective Islam, by Imran Khan

    Musharraf's Army using  chemical Weapons in Wana  operation?

    Thai Muslim Killings Widely Resented

    The Overpopulation Trick

  • London Mosque leading way in war on climate change

    Mosque leading way in war on climate change

    BETH CATLEY - 10 January 2008

    Source Link

    WARMING TO ECO ISSUES: Dr Mohammed Fahim

    A MOSQUE is believed to be the first Muslim institution in England to commit to becoming carbon neutral.

    The South Woodford mosque and community centre, Mulberry Way, South Woodford, has decided to do its part in the fight against global warming and claim a green first.

    Charity Tolerance International is carrying out an environmental audit of the organisation to work out its annual carbon emissions.

    It will then help the mosque to reduce its energy usage, and offset the rest by planting trees in the Peruvian rainforest.

    Dr Mohammed Fahim, mosque chairman and head imam, said: "In Islam we are obliged to respect the environment we live in and we have to contribute to natural resources. We cannot just use them without protecting or preserving them, or trying to add to them.

    "When a tree provides fruit it does not provide fruit for itself, for its own use. It provides fruit for humanity.

    "I want every Muslim to be like a tree, which provides fruit not for himself, but for other people to benefit from it."

    Hamid Bayazi, chief executive of Tolerance International, said the mosque would be able to offset its emissions by paying £5.70 per tonne towards re-planting trees, and training agricultural and forestry management skills to impoverished communities in Peru so they had sustainable employment.

    He said he did not know of any other mosque or Muslim community centre that had become carbon neutral in this country.

    He said: "We feel it's up to religious institutions to take a stand on the whole subject of climate change, because it's something that basically businesses talk about, something that the government talks about, but it's seldom that religious institutions get involved in it."

    Mr Bayazi said businesses, religious organisations and educational institutions can take advantage of a free environmental audit by Tolerance International, by emailing carbon0@tolerancein ternational. org.uk, calling 020 7427 0050 or going to www.toleranceinternational.org.uk.

  • BBC: Israel fears equal voting rights for Arabs; Olmert warns of 'end of Israel'

    "If the two-state solution collapses, and we face a South African-style struggle for equal voting rights, then the State of Israel is finished"
    Ehud Olmert

    Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has said failure to negotiate a two-state solution with the Palestinians would spell the end of the State of Israel.

    He warned of a "South African-style struggle" which Israel would lose if a Palestinian state was not established.

    Mr Olmert was returning from the Annapolis conference in the US where he and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas pledged to launch formal peace talks.

    The two leaders set a goal of reaching a peace deal with US support in 2008.

    If the two-state solution collapses, and we face a South African-style struggle for equal voting rights, then the State of Israel is finished
    Ehud Olmert

    US President George W Bush called Annapolis, the first substantive Arab-Israeli peace talks in seven years, a "hopeful beginning" for Mid-East peace.

    Mr Olmert said it was not the first time he had articulated his fears about the demographic threat to Israel as a Jewish state from a faster growing Palestinian population.

    He made similar comments in 2003 when justifying the failed strategy of unilateral withdrawals from Israeli-occupied land which holds large Palestinian populations.
    "If the day comes when the two-state solution collapses, and we face a South African-style struggle for equal voting rights, then, as soon as that happens, the State of Israel is finished," Mr Olmert is quoted saying in Haaretz newspaper

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7118937.stm

    [Hamas wants this solution, as do most Islamists - That's why they offered a ceasefire to Israel. The only people who want this American organised peace is some in the Israeli "left" or "centre" who realise that to maintain Jewish supremacy & a racially based state they have to carve out large bits of Palestine and turn them into bantustans or large open disjointed prison camps for Arabs, naming it the "two state solution", and a "peace deal" establishing an "independent Palestinian state".]

  • BBC: US backed Egypt 'fabricated terror group'


    The Egyptian Military regime, just like Muhsarraf's in Pakistan, has rigged elections to ensure it's stay in power, and after Israel, is the largest recipient of US military aid, which props up the client military rule. In 1990, the US "forgave" $7.1 billion in past Egyptian military debt in return for Egypt's support of the first Iraq war. Despite this "Aid" to the military government Egypt is still poor, with an estimated annua GDP per person of $3,600. Massive U.S. military support of Egypt has just bolstered a compliant regime, and coincided with 25 years of rule under Emergency Law, this continues despite regular reports of serious human rights abuses committed by the Egyptian government.
    Abuses include torture, arbitrary arrest without trial, prolonged pretrial detention, extrajudicial executions, post served sentence imprisonment (i.e. you serve your sentence but still aren't released) and "disappearances," all are often committed with impunity.  Years of abuse by national "anti-terrorist" "security" forces afflict common citizens; according to  Human Rights Watch's 2000 Report, in 1999 “evidence continued to mount that local police forces were employing similar torture techniques against ordinary citizens that elite security forces had used systematically against suspected armed militant rebels, their families, and supporters.”

    The Military, supplied and propped up by US "Aid" is designed primarily to control the internal population, not against an external threat (as Egyptian state controlled media tells us). The United States sells Egypt a large amount of military equipment, which includes a significant number of small arms; such weaponry is both likely to be used for internal security and intentionally difficult to track once sold. These two factors easily enable such weaponry to find its way into the hands of abusive government security forces. In fact, during fiscal years 1996-1999, according to the U.S. government’s own “Section 655” reports, the United States delivered $10 million worth of small arms via the Pentagon’s Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program and authorized export licenses worth more than $4.8 million through State’s Direct Commercial Sales (DCS) channel. Small arms delivered or authorized included ammunition and raw materials for ammunition, grenades, a variety of pistols and rifles, and riot control equipment." US policy on Egypt for the last 30 years has uncanny parallels with it's new policy with Pakistan.

    BBC:  Egypt 'fabricated terror group'

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7137950.stm

    A US-based human rights group has accused the Egyptian government of using torture and false confessions in a high-profile anti-terrorism case.

    Twenty-two alleged members of an unknown Islamist group, the Victorious Sect, were charged for planning attacks on tourism sites and gas pipelines.

    US-based Human Rights Watch says its investigation found the security forces may have fabricated the group's name.

    It also reports claims the arrests were to justify renewing emergency laws.

    Although the state prosecutor dismissed the charges against the suspects, 10 of them are still believed to be in detention.

    The BBC's Ian Pannell in Cairo says this is just the latest in a run of accusations by human rights organisations against Egypt's police and state security.

    The Egyptian government has consistently denied that torture is used routinely and rejected what it sees as foreign interference in its own affairs.

    'Pattern of abuse'

    The authorities' claims made headlines in April 2006 when they said they had smashed a previously unheard-of terrorist group plotting a series of attacks against soft targets including tourists and Coptic Christian clerics.

    "Beyond coerced confessions, there appears to be no compelling evidence to support the government's dramatic claims," HRW says.

    "Indeed, it appears that SSI (state security investigations) may have fabricated the allegations made against at least some and possibly all of the them," its report says.

    Detainees quoted by HRW said they had been beaten and kicked by their interrogators, and some were given electric shocks on their bodies, including their genitals.

    Most of the testimonies in the report come via third parties, as the detainees themselves were unwilling to talk directly to investigators, for fear of retribution, HRW says.

    A spokesperson for the organisation said the case was not unusual, but was part of a pattern of detention and torture by the Egyptian security services in order to obtain false confessions.

    The "Victorious Sect" arrests came to light shortly before Egypt renewed its enduring and controversial emergency laws, which give sweeping powers of detention to the security forces.

    "State security needs to show that it's working, that it's useful, and cases like these are useful politically, around the renewal of the emergency law," lawyer Muhammad Hashim is quoted saying in the HRW report.

    The group says the Egyptian authorities ignored requests for information about the case and there was no immediate response to publication of the report.
    Earlier this year, another human rights group released a highly critical report on Egypt's record on torture and illegal detention.

    READ THE REPORT
    Anatomy of a State Security Case [431KB]: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/11_12_07_hrw_egypt.pdf

    Most computers will open this document automatically, but you may need Adobe Reader

  • BBC: US backed Egypt 'fabricated terror group'


    The Egyptian Military regime, just like Muhsarraf's in Pakistan, has rigged elections to ensure it's stay in power, and after Israel, is the largest recipient of US military aid, which props up the client military rule. In 1990, the US "forgave" $7.1 billion in past Egyptian military debt in return for Egypt's support of the first Iraq war. Despite this "Aid" to the military government Egypt is still poor, with an estimated annua GDP per person of $3,600. Massive U.S. military support of Egypt has just bolstered a compliant regime, and coincided with 25 years of rule under Emergency Law, this continues despite regular reports of serious human rights abuses committed by the Egyptian government.
    Abuses include torture, arbitrary arrest without trial, prolonged pretrial detention, extrajudicial executions, post served sentence imprisonment (i.e. you serve your sentence but still aren't released) and "disappearances," all are often committed with impunity.  Years of abuse by national "anti-terrorist" "security" forces afflict common citizens; according to  Human Rights Watch's 2000 Report, in 1999 “evidence continued to mount that local police forces were employing similar torture techniques against ordinary citizens that elite security forces had used systematically against suspected armed militant rebels, their families, and supporters.”

    The Military, supplied and propped up by US "Aid" is designed primarily to control the internal population, not against an external threat (as Egyptian state controlled media tells us). The United States sells Egypt a large amount of military equipment, which includes a significant number of small arms; such weaponry is both likely to be used for internal security and intentionally difficult to track once sold. These two factors easily enable such weaponry to find its way into the hands of abusive government security forces. In fact, during fiscal years 1996-1999, according to the U.S. government’s own “Section 655” reports, the United States delivered $10 million worth of small arms via the Pentagon’s Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program and authorized export licenses worth more than $4.8 million through State’s Direct Commercial Sales (DCS) channel. Small arms delivered or authorized included ammunition and raw materials for ammunition, grenades, a variety of pistols and rifles, and riot control equipment." US policy on Egypt for the last 30 years has uncanny parallels with it's new policy with Pakistan.

    BBC:  Egypt 'fabricated terror group'

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7137950.stm

    A US-based human rights group has accused the Egyptian government of using torture and false confessions in a high-profile anti-terrorism case.

    Twenty-two alleged members of an unknown Islamist group, the Victorious Sect, were charged for planning attacks on tourism sites and gas pipelines.

    US-based Human Rights Watch says its investigation found the security forces may have fabricated the group's name.

    It also reports claims the arrests were to justify renewing emergency laws.

    Although the state prosecutor dismissed the charges against the suspects, 10 of them are still believed to be in detention.

    The BBC's Ian Pannell in Cairo says this is just the latest in a run of accusations by human rights organisations against Egypt's police and state security.

    The Egyptian government has consistently denied that torture is used routinely and rejected what it sees as foreign interference in its own affairs.

    'Pattern of abuse'

    The authorities' claims made headlines in April 2006 when they said they had smashed a previously unheard-of terrorist group plotting a series of attacks against soft targets including tourists and Coptic Christian clerics.

    "Beyond coerced confessions, there appears to be no compelling evidence to support the government's dramatic claims," HRW says.

    "Indeed, it appears that SSI (state security investigations) may have fabricated the allegations made against at least some and possibly all of the them," its report says.

    Detainees quoted by HRW said they had been beaten and kicked by their interrogators, and some were given electric shocks on their bodies, including their genitals.

    Most of the testimonies in the report come via third parties, as the detainees themselves were unwilling to talk directly to investigators, for fear of retribution, HRW says.

    A spokesperson for the organisation said the case was not unusual, but was part of a pattern of detention and torture by the Egyptian security services in order to obtain false confessions.

    The "Victorious Sect" arrests came to light shortly before Egypt renewed its enduring and controversial emergency laws, which give sweeping powers of detention to the security forces.

    "State security needs to show that it's working, that it's useful, and cases like these are useful politically, around the renewal of the emergency law," lawyer Muhammad Hashim is quoted saying in the HRW report.

    The group says the Egyptian authorities ignored requests for information about the case and there was no immediate response to publication of the report.
    Earlier this year, another human rights group released a highly critical report on Egypt's record on torture and illegal detention.

    READ THE REPORT
    Anatomy of a State Security Case [431KB]: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/11_12_07_hrw_egypt.pdf

    Most computers will open this document automatically, but you may need Adobe Reader

  • Democracy, not terror, is the engine of political Islam

    Neocon policies designed to promote liberal opinion in the Middle East have in fact played into the hands of the religious parties

    By William Dalrymple
    Friday September 21, 2007
    The Guardian

    Six years after 9/11, throughout the Muslim world political Islam is on the march; the surprise is that its rise is happening democratically - not through the bomb, but the ballot box. Democracy is not the antidote to the Islamists the neocons once fondly believed it would be. Since the US invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, there has been a consistent response from voters wherever Muslims have had the right to vote. In Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Palestine, Pakistan, Egypt, Turkey and Algeria they have voted en masse for religious parties in a way they have never done before. Where governments have been most closely linked to the US, political Islam's rise has been most marked.

    Much western journalism in the six years since 9/11 has concentrated on terrorist groups, jihadis and suicide bombers. But while the threat of violence remains very real, those commentators who have compared what they ignorantly call "Islamofascism" to the Nazis are guilty of hysteria: the differences in relative power and military capability are too great for the comparison to be valid, and the analogies that the neocons draw with the second world war are demonstrably false. As long as the west interferes in the Muslim world, bombs will go off; and as long as Britain lines up behind George Bush's illegal wars, British innocents will die in jihadi atrocities. But that does not mean we are about to be invaded, nor is Europe about to be demographically swamped, as North American commentators such as Mark Steyn claim: Muslims will make up no more than 10% of the European population by 2020.

    Yet in concentrating on the violent jihadi fringe, we may have missed the main story. For if the imminent Islamist takeover of western Europe is a myth, the same cannot be said for the Islamic world. Clumsy and brutal US policies in the Middle East have generated revolutionary changes, radicalising even the most moderate opinion, with the result that the status quo in place since the 1950s has been broken.

    Egypt is typical: at the last election in 2005 members of the nominally banned Muslim Brotherhood, standing as independents, saw their representation rise from 17 seats to 88 in the 444-seat people's assembly - a five-fold increase, despite reports of vote-rigging by President Mubarak's ruling National Democratic Alliance. The Brothers, who have long abjured violence, are now the main opposition.

    The figures in Pakistan are strikingly similar. Traditionally, the religious parties there have won only a fraction of the vote. That began to change after the US invasion of Afghanistan. In October 2002 a rightwing alliance of religious parties - the Muttahida Majlis Amal or MMA - won 11.6% of the vote, more than doubling its share, and sweeping the polls in the two provinces bordering Afghanistan - Baluchistan and the North West Frontier Province - where it formed ultra-conservative and pro-Islamist provincial governments. If the last election turned the MMA into a serious electoral force, there are now fears that it could yet be the principle beneficiary of the current standoff in Pakistan.

    The Bush administration proclaimed in 2004 that the promotion of democracy in the Middle East would be a major foreign policy theme in its second term. It has been widely perceived, not least in Washington, that this policy has failed. Yet in many ways US foreign policy has succeeded in turning Muslim opinion against the corrupt monarchies and decaying nationalist parties who have ruled the region for 50 years. The irony is that rather than turning to liberal secular parties, as the neocons assumed, Muslims have lined up behind parties most clearly seen to stand up against aggressive US intervention.

    Religious parties, in other words, have come to power for reasons largely unconnected to religion. As clear and unambiguous opponents of US policy in the Middle East - in a way that, say, Musharraf, Mubarak and Mahmoud Abbas are not - religious parties have benefited from legitimate Muslim anger: anger at the thousands of lives lost in Afghanistan and Iraq; at the blind eye the US turns to Israel's nuclear arsenal and colonisation of the West Bank; at the horrors of Abu Ghraib and the incarceration of thousands of Muslims without trial in the licensed network of torture centres that the US operates across the globe; and at the Islamophobic rhetoric that still flows from Bush and his circle in Washington.

    Moreover, the religious parties tend to be seen by the poor, rightly or wrongly, as representing justice, integrity and equitable distribution of resources. Hence the strong showing, for example, of Hamas against the blatantly corrupt Fatah in the 2006 elections in Palestine. Equally, the dramatic rise of Hizbullah in Lebanon has not been because of a sudden fondness for sharia law, but because of the status of Hassan Nasrallah, Hizbullah's leader, as the man who gave the Israelis a bloody nose, and who provides medical and social services for the people of South Lebanon, just as Hamas does in Gaza.

    The usual US response has been to retreat from its push for democracy when the "wrong" parties win. This was the case not just with the electoral victory of Hamas, but also in Egypt: since the Brothers' strong showing in the elections, the US has stopped pressing Mubarak to make democratic reforms, and many of the Brothers' leading activists and business backers, as well as Mubarak's opponent in the presidential election, are in prison, all without a word of censure from Washington.

    Yet on a recent visit to Egypt I found everywhere a strong feeling that political Islam was there to stay, and that this was something everyone was going to have to learn to live with; the US response had become almost irrelevant. Even the Copts were making overtures to the Brothers. As Youssef Sidhom, who edits the leading Coptic newspaper, put it: "They are not going away. We need to enter into dialogue, to clarify their policies, and end mutual mistrust."

    The reality is that, like the Copts, we are going to have to find some modus vivendi with political Islam. Pretending that the Islamists do not exist, and that we will not talk to them, is no answer. Only by opening dialogue are we likely to find those with whom we can work, and to begin to repair the damage that self-defeating Anglo-American policies have done to the region, and to western influence there, since 9/11.

    · William Dalrymple is the author of The Last Mughal: The Fall of a Dynasty, Delhi 1857.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,2173919,00.html

    www.williamdalrymple.com

  • Is segregation the only answer to sexual harassment?

    There is a growing worldwide trend for women-only spaces on trains, beaches and in hotels. But do they make women any safer?

    By Jessica Valenti

    Friday August 3, 2007
    The Guardian

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/women/story/0,,2140903,00.html

    Growing up in New York City, I took the subway to school like most of my peers. I remember not quite understanding, as a 13-year-old, the looks I received from men my father's age - or why they kept "accidentally" brushing up against me. What was all that about? As the years went by, of course, it all became clear, and now, in my late 20s, when the topic comes up, I have yet to speak to a woman who hasn't had some experience of being groped on a train.

