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Archive for category Religion

PAKISTAN SHOULD NOT BAN YOUTUBE: PORTAL TO GLOBAL KNOWLEDGE OF ISLAM, QURAN & HADITH

YouTube ban: Ministry of IT says it doesn’t know how to block specific URLs

 
 
 

 

LHC turns down request to temporarily reopen video-sharing site. 

LAHORE: 

While turning down a request to temporarily reopen YouTube on Thursday, the Lahore High Court ordered the Ministry of Information Technology to tell the court, on July 25, how it could block access to specific URLs.

The video-sharing website has been blocked in Pakistan since September 2012 following protests about a 14-minute trailer of the film Innocence of Muslims.

The then prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf ordered the ban after YouTube refused to remove the movie from the website at the Pakistani government’s request.

Bytes For All, an NGO, moved the court in January seeking lifting of the ban.

On Thursday, the petitioner’s counsel told the court that instead of blocking access to the entire website, only the objectionable material could be blocked.

The Ministry, however, expressed its inability to do so.

Justice Mansoor Ali Shah remarked that he was not an expert on the matter and asked the Ministry to form a committee and invite suggestions from the public on how to block access to specific material.

The petition describes the ban as ‘counterproductive’ and one that deprives Pakistanis of the right to access information as well as the right to counter any propaganda against the country.

Taking away access to YouTube, says the petition, is the modern-day equivalent of “taking away the scholar’s pen”.

 

Published in The Express Tribune, July 5th, 2013.

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RICHARD SILVERSTEIN: Rabbi Yoffie Denounces Jewish Anti-Muslim Extremism

Rabbi Yoffie Denounces Jewish Anti-Muslim Extremism

It’s about time. Rabbi Eric Yoffie, leader of the Union of Reform Judaism, America’s most populous Jewish denomination delivered aringing affirmation of solidarity with this nation’s Muslim community at this week’s Islamic Society of North America conference. Not only did he endorse common bonds that tie Jews and Muslim like the fight against discrimination and our quest for spirituality in a secular world; he also directly attacked Jewish extremism that singles out Islam as a global threat. Frankly, I would’ve preferred that he come out swinging and named a few more names. It’s high time we take it to them. As it is, he only mentioned Dennis Prager by name. He left out the groups I’ve been battling here over the past few months like Campus Watch, Frontpagemagazine and the David Project.

I found it instructive in his speech where he discusses a mutual propensity to violence among extremists in both religions. Here is the ‘money quote’ in which he denounced the Jewish rabble-rousers among us:

The overwhelming majority of Jews reject violence by interpreting these texts in a constructive way, but a tiny, extremist [Jewish] minority chooses destructive interpretations instead, finding in the sacred words a vengeful, hateful God. Especially disturbing is the fact that the moderate majority, at least some of the time, decides to cower in the face of the fanatic minority — perhaps because they seem more authentic, or appear to have greater faith and greater commitment. When this happens, my task as a rabbi is to rally that reasonable, often-silent majority and encourage them to assert the moderate principles that define their beliefs and Judaism’s highest ideals. My Christian and Muslim friends tell me that precisely the same dynamic operates in their traditions, and from what I can see, that is manifestly so. Surely, as we know from the headlines, you have what I know must be for you as well as for us an alarming number of extremists of your own — those who kill in the name of God and hijack Islam in the process. It is therefore our collective task to strengthen and inspire one another as we fight the fanatics and work to promote the values of justice and love that are common to both our faiths.

This is a theme that I return to again and again here when pro-Israel nationalists attempt to paint Muslims as bloodthirsty fanatics and paint Israelis as reasonable people who merely want peace. Yoffie is precisely right in declaring that we each have violent elements within our respective traditions. Making peace means not only coming to terms with our enemy, it means overcoming the hatred within our own ranks as well.

