Sunday, December 31, 2006

America's Frankenstein Executed in the Gallows

Finally, it's over! The chapter on Saddam closed yesterday, perfectly timed on the eve of Eid-al-Adha, presumably as a gift to the Shias of Iraq. The gift was well received, it so seems, based on the celebrations in Sadr city, under the control of devil's own brother, Muqtada al-Sadr. Yesterday Saddam laughed and Muqtada cried tears of sorrow, today Saddam is dead and Muqtada cried tears of joy, and tomorrow, Muqtada will be in the same gallows, and both him and Saddam will see the fate that they have sowed for themselves. Who has killed more, no one really knows. Perhaps Saddam, as he had much time, but Muqtada was catching up quickly. I also don't want to get caught up in the Muqtada vilification. He is just the obvious one, I am sure the other Shia "Imams" share some of his work-load. I do wonder though how the 'moderate' Shias of the world see these Shia leaders, so I would love to hear from one of the Shias. Killing Saddam on the eve of Eid-al-Adha was another chapter of follies in America's Iraqi misadventure. While America tries to curb the sectarian violence, what a message to send to Iraqi Sunnis! I mean, stuffing it to them will only enrage, and confirm for Iraqi Sunnis that Iraq is firmly in the hands of the Shias, and that they (the Sunnis) will eventually be wiped out. Hello America Iraqi policy-makers, is anyone home? Interestingly, the final exchanges and the sound bytes from the gruesome execution video (the complete, "raw" one; viewer discretion advised) included typical Shia chants (the way they say Allahuma Sale ala Muhammad). I wonder if the Iraqi government had contracted out the execution to Sadr's family?

Saddam and Frankenstein, I am sure many of you have probably picked up on the analogy. In fact, I'd like to refer to him as Saddamenstein. I don't know if you have heard the story of Saddamenstein, so if you haven't, here's your new bed-time story.

You see Saddamenstein is America's own creation that went oh, so wrong. As with America's many woeful tales of failed foreign policies, Saddamenstein was America's man in their proxy war against the Iranian Satan. For 8 years, America supplied weapons, including chemical ones, otherwise referred to as WMDs. I remember seeing a cartoon that showed Uncle Sam asserting, "We KNOW Iraq has them [WMDs]; here, we still have the receipts". As Saddamenstein used his weapons on Iranians (not that Iranians did not respond equally brutally), he became more brazen [Br. Chao's favorite word- inside joke], and used a few of them in his destructive campaign against the Kurds. Many of you may not be aware that he had prison camps, where Kurds were systematically tortured and killed, with names such as "Camp Abu Bakr", "Camp Umar", etc., names of the righteous Caliphs. And he planted hatred of Muslims and Islam in the hearts of the Muslim Kurds. Is it any wonder now that there are 3 camps in Iraq: Sunnis, Shias, and Kurds, even though Kurds are Sunnis themselves?!

So, Saddamenstein continued to go down the road of other America's failed experiments (Bin Laden also comes to mind). He next attacked Kuwait. In a thousand years, he would have never dreamed that his "creator" would turn against him, and not accept his unapproved invasion. What a folly! That marked the serious decline of Saddamenstein, as his creator was now on the crusade to take him out. After all, Saddamenstein was out of control, and the last thing you want is to have your experiment blow up in your own face. So, America's might was shipped off to the Persian Gulf to remove Saddamenstein (newly crowned as a "dictator"). Of course, America's media, partners in crime as always, started ripping Saddamenstein apart, reminding people how bad he really was. The fact that they had slept so long on these crimes against humanity mattered not. Because, before Saddamenstein was our friend, his crimes were simply 'friendly fire', merely 'collateral'; after his Kuwaiti adventure, the same crimes took on their true reality.

Once removed from Kuwait, the elder Bush made the right strategic decision for once. He let the dictator of Iraq, Saddamenstein, stay in Iraq. After all, Saddamenstein was an evil dictator, but he could be controlled, and a big Iraqi mess is not where Bush wanted to be in. Saddamenstein's rag-a-tag army was roundly defeated. His wrath was limited to some scuds that mostly didn't do much damage. In the process of course, Israel benefited, getting some extra cash and weapons to protect itself from Saddamenstein. I mean, what's wrong with that? Saddamenstein was a mean dude, and Israel needed to protect itself from this mean dude. Just like the mean Palestinian kids with rocks. Once Saddamenstein was forced to retreat to his enclave, America wanted all of its WMDs back. Saddamenstein was not so thrilled. He had gotten used to those toys, their affect was painful, and he liked to try them on people. Perhaps it was a fetish for him; perhaps the power he had been granted by the world's superpower had gone to his head. Either way, he didn't want to give up these precious toys.

In order to keep Saddamenstein happy, the mad scientists around him told him that he they were on the verge of creating nuclear weapons. The fact that Iraq did not have any materials for it, neither any technical expertise, mattered not to Saddamenstein. He was tickled pink that he could be sitting on the bomb that he so wistfully recalled, had vaporized thousands in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, used by his own creator. So, why couldn't he use it? Of course the world knew that Saddamenstein was a crazy punk, he didn't really have anything of value. The so-called WMDs were limited to a few chemicals, which had probably expired by now. But, how else could America control Saddamenstein? Sanctions, ruthless sanctions. For many, many years, these sanctions crippled Iraq, crippled its economy, and killed millions of its children, mostly under 5 years of age. Saddamenstein didn't seem affected; he was eating well of course in his palace, while the country was slipping into an improvised nation.

Finally, a few years ago, our President, surrounded by his neocon crooks, felt that they had to take out Saddamenstein, because he was thumbing his nose at his creator. Of course, it mattered little that the Inspectors had found nothing, that Iraq under the sanctions could not have developed a toy bomb, let alone a nuclear one; the only thing that mattered was that America's weapons were getting old and the army out of practice. The remote threat that Iraq posed to Israel of course did not help; as remote as aliens attacking Israel. But the facts were not important. The 'war on terror' had to go on; where it went on, and against who, were details that could be worked out later. In that, Iraq obviously had nothing to do with 9/11, was not so obvious to the American people, as a poll several months after the Iraqi invasion showed. 70% Americans were duped into believing that Iraq was responsible for 9/11, another evidence of the complicity of America's media in this error of grand proportions.

