Monday, October 27, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Sheltering from the equatorial sun on the steps of the school's mosque, the students crowd to offer their approval of bombers Amrozi, Mukhlas and Imam Samudra.
Authorities say the three bombers will face the firing squad by early November for their role in the attack, which killed 202 people, including 88 Australians.
"They're holy warriors, that's how I respond, they're holy warriors,'' said Sir Muhammad Royhan Syihabuddin Ar-Rohmi, a slight 18-year-old.
His friend Nawawi, also 18, leaned forward in agreement: "They are like us, they wanted to do good deeds.''
Good deeds, i.e., killing 200 infidels?
I wonder how many Dhivehin believe the Bali bombers are 'Holy Warriors"?
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
The poet, Islam Samhan, published his collection of poems, "Grace like a Shadow," without the approval of the Jordanian government, and authorities say it insults the holy book, the official said.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
Samhan was charged with harming the Islamic faith and violating the press and publication law for combining the sacred words of the Quran with sexual themes.
Read more at Roanoke Times
This is an update on the following story...
AMMAN // When Islam Samhan recited his poetry about love, loneliness and life in front of a crowd at a culture club four months ago, he was given a standing ovation. But now, Samhan, 27, who is also a journalist, has been accused of apostasy, a crime that can carry the death sentence in the Islamic world.
Last week, Jordan’s grand mufti, Noah Alqdah Samas, the kingdom’s highest religious authority, called Samhan an enemy of religion for his poetry, some of which included lines comparing his loneliness to that of the prophet Yusuf in the Quran.
Now there are calls for the poet to be detained, his collection of poetry banned and the publishing house penalised. He is even receiving threatening phone calls to his private mobile number.
All this comes as something of a surprise to Samhan, whose book, In a Slim Shadow, published eight months ago, is a collection of his best work over the past decade. The ministry of culture even bought 50 copies.
He dismisses claims that he defamed or insulted the prophet or religion with his poems, but acknowledges that some of his verses may sound similar to the Quran because they were in Arabic.
“The Quran is in Arabic and I am influenced by my language and its rich terminology. Where I grew up, the Quran was sung and its music is still playing in my ears. I have read the Quran, and the Arabic language is that of the Quran.”
Defaming religion in Jordan, as in many Arab and Muslim countries, is a line that cannot be crossed. Although citing Quranic verses in poetry or literature is not forbidden, how they are used is what can cause problems.
In one poem, Samhan has his beloved address God, which his critics say personifies God. In another the woman is talking to God while lying beneath a see-through sheet. Samhan said he was referring to the gods of Greek mythology.
The state-run Press and Publication Department has transferred Samhan’s case to court to decide if his book violates the law.
Monday, October 20, 2008
The religious edict (fatwa) issued by a committee from the highest authority in Sunni Islam, Egypt's Al-Azhar University in Cairo, was published on the website of the Islamist Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood movement on Thursday.
"This is considered a type of lawful Jihad that helps Islam by paralysing the information systems used by our enemies for their evil aims," said the fatwa.
"This Jihad is not different from the armed one. In fact, it might be more important if you consider the global dimensions of the Internet.
"Whoever wins this war will become the strongest in the realm of information," the fatwa continued.
The Muslim Brotherhood praised the fatwa, which comes in response to dozens of questions from radicals asking to be allowed to destroy Israeli and United States websites.
Last week, the news website of Dubai-based Arabic TV network al-Arabiya was attacked by suspected Shia hackers, who posted a burning Israeli flag to the site.
Beneath the flag, a message in Arabic and English read: 'Serious Warning - if attacks on Shia websites continue, none of your websites will be safe.'
From: Adnkronos International
Sunday, October 19, 2008
In his articles, the writer argues that according to this principle, a Muslim can come closer to Allah by hating all non-Muslims - Christians, Jews, atheists, or polytheists - and by waging jihad against them in every possible manner.
For full report, visit http://www.memriiwmp.org/content/en/report.htm?report=2877.
To learn "Al-Walaa Wa'l-Baraa" go to your local Medina "Islamic Scholar" or Emme Mathee Majlis.
