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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

Western Integration vs. Putinism in the Balkans and Ukraine

Stephen Schwartz  •  May 25, 2016  •  The Weekly Standard Blog

On May 19, Montenegro, smallest of the Balkan states with only about 650,000 people, signed the accession protocol beginning its process of membership in NATO. If the agreement is ratified by all the countries of the Atlantic alliance, which seems probable, Montenegro will become its 29th affiliate. It will be the fourth western Balkan nation in NATO, following the admission of two other ex-Yugoslav lands—Slovenia in 2004 and Croatia in 2009—and Albania, also in 2009.

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Islamic Management
A new option for business empowerment

Muhammad Shafeeque  •  May 19, 2016  •  CIP

'He it is who has made the earth subservient to you (i.e. easy to walk, to live and to pursue agriculture on); so walk in the path thereof and eat of his provision. And to him will be the resurrection' [Qur'an, Sura 67:16, Al-Mulk].

Wealth is an inevitable element in human life. Almighty Allah calls on people to work hard to attain the highest wealth. Islam expounds vividly on the need to undertake migration in search of wealth. If we lack sources of prosperity in our native home we can travel to other lands. Islam imbued in people the ambition to acquire maximum riches for securing a peaceful life. Allah explores the value of money in the verse [Qur'an, Sura 4:6, Al-Nisa] 'And give not to the immature your property which Allah has made a means of support for you'

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Mother Teresa's Worlds

Stephen Schwartz  •  June-July 2016  •  First Things

Since receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, Mother Teresa has been a global symbol of mercy and charity embodied in the selfless worship of God. Her renown is likely to grow in the next year if the canonization process that commenced almost twenty years ago is completed. Following her death at eighty-seven in 1997, she was ­beatified. Pope John Paul II waived the normal five-year waiting period before a "cause" leading to canonization may commence, and allowed the process to begin in 1999. Already in 2000, Hindu, Sikh, and Muslim believers joined Catholics in Kolkata to pray for her canonization to proceed.

In 2002, John Paul recognized the first miracle associated with Mother Teresa: the disappearance of a large abdominal tumor from the body of a non-Christian Indian woman for whom the Missionaries of Charity, the order she founded, were praying. That led to Mother Teresa's ­designation as "Blessed" in the following year.

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Vatican Recognizes 38 Albanian Christian Clergy Martyred by Communism

Stephen Schwartz  •  May 6, 2016  •  The Weekly Standard Blog

On April 26, Pope Francis recognized the martyrdom of 38 Albanian Christian church leaders killed during the Communist terror of Enver Hoxha, who ruled the small and poor Balkan country from 1944 until his death in 1985. Ecclesiastical affirmation of their martyrdom is an important step toward their sainthood. The "cause" favoring their canonization was initiated in 2002, under Pope John Paul II.

Communism ended in 1991 in Albania, which Hoxha had declared the first officially atheist state in the world in 1967, seeking to emulate the "cultural revolution" of his foreign patron of the time, Mao Zedong. Thousands of churches, mosques, Sufi shrines, and other religious monuments were turned over for secular use (as basketball courts, cinemas, and warehouses), and clerics were murdered.

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review of Christianity and Freedom: Vol. II, Contemporary Perspectives

Stephen Schwartz  •  May 6, 2016  •  First Things Blog

This volume accompanies another substantial collection, Christianity and Freedom: Volume 1, Historical Perspectives, prepared by the same editors. Professor Hertzke is a member of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences as well as the faculty of the University of Oklahoma. Mr. Shah is a staff member at Georgetown. So monumental a work was funded by the John Templeton and Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundations, with academic support from Baylor University and the Religious Freedom Research Project at Georgetown.

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Reviving the Spirit of Water Conservation in Islam

Muhammad Shafeeque  •  May 4, 2016  •  CIP

"And the earth he has put down (laid) for creatures, there are fruits and date palms producing sheathed fruit-stalks (enclosing dates) in it " [Qur'an, Sura 55:10-11, Al-Rahman]. This verse describes some of God's blessings upon all creatures, especially for humankind. These are ways to attain food, a basic necessity of human life. For our survival, water is an inevitable factor. Beyond doubt, all creatures seek water for their satisfaction. There are creatures in the earth that rely only on water for long periods. Fundamentally, if water plays a major role in a person's life, it further serves as a foundation to attain such basic amenities as food, shelter and purity. For a believer, water is crucial for ritual purposes like ablution, personal cleansing, etc. From such a context, we can conclude that human life relies totally upon water.

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New Light on Bosnian Jews During World War II

Stephen Schwartz  •  April 21, 2016  •  The Huffington Post

The fate of Bosnian Jews during the Holocaust has attracted significant attention from historians and other commentators. According to a standard work, Bosnia: A Short History, published in 1994 by the distinguished British scholar Noel Malcolm, 12,000 out of 14,000 Jews living in Bosnia-Hercegovina before the German invasion of 1941 were liquidated by the Germans and their local allies, mainly the Croatian ultra-nationalist Ustaša movement.

