Are most extremists Muslim?

Right-wing extremists are the most dangerous group in America

Contrary to popular perceptions around violent extremism in the United States, a new study by the Anti-Defamation League has found that essentially all murders by extremists were committed by right-wing terrorists.

This finding goes against the main ways we talk about violent extremism, as right-wing violence is almost never acknowledged as a legitimate problem to reconcile.

“For too long, policymakers have focused disproportionate attention on the threat of Islamist extremism, to the detriment of readiness to address many other security issues,” said the researchers from the Anti-Defamation League.

As easy as it is to talk about banning Muslims from entering the United States, or stopping a caravan invasion from South America for the crimes of extremism and violence, to apply the same standards to “conservatives” or “white-people” would be unthinkable, as it should be.

However, this also means that we are yet to fully acknowledge the underlying issues around last years attacks, which made it the 4th-deadliest year in the United States since 1970.

If we want to tackle extremist violence, we need to be serious about where it’s actually coming from.

Jordan’s Mosques Go Green!

Jordan is looking to a solar-powered future for it’s mosques and schools

Jordan is setting an example for the rest of the world with a nation-wide push to switch to renewable energy sources.

Since 2014, this push has focused on the nations many mosques, which are now almost all powered by solar energy.

Schools and public buildings have also led the charge in adopting solar energy.

The aim for Jordan is to make its capital city, Amman, completely carbon-neutral by the year 2050.

“The main reason for the use of solar energy is religious duty,” said Ahmad Al Rawashdeh, the Imam of the Ta’la al-‘Ali mosque in Amman. Islam urges conservation of nature’s resources, he said, and “warns against extravagance”.

This initiative is particularly effective due to Jordan’s plentiful sunlight, with the country getting 300 sunny days every year.

These kinds of natural advantages will be essential if Jordan, and other Middle-Eastern countries, want to shift away from their overwhelming dependence on fossil fuels. Despite the push for solar panels, 96% of Jordan’s energy comes from fossil fuels imported from its neighbours.

May Allah reward Jordan for this initiative and give all nations the ability to switch to sustainable energy sources.

Muslims Help Homeless during Snowstorm

Muslims Help Homeless during Snowstorm

A snowstorm swept in and overtook Seattle Washington this past couple of days burying a large proportion of the city under the snow. Reports say that homeless people were the victims of the storm as they found no shelter to keep themselves warm.

Some Muslims from Seattle took it upon themselves to help those who were in need at a time where it is extremely dangerous to sleep outdoors. MAPS (The Muslim Association of Puget Sound) have taken the initiative to provide 14 hotel rooms for 28 residents. Considering the expensive costs of renting hotels, these Muslims stepped up to the task stating that their religion teaches them this. Nickhath Sheriff, the founder of the social services arm of the Muslim Association of Puget Sound said: “Our Muslim faith teaches us to take care of our neighbours during times of need”

May Allah bless those all around the world who are in the service of the needy.

Why is the world silent about Hakeem and Nada?

Remember all of the outrage around Rahaf Mohammad al-Qunun, the Saudi Arabian refugee who barricaded herself inside a hotel in Thailand? Well, there are other refugees from the Middle-East looking for safety, but they have been nowhere near as successful in getting it.

Remember the case of Rahaf Mohammad al-Qunun, the Saudi refugee who barricaded herself inside a hotel in Thailand? Whilst she was quickly accepted as a refugee in Canada, there are many others who wait in limbo for months, if not years, with no end in sight.

One such refugee is Hakeem al-Arabi, a footballer who was tortured for alleged dissent towards the Bahraini government. He was 19 at the time. In 2014 he fled to Australia and was granted refugee status. However, in 2018 whilst on his honeymoon with his wife, he was arrested by the Thai government on the basis of an Interpol notice put out by the Bahraini government. Whilst this notice was quickly removed, he has remained behind bars ever since.

There is also the Yemeni refugee Nada Ali, who attempted to enter Canada illegally in 2017, and has been waiting ever since to be granted asylum after fleeing war-torn Yemen.

This has raised the real question of why Rahaf’s case was resolved within a single week, whilst scores of others continue to wait for any official recognition and assistance.

Many have pointed out that in these very similar cases, one major difference was Rahaf’s exuberant rejection of Islam, which she has repeatedly publicised on social media. Eating pork and drinking wine have been received by many in the west as “acts of liberation” which proved her place in Canadian society.

Meanwhile, however, the cases of Hakeem and Nada continue unresolved, which may be in part due to their continued commitment to their faith.

