Saturday, March 31, 2007

Walid addresses civic responsibility at MSA Central Zone Conference

Today was the second day in a three day conference for the Central Zone of the Muslim Student Association (MSA).

The conference is being held at the University of Michigan - Dearborn in Dearborn, Michigan.

The following recording has extremely poor audio quality. Forward past the first 90 seconds of the audio to save your ears.

Cut & paste to listen:

Friday, March 30, 2007

Prophet Muhammad's birthday

In the Islamic calendar, the 12th day of Rabi-al-Awwal marks the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

There is a difference of opinion about whether the Milad Un-Nabi should be a time of celebration. There is evidence that the Prophet, his Companions, and the early followers after them did not celebrate or otherwise observe his birthday. On the contrary, Muhammad was careful to warn his people not to imitate other faiths, whose followers elevated their prophets and added to the religion what was not in the original teachings.

Those who disagree claim that although not practiced in the early years of Islam, the remembrance of the Prophet's birthday is a "good innovation." They see it as a time to read the Qur'an, and remember the life, teachings, and example of the Prophet Muhammad.

*NOTE* - Shi`is recognize his birthday being on the 18th day of the same lunar month.

"And your face that shines like the sun
Has been unveiled on the finest night
The night of your birth bestowed happiness on religion
And splendor on its day
The day the daughter of Wahb succeeded in getting
Of prestige what other women never succeeded in attaining
She came to her people with a pregnancy
Superior than that of the Blessed Virgin Mary before her
A birth that resulted for the disbelievers
In nothing but woes and epidemics
And the glad tidings of rejoicers came one after another

That the chosen one was born and happiness was a must."
- al-Barzanji

Mufti of Egypt states that Muslim women should abandon face veils in Non-Muslim lands

The Mufti of Egypt, Dr. Ali Jumu`ah, recently stated that Muslim women should not wear niqaab (face veils) in Non-Muslim lands for the following reasons:

1) She could cause undue strain and harrassment upon herself due to the face veil being outside of the social norms and customs of Non-Muslim societies.
2) Wearing the face veil can cause undue hardships and trouble for the broader Muslim community, the majority of which do not believe that the face veil is a religious obligation.

This statement, however, is not binding upon Muslim women outside of Muslim lands like any other fatwa from a mufti. This is his opinion out of other opinions within the Muslim world. However, Al-Azhar University, which he is a part of is the premier and oldest Islamic University in the world.

CAIR Runs Huge Gala Banquet with Prominent Michigan Muslims

CAIR Runs Huge Gala Banquet with Many Prominent Michigan Muslims

By Adil James, MMNS

Dearborn–Sunday March 25–CAIR Michigan and most of Southeast Michigan’s prominent Muslim leadership attended a fundraiser showcasing CAIR’s recent accomplishments, with promienent speakers and imams from the community and abroad in attendance, including the keynote speaker, journalist Robert Fisk.

Present were many distinguished Muslims, including Imam Qazwini of the Islamic Center of America, Imam Moosa of the Bloomfield Muslim Unity Center, Imam Elahi of the Islamic House of Wisdom, and many others of great stature in the community.

There was a video presentation by CAIR Michigan which showed the many accomplishments of CAIR, and which announced that CAIR had processed 16,000 discrimination cases, engaging anti-Muslim voices on many fronts including callous and stereo-typing anti-Muslim advertising, the pope’s oblique attack on Islam, the use by President Bush of the term Islamofascist,” (CAIR claimed its advocacy stopped the president from using that phrase), not to mention many cases of employment discrimination and cases of discrimination on airplanes.

Unfortunately, CAIR Michigan, said Dawud Walid, had already received as of late March 2007 the same number of discrimination complaints that it had received in all of 2006–a very disturbing trend. Such complaints involved hate mail to mosques, radio announcements of hatred, hatred directed at Muslim students by ignorant professors, and more. Even 2006 had seen a 30% climb in number of discrimination claims over previous years.

Imam Walid emphasized to the audience at the Hyatt Regency that CAIR does not depend on corporate sponsorships, and is dependent instead on donations from individuals. He thanked the community for its support.

Keynote speaker Robert Fisk spoke eloquently for about 40 minutes on the political and historical dimensions of today’s conflict in Iraq, pointing out historical parallels from the time of the crusades until the present, including the British invasion of the same land.

A fascinating fact he mentioned was that in fact during the crusades the total number of Christian soldiers in the Middle East was, adjusted for population, 22 times less than the total number of soldiers from Christian nations currently based in the Middle East. He decried the incomplete reporting of the major networks on Iraq, saying that every newspaper had failed to get a recent story of a list of insurgent demands that had been announced by a major insurgent group. He described parallels between the current impasse in the Iraq war with previous wars between France and Algeria and other wars. He also emphasized that maps showing different populations (Sunni, Shi’a, Kurds) in different areas are actually the thin end of a wedge that is being driven between the peoples of Iraq–before the war its peoples had lived in peace, but they have since been incited to war with one another. He emphasized also that during the Shah’s time, Iran had been encouraged in its nuclear ambitions. He also went into some detail describing how from the time of Napoleon until the present, the West had offered a democracy of sorts many times to the Middle East–but in fact the democracy they wanted to bring there was not real democracy because many political players were deemed too dangerous to Western interests to allow in power. (MORE)

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Message for Friday - With difficulty comes easing

