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"Surely, those who believe, and the Jews and the Christians and the Sabians, whoever have faith with true hearts in Allah and in the Last-day and do good deeds, their reward is with their Lord, and there shall be no fear for them nor any grief."

— Qur'an 2:62

Latest from CIP

review of The Teachings of the Bektashi Sufis [Nauk Bektašijskog Tarikata (In Bosnian)]

Stephen Sylejman Schwartz  •  July 27, 2016  •  Illyria [New York]

Senad Mičijević (1960-2013) was a resident of Mostar, the city in Bosnia-Hercegovina that, until the coming of war in 1992, was known for its multireligious coexistence. From then until 1995, Mostar was wracked by the aggression of Croatian and Serbian forces alike. The Croats were allied ostensibly with the so-called "Bosnian Muslim" fighters – the latter should better be called the soldiers of the Bosnian Republic, because they rejected a narrow religious identity.

But in their zeal to surpass the Serbian rebels in despoliation of the Muslims and others loyal to an ideal of Mostar's traditional identity, the Croats in 1993 destroyed the city's famous symbol, the 16th century CE Stari Most, or Old Bridge. The bridge had stood for 427 years. It was rebuilt and reopened in 2004.

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The Dilemma of the Turkish State

Irfan Al-Alawi  •  July 21, 2016  •  Lapido Media [London]

After the confusing coup attempt in Turkey the situation of that country remains fluid and unpredictable.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Turkish president and, although unaffiliated with it by constitutional requirement, the unquestioned leader of the 'Islamic' Justice and Development Party (AKP), has apparently reinforced his power in the aftermath of the confrontation.

According to the BBC, a massive purge of public officials suspected of opposition to Erdoğan or sympathy with the coup is underway.

Some 50,000 government employees, including 35,000 military, police, and judicial officers, plus academics and media figures, have been fired, interned, or arrested.

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No Saudi Surprises In 9-11 Commission's '28 Pages'

Stephen Schwartz and Irfan Al-Alawi  •  July 20, 2016  •  The Huffington Post

On July 15, the U.S. Congress released the appendix, redacted since 2002, to the governmental inquiry regarding American intelligence failures in the period leading to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

The "28 pages" kept out of the public eye for 14 years have stimulated widespread speculation. One thing, however, came to be accepted widely: that the 28 pages had to do with the involvement of Saudi Arabian subjects or officials in the terrorist atrocities.

Now that the controversial section of the 9/11 report is available for scrutiny, the suspicion that it dealt with Saudis is confirmed.

But the 28 pages do not offer significant evidence of official Saudi support or approval for Al-Qaida or the 9-11 conspiracy.

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Saudis Announce a Turn Away from Wahhabi Cultural Vandalism

Stephen Schwartz  •  July 19, 2016  •  The Weekly Standard Blog

The rulers of Saudi Arabia have announced a new program for cultural renovation of architecture associated with the life of Muhammad. As described in the leading pan-Arab daily Asharq Al-Awsat, a Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) has begun planning rehabilitation of sites in Mecca, the direction of prayer for Muslims around the world, and Medina, which includes the Prophet's Shrine, where Muhammad is said to be buried.

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Bediuzzaman Said Nursi's Concept of 'Uboodiya'
Sufi Mystical Servitude Vs. Islamist Ideological Oppression

Muhammad Ashraf  •  July 17, 2016  •  CIP

[Note: This commentary is published by the Center for Islamic Pluralism as an expression of solidarity with the anti-dictatorial struggle of the people of Turkey.]