A year or so ago, when you questioned America's failed experiment in Iraq, you would be bombarded with the questions straight from the Republican play-book, "Isn't Iraq better without Saddamenstein", or "Are you saying that you support Saddamenstein". Well, now more people are asking the same question, and more and more the answer is, Saddamenstein was a freak accident, a ruthless dictator, but he killed less people in his many years in power, than have been killed since the Iraqi invasion. Henry Blix, the former Arms Inspector thinks that Iraq is far worse off. I would venture to say that many, many Americans are following suit now. Most of the world, of course, agreed with Blix a long time ago. Iraqis seem to agree with Blix too, at least about the security situation.

So, on the false pretence of WMDs, America invaded Iraq, a decision that most Americans rue. A short honey-moon, when Bush's approval sky-rocketed, was followed by reality. The bee-hive had been disturbed, and the different factions in Iraq declared a killing feast on each other. Perhaps, Iraq needed a freak like Saddamenstein to keep control. Perhaps, Iraqis would themselves eventually change the situation for themselves, in more of a controlled fashion. After all, did not America itself have its own civil war? We learned too that you can't force democracy down someone's throat, but it took 3000 American lives, and anywhere from 400,000 to 800,000 Iraqi lives.

So, Saddamenstein is dead. But, we in America, love villains. So, who's next?

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Eid Mubarak to Everyone!

Today, we celebrate Eid, following the Day of Arafah in Hajj. Today our Khateeb, Sh. Yasir Q., reminded us of the great day that our Eid proceeds after, not 2 or 3 days after, rather the DAY AFTER. You get the drift.

May Allah accept from all of you and from us, our sacrifice, and our deeds. My brother, Jawad, is partaking in the journey of his lifetime, at Hajj, may Allah accept from him, and make his Hajj perfect, mabroor, inshallah. All of the blog readers, please take a moment to say a quick prayer for his safe return.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Abu Aaliyah = Sufi??

As I was perusing some blogs, I came across what I found rather shocking and startling. News of Abu Aaliyah's (Surkheel Sharif) conversion to Sufism, under the heading "One More Big Name Salafi who became Soofie Recently". Well, if you knew Abu Aaliyah (we had invited him to Houston once some time ago), you would react with some surprise to this news as well. So, I felt some immediacy in the need to verify the veracity of this information. What I found out was that this news was not only false, it was misleading. You see all Abu Aaliyah has done is to moderate his approach to madahibs, to the 'moderate' sufis, and so on. I think it would serve justice to touch on these subjects.

First to the madhabs, even though some of the "salafis" think that denying madhabs is bread and better of the manhaj, in fact over the centuries there have been only a few scholars who claim adherence to the Quran and Sunnah, who have also declared that there is no following of madahibs (these handful include Sh. Albani, Sh. Shawkani, Sh. Syed Sabiq and a few others). In fact, the vast majority of the ahl-hadith scholars have urged the masses that there is nothing wrong in following the madhabs, rather in most situations they should! For instance, Muhammad Hasan Ad-DaDoo is a Maliki scholar who is upon the Manhaj of the Ahl-Hadith in Mauratinia. For further info., I found this interesting article that reflects the essence of what I am trying to say here. So, what Abu Aaliyah has done in regards to following madahibs is to move to the more moderate, and common opinion amongst the scholars of ahl-hadith, like Bin Baz, IbnUthaymeen, etc. among the contemporaries. In my discussion with Sh. Yasir Q., he has been quite emphatic in not even talking or arguing about fiqhi points or madhabs, when talking to the laymen. And that the main issue is and never has been fiqh. Rather, what counts in the end, is Aqeedah. The linked article also goes into some of this detail.

Moving on to Aqeedah then, it has been confirmed by the trustworthy that Sh. Abu Aaliyah still subscribes to the pure Aqeedah of the salaf us saleh. And to be honest, that is what I really care about as well. It is true that he has Zaytuna, and a few other 'sufi-leaning' links on his website, but if you refer to my comments on the blog entry "TDC vs RIS", I have discussed this a bit. In essence, in the times we are living in, we have to be more concerned about bringing people to the Masjid or to pray 5 times, to just gain some level of religiosity, than to fight each other. I believe that is where Abu Aaliyah is coming from.

Also, I will be remiss if I fail to mention that the people of Sunnah have fallen short in pushing the areas of tazkiyah an-nafs (the purification of soul), at least in the Western lands. And that if you look at the great scholars of ahl-sunnah, they did not leave this area barren either. So, it is not that we need 'tareeqas' for this, but rather we need to urge our shayookh to address these topics as well. Hence, it seems that Abu Aaliyah is trying to bridge that gap... feeding the souls of people, who otherwise may have stepped into complete sufi zones. I do believe that Abu Aaliyah should have clarified this a bit more (perhaps he did in his UK circles), and I am not sure the exact hikmah of some of the links on his website, and why he does not still focus on Aqeedah too, but my own knowledge is so limited that I have to question myself a million times, before I question a person of knowledge.

Abu Aaliyah has his own institute (small, not at the level of AlMaghrib or others), known as the "Jawziyyah Institute". The name itself says a lot about Abu Aaliyah. That should become clear after reading the biography of the great Ibn al-Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah if you do not know this great scholar. Here is the link to the Abu Aaliyah's the Jawziyyah Institute.

Moving on to some recent works of Abu Aaliyah, he has done an interesting translation on a work by Shaykh Ahmad Bin Ibrahim Al-Wasiti, called "Miftah Tariq al-Awliya" (Key to the Saintly Path). I could not find anything inconsistent in this work from the position of the ahl-sunnah/ahl-hadith/salafi (whatever label one wishes to be ascribed with). Some interesting points:

  • Ibn Taymiyyah's tribute to Shaykh Ahmad as "our shaykh, the Imam"
  • His emphasis on the hadith of the Prophet (not transmission through dreams!)
  • Quote, "You must have a litany of invocation that are authentically related from the Prophet". So, the Shaykh not only urges the memorization of supplications, not only those from the Prophet, but rather those authentically narrated from him. This is a classic area of emphasis for the people of Sunnah.
  • Quote, "Be conscious that God watches you from above His Throne; from above the seven heavens." Thus, the Shaykh confirms the aqeedah of the ahl-Sunnah, that indeed is Allah is above the Throne, neither "everywhere" nor "no where".
  • Emphasis on the prayers (ritualistic salat, not "we pray in our hearts" extreme Sufism).
In essence, the saintly path is one that is full of worship to Allah in sincerity (the obligatory prayers, the authentic supplications, and the supererogatory prayers), the lowering of the gaze and remembering that you are in the Gaze of Allah at all times, and being in the company of the righteous, not the evil-doers. SubhanAllah, it is everything we have been learning, just in more focus. This is indeed the true tawassuf of the salaf, free from music, dancing, and other forms of shirk, bidah, and exceeding the boundaries set by the Prophet, and practised by the companions.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Texas Dawah Links