“Are you not ashamed that your son became Christian?” the founder of a mosque here asked Ruhul Amin Khandaker, father of a 32-year-old businessman who went to Australia earlier this year to court a Philippine Catholic woman, converting to her faith in April. “Why did you not sacrifice your son like cattle before telling the news to us?”
Khandaker has become a social outcast whose family lives under threat from fellow Muslims, in violation of Bangladesh’s constitution and international human rights safeguards. His son, Rashidul Amin Khandaker, has applied for protection from Australian immigration officials as he believes police in 88 percent-Muslim Bangladesh would do nothing to protect him from Islamists threatening to kill him.
“They will try to kill me anywhere, any time in Bangladesh, and the police and the authority will not protect me,” Rashidul Khandaker wrote in his plea to Australian authorities. “There are records that show a converted person is not protected by the police, authority and society.”
Khandaker’s life would be in danger if he returned to Bangladesh, said his brother-in-law, identified only as Siddik, adding that “we are also surviving in the society at our own peril.”
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Racial and religious tensions have increased in the past year as minorities have become more vocal in their complaints about an affirmative action program that they say unfairly favors Malays. They also complain that their religious rights are being ignored.
In an unprecedented comment on current affairs, the sultans of nine states did not directly accuse the Chinese and Indian minorities of stoking anti-Malay feelings, but said recent statements and forums "held by certain quarters" had "caused provocation and uneasiness among the people."
Questioning the special position of Malays "can lead to disunity and racial strife that can undermine the peace and harmony," the state rulers said in a statement.
The warning underscores the social tensions in Malaysia, where Muslim Malays are about 60 percent of the nation's 27 million people. Chinese and Indians, who are mostly non-Muslims, comprise a third of the population and friction among the three ethnic groups is always below the surface.
The lengthy statement issued Thursday night follows a two-day meeting of the sultans, known as the Conference of Rulers. The hereditary sultans, who are Muslim Malays, occupy ceremonial offices but wield considerable moral authority among Malays.
"It (the warning) is quite unprecedented and I think it is coming in response to what the country is facing — what the rulers perceive as the fracturing of racial harmony," said Tricia Yeoh of Center for Policy Research think-tank.
Last month, an ethnic Chinese opposition lawmaker was accused by a Malay newspaper of being anti-Islam. She was detained by police for a few days but no charges were filed. In August, lawyers were forced to abandon a conference on religious conversion after protesters stormed the forum.
The statement reiterates the supremacy of Islam, the special position of the Malays and the guarantee to protect minority rights — all enshrined in Malaysia's constitution.
"Non-Malays should not harbour any apprehension or worry over their genuine rights because these rights are guaranteed," the statement said.
Friday, October 17, 2008
Metin Kaplan was also convicted of attempting to overthrow Turkey's secular regime following a retrial in Istanbul Wednesday. His life sentence was reconfirmed.
Kaplan was extradited from Germany and sentenced to life in prison in 2005, but an appeals court overturned the decision, citing insufficient investigation and procedural errors.
Kaplan had previously lived in Cologne, Germany. He led the group the Caliphate State, which wants to replace Turkey's secular regime with an Islamic state. The group has been outlawed in Germany and Turkey.
From: The International Herald Tribune. And there is more on this story here
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Officials had commissioned the country's best-known sculptor, Mrinal Haq, to produce statues of five local folk singers to cheer up the decidedly drab complex.
But thousands of Muslim hardliners say the sculptures erected outside Zia International airport were idols, which are strictly forbidden in Islam, and had threatened to attack the artwork with power tools.
Authorities say the folk singers will now be replaced by a fountain.
A month ago, the Iranian parliament voted in favour of a draft bill, entitled "Islamic Penal Code", which would codify the death penalty for any male Iranian who leaves his Islamic faith. Women would get life imprisonment. The majority in favour of the new law was overwhelming: 196 votes for, with just seven against.
