‘We will free India of Muslims and Christians by 2021’: DJS leader vows to continue ‘ghar wapsi’ plans and restore ‘Hindu glory’

Even as Opposition parties up the ante over alleged incidents of religious reconversion, the Dharm Jagran Samiti has declared that it will ensure India becomes a Hindu Rashtra by 2021.

Licence to stay

Speaking in Agra on Thursday, a Dharm Jagran Samiti (DJS) functionary said Muslims and Christians will have to convert to Hinduism if they want to stay in this country.

The DJS has been at the forefront of the reconversion – or ‘ghar wapsi’ – programmes in recent times in which some Muslims have been reportedly ‘reconverted’ to Hinduism.

Conversion has become a major political hot potato with a few Hindu organisations holding ‘ghar wapsi’ ceremonies—the photo shows one such exercise in Agra—to ‘reconvert’ Muslims

Conversion has become a major political hot potato with a few Hindu organisations holding ‘ghar wapsi’ ceremonies—the photo shows one such exercise in Agra—to ‘reconvert’ Muslims

However, their action drew widespread condemnation, leading to the arrest of one activist.

“Our target is to make India a Hindu Rashtra by 2021. The Muslims and Christians don’t have any right to stay here.

“So they would either be converted to Hinduism or forced to run away from here,” Uttar Pradesh DJS head Rajeshwar Singh said.

He was reacting to the arrest of Nand Kishore Valmiki, a DJS activist.

Valmiki was arrested on Tuesday for his alleged involvement in forcefully converting over 100 Muslims to Hinduism in Agra.

Singh said although he has temporarily suspended his ‘ghar wapsi’ programme in Aligarh and some other districts of the state that were supposed to be held on December 25, it would be restarted soon.

The DJS leader claimed that those who have been opposing ‘ghar wapsi’ were fearful of Muslims.

But, he would set India free from this fear, he added.

“I belong to the Solanki sub-caste within the Rajput caste. The Thakurs (Rajputs) respect me. I am their leader and they follow my orders.

“The Muslims had converted Rajputs to Islam by force. But the Rajputs are rising again.

“I will ensure that India is freed of Muslims and Christians by December 31, 2021,” Singh said.

In Etah, Singh reiterated his stand, saying he wouldn’t let Muslims and Christians convert the Hindus.

“We will not let them hunt the Hindus,” he said.

“The enemies have tried many a time in the past to finish Hinduism. But every time, Ram, Krishna and Chanakya came forward to finish them and restore the glory of Hinduism.

“I am also doing the same.”

Explaining the DJS’ plans, Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) secretary general Champat Rai told Mail Today: “We are of the view that there are a handful of Muslims in India.

“Others within the Muslim community are actually Hindus. Their ancestors were converted to Islam forcefully.

“Even writer Taslima Nasrin has said that her ancestors were Hindus. The Batts, who are Muslims in Jammu and Kashmir, are actually Bhatts, the Hindus.”

Rai claimed ‘ghar wapsi’ has been an ongoing VHP campaign for the last 60 years.

A resolution in this regard was passed during the 1966 Maha Kumbh in Allahabad, he said.

“We have re-inducted over six lakh people into Hinduism since 1966.

“Mahatma Gandhi, Savarkar and Swami Dayanand Saraswati had expressed their concern over religious conversion.

Uttar Pradesh DJS head Rajeshwar Singh claimed that those who have been opposing ‘ghar wapsi’ were fearful of Muslims 

Uttar Pradesh DJS head Rajeshwar Singh claimed that those who have been opposing ‘ghar wapsi’ were fearful of Muslims

“They believed it was poisoning the society. Bringing them back to their original religion means correcting the wrong.

“It is the appropriate time now to take it up on a bigger scale,” he added.

A Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leader told Mail Today that they have formed committees in every district of the state for this purpose.

“We have included some Arya Samaj priests in the team because they issue a certificate to a converted person.

“This is a major document to prove that the converted person agrees to it,” he said.

‘Independent’

When asked about the posture of the Modi Government on this issue, he said: “We never ask Modi or any other BJP leader before chalking out our strategy.

“We only expect them to speak for or against us to clarify their stand. But Modi is the Prime Minister.

“So his silence means his approval. It is the right time for us to fulfil our agenda.”

UP minister Azam Khan said: “RSS is behaving like the Taliban. They don’t want the Constitution of India.

“They have their own agenda of finishing humanism.”

Meanwhile, reacting sharply to the DJS statement, Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh said: “DJS is a wing of RSS, which had supported Modi and the BJP during the Lok Sabha elections.

“They are now drifting away from the agenda of the NDA.”

He dared the Modi Government to either accept the activities of DJS or “show some guts” and disband it.

Modi stands firm despite challenges from Rajya Sabha 

By Amit Agnihotri

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has rejected the Opposition’s demand that he reply to the ongoing debate in the Rajya Sabha on alleged forced conversions.

His decision emboldened the ruling dispensation to blame the Opposition’s “arrogance of numbers” for the ongoing logjam in the Upper House that threatens to derail the Government’s economic reform agenda.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley pointed to the “smooth functioning” of the Lok Sabha, saying the Rajya Sabha hold-up points to “arrogance of numbers, not the arrogance of the Government”.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is said to be upset with the Opposition after he made a statement on the Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti controversy, but the logjam in the Rajya Sabha continued despite his address to the House

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is said to be upset with the Opposition after he made a statement on the Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti controversy, but the logjam in the Rajya Sabha continued despite his address to the House

The Opposition hit back, saying the Government’s “tyranny of majority” had ensured that the Lower House functioned smoothly despite nine parties “fighting tooth and nail on the issue of conversions”.

