Muslim Community Lobby Ireland is an independent organization established 1st May 2007. Its motto is TO USE THE VOTE RIGHTLY AND TO RAISE THE MUSLIM COMMUNITY AWARNESS WITH THEIR RIGHTS AND TO PROMOTE TOLERANCE AND UNDERSTANDING OF OTHER EXISTING GROUPS. لترشيد استعمال الصوت الانتخابي ولتوعية وتعريف المسلمين بحقوقهم في ايرلندا وان يعيشوا بتفهم للواقع وللجماعات الاخرى الموجودة على الساحة

Monday, December 29, 2008

Protest and condemnation against the Zionest تظاهر واستنكار للتعسف الصهيوني

MUSLIM COMMUNITY LOBBY IRELAND لوبي الجالية الاسلامية في ايرلندا

44 Gardiner Street Lower, Dublin D1, Republic of Ireland

Tel: 018730684 00353 871238729


28th Dec 2008

To Mr. Michael Martin TD

The Minister of foreign affairs Dublin

Dear sir,

The Israeli army had caused the killing of civilians, no medical supplies, no enough foods for the people of Gaza. These attacks are an episode of holocaust.

We the Muslim community lobby urge the Minister of foreign affairs to take steps to voice our concern and disgust of what is going on in Gaza strip. To make sure, to put an end to the human suffering that the Israeli army inflicted on the people of Gaza. Also to expel the Israeli ambassador and boycott the Israeli government until the attacks have stopped completely and the human rights are respected in Gaza province.


On behalf of the MCL

Dr. Bashir


رسالة لوبي الجالية الاسلامية الى وزير الخارجية مايكل مارتن يوم الهجوم على قطاع غزة

الى حضرة وزير الخارجية دبلن

ان الجيش الاسرائيلي يقتل المدنيين وانه لا يوجد امدادات طبية ولا مأونة كافية للعيش في غزة. وان الهجوم التعسفي هو سلسة من القتل الجماعي كما هو في الهولوكوست.

ان لوبي الجالية الاسلامية في ايرلندا يطالب وزير الخارجية الايرلندي بان يتخذ خطوات مناسبة للضغط على الحكومة الاسرائيلية لوقف عدوانها على القطاع فورا. وينهي حالة الذعر والقتل والاستباحة لحرمة المواطنين في غزة. كما ونطالب الحكومة بالنظر في قطع العلاقات مع اسرائيل وطرد سفيرها حتى تراعي حقوق الانسان في قطاع غزة.

لوبي الجالية الاسلامية في ايرلندا

Saturday, December 27, 2008

MCL has been in contact with the minister of foreign affairs office لقد اتصل لوبي الجالية الاسلامبة في ايرلندا بوزير الخارجية

Mr Micheál Martin, TD

Muslim Community Lobby has been in contact with the minister of foreign affairs office and we asked the minister to speak personally to the foreign minister of Israel to stop the attacks on Gaza Strip.
لقد اتصل لوبي الجالية الاسلامبة في ايرلندا بوزير الخارجية الايرلندي لتحفيزه على الاتصال بالحكومة الاسرائيلية لايقاف العدوان على غزة
. وبهذا نهيب بالاخوة والاخواة بان يعلنوا استنكارهم لما يجري في غزة


Demonstration Sunday 28/12/2008

Demonstration against the mass murder in Gaza

tommorrow, Sunday 1pm, the spire, O Connell Street

Dublin D1


Be there Plz

Condemnation إستنكار



The Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheal Martin has strongly condemned the devastating air strikes in Gaza.

Mr Martin urged Israel to immediately halt its attacks and allow humanitarian agencies access to the Hamas-controlled Palestinian territory.

“I condemn in the strongest terms Israel’s action in launching air strikes in Gaza against Hamas targets which have resulted in widespread civilian fatalities,” he said.

“These actions, far from ending the cycle of violence which has gripped both Gaza and southern Israel in recent weeks, are unfortunately only likely to escalate the situation and make the search for an effective ceasefire in Gaza even more difficult.”

Mr Martin also condemned the firing of rockets into Israeli territory.

“The people of southern Israel have as much entitlement to live in peace and security as do the population of Gaza,” he said.

“Ireland will support all international efforts to de-escalate the situation in Gaza and help re-establish an effective ceasefire.

“In this regard, I would like to acknowledge the considerable efforts which the government of Egypt has been making.”

Labour party spokesman on foreign affairs Michael D Higgins said the attacks were "contrary to all of the principles of international law" and said they should be condemned by all democratic countries.

"These attacks have resulted in a shocking loss of life among Palestinians and add to the misery and suffering created by the prolonged Israel blockade of Gaza," he said.