Imposing the death penalty for changing religion blatantly violates one of the most fundamental of all human rights. The right to freedom of religion is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and in the European Convention of Human Rights. It is even enshrined as Article 23 of Iran's own constitution, which states that no one may be molested simply for his beliefs.
And yet few politicians or clerics in Iran see any contradiction between a law mandating the death penalty for changing religion and Iran's constitution. There has been no public protest in Iran against it.
Continue reading at The Telegraph
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Foreigners eight times more likely to be executed in Saudi Arabia, report says
Foreigners facing capital punishment in Saudi Arabia are eight times more likely to be put to death than citizens of the Islamic kingdom, a report from Amnesty International has shown.
The vast majority of foreigners charged with crimes meriting the death penalty are relatively impoverished menial labourers, predominantly from third world countries. Members of this group cannot afford the "diya" or blood money payments to a victim's relative that can win clemency from the Shariah system of Islamic justice.
Although foreigners make up just one quarter of the oil rich state's population, Amnesty reported they made up the majority of all those sent to death row. Its report revealed that at least 1,695 executions were carried out between 1985 and May 2008, with the number of non-nationals totalling 830, compared with 809 local citizens. It was impossible to ascertain the nationality of the remaining 56.
But it is in the number of reprieves that the greatest disparity lies. Amnesty claimed that a pardon is granted in one in every four capital cases involving a Saudi citizen but only one in 30 of each foreign case.
Saudi Arabia executed 78 people in the first eight months of this year, a figure in line with the 2007 total of 158.
"Poor foreign workers are literally paying with their lives when accused of capital crimes in Saudi Arabia," said Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen. "Frequently bamboozled by secretive and unfair trials conducted in a language they don't even understand, they go to their deaths with little assistance from their home countries and little mercy from a grossly unfair Saudi justice system. The use of capital punishment in Saudi Arabia is a disgrace. The Kingdom should introduce a moratorium immediately."
With thanks to the Telegraph
Monday, October 13, 2008
The boy - who was identified only as Roy, to protect his privacy - was wheeled on a stretcher into the Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv, after treatments in Iran and Turkey failed. His face was puffy, apparently due to the drugs administered to ease his pain.
Israel granted the child a special permit to enter the country and he arrived at Ben Gurion Airport on Friday. The rare arrangement was mediated by an Israeli businessman of Iranian origin. The boy was accompanied to the hospital by his father and veiled mother, who were also granted special entry permits into Israel.
Sheba CEO Zeev Rotstein said it wasn't the first time Israeli doctors have treated children from adversarial states.
"We hope that with the love and affection we give these kids we are paving the way for at least some understanding between people," he said. "We can't change the politics. We are not politicians. We do this because we feel it is our job."
Israel is home to world-class hospitals and state-of-the-art medical technology.
Dr. Amos Toren, head of Sheba's Pediatric Hemato-Oncology Department, said his initial diagnosis was that the boy's year- old growth was the most aggressive tumor that exists among brain tumors.
"He is conscious and he can smile but it is hard," he said. "We will give him the most modern treatment possible and maybe we will be able to help him."
Rotstein said the child had been operated on before and may need another procedure in Israel. "There are very limited things you can do," he said. "But if this kid has any chance, it is here."
He said the hospital kept the identities of patients from countries hostile to Israel secret, so that they would not face danger upon their return home. Iran and several other Middle East countries oppose any type of normalization with Israel.
"As far as we are concerned, we are not involved in politics," he said. "He is from a country that doesn't really like our existence here, but I think part of our job is to prove to countries like Iran that we are here to help the regular people."
Sunday, October 12, 2008
10/10/2008 (Orakzai, Pakistan) - A Fedayeen bomber sends over forty souls to Allah at a tribal meeting.
10/10/2008 (Khost, Afghanistan) - Two people are blown up by a Taliban suicide bomber.
10/9/2008 (Bajaur, Pakistan) - Four tribal elders are abducted and beheaded in the name of Allah.
10/9/2008 (Uruzgan, Afghanistan) - Women and children are among the casualties during a shooting attack by religious extremists.
10/9/2008 (Udhaim, Iraq) - Two children are among four family members wiped out by Jihadi bombers.