While the Government has a brute majority in the Lower House, the Opposition has an upper hand in the Rajya Sabha.

Prime Minister Modi is said to have asked the Government to remain firm in the face of the Opposition’s attack on conversion, and suggested explaining its position directly to the people.

Nine opposition parties have kept the Government on its toes by not letting the Rajya Sabha function for the past four days, seeking the PM’s statement on the controversial issue of conversions, wherein Muslims have been “reconverted” to Hinduism by way of “ghar wapsi” ceremonies.

FM Arun Jaitley said Congress in the Rajya Sabha were suffering from the 'arrogance of numbers' 

FM Arun Jaitley said Congress in the Rajya Sabha were suffering from the ‘arrogance of numbers’

The PM came to the Upper House on Thursday as it was the designated day he was supposed to answer questions related to ministries under him, but there was no word from him on the Opposition’s demand.

Sources said the PM had made a statement in both houses of Parliament earlier in the session, ticking off his junior colleague Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti for her controversial remarks, but that had not led to smooth functioning of the House.

The “betrayal” by the Opposition, sources said, was playing on the PM’s mind and is what drove him to ask his team to remain firm.

“The PM has confidence in his ministers. If he feels the need to intervene on any issue, he will, but not under the Opposition’s threat,” a Union minister said.

The Government sources, however, acknowledged that given the deadlock, the Winter Session, which ends December 23, might end without key reform Bills related to insurance and coal sectors passing muster.

The Government’s strategy now is to break the united Opposition camp to make the most of the three working days left in the session.

They hope that the move could help it pass at least the insurance Bill which aims to increase the FDI cap to 49 per cent.

Australia Muslim school rejected

From the BBC

Anti-Islamic immigration slogan on protester's hat

The New South Wales town does not have a large Muslim population

Authorities in an Australian town have rejected proposals to allow an Islamic school to be built there.

Councillors for Camden, a small town on the outskirts of Sydney, unanimously voted against the proposed school for 1200 pupils.

The councillors said they based their decision solely on planning grounds, citing an internal report about its environmental impact.

The proposed development had met with fierce local opposition.

Camden’s authorities received some 3,200 submissions from the public about the school and only 100 in favour.

Tensions reached their height last November when two pigs’ heads were left on the site of the proposed school. Pork products are forbidden for consumption according to Islamic dietary laws. Continue reading “Australia Muslim school rejected”

What if Rajiv Gandhi hadn’t unlocked the Babri Masjid in 1986?

This article first appeared in the online version of the newsmagazine
‘Outlook India’ (issue dt. 23 August 2004) at the URL
http://outlookindia.com/full.asp?fodname=20040823&fname=UCol+Koenraad&sid=1

In 1985, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi gave in to Muslim pressure in the Shah Bano affair. Overruling a secular court�s decision that the repudiated wife Shah Bano was entitled to alimony from her ex-husband, he enacted a law abolishing the alimony provision in conformity with the Shari�a. Since India, unlike secular states, already had religion-based Civil Codes, this concession merely brought the minor matter of alimony under the purview of the prevailing arrangement. More importantly, it prevented riots.

Only months later, Gandhi restored the balance by giving the Hindus something as well: he ordered the locks on the Ram Janmabhoomi Babri Masjid in Ayodhya removed. Until then, a priest had been permitted to perform puja once a year for the idols installed there in 1949. Now, all Hindus were given access to what they consider as the birthplace of Rama, the prince posthumously deified as an incarnation of Vishnu.

Fundamentally, this decision didn�t alter the Ayodhya equation. Architecturally, the building was and remained a mosque, while functionally, it had been and continued to be a Hindu temple. That is why in my opinion, not taking this decision wouldn�t have changed the Ayodhya developments except in their timing. The different players, their strategies and goals, and their resolve to pursue these, all remained the same. The Babri Masjid Action Committee and the Vishva Hindu Parishad would have gone about their �business� just the same.

However, the VHP would have been forced to continue pushing the rather petty demand for removing the locks, rather than move on to the more ambitious and more mobilizing next step of planning the construction of a new temple. Most probably, the BJP would likewise have reaped smaller dividends from such a campaign. In 1989, it might not have jumped as high as 86 seats. Conversely, Congress might not have lost the North-Indian Muslim vote to the Janata Dal. In 1989, it could have remained just strong enough to cobble together a coalition rather than leave the initiative to the unwholesome and unstable Janata-BJP-Communist combine. So, at the level of party politics, Rajiv Gandhi�s decision may have made a big difference. Continue reading “What if Rajiv Gandhi hadn’t unlocked the Babri Masjid in 1986?”

Traditionalist ulema lead educational revolution in Kerala

Written by Yoginder Sikand · December 13, 2007 · 452 views

December 13, 2007

Kerala’s Muslims are unique among their co-religionists in India in fashioning a system of education that enables their children to attend both religious as well as regular schools at the same time. Muslims account for around a fourth of Kerala’s population, and the state’s Muslims, known as Mapillas, are among the most literate of the various Muslim communities in the country. Madrasas and schools run by literally hundreds of Muslim religious organizations in the state have made this possible. A recent study by Zubair Hudawi, himself a madrasa graduate from Kerala and presently a doctoral candidate at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, titled ‘Development and Modernisation of Religious Education in Kerala: The Role of the Samastha Kerala Jameyyat ul-Ulama’, discusses this contribution in great detail.