Here again Yoffie tells his Muslim audience that Israel is a bedrock principle of American Jews in precisely the same way that Palestine is one for them:

American Jews have a deep, profound, and unshakable commitment to the State of Israel. We see assuring the security of Israel as one of our community’s most important accomplishments, and we see maintaining her security as one of our most important priorities. At the same time, we understand the ties of Muslim Americans and Arab Americans to the Palestinian people. The challenge that we face is this: Will we, Jews and Muslims, import the conflicts of the Middle East into America, or will we join together and send a message of peace to that troubled land? Let us choose peace. Let us work toward the day when a democratic Palestinian state lives side by side, in peace and security, with the democratic State of Israel.

Here I would’ve preferred more specificity from the Reform leader about what precisely American Jews must come to accept in order to fully recognize Palestinian rights. You’ll note there is no mention of a state, the issue of return or Jerusalem–all of which must be part of the solution for both sides:

The basic outline of such a peace has been clear for a long time. For peace to be achieved, territorial compromise will be required of Israel. Unconditional acceptance of Israel as a Jewish state will be required of the Palestinians. Jews will need to accept the reality of Palestinian suffering, and understand that without dignity for the Palestinians, there can be no dignity for Israel.

Here Yoffie again makes a significant point about maintaining the conflict as a political, rather than religious one. But again he only notes the danger of Arab anti-Israelism but not the equal danger of Jewish Islamophobia which is no less potent an enemy of peace:

Second, if the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is seen in religious rather than political terms, resolving it becomes impossible. If Israel is portrayed as “a dagger pushed into the heart of Islam,” rather than a nation-state disputing matters of land and water with the Palestinians, we are lost. As religious Jews and religious Muslims, let us do everything in our power to prevent a political battle from being transformed into a holy war.

As he concludes, Yoffie saves his most important admonition for last, telling us that in each of our traditions we must renounce holy war and terror as a means to protect religion or advance our interests:

And finally, to all those who desecrate God’s name by using religion to justify killing and terror, let us say together: enough. No cause in the world, and surely no religious cause, can ever justify murdering the innocent or targeting the uninvolved. You cannot honor a religion of peace through violence; you cannot honor God if you do not honor the image of God in every human being; and you cannot get to heaven by creating hell on earth. If we can agree on nothing else, let us agree on this, and let us remain united on this point, come what may.

My only criticism is Yoffie’s lack of specificity. He holds back from denouncing sufficiently strongly those in our community who preach hatred and violence. Why shouldn’t it be time to name the Daniel Pipes, David Horowitzes and Mort Kleins of the world as the obstacles to peace that they are?

For that reason, I’m glad to read that Jewish Week, in an article which otherwise stokes the fires of mistrust, did provoke a more particular debate between Yoffie and Pipes. Here Pipes does his usual ranting about Muslim hatred of Jews. You’ll note that Stewart Ain gives Pipes the dubious distinction of being a “counter-terrorism expert” when the only thing he is “expert” in is fomenting mistrust of Muslims and Jews insufficiently supportive of Israel:

Daniel Pipes, founder and director of the Middle East Forum and a counter-terrorism expert, called Rabbi Yoffie’s outreach to ISNA “well-intentioned but very misguided.”

“There needs to be an acknowledgment that ISNA is an Islamic organization, Wahhabi in outlook, which is deeply problematic,” he said.

Wahhabi Islam is said to be the primary religious movement behind extremist Islam.

“Beyond ISNA’s own character is the question of Jewish-Muslim relations and whether this can be fixed through ‘Kumbaya’-like sessions such as Rabbi Yoffie’s,” Pipes said, “or whether there needs to be a frank acknowledgment that there is a deep current of anti-Semitism among Muslims in the United States that needs to be addressed.

“It is not a mutual situation,” he continued. “You don’t see mosques and Muslim schools being surrounded by security as you do synagogues and Jewish schools. There is no parallel. And what Rabbi Yoffie did was to build his base on a parallel — saying that there are problematic texts in the Jewish Old Testament as there are in the Koran, and saying that each side has its extremists. I think that is a flawed analysis and one that will have mischievous consequences if it is widely accepted.”

Yoffie, for his part, finally engages Pipes and refutes his partisan animus against Islam:

“The perspective that [Pipes] represents begins from the premise that the Muslim-American community is a dangerous community filled with anti-Semites,” the rabbi said. “There is a big difference between saying there are elements of anti-Semitism in a community that is basically moderate and well educated and middle class, and suggesting that the entire community is somehow dangerous. If you see the community in that sense, it does not make sense to engage in dialogue.”