Australian Judge Criticises Quran

Justice Desmond Fagan says the Qur’an needs to be denounced by Muslims

According to this Australian Judge, the problem with terrorism is the Qur’an. And that’s not the only he has said about Islam.

Whilst sentencing 2 young extremists, Justice Des Fagon said Muslims should denounce some verses of the Qur’an.

He also claimed that  terrorists’ moral conviction might be weakened if Muslim leaders made a clear public disavowal of the verses

His comments were criticised by many Muslims, who said those verses did not “unmistakably instruct believers” to commit violence.

“All Muslim associations that are registered and well-known in Australia have condemned acts of violence and have condemned the use of terrorism,”

said Silma Ihram, President of the Australian Muslim Women’s Association.

“So to hold us to account for the misinterpretation and misuse of our holy book is inappropriate.”

Justice Fagan also said last year that Australia was under attack by a group of Muslims who wanted to impose Sharia Law

Is it right for a judge to comment on a religious text?

According to the Muslim legal Network, it isn’t.

“His honour’s commentary… conflates crime and religion, which risks fuelling Islamophobic attacks and further division,” they said in a statement

We hope that such comments will not be repeated in future.”

Palestinian Teenage Girl Shot Dead by Israeli Soldiers

Israeli Soldier Kills Teenage Girl

While Samah Zuhair Mubarak was walking to checkpoint carrying her school bag, she was shot and killed by Israeli soldiers.

Mubarak was 16 years old and it was believed she was carrying a knife attempting to stab an Israeli soldier.

However, no Israeli soldier was harmed during the incident.

Israeli police have released footage has to what had occurred that seems to have been edited.

The video shows Mubarak wearing a black niqab and carrying her school bag approaching the az-Za’ayyem checkpoint in the occupied West Bank.

It shows an altercation from a distance in which a person appears to stumble or lunge forward, and then a fall backward onto the ground.

It is uncertain as to what had occurred seconds, prior to the incident as the video has been altered.

There is also footage of soldiers handcuffing the clearly immobilised Mubarak who is lying on the ground while another soldier points a rifle at her.

It was reported by many local media organisations that first responders were prevented by the Israeli soldiers to aide Mubarak.

It is evident through the images that have been released by the Israeli police or those circulating social media that no attempt was given at saving her life by medical personnel or examination of her body.

In reference to such incidents in the past, Amnesty International has stated that it is “a basic duty under international law to provide medical aid to the wounded, and failure to do so – especially intentional failure – violates the prohibition on torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.”

Israeli forces took Mubarak’s body away to an unknown location via ambulance, this is done to prevent her family from burying her according to tradition.

A family member told Palestinian media that following the killing of Mubarak, her father Zuhair Mubarak was summoned for interrogation, but then detained at Ofer military prison.

Samah’s uncle, Fathi al-Khalidi said,

“Samah has childish personality, she has no extremist thought or ideology, she comes from a religious family, we are all religious, and she would not do what Israel claims.”

Samah is the third Palestinian child to be killed by Israeli forces since the beginning of 2019.

Anti-Islam Dutch Politician converts to Islam

Anti-Islam Dutch Politician converts to Islam.

A former Dutch Politician has just accepted Islam after spending years campaigning against the religion.

Joram Van Klaveren, a former member of Geert Wilders’ Anti-Islamic Freedom Party, PVV, announced his conversion to Islam earlier this week.

Van Klaveren said he made the decision last October whilst writing a book initially intended to demonise the religion.

“During that writing, I came across more and more things that made my view on Islam falter,” he said in an interview with Dutch Radio.

Van Klaveren was a member of the PVV Party from 2010 to 2014. During this time, he campaigned harshly against Islam, stating that “Islam is a lie” and “Quran is poison”.

In a recent interview, he expressed his guilt over these past statements and stated that he was “simply wrong”. He also added that it was part of the PVV policy to link all negativity to Islam in one way or another.
Van Kalveren however left the PVV in 2014 after hearing Geert Wilders make racist remarks regarding Moroccans. He then went on to set up his own party, however he quit politics in 2017 after failing to win a seat in the national elections.

Van Klaveren is in fact not the first person to convert to Islam from the right wing PVV party. Arnoud Van Doorn, a former PVV official, had also converted to Islam in April 2013.

Van Doorn had also campaigned heavily against Islam during his stretch with the PVV, even going to the extent of filming an anti-Islamic documentary. However this all changed after he visited a Mosque one morning and was warmly welcomed by the Muslims present. He ended up staying the entire day. This triggered his spiral into learning more about Islam until he eventually accepted the religion and performed the pilgrimage to Hajj, that same year.