The Samastha Kerala Jameyyat ul-Ulama (SKJU) represents a traditionalist theological position, quite opposed to Islamic modernists on numerous points. Yet, as Hudawi argues, it has not hesitated from championing modern education. Hudawi, who spent several years studying at the Dar ul-Huda Islamic Academy, the SKJU’s leading centre for higher Islamic education, seeks to explain this enigma through an in-depth analysis of the organisation’s evolution and development, arguing against the notion that the traditionalist ulema are necessarily and wholly opposed to ‘modernity’. He argues that the SKJU is an excellent example of a traditionalist Muslim religious organization that, rather than opposing ‘modernity’ outright, actually facilitates it, albeit selectively. Thus, today, he writes, the SKJU runs not just several thousand madrasas but also numerous English- and Malayalam-medium schools, and scores of women’s and technical colleges. Continue reading “Traditionalist ulema lead educational revolution in Kerala”

Policy Exchange Thinktank fabricated report on “extremist Mosques”

This is just another example of the propaganda war against Muslims being waged by the Western media. Michael Gove is a known Islamophobe, and he is the person responsible for producing that fabricated report on the “hijacking of British Islam”. This is another example of the neo-con extremists propagating their anti-Islamic agenda through the media. Micheal Gove has links to the American neo-cons and is a known sympathiser to their cause.

http://www.islamophobia-watch.com/islamophobia-watch/2007/12/13/evidence-of-extremism-in-mosques-fabricated.html

A rightwing thinktank which claimed to have uncovered extremist literature on sale at dozens of British mosques was last night accused of basing a report on fabricated evidence.

The report by Policy Exchange alleged that books condoning violent jihad and encouraging hatred of Christians, Jews and gays were being sold in a quarter of the 100 mosques visited. But BBC2’s Newsnight said examination of receipts provided by the researchers to verify their purchases showed some had been written by the same person – even though they purported to come from different mosques. Several receipts also misspelled the names or addresses of the mosques where the books were supposedly sold.

The report, the Hijacking of British Islam, was based on the work of four teams of two researchers each who visited 100 mosques. They claimed to have found the controversial material in bookshops attached to 25 mosques, including one at Regent’s Park, London, and others in Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Oxford and High Wycombe.

Inayat Bunglawala, assistant secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, said: “Policy Exchange produced a report that was given a lot of publicity, and Newsnight deserve credit for exposing the incredibly shoddy and dubious methodology that Policy Exchange have resorted to. It would seem that Policy Exchange had already decided what they wanted to say about mosques and just went out to find or should I say invent the evidence to justify their prejudices.”

Guardian, 13 December 2007
http://www.guardian.co.uk/religion/Story/0,,2226704,00.html

Watch video of yesterday’s Newsnight programme here
http://news.bbc.co.uk/player/nol/newsid_4670000/newsid_4679900/4679986.stm?bw=bb&mp=wm&news=1&bbcws=1

For Osama Saeed’s comments, see Rolled Up Trousers, 12 December 2007

The Newsnight investigation concentrated on mosques in and around London but, as Osama points out, questions about the credibility of the Hijacking of British Islam report were raised at the time by the Edinburgh Central Mosque – where nobody had come across the literature that Policy Exchange claimed to have discovered on their premises.

Islamic Renaissance now


By Hamid Golpira

The Islamic world is at the crossroads — either we have an Islamic Renaissance now or we will experience many years of backwardness.

The Islamic world has been in decline for over five centuries.

Once we experienced a golden age, and there is good reason to mourn its loss.

But the Moor’s last sigh shouldn’t last 500 years.

Something must be done to rectify the problem now.

It seems that we need a bit of etherealization, which is an expression used by historian Arnold Toynbee to describe what takes place when a civilization is flourishing.

So how do we etherealize the Islamic world?

Well, first we have to understand what we got right in the golden age.

To start an Islamic Renaissance, we have to return to our roots, but this does not mean returning to the past as Taleban-type elements would like to do.

We have to balance modernity and tradition.

And this is what we got right at the advent of Islam and during the golden age.

We understood and adapted to the times we lived in while maintaining our religious ideals.

We had spirituality and also academic scholarship and science.

Muslims never had a great Dark Ages where science was superstitiously rejected like the Europeans experienced.

However, we are in the middle of a 500-year decline that is like a dark age.

We Muslims have to understand that we live in the Information Age.

Yet, we must learn how to balance Information Age modernity and Islamic tradition.

We should not become materialists with little or no spirituality, like the Westerners, but we should also not try to become spiritual people disconnected from the times we live in.

Everything is in the balance and we must learn to strike that balance.

The new Islamic Renaissance must be an Information Age Islamic Renaissance because this is the era we live in.

The beauty of Islam is that it is adaptable to every era.

When the Europeans were in the middle of their Dark Ages, the Islamic world reached the heights of art, culture, science, philosophy, literature, architecture, and many other fields.

Many historians say the Islamic civilization actually inspired the European Renaissance.

So what went wrong in the Islamic world?

The answer is obvious.

We forgot who we are. We lost our identity.

We lost sight of that beauty of Islam which is adaptable to every era.

Most of the Islamic world was colonized by the Europeans, and our identity crisis became exacerbated.

After the colonial era ended, we became the victims of neocolonialism.

Even the minds of most Muslims have become colonized in the ongoing cultural war.

South African revolutionary Steve Biko once said: “The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.”

The Muslims broke up into different groups.

One group is influenced by the Westerners and tries to be secular materialists like them. They are sometimes called moderate Muslims but most of them are not very Muslim at all in reality.

Another group rejects the West and has adopted a form of Islamic traditionalism that is sometimes called fundamentalism but which is really not fundamentalism because they are out of touch with the modern world, whereas the fundamental teachings of Islam require Muslims to be in tune with the times we live in.

A third group rejects both of these approaches and opts for a form of Islamic mysticism disengaged from the world, which is not really Islamic mysticism because true Islamic mystics are engaged with the world and seek to help people, especially the oppressed masses and those who are spiritually lost.

