Apr 11 2017

Q&A: Is There a Concept of a State in Islam?

By Ramy Osman

April 2017


The following is a transcript of a question-answer exchange between M4L Director Will Coley and author/journalist Mustafa Akyol at the International Students for Liberty Conference held in Washington DC in February 2017. Mustafa Akyol gave a talk titled “Islam and Liberty: Are they compatible?”, and this excerpt is from the Q&A session. In order to assist in readability, I modified only a few words (speech can sometimes transcribe in an awkward way). Also, some short inaudible portions (few seconds) were left out.


Will Coley: At your most recent CATO event, you talked about a concept of a state; that Islam has a concept of a state. However, I think that’s incorrect because there is no concept of a state in Islam. A state implies that there’s a monopoly on the use of force and violence over a given geographic region.  Whereas no monopoly of that kind existed under the prophet Muhammad (saw) in Medina which had competing political and judicial court systems alongside the Muslim community there. What are your thoughts about that?


Mustafa Akyol: I agree with you. I don’t think that the Qur’an and the prophetic example, or the sunnah tradition, necessitate a state; I’m not arguing that. I’m saying that Muslims have built states and they legitimize it for Islam. In Islamic consciousness, state and religion have become tied – and in shariah as well. You see this when you read scholars like al-Mawardi who speaks of a sultanate as if it is something that God has ordained and that the sultan has certain duties while the shariah limits the duties of the sultan.

Islamic jurisprudence, as it developed, took the state as a reality, and it [the state] ended up becoming sanctified. But shariah has always emphasized that the state must obey the law which is higher than the state. This concept I think is a very important rule for us today to help us build some kind of natural law over the state – but that’s another discussion.

I agree with you that I didn’t put it that clearly in the CATO event. The Qur’an doesn’t speak to a state, it speaks to a community. It uses language such as “Oh you who believe…”, “Oh mankind…”. It’s not speaking to an entity called a state, there’s nothing like that.

But in prophet Muhammad’s example, you see that he had military power. And that happened because he was persecuted. He and the Muslims were attacked, some were killed, and they had to flee from their home city [Makkah]. When they went to Medina they were not left alone, and so there were wars between the people Medina and the pagans of Makkah. These were defensive wars.

Does it mean that there was a state in Medina? Do we call it a state in the modern sense? We shouldn’t. But they did have power. Now is that power an inherent feature of Islam – which has to always be there? Or do we see it as a matter of historical circumstance? If the prophet Muhammad’s preaching in Makkah was accepted peacefully and the Muslims were not attacked in Makkah, then they would not have needed to move to Medina.

The question is, what aspects of the prophets example are universally binding and valid, and what aspects are historically contingent? These are major questions. And I agree that it would be wrong to say that prophet Muhammad established a state.

But then you have people like Hizbul Tahrir will say: “No, no, he was there just to establish a state. That’s why he was there! An Islamic state!!”. They are dying for a state. They’re Islamic statists, kind of like communist statists.

Apr 10 2017

The Concept of Freedom in Islam

From the Web
Source: http://www.islamanswering.com

By the authors at QuestionsOnIslam.com

Freedom, both as a concept and as a value, has been denied to many individuals, groups, and nations. It has been often misunderstood and abused. The fact is that in no human society can man be free in the absolute sense of the word. There must be some limitations of one sort or another, if the society is to function at all.

Apart from this general idea, Islam teaches freedom, cherishes it, and guarantees it for the Muslim as well as for the non-Muslim. The Islamic concept of freedom applies to all voluntary activities of man in all walks of life. As already stated, every man is born free on the fitrah or in a pure state of nature. This means that man is born free from subjugation, sin, inherited inferiority, and ancestral hindrance. His right of freedom is sacred as long as he does not deliberately violate the Law of God or desecrate the rights of others.

One of the main objectives of Islam is to emancipate the mind from superstitions and uncertainties, the soul from sin and corruption, the conscience from oppression and fear, and even the body from disorder and degeneration.

The course which Islam has enjoyed on man to realize this goal includes profound intellectual endeavors, constant spiritual observances, binding moral principles, and even dietary regulations. When man follows this course, religiously, he cannot fail to reach his ultimate goal of freedom and emancipation.