Bosnian Muslims have been drawn into discussion of the mass murder of the Bosnian Jews mostly because of the interference in the country, during the German occupation, of Haj Amin Al-Husseini, an enthusiast of Hitler who hoped to rally the Muslims of the world to the side of Berlin.

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Bosnia Seeks Stiffer Penalty for Local ISIS Recruiter

Stephen Schwartz  •  April 12, 2016  •  The Weekly Standard Blog

Authorities in Bosnia-Hercegovina have initiated a new proceeding against Husein Bilal Bosnić, a prominent local Wahhabi preacher, reports the Sarajevo daily of record, Oslobođenje [Liberation]. Bosnić is already behind bars, convicted of organizing groups to join the so-called "Islamic State" (ISIS).

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Meet America's Foremost Advocate of Islamic Pluralism
Stephen Schwartz heads the Center for Islamic Pluralism and is the author of several books on Islam and Saudi sponsorship of Wahhabist extremism

Elliot Friedland  •  April 12, 2016  •  Clarion Project

[Note: Biographical Information and Illustrations included at the Clarion website with this interview may be accessed by clicking the "Clarion Project" link above.]

1. Clarion Project: What first drew you to Islam?

Stephen Schwartz: Paradoxically, my interest in Islam – in which literary and historical concerns were intertwined – began with my search for the roots of California, where I grew up.

California's half-Anglo-American and half-Hispanic heritage pushed me toward Latin America, then to Spain. I published one major book on California history beginning with the first Spanish explorations, as well as two books on the struggle of Latin American intellectuals to free themselves from the influence of the radical left.

I additionally published an important book on Soviet interference in the Spanish civil war of 1936-39.

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@TalkToMe: Stephen Schwartz Interviewed On Islam By His Son Matthew Schwartz

Stephen Suleyman Schwartz and Matthew Schwartz  •  April 8, 2016  •  The Huffington Post/Facebook/#TalkToMe

#TalkToMe: Stephen Schwartz of the Center for Islamic Pluralism interviewed on why he became Muslim by his son Matthew Schwartz for the Facebook/Huffington Post #TalkToMe project.

https://youtu.be/AtCfKzyQC6w

 

Now it's undeniable: Deobandi mosques radicalise Britain's Muslims

Irfan Al-Alawi  •  April 6, 2016  •  Lapido Media [London]

At the end of March, UK media revealed that the Islamic Tarbiyah Academy, a private school in the Yorkshire city of Dewsbury, was under investigation by the Department for Education for radical teachings.

The school has 140 primary students, who attend an after-school madrassah for ten hours per week, as well as full-time classes for pupils above age 16 and adults, according to Sky News.

The academy was established by Mufti Zubair Dudha, a representative of the Deobandi sect.

Originating in India in the mid-1800s, Deobandism is the doctrine that inspired the Taliban in Pakistan and Afghanistan, whose imams trained at the [Deoband] school in Uttar Pradesh, northeast of Delhi.

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The Uyghur Human Rights Project calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Patigul Ghulam
Uyghur mother targeted for seeking information on her son forcibly disappeared by Chinese police after Urumchi unrest in 2009

The Uyghur Human Rights Project  •  April 4, 2016  •  The Uyghur Human Rights Project

[Note: The Center for Islamic Pluralism endorses this statement by the Uyghur Human Rights Project.]

The Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) is extremely concerned about the pending trial of Patigul Ghulam and urges concerned governments and human rights organizations to call on China for her immediate and unconditional release.

Citing a source close to Patigul's family, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported the trial is scheduled for April 7, 2016. According to the March 30, 2016 RFA article, Patigul has been charged with leaking state secrets for discussing her son's case with overseas media.

Patigul Ghulam has faced continued harassment from Chinese officials in her determination to discover the fate of her son, Imammemet Eli, who was forcibly disappeared in the days following unrest in Urumchi on July 5, 2009.

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The Two Faces of Europe
The Hague Acquittal of Vojislav Šešelj and the Death of Imre Kertész

Stephen Sylejman Schwartz  •  April 4, 2016  •  Illyria [New York]

Exclusive to Illyria

The final week of March brought news that revealed the degree to which Europe has fallen into crisis. First, on March 31, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), at The Hague, acquitted Vojislav Šešelj of war crimes he committed allegedly during the Serbian aggression of the 1990s against Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Hercegovina, and Kosova.

The Šešelj verdict was a shock. A week before, Radovan Karadžić, the leader of the Serbian uprising that resulted in the partition of Bosnia, was found guilty of genocide by the ICTY and sentenced to 40 years in prison. The verdict against Karadžić was based mainly on his involvement in the 1995 massacre of some 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica, and his leadership of the 1992-95 siege of Sarajevo, in which thousands of civilians were killed by Yugoslav army and Bosnian Serbian forces.

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Bosnian Serb Leader Radovan Karadžić Sentenced to 40 Years in Prison

Stephen Schwartz  •  March 25, 2016  •  The Weekly Standard Blog

Radovan Karadžić has been convicted and sentenced to 40 years' imprisonment for genocide and other crimes, by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague. He was the political leader of radical nationalist Serbs in Bosnia-Hercegovina during the 1992-95 war that split that newly independent country.