    So I wasn't surprised by a recent report that showed that two out of every three subway riders in New York has been sexually harassed (the survey was of a mixed group, with almost 70% of respondents being women). In Tokyo, the problem is just as bad - 64% of women in their 20s and 30s reported being groped on the train or in transit stations. In fact, the problem is so well recognised in Japan, that there's even a specific name for subway harassment: chikan. And the city's answer to such large-scale harassment? Establishing a woman-only train carriage aimed at protecting potential victims.

    Japan isn't the only country where a separate space has been set aside for women's safety. There are women-only train carriages in Rio de Janeiro, Moscow and Cairo. Italy has just established a women-only beach. And in the US a hotel recently announced that it is building a separate floor for female guests. All of which raises the question: is this the latest in "girl power" or a sexist solution to a much bigger problem?

    There's no doubt the harassment women face in public spaces needs to be addressed - whether it is on the street, the train, or even the internet. We've been subjected to regular catcalls and groping for far too long. But while the idea of a safe space is compelling, this international trend - which often comes couched in paternalistic rhetoric about "protecting" women - raises questions of just how equal the sexes are if women's safety relies on us being separated. After all, shouldn't we be targeting the gropers and harassers? The onus should be on men to stop harassing women, not on women to escape them.

    Betsy Eudey, director of gender studies at California State University, says that while some single-sex environments could be beneficial - locker rooms where people are expected to be naked are an obvious example - she finds that "segregated spaces only enhance division by sex, and prevent the necessary actions needed to make public spaces safe and welcoming to all".

    Not all feminists are so sceptical though. American writer, Katha Pollitt, says she doesn't think that the rise of women-only spaces will excuse society from confronting harassment and violence. Instead, she believes they simply offer a small respite for women in a male-dominated world.

    "Obviously, there would never be enough women-only space to accommodate all women all the time - half the subway cars or half the hotels," says Pollitt. "Women-only space is just a little breathing place for a few women every now and then." Pollitt also notes that women-only spaces aren't just about escaping harassment. "Men just take up too much space. They judge women's bodies. They flaunt their own. This is not going to change in our lifetime, or possibly ever."

    For some women, single-sex areas can be a way to expand movement in public spaces, rather than limit it. A women-only taxi service in Tehran, for example, has been touted as giving women more travel options, while, around the globe, women-only gyms provide a welcome space for religious women who wouldn't otherwise be able to work out.

    Religious concerns aside though, I'm wary of how the governments and companies that have created many of these spaces are promoting them. Further evidence that this isn't so much about a feminist vision of women's safety as a short-sighted solution is the reliance on sexist staples to drive home the "women-only" point. Brazil's train cars are pink striped, for instance, as is the sign declaring "No Men" on Italy's beach - which is known as the "pink beach". In fact, the only man allowed on the Italian beach is a lifeguard - beach owner Fausto Ravaglia has said, "You clearly need a man to save women in the sea. It's a question of muscles." A women-only taxi service in Mumbai, India, features larger-than-normal mirrors, a makeup kit and a magazine rack; the soon-to-be-opened US hotel will have chenille throw blankets and special bath products (you know, stuff that girls like) on its women-only floor.

    Of course, there are more serious concerns than complaints about the sugar-and-spice of it all. In cities that offer women-only train carriages, what happens if a woman is groped - or worse - in a carriage that isn't women-only? Will she be blamed for not taking advantage of the "safe" space provided? After all, women are all too used to being blamed when it comes to assault, questioned as to why they were out on their own/wearing a short skirt/drinking.

    Not all women-only venues are mired in paternalism. Girls' schools, for example, are touted as places where pupils have the confidence to speak more openly than they would in a mixed class. Women-only networking events - designed to build an "old girls' club" in industries where golf trips and other male-centric networking is the norm - are gaining popularity in cities from New York to London. Even my publisher, Seal Press, devotes itself solely to publishing female authors.

    The difference between these spaces and designated "no harassment" zones, however, is that all-girl schools and networking are positively supporting women and their endeavours rather than hiding us behind closed (or sliding) doors.

    When I take the subway now, a bit older and certainly more jaded, I do my best to avoid crowded train cars and instead of silently rolling my eyes when someone brushes up against me, I make a fuss. (Grabbing the offending hand and holding it up, declaring, "Why was this hand on my ass?" seems to do the trick.) If New York City was to create a woman-only carriage, I might use it occasionally, just for some breathing space. But I certainly wouldn't stop using the others. After all, women should have the right to be safe anywhere and everywhere.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/women/story/0,,2140903,00.html

  • BBC: Muslims 'demonised' by UK media

    Really Sherlock?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/7093390.stm

    BBC NEWS

    Muslims are being "demonised" by the British media, with 91% of reports being negative, research commissioned by London's mayor has found.

    Ken Livingstone said the survey, by consultancy firm Insted, studied a week's news reports and found Islam was portrayed as a "threat to the West".

    Another poll published on Tuesday found that at least 35% of Londoners held Islam responsible for the 7/7 attacks.

    The YouGov poll, commissioned by the Evening Standard, spoke to 701 people.

    'Creates alarm'

    Mr Livingstone said the research by Insted - a consultancy firm which deals with issues of diversity and equality - found the national media had a "hostile and scaremongering attitude" towards the community.

    Mr Livingstone said: "The overall picture presented by the media is that Islam is profoundly different from and a threat to the West.

    "I think there is a demonisation of Islam going on which damages community relations and creates alarm among Muslims," he said.

    Mr Livingstone urged editors to be balanced in their coverage saying out of 352 articles studied by researchers last year just 4% were positive.

    The Evening Standard poll asked 701 people about issues and attitudes towards Islam, wearing the veil and faith schools.

    The poll found about a third of those questioned wanted political groups "promoting fundamentalist Islamic agendas" banned.

    While more than half of those interviewed said Muslims in London were "isolated" from others, about 50% thought Islam was a "generally intolerant faith".

    Regarding veils, at least eight out of 10 people said neither students nor teachers should be allowed to wear the veil in school.

    On faith schools, some 20% of the respondents wanted faith schools to be "encouraged", 10% wanted their numbers to be reduced and one in three wanted them banned.

    Another poll, carried out by Ipsos-Mori on behalf of the Greater London Authority (GLA) and published on Monday, found 86% of Muslims in the city and 91% of other Londoners strongly felt that the police needed to work closely with the community.

    Story from BBC NEWS:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/england/london/7093390.stm

  • Stark Warning From Imran Khan to Benazir Before Her Death

    This article appeared in the Telegraph, before Benazir's death, after the last attempt on her life:

    Benazir Bhutto has only herself to blame

    By Imran Khan
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2007/10/21/do2101.xml

    I'm sorry to say this, but the bombing of Benazir Bhutto's cavalcade as she paraded through Karachi on Thursday night was a tragedy almost waiting to happen. You could argue it was inevitable.

    Everyone here knew there was going to be a huge crowd turning up to see her return after eight years in self-imposed exile. Everyone also knows that there has been a spate of suicide bombings in Pakistan lately, especially in the frontier region where I am campaigning at the moment.

    How was it ever going to be possible to monitor such a large crowd and guarantee that no suicide bombers would infiltrate it?

    This may sound equally harsh, but she has only herself to blame. By making a deal with Musharraf's government  — a deal brokered by the British as well as the Americans, by the way — she was hoping to get herself off the (substantial) corruption charges that have been levelled against her. (And Already convicted by Swiss Banks)

    What she hadn't taken into account was Musharraf's unpopularity. He is regarded in Pakistan as an American stooge. And the US war on terror, which he supports, is now perceived as a war against Islam.

    That is why there is no shortage of recruits for the fundamentalist cause here. By siding with him, Benazir was making herself a target for assassination.

    The sad thing is, she didn't need to do it. Musharraf was sinking and isolated. He was on the point of declaring a state of emergency. Just when it looked as if he had no lifelines left, Benazir came back and bailed him out.

    Worse, by publicly siding with a dictator, she has deliberately sabotaged the democratic process. We have an election coming up in January. As leader of the Justice Party, I am running in it but it will not be a free and fair election if Musharraf is still in charge.

    He has dismantled state institutions, such as an independent judiciary and an election commission, and has introduced a controlled assembly, a controlled prime minister and a controlled media.

    The polls show he can only win this next election if he massively rigs it. That is what he did in 2002, as confirmed by the EU monitoring team.

    Given the way that she has undermined democracy by siding with Musharraf, I don't know how Benazir has the nerve to say that the 130 people killed in those bomb blasts sacrificed their lives for the sake of democracy in Pakistan.

    Meanwhile, you can take your pick as to who was responsible for the two bombs that went off. At least three jihad groups linked to al-Qaeda and the Taliban were plotting suicide attacks — but one thing is for sure, there is no shortage of candidates.

    The war on terror is turning everyone in the tribal border regions into potential guerrillas. Not militants necessarily but disparate groups who are becoming united by their suspicion of America. A coalition is forming, and al-Qaeda is going to be only a small part of it.

    Benazir has made enemies for herself in this respect also. She alone among Pakistan's political party leaders has given public support to the massacre of women and children that Musharraf caused when he ordered his troops to attack the Red Mosque in Islamabad.

    She also backed his attacks on civilians in the tribal regions. Note that Musharraf has called the civilian deaths there "collateral damage" — an American euphemism.

    Benazir also gave her backing to Musharraf's plan to allow Nato troops to hunt down maybe 200 or 300 Taliban and al-Qaeda supporters in the border region, but in doing that they have merely recruited a million potential supporters for the terrorists.

    No one in the West understands that the tribal regions of Pakistan have always been an independent entity. They have never been conquered. Every man is a warrior and carries a gun. Even a superpower like the British Empire could not control that terrain. It had to bribe the tribes.

    I have known Benazir since we were at Oxford together, but we have drifted apart politically since then. Perhaps I could have warned her that her life would be in danger if she returned to Pakistan and had a parade, but I doubt she would have listened.

    After all, there has been no shortage of warnings from other quarters. But I can tell her this: it is not going to get any easier for her. Whenever she goes out campaigning in public, her life is going to be threatened.

    It is different for me campaigning in public, even in the frontier region, because I am not perceived as an America stooge, or a supporter of the war on terror.

    The British do not have clean hands in this latest suicide bombing outrage. Britain is providing a safe haven for Altaf Hussain, the Musharraf-supporting MQM political party leader who currently lives in London.

    He's been living in London for 15 years and from there he controls Karachi with an iron will through his mafia-like party. It was this political gangster who persuaded Benazir that he could ensure her safety if she returned.

    The only positive thing that might come out of this horrific bombing is that it will force everyone in Pakistani politics to sit down together at a big table and review our strategy on terror. We have to accept that it is not working, that, in fact, it is making matters worse.

    It is an idiotic policy because the Americans are pushing people who are in favour of democracy at the moment towards extremism. Pakistan is in danger of turning into Algeria, a country where you had government forces firing on their own civilians.

    Once the Pakistani army started its latest operation at the behest of the US, the whole border area rose up against it. And because the US has also bombed the area, killing many tribesmen, anyone who opposes the US becomes a hero.

    The tribesman's culture is a revenge culture. When one is killed another takes his place. That is where the war on terror has been so misguided. It has benefited the people who caused 9/11. And it has made Musharraf — and now his ally Benazir Bhutto — look even more like puppets of America.

  • Anecdotal evidence that being sex obsessed is not "natural" to humans

    Below is anecdotal evidence that (v.s. simply having a natural desire) being sex obsessed even in secret is not universal, nor "natural" nor necessarily caused by societies that hold traditional values (which 'sexual repression' is sometimes a euphemism). Rather if you look at google search statistics it is the most sexually liberal countries that are privately most sex obsessed, (probably as a result of public bombardments of sexual imagery and innuendo). This should not negate evidence that those cultures which have monastic attitudes to sex, severely shun all talk about sex, view it as inherently "evil", or "worldly", or not praiseworthy even within any form marriage, and strictly utilitarian for breeding purposes have sexual abuse problems (Saudi/Indian/Pakistani/Bengalis take note!).
    2 little articles entitled "Islam says sex is good for you" and "Sex is Sadaqa (rewarded by God)" are here: http://www.themodernreligion.com/misc/sex/sex_good.htm
    http://www.zawaj.com/articles/sex_sadaqa.html

    Google.cn word search results: Chinese shun sex search for a good, old-fashioned bank

    Published Thursday 3rd January 2008

    The Chinese appear to have dismally failed to grasp the primary use of Google, with searches on the word "sex" ranking way down the list of most-Googled terms in the country last year.

    Leading the overall searches list was "QQ", apparently an "instant message service and a brand of car", according to Reuters. Next up was the China Merchants Bank, closely followed by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. Fourth place went to "stock" (as in "and shares", etc).

    What merited fifth spot is not noted, but we suspect it might have been "anti-corruption". In keeping with the locals' evident love of banking, China Construction Bank came sixth.

    All of which left "sex" out in the cold with an unspecified placing, much to the delight of China Daily, which was quick to point out that it was the "most popular keyword for Google users in some other countries".

    In further revelations, Google.cn said that "China's Central Bank, the Ministry of Finance and Banking Regulatory Commission ranked first, third and fifth in the 'Most Popular Departments' list", while "what is a blue chip" and "how to invest in the stock market" topped the "seeking knowledge" category.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/01/03/google_china_searches/

  • Not Without Her Make-up

    By Tazin Abdullah

    http://undercovermuslimah.blogspot.com/

    I do not clearly remember the first time I was here. My earliest memories of Australia start when I was around six or seven, probably my first trip after I was born in the city of Sydney. My parents were not particularly happy with the idea of me growing up there. So, they took me out to Iran at the first opportunity.

    As I grew up, my impressions of Sydney were formed from stories I heard from my parents, shows I watched on television and of course, what I saw on my trips. From my first trip at the age of seven, I vaguely remember the people I met and the places I visited. I remember more from my second trip, though, which was at the age of fourteen. I recall my parents warning me over and over again about how women were treated in a society so fundamentally Western.

    While I was there, I learnt that individuality was something Australians only dreamt about. I soon discovered I had to conform to the dress code everyone else followed. I had to have my hair highlighted and defrizzed. I had to spend between fifteen ad twenty minutes every morning brushing it and putting on clips and hair ties. I had to make it into a ponytail one day, a braid the next and a bun when I went to dinner parties. I was coerced to wear short skirts and tight tops, with a push-up bra to give me cleavage. My legs had to show, smooth and unscarred, and everyone had to be able to make out my waist.


    They told me I had to 'fit in'. Part of the ritual of fitting in meant that I had to paint my face with what they called make-up everyday. I discovered that Australian females liked to attract as much attention as they could to themselves, by hiding behind their make-up. They made their kohl in liquids and pencils, instead of pots like we do, and sold them in stores under a range of different names and prices. They all seemed the same to me, though. Anyhow, I bought what they told me to buy and used what they told me to use, from lipsticks to abdominizers, changing my body from head to toe to please their male gods. Such things ensured that everyone wanted to 'hang out' with me (a term denoting something to the effect of spending time and/or social acceptance).


    In the five years between then and now, I had convinced myself that Australia would have joined other countries on the road to progress. But my return to Sydney both shocks and saddens me. While many parts of the world have seen development, Australia has dragged behind, especially with regards to the status of women. It seems as if it has only succeeded in digging itself deeper into a bottomless pit of regression. At this rate, I fear that Australia is a second America in the making.


    Upon arrival, I have come across some typical Sydney women. I can see that they are dictated by the strict dress code imposed on them by the social system. They are not allowed to wear loose clothing, headscarves until they are old or ailing, and it is preferred that they show as much of their bodies as possible. Women who break this rule face harsh penalties. Sarah, a victim of such injustices, told me the specifics. As punishment for wearing non-revealing clothing, she is deemed unattractive and given unequal treatment by her employers. She says she is not considered 'normal'.


    A day in the life of a normal woman here requires her appearance to be the focal point. Her sexuality must be available for everyone to consume. She cannot choose to whom she will disclose her intimate parts or excercise her sexuality. She does not have much choice in what she wants to do with her body. Since the fundamentalist regime insists that it must be available for display in a certain manner, she must follow these rules.


    The rules are based on the Australian Holy Scriptures, two of which are Dolly and Cosmopolitan. Also known as magazines, these contain the teachings of hard-liner editors and reporters/writers who design the way in which society must view women and the way women must dress and act. Since the advent of these magazines, there have been mass conversions in the country to the faith they preach. Authority and control have been transferred onto them and they play a vital role in the life of women. They have institutionalised radical guidelines such as the 36:24:36 measurement of a woman's body. Furthermore, they propagate intolerance and hate to be internalised in all women - hate for their own bodies, natural intelligence, privacy and inherent dignity. These women are brainwashed into believing that their Creator is to blame for their deficiencies in not automatically meeting these standards.


    In accordance with these oppressive impositions, the country's commerce has developed. Industry is devoted to the development of products to assist women in looking as artificial as possible. The market is filled with products for the face and every different part of it plus the hair, the hands, the legs, the nails...the list goes on. I suppose one must concede to the fact that Australia's delayed development causes it to prioritise looks over the fact that millions of people in the world go hungry.


    It is interesting to look at some of the advertisements for the beauty products. I will warn you, though, that coming from an emancipated society, these will be very disturbing. For instance, an advertisement for hair colour uses the motto "L'Oreal - because I'm worth it". A model in an ad for a shampoo claims that using the shampoo gives her more confidence. These poor women must shampoo, condition and colour their hair in order to legitimise themselves. They need the perfect curl, the right bounce and the shiniest colour. Their value to society is directly linked to their hair.


    Other significant practices are the prevalent marriage customs. A woman is required to perform the ceremonial 'going out', which can span any period of time from a day to ten years. This starts as early as primary school and as she grows up, she goes out with various men. Until she finds the one she wishes to marry, she does not commit to any one man. All the men she goes out with are allowed to touch her and sleep with her. All this time, her status and acceptance in society is determined by how many of these men she has accommodated in her life. The greater the quota of men, the more sufficient she is considered. Particularly in high school, young girls have little to contribute to their own identities. Their identities derive from who they go out with and how many boys they go out with. Though this kind of mental torture is less obvious in later years of their life, my conversations with many women in university and work indicate that they still suffer. Some feel they must get married in order to make a place for themselves.


    Marriage, though, is subject to a bizarre rule. A woman cannot legally marry until she is eighteen years old without parental consent. It is soically expected, however, for girls under eighteen to lose their virginity. When I was listening to one of the popular radio stations, 2DayFM, I was informed that the average age that Australians lost their virginity at is between thirteen and fifteen. As a consequence of this, many girls under eighteen become pregnant. Society accepts these girls as mothers before eighteen but does not allow them to have husbands, who could also take responsibility as fathers to the children born. While women must bear the responsibility of parenthood, men can get away with it. This is one of the many contradictions that exist in Australia today.


