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A Joint Muslim Statement: On the Carnage in Orlando

June 13, 2016

On behalf of the American Muslim community, we, the undersigned, want to extend our deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims of the barbaric assault that occurred early yesterday morning at Pulse, an LGBTQ nightclub in Orlando, Florida. We unequivocally say that such an act of hate-fueled violence has no place in any faith, including Islam. As people of faith, we believe that all human beings have the right to safety and security and that each and every human life is inviolable.

We know that, given the tenor of the times, some will associate this tragedy with the religion of the perpetrator. While we may never learn conclusively what motivated this misguided individual, many news sources claim that he was motivated by his faith, which would be a reprehensible distortion of Islam adding the religion to the long list of innocent victims in this callous crime. Any such acts of violence violate every one of our Prophet’s teachings. For Muslims, that this carnage occurred in the blessed month of Ramadan—a month of charity, introspection, and self-purification—only adds to the foulness of this enormity.

Since September 11, 2001, many Muslims have been victims of collective guilt; yet, numerous Americans of good conscience have stood by their fellow citizens, despite differences in faith or lifestyle, including many members of the targeted community. Difference is no justification for violence. While most American Muslims adhere to a strict Abrahamic morality, the Quran is clear that its injunctions apply only to Muslims who choose to follow them: “There is absolutely no compulsion in religion.” In America, individuals are at liberty to pursue happiness as each sees fit; it is our cherished political right. Those of us who live in this country, irrespective of our beliefs, must respect the equality of all Americans under the laws of the land.

We feel compelled to state that it is an egregious offense against the culture and laws of America—as well as Islam’s—to place collective guilt on an entire community for the sins of individuals. “No soul bears the sins of another,” says the Quran.

Three days ago, Americans honored the memory of one of the greatest and most beloved men in American history: Muhammad Ali, who was a devout Muslim. The Islam Muhammad Ali followed is one of love, tolerance, and respect for all. American Muslims everywhere felt that he ended, once and for all, the vacuous claim that one cannot be both Muslim and American.

We, as American Muslims, follow the openhearted and inclusive Islam of Muhammad Ali and completely reject the hatred, provincialism, and intolerance of those who trample upon the rights of others, besmirching and defiling the name of Islam. The criminal who took the lives of dozens of patrons of the Orlando nightclub and injured many others was an aggressor, plain and simple. The Quran says, “Do not be brutal or commit aggression, for surely God does not love brutal aggressors.”

There are extremists in America and abroad who view the world through a Manichean lens: American Manicheans want Americans to see themselves as entirely “good” and all Muslims as entirely “evil.” Muslim Manicheans want Muslims to see themselves as entirely “good” and all Americans as entirely “evil.” This is a catastrophic recipe for unrelenting violence, and it must be rejected: We will not allow the extremists to define us, mold us in their benighted image, or sow the seeds of discord among us. We are one people, so let us all in good conscience and human solidarity reject this extremist narrative and assert our shared humanity and mutual respect for the sanctity of all human life.