"The Labour Party has consistently condemned attacks on civilian targets in Israel, but it has to be acknowledged that Hamas is the democratically elected administration in Gaza."

He called on both sides to refrain from further violence.

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions also criticised the attacks, describing the Israeli action as "totally disproportionate".

"While Israel has a right and duty to protect its citizens, air strikes on the scale the world has witnessed today are totally disproportionate and can only result in massive civilian casualties. They give further cause for grievance to the Palestinian people and strengthen the hand of all those opposed to a peaceful settlement in the Middle East," Ictu said in a statement.


Thursday, December 25, 2008

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'This is only the start of something that should have happened months ago.' Brian Cowen announces the recapitalisation of the banks yesterday

By Joe Brennan
Monday December 22 2008
AND so, the Government has finally quit dithering and agreed to inject €5.5bn into the main lenders to prevent the system deteriorating into a bunch of zombie banks.
But this is only the start of something that should have happened months ago, when the rest of
Europe went a step further than Ireland's €440bn guarantee scheme by pumping fresh money into its banks.
The Government thought it could buy time until January when it revealed it was prepared to lead an investment of up to €10bn into the sector.
However, talks intensified into the weekend as the once high-flying
Anglo Irish Bank became embroiled in the controversy over €87m of hidden loans to chairman Sean Fitzpatrick -- which claimed the scalps of the grandee of Irish banking, his chief executive David Drumm and non-executive director Lar Bradshaw.
Anglo is set to receive €1.5bn to bolster its capital reserves against an unexpected loss as bad loans to the property sector mount. This should really only be seen as a stopgap measure, as analysts believe it will need to raise anywhere between €2.5bn and €3.5bn of fresh funds.
Anglo said earlier this month that it expects to take a hit of up to €2.76bn on bad loans as it prepares to write off as much as 1.2pc of its loan book in each of the next three years.
Anglo also indicated that it could absorb these losses and remain profitable over this time. This would allow the group to avoid dipping into the reserves sitting on its balance sheet. Indeed, the group's top executives insisted that it would be able to beef up its coffers naturally by retaining profits and not paying out dividends.
The problem is that the market just doesn't believe the group's worst-case scenario. Anglo's shares have tumbled 59pc since then. Its market value has plummeted to just €266m from its peak at about €13bn at the start of 2007.
There appears to be little appetite among Anglo's existing shareholders or private investors to pump more money into Anglo. But
Bank of Ireland and Allied Irish Banks have been told to go out into the market in the New Year and top up the €2bn each is receiving from the State -- albeit with a guarantee from the Government that it will buy any shares which can't be flogged.
But has the Government weakened its own bargaining position by going in before other investors? And, will the damaged reputation of
Ireland Inc following the Anglo loan scandal leave it owning more of BoI and AIB than originally intended as some foreign investors give their share sales a wide berth?
Taxpayers, however, are likely to find themselves putting more money into Anglo over the coming years as it goes about either winding it down or merges with a larger rival. It is likely the
National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) will play a prominent role in the management of bad debts.
Of Anglo's €73.2bn loan book, €21.1bn is out to customers in the
UK and a further €9.3bn on loan in North America. The Government is likely to insist that the foreign business would be wound down as a matter of priority -- by drastically limiting new lending or even selling off these loan books.
While all the banks have made a huge fuss about funds they have set aside to lend to hard-pressed small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and ordinary customers, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that they are still sitting tightly on their chequebooks.
There was plenty of bickering between the Government and the three banks included in the plan on elements of a "credit package" that the
Department of Finance insisted on putting together as part of yesterday evening's announcement.
But in the end, the banks have agreed to increase lending to SMEs by 10pc next year and provide an additional 30pc in lending to first-time buyers. They have also conceded to hold of for at least six months on taking any legal action on mortgage holders from the them when arrears first arise.
Small businesses will also be relieved that the Financial Regulator and
Irish Banking Federation (IBF) will set up a new code in January to make sure lenders do not pull fast ones by changing banking facilities without notice. The code will also set out how banks deal with SMEs in difficulty.
Minister for Finance
Brian Lenihan argued yesterday that the Government has avoided the mistakes of other countries as they rushed to recapitalise their banks too quickly. The question is, has he waited too long to make any impact in a rapidly deteriorating economy?
jbrennan@
independent.ie
- Joe Brennan

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The awful truth in the USA economy Plunder

The USA economy been suffering since a while, due to wars caused by Bush and his administration.