Of course, I am not the only one in the post-TDC-sadness-syndrome. Many others are talking about it... here are a few links to peruse:

Abdur-Rahman Chao's Blog:

Lota Enterprises:

Al-Maghrib forums:

Crescent Youth forums (needs registration before viewing):

Ruth's Straight Path blog:

Young Muslims forums:

Amar Razali blog (mostly in Malaysian):

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Enough of Sami Yusuf... Yvonne Ridley's Common Islamic Sense

I am shocked and amazed when I saw Sami's "concerts" on youtube. When I see Muslims, men and women, screaming and waving as if they are in a U2 concert, it is indeed a scary sight. Wearing hijabs while engaging in this behavior is not only unIslamic but also wierd. Sami Yusuf responded to this with an open letter to Yvonne, suggesting that he doesn't agree with some of the behaviors but how could he be responsible for that? Well, dah... when you dress, act, sing like a rockstar, what do you expect teenage girls to do? Their parents want them away from the U2s, and now you are the 'halal' alternative. Yet, this is exactly the deception of Shaytan. Haram in the name of Islam, making it just a little easier for the parents to swallow. Same concept as what many "halal lenders" do when giving out loans, changing names and terms, and making it all soooo halal. So, a shout out to all the Muslim fans of Sami Yusuf: I know many of you listen to other music as well, or you used to. And I cannot say that this is not better (because at least the wordings are not obscene), but there is no doubt that this is haram too. So, DON'T fool yourself. If you want to listen to Sami, know it is wrong, have the guilt, so that Allah may one day remove you from the listening of Shaytan's tools, and instead fill your heart with Quran. May Allah guide Sami, Yusuf Islam, and all other "Muslim popstars" to see the deception of Shaytan's ways

The link to the following article is bad, so I had to find it in the google cache:

Pop Culture in the Name of Islam
YVONNE RIDLEY in Muslim Weekly
Monday, April 24, 2006

I FEEL very uncomfortable about the pop culture which is growing around some so-called Nasheed artists. Of course I use the term ‘Nasheed artists' very lightly. Islamic ‘boy bands' and Muslim ‘popsters' would probably be more appropriate.

Eminent scholars throughout history have often opined that music is haram, and I don't recall reading anything about the Sahaba whooping it up to the sound of music. Don't get me wrong. I'm all for people letting off steam, but in a dignified manner and one which is appropriate to their surroundings.

The reason I am expressing concern is that just a few days ago at a venue in Central London, sisters went wild in the aisles as some form of pop-mania swept through the concert venue. And I'm not just talking about silly, little girls who don't know any better; I am talking about sisters in their 20's, 30's and 40's, who squealed, shouted, swayed and danced. Even the security guys who looked more like pipe cleaners than bulldozers were left looking dazed and confused as they tried to stop hijabi sisters from standing on their chairs. Of course the stage groupies did not help at all as they waved and encouraged the largely female Muslim crowd to "get up and sing along." (They're called ‘Fluffers' in lap-dancing circles!)

The source of all this adulation was British-born Sami Yusuf, who is so proud of his claret-colored passport that he wants us all to wave the Union Jacks. I'm amazed he didn't encourage his fans to sing "Land of Hope and Glory." Brother Sami asked his audience to cheer if they were proud to be British ,and when they responded loudly, he said he couldn't hear them and asked them to cheer again.

How can anyone be proud to be British? Britain is the third most hated country in the world. The Union Jack is drenched in the blood of our brothers and sisters across Iraq, Afghanistan, and Palestine. Our history is steeped in the blood of colonialism, rooted in slavery, brutality, torture, and oppression. And we haven't had a decent game of soccer since we lifted the World Cup in 1966.

Apparently Sami also said one of the selling points of Brand UK was having Muslims in the Metropolitan Police Force! Astafur'Allah! Dude, these are the same cops who have a shoot-to-kill policy and would have gunned down a Muslim last year if they could tell the difference between a Bangladeshi and a Brazilian. This is the same police force that has raided more than 3000 Muslim homes in Britain since 9/11. What sort of life is there on Planet Sami, I wonder? If he is so proud to be British, why is he living in the great Middle Eastern democracy of Egypt?

Apparently the sort of hysteria Sami helped encourage is also in America, and if it is happening on both sides of the Atlantic, then it must be creeping around the globe and poisoning the masses. Islamic boy bands like 786 and Mecca 2 Medina are also the subject of the sort of female adulation you expect to see on American Pop Idol or the X-Factor. Surely Islamic events should be promoting restrained and more sedate behavior.

Do we blame the out-of-control sisters? Or do we blame the organizers for allowing this sort of excessive behavior which demeans Islam? Or do we blame the artists themselves?

Abu Ali and Abu Abdul Malik, struggling for their Deen, would certainly not try to whip up this sort of hysteria. Neither would the anonymous heroic Nasheed artists who sing for freedom; check out Idhrib Ya Asad Fallujah, and you will know exactly what I mean.

Fallujah is now synonymous with the sort of heroic resistance that elevated the Palestinians of Jenin to the ranks of the resistance written about in the Paris Communeand the Siege of Leningrad. The US military has banned the playing of any Nasheeds about Fallujah because of the power and the passion it evokes.

If those Nasheeds had sisters running in the streets whooping and dancing, however, the Nasheeds may be encouraged because of haram activity surrounding them.

Quite frankly, I really don't know how anyone in the Ummah can really let go and scream and shout with joy at pleasure domes when there is so much brutality and suffering going on in the world today. The rivers of blood flow freely from the veins of our brothers and sisters from across the Muslim world. Screaming and shouting the names of musical heroes drown out the screams coming from the dungeons of Uzbekistan where brothers and sisters are boiled alive in vats of water. How many will jump up and down and wave their arms in the air, shouting wildly for justice for our kin in Kashmir, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Palestine, and Iraq? There are many more killing fields as well across the Asian and Arab world. Will you climb on theater chairs and express your rage over Guantanamo Bay and other gulags where our brothers and sisters are being tortured, raped, sodomized, beaten, and burned? Or will you just switch off this concerned sister and switch on to the likes of Sami Yusuf because he can sell you a pipe dream with his soothing words and melodic voice?

