Is Islam for Germany and Separation of Mosque-Church and State?
Source / Courtesy: The Review of Religions
On the 2nd Day of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Germany’s Annual Convention (Jalsa Salana) on 25th June 2011, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba), Khalifatul Masih V, Fifth Successor to the Promised Messiah(as) and Head of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, delivered an address to an audience of over 300 non-Ahmadi guests. The majority of the guests were of German origin, whilst delegations from Macedonia, Slovenia, Kosovo, Bosnia, Albania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Malta, Hungary, Lithuania, Estonia, and various Arab countries were also in attendance. The guests included people from various professions, including doctors, teachers, lawyers, politicians, as well as ordinary citizens. We present below the transcript of the address delivered by Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba):
After reciting Tashhahud, Ta’awwudh and Bismillah, Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba) said:
All the distinguished guests: Assalamo ‘Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahe Wa Barakatohu – Peace and blessings of Allah be upon you all.
First of all I would like to thank all of the guests who, despite not being a part of our religion, are attending this event taking place within our Annual Convention. This program today has been organized specifically for our non-Ahmadi friends, and indeed the majority, or at least quite a number of guests, are non-Muslim.
Certainly, your attendance at this event demonstrates your broad-mindedness, whereby as citizens of Germany, you appreciate that it is important to understand and recognize each another, irrespective of religious differences.
A large majority of the Ahmadis in Germany are not of German origin. In fact, apart from just a few people, the vast majority are of either Pakistani or Asian origin. This shows that not only have you come here irrespective of religious differences, but also irrespective of national and cultural differences.
It is said that some of Germany’s indigenous population has Asian ancestry. It may seem that many of the world’s nations are divided by their cultures and languages, but the truth is that their cultures and languages often have common roots.
If we look, for example, at the case of the Indo-Pak sub-continent, we observe that for a very long period various nations came and inhabited its lands. If we look just at Pakistan, we find that dozens of tribes and ‘brotherhood’ systems existed. Over many eras these distinct groups came to form one nation.
Look at the true picture of Islam portrayed by the Ahmadiyya community. It is on these teachings that you should base your judgment.
In this speech, Khalifatul Masih V, Hadrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad has also stressed, separation of Mosque-Church and State. He says:
In one verse, the Holy Qur’an teaches us that: there should be no compulsion in matters of faith (Ch.2:V.257). Some of you may not be aware that this verse was revealed when the Holy Prophet of Islam (saw) had already established a government in Madinah. At the time, a covenant had already been made with the Jews and other tribes, and a functioning system of government was in place in which the Holy Prophet (saw) had already been accepted as Head of State. The injunction to keep religion and government independent of each other was revealed at that time and in those circumstances, even though the difference between right and wrong had become manifest, and even though the Muslims believed their religion to be true and their teachings to be unparalleled.
With this injunction it became clear that these excellent teachings were to be spread through love and affection, rather than by force or by acting unjustly towards others. Allah has said that a requirement for a just government is that it should separate religious matters from matters of State, and every citizen should be afforded his due rights.
This principle is absolute and without exception, to the extent that you must act justly even with those people who have displayed hatred towards you, and who
due to this opposition have persecutedyou repeatedly in every possible way. The Holy Qur’an states:
O ye who believe! Be steadfast in the cause of Allah, bearing witness in equity; and let not a people’s enmity incite you to act otherwise than with justice. Be always just, that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah. Surely, Allah is Aware of what you do. (Ch.5:V.9)
This is the key principle to running a government, that religion should play no part in it. Religious differences should not be an obstacle to the implementation of justice.
To read more click here
The Muslim Times featuring a BBC Documentary: the Life of Muhammad
Producer Rageh Omaar
This is a wonderful three part documentary, three hours long! The documentary proceeds in a chronological fashion based on the life of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace be on him and the third part has a fairly detailed discussion on Sharia and polygamy.