The question of freedom with regard to belief, worship, and conscience is also of paramount importance in Islam. Every man is entitled to exercise his freedom of belief, conscience, and worship. In the words of the Qur’an, God says:

“There is no compulsion in religion. Truth stands out clear from error. Whoever rejects evil and believes in God has grasped the strongest bond that never breaks. Gods knows all, and hears all things.” (Qur’an, 2:256)

Islam takes this attitude because religion depends upon faith, will, and commitment. These would be meaningless if induced by force. Furthermore, Islam presents the Truth of God in the form of an opportunity and leaves the choice for man to decide his own course. The Qur’an says:

“The Truth is from your Lord. Let him who wills, believe, and let him who wills, disbelieve.” (Qur’an, 18:29)

The Islamic concept of freedom is an article of faith, a solemn command from the Supreme Creator. It is built on the following fundamental principles. First, man’s conscience is subject to God only, to Whom every man is directly responsible. Secondly, every human being is personally responsible for his deeds and he alone is entitled to reap the fruits of his work. Thirdly, God has delegated to man the responsibility to decide for himself. Fourthly, man is sufficiently provided with spiritual guidance and endowed with rational qualities that enable him to make responsible, sound choices.

Such is the foundation of the Islamic concept of freedom and such is the value of freedom in Islam. It is a natural right of man, a spiritual privilege, a moral prerogative, and, above all, a religious duty. Within the framework of this Islamic concept of freedom, there is no room for religious persecutions, class conflict, or racial prejudice. The individual’s right of freedom is as sacred as his right of Life; freedom is the equivalent of Life itself.

Apr 09 2017

BBC Video: Tariq Ramadan: ‘Islam’s quiet intellectual revolution’

From the Web:
Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-38987729

By Viewsnight on BBC
(BBC World) March 13, 2017

Viewsnight is BBC Newsnight’s new place for ideas and opinion.

Here, author and academic Tariq Ramadan argues there is an “intellectual revolution” taking place within Islam.

This is a response to Graeme Wood’s Viewsnight: The rise of Islamic State is the Modern Reformation.


[The following is a verbatim transcription of Tariq Ramadan’s speech taken from the BBC video]

Islamic reform is happening – you just can’t always see it. To talk about an Islamic reformation today is misplaced. We should not try to to understand Islam through a Christian lens. The two realities are completely different.

Some people are even arguing that the rise of ISIS is in fact the Islamic reformation. Like Martin Luther, they are radical and they don’t accept the religious establishment. But this comparison doesn’t stand historical and theological accuracy. Historically, Luther was radical against the Catholic Church and a knowledgeable scholar. (But) Islam has no church, and the leaders of ISIS have no religious credibility. All Muslims – Sunni and Shi’a – have banded together to reject them. ISIS is not reforming the message of Islam, but betraying it.

Instead, we need to ask: “What is happening today within Islam?”

There is a silent reform in process, an intellectual revolution going on as we speak within Muslim societies. Just because these reforms don’t violently colonize our news headlines doesn’t mean they are not happening. Across the globe, Muslims are trying to liberate themselves from both Arab and Asian patriarchy and Western cultural imperialism. This reform is a deep historical process and it will take time. It may not lead to the Western understanding of the “liberal values”. (But) Islam will reform within its own tradition.

It would be simplistic and dangerous to assume that the “West is liberal” and “Islam is radical”, both working in opposite directions. There is a third way we need to help create. As well as sharing values of justice, freedom, equality, and human dignity, we need to act together. We must together resist social injustice, racism, gender inequality, and deal in a more dignified way with migrants and refugees. To achieve this, the West should be less arrogant, and Muslims more open.


Apr 09 2017

CATO Event: Islamic Liberalism: Real or False Hope?

By Ramy Osman
April 2017

The CATO Institute in Washington DC hosted an event on February 15, 2017 titled “Islamic Liberalism: Real or False Hope?” (see the video at bottom of this page). The event was a discussion/debate between Turkish journalist and author Mustafa Akyol and American author Shadi Hamid, moderated by CATO’s Ian Vasquez. Akyol presented an optimistic view that Muslims around the world are increasingly accepting and promoting ideas of freedom and liberty. Hamid presented a more pessimistic view saying that Muslims, like all other humans, are more inclined to “illiberalism”.