Oh, Muslims, wake up! The Ummah is not bleeding; it is hemorrhaging.

Listen not to what is haram. Listen to the pain of your global family.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Positive Story on Texas Dawah on Fox 26 News

Here's the link to a FOX clip about the Texas Dawah Convention. It is truly amazing when FOX will say anything positive about Islam.

Here's the link

Islam Conference at the Brown Convention Center Show that Islam and Terrorism Have Nothing in Common
Islam and terror was the main topic at a conference at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Organizers say the meeting was to show terrorist how hide behind Islam and they twist the teachings of Islam for personal gain. They tell the purpose of the convetion was to teach young people the need to challenge extremist.

Texas Dawah Day 4 (Conclusion)

Sadness started to seep in as the last words of yet another great TDC were spoken... sadness of leaving the brotherhood and the Hajj-like (well about 1% of it) environment at the Convention. The concluding session of TDC covered the title of the Convention -- "Islam, a light for all ages". Br. Sidky, Sh. Hasan Khalil, Sh. Sadakullah, Sh. Ibrahim Dremali, Sh. Yasir Qadhi, and finally Sh. Waleed took turns to make some concluding gems

Before the actual wrap-ups, a brother who had come all the way from the Caribbean JUST for the Convention presented a 5-10 minute slide-show on Islam in the Caribbeans. He started with some historical background, then broke it down with other interesting statistics about Muslims there. 10% of Trinidad and Guyana, for instance, is composed of Muslims. There are dawah activities there, Islamic schools, and of course Islamic politics! The brother closed with telling the audience that he did not want our funds, just our duas. Even though his presentation was simple and straightforward, it touched many people, and reminded us of how Allah's noor is reaching every corner of the globe.

Br. Ahmed Sidky was succinct and cool. He talked about how he was not practising Muslim, that he went to the Mosque just to pray his 2 rakahs of tarawih, then leave with his friends, but the Imam stopped him, smiled at him, and asked him to come to Qiyaam. Br. Ahmed asked, what Qiyaam was, and the Imam reply to them was, "just come". When he did come, he asked the Imam to give him advice because he was leaving for America. The Imam replied, "go to the Masjid whenever you can and as much as you can". Br. Ahmed asked him, "that's it?", because he is used to Sheikhs "talking too much" (audience enjoys that comment with a big laughter). The Imam replied with "yes". Br. Ahmed said this advice changed his life, because he would keep this commitment to the Masjid, and that this was advice to the audience.

Sh. Hasan Khalil started with some beautiful recitation. He reminded the audience that the Quran was a light from Allah. He said that Muslims want everyone to be guided with this light, but we have to do this with compassion and concern. He insisted that it will not be easy, that we need to expect hardships, but as someone relying on Allah, why would we stop? He asked the audience to apply what was learned. To do small actions out of sincerity. He mentioned that he felt like a stranger when stepping out of the Convention, due to the presence of Muslim brotherhood and love.

This was Sh. Sadullah Khan's first time at the Convention and he had many words of praise for it. He reminded the audience that sometimes we focus on rituals (which we should), but sometimes we miss the bigger purpose behind the rituals, such as the affect of prayer on brotherhood. He urged the audience to bridge the gap between values and action, between the glorious past and future. He said there was no such thing as "we live in a bad time". We blame the time for being bad, but it isn't bad, time will be what we want it to be. We are the problem, if we do good, then we will make it "good time" instead. We not only have to do Islamic activities, but also be involved in social works, such as feeding the hungry, etc. He ended with reminding us that we need to spread the light we earned here. That it was more important to be just than to demand justice.

Sh. Ibrahim Dremali started by telling the audience that his message was going to be one of optimism and positive energy. He admitted that Muslims were going through hardships. But, he also reminded us that the Mongols were far worse in their oppression. And later these same tyrants converted to the message of the people they killed, and became some of the greatest dai'as. He urged the Muslims to not give up, things will change. But things will change only if we change ourselves. He reminded the audience of the Prophetic saying, where when asked by his companions to make dua for Allah's victory, he reminded them about the previous nations, who had it so much harder, such that a hole would be dug, with the believer placed in it, and then cut into half. He ended on the note of hope and certainty, as the Prophet had said that things will progress from Prophethood to just Khilafa, to just Kingdoms, to dictators (hint: sounds a lot like our time), and then back to the khilafa upon the nabuwa (the message of Islam).

Sh. Yasir Qadhi (needs to hyperlinks for intros) said that he was stumped by Br. Ahmed's statement that Shayookh spoke too much... that he did not know whether he will justify Ahmed's assertion or cut his speech short. Good start Yasir, humor always works wonders. He also said that the Caribbean presentation reminded him of the hadith where the Prophet (S) said that Allah rolled the earth for him, so that he could see the East and the West and what he saw was this Ummah was everywhere subhanAllah...and we see the evidence of this. Who could have thought that ummah was thriving in Caribbean, he asked the audience if anyone knew where Carribean even was (the brother who did the presentation raised his hand and the audience enjoyed that). Yasir reminded everyone that the Ummah was thriving. Yes, he said, that we do live in times that can be depressing. But the depression cannot and should not last permanently. How about the story of Taif, where the Prophet was unsuccessful after 10 yrs of dawah, pelted, bleeding, till he stumbled 5 miles away! He was in shock. But right after this shock, the Prophet came across a man, who he gave dawah, and this man became a Muslim. So, he did not let one sad incident prevent the good from another. Yasir asserted that Wallahi if we are not saddened by the Muslim situation, then we don't have faith. But that we needed to use the sadness to do something positive, and not to despair. We will overcome, this is the promise of Allah. But change begins with me and change begins with you. What can we do, Sheikh asked? Some people think that they have the responsibility of the entire ummah upon their shoulders, and they get depressed, and not do anything! Think differently, what can we do to benefit the ummah, that we need to stop thinking we can fix the entire world, and start with tiny steps first, and make an impact on things we can control and/or affect. That we use our individual unique talents to do something constructive. Then, we'll see the domino effect. Sh. Yasir then set forth the parable of the ummah like the room where the lights go out. And each person takes out a small light, consequently leading to the whole room being lighted. [See the blog entry with Yasir's video on the 12x6 hijab, which was a repetition of this parable]. He questioned the audience if Salahudin knew what he will become when he grew up? No. So how do you know that you won't be the next salahudin or ibn taymiah? At the least if we can't affect anyone else, we can at least change ourselves, and save our souls from the hellfire. Was that not sufficient in itself as a reason to do something? So after the Convention, will we the same? Or will we change? Yasir concluded with the Quranic ayah, that they wish to destroy light of Allah, of surety Allah will perfect the light , even if the disbelievers don't like it.