10/9/2008 (Tal Afar, Iraq) - Mujahideen bomb a restaurant, killing two patrons.
Monthly Jihad Report September 2008
Jihad Attacks: 216
Dead Bodies: 922
Critically Injured: 1836
Friday, October 10, 2008
When Iranian toy seller Masoumeh Rahimi thinks of Barbie and Ken dolls, she thinks of heavy artillery — only worse. “I think every Barbie doll is more harmful than an American missile,” Ms. Rahmi told the BBC back in 2002. In April 2008, Iran’s top prosecutor and religious cleric, Ghorban Ali Dori Najafabadi, upped the anti-Barbie campaign by calling for a ban on the sale of all Barbie dolls from the country. “Barbie is an emissary of nudity and promotes moral corruption,” wrote the hardliner newspaper Kahyan.
Barbie and Ken have been picked on by Islamic leaders for years, since Saudi Arabia announced it was banning the sale of Barbie from the kingdom in September 2003, stating on its official website:
- Jewish Barbie dolls, with their naked clothing, lewd positions, and different samples and accessories, are symbols of decadence of the perverted West. Let us recognize their danger and worry.
The ban-Barbie effort was huge. The religious police, or Mutaween, hung colorful posters outlawing “Jewish Barbie dolls” in schools and hospitals across the country. For a while, photos of confiscated Barbie dolls were posted on the government website.
The anti-Semitic tirade came after the Mutaween learned that Barbie’s creator, Ruth Handler, was Jewish — and that the American businesswoman, entrepreneur, and U.S. Business Hall of Famer had named the dolls after her two Jewish children, Barbie and Ken Handler.
But it appears not all religious clerics are doing their homework about which Jew created what incredibly popular icon. Last summer, Hassan Nasrallah — the leader of the terrorist organization Hezbollah — appeared proudly depicted as Superman in the Palestinian daily newspaper Al Ayyam. In the cartoon, Nasrallah was pictured pulling back his religious robes, a la Clark Kent, to reveal a Superman suit underneath. Superman is Lebanon’s most popular superhero. Many teenagers believe him to be Lebanese because of his dark, swarthy looks. But if Barbie is “Jewish,” so is Superman; he was created by two Jews named Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster, in 1932.
With Barbie banned first from Saudi Arabia and now from Iran, one wonders who or what is getting the hatchet next.
Read the complete article here
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Titanic, the German satire magazine, is never far from polemics, but its latest action takes its reputation for controversy to new heights: It is staging a Muhammad look-a-like competition -- and has invited the Turkish President Abdullah Gül to take part.
According to its Web site, however, Titanic is going ahead with its look-alike contest: "Come along to the most dangerous event of the Frankfurt Book Fair ... It will be a blast," it wrote. The competition, to be held on Oct. 18, is set to take place on a specially built stage at the state-funded Caricatura Museum in Frankfurt. Achim Frenz, head of the museum, said it was designed to test of the boundaries of "jokes and fun." The museum's Web site comments: "Of course it is a sin to represent the prophet. For this reason, we are trying to do something exceptional."
Nine participants are expected to take part, including Osman Engin, a Turkish-German satirist, and Hans Zippert, a prominent columnist for the conservative daily Die Welt. During the competition there will be readings from the Koran and participants will be encouraged to mimic the Muslim prophet. "Of course you can never create a picture of the prophet," the magazine claims in a flyer advertising the event, "but you can try to emulate him."
Titanic, the German equivalent of Britain's Private Eye, has a track record of inflamatory stunts, including hoax bribery faxes sent in 2000 to delegates of the FIFA soccer world championship committee, urging them to support the German bid for the 2006 World Cup. In return for their votes, Titanic offered gifts of a cuckoo clock and Black Forest ham. Titanic also founded its own political party, Die Partei (the party), which lists the rebuilding of the Berlin Wall as one of its goals.
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
In order to prove the wisdom behind this, scientists from an Iraqi university have conducted a unique experiment. Of course, this experiment was supervised by a professor from the International Commission on Scientific Signs in the Quran and the Sunna.