Shaykh Abdallah Bin Bayyah – President, Forum for Promoting Peace
Hamza Yusuf – President, Zaytuna College
Sherman A. Jackson – King Faisal Chair of Islamic Thought and Culture, USC
Siraj Wahhaj – President, Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA)
Umar F. Abd-Allah – Resident Scholar, Chicago, IL
Mustafa Ceric – Grand Mufti Emeritus
Zaid Shakir – Co-Founder, Zaytuna College
Yasir Qadhi – Dean, AlMaghrib Institute | Assistant Professor, Rhodes College
Yusuf Islam – Philanthropist / Singer & Composer
Mohamed Magid – Executive Religious Director, All Dulles Area Muslim Society(ADAMS)
Abdullah bin Hamid Ali – Senior Faculty , Zaytuna College
Abdullah Hakim Quick – Resident Scholar, Islamic Institute of Toronto
Aisha al-Adawiya – Founder, Women in Islam Inc.
Muhammad Al-Ninowy – Founder & President, Al Madinah Institute
Tamara Gray – Founder, Rabata Inc.
Shaykh al Mahfoudh Bin Bayyah- Associate Secretary General, Forum for Promoting Peace, UAE.
Mohamed Elsanousi – Director of the Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers
Naeem Baig – President, ICNA
Waleed Basyouni – VP, AlMaghrib Institute
Yaser Birjas – Imam, Valley Ranch Islamic Center
Omar Suleiman – Resident Scholar, Valley Ranch Islamic Center
Oussama Jamal – Secretary General, US Council of Muslim Organizations
Dalia Mogahed – Co-Author, “Who Speaks for Islam? what a Billion Muslims really think”
Azhar Azeez – President, ISNA
Afifi al-Akiti – KFAS Fellow in Islamic Studies, Oxford University
Altaf Hussain – Vice President (US), ISNA / Associate Professor, Howard University
Mazen Mokhtar – Executive Director, The Muslim American Society (MAS)
Maha Elgenaidi – Executive Director, ING
Khalid Latif – Executive Director, The Islamic Center at New York University
Yasir Fahmy – Senior Imam, Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center
Imam Zia – Executive Director, MakeSpace
Nihad Awad – National Executive Director , The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
Noman Hussain – Imam & Resident Scholar, Islamic Society of Milwaukee
Afroz Ali – Founder & Director, Al-Ghazali Centre, Australia
Islamic Society of North America (ISNA)
Emerge USA
Abdul Nasir Jangda – President, Qalam Institute
Linda Sarsour – Co-founder/Director , MPower Change
Yassir Fazaga – Religious Director, Orange County Islamic Foundation
Faisal Hamid Abdur-Razak – President, Islamic Forum of Canada
Tahir Anwar – Faculty, Zaytuna College
Aisha Subhani – Board Member, Zaytuna College
Fouzan Khan – Director, Reviving the Islamic Spirit (RIS)
Munir El Kassem – President & Founder, Islamic Institute for Interfaith Dialogue
Hamid Slimi – Chairman & Imam, Canadian Centre For Deen Studies / Sayeda Khadija Centre
Shahed Amanullah – Co-Founder, Affinis Lab
Muslema Purmul – Chaplain, Institute of Knowledge (IOK), California
Hazem Bata – Secretary General, ISNA
Dilshad D. Ali – Chair, Board of Directors, Enabled Muslims
Abdul Malik Mujahid – President, Sound Vision
Albert Press Jr. – President, American Muslim Health Professionals (AMHP)
Yahya Rhodus – Founding Director, Al-Maqasid
Afghan American Community Association
Zeshan Zafar – Executive Director, Forum for Promoting Peace | UAE
Aftab Malik – Senior Advisor, Forum for Promoting Peace | UK
Mikaeel Ahmed Smith – Islamic Soicety of Baltimore
Abdur Rahman Bashir – Imam, Jefferson Muslim Association, Louisiana
Qasim Khan – Imam, Masjid At-Tawhid
Syedur Rahman Chowdhury – National President , MUNA
Kenan Basha – Board Chair, MSA National
Fatima Salman – Central Zone Representative, ISNA
Abdelmajid Jondy – President, Flint Islamic Center
Paul Galloway – Executive Director , The American Muslim Advisory Council (AMAC)
Sarah Cochran – President & Co-Founder,
Ashfaq Taufique – President , Birmingham (AL) Islamic Society
Khaula Hadeed – Executive Director, CAIR AL
Lateef ur Rahman – Imam , Islamic Society Of Tracy
Ilyas Anwar – Imam , South Valley Islamic Community
Khaula Hadeed – Executive Director, CAIR AL
Syed Moktadir – President, All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS Center)
Hussain Kamani – Mufti, Instructor, Qalam Institute | Resident Scholar, Islamic Association of Carrollton
Edward Ahmed Mitchell – Attorney & Executive Director, CAIR-Georgia
Aamir Nazir – Imam, Muslim Community of Folsom (CA)
Hamzah wald Maqbūl – Instructor, Rayyān Institute
Muzammil Ahmed – Chairperson, Michigan Muslim Community Council (MMCC)
Tarek El-Messidi – Founding Director, CelebrateMercy
Mohamed Almasmari – Executive Director – Michigan Muslim Community Council (MMCC)
Hatem Bazian – Co-Founder, Zaytuna College
Feraidoon Mojadedi – Director, Sacred Caravan
Asad Tarsin – Board Member, Deen Intensive Foundation
Rami nashashibi – Executive Director, IMAN | Visiting Professor, Chicago Theological Seminary (CTS)
Coalition of South Florida Muslim Organizations (COSMOS)
Amjad Quadri – Education, Muslim Community Center Chicago, IL
Abdullah T. Antepli – Imam, Duke University
Khalil Abdur-Rashid – President and Founder of Yaqeen Seminary for Advanced Studies of Islam in America
Muhammed Al Ahari – Editor in Chief, Magribine Press
Niaz Hannan – Religious Director, Islamic Center of South Jersey, Muslim Chaplain, Drexel University
Irfan Shuttari – Board Member, Michigan Muslim Community Council
Yama Zachariah Azar – Representative, Southern California Afghan Community
Chris Blauvelt – Founder & CEO,
Aamir Nazir – Imam, Muslim Community of Folsom, CA
Lateef ur Rahman – Imam, Islamic Society of Tracy, CA
Vaseem Faria Ansari – Director, Houston Islamic Speakers Bureau
Karim khayati – Co-Founder , American Muslim Institute
Azra Hussain – President, Islamic Speakers Bureau of Arizona
Zehra Wamiq – Founder/Director, Delaware Valley Speakers Bureau
Nuha Alfahham – Co-director , ILEARN, ING affiliate
Khalil Meek – National Executive Director , Muslim Legal Fund of America
Shabana Shakir Ahmed – Tours & Talks Chair, Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati
Aida Mansoor – President, Muslim Coalition of Connecticut
Reza Mansoor – President, Islamic Association of Greater Hartford
M. Rajaullah Quraishi – Past President, MCC Chicago
Shakila T Ahmad – Board President, Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati
Ismaeel Chartier – Imam, Islamic Association of Cincinnati
Tehseen Lazzouni – Director, Islamic Speakers Bureau of San Diego
Adnaan A Waseem – Teacher, Muslim Society Institution
Ahsen Waseem – Imam/instructor , Furqaan Foundation/Academy
Minhajuddin Ahmed – Imam and Resident Scholar, DarusSalam Foundation
Azfar Uddin – Imam, Islamic Foundation North
Yasir Nadeem – Director , Darul Uloom Online
Saad H. Baig – Imam , Islamic Center of Quad Cities
Bilal Ali Ansari – Lecturer, Darul Qasim
Afzal sheikh – Khateeb, The Islamic center Of deer park ny
Abdussamad Awal – Mufti, Darul Quran Wassunah
Yasir Khan – President , Al-Misbaah
Ahmad Jafar – Mufti, Darul Arqum Institute
Abdurrahman Ahmad – Imam, ICNE
Ossama Bahloul – Resident Scholar of the Islamic Center of Nashville
Rashad Sharif – Imam, President, Masjid Al-Mu’minun, Memphis
