SUNDAY, 13 OCTOBER 2002 15:24 HABEEB HITS: 1446
Media misrepresenting Islam.
Despite the fact that Islam is one of the fastest growing religions in Guyana, it is generally poorly understood. Consequently, media reporting may unwittingly perpetuate misinformation and stereotypes.
One letter writer said Islam enslaved Africa. For sure Muslims may be involved but not Islam as the Qur’an contains, for a start, six verses demonizing this unholy act of enslaving free men.
To quote Dr Ali Mazrui, holder of the Walter Rodney chair at UG and himself an African Studies expert, should be enough. He says:
There is no doubt that Arabs practiced slavery in Eastern Africa. There was a slave trade that went from Eastern Africa. The big issue is — should it be called Islamic slavery — if it is, should we not call Transatlantic slavery, Christian slavery, rather than Western slavery. I have no problem calling it Arabo-islamic slavery provided we call the other one Euro-Christian slavery.
Secondly one columnist claimed Muslims fast on Fridays. No. We fast in Ramadan for a month and maybe on Thursdays and Mondays. However, if ever someone observes these optional fasts and considers fasting on a Friday another day, e.g. Saturday has to be added. I suppose when similes are opted for they refer to things done commonly and rampantly.
Also the unabated mention of uncalled for oxymoron like Islamic Terrorist or Algerian Muslim fundamentalists slitting throats continues to place the cart before the horse. Has anyone verified that practicing Muslims did actually executed innocent people or was it the work of anti Muslim elements using clothing, beards and perfumes resembling the Imams of Algerian Mosques so as to create a propaganda against a certain Muslim political group that won the election in Algeria some decade ago. One of the deflectors appeared in Europe and recounted this episode. It was in the media. It’s just like when people report local crime they say ‘wearing a Rasta wig’ instead of saying dreadlocks.
Another one -Nigerian Woman
Then the TV repeatedly test Muslim’s patience by portraying the Nigerian Muslim woman being stoned as barbaric although A woman serial killer sentenced to death in the States or the four million women abused there yearly is not media target. How ironic?
One Mallam Ado Baranda is to be stoned to death in Jigawa State of Nigeria, one of the 12 states intending Sharia, after he refused to appeal his conviction by a Sharia court for the rape of a nine-year-old girl.
No one has yet been stoned since the states began reintroducing Sharia after the return of civilian rule in 1999.
Is this something for the press to revile?
In the United States, 38 states have reinstituted capital punishment, and 3,000 prisoners are on death row. The homicide rate in 12 states, which do not have capital punishment, is higher than those who have it.
Islamic Law applies only to those who voluntarily accept to live under Sharia-Ruled-States and especially who subscribe to the Faith.
“There is no compulsion in religion.” (Quran 2:257)
“Narrated Jabir: A man from the tribe of Aslam came to the Prophet and confessed that he had committed an illegal sexual intercourse. The Prophet turned his face away from him till the man bore witness against himself four times. The Prophet said to him. ‘Are you mad?’ he said ‘no’. He said ‘are you married?’ he said ‘yes’. Then the Prophet ordered that he be stoned to death and he was stoned to death at Musalla. When the stones troubled him he fled, but he was caught and was stoned till he died. The Prophet spoke well of him and offered his funeral prayer.” Bukhari Volume 8, Book 82, Number 810
Not only Muslims uphold adultery, when it attacks society by turning violent, but many religious counterparts believe a rapist needs to be revoked, more than not surgically.
The American Tract Society Dictionary of the Bible, under the word ‘Fornication’ writes:
This word is used in Scripture not only for the sin of impurity between unmarried persons, but for idolatry, and for all kinds of infidelity to God. In Eze 16:1-63, the Jewish church is symbolized as a female infant, growing up to womanhood, and then wedded to Jehovah by covenant. When she breaks her covenant by going after idols, she is justly reproached as an adulteress and a harlot, Jer 2:20; 3:8-9; Ho 3:1.
However, sometimes the grace of Jesus overshadows our firmness for Justice when it comes to executing the Commandments, although these New Testament verses should be interpreted in the light of another of Jesus’ statement, “Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets. I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them.” (Matthew 5:17).
Everyone will remember when hanging was feared; locally there was a sudden stop in wanton killing.
But still, is there proof that capital punishment lowers crime rate? While Europe and The States are still divided on the issue, I must say that rape counteracts the essence of social justice, which Islam aims to practically promote. Every civilization, not the least the modern Western one – both in the communistic and capitalistic manifestations – has provided capital punishment against violating the integrity of what it considers its very raison d’etre; and one cannot deny that right to Islam.
The Muslims here need to engage the media in constructive criticism for misrepresenting Islam. This is our faith and every one has a distinct constitutional right to practice and represent his religion authentically without becoming cowered into accepting hate and misconception. Where are the voices? Shouldn’t you write as well? Contact me at any of the contacts on this paper so we could share in the noble responsibility of enjoining good and forbidding wrong. Recently 60 minutes aired some of the most blatant lies against the pure preserved personality of the Prophet yet Muslims devote so much time, even defending these Islam bigots, to TV propaganda and when asked to give something for Islam they simply become” salt in water.”
These attacks on Islam and Prophet Mohammad not only reveal utter ignorance of history, but also reflect on the paranoia of these evangelical leaders who just cannot see Islam as a major world religion.