The following video talks about the USA wasteful economy.
or the Curse of Iraq back fires on the Bushes administration and the World economy.


http://www.wimp.com/awfultruth/

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Steering commitee for the next local election 2009

It is essential for us Muslims to have a steering commitee for the next local election.
Our community should start a mechanism of how to create an interest and awarness to participate in the coming election.
you could elect any candidate whether a Muslim or not as long as set criteria are followed

He/she should be sympathetic to our cause

what is his/her attitude to muslim issues

Against discrmination and racisim

Fully supports the human rights issues

You can add to this list other conditions.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Last Sermon of the Prophet خطبة حجة الوداع في يوم 10 من ذي الحجة


The Mountain of Light
جبل النور

On this very same mountain Messenger Muhammed Peace be upon him delivered his last sermon.
على هذا الجبل خطب الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم خطبة الوداع


The Last Sermon of the Prophet

    The last sermon of the Prophet-peace be upon him- is known as Khutbatul Wada'. It is mentioned in almost all books of Hadith. Following Ahadith in Sahih Al-Bukhari refer to the sermon and quote part of it. See Al-Bukhari, Hadith 1623, 1626, 6361) Sahih of Imam Muslim also refers to this sermon in Hadith number 98. Imam al-Tirmidhi has mentioned this sermon in Hadith nos. 1628, 2046, 2085. Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal has given us the longest and perhaps the most complete version of this sermon in his Masnud, Hadith no. 19774.

    This Khutbah of the Prophet-peace be upon him- was long and it contained much guidance and instructions on many issues. The Prophet-peace be upon him- gave this sermon in front of a large gathering of people during Hajj.

    Whosoever heard whatever part of the sermon reported it and later some scholars put it together. It is a great khutbah and we should all pay attention to its message and guidance. Following are the basic points mentioned in this khutbah:

O People
Lend me an attentive ear, for I know not whether after this year, I shall ever be amongst you again. Therefor listen to what I am saying to you very carefully and take these words to those who could not be present here today.

O People
Just as you regard this month, this day, this city as sacred, so regard the life and property of every Muslim as a sacred trust. Return the goods entrusted to you to their rightful owners. Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you. Remember that you will indeed meet your Lord, and that He will indeed reckon your deeds. Allah has forbidden you to take usury (interest); therefore all interest obligation shall henceforth be waived. Your capital, however, is yours to keep. You will neither inflict nor suffer any inequity.

Allah has Judged that there shall be no interest and that all interest due to Abbas Ibn ‘Abd al Muttalib (the Prophet's uncle) shall henceforth be waived.

Beware of Satan for the safety of your religion. He has lost all hope that he will ever be able to lead you astray in big things, so beware of following him in small things.

O People
It is true that you have certain rights in regard to your women, but they also have rights over you. Remember that you have taken them as your wives, only under Allah's trust and with His permission. If they abide by your right then to them belongs the right to be fed and clothed in kindness. Do treat you women well and be kind to them, for they are your partners and committed helpers. And it is your right that they do not make friends with anyone of whom you do not approve, as well as never to be unchaste.

O People
Listen to me in earnest, worship Allah, say your five daily prayers (Salah), fast during the month of Ramadan, and give your wealth in Zakat.

Perform Hajj if you can afford to.

All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over a black, nor a black has any superiority over a white- except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim, which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly. Do not therefor, do injustice to yourselves.

Remember one day you will appear before Allah and answer for your deeds. So beware, do not stray from the path of righteousness after I am gone. People, no prophet or apostle will come after me and no new faith will be born. Reason well therefore, O people, and understand words which I convey to you. I leave behind me two things, the Quran and the Sunnah (Hadith), and if you follow these you will never go astray. All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and may the last ones understand my words better than those who listened to me directly. Be my witness, O Allah, that I have conveyed your message to your people."



خطبة حجة الوداع في يوم (10 من ذي الحجة)