Mohammed Abdullah Al Mamun – Baitul Mukarram Center, Danbury Connecticut
Ibrahim H Ahmad – Imam, Masjid Noor Inc
Yasser Arafat – President/CEO, Peace Ambassadors USA
Abdul-latif Sackor – Imam/President , Islamic Center of Rhode Island
Saleh M. Sbenaty – Chair, Outreach Committee, Islamic Center of Murfreesboro
Usman Akhtar – Imam, Islamic Society of Western Connecticut | Danbury Masjid
Abdul Aziz Bhuiyan – Chairman , Hillside Islamic Center
Mohammed Wasim Khan – Mufti, Madrasah Islamiah/ ISRA Foundation
Zaid Khan – Instructor , DUA Institute
Asif Uddin – Instructor, Darul Qasim
Abdul Hakim Hamid – Imam , Muslim Community of Florida
Mohibullah N. Durrani – Professor, Muslim Astronomers
Khalid Yousuf – MD, Orthopedic surgeon
Hasanuddin Khaja – Ex- executive member , Islamic center of Harrison
Zyshan Yaseen Palwala – Instructor/Imam, Masjid Uthman
Muslihuddin Kawthar – President, Rihlatul ILM Foundation
Asim Gaffar – Teacher, College Preparatory School of America
Ayman sader – Member of Board of Trustee , Islamic Center of Nashville
Abdelrhman Hussein – Assistant, Peace Ambassadors USA
Kifah Mustapha – Imam, The Prayer Center of Orland Park
Ikhlas Ansari – Hafiz, MCC Chicago
Azeemuddin Jawad Mohammed – Lead Qur’an Instructor, MAS- MAS Qur’an Institute -(MQI)
Abdelhafid Djemil – President, Majlis Ashura (Islamic Leadership Council) of New York
Muhammad A Hussain – President, Long Island Muslim Society
Saiful Nabi – Imam, Muslim Federation of J.C.N.J
Hasib Noor – Founder, The Legacy Foundation
Mubeen Kamani – Sheikh, MCC Academy
Mohammed Amjed Ali – Imam, Rahmat e Alam Foundation
Numaan Nasir Cheema – Imam/Molana,
Mohammed Samir Wahid – Mufti/founder, Islamic institute of Atlanta
Ehzaz Ajmeri – Scholar & Instructor , DarusSalam Foundation
Rahat Husain – Director, Universal Muslim Association of America
Vaseem Ansari – Director, ING Houston Islamic Speakers Bureau
Khalid Mirza – Co-Founder , The Coalition of South Florida Muslim Organizations (COSMOS)
Muhammad Chowdhury – Instructor , Darul Hidayah
Eman Hassaballa Aly – Co-Founder, Collaboryst & RRT
Khamis Abu-Hasaballah – President, Farmington Valley American Muslim Center
Sajid Ali – Imam, Islamic Association of Forth Worth
Nayef Abbas – Imam/Juris Consult, Islamic Association of Michigan
Mohammed A Haque – Ex President, Islamic society of Nortgwest suburbs of Chicago
Talib Shareef – President , The Nation’s Mosque Masjid Muhammad
Ikram Ul Haq – Imam, Fatwa Center of America
Naeem Khalid – President , Islamic Center of Connecticut, Inc (Madina Masjid)
Ayesha Khan – ICNF
Mohammed Kaiseruddin – Chairman, Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago
A Rahman – Board member, Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati
Naazish Yarkhan – Founder, Writers Studio
Karen Danielson – Outreach Director, MAS Chicago
Jawad Khan – President, Chicago Chapter, Indian American Muslim Council
Talat M. Othman – Co- Founder, Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago
Majeed Sharif – President, United Muslim mosque
Majeed Sharif – President, United Muslim mosque
Zaher Sahloul – Senior Advisor and past president , Syrian American Medical Society
Karim Mozawalla – Vice President/Trustee, Muslim Community of Nassau County/Masjid Hamza
Baher S Foad – Board member, Islamic center of greater Cincinnati
MOHAMMED MISBAHUDDIN – Ex President , Muslim Society
Gulame Asif – Board Member, Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati
Kameelah Rashad – Founder & President, Muslim Wellness Foundation
Iltefat Hamzavi – Board member , Michigan Muslim Community Council
Omer Bajwa – Muslim Chaplain, Yale University
Sameer Afsar – Secretary, Downtown Islamic Center Chicago
Seham Abdala – Director, NJ Islamic Networks Group
Ashraf Traboulsi – Board Vice Chair, Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati
Inayat Malik – Past President and Board Chair, Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati
Heba Macksoud – Board of Trustees Member, Islamic Society of Central Jersey
Usama Canon – Founding Director, Ta’leef Collective
Samia Hussein – Vice President/President-Elect, Muslim Coalition of Connecticut
Mazen Asbahi – Partner, Law Firm of Roetzel & Andress, LPA
Bassam Issa – President, Islamic Society of Greater Chattanooga
Lena F. Masri Esq. – Legal Director, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Michigan
Feryal Salem – Professor , Hartford Seminary
Mohammad Fazili – Predident, Islamic Center of Williamson County
Zaynab Salman – Board Member, Deen Intensive Foundation
Mohammad Motiur Rahman – Ustaaz, Baitul Hamd (Ideal Mother Organization)
Irfan Ahmad Khan – Director, Association for Qur’anic Understanding
Nemat Moussavian – Board member, Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati
Ayesha Sultana Ali – Member Board of Directirs, Muslim Community Center
Muhammad Ilyas – Sh, Darul Quran was Sunnah
Walead Mosaad – Resident Scholar, Sakina Collective
Dawud Walid – Executive Director , CAIR-MI
Nawzad Hawrami – Secretary, Board of Trustees, Salahadeen Center of Nashville
Osama Abuirshaid – National Policy Director , American Muslims for Palestine
Nemat Moussavian – Board member , Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati
Saad Khan – Instructor, Darus Suffah
Khalid Nasr – Imam, Islamic center of new England, Quincy
Syed Ali – Director, Islamic Speakers Bureau-Dallas/Fort Worth
Eid Farha – President, Islamic Center of Ann Arbor
Rizwan Ali – Shaykh, Islamic Center of Naperville
Fahd Syed – Administrative, United Muslim Masjid
Eamaan Rabbat – Board member and Director of Ribaat Academic Institute, Rabata
Ismail Elshikh – Imam, Muslim association of Hawaii
Ibrahim Sultan-Ali – President, Board of governors of Pleasant View School
Ibad Wali – Instructor, Darul Uloom New York
Mohamed Salem – Muslim US citizen, Muslim
Saadia Mian – Board Member , Rabata
Noor Raheemullah Hasan – Executive Director , Muslim Women’s Alliance
Nadiah Mohajir – Co-Founder & Executive Director, HEART Women & Girls
Azra Baig – Vice President, American Muslim Council PAC
Alicia Strong – President , Wesleyan Muslim Student Association
Akber Khan – Quran Instructor, Cordoba House
Majed Sabke – Imam, MIA
Najah Bazzy – CEO, Diversity Specialists
Nadeem Siddiqi – Chairman, Muslim American Society
Humaira Salehi – Mr., Farmington valley American Muslim Center
Mohammad Ali Chaudry, Ph.D. – President, Islamic Soc of Basking Ridge
Fatina Abdrabboh, Esq – Executive Director , Arab American Anti Discrimination Committee
Hafiz Muhammad Mustafa – Imam, Jamia Masjid Boonton
Rizwan Jaka – Chair, Board, All Dulles Area Muslim Society(ADAMS) & Board Member, ISNA
JAVED ALI – Founder ILLUME / Urban Halal
Islamic Institute of Orange County
California Islamic University
Margari Hill – Programming Director Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative (MuslimARC)
Johari Abdul-Malik – Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center, Falls Church, Virginia
Taneem Aziz – President, Muslim Community of Northeast Tennessee
Asif Umar – Imam/Director of Religious Affairs, Islamic Foundation of
Greater St. Louis
