Sailan Muslim - The Online Resource for Sri Lanka Muslims Diversity and Inclusiveness Mon, 26 Jan 2015 11:22:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Apply for a World Bank Robert S. McNamara Fellowship! (PhD candidates) Mon, 26 Jan 2015 11:21:08 +0000 This fellowship supports developing country PhD candidates to conduct innovative, development-related, doctoral research under the supervision of a research advisor abroad.

*Attention! These Guidelines are not valid for applicants to a master’s degree. For more information about scholarships for masters studies visit the Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program webpage.

*Attention! Please see updated FAQs with a fuller explanation of the educational requirements for eligible candidates.

To begin the web-based application process for a Robert S. McNamara fellowship, we recommend that you:

1. Review the Application Guidelines and FAQs posted below. The Application Guidelines contain the complete set of eligibility requirements associated with this fellowship.
 Application_Guidelines         FAQs (these FAQs are updated regularly)

2. To apply, click on APPLY ONLINE HERE and use the instructions "Accessing the Online RSMFP Application" posted below to Log-in.


3. Refer to "Navigating the Online RSMFP Application" posted below for guidance on how to maneuver within the various components of the on-line application. 


4. Complete the application, refering to the Application Guidelines and FAQs posted above. Please note:

i) The FAQs document is updated regularly to ensure clarity of instructions.

ii) You will be required to upload a proposed budget for RSM financing in the application. The template you are required to use for this budget can be downloaded here.

iii) The application is available only in English, although applicants are given the choice at the top of the Application Form to enter the required information in English, French or Spanish


]]> 0
Saudi Arabia Jobs – Jobs Career in Saudi Arabia Riyadh Jeddah Makkah/ Mecca Medina – Saudi Arabia Job Bank – Jobs Mon, 26 Jan 2015 10:24:47 +0000 Foreman for DP World – Saudi Arabia

Posted: 23 Jan 2015 08:20 AM PST
Employer: KSA Job Bank
Job Type: Full Time
Location: Saudi Arabia
Qualification : DiplomaExperience : Should have 4- 6 years experience in related field.Experience in related functionExperience in supervising and handling teams Keys :Coordinate with the reporting staff to ensure tidiness of the mess halls in the camp as well as the mess halls in the portAssist the cook’s chief in preparation of weekly menu within the […]

Chief Cook for DP World – Saudi Arabia

Posted: 23 Jan 2015 08:20 AM PST
Employer: KSA Job Bank
Job Type: Full Time
Location: Saudi Arabia
Qualification : Any Graduate Experience : Should have 3- 6 years experience in related field. Keys Accountabilities :Request / Receive food provision from camp storeRequest / Receive vegetable from SupplierChecking availability of utilities in the kitchen (cooking gas, water and electricity)Preparing food stuff (Vegetable, Meat, Fish, Rice, etc) for all employees (lunch, dinner and breakfast) […]

Multiple Vacancies in Abdullah Ahmed Dossary – Saudi Arabia

Posted: 23 Jan 2015 08:20 AM PST
Employer: KSA Job Bank
Job Type: Full Time
Location: Saudi Arabia
Safety Officer Qualification : Diploma Experience : Should have 4- 6 years experience in related field. General  Surveyor Qualification : Diploma Experience : Should have 3- 6 years experience in related field. Fast Food Cooks Qualification : 10th/Any Graduate Experience : Should have 3- 6 years experience in related field. QC ENGINEER Qualification : BE/B. […]

مدير مالي – مدير مشتريات وظائف
Posted: 23 Jan 2015 08:18 AM PST
Employer: KSA Job Bank
Job Type: Full Time
Location: Saudi Arabia
مطلوب مدير مالي – مدير مشتريات وظائف اخرى لشركة في مجال البيع والتجزئة مدير مالي مصمم جرافيكي مدير مشتريات سكرتير تنفيذي اخصائي تسويق أخصائي رواتب

وظائف اخرى لفندق قصر الرياض
Posted: 23 Jan 2015 08:15 AM PST
Employer: KSA Job Bank
Job Type: Full Time
Location: Riyadh
مطلوب مدير تسويق – مدير مبيعات وظائف اخرى لفندق قصر الرياض مدير تسويق ومبيعات مدير مبيعات مدير حفلات مندوبي مبيعات مراقبي وقت  

ممثلي مبيعات – مديري مبيعات
Posted: 23 Jan 2015 08:12 AM PST
Employer: CTC KSA
Job Type: Full Time
Location: Saudi Arabia
مطلوب ممثلي مبيعات – مديري مبيعات لشركة وطنية متخصصة في تكنولوجيا الاتصالات

اطباء تخصصات مختلفة لمجمعات ام القرى الطبية
Posted: 23 Jan 2015 08:09 AM PST
Employer: Ummal Qura Group
Job Type: Full Time
Location: Saudi Arabia
مطلوب اطباء تخصصات مختلفة لمجمعات ام القرى الطبية اخصائي جراحة عظام اخصائي طب الاطفال وحديثي الولادة اخصائية جلدية وتجميل بالليزر اخصائي انف واذن وحنجرة اخصائي امراض كلى

مراقبين امن وسلامة للبريد السعودي
Posted: 23 Jan 2015 08:05 AM PST
Employer: Saudi Post
Job Type: Full Time
Location: Saudi Arabia
مطلوب مراقبين امن وسلامة للبريد السعودي

]]> 0
Into the Heart of Reality The Inner Voice By :- Safiullah Sat, 24 Jan 2015 09:41:54 +0000 ,l,lnbjhvb

PRESS RELEASE FOR MARKETING THE BOOK BY AUTHOR HOUSE, USA Safiullah announces release of ‘Into the Heart of Reality’New book sets readers on the path toward spiritual growth

Author Safiullah shares a selection of insights and reflections that have changed his life in his inspirational new book, “Into the Heart of Reality: The Inner Voice” (published by AuthorHouse). “In order to change our lives we need to look deep within ourselves,” 

Safiullah writes.An excerpt from “Into the Heart of Reality”: “The Desire – The more you desire the more you want; you feed the desire and it feeds you and if you are in love with it, for it consumes you. It has no face, it is a force, a raging one that does not distinguish between the high and the low. Seemingly benign it grows a growth that cannot be contained, if you keep watering it day in day out. It is the cancer of the soul. For the one who mistakes a need in its place will have a price to pay, a high one at that. If you stick to your organic needs then you will be satisfied and if you stick to wants then it makes you expand and if you stick to desires then you burst out of your wits, for it becomes your silent master, which teaches you otherwise and leads you to the loss of your body and mind.” “Into the Heart of Reality”

