Sunday, July 31, 2011

NORWAY: Muslims share grief, hope, unity...

Muslim men pray at the World Islamic Mission Mosque in Oslo
Reuters from July 26 2011 Photo of Mosque in Norway where grievers prayed-
internet cache

Muslims in Norway said they shared the pain of their Christian compatriots after the massacre

Norway Muslims share nation's grief and hope for unity
By Mohammed Abbas and Aasa Christine Stoltz | Reuters – Tue, Jul 26, 2011
(Additional reporting by Wojciech Moskwa)

OSLO (Reuters) - As central Oslo reeled from Norway's worst massacre in modern history, a blond man in the grieving crowd asked Iraqi-born Iman al-Kofi, wearing a headscarf, for a hug.

Kofi, who had a friend in intensive care with three bullet wounds and had learned that at least one other friend of Iraqi origin had been killed in Friday's massacre by an anti-Islamic extremist, obliged, and the man walked back into the crowd without another word.

Kofi, 19, and other Muslim immigrants say they would have been treated very differently had the perpetrator of one of the country's most heinous crimes been a fellow Muslim, and not far-right Norwegian zealot Anders Behring Breivik.

"If it was a Muslim, they would blame all foreigners and hate us all," she said, adding that she had come to Oslo to grieve with the tens of thousands of others who converged on the Norwegian capital on Monday to pay their respects to the dead.

Muslims in Norway said they shared the pain of their Christian compatriots after the massacre, in which Breivik gunned down young people, mainly teenagers, on a holiday island and bombed an Oslo government building, killing a total of 76 people.

Norwegians of all backgrounds united to condemn his actions and views, and Muslim leaders said they hoped the atrocities would lead to a better future for race relations.

Muslims said they felt relief that the rising tide of anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim sentiment in Europe had not been given fresh momentum by another Muslim killing innocent people in the name of Islam.

"We thought 'Praise God it wasn't a Muslim'," said Algerian immigrant Mahmoud Tariq, 23, who was at an Oslo mosque when its windows were blown open by the bomb Breivik had planted.

"Of course we were scared. We thought they'd clamp down on us," said Tariq's friend Mohammed Khaled, 31.

..."I have a big hope that this will change Norway in a positive direction. Everyone is united, regardless of color, cultural background, ethnicity. We are all affected, we are all wounded," said Najeeb Ur Rehman Naz, a prominent Imam based in Norway.

READ more here

Also find article here on influence of right-wing media here

Thursday, July 14, 2011


from an amazing photographer named Alex - this scene reminds me of one of my favorite and holiest moments since childhood.

Instead of only sorrow - instead of only more war drumming and blaming - instead of giving up hope day after day - how about we bring about newness and joy ourselves? Become our own cameras of the beauty within each day and relationship? How about if we bring lightness out of the dark of sorrow? How about if we get out of our narrow tunnels and ruts?

We can do this together if we will...

You may want to go to the post near or at the top at oneheartforpeace called "Turning with the Spirit" for a few insights...

A MUST READ (on US preemptive prosecutions)

This following article with link is a MUST read for any concerned about the internal workings of our FBI and apparently near-complete lack of accountability to our nation.

This link to Harper's Magazine prints out easily on regular sheet (not enlarged or reduced) 9 pages. And nearly free...I was with Petra Bartosiewicz during the entire Aafia Siddiqui trial in New York a year ago January - her reports of that and more are stellar...

Do read this one Harper's article under catagory Pre-crime Reports: Thoughtcrime & Manufactured Charges Prosecutions:

A. Harper’s Magazine (8/2011): To catch a terrorist: The FBI hunts for the
enemy within:


Also see Project Salam which has been highlighted recently as a major site by top Rights

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Voices Denouncing Multiculturalism and Needed Focus

Article and Photo from "The Boston Review" and

Last Updated: Sat Jul 09, 2011 15:09 pm (KSA) 12:09 pm (GMT) Boston Review: Rightward creep of Europeans against multiculturalism targets Islam and Muslims


One of the many signs of the rightward creep of Western European politics is the recent unison of voices denouncing multiculturalism. German Chancellor Angela Merkel led off last October by claiming that multiculturalism “has failed and failed utterly.”She was echoed in February by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron. All three were late to the game, though: for years, the Dutch far right has been bashing supposedly multicultural policies.Despite the shared rhetoric, it is difficult to discern a common target for these criticisms. Cameron aimed at an overly tolerant attitude toward extremist Islam, Merkel at the slow pace of Turkish integration, and Sarkozy at Muslims who pray in the street.But while it is hard to know what exactly the politicians of Europe mean when they talk about multiculturalism, one thing we do know is that the issues they raise—real or imagined—have complex historical roots that have little to do with ideologies of cultural difference. Blaming multiculturalism may be politically useful because of its populist appeal, but it is also politically dangerous because it attacks “an enemy within”: Islam and Muslims.Moreover, it misreads history...

Read More here

Monday, July 4, 2011

Fourth of July Challenge from Allama Iqbal

Having been away from home & computer due to family & personal responsibilities, I am hesitant to respond without reviewing what has transpired in the Iqbal course & other RR items...

Yet I must because during last night I read an academic article on how people of various faiths in scriptural academia looked at their faith AFTER many years experience in academia.

I was struck by the observation that each was really only partly affected by academia (or used the same as part of their reasoning) to leave their various "faith" positions. (i.e. whether or not there is an actual God...which prophets or scriptures they saw as metaphor or took literally and whether or not they became atheist, agnostic or even changed religion.)

The other dynamic which affected their "faith" in a "real" God and how they saw "Him" was who their friends and associates were and some personal tragedy: the death of a child, the birth of a child with a great handicap, etc.

In this particular article there was also little seeking in the context of the Divine for a RESPONSE to a particular evil or tragedy yet instead only the insistance of the need to KNOW the ins and out of an answer as to why God allowed such.

When I heard one tale after another of combining both academia AND subjective reasoning with personal experience being listed as reasons for their departure from or change within a particular "faith perspective", I was struck by the following:
a) That anger at God or in some ways "trashing Him" was in this article seeing "Him" as THE REASON for suffering in their personal life and in the world. This was the result of a strange mixture of academic polemic and debate mixed with personal experience.
b) I heard in this article all too little of our personal and national/"tribal" or group identity responsibility for both our personal and human collective experiences. This in reference to both tragedy which may have been partly or mostly the result of human error or evil.
c) I read more assumptions that until "God" answered the "reasons" for "His" allowing of suffering, some would feel free to discard any need to take personal responsibility for their own (or their "tribe's" earlier or current) actions.
c) Then having blamed "God" for corporate and/or personal suffering some of the participants in this article or "His nonexistance" they seemed to assume anything at all goes in their own philosophies or religious expressions.

Having not been able to sleep after that, I felt the need to write down these observations for further exploration later.

How striking that here the first email I look at after a ten day trip and after such an article as described above is this quote:

"God does not change a nation until it changes itself’ governs both the individual and the collective spheres of life..."

Here are a few more comments posted by the historian, writer, scholar, teacher considered to be the most respected Allama Iqbal biographer of our time - these are from Iqbal in much earlier times. Let's pray and act that our time may not be too contaminated with current lack of compassion, truth and courage to change what is currently the state of American life and culture for the better.

Perhaps these earlier observations might help readers to return to the best within our earlier freedoms?

"Regarded from a purely literary standpoint, the debilitation of the forces of
life in Europe after the ordeal of the [First World] war is unfavorable to the
development of a correct and mature literary ideal.

Indeed, the fear is that the minds of the nations may be gripped by that slow-pulsed Magianism which runs away from life's difficulties, and which fails to distinguish between the sentiments of the heart and the thoughts of the brain.

However, America seems to be a healthy element in Western civilization,
the reason for which perhaps is that it is free from the trammels of old
traditions and that its collective intuition is receptive to new ideas and

The East, and especially the Muslim East, has opened its eyes after a centuries-long slumber. But the nations of the East should realize that life can bring about no revolution in its surroundings until a revolution takes place in its inner depths and that no new world can take shape externally until it is formed in the minds of men. This ineluctable law, which has been stated by the Quran in the simple but eloquent words, ˜Verily, God does not change a nation until it changes itself governs both the individual and the collective spheres of life; and it is the truth of this law that I have tried to keep in view in my Persian works."

Iqbal, 'Preface' to The Message of the East (1923)

Posted By Khurram Ali Shafique to The Republic of Rumi website at 7/01/2011 12:01:00 AM