Yama Niazi – Imam, Islamic Society of Santa Barbara
Islamic Center of Boise
Adnan Durrani – CEO American Halal Co, Inc
Eram Uddin – Board Member, Beacon Foundation
Hamdullah Sayedi – Imam, Sacramento Afghan Community and Religious Center
Debbie Almontaser – Board President, Muslim Community Network NY
Faraz Rabbani – Executive Director, SeekersHub Global
Omar Mohammedi – Adjunct Professor, Fordham Law School
Mehnaz M. Afridi – Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, Manhattan College
Fasahat Hamzavi – President, Islamic Association of Greater Detroit
OMER RANGOONWALA – Director, Islamic Education Center (IEC)
Fahad Tasleem – Director, Islamic Education & Research Academy US (iERA US)
Ashraf Latif, R.Ph – Amir / Predident, NIA Masjid & Community Center
Sanya Bari – Professional Counselor , Mental Health Counselor to Muslims
Jamaal Diwan – Chaplain serving UCLA, USC, and UCI , Institute of Knowledge
Sayed Abouabdalla – Imam, AIC
Kaiser Aslam – Muslim Chaplain , Center for Islamic Life at Rutgers University
Hakim Ouansafi – Chairman of the Board, Muslim Association of Hawaii
Majeed Sharif – President, United Muslim Mosque
Irhabi Mohamad – Director, Senior Consultant Religious Department , IANT Quranic Academy
Maher Yahya – Secretary, Salahadeen Center
Ihsan Abdus-Shahid – Treasurer, Al-Minhal Academy
Samar Malik – Donor Relations- CelebrateMercy
Barry Danielian – Servant of God, Human Being
Suhail Mulla – Director of Mental Health, Access California Services
Noorgul Dada – Chairman, Noor Islamic Cultural Center (NICC)
Noor Ahmed MD – Member of Majls, Islamic Foundation of Greater St Louis
Ahmed A. Qadeer – Co- Founder, Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago
Kashif Ahmed – Religious and Social Director, SALAM Islamic Center
Ziaun Fajhruddin – Member, ICN, Islamic Center of Nashville
Siraj Ahmed Desai – Imam Religious Director, Islamic Society of East Bay
Asad Ba-Yunus – Board Member, National Assoc. of Muslim Lawyers
Furhan Zubairi – Dean of Seminary/Extension, Institute of Knowledge (IOK)
Faryal M Khatri – Board Member, Muslim Alliance of Indiana
Mona Kafeel – COO, Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation
Mowlid Ali – Imam , JIAR
Muzzammil Zakir – Imam, North Penn Mosque
Nomaan Baig – Founding Director, Institute of Knowledge (IOK)
Talal Alshami – Member , ISCJ
Saleh m Aldabashi – President, Muslim Society Memphis
Rusha Latif – Founder, Rock the Muslim Vote
Zahid Bukhari – Executive Director, ICNA Council for Social Justice
Ammar Amro – Board Member, Al Minhal Academy of Turnersville
Altaf S Kapadia – Imam/ Islamic teacher, Darul Arqam Of Michigan
Iftekhar Hussain – Chairman, Board of Directors, CAIR-PA
Nadia Afzal – Board Member, Sakina Collective
Munir Gandevia – Founder and President, Islamic Center of Burlington, MA
MUHAMMAD AUZAIR KHAN – Teacher of Islamic Studies, Madrasah Noorul Islam UK
Shoaib Khadri – President, Islamic Center of Naperville
Ibrahim Hannoun – Board of Trustees- Ex-officio , Islamic Center of Wheaton (ICW)
Imam Kamil Mufti – Resident Scholar, Islamic Foundation of Peoria
Mohammed H Abdullah – Imam , Masjid Noor Huntington Long Island New York
Muhammad Abdul Jabbar – Imam , Masjid Darul Quran, Bayshore, NY
Raed Abusuwwa – President , Muslim American Society-Chicago Chapter
Hisham Mahmoud – Professor , Harvard University
Shahnaz Naeem – Muslima , American Muslim
Shahzad Sadozai – Director of Development , Boston Islamic Seminary
Salam Al-Marayati – President, MPAC
Raafi T. Islam – Ustadh, Darul Uloom Detroit/Instructor
Aasim Rashid – Founder, Principal, Al-Ihsan Educational Foundation
Shaikh Siddiq – Shaikh, Houston Muslim Group
Idris Abdus Salam – Resident Scholar, Darul Islah
Asra Ali – Board member, Mecca Center
Asif Umar – Mufti/Imam, Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis
Muhammad Quadir – CEO, Discover Islam
Hussein Ata – MAS-ICNA Convention Chair, Board Member MAS
Aisha Yaqoob – Executive Director, Georgia Muslim Voter Project
Najiyah Maxfield – Board Member, Rabata
Alam Chowdhury – President, Trustees, Darus Salam Masjid
Yusufi Vali – Executive Director, Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center
Arman Chowdhury – Assistant Executive Director, MUNA
Nuren Haider, esq. – Candidate, Candidate for Orange County Commission District 1
Asra Hamzavi – Psychiatrist , Hamzavi Psychiatry & Wellness Center
Mohammad Farhan – Mufti, Co-founder/Director, Children of Adam Inc. | Director, Muslims on Long Island Inc.
Imraan Siddiqi – Executive Director, Council on American Islamic Relations – Arizona
Mohammed Mohiuddin – Administrator , Baytul-Iman Academy
Mohammad Islam – Imam/President , Masjid Attaqwa
Abdullah Faaruuq – Imam, Mosque for Praising of Allah
OMER RANGOONWALA, ESQ. – Director, Islamic Education Center (IEC)
Sayeed Siddiqui – President, Muslim Youth of North America
Faisal Mohamed Siddiqi – Member, Masjid Mustafa
Sulaiman Saleem – Resident scholar , Institute of Islamic Education
Saba Maroof – Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatrist , Institute of Muslim Mental Health
Fasahat Hamzavi – President, Board of Directors , Islamic Association of Greater Detroit
Maheen Khan – Member, ICNE Sharon
Kristin Szremski – Director of media and communications, American Muslims for Palestine
Abdullah Jaber – Imam, Masjid Al Farooq & Masjid Omar
Abdelghader OULD Siyam – Imam, Islamic Society of Greater Dayton, Ohio
Afaf Turjoman – Director, Islamic Speakers Bureau, Santa Barbara
Atif Fareed – Chairman , American Muslim Community Centers
Arwa Diab – Physician, AUC
Muhammad Hamadeh – President, The Mecca Center
Mohammed Awad – Orthopedic Surgeon, OSF
Siraj Mowjood – Board Member, Impact So Cal
Qutaibah J. Abbasi – Imam, Duncanville Islamic Center
Muaaz Hassan – Research & Special Projects , CAIR Florida
Azhar Subedar – Spiritual Director ,
Glory Ali – Quran Teacher, weekend school, Islamic Society of Central Jersey
SHAIKH SHAFAYAT – Ameer and Principal, Darul Uloom Institute / Florida USA
Shakeel Mehdi – Board Member (Director of Outreach, Civic Engagement) , Board Member, Islamic Association of Carrollton, Greater Dallas Asian American Chamber of Commerce
Hafsa Khan – Principal, Islamic School of Trenton
Omar Patel – Community Leader / Activist, Al-Bir Mosque – Central Florida
Johari Abdul-Malik – Imam, Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center
Qutaiba Albluwi – Imam of Muslim Community Center of Kingston
Farhan Syed – Member, All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS)
The National Council of Nigerian Muslim Organizations, USA
Qazi – Principal , Nawal Academy
Cathy Morrow – Revert Muslim , Al-Bir Mosque – Central Florida
Joohi Tahir – Executive Director, MUHSEN
Fatima Sadaf Saied – President, Muslim Women’s Organization
Fahad Mirza – TV Program Director, AL-Hikmat TV
Eman Rashid – Education Admin., MRI Institute
Sheikh Azhar Nasser – Imam , Islamic Education Center
Inayat Walli – President, Husseini Islamic Center of Florida
Bassem Chaaban – Executive Director, American Islam
Timothy J Gianotti – Associate Professor, Renison University College, University of Waterloo, and the Islamic Institute for Spiritual Formation, Toronto