ألقاها الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم في حجة الوداع يوم عرفة من جبل الرحمة وقد نزل فيه الوحي مبشراً أنه "اليوم أكملت لكم دينكم وأتممت عليكم نعمتي ورضيت لكم الإسلام ديناً"
الحمد لله نحمده ونستعينه ونستغفره ونتوب إليه، ونعوذ بالله من شرور أنفسنا ومن سيئات أعمالنا من يهده الله فلا مضل له ومن يضلل فلا هادي له، وأشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له وأشهد أن محمداً عبده ورسوله.
أوصيكم عباد الله بتقوى الله وأحثكم على طاعته وأستفتح بالذي هو خير. أما بعد أيها الناس اسمعوا مني أبين لكم فإني لا أدري لعلى لا ألقاكم بعد عامي هذا في موقفي هذا.
أيها الناس إن دماءكم وأعراضكم حرام عليكم إلى أن تلقوا ربكم كحرمة يومكم هذا في شهركم هذا في بلدكم هذا – ألا هل بلغت اللهم فاشهد، فمن كانت عنده أمانة فليؤدها إلى من ائتمنه عليها.
وإن ربا الجاهلية موضوع ولكن لكم رؤوس أموالكم لا تظلمون ولا تظلمون وقضى الله أنه لا ربا. وإن أول ربا أبدأ به عمي العباس بن عبد المطلب.
وإن دماء الجاهلية موضوعة، وإن أول دم نبدأ به دم عامر بن ربيعة بن الحارث بن عبد المطلب وإن مآثر الجاهلية موضوعة غير السدانة والسقاية والعمد قود وشبه العمد ما قتل بالعصا والحجر وفيه مائة بعير، فمن زاد فهو من أهل الجاهلية – ألا هل بلغت اللهم فاشهد.
أما بعد أيها الناس إن الشيطان قد يئس أن يعبد في أرضكم هذه، ولكنه قد رضي أن يطاع فيما سوى ذلك مما تحرقون من أعمالكم فاحذروه على دينكم، أيها الناس إنما النسئ زيادة في الكفر يضل به الذين كفروا يحلونه عاماً ويحرمونه عاماً ليوطئوا عدة ما حرم الله فيحلوا ما حرم الله ويحرموا ما أحل الله. وإن الزمان قد استدار كهيئته يوم خلق الله السماوات والأرض، وإن عدة الشهور عند الله اثنا عشر شهراً في كتاب الله يوم خلق الله السماوات والأرض، منها أربعة حرم ثلاثة متواليات وواحد فرد: ذو القعدة وذو الحجة والمحرم ورجب مضر الذي بين جمادى وشعبان – ألا هل بلغت اللهم فاشهد.
أما بعد أيها الناس إن لنسائكم عليكم حقاً ولكم عليهن حق. لكم أن لا يواطئن فرشهم غيركم، ولا يدخلن أحداً تكرهونه بيوتكم إلا بإذنكم ولا يأتين بفاحشة، فإن فعلن فإن الله قد أذن لكم أن تعضلوهن وتهجروهن في المضاجع وتضربوهن ضرباً غير مبرح، فإن انتهين وأطعنكم فعليكم رزقهن وكسوتهن بالمعروف، واستوصوا بالنساء خيراً، فإنهن عندكم عوان لا يملكن لأنفسهن شيئاً، وإنكم إنما أخذتموهن بأمانة الله واستحللتم فروجهن بكلمة الله فاتقوا الله في النساء واستوصوا بهن خيراً – ألا هل بلغت....اللهم فاشهد.
أيها الناس إنما المؤمنون إخوة ولا يحل لامرئ مال لأخيه إلا عن طيب نفس منه – ألا هل بلغت اللهم فاشهد.
فلا ترجعن بعدى كافراً يضرب بعضكم رقاب بعض، فإني قد تركت فيكم ما إن أخذتم به لن تضلوا بعده: كتاب الله وسنة نبيه، ألا هل بلغت ... اللهم فاشهد.
أيها الناس إن ربكم واحد وإن أباكم واحد كلكم لآدم وآدم من تراب أكرمكم عند الله اتقاكم، وليس لعربي على عجمي فضل إلا بالتقوى – ألا هل بلغت....اللهم فاشهد قالوا نعم – قال فليبلغ الشاهد الغائب.
أيها الناس إن الله قد قسم لكل وارث نصيبه من الميراث ولا يجوز لوارث وصية، ولا يجوز وصية في أكثر من ثلث، والولد للفراش وللعاهر الحجر. من ادعى إلى غير أبيه أو تولى غير مواليه فعليه لعنة الله والملائكة والناس أجمع
ين لا يقبل منه صرف ولا عدل.


والسلام عليكم.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Wishing you the best of Eid كل عام وانتم بخير

The Eid will be on Monday 8th Dec 2008 10th Zul Hejjah 1429 H

Wishing you the Best of Eid and Many Happy Returns

كل عام وانتم بخير بمناسبة عيد الاضحى المبارك اعاده الله علينا وعلى الامة الاسلامية بالخير واليمن والبركات
لعشرة خلون من ذي الحجة 1429 من هجرة رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم


From MCLI

Saturday, December 6, 2008

EUROPEAN CAMPAIGN TO LIFT THE SIEGE ON GAZA

We are calling upon all women, men, young and old to participate with us in picketing outside the Egyptian embassy.
This will be in reliance Europe united in demanding lifting of the siege and opening crossing points from Gaza and its peopleThe people of Gaza now have no medicine, no food and no electricity.Children of Gaza are dying and their mothers are screaming: Where are you from this?
Date: Saturday 06/12/2008
Time: 12:00PM
Venue: Egyptian Embassy12,
Clyde Road,
Ballsbridge,
Dublin4

