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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

A Quarter-Century After: On Doubting Russian Reform
Originally published June-July 1991

Stephen Schwartz  •  January 7, 2018  •  Arguments and Facts International [Moscow-London]

[CIP reproduces this text by our founder, published in the first uncensored media in the former Soviet Union. -- Zana]

At the beginning of the process of reform in the Soviet Union, late in 1987, former U.S. defence secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld wrote, "Tensions within the Soviet system make it appear that some kind of reversion to a more normal civic existence... could conceivably take place. And something like that is what Gorbachev seems to have promised the world."

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Our Founder and Social Media
A Message For Milad an-Nabi Isa Aleyhisalem

Luciana Zana Trëndafilazezë  •  December 25, 2017  •  CIP

Our founder, Ashk Sylejman, born Stephen Schwartz, has been barred from U.S. social media.

We all know our Ashk is sharp-tongued in combat: Trotsky to friends, Tito to enemies.

He has been barred from Twitter for responding in character to an "Australian" fake Twitter account, posted using a computer-generated avatar, that presented shahida ul-tawhid Anne Frank, may Allah almighty be well-pleased with her, on a lampshade. ON CHRISTMAS EVE.Our Ashk has many other challenges before him, and us, now. I Zana will take over CIP duties as our Ashk will commence a long-delayed khalwa (not halvah!).We are Sufis. We love Jesus as we do Moses, Muhammad, and Ali. May the blessings of divine mercy fill all your hearts.Please visit Christian churches in this holiday season, in solidarity with believers in the Middle East.

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To My Last Breath
Orig. pub. June 11, 2003.

Stephen Sylejman Schwartz  •  December 15, 2017  •  National Review

[We offer this credo by our founder Ashk Sylejman. Not one step back. Zana]

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ASHK SYLEJMAN

On June 7 [2003, the National Post, a Canadian daily, published a rather amusing article by Jeet Heer, titled "Trotsky's ghost wandering the White House."

The aim of the author was to illuminate two issues occasionally argued in political media: first, the scurrilous claim by a group of neofascists that the neoconservatives are all ex-Trotskyists, and second, the very real evolution of certain ex-Trotskyists toward an interventionist position on the Iraq war. In the U.S., these are fringe topics discussed only in the most rarefied circles.

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Who is S. Auden Schwartz?
Orig. pub. Dec 13, 2002.

Laura Secor  •  December 6, 2017  •  The Boston Globe

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[We offer this profile of our founder 15 years after its publication. Not one step back. Zana]

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Earthly Beauty
Statement on Mass Martyrdom of Egyptian Sufis

Ashk Sylejman  •  November 26, 2017  •  quora.com

Our founder grants permission to post this poem in response to the mass martyrdom of Sufis in Egypt. Please review our guidance here
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GF0IrZA_tjs.

Luciana Zana Trëndafilazezë

International Director

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Swans knocked at my door, and I answered

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At The Tomb of the Prophet Samuel (Nabi Samwil)
A Poem

Stephen Sylejman Schwartz  •  November 21, 2017  •  CIP

For Rexroth, again

I

Frightened by my dreams, I fled my bed.

For the soft green earth, filled with embraces;

A map as my blanket.

I have walked the mountains of Alberta,

California, and Nayarit; of Bosnia-Hercegovina,

Montenegro and Albania—and the slopes of Tien Shan,

The mountains of heaven. How often I wish I could tell you,

Kenneth,

About them, peaks on the western border of China.

I am 57, and live only to tell that story,

Beginning in Mill Valley when I read about Samarqand,

And then read Kerouac, and Snyder, and you.

My first time in Croatia, in 1990,

The only fruit juice in the hotel bar

Was cherry – sok višniju – and for months afterward

Back in California, I sought out cherry juice

To remind me of White Zagreb, my new love.

In Bosnia the forest world begins again;

But they have gone, those giants

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10 Theses on the Coup in Saudi Arabia

Luciana Zana Trëndafilazezë and Stephen Sylejman Schwartz  •  November 5, 2017  •  CIP

The Centre for Islamic Pluralism offers 10 provisional theses on the recent coup in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

1. We interpret the Saudi coup as a restoration of control over the state by the Sudairi faction of the royal family and the extreme Wahhabi element in the clerical class (ulema).

2. The reform programme initiated by the late H.R.H. King Abdullah, may Allah almighty be well-pleased with him, has ended.

3. The coup reflects panic over the instability of U.S. President Donald J. Trump amid demands for accelerated internal change.