By Safiullah

Hardcover | 6 x 9 in | 120 pages | ISBN 9781481768467
Softcover | 6 x 9 in | 120 pages | ISBN 9781481768474
E-Book | ISBN 9781481768481

Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

About the Author

Safiullah’s international career in development spans over three decades. He hasworked with Save the Children, the Canadian International Development Agency and spent nearly 20 years of his career with several United Nations organizations. His work,which primarily focuses on poverty reduction, strategic planning and program management, has taken him across many continents. Safiullah is from Sri Lanka, where 
he received his basic education from Royal College, Colombo, and then advanced his studies in the United Kingdom and Australia. He studied at Seal-Hayne College, England, the University of London, the University of Queensland and holds a doctorate from the University of Reading. He is currently registered for his second doctorate with the Academy of Islamic Studies, University of Malaya, Malaysia. For the past five years, Safiullah has been working with Islamic Development Bank, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, as a manager in strategy and program management within the Global Poverty Reduction Fund. Sample



The Inner Voice
, Safiullah
AuthorHouse (120 pp.)
$27.45 hardcover, $15.18 paperback, $2.99 e-book
ISBN: 978-1481768467; September 17, 2013


Thoughts and reflections on great spiritual truths, predominantly from an Islamic perspective.
Widely traveled debut author Safiullah, a native of Sri Lanka currently residing in Saudi Arabia, aims to strike a life-changing chord about the true nature of reality. He attempts this through a series of brief commentaries on spiritual topics that counsel against pride, ingratitude, materialism, spiritual forgetfulness, a wagging tongue and pointless mental
ruminations. He often assumes the role of teacher, dutifully backing up his assertions in commentaries that make specific references to verses in the Quran, the sacred scripture of Islam, and to the teachings of the prophet Muhammad. The book also makes occasional, if thin, allusions to scientific findings as well as spiritual ones. However, there’s no obvious proselytizing here, as befits the personal testament of a believer conversant with world religions that aim to reach out to everyone. Safiullah is no zealot, but rather someone who believes that life’s purpose is to “gain knowledge and to worship.” His intent to touch readers’ hearts is beyond reproach, even if it’s a prodigious task for such a short book. His prose occasionally veers toward a rudimentary stream-of-consciousness style but otherwise adequately carries out his lofty objectives. There’s even mild criticism of mosques, which he says have become “not very welcoming by design, especially to women” and of sermons that are “fired with intolerance.” Christian readers may be puzzled by one admonition to “seek and you shall get if your heart is sincere and humble,” which brings to mind the Sermon on the Mount’s phrase from Matthew 7:7: “seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Finding and getting are not quite the same.) Overall, this book might have benefited from closer editing, particularly in its latter parts, which include a few confusing phrases (“For if you give and take, most of the time, some things are lost or gained”).

A well-meaning, admirable personal testament.

Kirkus Indie, Kirkus Media LLC, 6411 Burleson Rd., Austin, TX 78744


Into the Heart of Reality: The Inner Voice
AuthorHouse, 112 pages, (paperback) $15.18, 978-1-4817-6847-4
(Reviewed: December 2013)

Into the Heart of Reality, a series of spiritual reflections on God, nature, psychology and Islam, is written with suppleness, tenderness and intelligence. Author Safiullah’s poetic prose challenges us to look closely at the world we know—the world of sensation and emotion, the world of mistrust and infidelity—and go beyond it; to open our minds and souls to a new understanding of the Master (or Allah) and this temporal world. “Rolling on thought after thought—the rumination, none the wiser by it,” Safiullah writes. “When will you step back? Stop in your strides for a silent moment to swerve from the repeating groves that keep you bound and dependent. Wake up, wake up; it is now or never.”

The urgency in his tone elevates this book to a call of action. Heart works best as a daily devotional where the author serves up teaching and inspiration in short, pensive vignettes. Topics covered include: quieting the chatter in our minds, death, the need for silence in our daily lives, being grateful, living in truth, the importance of pilgrimage, the destructiveness of anger, and the blessing of friendship. Grounded in a solid understanding of Islamic spirituality and mysticism (as well as Buddhism and 
Neurolinguistic Programming or NLP), Safiullah provides copious footnotes throughout that serve as a terrific guide for understanding Islam and the depth of its teaching. Accompanying the text is a number of line drawings that can be used to further enhance meditation and prayer.

Into the Heart of Reality is rich in thought and overall professionally executed. While 
some of the author’s lines could use the help of an editor to smooth certain areas (“Are 
you anxious, frustrated, no [sic] nothing is working out?”), this is a minor quibble. 
Safiullah has done fine work here, offering a book that will appeal not just to a Muslim 
audience but also to general readers looking for spiritual renewal. 

Also available in hardcover and ebook.

ForeWorld Review
Clarion Review


Into the Heart of Reality: The Inner Voice
Three Stars (out of Five)

Safiullah eloquently elaborates on quotes from Muhammad to discuss the connection 
between the teachings of Islam and contemporary life

Mohamed Safiullah Munsoor wrote Into the Heart of Reality to share the insights and wisdom he’s accumulated about life and spirituality from an Islamic perspective. The book is an attractively packaged, slim volume with abstract drawings on many of the pages. Though there are many typographical and grammatical errors and awkward sentences and concepts, as well as a confusing use of pronouns and tenses, Into the Heart of Reality is a lovely, heart-centered book that will appeal mainly to a Muslim audience, but could also be enjoyed by a general audience with an interest in Islamic spirituality,

The book is organized into sixty short entries that cover a variety of themes from the profound to the mundane, with such titles as “On Gratitude,” “For Life is a Prayer,” and “On Mosques and Malls.” Most of the entries are footnoted with referenced quotes from the Koran 
and extrapolations by the author. The footnotes are sometimes too long, and much of their content would have worked better in the entries themselves to maintain the flow of the narrative. The reader is compelled to jump back and forth from entry to footnote, when the separation often feels unnecessary. For example, the entry “On Anger” opens with, “Such an uncontrollable rage, ’bouts of insanity,’ said the Master, and when you wake up from it, the damage has been done.” Only by reading the footnote does one get a sense of what this means: “An incident related by the Master and as narrated by one of the companion’s Abu Huraira ‘A man said to me, advise me and I said don’t become angry (furious).’”