The verdict held Karadžić culpable for genocide, five counts of crimes against humanity, and four of war crimes, as president of the breakaway "Republic of Serbs" (Republika Srpska or RS) in Bosnia and head of its armed forces, the VRS.

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Center for Islamic Pluralism Greetings on Sulltan Nevruz

Stephen Sylejman Schwartz  •  March 21, 2016  •  Illyria [New York]

In a broad area from the Balkans to Central Asia, Muslims observed the holiday of Sulltan Nevruz on March 20-21. The dates correspond to 11-12 Jumada-al-Thaani of the hijri year 1437 and to 1-2 Farvardin, beginning the year 1395 in the Persian solar calendar.

Sulltan Nevruz is observed by the Bektashi Sufis in the Albanian lands as the birthday of Imam Ali Ibn Abi Talib, radhiallahuan, the fourth of the righteous successors to Prophet Muhammad, sallallahualeyhisalaam.

Among other peoples it is welcomed as a new year holiday and as the beginning of Spring. In many countries, it is an official holiday.

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The Significance of Tasawwuf [Sufism] in Light of Contemporary Global Issues
And the Methodology for its Promotion

Stephen Suleyman Schwartz  •  March 17, 2016  •  Illyria [New York]

Transmitted to the International Sufi Conference

New Delhi, India, 17-20 March 2016,

Hosted by the World Sufi Forum

[In the author's absence, on account of illness. Please remember me in your duas.]

Bismillah ir-rahman ir-rahim,

Distinguished members of the All India Ulama and Mashaikh Board, who proposed this meeting, esteemed shuyukh, students of tasawwuf, Muslim believers, and guests representing other faiths.

I bring you selamaleykum warahmetallahuh wabarakatuh from the United States, that part of the West where the traditional Islamic wisdom of the Sufis has most penetrated. May Allah subhanawata'la be well pleased with your discourses and actions at this historic gathering – as you address the most dramatic and difficult modern problems presented to the Muslim ummah.

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review of Wahhabi Terrorism or the Sufi Saints' Peace Path

Stephen Suleyman Schwartz  •  March 17, 2016  •  CIP

[Note: This text appears as a Foreword to the noted book.]

Bismillah ir-rahman ir-rahim.

This exhaustive, two-volume study of the confrontation between Wahhabi radicalism and spiritual Sufism in Islam was created by an Indian civil servant motivated clearly by nothing other than love of God (Allah subhanawata'la) and of humanity.

The work is indeed an encyclopedia of the Islamic intellect, documenting many biographies of illustrious shuyukh and providing numerous photographs of important Sufi structures. One particularly beautiful image is that of the shrine of Shaikh-ul-Aqbar Muhyid'din Ibn Arabi, in Damascus. The Sufi saint's catafalque lies under a glass canopy. Let us all pray for its preservation during the current bloody conflict in that country. The collection also includes photographs from as far away as the United States, Africa, and China.

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Attack on Mother Teresa's Nuns in Yemen

Stephen Schwartz  •  March 10, 2016  •  First Things/First Notes Blog

On Friday, March 4, sixteen people were murdered in a terrorist attack at a nursing home in Aden, the main city on the coast of southern Yemen. The dead comprised four nuns, who served in the Missionaries of Charity, the order founded by Blessed Mother Teresa, plus eight elderly residents, their guards, and a gardener.

The nursing home was established by Mother Teresa's helpers in cooperation with the Yemeni government's Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor, but was clearly marked by a large sign as "Mother Teresa's Home." News reports stated that the dead had been separated from the other patients and tied up or handcuffed before they were killed. One sister escaped because she heard a local worker shouting, "run, run."

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Brussels Sparks Political Showdown in Kosova

Stephen Schwartz  •  March 7, 2016  •  The Weekly Standard Blog

Notwithstanding its 80 percent Albanian Muslim population, Kosova has mostly kept infiltration by ISIS or other Islamist radicals at bay. Hashim Thaçi, the former head of the Kosova Liberation Army (KLA), elected president by the country's National Assembly on February 26, told the German newspaper Handelsblatt last November, "We have acted against radical elements by arresting almost 100 individuals, including imams who had influence. They are now waiting for the verdict of the court."

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Sneevliet's role in the February Strike of 1941

Stephen Schwartz  •  March 4, 2016  •  Financial Times [London]

Sir, Your correspondent Julian Müller (Letters, February 27) engages in a bit of revisionist history when he credits the Dutch Communist Party — i.e. a party controlled by the Soviet Union — with organising the February 1941 Amsterdam transport workers strike.

The strike was indeed mounted by the Dutch transport workers to protest against German orders for anti-Jewish discrimination. But its protagonist was a small Trotskyist group, the Marx-Lenin-Luxemburg Front, headed by a dissident leftist, Henk Sneevliet.

Sneevliet and some of his comrades were executed by the Germans in 1942, and today there is a Sneevliet boulevard (Henk Sneevlietweg) and an accompanying metro station in Amsterdam. Not long ago the library at the 17th-century Portuguese Synagogue in Amsterdam displayed the leaflets of Sneevliet's group in an exhibit of honour.

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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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