It’s a television first, claims the BBC Press Office. OK they would say that wouldn’t they but I think it might be the first time in decades – if not ever – that a British network has screened a program, let alone a series, about Muhammad. According to the blurb it charts the “extraordinary story of a man who, in little more than 20 years, changed the world forever”. The series as a whole raises questions about some of the more contested areas of Islam such as women, religious tolerance and conflict.
Were the series not interesting enough – even critics of Islam and religion generally are sure to find something in it – the backdrop to it is also fascinating. I’ve been asking BBC executives for years when they planned to show such a series – first asking its director general Mark Thompson, then its head of religion Aaqil Ahmed (more about him later) and then most recently BBC One controller Danny Cohen. After years of nagging, lo! It has come to pass. Read more in Guardian UK:
To view the documentary click here or on the logo of the Muslim Times:
Governor Christie Defends Muslim Pick for New Jersey Judge, Calls Critics ‘Crazies’
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is defending his pick of a Muslim for a state judgeship, saying critics of a lawyer who represented suspects after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks are “ignorant” and “crazies”.
Sohail Mohammed, 47, was sworn in July 26 as a Superior Court judge in Passaic County. Some political columnists and bloggers have accused Mohammed of having links to terrorism and said he’ll be more likely to follow Shariah law, religious standards based on the Koran, instead of state or federal statutes.
Christie, a first-term Republican and former U.S. attorney, told reporters July 26 in Newark that he met Mohammed after 9/11 when he represented Muslims detained by the FBI. Mohammed, of Clifton, “played an integral role” in creating trust between the Islamic community and law enforcement, Christie said.
To read more click here
Sharia and the Lives of Muslim Americans
Source / Courtesy: Huffington Post
By Abdul Malik Mujahid: President Sound Vision, and Chair Council for a Parliament of World Religions
You might have seen a government-required sign at a McDonald’s restroom telling employees to wash their hands. Muslims do this as a part of living their faith, which is called sharia in Arabic. The Prophet Muhammad also encouraged Muslims to wash their hands before and after eating. Muslim parents raise their children on many such manners. The first chapter in almost all books on sharia is about morals and manners of cleanliness, which Prophet Muhammad said is half of the faith. God’s peace and blessings be upon him.
When Muslims begin anything they say, “in the name of God.” — that is sharia. When they greet each other, they smile and say, “Assalamu Alaikum” (peace be with you) — that is sharia.
Similarly, when Muslims take short breaks five times a day to pray, this is another example of practicing sharia. Prayer is normally the second chapter in almost all books about sharia.
sharia does not present a comprehensive list of pure foods and drinks, although it prohibits ten or twelve things and declares everything else to be Halal or lawful to consume. If Muslims cannot find Halal food, they often eat vegetarian or kosher food. This is all sharia.
To read more click here
The Man Behind the Anti-Shariah Movement
Source / Courtesy: NY Times
By Andrea Elliot
NASHVILLE — Tennessee’s latest woes include high unemployment, continuing foreclosures and a battle over collective-bargaining rights for teachers. But when a Republican representative took the Statehouse floor during a recent hearing, he warned of a new threat to his constituents’ way of life: Islamic law.
The representative, a former fighter pilot named Rick Womick, said he had been studying the Koran. He declared that Shariah, the Islamic code that guides Muslim beliefs and actions, is not just an expression of faith but a political and legal system that seeks world domination. “Folks,” Mr. Womick, 53, said with a sudden pause, “this is not what I call ‘Do unto others what you’d have them do unto you.’ ”
Similar warnings are being issued across the country as Republican presidential candidates, elected officials and activists mobilize against what they describe as the menace of Islamic law in the United States.
To read more click here
Critique and refutation of such fear mongering is the theme of this volume of Alislam-eGazette that will be going out to more than 40,000 recipients.
| September 2011
Click here to see What’s New at alislam.org
Follow us on Twitter @alislam_org for updates.
