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Islam and Human Rights ( 27 Jun 2009, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Harassment of Minorities is not Islam

By Mike Ghouse

June 25, 2009

 The Taliban have begun harassing Ismaili Muslims in Pakistan. They would not spare any one and will not be satisfied until the last person left obeys them. If this trend is not checked and criticized, they may think that they have the approval from the Muslims. They don't.

 They need to know clearly and loudly that their ideology has no currency among Muslims and above all, their cruelty is not Islam, not one bit.

 We must also acknowledge that only 1/10th of 1% of a group resorts to extremism, including Muslims. It has nothing to do with religion, it has everything to do with their insecurities, fears and inabilities to dialogue and co-exist.

 A few thousand Taliban left in Afghanistan and Pakistan do not value a billion and a half Muslims who differ with them, you don’t mean a thing to them. When they usurp a little power, they take the steps in policing and compelling you to conformity. Please remember that God is about justice and he has not signed a deal with any one behind other people’s back. We have to find peace on our own, it is our individual and collective responsibility. We cannot have peace if we don't contribute any towards it.

 Since the late 50's, minorities under Muslim labelled governments have not lived a life of freedom and peace. They are afraid of the majority and shamefully, we the members of the society are letting it happen. However, we have to acknowledge, what Islam says is one thing and what Bully Muslims (in our behalf) do is the other. Mind you, the bullyism is not exclusive to Muslims, you'll find them in every faith, culture, race and nations, and Islam is no exception.

 The persecution of Ahmadiyya Muslims in Pakistan is a living example; they cannot even say "As Salaam u Aliakum" or call their place of worship a Masjid. The epidemic has now crawled over into Bangladesh and Indonesia as well. Did the Pakistani lawmakers even pause to think about the legitimacy of Hudood Laws? Some thirty years later another Avatar of Zia ul Haq employed the same strategy of fear and got the Patriot Act passed here in the United States. Both the laws are a stain on the civil societies.

 The Clerics in Malaysian government attempted to ban usage of the word "Allah" by Sikhs and Christians, how dumb can they be? No one has copy rights to any word of God, they belong to all mankind. Muslims don't own the Qur'aan either; it belongs to anyone who seeks wisdom in it, just as other holy books. Did those clergymen know the verse “Alhamdu Lillahi Rabbul Aalameen?” God is the lord of all universes – they should know it, they recite it at least 50 times a day.

 How many of us stood up to defend (Islam) the rights of Minorities? The bully rule was in place in Pakistan with no major protest. The loud mouths (1/10ths of 1%) still defend the draconian, non-Islamic Zia ul Haq rules with the label of Islam on it. It is much like labelling the meat as the oxymoron phrase "Halal Pork". Have the Pakistani Muslims spoken against it? We are supposed to stand for justice, aren't we? Isn’t that what makes us Muslims?

 Take it easy, we Americans are no different, we let Bush run all over us during the last six years, we did not even have the guts to speak out for the first four years, not even the rattish Senators and the congresspersons.

 There is a request floating around asking the Ismaili Muslims to share their religious practices or have access to their place of worship. At one time I believed that it was a good idea to share it and put things to rest, but would that stop the inquisition? How do you expect the Minorities to share their practices, and why should they? To be persecuted while the majority shamelessly watches it?

 Until you and I stand up for Justice, stand up for the rights of all human beings, including the minorities in either Sunni or Shia majority governments, we have not lived our religion nor have we contributed towards world peace, which is the purpose of Islam. The words used by the Prophet to describe one aspect of this stance was "Jihad" and the other is the inner struggle to be moral and to be righteous.

 Those few among us, who jump up and down pointing at the injustices done by the people of other faiths, nations and cultures, please know that our morality is not dependent on what others do or not do. We have to do our duty and leave it to God to give guidance to all.

 Let the minorities among us have the freedom to share what they want and we should defend that right. Insha Allah, let's begin that with you and I. Will you stand up? Better yet, should others stand up for you when you are threatened?

 Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims

 Shia Muslims believe that the spiritual leadership of Islam was passed on to Hazrat Ali at Ghadir Qum, when the Prophet was returning to Medina from his last sermon. They also believe that the Prophet had assigned the spiritual leadership (Imamat) to Hazrat Ali pointing towards him when the verse “the Deen is complete now” was revealed. Furthermore, the Shias believe that the Prophet used the word “Aal” meaning family in his last sermon. The Shia Muslims believe that the Prophet (pbuh) had said that he is leaving the book and his Aal for us to follow.

 Ismaili tradition is a branch of the Shia tradition, where one believed the 12th Imam was taken by God, and the Ismaili's believe that the imamat continued down to Aga Khan, the current Imam.

 Neither you nor they can judge who is a Muslim or not, that is the prerogative of Allah. However, most Muslims agree that on the Day of Judgment your ID will be simply Muslim and not any prefix or suffix, but more importantly, were you a good human being to God's creation?

 The other important value of Islam is freedom. This may come as a rude shock to some Muslims that even the innocuous asking "that I am fasting are you?" "It's time for Salat" are subtle compulsions and Islam does not believe in compulsion. Prayer is between Allah and the individual and not the responsibility of a government or other being.

 No one will come to your rescue on the Day of Judgment; neither your clergy nor the prophet would give you a free pass, it is your responsibility to earn it through good deeds.

 It would be nice to be a part of the congregational prayer, it has its own beauty and the lord listens to the congregants who come together in peace to do the peaceful thing. There should be no compulsion or even suggestion. Let the individual do his or her duty, it is not you, not me that is going to have to respond to God, it is the follower. If you can recall that the Prophet even told his daughter Fatima that she ain't going to get a free pass to heaven, because she is his daughter, she had to earn it on her own. Prayers should remain one’s choice and no one should compel the other.

 As Muslims, we do not have the time to do the Ijtihaad, the consultative decision making process on issues of the day. As a result we Muslims have been reduced to rituals, rather than the spirit. It is time to believe in the prime value of Islam; freedom.

 Mike Ghouse is a Speaker, Thinker, Writer, Moderator and a Blogger on Pluralism, Interfaith, civil societies, Terrorism, Peace, Islam and India. A conflict mitigater and a goodwill nurturer. He is a frequent guest on talk radio and local television networks offering a pluralistic perspective on issues of the day. His personal website

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 Mike, I am no Islamic scholar, but I must say this. Every religion, Islam no exception, has its own sect(s).But, it's most unfortunate Islam is the only religion under which its minority sects have to live under constant fear of persecution and discrimination in Islamic countries where they too should have equal rights and opportunities as any other Muslim.

 Within thirty years of Muhammad's death Muslim Community was involved in a civil war that gave rise to the several sects into which Islam remains divided to the present day. The civil war began with the murder of the Caliph by the tribesmen, and ended with the restoration of imperial unity under a new dynasty of Meccan Caliphs, ruling from Damascus, but it left deep divisions within the community. The largest group was composed of those who recognized the authority of those political chiefs who were able to maintain it, by force of arms if need be. This was the origin of the majority party, called Sunnis or followers of Sunna (practice) of the Community at large. Opposed to them were two dissident groups: one which maintained the sole legitimacy in the headship of the Community after Prophet's death of his cousin and son-in-law 'Ali and his descendants, and held that the Community had erred in electing Abu Bakr and his two successors.-these were called Shi at Ali ( 'partisans of Ali) or Shi'a; the other which rejected both the Sunni and Shia positions and maintained not only the right of the Community to elect its own head but also its duty to depose him if he were found guilty of sin-these were called the Kharijites.(Khawarij) od 'Seceders'.

 Ismailism - the branch of Shiism noted for its esoteric philosophy and regards Hazrat Ali as the legitimate successor to the Prophet. After Ali's assassination Islam was divided into Sunnite and Shiite sects.

