Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Recommended books to read on suicide bombing and history of Islam in America among African-Americans

Two books, which I've recently purchased and read are "Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism" by Robert A. Pape and "A History of Muslim African-Americans" by the Islamic History Project (a group of researchers).

The first book,"Dying to Win", discusses the root causes of suicide terrorism and provides information tracking all suicide bombings from 1980 to 2005 including dates, organizations that sponsored the attacks and the targets.

Mr. Pape's premise is that religion is not the primary motive for suicide bombings; oppression and occupation are. He provides clear information such as the primary organizations that perpetrated suicide bombings in the 1980's in the Middle East were secular organizations, which had suicide bombers of Muslim and Christian roots including Ms. Norma Hassan, a Lebanese Christian female suicide bomber. The data further shows that the Tamil Tigers, a Hindu/Marxist organization in Sri Lanka, have been the leading organization, which has sponsored suicide bombings from 1980 to 2005, at the publication date of this book.

An interesting observation within the book is that from 1980 to 2002, Iraq was suicide bombing free, but it now leads the world in suicide bombing attacks. So much for the false idea that the US military presence in Iraq has helped in the "War on Terror." It has bred more terror, way more terror and lose of life than under the rule of Saddam Hussein from 1979 to 2002.

Order from: http://www.amazon.com/Dying-Win-Strategic-Suicide-Terrorism/dp/1400063175

The second book, "A History of Muslim African-Americans", is more than just a history book ranging from the time period of when African Muslims reached America during the trans-Atlantic slave trade until today. The book begins with providing historical evidence about the interconnection between Arabs and Africans beginning with the ancient people of `Ad (Adites) to the era of the slave trade in East Africa and how its differences with the chattel slave trade of West Africa.

The book also touches on the evolution of the Nation of Islam and its transformation under the leadership of Imam Warith Deen Mohammed.

I've yet to read in one book so many aspects relating to not only the history of African-American Muslims but also the philosophy behind historical events. The book is documented extremely well.

Order from: http://www.wdmpublications.com/online_store/books/index.htm

Monday, July 30, 2007

Walid to appear on talk radio in Kalamazoo

Tomorrow at 4:15 pm, tune in to The David Jaconette Show at 590 AM in Kalamazoo, Michigan. www.wkzo.com

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Muslim leaders pushes for education and discourages violence

http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070728/UPDATE/707280407/1003/METRO

Tom Greenwood / The Detroit News

Imam W. Deen Mohammad -- the son of Elijah Muhammad, who founded the Nation of Islam -- addresses an audience in the auditorium of Wayne Community College Saturday afternoon.

DETROIT -- It isn't often that you see a speaker receive a standing ovation before he addresses an audience, but that's what happened to Imam W. Deen Mohammad in the auditorium of Wayne Community College Saturday afternoon.

Imam Mohammed, the son of Elijah Muhammad who founded the Nation of Islam, addressed the audience on the role of "Islam and Higher Education." While the Imam lightly touched on the subject of formal education, his main theme was on the moral education of mankind.

"Muhammad, the messenger of Allah, told us that 'the ink of the scholar is more precious than the blood of the martyr,'" the Imam told a warm and respectful audience of about 300 people.

"Education teaches us morality; from the simple justice of right and wrong to the higher level of morality, which we call ethics. Our scientists, whether they are political, military or economic, must eventually respect justice and morality."

While the Imam's audience was made up mainly of Muslims and was totally African American, his theme was aimed at people of all races, colors, creeds and religions; a reflection of his break from the Nation of Islam and his embrace of Islam proper.

"This man is the best kept secret in America when it comes to Muslims in America," said Dawud Walid, Executive Director of the Council on American Islamic Relations.

"When he said that the 'ink of the scholar is more precious than the blood of the martyr' he was telling us that armed struggle is not the answer. Education and morality; those two things will propel Muslims out of the condition they are in today."

According to Imam Mohammad, 73, who was born in Hamtramck, the importance of education can be seen from the very beginnings of Islam.

"The first word that God said to Muhammad was not 'God,' but 'read,'" the Imam said, as many in the audience nodded or took notes.

"The word 'Koran' means 'that which must be read.' And the Koran shows both men and women to be thinkers."(MORE)

Friday, July 27, 2007

Walid on Mitch Albom Show discussing charity raids

After my interview on WJR 760 AM, Mr. Albom brought on the air Southfield, Michigan's most notorious Islamphobe, who also refers to Pakistanis as "Pakis," to comment on the charities being raided.

Points of clarification based on the Islamophobe's comments:

Most Muslims in Metro Detroit have never heard of the Goodwill Charities. Those who have heard of it are almost exclusively Shi'ahs of Lebanese heritage. Being that most Muslims in Metro Detroit are Sunnis and Non-Arabs, including my Blackamerican self, most would not have even had access to have known about this charity as she purports. Only 5 out of the 45 mosques in Metro Detroit are Lebanese Shi'ahs, and even many of them had not heard of Goodwill Charities.

Regarding Hizbullah and Hamas, we condemn all attacks on civilians including suicide bombings, including terrorists acts by these two organizations.

Will the Islamophobes and anti-Arabists condemn the deaths and injuries committed by the IDF against the civilian "collateral damage" that was the majority of the casualities in Lebanon last summer including deaths and injuries related to the dropping of illegal cluster bombs? Nope!