Van Doorn congratulated Van Klaveren on his Twitter and offered him a free trip to Umrah in celebration of his new found decision.

He also posted “[I] never thought that the PVV would become a breeding ground for converts.”

The story of both brother Van Klaveren and Van Doorn are an incredible real life depiction of the Quranic verse:

“Perhaps Allah will put, between you and those to whom you have been enemies among them, affection. And Allah is competent, and Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.”

Quran 60:7

May Allah bless our brother on his journey and grant him steadfastness along this path.

Muslim killed protecting woman from harassment

Muslim man killed protecting woman from harassment in Egypt

A brave young Muslim, 28 year old, Sayed Taha, was murdered after intervening to stop a man from sexually harassing a woman in Cairo, Egypt.

The incident took place in the mid afternoon in the Basateen area of South Cairo. Taha, an owner of an ironing service shop, overheard a woman being harassed in a nearby restaurant. After attending the scene with his brother, he was able to stop a man from sexually harassing a woman. Both he and his brother successfully escorted the man from the premises and went about their day.

Hours later, Taha was approached by the family of the victim who wished to file a police report in relation to the incident. It was shortly after this that the attacker returned to the scene, breaking into Taha’s shop and stabbing him repeatedly, leaving Taha for dead.Taha leaves behind a 10 year old daughter and a widow. His family have spoken to the media Al Mehwar TV, praying that justice is served on Taha’s behalf. A GoFundMe page has also been launched to help his family in this dire situation, raising over $14,000 thus far.

Sexual harassment is a punishable offence in Egypt, carrying a prison sentence of anywhere between six months to five years. The attacker has since been imprisoned and is awaiting his sentencing.

Several campaigns have been launched in recent years addressing the topic of sexual harassment in Egypt. It is hoped that the tragic death of Taha will serve as an even stronger message to halt sexual harassment throughout the world.

May Allah have mercy on brother Sayed Taha and grant him a high station in Paradise.

Louisville Airport renamed after Muhammad Ali

Louisville Airport, Kentucky, USA has been renamed after the late champion boxer Muhammad Ali. The move was made in honour of the legacy he left behind in the city of Louisville, his hometown.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said in a news conference that Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport is a reminder that while Ali belonged to the world, Louisville was his home.

“Muhammad became one of the most well-known people to ever walk the earth and has left a legacy of humanitarianism and athleticism that has inspired billions of people,” Fischer said. “It is important that we, as a city, further champion the champ’s legacy. And the airport renaming is a wonderful next step.”

The Mayor also cited the fact that Ali’s name had become more recognisable than that of the city, hence making the name choice far more befitting.

The Louisville airport board said the decision came after a working group studied renaming the airport for more than a year. The board released this statement in regards to their choice of naming the Airport after him.

“On Wednesday, January 16, 2019, the Board of the Louisville Regional Airport Authority voted to meaningfully recognise the legacy of the humanitarian, boxing legend and Louisville native, Muhammad Ali by renaming the airport in his honour.”

Muhammad Ali was a proud Muslim and would often cite Islam when asked about his source of inspiration. He once said:

“I conquered the world, and it didn’t bring me happiness. The only true satisfaction comes from honoring and worshipping God. … Being a true Muslim is the most important thing in the world to me. It means more to me than being black or being American.”

May Allah have mercy on our brother Muhammad Ali who lived a life in service of Allah and left behind a legacy of goodness. The late boxer passed away in 2016, he would have been 77 on Thursday.

Australia Muslim High Achievers

Muslim Students are amongst the highest achievers in Sydney

The HSC ATAR results are out and friends and families are celebrating all over Australia. Local Muslim communities are also sharing some of that joy. Sydney Muslim schools and their respective students have broken barriers, scoring some of the highest achievements in the state.

This year saw the remarkable Noor Ibrahim scoring 99.95 which is the highest achievable mark possible in NSW and also she ranked first in the entire state for PDHPE, scoring a result of  98. Along with her classmate Fahaad Ahmed who graduated with an ATAR of 99.85, have both scored undergraduate entry offers to study Medicine at University of Sydney – a university that preserves such exclusive spaces for the most elite around Australia. They aren’t the only Muslim students to have achieved exceptional results this year.

Another Muslim high achiever, Azmain Talukder from Western Australia, has also achieved 99.95 a perfect score on his Year 12 exams. Al Faisal College, who ranked 26th in NSW with a state-ranker, Irna Khan, in General Maths. With only 55 students on their honour roll and only six years of HSC admissions, Al Noori is now ranked 42nd in the state. Malek Fahd Islamic School managed to maintain a top 100 ranking.