The addition of many sayings from the prophet Muhammad, who is referred to as Master throughout the book, and his disciples adds a nice touch, and Safiullah does an excellent job of using these quotes to elaborate on the connection between the teachings of Islam and 
contemporary life. He writes about mindfulness, busyness, ego, interpersonal relationships, and death with the skill and empathy of someone who successfully juggles the challenges of staying spiritually centered in today’s hectic and complex world.

The author enjoys a distinguished career in international development, has studied the world religions and philosophies, and is currently working toward his second PhD at the Academy of Islamic Studies through the University of Malaya.

Reading Into the Heart of Reality as a tool for prayer and reflection would work beautifully for those who enjoy using books for daily inspiration. All of the entries can stand alone; a reader can open the book to a random page and be assured of finding something 
meaningful to ponder. Safiullah writes like a poet dabbling in prose; when it fails, the deeper truth still shines, and when it works, it transcends.
Patty Sutherland

]]> 0
Helping the Ummah Sat, 24 Jan 2015 08:31:11 +0000 unnamed (1)

Globally the Muslim Ummah is in a crisis. From Australia in the south to Canada in the north, from China in east to USA in the west we find Islamophobia raising its venomous head. The “War on Terror”, persecution, oppression, discrimination, etc against innocent and peace loving Muslims has become the order of the day. The raining of missiles on families in Palestine-Gaza , the merciless killing of innocent civilians in Syria, ethnic cleansing in Myanmar, torture and rape in Afghanistan and Iraq,the banning of niqaab in France, war in Somalia, Chechnya etc. The list is extensive.

As Muslims we should not turn a blind eye and be apathetic to the sufferings of millions of our fellow brothers and sisters globally. We should not only feel the pain in our hearts, but should constructively engage ourselves in physically assisting the Ummah with whatever means we have at our disposal.

Allah Ta’ala says in the Noble Qur’aan: “ Indeed, Muslims are brothers.”(Qur’an: Al Hujurat:10)

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) has emphatically stated that “No one of you becomes a true believer until he likes for his brother what he likes for himself”.(Hadith-Bukhari & Muslims)

We are ONE UMMAH, if the finger feels a pain the whole body feels the pain. It is our duty to share the pain, responsibilities, burdens and needs of our fellow brothers and sisters.  The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “The example of Muslims in their mutual love, mercy and sympathy is like that of a body; if one of the organs is afflicted, the whole body responds with sleeplessness and fever.”(Hadith-Muslim)

Our ancestors in Islam, the esteemed Companions of Muhammad Salallaho alaihe wassallam demonstrated practically what was meant by true love for our brothers(sisters) in Islam. Hadhrat Abu-Jahm-bin-Huzaifah (Radhiyallaho anho) narrates:”During the battle of Yarmuk, I went out in search of my cousin, who was in the forefront of the fight. I also took some water with me for him. I found him in the very thick of battle in the last throes of death. I advanced to help him with the little water I had. But, soon, another sorely wounded soldier beside him gave a groan, and my cousin averted his face, and beckoned me to take the water to that person first. I went to this other person with the water. He turned out to be Hishaam bin Abil Aas (Radhiyallaho anho). But I had hardly reached him, when there was heard the groan of yet another person lying not very far off. Hisham (Radhiyallaho anho) too motioned me in his direction. Alas, before I could approach him, he had breathed his last. I made all haste back to Hishaam and found him dead as well. Thereupon, I hurried as fast as I could to my cousin, and, lo! in the meantime he had also joined the other two.”

Many an incident of such self-denial and heroic sacrifice is recorded in the books of Hadith. This is the last word in self-sacrifice, that each dying person should forego slaking his own thirst in favour of his other needy brother. May Allah bless their souls with His choicest favours for their sacrifice for others even at the time of death, when a person has seldom the sense to make a choice.


Every bit of help counts! No single bit of assistance no matter how minute or what form it may take is insignificant. There was a King who had a festival. He asked everyone to bring a jug of milk that evening and pour it into a huge container so everyone, even the poor, could enjoy it the next day.  A certain man thought that if he poured a jug of water instead of milk into the container it won’t be noticed in the dark and he really thought that it won’t make a significant difference. So he poured a jug of water. When he came the next day he surprisingly witnessed that the huge container was almost full of water. It was quite clear that in his community everyone thought the same.

All we need as an Ummah is to play our “small” part. If we each do our “little” then combined it will Insha Allah be a lot! The “little” we do will Insha Allah go a long way. Here are some practical ways we can show our genuine love for the Allah Ta’ala, Muhammad (peace be upon him) and our fellow Muslims who are suffering.

1.      DU’AA(SUPPLICATION): Indeed no condition or situation can ever improve without the Help of Allah. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) is reported to have said that; “Dua is a weapon of a believer.” (Hadith-Al Hakim). Du’aa should be made individually and collectively. Do it at home with the family and also in the Masjid. Children should be encouraged to also join in. The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) encouraged the Ummah to read Qunoot-e-Naazilah supplication (dua) at the time of distress and calamity. (Hadith- Abu Dawood). Imaams of Masjids should also read the Qunoot-e-Naazilah in the congregational prayers of Fajr and to ask the Almighty’s Guidance and intervention to save and protect the Ummah. Also keep fast and perform optional prayer.

2.      CONTRIBUTE:  We should generously contribute in whatever way possible. The Messenger of Allah Ta’ala (peace be upon) said that: “Charity (Sadaqah) does not decrease the wealth” (Hadith-Muslim) and he (pbuh) also said that daily two angels offer Du’aa, “O Allah, compensate those who spend, and bring ruin to those who withhold”. (Hadith- Bukhari). Encourage our children to contribute from their own savings even if it just a few cents. In this way worry and concern for the Ummah will be inculcated in them. Search for credible Islamic relief organisations operating in areas where our funds are most needed. Be wary of bogus collectors.  Be pro-active in raising funds. The Messenger of Allah Ta’ala (peace be upon) is reported to have said: “Indeed, Allah blesses certain people with special bounties for the benefit of other people. As long as they benefit others, Allah continues His bounties upon them but when they stop benefitting others, Allah takes these bounties back from them and transfers to others.” (Hadith-Tabarani)

3.      JOIN: We need to be as much as possible physically involved. The best is to be at our Muslim brothers and sisters’ side when they really need us the most. Distance, race, colour, social status etc should never be a barrier in assisting the Ummah. Join and engage ourselves in those activities that will support and bring genuine relief to the distressed Ummah. Be cautious that our activities are always in compliance with the Laws of Allah Ta’ala.