    Inequalities also exist for women who do get married. Marriage requires the woman to play multiple roles. She must be wife, mother and often a breadwinner of the family. She shoulders the responsibility of taking care of her husband and children at home while also earning money not only for herself, but also for the family. Whatever she earns is not solely her property. Unlike Islamic societies, her husband and her family have a claim to her income and she even pays for groceries!


    Often, she is not given the choice of whether she wants to stay at home or work. The society she lives in enshrines materialism and money, money and more money. It is vital to their lifestyle. As a result, she must go out and work. On top of that, her position in society is judged on her ability to work outside the home. She must suffer the greatest burden in society. She really does not have the right to choose. Can you imagine a life where your identity is judged by everything you have and not everything you are?


    Even more surprising is the widespread cultural practice of women changing their surnames to that of their husbands' once they are married. Amanda, a law student, who opposes this practice, tells me that, in previous times, this act symbolised the transfer of all of a woman's rights and property to her husband from her father. Though the custom of a woman becoming her husband's property has ceased to exist, women still change their names to that of their husbands'.


    Seeing all this, I am aware that Australian women are denied the rights that are basic to many Muslim women. What concerns me, though, is whether or not they are aware of that fact.


    I remember from my second trip to Australia that I felt I had a Western noose tied around my neck. I felt I had no space to breathe or to let myself free. The air around me cloaked my beauty, my spirit and my soul. But I was lucky. I could leave.


    Most of the Australian women I spoke to do not have that alternative. They do not even know of their plight. They are pushed into a corner where they cannot see outside the boundaries of such a fundamentally Western society. Women immune to Western correctness - mostly the educated Muslims - have begun programmes to educate others around them. They are asserting themselves by breaking out of the confinement, wearing loose clothing and denying just anyone access to their sexuality. I see their efforts as a glimmer of hope. It is crucial that before women can improve their lot, they are taught the rights they have that society has taken away from them.


    Nevertheless, there is still hope. I call upon all the Muslim women in the world to come to the rescue of Australian women. I urge that all of us stand up against Western oppression in different parts of the world. It is our responsibility to bring progress into these societies and it is up to us to save them.


    By Tazin Abdullah

    http://undercovermuslimah.blogspot.com/

  • Bhutto and Zardari worth Billions!

    Please note that the British Queen in 2007 is worth £300 million, ranked 229th richest person in one of the richest countries in the world. The below valuation of Benazir Bhutto, is from almost 10 years ago, just before the property & economic booms. Her worth would have been multiplied many times now:

     

     

    Assets of MS Benazir Bhuto declared for the assessment year 1999-2000 (AS 30.06.1999)

    ASSETS

    COST

    VALUE

    Bilawal House (Self)

    Rs.3000000

    Rs.3000000

    1/2 share in 90 Clifton Karachi (Self)

    Rs.112500

    Rs.112500

    Shop in Corniche (Ms Bakhtawar)

    Rs.300000

    Rs.300000

    Plot in Nawabshah (Ms. Asifa)

    Rs.7000

    Rs.7000

    Plot in Gawader-I (Self)

    Rs.45000

    Rs.45000

    Plot in Gawader-II (Self)

    Rs.18000

    Rs.18000

    Interest in Ice Factory (Self)

    Rs.114459

    Rs.114459

    Jewllery (Self)

    Rs.315000

    Rs.315000

    NIT Units (Self)

    Rs.232698

    Rs.232698

    Share in Zardari Group (Bilawal)

    Rs.210000

    Rs.210000

    Share in Zardari Group (Ms Bakhtawar)

    Rs.200000

    Rs.200000

    Share in Zardari Group (Ms Asifa)

    Rs.165000

    Rs.165000

    Bank Balance (Self)

    Rs.1690696

    Rs.1690696

    Bank Balance (Minors)

    Rs.188646

    Rs.188646

    Cash in Hand (Self)

    Rs.2009339

    Rs.2009339

    Cash in Hand (Minors)

    Rs.10487074

    Rs.10487074

    Advance money& share in PPL & Hilal-e-Pakistan

    Rs.156200

    Rs.156200

    Less: Liabilities

    Rs.(570000)

    Rs.(570000)

    TEXABLE WEALTH

    Rs.15525412

    Rs.15525412

     

    AGRICULTURAL ASSETS
    Estimated Value 400 PIUs

     

     

    PIUs

    Value

    Self

    6129

    Rs.2451600

    Bilawal

    3224

    Rs.1289600

    Bakhtawar

    3209

    Rs.1283600

    Asifa

    3199

    Rs.1279600

    Asifa

    818

    Rs.327200

    TOTAL

     

    Rs.6631600

     

    AGRICULTURAL ASSETS  CLAIMED AS EXEMPTS:

     

    Naudera House (Bakhtawar)

    -

    Rs.700000

    Mercedez Benz-I (Self)

    -

    Rs.902400

    Agricultural Equipments  (Self)

    -

    Rs.292078

    Agricultural Equipments  (Minors)

    -

    Rs.825000

    TOTAL

     

    Rs.2719478

     

    MS BENAZIR BHUTO/ASIF ALI  ZARDARI

    BANK ACCOUNTS

    Switzerland:

    Amounts

    1.

    Union Bank of Switzerland a/c # 552.343 UK

    Restricted Information

    2.

    Barclays Bank Geneva

    -do-

    3

    Citi Bank Geneva

    -do-

    4

    Bank Nationale de Paris

    -do-

    5

    Cantrade Ormond Burrus,Banke Pirvee SA

    -do-

    6

    Banque Financiere,Dela Citee

    -do-

    7

    Swiss Bank Corporation

    -do-

    8

    Credit Suisse

    -do-

    9

    PICTET-ET CIE Geneva

    -do-

    10

    Banque Francaisc du Commerce Extensievr(BFCE)

    -do-

    11

    Banque Pasha SA

    -do-

     

     

     

    Dubai:

    1.

    Citi Bank Dubai

    -do-

     

     

     

    France:

    1.

    Banque La Henin, Paris

    -do-

    2

    Credit Agricole (HQ) Paris

    -do-

    3

    Credit Agricole Brace, II Place Brevier,76400,Forges Les Eaux

    -do-

    4

    Credit Agricole Branch Hante-Normandic,76230,Boise Grillavme

    -do-

    5

    Banque Nationale De Paris

    -do-

     

     

     

    United Kingdom

    1.

    Barclays Bank,Knightsbridge Branch London a/c # 90991473

    -do-

    2.

    National Westminister Bank Aldwich Branch London a/c 96832320

    -do-

    3.

    Harrods Bank Ltd.London a/c # 11309063

    -do-

    4

    Barclays Bank, Knightsbridge  and Chelsea Branch London a/c # 90991473

    -do-

    5

    Midland Bank,Pall Mall Branch London

    -do-

     

     

     

    U.S.A

    1.

    Barclays Bank of New York

    -do-

    2.

    Citi Bank New York

    -do-

    3.

    Chase Manhattan Bank New York

    -do-

    4.

    U.B.S New York Wall Street Branch.

    -do-

     

     

     

    Properties

    U.K

    1.

    Rockwood Estate,Haslemere Road,Brooke ,Surrey U.K
    2.5 million + 1.0 million (Renovation)=3.5 million UK Pounds

    2

    Flat 6,11, Queens Gate Terrace London SW7

    3.

    26 Palace Mansion, Hammussmilch Road, London W14

    4.

    27 Pont Street London SW1

    5.

    20, Wilton Crescent , London SW1

     

     

    France

    1.

    La Manoir Della La Reine Branch Mormon Ville,Hameau, (Near Forges) France 76780,5 Acre +2 attached properties (4.8 million Frence Francs in 1990)

    2

    Property in Cannes France

     

     

    U.S.A

    1.

    Stud Farm in Texas

    2.

    Wellington Club East, West Palm Beach , 12165 West Forest Hills, Florida

    3.

    Escue Farm, 13524, India Mound , West Palm Beach , Florida 41-7 Acres

    4

    3220 Santa Barba Drive  Wellington, Florida(580000 US $ )1994

    5.

    13254, Polo Club Road, West Palm Beach, Florida (155000 US $)

    6

    3000, North Ocean Drive, Singer Islands, Florida (95000 US $)

    7.

    525, South Flager Drive, West Palm Beach, Florida

     

    FIRMS/CONCERNS:

    1.

    Lapworth Investment Inc, 2002, Saint Martin Drive, West Jacksonville.

    2.

    Intra Food Inc, 3376, Lomre Grove, Jacksonville, Florida.

    3.

    Dynatel Trading Co, Florida.

    4.

    A.S Reality Inc, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

    5.

    Bon Voyage Travel Consultancy Inc, Florida.

    6

    bomer Finance Inc, British Virgins Islands.

    7

    Mariston Secuties Inc, British Virgin Islands

    8

    Marleton Business S.A British Virgin Islands.

    9.

    Capricorn Tradin S.A British Virgin Islands

    10.

    Dargal Associated S.A British Virgin Islands

    11.

    Fagarita Consulting Inc.British Virgin Islands

    12.

    Marvil Associated Inc,British Virgin Islands

    13.

    Penbury Finance Ltd, British Virgin Islands

    14.

    Oxton Trading Ltd.British Virgin Islands

    15.

    Brinslen Invest S.A British Virgin Islands

    16.

    Climitex Holding S.A British Virgin Islands

    17.

    Elkins Holding S.A British Virgin Islands

    18.

    Minterler Invest Ltd, British Virgin Islands

    19.

    Silvernut Investments Inc,British Virgin Islands

    20.

    Tacolen Investments Ltd.British Virgin Islands

    21.

    Tulerston Invest S.A British Virgin Islands

    22.

    Marledon Invest S.A British Virgin Islands

    23.

    Dustan Trading Inc, British Virgin Islands

    24.

    Reconstruction and Development Finance Inc,British Virgin Islands

    25.

    Nassam Alexander Inc.

     


    BASED ON AVAILABLE DATA
    THE TOTAL VALUE OF THE LOCATED ASSETS AMOUNT TO
    APPROXIMATELY $ 1.5 BILLION, AS ESTIMATED IN 1999. THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE THE RESTRICTED SWISS BANK ACCOUNTS.

  • Music

    Music – Opposing Arguments

    IslamToday.com, The Website of Shaykh Salman al-Oadah

    Abû Mâlik al-Ash`arî relates: “I heard the Prophet (peace be upon him) say: “There will be a group of my people who will make permissible for themselves adultery, pure silk, intoxicants and musical instruments.”
    This is an authentic hadîth. It is narrated in Sahîh al-Bukhârî as a hanging narration (mu`allaq).
    Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalânî has researched this narration and demonstrated it to have nine fully connected lines of transmission.

    With respect to the ruling on music, all Islamic scholars agree that music which is associated with drinking, vice, impropriety, and un-Islamic conduct is unlawful. Scholars differ regarding music that is free from all such negative associations.

    The majority of Muslim scholars prohibit music and musical instruments in their own right, even in the absence of any negative connotations. There are number of hadîth that are negative towards music, including the hadîth narrated by Abû Mâlik al-Ash`arî in Sahîh al-Bukhâri: “I heard the Prophet (peace be upon him) say: “There will be a group of my people who will make permissible for themselves adultery, pure silk, intoxicants and musical instruments.”

    Most scholars interpret this inarguably authentic hadîth to mean that music is unlawful. This is an obvious implication from reading the hadîth. The idea of “making permissible” suggests an initial impermissibility. Also there is the fact that instrumental music is mentioned in conjunction with other things being “made permissible” that are inarguably unlawful, and this gives an indication that musical instruments share the same ruling.

    The scholars who prohibit music – and they are the great majority of scholars of all four schools of law – take these hadîth as the basis for a general ruling prohibiting music.

    As for other hadîth that refer to women playing the daff on various occasions, these hadîth are seen as providing an exception to the general rule. The exceptions found in the Sunnah always refer to nothing other than the voice and the daff (a tambourine without bells).

    The scholars who prohibit music acknowledge this exception. However, they disagree as to how far the exception should be taken. Some scholars regard the exception as general, and they allow the daff for men and women under all occasions. Some restrict the exceptions to women. Some restrict it to festive occasions. Some restrict the exception to women on festive occasions.

    With respect to the instrument itself, some scholars restrict the concession to the daff, while others extend it to allow a tambourine with bells or other types of drum.

    There are a few scholars who have permitted music that is free from negative associations. These scholars include Ibn Hazm and to some extent Abû Hâmid al-Ghazâlî.

    Most of the scholars who permit music (that is free from negative associations) interpret the same set of texts differently. They argue that the prohibition of music is contextual. Basically, they do not see in the various hadîth a general prohibition against music, but only a prohibition of music when is associated with other questionable activities. As a consequence, they take it as a general ruling that music is lawful in and of itself.

    Those who wish to assert the lawfulness of music often go further and take the hadîth about singing and the daff on special occasions as supporting this basic permissibility of music and musical instruments in general. They see the various hadîth that disfavor music as providing an exception to this basic permissibility, prohibiting music only in circumstances where music is used in a sinful context.

    Each of us, on an individual basis, needs to compare these two contrasting arguments, objectively, and determine which of these two interpretations of the evidence seems more likely to be the safer and most correct one, and which of these interpretations is closer to wishful thinking.

    And Allah knows best.

  • The lie of late motherhood


    December 2, 2007
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/india_knight/article2983659.ece

    Childless women of my age, 41, talk breezily about IVF as though it were a procedure not dissimilar to Botox

    The number of women having babies in their forties has doubled in the past decade. I'm reluctant even to write about it, because it is precisely this kind of media coverage that encourages younger women to think, insanely in my view, that delaying motherhood until you’re middle-aged is a reasonable and straightforward thing to do.

    They flick through magazines and look at pictures of Madonna, whose second child was born when she was 41, or Emma Thompson, whose daughter was conceived by IVF when she was 40, and conclude that anyone can put motherhood on ice until they’re “ready” – until their house/car/job is impressive enough, until they’ve met The One, until they’re mentally prepared for having a child.

    On paper, this approach looks as though it might have some merit. But real life isn’t paper. We all know enough biology to know that the best time to have a child, as in the time when you are most likely to conceive with no complications and have a healthy baby, is when you are young, which means late teens or early twenties. We also all know that women’s fertility declines sharply, and then goes into freefall, past the age of 35.

    These are facts. And it’s facts we should be sticking to, rather than semi-delusional fantasies based on what we read in trashy magazines about some super-rich middle-aged celeb who can afford the kind of exorbitant fertility treatment that would finish most of us off, both emotionally and financially, because you don’t get IVF on the National Health Service if you’re 20 years away from being pensionable.

    I am put out by the way childless women of my age (41) have started talking breezily about IVF as though it were a procedure not dissimilar to Botox. IVF involves artificially inducing the menopause and then reversing it. It’s hardcore. You don’t just go and have it done in your lunch hour and then forget about it, and from what I observe it puts incredible stress on relationships (and sex lives).

    Yet I meet otherwise intelligent women who talk about it as though it were simply a matter of signing up to the programme and bingo, a baby. Aside from anything else, IVF doesn’t meet with much success with the middle-aged; ordinary mortals are more likely to be turned down for treatment on grounds of age than provided with instant triplets.

    I really love babies and I’d love to have another three, but the simple fact is that I’ve left it too late. When it comes to pregnancy and fertility, women of my generation have been fed a complete lie by the feminist movement, which is that you really can have it all – a career, success, money, status – and, when you’re done with those, when you've reached the top of your particular greasy pole, as many children as you like – no hurry at all.

    The truth is there is a hurry and, like it or not, biology does discriminate. Sure we can try to do something about it and put ourselves through traumatic medical procedures to try to claw back a scrap or two of youth, a nice plump load of eggs to replace our withered ones, but I’m tired of hearing this spoken of as if it were both the norm and perfectly natural. It isn’t.

    Lots of women get pregnant naturally in their forties and good luck to them; I’m not saying no one should have a child past the age of 35. Nor am I opposed to IVF (although I do have questions about what the long-term impact is on women’s health).

    What I do oppose is the line that being an older mother is a really marvellous ambition and easily achievable. I know lots of older first-time mothers and they’re absolutely knackered. They stagger around, broken with lack of sleep – because getting up three times in the night when you’re 43 is not the same as doing it when you’re 25 – with huge rings under their eyes and husbands who notice the latter and wonder what happened to the minx they married.

    These women are madly in love with their babies of course, and that’s lovely, but they are bewildered by everything else, as you would be if you’d had an extra 20 years of “me time” and were suddenly asked to become the acme of selflessness. If they’re on maternity leave, they find hanging out with the teenage mothers at the One O’Clock Club faintly disheartening, to say nothing of mind-bendingly boring. They’re the oldest person there by miles. One of my friends is older than another child’s granny, who is a mere 39.

    Making “mummy friends” is bad enough when you’re young – it’s why most people go to NCT classes – but at least some of your contemporaries are likely to be pregnant too. That doesn’t happen if you’re pregnant for the first time at 42: your friends with older children have their own preoccupations, your childless friends resent you and you’re left on your own, pushing your buggy around the park in the rain and having to force yourself to make new friends in order not to die of loneliness. You may be more patient than the younger mums, but you’ll need to be.

    What amazes me most of all, though, is the sweetly retro notion of mooching around pining for Mr Right, as the clock ticks away and you want a baby so badly that you start eyeing newborns up in supermarkets and finding yourself filled with a strange sense of rage when your pregnant girlfriends discuss breastfeeding. My advice to all my girlfriends, and to you, should this ring a bell is: just do it. Get pregnant. Don’t wait. Mr Right can turn into Mr Wrong overnight: there are no certainties.

    Besides, if he’s really Mr Right and he comes along a few years down the line, he’ll love your children because he loves you and you love them. Careers can wait: nothing terrible is going to happen if you take a couple of years off. As for houses – and this is another one I hear all the time: “We don’t have the room” – a baby is a very small creature. My first one lived in a basket in the kitchen for months, happy as a clam. The idea that the optimum condition for motherhood involves a five-storey house is nonsense.

    Another story last week showed that women who have the foresight to freeze their eggs are leaving it too late, too. A fertility expert from the University of Aberdeen said: “Increasing numbers of women are coming to us in their thirties and forties for IVF whose outcomes are poor. Egg freezing has to be carried out when women are much younger; if you’re in your late thirties it defeats the whole purpose.”

    Harsh, but true. If you really want a baby, there’s no time like the present.