A human soul is a human soul. If it's wrong to take the life of an innocent person from one religious and/or ethnic group, it is equally wrong to take the life on an innocent person from outside of that religious and/or ethnic group. This is called JUSTICE.

Cut & paste to listen:
http://www.wjr.com/getpodcast.aspx?sid=6553&lid=5157&id=447505&source=1&url=http://wjrpodcasts.com/podcasts/mitchalbom/TerrorCharity-072607.mp3

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Walid comments on BRIDGES TV discussing the raids on Goodwill Charities and Al-Mabarrat

Feds Raid Two Detroit Area Islamic Charities

July 25, 2007

Detroit- Federal agents raided two Shiite Muslim charities in Dearborn, Michigan on Tuesday, claiming one of them had ties to Iran-backed terrorist groups.

Agents hauled away documents and files from the Goodwill Charitable Organization, which is accused of soliciting money for Hezbollah.

The other charity, Al Mabarrat Charitable Organization frequently holds fundraisers in metro Detroit. The feds say its founder, Hussein Fadlallah, is the spiritual leader of Hezbollah and a terrorist.

Many in the Muslim community are concerned about what has been a sweep of Islamic charities. To address concerns the FBI held a meeting Tuesday night with communtiy leaders at the Islamic House of Wisdom in Dearborn Heights.

To find out more about these raids we spoke to Dawud Walid, CAIR Detroit Executive Director.

Cut & paste to see video:
http://www.bridgestv.com/videos.asp?bcpid=959035258&bclid=307734328&bctid=1125843720

Messages for Friday - Giving to orphans is a religious mandate in Islam



G'd says in the Qur'an in the 107th chapter:


Have you seen the one, who rejects [the true essence] of religion?
He who repells the orphan,
and does not promote the feeding of the poor?
Woe to the worshippers,
Those who pray and are heedless,
Those who pray to be seen,
But refuse acts of kindness.

It is a mandate in Islam that Muslims are to take care of the orphans. This is a clear injunction in the Qur'an and is deep within the spirit of the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (SAAS), who himself was an orphan.

In war torn societies especially, orphans may be the most vunerable people. Not only can they not support themselves materially, but even more important, they lack protection. They are orphaned not by choice, but due to circumstances, which they are innocent of.

Thus, the Muslims have the responsibility of protecting orphans from harm as well as giving them the tools that they need to develope in life (wholesome food, access to health care & education).

In Islam, rituals are important, but rituals without compassion are worthless. It is better for one to implement plans to take care of the weak than perform superogatory chants and prayers.

And surely G'd knows best.

Muslims upset by raid on charity

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070726/NEWS02/707260415

Muslims upset by FBI raid of charity
It's not on terror list; Dingell gave $100
July 26, 2007

BY NIRAJ WARIKOO

FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER

For $500 a year, you could sponsor a needy orphan in Lebanon through the Dearborn office of the Al-Mabarrat Charitable Organization.

And many metro Detroiters did -- through fund-raisers in mosques and boxes at Dearborn restaurants that read "Orphan's happiness depends on your donation."

Even some politicians gave money, including U.S. Rep. John Dingell, a Dearborn Democrat. His chief of staff said Wednesday that the congressman cut a check of about $100 to the group during a Ramadan dinner in October 2004.

And so the raid of Al-Mabarrat has unnerved many in metro Detroit's Muslim communities, some of whom met Wednesday to discuss how to deal with it.

Al-Mabarrat and another Shi'ite Muslim group, Goodwill Charitable Organization, were raided by the FBI and other federal agencies Tuesday, the same day the U.S. Treasury Department declared Goodwill Charitable to be a front for Hizballah and froze its assets.

But the Treasury Department did not name Al-Mabarrat as a terrorist group, leaving many Muslims confused about the government's actions. Al-Mabarrat is still allowed to operate, though agents hauled away its documents and computers, making it difficult to function, Muslim leaders said.

"This is a clean, lawful group with the utmost integrity," said Tarek Baydoun of Dearborn, who has helped raise money for it. "They're not going to find anything."

Al-Mabarrat officials have decided not to comment on the case for now because they're afraid of saying the wrong thing, said Dawud Walid, head of the Michigan branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Walid said the group would like to have its computers and documents back.

"If they're not being closed, they should be allowed to operate at full capacity," Walid said.(MORE)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

More news regarding raids

Is the Al-Mabarrat raid a repeat of what took place last year regarding LIFE for Relief & Development?

Is this an attempt to administratively close the charities through scarying away donors and banks from accepting their accounts?

Was it a coincidence that yesterday's raid took place on the same day of the Holy Land Foundation trial, the first American Muslim charity that has a trial regarding to terror related allegations?

Is the DOJ under Alberto Gonzales above politizing a trial through such manuveuring?

Time will tell.

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2007707250400

...The other charity that was raided, Al-Mabarrat Charitable Organization, often holds fund-raisers in metro Detroit and enjoys support from many in the area. Federal officials maintain its founder, Hussein Fadlallah, is the spiritual leader of Hizballah and a terrorist. But the Treasury Department did not designate Al-Mabarrat as a terrorist group, which means it technically can still operate.

