Thursday, January 03, 2008

New blog location

Go to to access my new blog.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Imam WD Mohammed, American Muslim leader, affirms religious unity

Muslim leader affirms religious unity
Times Correspondent | Wednesday, January 02, 2008

GARY | Iman W.D. Mohammed, a leader in the African-American Muslim community, offered a message of unity among Christians, Jews and Muslims at the 47th annual Emancipation Proclamation Program of Freedom on Tuesday at Western Christian Community Church.

The Interfaith Clergy Council of Gary and Vicinity's program was held to mark the 145th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Before Mohammed's presentation, speakers spoke about Frederick Douglass and read from the proclamation.

Mohammed is the son of Nation of Islam founder Elijah Muhammad and took over as its leader in 1975. He is responsible for bringing the Nation of Islam more in line with mainstream Sunni Muslim beliefs and opening up membership to nonblack Muslims, which led to a long period of acrimony between him and Louis Farrakhan.

He has spoken before presidents, popes, the Dalai Lama and other world leaders on issues of faith. On Tuesday, he spoke to an audience of Gary church leaders and representatives of the city's Islamic and Jewish communities.

"The first freedom of the United States is freedom of religion. ... Religion is what binds us together. Faith in one God. We all believe in a god and don't believe that this world is without a designer who designed it," Mohammed said.

Mohammed continued to point out connections that the faiths have with each other, including common origins and prophets.

"We have the same prophets. We have the same God and we believe God made all of this world for human beings. Isn't that wonderful," Mohammed said.

He went to great lengths to point out the role Christianity played in forming the Islamic faith, relating a story of how the religion's founder, Mohammed, was given refuge by a Christian Ethiopian king.

"That begins our history with Christians, when we are given protection by a Christian king. ... And here we are now in the United States, and without the protection of the president and Christians or somebody, we would be in trouble.

"So we are still being protected," Mohammed said.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Political unrest in Kenya & Pakistan, how the media coverage differs

In Kenya in the last couple of days, political tension has arisen from election results in which one ethnic party has seized control of the presidency over another ethnic group. Hundreds have died as protesters have taken to the streets including a number of Kenyans being killed when a church was burned.

In regards to the Kenyan conflict, most media coverage has focused on the political tension and the perceived rigging on the election moreso than ethnicity in the majority Non-Muslim nation. If Kenyan Muslims had been the leaders of the protests and the burning of the church, most media outlets would have simplified the matter that "Islamist radicals" are causing political tension.

Now in Pakistan with the recent months of protests to the murder of Benazir Bhutto, the media focus has been on the religion of Pakistanis, not that there are deep political tensions in Pakistan and that there are also ethnic tensions among the Punjabis and Muhajirs there. No, the majority of the focus has been on Islam even though Musharraf is a staunch secularist, the lawyers that protested him are more Western aligned and Bhutto was a secularist. But, the poltical unrest is somehow 100% related to Islam.

Go figure!

Walid speaks about the role of networking at Islamic conference

The following speech entitled "The Vital Role of Networking" was given today at the 27 Annual Conference of the Moslem Group of the United States of America and Canada (MGUSAC) in St Louis, Missouri.

Cut & paste to listen:

Ghadir Khumm is a lesson in Islamic unity according to Iranian Supreme Leader

Islamic unity is the lesson of Ghadir: Leader
Tehran Times Political Desk

TEHRAN -- Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said here on Saturday that the important lesson from the Ghadir event is to avoid division in the Islamic world.

“Hazrat Ali ibn Abi Talib (AS) was the Prophet’s appointee, but when he noticed that realizing this right might harm Islam and cause discord, he not only did not make any claims but cooperated with those who ruled the Islamic society… because Islam needed unity,” the Supreme Leader told thousands of well-wishers in remarks made on the occasion of the Eid al-Qadir holiday.

By following Imam Ali (AS), today the Iranian nation is the standard-bearer of Islamic unity in the world, the Leader noted.

Stressing the need for vigilance in the face of enemy plots to spread the “virus of discord” between followers of various Islamic schools of thought, the Leader added, “The great lesson of Ghadir is to fight against discord and to put this important lesson into practice, the followers of Islam should avoid insulting each other’s sanctities and stop bringing up provocative and sensitive issues.”

“And, as it was expressed in the hajj message, through their vigilance and unity, they should disappoint the plan by the (global) arrogance (imperialist forces) to create religious divisions and a Shia-Sunni clash.”

Eid al-Ghadir is the anniversary commemorating the last sermon of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his household) at Ghadir Khumm on Dhul Hijjah 18, in the year 10 AH. It is celebrated mainly by Shias, who regard it as confirmation that Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (AS) was to succeed Prophet Muhammad (S).

The sermon was given before an audience of tens of thousands (some estimates range up to 120,000 believers) of Muslims performing hajj.

In his sermon, the Prophet stated: “For whomsoever I am his master, Ali (AS) is his master, too. He is my caliph (successor) over you after me.”

“O Lord, support whoever supports Ali (AS) and oppose whoever opposes him.