Persecution News and Updates
For latest updates about the persecution of peaceful Ahmadiyya Muslim Community please visit www.ThePersecution.org or at the The Persecution Blog
Archives of Alislam eGazette: Separation of Mosque-Church and State
Archives of Alislam eGazette: Secular Law and Sharia Law
President Barack Obama on Religion and Politics
He says that we can draw our inspiration from our scriptures but we have to translate the message into a language that is understood by other fellow citizens from different religions.
One of the points President Obama makes is that the scripture has to be translated into a universal message by the believers, one that is befitting the realities of our global village.
To hear President’s Obama’s explanation click here
The Holy Quran has a dynamic and universal message and Sir Zafrulla Khan has explained this issue, in some details in his book titled: Islam and Human Rights.
To read Dr. Zia H Shah’s collection of articles about Islam, Politics and Human Rights click here
Source / Courtesy: Washington Post
By Nasim Rehmatullah and Amjad Mahmood Khan
Shariah is a misunderstood and misused concept. Critics of Islam frequently employ terms like “creeping shariah” to stoke fear amongst the masses. The Park 51 controversy and the increasing media focus on Islam provide an opportunity to educate Americans about the true teachings and practices of Islam concerning shariah.
Shariah literally means “a path to life-giving water,” and refers to a defined path upon which all God-fearing people are advised to tread. It is grounded in the recognition of God’s existence. Shariah presupposes that there is a God. God reveals His desire of how man should shape his destiny, and God’s will is manifested in the form of certain laws or principles. These laws or principles constitute shariah.
Shariah is not unique to Islam. Every faith has its own form of shariah. In the United States, for example, our legal system already permits some narrow civil matters to be settled through alternative dispute resolution. Among such alternative mechanisms is the beit din, or rabbinical law courts. American Jews routinely go before beit din to arbitrate real estate deals, divorces and business disputes.
To read more click here
Don’t fear Islamic Law in America
Source / Courtesy: New York Times
By Eliyahu Stern: Assistant professor of religious studies and history at Yale
MORE than a dozen American states are considering outlawing aspects of Shariah law. Some of these efforts would curtail Muslims from settling disputes over dietary laws and marriage through religious arbitration, while others would go even further in stigmatizing Islamic life: a bill recently passed by the Tennessee General Assembly equates Shariah with a set of rules that promote “the destruction of the national existence of the United States.”
Supporters of these bills contend that such measures are needed to protect the country against homegrown terrorism and safeguard its Judeo-Christian values. The Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has said that “Shariah is a mortal threat to the survival of freedom in the United States and in the world as we know it.”
This is exactly wrong. The crusade against Shariah undermines American democracy, ignores our country’s successful history of religious tolerance and assimilation, and creates a dangerous divide between America and its fastest-growing religious minority.
The suggestion that Shariah threatens American security is disturbingly reminiscent of the accusation, in 19th-century Europe, that Jewish religious law was seditious. In 1807, Napoleon convened an assembly of rabbinic authorities to address the question of whether Jewish law prevented Jews from being loyal citizens of the republic. (They said that it did not.)
Fear that Jewish law bred disloyalty was not limited to political elites; leading European philosophers also entertained the idea. Kant argued that the particularistic nature of “Jewish legislation” made Jews “hostile to all other peoples.” And Hegel contended that Jewish dietary rules and other Mosaic laws barred Jews from identifying with their fellow Prussians and called into question their ability to be civil servants.
The German philosopher Bruno Bauer offered Jews a bargain: renounce Jewish law and be granted full legal rights. He insisted that, otherwise, laws prohibiting work on the Sabbath made it impossible for Jews to be true citizens. (Bauer conveniently ignored the fact that many fully observant Jews violated the Sabbath to fight in the Prussian wars against Napoleon.)
During that era, Christianity was seen as either a universally valid basis of the state or a faith that harmoniously coexisted with the secular law of the land. Conversely, Judaism was seen as a competing legal system — making Jews at best an unassimilable minority, at worst a fifth column. It was not until the late 19th century that all Jews were granted full citizenship in Western Europe (and even then it was short lived).
To read more click here