Sermon regarding benefits of taqwa & protest of terrorism suspect

Today’s sermon was delivered at the American Moslem Society mosque in Dearborn, MI to a predominately Yemeni-American audience.

Topics covered were:

1) The basic meaning of taqwa or having proper consciousness of G’d.

2) Taqwa gives spiritual insight that no university can give.

3) The protest in downtown Detroit in reaction to the terrorism trial of Umar Farouk Abdulmuttalab and the distinction between condemning terrorism and being apologetic about terrorism falsely committed in the name of Al-Islam.

4) The last century of Muslims in Metro Detroit is a record of being law abiding citizens.

Click here to listen.

Muslim, Nigerian leaders rally against terrorism

http://www.freep.com/article/20100108/NEWS05/100108015/1318/Muslim-leaders-condemn-terrorism

Muslim, Nigerian leaders rally against terrorism

BY NIRAJ WARIKOO
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER

Chanting “No more terrorism,” about 150 Muslim and Nigerian protesters waved U.S. flags as they rallied in the cold outside the federal courthouse during a hearing for the suspect accused of trying to bomb a Detroit-bound plane on Christmas Day.

“Muslims here to tell you: Go to hell,” read a sign held by Majed Rizki, 48, of Dearborn. “It was a sin against humanity, against civilization,” Rizki said of the attempted attack.

“Islam is not a terrorist religion,” Bilal Amen, 27, vice chair of the Islamic Institute of Knowledge in Dearborn, said while holding an American flag. “Islam is a peaceful religion.”

Amen and others said they were concerned that the Muslim suspect, Umar Farouk Abdulmatallab, was giving the wrong image of Islam.

“I’m an American, born and raised,” Amen said. “Islam teaches us to abide by the laws of our land.”

Many in the crowd were angry and upset over the actions of the 23-year-old man, who reportedly was radicalized by an al-Qaida affiliate in Yemen.

Dave Alwatan, 36, an Iraqi-American Muslim, said that the bombing suspect and Al-Qaida have nothing to do with Islam. At one point, Alwatan shouted at a woman leaving the courthouse he thought was the mother of the suspect.

“Shame on you!” he shouted as TV cameras rolled. “Shame on you for how you raise your kids.”

It’s unclear if the woman was the suspect’s mother.

“Nigerians are against terrorism,” read a sign held by Ogunyinka Ogunleye, 59, of Detroit, a native of Nigeria standing outside the federal courthouse in Detroit.

“We all support America,” Ogunleye said. “God bless America. … We are ready to go against anyone who does” terrorism acts.

The group consisted of Nigerians who were Muslim and Christian, reflecting the growing population of Nigerians and other west Africans in metro Detroit. The suspect is from Nigeria, but local Nigerians note he did not become a radical in Nigeria.

The protest was led by Dearborn attorney Majed Moughni. Others held up signs that read, “Not in the Name of Islam,” “We are Americans,” and “Islam is Against Terrorism.”

“We are here to send a message,” Moughni said. “We won’t let anyone hijack our religion.”

Moughni said he organized the rally after becoming angry over the attempted attack on Christmas Day. It marks one of the first rallies in recent memory where local Muslims are rallying against Muslims who commit terrorism acts.

Ibrahim Aljahim, 27, of Detroit waved a big U.S. flag at the rally.

“I love the flag,” said Aljahim, who also had a flag pin on his jacket and suit.

“We are Americans,” he said. “And we are against terrorism.”

“Al-Qaida must be defeated not only militarily, but intellectually,” Imam Aly Lela of the Islamic Association of Greater Detroit said at a meeting earlier this morning organized by the Council of Islamic Organizations of Michigan.

On Thursday, President Barack Obama addressed the issue of radicalization, saying that he has directed officials to address the issue of “lone recruits” who turn to terrorism. Some Muslims and security experts say there is a problem with a small percentage of Muslims becoming extremists, as in the case of the Nigerian man who tried to detonate a bomb on Christmas Day over Detroit.

At the same time, the imams asked that Muslim Americans not be singled out for profiling.

Leaders hold news conference

A group of about 10 imams spoke at the New Center One building in Detroit at a news conference organized by the council, chaired by Victor Ghalib Begg of Bloomfield Hills. In a statement from the council, the imams said they oppose Al-Qaida “and are committed to the security of the people of this great nation.”

They spoke on the same day that a 23-year-old suspect was due in federal court on charges in connection with the attempted bombing of an airplane over Detroit on Christmas Day.

“In the teachings of the Koran, security is very, very important,” said Imam Mohamed Musa, of the Muslim Unity Center in Bloomfield Hills.

Imam Abdullah El-Amin of the Muslim Center in Detroit called the bomber a “nutcase” and called for more security at airports.

“We do call for more stringent checks,” El-Amin said. “I don’t mind. … But don’t single out Muslims to do that. Do that for everybody.”

Dawud Walid, assistant imam at the Masjid Wali Muhammad in Detroit and head of the Michigan branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, noted that Muslims are rooted in the history and culture of metro Detroit, saying they have lived here for at least a century.

“We have a long track record of speaking out against terrorism,” Walid said. Walid later participated in the rally at the courthouse, waving a U.S. flag.

Regarding profiling, Walid said Obama — whose middle name is Hussein — might be profiled because of his Arabic name, and so he said it doesn’t make sense to target people based on their ethnicity or religion.

“Based upon his name, he would be a victim of profiling,” Walid said.

The leaders at the news conference came from mosques across metro Detroit and represented different schools of thought, including Sunni and Shia.

Nigeria:No Al-Qaeda in Country – Islamic Scholars

http://allafrica.com/stories/200912300514.html

Nigeria:No Al-Qaeda in Country – Islamic Scholars

Abbas Jimoh

29 Dec. 2009

Some Islamic scholars in Nigeria yesterday dismissed allegations that Al Qaeda exists in Nigeria following the alleged attempt by 23 year-old Nigerian, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, to bomb a United States passenger plane on Christmas day.

The scholars, who spoke to Daily Trust in separate interviews, said Nigerians are not terrorists, even as they urged the relevant security agencies to investigate the matter dispassionately.

Malam Abdulfattah Adeyemi, an Abuja-based Islamic Scholar, said, “I want to say confidently that there is no connection between the accused and any religious group in Nigeria. We are a nation that is focused. We are at the phase of rebranding and trying to move the nation forward.”

On Farouk Umaru Mutallab’s involvement, Adeyemi said: “We cannot say for sure what is responsible for the problem, but I will suggest that the matter should be thoroughly investigated and people should avoid passing comments that will bring disgrace to the nation and should equally refrained from wrongfully pointing accusing fingers to anyone when investigations have not been carried out or concluded.”

Dr Taofik Abdulazeez, the Imam of University of Abuja said Nigerians should take the news with extreme caution and asked the authorities not to rush into actions without sufficient information.

He said, “There may be a connection between extreme economic prosperity of some people and extreme poverty of some and certain tendency such as violence and other tendencies such as this may not be located among the poor. The care for our children and concern for them should be viewed with extreme caution and extreme care and monitoring so as to be able to stem certain tendencies that may have dear consequences to the lives and well- being of our families and the security of the nation.”

Other Islamic groups including Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, (NSCIA), Association of Muslims in Nigeria (AMIN), and Muslim Media Practitioners of Nigeria (MMPN) among others have equally condemned the act and called for full investigation.