  • Mosque leading way in war on climate change

    WARMING TO ECO ISSUES: Dr Mohammed Fahim

    A MOSQUE is believed to be the first Mosque (local religious) institution in England to commit to becoming carbon neutral.

    The South Woodford mosque and community centre, Mulberry Way, South Woodford, has decided to do its part in the fight against global warming and claim a green first.

    Charity Tolerance International is carrying out an environmental audit of the organisation to work out its annual carbon emissions.

    It will then help the mosque to reduce its energy usage, and offset the rest by planting trees in the Peruvian rainforest.

    Dr Mohammed Fahim, mosque chairman and head imam, said: "In Islam we are obliged to respect the environment we live in and we have to contribute to natural resources. We cannot just use them without protecting or preserving them, or trying to add to them.

    "When a tree provides fruit it does not provide fruit for itself, for its own use. It provides fruit for humanity.

    "I want every Muslim to be like a tree, which provides fruit not for himself, but for other people to benefit from it."

    Hamid Bayazi, chief executive of Tolerance International, said the mosque would be able to offset its emissions by paying £5.70 per tonne towards re-planting trees, and training agricultural and forestry management skills to impoverished communities in Peru so they had sustainable employment.

    He said he did not know of any other mosque or Muslim community centre that had become carbon neutral in this country.

    He said: "We feel it's up to religious institutions to take a stand on the whole subject of climate change, because it's something that basically businesses talk about, something that the government talks about, but it's seldom that religious institutions get involved in it."

    Mr Bayazi said businesses, religious organisations and educational institutions can take advantage of a free environmental audit by Tolerance International, by emailing carbon0@toleranceinternational.org.uk, calling 020 7427 0050 or going to www.toleranceinternational.org.uk.

    http://www.ilfordrecorder.co.uk/content/redbridge/recorder/news/story.aspx?brand=RECOnline&category=newsIlford&tBrand=northlondon24&tCategory=newsilford&itemid=WeED10%20Jan%202008%2009%3A23%3A25%3A067

    BETH CATLEY - 10 January 2008

  • Benazir Bhutto: "Bin Laden was Murdered"

    Benazir Bhutto: "Bin Laden was Murdered"

    http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.jsp?articleId=281474977216849&grpId=3659174697241980&nav=Groupspace

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLItJMVNleY

    by Steve Bachman

    December 31, 2007 06:26 PM EST

    On November 2, 2007, news anchorman David Frost of Al Jazeera's international English language network, interviewed the now-deceased former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto.

    If anyone reading this has never heard of this interview, you may probably find the fact that you haven't just as striking as I did when I first saw this video this morning.

    The reason why this is striking is because at 3:57 into the video, David Frost asks Mrs. Bhutto to elaborate on a claim she had made earlier in the interview, pertaining to her having specific knowledge about certain individuals whom she suspected may have been invloved in a previous attempt on her life.

    During her response to that question, beginning at 4:22 into the video, Mrs. Bhutto says:

    "...and he also had dealings with Omar Sheikh, who murdered Usama bin Laden."

    View the footage from the interview here on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLItJMVNleY

    For some strange reason, the response one might expect from a Western news anchorman giving this interview -- something like: "Hold up, hold up, hold up... WHAT?! Murdered WHO?!" -- was conspicuously absent.

    Even stranger still, the fact that on the BBC version of this interview, available on their website (view here), the only part of the interview that is edited out is the approx. 20 seconds where Bhutto makes the mention of Osama bin Laden having been murdered by a man named Omar Sheikh.

    And, as anyone who is cognizant of the Twilight Zone-esque quality of the whole government/mainstream media Establishment state of affairs throughout the contrived, foisted "Global War on Terror" might expect; there has thus far not been so much as a single solitary peep about this on the American "mainstream" media -- despite the hours upon hours of coverage her recent asassination has received on all of the major national cable news networks.

    It seems to me that this is Bigtime News and ought to be splattered all over newspaper headlines throughout the Western Hemisphere, and should have been the main topic of major media network newscasts since the day the interview was aired.

    This interview happened way back on November 2nd!!!

    One might want to ask themselves why hasn't this been all over the media? Why is this being covered up by the media networks, and presumably our government? What else might they be hiding from us?

    And, in light of the fact that our government/media establishment has in the past tried to pawn off obvious fraudulent videos with Osama bin Laden look-alikes -- including the most obvious one in November 2001 with a 40 lbs. overweight, right-handed "bin Laden" wearing jewelry and claiming responsibility for 9/11 -- I for one would like to know; what the hell is going on?

    Is there anyone in our entire federal behemoth who knows and is willing to tell the people the truth for a change? Is there anyone in the entire "mainstream media" apparatus with the guts and the integrity to tell the people just what in the hell is up?

    And does this perhaps shed a different light on the assassination of Benazir Bhutto? Did her apparent tendency to let cats out of the bag prove to make her too much of a risk to keep around?

    And of course, the one question that I would love most to have answered; How long has the real Osama been dead?

    ----------------------------------------------------

    Bin Laden is Dead
    Written by Jane Blunt

    Thursday, 03 January 2008

    After eight years in exile in Dubai and London, Benazir Bhutto returned to Karachi on October 18, 2007, to prepare for the national elections. Now she is dead.

    The events leading up to her death are now the source of much speculation. But it's now the events leading up to this interview with Sir David Frost on the Al Jazeera network on November 2nd, which are causing most tongues to wag. In the video, Benazir Bhutto clearly states that "Omar Sheikh" is the man who killed Osama Bin Laden. (watch the Video)

    So what is the background to this recent interview and who is "Omar Sheikh"?
    En route to a rally in Karachi on October 18, 2007, two explosions occurred shortly after Bhutto had landed and left Jinnah International Airport. She was not injured but the explosions, later found to be a suicide-bomb attack, killed 136 people and injured at least 450. The dead included at least 50 of the security guards from her PPP party who had formed a human chain around her truck to keep potential bombers away, as well as 6 police officers. A number of senior officials were injured. Bhutto was escorted unharmed from the scene.

    Bhutto later claimed that she had warned the Pakistani government that suicide bomb squads would target her upon her return to Pakistan and that the government had failed to act. She was careful not to blame Pervez Musharraf for the attacks, accusing instead "certain individuals [within the government] who abuse their positions, who abuse their powers" to advance the cause of Islamic militants.

    Shortly after the attempt on her life, Bhutto wrote a letter to Musharraf naming four persons whom she suspected of carrying out the attack. Those named included Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, a rival PML-Q politician and chief minister of Pakistan's Punjab province, Hamid Gul, former director of the Inter-Services Intelligence, and Ijaz Shah, the director general of the Intelligence Bureau, another of Pakistan's intelligence agencies. All those named are close associates of General Musharraf.

    Bhutto has a long history of accusing parts of the government, particularly Pakistan's premier military intelligence agencies, of working against her and her party because they oppose her liberal, secular agenda. Bhutto claimed that the ISI has for decades backed militant Islamic groups in Kashmir and in Afghanistan.

    In the Frost interview, Bhutto is clear about who Osama Bin Laden is. Before she mentions his name in relation to "Omar Sheikh" she mentions Osama Bin Laden and his son Hamza. Professional politician that she is - a wordsmith by trade - she is not making an elementary error here.

    So, who is Omar Sheikh?

    The Omar Sheikh Bhutto is talking about is none other than Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh - a British-born militant of Pakistani descent with alleged links to various Islamist terrorist organizations, including Jaish-e-Mohammed, Al-Qaeda, and >Harkat-ul-Mujahideen.

    Sheikh was arrested and served time in prison for the 1994 abduction of several British nationals in India. He was released from captivity in 1999 and provided safe passage into Pakistan, apparently with the support of Pakistan and the Taliban (the hijackers were Pakistanis) in an Indian Airlines plane hijacking. He is most well-known for his alleged role in the 2002 kidnapping and murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.

    On October 6, 2001, a senior-level U.S. government official told CNN that U.S. investigators had discovered Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh (Sheik Syed), using the alias " Mustafa Muhammad Ahmad" had sent about $100,000 from the United Arab Emirates to 911 chief hijacker Mohammed Atta. Investigators said Atta then distributed the funds to conspirators in Florida in the weeks before the deadliest acts of terrorism on U.S. soil that destroyed the World Trade Center, heavily damaged the Pentagon and left thousands dead. In addition, sources have said Atta sent thousands of dollars -- believed to be excess funds from the operation -- back to Saeed in the United Arab Emirates in the days before September 11. CNN later confirmed this.

    Sheikh Omar Saeed was arrested by Pakistani police on February 12, 2002, in Lahore, in conjunction with the Pearl kidnapping and was sentenced to death on July 15, 2002 for killing Pearl. His judicial appeal has not yet been heard. The delay has been alleged to be due to his reported links with Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence. His complicity in the Pearl execution and the reasons behind it are in dispute. At his initial court appearance, he stated, "I don't want to defend this case. I did this...right or wrong, I had my reasons. I think that our country (Pakistan) shouldn't be catering to America's needs".

    Pakistani President, Pervez Musharraf, in his book In the Line of Fire stated that Sheikh was originally recruited by British intelligence agency, MI6, while studying at the London School of Economics. He alleges Omar Sheikh was sent to the Balkans by MI6 to engage in jihadi operations. Musharraf later went on to state "At some point, he probably became a rogue or double agent".

    Whatever the truth of Benazir Bhutto's claims (and many in the past have claimed the death of the Al Qaeda's leader) Ms. Bhutto's assiduousness in promulgating the benefits of democracy in Pakistan and potentially across the Muslim world is contacting us as if from beyond the grave. These claims should be looked into by intelligence services and if Bin Laden is dead, we should all be told, so we can hold a massive party to celebrate.

    Jane Blunt is a British lawyer specializing in counter terrorism.

  • Hayaa and Ghirah

    HAYAA:

    shyness....selfrespect....bashfulness....shame....honor....humility....constraint...coyness....decency....delicacy....demureness....diffidence....discreetness.... humbleness....inhibition....innocence...purity....quietness....reserve... simplicity....timidity....virtuous.


    Women usually have more hayaa by nature, and what I mean here by hayaa is the same as the definition of the ‘ulama’: the noble attitude that always motivates a person to keep away from what is abhorrent or shameful. The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was the highest example of hayaa, as the great Sahabi Abu Sa’id al-Khudri described him:

    “Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was more shy than the virgin hiding away in her own room. If he saw something (vulgar/rash) he disliked, we would know it only from his facial expression.” 33

    The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) praised the attitude of hayaa in a number of ahadith, and explained that it is a fundamental part of Iman.

    According to a report given by Muslim, he(sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

    “Shyness is all good.”35

    Abu Hurayrah (radhiallahu anhu) said:

    "The true Muslim woman is shy, polite, gentle and sensitive to the feelings of others. She never says or does anything that may harm people or offend their dignity. "

    The attitude of shyness / humility / reservation that is deeply-rooted in her nature is supported by her understanding of the Islamic concept of shyness, which protects her against going wrong or deviating from Islamic teachings in her dealings with others. She does not only feel shy in front of people, but she also feels shy before Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). She is careful not to let her faith become corrupted by wrongdoing, because shyness is one of the branches of faith. This is the highest level that may be reached by the woman who is characterized by shyness. Many women have has lost the characteristic of shyness / humility / reservation. Shy here does not mean not being emotionally or financially independent, but does include patience:

    The prophet (saw) said,

    Whoever refrains from asking from people, Allah (SWT) will help him. Whoever tries to be independent, Allah (swt) will enrich him. Whoever tries to be patient, Allah (swt) will give him patience, and no-one is given a better or vaster gift than patience.”37

    The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

    “Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) likes three things for you and dislikes three things. He likes for you to worship Him, not to associate anything with Him, and to hold fast, all together, by the Rope which He (stretches out for you), and not to be divided among yourselves [cf. Al ‘Imran 3:103]. And He dislikes for you to pass on stories and gossip, to ask too many questions, and to waste money.”40

    The divinely-guided society which has been formed by Islam has no room for gossip, extravagance, wasting money, asking too many questions, or interfering in the private affairs of others, because the members of such a society are too busy with something much more important, which is the establishing of the word of Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) on earth, taking the banner of Islam to the four corners of the earth, and spreading its values among mankind. Those who are engaged in such great missions do not have the time to indulge in such sins.

    What is Haya?

    Haya itself is derived from the word hayat which means life. This term covers a wide number of concepts. In English, it may be translated as modesty, shyness, self-respect, bashfulness, shame, honour, humility, reservation etc. The original meaning of Haya according to a believer's nature, refers to a bad and uneasy feeling accompanied by embarrassment, caused by one's fear of feeling exposed to, or being reminded of a dishonorable action, unease at being in the company of those that have no such fear; this feeling being the first guard against sins and should always arise when reminded of sins committed and self-humiliated if you are anywhere near such an environment. It is feeling extremely uneasy about anything vulgar, brash, flippancy, indecency, and one should use softly spoken subtle words with bashfulness when referring to anything related to the opposite sex.

    Islamically Haya is an attribute which pushes the believer to avoid anything that is linked to or implies anything that is distasteful or abominable. It is to be a reserved character in essence or origin, not necessarily in all actions. It keeps him/her from being neglectful in giving everyone what is due to them, and if for any reason he/she is not able to keep up with his/her commitment then they will feel extremely uncomfortable and ashamed about this. It is also the feeling of wanting to be private, not in a possessive way about material things, but in a shy humble way.  It is also the desire to not show our bodies, and expose our voices in attractive ways.

    When we think back to when we were young around eight or nine years old - we all remember this feeling of shyness and humility naturally occurring - for many it was when we felt we wanted to conceal our bodies from our mums or siblings. We were often told - "don't be silly" or "we have seen it all before" and the many other comments that people in the west or ignorant Muslim parents affected by the non-Islamic values say to their pure innocent children. If these natural instincts of shyness and shame are taken by the smart parent and nurtured, it will develop and affect their entire character and also most importantly lead to a conscious responsible Muslim who prioritises their life towards submission to Allah (swt).

    We often find that shyness, humility and bashfulness is frowned upon by our society as a weakness or a lack of confidence when, infact these are qualities of a dignified upright human being, who is conscious of their actions and their responsibilities in life.

    Imam Ibnu Al Qayyim, may Allah have mercy on him, stated that Haya is a part of life, and depending on how much Haya the heart possesses, actually reflects how much moral character the individual may have. The smaller the amount of Haya the individual, shows the greater the deficiency of spiritual life and ineffectiveness his ability and competence reflects. Haya may be practised between a servant and his Rabb (Lord), when the servant shows shyness for his Rabb (Lord), especially in committing a disobedience. It may also be practised between a person and other people.

    Now the Haya` between the servant and his Rabb, was explained in a Hadeeth by the Prophet, Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam who said: #

    "Be shy of Allah as you should truly be shy”.

    They said:We are shy (of Allah), O Prophet.

    He said, “It is much more than that. He who is truly shy of Allah, let him preserve his head and what it perceives, let him preserve his stomach and what it desires, let him remember death and afflictions, and he who desires the Hereafter abandons the adornments of this world. He who performs all these, is the one who is shy of Allah as he should be".


    The different types of haya?

    The type of haya in which the believers become shy of themselves is good haya. What this means is that if they see, anything wrong or even commit the tiniest error, they start to feel extremely bad and embarrassed or they feel extreme sorrow and practical resolve in the heart to never do it again. This builds a high degree of self-consciousness and that is what strengthens the believers commitment to Allah (swt).

    The negative aspect of haya revolves around a person's shamefulness or shyness of being Muslim, shame in following Islam, shame in doing something that Allah (swt) has ordered us to do through the Qur'an or our Prophet's (saws) Sunnah. This is when someone does not follow an obligation of Islam, due the fact of being shy in front of others about it. This is totally forbidden because then one is giving the people of this dunya more respect and obedience than the One who Created this whole universe.
    It also can be exemplified by someone being shy or afraid to seek knowledge of Islam for worldly reasons, because they do not want others to see them or to know of their ignorance. This once again goes contrary to what Allah (swt) has told us in the Qur'an, which is to seek knowledge and not be shy about seeking.

    In this society there are many examples of this. People will go out and get degrees in law schools, or science, or engineering and they will put four to six years of their lives into studying for these certificates that will only benefit them in this world. Their motivation is for this world not for the next. They do not realise that in Islam the BEST stature of a Muslim is that of a "dai'i" or a teacher of Islam. These Islamic teachers and scholars are even higher in the eyes of Allah (swt) than one who only sits at home and does ibaadah (worship). If they want to study law, why not Islamic Shariah? If they want to study science, why not Islamic Science? So this explains how people consider the worldly careers to be of higher value and are embarrassed to even express an interest in Islamic Studies. It is usually because they will not be considered as high as the other "educated" people. This is having the bad haya or "shame" of something that is encouraged to us by Allah (swt) and His Messenger (saw).

    Another proof of bad haya is that which is extremely popular amongst many sisters in this western society, that is the issue of hijab and/or general behaviour in public. One of the most important aspects of haya, for women, is that of guarding their chastity and their modesty. To do this they must follow the order from Allah (swt) telling them to keep themselves and their adornments hidden from all men lawful to them in marriage. This order involves all the aspects of haya for those who do follow it – who wear hijaab. The believing women are ashamed of disobeying Allah (swt). They are shy of the opposite gender in this society and if men look at them and lastly they have haya because they feel shy about going out in public and committing this grave sin of displaying their beauty in public. There are many women in this society who claim that they have haya but to follow the order of hijab is backwards and that women in this society shouldn't have to cover. If someone really had haya they would never contradict what Allah (swt) had ordained, even if they found it a test and a trial.

    A women's haya comes from her modesty and her shyness and her fear of Allah, so how can she have haya if she walks around in public un-veiled? The proof lies in the following hadith.
    Abdullah ibn Umar (ra) narrated that the Prophet (saws) said:

    "Indeed haya (modesty) and Iman are Companions. When one of them is lifted, the other leaves as well." (Baihaqi)

    There are many verses in the Qur'an and many ahadith explaining the attitudes that go with observing Hijab. The Islamic Shariah has not stopped at giving the commandments of Hijab, it has also clarified every such thing which directly relates to these commandments and, with the slightest carelessness, may result in vulgarity and immodesty. In other words such things such as being too extrovert, loud, vulgar, bad mouthed, over confident, all have also been forbidden in order to close the doors to indecency and lewdness, in return providing a stronger pillar for haya.

    Modesty (haya) and maintaining one's honour and dignity are of primary importance in preserving the moral fibre of any society. This is why modesty has been called “the ornament of a woman”, which protects her from many sins and which hopefully prevents ill-intentioned men from daring to have bad thoughts about her. This haya has been made a part of her nature.

