MI Imams Condemn French Muslim Killer

I am a part of this committee.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MI Imams Condemn Murder of Paratroopers, Rabbi and Jewish Children in France

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(WARREN, MI, 3/21/12) – The religious leaders (imams) of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Michigan (CIOM) today condemn in the strongest terms the recent murders of three French Muslim paratroopers, a rabbi and three Jewish children, which were reportedly committed by a French national named Mohammed Merah.

Merah has been named as a chief suspect in recent shootings in which he allegedly killed three fellow Muslims for serving in the French military in Afghanistan as well as a rabbi and three Jewish children due to revenge of injustices perpetrated against Palestinian children by the Israeli military.

The imams reaffirm our previously stated position the Islamic teachings stress the sanctity of all human life and that respecting the rule of law is incumbent upon all Muslims.

The Qur’an, Islam’s revealed text, states: “Whoever kills a person, unless [as punishment through due process] for murder or mischief in the land, it is as though he has killed all mankind. And whoever saves a life, it is as though he had saved all mankind.” (Qur’an, 5:32)

Though the imams recognize that many innocent civilians have been killed in Afghanistan and elsewhere, the imams also state that there is no justification for the wanton violence that has taken place in France in response to the previously stated injustices.

Prophet Muhammad said there is no excuse for committing unjust acts: “Do not be people without minds of your own, saying that if others treat you well you will treat them well, and that if they do wrong you will do wrong to them. Instead, accustom yourselves to do good if people do good and not to do wrong (even) if they do evil.”

The imams also note that Muslims and Jews have peacefully co-existed for centuries in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East and that tensions related to the Arab-Israel conflict is not indicative of the historical relationship between Muslims and Jews.

 

The imams offer their condolences to the families of the victims and pray for calm and peace.

 

The imams Council of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Michigan represents a coalition of Muslim religious leaders (imams) in the Metro-Detroit area.

 

End

 

CONTACT: CIOM’s Imams Council Co-chairs, Imam Baqir Berry, (313) 903-1222bberrymiis@yahoo.com  or Imam Steve Elturk, (248) 210-4156,ameer@ionaonline.org. Email to CIOM: admin@ciomonline.com

 

 

Regarding my comments against protesting in front of Jewish temples

 The Washtenaw Jewish News March 2011 issue has an article entitled “Imam: Synagogue protest ‘un-Islamic’: Yet local Muslim teacher has been at the fore,” which I stated at an interfaith program that protesting against houses of worship for political reasons is wrong. 

 

I discussed how Muslims in several areas have received hostile protests at mosques to the point that some zealous persons even yelled intimidating language at Muslim children.  Likewise, I mentioned that it is wrong to meet worshipers at any house of worship with such hostility and that if Muslims engaged in such, it would be counter to the Prophet Muhammad’s example and “un-Islamic.”   

 

Persons from various ethnic and religious groups have been protesting a Jewish temple in Ann Arbor for approximately eight years in reaction to the illegal occupation of Arab lands by the Israeli regime.  Those individuals under the 1st Amendment have the constitutional right to assemble and voice their views regarding illegal occupation, and I affirm their legal rights.  However, I reiterate with complete confidence that protesting outside of a Jewish temple at an ordained time for prayer and worship is not correct according to the teachings of Prophet Muhammad.

 

Before going into the teachings of the Prophet, let me voice my position on Israeli occupation of Arab lands.  I affirm United Nations’ resolutions that Israel is illegally occupying Arab lands.  Moreover, the Palestinian people have been subjected to human rights violations at the hands of the Israeli government.  This is without question.  These violations should be protested and articulated, be it protests in front of the Israeli Embassy or in front of the White House, in the media or academic writings.  In front of a Jewish temple (sacred space) on the holy day/Sabbath of Jews is not the appropriate location for such protests.  The same holds true for comparing the Star of David to a Nazi symbol.

 

Some leftists proposed to me that protesting in front of a synagogue is appropriate because those praying inside endorse what Israel does.  One Muslim even proposed to me that just because the Prophet didn’t protest in front of a synagogue is not sufficient proof that we cannot.  To my leftist brothers and sisters in humanity, I say that what has been Divinely revealed is the compass of how Muslims are to suppose to act or not act publicly and privately.  Since that is not their belief, then that is not their compass; it cannot be ours.  To Muslims in general, the shari’ah has objectives (maqaasid) and a spirit resides within it.  If it is a tactic not articulated or demonstrated by the Prophet and it causes harm, then it is to be avoided. 

 

Prophet Muhammad called for respecting holy days of Jews and Christians. 

 

The Qur’an (Surah Al-Hajj: 40) states:

 

…if Allah had not driven some people back by means of others, monasteries, churches, synagogues and mosques, where Allah‘s name is mentioned much, would have been pulled down and destroyed. Allah will certainly help those who help Him—Allah is All-Strong, Almighty.

