Saturday, 22 September 2007

Muslims and the Media Circus

I read an interesting comment piece in the Guardian on Thursday 20 September 2007 by Seumas Milne. The piece was entitled "This onslaught risks turning into a racist witch-hunt" and the subtitle read "The renewed anti-Muslim media campaign is partly driven by a political agenda which seeks to justify war". Here are some snippets from the article:

"... For the past three weeks, there has been a stream of hostile coverage in the heavyweight press and on TV current affairs programmes... The problem isn't necessarily with the stories themselves. There are obviously legitimate issues to report about jihadist and anti-Jewish strains... But in a climate of anti-Muslim prejudice, their disproportionate and sensationalist treatment can only feed ethnic tensions... The relentless public invective against Muslims and Islamism is also clearly fuelled by a political agenda, which seeks to demonstrate that jihadist violence is driven, as Tony Blair and the US neoconservatives always insisted, by a socially disconnected ideology rather than decades of western invasion, occupation and support for dictators across the Muslim world... Gordon Brown is said to want to mimic the clandestine methods used by the CIA against communism during the cold war in the cultural field to win Muslim hearts and minds. If the government's sponsorship of the pliant Sufi Muslim Council is any indication of the way he wants to go, that won't work - nor will any approach that tries to load responsibility for jihadist violence on to the Muslimc community while refusing to take responsibility for the government's own role in fanning the flames by supporting aggression and occupation in the Muslim world..."

I am sure Seumas Milne gets a lot of stick for writing what he writes but I tell you what, were he non-white or Muslim, the shouts "Islamist fundamenlist extremist traitor" heckled his way in true witch-hunt fashion would have him whisked away to feel the stick somewhere on the other side of the world. Know what I mean?

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Audio Review: Where is Allah? by Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari

Title: Where is Allah?
Speaker: Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari
Language: English
Producer: Al-Qurtuba Productions

"The question that should never be asked. Unfortunately, Some Muslims make this issue a matter of great debate and dispute. In this lecture, the speaker talks about unity, shedding light on its importance from the Qur’an and Sunna. Thereafter, he discusses the importance of learning the science of Aqida and talks about the correct belief one should possess regarding the attributes of Allah Most High. He explains the approach of traditional Islamic scholars to this important issue of Islamic Creed."

This is the first talk I have heard by this scholar and I was highly impressed. In this talk Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari tackles a potentially divisive topic in a very mellow disciplined manner. The talk is well worth the listen and will leave you with a strong desire to learn more about the "mainsteam traditional Islamic" understanding of God.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Democracy in Practice

Last week Abdullah Gul was at last elected president of Turkey, overcoming the stiff resistance of the fiercely secular army. The near-debacle of democracy again showed that whilst it is a nice concept on paper, in practice it all too often seems to go like this, "We leave you, the people, to freely elect your leader... but dare not choose the man whose wife wears an Islamic-style headscarf!"