According to tax records, Goodwill Charitable received $167,628 in contributions in 2005 and $202,500 in 2004. Al-Mabarrat raised $954,027 in 2004, according to its tax records.

No arrests were made at either office Tuesday.

Tarek Baydoun of Dearborn, who raises money for Al-Mabarrat, said that the charity is an American group that has absolutely no ties to any terrorist organization. Baydoun said he was concerned that the group was raided even though it was not placed on any terrorism list.

"The doors of Al-Mabarrat are open, and the finances are completely transparent," Baydoun said. Al-Mabarrat still plans to hold a community fund-raiser in October, he said.

No one from Goodwill Charitable Organization could be reached for comment.

Goodwill Charitable is not affiliated with Goodwill Industries International or any of its member agencies, a Goodwill Industries official said.

Additional searches took place Tuesday in Michigan that were related to the Dearborn raids, said FBI Detroit Special Agent Dawn Clenney, but those warrants were sealed and she would not comment on them.

Some in metro Detroit's Muslim and Arab-American communities were concerned about the raids, calling them another government action that would hamper their ability to raise money for needy Muslims. In September, the FBI and other federal agencies raided the office of LIFE for Relief and Development, a Muslim charity based in Southfield. No arrests were made.

To address any possible concerns, Special Agent Andrew Arena, head of the FBI Detroit office, held a meeting Tuesday at the Islamic House of Wisdom in Dearborn Heights, a Shi'ite Muslim mosque.

"People are scared to donate" to charities or mosques, Dawud Walid, head of the Michigan branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said of concerns raised at the meeting. Islamic law requires Muslims to donate a certain percentage of their income for needy people.(MORE)

http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070725/METRO/707250395/1003

...Imam Muhammad Ali Elahi hosted a hastily called meeting Tuesday at the Islamic House of Wisdom in Dearborn Heights with top Detroit FBI officials and area leaders of various faiths. The FBI requested the meeting to talk about the raids and respond to concerns, he said.

"We expressed our concern that this pattern of dealing with Muslim charitable organizations may send a wrong message to the community and create some fear in the hearts of some people and discourage them from any kind of charity," the imam said.

Another charity raided in '06

Feelings are already raw over the FBI raid in September on the Southfield offices of Life for Relief and Development, a large and highly regarded Muslim charity under investigation in connection with its activities in Iraq. The raid happened on the eve of Ramadan, a holy month in which Muslims are required to give to worthy causes.

Life for Relief was not shut down and no charges have resulted, but the investigation continues. An Aug. 23 federal court hearing is scheduled over the charity's demands to have its seized property returned.

Al-Mabarrat, while smaller than Life for Relief, is larger and better-known than Goodwill Charitable Organization, with a stated budget of about $1 million compared with about $170,000 for Goodwill in 2005.

Dawud Walid, local director of the Council on American Islamic Relations, said Al-Mabarrat is highly regarded, especially among Shia Muslims, and sends most of its support to southern Lebanon.(MORE)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Hizbullah, Hamas & Islamic Jihad are...

Hizbullah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad are designated as terrorist organizations by the US State Department. These designations are recognized and observed.

American Muslims must obey the laws of the US, which includes not donating or giving any material support to any organization desginated by our government as a terrorist group.

Walid comments regarding raids on charities today in Dearborn

Al Mabarrat charitable foundation was raided today without any arrests or charges against it from the government similiar to the raid last year on LIFE for Relief & Development. Al Mabarrat is still open for business like LIFE. Unfortantely, these charities may continue to have suspicion cast over them, and may never get their days in court to clear their names from suspicion.

I repeat that it is still LEGAL to donate to Al-Mabarrat as well as LIFE.

Goodwill Charities, a virtually unknown charity in the Muslim community, was raided and closed today due to the US Department of Treasury's release this morning regarding groups that may have ties to Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hizbullah. The raid regarding Goodwill was not a low level decision from the district US Attorney in my view, but a high level one originating from Washington DC.

The timing of today's raids coincided with the first day of the Holy Land Foundation Trial in Texas, the 1st major Muslim charity to be charged with terror related crimes. Many in the Detroit Muslim community have suspicion based upon history that today's directive from the US Department of Treasurer was released on this day for political purposes and to further taint the trial and public opinion surrounding Holy Land Foundation trial and Muslim charities in general.

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070724/NEWS02/70724034/1048/SPORTS

Fund-raising offices in Dearborn raided on suspicion of terrorist ties
July 24, 2007

By NIRAJ WARIKOO

FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER

Federal agents are raiding today the Dearborn offices of two charities suspected of having ties to terrorist groups in the Middle East.

A Dearborn police officer guarded the entrance to the office of the Goodwill Charitable Organization, a fund-raising office established by the Martyrs Foundation in Dearborn, on Warren Avenue, tucked between a grocery store and an import store.

The charity is not affiliated with Goodwill Industries, said Christine Bragale, spokeswoman for Goodwill Industries International.

Goodwill Industries International has sent the Muslim charity a letter in the past to get it to stop using the Goodwill name, Bragale said.

In Dearborn, several uniformed and plainclothes law enforcement officials shuttled in and out of the office, while bystanders and neighbors stood by watching.

The government also has frozen the assets of the Goodwill Charitable Organization, according to the news release.