4.      EDUCATE: Be pro-active and educate yourself. Be knowledgeable on the subject. Our families and communities should be educated about the plight of the Ummah. Masjids, media, schools etc should be used to for this purpose. Keep a vigilant eye on the news outlets; magazines etc. and respond timeously to their bias comments and views. Forward pertinent and relevant articles you come across to the International and local media outlets.Using the world atlas or internet, show our children where the affected part of the Ummah is. Do not support those that directly or indirectly assist the oppression and persecution of the Muslim Ummah.

5.      HOPE: Always be hopeful and never be despondent. Allah Ta’ala will help even though it may be after some time.  Often the media tries to create hopelessness and many Muslims are left in despair. It may seem that the death of millions of innocents is now inevitable, but we must continue to strive our utmost to defend them and to spread the truth about these immoral actions perpetrated against innocent Muslims. Above all, we must remember that Allah Most High has control over all things and can provide help in ways we do not even understand. Not even the ‘greatest’ superpower can overpower Him! No falsehood is to remain forever. No oppression is to remain forever. After hardship comes ease. Insha Allah the difficulty of the Muslim nation will come to end and tomorrow will be definitely better than today. We should have HOPE in the ALL encompassing MERCY and HELP of Allah Most High under all circumstances, whether it be in victory, defeat, happiness or sadness.

The Messenger of Allah(peace be upon him) has said that whosoever helps a Muslim at the time of loss of honour and humility; will receive Help from Allah when he is in need of help.(Hadith-Abu Dawood)

Most importantly remember the Muslim Ummah is ONE! Let us not forget that behind every dark cloud there is a silver lining.

]]> 0
Islamophobia and the duty of da’wah Sat, 24 Jan 2015 07:43:54 +0000 unnamed

“A girl like you should take off this burqa and start getting an education,” a middle-aged white woman told a 17-year-old Muslim girl at the dressing room of a respected health club.

The Muslim girl was shocked by these hostile comments but chose not to reply.

Later, she reported the harassment incident to the club’s manager. The manager apologized and assured her that this behavior is against their policy, and if it was repeated, he would take an action against the aggressor.

Ironically, this Muslim girl is a national merit scholar who started her college education at one of the well-known universities at age 16.

In the middle of a friendly conversation, a receptionist at a medical clinic told a young Muslim mother who came to see a doctor for her baby, “You don’t know how to drive.”

In both cases, stereotypes and presumptions were absolutely wrong.

Cashiers at department or grocery stores often assume that Muslim women who wear scarves (in accordance with the Islamic dress code) do not speak English.

One Muslim girl put it this way: “Do I need to wear a shirt with labels saying ‘I speak English, I know how to drive, I have an education’ so that the general public don’t think otherwise just because I am devoted to my religion and covering my hair?”

Anti-Muslim Hate: Why Dawah is Our Top Priority

Since September 11, 2001, the damage of planned media campaigns against Islam and Muslims has been increasing exponentially with time. “Hateful, negative rhetoric regarding Muslims is on the increase both in tone and frequency. It has almost become socially acceptable to engage in bigoted and racist speech about Muslims.”

“More frightening is the reality that the hateful thoughts and speech can turn into hateful, even violent action, which can ruin an innocent person’s life,” Karen J. Dabdoub, the director of the Cincinnati office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Ohio, USA, wrote in the Enquirer.

Islamophobes are aggressively organizing propaganda that portrays Islam as a foreign religion that came with the backward, violent Arabs, who oppress women and deny them their rights of education, driving, working, or even leaving their homes. This completely distorted image is ingrained in the minds of the majority of the American public as a result of organized efforts by bigoted figures.

Daniel Pipes, a critic of “Islamism,” has proposed the creation of a new “Anti-Islamist Institute” (AII), designed to expose legal political activities of “Islamists,” according to Jim Lobe of the Inter Press Service News Agency (IPS).

The draft of a grant proposal by Pipes’s Middle East Forum (MEF), obtained by IPS, reads, “In the long term … the legal activities of Islamists pose as much or even a greater set of challenges than the illegal ones.”

“Pipes is also working with Stephen Schwartz on a new ‘Center for Islamic Pluralism’ (CIP) whose aims are to ‘promote moderate Islam in the U.S. and globally'” and to oppose the influence of extremists,” Lobe writes.  

“The ‘extremists,’ according to the CIP proposal, are mainly represented by … an array of organizations consisting of CAIR, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), the Muslim Students’ Association of the U.S. and Canada (MSA), the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), as well as ‘secular’ groups, including the Arab-American Institute (AAI) and the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC),” he adds.

Muslim civil rights organizations, such as CAIR, are working day and night to counteract the effects of such campaigns. But they are limited in number and resources compared to Islamophobes. The American people are victims of the biased and racist media propaganda. Ordinary American citizens do not have the time or motivation to filter the information fed to them through media outlets.

Leaving this destructive tide unchallenged could lead to serious consequences: For instance, some Muslims — especially the young — will be forced or tempted to deviate from the authentic teachings of Islam in order to be called liberal or progressive. On the other hand, those who have strong beliefs will be persecuted for false allegations; they will be labeled extremists, isolated, and discriminated against.

We Must Unite for the Sake of Da`wah

To preserve genuine Islam in the West, every sincere Muslim has an obligation to educate as many people as they can about Islamic beliefs and values.

Islam is a complete way of life. We must adjust our lifestyle to our religion — not the other way round. That is, we cannot twist the laws of Allah and His message to fit our convenience or to please a person or group.

To accomplish this noble mission, Muslims need to coordinate and unite their efforts to withstand the plots that aim at distorting Islamic teachings under slogans like “Reforming Islam” or “Promoting Liberal Islam.” We need to focus our energy in passing the genuine message of Allah to humanity.

In order to do this, we must begin to unite. The Muslim community in the West is so diverse that Muslims end up getting segregated in clusters. Not only is this disunity totally against the spirit of Islam, it also makes Muslims much less effective in pursuing their goals or acting as a powerful minority that can positively influence the societies they live in.

Muslims in the West need to put aside cultural differences developed from their ethnicity or original country and consider their Islamic identity as the only source for a unified Islamic culture.

Muslims from every background should review all their customs and traditions, give up what is national but not Islamic, and preserve only what is compatible with the Quran and Sunnah. Every Muslim must make learning the Arabic language a high priority. In their golden days, Muslims used the language of the Quran to communicate.

Developing a unified set of customs and social behaviors that is based on Islamic teachings and communicating in one language will act as strategies to develop a united Muslim community.