All of these groups are going in the wrong direction, but each of them also has a piece of the answer.

We Muslims must synthesize these three approaches to regain our identity and start the new Islamic Renaissance.

We must utilize Information Age technology, but avoid getting lost in materialism.

We must hold fast to the Islamic tradition and the Islamic law, the sharia, but avoid stiff interpretations of the law, arrogant self-righteousness, and intolerance.

And we must understand mysticism and live the mystical life, but avoid selfish individualism and narcissistic fantasy.

If we can do this, we can reconnect with the beauty of Islam which is adaptable to every era, balance modernity and tradition, regain our Islamic identity, and start the new Islamic Renaissance.

Islam’s Path East: China

One of Islam’s main entry points into China was the Pearl River port of Quanzhou.

The majority of China’s Muslims are Turkic peoples living in the vast Xinjiang region of northwest China. The rest are mainly Hui – either descendants of Chinese converts to Islam or the offspring of Chinese intermarriages with Muslim immigrants whose appearance is distinctly Chinese. They live in sizeable communities in the former Silk Road oases of western and central China, in the southern province of Yunnan, and in the industrial cities and ports of the east. 

Contacts between Muslims and Chinese began very early. Arab merchants traded in silk even before the advent of Islam, and tradition has it that the new religion was brought to their port-city trading colonies by Muslim missionaries in the seventh century.

In 755, a contingent of 4000 soldiers, mostly Muslim Turks, was sent by the Abbasid caliph Abu Jafar al-Mansur to help the Chinese emperor Su Tsung quell a revolt by one of his military commanders, An LuShan. Following the recapture of the imperial capital, Ch’angan (today’s Xian), these soldiers settled in China, married Chinese wives and founded inland Muslim colonies similar to those established by the traders on the coast. 

Islam made its first real inroads into what is now western China in the middle of the 10th century, with the conversion of Sultan Sutuq Bughrakhan of Kashgar and his subsequent conquest of the Silk Road oases of Yarkand and Khotan in southwest Xinjiang. 

During the Song Dynasty (960 – 1279), China experienced spectacular economic growth. This stimulated expansion of the Muslim mercantile communities – particularly in Ch’ang – an, the eastern terminus of the Silk Roads, and in the port cities of Quanzhou and Guangzhou, where Muslims largely governed the internal affairs of their own neighborhoods, building mosques and appointing qadis to adjudicate according to Islamic law.

But although some Chinese merchants involved in international trade did become Muslims, other converts were few, and Islam in China was confined largely to Muslim immigrants and their descendants. Until, that is, the Mongol invasion overthrew the Song Dynasty and ushered in what Chinese Muslims regard as the “golden age” of Islam in China. Continue reading “Islam’s Path East: China”

Pagans as Patriots: Freedom vs. Prejudice

The U.S. Air Force recently released new data indicating that Pagans (sometimes called Wiccans) have nearly 1,000 registered members, more than Muslims or Jews. Of course they should have their own chaplain in the military since there are Pagan adherents serving their country. Pagans are as entitled to having their religious needs met as are Southern Baptists. Religious freedom is religious freedom is religious freedom. That cannot be said too frequently today.

Paganism is very poorly understood. It is sometimes called “the Old Religion” as it claims to be a revival of indigenous religious traditions violently suppressed by Christianity as it spread throughout Europe. Contemporary Pagans or Wiccans celebrate diversity and put a high premium on personal responsibility and not doing harm. Feminists such as Feminists have been prominent in contemporary Wicca or Paganism and emphasize the repressed Goddess traditions and the spirituality of women as expressed in witchcraft.

Paganism has an important role to play in American religious culture as it explicitly regards women as capable of embodying the sacred. It has been my personal experience that conservative Christianity in particular regards all women, regardless of their faith, as vaguely Pagan. Christian conservatives do not value women’s religious leadership as highly as that of males. Women are called the “weaker vessel” and considered less capable of embodying the sacred. This is why women are not ordained by Catholics and conservative Protestants. Women are deemed incapable of “imagining Christ” despite the fact that Genesis 1:27 clearly states that both female and male are created in the image of God. Continue reading “Pagans as Patriots: Freedom vs. Prejudice”

mezquitas (mosques) of Cordoba,Spain


The Great Mosque of Cordoba extended and revised architectural review

When the Umayyad were supplanted by the Abbasids in 750 and the centre of Islam relocated from Damascus, Syria to Baghdad, Iraq, a Umayyad prince named Abed Al-Rahman I moved to Spain where Muslims were already established & founded a dynasty with Cordoba as its capital. The kingdom flourished, lasting for nearly 300 years (756-1031). In 929 a restored Umayyad caliphate was set up in Cordoba, in rivalry with the Abbasids in Baghdad: by any standard, Cordoba was the richest, most sophisticated city in Europe.

The Great Mosque of
Cordoba’s original construction under Abed Al-Rahman I – Part 1
The Great Mosque of
Cordoba‘s original construction under Abed Al-Rahman I – Part 2
The first mosque extension under Abed Al-Rahman II
Building work on the Great Mosque of Cordoba by Abed AI-Rahman III

The extension under al-Hakam II
The last extension under Al-Mansor

The Great Mosque Of Cordoba’s Pictures



Magnificent
Interiors

The Great Mosque, Cordoba

 

The Great Mosque of Cordoba’s original construction under Abed Al-Rahman I – Part 1
The Great Mosque of
Cordoba‘s original construction under Abed Al-Rahman I – Part 2
The first mosque extension under Abed Al-Rahman II
Building work on the Great Mosque of Cordoba by Abed AI-Rahman III

The extension under al-Hakam II
The last extension under Al-Mansor

The Great Mosque Of Cordoba’s Pictures

Mosques in Spain

n/a

Related books

Islamic Art and Architecture: From Isfahan to the Taj Mahal Art historian Henri Stierlin explores a dazzling 1,000-year-old decorative tradition in Islamic Art and Architecture: From Isfahan to the Taj Mahal.