4. Hard Wahhabis have regained control of Saudi religious life.

5. Ultra-Wahhabi strictures and practices will be reinforced.

6. More money, volunteers, and weapons will be furnished by KSA to the so-called Islamic State (ISIS).

7. The KSA will withdraw from confrontation with Iran.

8. Regional influence by Qatar and the Muslim Brotherhood will diminish almost totally.

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Against Fascism, CIP Publishes on Muslim Jewish Life

Luciana Zana Trëndafilazezë  •  October 30, 2017  •  CIP

GOD BLESS AMERICA.

The Centre for Islamic Pluralism calls on Muslims, Jews, and Christians to unite NOW! This is our jihad!Death to Russian imperialism! Remember Afghanistan, Bulgaria, Azerbaycan, Vainakh, the Balkans, Crimea!STOP Putin inciting China against Uygurs and Rohingyas!RUSSIANS! RISE UP! YOUR ENEMY IS IN YOUR OWN HOUSE! SLAV IMPERIALISM ENSLAVES YOU!Let the images of your great ancestors — Alexander Nevsky, Dimitry Donskoy, Kuzma Minin, Dimitry Pozharsky, Alexander Suvorov and Mikhail Kutuzov -- inspire you in this struggle!The enemy is not so strong as some frightened intellectuals picture him!The devil is not so terrible as he is painted!

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'Fake News' Regarding Antiquities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Luciana Zana Trëndafilazezë and Stephen Sylejman Schwartz  •  October 24, 2017  •  CIP

Since our establishment following the atrocities of 11 September 2001 the Center for Islamic Pluralism (CIP) has stood for religious pluralism, social justice, and public transparency in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). CIP builds on a long commitment by our cadre to defense of cultural heritage – Christian, Muslim, Jewish – in the wartorn Balkans.

In this context CIP stands for new and expansive measures for preservation of antiquities in the KSA.

We consider this to be crucial for the welfare of Islam.

Recently, following an extensive, publicly-funded investigation, CIP determined that the KSA has been targeted by Iran for a multidecade campaign of 'fake news' regarding cultural preservation and a wide variety of other problems.

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We STILL Accuse!

Luciana Zana Trëndafilazezë and Stephen Sylejman Schwartz  •  September 6, 2017  •  CIP

In the aftermath of Russian manipulation of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, new scrutiny has disclosed the permanent nature of Moscow aggression against America.

The Russian bandit and spy nest masquerading as a consulate in San Francisco was closed on 2 September in an elementary act of social hygiene.

We accuse fascist Russia of a global conspiracy against the Western democratic alliance.

We will assist in rooting out Russian agents at every level.

We call for a real people's front that will fight Russian imperialism, mobilizing all enemies of fascism, whatever their other issues.

We call for direct action against Russia by all lovers of freedom.

Let us march separately and strike together!

Down with Putin! Death to Fascism! Freedom for the People!

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What Next? After Antifa
Writings of Obscure American Leftist Drive Kurdish Forces in Syria

Sirwan Kajjo  •  September 3, 2017  •  VOA News

[CIP Note: This reportage appeared on January 16, 2017 but, in our view, remains significant for an understanding of Kurdish issues and the history of Antifa. -- Zana].

Murray Bookchin. (Photo courtesy Janet Biehl)

WASHINGTON —

Could the writings of a little-known leftist from a rural American state help to reshape the political structure of the nation that emerges from the Syrian civil war?

That could be the case if the Kurdish YPG — one of the most effective forces in the U.S.-backed struggle against Islamic State extremists — succeeds in its goal of carving out a self-governing entity in the areas it controls in northern Syria.

FILE - Kurdish female fighters from the People's Protection Units (YPG), operating alongside with the Syria Democratic Forces, walk in northern province of Raqqa, Syria, May 27, 2016.

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Greetings for an Antifascist Bajram
We Are Allah's Social Justice Warriors!

Luciana Zana Trëndafilazezë  •  September 1, 2017  •  Illyria [New York]

[From CIP Executive Director Sylejman Schwartz: Luciana Trëndafilazezë has replaced I. Al-Alawi as International Director of CIP. Luciana was born in Gjakova, Kosova, and was raised in Albania and Romania as a Bektashi adherent. She works as a primary school teacher in northern Albania. She is completing a study of the translation of modern English and American poets into Albanian as well as her doctoral work on Balkan linguistics. Luciana is CIP's "first daughter" and we welcome her. Please join us in wishing her "all the best, ejvallah!"]

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"Beloved Kurban Bajram has arrived/For all creation is alive/Beautiful Kurban Bajram is here/All creation knows heaven is near/All creation dances and sings/Earthly Beauty within all things/Lovely Kurban Bajram has come/For all creation we know is one" – Refika

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'Designating' Antifa a Terrorist Organization Is a Bad Idea

Andrew C. McCarthy  •  August 31, 2017  •  National Review

[Please note: This post does not reflect the views of CIP, but is featured to stimulate debate. In north Western Europe, CIP coordinates with Antifa.]

