Thursday, September 25, 2014

More Than 100 Muslim Clerics Sign Letter Condemning ISIS

BY ROB GARVER, The Fiscal Times September 24, 2014

Top Muslim leaders in the United States on Wednesday released a detailed refutation of claims by the terrorist group ISIS that its actions in Iraq and Syria are in keeping with Islamic law. The letter, signed by 111 prominent clerics from around the world, lists dozens of ways in which the clerics assert that ISIS has consistently violated Islamic law.

It urges ISIS leader and their followers to “Reconsider all your actions; desist from them; repent from them; cease harming others and return to the religion of mercy.”

Nihad Awad, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said in a presentation at the National Press Club in Washington that the purpose of the letter is to “debunk and expose the falsity” of the claim that ISIS is operating within the dictates of the Islamic religion.

The letter is written in classical Arabic, but an English translation was provided to reporters. Addressed to ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi and to “The fighters and followers of the self-declared ‘Islamic State,’” it addresses 24 different statements or actions by ISIS and its members that the signatories say are specific violations of Islamic law. The violations cited stem from the obvious – murder, torture, desecration of corpses, and forced conversions – to more obscure violations, such as the illegal declaration of a caliphate and the issuance of fatwas (binding religious rulings) without the proper authority.

“These are 24 points, and point-by-point, their ideology has been rejected,” said Muzammil H. Siddiqi, chairman of the Fiqh Council of North America, the most senior Islamic jurisprudential body in the U.S.

“This so-called Islamic State is not a state and does not represent anything that is Islamic,” said Oussama Jammal, secretary general of the U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations. “None of their actions pass any litmus test to show that they have a sound understanding of Islamic ideas.”

The list of signatories includes Islamic clerics from around the world, including Sheikh Shawqi Allam, the Grand Mufti of Egypt; Sheikh Mustafa Cagrici, the former Mufti of Istanbul; Sheikh Muhammad Ahmad Hussein, Mufti of Palestine; and dozens of other highly-regarded Islamic clerics.

Awad, of CAIR, said that he believed the American Muslim community “has spoken many times” about its opposition to ISIS, but that “it is time for mainstream Muslims around the world to condemn” the group.


MY COMMENT: we all knew that anyway but it's nice to have it proven!  ISIS is about seizing power - religion is (as always) just the excuse ...

Saturday, September 20, 2014

"It is by teaching a slave the duties of religion that he will learn his duty towards his master"

Quoted from "A History of the Island of St. Helena”, by T. H. Brooke, Esq., published in 1824, page 406 (available through Google Books).

From this we are reminded that religion has always been used by the leaders of society to control the 'lower classes'.  "Never mind that your life is hard", they are told "you will be rewarded in Heaven".  What better excuse for not dealing with the social issues of the day: poverty, health, etc.?

Karl Marx described religion as the "opiate of the people", by which he meant that it calmed them down and prevented them from rising up and overthrowing their oppressors.  I agree with his analysis (though not with his proposed solution - communism).

Monday, September 8, 2014

On the arrogance of man to assume the universe was created for him/her

Imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, "This is an interesting world I find myself in — an interesting hole I find myself in — fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, may have been made to have me in it!" 

This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it's still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything's going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it.

So the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise.

Douglas Adams (11 March 1952 – 11 May 2001), English author and satirist most famous for his "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" series of radio plays and books

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Conquering ignorance, intolerance, hate and cruelty

I had been given a bagful of books, mostly novels, by friends in Cape Town. Now I fell into languorous hours of reading as I reclined in the cockpit. The books were so biodegradably forgettable that I took a perverse pleasure in tearing out each page read and dropping it over the side until I held an empty cover and it, too, went overboard. Depending on our boat speed at the time, each mile was marked by two or three pages floating in our wake.

Among the new books that came aboard was the Koran, which a Muslim devotee in Durban had thrust at me “for spiritual guidance.” I read it through in a day and a night before it also went over the side somewhere in mid-ocean alongside the other fiction. If only all medieval zealots could so easily be cast out of the world. “There is no conqueror, but Allah,” it said. Perhaps, but could not Allah's disciples put more emphasis on conquering ignorance, intolerance, hate and cruelty, than stoning women and putting infidels to the sword?