عن الحسن, قال: خرج النّبي (صلّى اللّه عليه و آله و سلّم) يوما مسرورا فرحا و هو يضحك و يقول: لن يغلب عسر يسرين, لن يغلب عسر يسرين. (فَاِنَّ مَعَ العُسْرِ يُسْرًا. اِنَّ مَعَ العُسْرِ يُسْرًا)
(تفسير عبد الرّزّاق - تفسير الطبري)

Narrated from ِAl-Hasan that he said that The Prophet come out on a day of gleeful joy and was laughing, and he was saying:
Never shall one difficulty overcome two easingss; never shall one difficulty overcome two easings. [Then he read from Al-Qur’an (94:5-6)] Surely with difficulty, there is ease. Surely with difficulty, there is ease.
[Abdur Razzaq – Tafseer, At-Tabari – Tafseer & other sources with a slight variance in wording and chain of narrators]

To know and appreciate joy or victory in this physical life, a person must experience struggles and difficulties. In fact, ease is built into difficulty. When a weightlifter begins with a certain amount, it is initially difficult. As he struggles to lift this weight overtime, it will begin to feel lighter or easier to lift, so he can begin to handle weight that is heavier. This is how the weightlifter grows in mass and muscular strength.

For the people who die during struggle, the difficulty that they faced in this world will not overcome their reward when meeting their Lord. Khadijah, the Mother of the Faithful, died before making the migration to Al-Madinah while the Muslims where being boycotted in Makkah, so she never experienced the joy of the Muslims being victorious in establishing the model city in Al-Madinah. However, the Prophet was informed by Angel Jibreel that she was promised the paradise.

And surely G'd knows best.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Addressing Manji & baseless ijtihad

Last month, self annoited Muslim reformer Ms. Irshad Manji was on a panel relating to a new PBS documentary that is about to premier, which focuses on the problems within the Muslim world and Muslim thought processes.

Ms. Manji was questioned pertaining to her concept of free and open ijtihad (critical thinking) for all Muslims to reinterpret Islam as they see fit, even if they have zero training in Islam and the development of law.

Saeed Khan, who teaches Islamic history at Wayne State University gives an excellent answer in response to Ms. Manji's answer to this question, which basically states that Ms. Manji is on fringes about as much as Osama bin Laden is, just on a different side of the curve.


Sunday, March 25, 2007

CAIR-MI banquet a success - Robert Fisk keynote speaker

Today in Dearborn, Michigan, the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations held it's annual banquet. Approximately 1,100 people were in attendance including representatives in government and interfaith leaders.

British Journalist Robert Fisk was the keynote speaker.

Cut & paste the following link to listen to Mr. Fisk's speech:

Muslim activist strives to bridge cultures

March 25, 2007

When Dawud Walid opened the mail one day last June in his Lathrup Village office, he found a torn page of the Quran smeared with feces.

It was an unpleasant reminder of the challenges that face the Michigan branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which Walid heads.

"We have a lot of work to do," Walid said he thought after opening the letter.

Those efforts are drawing a growing number of supporters in metro Detroit, as evidenced by a sold-out fund-raising dinner in Dearborn today that's expected to attract about 1,100 guests -- compared to 600 two years ago.

"Islam isn't often portrayed correctly," said Nayeem Amin, 18, of Bloomfield Hills, a CAIR supporter. "They're educating the public on what Islam is about."

Walid, a Sunni Muslim, does that by speaking often at universities and churches and to media outlets. Since becoming executive director of the council's Michigan branch in July 2005, Walid has frequently been the public face of Islam in metro Detroit.

His first week on the job, after terrorists struck the London subway on July 7, 2005, Walid quickly organized a group of imams to condemn the attacks at a news conference at the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn.(MORE)

Saturday, March 24, 2007

More blacks "converting to Islam since 9/11

More blacks converting to Islam since Sept. 11
Pittsburgh among cities to see increase after terror attacks as religious leaders try to paint positive image
By Ramit Plushnick-Masti

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - Allahu Akbar, the Muslim call for prayer, rings out on a recent Friday and a group of black men and women gather to celebrate the Islamic day of rest.

The wooden house in Pittsburgh's rundown Homewood neighborhood looks like any other on the block. But the sign at the door, Masjid Mumin, and the rows of shoes lined up inside on gray, plastic shelves hint of the brand of Sunni Islam its members practice.

The mosque is one of seven in Pittsburgh, home to a vibrant community of about 8,000 to 10,000 Sunni Muslims -- some 30 percent of them black.

Following what appears to be a trend in cities nationwide, religious leaders in Pittsburgh say there has been a rise in black conversions to Sunni Islam since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

No national surveys have been taken to confirm the increase, but Islamic religious leaders in Chicago, Cleveland and Detroit have also reported growth, said Lawrence Mamiya, a professor of religion and Africana studies at Vassas College in New York. Experts estimate that 30 percent of the 6 million to 7 million Muslims in the United States are black, with only South Asians making up a larger number at 33 percent.(MORE)

Audio of speech about Social Justice in Islam in Kalamazoo, Michigan

The following audio is of a speech given last night at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan:

Walid speaks about oppression at university

Kalamazoo Gazette

Oppression ingrained in some youth

Saturday, March 24, 2007

By John Liberty 388-8579

Dawud Walid quoted a passage from the Quran to deliver his speech's point on social justice: Oppression is worse than murder.

Walid, who is the Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Michigan, was the keynote speaker Friday at the eighth semi-annual event called ``Social Justice in Islam,'' organized by the Western Michigan University student organization the Muslim Students Association and held in the Bernhard Center.