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Indian Sufis Call for Liberation of Makkah and Madinah

Syed Babar Ashraf  •  July 15, 2016  •  Sufi Voice of India

15 July 2016

Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, India

--------------------------------------

To:

Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, Hon. President, Govt. of India, New Delhi

Mr. Hamid Ansari, Hon. V. President, Govt. of India, New Delhi

Mr. Narendra Modi, Hon. Prime Minister, Govt. of India, New Delhi

Mr. Rajnath Singh, Minister of Home Affairs, Govt. of India, New Delhi

Smt. Sushma Swaraj, Minister of External Affairs, Govt. of India, New Delhi

Mr. Iyad bin Amin Madani, Secretary. Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Jeddah

H.E. Ms. Ruchira Kamboj, Ambassador, Permanent Delegate, UNESCO, Paris

Shri Ram Naik, Governor of Uttar Pradesh State, Lucknow, India

Mr. Akhilesh Singh Yadav, Hon. Chief Minister, Uttar Pradesh State Govt., Lucknow, India

-----------------------------------------------

Memorandum

Hejaz should be freed from the control of Saudi Wahhabi 'Salafi' dictators

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Zakir Naik: More Hype than Hope for Muslims

Muhammad Shafeeque  •  July 15, 2016  •  CIP

There is no dearth of fundamentalists who divide the masses while seeking satisfaction of personal agendas. They dedicate their efforts to undermining the secular attitudes of believers by imposing erroneous interpretations on the holy doctrines of their religion. Even today, despite the domination of secularism, we see many religious fanatics active around the globe. Zakir Naik, the controversial Islamic preacher who was alleged by the Bangladesh government to have inspired two of the five attackers in the Dhaka terrorist attack of 1 July 2016, is an obvious example of growing fundamentalism.

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Ramadan ends in blood

Irfan Al-Alawi  •  July 13, 2016  •  Lapido Media [London]

As London commemorated the eleventh anniversary of the London Underground bombings of 7 July 2005 in which 52 people were killed and at least 700 injured, a wave of takfiri terrorism swept the world.

The memorial date coincided this year with the ending of the holy month of Ramadan, which has become synonymous with an ideology of violence against those deemed kafirun [unbelievers or apostates] - both non-conformist Muslims who condemn jihadism, and non-Muslims.

The main exemplars of takfirism today are the terror group Islamic State (ISIS), Al-Qaida, and the Taliban, and they believe war against 'apostates' and infidels is a religious obligation.

ISIS is driven by a metastasized form of Wahhabism, the official interpretation of Islam in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which holds that all outside its own sect are kuffar.

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Srebrenica Genocide: A Legacy of Loss and Denial

Advisory Council for Bosnia and Herzegovina  •  July 11, 2016  •  Advisory Council for Bosnia and Herzegovina

[Note: The Center for Islamic Pluralism endorses this statement by the Advisory Council for Bosnia and Herzegovina.]

July 11, 2016 - Washington, D.C. - Today, the Advisory Council for Bosnia and Herzegovina (ACBH) stands together with the victims and survivors in commemorating the Srebrenica Genocide, the worst atrocity to occur on European soil since World War II. We remember over 8,372 innocent Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) men and boys who were systematically separated from their mothers, sisters and grandmothers and slaughtered within a five day period - the youngest victim being a newborn baby who in 2013 was buried next to her father, also a victim of the genocide.

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An Anti-Terror Success Story
ISIS, Kosova, and the New York Times.

Stephen Schwartz  •  July 11, 2016  •  The Weekly Standard

Prishtina, Kosova

Late last month, the New York Times published a lengthy report from the Balkan republic of Kosova. Under the byline of an experienced correspondent in the region, Carlotta Gall, and totaling almost 4,000 words, the article was titled "How Kosovo Was Turned into Fertile Ground for ISIS." As if that declaration were not alarming enough, the subhed proclaimed that "a once-tolerant Muslim society" had become "a font of extremism."

With all the weight typically ascribed to Times coverage, the story seemed destined to bury the reputation of the Kosovar Albanians. Kosova is roughly 90 percent Muslim. Efforts by Islamic radicals to convert the locals to various stripes of extremism are not new. Gall recorded that in the aftermath of the 1999 NATO air intervention that rescued Kosova from Serbian terrorism, Wahhabi preachers from Saudi Arabia wasted no time in arriving in the country.

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CIP Greetings to Muslims on Eid Al-Fitr/Ramazan Bajram 1437 A.H.

Center for Islamic Pluralism  •  July 6, 2016  •  CIP

The Center for Islamic Pluralism offers its greetings to Muslims throughout the world for Eid Al-Fitr/Ramazan Bajram, at the conclusion of the Islamic holy fasting month of Ramadan, hijri year 1437.

