Be forgiving, encourage what is good, and avoid the ignorant. --Qur'an 7:199

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Muslims pray in Gaza church as bombs fall ahead of Eid

For Gaza resident Mahmud Khalaf, it was a bizarre new experience, prostrating himself for his daily Muslim prayers beneath the gaze of an icon of Jesus Christ (peace be upon him).

But since the war in Gaza began, he has had no choice but to worship in a Christian house of God, where he took refuge after Israeli air strikes pummelled his neighbourhood in the north of the Palestinian territory.

“They let us pray. It´s changed my view of Christians — I didn´t really know any before, but they’ve become our brothers,” said Khalaf, 27, who admitted he never expected to perform his evening prayers in a church.

“We (Muslims) prayed all together last night,” he said. “Here, the love between Muslims and Christians has grown.”   »»» The News (Pakistan)

When the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was visited by a delegation of Christians from the nearby province of Narjan, he allowed them to pray in his mosque, in Medina. According to historical accounts, some of the Prophet’s closest companions sometimes prayed in Christian churches when they were in places where there was no mosque.

The Qur’an says, “And you will find that those nearest in affection to the believers (Muslims) are those who say: We are Christians.”

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Ghana’s Christian Council Greets Muslims

The Christian Council of Ghana has sent an advanced congratulatory message to the Muslim community as they prepare to end the holy month of Ramadan and mark eid-ul- Fitr Festival.

In a statement yesterday, General Secretary of the Council, Rev. Dr. Kwabena Opuni-Frimpong said:

“For a whole month, our brothers and sisters have fasted from dawn to sunset, refraining from food and drink; offering special prayers for forgiveness, guidance, prosperity and unity; sharing love; engaging in peacemaking and charitable works for our homeland Ghana.”

The statement said, “as a Council, we join them in this great celebration, and assure them of our continuous partnership, in living as one people who believe in the one, true God and in making Ghana great and strong.”   »»» Daily Guide Ghana

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Iraq: Isis warns women to wear full veil or face punishment

Islamic State (Isis), the al-Qaida offshoot that seized large swathes of northern Iraq last month, has warned women in the city of Mosul to wear full-face veils or risk severe punishment.

The Sunni insurgents, who have declared a caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria and have threatened to march on Baghdad, also listed guidelines on how veils and clothes should be worn, part of a campaign to violently impose their radical brand of Islam.   »»» Iraq: Isis warns women to wear full veil or face punishment | World news | The Guardian

The ISIS people are heretics, blasphemers and renegades. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was specifically asked how much of a woman’s body could be left uncovered and he indicated the feet and the face. Women who make the pilgrimage to Mecca and who are in very close proximity to thousands of other pilgrims (male and female) are NOT allowed to cover their faces. It is said that the wives of the Prophet sometimes wore full face veils to avoid being recognized when they were in public places. If that is true, it is possible that some women wear the full face veil out of pious imitation of the Prophet’s wives. However, that is a voluntary act of piety and cannot be imposed on any woman.

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Genital mutilation against Islam sanctity

The reported (but not yet substantiated) order passed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) militants for girls and women in and around Mosul in Iraq to undergo so-called “female circumcision” (excision) was Friday condemned by Indian Muslim clerics who said that such an order is completely against Islam and has brought shame to the religion.

The order passed by the ISIL has denigrated Islam and is completely against the sanctity of the religion. I condemn such a non-lethal order and want it to be withdrawn, Maulana Mufti Mukarram, the Naib Imam of the 17th century Fatehpuri Mosque in Delhi, told IANS.

In the report, the jihadist militants of the ISIL have are said to have said all women aged between 11 to 49 must undergo genital mutilation, a fatwa that can affect over 4 million girls and women in Iraq.   »»» Nerve (India)

Female genital modification among Muslims (and some Coptic Christians and African animists) is NOT a religious act in Islam. It has been practised in some places as a cultural tradition. There is no mention of it in the Qur’an and only one known reference to the practice by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his immediate disciples. According to one unsubstantiated hadith (saying) attributed to the Prophet, it is reported that while travelling, he came upon a woman who circumcised girls in her village. According to the hadith the Prophet may have said, “Go lightly and do not cut deeply.” If the hadith is authentic, it seems to suggest a tolerance for a mild form of excision in which a small part of the clitoral hood may be removed (which would be a female analog of male circumcision). However, it is NOT an obligation, and like male circumcision, there is no specific age for it to be carried out if desired. The radical forms of excision practiced in some places and that involve partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora is a form of mutilation and is NOT allowed under Islamic law. In fact, it is illegal in most Islamic countries.