 

Based upon the Prophet’s teachings, many scholars state that fasting specifically on the Saturday (Sabbath) except for during Ramadan is despicable (makruh). He further taught, “Do not be people without minds of your own, saying that if others treat you well you will treat them well, and that if they do wrong you will do wrong to them. Instead, accustom yourselves to do good if people do good and not to do wrong (even) if they  do evil.” (Sunan At-Tirmidhi

 

He also said, “Surely Allah is tender (rifq), He loves tenderness, and He gives to the tender what He does not give to the harsh (`unf).” (Sunan Abi Dawud

 

Protesting in front of a Jewish temple on Sabbath will not change the minds of the people worshiping inside; it will only harden them against the protesters. And it will not do anything to help Palestinians.  It is actually bad PR.  When I asked one of the protesters about how many new people have joined them in their protests in the past eight years to which the answer was virtually none, I stated that she just proved my point.

 

My conclusion is thus.  First, I’m for protesting within the guidelines of what is spiritually sound. Second, activists need to rethink what they are doing and actually implement strategies that actually bring change and do good instead of doing acts that change nothing and only make them feel good like their actually doing constructive.

 

Khalas!

MN rabbi calls for genocide of Muslims

http://blogs.citypages.com/blotter/2009/06/minn_rabbi_call.php

Minn. rabbi calls for Muslim genocide, sparks outrage

By Emily Kaiser in Religion

Wednesday, Jun. 3 2009 @ 2:54PM

A Minnesota rabbi is in hot water after a controversial piece in the latest issue of Jewish culture magazine Moment.

In a piece featuring several rabbis, Rabbi Manis Friedman of Bais Chana Institute of Jewish Studies in St. Paul responded to the question “How Should Jews Treat Their Arab Neighbors?” by suggesting that Jewish people should kill Arab men, women and children in addition to destroying their holy sites.

The piece sparked outrage from many in the Jewish community, including two Jewish groups, and a response from the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Friedman responded to the outcry with his own update on the website.

Check it all out below.

This is Friedman’s full piece in Moment:

I don’t believe in western morality, i.e. don’t kill civilians or children, don’t destroy holy sites, don’t fight during holiday seasons, don’t bomb cemeteries, don’t shoot until they shoot first because it is immoral.

The only way to fight a moral war is the Jewish way: Destroy their holy sites. Kill men, women and children (and cattle).

The first Israeli prime minister who declares that he will follow the Old Testament will finally bring peace to the Middle East. First, the Arabs will stop using children as shields. Second, they will stop taking hostages knowing that we will not be intimidated. Third, with their holy sites destroyed, they will stop believing that G-d is on their side. Result: no civilian casualties, no children in the line of fire, no false sense of righteousness, in fact, no war.

Zero tolerance for stone throwing, for rockets, for kidnapping will mean that the state has achieved sovereignty. Living by Torah values will make us a light unto the nations who suffer defeat because of a disastrous morality of human invention.

Two Jewish groups and CAIR called on leaders in the political and religious communities to repudiate the piece’s suggestion that it was acceptable to kill Arabs.

Cecilie Surasky of Jewish Voice for Peace responded with a statement:

“Rabbi Manis Friedman’s outrageous suggestion that killing Arab men, women and children, and destroying their religious sites is ‘the Jewish way’ is an affront to all people, but especially Jews who value all life equally. While his statement in no way represents the views of the vast majority of Jews, we are alarmed by the increasing numbers of extremist settlers in Israel, and their American supporters, who share his refusal to acknowledge the value of Palestinian and Arab life. Far from bringing peace and security to Jews, this abhorrent disregard for the lives of non-Jews only leads to more bloodshed and war.”

Here is the statement from CAIR-MN Communications Director Jessica Zikri:

“This disturbing call to genocide and religious desecration must be repudiated by all Minnesotans who value peaceful coexistence and interfaith harmony. Silence in the face of such extremist views will only serve to give the author a false sense of legitimacy and approval.” (MORE)

Message for Friday – Interfaith & the Common Word, Interests

 بِسمِ ٱلله الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيـمِ

 

    إن الحمد لله ، نحمده ونستعينه ونستغفره ، ونعوذ بالله من شرور أنفسنا ، وسيئات أعمالنا من يهده الله فلا مضل له ، ومن يضلل فلا هادي له ، وأشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له ، وأشهد أن محمداً عبده ورسوله .

 

قُلْ يٰأَهْلَ ٱلْكِتَابِ تَعَالَوْاْ إِلَىٰ كَلِمَةٍ سَوَآءٍ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمْ أَلاَّ نَعْبُدَ إِلاَّ ٱللَّهَ وَلاَ نُشْرِكَ بِهِ شَيْئاً وَلاَ يَتَّخِذَ بَعْضُنَا بَعْضاً أَرْبَاباً مِّن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ فَإِن تَوَلَّوْاْ فَقُولُواْ ٱشْهَدُواْ بِأَنَّا مُسْلِمُونَ

 

G’d says in the Qur’an (3:64):

 

Say: Oh People of the Book! Let us come together to a common word between us and you that we worship none except G’d, that we do not associate anything with Him, and that we do not take others from us as our lords over G’d. But if they turn away, Say: we witness that we are of those who have [truly] submitted to [G’d].

