Center for Islamic PluralismCenter for Islamic PluralismCenter for Islamic Pluralism

"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

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.

Continue Reading

 

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

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

T

Continue Reading

 

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."

Continue Reading

 

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!

Continue Reading

 

CIP Executive Director Schwartz on Antifascist Defense -- UPDATE 3

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

<

Continue Reading

 

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.

Continue Reading

 

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.

Continue Reading

 

Assad's Hollow Crown

Jonathan Spyer  •  May 9, 2017  •  The Rubin Center

The mortar shells came early in the morning. At about 5. At regular intervals. Solemn and sinister. They were a reminder of how close it all was. We were in the Damascus Old City. There was still fighting in Jobar, about two kilometers away. The rebels had also counter-attacked from the east, from the suburbs in eastern Ghouta, in the previous week. A shell had landed in the precinct of the Umayyad Mosque. This was not in accordance with the line being promoted by the regime, according to which the rebellion was on the verge of defeat. But there it was.

Continue Reading

 

China: Open East Turkestan to Independent Overseas Media

The Uyghur Human Rights Project  •  May 2, 2017  •  The Uyghur Human Rights Project

On World Press Freedom Day 2017, the Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) calls on the Chinese government to substantiate claims it is facing an unprecedented security threat in East Turkestan. UHRP challenges the authorities in Urumqi and Beijing to permit independent overseas journalists unfettered access to East Turkestan in order to assess Chinese government statements regarding unrest and counter-terror measures.

Continue Reading

 

The Birth Anniversary of al-Abbas ibn Ali (p)

Liaison Office of Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Al-Sistani in North America  •  April 30, 2017  •  Imam Mahdi Association of Marjaeya

[Note: The Center for Islamic Pluralism reposts this announcement in honor of Albanian Bektashi Sufi veneration of Abaz Aliu (as he is known in Albanian.)]

Monday, May 1st, 2017, marks the Birth Anniversary of al-Abbas ibn Ali (p), 4th of Sha'ban, 1438 A.H.

Name: Abbas

Title: Qamar Bani Hashim (Moon of the Hashemites)

Kunya: Abu al-Fadl

Father: Ali ibn Abi Talib (Peace be upon them)

Mother: Fatimah bint Hizam al-Qilabiyyah (Umm al-Baneen)

Born: 4th Shaban, 26 AH/647 CE in Madinah, Hejaz region of the Arabian Peninsula

Died: 10th Muharram, 61 AH/680 CE, after being martyred in the Battle of Karbala

Age at Martyrdom: 33

Buried: Karbala, Iraq

Continue Reading

 

Who are the Sufis and why does ISIS see them as threatening?

Peter Gottschalk  •  April 28, 2017  •  The Conversation.com

On Feb. 16, 2017, a bomb ripped through a crowd assembled at the tomb of a Sufi saint, Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, in southeastern Pakistan. Soon thereafter, the so-called Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack.

In recent times, such attacks have targeted a variety of cherished sites and individuals in Pakistan. These have ranged from the 2010 bombing of the tomb of another Sufi saint, Data Ganj Bakhsh, to the murder of a popular Sufi singer, Amjad Sabri, in 2016.

Continue Reading

 

The Syrian Sarin Attacks of August 2013 and April 2017

Lt. Col. (res.) Dr. Dany Shoham  •  April 26, 2017  •  The Besa Center

BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 452, April 26, 2017

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The sarin attacks in Syria of August 2013 and April 2017 resemble one another closely. They reflect a strategic mode that might be repeated yet again by Assad, as long as he remains fully backed by Russia and Iran. At the same time, the geopolitical shift suggested by the recent US military response in Syria marks a desirable turn with consequential implications regarding the ongoing relationships among the US, Syria, Russia, and Iran.

Although the accumulating evidence is not yet formally conclusive, it appears that chemical weapons (CW) containing the sarin nerve agent were employed by the Syrian regime's air force against Khan Shaykhun during the massacre of April 4.

Continue Reading

 

Replies to Questions About Sufism From A High School Teacher in Columbia, Missouri, USA

Stephen Suleyman Schwartz  •  April 22, 2017  •  CIP

Instructor Gregory Soden writes -- As an American in Missouri, I grew up in one of the most religiously devout and politically conservative regions of the United States. Such an existence just never seemed quite satisfying, or as if 'this is it for me.' Saul Bellow, the great American writer, has a line in The Dean's December in which the main character is listening to a dog bark frantically and a moment of epiphany strikes him, 'For God's sake, the dog is saying, 'open the universe a little more!' "

The opportunity presented itself to work abroad and I went to open my universe.

Continue Reading

 

Should men found guilty of rape be hanged?

Stephen Schwartz  •  April 21, 2017  •  Quora.com

I have a somewhat different perspective on this.

In Sarajevo in 1997 I heard about a young man who had allegedly been raped repeatedly by Serb terrorists in the concentration camp at Omarshka. The young man heard that I was one of few people who had carried out a serious campaign to disclose and denounce this.

(No name of the victim, please.)

A speech I gave in Berkeley about rape of women and men in Bosnia-Hercegovina was published in a Croatian and Bosnian newspaper read everywhere outside the Serb areas, and in Serb media I was denounced as an American homosexual media fabricator of what would now be called "fake news" against the heavenly Serbs.

It is dangerous for me to go openly to Serbia. I had a near miss in 2004 when I had to come back from Central Asia via Belgrade.