The following is my summary of the speeches and then of the questions. It’s not verbatim since it’s summarized and re-written in my own words.

Mustafa Akyol begins his speech at minute 5:00 by mentioning Moses Mendelssohn, a Jewish enlightenment scholar in the 18th century, who argued during his time that Judaism is compatible with ideas of freedom and liberty. Mendelssohn’s optimism was dismissed by other scholars of that era who stated that the nature of Judaism is law, rooted in halakha, while the nature of Christianity is rooted in spirituality without law. Thus Christianity has an inherent flexibility which allows its followers to develop concepts of individualism and to develop their laws however they want and based on liberal ideas. Judaism does not have that feature (of flexibility) but rather is locked in Rabbinical interpretations of Jewish law, ‘halakha’, that are tied to the Jewish community as a whole. Mendelssohn’s ideas eventually prevailed enabling Jewish scholarship to develop their own enlightenment called ‘haskalah’.

Akyol highlights the difference between Christianity and Judaism in order to mention that Islam is similar to Judaism – in that Islam is also rooted in law, ‘shariah’. He says that there are many Muslims today engaged in the same intellectual exercises in freedom and liberty that Mendelssohn was engaged in. There are also examples in Islamic history where scholars and movements developed these same ideas [but these ideas were lost due to historical circumstances]. Today, two important trends in Muslim intellectual thought which assist in liberal interpretations of Islam, are: 1. subordinating the interpretation of hadith literature to Qur’anic principles; and 2. Contextualizing the Qur’an and hadith to the society and culture that they existed within (7th century Arabia), and using that understanding to interpret and translate the Qur’an into a modern context.

Despite modern intellectual trends in Muslim scholarship calling for a flexible interpretation of Islam, Akyol also said that Islam inherently lends itself to liberal interpretation because there were significant accomplishments of social liberation during the lifetime of the prophet Muhammad (pbuh); Among other things, two major social accomplishments of the first Muslim community was the liberation of women from oppressive cultural traditions, and the promotion of a free and equitable market (especially since the prophet Muhammad (pbuh) himself was a successful merchant before becoming a prophet).

These ideas have difficulty taking root in modern Muslim societies because during the past two centuries, Muslim populations have been under siege, first by colonialism and then by despotic authoritarian regimes. This state of siege doesn’t create an environment conducive to the development of ideas of toleration and liberalism [but rather creates ideas of survival, self-preservation, and resistance against oppression]. So the reason why ideas of liberty and freedom haven’t yet taken a prominent role in many Muslim societies has more to do with oppressive historical circumstances rather than there being any problem with the Islamic religion and scripture. Based on this understanding, the best way for Western and non-Muslim people to help promote freedom and liberty in Muslim societies is by advocating for safe and secure conditions for Muslims, and by encouraging economic development. Peaceful conditions will crate a bourgeoisie-like class of people who will be the carriers of a liberal message.  Wars and occupations must be opposed, and dictators and oppressive regimes must not be supported.


Shadi Hamid begins his speech at minute 20:40 saying that he agrees with Akyols argument for the most part because he (Hamid) also believes in a liberal interpretation of Islam. But most Muslims have trouble signing on to this perspective because of three main reasons: 1. they don’t see an urgency to to do so, 2. don’t see it as a compelling argument, and 3. they don’t want to risk their salvation in the afterlife by believing in something that is still on the fringes of Muslim society. Hamid says that even though there might be some progress in developing liberal ideas among Muslims, it’s a very slow process that leads one to conclude that freedom and liberty will not take root in Muslim societies any time soon.

But a more significant reason that liberal ideas will probably not develop in Muslim societies is because humans by nature always tend be more illiberal than liberal. This can be seen by looking at human history as being one big illiberal trend, and also by looking at modern Western countries, that are supposed to be the leaders in liberalism, that have in recent times been increasingly illiberal by infringing on people’s rights and freedoms.

Hamid then mentions Francis Fukuyama, a modern author and political scientist, who in his book “The Origins of Political Order”, says that liberalism is not natural to the human condition. Fukuyama says, “Individualism seems today like a solid core of our economic and political behavior is only because we have developed institutions that override our more naturally communal instincts.” In other words, liberalism is an artificial human condition that requires using modern institutions to “force” us to be liberal. Hamid ends his speech by asking why does Islam or Muslims need to be liberalized in the first place? And why can’t Muslims choose to be illiberal if they choose to do so through a peaceful and democratic way?