Friday, December 5, 2008

Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy Bulletin

CSID Bulletin Header in JPG
December 1, 2008
Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy Bulletin

In This Issue
The 4th Berlin Forum for Progressive Muslims
ISLAMIC FEMINISM...Reclaiming My Religion
NEW BOOK on Reformist Islam
American Council for the Study of Islamic Societies (ACSIS)
Islamic Democracy in the Maldives
Freedom Agenda In Flames
What Moderate Islamists Expect from Obama?
The Doha Compact:...New Directions for the United States and Muslim World
Join CSID Mailing List
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Languages: To receive the CSID Bulletin in Arabic, in English, or both, please use the Update Profile/Email Address link at the bottom of this page.
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في أسفل الصفحة

Please FORWARD this bulletin to all your friends and colleagues, and invite them to subscribe to the CSID Bulletin.
The 4th Berlin Forum for Progressive Muslims


By Radwan Masmoudi

Berlin ForumDr. Radwan A. Masmoud, President of CSID,participated in the 4th Berlin Forum for Progressive Muslims, organized the 16 - 18 October 2008 on
"Political Thought in Islam: State, Religion and Governance", at the Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation, in Berlin, Germany.

In his introductory comments, George Khoury mentioned that religions in general and Islam in particular are going to play an increasingly important role in world affairs in the 21st century. Progressive Muslims are trying to reconcile Islam with modernity and develop models for the future.

Christian Troll introduced Asghar Ali Engineer, from Mumbai, India, by saying that Engineer is an internationally-renown Muslim intellectual of libertarian and equalitarian theology, who has authored more than 40 books. Islam is more than mere performance of certain rituals, it is about fighting for justice and against oppression, exploitation, and injustice.

Asghar Engineer in BerlinAli Asghar Engineer stated that scripture is never revealed in a vacuum. It is always revealed in a historical context which can never be ignored. If you try to explain or understand texts without context, you always come to wrong conclusions. The Medina covenant was exceptionally revolutionary, and emphasized equality and justice between members of the same political community, regardless of their religion. Many Indian Muslim scholars opposed partition between India and Pakistan on this basis. There is concept of society in Qur'an but not of a state. Even in Medina, the prophet never set up structures of a state (army, police, administration, etc..), everything was voluntary and emphasis was on values. The prophet never inflicted any punishment for drinking. When Islam spread outside medina, it needed a state to enforce law and order. The concept of "Islamic state" came into existence after the death of prophet Muhammad.

Adl, Ihsan, Rahmat, and Hikmah are the main values for an Islamic society.

There cannot be genuine faith without freedom. Following "what I have inherited" is not real faith. To be a real Muslim, I must be free to understand my faith in my own way, depending on my own needs and conditions.

The theory for a state in Islam has always evolved and developed based on contexts and historical conditions. There can be a Muslim State, but not an Islamic state, because there is no model state in Islam, unless you have an administration-free state like the one we had at the time of Prophet Muhammad.

Radwan in BerlinNeed new and modern jurisprudence/Fiqh. Non-Muslims should have equal political rights and be able to contest elections, and hold offices based on qualifications not on their religion. Qur'an does take care and protect minority rights. Shariah laws were influenced by historical contexts, and were formulated by human beings based on their understanding of the Qur'an in their contextual pronouncements.

Secularism in Europe emerged as a fight against religion, but in India secularism was based on equal rights for all religions (co-existence). Nehru's definition of secularism as a state that does not have a religion.

We need a modern interpretation of Shariah. For example, in India - a Muslim can divorce his wife with just saying a few words -Talaq-Talaq-Talaq, and that's it. Shariah formulation is outdated. Religion is the same everywhere, but shariah is different because it has to take norms and cultures into consideration.

Some "Ulamas" in India defended "the right to beat our wives", when India tried to ban wife-beating. Is religion or culture part of the problem? There are always different versions of interpretations of religion (any religion). Which values to you emphasize and support over others? Seven main principles/values of religion; Truth, love, compassion, justice, peace, human dignity, and consciousness about others' suffering.

Qura'nic texts is ummutable, but our understanding of Qur'an can be different (tanzeel and taa'weel). There is a human-dimension (contextual situation) in the Qur'an - we must understand the concepts of asbaab al-nuzul and naskh.