The ISIS sect is the home of blasphemers, heretics and renegades. They claim to be Sunni Muslims, but they commit horrible acts that are contrary to Islamic law. They commit a major crime that the Qur’an describes as “spreading mischief in the land” and “waging war against Allah and his Prophet”. Under shari’ah law that crime can be punished by death.

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Sri Lanka Supreme Court Orders Govt. Institutes To Permit ‘Hijab’

SC Orders Govt. Institutes To Permit ‘Hijab’

De facto Chief Justice Mohan Pieris in the Supreme Court today recalling a visit he made to an international school in Colombo where Muslim students were dressed in traditional Punjabi attire said, “I see no reason why this should not be permitted”.

He made these remarks when a Fundamental Rights petition filed by a parent of Janadipathi Balika Vidyalaya detailed how she was prevented from entering the school dressed in her traditional attire.

When the case that was taken up today the Supreme Court ordered the Attorney General of Sri Lanka to give directions to officials of all public institutions not to obstruct Muslim ladies who are attired in their traditional cultural dress.

”This is a traditional dress and no one can be offended by it” Mr. Justice Mohan Pieris said.   »»» Sailan Muslim (Sri Lanka)

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FBI pushed Muslims to plot terrorist attacks

The FBI encouraged and sometimes even paid Muslims to commit terrorist acts during numerous sting operations after the 9/11 attacks, a human rights group said in a report published Monday.

“Far from protecting Americans, including American Muslims, from the threat of terrorism, the policies documented in this report have diverted law enforcement from pursuing real threats,” said the report by Human Rights Watch.

“In some cases the FBI may have created terrorists out of law-abiding individuals by suggesting the idea of taking terrorist action or encouraging the target to act,” the report said.

In the cases reviewed, half the convictions resulted from a sting operation, and in 30 percent of those cases the undercover agent played an active role in the plot.

“Americans have been told that their government is keeping them safe by preventing and prosecuting terrorism inside the US,” said Andrea Prasow, the rights group’s deputy Washington director.

“But take a closer look and you realize that many of these people would never have committed a crime if not for law enforcement encouraging, pressuring and sometimes paying them to commit terrorist acts.”

The HRW report cites the case of four Muslim converts from Newburgh, New York who were accused of planning to blow up synagogues and attack a US military base.

A judge in that case “said the government ‘came up with the crime, provided the means, and removed all relevant obstacles,’ and had, in the process, made a terrorist out of a man ‘whose buffoonery is positively Shakespearean in scope,’” the report said.   »»» The West Australian

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Muslim body denounces persecution of Iraq Christians

The world’s top Islamic body denounced on Monday the persecution of Christians in Iraq’s second city Mosul as an “intolerable crime“, and offered to help those displaced by a jihadist offensive.

Organisation of Islamic Cooperation secretary general Iyad Madani said the “forced displacement” of Mosul’s Christians showed the IS’s “practices have nothing to do with Islam and its principles that call for tolerance and co-existence”.

“These atrocities also contradict the principles of the OIC,” of which Iraq is a member, Mr Madani added, noting that the body was “ready to provide the necessary humanitarian assistance to displaced persons until they be able to return to their homes”.

At the weekend, hundreds of families fled Mosul, abandoning homes and belongings after IS fighters running the city issued an ultimatum for Christians to convert, pay a special tax, leave or face execution.    »»» Muslim body denounces persecution of Iraq Christians

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Turkey’s top cleric calls new Islamic ‘caliphate’ illegitimate

The declaration of a “caliphate” by Islamist militants in Iraq lacks legitimacy and their death threats to Christians are a danger to civilization, Turkey’s top cleric, the successor to the last caliph’s most senior imam, said.

Islamic State, an armed group formerly allied to al Qaeda that has captured swathes of territory across Iraq, last month declared its leader, Ibrahim al-Baghdadi, “caliph” – the historical title last held by the Turkish Ottoman sultan who ruled much of the Muslim world.

“Since the caliphate was abolished … there have been movements that think they can pull together the Muslim world by re-establishing a caliphate, but they have nothing to do with reality, whether from a political or legal perspective.”