Source :

]]> 0
Tolerance in the Prophetic tradition Sat, 24 Jan 2015 07:00:12 +0000 by: Ismail Hakki Atceken



Coming from the Arabic root samaha, musamaha (tolerance) means to forgive and to pardon. The wordhosgoru is used in Turkish and the word tolerance in English. As a term, it is used for the understanding and gentle behavior towards everyone, without prejudice, of someone who is mature and good-intentioned. Truly this is a high virtue possessed only by people of superior morality. Both too much and too little of tolerance can lead to harmful results.

Moral principles have an important place in the divine messages of prophets brought from Allah’s presence. Tolerance has a unique place among these moral principles. The religion brought by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) being named “Islam” shows that, along with other meanings, it is a religion of forgiveness and tolerance. In fact, it is also possible to find meanings like peace and reconciliation among the different meanings of the word Islam.

Let’s look at some of the verses in the Quran related to this topic: “(The righteous are) those who spend (freely), whether in prosperity, or in adversity; who restrain anger, and pardon (all) men; for God loves those who do good.” (1)  “Help ye one another in righteousness and piety, but help ye not one another in sin and rancor: fear God, for God is strict in punishment.”(2) “The believers are but a single brotherhood: so make peace and reconciliation between your two (contending) brothers; and fear God, that ye may receive mercy.” (3)

The requirements for being tolerant:

1- To take the nafs to account: “Do not overlook your sins due to loving yourself.” (5)

2- To cover people’s faults: In one hadith the Prophet says: “Whoever covers someone’s fault in this world, Allah will cover his faults on Doomsday.” (6)

3- To overcome anger: The righteous… who restrain anger and pardon (all) men; for God loves those who do good.” (7) “The powerful one is not someone who defeats his opponent in wrestling. It is the one who restrains himself during times of anger.” (8)

4- To be forgiving: “(O Prophet!) Hold on to forgiveness; command what is right; But turn away from the ignorant.”

5- Do not curse others: Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, “I was not sent to curse. I was sent as a mercy.” (9)

6- Do not be suspicious: “O ye who believe! Avoid suspicion as much as possible: for suspicion in some cases is a sin.” (10)

7- Avoid haughtiness and pride: “And swell not thy cheek (for pride) at men, nor walk in insolence through the earth; for God loveth not any arrogant boaster.” (11) On this subject the Prophet states: “It is enough evil to condescend on one’s Muslim brother.” (12)

8- Do not make fun of people: “O ye who believe! Let not some men among you laugh at others: it may be that the (latter) are better than the former.” (13)

9- To be patient: There are more than seventy verses in the Quran that mention patience. The Prophet said: “No one has been blessed with a better gift than patience.” (14)

Tolerance in family life establishes good behavior towards wives, love and compassion for children, and just action towards parents. On these subjects Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is an exemplary model and character. It is well-known that he approached his wives with mercy, goodness, patience and love.

A monument of mercy towards his children and grandchildren, the Prophet continuously showed interest in them and treated them with love and gentleness. He allowed his grandsons Hassan and Hussain to ride on his shoulders while he prayed. It is possible to multiply these examples.

There is no coercion in Islam regarding religion and belief. It is not possible to force a person to change his belief; it can only be done with persuasion and the approval of the person. Freedom of belief is one of the leading rights of man. If religion were communicated to people with fear and oppression, there would be no meaning to belief. It was left up to people to direct their lives with free will. Because they have to give account to Allah, people were given freedom of choice. If, to the contrary, people had been coerced, it would have been unjust. Related to there being no force in religion, Allah says, “Let there be no compulsion in religion. Truth stands out clear from error: whoever rejects evil and believes in God hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold that never breaks. And God knoweth and heareth all things.” (15) Another verse regarding this matter is as follows: “If it had been thy Lord’s will, they would all have believed, all who are on earth! Wilt thou compel mankind, against their will, to believe!” (16)

Places of worship in divine religions have the characteristic of being sacred. Just as the mosques of Muslims are protected, places of worship in other religions are also under protection.

In fact, the Quran states on this issue: “Did not God check one set of people by means of another, there would surely have been pulled down monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques, in which the name of God is commemorated in abundant measure.” (17)

Just as a Muslim has the right to go to a mosque and perform the worship his faith requires, a Christian has the right to go to a church and a Jew has the right to go to a temple or synagogue for worship. Prophet Muhammad, who lived together with Jews for some time in the Medina community, did not try and curtail the worship of Jews. At the same time, it is known that he similarly permitted Christians to practice their faith.

After the migration, the Prophet acted positively and moderately towards the Jews, who were an important element of Medina and who were not very happy with his coming. In fact, he invited them to a common word, prayed towards their qibla in Jerusalem and allowed Muslims to eat the meat of animals slaughtered by the Jews and to marry their chaste women. In order to allow them to look favorably on the religion of Islam, he showed respect to a Jewish funeral procession passing in front of him; he stood up and recommended that his Companions do so as well. Also, although he forbade the pagans to enter the masjid, he allowed Jews, who were among the People of the Book, to enter. We know that some Jews, even though their numbers were small, became Muslim as a result of the Prophet’s positive attitude towards Jews.  Jews like Abdullah b. Selâm, Sa’lebe b. Sa’ye, Esîd b. Sa’ye, Esed b. Ubeyd, Muhayrık, and Meymûn b. Yâmin accepted Islam. The Jews also accepted Muhammad as head of state with the constitution. In addition, they were to defend the city together with Muslims in case of any external threat or attack. The Medina constitution established the freedom of religion and faith and the security of life and property to its parties. However, in spite of this positive and moderate approach, the Jews did not remain loyal to the agreement, and they cooperated with the pagans and tried to stab Muslims in the back. As a result, the Prophet had to fight with them and force them out of Medina.

Prophet Muhammad acted extremely carefully in regard to the rights of peoples the Islamic state had agreements with. In regard to this the Prophet said, “Whoever harms a non-Muslim subject will have harmed me. Whoever hurts me will have angered Allah.” Again, in a hadith related by Abu Davud, the Prophet said, “On Doomsday I am not going to accept anyone who oppressed a non-Muslim subject with whom we have agreement, or violated their rights, or burdened them with more responsibility than they could carry or made them do something they did not want to do.” The Prophet and the Rightly-Guided caliphs were protectors of the rights and privileges of non-Muslim citizens.

Respect to Allah’s commands and mercy to His creatures, and tolerance for others out of love for their Creator is one of Islam’s basic principles. In all relationships the Prophet gave precedence to being reasonable and moderate, to establishing ties of friendship and love in place of enmity, to gentleness instead of anger, rage, revenge and getting even, and to kindness rather than evil. Indicating that goodness lay in the foundation of all religions, he showed respect to all prophets and sacred books.