Rabbi Yoffie insisted that the Muslim community is “conceivably the best educated minority in America” and that there “are significant elements of that community who are untouched by extremism and who are anxious to cooperate with us and with others.”

He said that at the ISNA convention he heard ISNA’s American vice president, Ingrid Mattson, speak three times and she repeatedly called for Israeli-Palestinian peace and to “stop the tie between Muslims and extremism.”

“She gave a speech Jewish leaders would give,” Rabbi Yoffie insisted.

images-4I’m afraid that Yoffie will have to do much more to combat the hatred promoted by the Pipes’ of our community. We cannot assume that peace will just happen between Israel and the Arabs, nor that Jews and Muslims will somehow learn to get along. Besides reaching out to the other side, we must set our own house in order as well. The Plauts, Neuwirths, Pipes, Kleins and even Hoenleins and Foxmans of our community must be firmly rebutted in order for tolerance to grow.

I take strong exception to this passage from Ain’s article in which he attempts to question Yoffie’s tolerance project by noting INSA’s involvement in the Holy Land Foundation federal case:

what makes the effort problematic is that the Muslim group Rabbi Yoffie has chosen to dialogue with is an unindicted co-conspirator in the Dallas trial now taking place against the Holy Land Foundation. The foundation is accused of raising funds for Hamas, the terrorist organization that has vowed to destroy Israel.

What especially distresses me is that the Jewish press seems to accept lock, stock and barrel that the Holy Land Foundation is a supporter of terror and that the unindicted co-conspirators have somehow done something illegal in abetting the Foundation’s terror agenda. First, the government has by no means proven its case. In fact, many legal observers feel it has an especially weak one. Second, the categorization of INSA as “unindicted co-conspirator” has no substantive meaning in terms of associating the group with any tangible nefarious activity. And if it has, let Pipes and his crew tell us what INSA has actually done that is against the law or even remotely tainted. He can’t because they haven’t. It’s as simple as that.

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COL.RIAZ JAFRI (Retd): THE PRAYER THAT SHOCKED THE WORLD.

THE PRAYER THAT SHOCKED THE WORLD.

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When Pastor Minister Joe Wright was asked to open the new session of the
Kansas Senate, everyone was expecting the usual generalities, but this is
what they heard:

“Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to
seek your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, “Woe to those who
call evil good”, but that is exactly what we have done. We have lost our
spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values.

We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery.
We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare..
We have killed our unborn and called it choice.
We have shot anti-abortionists and called it justifiable.
We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self
esteem.
We have terrorised the world and called the victims terrorists.
We have abused power and called it politics.
We have coveted our neighbour’s possessions and called it ambition.
We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it
freedom of expression.
We have ridiculed the time-honoured values of our forefathers and called it
enlightenment.

Search us, Oh, God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and
set us free. Amen
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Portrait of jewish man closing face with his hands while praying on a white isolated background Stock Photo - 6095218 

The response was immediate. A number of legislators walked out during the
prayer in protest.

In 6 short weeks, Central Christian Church, where Rev. Wright is
pastor, logged more than 5,000 phone calls with only 47 of those calls
responding negatively.

The church is now receiving international requests for copies of this prayer
from India , Africa and Korea .

Commentator Paul Harvey aired this prayer on his radio program, “The Rest of
the Story,” and received a larger response to this program than any other he
has ever aired.

With the Lord’s help, may this prayer sweep over our nation and
whole-heartedly become our desire so that we again can be called: “one
nation under God.”

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COL.RIAZ JAFRI (Retd): Well Done, Qadri !

 Letter to Editor – Well Done, Qadri !

January 18th, 2013

  

thumb.phpMuch to the dismay of professional, corrupt and hereditary politicians and to the envious anguish of politico religious clerics, allama Qadri has had his way to a great extent in getting the Islamabad Long March Declaration signed by the government. Apart from his resolute and extremely good  organizational capabilities he owes it all to the courage, determination, resilience, dedication and perseverance of the thousands of the Long March heroes – old and young, women – again old and young and the children including infants who braved the great ordeal under the most extreme climatic ravages of cold, rain and chilly winds for the five long days and nights under the open skies in the blue.