At minute 35:20, Mustafa Akyol responds to Shadi Hamid’s points.


At minute 39:05, Hamid mentions that there are examples in Islamic history where Islamic laws were developed that promoted pluralism (instead of liberalism). [My comment: Within the history of Islamic pluralism you’ll find (as alluded to by Akyol) some intellectual threads of liberal thought that were developed by some scholars].


At minute 41:05, Akyol explains why liberalism is needed as opposed to pluralism.


Question by moderator to Hamid at minute 43:10: Your description of Islamic history sounded more like Islamic liberalism as opposed to Islamic pluralism. Does that mean you think the Muslim world can actually become liberal?

Question by audience at minute 47:30: If the Qur’an is immutable, and it commands the Muslim state and Muslim individuals to kill apostates, then how can you have liberal Islam?

Question by audience (Dr Charles Butterworth) at minute 51:35: Ali Abdul Raziq published his book right after the end of the Caliphate and insisted that Muhammad (pbuh) was not a politician but instead was a founder of a religion. What do you say about this?

Question by audience at minute 56:00: Ten centuries ago, Muslim countries were more economically prosperous, scientifically advanced, and had substantial achievements in law, literature, etc, than Christian countries at that time. What happened since that time which caused such a dramatic change as we see it today?

Question by audience at minute 1:01:50: How do people’s social positions and relationships affect their interpretation of Islamic topics like abortion, interest, etc.?

Question by audience (Dr Imad ad Dean Ahmad) at minute 1:07:33: The Qur’an itself has almost no laws in it, just a handful. If you’re looking for a way for Muslims to become more liberal, rather than focus on the historicization of the harshness of those laws, why not instead focus on what those laws were trying to address? These were punishments for breaking contracts, punishments for theft, etc. So isn’t this (focus) a more important aspect of liberalism, rather than insist that ‘to be a liberal you have to agree with me on everything’?

Question by audience at minute 1:14:05:  It’s been said that Islam hasn’t undergone a reformation similar to how Christianity did. Can you speak about that?

Question by audience at minute 1:14:45:  Isn’t Islam itself a liberal religion because in the Quran it mentions “To you is your religion, and to me is my religion”. Similar to a contract, religion is a contract between you and God. But as for punishments, liberals would want to enforce punishments on people who [harm others] similar to how the Qur’an commands punishments for those things. What would you say about that?

Mar 26 2017

Muslims Thrive in Free State Project, New Hampshire

From the Web:
Source: https://freestateproject.org/blogs/mover-stories/origin-stories-goshe-thrives-new-hampshire

By Goshe King
(Free State Project) March 10, 2017

In February of 2008 when I became a U.S citizen, I was led to believe that voting was now my civic duty. Previously, I had been completely apolitical and for the first time I started to read the agendas between the two party lines. Looking back, I was just another ‘one issue voter’. At the time, I could not comprehend how a government could force individuals to purchase health insurance. As disgusted as I was with taxation, it seemed like a no brainer to avoid voting for Obama. I still hadn’t found political home until a new friend from work introduced me to Ron Paul minarchism. This led me to a group of friends involved with Campaign for Liberty in Baltimore, Maryland. Later that year, this new group of friends decided to head to Lancaster, NH for the event of the year that I knew nothing about. It was called PorcFest.

The seven days I spent at PorcFest were some of the greatest days of my life. I met new family, friends, and finally, my political home. Conversations at PorcFest sparked my personal quest to learn about Libertarianism. It turned me into an avid reader, studying subjects ranging from Austrian economics to personal liberty. By the end of PorcFest none of us wanted to go back to Maryland. We decided that we would come back next year and seriously consider moving to New Hampshire.