Muhammad (pbuh) stated that all people should be treated well and he himself became an example with his practices. His basic reference on this subject was the Quran: “Wert thou severe or harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about thee. (18)  “Say to My servants that they should (only) say those things that are best.” (19) “Do not curse those who take another god for they, exceeding their limits, curse Allah.” (20)

One day while the Prophet was sitting in the masjid with his Companions, a Bedouin came in and began to urinate in a corner of the masjid. The Companions angrily shouted at the man to stop, but the Prophet immediately intervened and said, “Leave the man alone and let him finish his job.” Then he commanded that a bucket of water be emptied there. He called the Bedouin and explained that he was in a masjid and that it would not be right to defile it. With pleasant language and a sweet tongue, he convinced the man that masjids are places where Allah is remembered, prayer is made and the Quran is read.

According to my findings, these are the issues on which the Prophet did not show tolerance:

1-Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) hindered those who prevented the call of Islam and showed open enmity towards the Islamic state; he disapproved of those who displayed open enmity to the religion of Islam in their poems and those who incited the pagans against Muslims. The incident involving the Jewish poet Qa’b ibn al-Ashraf is one of the best examples of this.

2-He refused those who wanted pardon for those whose crimes were proven, and he was not tolerant on this subject. The Prophet showed his sensitivity on this topic as follows: “I swear to Allah that if the thief had been my daughter Fatima, I would have cut off her hand.”

3-Loyalty to tribalism and consanguinity (where it constituted disloyalty to the Truth and Justice) was prohibited, and he was not tolerant on this issue.

4-The Prophet was extremely careful in regard to individual rights and he prohibited their violation.

5-He was not tolerant in regard to preventing evil and the open practice of haram, etc.

Throughout Prophet Muhammad’s lifetime, tolerance was one of the most basic ideas underlying his behavior. He called people to religion and approached them with tolerance in light of the verse, “Invite all to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious.” (21) Others being harsh and rude in response to this call did not make him forego this principle. During the Taif campaign his being forgiving towards the ugly attack made against him and his praying for their reformation instead of their destruction is a good example of this.

There are lessons and wisdom to be gained by the modern world in the Prophet’s understanding of tolerance and its application in Islamic history. Those who indiscriminately describe Muslims as fanatical, aggressive and intolerant, need to look at and analyze the life and actions of Prophet Muhammad and Islamic history.

1) Al-i Imran, 3/134.

2) Al-Maide, 5/2.

3) Al-Hujurat, 49/10.

4) Al-Tagabun, 64/14.

5) Al-Najm, 53/4

6) Muslim, Birr, 12; Ahmed b. Hanbel, Musned, VI, 145

7) 3 Al-i Imran, 134

8) Bukhari, Adab, 76; Muslim, Birr, 107, 108

9) Muslim, Birr, 87

10) Al-Hujurat, 49/12

11) Al-Loqman, 31/18

12) Muslim, Birr, 32

13) Al-Hujurat, 49/11

14) Bukhari, Zekat, 50

15) Al-Baqara, 2/256.

16) Al-Yunus, 10/99.

17) Al-Hajj, 22/40.

18) Al-i İmran, 3/159.

19) Isra, 17/53.

20) Al-Nisa, 4/148

21) Al-Nahl, 16/125

]]> 0
Saudi King Abdullah passes away Sat, 24 Jan 2015 06:41:20 +0000 By: VOA News

SourceVOA News

New Saudi King Salman is pledging to continue the policies of his half brother, the late King Abdullah, who was buried Friday in the capital, Riyadh.

Abdullah, who died early Friday after a long illness, was laid to rest in an unmarked grave following a simple ceremony attended by the Arab and Muslim world’s top leaders. One of the world’s few absolute monarchs, he was believed to have been 90 and recently had been hospitalized with a lung infection.

King Abdullah (deceased, left) and King Salman_compressed


The oil-rich, Sunni-ruled kingdom moved quickly to ensure a smooth transition by appointing a new monarch.

The new king, thought to be 79, has been crown prince and defense minister since 2012. Another half brother, Muqrin, was named the new crown prince. Salman named his nephew, Mohammed bin Nayef, as the new deputy crown prince and his son, Mohammed bin Salman, as Saudi Arabia’s new defense minister and head of the royal court. Salman also said he would keep most other ministers.

The King was laid to rest in an unmarked grave following a simple ceremony.

In a televised speech, Salman vowed to “continue adhering to the correct policies” of his predecessors. “We will remain, God willing, holding the straight course that this country has walked on since its establishment by the late King Abdulaziz,” he said.

The new king led prayers at a funeral service for Abdullah at the Imam Turki Bin Abdullah Grand Mosque in Riyadh. The late king was buried in a simple white shroud, according to Muslim tradition, in an unmarked grave at Al Oud public cemetery.

Tributes and criticisms

Among world leaders offering condolences, U.S. President Barack Obama offered the sympathies of the American people to the Saudi people and royal family. Obama said the king always was candid and had the courage of his convictions, including using the U.S.-Saudi relationship as a force for security and stability.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden’s official Twitter account announced Friday that he would lead a delegation to Saudi Arabia to pay respects to the king’s family and country.

Other reactions to Abdullah’s passing were less laudatory.

Human Rights Watch said in a statement that Abdullah’s reign “brought about marginal advances for women but failed to secure the fundamental rights of Saudi citizens to free expression, association, and assembly.”

The rights group urged his successor, Salman, to “halt persecution of peaceful dissidents and religious minorities, end pervasive discrimination against women, and ensure greater protections for migrant workers.”

Meanwhile, Islamic militants and their supporters celebrated the king’s passing.

“He sent his warplanes to kill Muslims in [Syria]. He imprisoned Muslim men and women and wherever there was a war against jihadis, he was the first,” a jihadi supporter named Abu Azzam al-Najdi railed on social media, Reuters reported.

Twitter posters used hashtags that, translated from Arabic, mean “Death of a Tyrant,” the news agency said.

Abdullah ushered in modern era

King Abdullah officially ascended to the throne in 2005. But he actually had ruled since 1995, when his predecessor and half brother, King Faud, suffered an incapacitating stroke.

Abdullah is believed to have been born in Riyadh in 1924 to an ultra-conservative family in which the traditions and hospitality of Islam were always stressed.

As he grew into adulthood, oil was discovered in the Saudi desert and the country grew into the world’s top oil exporter, bringing vast wealth to royal family.