Anas Shaikh – Imam & Resident Scholar, Islamic Organization of the Southern Tier
Hassan Shibly – Chief Executive Director, CAIR Florida
Alaa Youssef – President, Upper Westchester Muslim Society
Muslim Center of Somerset County
Susan Douglass – K-14 Education Outreach Coordinator, Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, Georgetown University
Hussam Ayloush – Executive Director, CAIR-LA
Halil Atas – CEO North East Islamic Community Center
Zahra Billoo – Executive Director, CAIR San Francisco Bay Area
Shamudeen – Imam, ICNEF
Volkan Yildirim – Religion Instructor, Lehigh dialogue center
Fatima Sultan – Executive Director, Zanbeel Art Inc.
Ahmed Gomaa – President of the Board, Scranton Chapter, Islamic Association of North Eastern PA
Sedin Agic – Imam, Islamic Center of Bowling Green KY
Suleyman Eris – President, Respect Graduate School
Hesham A. Hassaballa – Writer, “God, Faith, and a Pen”
Osama Mulki – Director, Islamic Center of Lawrence, Kansas
Baha Safadi – Chairman, Citizens Advisory Board for Fair and Impartial Policing
Asthma Zaidi – Professor, Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences
A K Tayiem – President of Islamic center of Leavenworth
Kamil Mufti – Resident Scholar/Imam, Islamic Foundation of Peoria
American Center for Outreach
Karen Dabdoub – Executive Director, CAIR-Cincinnati
Islamic Center of Boston
Basim Elkarra – Executive Director, CAIR Sacramento Valley
MUSLIM FORUM OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST (MFPNW) Sumaiya Ahmed – Co-Founder, Greater Detroit Muslim-Jewish Solidarity Council
M. Ashraf Shaikh – Chairman BOT
Nihat Yesil – President/Imam, The Blue Mosque [Houston]
Fozia Saleem-Rasheed – Neonatologists, William Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, Michigan
Fouad Khatib – President, Muslim Community Association, Santa Clara, CA
M. J. Khan – President, Islamic Society of Greater Houston (ISGH)
Joohi Taher – Executive Director, MUHSEN
Sumaiya Ahmed – Co-Founder, Greater Detroit Muslim-Jewish Solidarity Council
Bilal Elsakka – Director of Tarbiya and Religious Services, MAS Community and Youth Center – Elk Grove
Tahir U. Abdullah – Assistant Director of Spiritual Life & Advisor for Muslim Affairs, The University of Chicago
Danielle LoDuca – Writer and founder,
Tabish Hasan – Founder, Muslim Ad Network
Muhammad Musri – President, Islamic Society of Central Florida
Jacob Bender – Executive Director , CAIR – Philadelphia Chapter
Sarwat Husain – President, CAIR-TX
Bilal Ankaya – Imam/Director of Interfaith Dialogue, The Institute of Islamic and Turkish Studies and Ezher (bloom) Mosque
Aamer Ahmed – President, MA’RUF
Mustafaa Carroll – Executive Director, CAIR-TX, Houston Chapter
Hamid Khan – Deputy Director, The Rule of Law Collaborative and Adjunct Professor, University of South Carolina
Michael Wolfe – President, Unity Productions Foundation
Alex Kronemer – CEO, Unity Productions Foundation
Faisal Qazi – Vice President, The Whitestone Foundation
Mustapha Elturk – Ameer, Islamic Organization of North America IONA
Dalia F Fahmy – Assistant Professor of Political Science , LIU
Manzoor Ghori – Majlis Member, ISNA
Shamira Chothia Ahmed – Co-Founder, The Rahmah Foundation
Jawaad A. Rahman – UPF, Director of Development
Khurrum Wahid – National Chairperson, Emerge USA
Ubaydullah Evans – Executive Director, American Learning Institute for Muslims
Patricia Anton – Executive Director, Alanur
Mohammad Iqbal Al-Nadvi – President | Executive Director , Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) Canada | Al-Nadwa Institute
Danielle LoDuca – Director,
Masuma Virji – Co-Founder, United Muslim Foundation
Ahmed Niazy – Co-Founder, Message For Mankind
Jamal Hassouneh – Board of Directors, Aisha Cultural Center
Tariq Rasheed – Imam, Islamic Center of Orlando
Roohe Ahmed – Board Member , The Rahmah Foundation
KHIZR MOHAMED – Director, Al-Haya – Muslim Youths
AbdulRehman Chaudary – President, Muslim Center of Somerset County
Hajira Shujaat – Outreach Chair , Muslim Women’s Organization
Hasan Khan – Executive Director, Straight Path Capital Inc
Abdul Rahman Waheed – Co-Founder, Principal , Michigan Islamic Institute
Naiyerah Kolkailah – President, Islamic Society of SLO County
Umer Ahmad – Board Member, SouthWest InterFaith Team (SWIFT) Illinois
Roofi Ahmed – Board Member, Noor Islamic Cultural Center
Shabbir Motorwala – Co Founder, Coalition of South Florida Muslim Organizations
Shamshad Ahmad – President, Masjid As-Salam, Albany, NY
Mahmoud shalash – Imam, ISLAMIC center of Lexington
Khalid J. Qazi – Founding President, Muslim Public Affairs Council of WNY
Faisal Ahmad – Director, The Fiqh Institute
Michele Ouansafi – Principal, Nooran Islamic School
Pembe Yasarlar – Director of Education , Crescent Academy International
Mohammed Mohiuddin – Chairman, Board of Trustees, Islamic Society of Frederick
Aasim Rashid – Founder, Principal, Al-Ihsan Educational Foundation
Aida Aminzai – Co-founder , Blessed Tree Foundation
Yama Niazi – Imam, Islamic Society of Santa Barbara
Abrar Malik – Imam/Mufti, Masjid AlFalah
Qurat Mir – Board, Founding Member , Rabata
Leila Duric – Women’s Affairs Coordinator, Bosnian-American Islamic Cultural Center
Kashif Abdul-Karim – Imam, Muhammad Islamic Center of Greater Hartford
Suzan El-Rayess – Director of Development, Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center
Mohammad Jafari – Mufti, Resident Scholar and Lecturer
Masuma Virji – Co-Founder, United Muslim Foundation
Muhammad Sattaur – Executive Director, Imam Ghazali Institute
Shakiel Humayun – President, NYC Muslim Center
Yahya Momla – Imam, BCMA, Masjid Al-Salaam and Education Centre
Shabina Ahmed – M.D., Johns Hopkins Community Physicians
Sahar Shaikh – President, Muslim Women’s Organization of FL
Mohamed AbuTaleb – Imam, Islamic Association of Raleigh
Tufail Ahmed – Scholar, Al-Bilal Academy | Senior Teacher, Hollings Youth Association Co Founder
Salmaan Parkar – Sheikh, Australian Islamic College
Maliha Sheikh – Learning Coach/Programs Coordinator, Sanad Trust Foundation
Salman Malik – President, Association of Pakistani Physicians of New England
Azhar Dalal – Board Member, Islamic Center of Greater Miami
Oliver Muhammad – Senior Imam, As Salaam Islamic Center of Raleigh
Hamad Ali Rashid – Imam , California Islamic Center
Hafez El Assali – Board Member, Islamic Center of N.E. Florida
Hajira Shujaat – Outreach Chair , Muslim Women’s Organization
Adam Soltani – Executive Director, CAIR – Oklahoma Chapter
Omar Mohammedi – President, Association of Muslim American Lawyer | Professor, Fordham Law School Vilma Lopez- VP, Latino Muslims of Chicago
Zahir Bacchus – Principal, Lote Tree Foundation
Mohamed M. Elgamal – Chairman, Islamic Association of Raleigh (IAR)
Saad Tasleem – Instructor, AlMaghrib Institute
Republican Muslim Coalition
Ismail Fenni – Imam, Islamic Society of Boston
Mertze Dahlin – Managing Editor, “Journal of America”
Anwar N. Haddam, Imam Khateeb – Northern Virginia
Faraz Khan – Faculty member, Zaytuna College