 The Shia believe in the five pillars of Islam, as do Sunnis, but categorize them differently. Shia beliefs include the following:

 Theology of Shia (Usul al-Din)

Tawhid (Oneness): The Oneness of God

Adalah (Justice): The Justice of God

Nubuwwah (Prophethood): God has appointed perfect and infallible prophets and messengers to teach mankind the religion (that is, a perfect system of how to live in "peace" ("submission to God"))

Imamah (Leadership): God has appointed specific leaders to lead and guide mankind - a prophet appoints a custodian of the religion before his demise

Qiyamah (The Day of Judgment): God will raise mankind for Judgment

 Ismailism is based on Sufism which escaped almost wholly from the Sunni madrasa. Ismailism is the pursuit of spiritual experience by bodily discipline and esoteric intuition. It is resistant to any kind of systematic and exoteric treatment. Under the belief and guidance of their Imam-of-the-Time Shiite law and theology developed independently of the Sunni community esoteric interpretation of the Qur'an and bring their Imam into the direct connection with the Active Intellect and confer on them a divine authority, which Sunnis reject. The Shia Ismaili Muslims, or Batinis ( followers of the esoteric interpretation of the Qur'an) The Qur'an is the word of Allah, which every Muslim must follow, but its commands can be hard to interpret. Therefore, Ismaili Muslims believe their Imam-of-the-Time, Aga Khan is spiritually blessed and empowered to interpret Qur'an.

 I have attached herewith Aga Khan's interview on Islam, which I thought might satisfy many a Muslims quest for knowledge.

 Aga Khan's Interview on Islam

 Hasni Essa

Islam for Pluralism

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 Date: Friday, June 19, 2009, 6:09 AM


 I had sent you Urdu version of this news other day. Here's in English.

 It's so terrifying to imagine what's going to be the future of Pakistan, and fate of minority Muslim sects, if Taliban were to take over Pakistan. According to this news Taliban has threatened Ismaili Muslim Community, which as you know is one of the most prominent Muslim communities whose spiritual leader is Aga Khan lV. His grandfather Aga Khan lll was one of the founders of Pakistan , who was responsible for establishment of the All-India Muslim League which lead to the creation of the predominantly Muslim nation of Pakistan . Aga Khan lV has been a great benefactor of Pakistan, who built Aga Khan University Hospital which is a first-rate private academic institution which aims to empower the developing world through quality education, patient care, research and service. Without Aga Khan's beneficence and generosity Pakistan indeed would have been any third world country hard pressed for development.

 Let us all pray and help Pakistan to be strong, and not become victim of Talibanization.

 Hasni Essa

Islam for Pluralism



 Belle Niblo Moffa said...

Mike, I agree with you. If it is okay with you, may I share your post on my page so that others may read also your words? I appreciate what you are saying. I agree, the Talibans are not Muslims. The Talibans by their actions proves clearly they are not religious or civil by any means, they are extremists of their own greed for power, and they ... Read More are terrorists bent on destroying. We all, all over the world must stand together to get the message strongly across that the Talibans do not represent the Muslim people, and that we will not allow Talibans to misrepresent the Muslims. We must all help one another to bring about United World Peace.

 FRIDAY, JUNE 26, 2009 5:49:00 PM

Linda Ghaliyaa Richard said...

The US started it all years ago.

 FRIDAY, JUNE 26, 2009 5:51:00 PM

Mike Ghouse said...

Linda, no doubt Taliban is our manufacture, President Reagan called them Heroes, those suckers carried our guns and chased the Russians out for us. When we nurture snakes, they will bite us too.

 The Taliban mind set of extremism is not good for any one including themselves. They are bent on killing any one who differs from them, civil dialogue has been removed and chaos is injected in the genes.

 We must condemn that mindset....

Mike Ghouse

 FRIDAY, JUNE 26, 2009 5:53:00 PM

Barry Radun said...

OK, the US is EVIL INCARNATE for creating the Taliban... BAD, BAD USA!!!! BOO! HISS!

Have we got it out of our systems, folks? Can we get back to the present and to reality?

The Taliban are butchers and they would KILL Linda for using a computer and voicing her opinion.... Read More

Are you so blinded by hatred of the US that you would ignore or accept the bloody crimes of the Taliban? Maybe we should ignore the serial killer whose daddy didn't give him enough love. "I became a killer because my daddy didn't love me. He made me a killer."