Upon taking control, Abdullah began unprecedented moves to modernize the conservative kingdom.

Women were given a voice in politics. This year, for the first time, they’ll be allowed to vote in local elections.

Abdullah also established a Western-style university where students from both sexes openly mixed and shared classes.

Previously banned music could be heard on Saudi television and radio.

Foreign policy maverick

Abdullah was something of a maverick in his foreign policy. He proposed a peace deal in which Arab League states would recognize Israel if the Palestinians get their own state.

In a leaked U.S. diplomatic note, the king urged the U.S. military to attack Iran and “cut off the head of the snake” to stop it from building a nuclear weapon.

Saudi Arabia is one of the top suppliers of arms to the rebels fighting to overthrow the Syrian government. It is a leading member of the U.S.-led coalition fighting against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Saudi Arabia is part of the G20 economic bloc and the World Trade Organization.

Despite reforms at home and moderation abroad, human rights groups continue to assail Saudi Arabia. They say women are still denied many basic rights.

The king refused to support the Arab Spring movements that toppled dictatorships in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen.

Dissent is not tolerated, free speech is muffled, and criminals still face extreme punishment such as beheadings.

Some information for this report was contributed by Reuters.

]]> 0
NSC Lauds the Advent of the Maithri Era Thu, 22 Jan 2015 10:43:22 +0000 Dispelling speculations that it was the minorities who had voted Mr. Maithripala Sirisena into power the President of the National Shoora Council, Mr. Tariq Mahmud said that it has to be viewed with magnanimity.   It was a victory for everyone as all those who voted were citizens of Sri Lanka.  There was of course a record voter turn out among all communities which included the Tamils and Muslims too.

He further stated that we need to go above parochial interpretation of events based on racial and religious overtones.  This approach has never done any good to our country except destruction, mutual hatred and suspicion between our people. 

Mr. Mahmud strongly urged that a new era has dawned and it is vital that every citizen of this country irrespective of their racial or religious background put their best foot forward towards making this country in reality a nation of maithri.

“The NSC is always prepared to give its fullest support toward achieving the goals of racial co-existence, religious freedom and human rights”, said Mr. Mahmud.

We are very confident that under the Presidency of Mr. Maithripala Sirisena we can expect justice, good governance, equal treatment to all without racial or religious discrimination.  The people voted for a government that is free from corruption, nepotism, abuse of authority and racism.

Mr. Mahmud while wishing the President every success reiterated the commitment of  the National Shoora Council in his efforts to deliver to the people of Sri Lanka, a maithri nation.

The National Shoora Council (NSC) is a civic body comprising muslim organizations, professionals and intellectuals.

]]> 0
The virtue of supporting one’s family Thu, 22 Jan 2015 10:14:38 +0000 fv_amman_jordan-600x399 (1)

When a man fulfills his duty of supporting his family, God rewards him in multiples!

I was very surprised when I learned the Islamic Ruling in this area.

I was asked a question: If I have some money, what is the best way to spend it: give it to those who fight for the sake of God, give it to the poor, or pay for my family’s needs? To answer this question, let us consider the following narrations:

Abu Hurairah narrated that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “You spent one Dinar for the fight for the sake of God, one Dinar to liberate a slave, one Dinar to a poor person, and one Dinar to support your family. The most rewarded Dinar is the one that you spent on your family.” (Muslim)

Thawban, the Prophet’s servant, narrated that Prophet Muhammad said: “The most rewarded expenditure is what a man spends to support his family, on his horse that he uses to fight in the way of God, and on his friends for the sake of God.” The narrator commented: “Notice that the Prophet started with the family.” (Al-Bukhari)

Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas narrated that the Prophet said: “Everything you spend for the sake of God gets you a reward, even when you feed your wife with your hand.” (Al-Bukhari)

Abu Mas`ud Al-Badri narrated that the Prophet said: “If a man supports his family with the intention to get a reward from God, he will be rewarded the reward of charity.” (Al-Bukhari)

Al-Miqdad Ibn Ma`d Yakrib narrated that Prophet Muhammad said: “When you feed yourself, it is a charity. When you feed your children, it is a charity. When you feed your wife, it is a charity. When you feed your servant, it is a charity.” (Al-Bukhari)

There are many similar hadiths. The above are just a few examples.

Strong families that follow the good traditions result in a strong society that God blesses! The above narrations are very interesting. Before I knew them, I was always thinking that what I spend to support my family is just ‘necessary expenditures.’ However, I never imagined that this money I spend would be put in my scale of good deeds in the hereafter! And when I learned that supporting one’s family is even better than supporting fighters for the sake of God and liberating slaves, I wondered why? After some reflection, I realized that the Muslim home is the place where belief and morals are built. Therefore, the money that supports this place must be blessed. I realized that supporting my family is the best ‘investment’ I can ever think about!

It is a permanent part of the Muslim way of life that an honorable man must work hard to earn money and support his children until they grow up and be financially independent. Muslim men consider this an Islamic obligation that they must fulfill, regardless to the required time and effort.

Now, modern civilization preaches a culture that allows a man to tell his children, boys and girls, when they reach maturity: “You are on your own!” Some men in this modern world even find it too much to feed their wives!

On the other hand, the supporter of the family should be appreciated and reassured by his wife. She should always be a source of support and joy, in words and actions. The wife who is not appreciative to her husband and is always ignoring him is pushing him towards disliking her and detaching himself from her.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) asked a woman who came to visit him: “Do you have a husband?” She said: “Yes.” He said: “How do you treat him?” She said: “I do everything he wants except what I am not able to do!” The Prophet (peace be upon him) told her this wise and short advice: “Take care of him. He is either your paradise or your hellfire!” (Al-Mundhiri)
In another hadith, he said: “A woman is not fulfilling God obligations until she fulfills her husband’s obligations.” (Al-Mundhiri)
I read another interesting hadith, which Mu`adh narrated, that is talking about some women who beat their husbands!! One of them was trying to prove her authority at home by force! I was smiling when I read the Prophet’s advice to her: “A woman who believes in God is not allowed to invite guests that her husband hates! She is not allowed to go to some place if he does not like it! She is not allowed to consider her relatives or friends and ignore him! She is not allowed to forsake his bed! She is not allowed to beat him up! …” (!!)