All of us returned for yet another great time at PorcFest 2011. By the end of the Fest, I had been asking myself one question, “Why haven’t I moved yet?” After we returned to Maryland, within a month, I resigned from my job. In August, I flew in for a job interview and moved to New Hampshire in September of 2011. When I arrived at the apartment in Laconia, I was welcomed by 5 complete strangers (Free Staters). The late Hardy Macia was one of them, may Allah rest his soul. It took them less than an hour to empty out a 29 ft U-Haul truck. A few weeks later, I got sick and on a Facebook “Porcupine” page, I asked if anyone knew of a doctor’s office in the area which was open late. Within minutes, complete strangers wanted to know if I needed a ride to the doctor’s office. I didn’t need a ride, but to this day, the story warms my heart. I am grateful for such community the libertarians have created in the Free State, where strangers have become friends and family. At PorcFest 2015, the national director for Muslims for Liberty honored me with the position of NH Director for M4L.

My fiancé was attending college in Maine at the time and it took her another 1.5 years before she too moved home. We now live in Moultonborough, NH where she is an assistant director to a nonprofit charitable organization, and I am a mechanical engineer for a reputable engineering consulting firm. The Free State Project has transformed our lives.

-Goshe King, Moved September 2011


Mar 20 2017

Islam: The Religion of Libertarianism (Interview)

From the Web:
Source: https://glibertarians.com/2017/03/islam-the-religion-of-libertarianism/

By Old Man With Candy (OMWC)
(Gilbertarians) March 13, 2017


[An interview] in which a Palestinian Arab Muslim and a secular Zionist Jew find much accord.

Many take it as a given that Islam and any notion of liberty are diametrically opposed. People are quick to point out the number of Islamic dictatorships and repressive theocracies, and generalize that (for example) to Muslims in America. Dr. Imad Ad-Dean Ahmad, a scholar of Islam and history, would disagree. His organization, Minaret of Freedom, is dedicated to spreading a different narrative, that of a religion which values economic and social freedom, despite its use as a tool of repression by autocrats and theocrats in the Middle East and South Asia.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jan 29 2017

Libertarian Party to Muslims: We Stand With You

From the Web:
Source: https://www.lp.org/we_stand_with_you/

By Libertarian Party
(LP Press Release) January 29, 2017

For Immediate Release

January 29, 2017

Contact: Carla Howell, media [at] LP [dot] org or (202) 333-0008 x 222

In the early morning hours of January 28th, a fire broke out in the Victoria Islamic Center in Victoria, TX. It quickly destroyed the whole building. The cause has not officially been determined.

Two weeks ago, another mosque, the Islamic Center of Lake Travis, in Austin, TX, burned. Again, the cause of the fire has not been officially determined.

Both mosques have previously been vandalized. And the mosque in Victoria was burglarized last week.

Regardless of the causes of these fires, the Libertarian Party extends sympathy to the Muslim communities in these towns and across America.

As one member of the mosque in Austin, TX, said, “We are all just praying it wasn’t a hate crime.”

Indeed. The Libertarian Party hopes that these fires were caused by some innocent accident. But the fact that our Muslim brothers and sisters even have to worry about hate crimes perpetrated against them or their buildings of worship is a sad statement on current affairs in America.

New executive orders have barred entry of people from 7 countries that are mostly Muslim. We’ve heard talk of registries for Muslim Americans. And we’ve heard a lot of nasty rhetoric from the President and others. Muslim Americans have every reason to feel uncomfortable. And their concern should be the concern of every American.

Libertarian Party Chair, Nicholas Sarwark, says, “America was founded on freedom, including and perhaps especially freedom of religion. It is central to who we are as Americans and it is values such as this that make our country great. When we lose sight of these values, our country ceases to be great.”

He continues, “There are two real threats here: One is the infringement on people’s rights to live and worship as they see fit. The other is the complacency that some Americans have about it.”

The Libertarian Party calls on all Americans not to be complacent when the rights of one group, any group, are infringed. Sarwark says, “When we allow one group’s rights to be degraded, we are degrading the human rights of all of us, and degrading our country.”

Today and everyday, the Libertarian Party stands for the rights of all people, all the time.

Today and everyday, the Libertarian Party says to our Muslim brothers and sisters, we are with you. We have your back. We’ll do our best to speak out and amplify your voice. We hope and pray that a registry is never created. But if one is, we will oppose it vigorously and you can rest assured that many of our members will register themselves in protest. We will speak out against travel and immigration bans. We will speak out loudly against any and all acts of violence or destruction that may be committed against you. When your rights and humanity are infringed upon, we stand with you.