This experiment proved that a type of bacteria known as E. coli - and you can see a picture of this bacteria behind me... We found this type of bacteria in the urine culture of both male and female infants. What was strange, however, was that the urine of the male infant contained much fewer bacteria than that of the female.
This proves unequivocally that this is the true religion, and that this knowledge was conveyed to the Prophet by Allah.
Above excerpts are from a program featuring Dr. Ahmad Al-Muzain, a Palestinian expert on Koranic science, which aired on Al-Aqsa TV on September 3, 2008:
Hamas TV's Koranic Scientist Dr. Ahmad Al-Muzain: No Scientific Necessity to Wash Off the Urine of Male Infants
This was posted by a group called MEMRI, the extraordinary resource for significant translations from the Arab and Islamic world.
Monday, October 06, 2008
Middle East business news website Zawya.com reported that the man, who is a prominent member of a "virtue committee," first cut out his daughter's tongue and held a one-sided religious debate with her. He then burned his daughter alive.
Observant Muslims hold that their Prophet Mohammed taught that Muslims who convert to any other religion must be killed, often in extremely brutal fashion.
Whereas other Muslims may shy away from this question, opting for the naïve Westerner to simply assume that “innocence” in Islam is akin to the liberal West’s notions of “innocence,” al-Qaeda—which seems to be supported by nearly half of the Muslim world—has been only to happy to clarify this matter.
Back in December, the terrorist organization’s primary media conduit, al-Sahab (the “clouds”) announced that al-Qaeda’s number two, Ayman Zawahiri, would be taking questions from the public and that he would “respond as soon as possible.”
Then, a few months later in April, according to the Associated Press, Zawahiri released a 90 minute audio tape, “billed as the first installment of answers to the more than 900 questions submitted on extremist Internet sites by al-Qaida supporters, critics and journalists.”
In response to a question that suggested al-Qaeda was responsible for the deaths of innocents in Baghdad, Morocco, and Algeria—Muslim areas where countless terrorist attacks in the name of al-Qaeda still occur daily—Zawahiri adamantly maintained that “We haven’t killed innocents,” not in any of those regions mentioned; “nor,” added Zawahari, “anywhere else”—which obviously includes 9/11, the London and Madrid bombings, and the rest.
Was Zawahiri being facetious, or does he truly deem all those killed in the aforementioned attacks as not “innocent”—that is, guilty?
As for Western infidels, Osama bin Laden himself has announced on various occasions that, since America is a democracy, and thus responsible for its government (which is always portrayed as one of the greatest enemies of Islam), “Every American man is an enemy—whether he fights us directly or pays his taxes,” (The Al Qaeda Reader, 281). Accordingly, al-Qaeda issued its famous fatwa in 1998 concluding that “The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies—civilian and military—is an individual obligation incumbent upon every Muslim who can do it and in any country” (AQR, 13).
What of women and children? What of fellow Muslims? Surely all these are innocent? In fact, Zawahiri, in one of his major treatises written for Muslim-eyes only, “Jihad, Martyrdom, and the Killing of Innocents” (see AQR,141-171), demonstrates the opposite. After quoting several anecdotes from authoritative hadith and sira sources documenting Muhammad legitimizing haphazard attacks against infidel strongholds—including by utilizing catapults (al-manjonil) and fire—even though women and children were known to be sheltered there, Zawahiri quotes the observations of a prominent exegete: “It is well known that whoever follows such a course, bombarding infidels, will inevitably hit their women and children, who are otherwise forbidden from being killed. Likewise, the same goes if Muslims are among them. It is compulsory that this [the possibility of hitting women, children, and Muslims] not dissuade the launching of an incursion against them… even if one dreads hitting another Muslim” (AQR,165).
Continue reading "Raymond Ibrahim: Islam and Innocence"
Saturday, October 04, 2008
It’s the only program of its type operating in the Middle East and under it, the women will assume new identities and re-locate far from their families.