Sh. Waleed was the last to take the podium. He took some lessons from the Seerah and spoke about the need for optimism. Once a young woman came whose name was Asiya, and the Prophet called her Jamilah, another man came whose name was Harb (war) and the Prophet said, no, you are Silm (peace), and so on. Names reflect the spirits of optimism or pessimism and the Prophet (S) did not lose the opportunity to spread the spirit of optimism. When he preached, he delivered messages, brimming with optimism. He (S) said to not say inshallah after dua, because that means you are adding some uncertainty, and pessimism in the supplication to Allah, have no doubt about it. However, optimism, Sh. Waleed, asserted was a skill that needed to be developed, and he gave several pointers: (1) Put your trust in Allah, He will deliver, because He has control over all the dominion. He mentioned the hadith where the whole mankind cannot do something or do something if Allah has not permitted it, (2) Be optimistic in appearance, look fresh, smell good [Amad's comment: esp. if you have to come to pray Jamah, so you don't have to make your brother try to steal fresh air far away from you :)], (3) Smile, it will help u get over problems, (4) Fill your heart with goodness, and it will make you optimistic. Sheikh mentioned a joke about a person who was a chain smoker, and when the local Sheikh asked him to quit, the guy gave him the proverbial "make dua for me". So, the local Sheikh took him in front of the Kabah and started making dua for more than 10 minutes, to give this smoker everything one could think of in the duniya and the akhira. The smoker, right behind him, was in high heavens, repeating amen after amen. In the end the Sheikh concluded the dua by saying "Ya Allah, don't accept any of my duas for him until he quits smoking!" The audience went into fits of laughter! (5) Choose to use positive words, (6) Be practical in your goals, so that you do not set yourself up for failure, and finally (7) Allah created us in different levels, so don't try to do everything that others do, but instead focus on your own strengths and on your own energies.

Alhamdulillah, truly, Texas Dawah was a blessed event. There were really no fights, no arguments to speak of. A few small issues here and there. But overall, the atmosphere was unmatched, the speakers were highly motivated, and the audience entirely thrilled. The number of people who witnessed this event was unofficially between 3000 to 3500. Considering that likely 500-1000 of Texas Dawah's potential attendees were at Hajj, this large number was truly outstanding. The Bazaar was great too, with a variety of Islamic stuff. It was pretty interesting to see how Islamic literature has increased and how the quality has really went up a notch. Inshallah, the CDs of all the lectures should be available soon...when that happens I'll post a reminder here. If you weren't there, and you wanted to be there, well, then there is no excuse not to get these CDs and obtain some of the light that the attendees received. And I urge all of the readers to please make plans for the next Texas Dawah, "Family in Focus: the best of you is the best to his family".

Monday, December 25, 2006

Texas Dawah Day 3

Another terrific day at Texas Dawah, although there was steep drop in the night entertainment value.

A few highlights from today:
Yasir Q.'s lectures were awesome as usual. For his second MSA lecture, the hall was overflowing to the point that they moved the lecture downstairs in the open prayer area to accommodate the large audience. His lecture on "Making Progress with Progressives" was excellently prepared. Since I attend this one, I have a few mental notes... in other words, there may be some errors, so don't quote me on this. His speech revolved around a fictional nation called "Veganapolis", where all the nationals only ate veggies, and they considered the rest of the world as "Primary", where people were uncivilized due to their eating habits (i.e. they ate meat). At this point, a man had 3 children: Salman, Khalid and Ali. When he died, his children were in a state of mental crises in their father's adopted homeland of Veganapolis. After some serious study, Salman came to his brothers and tells them that they have been duped, that Islam is indeed a false religion since all the Islamic texts are fill of carnivorous information, including the Prophet's love of a meat dish. So, according to Salman, a religion with such low 'morals' cannot be true. The brothers listen to Salman in great distress. It's Khalid's turn. He tells Salman that Salman has some valid points, but he has not done justice to the religion. Rather, Khalid says, in essence, "why do you want Allah to do everything?" That is, that the religion came for a certain time and place, and that we now have to adjust it to the new region. He further says that if you look at the madahibs, indeed the Hanafi madhab for instance disallows many types of meat from the sea, so the whole religion can and should evolve. So, Khalid tells Salman, I am a Muslim alhamdulilah, and the intellectual, 'reformed' Muslims need to adjust to the new reality of Veganapolis. It is now Ali's turn. He tells his brothers that though they stand apart in their declarations of faiths, they are indeed not that far apart. Both of them are operation from the same paradigm. Both hold the premise that meat is bad, and that eating meat is uncivilized and wrong, and assume that this must be true, and this must be the way god wanted it. But, who said so? Who makes that call? Yes, there are some things that are universally understood, like stealing is wrong, murder is wrong, etc. But, other things are different to different people. Some may like it, others may not. So, if it is not divine, then it is not an absolute reality or a firm premise. So, really, Ali tells both his brothers, both of you are indeed wrong. In fact, Ali tells Khalid, you have a bigger problem, because you have thrown water over 1400 years of scholarship and texts, so you will continue to face obstacle over obstacle as you try to blend your worldly premises with the divine messages. At least, Salman has completely separated himself from the religion, which no longer makes him accountable to be judged upon it.

Besides the 2 lectures that Sh. Yasir gave, he also participated in a get-together with AlMaghrib students. Here, we got to see another side of Mr. Q. He was asked about the conferences he attended recently, esp. about the one in Denmark alongside Irshad Manji, and other so-called progressives. And his answers were interesting to say the least. This would be considered privileged information... ask your qabeelah rep. to find out more!