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Terrorism has no religion

Yesterday an ISIS member stopped the car of a Christian couple.
ISIS member: Are you Muslim?
Christian man: Yes, I’m Muslim.
ISIS member: If you are a Muslim, then recite a verse of Quran.
Christian man recited a verse from the Bible.
ISIS member: OK yallah go.
Later his wife tells him: “I cannot believe the risk you just took.
Why did you tell him that we are Muslims?
If he knew you were lying he would have killed both of us.”
“Do not worry! If they knew the Quran they would not kill people” answered the Husband.
ISIS is not Islam, terrorism has no religion.   »»»

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After Attacks on Muslims, Many Ask: Where Is the Outpouring of Sympathy and Outrage?

In recent days, jihadists killed 41 people at Istanbul’s bustling, shiny airport; 22 at a cafe in Bangladesh; and at least 250 celebrating the final days of Ramadan in Baghdad. Then the Islamic State attacked, again, with bombings in three cities in Saudi Arabia.

By Tuesday, Michel Kilo, a Syrian dissident, was leaning wearily over his coffee at a Left Bank cafe, wondering: Where was the global outrage? Where was the outpouring that came after the same terrorist groups unleashed horror in Brussels and here in Paris? In a supposedly globalized world, do nonwhites, non-Christians and non-Westerners count as fully human?

“All this crazy violence has a goal,” Mr. Kilo, who is Christian, said: to create a backlash against Muslims, divide societies and “make Sunnis feel that no matter what happens, they don’t have any other option.”

This is not the first time that the West seems to have shrugged off massacres in predominantly Muslim countries. But the relative indifference after so many deaths caused by the very groups that have plagued the West is more than a matter of hurt feelings.

One of the primary goals of the Islamic State and other radical Islamist groups is to drive a wedge between Sunni Muslims and the wider world, to fuel alienation as a recruiting tool. And when that world appears to show less empathy for the victims of attacks in Muslim nations, who have borne the brunt of the Islamic State’s massacres and predatory rule, it seems to prove their point.   »»» The New York Times

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Muslims who saved Jews from Holocaust Honored

When the German Nazi army occupied Albania it wasn’t long before the Albanians were ordered to surrender their Jewish citizens. That prompted a massive movement among Albanians from top officials to grassroots villagers to shelter Jews. Most of those engaged in the movement were Muslims. Hospitality is a deeply held value for Albanians, so they went to great lengths and took personal risks to shield the Jews from the Nazis. Non-Jewish Albanians would steal identity cards from police stations for Jews to use. The Albanian underground threatened to execute anyone who turned a Jew in to the Nazis. Jews from Serbia, Austria and Greece found refuge in Albania.

As astonishing as this may sound: Not a single Jew from Albania ended up in the concentration camps.

Dr. Anna Kohen, speaking at a Holocaust remembrance in New York City talked about her family fleeing to a mountain village. They all took Muslim names. She said, “Everyone in the village knew they were Jews, but not one person betrayed them.” Her family’s story was repeated again and again throughout Albania.

Sulo Mecaj, a farmer from the village of Kruja who sheltered 10 Jews in his attic, was asked what would happen if the Nazis burned down his house with the Jews inside. “My son will go into the attic with the Jews and suffer their fate.” At the end of World War II there were more Jews living in Albania than at the start of the war, the only country in Europe where this happened.

Faith as well as culture played a major role in this life-and-death hospitality. Shyqyri Myrto helped Josef Jakoel and his sister Eriketa evade Germans going house to house searching for them. He said, “Our Muslim religion says we must help someone who is in danger in difficult times.”

Albanian protectors of the Jews were named on the “Rescuer’s Wall” at the U.S. Holocaust Museum in 1995. Albanian Muslim names are inscribed at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem among others as the “Righteous Among the Nations.”   »»» Informed Comment

Do good to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, the poor, the neighbor who is near, the neighbor who is a stranger. (Qur’an 4:36)

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Passenger says Muslims protected Christians in Islamist attack on Kenyan bus

Somali radical Shabaab Islamist militants sprayed a Kenyan bus with bullets on Monday, killing two people, but a passenger said he and fellow Muslims defied demands from the attackers to help identify Christians traveling with them.

The attack took place in Mandera, in northeast Kenya. A year ago, al Shabaab gunmen stormed a Nairobi-bound bus in the same area and killed 28 non-Muslim passengers execution-style.

Abdi Mohamud Abdi, a Muslim who was among the passengers in Monday’s incident, told Reuters that more than 10 al Shabaab militants boarded the bus and ordered the Muslim passengers to split away from the Christians, but they refused.

“We even gave some non-Muslims our religious attire to wear in the bus so that they would not be identified easily. We stuck together tightly,” he said.

“The militants threatened to shoot us but we still refused and protected our brothers and sisters. Finally they gave up and left but warned that they would be back,” he said.

In previous attacks, al Shabaab has often killed both Muslims and non-Muslims.

Julius Otieno, the deputy county commissioner, confirmed the account, saying that the militants “were trying to identify who were Muslims and who were not,” and that the Muslim passengers had refused to help.   »»» Reuters

According to the Qur’an:

“Christ Jesus the son of Mary is a messenger of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him….” 4:171

“The nearest in love to the believers (Muslims) those who say: “We are Christians.” That is because amongst them are priests and monks, and they are not proud.” 5:82

“And for their prayer Allah rewards them with gardens, with rivers flowing underneath,– their eternal home. Such is the recompense of those who do good.” 5:85

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‘Off the Charts’ Violence against Muslims Ravaging US Communities

From an attack on a hijab-wearing sixth grader in the Bronx to the arson of a mosque near Palm Springs, reports of hate crimes targeting Muslims are more than troubling anecdotes, but rather, reflect a measurable nationwide rise in Islamophobic violence, according to two separate studies released this week.

Researchers with the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University (CSU) found that anti-Muslim hate crimes have tripled in the wake of the Paris and San Bernardino attacks.

According to The New York Times, which obtained the study ahead of its public release, there has been an average of 12.6 “suspected hate crimes” against U.S. Muslims per month for the past several years. But since the Paris attacks in mid-November, that monthly number has climbed to 38 attacks that are “anti-Islamic in nature.”

Such crimes include arson and vandalism of mosques, shootings, and death threats.

“We are seeing an unbelievably toxic, anti-Muslim environment in our society that is being encouraged and exploited by public figures like Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Rick Santorum, and others.”
—Ibrahim Hooper, Council on American-Islamic Relations.

“The terrorist attacks, coupled with the ubiquity of these anti-Muslim stereotypes seeping into the mainstream, have emboldened people to act upon this fear and anger,” CSU researcher Brian Levin told Times reporter Eric Lichtblau.

While the researchers said the attacks have not quite reached the levels seen in the immediate aftermath of the September 11th, 2001 attacks, they identified similarities in the climate, including attacks on Sikh people falsely believed to be Muslim.   »»» Informed Comment

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The Muslims who shaped America – from brain surgeons to rappers

What have Muslims ever done for America? If your sole source of information were Donald Trump, you’d think that the answer was not much – apart from murdering its citizens and trying to destroy its values. The Republican presidential hopeful has called for a halt to Muslims entering the US until American authorities “can figure out” Muslim attitudes to the US in the wake of last week’s killings in San Bernardino. If only, you might well think, Scotland had had the same thought about Trump before he was allowed in to blight Aberdeenshire with another of his golf resorts.

What Trump doesn’t seem to grasp is his own country’s history, and how many American achievements worth celebrating are the work of the kind of people – Muslims – he wants to keep out.

Here, then, is a guide to some of the things Muslims have done for the US. It’s not an exhaustive list – but it’s still more impressive than what Trump has done for his homeland.

Muslims were part of the US from its very beginnings. Among those who served under the command of chief of the continental army, General George Washington, in the war against British colonialism were Bampett Muhammad, who fought for the Virginia Line between the years 1775 and 1783, and Yusuf Ben Ali, who was a North African Arab. Some have claimed that Peter Buckminster, who fired the gun that killed British Major General John Pitcairn at the battle of Bunker Hill, and later went on to serve in the Battle of Saratoga and the battle of Stony Point, was a Muslim American. This may be so, but the chief ground for the claim is that Buckminster later changed his surname to Salem or Salaam, the Arabic word for peace. But clearly, Washington, later America’s first president, didn’t have a problem with Muslims serving in his army. By giving these Muslims the honour of serving America, Washington made it clear that a person did not have to be of a certain religion or have a particular ethnic background to be an American patriot. Trump seems to want to overturn that venerable American principle.