Click here to read the complete article
Victims disfigured by acid attacks in Bangladesh, where the corrosive liquid is the newest weapon in the war on women.
Friday, October 03, 2008
"This way, if they wink, it will look like a blink," the Imams have declared.
Sheikh Muhammad al-Habadan said showing both eyes encouraged women to use eye make-up to look seductive.
The question of how much of her face a woman should cover is a controversial topic in many Muslim societies.
The niqab is more common in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf, but women in much of the Muslim Middle East wear a headscarf which covers only their hair.
Sheikh Habadan, an ultra-conservative cleric who is said to have wide influence among religious Saudis, was answering questions on the Muslim satellite channel al-Majd. "
From BBC News
The Islamic prophet Muhammad is reported to have said "Dua is the very essence of worship."
Therefore that morning upon awakening
That morning when going into the toilet say the following dua:
When leaving the toilet, recite
On your way to voting if you happen to sneeze say
Alhamdulillah! (right graphic) / Alhamdu lillahi 'ala kull-lee ha-leen (left graphic).
and if a muslim in your presence sneezes say
Yar Hamoo kall Lah.
If a non muslim sneezes say
Yahdee Kumullahu wa Yaslih Ba Lakoom.
If you suspect there may be voter fraud say the following duas against injustice and oppression.
اللَّهُمَّ اِنِّىْ اَسْىَلُكَ الْفَوْزَ فِى الْقَضَآءِ وَ نُزُلَالشُّهَدَآءِ وَعَيْشَ السُّعَدَآءِ وَ مُرَافَقَةَ الاَنْبِيآءِ وَ النَّصْرَ عَلَى الاَعْدَآءِ اِنَّكَ سَمِيْعَ الدُّعَآءِ
Allahumma inni as'alukal fauza fil qadaai', wa nuzul-ash-shuhadaai', wa aiyshaslua'daa'i, wa murafaqatal-ambiyaai', wannasara alalaadaai', innaka sammaiiud'dua
O Allah! I ask You for success concerning my destiny, and feast with the martyr, and enjoyment with fortunate people, and the companionship of Apostles, and victory over my enemies; for it is You who listens to the Prayer
اللهم أصلح أمة محمد اللهم فرج عن أمة محمد أللهم ارحم أمة محمد
'Allahumma aslih Ummata Muhammad. Allahumma farrij 'an Ummati Muhammad. Allahumma Rham Ummata Muhammad [sallAllahu alayhi wasalam]
O Allah! Improve (help) the state of the Ummah of Muhammad. O Allah! Grant ease to the Ummah of Muhammad. O Allah! Have mercy on the Ummah of Muhammad.Ma'ruf al-Karkhi, one of the righteous imams of the early Muslims (salaf), said, "Whoever says, (the above) ten times every day will be written down as one of the highest of elect believers (abdal)." [Abu Nu'aym, Hilyat al-Awliya, 8.366]
These blogger are asking you to do Ishthikharah Prayer after deciding on your choice of presidential candidate.
What I am proposing is that you do the Ishthikharah Prayer and the above dua's. Remember to leave the house with a right foot step first. When they hand your ballot, receive it with your right hand, close your eyes and make your mark.
Do not waste your time energy and brainpower trying to decide which candidate.
Remember - Allah Subhaanahoo Watha aala (SWT) knows best....
A suicide car bomber killed nine and wounded 30 at a Shiite assembly hall in the Zafaraniya district, while a teenage boy blew himself up at a mosque in New Baghdad, killing 12 and wounding 26, the source added.
Both districts are mainly-Shiite areas in the east of the capital.
In the Zafaraniya strike, the bomber drove a Mercedes into an Iraqi police vehicle guarding a well-protected area around the mosque and triggered the explosion, the source said.
In New Baghdad, a poor Shiite suburb of high-rise apartments, witnesses described the bomber as a boy of about 14 years old. He stepped into a crowd wearing an explosive belt and blew himself up.