I stopped here and wondered, ‘How dare this woman beat her husband up! Was this a man! Or maybe she was a muscle-woman!’ Then, I continued reading the hadith:

“Even if she thinks that he is wrong, she should try to approach him in a friendly way. If he becomes friendly, then how beautiful! God will reward her and prove to him that her argument is true. If he insists not to be pleased, then she should know that God knows that she has no blame.” (Al-Albani)

It is impossible that a home never faces problems. But good morals and friendly dealings guarantee that problems will eventually be solved! There is a very true Arabic poem that says that problems on earth are never because there is not enough space for everybody, but they are because there is not enough patience for everybody! This applies to men and women.  But if the man is truly beloved by his wife, she will treat him like a king! And if a man wants to be treated like a king, he should show true dedication, sincerity and love!

Source :

]]> 0
Norman Finkelstein: Charlie Hebdo Is Sadism, Not Satire Thu, 22 Jan 2015 07:50:00 +0000 19 January 2015 13:50 (Last updated 19 January 2015 13:53)
World renowned political science professor says he has ‘no sympathy’ for staff at Charlie Hebdo


In Nazi Germany, there was an anti-Semitic weekly newspaper called Der Stürmer.

Run by Julius Streicher, it was notorious for being one of the most virulent advocates of the persecution of Jews during the 1930s.

What everybody remembers about Der Stürmer was its morbid caricatures of Jews, the people who were facing widespread discrimination and persecution during the era.

Its depictions endorsed all of the common stereotypes about Jews – a hook nose, lustful, greedy.

“Let’s say, … amidst all of this death and destruction, two young Jews barged into the headquarters of the editorial offices of Der Stürmer, and they killed the staff for having humiliated them, degraded them, demeaned them, insulted them,” queried Norman Finkelstein, a professor of political science and author of numerous books including “The Holocaust Industry” and “Method and Madness.”

“How would I react to that?,” said Finkelstein, who is the son of Holocaust survivors.

Finkelstein was drawing an analogy between a hypothetical attack on the German newspaper and the deadly Jan. 7 attack at the Paris headquarters of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, that left 12 people dead, including its editor and prominent cartoonists. The weekly is known for printing controversial material, including derogatory cartoons about the Prophet Muhammad in 2006 and 2012.

The attack sparked a global massive outcry, with millions in France and across the world taking to the streets to support freedom of the press behind the rallying cry of “Je suis Charlie,” or “I am Charlie.”

What the Charlie Hebdo caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad achieved was “not satire,” and what they provoked was not “ideas,” Finkelstein said.

Satire is when one directs it either at oneself, causes his or her people to think twice about what they are doing and saying, or directs it at people who have power and privilege, he said.

“But when somebody is down and out, desperate, destitute, when you mock them, when you mock a homeless person, that is not satire,” Finkelstein said.

“That is, I give you the word, sadism. There’s a very big difference between satire and sadism. Charlie Hebdo is sadism. It’s not satire”

The “desperate and despised people” of today are Muslims, he said, considering the number of Muslim countries racked by death and destruction as in the case of Syria, Iraq, Gaza, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen.

“So, two despairing and desperate young men act out their despair and desperation against this political pornography no different than Der Stürmer, who in the midst of all of this death and destruction decide its somehow noble to degrade, demean, humiliate and insult the people. I’m sorry, maybe it is very politically incorrect. I have no sympathy for [the staff of Charlie Hebdo]. Should they have been killed? Of course not. But of course, Streicher shouldn’t have been hung. I don’t hear that from many people,” said Finkelstein.

Streicher was among those who stood trial on charges at Nürnberg, following World War II. He was hung for those cartoons.

Finkelstein said some might argue that they have the right to mock even desperate and destitute people, and they probably have this right, he said, “But you also have the right to say ‘I don’t want to put it in my magazine … When you put it in, you are taking responsibility for it.”

Finkelstein compared the controversial Charlie Hebdo caricatures to the “fighting words,” doctrine, a category of speech penalized under American jurisprudence.

The doctrine refers to certain words that would likely cause the person to whom they are directed, to commit an act of violence. They are a category of speech unprotected by the First Amendment.

“You are not allowed to utter fighting words, because they are equivalent of a smack to the face and it is asking for trouble,” Finkelstein said.

“So, are the Charlie Hebdo caricatures the equivalent of fighting words? They call it satire. That is not satire. It is just epithets, there is nothing funny about it. If you find it funny, depicting Jews in big lips and (a) hook nose is also funny.”

Finkelstein pointed to the contradictions in the Western world’s perception of the freedom of the press by giving the example of the pornographic magazine Hustler, whose publisher, Larry Flynt, was shot and left paralyzed in 1978 by a white supremacist serial killer for printing a cartoon depicting interracial sex.

“I don’t remember everyone celebrating ‘We are Larry Flynt’ or ‘We are Hustler,'” he said. “Should he have been attacked? Of course not. But nobody suddenly turned this into a political principle of one side or the other.”

The West’s embrace of the Charlie Hebdo caricatures was because the drawings were directed at and ridiculed Muslims, he said.

The characterization by the French of Muslims as being barbaric is hypocritical considering the killings of thousands of people during France’s colonial occupation of Algeria, and the French public’s reaction to the Algerian war from 1954 to 1962, according to Finkelstein.

The first mass demonstration in Paris against the war “did not come until 1960, two years before the war was over,” he said. “Everybody supported the French annihilatory war in Algeria.”

He said French philosopher Jean Paul Sartre’s apartment was bombed twice in 1961 and 1962, as was the office of his magazine, Les Temps Modernes, after he came out in full force against the war.

Finkelstein, who has been described as an “American radical,” said the pretensions of the West about Muslim attire exposed a dramatic contradiction in the face of the West’s attitude toward natives in lands they occupied during colonialism.

“When Europeans came to North America, the thing they said about the native Americans was that they were so barbaric, because they walked around naked. The European women were wearing three layers of clothes. Then they came to North America, and decided that the native Americans were backward because they all walked around naked. And now, we walk around naked, and we say that the Muslims are backward because they wear so much clothes,” he said.

“Can you imagine anything more barbaric? Banning women wearing headscarves?” he asked, referring to the 2004 ban on headscarves in French public service jobs.

Finkelstein’s work, accusing Jews of exploiting the memory of Holocaust for political gain and criticizing Israel for oppressing the Palestinians, has made him a controversial figure even within the Jewish community.

He was denied a tenure as a professor at DePaul University in 2007 after a highly publicized feud with fellow academic Alan Dershowitz, an ardent supporter of Israel. Dershowitz reportedly lobbied the administration of DePaul, a Roman Catholic university in Chicago, to deny him tenure.

Finkelstein, who currently teaches at Sakarya University in Turkey, said the decision was based on “transparently political grounds.”

]]> 0