The largely Muslim kingdom of Morocco, incidentally, was the first country to recognise the US. In 1786, the two countries signed a treaty of peace and friendship that is still in effect today, the longest unbroken treaty of its kind in history.

The US wouldn’t look the way it does if it weren’t for a Muslim, Fazlur Rahman Khan. The Dhaka-born Bangladeshi-American was known as the “Einstein of structural engineering”. He pioneered a new structural system of frame tubes that revolutionised the building of skyscrapers. That system consisted of, as he once described it, “three, four, or possibly more frames, braced frames, or shear walls, joined at or near their edges to form a vertical tube-like structural system capable of resisting lateral forces in any direction by cantilevering from the foundation”.

The result was a new generation of skyscrapers that reduced the amount of steel necessary in construction and changed the look of American cityscapes.

Shahid Khan is the personification of the American dream. The Pakistan-born billionaire arrived in the US aged 16 on a one-way trip to the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. “Within 24 hours, I had already experienced the American dream,” Khan said, by which he meant he found a job for $1.20 an hour washing dishes — more than the vast majority of the people back in Pakistan earned at the time. He started a car-parts business after university. Now, the 65-year-old – best known in the UK for owning Fulham FC – is the head of the $4.9bn (in sales terms) auto-parts company Flex-N-Gate, the 360th richest person on the planet and three years ago Forbes magazine put him on its cover as the face of the American dream.

Huma Abedin may be America’s most powerful Muslim woman. The 39-year-old Kalamazoo-born political staffer is a long-time aide to Hillary Clinton and was her deputy chief of staff at the State Department. She currently serves as vice chairwoman of Clinton’s 2016 campaign for president. But can she be trusted? In 2012 five Republican Congress members wrote to the State Department inspector general and claimed that she had “immediate family connections to foreign extremist organisations”. The claims were refuted and the allegations dismissed by the Washington Post as “paranoid”, a “baseless attack” and a “smear”. Republicans baselessly smearing Muslims? At least Donald Trump is around in 2015 to stand up against that kind of thing.
Treating the sick

Without Ayub Ommaya lots of people, some of them American, would be dead or suffering appalling pain. In 1963, the Pakistani-born Muslim neurosurgeon invented an intraventricular catheter system that can be used for the aspiration of cerebrospinal fluid or the delivery of drugs. What that means is that a soft, plastic, dome-shaped device is placed under the scalp. This so-called Ommaya Reservoir is then connected to a catheter that is placed into your brain. The reservoir is used to provide chemotherapy directly to the site for brain tumours. He also developed the first coma score for classification of traumatic brain injury and developed, too, the US’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, which, as part of its mission, focuses on traumatic brain injury.
Giving hip-hop its greatest MC

For many music fans of the 80s and 90s, hip-hop was the first, thrilling, exposure to Muslim culture and the religion of Islam. After the early days of breakdancing and braggadocio, it found room for a spiritual and religious element. The range of Muslim rappers spans the obvious – Yasiin Bey (the Artist Formerly Known As Mos Def) – and the superficially unlikely – T-Pain, taking in such luminaries as Nas, Andre 3000, Lupe Fiasco, Ice Cube and Busta Rhymes.

The expression of Muslim belief through hip-hop has frequently been mediated through fringe groups such as the Nation of Islam and the Five-Percent Nation, and the language they use has bled into the rap argot. A lot of this is down to Rakim, perhaps the first and most prominent Muslim rapper to speak openly about his faith. As one half of Eric B & Rakim, the man known to his mum as William Griffin – but to fans as Rakim Allah – dropped frequent allusions to Muslim religion and culture into songs that quickly propelled him to the top of the MC list. While artists such as Jay-Z and the Notorious BIG went on to wider fame and bigger sales, Rakim is still regarded in many quarters as the greatest rapper in history. His unique flow and gravitas helped to usher in the brilliant “Afrocentric” era of hip-hop in the late 80s, and allowed more Muslims to profess their faith on record.

Established classic rap albums like KMD’s Mr Hood (1991) and Brand Nubian’s One for All (1990) were made possible by this strain of Muslim influence. There’s an often jarring disconnect between songs about dealing dope and love of Allah on releases by such influential artists as Scarface and the Jacka, and modern mainstream hip-hop is markedly less vocal about Islam. But perhaps that’s because its deep, important impact on the music and culture is so long-standing and obvious that it no longer needs saying out loud. Andrew Emery
Inventing the ice-cream cone

Picture the scene. It’s the 1904 St Louis Worlds Fair. An ice-cream vendor has run short of dishes. I predict a riot. How are God-fearing Americans supposed to eat their ice-creams now? Lick them from cupped hands like animals or something? That’s not America. That isn’t even Italy. Thankfully, at the next booth is a Syrian Muslim immigrant. Ernest Hamwi is selling something called zalabia, a waffle-like confection. He rolls a waffle into a conical shape to contain the ice-cream, thus inventing the world’s first edible cone. But not the last. Business acumen and community spirit rolled up into a delicious proposition: how could you refuse that, America? Nowadays incidentally, the zalabia is so integrated into American society that Martha Stewart has a recipe for it.

Trump tweeted the following earlier this week: “Obama said in his speech that Muslims are our sports heroes. What sport is he talking about, and who?” One of those sports heroes is, Mr Trump, someone you’ve met before. Here are some clues. He was known as the Louisville Lip. He was three times World Heavyweight Boxing Champion. Oh yes, and in 1965 he changed his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali and later gave interviews explaining his perspective on his new faith. Now you remember. He’s the same guy you met in 2007 when he presented you with a Muhammad Ali award. In May, you posted a photo on Facebook posing with the great Muslim sporting hero and claimed then that he was your friend.

President Obama was making a point after the San Bernadino shootings. “Muslim Americans are our friends and our neighbours, our coworkers, our sports heroes. And yes, they are our men and women in uniform who are willing to die in defence of our country,” he said, speaking from the Oval Office. “We have to remember that.” Here are some more sports heroes he might have meant. Basketball icons Shaquille O’Neal and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the latter perhaps the greatest NBA star after Michael Jordan. Hakeem Olajuwon, 52, Hall of Fame NBA centre. Oh yes, and Mike Tyson, who set the record as the youngest boxer to win the WBC, WBA and IBF heavyweight titles aged 20.
Promoting diplomacy

Farah Pandith worked in the George W Bush administration at the National Security Council as a director for Middle East Initiatives and then in the Department of State as adviser on Muslim engagement in Europe. In 2009 she became Hillary Clinton’s envoy to the world’s Islamic communities. She argues that Islamic State is exploiting a crisis of identity for young Muslims. “Muslim millennials are growing up in a post-9/11 world and are asking questions about culture versus religion, being modern and Muslim. The people who are answering their identity crisis questions are not parents or family or community voices that in the past may have helped young people navigate their identity. Instead, they’re going online to Sheikh Google. The loudest voices are those of the extremists that know how to shape the way young people see everything.”