A spokesman for Omar Bakri (pictured), the right-wing Muslin cleric, warned of more trouble over the book, which includes an account of the night the prophet consummates his marriage, claiming it was just "the thin end of the wedge". Meanwhile, a member of Bakri's own family, his daughter Yasmin Fostok, has also been forced to seek police protection after it was disclosed she was working as a pole-dancer and received a number of threats from Islamic extremists, presumably her father's supporters.
It was further revealed at the weekend that Bakri gave £4,000 to Yasmin, 27, so she could have a breast enhancement operation to help her with her chosen career. However, Bakri, who praised the September 11 attacks and who left Britain for Lebanon after the July 2005 London bombers, is now saying Fostok is not his daughter but an impostor being used to discredit him. It has certainly got him seething. He says that Britian will "pay a heavy price" for the disclosures.
Thursday, October 02, 2008
Everyone knows, of course, that after death martyrs go straight to the Garden of Eden, where they recline on couches, savor meats and fruits and enjoy the company of dark-eyed houris while listening to the sound of flowing rivers.
But what happens to the vast majority of Muslims, those who do not die as martyrs?
According to Islamic doctrine, between the moment of death and the burial ceremony, the spirit of a deceased Muslim takes a quick journey to Heaven and Hell, where it beholds visions of the bliss and torture awaiting humanity at the end of days.
In the grave, the deceased Muslim - this composite of spirit and corpse - encounters two terrifying angels, Munkar and Nakir, recognized by their bluish faces, their huge teeth and their wild hair.
These angels carry out a trial to probe the soundness of a Muslim's faith. If the dead Muslim answers their questions convincingly and if he has no sin on record, then the grave is transformed into a luxurious space that makes bearable the long wait until the final judgment.
But if a Muslim's faith is imperfect or if he has sinned during life by, for example, failing repeatedly to undertake purity rituals before prayer, then the grave is transformed into an oppressive, constricting space.
The earth begins to weigh down heavily upon the sentient corpse, until the rib cage collapses; worms begin to nibble away at the flesh, causing horrible pain.
This torture does not continue indefinitely. It occurs intermittently and ends at the very latest with the resurrection - when God may well forgive Muslims who have endured the punishment.
Surely this violence sounds medieval. Belief in "the torture of the grave" indeed stretches way back in history. It appears in eighth-century epitaphs and in early Islamic traditions, which elevated this belief to the status of dogma.
But pious Muslims today continue to adhere to this belief. In invocations, funeral prayers, sermons, and popular literature, Muslims are frequently reminded to heed this punishment.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that many of them take it seriously. The psychologist Ahmed M. Abdel-Khalek, who has studied anxieties about death among Arab youth, has found that preoccupation with the torture of the grave remains acute.
The Egyptians and Kuwaitis he polled worried about this torture more than they feared losing a dear relative or succumbing to a serious, fatal disease.
Recently, an Islamist Web site posted a picture of an 18-year-old man exhumed by the order of his father. Only three hours had passed since his burial, but already his corpse appeared aged and bruised. Scientists, according to the story, affirmed that this was caused by the torture of the grave; and the father explained that his son had been a sinner.
Many Muslims commenting on the picture took it as a sign from God to stop sinning and as a reminder to pray assiduously for relief from the punishment of the tomb. Several doubted the reality of the picture, prompting the author of the Web site to remove the posting and to apologize for it. But even a skeptic who challenged the "scientific" evidence professed in this public forum his belief in the reality of the torture of the grave.
Muslims can escape the torture of the grave by dying as martyrs. In Islam the category of martyr does not belong exclusively to those who die fighting in God's path. According to Islamic tradition, Muslims who die in a fire, by drowning, in the collapse of a building or in some other way involving great physical suffering merit the rank of martyrs in the afterlife.
This means that immediately after death, their spirits do not return to dwell within mutilated or burned corpses. Instead they enter the Garden of Eden, where they receive new bodies, perfectly reformed, so as to enjoy the rewards of martyrdom until the resurrection. Those who have lost a relative in a violent and shocking death - in the bombings in Baghdad, for instance - may find some consolation in this belief.