More Information
ISLAMIC FEMINISM
Reclaiming My Religion

By Nadira Artyk | The International Herald Tribune

Nadira ArtykMy relationship with Islam has never been straightforward. I grew up in Soviet Uzbekistan, hearing my grandfather recite the Koran on a daily basis. Sometimes he would translate a few verses for us. I was drawn to the beauty of the prose. I sensed a strong connection and especially admired the values of social justice, equality and generosity of human spirit.

My return to Islam began four years ago when I started a blog for women in Uzbekistan. Together with a couple of girlfriends, we raised some highly contentious and even taboo issues - domestic violence, family vs. career, child abuse, divorce, virginity, sexuality. At one point, the blog was taken hostage by some Islamist men who left highly restrictive and extremely conservative views on every topic.

I then decided to educate myself on the original sources - the Koran and the Hadith (the sayings and deeds of the Prophet Muhammad). That's how I discovered progressive Islam and Islamic feminism. I came to understand that my faith had strong egalitarian messages within it; that the Koran and the Hadith, having been interpreted for 14 centuries by men, had layers of patriarchal bias stuck on them like layers of dust.

Fast forward to late October. I am attending the International Congress of Islamic Feminism in Barcelona, organized by the Islamic Council of Catalonia, and I hear stories of Muslim women from around the world who have faced similar challenges.

With the global rise of political Islam, the traditional messages of secular, Western-style feminism based on the concepts of democracy and human rights seem not to work any longer.

Feminists from Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan, Morocco, Senegal and elsewhere confided that when they tried to educate women about their rights based on the Western human rights agenda, they were often regarded with suspicion and asked whether those principles were compatible with Islam. Women responded with far greater enthusiasm to arguments based on the Islamic teachings, to solutions to their social problems that originated from within their own faith.

Islamic feminism is a fledgling movement, but it is fast spreading its wings. Its aim is to recuperate the egalitarian voice of the Koran. Its main struggle is to uphold gender equality within families. That's where the Muslim feminists differ from classical feminists - they say a woman will only be capable of practicing all her rights in the public sphere if her rights within her family are respected.

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The Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU) would like to invite you to attend a book launch for:


Reformist Voices of Islam:
Mediating Islam and Modernity


Edited By Dr. Shireen Hunter

Book Cover - Reformist Voices of IslamTuesday, December 9th --- 12:00-2:00 pm
Lunch will be provided
ICC 270 - Georgetown University
Books will be available for purchase and signing
Please RSVP HERE by Friday, December 5th

Much has been written in the last two decades on a coming Clash of Civilizations between the West and the Muslim world. Yet a significant debate with far reaching implications for the Muslim world's future, notably the struggle within Islam itself, has received little attention. This intra-Muslim debate is between those who seek to adapt Islamic laws and principles to the requirements of today's Muslims and those who insist on retaining a rigid and literalist position. Reformist Voices of Islam: Mediating Islam and Modernity analyzes the views of today's key Muslim reformist thinkers on such issues as democracy, human rights, minority rights, and women. It also analyzes the reasons why so far reformists have failed to attract Muslim masses, and the internal and external factors which could help or hinder their future progress.

RSVP
American Council for the Study of Islamic Societies (ACSIS)
The 26th Annual Conference Call for Papers

ACSIS logo The American Council for the Study of Islamic Societies (ACSIS) invites papers by intending participants for presentation at its next annual Conference. The thematic subject of the Conference is: Fourteen Centuries of Islam's encounter with the West. The Conference will be held on April 24-25, 2009 at the Wesley Center/Art Gallery, 1210 Stanford Drive, The University of Miami (Coral Gables campus), FL 33124.

The recent tension between Islam and the West and the media coverage that this topic generated since the tragic events of September 11th presented Islam as a hostile force and a threat to Western interests. Moreover, the proliferation of literature regarding the imminent "Clash of Civilizations" in the academic community, and in speeches made by Western politicians during the last decade regarding the "Islamic menace" and the imperative of fighting terrorism conveyed the message that the Western encounter with Islam was merely negative throughout the centuries. The purpose of the conference is to provide a more balanced picture of this interaction in all its manifestations, both positive and negative.

Therefore, we invite proposals dealing with the following subtopics:

  1. Doctrinal and religious differences and their impact on the relations between Islam and the West
  2. Military encounters between Islam and the West throughout history
  3. Intellectual exchange between Islam and the West throughout history
  4. Crusades and holy wars and their impact on Muslim-Western relations
  5. The impact of Western colonial rule on Islam's relations with the West
  6. The impact of the World Wars on Islam's relations with the West
  7. The impact of the Cold War on Islam's relations with the West
  8. Nuclear proliferation and its impact on Islam's relations with the West
  9. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its impact on Muslim-Western relations
  10. The impact of the "Neo-Imperialism"on Islam's relations with the West.
Scholars from all disciplines of the humanities and social sciences are encouraged to submit proposals. Please send proposal abstracts (maximum 250 words) and contact information to Tariq Karim (atariq@gmail.com).