    Narrated on the authority of Anas bin Malik, the Prophet (saws) said:

    “When lewdness is a part of anything, it becomes defective; and when haya is a part of anything it becomes beautiful.” (Tirmidhi)

    So it is therefore obvious that Hijab plays an extremely important role in regards to Haya, for hijab reduces lewdness and Haya then backs this up and then a person's Iman becomes even stronger. So both things work together in a partnership. At the time of our beloved Prophet (saws) as soon as the verses of Hijab were revealed, all the men of the Quraish and Ansar ran home to their wives and daughters and close female relatives to tell them to cover themselves. The ones who had veils used them and the ones who did not have veils made some right away. For instance the following hadith tells us:

    Narrated by Aisha (ra):

    “May Allah have mercy on the early immigrant Muslim women. When the verse of the Quran "…they should draw their headscarves over their bosoms" was revealed, they tore their thick outer garments and made scarves from them. And when the verse "That they should cast their outer garments (jilbabs) over themselves" was revealed, the women of Ansar came out as if they had crows over their heads jilbabs” (Abu Dawood)

    Yet, another hadith talks about the level of modesty in Aisha (ra): Narrated Aisha (ra):

    "I used to enter my house where Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) was and take off my garment, saying that only my husband and my father were there; but when Umar was buried along with them, I swear by Allah that I did not enter it without having my clothes wrapped round me owing to modesty regarding Umar. (even though he was dead)" (at-Tirmidhi and Ahmed)

    People who are ignorant of the teachings of the Prophet (saws) do not concern themselves with Haya and Honour. Haya and Iman are interdependent; therefore either they both exist together or they both will perish. Thus, the Prophet (saws) has said in one hadith,

    "When there is no haya left, then you will do as you please."

    Today vulgarity and all its ingredients have become a common place even among Muslims. Indulging in indecency for so long has killed the sense of modesty (haya) which Islam had commanded them to preserve. It is this natural desire of maintaining one's honour which compels men to protect the respect and honour of their women. What these men and women do not understand is that if the women do not develop Haya inside of them, they will be entertaining those who have taken the path of Sheytan. Such as the following hadith:
    Malik b Uhaimir reported that he heard the Prophet (saw) saying that,

    "Allah (swt) will not accept any good deeds or worship of an immodest or vulgar person."

    We asked "give us an example of a vulgar or immodest person?"

    He replied, "A man who lets his wife be an entertainment (of the eyes or more) for non-mahram men"

    Narrated by Al-Mughira:

    Sa'd bin 'Ubada said, "I will not hesitate killing my wife with a sword if I see her with another man"

    People were surprised. This news reached Allah's Apostle who then said,

    "You people are astonished at Sa'd's Ghira (jealousy and protectiveness). By Allah, I have more Ghira than he" (Sahih Bukhari)

    "Ghirah is an Arabic word which means protectiveness or jealousy. It is a good type of jealousy, like when a man feels jealous or protective over his wife or sisters and other-womenfolk and doesn't like other men to look at them. It is a natural inbuilt feeling Allah has given men and even for women (Gheerah for themselves). The Prophet had the most Ghirah for his wives and all of the companions were well known for their Gheerah. Also all Muslim men should have a collective sense of protectiveness for Muslim women as Allah says in the Qur'an: "The Men are the protectors and maintainers of women…" (Surah An-Nisaa, Ayah 34). Men who do not care about how their women behave and appear in front of other men and don't enforce hijaab upon their wives or women-folk are called Dayyooth. Being a Dayyooth is a major sin and a detailed discription of this evil characteristic can be found in adh-Dhahabee's book of Major Sins” (Kitaab ul-Kabaa'ir).

    Sometimes the situation becomes as such that people will have done wrong/sins for such a long period of time that they will not be able to differentiate between shameful and pleasant things. Another way to put this is that, a person's exceeding indulgence in indecency in the past results in the loss of wisdom and the ability to see or understand Hayaa.

    As the Prophet (saw) said:

    "I have a sense of Honour. Only a person with a darkened heart is deprived of Honour."

    There are many merits of Haya if one wants to know. Here are some just to list a few.

    Firstly Allah loves Haya. We know this by the following hadith:

    "He (Allah) loves haya and people who cover each others faults."(Bukhari)

    Secondly, Haya itself is a Greatness of Islam as our Prophet indicated:

    "Every way of life has an innate character. The character of Islam is haya."  "Every Deen has an innate character. The character of Islam is modesty (haya)." (Abu Dawood)

    Thirdly, Haya only brings good and nothing else. Our Prophet (saw) said:

    "Haya does not bring anything except good." (Bukhari)

    Fifthly, last but not least, Haya leads us to PARADISE. As the Prophet saws) told us:

    "Haya comes from Iman; Iman leads to Paradise. Obscenity comes from antipathy; and antipathy leads to the fire." (Bukhari)

    As we have said the actual word Haya is derived from Hayat. This means life. It is only obvious that when someone has Haya in them, they will LIVE a life of Islam. On the other hand if they do not have Haya they are living a life that is dead "Islamically" but alive according to this dunya.

    The Prophet (saws) said: "Haya and Trustworthiness will be the first to go from this world; therefore keep asking Allah for them." (Baihaqi)

    The Prophet said, "Faith consists of more than sixty branches. And Haya is a branch of faith." (Bukhari)

    The Prophet said: "When vulgarity or lewdness is a part of anything, it becomes defective; and when hayaa is a part of anything it becomes beautiful." (Tirmidhi)

    The Prophet said: "Indeed haya (Shyness) and Iman are Companions. When one of them is lifted, the other leaves as well." (Baihaqi)

    The Prophet said that, "Allah will not accept any good deeds or worship of an immodest or vulgar person."

    Remember Sa'ad bin 'Ubada said, "I will not hesitate a bit in killing my wife with a sword if I see her with another man”

    Allah's Apostle who then said, "You people are astonished at Sa'ad's Ghira. By Allah, I have more Ghira than he" (Sahih Bukhari)

    However Aisha (ra) stated the virtues of the women of the Ansaar, and said "shyness does not keep them from seeking (or teaching) knowledge " (Recorded by al-Bukhari)

    ALL PRAISE BE TO ALLAH, AND MAY HIS PEACE AND BLESSINGS BE UPON MUHAMMAD (SAW), HIS FAMILY, HIS COMPANIONS AND HIS TRUE FOLLOWERS UNTIL THE DAY OF JUDGEMENT.

    Footnotes:


    1 Glossary of Islamic terms


    2 Safi Khan, Selections from Sahih-ul-Bukhari


    3 Kashif ul-Astar un-Zuwaid-ul-Barrar, pg.187


    4 Ihyaa Uloom-ud-Deen (selected texts)


    5 Firdous Al-Dailmi

  • How the neoliberals stitched up the wealth of nations for themselves

    A cabal of intellectuals and elitists hijacked the economic debate, and now we are dealing with the catastrophic effects

    George Monbiot, Tuesday August 28, 2007, The Guardian

    For the first time the UK's consumer debt exceeds the total of its gross national product: a new report shows that we owe £1.35 trillion. Inspectors in the United States have discovered that 77,000 road bridges are in the same perilous state as the one which collapsed into the Mississippi. Two years after Hurricane Katrina struck, 120,000 people from New Orleans are still living in trailer homes and temporary lodgings. As runaway climate change approaches, governments refuse to take the necessary action. Booming inequality threatens to create the most divided societies the world has seen since before the first world war. Now a financial crisis caused by unregulated lending could turf hundreds of thousands out of their homes and trigger a cascade of economic troubles.

    These problems appear unrelated, but they all have something in common. They arise in large part from a meeting that took place 60 years ago in a Swiss spa resort. It laid the foundations for a philosophy of government that is responsible for many, perhaps most, of our contemporary crises.

    => Read more!

  • The Israel lobby in America

    In March 2007 the London Review of Books published John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt's essay 'The Israel Lobby' below. The response to the article prompted the LRB to hold a debate under the heading 'The Israel lobby: does it have too much influence on American foreign policy?'. The debate took place in New York on 28 September in the Great Hall of the Cooper Union. The panellists were Shlomo Ben-Ami, Martin Indyk, Tony Judt, Rashid Khalidi, John Mearsheimer and Dennis Ross, and the moderator was Anne-Marie Slaughter.A video of the event, produced by ScribeMedia, is now available to view online. Click here to view the debate.

    The Israel Lobby

    John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt


    John Mearsheimer is the Wendell Harrison Professor of Political Science at Chicago, and the author of The Tragedy of Great Power Politics.

    Stephen Walt is the Robert and Renee Belfer Professor of International Affairs at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. His most recent book is Taming American Power: The Global Response to US Primacy.

    For the past several decades, and especially since the Six-Day War in 1967, the centrepiece of US Middle Eastern policy has been its relationship with Israel. The combination of unwavering support for Israel and the related effort to spread ‘democracy’ throughout the region has inflamed Arab and Islamic opinion and jeopardised not only US security but that of much of the rest of the world. This situation has no equal in American political history. Why has the US been willing to set aside its own security and that of many of its allies in order to advance the interests of another state? One might assume that the bond between the two countries was based on shared strategic interests or compelling moral imperatives, but neither explanation can account for the remarkable level of material and diplomatic support that the US provides.

    => Read more!

  • Children find food wrapped in McDonald's packaging 'six times tastier'


    By FIONA MacRAE -

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=473616&in_page_id=1770

    McDonald's: 'up to six times more appetising than identical snacks in plain wrappers'

    Children find food in McDonald's packaging up to six times more appetising than the identical snacks in plain wrappers, research shows.

    => Read more!

  • C4 'distorted' mosque programme

    Channel 4 aired the Dispatches 'Undercover Mosque' show in January

    Police are reporting Channel 4 to the media regulator Ofcom over the way an undercover programme was edited.

    Police asked the CPS to consider a prosecution of Channel 4 under the Public Order Act 1986 for showing material likely to stir up racial hatred

    => Read more!

  • Sexual Intimacy in Islam


    HassanAndHabibah.blog.co.uk

    The Hassan and Habibah Show, Islam Channel

    Show Plan - Show aired in September 2006

    Welcome back to what we like to call Season 2 of the Hassan & Habibah Show. Jazakamullah khair for your continuing support over the last few weeks while we've been away with your emails. Remember, you can still email us at handhshow@islamchannel.tv.

    Todays show is on Intimacy in Islam, this will involve discussing bedroom relations. Please be warned that we will be discussing various matters relating to this topic some of which will obviously be of an adult nature, using language and terminology which you may find inappropriate for any children watching.  Also please keep in mind we will only be speaking about halal relationships, therefore everything is related to marriage, i.e between a husband and wife. To help us discuss this topic we welcome....................

    GUEST FROM RELATE (Non-Muslim), Dr Jameel Rahmaan, Representative from Hizb ut-Tahrir, and on the phone RUQAYYAH WARIS MAQSOOD THE AUTHOR OF THE BOOK “THE MUSLIM MARRIAGE GUIDE”

    Questions:

    What is your perception of how muslim's view intimacy between husband and wife.
    a) Is the whole topic a taboo
    b) a necessary evil similar to the concepts of the “sins of the flesh” and something you are not supposed to enjoy, i.e. only to have children
    c) something of the duniya and not related to the akhira.
    d) unholy
    e) austere

    Where have these perceptions come from?
    a) monoasticism
    b) ascetism (not sufism)
    c) separation of the spiritual material world

    Are there parallells with other religions eg catholicism, monasticism, secularism.

    Do many muslims especially Imaams, leaders etc contribute to this perception of imtimacy in Islam?

    Do you think this partly because people see a separation between deen and dunya, and therefore you have to choose between one or the other (because they are mutually exclusive)

    We’ve heard dawah carriers promoting this idea of separation between deen and dunya, how would you advise them to do otherwise?

    Do you think the idea of secularism, encouraged this ‘separation of the “dunya”’ mentality further.
    What common notions are there amongst muslims
    e.g. not allowed to be naked together
    e.g. not allowed to look at each others bodies
    e.g. to get it over and done with quickly regardless of whether the woman is fulfilled or not
    e.g. no loving contact with a woman when she is menstruating because she is “dirty” v.s ghayr muttwadhiyah?

    Definitions:

    Monasticism (from Greek: monachos—a solitary person) is the religious practice of renouncing all “worldly” pursuits in order to fully devote one's life to spiritual work. Primarily eastern Indian and Chinese religions and Catholic
    .
    Asceticism denotes a life which is characterised by refraining from worldly pleasures (austerity). Those who practice ascetic lifestyles often perceive their practices as virtuous and pursue them to achieve greater spirituality. Primarily eastern Indian and Chinese religions and Catholic.

    Austere - Severe or stern in disposition or appearance; somber and grave: the austere figure of a Puritan minister; Strict or severe in discipline; ascetic; Having no adornment or ornamentation; bare: an austere style

    What does Islam have to say?

    ● Islam does not frown or class as unholy any natural instinct or desire (fitrah), rather it comes to organise and satisfy it, via the Shariah
    ● Wedding night not necessary to consumate, and possibly better not to
    ● Foreplay
    ● Satisfaction of a woman too
    ● Reward
    ● Not shameful
    ● Education of the youth
    ● Marriage as a solution
    ● Despite openness, not allowed to publicise what goes on in the bedroom between husband and wife (ex advise).

    Islam does not frown or class as unholy any natural instinct or desire. Rather it recognises natural desire, and came to organise and satisfy it, via the Shariah.

    Abu-Dawud narrates that Abdullah Ibn Abbas (ra) commented on the Qur'anic verse, "So approach your wives however you like" (surat al-baqarah: 223). That the clan of the Ansaar before Islam, lived in the company of the Jewish tribes. The Ansaar used to accept their superiority in knowledge and copied most of their actions. The Jewish tribes used to have intercourse with their women on one side alone (i.e. on their backs only). They considered this the most modest and concealing position for (the private parts of) the woman. So the Ansar copied this practice from them too. However the tribe of Quraysh used to uncover their women completely, seeking pleasure with them from every angle including laying them on their backs. When the Quraysh came to Medina as immigrants, a Qurayshi man married a woman of the Ansar. He began to do the same kind of actions with her (i.e. approach her from various angles), but she disliked it, and said to him: “We are approached only on one side (i.e. lying on the back); so do it that way, otherwise keep away from me”. The matter of theirs spread widely and it reached the Prophet (S). So in response to this incident Allah (SWT) sent down the Qur'anic verse: "Your wives are a tilth to you, so approach your wives however you like - surat al-baqarah: 223" i..e.from any position. (Abu-Dawud)

    According to Abu Sa'd, the Prophet (SAW) once rebuked the wife of Sarwan ibn al-Mu'attal for being over-zealous to the detriment of her marriage. She used to read long suras during her night prayer, keeping her husband waiting, and she fasted frequently without his permission, which made her tired and prevented any opportunity for enjoying sexual relations during the day. The Prophet recommended that she limit her recitation to one surah and only fasted with her husbands permission so that they could enjoy each other. Similarly, when the Prophet heard that a zealous Companion, Abdullah ibn 'Amr, was in the habit of praying all night and fasting all day, he told him to moderate his devotions, pointing out that “your eye has a right over you, your guests have a right over you, and you wife has a right over you (in this case sexually)' (Bukhari)

    Before starting intercourse, it is a Sunnah to make the following supplication, "In the name of Allah. O Allah, keep Satan away from us, and keep Shaytan away from (the offspring) that which You grant us." (Bukhari)

    Allah (swt) says in the Quran:
    You [believers] are permitted to lie and enjoy your wives during the nights of Ramadhan: they are like garments to you, as you are to them….……Do not lie with them during the nights of your ‘itikaaf in the mosques: these are the bounds set by God, so do not go near them (during ‘itikaf in the mosques. (Surah Al-Baqarah v187)

    Wedding night

    Men & women think they have to loose their virginity on the wedding night; men need to be more considerate of women's feelings and take things slowly, some scholars advised waiting at least a week, and letting things build up to it, and consider foreplay (below).

    Foreplay

    The prophet (saw) said "None of you should fall upon his wife like an animal; let there first be a messenger between you."
    The sahaba then asked "And what is that oh messenger of Allah?"
    he replied: "Kisses and loving words" (i.e. foreplay) (Daylami)

    Satisfaction of a woman

    "Three things are counted inadequacies in a man. Firstly, meeting someone he would like to get to know, and taking leave of him before learning his full name. Secondly, rebuffing the generosity that another shows to him. And thirdly, going to his wife and having intercourse with her before talking to her and gaining her intimacy, satisfying his need from her before she has satisfied her need from him." (Daylami)

    Menstruation

    It is forbidden to have vaginal intercourse while a woman is menstruating

    The Prophet (SAW) has even said, "Whoever has intercourse [with his wife] during her menses, or commits sodomy with her, or comes to a diviner, then he disbelieved in what was revealed to Muhammad." (Tirmidhi)

    “And they ask you about menstruation. Say: It is a discomfort; therefore keep aloof from women during the menstrual discharge and do not approach them until they are clean; then when they have done ghusl, go in to them as Allah has commanded you; surely Allah loves those who turn much (to Him), and He loves those who purify themselves” (Surah Al- Baqarah v222).

    Narrated in Sahih Muslim, the Prophet (SAW) commented about the meaning of keeping aloof in the above verse by saying: “Do everything except intercourse”. (Sahih Muslim)

    'A'isha (ra) said: “When anyone amongst us, (the wives of the Holy Prophet) menstruated, the Messenger of Allah (S) asked us to cover only our private parts with cloth around the waist and then approached us”. (Sahih Muslim)

    Reward

    Narrated in Muslim, the Prophet (SAW) said: "In the sexual act of each of you there is a sadaqa."
    The Companions replied: "0 Messenger of God! When one of us fulfils his sexual desire, will he really be given a reward for that?"
    The prophet (s) replied, "Don’t you think that were one to act upon this desire unlawfully, he would be sinning? Likewise, if he fulfils this desire lawfully he will be rewarded." (Muslim)

    Having intercourse on the night before Friday is desirable as the Prophet (SAW) said,
    "Whoever makes ghusl on Friday to clean himself from janabah (i.e. after having intercourse), then left for salah, it is as if he offered a whole camel in sacrifice." (Bukhari)

    Narrated in Muslim, the Prophet (SAW) said, "If one of you has intercourse with your wife and then wants to come to her again, it is better for you to do wudhu first, for it revives you with more vigor to go again." (Muslim)

    Marriage as a solution

    Allah says in the Qur’an: "And among His signs is that He created for you from amongst you, companions, with whom you dwell in peace and tranquility; He laid love and compassion between you." (Surah Luqman v21)

    The prophet (s) said that "Those of you who can afford it, should marry, otherwise you should keep fasting, for it curbs the desires" (Ibn Massoud)

    Despite openness, it is not allowed to publicise what goes on in the bedroom
    The Prophet (SAW) said,
    "Among those who will be in the worst position in Allah's sight on the Day of Resurrection is the man who has intercourse with his wife, and she with him, and then he spreads what was private to her." (Muslim)

    "Do not divulge secrets of your sex with your wife to another person, nor describe her physical feature to anyone".