At this blessed time we pray for the end of conflicts among the Muslims and between Muslims and non-Muslims.

Eid Mubarak!

Bajram Šerif Mubarek Olsun!

 

Bangladesh Confronts Radical Islam

Raheel Raza  •  July 5, 2016  •  The Weekly Standard Blog

Bangladesh, with 170 million people, 99 percent of them Muslim, is the world's fourth-largest Muslim polity. It became the latest nation where radical Islamist violence has drawn world attention on July 1. A band of terrorists seized control of a popular café, the Holey Artisan Bakery, killing 20 hostages and two policemen. The business is located in the upscale Gulshan district of Dhaka, the capital, and is favored by expatriates. The victims included nine Italians, seven Japanese, an Indian, and a U.S. citizen. After a long standoff, six extremists were killed in a military charge.

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Muslims in Kerala, India, Welcome the Night of Power

Muhammad Shafeeque  •  July 2, 2016  •  CIP

'We have indeed revealed this (Qur'an) in the Night of Power, and what will explain to you the Night of Power? The Night of Power is better than a thousand months. Therein come down the angels and the spirits by permission of Allah, attending to every errand. Peace! Such it is until the rise of dawn' [Qur'an, Sura 97:1-5, Al Qadr]

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South Asians everywhere mourn slaying of religious singer

Irfan Al-Alawi  •  June 29, 2016  •  Lapido Media [London]

Amjad Farid Sabri was a beloved qawwal or Sufi singer known throughout Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh, as well as the South Asian Muslim diaspora.

Drive-by motorcyclists murdered him in his car with a companion in Karachi on 22 June.

Just 45, Amjad Sabri was driving to a television studio for a celebration of iftar, the end of the daily Ramadan fast, when the attack occurred.

Both the targeted men died.

Sabri leaves a wife and five children.

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A Faint Ray Of Light Through The Darkness

Stephen Schwartz  •  June 21, 2016  •  The Huffington Post

In the aftermath of the hideous massacre in Orlando on June 12, relations between Muslims and Westerners seem to have reached their lowest point in decades, if not centuries. The so-called "Islamic State" (ISIS) employs what the Italian Holocaust writer Primo Levi called "the weapons of night" — terror bombings, mass murder, sadistic tortures and executions.

At moments like Orlando, moderate Muslims feel no less dismayed and discouraged than do non-Muslims. Even the kindest and best-intentioned non-Muslims look at the Muslim believers with understandable fear.

So many Muslims have rallied to the spurious appeal of ISIS it seems often, to both moderate Muslims and sympathetic non-Muslims, that the voice of rationality has been stilled within Islam. Global media have failed to identify and explain to humanity how Muslim moderates fight against terror. Muslim leaders have been deficient in presenting their histories and arguments.

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Red tide shakes main parties in India's Kerala State
A victory for secularism

Muhammad Shafeeque  •  June 21, 2016  •  CIP

A political storm caused by public anger against the incumbent Oommen Chandy state administration has swept the United Democratic Front (UDF), led by the secularist and modernist Congress party, out of power in the southwest Indian state of Kerala. Kerala has the country's highest literacy rate, 93.91 percent in the 2011 census, and the highest life expectancy at 77 years.

A sweeping victory for the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI (M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF), in the assembly elections held on 16 May 2016, showed that the appeal by the Congress party for "continuity for development" was rejected by the people of the state in the aftermath of corruption scandals involving the governing party.

The Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) it controls campaigned with the slogan "Kerala lost its way and the BJP will show the way." But the BJP made little impact in the electorate.

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Brother Muhammad Ali As I Will Remember Him

Stephen Suleyman Schwartz  •  June 10, 2016  •  The Huffington Post

The passing of Brother Muhammad Ali, at 74, will doubtless stimulate recollections and reflections in many Americans, non-Muslim no less than Muslim. Yet aside from boxing fans and the African-American public, the rest of us baby-boomers (I am 67) may preserve our most vital vision of him as a supreme sports hero who refused to participate in the Vietnam War.