Walid, who lives in Detroit, addressed the more than 400 Muslims and non-Muslims in attendance by frequently reciting from the Quran in Arabic and then translating the meaning of the passages into English. He stressed Islam's teaching about oppression and gave examples of how it harms the psyche of people for generations. He cited the shooting of a mosque on the 1700 block of East Main Street in late February as a local example. Members of the mosque said there is an ongoing problem with violence and drug activity in the area.

``This oppression has ingrained itself in some of our youth through a lack of, not only self esteem, but generations of going through inferior educational systems, not having access to certain economic opportunities,'' Walid said. ``It has taken certain people within the African-American community outside of their human excellence or outside of the vision of how productive human beings should live within a civilized society. And it's hard to break out of. This is why oppression is worse than murder.''

He said oppression is still being felt around the world, including by Palestinians. Oppression is one reason for civil unrest, he said.(MORE)

Friday, March 23, 2007

Walid featured in the Ambassador Magazine

In this month's issue of the Ambassador Magazine (Volume two, issue two) in pages 68 - 69 under the "Feel the Power" section, the following questions were posed and answered:

Community -
what do you do outside of your church [mosque] or lectures to impact your community in a positive way?

I have worked with non-Muslim organizations relating to social justice issues such as volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and assisting feeding the indigent.

Self-Empowerment -
what is the best thing someone can do to empower him or her self?

The best thing that a person can do to empower him or her self is to first recognize that he/she does not have the ultimate control over determining others' behaviors or determining the outcomes of situations.

Tolerance -
what is the best way for people of different faiths to live in harmony?

Dialogue is the best way to cultivate a spirit of cooperation. Once people of different groups interact with each other, their common interests as human beings transcend many of their theological differences.

War & Peace -
what about those who use religion as a means to create war?

Religion in many cases is used by war-mongers as an excuse to exert political power over others. Religion, however, does not contradict a group's right to defend their lives, property and dignity when being attacked.

Church & State -
what is your stance on religious leaders participating in politics? Should the church [mosque] and state be completely separate?

Islam is an entire way of life, not just a set of rituals or a philosophy. God is not absent in any aspect of the life of humans, which includes the political life. Religious leaders should feel the obligation to be involved in politics to help shape policies in a positive way.

Business -
what is your position on the role of spiritual leaders play in creating business opportunities within their communities?

Lack of economic opportunities brings about social injustice. Spiritual leaders should encourage a better climate for business that assists in bringing about better economic options for all people.

The Ambassador Magazine's website is

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Message for Friday - G'd honors those who love others

عن أبي أمامة قال: قال رسول اللّه (صلّى اللّه عليه و آله و سلّم) : ما أحبّ عبد عبدا اللّه الّا اكرم ربّه عزّ و جلّ.
(مسند أحمد)

Narrated from ِAbi Amamah that he said the The Messenger of G'd said:
No servant loves another servant of G'd except that his Lord (mighty and sublime) honors him.
[Ahmad – Musnad]

To love a person for a particular trait or characteristic is not a bad virtue; however, our love for a person may be absent when he/she does not contain that trait or looses it.

Loving a person for the sake of G'd allows one to look at the bigger picture of the complete purpose that humans have as servants of G'd. This may mean that one may have to work or assistance a person that may not have the particular look, attitude, or wealth that he/she would normally associate with; yet he/she should love the person, who is outside of their group and see their benefit, which they have to offer in their human worth.

When one has sincere respect and love for the betterment of people, the intrinsic nature of the human being recognizes it. Such a person earns the respect of others outside of their immediate group even if others disagree with their ideological perspectives.

And surely G'd knows best.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Walid speaks at United Way HQ in Detroit

The following audio is a panel discussion regarding the challenges that social services workers should be aware of when dealing with certain minority groups including American Muslims.

Cut & paste to listen:

Saturday, March 17, 2007

CAIR doesn't deserve the harassment

Congressman Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) recently reserved a room on Capitol Hill for a panel discussion on "Global Attitudes on Islam-West Relations: U.S. Policy Implications," sponsored by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). It was the fifth Hill event for CAIR in the last two years. It was selected as a target of opportunity by some who seek to block participation in the political process of American citizens of the Islamic faith by defaming their representative institutions and organizations.

Pascrell came under attack from those groups that want to stifle America Muslim political participation. While some sought to use smears and Islamophobia to silence the American Muslim perspective, an aide to Representative Pascrell stated the following: "It is important that Muslim Americans feel they are part of our country."

The entire episode was triggered by an intentionally inaccurate story in the "Washington Times," designed to impeach the credibility of the organization. The episode was exacerbated when the Republican Conference chose to issue statements that were reflective of "Google" searches of anti-Muslim Internet hate sites.

CAIR operates under the strict guidelines of its core values. These values include: support for freedom of religion and freedom of expression, and a commitment to supporting policies that promote dialogue, civil rights and diversity in America and worldwide.

For the record, CAIR unequivocally condemns terror attacks targeting people of all faiths and in all areas of the world. In an effort designed to demonstrate the American Muslim community's repudiation of terrorism and religious extremism, CAIR launched an online petition drive called "Not in the Name of Islam." They also launched a nationwide television public service announcement campaign of the same name and coordinated a ground-breaking fatwa, or Islamic religious ruling, against terrorism.

CAIR offered pro-active and positive responses to the controversies over allegations of Qur'an desecration at Guantanamo Bay and the publication of cartoons in Denmark defaming Islam's Prophet Muhammad.

CAIR's educational initiatives have opened doors to dialogue and mutual understanding with Americans of all faiths.

CAIR is supported by many mainstream political, social and religious groups. We have active alliances with members of the Christian, Jewish, Sikh, Hispanic, African-American, and Asian communities. Thirty-two CAIR chapters in 20 states have developed strong grass-roots relations with people of all faiths in the communities in which they work to promote social justice and interfaith tolerance.

Fair-minded Americans should not be swayed by the extreme rhetoric of those opposed to allowing American Muslims to exercise their full rights as citizens.
Congressman Pascrell should be thanked by all who believe that America's core values are genuine.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Walid to speak at Western Michigan University

Reservations due for "Social Justice in Islam"

March 16, 2007

KALAMAZOO--"Social Justice in Islam," a presentation by guest speaker Dawud Walid, headlines the 8th semiannual Muslim Student Night program beginning at 6 p.m. Friday, March 23, in the Bernhard Center Ballroom at Western Michigan University.

The evening also includes a free, buffet-style dinner featuring multicultural cuisine, an exhibition of artifacts from around the world and musical performances by the internationally acclaimed group, 786.

The event is open to the public free of charge, but seating is limited and advanced reservations are required. The initial deadline for registration is Sunday, March 18, but a waiting list will be kept. To register, visit

Community activist Dawud Walid is the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Michigan.

The program sponsored by the WMU Muslim Students Association is intended to promote dialogue and greater understanding among people of diverse backgrounds. The event routinely draws capacity crowds of 400 people.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Message for Friday - Muslims should benefit all people

الخلق كلهم عيال الله وأحب الخلق إلى الله أنفعهم لعياله

Prophet Muhammad (SAAS) stated, "All creatures are the dependents of G'd, and the most loved of creatures to G'd are those who benefit his dependents."

خير الناس من نفع الناس

He also said, "The best of the people is the one who has benefitted the people."

The life of a Muslim should not be soley for the benefit of only himself, his immediate family, tribe or brothers in faith. A Muslim is summoned to benefit others including the broader society.

لَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا الْإِنْسَانَ فِي أَحْسَنِ تَقْوِيمٍ

G'd says in the Qur'an (95:4): Most certainly We have created man in the most excellent mold.

The Islamic religion calls for humans to be concerned about all of the creation of G'd, the best of it being the human family. Thus, a Muslim and Muslim groups are to be charitable to all humans be they Muslim or Non-Muslims. Moreover, their planning should include or factor in long term remedies on empowering people instead of having them being reliant on charity. Assisting people to gain their independence of slavishly relying on others is a great benefit as well as reminding the people that they are subservient to none but G'd.

And surely G'd knows best.

Walid speaks about the peaceful spread of Islam in America

Today's lecture was given at the University of Michigan - Flint in Flint, Michigan.

To listen, cut & paste the following link:

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Islamic leader urges Jews to be weary of fundamentalists

By Charles A. Radin, Globe Staff March 14, 2007

CAMBRIDGE -- The president of the Islamic Society of North America warned last night that American Jews who ally with right-wing Christians to oppose Muslim organizations are pursuing a high-risk strategy that could backfire.

Speaking at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, at an event sponsored by the school and four Muslim student organizations, Ingrid Mattson, a Canadian-born convert from Roman Catholicism who became the Islamic society's first woman president last year, said that many American Jews have an existential fear that Muslims are anti-Israel.

Such fear leads Jews to ally with Christian fundamentalists who are supportive of Israel and critical of Islam, she said.

"Right-wing Christians are very risky allies for American Jews," Mattson said, "because they [the Christians] are really anti-Semitic. They do not like Jews" and enter into the alliance on the basis of fundamentalist beliefs that it would be desirable for all Jews to return to Israel. She suggested that fundamentalist Christians might turn against Jews or that there could be backlash from ordinary Americans against Jewish and fundamentalist Christian supporters of Israel.(MORE)

Islamophobic discussion given by Dr. Tawfik Hamid at Jewish Community Center

Last night, the most outrageous statements were said by Mr. Tawfiq Hamid, a so-called ex-terrorist from Egypt at the Jewish Community Center in West Bloomfield, Michigan.

Comments that were made last night that did not make the paper are as follows:

1) One cause for terrorism is "sex deprivation" among young Muslim males; thus, they wish to become martyrs to have sex in paradise. Then he stated that terrorism is related to poor treatment of women, which includes polygamy.

Which one is it? Muslim men become terrorists because of lack of sex or too much sex?

He said that Shi`ahs are less likely to be suicide bombers because of their practice called Mut'ah, temporary marriage, which he states that Shi`ahs get temporarily married for only one hour. He then stated that Iran, a Shi`ah state, posed the biggest threat to Israel and is a terrorist state.

I would think no Iranians would be terrorists, according to Dr. Hamid, if they can get married just for an hour. A guy could get married to seven different women a week according to him, right?

2) He stated that most Muslims understand jihad as violent jihad, per the way that Osama Bin Laden understands it according to the Salafi aka Wahhabi school of thought does in Saudi Arabia. He says that this Salafi understanding is the majority understanding within the Muslim world and only the Sufis have the peaceful understanding of jihad, which is "jihad of the mind."

Salafi doctrine is the minority within the Muslim world, not the majority. Salafi doctrine states that Muslims do not need to belong to an organized school of thought. Most Sunnis, who belong to one of the four schools of thought within Sunni, the Hanafi school being the vast majority. Moreover, the Shi`ahs, who belong to one of the three schools of thought with Shi`i understanding are majority Ja'fari. None of these schools of thought are Salafi.