    In Conclusion

    Maintaining healthy intimacies, and keeping your husband or wife satisfied in bed is ibadah and sadaqah, not just material acts but spiritual acts. In Islam, there is no distinction between deen and dunya i.e. the material and spiritual actions, when the actions are halal. Islam does not suppress the natural desires and instincts nor sweep them under the carpet, but allows for them to be satisfied, via methods set out in the Shariah (law) of Allah (SWT), and encourages us to seek knowledge regarding these matters.

    It is narrated in Bukhari and Muslim, that the Prophet (SAW) said,
    “Blessed are the women of the Ansar (citizens of Madinah), shyness did not stand in their way for seeking knowledge about their religion” (Bukhari & Muslim)

  • Airline Hijack Liquid Explosives Plot 'leader' Charges dropped!


    Where now are all the headlines about this case to reverse the extreme demonisation of our community as a result of this case and many others in the media? I have a sneaking suspicion that this man was tortured by Pakistani intelligence leading him to confess to anything they suggested to stop his pain. This is the problem with the current position of many western governments including Blair's; that evidence potentially extracted by torture can be utilised.

    UK 'plot' terror charge dropped
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/6175427.stm

    => Read more!

  • BNP supporters found with rocket launchers, chemical weapons, and explosives, but The Mail doesn't blink an eye lid

    If the news story doesn't confirm the current anti-Muslim narrative, ignore it in the mainstream media.......

    http://www.pendletoday.co.uk/ViewArticle2.aspx?SectionID=8&ArticleID=1806619

    Chemicals Find: Two In Court

    TWO Pendle men have appeared before Pennine magistrates accused of having "a master plan" after what is believed to be a record haul of chemicals used in making home-made bombs was found in Colne.

    => Read more!

  • Guardian: If this onslaught was about Jews, I would be looking for my Passport

    Jonathan Freedland
    Wednesday October 18, 2006

    Politicians and media have turned a debate about integration into an ugly drumbeat of hysteria against British Muslims

    I've been trying to imagine what it must be like to be a Muslim in Britain. I guess there's a sense of dread about switching on the radio or television, even about walking into a newsagents. What will they be saying about us today? Will we be under assault for the way we dress? Or the schools we go to, or the mosques we build? Who will be on the front page: a terror suspect, a woman in a veil or, the best of both worlds, a veiled terror suspect.

    => Read more!

  • Scrap Pakistan's pro-rape 'hudood' laws, & liberate women from servitude to men!

    The implementation of Pakistan's hudood laws are an affront to Islam, and have blackened the name of Islam and its system of Shariah.

    In the Sunni Islamic System, especially in the Sunni Hanafi school of Shariah, which is one of the four legal schools of law in Sunni Islam, all of which are very similar:

    • Women are not punished for zina for being raped or reporting the rape, even if the accusation is false, it does not come under the jurisdiction of Zina laws, but rather, under the laws of false testimony.
    • Women would not be killed or beaten for refusing to marry a husband chosen by others i.e. 'honour' crimes (see Forced Marriage), this is considered murder in Islam but has unfortunately been tacitly approved by some Pakistani senators in the past.
    • Women would not be wrongly lashed under false Zina laws (such as those in Pakistan) for doing an Islamic Nikah via the Qadi with a husband outside of their caste or tribe or against the wishes of parents (see Forced Marriage), and any resulting so called 'honour crimes' would be treated as murder under Shariah.
    • If a husband beats his wife generally or for seeking sex, she can seek redress, or divorce in the courts, provided the physical evidence exists.
    • Women would be allowed to independently seek a divorce or annulment of marriage via the courts.
    • Laws of adultery would equally apply to men and women, only if 4 eye witnesses exist to the seeing of the penetrative act itself, and if 4 witnesses do not exist it would be thrown out of court. Women would not be held incommunicado in prison until it is proven they didn't do zina like in Pakistan, where the accusers of chaste women make accusations regularly for revenge against a family or in family feuds & women are held in detention for no other reason than the accusation. Actually in Islam the accusers would be punished for accusing the women.
    • Default custody of children is to the mother not the father.
    • Making victims' families pay blood-money to execute the penalty on the convicted criminal perpetrator would be abolished. Why should victims pay blood money so that the perpetrator of the crime against them can be punished? (as happened in Iran)


    As Muslims men and women do not serve each other, but we both together as brothers and sisters serve our Creator, Allah. Women were not sent on this earth to serve men, but we were both placed on this earth for Allah's purpose and act as companions in this purpose, not rivals, or subjects.

    Allah (swt) says in the Quran:

    "And among His Signs is this, that He created for you spouses from among yourselves, that you may dwell in peace and tranquillity with them, and he has put love and mercy between your hearts: truly in that are Signs for those who reflect intelligently." (Surat ar-Room:21)

    Our Prophet Muhammad (saw) said:

    "Women are twin halves of men." (Kanz)

    and said:

    “O people, your wives have a certain right over you and you have certain rights over them. Treat them well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers.” (Tirmidhi)


    Hadrat Salman (Ra) said infront of the prophet:

    “Give everyone who has a right; their full rights completely.”

    The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: “Salman spoke the truth,” when he heard this.
    (Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim)

    We are happy to furnish people with the evidences from the Quran and Sunnah for those who doubt the above points. It is a shame the so called Islamic groups in Pakistan haven’t managed to take the initiative on these issues before the secularist crusaders have.

  • Ijtihad: Applying Islam in the 21st century

    The subject of ijtihad occupies a recurring theme across much contemporary Islamic literature. A tool employed by Islamic jurists, it holds the key to Islam's continual relevance and to defining an Islamic approach for solving problems in a post-modern world. Akmal Asghar provides an overview of ijtihad and its role in presenting an Islamic alternative.

    "Islam has long vanished from the stage of history, and has retreated into oriental ease and repose"
    , were the words of the German philosopher George Friedrich Hegel in the middle of the nineteenth century. But as Martin Kramer, senior associate of the Moshe Dayan Centre at Tel Aviv University, remarks at Hegel's 'endist' predictions, "The persistent refusal of Islam to do just that
    remains one of the principal flaws of 'endism,' from Hegel to this day…"


    It's certainly true, despite emerging fifteen centuries ago, Islam features considerably in current global politics and has far from vanished. The phenomenon of movements advocating a 'revival' of seventh century Islam can be perplexing and their stated goal - an Islamic rule - lends itself to a number of possible criticisms. Among the most obvious is the question of Islam's ability to tackle issues in a world vastly different to the one that first received it. As Olivier Roy describes in his book 'The Failure of Political Islam', "The irruption of Islam into the political landscape is often perceived as an anachronism; how is it possible, late in the twentieth century, to return to the Middle Ages?" It is a genuine challenge. How does Islam deal with the rapid advances in science and technology, institutions of the post-modern world or social, economic and political trends? If Islam were unable to handle the complexities of contemporary life, it may indeed produce an outdated medieval system, causing its adherents to deny the fruits of current modernity.

    Time alone, however, is not enough to render an idea invalid. The revival of ancient Greek philosophy, art and culture was termed a 'renaissance' in Europe. Many of the foundations of the West's contemporary intellectual and political tradition are associated with three millennia-old discourses still considered valid in the twenty first century. Indeed, a number of English legal statutes still in use, such as the Treason Act of 1351, date back many centuries; English common law emerged in the Middle Ages, taking from Roman law and influenced by Norman and Saxon
    custom; the US Bill of Rights, passed in 1791, reflects the guarantee of due process given by the Magna Carta in1215 and the English Bill of Rights of 1689. Even if only by way of example, it appears that Western scholars and jurists are willing to accept that old ideas can have a place in - indeed define - the modern world, and so comparably, the fact that Islam emerged in seventh century Arabia is not in itself cause to suggest its inapplicability.

    Some propose that Islam's continual relevance can only come through its reform. However, the keyword for Islam's applicability in the twenty first century is not reform (islah), but the Islamic concept of ijtihad. While reform implicitly discounts the validity of an idea through suggesting that it is in need of alteration, ijtihad tackles contemporary problems using Islam's original principles and rules; it does not demand their alteration but their application.

    Indeed, the subject of ijtihad addresses two important questions regarding Islam's continual relevance that are often thought to support reasons for its reform. Firstly, the specificity of Islam to the circumstances of seventh century Arabia and, secondly, the ability for the finite body of Islamic texts left by the Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him) to address ever changing human problems.

    Regarding the first, Islam's legislative rules and principles are founded on a doctrine that views problems as extending from the needs of human beings as human beings. That is to say, not in their racial, regional or tribal context, or as a reaction to a particular social condition; or as Muslims or non-Muslims, but as human beings. It is only a specific doctrine inasmuch as it is specific to all human beings. It is a timeless conception of the human condition, for it is not man's nature that changes with the passage of time, but his material circumstances; the complexity of material and technology, which develop through continuous scientific endeavour.

    Man's innate needs, whether basic organic requirements such as the need for food, clothing and shelter or basic instinctual drives such as survival, justice and security, remain consistent. Furthermore, the needs that extend from this basic constitution such as the need to regulate political, social and economic relationships individually or collectively are also seen to exist across the expanse of human history. Though their manifestations may change, it could not be said that
    new needs have manifested or that the existing ones always increase, either in complexity or propensity. New world-views, thoughts and beliefs may develop over time and emerge at various points in human history, but these too do not represent a shift in man's fundamental nature, intellect or needs. Since the Islamic system addresses problems as demands extending from this consistent human nature, it is continually applicable and a consistent source of solutions for tackling human problems.

    Indeed, it is not thoughts, but things that time may render obsolete. An idea is invalidated by identifying its intellectual shortcomings whereas material things are replaced and considered obsolete as scientific and engineering progress produces increasing material sophistication.

    Ijtihad is a legal tool employed by jurists to extract legislation for any number of new problems from the original Islamic texts. It is a defined process established by Mohammed (peace be upon him) during his lifetime and allows the finite body of Islamic texts to address, in detail, previously unfamiliar events. The key aspects of ijtihad that make this possible relate to analogy and to a process of linking the subject matter of contemporary problems with similar occurrences in the Islamic texts and precepts. The pivotal role of analogy in the process ijtihad is such that the leading Islamic jurist Mohammed Idris al-Shafi'i, in his book al-Risalah, went as far as to equate the two: "…and ijtihad is qiyas (analogy)". More broadly, ijtihad consists of three general stages: first, to objectively understand in detail the reality of the problem, question or dilemma for which a solution is sought, which may demand specific knowledge if relating to a particular area of expertise, for example, relevant scientific competence if tackling issues relating to stem cell research, or economic and financial expertise if evaluating a complex financial product; second, to identify the Islamic texts, concepts and laws which discuss a relevant, or similar, subject matter; third, to analogise between the current issue and the relevant texts in the original Islamic sources to identify similarities and differences, and through a process of weighing these similarities and differences
    extract a position on the current issue. Each element is considerably more elaborate and requires expertise and competence in Islamic jurisprudence, the sciences of Islamic sources, and of Islamic legal maxims, legal principles and specific legal definitions. The competence to apply the process of ijtihad defines an Islamic scholar (mujtahid), but the process is not reserved to a priestly class or clergy. The qualification is open to all, men and women, who wish to gain sufficient
    competence in Islamic jurisprudence to practise ijtihad and to work as a judge, advocate or legal expert.

    The scope of ijtihad, it is important to note, does not extend to things, including the products of scientific and technological progress; the general principle is that they are useable without restriction. They are only addressed when specific questions about their use gives rise to other human problems. For example, in developments relating to genetic engineering, the technology is not rejected, but its use may be defined to prevent human cloning due to its impact on marriage and genealogy.

    The substantial progress many historians note in early Islamic history was made possible through the continuous use of Ijtihad. It allowed the Caliphate to tackle numerous political, social and economic problems that had not previously confronted the Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him). The expansion of its territories brought it into contact with foreign cultures and differing political structures, whether those of Greek, Persian or south Asian origin, in the second century of the Hijri calendar (ninth century CE), and with it their customs, traditions and practices, and their own models of organising and regulating society. This expansion created parallel internal challenges whether relating to the rights, distribution or productivity of land; the rights of minorities or the administration of the expanding state apparatus, with its specific questions about qualifications for rule, organisation of the judiciary, accountability, ascension and removal of people
    from posts of power. Indeed, these foreign and internal challenges acted to provide a continuous demand for the use of ijtihad, to develop perspectives and provide a legislative framework with which to deal with them. It produced a rich and healthy legislative, political and intellectual atmosphere and with it generations of some of the most accomplished mujtahids, both Shiah and Sunni, in Islamic history. Among them, the Kufi (Iraqi) Imams such as Numan bin Thabit ('Abu  Hanifah'), North Africans such as al-Layth ibn Sa'd, Arabs such as Malik ibn Anas and Mohammed Shafi'i, and later Andalusians, such as ibn Hazm, Central Asians and many others, whose impact has been such that much of the body of Islamic jurisprudence lies, to this day, within the framework of their endeavours.

    Indeed, the absence of ijtihad would have been debilitating, positively paralysing, for the progress of the Islamic world historically. And it is exactly why when its use slowly declined from the tenth century and when, in the thirteenth century after the destruction of the seat of learning in Baghdad by the Mongols, it was suggested that its use be discontinued - an event of commonly referred to as 'the closure of the gates of Ijtihad' by Islamic historians - the Islamic world fell into a slow decline.
    The loss of ijtihad amounted to a denial of oxygen to the bloodstream of the legislative and political processes in the Islamic world, rendering the Caliphate incapacitated in the face of new problems and challenges. For a while, jurists relied on annotating the conclusions of previous jurists, far removed from the primary Islamic legislative texts, a practice that promoted imitation (taqlid) (among legally qualified scholars) and stifled thinking.

    But when confronted with a European mindset distinctly more ideological than the one confronted in its siege of Vienna, Europe having gone through 'enlightenment', the extent of the decline in the Islamic world became apparent. Unable to respond to the intellectual and technological challenges it now confronted, the Caliphate, due to the absence of ijtihad, failed to clearly evaluate its position on a number of fronts. This produced the bizarre situation during the nineteenth century where, on the one hand, European legislative codes were being introduced in their swathes while on the other, the Caliphate initially rejected inventions as simple as the printing press. The Islamic world, therefore, was in no position to present Islam's alternative political philosophy, and some interpreted events as highlighting deficiencies within Islam itself; indeed numerous individuals set about advocating its reform. But when evaluating reformist thought, whether that of Jamal ad-Din Afghani (1839-1897), Sir Syed Ahmed Khan (1817-1898), Mohammed Abduh (1849-1905), Taha Husayn (1889-1973) or others, one finds that reform did not offer an alternative but was an implicit - often explicit - call to integrate into Europe's intellectual and political culture. Indeed, some even ironically advocated a revival of 'ijtihad'. However, their definition of the word was often more secular than Islamic, using as they did the literal meaning 'jahada' or 'to exert' which was taken to mean a call to exhaust independent intellectual effort as opposed to a juristic process to derive distinctly Islamic solutions to contemporary problems based on its original texts.

    Islam is no stranger to foreign or alterative ideas and cultures and the challenges they bring. Western political philosophy presents the current alternative and contemporary events, problems and dilemmas present a spectrum of challenges. The Muslim world is now in need of perspective on issues from globalisation, the free market and liberalism to genetics, stem cell research and cloning. Ijtihad provides the ability to present Islamic perspectives, indeed alternativeapproaches, for each of these, and is why, for example, Farooq Khan, in his article "Re-defining the Globalisation debate", is able to suggest, "Islam…can be argued as not only the first global political philosophy but the only political philosophy that can capture the forces of globalisation…" A revival in the use of ijtihad marks an important step in presenting a practical Islamic alternative.

    By Akmal Asghar
    akmal.asghar@newcivilisation.com
    Source: www.newcivilisation.conm

  • Hamas and Israel's "Right to Exist"

    Hamas and Israel's "Right to Exist"

    By VIRGINIA TILLEY

    To the great consternation of most of the world, the European Union, followed now by Norway and Canada, has halted payments to the Hamas-led government of the Palestinian Authority (PA). The stated reason is that Hamas has not recognized Israel's "right to exist" or "renounced violence," but the action so violates all common sense that its logic requires our closer scrutiny.

    => Read more!

  • Islam ethnicity and race

    Islam and Muslims are not a race, although racism is at times employed as a euphomism to attack Islam and Muslims. Islam strongly condemns any forms of racism, or discrimination based upon ethnicity, tribe, family, nationality or racial origin.

    As part of the Islamic law (Shariah), God states in the Qur'an:

    "And among His Signs Is the creation of the heavens And the earth, and the variations In your languages And your colours; verily In that are Signs For those who know." {30:22}

    "O mankind! We created you from a single pair of a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes that you may know & recognize each other; not that ye may despise each other..."{49:13}

    "And mankind is naught but a single nation."{2:213}

    "Let not a group scoff at another group, it may be that the latter are better than the former; nor let women scoff at other women, it may be that the latter are better than the former, nor defame one another, nor insult one another by nicknames. How bad is it, to insult one's brother after claiming to believe in Islam? And whosoever does not repent, then such are indeed wrong doers (doomed)" {49:11}

    And Prophet Muhammad (s) said:

    "Indeed there is no superiority for an Arab over a non-Arab, nor a non-Arab over an Arab, nor a White person over a Black one, nor a Black person over a White one, superiority in only through piety & good behaviour"

    "There are people who boast about their ancestors; but in the sight of god they are more contemptible than the black beetle that rolls a piece of dung with its nose. Behold, God has removed from you the arrogance from the previous days of ignorance, with its boast of ancestoral glories. People are now only pious or unfortunate sinners. All people are the children of Adam."