Deadline for submission of proposal abstracts is December 10, 2008. (Completed papers will be due March 1, 2009.)

Call for Papers
Islamic Democracy in the Maldives


By Jonathan Upton

Ahmed Shaheed PhotoDear Drs. Masmoudi and Afsaruddin:

I was grateful to be able to speak to the last CSID conference, last May, about the reform process in the Maldives. As you will recall my colleague, Dr. Ahmed Shaheed was unable to attend due to a family matter he had to attend to.

This small Islamic state has been on the long road to democratic reform for the last 4 years and has had significant obstacles to overcome on its journey, not least the obfuscation by powerful vested interests who have long controlled the levers of political and economic power.

The declaration on 29 October of pro-democracy campaigner and former Amnesty International prisoner of conscience, Mohamed Nasheed (Anni), with just over 54% of the vote, to serve as President following 30 years of rule by defeated incumbent Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, marks a turning point for this country. It holds out the potential for the emergence of a small, yet not insignificant, liberal Islamic democracy in the region.

The record turnout across the US for the Presidential election pales in comparison to the 86.58% of the eligible electorate who turned out in the Presidential run-off election on 28 October in the Maldives. The challenges still facing the Maldives and its people are many but all of the signs emanating from the country suggest that the roots of lasting democratic reform have been planted and embraced by the people of the Maldives.

It again demonstrates that there is no conflict between Islam and democracy and should thus be seriously celebrated as a beacon, when some other countries adjoining the Indian Ocean are viewed as "failed states".

I am pleased to report that Dr Shaheed was recently appointed by the President to resume the post of Foreign Minister.

I am also pleased that I and my colleagues have been able to support the work of NGO's such as Dr Shaheed's Open Society movement in the work that led to this successful democratic outcome. For the last couple of years, The Campaign Company (TCC) have been assisting fledgling NGOs and pro-democracy campaigners in the Maldives to highlight the need for democratic reform amongst their own people and bring international influence to bear on the Maldives Government.

The close attention of the international community were instrumental in keeping the reform programme on track and delivering free and fair elections. Attention was sustained because of the integrated campaign on the Islands and beyond it. This is a lesson for other countries making a similar transition towards democracy.

Whilst eyes may be diverted to change elsewhere in the world, there will be those in the international community who continue to monitor and support economic, political and civil developments in the Maldives and who will be especially keen to ensure that the lessons to be learned from the Presidential elections are taken on board by the new Maldives authorities before the Parliamentary elections scheduled for early next year.
Freedom Agenda In Flames
Will Mideast Reformers Have a Friend in Obama?

By Jackson Diehl | The Washington Post

Fire in al-Ghad's OfficeS
ome Europeans danced in the streets when Barack Obama won the U.S. presidential election. Kenya declared a national holiday. In Egypt the celebration was somewhat different: Government-controlled goons burned down the headquarters of the liberal democratic party that tried to embrace President Bush's "freedom agenda."

Two days after Obama's election, Nour's wife, Gameela Ismail, and other party leaders held a meeting. A party faction sponsored by the regime marched on the building in which they had gathered and -- as photographs posted on the Internet clearly show - used aerosol cans to set fire to it. Police, who stood by while the attack took place, later tried to blame Ismail and the other party leaders, who were nearly trapped by the blaze. Now these leaders may face criminal charges.

The episode is significant because it demonstrates a principal conclusion that Mubarak and other "pro-Western" autocrats seem to have drawn from Obama's election: that the threat of U.S. pressure for political liberalization has passed. Eighty-year-old Mubarak, who has not visited the United States since 2003 because of resentment toward Bush, is convinced that the next president won't pester him about human rights, reports the Egyptian press. After all, in his message to the world on election night, Obama said: "To those who seek peace and security, we support you." Peace and security, in exchange for autocracy, is the bargain Mubarak has always offered Washington.

Yet Obama may not find it so easy to put Arab democracy on a back burner. Whether or not he approves, a series of fateful elections is likely to be held in the Middle East over the next three years -- in Iraq, the Palestinian territories and -- yes -- Egypt. Iraq's provincial elections early next year will reshape Sunni and Shiite leadership and perhaps determine whether the political stability Obama needs to safely withdraw U.S. troops can be achieved. A Palestinian election due next year may settle whether Hamas or the moderate Mahmoud Abbas wins the ongoing Palestinian power struggle -- and whether the Obama administration can broker a Middle East peace settlement.