 

Not only that, it was probably the largest rally in the world which displayed unbelievable sense of discipline and dedication and was a most peaceful rally where under very trying and  adverse conditions not a blade of grass was damaged, not a stone was hurled nor a drop of blood was shed. And yet they achieved their objective. The rally went a long way in demolishing the image of Pakistanis as the ranting extremists and instead portrayed the real face of Pakistan and the Pakistanis to the world. I salute one and all of them and to the nation that they belong to.

 

 

“Zara num ho to yeh mitti badi zarkhez hai saqi” – Allama Iqbal.

 

Col. Riaz Jafri (Retd)

Rawalpindi 
Pakistan
E.mail: jafri@rifiela.com

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Qadiyanis Exposed by Dr. Israr Ahmad (Rahmatullahi Alaihi): Modern Islamic Thinker


 

 

Dr. Israr Ahmed, (Urdu: اسراراحمد, born April 26, 1932) is a Pakistan-based Muslim religious figure who has been described as well-known among Muslims in Pakistan, India, the Middle East, and North America.[1] Born in East Punjab, (now part of Haryana) in India, the second son of a government servant, he is the founder of the Tanzeem-e-islami, an off-shoot of the Jamaat-e-Islami. 

 
He has spent the “last forty years” actively engaged in “reviving the Qur’an-centered Islamic perennial philosophy and world-view” with “the ultimate objective of establishing a true Islamic State, or the System of Khilafah.” [1] Ahmed is skeptical of the efficacy of “parliamentary politics of give-and-take” in establishing an “Islamic politico-socio-economic system” as implementing this system is a “revolutionary process”.
 
Early life and education
 
Dr. Israr Ahmad was born on April 26, 1932 in Hisar (a district of East Punjab, now a part of Haryana) in India, the second son of a government servant. He graduated from King Edward Medical College (Lahore) in 1954 and later received his Master’s degree in Islamic Studies from the University of Karachi in 1965. He came under the influence of Abul Ala Maududi as a young student, worked briefly for Muslim Student’s Federation in the Independence Movement and, following the creation of Pakistan in 1947, for the Islami Jamiyat-e-Talaba and then for the Jamaat-e-Islami. Dr. Israr Ahmad resigned from the Jama`at in April 1957 because of its involvement in the electoral politics, which he believed was irreconcilable with the revolutionary methodology adopted by the Jama’at in the pre-1947 period.
 
 
Religious work
 
 
While still a student and an activist of the Islami Jami`yat-e-Talaba, Dr. Israr Ahmad became a Mudarris (or teacher) of the Qur’an. Even after resigning from the Jama`at, he continued to give Qur’anic lectures in different cities of Pakistan, and especially after 1965 spent a great deal of time studying the Quran.
 
In 1967 Dr. Israr Ahmadin wrote “Islamic Renaissance: The Real Task Ahead”, a tract explaining his basic belief. This was that a rebirth of Islam would be possible only by revitalizing Iman (faith) among the Muslims — particularly educated Muslims — and the propagation of the Qur’anic teachings in contemporary idiom and at the highest level of scholarship is necessary to revitalize Iman. This undertaking would remove the existing dichotomy between modern physical and social sciences on the one hand, and Islamic revealed knowledge on the other.
 
In 1971 Ahmad gave up his medical practice to devote himself full time to the Islamic revival. In 1972 he established or helped establish the Markazi Anjuman Khuddam-ul-Qur’an Lahore, Tanzeem-e-Islami was founded in 1975, and Tahreek-e-Khilafat Pakistan was launched in 1991.
 
Dr. Israr Ahmad first appeared on Pakistan Television in 1978 in a program called Al-Kitab; this was followed by other programs, known as Alif Lam Meem, Rasool-e-Kamil, Umm-ul-Kitab and the most popular of all religious programs in the history of Pakistan Television, the Al-Huda, which made him a household name throughout the country.[citation needed] Although he did not like to receive it personally, Dr. Israr Ahmad was awarded Sitara-i-Imtiaz in 1981. He has to his credit over 60 Urdu books on topics related to Islam and Pakistan, 9 of which have been translated into English and other languages.
  