Jan 16 2017

Obama’s Eloquence Fails to Hide His Evil Legacy

Obamas legacy is failureBy Ramy Osman
January 2017

With another eloquent speech that was the trademark of his 8 years as ruler of the world, Barack Obama brilliantly programmed his faithful disciples one last time. He ignored all of the injustices and horrors that he and his administration were responsible for during his tenure; And he instead mesmerized his followers into religiously believing that he has made America more exceptional that it has ever been, and that he leaves behind a righteous legacy. Read the rest of this entry »

Nov 11 2016

Libertarian Party National Vice Chairman Encourages Fellow Libertarians to Protect Muslim Americans

arvin-vohra-lp-vice-chairBy Will Coley
November 2016

This afternoon, Libertarian Party national Vice Chairman, Arvin Vohra, took to facebook to encourage fellow libertarians to protect their Muslim neighbors, through force of arms if need be. Read the rest of this entry »

Nov 11 2016

Trumps Aggression is an American Profession



By Ramy Osman
November 2016

Trumps win of the presidency has challenged many people’s perception of what America really stands for. People are having trouble coming to terms with what a Trump presidency will mean for this country. There’s no doubt that things are going to change over the next four years. But how it’s going to change might be as unpredictable as the recent election outcome. Read the rest of this entry »

Nov 08 2016

You Can Still Win Big by Voting for the Loser



Hesham El-Meligy
November 8, 2016


The prize of an election is not only who wins (or who you make lose), the real prize, especially for a minority group like the Muslim community, is that when you go to vote, you sign next to your printed name – which creates political leverage.  The names of people who voted are tabulated after the elections, and all parties and candidates look into them for future elections.  When they see Muslim-sounding names increasing and voting over and over, that’s one concrete way to create political leverage, forcing candidates to take this minority more seriously, because then, you are a power to make or break their campaigns.  That’s why Muslims in swing states such as Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, and others, are playing a huge role in the 2016 election.  That’s why next year, the NYC Muslim vote will play a major role on who becomes Mayor, Public Advocate, Comptroller, among others.  Again, the prize of electoral politics is not only who wins or who loses; It’s more about creating that leverage, that political machine, that block vote.    Read the rest of this entry »

Nov 06 2016

Some Guiding Thoughts for Muslim Voters in Staten Island and NYC


By Hesham El Meligy

Here’s a video of a talk I gave Saturday morning at a mosque in Staten Island, NY.  It touches on many aspects of political involvement and creating political leverage for the Muslim community, as well as a few guiding tips for voting in this Tuesday’s general election.

To inject some fun into this stressful election season, I made this post on my personal Facebook page a few days ago which is my forecast of the Presidential election result.  I said: Read the rest of this entry »

Nov 05 2016

Unindicted Co-Conspirator : Uncharged Third-Party


By Priscilla Galstaun
November 2016

The United States government has never formally charged the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a civil and religious rights advocacy group, with an offense.

However, this fact is lost on a sizeable number of people who hate and fear all things Muslim. And state legislatures, preceded by the Federal government, bear a significant part of that responsibility.

Rep. John Bennetts’ (R-Sallisaw) interim study on “Radical Islam, Shariah Law, the Muslim Brotherhood and the radicalization process” was conducted at the Oklahoma State Capitol with House Speaker Jeff Hickmans’ (R-Fairview) stamp of approval and attended by two other legislators. This demonstrates how elected state officials use their positions of authority to intimidate and threaten Oklahoma Muslims who make up less than 1 percent of the state’s population. Read the rest of this entry »

Oct 26 2016

Oklahoma Lawmakers Use Their Bully-Pulpit to Demonize Muslims


image source: http://www.tulsaworld.com

By Priscilla Galstun-Khader
October 2016

Oklahoma State lawmakers approved Rep. John “Islam-is-a-cancer-in-our-nation-that-needs-to-be-cut-out” Bennett’s proposal for an “Interim study on radical Islam” on July 8 2016, along with 71 other studies, for an estimated $50,000. That’s our tax dollars being used for this state-sponsored hate and fear mongering and the othering of Muslims in Oklahoma.