Mohammed, along with Buraq and Gabriel, visit Hell, and see a demon punishing "shameless women" who had exposed their hair to strangers. For this crime of inciting lust in men, the women are strung up by their hair and burned for eternity. Persian, 15th century. Mohammed sees women strung up by hooks thrust through their tongues by a green demon. Their crimes were to "mock" their husbands and to leave their homes without permission. Persian, 15th century. Mohammed sees a red demon that is torturing women by hanging them up by hooks through their breasts, as they are engulfed in flames. The women are being punished for giving birth to illegitimate children whom they falsely claimed were fathered by their husbands. Persian, 15th century.
Malaysia, which boasts proudly that it is a "moderate Muslim country" is nothing of the sort. It enforces Islam in a racially-based apartheid which ensures that no ethnic Malay can avoid being labelled as a Muslim from the age of 12 onwards, and refuses to allow Muslims to convert to other faiths. And while Muslims are allowed to convert others, the government is pressuring all 13 states in the nation to enforce laws preventing anyone from attempting to convert a Muslim.
Many of Malaysia's states have adopted the Control and Restriction Bill, which gives a fine of 10,000 ringit ($2,653) or imprisonment for up to one year for "persuading, influencing a Muslim to leave Islam for another religion."
Read the complete article here
From: The Daily Times
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
He ordered the censoring of the images of Pope John Paul II and later, Pope Benedict XVI from the Maldive print and electronic media out of fear that the very sight of the Roman Pontiff would result in mass conversion to Christianity and complete annihilation of the religion of peace in the Maldives. At his orders the Maldive police regularly confiscate and incinerate Bibles. Admittedly he accepted a knighthood of the Grand Cross of St. Michael and St. George from the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, but a little old nun who was travelling in transit through Malé airport once had her crucifix ripped off her neck by his officials. He unsuccessfully petitioned the Government of the Seychelles to ban the broadcast of a Divehi language Evangelical radio programme out of that country.
The constitution that he signed into law last month declared for the first time in the history of his country, albeit rather ambiguously, that every citizen of his Indian Ocean archipelago shall be a Muslim.
And yet in spite of all this, as I write, this man is on trial in the very Supreme Court that he had established just days before. The charge is apostasy. Islamic mullahs are claiming that President of the Republic, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom is not a Muslim. They are petitioning the Supreme Court for his excommunication from the religion of peace. The mullahs who backed the constitutional clause that says that every Maldivian shall be a Muslim are now saying that they were wrong all the time. One Maldivian, they insist, is definitely an infidel. The fastest growing religion in the world has made an exception and wants this “infidel” out of its fold.
Mr. Gayoom's response to the accusation, apparently, was brief, according to one visitor to this site. “Everyone who says the shahadah [the Mohamedan oath of allegiance] is a Muslim” said the president of the republic, with a mischievous grin, and continued: “therefore I am one”. This is slightly less pointed than the response that my paternal uncle made when faced with the same accusation in the 1940s. The late Uthuruganduvaru Manippulu (1904– 1965) said “I know I am a Muslim because my mother told me so and, to my knowledge, my mother never lies”.
One of the charges Mr. Gayoom faces is his failure to coerce the last few patriotic women, including his wife and daughters, into wearing the burqa veil. Another of the charges brought against this eminently distinguished mullah as proof of his apostasy seems to be specifically designed for the benefit of useful idiots in the West: Mr. Gayoom also stands accused of denying the Second Coming of Jesus Christ!
Allah certainly works in mysterious ways.
Thousands of Iranians have been converting to Christianity, and the underground church is thriving, according to reports. But other Iranians are returning to Zoroastrianism, which was the dominant religion in Iran at one time. Jonathan Rocho, with International Christian Concern (ICC), explains.
He says Iranians are questioning the Muslim faith after living under the regime, which has been dominated by the religion since the revolution in the 1970s. "They have not seen any change in their lives," Rocho adds. "There is even more repression, more problems going on in the country, so they are very much confused about the Islamic faith."
Already, two Christian converts accused of apostasy have been given the death penalty. Since Iran does not easily succumb to international pressure, Rocho urges people to pray.