    "He who calls for nationalism/tribalism/racism or who fights for nationalism/tribalism/racism or who dies for nationalism/tribalism/racism is not one of us"

    "People should give up their pride in nations because that is a coal from the coals of Hell-fire.
    If they do not give this up God (swt) will consider them lower than the lowly worm which pushes itself through dung."


    Some comments made by notables

    (The Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca) was an exhilarating experience to see people belonging to different colours, races and nationalities, kings, heads of states and ordinary men from very poor countries all clad in two simple white sheets praying to God without any sense of either pride or inferiority. It was a practical manifestation of the concept of equally in Islam."
    World Famous Boxer; Cassius Clay, now Muhammed Ali.

    "The Europeans in South Africa dread the advent of Islam, as they( Muslims) claim equality with the white races. They may well dread it. If brotherhood is a sin, if it is equality of the coloured races that they dread, then their dread is well-founded."
    Mohandas K. Ghandi

    'No other society has such a record of success in uniting in an equality of status, of opportunity and endeavour so many and so varied races o mankind. The great Muslim communities of Africa, India and Indonesia, perhaps also the small community in Japan, show that Islam has still the power to reconcile apparently irreconcilable elements Of race and tradition.' (H.A.R. Gibb, 'Whither Islam', London, 193Z p. 379)

    "Never have I witnessed such sincere hospitality and the overwhelming spirit of true brotherhood as is practised by people of all colours and races here in this ancient Holy Land, the home of Abraham, Muhammed, and all the other prophets of the Holy Scriptures. For the past week, I have been utterly speechless and spellbound by the graciousness I see displayed all around me by people of all colours..."

    "There were tens of thousands of pilgrims, from all over the world. They were of all colors, from blue-eyed blondes to black-skinned Africans. But we were all participating in the same ritual, displaying a spirit of unity and brotherhood that my experiences in America had led me to believe never could exist between the white and the non-white.

    You may be shocked by these words coming from me. But on this pilgrimage, what I have seen, and experienced, has forced me to rearrange much of my thought patterns previously held, and to toss aside some of my previous conclusions. This was not too difficult for me. Despite my firm convictions, I have been always a man who tries to face facts, and to accept the reality of life as new experience and new knowledge unfolds it. I have always kept an open mind, which is necessary to the flexibility that must go hand in hand with every form of intelligent search for truth.

    During the past eleven days here in the Muslim world, I have eaten from the same plate, drunk from the same glass and slept in the same bed (or on the same rug)-while praying to the same God with fellow Muslims, whose eyes were the bluest of the blue, whose hair was the blondest of blond, and whose skin was the whitest of white. And in the words and in the actions and in the deeds of the ‘white' Muslims, I felt the same sincerity that I felt among the black African Muslims of Nigeria, Sudan and Ghana.

    We are truly all the same-brothers.
    All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds."
    Malcolm X

    "The extinction of race consciousness as between Muslims is one of the outstanding achievements of Islam, and in the contemporary world there is, as it happens, a crying need for the propagation of this Islamic virtue."
    Professor A.J. Toynbee in New York 1948

    "I hope the time is not far off when I shall be able to unite all the wise and educated men of all the countries and establish a uniform regime based on the principles of the Quran which alone are true and which alone can lead men to happiness."
    Napoleon Bonaparte

  • A Wife's Rights

    Allah (swt) says in the Quran:

    "And among His Signs is this, that He created for you spouses from among yourselves, that you may dwell in peace and tranquillity with them, and he has put love and mercy between your hearts: truly in that are Signs for those who reflect intelligently." (Surat ar-Room:21) Our Holy Prophet (Sal lallahu alayhi was sallam) said,

  • The Status of Motherhood

    Questions

    How is motherhood perceived today?
    How do mothers perceive their own role today?
    Is motherhood is an obstacle, a career destroyer, sacrifice of a 'real' life of freedom? 
    Why is motherhood considered a poor choice? Feminsim?
    What have the effects of undermining motherhood been?
    What is the reality on the ground of being a working woman today?
    Are you juggling, with lack of support, feeling undervalued, and demoralised?
    Why do mothers feel they have to continue working even paying for childcare at the same time?
    Is it possible for mothers to have a career/job and family, without either suffering?
    How have these attitudes and lifestyle specifically affected children, society and relationships with husbands?
    What does it mean to be a mother in Islam? What does Islam say about women working?

    Research, Studies, and Statistics

    - The UK has more than 450,000 children under three in nursery care

    - Jenni Russell on 28/1/2006 in The Guardian newspaper said, two-thirds of mothers go back to jobs within 10 months of giving birth, while the working week of British fathers is almost 10% longer than the European average.

    - The Sunday Times on 8/1/2006 reported that Christopher Arnold, an education psychologist, told the Division of Educational and Child Psychology

  • Depiction of Prophet Muhammad (s) as a Terrorist

    We note that the depiction of the Prophet Muhammad was not a piece of art, a painting of beauty but an attack and insult to his integrity by depicting him, and therefore his followers, as terrorists. Although in Islam all depictions of Prophet Muhammad (s) are forbidden, this particular case has caused more insult and offence by demonising the Prophet (s) and by implication his followers i.e. Muslims, as terrorists. One drawing showed the prophet with a bomb and a lit fuse in his turban, another showed him saying to suicide bombers that he has run out of virgins in paradise, and another showed him grinning wildly, with a knife in his hand.

    We ask, would depiction of a stereotypical Jew as a money hungry cheating banker be an acceptable form of freedom of speech? Would depictions that imply that Sikhs are rapists be an example freedom of speech? Such expressions of

  • Principles, Hamas and the politics of expediency

    Principles, Hamas and the politics of expediency
    Sajjad Khan
    26 January 2006

    "Western governments used to believe that free and fair elections provided absolute legitimacy but then came the Palestinian elections and Hamas."

    Reading all the diatribe from Washington, London and other EU capitals after Hamas’s crushing victory has got me thinking, how they do it keeping a straight face. Do what, you ask, how do they actually maintain a straight face while consistently contravening their very own principles.

    => Read more!

  • US Redefines Torture For Itself & Outsources Torture To Others

    US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in Kiev during her visit to Europe: "As a matter of US policy, the United States obligations under the [convention] which prohibits, of course, cruel and inhumane and degrading treatment, those obligations extend to US personnel wherever they are, whether they are in the United States or outside of the United States."

    The US is signatory to the 1984 UN 'Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment'. However due to the convention's ambiguity in wording; the definition of torture, cruel and degrading treatment in the US's interpretation excludes certain techniques.

    => Read more!

  • Forced Marriage

    Definition

    A forced marriage is not the same as an 'arranged marriage', though force can hide behind the notion of an arranged marriage. Arranged marriages are more akin to using family members as a marriage agency with the total consent of the potential partners. A forced marriage is one where one or both parties are coerced into a marriage against their will and under duress - Duress includes both physical force and emotional balckmail.

    - In 2000, a Forced Marriage Unit was set up and early in 2005 a new joint Home Office and Foreign Office Forced Marriage Unit was set up to offer further assistance to those confronted by this type of abuse.

    - The Government has since produced guidelines for Police, Social Services, Education Professionals and will be preparing similar guidelines for Health Professionals later on this year.

    - The minimum age for marriage entry clearance has been raised from 16 to 18, as a Home Office spokesman has stated

  • Keeping Family Ties

    KEEPING FAMILY TIES ('Silatt-ur-Rahhm')

    Defining 'Silatt-ur-Rahhm'

    The exact meaning of the word rahhm is "womb". So Sillatt-ur-Rahhm means ties of the womb. It is derived from the root raheem which means ‘to have mercy upon’. Two of Allah's names - Ar-Rahmaan and Ar-Raheem - are derived from the same root.

    The word is figuratively used to refer to relatives. In his famous classical tafseer (legal commentary on the Quran), Al-Qurtubi (the Cordoban) states that:

    "The family ties which must be maintained are general and specific. 1) The general one is the relations that Islam obligates anyway to all people. It is fard (mandatory) to maintain friendly connections with them, advice, justice, fairness and fulfilling ones obligations to them in the fard or legally binding and in the mandoubaat or commendable. 2) The specific obligations to family include financially supporting family members, checking on their condition and overlooking their mistakes."

    There is a warning on how close you get to your brother or sister in-law, as the prophet (saw) said that "The Brother-in-law is death (for his sister in law)." (Bukhari). However the general requirement of keeping ties with relatives applies to all relatives, Muslim and non-Muslim, criminal or innocent, blood relatives and your 'in-laws', and non-Mahrams so long as it is in a halal context with Mahrams present. This applies to a man keeping relations with his wife's family equally as much as the other way around.

    The Prophet Mohammad (saw) said,
    "Allah created the creation, and when finished, Allah said to the womb (referring to family ties): “ ..won't you be pleased that I will keep good relations with the one who will keep good relations with you, and I will sever relationships with the one who will sever relations with you. (Sahih Al-Bukhari)

    “Whoever desires that Allah make him richer and extend his life, let him maintain his family ties” (Bukhari).

    “Whoever severs [family ties] shall not enter the Garden of paradise” (Bukhari and Muslim).

    “Whoever believes in Allah and the last day, let him keep up family ties" [Bukhari]

    “There are no sins more deserving of having Allah's punishment meted out to its perpetrator in advance in this world, along with what He stores up for him in the next world, than oppression (from those in authority or governemts) and severing ties of family.” [Tirmidhi].

    “Sadaqah given to a poor person is an ordinary sadaqah, but sadaqah given to a relative serves two purposes: one as a sadaqah and secondly, an act of upholding family kinship.” (Tirmidhi)

    Even if they don’t want to keep ties with you

    The prophet (saw) said:

    “The one who keeps family ties good when family members are co-operative and returns the same affection he gets, cannot really be described as one who keeps family ties. Rather the one who can truly be termed a person who keeps up family ties is the one who upholds and maintains relationships when the other family members have severed ties with him.” (Bukhari)

    Abu Hurayra said, 'A man came to the Prophet (saw), and said, 'Messenger of Allah! I have relatives that I maintain ties with, but they cut me off. I am good to them, but they are bad to me. They behave foolishly towards me while I am patient towards them.'
    The Prophet (saw) responded, 'If things are as you say they are, it is as if you were putting hot ash on them, and you will not lack support against them from Allah as long as you continue to do that (i.e be good to them).'"

    Common Causes

    Taking sides in private disputes between husband & wife
    Suspicion, Gossip, & Backbiting
    Business
    Property
    Land

    i.e. not writing everything down in contracts, or not following Shari’ah regulations on inheritance, backbiting, suspicion & tale-telling. We must put everything down in writing, record everything, as mentioned by Allah(swt) in the Qura'an, even with our relatives we must put all loans, agreements etc in writing to prevent any confusion and ambiguiy that can be exploited. It is better to have fights over a contract and get it absolutely clear, than have bigger fights later which are potentially much more detrimental.

    What if parents are ordering the cutting of ties with other relatives, or are asking a son or daughter to not claim their full rightful share of inheritance?

    Prophet Muhammad (saw) said, "There is no obedience to creation, in disobedience to the Creator. Obedience is only in what is good." (narrated in Bukhari and Muslim)

    The Story of Abu Hurayrah

    A young man went to attend the weekly hadith lecture of Abu Huraira, (ra) but the routine opening announcement stopped him.

    “If anyone sitting here has severed any ties of kinship (qata-ur-rahim), he should leave.”
    He recalled that an aunt lived in the town with whom he was not been on speaking terms. He went straight to his aunt’s home. He asked for forgiveness for his past behaviour. When the aunt asked the reason for this change of heart, he narrated the entire incident. She accepted the apology but asked him to inquire from Abu Huraira, (ra), the reason for this unusual announcement. Why did he leave all the other major sins and focus only on this? What was so special about ties of kinship?

    Abu Huraira replied that he had heard from the Prophet (saw) that
    “deeds are presented to Allah every Thursday night and anyone who has severed family ties has all his good deeds rejected.”
    Abu Hurayrah did not want any such person sitting in his gathering, which was held on the same night, for fear that it could deprive the entire gathering of blessings.

    This is also in accordance with the saying of our prophet Muhammad that:

    “Allah’s mercy will not descend on a group of people if there is one among them who severs family ties.”
    [Bayhaqi]

    The Story of Abu bakr (ra) and Mistah

    Among the many people who benefited from Abu Bakr’s (ra) generosity was a relative named Mistah. Mistah got involved in spreading rumours about Aisha,(ra) (Abu Bakrs daughter and the wife of our prophet (saw)) which was started by the leader of the Munafiqeen. It was a whole month of emotional torture for all involved, after which verses of Surat-an-Noor were revealed proving her innocence and prescribing punishment for those involved in the false accusation. Feeling hurt and betrayed, Abu Bakr (ra), vowed never to help Mistah again. But then the verses of the Qur’an commanded him to continue helping his relative, despite his crime, which Abu-Bakr did. Keep in mind this man slandered his daughter's honour.

    Methods to Increase Love

    “Exchange gifts with one another, for with this will create love and goodwill amongst yourselves.” (Abu Ya'laa)

    “He who makes peace between the people by inventing good information or saying good things, is not a liar.” (Bukhari)

  • Is this Saddam's Iraq or Iraq under democracy crusaders: torture, murder and chemical weapons?

    The lies over Iraq won't go away. Yesterday despite repetitively denying it, the US government was forced to admit using chemical weapons in Iraq to suppress the uprising against them in Fallujah ash-Shareef. Not that I ever believed their denials in the first place, it just goes to show how lies so easily roll off the tongues of governments.

    Iraqi victim of white phosphorus attack by the USA in FallujahIraqi victim of white phosphorus used by US & UK troops in Fallujah ash-Shareef  

    => Read more!

  • Backbiting: Show Summary

    These definitions and fiqh are taken from "Mukhtasar Minhaj al-Qasideen" (Ibn Qudamah's abridgement of Ibn al-Jawzi's summary of al-Ghazzali's "Ihya' `Ulum al-Deen") And from al-Umdat as-Salik or "The Reliance of the Traveller" by Ahmad Naqib al-Misri ash-Shafi’i.

    Meaning of Ghibah

    Narrated in Sahih Muslim and the Musnad of Imam Ahmad, the Prophet (saw) said to the Sahaba that backbiting is,
    "You mentioning anything about your brother something about him that he dislikes being spoken about."

    Someone then asked the Prophet (saw),
    "How about if my brother has that characteristic which I am mentioning?"

    The prophet replied, "If he truly is that which you mention behind his back, then you have indeed backbitten him. And, if he does not contain that which you say, then you have slandered him. (Both being Haram)"

    Backbiting or Ghibah is indicating anything truthful about a person that s/he would dislike about his
    • Body
    • Voice
    • Speech or accent
    • Religion
    • Everyday life
    • Disposition
    • Property
    • Family
    • Headgear or clothing; whether it is too loose too tight, too low, or how it fits
    • Footwear
    • any bodily movements, twitches, habits, the way they walk, smiling, frowning, cheerfulness, or subdued nature
    • ….or any remote detail connected to them.

    This indicating is defined as (i.e. backbiting is done) either by
    • Words,
    • Writing,
    • Signalling,
    • Winking,
    • Nudging,
    • Mimicking,
    • Imitating in any way,
    • By innuendo or allusion even if you don’t mention the name,
    • Hinting,
    • Subtly referring to them without name,
    • By a frown behind their back,
    • A change of mood when the name is mentioned,
    • ……or by indicating in any way by any method.

    "Beware of backbiting, for backbiting is more serious than adultery. A man may commit adultery, and drink [wine], and then repent, and Allah will forgive him. But, the backbiter will not be forgiven by Allah until his backbitten companion forgives him." [Imam Suyuti, Al-Jami` as-Saghir]

    Namima or Telling Tales

    Namima or tale telling is defined as quoting someone’s words in any way that will worsen relationships between people, even if the quote is true, this includes but is not limited to;
    • Sensationalising,
    • Dramatisation,
    • Exaggeration,
    • Spin,
    • Quoting out of context,
    • Quoting disproportionately,
    • ….Or simply telling tales in any way that could possibly cause discord between people.

    Narrated in Sahih Bukhari and Muslim the Prophet said,
    “The Tale teller will not enter Jannah”

    Remember: Backbiting is telling the truth about someone behind their back, Slander is when you lie about them.

    Suspicion

    "O you who believe! Avoid suspicion, for some suspicion is sin. Do not spy on one another, nor backbite one another. Would one of you love to eat the flesh of his dead brother." [Qur'an, Surah Hujaraat:12]

    "And do not look for information into things of which you have no knowledge. Indeed, listening, seeeing and what is in the heart about others- [you] will be asked about all of them." [Qur'an, Surah Banii Israail:36]

    Narrated in Abu Dawood, the Prophet Muhammad (saw) said,
    "O you who have claimed to believe with your tongues, but whose hearts have no beleif! Do not backbite the Muslims, nor seek out their secrets! For, whoever seeks out the faults of his brother, Allah will seek out his secrets. And, whoever has his secrets sought out by Allah, Allah will disgrace him, even if he hides or in the depths of his house."

    Holding persistent suspicions in the heart is Haram, but passing suspicions that vacate your hearts after they arise are not.

    Talking uselessly

    "He (the human) does not utter a single word, except that there is, with him, an angel ready and waiting to record it." [Qur'an, Surah al-Qaaf:18]

    Imam Nawawi commenting said "It is fard for every sane adult to guard his tongue against talking, except when it contains a clear (religiously defined) benefit."

    Narrated in Bukhari, Muslim, Ahmad, Tirmidhi, and Ibn Majah, the prophet Muhammad (saw) said:
    "Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should say [something] good, or he should keep silent."

    Nawawi then commented that, "This hadith is quite explicit that it is imperative to not talk unless the speech is good, which is that wherein there is some benefit. If a person is in doubt as to whether there will be any benefit, then he should remain silent."

    The prophet said:

    "Whoever guarantees for me what is between his jaws and what is between his legs, I guarantee Jannah for him" [Bukhari, Muslim]

    He also said, "Is there anything which drags people into the Fire on their faces other than the harvest of their tongues?!" [Tirmidhi]

    Allah (swt) says:
    "[Successful are] those who shun vain talk." [Qur'an, al-Mu'minun: 3]

    The prophet (saw) said,
    "Whoever is present while a Muslim is humiliated before him, and is able to assist him [and yet does not], Allah will humiliate him before [all of] creation." [Narrated by Ahmad in al-Musnad and Imam Suyuti in Al-Jami` As-Saghir]

    And he said,
    "Whoever protects a believer from a hypocrite, Allah will send to him an angel to protect him from the Fire of Hell on the Day of Arising. "[Abu Dawud]

    and,
    "Whoever averts [an attack] on the honor of his brother, Allah will avert the fire from his face on the Day of Arising." [Tirmidhi]

    Cases in which ghibah is permissible

    •Injustice. One who has suffered injustice is entitled to mention the one who has committed injustice to someone who is capable of restoring his rights to him, such as a ruler or judge.

    •Seeking help to change an evil (forbid the munkar), or to reform the wrongdoer. E.g. unjust governments, policitians, Ulema, or public figures. If the intention in telling the ghibah is not to actually change the munkar, then it is forbidden to relate it.

    •Asking for a fatwa. A person may say, 'My father/brother/wife has done such-and-such to me. What can I do about it?
    Hind, the wife of Abu Sufyan, said to the Prophet (saw), "Abu Sufyan is a miserly man, and he is not giving me what would suffice me and my child, unless I take from him without his knowing." He said, "Take what suffices you and your child according to common usage." [Bukhari, Muslim]
    However, it is more precautionary to avoid mention of names.

    •Warning, such as warning a prospective buyer that the merchant is a swindler, or warning a student that his prospective teacher is an innovator or a deviant. Also, giving someone a candid appraisal of a person whom the former is thinking of marrying.

    On the authority of Fatimah bint Qays : she said, "I came to the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and told him, "Abu Jahm and Mu`awiyah have [both] proposed to me." He said, "As for Mu`awiyah, he is a poor man with no money, and as for Abu Jahm, his stick never leaves his shoulder." [Bukhari, Muslim, Malik]

    •Someone who sins openly, and has no qualms about his sins being mentioned. However, it is not permissible to mention any of his secret sins. The prophet said,
    "There can be no backbiting of one who casts off the mantle of modesty." [Imam Suyuti in Al-Jami` As-Saghir, from Bayhaqi.]

    Expiation for ghibah

    The backbiter has committed two infringements; one upon the limits of Allah, and this must be expiated by repentance and regret. The second is on the rights of the victim. If news of the backbiting has reached the person, the backbiter must apologize to him/her, and express regret at having said it.

    "Whoever has wronged his brother, in the way of property or honor, let him go to him and repair it, before it is taken, when he has no dirhams or dinars, such that if he has any good deeds, some of the good deeds will be taken and given to [the wronged one], otherwise [if he has no good deeds], some of the other's evil deeds will be taken and cast upon him." [Bukhari, Ahmad Al-Musnad]

    If the person has not learned that he has been backbited, then the backbiter need not tell him, but he should ask Allah to forgive him. The prophet (saw) said,

    "The expiation with regard to one who has been backbited is that forgiveness be asked for him."
    [Suyuti, Al-Jami` As-Saghir]

    Mujahid said: "The expiation for eating the flesh of your brother is that you praise him and pray for good for him, and similar is the case if he has died."

    FINAL HADITH:
    Abu Dawud has reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,
    “When I was taken up to heaven (during the Mi`raj) I passed by people who had nails of copper, with which they were scratching their faces and their chests. I said, ‘Who are these [people], O Gabriel?’ He replied: ‘They are those who consumed the flesh of people [i.e. backbite them] and aspersed their honour and respect.’

    And Allah, the Exalted knows best.

    Hassan and Habibah

    With thanks to;
    The translators of “The reliance of the traveller” by Ahmad Naqib al-Misri
    The translators of Ihyaa Uloom ad-deen, by Imam Ghazali
    SunniPath.com,

  • New Labour "Muslim" MP's, and the art of Spin.

    This article was not written by Hassan or Habibah, and is not fully endorsed by us, however we feel it has some important points to make.

    New Labour "Muslim" MP's, and the art of Spin.

    It appears Muslims have learnt the art of spin (deception) from the
    Labour Party. The dishonesty and deceit of some leaders in the Muslim community
    knows no bounds it seems. This is a a harsh allegation against the
    plethora of organisations that seek to represent and influence Muslim
    opinion.

    => Read more!

  • "Islamic Feminism"?

    I am a Muslim woman, some would say an "Islamic feminist". Despite the stereotypes, radical Islamists like the Muslim Brotherhood, or Hizb-ut-tahrir, unlike the traditionalists or culturalist movements like the Taliban, are usually the source of most Muslim women's sense of Islamic empowerment or Islamic liberation away from things like forced marriage, child custody, abortion, domestic violence, sexploitation, etc. It is these movements on a grass roots level that have advanced a message of re-visiting the Quran to see how it does not in any way endorse the above oppressive practices, and this is one of the reasons why they find support. The sad thing is they are viewed as "extremists" and unpalatable to the West because they are also fiercely against Western foreign policy, and crude capitalism.

    Habibah

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4384512.stm

  • Islam is the "evil ideology"

    BY Hassan Saleemi 

    If the war on terror was doubted by it’s perpetrators, those in the corridors of Westminster or Washington to be a war on Islam itself, there can be no doubt about the latest addition to the guiding text for this war. Tony Blair’s speech at the Labour Party national conference on Saturday 16th July 2005, about the London bombings makes the position for all advocates of this war very clear:

     

    "What we are confronting here is an evil ideology…. it is a global struggle and it is a battle of ideas, hearts and minds, both within Islam and outside it. This is the battle that must be won, a battle not just about the terrorist methods but their views. Not just their barbaric acts, but their barbaric ideas."

    What does he define as these views and barbaric ideas that we need to confront?

     

    "They demand the elimination of Israel; the withdrawal of all Westerners from Muslim countries, irrespective of the wishes of people and Government; the establishment of effectively Taleban states, and Sharia law in the Arab world en route to one Caliphate of all Muslim nations."

    Let us examine this evil ideology that needs to be confronted according to Tony Blair. The idea that Israel should be eliminated, is actually the idea that the Israeli state should cease to exist, the Palestinians return to their homeland, and the Israeli state’s occupation of all of Palestine should end (see Virgina Tilley's view).

    This does not mean the elimination of Jews in the Middle East; Jews have always lived among Muslims, in the Islamic world as per Islamic guides on Dhimmis. This is the mainstream view of Muslims, and a view held to be the definitive Islamic view on Israel. Tony Blair categorising this as part of the evil ideology has categorised the majority of Muslims and Islam as such.

    The demand that all Westerners should leave Muslim countries, is non-existent, a disingenuous claim and a diversion. Not even Usama bin laden demands that there be some form of ethnic cleansing of all Westerners from Muslim lands. Behind the spin and slogans, he is referring to a very legitimate demand that foreign occupation troops leave Iraq, Afghanistan, and perhaps more importantly for many Muslims; the American military bases in Islamic holy lands, the Hijaz, in Saudi-Arabia. Blair says this is "irrespective of the wishes of people and Government". When were the wishes of the Muslim people ever taken into account, considering they have Western sponsored "democratic" dictatorships arching over them all over the Muslim world? Western military bases, occupations and interference being removed is again the mainstream desire of Muslims, and a view held to be the definitive Islamic view on the issue. Tony Blair categorising this, as part of the evil ideology has again categorised the majority of Muslims and Islam as such.

    It is even more absurd to attack the desire for Shariah, and flies straight into the face of every Muslim. Shariah law, is the law of Allah, the law of Islam, manifested in many forms, and at many levels, be it personal law or state law. Every Muslim would agree that Shariah law is to be adhered to and at a state level would be interpreted by the legitimately elected Islamic ruler or Khaleef, which leads me to Tony Blair’s next point.

    He mentions the demand for a Caliphate. The desire for a Khilafah, is not the monopoly of a few groups, not the monopoly of a few "young radicals", but is fundamental to Islam. While America has it’s ‘United States’, and Europe has the ‘European Union’, why is Muslims seeking political unity as prescribed by abundant verses of the Quran and Hadith not legitimate in Tony Blair’s view?

    The above four points mentioned in the prime ministers speech is most likely to be deeply offensive to Islam and Muslims. He seems to be confirming a widely held perception among Muslims that the war on terror is indeed a war on Islam as a complete personal and political way of life, using terrorism as a proxy. What is possibly even more surprising is that most Muslim groups, Mosques and institutions seemed to have missed this fundamental attack on the elementary teachings of their religion. The most counterproductive thing Mosques and Islamic institutions could do, unduly fearing repercussions, is to discourage debate or promotion of the above four issues in a peaceful way. If you prevent the youth discussing these things inside the Islamic institutions, they will be discussed elsewhere, only with much more resentment, alienation, frustration and eventually possibly even ‘extremism’.


    The writer is the presenter of Islam Channel‘s Hassan and Habibah show

    Source: This article appeared in the Muslim Weekly:
    themuslimweekly.com/fullstoryview.aspx?NewsID=DC87CA7BF86C4B284C39EBC4&MENUID=COMMENT&DESCRIPTION=Comments

  • A MUSLIM COMMUNITY RESPONSE TO ANTITERRORISM MEASURES

    In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate

    A MUSLIM COMMUNITY RESPONSE TO SOME OF THE PROPOSED ANTITERRORISM
    MEASURES

    As members of the Muslim community the undersigned individuals and organisations feel the need to communicate our view regarding some of the recently proposed antiterrorism measures in the aftermath of the London bombings, and address statements made by the Prime Minister in the past few weeks. The British Muslim community has
    always been a law-abiding community and all its endeavours to create a more just society have been entirely peaceful. We fear that recent events are being exploited by some sections in society to demonise legitimate Islamic values and beliefs and hence consider it appropriate to make the following observations:

    1. The term “extremism”, frequently used in the public discourse about religion and terrorism, has no tangible legal meaning or definition and is thus unhelpful and emotive. To equate ‘extremism’ with the aspirations of Muslims for Shariah laws in the Muslim world or the desire to see unification towards a Caliphate in the
    Muslim lands, as seemed to be misrepresented by the Prime Minister, is inaccurate and disingenuous. It indicates ignorance of what the Shariah is and what a Caliphate is and will alienate and victimise the Muslim community unnecessarily.

    2. The Muslim community in Britain has unequivocally denounced acts of terrorism. However, the right of people anywhere in the world to resist invasion and occupation is legitimate. Therefore the proposal to criminalise ‘justification’ or ‘validation’ of such self defence appears to be intended to stifle discussion about, and support for, such resistance. Thus anyone even verbally opposing the illegal
    invasion of Iraq, for example, could in future be made out to be justifying and supporting ‘acts of terrorism’ and prosecuted. We are concerned that these proposed measures are intended to prevent the popular opposition witnessed in the run-up to the Iraq war should the United States wish to attack Iran, Syria or any other sovereign nation in the near future.

    3. It is natural for Muslims to feel sympathy with fellow Muslims elsewhere in the world and to desire justice for those of them living under oppression. Many people compare the Israeli reality with South African apartheid and demand a similar solution. To denounce anybody who questions the legitimacy of Israel will
    be seen as an attempt to silence academic thought and legitimate political expression. If the government hopes to pander to Zionist pressure by condemning and excluding from this country people who are critical of Israeli apartheid, it is
    in fact supporting apartheid.

    4. The proposal to ban the non-violent organisation Hizb ut-Tahrir is, in our view, unwarranted, unjust and unwise, and runs counter to all the principles which Western democracies are currently trying to promote abroad. Any disagreement with a political organisation must be expressed through debate not censorship. Whatever objections one may have to someone else’s point of view, we must uphold their right to hold and articulate those views. If it is suggested that any
    laws have been broken by any individuals or groups then this must be proven by due legal process. Criminalising the mere possession of certain opinions is the hallmark of dictatorships, not democracies.

    5. The same reasoning applies to the proposal to close mosques if they are arbitrarily defined as being ‘extremist’ or to try and politically influence what may or may not be said during a religious talk. This would amount to a collective punishment of the community and will be likely to create fear and prevent legitimate political
    discussion within mosques. This repression could lead to the very radical subculture which we all seek to prevent.

    6. The proposal to deport and/or extradite foreign nationals to countries known for gross human rights abuses is abhorrent to a civilized nation, irrelevant of whether or not a diplomatic assurance that deportees will not be mistreated is obtained.
    This recent move comes across as a cynical attempt to resolve the problem of dealing with those currently under “control orders” after the judiciary found their continued detention without trial to be unlawful. Given that the alleged bombers on 7 July in London were British nationals, such an exploitation of the events to
    move against foreign nationals as well as unwanted asylum seekers is indeed shameful. This list of concerns is not conclusive, but we are putting these issues forward to help prevent a knee-jerk reaction to recent events which would drive a rift between communities in the UK and set the course of British politics onto the slippery slope of
    intellectual censorship and totalitarianism.

    Signed:

    2. Al-Ikhlas Foundation
    3. An-Nisa Society
    4. Algerian Community in Britain – Supporters of FIS
    5. Association of Muslim Lawyers
    7. Cageprisoners.com
    8. Centre of Muslim Affairs
    9. Comparative Religious Centre Ltd
    10. Crescent International
    11. Dr Usama Hasan
    12. Forum Against Islamophobia & Racism (FAIR)
    13. Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS)
    14. Friends of al-Aqsa
    15. Hasan al-Thaqafi - Islam Channel
    16. Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain
    17. Imam Shakeel Begg - Kent & Lewisham Islamic Centre
    19. International Muslims Organisation
    20. Islam Channel
    21. Islamic Forum Europe
    22. Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC)
    23. Islamic Observatory Centre
    24. Islamic Party of Britain
    25. Mindsprings
    26. Muslim Association of Britain (MAB)
    27. Muslim Directory
    28. New Civilization Foundation
    29. Party for Islamic Renewal
    31. Q-News
    32. Racial Attacks & Harassment Monitoring Association (RAHMA)
    33. Salam Magazine
    34. Sheykh Haitham al-Haddad - Shariah Council UK
    35. Sheykh Suliman Gani
    36. Stop Political Terror
    38. Yvonne Ridley – Political Editor, Islam Channel
    15 August 2005

  • Severe injustice unrecognised drives people mad

    The following letter written by Habibah, was sent to many newspapers, MPs and others. It was heavily edited and printed in the Sunday Times on July 17th 2005.

    Dear Sir / Madam

    I am a female presenter on the London based satellite TV station 'Islam Channel'. Following with regret and shock, the sad days of July 7th, I would like to add my opinions to the debate. I would ask you to keep in mind I was on the underground on July 7th and passed through Edgware road station 3 minutes before the bombing.

    While it is true that all mainstream Muslim organisations from the more global Hizb-ut-Tahrir, to the local MCB have condemned the action of killing civilians, I feel these condemnations have been largely ignored except for the MCB's, giving the impression that the community is not unified in it's condemnation, and that we have a significant number of groups or "extremist preachers" that condone the attacks by their silence. When it was revealed that the bombers might be British Pakistanis, I had no doubt it would be used by the extreme right to smugly imply in ‘respectable’ ways "we told you so" and used to call for more immigration controls, ID cards, etc.

    British Muslims naturally feel an affiliation towards England, Scotland, or Wales, as you would expect, it is human to love familiarity. However we also carry the concept of the wider Muslim "Ummah" or nation, in many ways similar to, but to a greater extent, how some Catholics may feel an affiliation to the Vatican state, or how Jews feel an affiliation to Israel.

    In any type of 'war' it would be absurd not know who your ‘enemies’ are and their motivations. The media has been focusing on some very public, transparent, radical, outspoken but peaceful Islamic groups, and, in my opinion, non-existent 'hard-line Imams' (most Mosque Imams practice self-censorship out of fear, which leaves angry youth dissatisfied).

    Ambiguous terms like ‘extremist’, ‘hard-line’, or ‘fundamentalist’ have become common currency in the rhetoric related to this whole debate. I would argue this a diversion away from any real threat, in order to subvert a new generation of highly educated radical young Muslims who demand a fair hearing for their peaceful criticism of capitalism or foreign policy, which some find simply unpalatable. If it is proven that British Muslims were involved, it would be wise to be aware that the following logic is used to manipulate "young minds" feeding on widely held perceptions of injustice and not "religious fanaticism".

    Please note the lack of religious justification, i.e. the secular nature of the logic below, which terrorists use on their websites:

    (1) The occupation of Palestine, Iraq, Chechnya, Bosnia, Kashmir, and Xinyiang etc is supported, ignored or executed by western imperialist powers.

    (2) The west supports brutal puppet dictators to crush Muslim peoples, and the freedom they yearn for, e.g. President Karimov in Andijan or Mubarak in Egypt, even labelling these brutal dictators as "moderates"

    (3) The colonialists have been ‘at it’ for 300 years now, including starving the masses in Africa after they could no longer force them into slavery.

    (4) All of the above is used as evidence that the imperial powers are at war with the Ummah (Muslim nation), and the poor.

    (5) Re-invading Iraq and re-electing Tony Blair was the last straw, not the cause. So now when ‘the west’ bombs Muslim civilians, Muslims will respond with revenge. The innocent victims of this revenge are indeed innocent, but "collateral damage". The hypocritical ‘west’ also intentionally kills civilians as a strategy of war. Look at Fallujah, the depleted uranium causing the slow death of cancer in almost every family of Iraq. Look at the sanctions that killed millions in Iraq, look at how the west was complicit in the genocide of Bosnians. Also look at how Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki, were bombed in WW2, to intentionally inflict as many civilian casualties as possible. Remember Winston Churchill's chemical bombing of Iraqi Kurds, during one of the previous occupations of Iraq?

    Even now the occupation forces use mustard gas, nerve gas, napalm and other burning chemicals in Iraq. So, how can ‘the west’ complain about killing civilians?

    I repeat, the above logic is not my own, but the logic used by the terrorists on their websites, which is simply padded out with a few out of context verses from the Quran. You will note that it has much to do with foreign policy and
    double standards, and little to do with blind hate, religious fervour, or hatred of any civilisation. Even if these people were not Muslim, they would still have the above grievances.

    If we were to be tough on crime and the causes of crime, wouldn’t it be sensible to be tough on terrorists, and tough on the causes of terrorism, which isn't Islamism, or religious fanaticism? I firmly believe if it wasn't for Islam's restrictions on war, we would be dealing with a lot more Arab, Chechen, African, Pakistani, Central Asian nationalist or left-wing bombers, rather than the few Muslim bombers.

    To taint Islamists for the tragic events in London would be like tainting Christians for the genocide in Bosnia, and for the continuing help the perpetrators like Ratko Mladic get to stay in hiding, by some in the Orthodox Church.

    Islam Channel Ltd.
    SKY EPG channel 836
    http://www.islamchannel.tv

    Eurobird 1 and Astra 2A,2B on frequency 11,661 GHz X horizontal

    Email: Hassanandhabibah@islamchannel.tv

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