Mainstream Muslims understand jihad as a holistic term, which encompasses a physical aspect such as self defense and alleviating oppression to resisting inward corruption to studying religion.


Furthermore, the Sufi focus of spiritual purification (Tazkiyyatun Nafs) is a part of mainstream Islam. Being Sufi is not outside of mainstream Islam no more than being Shi`ah.

Moreover, the Salafi movement is an apolitical movement. Bin Laden is not a Salafi and has sought to overthrow the Salafi and monarchy establishment of Saudi Arabia.

4) He stated that the main books used to teach Islamic law in all major Muslim universities calls Jews "apes and pigs." He referenced a saying in the book of Al-Bukhari and admitted that this is not in the Qur'an. He said that he knows of no book that doesn't make reference to Jews in this manner.

Since he admits that he hasn't been formally trained in Islam, such statements are of no surprise. However, if he had taken even a 200 level class in Islam at a univesrity, he would know about Al-Muwafiqaat fi Usool al-Sharia by Imam Ash-Shatibi. This book is probably the most referred to book on the basis of Islamic law that is studied. There is NO mention of what Dr. Hamid says in this book in reference to those statements about Jews.

Also, the saying in the book of Al-Bukhari is not a basis for an Islamic ruling, and many of criticized this saying. The three Shi`ah schools of thought and the Ibadi school of thought don't refer to Al-Bukhari at all for any of their jurisprudence anyway. Again, if Dr. Hamid was familiar with Islamic jurisprudence, he would know this.

5) He compared having interfaith dialog with Muslims like having interfaith dialog with Hitler and Nazis.

6) He stated that no prominent Muslim leaders have denounced terrorism and Bin Laden.

Besides the Fiqh Council of North America denouncing terrorism in a fatwa in 2005, Al-Azhar University, the top Islamic authority among Sunnis issued a fatwa against Bin Laden. Similiar fatwa were issued by Shi`ah as well.

Today's Detroit News and Detroit Free Press have articles relating to last night's program:

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Vandalisms on mosques and Muslim businesses still unsolved

Rock is a reminder of unsolved attacks
Muslim leaders dismayed no one has been arrested in a months-old string of vandalism

March 13, 2007


Inside his office, Imam Husham Al-Husainy still has the rock that was hurled through the front window of his Dearborn mosque two months ago. It's there to remind him.

"I hope whoever did this gets caught," Al-Husainy, head of the Karbalaa Islamic Education Center, said Monday. "Who would do this?"

That question has hovered over metro Detroit's Muslim communities in recent weeks. But police and FBI agents don't know who was behind a string of attacks against mosques and Muslim-owned businesses in Dearborn and Detroit.

Police said they have probed a variety of possible motives -- from sectarian tensions to hatred of Muslims. But they also "could have been just a random act of violence," Dearborn Police Sgt. David Robinson said Monday.

Detroit FBI Special Agent Dawn Clenney said the agency is still investigating.

One bright spot is that no vandalism has been directed at Muslim institutions in metro Detroit since January.

"We're grateful that no other incidents have happened since," said Dawud Walid, head of the Michigan branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. "We're still hopeful that law enforcement will continue to investigate this case and hopefully catch someone."(MORE)

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Walid speaks about Abraham at Wayne State U.

This evening's discussion at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan centered around one Muslim and one Christian perspective on Prophet Abraham (AS).

The other speaker on the panel is a Lebanese-American Christian.

One important point of discussion was the differences in interpretation of the story of Abraham's planned sacrifice of his son and its theological implications in Islam and Christianity.

Cut & paste to listen:

Message for Friday - Wanting what is good & useful for your brother

والذي نفس محمد بيده لا يؤمن أحدكم حتى يحب لأخيه ما يحب لنفسه من الخير

Prophet Muhammad (SAA) said, "I swear by him who has the soul of Muhammad in his hand! None of you believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself from what is good."

The following audio was given to Muslim youth regarding this subject. To listen, cut & paste the following:

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Walid addresses Homeland Security students at Madonna University

*NOTE* - Although this article states that Homeland Security officials were addressed, students in the Homeland Security program were addressed, which includes law enforcement agents. This event was not sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security.

Imam Dawud Walid of CAIR Michigan Addresses DHS Officials

Imam Dawud Walid, Executive Director of CAIR Michigan, addresses American Homeland Security and law enforcement agents.

Click here to listen

TMO reprints and makes available news only because it is newsworthy, that it does not always screen or listen to in its entirety, publication of audio, video, and transcripts does not constitute validation by TMO of the opinions expressed by others.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Traditional Islam for the hip-hop generation

Traditional Islam for the hip-hop generation
By Zaid Shakur, Staff Writer
Southern California InFocus
March 2007

SAN DIEGO -- In the heart of San Diego’s inner-city, just blocks away from "the Four Corners of Death," (an intersection so nick-named by locals in the 1980s because of its notoriety for gang violence), nestled unceremoniously between a martial arts dojo and a neighborhood grocery store is the Logan Islamic Community Center (LICC). Situated in a working-class neighborhood that is overwhelmingly Latino, LICC serves a Muslim congregation that is small yet incredibly diverse. Within its 27 founding members there are Filipinos, Africans, African-Americans, Caucasians, and of course, Latinos.

The most striking characteristics of this up-and-coming community is the fact that it is made up entirely of reverts to Islam—and though some regular attendees are anywhere from 40 years of age well into their 70s, the average age of LICC’s members is a tender 26 years old. It is precisely this youthful energy that one feels pulsating through the masjid and fueling its impressive list of programs, activities, and services.

