Thursday, November 27, 2014

Canada: Education key to fight extremism, youth told at #StopTheCrISIS

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Serjeel Ahmed of Mississauga, who is studying to become an imam, gave an overview and history of Islam to a small audience at Wolf Performance Hall.

Sarjeel Ahmed talks to an audience during Stop The Crisis campaign
Photo: CRAIG GLOVER The London Free Press / QMI AGENCY
Ahmadiyya Times | News Watch | US Desk
Source/Credit: The London Free Press
By Norman DeBono | November 25, 2014

Greater outreach, action and education are needed to stop the terrorist radicalization of Muslim youth that has hit London hard, a member of a Muslim youth group says.

Two young men from London, Ali Medlej, 24, and Xristos Katsiroubas, 22, were killed by security forces in 2013 as they took part in a bloody terrorist takeover of an Algerian natural gas plant.

A third high school friend, Aaron Yoon, was jailed in Mauritania for alleged ties to al-Qaida.

The key to preventing that from happening is to educate youths that terrorist groups don’t represent Islam, and espousing violence is a “sickness” that has nothing to do with religion, said Asif Sheih, an official with the Islamic group Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at.

Canada: ‘Stop the CrISIS’ educates about Islam, stands up against extremists

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[W]hen young people join these groups, it’s usually because of some sort of frustration they are going through and they are looking for a reason to lash out at the world.

Ahmadiyya Times | News Watch | US Desk
Source/Credit: 660 News
By Kaitlin Lee/Chris Bowen | November 25, 2014

A Muslim students’ group at SAIT is hoping to combat radicalization in Canada.

They are participating in a nationwide event Tuesday night, called ‘Stop the CrISIS’.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Students Association hopes to educate the public about Islam, and fight back against extremism.

Imam Umair Khan says they want to clear up some misconceptions and make both Muslims and non-Muslims understand this is not what their religion teaches.

He says this is an issue that really hits home.

“I personally had a friend that I grew up in high school that went overseas, and he died fighting. You know, we were all shocked to hear that,” he said. “We realized it’s a problem that needs to be talked about.”

Perspective: Grateful for the blessings of my life | Raazia Riffat

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The contrast in the opportunity that has been presented to me on an individual level and on the religious plane is even more profound now for which I am grateful everyday.

Ahmadiyya Times | News Watch |
Source/Credit: The Northwestern
By Raazia Riffat | November 26, 2014

On Thanksgiving, with gratitude on everyone's mind, I want to take this opportunity to express how grateful I am for so many blessings in my life. I am grateful that I can openly call myself a Muslim and express my views on the beauties of my religion. I'm grateful that I am free from all societal, religious and political oppressions. I grew up as a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Pakistan, where it is severely persecuted and now reside in the United States. The contrast in the opportunity that has been presented to me on an individual level and on the religious plane is even more profound now for which I am grateful everyday.

I'm grateful that the community I live in has accepted me with open arms despite our religious differences. I'm grateful that Oshkosh community has supported our mosque despite many doubts. I'm grateful that my community visits our mosque in an effort to remove any doubts.

Canada: Muslim student groups take stand against youth radicalization

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The event moves to NAIT on Friday at the Shaw Theatre, hosted by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Students Association of the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. It starts at 4 p.m.

Ahmadiyya Times | News Watch | US Desk
Source/Credit: The Edmonton Journal
By The Edmonton Journal | November 24, 2014

EDMONTON - Edmonton Muslim students’ groups are organizing events on local post-secondary campuses to deter youth radicalization.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Students Association of the University of Alberta is hosting a Stop the Crisis event Thursday at the Centennial Centre for Interdisciplinary Science on the U of A campus, starting at 6:30 p.m.

“ISIS is targeting youth when they’re trying to recruit,” said Khalid Ahmed, president of the AMSA at the U of A.

The event moves to NAIT on Friday at the Shaw Theatre, hosted by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Students Association of the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. It starts at 4 p.m.

Perspective: Time to Stop Criminalizing Beliefs in Indonesia | Rupert Abbott

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The blasphemy laws clearly contravene Indonesia’s international obligations to uphold the rights to freedom of speech and freedom of religion or belief.

An Indonesian Ahmadi reacts as he checks the condition of an Ahmadiyah mosque
in Tasikmalaya, West Java, after it was attacked by the hard-line Islamic
Defenders Front (FPI) on May 5, 2013.
Ahmadiyya Times | News Watch | Int'l Desk
Source/Credit: The Jakarta Globe
By Rupert Abbott | November 26, 2014

Indonesia has come a long way on human rights since the end of the Suharto era. But despite the progress, there have been some serious setbacks over the past decade — not least when it comes to the issue of freedom of religion and expression.

The past ten years have been marked by shrinking space for religious pluralism, with those professing minority beliefs increasingly facing threats, violent attacks and imprisonment.

Across Indonesia, churches and mosques have been burned down, whole communities forced to flee because of their beliefs, and a range of laws and bylaws introduced to silence the expression of minority beliefs.

Last week, Amnesty International launched a new briefing on one particular aspect of this disturbing trend – Indonesia’s blasphemy laws.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Pakistan: Mob Rule, Vigilante Behavior and Blasphemy in Digital Age

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Not only does the invasion of cyberspace by this extremist behavior create security problems for the accused but also promotes a culture of self-censorship affecting freedom of expression online. 

Ahmadiyya Times | News Watch | Int'l Desk
Source/Credit: TechPresident
By Nighat Dad | November 26 2014

Blasphemy cases in Pakistan are considered a norm these days. However, the latest incident of a mob beating to death a Christian couple is the most gruesome manifestation of this sensitive issue. The couple in Punjab was alleged to have desecrated a copy of the Qur’an. The mob attacked the couple, killed them, and later burnt their bodies in the brick kiln where they worked. The blasphemy law presents a frightening level of vigilante violence where prison and private guards, neighbors and colleagues turn into mobs killing those accused of blasphemy. Unfortunately, this mob behavior is being strengthened by the increasing adoption of technology in the country like mobile phones and the internet.

Blasphemy laws in Pakistan prescribe life imprisonment for anyone who defiles a copy of the Qur'an and death for insulting or criticizing the prophet Muhammad. However, seldom do the cases reach the walls of the courts and more often than not, they actually end in the deaths of those accused without ever being proven guilty. An estimated 1,247 people have been charged under this stringent law between 1986 and 2010. However, the death sentence has never been implemented. The law has historically been used to settle personal vendettas with an increasing focus on minorities.

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