Understanding the creation of the Taliban 20 years ago does not help in the least when it comes to stopping them today. Blaming the US is like trying to catch the man that set fire to a house and not trying to put out the blaze or save the family inside the house.

Mike - you are 110% correct!!!

FRIDAY, JUNE 26, 2009 5:54:00 PM

Faizi Khan said...

I agree with you mike and dis the time we should unite and work against Taliban terrorism. But what abt supporters like USA?

FRIDAY, JUNE 26, 2009 5:54:00 PM

Deema Keema said...

The US does not retain a moral high ground either when it monopolizes local politics/strife/issues in South Asia to its own economic benefit and for the furthering of its status as the world's most powerful military force.

Survival of the fittest...hell yea.

FRIDAY, JUNE 26, 2009 5:55:00 PM

Mohammad Irfan Qazi said...

The world is a jungle and we all are animals....we have no moral values,no respect for the humanity and no space for each other....we just want to rule at the cost of the lives of the innocent masses.....where ever in the world we see such massacre by the super powres,it is the general public,the labor class,the low class deprived people,the innocent children pay in their blood and lives not the elite class,the generals,the top leaders,the bureacrates and the business gurus.

FRIDAY, JUNE 26, 2009 5:57:00 PM

Mike Ghouse said...

Mohammad Irfan!

Have hopes man, the ugliness in the world is there but goodeness is more prevalent than the badness. Most of us, no matter where we live, go to work, school or shopping and return home safely. Except for those who live under the trynnacy of Talibans and other outfits like them.

The least each one of us can do is to speak up and let them no that, their actions are not acceptable, neither they are religious nor Civil. If we constantly speak out, there will be a movement towards change.

... Read More

Let's do our share

FRIDAY, JUNE 26, 2009 5:57:00 PM

Mike Ghouse said...

Mohammad Irfan!

Have hopes man, the ugliness in the world is there but goodeness is more prevalent than the badness. Most of us, no matter where we live, go to work, school or shopping and return home safely. Except for those who live under the trynnacy of Talibans and other outfits like them.

The least each one of us can do is to speak up and let them no that, their actions are not acceptable, neither they are religious nor Civil. If we constantly speak out, there will be a movement towards change.

... Read More

Let's do our share

FRIDAY, JUNE 26, 2009 5:58:00 PM

Mike Ghouse said...


Please feel free to share.

Good information should flow freely,

FRIDAY, JUNE 26, 2009 5:59:00 PM

Sudha Gupta said...

getting violent and now talibanis on ismailis.. is a grave danger , indeed, as the talibanis wish to liquidate all sane and moderate among muslims, is a fact visible aptly.. but certai n other feuds, like shia - sunnis violence is on a very large scale indicating the word muslim no longer a uniting force , there is so many prefixes and suffices, works ..

FRIDAY, JUNE 26, 2009 6:00:00 PM

Brother Kabani said...


I think that the draft is very well written and the subject matter has been dealt with adequately. I have just one comment to make and that is about the RIGHT OFALL MINORITIES TO KEEP THEIR PRACTICES PRIVATE without interference whatsoever. This right has to be vehemently upheld and propagated, and should be applicable to all minorities, whether non Muslims or Muslims, whether Shia Minorities in Sunni majority countries or Sunni minorities in Shia ruled countres. This cannot be overemphasized as the results are right before us in several Muslim counties where even minor differences between Shia sects and Sunni sects has brought about so much distrust, destruction and blood shed. All Muslims should accept the prerogative of Allah Almighty to judge each individual and let no mortal being, however high, should be allowed to judge others.


FRIDAY, JUNE 26, 2009 10:46:00 PM

Anonymous said...

Unjustified harassment and killing has no place in Deen-e-Islam. If Taliban claims that they are followers of that Deen then they should stop immediately harassing and killing human beings regardless of their faith and belief.

Saturday, June 27, 2009 6:02:00 AM

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