Mohammed Zaki Abdul-Latif, 26, is a local music DJ and active member of LICC. When the youth of the jama’at or congregation is mentioned, he is resolute. "

Traditional Islam for the hip-hop generation

All praise is due to Allah, we’ve been received pretty warmly by children of immigrants who connect with us because we share common values. The elders and leaders of other Masajid have welcomed us. One of our members is the public relations director for Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)-San Diego and another is on the board of the Southern California Shura Council. We are first and foremost an indigenous, homegrown community of mostly young Muslims, but we’ve sat with and learned from traditional Ulama (scholars), many of them having a connection going back to the Prophet (saw) himself through either transmission of knowledge or lineage or both."

One of the most dynamic and successful ways that LICC is serving this emerging young adult demographic is through its monthly poetry and spoken word contest, known as "Manual 4 Existence" held on the second Saturday of each month at Voz Alta, a downtown venue for the arts. It is a hip and high-energy function that allows members of the masjid to give strong daw’ah, or Islamic education to youth that would otherwise be enthralled by the usually immoral lyrics and rhythms of popular rap music. Abdul-Latif explains that "many of the traditional Ulama used to teach using poetry and qasidas. This is what gave us the idea to reach out in this manner."

During the contest intermission, one of the members gives a dars (short talk) on topical issues such as gangs or drugs and relates it to Islamic solutions. The effect is palpable and non-Muslim attendees have converted to Islam as a result of this effort. Abdul-Latif often DJ’s during the event. "In my previous life before Islam I used to be a professional DJ, focusing more on the art itself. Now I don’t play in clubs, of course, and have branched out into world music and traditional Islamic music," he says.

Tariq Ali, a Puerto Rican revert and Amir of LICC, came to San Diego in 1999 from New York. He and several others were part of the Jama’at of Shehu Uthman Ibn Fodio, an international group that studies and follows the methodology of that West African Islamic Scholar. That same year Ali and members of the Filipino Islamic community joined forces to create the "UMA of San Diego" (UMA stands for United Muslim Association). They began seeking knowledge from Amir Mohammad Shareef and Shaikh Hamza Yusuf Hanson.

They opened a small school in 1999 in San Diego’s largely Mexican, low-income Logan Heights area.

"We felt that there was a need in San Diego for traditional Islamic knowledge to be taught--knowledge that was based on the Qur’an, the Sunnah and the work of the great Ulama," says Ali. "There was no other masjid in the area that we felt was doing this." The school, or "the Building" as it was known, was opened to all Muslims and offered a wide array of classes including Hadith studies, Arabic courses, Fiqh classes and the study of classical Islamic texts by the likes of Shaikh Uthman Ibn Fodio, as well as some contemporary Islamic thinkers like Dr. Sherman Jackson.

There is wonderful irony in the fact that these young reverts, themselves a product of ‘hip-hop’ culture and modernity, have become qualified to teach Islam. Several of the brothers have in the past eight years traveled extensively to places such as Yemen and Mauritania to study for years at a time with scholars like Shaikh Mohammed Al-Yacoubi and Shaikh Habib Umar in order to pass on what they’ve learned, becoming fluent in the Arabic language and receiving Ijazah (license) in several Islamic sciences.

By 2006 the needs of the jama’at had grown and the small one room school was no longer sufficient. A search for a larger location proved fruitful when a local storefront Masjid closed, allowing for the jama’at to take over the site. With only minor adjustments in structure, such as the erection of curtains for the privacy of the women and the addition of traditional wudoo or ablution stations, the congregation was able to transform it into the thriving center of learning and worship that it is today.

The current class schedule consists of 6 courses held 4 days a week that include in-depth study of Islamic Jurisprudence from the Risala of ibn Abi-Zaid, Shafi’ Fiqh, Maliki Fiqh from the Umdat l’ Bayyan of Shehu Uthman Ibn Fodio, Biblical Sources & Dawa’ah Strategies with Special Emphasis on Refutations/Rebuttals, and Women’s Arabic.

LICC is also home to a very strong and vibrant women’s program known as "Yan Taru." Yan Taru was a Fulani word used in the Sokoto Caliphate to refer to women under the age of 14 and over the age of 45 who were the backbone of an educational movement established by Nana Asma’u during the reign of her brother Caliph Muhammad Bello (1817 - 1837). The Yan Taru was a group of female student-teachers. These women and girls left their homes and made the long arduous journey to Sokoto, primarily on foot. They were led by knowledgeable women called Jaji’s. The Jaji would prepare the Yan Taru for study, asking them to purify their intentions. The Jaji would accept sadaqa or charity for the journey from the women who could not make the trip and then teach them upon their return. Women, the sustainers of the home and society would thus have access to knowledge without having to leave their homes. Yan Taru is an international program but Najiyya Ali is the Jaji of LICC’s division. "Women are the foundation of the Muslim community. They are the first educators," explans Najiyya. "If you have ignorant women you’ll have an ignorant community. If you have knowledgeable women you’ll have a knowledgeable community."

Presently the sisters sponsor each other to attend "Deen Intensives" around the country and hold classes for the other sisters when they come home. The women of LICC also perform charitable work for the community, recently holding a community sponsored rummage sale with the proceeds going to buy food vouchers that were given to the needy.

The community of LICC is also making an impression throughout the broader Muslim community with its lectures at masjids, college campuses and public libraries. Among the highest priorities is working with youth for gang prevention and intervention, especially poignant since many in the community were once affiliated with gangs themselves until Islam entered their lives.