This is Shaban and before was Rajab. The Prophet prayed: Oh Allah bless us in Rajab and Shaban and make us reach Ramadan. Ameen. Meraj maybe auspicious to us but the date remains spurious to Historians, thanks to the varying dates reported. But what is definitely authentic for the Musulman is the regale lesson of the Prophet being prepared for such a Divine Meeting. I see the repeated surgery to cleanse his heart with the ever-pure Zam zam as a measure of conscious purity for the Messenger – a natural answer to his critics. No falsehood enters this message. The story of it goes like this. Narrated Anas ibn Malik from Malik ibn Sa’sa’a that Allah’s Apostle described to them his Night Journey saying, While I was lying in Al-Hatim or Al-Hijr, suddenly someone came to me and cut my body open from here to here [across the chest]. He then took out my heart. Then a gold tray full of Belief was brought to me and my heart was washed and was filled (with Belief) and then returned to its original place. Sahih al-Bukhari, 5:227
This also happened at the age of 10 when he was with Halima, his wet nurse and just before He received revelation and before Prophet hood.
Sahih Muslim records this 1/9 that in babyhood as reported by Anas in Sahih Muslim, Gabriel came down and ripped his chest open and took out the heart. He then extracted a blood clot out of it and said: “That was the part of Satan in thee.” And then he washed it with Zamzam in a gold basin. After that the heart was joined together and restored to its place. The boys and playmates came running to his mother, i.e. his nurse, and said: “Verily Muhammad (pbuh) has been murdered.” They all rushed towards him and found him all right only his face was white.
Intellectuals often wonder why Muslims are angry and found repeatedly in hotspots but rarely do we look to see that behind terrorism is injustice and continuously having one’s oppressed voice stifled. Locally I would hate to have any such reaction and we must always strive to contain our emotions and let the Golden Rule prevail: Do unto to others what you want others to do you. Look at this world scenario, economics apart, and say why poverty is still the question. “With just 6% of the world’s population the US and Canada consume nearly 30% of the world’s energy. The US with just 3% of proven reserves uses a quarter of global oil production. The biggest consumers are in North America, Western Europe and Japan.” Capitalism or Communism, money is the root of it
Many of what we witness here is either lack of it, it is simply Haram or guys just greedy for it. Qur’an tells us that interest based transactions breed Divine war and not paying up debts will definitely claim lives- innocent and guilty. “And if the debtor is in hard time (has no money), then grant him time till it is easy for him to repay; but if you remit it by way of charity, that is better for you if you did but know.” (Qur’an 2:280)
What has been happening is our technological surrounded lives is serious multi tasking leading to an acute drop in khusu’ or religious mediation. Stress and arguments is the cry of the day. Allah’s remedy is Zikrullah. “Aren’t by the remembrance of Allah hearts receive peace?” If you still are mulling over yesterday’s argument with your spouse you could actually be hurting your heart. University of California Irvine researchers says there is stress — and then there is stress. Running a marathon places good stress on the heart but arguing has an emotional side that creates longer recovery times for your body. A fight increases your blood pressure and this type of stress can cause health problems down the road, the researchers say. They add preventing damage from harmful stress may involve both reducing exposure to it and ensuring people don’t ruminate over issues days later.
Crashing into a pig is not crass: life is judged on mechanics rather than superstitions. I must ruminate that the accident makes me more reflective, and repenting but as Muslims who believe in taqdeer we must admit that pigs maybe scavengers but they do not necessarily mean myopic. What if it was something where the damage was collateral? Isn’t this divine intervention that it wasn’t worst. Hence lets remember laa hawla wa laa quwata illa billah. Ali b Talib used to re check his amal whenever he stumped his toe. He never used to “open book” and go to ” read man” and see what ” wuk” he hasn’t done yet. Our Prophet taught us upon leaving home say ” Bismilahi Tawakkaltu alal laah” and by His mercy we will be safe from man and Jinn.
The situation nowadays is to pack up and leave. But we must consider the Dawah. Yes the local crime is gruesome. But Palestinians have it worst. They have been in open-air curfew for the last 105 days and 2-year-olds are the prime target apart from loosing 1800 since the last two years. Being grateful is so much necessary to enjoy these bounties. When a person is grateful for anything, e.g. safety, then Allah maintains that particular gift. When we change from internal sincerity and refuse the mercies of Allah, by being unthankful, Allah changes the condition to worse. “Verily Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is with themselves.” Are we really grateful fro Allah’s sake or it just a front to get commercials? To use religion to get customers or voters is like getting the keys of heaven but throwing it away for the hammer to open Hell’s door. Have we been thankful to Allah since 92 unselfishly or is something else getting the praise?
Poem- by Habeeb
Why tings nah right?
Running a photo studio without cams would be easier
Than Bigger Gang runnin’ tings in GT
With lives as brushes and blood as paint
Daily dem ah Photo paint crocodile tears
Rodney cried grassroots, Forbes’clothes and house’
Jagan was for the man in the streets
Moon ah run till day ketch it
Making space they did to a lesser political pundit
While another robbery stalls the country
Shutdown or dialogue, day of prayers or irony
Resignation to materialism will remain weh crass
Till Jesus come down and Dajjal kiss dis grass!