Gardens, Landscape, and Vision in the Palaces of Islamic Spain The Gardens, Landscape, and Vision in the Palaces of Islamic Spain offers a new interpretation of the history of gardens in Spain during the period of Islamic rule from the eighth through the fifteenth centuries.

Muslims challenge Christians’ use of Cordoba mosque

 

Europe Features

By Sinikka Tarvainen Jan 3, 2007, 8:29 GMT

‘; var PageContent= ‘Cordoba/Madrid – Few buildings are as emblematic of Europe\’s Muslim past as the Great Mosque in Cordoba.

\nThe southern Spanish city was once the capital of Moorish Spain, where the mosque was promoted as the third Islamic pilgrimage site after the Kaaba of Mecca and the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.

\nDeclared a United Nations World Heritage Site in 1984, the stunning mosque pays tribute to the architectural and artistic achievements of Muslim Spain, which also shone as a beacon of science and scholarship in 10th-century Europe.

\nCordoba residents still often call the building \’mezquita\’ (mosque), though it has in fact been used as a cathedral since the 13th century when Christian troops conquered the city from the Moors.

\nA mysterious dim light typical of Catholic churches now surrounds the forest of pillars ending in red-and-white-striped arches, which has been compared to a Muslim tent in the desert.

\nA Catholic altar, a choir stall and chapels have been erected inside, mingling with Islamic features such as the mihrab or prayer niche.

\nSo who does the building, with a prayer hall measuring 23,400 square metres, belong to?

\nIs it the heritage of Arab-Berber-Spanish Moors, who ruled large parts of Spain for some 800 years and for whom emir Abd ar-Rahman I started building it in the 8th century?

\nOr does it belong to Christians, who completed their Reconquest of Spain from the Moors in 1492 and whose King Charles V financed the mosque\’s definitive conversion into a cathedral in the 16th century?

\nUntil recently, few Spaniards questioned the Catholic Church\’s exclusive use of the building, but the arrival of some 800,000 mainly Moroccan Muslim immigrants over the recent years has raised new questions about the sanctuary.

\nThousands of Spaniards have also reclaimed their Muslim roots, converting to Islam in cities such as Granada, once a Moorish stronghold.

\nMansur Escudero, a convert who heads Spain\’s Islamic Board, prayed in front of the mosque recently to claim Muslims\’ right to use it for prayer.

\nThe board has written to Pope Benedict XVI, proposing that the mosque be turned into an ecumenic temple where Christians, Muslims and representatives of other religions could pray together and \’bury past confrontations.\’

\nIt has sent a similar letter to Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.

\nSpain\’s Islamic organizations have distanced themselves from Osama bin Laden\’s call on Muslims to \’reclaim Al-Andalus,\’ the traditional name for Moorish Spain.

\nThey condemned the 2004 Madrid train bombings, staged mainly by Moroccan Islamists, which killed 191 people.

\nThe mosque, a building with an \’enormous symbolic power,\’ could show the way for a \’universal spirituality,\’ Audalla Conget, secretary of the Islamic Board, told the Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa in a telephone interview.

\n\’Spain could be the key that opens the door to peace,\’ he says, recalling the Moorish period when Christians, Muslims and Jews lived in a relative harmony.

\nAfter the Reconquest, however, Spanish identity was largely based on a militant brand of Catholicism as a sign of differentiation from Islam.

\nIt is only recently that Spaniards have begun toning down traditions which could be offensive to Muslims, for instance removing a statue of Saint James \’the Moorslayer\’ from Santiago de Compostela cathedral.

\nSome villages have modified traditional plays or spectacles in which \’Christians\’ kill \’Moors.\’

\nRicardo Blazquez, the head of Spain\’s Episcopal Conference, initially showed sympathy towards the idea of Muslims praying at the Cordoba mosque, but the conference quickly issued a statement saying he had not authorized any Islamic prayers at the cathedral.

\nCordoba bishop Juan Jose Asenjo rejected the Islamic Board\’s request, saying joint use of the temple would confuse believers and promote religious indifference.

\nThe Vatican has rejected earlier petitions by Muslims to pray at the Cordoba mosque, but Conget was hopeful that Benedict XVI would have a more favourable attitude.

\nThe Cordoba bishop\’s negative answer contrasts with \’interesting gestures\’ by the pope, such as praying at an Istanbul mosque, he said.

\nA spokeswoman at the Cordoba bishop\’s office declined to comment, saying the office had \’nothing to add\’ to what the bishop said earlier.

\n© 2007 dpa – Deutsche Presse-Agentur‘; PrintArticle();//–>

Cordoba/Madrid – Few buildings are as emblematic of Europe’s Muslim past as the Great Mosque in Cordoba.

The southern Spanish city was once the capital of Moorish Spain, where the mosque was promoted as the third Islamic pilgrimage site after the Kaaba of Mecca and the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.

Declared a United Nations World Heritage Site in 1984, the stunning mosque pays tribute to the architectural and artistic achievements of Muslim Spain, which also shone as a beacon of science and scholarship in 10th-century Europe.

Cordoba residents still often call the building ‘mezquita’ (mosque), though it has in fact been used as a cathedral since the 13th century when Christian troops conquered the city from the Moors.

A mysterious dim light typical of Catholic churches now surrounds the forest of pillars ending in red-and-white-striped arches, which has been compared to a Muslim tent in the desert.

A Catholic altar, a choir stall and chapels have been erected inside, mingling with Islamic features such as the mihrab or prayer niche. Continue reading “Muslims challenge Christians’ use of Cordoba mosque”

Muslims in Spain

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Written by http://www.euro-islam.info
Wednesday, 26 April 2006

Demographics

 

Spain’s interaction with the Muslim world extends back to the 9th century and Islamic expansion into Europe. Most Muslims were expelled in 1492, although there is strong evidence that some did remain behind and publicly proclaimed Catholicism but privately practiced Islam. This tendency faded over time, and the Muslim presence in Spain disappeared until the 1960s.

 

 

 

Initially, many Moroccans entered the tourist industry on the Mediterranean coast. They were primarily undocumented and transient, often attempting to get into France. The profile of these Moroccans began to shift, and they began to come from the Spanish protectorate area in northern Morocco, and settle in Catalonia.

 

As countries further north of Spain began controlling immigration more tightly, many immigrants began settling in Spain so that by the late 1970s it is estimated there were 100,000 Moroccans in Barcelona.

 

Since the 1980s most of the growth of the Muslim population has been due to family reunification. Current estimates put the Muslim population of Spain at 500,000, predominantly Moroccan.

 

Other points of origin include Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq whose citizens came as students and entrepreneurs. By 1977 these numbers expanded to include Palestinian refugees, and in 1979 Iranian refugees. While socially important, demographically their impact is minimal.

 

An important group of Muslims in the country is composed not of migrants, but of converts. In the 1970s there seems to have been a marked increase in the number of Spaniards accepting Islam. Various theories have been put forward as to why this might be the case, including the need to recover an authentic Spanish identity by look back at the period of Muslim rule. The result has been that in the mid-1990s converts had founded over half the Muslim groups. Current estimates place their numbers at 6,000 individuals.

 

Labor Market

 

Muslim immigrants tend to be employed in the lower sectors of the economy, such as service and labor.

 

Education

 

The OECD collects data on education from various statistical agencies within the country, the majority of which comes from census data from the year 2000. The OECD classifies educational achievement using the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED): ISCED 0/1/2: Less than upper secondary; ISCED 3/4: Upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary; ISCED 5A: “Academic” tertiary; ISCED 5B: “Vocational” tertiary; ISCED 6: Advanced research programs. 0-2 are considered low, 3-4 as medium, and 5 and above are considered high. This data is not reported by religion, but does have country of origin as reported by the respondent. It is thus possible to construct an approximate picture of the educational achievement of the population in the country with ancestry from predominately Muslim countries. One significant problem is that some countries, such as India and Nigeria, have large Muslim populations but the immigrant population cannot be readily classified as predominately Muslim or non-Muslim. As such, the educational data is split by predominately Muslim origin, predominately non-Muslim origin, and a separate category for those whom classification would not seem justified. Proportions are for all reported data, individuals with no reported ancestry or education are excluded.

 

High

Medium

Low

Muslim

11%

13%

76%

Non-Muslim

20%

17%

63%

Indeterminate

17%

20%

63%

 


 

State and Church

 

In Spain, although special treatment of any religious organization is considered illegal, the state does have agreements with the Vatican that give the Catholic Church unique rights. Some, but not all, have been extended to Islam and other faiths, although these religions do not receive state funding through the tax system. Despite the legal status of Islam, recognized in 1992, there have been di Continue reading “Muslims in Spain”

Islam’s Claim on Spain

The white minaret of the new Great Mosque of Granada doesn’t overshadow a nearby church but is nonetheless a testament to Spanish Muslims’ pride in their history in “Al Andalus,” the region of southern Spain now known as Andalusia

GRANADA, Spain – Across a valley of fragrant cedars and orange trees, worshipers at the pristine Great Mosque of Granada look out at the Alhambra, the 700-year-old citadel and monument to the heyday of Islamic glory.

Granada’s Muslims chose the hilltop location precisely with the view, and its unmistakable symbolism, in mind.

It took them more than 20 years to build the mosque, the first erected here in half a millennium, after they conquered the objections of city leaders and agreed, ultimately, to keep the minaret shorter than the steeple on the Catholic Iglesia de San Nicolas next door.

Cloistered nuns on the other side of the mosque added a few feet to the wall enclosing their convent, as if to say they wanted neither to be seen nor to see.

Many of Spain’s Muslims long for an Islamic revival to reclaim their legendary history, and inaugurating the Great Mosque last year was the most visible gesture. But horrific bombings by Muslim extremists that killed nearly 200 people in Madrid on March 11 have forced Spain’s Muslims and non-Muslims to reassess their relationship, and turned historical assumptions on their head.

“We are a people trying to return to our roots,” said Anwar Gonzalez, 34, a Granada native who converted to Islam 17 years ago. “But it’s a bad time to be a Muslim.”

Spain has a long, rich and complex history interwoven with the Muslim and Arab world, from its position as the center of Islamic Europe in the last millennium to today’s confrontation with a vast influx of Muslim immigrants. Continue reading “Islam’s Claim on Spain”

Kemalist Ideology- Turkish National Secular Movement

Kemalist Ideology (“Atatürkçü Düşünce”), also known as Kemalism (“Kemalizm” or “Atatürkçülük”) and Six Arrows, is based on Mustafa Kemal Atatürk‘s six principles (Altı Ok) during the Turkish national movement. The principles were not defined as an ideology during the life of Atatürk, but formulated later on. It constitutes ground rules for state nationalism in Turkey.

History

The history of the concept of Kemalism can be traced back to Second Constitutional Era of the Ottoman Empire. The political experience of the Ottoman Empire, through Tanzimat, and the First Constitutional Era of the Ottoman Empire were synthesized into Kemalism.

 

Republican People's Party logo, and six principles as arrows

 

Republican People’s Party logo, and six principles as arrows

The Republican People’s Party was established by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk on October 29th, 1923, about a week before the declaration of the Republic of Turkey on the September 9th. The party uses the ideology to symbolize itself. Continue reading “Kemalist Ideology- Turkish National Secular Movement”

The Story of Moses and The Guide

The Story of Moses and The Guide
By: Ibn Kathir

Nabi Musa, or the Tomb of Prophet Moses (pbuh), lies 11 km south of Jericho and 20 km east of Jerusalem in the Judean wilderness.Although the last chapter in the Book of Deuteronomy tells us that Moses (pbuh) died and was buried on the other side of the Jordan River (Duet 34) and that no one knew where his Tomb was. Muslim tradition holds that Salah Eddin had a dream in which it had been revealed to him the site where the prophet Moses (pbuh) was to be respected and subsequently he built a cenotaph and on top of it a mosque.

One day, Moses delivered such an impressive sermon that all who heard it were deeply moved. Someone in the congregation asked: ” O Messenger of Allah, is there another man on earth more learned than you?” Moses replied: “No!”, believing so, as Allah had given him the power of miracles and honored him with the Torah.

However, Allah revealed to Moses that no man could know all there is to know, nor would one messenger alone be the custodian of all knowledge. There would always be another who knew what others did not. Moses asked Allah: “O Allah, where is this man? I would like to meet him and learn from him.” He also asked for a sign to this person’s identity.

Allah instructed him to take a live fish in a water-filled vessel. The point at which the fish disappears, he would find the man he sought. Moses set out on his journey, accompanied by a young man who carried the vessel with the fish. They reached a place where two rivers met and decided to rest there. Instantly, Moses fell asleep. Continue reading “The Story of Moses and The Guide”

Reclaiming Rights of the people of South Thailand

 

 

 

 

Updates from Southern Thailand is a monthly newsletter produced by the Reclaiming Rights program of Nonviolence International Southeast Asia (NISEA). The newsletter Charged! intends to inform the international community about current news on the conflict and human rights situation in the three southern-most provinces of Thailand – Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani.
Background

 

The origins of the current violence in Southern Thailand lie in historical grievances stemming from discrimination against the ethnic Malay Muslim population and attempts at forced assimilation by successive ethnic Thai Buddhist governments in
Bangkok for almost a century. The Sultanate of Patani which includes present-day Patani, Narathiwat, Yala and parts of Songkhla province was annexed by the Royal Thai government in the early 20th century. Since the annexation, armed groups calling for independence have operated in the region. Their activities have ebbed and flowed over the last 100 years, but with the turn of the 21st century they increased dramatically.
Continue reading “Reclaiming Rights of the people of South Thailand”

History of Siamese stance to Terminate Islam in the South of Thailand

The beheading of a Buddhist village leader in Thailand’s Muslim-dominated south has provoked worry across Southeast Asia. The murder committed by the Islamic separatists was believed to be in response to the deaths of 84 Muslims at the hands of Thai authorities. Although the level of violence is new, the conflict has a long history. In 1832, Thailand annexed the independent Muslim sultanate that now makes up its southern provinces, writes Bertil Lintner, and separatist tensions have persisted since then. Yet as modern telecommunications technology has enabled Islamic radicals to spread their message more easily, Thai separatists have also developed ties with Islamists across the region. For Thailand and its neighbors, the union of separatist and radical Islamic groups constitutes, Lintner says, “a much greater threat to regional stability than the local, isolated separatist movements of pre-Afghan war days.” – YaleGlobal

A New Battlefield in Thailand

Old grievances of an Islamic minority, reawakened in post 9/11 world, are set aflame by government brutality

 
 
On a slippery slope: Thai security forces subdue suspected Islamic militants. Many died of suffocation herded in trucks.
 

BANGKOK: In early November, a Buddhist village leader was beheaded in Thailand’s Muslim-dominated south. It is too soon to say whether this incident was an isolated outrage or the beginning of a wave of revenge attacks for the October 25 deaths of at least 84 Muslims in the hands of Thai security forces. But the bloody incident in Narathiwat has exacerbated the already tense situation in the south – and caused a rift between Thailand and its Islamic neighbor and partner in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Malaysia. Many now fear that the Thai Buddhist majority may be drawn into a broader Islamic struggle. Continue reading “History of Siamese stance to Terminate Islam in the South of Thailand”

Confronting Anti-Muslim Sentiment: A Battle of Mirages?

 

Prioritization of anti-Muslim bias as a premiere issue over Muslim intra-religious hostility and sectarianism transposes the divine contractual assignment of Islamic law ..

Audio Confronting Anti-Muslim Sentiment: A Battle of Mirages?

 

Confronting Anti-Muslim Sentiment: A Battle of Mirages?

By: Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad
IslamiCity* –

Coverage of Muslims and Islam is a bread and butter media commodity. First amendment guarantees and free speech provisions in western countries limit censorship based upon sensitivities of a particular religious group. Favorable coverage and dispassionate, objective editorial regarding Muslims and Islam is not an entitlement in the real world of the free press. Such is usually accomplished through paid advertising. Journalistic integrity competes with ratings and circulation value, and responsible reporting from one perspective is unwarranted media bias from another. Such happens when people think for themselves. Thus, it stands to reason that negative portrayal and contemptuous commentary of Muslims, and Islam in western media is an inextricable certainty of the industry, particularly in light of global events. Although it frequently angers Muslims, and evokes protest and condemnation, it is unlikely to go away. Nevertheless, as Muslims our concern is legitimate and the matter requires attention. The question is what type of attention?

Despite condemnation, various public relations overtures, civil rights actions and legal maneuvers, the anti-Muslim comment has not vanished. When will it end? How can we stop it? The truth is, there is no foreseeable end in sight, and if we continue to employ the same reactionary methods to change public opinion, or quell anti-Muslim statements, the problem will only exacerbate. Part of the conundrum is our reluctance to assume collective accountability for our condition. Another cause of the problem is conspicuous absence of Quranic and Prophetic guidance in our choice of tactics.

Slander, ill treatment, and negative perception of Muslims are not simply public relation challenges requiring conventional image re-tooling. Or a mere civil rights dilemma remedied by protest and letters to the editor, and certainly not just a constitutional infraction requiring a Bill of Rights refresher course. There are numerous geo-political, theological, and socio-environmental factors which determine how Muslims living in the United States are spoken of, spoken to, and treated. Overstating the scale and breadth of ill sentiment toward Muslims in America is counter productive. Disregarding the root causes is irresponsible. Ignoring it completely is a missed opportunity. Expecting positive results while failing to employ an Islamic ethical approach is a fantasy existing only in the quilt of our minds woven together with the threads of wishful thinking.

Ill sentiment and verbal attacks against Islam and some Muslims in the United States does occur. However, considering that there are about 5 million Muslims in America, the ratio of reported incidents of anti Muslim bias reported by CAIR is 40 out every 100,000, which is too low 1 to warrant priority one status. Continue reading “Confronting Anti-Muslim Sentiment: A Battle of Mirages?”

Dummies guide to Brainwash the British Public?

Channel 4’s programme titled “The Begineers guide to Islam“, designed to put -off free thinking non-muslims from finding out the true essence of Islam.

A posh girl from chelsea (Peaches Geldof) visits Morocco trying to learn about Islam. The programme content is poor, with a propaganda outlook paints a morbid picture unrepresentative of Islam. We put the record straight.

A girl who’s already made her mind up!
A pointless exercise:- Choose a girl who is secular, dislikes religion, armed with quotes from materialists about the creation of life, life sciences and place her in an environment she is not accustomed too. This all sounds like a well scripted propaganda documentary about a girl who has already made her mind up?

The title is meant to mislead, the program does nothing to aid a non-muslim to understand the true essence of Islam. It being scripted to put-off any notion of anything meaningfully good, only draw the audiences attention to the bad. Lets walk through the programme and fill the gaps so to speak:

Girl asks questions and receives all the wrong answers (inc. comments, and remarks):

Q1. Morocco is a Muslim country with 88% Sunni muslims.
A1: Morocco is run by a kingship which is Haram in Islam and the state does not represent an Islamic system or anywhere near an Islamic World Government. The royal family (King MOHAMED VI) were installed/planted by the French colonialist and the Government is indirectly controlled by France. The country is run by a secular government that opposes Islamic values as explained by the Muslim girl who was not permitted to wear her hijab while on school campus (ref: Franch opposition to Hijab).

Q2: Why do Muslims women were Hijab or Borcha?
A2: The answer provided by the Muslim girl was wrong, it is no for protection. In fact, the Qur’an authorized the Hijab and covering of the head to the Prophets wives, thus it becomes Sunnah (recommended) giving reward to those who apply. Another important point is that Allah(swt) in the Qur’an does not give any reason for it, it is a directed command and so it was not correct for the Muslim girl to state that it is a reason soley for protection. Peach was happy that she made that slip-up and further showed the flawlessness of this reasoning by walking the streets and bazaars only to be haggled by some men folk while she was wearing a Hijab.The muslim girl was right to point out that the Hijab demands respect, after all the wearer is following the sunnah of the Prophet(saaw). Not much can be said about the men encountered while they walked the bazaars.

Q3: Do you need to change clothes while visiting a Muslim country?
What is the dress code for getting into paradise?
A3: The Muslim girl highlights the importance of being dressed appropriately for the occasion. Wearing skimpy clothes would be against the Islamic dress code. Peach was to integrate into Muslim society, however she was reluctant to do so at all attempts, wanting to impose her own way of life instead. Was this the real reason for the programme, to confuse the non-muslims and moderate Muslims watching the programme when it is aired back home?
Continue reading “Dummies guide to Brainwash the British Public?”

False Prophets-“Divine” pastor claims to be the Antichrist

Syndicated from Prophecies in the news..views of a non-muslim

About half a dozen people have sent me this link over the past few weeks. I didn’t want to give this guy too much exposure, for no doubt he is reaping the rewards of the media attention he has been enjoying recently. Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda, a Miami pastor, claimed recently to be Jesus Christ. He said while he was in bed a spirit visited him, and merged with his own spirit (demonic possession) and now he claims to be Jesus Christ. More recently he has claimed to be the Antichrist, and has even instructed his followers to wear the number 666 on their arms. But what makes this story particularly sad is that Jose has deceived a lot of sincere people, who help to fund his “ministry”. The “gospel according to Jose” states that you can live whatever way you please, it doesn’t matter, as once you are saved you are going to heaven anyway.

Quote: “And what about the tattoo of 666 on his arm? Although it’s a number usually associated with Satan, not the son of God, de Jesus says that 666 and the Antichrist are, like him, misunderstood. The Antichrist is not the devil, de Jesus tells his congregation; he’s the being who replaces Jesus on Earth. “Antichrist is the best person in the world,” he says. “Antichrist means don’t put your eyes on Jesus because Jesus of Nazareth wasn’t a Christian. Antichrist means do not put your eyes on Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Put it on Jesus after the cross.” And de Jesus says that means him. Continue reading “False Prophets-“Divine” pastor claims to be the Antichrist”