Abdul-Latif remembers a particularly successful event. "We called it ‘non-Muslim family gratitude night’ where we held a banquet and seminar for our non-Muslim parents, brothers, sisters, etc, where we honored them, and Imam Zaid gave a talk on understanding Islam."
Abdul-Latif and others at LICC have recently put their musical and rhetorical talents to use online by hosting "Discourse," an internet radio show on Earthbound radio (, which airs every Sunday afternoon from 12-2pm. It is a mixture of clean hip hop and conscious discussion.

Abdul-Latif is excited about the show. "The inspiration for the title "Discourse" came from a lecture by Shaikh Hamza Yusuf who once said that ‘Islam was not allowed in this discourse…,’ referring to national and societal discourse. Our mission statement is ‘raising the standard of intellectual discussion in all arenas of life amongst hip hop aficionados and people who just want to think.’ We insert Islamic themes into our discussions while keeping it objective and trying to share information with people of different backgrounds, while always maintaining our Islamic identity. There’s a hint of comedy and seriousness without nonsense or Jahilliyya (ignorance)."
With an active congregation, LICC has its own unique "flavor" and a rich atmosphere of family and connectedness. Sitting firmly on the edge of Islamic teachings and creative programs, the masjid has succeeded in reaching out to a hip-hop generation.

"Secular Islam" conference exposed as a big fraud

Yesterday on the Glenn Beck Show on CNN, CAIR Rep. Ahmed Bedier discussed the disingenious nature of the "Secular Islam" conference, which is currently going on in South Florida. The nation's primary Islamophobes and Muslim bashers, who cloak themselves as being reformers of Islam are in attendance.

This conference is being held in unison with the Intelligence Summit, which was organized by neo-cons who have an interest in promoting such divisive events.

To view yesterday's who with Mr. Bedier, click on to:

*NOTE* - The term "Secular Islam" is an oxymoron. Islam is a religion; thus, it can't be view within the context of secularism. However, Islam can be practiced within democratic republics without conflict.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Islamic leader to Muslims: Educate others about Islam


A prominent Islamic leader told a group of Muslims in a Detroit mosque on Friday that they should educate non-Muslims about Islam and spread the truth of their faith.

Nihad Awad, executive director and co-founder of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said during Friday prayers at the Islamic Center of Detroit that Muslims should try to "communicate the beauty of Islam to others."

Muslims in America have a unique opportunity to spread Islam, he told the crowd.

"To be a Muslim in America is something unique, something beautiful, something serious, and something promising, and something that is really challenging," Awad said. "Most of our neighbors and fellow Americans do not know one-hundredth of one percent of what you know about your religion. What they know is negative…what they see on television every day…People are hungry and thirsty to know the beauty of and learn about Islam."

Awad also urged the crowd to excel in their work, saying that Islam encourages it.

"You have to excel," Awad said. "That's the mentality of Muslims, and that's why Islam has spread through cultures and history."

Awad said that while Muslims may face challenges in the U.S, their problems are nothing compared to the challenges faced by early Muslims who were a minority "persecuted and isolated."

The council is the biggest civil rights and advocacy group in the U.S. Awad is speaking at the Islamic Center again tonight and at the Huda center in Franklin Hills on Saturday.

During his talk, Awad talked about the challenges faced by early believers of Islam in spreading their faith around the world.

"Learn to persevere," Awad told the crowd. And "think about what's going on beyond your borders…have an open and universal look at the world."Awad also pointed out how the Koran, he said, was a miracle. "The Koran says, the Romans will defeat the Persians in a matter of years," Awad said. "Had this not happened, it would prove that the Koran was not a miracle. It happened and Muslims rejoiced…there was evidence of the divine nature of the Koran, and the nature of Islam, and the nature of the Muslim minds."

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Article from St. Croix Avis regarding Walid's Visit to UVI-St. Croix