The question Obama will face is not whether elections will take place -- none of those scheduled could be canceled without violence. He will, instead, have to decide whether to insist that the votes be free and fair, and their results respected. In Egypt, that will bring him back to the case of Nour, who could be released from prison by July and who in a recent statement made clear that he intends to challenge the Mubaraks again. "I am now confident more than ever before about the fairness and legitimacy of this battle," Nour said. "The battle of the last presidential election . . . will not be the last round." The burning of his headquarters underlined the message for the next American president: This is a struggle in which he will be forced to take sides.

Full Article
IN FOCUS:
What Moderate Islamists Expect from Obama?

By Khalil Al-Anani

Muslims at Obama Rally

I believe that moderate Islamists want three key points from President-elect Obama. First, not to ignore the issue of backing democracy in the region, put pressure on Arab regimes for greater freedoms and push ahead with political reform. The democracy they want is not just a means to blackmail the Arab regimes as the Bush administration did, but rather a strategic interest for the United States.

Second, they don't want President-elect Obama to be afraid of them or consider them a threat to US interests in the region, but rather as an important partner. Therefore, some of them demand that Obama realizes that the protection of his country's interests will not be through the protection of authoritarian regimes, but through the protection of the reformists and facilitating their participation in the political process. Some of them argue that the current stability in the region is fake and that the region will explode socially and economically unless there is a real political change.

Third, moderate Islamists want President-elect Obama to put pressure on the Arab states to end the repression they have suffered over the past two years. President Bush gave the green light to these regimes to violate human rights and suppress political opposition as in the case with Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia.

I do not think that the Obama administration will be very interested in communicating with moderate Islamists, and this will be a grave error. Unfortunately, it seems that not a lot of researchers and politicians in Washington are interested in the issue of supporting democracy in the Middle East and have doubts about possible communication with moderate Islamists, not because of fear of offending US friendly Arab regimes, but because of uncertainty in the political discourse of moderate Islamists and the extent of their commitment to the values of democracy.

But the question the Obama administration should consider thoroughly is: What are the results of the exclusion of moderate Islamists from the political scene? Who will pay the price? It will be a mistake for the Obama administration to believe that the protection of American national security will be through tolerating the suppression of moderate Islamists. On the contrary, it could lead to growing anger among young Islamists, pushing some of them to join violent groups that seek to avenge the United States and threaten its interests.

Khalil Al-Anani is an Egyptian expert on political Islam and democratization in the Middle East and is a senior fellow at Al-Ahram Foundation (kalanani@gmail.com)

Full Article
BROOKINGS EVENT:
The Doha Compact:
New Directions for the United States and Muslim World


Saadeddine Ibrahim photoFriday, December 12, 2008
11:00 am - 12:30 pm
The Brookings Institution, Falk Auditorium,
1775 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC

Relations between the United States and the Muslim world have deteriorated markedly in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. The reasons for this deterioration are deep-seated and complex, but both the United States and Muslim-majority states and communities have a profound interest in getting this important relationship right.

For the last five years, Brookings' Saban Center for Middle East Policy has hosted an annual U.S.-Islamic World Forum designed to build bridges of understanding. On December 12, the Center's Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World will host a discussion of The Doha Compact - New Directions: America and the Muslim World, a new report that encapsulates the ideas developed at the forum. Signed by 46 leaders from the United States and the Muslim World, the Doha Compact argues that the election of a new U.S. president presents a moment of great opportunity for the United States and Muslim leaders to recast their relations toward a partnership based on common interests and mutual respect.

Moderator: Jackson Diehl
Deputy Editorial Page Editor, The Washington Post

Panelists:
Stephen Grand
Fellow and Director, Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World

Saad Eddin Ibrahim
Chairman, Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies, Egypt

Ahmed Younis
Analyst, Gallup Center for Muslim Studies

To RSVP for this event, please call the Office of Communications at 202.797.6105 or click here.

Dear Members, Friends, and Supporters of CSID:

RENEW YOUR MEMBERSHIP OR DONATION TODAY

Please SUPPORT our work either by renewing your membership (by credit card or by check), or by making a tax-deductible donation of $50, $100, $500 or whatever you can afford. (donate online or by check).


Center for the Study of Islam & Democracy
Membership/Donation Form - 2009

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Your membership fees and donation allow CSID to continue its mission of promoting democracy in the Muslim world and educating Americans - and American policy makers - about Islam and the Muslim world, and therefore contribute to peace, human rights, and harmony in the world.

With our best wishes and regards,
Sincerely,
Radwan A. Masmoudi
President
Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy