Monday, August 3, 2015

Indonesia: President Joko Calls on Nahdlatul Ulama Congress to Tackle Country's Escalating Intolerance

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Members of the minority Islamic sect Ahmadiyah and Shiites have suffered their fair share of intolerance in recent years, with security officials receiving heavy criticism for failing to protect them.

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Source/Credit: The Jakarta Globe
By Aries Sudiono | August 2, 2015

Jombang, East Java. President Joko Widodo is calling on Indonesia’s largest Muslim organization, Nahdlatul Ulama, to increase its role as a representative of moderate and peaceful Islam and to address the issue of extremism wreaking havoc in the Muslim world.

Joko said NU, which is one of the oldest Islamic organizations in Indonesia and has an estimated 60 million followers across the archipelago, has played a significant part in supporting and preserving the pluralistic spirit of the nation since its establishment in 1926.

He called on NU members to hold fast to the group’s “moderate Islamic values,”  but also increase its role in curbing Islamic extremism by helping address the root cause of the rising global phenomenon.

Perspective: Pakistan's Second Amendment is Fountainhead of sectarianism | Yasser Latif Hamdani

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The Pakistani parliament's arrogation of powers to act as God's representative on earth has put the very fabric of Pakistani society in danger

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Source/Credit: Daily Times | Pakistan
By Yasser Latif Hamdani | August 3, 2015

Malik Ishaq’s violent death seems to indicate that the state is now ready to take on the sectarian extremism that has plagued Pakistan for a long time now. However, this is merely symptomatic relief while the underlying issue of sectarianism continues to be ignored by the state. The goal that sectarian organisations such as Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) have pursued is to get Shia Muslims declared a non-Muslim minority in Pakistan, ironic for a country whose founding father was a Shia. They have, however, a precedent for this: the declaration of another sect as a non-Muslim minority in 1974.

The Second Amendment to the Constitution of Pakistan is the fountainhead of sectarian extremism. Not only did it violate all principles of citizenship and a citizen’s relations with the state, it dealt a deathblow to Muslim unity in Pakistan. Takfir (to declare someone an apostate) is not a recent phenomenon: Muslims have been declaring other Muslims kaafirs (infidels) for centuries now. In the 1940s, Jinnah was declared not just a kaafir but the Kaafir-e-Azam or the great infidel by the ulema (clergy) opposing him. His crime was twofold: one, he was a Shia and two, he refused to turn Ahmedis out of the Muslim League.

Ireland: Muslim leader says some Imams in Ireland hold extremist views

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"There is a small minority who definitely will like what they see in Isis, they might find that they have a narrative for their case. That narrative has nothing to do with the teachings of Islam."

Ahmadiyya Times | News Watch | US Desk
Source/Credit: The Irish Times
By CiarĂ¡n D'Arcy | August 3, 2015

Islamic State campaign of war and terror causing Irish backlash

An Irish Imam has told of being verbally abused on the street and having a bottle thrown at his head because of negative perceptions of Islam in Ireland.

Speaking ahead of his address to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association’s national convention in Maynooth on Sunday, Waterford native Ibrahim Noonan – who was the first Irish man to become an Imam – said radical Muslim extremism is a problem in Ireland, but one that started more than a decade ago, rather than as a response to recent acts of terror.

"That’s the first sign I saw, in 2003 and 2004, that even in Ireland they are trying to radicalise Muslims here," said the head of the Ahmadiyya sect of Islam in Ireland.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

UK: Police hunting man who attacked Wolverhampton Ahmadiyya mosque in 'hate crime'

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After investigations police have now said they were in a position to release the images of a man believed to have hurled bricks and bottles.

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Source/Credit: Agencies
By Staff report | August 2, 2014

CCTV images of a man suspected of committing a hate crime against a Wolverhampton mosque on Willenhall Road have been released by police.

Windows were smashed at the Baitul Atta Ahmadiyya Mosque at 04:00 BST on 21 June, West Midlands Police said according to a news report by the BBC.

The CCTV images of a man believed to have hurled bricks and bottles at the mosque windows have been released after initial investigations, police said according to ITV News.

The deliberate attack caused considerable distress, police said in their statement.

"We are dealing with this crime as a hate crime," said Sergeant Martin Hewitt of West Midlands Police. "Someone deliberately targeted the Mosque and this has caused considerable distress within the community."

Perspective: #Islamophobia | Fearful Americans Keeping the homeland security complex happy | CJ Werleman

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$40bn spent on homeland security targeting largely imaginary Muslim terrorism is blinding Americans to things they should really be afraid of

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Source/Credit: Middle East Eye
By CJ Werleman | July 31, 2015

There’s a reason America spends more on military and homeland security procurement than the next 10 countries combined: Americans are afraid of everything and everyone like no other nation on earth.

Hyperbole? No. In 2003, the US was the only country to be afraid of Iraq. Not even Iraq’s neighbours and historical foes  - Kuwait and Iran - were afraid of Saddam’s military capabilities when the Bush Administration was making its absurd case for invasion.

History is replete with examples of America being terrified of non-existing threats. In 1959-60, when the US was carrying out terrorist activities in Cuba, and Cuba responded by seeking protection from a rival superpower - the Soviet Union. President Kennedy made the case to its allies that Cuba was an existential threat.

UK: 30,000-plus Muslims to gather in English countryside, pledge allegiance to Khalifa of Islam

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The guest will include, according to the statement, royalty, clergy from a range of faiths, ministers of states, academics and dignitaries.

Ahmadiyya Times | News Watch | UK Desk
Source/Credit: AMA UK
By Staff report | August 1, 2015

The UK's longest standing and largest Muslim convention, Jalsa Salana, returns to Hampshire for its 49th edition from Friday the 21st to Sunday the 23rd of August 2015.

The convention expects to see over 30,000 Muslim and non-Muslim guests from the UK and around the world, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association UK has said through a statement posted on its press and media website.

The guest will include, according to the statement, royalty, clergy from a range of faiths, ministers of states, academics and dignitaries.

This will be "the most spiritually charged retreat the British summer has to offer," the community has asserted..

UK: Police Figures Reveal Anti-Semitic Hate Crime Reports Have Soared

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Separate figures released today show there was a 53% increase in the number of anti-Semitic incidents recorded by the Community Security Trust (CST) in the first half of this year compared to the same period of last year.

Ahmadiyya Times | News Watch | UK Desk
Source/Credit: The Huffington Post UK/PA
By The Huffington Post | July 30, 2015

Crimes included assault, harassment, arson and criminal damage.

The number of anti-Semitic hate crimes reported to police has soared in parts of the UK, police figures reveal.

A number of the largest forces in the country are recording rising numbers of offenses against Jewish people and property, data obtained by the Press Association shows.

In London the total more than doubled in a year, while there were also increases in Greater Manchester, Merseyside, West Midlands and West Yorkshire.

Crimes included assault, harassment, arson and criminal damage.

USA: Sikhs Mark Anniversary Of Temple Shooting With Community Service

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Seventeen service events are scheduled in 14 U.S. cities, and include projects like serving meals to the homeless, reading books to children and cleaning nature trails.

Ahmadiyya Times | News Watch | US Desk
Source/Credit: The Huffington Post
By Antonia Blumberg | July 31, 2015

"Regardless of what the situation is, we need to always spread love and peace and keep helping each other."

This Wednesday, Aug. 5, will mark three years since a shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, claimed the lives of six worshippers. It was one of the deadliest mass killings at a house of worship, and the most recent one until the June 17 church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina.

To commemorate the tragedy, Sikhs in 14 cities around the country are hosting community service projects this weekend. They hope to send a message of love and community solidarity even in the face of hate.

"What happened [in Wisconsin] was a tragedy, but Sikhism is always about moving forward," J.D. Singh, who is organizing one such event in New York City, told The Huffington Post. "So where on one side we have this tragedy, we're taking that energy and turning it into a positive."

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