Lecture at UVI on popular misperceptions about Islam
ST. CROIX—Dawud Walid, Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations-Michigan, gave a lecture on popular misconceptions about Islam at the University of the Virgin Islands’ St. Croix Campus Cafetorium Saturday evening.
The room was mostly full, with over a hundred in attendance. The crowd was very mixed, with people from every segment of St. Croix society; UVI professors and students, local Palestinian and American Moslems, interested Crucians and others. Some folks from the Palestinian community put together a big spread of Middle Eastern foods, homemade hummus, tabouleh, stuffed grape leaves, various sweets and strong coffee flavored with cardamom.
Walid, who was born in Virginia and now resides in Detroit, struck an ecumenical tone, emphasizing the common ground among Islam, Judaism and Christianity, and delving into several areas where he believes Americans have misconceptions about the nature of Islam.
Walid said many Americans believe the faiths are mutually exclusive, that Moslem’s worship a different god. Walid noted that all three faiths have the same origins, the same god, many of the same religious texts and important figures, arguing they are all branches of the same tree.
While there are certainly large differences, Islam, Walid said, even gives Jesus the unique status as messiah, although not the divine status given in Christianity.
The second common confusion Walid attacked was the notion that Moslem equals Arab and vice-versa.
“The largest Moslem nation on the face of the earth is Indonesia. The 2nd largest population of Moslems is in a non-Moslem state: India. Add to that Bangladesh, Pakistan and 40 million Moslems in Western China and non-Arab Moslems vastly outnumber the Arab Moslems,” said Walid.
“Likewise, all Arabs are not Moslems. In Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan, there are Arab Christians that have always been there and were never converted. So these are wide misnomers to say Arab and Moslem are synonymous,” said Walid.
“However, all Moslems have been Arabized to some degree. The liturgy is in the Arabic language, the Koran is in Arabic. So Imams must have a good command o f the Arabic language and Arabic etymology,” said Walid.
Next Walid tackled the common Western notion that jihad means holy war.
“In our holy books there is no such term as holy war. Jihad is struggle. We do have a concept called jihad and those who go out in jihad are called mujaheddin. It means exertion or struggle. It has a lesser too. Human beings have a right to defend their life, property and dignity. All human beings have the right to defend themselves. If you are being kicked out of your house, off your land by force--- I don’t mean falling behind on payments and being evicted, but by force of gun,” said Walid, referring indirectly to the Israel Palestine conflict.
“There are clear rules to jihad. No women, children or elderly may be attacked, except when in combat positions. But civilians are not allowed to be hurt,” said Walid.
“And the fighter is supposed to stop immediately if the foe is trying to make peace. You cannot shoot them in the back as they retreat. It is forbidden. Also, you are not allowed to burn crops, cut trees or kill livestock. As a rule of war, if invaders come we cannot say we will kill their cattle to starve them. Scorched earth is impermissible according to the teachings of Mohammed. And suicide bombings are forbidden. The Koran says do not kill yourself. God will bar people from heaven if they take their own life,” said Walid.
These political jihads, Walid says, are called lesser jihad. The greater jihad, he said, is the struggle inside the self against sin and corruption in your own soul.
“Even the prophet Mohammed said the jihad is seeking knowledge and education. He who leaves home in search of knowledge to better cultivate their moral character, while they are out, they are mujaheddin. This is how we Moslems understand jihad; not strapping explosives and blowing yourself up,” said Walid, giving some current examples of Moslem condemnation of aggression.
“Even Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani, who has been demonized in the press, has issued a fatwa forbidding nuclear weapons. The top religious scholar in Iran said the nation may not have them as they violate the rules of war,” said Walid.
The fourth topic of confusion Walid examined is the way the West often conflates violence by Moslems with violence in the name of Islam.
“Take the Tamil Tigers; I have never heard them called Buddhist terrorists. I have never heard ETA (the violent Basque separatist group in Spain and France) called socialist or Catholic terrorists. But any person attached to the Islamic faith who commits an act of violence, it is assumed they are doing it in the name of Islam and this is faulty reasoning,” said Walid.
“There is violence done in the name of Islam. We accept that and say it is wrong, it is against Islam and we condemn it,” said Walid, who then reiterated that much of the violence is not done in the name of Islam and that even when some do so, they are at fault, not Islam.
After the formal lecture there was a very extensive question and answer period, covering a wide array of issues worldwide and locally. Some of the questioners had extensive religious and political arguments to make, extending the session considerably.
One questioner asked about the concept of radical and moderate as applied to Islam. Walid objects to both terms as inaccurate and misleading, suggesting that the very religious are also prone to violence.
“Fundamentalists who have beards and don’t watch TV aren’t necessarily violent. Maybe they are like the Amish, rejecting the material world,” said Walid, commenting further that the common belief that Osama bin Laden was a Wahabbi or Salafi radical, in the mold of Saudi Arabia.
“Osama Bin Ladin did not follow the Salafi creed. Salafis don’t want any part of Osama Bin Laden. There are even fatwa’s against him,” said Walid.
On women and the veil, Walid said within the Koran women have equality in their intellectual and spiritual lives. As for the veil, Walid said the practice, known as Hijab, means modesty in dress, and applies to men as well as women.
“My suit here is my Hijab. It is not form fitting, and it covers most of me,” said Walid.
Walid said that the Koran tells women to cover their hair. Covering the face as well is not required and is only done as a personal choice by a small minority of very pious individuals.
“Covering the face is rare, except in Saudi Arabia where it is sanctioned by the state,” said Walid.
Regarding the Israel-Palestine conflict, Walid said he agreed with “the vast majority” of what former President Jimmy Carter wrote in his new book: “Palestine: Peace, not Apartheid.”
“When a Palestinian cannot ride in the same car as an Israeli; cannot buy property in certain areas; spend many long hours at check points, they have been ghettoized. It is very similar to apartheid in South Africa. Israel was a strong supporter of apartheid in South Africa,” said Walid.
“I wish our government, when they are for enforcing certain UN resolutions, they would make Israel abide by several resolutions they have been breaking year after year,” said Walid.
Walid argued that conflict was not Moslem versus Jew, noting that the old Palestinian Liberation Front had both Christians and Moslems in it and that the Al Aqua Martyr’s Brigade is a secular group. How they could be secular martyrs was not examined.
One questioner critiqued the local Islamic community.
“Most of our interactions are as merchants to consumers; consumers without a choice. So your examples of charity in the U.S., of clinics and such, do not happen here,” said Oceana James.
“I don’t live here but see that Moslem lady there; say hi at the end of the meeting and exchange phone numbers,” suggested Walid. At the end of the meeting, that is exactly what happened.
Walid then said Moslems are forbidden to sell items they would not purchase, specifying pork, alcohol and pornography as items no Moslem store should carry.
“Back in Detroit people are familiar with Moslems and if you carried bacon, even non-Moslem patrons would come up and tell you that you aren’t supposed to be selling that,” said Walid.
After an hour and a half of answering questions, Walid left the podium and mingled with the crowd as everyone enjoyed the home made Middle Eastern appetizers, desserts and coffee.

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