Gormez said death threats against non-Muslims made by the group, formerly known as Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), were hugely damaging.

“The statement made against Christians is truly awful. Islamic scholars need to focus on this (because) an inability to peacefully sustain other faiths and cultures heralds the collapse of a civilization,” he told Reuters in an interview.

Gormez is in a unique position to question Baghdadi’s claim to the caliph’s seat. His office was created in 1924 to replace the Ottoman Sheikh al-Islam, the mufti with authority to confirm new sultans and who also served as chief legal adviser.   »»» baltimoresun.com

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90 percent of slain Muslims killed by other Muslims

One thousand Muslims are being killed each day and 90 percent of the killers are also Muslims, head of Turkey’s Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) has said.

“They are being killed by their brothers, not only in Syria and Iraq, but also in Libya, Pakistan, Africa and Myanmar,” Prof. Dr. Mehmet Görmez said in his address to the participants of “World Islamic Scholars, Peace, Moderation and Commonsense Initiative” conference in Istanbul on July 19.

The Islamic world needs to put joint effort to revive the quintessential values of the Islamic civilization, Görmez added in his speech.

“Suffering, violence and conflicts in various regions of the Islamic world including its storied cities like Baghdad and Damascus have been wounding every Muslim’s heart profoundly,” he said.

Referring to the crimes committed by radical Islamist movements like Boko Haram and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Görmez said “these incidents show us that the common values of the Islamic civilization are fading away in modern times. The Islamic world needs to make an effort to revive these fading values.”   »»» thenews.com.pk

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) warned Muslims of the dangers of extremism:

Beware of extremism in religion because that was the only thing that destroyed those before you.” (Reported by An-Nasai)

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Christians flee from Islamic State threats

Christian families have abandoned their homes and fled Mosul after the Sunni rebel group, the Islamic State, threatened them with death if they did not convert to Islam or pay tax.

“Some families have had all their money and jewellery taken from them at an insurgent checkpoint as they fled the city,” Abu Rayan, a Christian who left Mosul with his family told AFP news agency on Saturday.

“Some of our homes have already been confiscated and I know families who have handed their keys to neighbours, asking them to look after their property with the hope they would return one day.” Rayan said.

The hardline group on Friday ordered Christians in Mosul that they could convert, pay a tax or flee the city after abandoning their possessions.

An earlier Islamic State statement said there would be “nothing but the sword” if Christians did not abide by those conditions by 9am GMT on Saturday.

The AFP said that hundreds of Christians had fled by the deadline.   »»» Al Jazeera English

The so-called “Islamic State” Muslims are heretics, renegades and blasphemers. They are guilty of the shari’ah crime of “hibarah”, which is the action of a group or an individual by which property is seized or destroyed and people are killed or kidnapped. The Qur’an describes it as “war against God and his Messenger” and as “spreading mischief (disorder) in the land (fasad fil ard)”. The punishment for hibarah is death.

Large numbers of Islamic scholars, including the very conservative and very influential Sheikh Qaradawi have declared that the “Islamic State” is NOT legal and that its leader is a false Caliph. The influential cleric said the declaration and nomination of Baghdadi by a jihadist group “known for its atrocities and radical views” fail to meet strict conditions dictated by Sharia. The title of caliph, he said, can “only be given by the entire Muslim nation” not by a single group.

In a legal Islamic state, Christians and Jews are free to live in peace but since they are not called upon for military duty and do not pay a religious tax called “zakat”, Christians pay a fair and reasonable tax (“jiziya”) to compensate for their zakat dispensation. Stealing homes and jewelry and threatening to murder Christians on short notice is NOT in accordance with Islamic law. If a “dhimmi” (protected Christian) does not pay the tax, it is collected by legal means upon court order, just like an unpaid tax in other countries.

Even Christians living in a Muslim state who are not “good” citizens must still be protected from abuse. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) said: “Anyone who persecutes a protected non-Muslim (Christian or Jew) or takes anything belonging to him with evil intention will find that I shall be his advocate before Allah on the Day of Resurrection.” He also said, “Anyone who hurts a protected non-Muslim hurts me and anyone who hurts me hurts Allah.”

There is NO death penalty for refusing to convert to Islam. Indeed, Allah himself says in the Qur’an, “Let there be no compulsion in religion.”

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