"We will continue to target those who form the financial backbone of Hizballah, Hamas, PIJ and other terrorist groups that are attempting to destabilize Lebanon and target innocent civilians," said Stuart Levey, under secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, in the news release. "We will not allow organizations that support terrorism to raise money in the United States or to evade our measures and continue to operate simply by changing their names."

A search warrant was executed at the Goodwill Charitable Organization office, according to Imad Hamad, regional director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.

According to the Treasury, the Martyrs Foundation "channels financial support from Iran to several terrorist organizations’’ including “Hizballah, Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ)."

Federal agents are also raiding the Al-Mabarrat Charitable Organization, which has a Dearborn office on Schaefer Road, north of Warren Avenue.

Agents with the FBI, IRS, and the U.S. Secret Service were seen hauling away files and placing them into a van outside the office. Al-Mabarrat, whose headquarters is based in Lebanon, has held fund-raisers in metro Detroit in recent years.

Also, the FBI is holding a meeting this afternoon with Muslim leaders at the Islamic House of Wisdom in Dearborn Heights to discuss the raids, according to Dawud Walid, head of the Michigan branch of the Council on American Islamic Relations.

The meeting will include Imam Mohammed Elahi, who heads the mosque, and Walid.(MORE)

http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070724/UPDATE/707240430

Feds raid charity suspected of aiding Hezbollah

Paul Egan / The Detroit News

DEARBORN -- Federal agents this morning raided the offices of two Dearborn charities, shutting down one of the charities but making no arrests.

The raids were part of a crackdown announced by the Treasury Department in Washington D.C. against alleged financial supporters of Hezbollah and the Iranian Martyrs Foundation.

At about 10 a.m., members of the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force entered the offices of the Goodwill Charitable Organization Inc. at 13112 W. Warren Ave.

At about the same time, federal agents raided the nearby Al-Mabarrat Charitable Organization at 7415 Schaefer Rd. in Dearborn. Unlike the Goodwill Charitable Organization, Al-Mabarrat will be allowed to remain open, said Dawud Walid, local director of the Council on American Islamic Relations, who was briefed by the FBI.(MORE)

http://www.examiner.com/a-844545~U_S__accuses_Dearborn_charity_of_helping_Hezbollah_terror_group.html

Dawud Walid, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said the meeting was a courtesy to local leaders, but he's concerned any time an issue like this is raised in the Arab American community.

"We're fearful there might be a backlash against our mosque or individual Muslims," Walid said.(MORE)

Monday, July 23, 2007

More coverage on extremely successful CAIR-MI banquet


http://www.wrmea.com/archives/July_2007/0707046b.html

Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, July 2007, pages 46-47

Muslim-American Activism

CAIR-MI Annual Fund-raising Banquet a Remarkable Success

MORE THAN 1,200 people—Muslims and non-Muslims alike—flocked to the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Dearborn, MI for the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) of Michigan’s annual fund-raising banquet, dubbed “One Nation Under God.” This year’s event featured critically acclaimed British author and journalist Robert Fisk as a keynote speaker, and Bill Gallagher, an Emmy Award-winning news reporter with Fox 2 Detroit News.

CAIR is the premier civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States working to protect the rights and civil liberties of Muslims in America. Based in Washington, DC, where Dr. Nihad Awad is its national director, CAIR now has 32 chapters across the United States.

The CAIR Michigan chapter, under the direction of Dawud Walid, who has served as executive director since July 2005, was established by several prominent Muslim community members nearly eight years ago. Walid described the past year’s accomplishments and CAIR’s unremitting efforts to combat bias, injustice and discrimination against Muslims in Michigan and surrounding areas. Dr. Jukaku Tayeb, the CAIR-MI president, encouraged attendees to continue their moral and financial support of the organization.

Fisk, a resident of Beirut, Lebanon for nearly 30 years and the Middle East correspondent for the UK’s The Independent, delivered a powerful and sometimes humorous address on the Middle East crisis, the injustices committed daily, and media bias. After discussing Iraq, Iran, and the divisions between Muslims, he turned to the U.S. and British administrations, Western interference and conspiracies in the Middle East.

“I tried to calculate for an article just how many Western soldiers were in the Islamic world today compared to the 12th century Crusades,” said Fisk. “There are 22 times more Western soldiers in the Islamic world today than Crusaders had in 1187,” he noted.

“I have said this equation before in Detroit: ‘the Americans must leave Iraq and the Americans will leave Iraq, and the Americans can’t leave Iraq.’ That is the equation that turns sand into blood,” Fisk warned.

As he recounted numerous astounding reports by such journalists as Thomas Friedman, Daniel Pipes and David Brooks, the crowd tried to stifle their laughter and gasps.

Fisk lampooned USA Today writer Ralph Peters, a retired U.S. Army officer, who wrote about why he supported the invasion: “I supported the removal of Saddam Hussain. I believed that Arabs deserved a chance to build a rule-of-law democracy in the Middle East. Based upon firsthand experience, I was convinced that the Middle East was so politically, socially, morally and intellectually stagnant that we had to risk intervention—or face generations of terrorism and tumult. I still believe that our removal of Hussain was a noble act.

“I only wish the administration had done it competently.”

“You see?” Fisk asked. “You see the white man’s burden that we are going to rescue all these guys…forget about regime change, weapons of mass destruction, or al-Qaeda.”