On Vietnam, his was the unsurpassable example of a voice that could not be stilled - about that, he was indeed, for so many people, "The Greatest." Writers, actors, singers, and philosophers who condemned the war could be ignored or otherwise marginalized.

For Brother Muhammad Ali, suppression of his views was impossible - period. His challenge to the war and the draft was infused with unmistakable moral force. His statements and interviews were electrifying.

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Ramadan Greetings From Indian Sufis for 2016 CE, 1437 AH

Haji Syed Salman Chishty  •  June 8, 2016  •  Chishty Foundation

There's hidden sweetness in the stomach's emptiness.

We are lutes, no more, no less. If the soundbox is stuffed full of anything, no music.
If the brain and belly are burning clean with fasting, every moment a new song comes out of the fire.

The fog clears, and new energy makes you run up the steps in front of you. When you fast, good habits gather like friends who want to help.

Its table is set beyond day and night.

So what is fasting? An invitation to a secret feast....... - Hz. Rumi's Book of Masnavi Sharif.

Welcome to the month of secret spiritual feasts - Have a blessed sublime month of Ramadan mubarak.

Duas and Blessings from Ajmer Sharif, India - the blessed seat of the Chishty Sufi order in South Asia for the last 800 years....

"Love towards All, Malice towards None"

Sultan ul Hind Gharib Nawaz Hazrat Khawaja Moinuddin Hasan Chishty (r.a.) -

Haji Syed Salman Chishty

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CIP Ramadan Greetings for 2016 CE, 1437 AH

CIP  •  June 7, 2016  •  CIP

The Islamic fasting month of Ramadan began during the night of June 6-7, according to the common calendar. Ramadan offers a period of spiritual sacrifice, meditation on our deeds and fate, and assistance to those, Muslims and others, whose conditions of life are difficult. Muslims will refrain from eating, beverages including water, smoking, and sexual relations during each day of the holy month.

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review of The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise

Stephen Schwartz  •  June 6, 2016  •  The Weekly Standard

The author of this volume—a professor of Spanish and Portuguese studies at Northwestern—wrote it with provocative intent. But whether The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise will stimulate the academic and media debate he desires cannot be predicted. Darío Fernández-Morera's arguments are undermined by the stridency of some of them, the novelty of others, and, for close readers, his failure to resolve ambiguities in Spanish Islamic history. He promises not to "pass judgment on today's Muslims, Jews, or Christians, or on their religions," a pledge coming after his opening promise to "demystify Islamic Spain." And he "advises readers to be cautious and keep in mind the differences that exist between the medieval and the modern worlds of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity." But he fails to do so himself.

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The Sheikh AlIslam Fil-Balad Al-Haram Al-Sharif
The Sheikh Al-Islam Fil-Balad Al-Haram Al-Sharif

Salaat ul-janaza [Funeral service] of Sayyid Muhammad ibn Alawi Al Maliki, The Grand Mosque in Mecca, October 2004
Salaat ul-janaza [Funeral service] of Sayyid Muhammad ibn Alawi Al Maliki, The Grand Mosque in Mecca, October 2004

Islam's past
Islam Past: Turkish mosque in Romania
Turkish mosque in Romania
Photos: Stephen Schwartz

Islam's present
Islam the Present Wahhabi vandalism at mosque in Kosova
Wahhabi vandalism at mosque in Kosova

Islam's future
Islam's Future: New mosque in Kazakhstan
New mosque in Kazakhstan

Audio Presentation
Yasawi Shrine
Seek healing in Sufism
by Yasawi Sufi Saparbai Kushkarov of Uzbekistan,
in Uzbek, Russian,
English, and Arabic

Video Presentation
Bin Yilin Turkusu - Saga of the Millennium
Bin Yilin Turkusu
(Saga of the Millennium)

Homage to Seyed Khalil Alinejad
"Homage to Seyed Khalil Alinejad"
Artwork © Jennifer Pawlak
No reproduction or reposting without permission of CIP.

Marje Sistani
Obey your country's laws, Marje Ali Sistani urges Muslims in West.

Stephen Suleyman Schwartz
Stephen Suleyman Schwartz:
Why I Serve as Executive Director of CIP

© 2016 Center for Islamic Pluralism.

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