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This Is Our Barcelona

Various  •  August 21, 2017  •  Center for Islamic Pluralism

Three Poems By John Cornford

For Margot Heinemann

Heart of the heartless world,
Dear heart, the thought of you
Is the pain at my side,
The shadow that chills my view.

The wind rises in the evening,
Reminds that autumn is near.
I am afraid to lose you,
I am afraid of my fear.

On the last mile to Huesca,
The last fence for our pride,
Think so kindly, dear, that I
Sense you at my side.

And if bad luck should lay my strength
Into the shallow grave,
Remember all the good you can;
Don't forget my love.

A Letter From Aragon

This is a quiet sector of a quiet front.

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Homage to Barcelona -- Homenatge a Barcelona -- Amb text en català.

Stephen Schwartz  •  August 16, 2017  •  Center for Islamic Pluralism

T

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What you need to know about antifa
The group that fought white supremacists in Charlottesville

Ben Sales  •  August 16, 2017  •  Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Is it OK to punch a Nazi in the face?

That's the question animating much of the discussion of Saturday's white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, which quickly devolved into a brawl between rally-goers and a contingent of anti-fascist counterprotesters known as antifa. Following the clashes, a white supremacist rammed his car into the counterprotest, killing Heather Heyer, 32.

Leaders and activists across the spectrum — except President Donald Trump — have unequivocally condemned the racist, anti-Semitic rally. But they are divided on whether physically attacking white supremacists is justified simply because they are white supremacists.

Some have celebrated the antifa activists for standing up to hate. But others have condemned them alongside neo-Nazis for engaging in violence. And on Tuesday, Trump appeared to equate them with the rabble of white supremacists, branding antifa the "alt-left" and saying "there's blame on both sides."

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Why are religious conservatives embracing transgender rights?

T. M. Murray  •  August 16, 2017  •  Transformation -- WHERE LOVE MEETS SOCIAL JUSTICE!

[Note: This article is posted to CIP as an invitation to dialogue on an important Islamic issue. Nevertheless, (((Brother Schwartz))) wishes it known that he has always been a PROUD SOCIAL JUSTICE WARRIOR. He is now thoroughly experienced in such matters, and speaks Albanian (think about it...) PROBLEM WITH THAT???? CIP supports Charlie, head of the Anuran Liberation Army, in a righteous jihad against Pepesqueak. Frogs ain't fascist toads! Recommended music while reading this: HOLD UP! by The Queen! If you're stuck in the '60s, The Stones' STREET FIGHTING MAN!

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CIP Executive Director Schwartz on Antifascist Defense -- UPDATE 3

Stephen Suleyman Schwartz  •  August 16, 2017  •  Illyria [New York]

<

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Virginia Imam Shaker Elsayed Endorses Female Circumcision (FGM): It Prevents Girls from Becoming Hypersexually Active

MEMRI  •  June 2, 2017  •  MEMRI

During a sermon in Fairfax County, Virginia, Imam Shaker Elsayed endorsed the practice of female circumcision, saying that it was "the honorable thing for girls" in cases when it is necessary in order to prevent hypersexuality. "A Muslim gynecologist can tell you if you need to or not," he said, adding that the practice damages the woman's sexuality only if more is cut off than necessary. The Egyptian-born Shaker Elsayed, who has been the resident imam at Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center since June 2005 and served as Secretary-General of the Muslim American Society in 2000-2005, further warned that "in societies where circumcision of girls is completely prohibited, hypersexuality takes over the entire society, and a woman is not satisfied with one person, or two, or three." For another sermon by Imam Elsayed, in which he said that the children of Israel had slayed prophets, see MEMRI TV clip 5989. Dar Al-Hijrah was the mosque where top Al-Qaeda leader Anwar Al-Awlaki served as imam, including on 9/11.

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Syria Has Effectively Ceased to Exist

Jonathan Spyer  •  May 19, 2017  •  Foreign Policy

DAMASCUS, Syria — On my last night in Damascus, some younger members of the Information Ministry-sponsored delegation in which I was taking part decided to have a drink. It was late April, and the bars and restaurants were doing good business in the cool and breezy evenings. An inebriated Russian journalist, accompanied by a uniformed Russian soldier, entered the bar opposite our hotel in the Old City where my colleagues were sitting. Words were exchanged. An altercation began.

At a certain point, the Russian journalist produced a pistol and aimed it at the forehead of one of the delegation's participants. He then entered our hotel and threatened one of the employees there, all with his uniformed colleague silently accompanying him.

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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

© 2018 Center for Islamic Pluralism.

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