 

Prophet Muhammad (SAAS) during his lifetime called the People of the Book towards a common word.  In the city of Al-Madinah, he (SAAS) had discussions with Christians from Najran and Jews who dwelled there.

 

Az-Zamakhshari, a renowed Muslim theologian stated, that this common word is:

 لا يختلف فيها القرآن والتوراة والإنجيل

 “No conflicting in it [common word] between the Qur’an, the Torah and the Gospel.”

Meaning that there is no disagreement in the central spirit and moral and ethical teachings within the scriptures revealed by the same One G’d.

 

This verse was part of the central theme that he (SAAS) used in inviting heads of nations from the People of the Book such has Heraclius of the Roman Empire towards faith and the common interests of man.  He (SAAS) did not state to them embrace Islam or be attacked.

 

Jews, Christians and Muslims should work together towards to common interests of man, which relate to the reestablishment of justice among the human family under G’d.  And the reestablishment of justice among humans means that all relations between man and the creation must be restored to their natural relationships since G’d made His creation in perfect balance and order.  If people, who claim religion are not willing to work towards these common interests, Muslims are obligated to focus on the common interests of all, which will still bring benefit to those that turned their backs upon the collective interests.  This is essence of being a Muslim.

 

الخلق كلهم عيال الله، فأحبهم إلى الله أنفعهم لعياله

The Prophet (SAAS) said, “Creation all of it are dependents of G’d, and the most beloved of them to G’d are those who most benefit His dependents.”

 

خير الناس من نفع الناس

And he (SAAS) said, “The best of the people is he/she who has benefitted [all] people.”

 

 

The two sayings of Prophet Muhammad (SAAS) sum up the focus of the true importance of the interfaith movement.  Talking and getting to know each other is good and needed but is only a means to an end.  Shared beliefs should generate awareness towards reaching common solutions to shared problems within the family of man.

 

And surely G’d knows best.

Obama appoints Jewish outreach coordinator

Probably a smart move, especially when Sen. Lieberman (I-CT) is actively campaigning against him, and many Zionists (Christians & Jews) are worried that he is not a staunch enough friend of Israel.  Ironically, I think that Obama will be a bigger friend to Israel than Pres. Bush if he makes it into the Oval Office.

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http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1012445.html

Obama appoints Jewish outreach coordinator
By Natasha Mozgovaya and Shlomo Shamir, Haaretz Correspondents
U.S. Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama announced on Tuesday the appointment of Daniel B. Shapiro as his campaign’s senior policy adviser and Jewish outreach coordinator.Shapiro has worked on the campaign since 2007, consulting Obama on Middle East policy and Jewish community issues. His appointment is part of an effort on Obama’s part to attract Jewish voters and support.

“I am deeply honored to have been invited to offer a religious voice at this celebration of American democracy,” Saperstein said. “The opportunity to do so at an evening of such historic significance to our nation is especially meaningful.”

Saperstein is among four U.S. rabbis who will lead prayers and address next Sunday’s opening ceremony of the Democratic Convention in Denver.

For the first time, the party has decided to open the upcoming convention with an interfaith service, which will include leaders from all religions in the U.S., including Catholics and Muslim.

Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, will deliver the invocation before a crwod of some 70,000 at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday, August 28, the night that Sen. Obama is scheduled to formally accept the Democratic nomination.[MORE]

Leader of Caucasian Muslims meets with Rabbi regarding peace and tolerance

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=52359

Sheikh-ul-Islam Haji Allahshukur Pashazadeh meets with the head of the Los Angeles Tolerance Center

Baku. Elbrus Seyfullayev –APA. Chairman of the Caucasian Muslims Office Sheikh-ul-Islam Haji Allahshukur Pashazadeh has welcomed the head of the Los-Angeles Tolerance Center Rabbi Abraham Cooper at his residence in Baku, APA reports.

Chairman of the Caucasian Muslims Office said tolerance in Azerbaijan was at the highest level. “Religious tolerance is at the highest level in Azerbaijan, representatives of different religious confessions are free to live together and to pray. All religious meeting-houses have an opportunity for free functioning, synagogues, churches and temples are constructed in the country and representatives of various faiths are praying there. Azerbaijan can be a real example of tolerance in the world”. Sheikh-ul-Islam Haji Allahshukur Pashazadeh said new synagogue would be constructed for the highland Jewish community and promised his support for its construction. Haji Allahshukur Pashazadeh said large Armenian community lived in Los Angeles, which actively worked against Azerbaijan. “Armenians living in Los Angeles may have misleading information about Azerbaijan. It needs to explain them truth. Therefore I am ready to meet with Armenian religious figures. I can meet them even at church to explain them realities”. Heads of various religious confessions gave examples of high-level religious tolerance in Azerbaijan. Rabbi Abraham Cooper thanked for sincere welcoming and said he was pleased to see free coexistence of different religious communities in the country. Then the sides presented gifts to each other.