Khalid, of course, stands for the progressives! They are a minority, but they are affecting people and their message is full of self-contradictions, and problems. Yes, there is some element of truth in their message. Indeed, every culture may have some difficulty in accepting all elements of Islam. When the revelations of inheritance for women was revealed in Makkah, the Sahaba had a hard time coming to terms with that, because it did not make sense to them. Similar is the case to certain things in certain places, as the world evolves, and human mentality changes. But, the message of Islam, if allowed to change with whims and desires, will no longer be the same message given by Allah. Sh. Yasir also threw water over comparisons that Progressives make with their being similar to Mutazilah. Yes, some elements of similarity exist, like rejection of hadith, like arrogance, etc. but while the Mutazilah were concerned with real matters of theology like predestination, etc., progressives complete concerns are around worldly human rights issues, like gay rights, women rights, etc. So, it is in fact an insult to the Mutazilah to be compared with Progressives!

Another speech I sat with was in the MSA with Abdur Rahman Chao, a Taiwanese student of knowledge from Maryland. He delved into many taboo topics about human sexuality, esp. as concerned with the youth. He talked about the pervasive amount of porn on the net, and how it can affect the human mind. There was much more that I am sure the teens in the crowd appreciated the frankness of.

Isa Galloway and Mohamed Elibiary talked about 'Navigating the Spheres of Influence'. Isa made some great points about influencing the different publics. He reminded the audience of the attacks on Texas Dawah by Chris Baker in 2003 due to a Shia Saudi dissident who fed the media misleading information about a scholar who was to speak to the audience via videolink. Texas Dawah passed that media test quite well, and build bridges with Baker. In fact, Baker was invited to Texas Dawah last year, and accepted but could not make it. Instead, Chris Critico came and talked to the audience. So, making bridges with different spheres of influence is an important step to get our message heard. Sh. Waleed's "In the mind of the terrorist" touched this somewhat tricky subject, and he mentioned several points to why and how the terrorists have lost touch with Islamic reality and how they have misinterpreted and sometimes even mis-translated religious edicts to suit their own message. He talked about how suicide attacks are becoming so common, and why these people don't consider the consequences of such an attack a million times before committing it. Because if they are indeed wrong, they will go to hell, so how is it that they are making this such an easy decision?

The career fair had a panel of eight guests who talked about different careers, which are in need of Muslims. A pschycotherapist mentiond how much Muslims are needed in this field. Because if Muslim kids come to a non-Muslim pschytrist to talk about problems with girls, what will the non-Muslim therapist know about this Muslim kid's values? The other reps. were from media industry, dentistry, etc.

The kids enjoyed a great showing by the Mad Scientist Show! Late night shows included a game-show, that kind of fell flat. It seems that game-shows just don't work well at Texas Dawah! However, it was followed by a fascinating short-movie production by the SEMY (Southeast Muslim youth) group that charted the story of Hajjaj ibn Yusuf and the scholar Sa'd ibn Jubeir. The movie was entitled 'the Scholar and the Tyrant'. The half an hour show was moving and well-directed. Well done!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Houston Chronicle Highlights Texas Dawah Convention

Finally, Chronicle wakes up to the event of the year, and something positive about Muslims. But credit where credit's due... where are the TV stations, where is 740KTRH, which is always jumping on Muslims' case about not doing 'enough' to portray positive images.

To the Muslim readers, take one minute, and email the author, as well as the Readers' Rep: and thank them for the positive story

Dec. 23, 2006, 10:57PM
'For the benefit of all mankind'
Local conference highlights Quran's teachings about the importance of honoring animals

A red-tailed hawk and a large horned owl were brought on stage Saturday morning as participants in the state's largest Islamic conference learned about Muslim values and animal rights.

"Animals have been created by Allah for the benefit of all mankind," said Sheik Yasir Qadhi. "This is a very fundamental idea in Islam."

Because animal rights have become an issue in recent years, Qadhi, a Ph.D. student of theology at Yale University, said he decided to study the issue as it relates to Muslims.

Qadhi said the Quran teaches that one reason God created animals was to worship God and to inspire people to do the same.

"One verse says, 'You will appreciate their beauty,' and that brings you closer to God," Qadhi said. "It is a part of faith and spirituality to contemplate nature around you. Believers are those who contemplate the creation, and that brings them closer to God."

'A finer point'

Animals rights are "a finer point" of the Muslim faith, but Qadhi said he wanted to study the issue and make the presentation during the conference.

An estimated 3,000 Muslims participated in the five-day Texas Dawah convention, which continues through Tuesday at the George R. Brown Convention Center.

The hawk and horned owls were brought on stage by members of Wildlife Rehab & Education a nonprofit organization that helps rescue and rehabilitate injured animals in the Houston and Galveston area. The Texas Dawah convention made a contribution to the organization. Volunteers also took the wild birds into the convention's "Kid Zone" for a demonstration.

During his lecture, Qadhi cited specific verses from the Quran relating to the treatment of animals.

The animal rights specifically noted in the Quran include the proper feeding of animals; the merciful treatment of animals; using animals for the purpose they were created; leaving animals in their "natural state," without mutilation, and allowing animals to live, unless they are a threat or a nuisance, Qadhi said.

Other highlights

For example, he said, Muslims can take steps to kill ants, roaches and rodents in their homes or property to protect their food and their children.

The five-day conference also included an interfaith panel discussion about the First Amendment, a discussion about tolerance in Islam and an award ceremony to honor positive role models in the American Muslim Community.

Awards were presented Saturday to former Houston Rockets star Hakeem Olajuwon, Farouq Al-Baz who participated in the Apollo program as supervisor of lunar science planning at Bellcomm Inc., a division of AT&T; Charif Bassiouni, law professor and president emeritus of the International Human Rights Law Institute at DePaul University in Chicago; and Sen. Larry Shaw a Democratic member of the North Carolina General Assembly.

Texas Dawah Day 2

My boys from Delaware are saying, "I heaardd dat!"

Yasir Q.'s lecture on Animal Rights was excellent. He gave the examples of the woman who went to the hellfire due to a cat, though she was a Muslim. While another woman who was a prostitute went to paradise with her compassion, feeding a thirsty dog.

Ibrahim Dremali's lecture on Khushoo in Prayer was amazing. He explained the Surah Fatiha and the hadith on it. And if you learn everything about this Surah we read in every rakah, then it will affect your whole prayer.

Sh. Salah as Sawy talked about the difference of opinion among the madahibs. His lectures were in Arabic, and his classes were packed.

The 2 highlights of the whole Convention were (1) Celebrating their success, profiling high-achieving Muslims of America, and (2) Late night with Irtiza Hasan, who could take on Jon Stewart after tonight's performance.