Fisk continued skewering Peters by quoting the writer, who first declared ”Only a military coup—which might come in the next few years—could hold the artificial country together.” Peters went on to say, “Yet, for all our errors, we did give the Iraqis a unique chance to build a rule-of-law democracy. They preferred to indulge in old hatreds, confessional violence, ethnic bigotry and a culture of corruption. It appears that the cynics were right: Arab societies can’t support democracy as we know it. And people get the government they deserve.”

Shaking his head, Fisk said, “Yes, Yes...we are witnessing the collapse of a civilization, but it’s OK folks…we can frighten some more people with our failures in Iraq. Do you see what is happening?”

In his compelling conclusion, to thundering applause and a standing ovation, Fisk stated: “Ladies and gentlemen, you know, I was struck when I listened to Barack Obama (D-IL) when he told his supporters that America’s primary concern in the Middle East is the security of Israel. He was wrong!” exclaimed Fisk. “America’s primary concern in the Middle East must be the security of all who live there, including the Israelis; Muslims, and Christians, as well as Jews, Arabs as well as Israelis.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” Fisk concluded, “democracy cannot be built on the sand of the desert. It can be built only if it is built upon justice; justice for all people of the Middle East.”

To learn more about CAIR Michigan and how to support its efforts, visit or call 1-248-559-2247.

—Suehaila M. Amen

40 years after the civil unrest in Detroit

National attention has been on Detroit in the past week due to the 40th anniversary of the civil unrest, which 43 people lost their lives and hundreds were injured and arrested.

My father, who lived in the area of the civil unrest, was home for summer break from college. Based upon my conversations with him and others who lived in that area, they feel that the mainstream media is deemphasing some important aspects that led to the civil unrest.

1) The incident at the "Blind Pig" was primarily based upon the neighborhood blacks feeling like the police was an occupying force within the community, not peace officers. The purported reason of economic disparities between blacks and whites being a trigger was not the main issue at all. Black males, including my father, were routinely harassed, robbed and brutalized by the police. A squad called the "Big 4," which came before the infamous "STRESS" were known for this criminal behavior. Prior to the "Blind Pig" incident, 3 black males were killed by the police in the Algiers Hotel because they were with white women in a hotel room. Like Malcolm X said, "The Klu Klux Klan traded in their sheets for police badges." The "Blind Pig" incident was just the straw that broke the camels back.

2) The civil unrest cannot be simplified as "black uprising" against whites. Blacks were the fatalities during in July 1967. Blacks were not going around killing white folks in the "hood" as some would lead the public to believe. Whites still lived in the "hood" during the unrest and were helping themselves to store merchandise when the looting was taking place with their fellow black Detroiters.

The looting and violence that took place during the civil unrest was defintely wrong and illegal. Even more repugnant was the oppression, injustice and social conditions that set the enviroment for the 5 days of madness during that "hot summer."

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Commentary on the 'White man's burden' in Africa

http://www.delawareonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070722/OPINION09/707220314/1110/OPINION

Stop trying to ‘save’ Africa
By Uzodinma Iweala
Special to The Washington Post
07-22-2007

Last fall, shortly after I returned from Nigeria, I was accosted by a perky blond college student whose blue eyes seemed to match the “African” beads around her wrists.

“Save Darfur!” she shouted from behind a table covered with pamphlets urging students to TAKE ACTION NOW! STOP GENOCIDE IN DARFUR!

My aversion to college kids jumping onto fashionable social causes nearly caused me to walk on, but her next shout stopped me.

“Don’t you want to help us save Africa?” she yelled.

It seems that these days, wracked by guilt at the humanitarian crisis it has created in the Middle East, the West has turned to Africa for redemption. Idealistic college students, celebrities such as Bob Geldof and politicians such as Tony Blair have all made bringing light to the dark continent their mission. They fly in for internships and fact-finding missions or to pick out children to adopt in much the same way my friends and I in New York take the subway to the pound to adopt stray dogs.

This is the West’s new image of itself: a sexy, politically active generation whose preferred means of spreading the word are magazine spreads with celebrities pictured in the foreground, forlorn Africans in the back. Never mind that the stars sent to bring succor to the natives often are, willingly, as emaciated as those they want to help.

Perhaps most interesting is the language used to describe the Africa being saved. For example, the Keep a Child Alive/“I am African” ad campaign features portraits of primarily white, Western celebrities with painted “tribal markings” on their faces above “I AM AFRICAN” in bold letters. Below, smaller print says, “help us stop the dying.”

Such campaigns, however well intentioned, promote the stereotype of Africa as a black hole of disease and death. News reports constantly focus on the continent’s corrupt leaders, warlords, “tribal” conflicts, child laborers, and women disfigured by abuse and genital mutilation. These descriptions run under headlines like “Can Bono Save Africa?” or “Will Brangelina Save Africa?” The relationship between the West and Africa is no longer based on openly racist beliefs, but such articles are reminiscent of reports from the heyday of European colonialism, when missionaries were sent to Africa to introduce us to education, Jesus Christ and “civilization.”