Continue Reading

 

Five Americans Who Are Standing Up Against Radical Islam

Elliot Friedland  •  April 20, 2017  •  Clarion Project

Sarah Haider, co-founder of Ex-Muslims of North America. (Photo: Screenshot from video)

Who is doing the ground work in the struggle against Islamist extremism? A lot of the people tackling radical Islam don't get as much press time as the jihadists they oppose. We want to introduce you to five Americans who are making a difference.

Anila Ali

Anila Ali is the founder of the American Muslim Women's Empowerment Council, which works on the ground with law enforcement and interfaithleaders to counter radicalization. The goal is to build capacity in the Muslim community so they can be the first line of defense against radicalization.

Continue Reading

 

What do all Muslims think of progressive (liberal) Islam?

Stephen Schwartz  •  April 20, 2017  •  Quora.com

I cannot speak for all Muslims but I would reply as follows —

I became Muslim in the Balkans, among the Bosniaks and Albanians.

Their Islam was somewhat discounted during the horrific Balkan wars. A common theme among Westerners was that local Muslims in that region follow a kind of "Islam lite."

Balkan Islam is indeed very modern and European.

A conundrum with which I must deal frequently is that while Russian and Balkan communism imposed certain social reforms, they did so out of economic self-interest.

Marx argued, to paraphrase, that liberation of women from the bonds of family life would be conditioned by the need of industrial capitalism for more workers.

And so we find that in the Balkans, to cite the most important example I know, Muslim women have every right granted around the world, since women workers are crucial for production.

Continue Reading

 

Soviet Disinformation During Periods Of Relaxed East-West Tension, 1959-1979
Prepared under contract for the United States Information Agency Office of Research, January 1988

Stephen Schwartz  •  April 18, 2017  •  U.S. Information Agency

[Note: This document, although nearly 30 years old, is posted as a contribution to the current debate over "fake news," disinformation, and Russian influence in foreign governments. For "Soviet," please substitute mentally "Russian imperialism," since the goals of the Kremlin are unchanged. Editing conforms to CIP style.]

The purpose of this study is to examine whether Soviet disinformation activities historically have ceased during periods of relaxation in tension between the Soviet Union and the United States.

Continue Reading

 

George Soros's Contributions to a Cannabis Hotbed

Victor Gaetan  •  April 18, 2017  •  The American Spectator

Albania's socialist prime minister, Edi Rama, is the only foreign leader who came to the U.S. to trash talk Donald J. Trump last year, possibly at the behest of his close friend, George Soros.

"God forbid" Trump wins the Republican nomination Rama told CNN's Richard Quest.

Trump's election would "harm a lot America and it would harm a lot the world," predicted the 52-year-old professional artist.

Yet, Rama continues to benefit from a massive USAID program managed by his second wife (of four) and to manipulate a sympathetic U.S. embassy, even as he runs the country into the ground while fomenting chaos in neighboring Macedonia.

U.S. policy needs to make a U-Turn in Albania, assuming it's even on the radar in Foggy Bottom.

Tirana Update

Simply put: Albania is a mess.

Continue Reading

 

Is It True We Did Not Go To the Moon?

Stephen Schwartz  •  April 16, 2017  •  Quora.com

https://www.quora.com/Is-it-true-we-did-not-go-to-the-moon/answer/Stephen-Schwartz-10

Is it true we did not go to the moon?

The U.S. did not land a team on the moon.

The Japanese did not attack Pearl Harbor.

Hitler is alive.

Stalin was the greatest revolutionary in history.

Trotsky was an agent of Hitler and the emperor of Japan.

The victims in the Great Purges were all guilty.

The Spanish Republic was a Communist front.

Israel is anti-Muslim and anti-Arab.

The Bosnians killed their own people and blamed the Serbs.

Albanians are born with tails that must be removed surgically.

Kosovar Albanians are all Islamic fundamentalists.

Croats are all Nazis.

The Kosovo battle of 1389 is the touchstone of Balkan history.

Ukrainians are all Nazis.

Continue Reading

 

What are the greatest quotes which changed your life?

Stephen Schwartz  •  April 2, 2017  •  Quora.com

[CIP Executive Director Schwartz has reached nearly 20k hits on Quora.]

I ask forgiveness for having gone rogue here. I am an old man now, and have read and seen a great deal. This is a compendium of quotations that changed my life. I have always been a compiler and purchaser of Commonplace Books. I don't usually do repetitive edits.

Signposts of a biography.

In order of encounter:

"If Mr. Harbison owned a slave named Bull, Tom would have spoken of him as 'Harbison's Bull,' but a son or a dog of that name was Bull Harbison." — Twain

"Woman is sacred. The woman one loves is holy." — Dumas

"Property is theft." — Proudhon

"Philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it." — Marx

"The time will come when our silence will be more powerful than the voices you strangle today!" — Spies

Continue Reading

Donate to CIP

The Center for Islamic Pluralism is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt public charity. Contributions are deductible under section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code. It is qualified to receive tax deductible bequests, devises, transfers, and gifts under sections 2055, 2106, or 2622 of the code. Checks may be sent to:
Center for Islamic Pluralism
1288 Columbus Avenue #323
San Francisco, CA 94133
.
For further information, please contact us.

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

© 2017 Center for Islamic Pluralism.

home   |   articles   |   announcements   |   spoken   |   wahhabiwatch   |   about us   |   cip in the media   |   reports

external articles   |   bookstore   |   mailing list   |   contact us   |   @twitter   |   iraqi daily al-sabah al-jadid