This McCarthy era type panel was in session at the Oklahoma state Capitol. The panel of “experts” include Rep. John Bennett and many anti-Muslim activists. In addition, “a former terrorist with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) will testify.”
Read the rest of this entry »

Oct 26 2016

As a Muslim American, I will vote my conscience this November. By abstaining


From the Web:
Source: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/oct/24/muslim-american-i-will-vote-my-conscience-by-abstaining 

By Qanta Ahmed
(the guardian) October 24, 2016

I am an American Muslim with one vote, and no person for whom to cast it. I became a citizen less than a year ago. This is my first election and yet, I won’t be joining the millions of other Americans going to the polls.

How could I squander such privilege, particularly when so many Muslim women in the world never get to vote? Voting my conscience – by abstaining – is a painful decision. Friends are astonished by my dilemma. Yet Clinton, for some Muslims, remains a problematic choice, and one I am not able to embrace. Read the rest of this entry »

Oct 22 2016

The Middle East and the Next Administration

By Dr Imad ad-Dean Ahmad
August 2016
Source: Minaret of Freedom Blog

the-middle-east-and-the-next-administration-youtube[These are selected highlights excerpted from Ambassador Chas W. Freeman, Jr.’s address to the Middle East Policy Council’s 86th Capitol Hill Conference. The complete video and transcript of the entire conference are available at: http://mepc.org/hill-forums/middle-east-and-next-administration.]

The Middle East and the Next Administration: Challenges, Opportunities and Recommendations
[Excerpts selected by Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad, Ph.D., Minaret of Freedom Institute]

CHAS W. FREEMAN, JR. (Chairman, Projects International Inc.; Former Ambassador to Saudi Arabia; Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense; Former President, Middle East Policy Council) Read the rest of this entry »

Oct 20 2016

Is Islam a “Religion of the Sword”? Part 3


From the Web
Source: http://barakainstitute.org/articles/is-islam-a-religion-of-the-sword/

By Kabir Helminski and Hesham Hessaboula
(BARAKA Institute) January 30, 2015:  See Part 1 of 3 HERE and See Part 2 of 3 HERE

Furthermore, when Muslims do fight in war, all is not “fair,” as it has been said. Islamic Law has always recognized principles of just war. Muslims are strictly forbidden to commit aggression:

“And fight for the sake of God those who fight you; but do not be brutal or commit aggression, for God does not love brutal aggression” (2:190).

The next verse also says, “slay them wherever you may come upon them,” but if the entire verse is read, it is clear that the “slaying” is in also self-defense: Read the rest of this entry »

Oct 14 2016

Is Islam a “Religion of the Sword”? Part 2


From the Web
Source: http://barakainstitute.org/articles/is-islam-a-religion-of-the-sword/

By Kabir Helminski and Hesham Hessaboula
(BARAKA Institute) January 30, 2015, See Part 1 of 3 HERE

Another set of verses seemingly declares that all non-believers are to be attacked and killed:

“And let them not think—those who are bent on denying the truth [i.e., unbelievers]—that they shall escape [God]: behold, they can never frustrate [His purpose]. Hence, make ready against them whatever force and war mounts you are able to muster, so that you might deter thereby the enemies of God, who are your enemies as well, and others besides them of whom you may be unaware, but of whom God is aware; and whatever you may expend in God’s cause shall be repaid to you in full, and you shall not be wronged” (8:59-60).

Read the rest of this entry »

Oct 05 2016

Is Islam a “Religion of the Sword”? Part 1

quran verse kill them where you find them

From the Web
Source: http://barakainstitute.org/articles/is-islam-a-religion-of-the-sword/
Image Source: http://www.themercifulservant.com/

By Kabir Helminski and Hesham Hessaboula
(BARAKA Institute) January 30, 2015

There are a number of verses in the Qur’an that appear to call for Muslims to kill non-Muslims, and these verses have been too often quoted out of context with what appears to be a willful disregard of the context in which they occur. Among these—and perhaps the most often cited—is the infamous “Verse of the Sword”:

“Kill the mushrikeen[1] (those Meccans who had declared war against Muhammad and his community) wherever you find them, and capture them, and blockade them, and watch for them at every lookout…”(9:5).

Read the rest of this entry »

Sep 17 2016

A Precedential Limerick


A Precedential Limerick
by Ramy Osman


Voting for an American president

You’d think is a major accomplishment

But people limit their choices

Silence their own voices

And then choose one of two incompetents Read the rest of this entry »

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