There is no African, myself included, who does not appreciate the help of the wider world, but we do question whether aid is genuine or given in the spirit of affirming one’s cultural superiority. My mood is dampened every time I attend a benefit whose host runs through a litany of African disasters before presenting a (usually) wealthy, white person, who often proceeds to list the things he or she has done for the poor, starving Africans. Every time a well-meaning college student speaks of villagers dancing because they were so grateful for her help, I cringe. Every time a Hollywood director shoots a film about Africa that features a Western protagonist, I shake my head — because Africans, real people though we may be, are used as props in the West’s fantasy of itself. And not only do such depictions tend to ignore the West’s prominent role in creating many of the unfortunate situations on the continent, they also ignore the incredible work Africans have done and continue to do to fix those problems.

Why do the media frequently refer to African countries as having been “granted independence from their colonial masters,” as opposed to having fought and shed blood for their freedom? Why do Angelina Jolie and Bono receive overwhelming attention for their work in Africa while Nwankwo Kanu or Dikembe Mutombo, Africans both, are hardly ever mentioned? How is it that a former mid-level U.S. diplomat receives more attention for his cowboy antics in Sudan than do the numerous African Union countries that have sent food and troops and spent countless hours trying to negotiate a settlement among all parties in that crisis?

Two years ago I worked in a camp for internally displaced people in Nigeria, survivors of an uprising that killed about 1,000 people and displaced 200,000. True to form, the Western media reported on the violence but not on the humanitarian work the state and local governments — without much international help — did for the survivors. Social workers spent their time and in many cases their own salaries to care for their compatriots. These are the people saving Africa, and others like them across the continent get no credit for their work.

Last month the Group of Eight industrialized nations and a host of celebrities met in Germany to discuss, among other things, how to save Africa. Before the next such summit, I hope people will realize Africa doesn’t want to be saved. Africa wants the world to acknowledge that through fair partnerships with other members of the global community, we ourselves are capable of unprecedented growth.

Uzodinma Iweala is the author of “Beasts of No Nation,” a novel about child soldiers.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Walid gives sermon - "Knowing purpose in worship"

The following sermon was delivered yesterday at the Islamic Center of Detroit (Tireman)in Detroit, Michigan.

Cut & paste to listen:
http://media.putfile.com/Knowing-purpose-in-worship

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Message for Friday - Worship means knowing purpose

alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5089100531683103634" />

G'd says in the Qur'an (51:56): I did not create jinn nor men except to worship me [alone]."

According to the Qur'anic concept of creation, all created beings are patterned upon their natures, which are in servitude to G'd. The nature of humans in their intrinsic innocence obeys the natural laws that govern the universe.

Once humans in their innocent state come under the influence of elders, whose natures has been corrupted, humans are in need of clear commands and prohibitions to guide their natures back into accordance with the natural laws. These commands have been revealed in the Divine scriptures, taught be prophets, messengers and saintly people.

An animal, however, can obey commands. Train a dog to sit and command it to sit, and it will. So although humans are to obey ordinances, this is not complete worship for humans because the human creation is above the creation of the entire kingdom and even angels for that matter.

هُوَ الَّذِي جَعَلَكُمْ خَلَائِفَ فِي الْأَرْضِ فَمَنْ كَفَرَ فَعَلَيْهِ كُفْرُهُ

G'd says (6:165): It is He [G'd}, who made you vicegerents in the earth. And whoever rejects, disbelief is upon him.

The lives of humans, if lived in accordance with the logic of the Qur'an, are to bring about maturation of existence from an innocent baby like state that is inclined to acting upon natural emotions and sentiments to a more disciplined being that can obey and adhere to laws to a mature life that has innocent intentions, obeys ordinances and observes, rationalizes and discovers new realms of science to assistance in the role of custodian of the material world.

This is already in the nature of all humans; the consciousness only needs to understand this reality to develope and act in accordance with this created purpose to fully worship G'd. So many have been dumbed down to think about irrevelant matters that they do not realize their own human potential.

And surely G'd knows best.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

C-SPAN video discussing cartoons and Islamophobia

The following video was shown on C-SPAN on 7/5/07. CAIR-MI staff was featured in the beginning of a presentation at the Association of American Cartoonists conference.

Cut & paste to view:
Assoc. of American Editorial Cartoonists Panel on "Caricaturing a Nation"
http://www.c-span.org/VideoArchives.asp?CatCodePairs=,&ArchiveDays=100&Page=12

Revisiting the facts regarding "foot bath" controversy at U of M - Dearborn

Regarding the ongoing controversy about the scheduled installation of "foot baths" at the University of Michigan - Dearborn, I'd like to present the following facts:

Fact #1 - The installation of the foot baths at the University of Michigan - Dearborn in two unisex bathrooms are not Muslim only bathrooms. They are open to the entire public regardless of their gender or religion.

Fact #2 - Safety modifications are frequently made in public areas when the need arises. The university cannot legally say that no one can wash their feet for prayer or any other reason. Having people wash their feet in high traffic bathrooms causing the floor to get wet presents a safety hazard to all that enter.

Fact #3 - Most people get grossed out seeing someone washing their feet in a face bowl. For hygiene purposes, people would shy away from using a face bowl where someone just washed their feet in it.

Fact #4 - Public educational institutions factor in religious needs all the time. Although masked in non-religious language, schools close during Christmas and Easter time because it would not be feasible to leave the schools open when a vast majority of the students are going to be absent. In the Philadelphia and New York City, schools are closed for Yom Kippur for the same reason, right? If any district or university has a sizeable religious population outside of these two, should they not be accomodated as well?