In celebrating the success of 4 individuals in America, Texas Dawah awarded honors to Larry Shaw, Senator from North Carolina; Cherrif Basyouni, Nobel Prize Nominee; Hakeem Olajuwan, NBA great, and Muslim role-model; Farooq al-Baz, part of the Apollo missions, and recognized at NASA for great achievements. The message from all of them was quite clear: as a Muslim, you have to work double as hard to achieve what a typical American would, because you look different, you talk different, and your name is different. But, they emphasized that knowledge will take you places where nothing else will, and will get you respected.

Late night with Irtiza was extremely entertaining. First up, Irtiza, following Jon Stewart's lead, showed several interesting pictures that threw the audience into fits of laughter. Then, the two brothers: Shariq and Bassam, who traveled all around Texas, documenting Muslims in the state, took the stage and shared interesting stories. After that, Larry Shaw took stage. He shared his experience in that he was supposed to fly to a CAIR dinner (he is on their national board), but didn't feel 'good' about it, and refused despite pleas from the CAIR organizers. And only to find out that this plane crashed, all 48 passengers dead, and the 49th, Larry Shaw, was not on board subhanAllah! Then Reem took stage... this girl memorized the Quran at the age of 7, and Irtiza shared a story about her, where she took her mom's credit card, and bought Finding Nemo over the internet (when she was 5 yrs old). Her dad (moa) took a few minutes to highlight how great Houston was (as opposed to Northeast America), and how we miss Houston. Then, I plagiarized a few notes from Reem's mother about the efforts and reasons for her memorization.

The next guest on Irtiza's show requires special mention. William Rodriguez was the last person to be pulled out of the rubble on 9/11. He gave a moving account of the events of that day. He talked about his efforts to get a proper and true investigation of 9/11, about his testimony in front of Congress, and other achievements and recognitions. Then, he vowed the audience, by telling them that he had recently become a Muslim!! He said that the aim of American media was to criminalize all the Muslims, yet when he went to Malaysia, he received better treatment than he had ever received. He took shahada at the hands of Sheikh Yusuf Estes, Allahu Akbar!

The last 2 guests were Sh. Waleed and Sh. Ibrahim Dremali. Irtiza reminded them of a story from Sh. Hasan Khalil where the imam went to the rest-room with his microphone (and it was on!). Both the 2 guest Shayookhs started laughing hard. It was interesting to hear that both the Shayookh had done a lot of diving. In fact, Sh. Ibrahim Dremali prayed Maghrib underwater (otherwise he would have missed it)! This reminded Sh. Waleed about the Sahaba-- it rained so hard in Makkah that there was flooding, so the Sahaba swam for the tawaaf around Kaba, diving to kiss the black stone. Also interestingly, Sh. Ibrahim also is a 3rd degree black-belt in karate, and loves to hunt! This is besides his doctorates in Islamic Shariah, and geology. Also. Sh. Ibrahim mentioned that he had recently been recognized by NASA for his study of minerals on the West and East coasts of Florida. Mashallah, what a full life, both worldly and for the akhirah!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Texas Dawah Day 1

Note: I have been pulled into organizational activities, so my blog will be weak at best... I'll try to pull info. from other people... see the following links for more blogs/tid-bits:

The highlight of today was the khutbah that we went to at the ISGH-SEZ mosque. The khateeb was Ibrahim Dremali. And he did not disappoint! All the major Mosques of Houston hosted speakers of TDC... Yasir Qadhi was the Main Center, Dr. Mamduh Mohammed (a surprise last-minute showing) at the El-Farooq, and so on. Houston had a real treat today!

So Sh. Ibrahim's Khutbah was full of gems (as our AlMaghrib brothers call it). He captured each person's attention and never let it go till the last words of the Khutbah. He talked about living with Taqwa, not just talking about it. He urged people to live for the akhira, not for the duniya. A funeral prayer was supposed to follow the Khutbah, and he used this opportunity to remind the folks that today we are praying for someone, tomorrow others will be praying for us. Every person will depart. He reminded people of the 4 things that afflict us, that will make our life miserable and not something Allah desires for us: (1) Consistent worry about issues in life (2) Work that never ends, (3) Fear of poverty, and never feeling satisfied, (4) Hope in worldly things that is never quenched.

Registration was pretty active, but tomorrow will be the big explosion inshallah of pre-registrations, and new registrations.

The only session today was the open session on 1st Amendment, and the place of religion in public life. The discussion was interesting, and touched many subjects of public life. Sh. Waleed mentioned how the Prophet never prohibited freedom of expression, and how he worked with the Jews of Madinah when he came there. Other people with more detailed notes can comment inshallah.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Houston Musings with Delaware Buddies....

Today, I was the tour guide for my homies from Delaware. This tour blog is in tribute to our missing friend from Delaware, who couldn't join due to Mash and other Mushy reasons... I can't call him out by name, his dad may choke me (inside joke). Three friends have actually arrived from Delaware to join the Texas Dawah Convention: Malik, Mash, and Dr. Abu-Pain. Those who know them, know who I am talking about...
So, we did our little Masjid tour... went to the North Zone Masjid. My friends were amazed at the size of this Masjid, a few minutes away from the Houston's George Bush airport. Then, we were off to the "Laal Masjid" which is the breakaway tableeghi masjid, next to the original tableeghi masjid called 'Madrassa Islamia'. Mashallah, Madrassa is the most active Masjid in Houston--- about 40:60 Arabs:Desi. And the Imam, Hafiz Iqbal is a force of good in Houston. He's cool with everyone, and most are cool with him. They have a full time hifdh school at the Madrassa, and they have some amazing Qaris there. Most or all of the teachers/Qaris are from Pakistan, but that doesn't bother anyone.
Later, we met up the ISGH Main Center, which has been newly renovated. Looked quite nice. This was for the Muslims in Texas exhibition as described in the Texas Dawah prelude. From there, we were off to the famous restaurants of Houston. Darband, an Iranian restaurants serves delicious kabobs and chicken (all halal 'allegedly':)). We weren't really hungry, but Dr. Abu-pain was, so we joined him, and ended up getting too full again.
From there, we somehow ended up going to Galveston on that aweful ferry ride, which sounds like a really good idea every 5 or so years. And then as soon as you spend about 10 minutes on it, you remember how bad it was the last time. And it was too cold to be there, the wind-chill got to your spine (of course Houston's 55F nights are no comparison to Delaware's 30F, but the wind on a fast-moving ferry made it seem like 10F). Things did get a little interesting here. As were getting ready to get in line for the ferry, we were moved to a closed lane, and realized that we were 'randomly' picked for vehicle search! Random, of course. I have some choicy words for this random pickings, but I'll reserve it for myself. The only other random cars out of perhaps 30 of them, was a black guy. "Driving while black" syndrome still exists, but "Driving while Muslim" is surely taking over! Finally, after our "awesome" ferry adventure, we got home, late and tired. But this entry had to go in while the mind was fresh. Oh, the homies from Delaware did buy a flash-disposable-camera to take pictures of mosques and shayookhs... its my job now to get the sheikhs in the pics! Later.