While still a student and an activist of the Islami Jami`yat-e-Talaba, Dr. Israr Ahmad gained considerable fame and eminence as a Mudarris (or teacher) of the Holy Qur’an. Even after resigning from the Jama`at, he continued to give Qur’anic lectures in different cities of Pakistan, and especially after 1965 he has, according to his own disclosure, invested the better part of his physical and intellectual abilities in the learning and teaching of the Qur’anic wisdom.
 
 Dr. Israr Ahmad wrote an extremely significant tract in 1967 in which he explained his basic thought — that an Islamic Renaissance is possible only by revitalizing the Iman (true faith and conviction) among the Muslims, particularly their intelligentsia. The revitalization of Iman, in turn, is possible only by the propagation of the Qur’anic teachings and presenting the everlasting wisdom of the Book of Allah (SWT) in contemporary idiom and at the highest level of scholarship. This undertaking is essential in order to remove the existing dichotomy between modern physical and social sciences on the one hand and the knowledge revealed by Almighty Allah (SWT) on the other. This tract is available in English as “Islamic Renaissance: The Real Task Ahead”.
 
 
Dr. Israr Ahmad gave up his thriving medical practice in 1971 in order to launch a full-fledged and vigorous movement for the revival of Islam. As a result of his efforts, the Markazi Anjuman Khuddam-ul-Qur’an Lahore was established in 1972, Tanzeem-e-Islami was founded in 1975, and Tahreek-e-Khilafat Pakistan was launched in 1991.
  
Dr. Israr Ahmad first appeared on Pakistan Television in 1978 in a program called Al-Kitab; this was followed by other programs, known as Alif Lam Meem, Rasool-e-Kamil, Umm-ul-Kitab and the most popular of all religious programs in the history of Pakistan Television, the Al-Huda, which made him a household name throughout the country. Although he did not like to receive it personally, Dr. Israr Ahmad was awarded Sitara-e-Imtiaz in 1981. He has to his credit over 60 Urdu books on topics related to Islam and Pakistan, 9 of which have been translated into English and other languages.
 
 In the context of Qur’anic exegesis and understanding, Dr. Israr Ahmad is a firm traditionalist of the genre of Maulana Mehmood Hassan Deobandi and Allama Shabeer Ahmad Usmani; yet he presents Qur’anic teachings in a scientific and enlightened way, being also a disciple of Allama Iqbal and Dr. Muhammad Rafiuddin, and also because of his own background in science and medicine. Concerning the internal coherence of and the principles of deep reflection in the Qur’an, he has essentially followed the thinking of Maulana Hameed Uddin Farahi and Maulana Ameen Ahsan Islahi, though even here he has further developed their line of argument. Dr. Israr Ahmad believes in a dynamic and revolutionary conception of Islam, and in this regard he is a disciple of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and Maulana Sayyid Abul A`la Maududi.
  
For the last forty years or so, Dr. Israr Ahmad has been actively engaged not only in reviving the Qur’an-centered Islamic perennial philosophy and world-view but also reforming the society in a practical way with the ultimate objective of establishing a true Islamic State, or the System of Khilafah. He has widely traveled abroad and the audio and video tapes of his Qur’anic discourses in Urdu and English languages have circulated in thousands throughout the world.
  
A master’s thesis, entitled Dr. Israr Ahmad’s Political Thought and Activities, was written by Ms. Shagufta Ahmad in the Islamic Studies department of Canada’s Mac Gill University. This thesis is available from Markazi Anjuman Khuddam-ul-Qur’an Lahore.
 
Dr. Israr Ahmed relinquished the leadership of Tanzeem-e-Islami in October, 2002  on grounds of bad health and Hafiz Aakif Saeed is the present Ameer of the Tanzeem to whom all rufaqaa of Tanzeem renewed their pledge of Baiyah.
 
 
 

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