The ACLU's position of not fighting the foot bath issue is based upon facts #1 and #2. The hypocrisy of the whole situation, however, resides in fact #4. The loudest voices against the "footh bath" situation are themselves fundamentalists within their own faiths, bordering on being zealots. Their Islamophobic rhetoric is veiled under the guise of separation of church and state. The zealots, however, have no problem with their faiths being accomodated.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Walid - keynote speaker at diversity festival in Kalamazoo

Yesterday, the 5th Annual Ethnic Diversity Celebration was held in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The event, sponsored by New Latino Visions, included various musical and dance selections from diverse ethnic and religious groups.

Cut & paste to listen to the following comments made at the festival:

http://media. putfile.com/ Kalamazoo- Ethnic-Diversity -Festival

http://media. putfile.com/ Kalamazoo- Ethnic-Diversity -Festival- Part-II

Walid gives sermon regarding diversity

The following sermon was delivered at the Kalamazoo Islamic Center in Kalamazoo, Michigan on July 13, 2007.

Cut & paste to listen:
http://media.putfile.com/Sermon-about-diversity

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Message for Friday - The Excellence of Beneficence

خير الناس من نفع النلس

Prophet Muhammad (SAAS) said, "The best of the people is the one who benefits people."

خير الناس فعالا

And he (SAAS) also said, "The best of the people is the productive person."

All societies recognize the merits of those who work and construct plans that benefit the masses of the people.

To benefit the masses, however, one has to help themself firstly.

A Muslim should seek to benefit and empower in the following order:

1) One's own soul
2) Family members
3) Muslim community
4) One's tribe/ethnic group
5) One's nation
6) All of humanity

Logically, a person cannot be of much benefit to others without self-empowerment. Furthermore, it is irrational for a person to seek to benefit people half way around the world while their own family or people in their own close sphere of influence are suffering.

And surely G'd knows best.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Walid gives sermon regarding justice and terrorism

Today's sermon was delivered at the Islamic Center of Toledo in Perrysburg, Ohio.

Cut & paste to listen:
http://media.putfile.com/Being-just-and-promoting-it

Court overturns lower court ruling on Un-American warrantless wiretapping program

Some points to ponder:

1) The Bush administration admitted, after being exposed, that it purposely ignored Federal law in regarding to obtaining warrants under the FISA court to monitor international calls of US residents.

2) The court ruling states that the parties that filed suit against the National Security Agency could not prove that they were being spied on because the evidence is secret. Does this mean that after the government admits to illegally spying, no one can file suit against the government if they saw that their evidence is all secret?

3) The Department of Justice applauds today's decision when they are suppose to charge government officials with knowingly breaking the law, right?

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070706/NEWS06/70706033/1009/NEWS07

Federal appeals court overturns wiretap ruling made last August
July 6, 2007

By NIRAJ WARIKOO

FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER

A federal appeals court panel today vacated an order by a federal judge in Detroit that ruled that the Bush Administration's wiretapping program was unconstitutional -- a move that concerned local civil rights advocates and Muslim leaders.

In a 2-1 vote, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati said that the plaintiffs, which included local Muslim and Arab-American groups, could not prove they have been harmed by a National Security Agency spying program created in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The Bush administration argued that such a program was legal and necessary to defend the nation from terrorism.

But the American Civil Liberties Union, along with groups and attorneys based in Michigan, filed a lawsuit in Detroit in January 2006 saying that the government’s surveillance program was unconstitutional and interfered with their jobs.

U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor in Detroit ruled in favor of the plaintiffs last August...

Dawud Walid, head of the Michigan branch of the Council on American Islamic Relations, one of the co-plaintiffs, said: “It’s a shame that the court overturned the decision... what the executive branch was doing was unconstitutional.”(MORE)

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Walid on C-SPAN addressing political cartoons

Tune into C SPAN at 1:10 AM EST or 5:55 AM EST on 7//6/07 to view the Association of American Cartoonist seminar on political cartoons entitled "Caricaturing a Nation."

SEE: http://inside.c-spanarchives.org:8080/cspan/schedule.csp

View C SPAN live at http://www.c-span.org/watch/cs_cspan_rm.asp?Cat=TV&Code=CS

Islam is against terrorism and political violence against civilians

The following is a reposting of message from September 7, 2006:

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Terrorism, the unlawful or threaten use of force or violence against a group of people or government that is driven by an ideological or political aspiration, is strictly forbidden in Islam. In the Qur’an and Prophetic traditions (ahadeeth), there is no formal term called terrorism. However, prohibition of aspects of the modern term called terrorism, are addressed.

Aspects of Terrorism addressed in the Qur’an and ahadeeth:

Vigilantism is prohibited:

The Qur’an (6:151) - … Do not kill a person/soul, which G’d has made sacred except by what is right [and just].
وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا النَّفْسَ الَّتِي حَرَّمَ اللَّهُ إِلَّا بِالْحَقِّ

Killing of civilians is prohibited:

The Qur’an – (2:190) - And fight in the way of G’d with those who fight with you, and do not exceed the limits, surely G’d does not love those who exceed the limits.
وَقَاتِلُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ الَّذِينَ يُقَاتِلُونَكُمْ وَلَا تَعْتَدُوا إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُعْتَدِينَ

In Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim, Musnad Ahmad and Sunan Abi Dawud, it is recorded that that the Prophet Muhammad (SAAS) came across a deceased woman at a battle, and he communicated his disdain for the killing of women and children.
وَجَدْت اِمْرَأَة فِي بَعْض مَغَازِي النَّبِيّ - صَلَّى اللَّه عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ - مَقْتُولَة فَأَنْكَرَ رَسُول اللَّه - صَلَّى اللَّه عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ - قَتْل النِّسَاء وَالصِّبْيَان

Torture is prohibited:

As-Seerah by Ibn Hishaam - `Umar said to the Messenger of G’d (SAAS), Oh Messenger of G’d! Let me pull out the front teeth of Suhayl; his tongue will stick out, and he will not be able to speak against you again. The Messenger of G’d (SAAS) said: No, I will not multilate him, so G’d will not multilate me, even though I am a prophet.
فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : لا أمثل به فيمثل الله بي ، وإن كنت نبياً

Kitaab Al-Kharaaj by Abu Yusuf - From Sa`eed ibn Zayd that he passed by a people who were being coerced to stand in the sun in some part of Syria [Shaam]. He said, What is the matter with them? It was said to him, they have been made to stand in the sun for non-payment of the tax [jizyah]. He said that he disliked that and went to their leader and said, surely I heard the Messenger of G’d (SAAS) say: Whoever tortures people, G’d will punish him.
من عذب الناس عذبه الله

Suicide including suicide bombing is prohibited:

The Qur’an (4:29) – Do not kill yourselves.
وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا أَنْفُسَكُمْ

Physical jihad differs from terrorism. Jihad means exertion or struggle, which can include, but is not limited, taking up arms.

Jihad for self-defense:

The Qur’an (2:190) - And fight in the way of G’d with those who fight with you, and do not exceed the limits, surely G’d does not love those who exceed the limits.
وَقَاتِلُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ الَّذِينَ يُقَاتِلُونَكُمْ وَلَا تَعْتَدُوا إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُعْتَدِينَ

Jihad to liberate the oppressed:

The Qur’an (4:75) – And how should you not fight in the path of G’d and of the weak among men and of the women and the children who say: Our Lord! Bring us forth from out this town of which the people are oppressors! And give us from your presence a protecting friend! And give us from your presence a helper!
وَمَا لَكُمْ لَا تُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَالْمُسْتَضْعَفِينَ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ وَالنِّسَاءِ وَالْوِلْدَانِ الَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا أَخْرِجْنَا مِنْ هَذِهِ الْقَرْيَةِ الظَّالِمِ أَهْلُهَا وَاجْعَلْ لَنَا مِنْ لَدُنْكَ وَلِيًّا وَاجْعَلْ لَنَا مِنْ لَدُنْكَ نَصِيرًا

And surely G'd knows best.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Walid meets with Iraqi leader

http://www.hometownlife.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070703/NEWS06/70703004/1023

Iraqi MP tells of post-Saddam Iraq
By Stacy Jenkins
Staff writer

Conditions for the Turkmen people in northern Iraq are worse now than before the fall of Saddam Hussein.

That was the message from Dr. Sadettin Ergeç, a member of the Iraqi Parliament, who visited Farmington Hills Monday as part of his U.S. trip to raise awareness about the conditions the Turkmen ethnic group in northern Iraq is facing.

Ergeç also met with U.S. government officials at the State Department and the National Security Council in Washington D.C. and with United Nations officials in New York.

He was brought to speak at the Farmington Hills Manor by the International Visitors Council of Metropolitan Detroit board member John Akouri, of Farmington Hills, the Assembly of Turkish American Associations and Farmington Hills resident Nurten Ural, Honorary Consul General of the Republic of Turkey.

“We thought the Americans needed to hear this,” said Ural. “Many people do not know this. This type of news isn’t out there too much. There’s so much going on in Iraq that we don’t know about.”

Ergeç, who has survived five assassination attempts, said the Turkmen in northern Iraq are being over-taken by the Kurds, who have moved into the oil-rich Kirkuk area and destroyed the infrastructure. He said the Turkmen are not allowed to speak their language and their government buildings and documents have all been destroyed...

The Turkmen and other ethnic groups in Iraq will wait a long time, according to Dawud Walid, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, based in Southfield.

“Each group in Iraq claims to be the most oppressed,” said Walid. “And, each group has a grievance with another group — these are severe barriers to the healing process of the nation.”

Walid said the U.S. occupation in Iraq needs to end and the religious groups need to accept one another, for there to be a unified Iraq.

“Our nation’s occupation in Iraq is a catalyst for sectarian violence,” said Walid.

“It’s more than just a political situation, it’s a spiritual, psychological situation that needs to be addressed. The religious leadership in Iraq needs to come together, because spiritual healing needs to take place first.”(MORE)

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Walid gives "Know your rights" presentation

Tonight's presentation was given at Masjid Mu'adh bin Jabal in Detroit, Michigan, with English followed with Arabic translation.

Cut & paste to listen:
http://media.putfile.com/Know-your-rights-EnglishArabic

Blog Archive