Ahmed Zewail won the Nobel prize for Chemistry in 1999, becoming thereby the first Egyptian-born scientist to do so. He is known as the “father of femtochemistry” and for doing pioneering work in the observation of rapid molecular transformations. Zewail, now 69, has spent most of his life in the US where he is now professor of chemistry and physics at Caltech and director of the physical biology center. He joined President Barack Obama’s presidential council of advisers on science and technology (PCAST), an advisory group of the nation’s leading scientists and engineers to advise the president and vice president and formulate policy in the areas of science, technology, and innovation in 2011. When he joined PCAST the White House hailed this Muslim Egyptian-American as one who is “widely respected not only for his science but also for his efforts in the Middle East as a voice of reason”. Postage stamps have been issued to honour his contributions to science and humanity.   »»» The Guardian (U.K.)

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Morocco’s Sociologist Fatima Mernissi Dies at 75

One of Morocco’s most celebrated feminist writers and sociologists passed away aged 75, on Monday.

Born in 1940, in Fes, Fatima Mernissi became known for her significant contributions in the literary field through which she focused on reconciling traditional Islam with progressive feminism.

The author of classics such as Beyond the Veil, The Veil and the Male Elite, Islam and Democracy and countless more publications, the campaigner for women’s rights gained international attention for her work on Islam and women.

She studied political science at Sorbonne University in Paris and earned her doctorate in sociology in 1974 at Brandeis University, after which she returned to her native Morocco. At Rabat’s Mohammed V university, she taught methodology, family sociology and psychosociology at the Faculté des Lettres.   »»»

We belong to God, and we return to him.

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Fear of Muslims Is Strong Predictor of Support for Trump

Public opinion surveyed in the weeks before the San Bernardino, Calif., attack show that those voters who believe Muslims are dangerous have especially favourable views of Donald Trump.

What is somewhat more surprising is how Republican voters have efficiently sorted themselves on this issue among the many Republican candidates running for the nomination. Even before Mr. Trump called for a “total and complete shutdown” of Muslim entry into the United States, his supporters were in favor of the move. His call is unlikely to offend his strongest supporters, and in fact may have been an appeal to the pre-existing attitudes of his core constituency.   »»» The New York Times

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Seven Myths about Muslims

1. Not all Muslims are Arabs

In fact, according to the most acknowledged statistics, the number of Muslims around the world amounts to an estimated 1.56 billion people, compared to estimated 2.2 billion Christians and 14 million Jews.

Of this total, Arab countries are home to around 380 million people, that is only about 24 per cent of all Muslims.

2. Not all Arabs are Muslims

While Islam is the religion of the majority of Arab population, not all Arabs are Muslims.

In fact, it is estimated that Christians represent between 15 per cent and 20 per cent of the Arab combined population. Therefore, Arab Muslims amount to just around one-fifth of all the world’s Muslims.

Arab Christians are concentrated mainly in the Palestinian Territories, Lebanon and Egypt, where they represent up to 13 per cent of the total population amounting to 95 million inhabitants according to last year’s census.

It is also estimated that there are more Muslims in the United Kingdom than in Lebanon, and more Muslims in China than in Syria.

3. Major Muslim countries are Arab

According to the U.S-based Pew Research Center, the percentage of major religious groups in 2012 was: Christianity 31.5 per cent; Islam 23.2 per cent; Hinduism 15.0 per cent, and Buddhism 7.1 per cent of the world’s total population.

Meanwhile, the Pew Research Center estimated that in 2010 there were 49 Muslim-majority countries.

South and Southeast Asia would account for around 62 per cent of the world’s Muslims.

According to these estimates, the largest Muslim population in a single country lives in Indonesia, which is home to 12.7 per cent of all world’s Muslims.

Pakistan (with 11.0 per cent of all Muslims) is the second largest Muslim-majority nation, followed by India (10.9 per cent), and Bangladesh (9.2 per cent).

The Pew Research Center estimates that about 20 per cent of Muslims live in Arab countries, and that two non-Arab countries – Turkey and Iran – are the largest Muslim-majority nations in the Middle East.

In short, a large number of Muslim majority countries are not Arabs. This is the case of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Indonesia, Pakistan and Turkey.

4. Muslims do not have their own God

“Allah” is the Arabic word for God. It is the word used by Arabic-speaking Christians and is related to the Hebrew words “Elohim” and “Eloha” which are used in the Jewish scripture. in his native language, Aramaic, Jesus called God “Eleha”

In addition, Islam does not at all deny the existence of Christianity or Christ. And it does fully recognise and pay due respect to the Torah and the Gospels.

The main difference is that Islam considers Christ as God’s closest and most beloved “prophet,” not his son.

5. Islamic “traditions”

Islam landed in the 7th century in the Gulf or Arab Peninsula deserts. There, both men and women used to cover their faces and heads to protect themselves from the strong heat and sand storms. It is not, therefore, a purely Islam religious imposition.

Meanwhile, in the Arab deserts, populations used to have nomadic life, with men travelling in caravans, while women and the elderly would handle the daily life of their families.

Female genital modifications are found in a minority of Islamic societies and are also found in some Christian societies and many African tribal societies. In all cases, they are cultural, not religious in origin.

Likewise other major monotheistic religions, a number of Muslim leaders have used faith to increase their influence and power. This is fundamentally why so many “new traditions” have been gradually imposed on Muslims. This is the case, for example, of denying the right of women to education.

As with other major monotheistic religions, some Muslim leaders used their ever growing powers to promote inhuman, brutal actions. This is the case of “ radical jihad” fundamentalists, like Daesh (ISIL), Boko Haram, and al-Qaeda–which have been denounced by orthodox Muslims as heretical groups.

This has not been an exclusive case of Muslims along the history of humankind. Just remember the Spanish-Portuguese invasion of Latin America, where indigenous populations were exterminated and Christianity imposed by the sword, for the sake of the glory of Kings, Emperors… and Popes.

6. The unfinished wars between the West and Islam (and vice-versa)

There is a growing belief among some Arab and Muslim academicians that the ongoing violent conflicts between Muslims and the West (and vice-versa) are due to the “unfinished” war between the Christian West and the Islamic Ottoman Empire, in spite of the fact that the latter was dismantled in the early 1920s.

This theory is used to explain the successive wars in the Balkans and the Middle East, for instance. The latter conflicts, in fact, are the result of the Western colonization and occupation of the Middle East.

7. The “religion” of oil

It has become too common to say that oil producers are predominantly Arabs and Muslims. This is not accurate.

To start with, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was founded in (the under British mandate) Baghdad, Iraq, in 1960 by five countries: Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. These were later joined by Qatar (1961), Indonesia (1962), Libya (1962), the United Arab Emirates (1967), Algeria (1969), Nigeria (1971), Ecuador (1973), Gabon (1975) and Angola (2007).

And here you are: OPEC full membership includes: Ecuador, Venezuela, Nigeria, Gabon and Angola. None of these is either Arab or Muslim. They are all Christian states. As for Iran and Indonesia, these are Muslim countries, but not Arab.

Then you have other major oil and gas producers and exporters outside the OPEC ranks: the United States [which produces more oil (13,973,000 barrels per day) than Saudi Arabia (11,624,000)]; Russia (10,853,000); China (4,572,000); Canada (4,383,000, more than United Arab Emirates or Iran or Iraq); Norway (1,904,000, more than Algeria) and Mexico, among others.

Again, none of these oil producers is Arab or Muslim.   »»» Informed Comment

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