Texas Dawah Blog - Prelude

Today, Texas Dawah kinda began, with the official opening of the "Muslims in Texas" exhibit organized by University of Texas MSA. It was a media event. Well, at least the Chronicle showed up, which was good of them. As we Muslims all know, there would be a lot more media if Muslims were involved in something negative, and not much interest when it is positive. Side-bar to Muslim-bashers, this is another example of media not covering the 'good Muslims'.
Anyway, the event was still mashallah well-organized. Simple and succint. Some portraits and banners were set up. There were some honorary guests: MJ Khan, who is an elected member of the Houston City Council, which is quite a big deal here (its the 4th largest city in America). Rodwan Saleh, the respected President of ISGH was there. Mashallah, he is a humble man, probably the best president that ISGH has ever had. And there was Sh. Waleed of course and Esa Galloway (former Ex. Director of CAIR Houston). Of course, the purpose was to get some news out on the Convention, hopefully the Chronicle article will help. I'll post the link to it when I see it. Registrations have been very encouraging so far... may Allah make this the most successful TDC.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

An Unheard Tragedy in America

This story will make you sad (link below). It may make you cry. But, it will remind you yet again where America is heading.

So, listen to it, then read on: This American Life (look for Episode 322):

Play close attention to the topic of 9/11 memory materials issued by the school district. Consider the ongoing indoctrination of little kids against Islam and Muslims. Similar to what happens in Israel regarding Palestinians, and similar to what the West blames Muslims for (i.e. we are teaching our kids hatred). But remain optimistic. A Muslim is never pessimistic. Keep struggling to stem the tide of hatred, bigotry and racism. Block Islamophobia before it consumes you. All of us have a part to play, all of us. Start with supporting CAIR, make a donation right now, or tomorrow or this month, but definitely this year. Earmark at least 0.5% of your income to it, preferably 1%. You, and me, we all need to do it. Its the only play we have left. And before I finished writing, I went here and gave a little... so why don't you:

A few musings about this story concerning the Muslims in it... I hate to be critical of the family who faced such hardships. All my sympathies are for them but there are a few lessons other Muslims considering similar situations should take to heart: I wish the couple had thought harder before moving to a 'quaint' town, away from Muslims. Muslims need to stay close to Muslims. If anything, its provides a support group, it gives the Muslim kids the opportunity to have Muslim friends (in addition to non-Muslim friends). A finger is easy to break, a fist gives strength to all of the fingers. It may have helped avoid the situation the poor lady found herself in. I wish the husband would not desert his wife. Perhaps he was too new to America and couldn't communicate or do much, but he could stick it out--- for his wife and for her kids. I wish the mom was not so stubborn. What's wrong with living near more Muslims, or even in Palestine? At least the kids would remain Muslim or want to be Muslim versus being under so much pressure to denounce Islam. I wish the parents had gone to CAIR and discussed the issues with them. Finally, I wish that we all donate to CAIR so that it would be able to help other families in similar situations, who pick up the phone and call CAIR. HELP CAIR HELP THEM.

Back to Houston, for Vacation (??!) and Texas Dawah...

I have arrived in good ole Houston... yesterday, I landed in the city that I love most in America. Yeah, its bland, its hot, its humid and its flat. But you know what, you could have the ugliest kid, but to you he would be the most beautiful. So, I grew up (at least since i have been in America as a teenager) in Houston. And Houston grew on me. It is absolutely true that the culture and environment of a city will affect all of its people... so the southern hospitality creeps into the Muslim community here as well. While up in the Northeast where I HAD to move, the non-friendliness, the independent, uncaring nature has also seeped into the Muslim community there. Of course exceptions all around.
I will be spending my vacation in Houston--- who would have thought that one would want to spend his vacation in Houston?? Well when you leave Houston, you miss it.
I'll be at Texas Dawah inshallah starting Friday. I was planning to be simply an attendee for the FIRST time instead of running around like a chicken with a neck cut-off, as has been the case in my previous years as an organizer. However, I was given the glad (or sad depending on how you see it) tidings by Sh. Waleed himself that I will be the 3rd floor manager... what?? Well, I'll find out what that means when I get there. For now, I am happy to help Texas Dawah, the infant that I cradled, the giant that it has become. Alhamdulilah.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Last Breath...

The same inspiring nasheed with a different twist... the soccer player who was here one moment, and gone the next...

Muslims Facing Increasing Islamaphobia in Europe-- Daah

On the heels of Yasir Q's thunderous speech in UK (see below) where he criticized Europe's growing xenophobia, and more precisely islamophobia, an official report from the European Union affirms that Muslims aren't just dreaming up this rising racism in Europe (already here in USA too, but we haven't seen anything yet!). The report confirms what Muslims already know, and already experience in Europe and to a lesser extent in America. The report is wide-ranging in the topics of discussion as well as the statistics mentioned.

On the web: (Download full report here)

For instance, the report asserts that Muslims are all too often 'disproportionately represented' in unemployment statistics, and many are well behind the European mainstream in education and housing conditions, the report says. I believe that is what makes American Muslims a little different from European Muslims. So far, Islamophobia in America is more hidden, however, that is changing fast too. Here's a small example of why I say that: A recent study done by a Rice professor found that 2 Muslim women on an apartment-hunting mission were treated starkly differently with one wearing the hijab, and the other not. 60% refusal rate on the sister with the hijab, how's that for America's growing Islamophobia. Such a report would obviously make headlines if it was a Jew with a yamaka or even a Sikh with his turban. But not so for Muslims. We make headlines only when we are the ones committing injustice, not when injustice is committed upon us. See this discrimination study hidden in the article: