Monday, August 27, 2007

The Foundations Of Giving Da’wah To Allaah
Author: Al-'Allaamah Shaikh Saalih Ibn Fawzaan Ibn ‘Abdillah Al-Fawzaan
Source: From the Shaykh’s introduction to the book: Manhajul-Anbiyaa fid-Da’wah illAllaah feehil-Hikmah wal-’Aql (pp.10-16) of Shaykh Rabee’ Ibn Haadee
Translator: Abu Sumayyah 'Abdur Ra'oof Muhammad
Published: Tuesday 1st August, 2006

All praise is for Allaah, the Lord of the Aa'lameen (mankind and all that exists). The One who ordered us to follow His Messenger and to call to His way and prayers and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon his family, his companions and whoever follows them in goodness until the last day. To proceed:
For indeed the call to Allaah is the way of the Messenger - sal-Allaahu 'alayhe wa-sallam - and whomsoever follows him, as the Most High has said:

"Say: This is my way, I call to Allaah upon insight (knowledge). I and whoever follows me and Glorified be Allaah and I am not from the Mushrikeen (disbelievers, polytheists)." [Soorah Yoosuf: 108]

Rather the Da'wah to Allaah is the commissioned duty of the Messengers and all who follow them. So that people are removed from the darkness into the light, from disbelief to Eemaan (faith), from Shirk to At-Tawheed and from the hellfire to paradise.

It (the Da'wah) is based upon pillars and must be upheld upon foundations. Whenever any one of these foundations is deficient, then the Da'wah will not be correct and will not produce the required results, no matter how much effort is put into it or how much time is lost on it. As is apparent and real in many of the modern day calls, which are not established upon these pillars and do not uphold these foundations.

And these pillars that uphold the correct Da'wah are established by the Book and the Sunnah. A summary of these foundational pillars are as follows:

[1] Having knowledge of what one is calling to
So it is not correct for an ignorant person to be a caller. Allaah the Most High said to his Prophet- sal-Allaahu 'alayhe wa-sallam:

"Say: This is my way, I call to Allaah upon insight (knowledge). I and whoever follows me."
Having insight, means to have knowledge. This is because the caller will certainly face the leaders of misguidance, who will bring to him doubts and who will argue with falsehood so that the truth is refuted. Allaah the Most High has said:

"And argue with them in a way that is better." [Soorah an-Nahl: 125]
And the Prophet- sal-Allaahu 'alayhe wa sallam said to Muaa'dh:
"You are indeed going to a people of the Book."
So if the caller is not equipped with knowledge which he can use to turn away every doubt and debate with it, every opponent, then he will be defeated in the first instance and will stop at the beginning of the path.

[2] Acting upon what one is calling to
So that he (the caller) can be a fine example, where he is truthful in his actions and in his speech. And so that the ones upon falsehood do not have a proof against him. Allaah the Most High has said about his Prophet Shua'ib - alayhi-salaam - that he said to his people:
"And I wish not to be in contradiction to you, to do that which I forbid you. I only desire reform to the best of my power." [Soorah Hood: 88]

And Allaah the Most High has said to His Prophet - sal-Allaahu 'alayhe wa sallam:
"Say: Indeed my prayer, my sacrifice, my life and my death are all for Allaah, the Lord of the worlds, Who has no partners and with this I have been commanded and I am the first of the Muslims." [Soorah al-An'aam: 162-163[
And the Most High has said:
"And who is better in speech, than the one who calls to Allaah and does righteous deeds." [Soorah Fussilat: 33]

[3] Sincerity
So that the Da'wah is for the face of Allaah and not to show off or to gain repute nor to be raised or to seek leadership or to seek worldly desires. This is because if anything enters into the Da'wah from any of these goals, then the Da'wah will not be for Allaah, it will only be a call to oneself or for a greedy intent. As Allaah has informed us about His Prophets, that they said to their people:
"I do not ask of you any reward." [Soorah Hood:51]
"I do not ask of you any wealth." [Soorah Hood: 29]

[4] To begin the call (gradually) with what is most important
So that the call is first to the correction of the A'qeedah, by ordering sincerity in worship and prohibiting Shirk. Then ordering the establishment of the prayer and the giving of the Zakat and acting upon the obligations and leaving the prohibitions. As is the way of all the Messengers, as the Most High has said:

"And verily, We have sent among every Ummah (nation) a Messenger (proclaiming): "Worship Allaah and avoid (keep away from) At-Taaghoot (all false deities)." [Soorah an-Nahl: 36]
And the Most High has said:
"And We have not sent a Messenger before you, except that We have revealed to him: that there is no one worthy of worship except Me (Allaah), so worship Me." [Soorah al-Anbiya: 25]
And when the Prophet - sal-Allaahu 'alayhe wa-sallam - sent Muaa'dh to Yemen, he said to him:
"You are indeed going to the people of the Book, so make the first thing you call them to: the testification that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allaah…and if they obey you in that, then inform them that Allaah has obligated upon them five prayers to be performed in the day and the night… the hadeeth." [Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim]
And in the way and conduct of the Prophet - sal-Allaahu 'alayhe wa-sallam - in Da'wah, we find the best of examples and the most complete manhaj. Where he - sal-Allaahu 'alayhe wa-sallam - remained in Makkah for thirteen years, calling the people to at-Tawheed and prohibiting them from Shirk, before ordering them with the prayer, the Zakat, fasting or Hajj. And before he prohibited them from interest (Ribaa), fornication, theft or killing others without right.

[5] To have patience upon the difficulties a person will encounter in the path of giving Da'wah to Allaah and upon what he will face from the harm of the people
This is because the path of Da'wah is not paved with roses, rather it is fraught with adversities and dangers. So the best of examples with regards to this are the Messengers-alaihumus-salaam-from what they encountered (from their people) from harm and ridicule. As Allaah the
Most High has said:
"And indeed (many) Messengers before you were mocked at, but their scoffers were surrounded by the very thing that they used to mock at." [Soorah al-An'aam: 10]
And He said:
"And indeed (many) Messengers were denied before you, but with patience they bore the denial. And they were hurt, till Our Help reached them." [Soorah al-An'aam: 34]

And likewise those who follow the Messengers will receive harm and difficulties, in accordance with how much they stand by and uphold the D'awah to Allaah, by following these honorable Messengers - salawatullaahi wa salaamuhu alaihim.

[6] The caller must be adorned with good manners, using wisdom in his Da'wah

As this will lead to the acceptance of his Da'wah, as Allaah ordered His two Prophets - Moosaa and Haaroon - alaihumas salaatu was salaam - that they use this when they face the worst of the disbelievers of the earth; Fir'aun (Pharaoh), the one who claimed Lordship. Wherein the Most Perfect said:

"And say to him (O Moosaa and Haaroon) a soft word, so that perhaps he may accept admonition and fear (Allaah)." [Soorah Taa-Haa: 44]

And the Most High said to Moosaa - alayhis-salaam:
"Go to Fir'aun (Pharaoh), he has indeed transgressed. So say to him: do you want that you be purified and that I guide you to your Lord, so that you should fear him." [Soorah an-Naazi'aat: 17-19]
And the Most High has said with regards to our Prophet Muhammad - sal-Allaahu 'alayhe wa-sallam:
"And by the mercy of Allaah, you dealt with them gently and had you been severe and harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from you." [Soorah al-Imraan: 159]
And the Most High has said:
"And you (O Muhammad) are indeed of a great (standard of) character." [Soorah al-Qalam: 4]

"Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom and fine preaching and argue with them in a way that is better." [Soorah an-Nahl: 125]

[7] It is upon the caller to have strong hope and expectation
So he does not despair of whether or not his Da'wah will have an affect or whether his people will be guided. Nor does he despair of the aid of Allaah and His help, even if it is a lengthy period of time and its limit is extended. This is because in the Messengers there is for him (the caller) the best of examples.
Nooh (Noah) the Prophet of Allaah - alayhis-salaam- remained with his people nine hundred and fifty years calling them to Allaah. Along with this, our Prophet Muhammad - sal-Allaahu 'alayhi wa-sallam - when the harm of the disbelievers became severe, the angel of the mountains came to him, asking his permission to crush them between the two mountains. So he said:
'No, rather wait for them and give them time, perhaps Allaah will bring out from their loins those who will worship Allaah alone and will not associate any partners with him.'
So whenever the caller lacks this characteristic, then he will indeed stop at the beginning of the path and will return with disappointment and frustration in his action.
Therefore any Da'wah that is not upon these foundations and does not stand upon the manhaj of the Messengers, then it will indeed return with disappointment and disappear and there will be fatigue without achieving any benefit. And the best proof for this is the modern day groups, who have placed for themselves a manhaj of giving da'wah which differs from the manhaj of the Messengers. So most of these groups have become negligent with regards to the affair of A'qeedah and have become from those who call to the rectification of secondary affairs.
The Importance of Tawheed

Al Mu'akhah program presents

The importance of tawheed
by Lic. Muhammad Isa García
from Buenos Aires, Argentina

A lecture in Arabic & Spanish with English Translation
graduate of Umm Al Qura University from the college of da'wah's hadith and tafsir department. He had the distinct honor of studying directly under a number of great scholars of our time such as Sheikh Muhammad bin Salih al-Uthaymeen (rahimahullah), Sheikh Abdul Muhsin al-Abaad (hafidhahullah), and Sheikh Saalih al-Fawzaan (hafidhahullah).

Sunday, September 2nd, 2007
Islamic Center of North Hudson
4613 Cottage Place
Union City, New Jersey 07087
2:30pm to Salatul 'Asr

for more information contact us at

Friday, August 17, 2007

Los Musulmanes - The Spanish Ummah of the Muslim World

By Nicole Ballivian

Never has history "chosen" to eliminate a race of people as in the Spanish Inquisition. One wonders why the silence has remained so steadfast for a people, who brought glory and art to Europe for over nine centuries. When the students of the West open their history books and read the title given to the "Moors", few are ever taught that what they are reading has relevance to "Islam". Today, on architecture frames found in Spain, one can still see the secretive inscriptions in Arabic, written during the days of the Inquisition: "La ghalab illa'illah", "There is no conqueror except Allah."

Long after the Inquisition, the resurgence of the Islamic community in Spain occurred in 1976 in the city of Cordoba. Five young men became Muslims through the da'wah of Shaykh Abdalqadir as-Sufi. They were the first Spaniards to enter Islam since the time of al-Andalus. The Shaykh instructed them to spread Islam among their people. Their efforts drew large numbers of new Muslims and the establishment of a Muslim community in the city of Granada. Through the initiative of Shaykh Abdalqadir as-Sufi, the community bought land in the very heart of the old Islamic city, Albaycin, with the intention to build a mosque, the first mosque built by Muslims since the Inquisition.

Although their efforts to build the mosque were hindered by public and governmental opposition for 18 years, their project has recently pulled through, and are now a respected community on the brink of establishing a whole Islamic institution. The project consists of not only the establishment of a mosque but an attached school, Islamic college, and da'wah and training center.

Regardless of the fact that the Inquisition wiped out almost the entire Muslim community in Spain, a resurgence of Islamic identity traveled from this torn land to the land of another conquest under the same name to Latin America in the 15th century. Slaves, brought by the conquerors from the north and west of Africa, were those who first introduced Islam, newly residing in the countries of Brazil, Venezuela, Columbia and some islands of the Caribbean. These Muslim slaves were obligated to abandon their beliefs under fear of execution, and as a result, Islam disappeared without a trace in Latin America. This trend was reversed at the end of the 16th century, as slaves were liberated. More recently, the community has a new revival with the wave of immigrants from India and Pakistan.

Historical documentation shows that from the years 1850 to 1860, a massive migration of Muslim Arabs took place in Latin American soil. The majority of these Muslims came from Syria and Lebanon and planted new roots in Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, and Colombia. In Paraguay, immigrants also came from Bangladesh and Pakistan. The intensity of Muslim migration to Latin America grew for the next 50 years, which in effect spread to more countries, such as Chile, Peru and Bolivia. These new communities followed the same trend as those who migrated to the US; immigrants became involved in national activities, becoming a part of the community through work, respect and love for the country that received them.

Muslim communities then began to gather their strengths as an Ummah and created Islamic centers, mosques and schools. At present, all countries in Latin America have a high concentration of Muslims, large enough to be represented, and comprise both immigrants and natives who have reverted to Islam. The number of Muslims in Latin America is now over six million. The constituent of Argentina is now 700, 000 and Brazil's over 1.5 million.

The Islamic Organization of Latin America (IOLA) in Argentina, is the most active organization in Latin America in promoting Islamic affiliated endeavors. Funding from Saudi Arabia has allowed them to build a large traditionally aesthetic mosques, as well as a community center. The IOLA holds events to promote the unification of Muslims living in Latin America, as well as the propagation of Islam.

In March of this year, IOLA's Office of Culture and Islamic Diffusion sent 13 young Muslims from Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Uruguay, Bolivia, Paraguay, Venezuela, Margarita Island, Curazao, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Ecuador to Hajj. In February, the Secretary General of the Muslim World League invited the Director of IOLA to speak at a seminar in Rome, entitled "Human Rights in Islam". Held at the Center of Islamic Culture of Italy, IOLA's Director, Muhammad Hallar, spoke objectively on the principles of human rights in Islam in its universality and uncovered the truths smothered by false stereotypes in the West to an audience of foreign officials of other faiths. Hallar also conferred with the Muslim organizations of Latin America, specifically of Argentina, Brazil and others in the United States.

As the new generations of Muslim immigrants grow in Latin America, their affiliation with their countries' needs is never compromised, while establishing their Muslim identity. In Peru, Muslims have become aware of their country's orphan problem. With this in mind, Latin American Muslim Unity (LAMU) has drawn a proposal for the first Islamic orphanage in Peru, in order to deal with the current crises of a multitude of homeless children, who are victims of kidnapping for organ harvesting and purchasing, and mass assassinations by police squads.

In Mexico, the Centro Cultural Islamico de Mexico (CCIM), is both a mosque and center for da'wah. Da'wah, being its main objective next to being a religious center, CCIM is active in obtaining and translating books and Islamic texts into Spanish and has produced 13 publications, as well as run a radio program on Islam. Its small mosque pushes forth-great efforts and is home to 150 new shahadas in the Mexican community since its inception in 1994.

Although a great Muslim history is becoming more prevalent in Latin America, a surge of Latino reversion and Islamic activism in the United States has been astonishing, a phenomenon covered in the American media in recent years. Due to the United States' reigning minority of Latinos, the constituents' activities in general are monitored closely. News stories of Latino reversions to Islam have been covered in major publications such as the Los Angeles Times and The Christian Science Monitor, as well as in public television news programming. In 1997, the estimated number of Latino Muslims in the US was approximately 15, 000 according to the American Muslim Council in Washington DC. As the wave of Latino reversions increased intensely, a new poll is being taken this year, which will exceed this number by far.

Having one of the largest Latino Muslim communities, Los Angeles is home to the ILM Foundation, which runs a series of Islamic classes in the Spanish language. The ILM was started by a group called the Latino-Muslim Movement. Some of the highest concentrations of Latino reversions have been in New York, New Jersey, Chicago and Miami. In New York, a group of Puerto Rican Muslims opened an Islamic center in the heart of East Harlem called Alianza Islamica, where hundreds of Latinos have reverted since 1992. The center, the first of its kind, includes a small mosque, where the Friday khutbah is heard in Arabic, English and Spanish.

PIEDAD (Propagacion Islamica para la Educacion e la Devocion a Ala' el Divino), originated in Washington DC, is a Latin Muslim Women's Association, which deals with the counseling of Muslim women, as well as da'wah geared towards non-Muslim Spanish-speaking women. PIEDAD has also worked in collaborative da'wah efforts with the NIPA (National Islamic Prison Association). All Latino Muslim entities across the United States are affiliated with the endeavors towards da'wah material in the Spanish language, which includes both translation and dispersal. Some others include Asociacion Latina de Musulmanes en las Americas (Latin Association of Muslims in America) of California; The Latino American Da'wah Organization of New York; Sociedad de Musulmanes Latinoamericanos (Latin American Muslims Society) of Washington DC; Bism Rabbik Foundation of Florida; and Centro Islلmico de Traducciَn e Informaciَn (Islamic Center of Translation and Information) of New Jersey. There are currently two different published translations of the Quran in the Spanish language. The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), holding some of the largest annual conferences in the United States, is the first to present a "Conference on Islam among the Latino Americans", to be held on June 30 to July 2, 2000.

The wave of reversions to Islam by the Latino-community has a different significance to each individual shahadah. Some Latin Muslims find it is a return to the ancestry of their Moorish blood. Others find the concept of freedom of race identification one of Islam's assets, while others find solace in the religion from the confines and inauthenticity of their culture's tradition of Catholicism. The Los Angeles Times interviewed Reymundo Nur and Saadiq Saafir, leaders of the Latin Muslim community, at the ILM Foundation. " 'We all realize that we're Muslim first,' Saafir said. 'This religion is going to bring us together.' Nur nodded. 'Inshallah,' he whispered. 'God willing.'"
The Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation: Street Politics and the Transformation of a New York City Gang

Here is an interesting book about the Latin Kings of New York. I have not read it yet, but it sounds like a very interesting book. It is interesting to see that Reverendo Luis Barrio, the progressive priest and CUNY professor, is one of the co-authors. If any of you have read the book let please let me know what you think.

Editorial Reviews

"In The Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation: Street Politics and the Transformation of a New York City Gang, Mr. Brotherton and Mr. Barrios provide a detailed analysis of the rise and fall of the gang's reform process, which had fallen into severe difficulties by 2001." -- Chronicle of Higher Education

"[This] well-researched book seems to focus intentionally on the social and structural aspects of the gang, because understanding those is key to understanding gang membership and steering youth out of it." -- Youth TodayReview

"An empirical challenge and theoretical wake-up call to an all-but-moribund criminology. Classic insider sociology." -- John M. Hagedorn, University of Illinois at Chicago, Department of Criminal Justice
US Citizen Guilty of Aiding Al-Qaida Cells
Ewen MacAskill in Washington
Thursday August 16, 2007

Jose Padilla, a former Chicago gang member who converted to Islam, was today found guilty of helping terrorists orchestrate attacks on American targets in a range of countries over the past decade.

He and two co-defendants, Adham Hassoun, a Lebanese-born Palestinian, and Kifah Jayyousi, a naturalised US citizen from Jordan, were charged with providing material support for Islamist terrorist groups and conspiring to "murder, kidnap and maim" people in Afghanistan, Chechnya, Bosnia and other countries from 1993 to 2001.

The jury at the federal court in Miami returned its verdict after only a day and a half of deliberation at the end of the three-month long trial. Justice Marcia Cooke could sentence the defendants to life in prison.

Padilla, 36, a Puerto Rican-born in Brooklyn, who later changed his name to Abdullah al-Muhajir, was a member of the Chicago-based Maniac Latin Disciples street gang before converting to Islam. He left the US in 1998 for the Middle East and was arrested in 2002 at Chicago's O'Hare airport on his return to the States.

The prosecution claimed that Hassoun, 45, a computer programmer, and Jayyousi, also 45, an engineer and schools administrator, had set up a cell. They were alleged to have recruited Padilla at a Florida mosque and sent him to an al-Qaida camp in Afghanistan.

The case relied on 300,000 FBI wiretap intercepts collected from 1993 - 2001, mainly involving Hassoun and Jayyousi, with Padilla recorded on only seven. Speaking in Arabic, they purportedly used codewords such as "tourism" and "football" for jihad or "zucchini" and "eggplant" for military weapons or ammunition. Padilla took no part in conversations using the alleged codewords.

In the feverish atmosphere in the aftermath of 9/11, the US authorities claimed Padilla had been planning to detonate a dirty bomb and, in a separate operation, filling flats in Washington with gas and igniting it.

After a month in a civilian jail, he was designated an enemy combatant and handed to the military who held him for three years on a military brig in South Carolina. He was transferred to the Miami court in 2005. But, because he had been interrogated on the brig with no lawyer present by the military, all the alleged evidence was deemed to be inadmissable. The serious allegations were dropped and he was tried on lesser charges.

As well as the problems with evidence obtained while in military custody, there were also question marks over the fact that the allegations were being made by another alleged terrorist, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, who has allegedly claimed responsibility for an extremely lengthy list of terrorist incidents.

The key piece of physical evidence was a five-page form Padilla supposedly filled out in July 2000, to attend an al-Qaida training camp in Afghanistan, which would link the other two defendants as well to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida.

The form, apparently recovered by the CIA in 2001 in Afghanistan, contains seven of Padilla's fingerprints and several other personal identifiers, such as his birth date and abilities in Spanish, English and Arabic.

"He provided himself to al-Qaida for training to learn to murder, kidnap and maim," said Brian Frazier, the assistant state prosecutor, said in closing arguments.

Padilla's lawyers insisted the form was far from conclusive and denied that he was a "star recruit," as prosecutors claimed, of a North American support cell intending to become a terrorist. They said he traveled to Egypt in September 1998 to learn Islam more deeply and become fluent in Arabic.

"His intent was to study, not to murder," said his lawyer, Michael Caruso, adding that the prosecution had not produced any hard evidence that Padilla had filled out an application to attend the al-Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan.

Mr Caruso said the government had buckled under pressure to hunt down terrorists after 9/11 and unjustly pursued Padilla.

Most of the FBI intercepts deal with conversations involving Hassoun and Jayyousi discussing helping Muslims in Chechnya, Bosnia, Somalia, Afghanistan and Lebanon. Jayyousio ran an organisation called American Worldwide Relief and published a newsletter called the Islam Report.

"It wasn't a terrorist operation. It was a relief operation," said Jayyousi's lawyer, William Swor.
Prosecutors said they were providing supplies, money and recruits for violent extremists; defence lawyers claimed they were trying to help persecuted Muslims with relief and humanitarian aid.

Jose Padilla (centre) was brought to Miami by federal marshalls in January 2006. Photograph: AP/Alan Diaz
The Real Verdict on Jose Padilla

By Jenny S. Martinez
Friday, August 17, 2007; Page A23
The Washington Post

The conclusion of Jose Padilla's criminal trial in a federal court yesterday shows that waging the "war on terror" does not require giving up our constitutional values or substituting military rule for the rule of law. The jury's guilty verdict should be appealed, but the verdict on the Constitution is in: We should keep it.

Padilla is a U.S. citizen who was arrested in Chicago in May 2002, pursuant to a warrant to testify before a grand jury. He was held in civilian custody in New York for a month, but on the eve of a hearing in federal court, President Bush declared Padilla an "enemy combatant." At that point, Padilla was whisked out of the civilian justice system and imprisoned in a South Carolina military brig. Then-Attorney General John Ashcroft held a news conference to announce that the government had thwarted a plot by Padilla to set off a radiological "dirty bomb" in an American city.

Anyone who has seen a cop show in recent decades knows what rights people in America usually have when arrested: the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. Not Padilla.

For nearly two years, Jose Padilla was denied all access to his lawyers, his family and the court system. The Bush administration claimed that he could be held without trial until the end of its "war on terror." Allowing Padilla to talk to a lawyer or know that a court was considering his case, the government argued, would threaten national security. Meanwhile, the government was working to create a relationship of complete "dependency" between Padilla and his interrogators, who were busy trying to torture a confession out of him.

As court filings indicate, Padilla was allegedly subjected to sleep deprivation, stress positions and extreme temperatures. Worse, he was held without human contact, without a clock or even natural light -- with no way to know how quickly or slowly time was passing. When he was removed from his cell to visit a dentist, goggles and earmuffs were placed on him. Psychologists have long reported that extreme sensory deprivation is one of the quickest ways to drive people mad -- and make them willing to confess to anything.

The case challenging the constitutionality of Padilla's detention was in the federal courts for several years. It reached the Supreme Court in 2004, at which point the government finally allowed him to speak to a lawyer. But the high court did not review the merits; instead, it ruled on a technicality that the case should have been brought in South Carolina, not New York. Litigation continued and nearly reached the Supreme Court again in late 2005. By then, the administration had begun soft-pedaling the "dirty bomb" story, which it described as "loose talk" rather than an imminent plot. It put forward a new theory: Padilla was planning to blow up apartment buildings with natural gas. The government also argued that he could be detained as an "enemy combatant" because, it alleged, he had been in Afghanistan during the U.S. bombing campaign in late 2001.

Two business days before the government's brief was due in the Supreme Court, the administration switched tactics again. Fearful that the court would rule that a U.S. citizen arrested in the United States could not constitutionally be detained forever without criminal trial, the government announced that Padilla would be tried in a federal court in Miami. As the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit noted, the government's actions made it appear that it was trying to evade Supreme Court review.

The charges brought in Miami contained none of the allegations about the dirty-bomb plot, the apartment buildings or even Padilla's presence in Afghanistan in late 2001. Instead, the government alleged that Padilla had conspired in the 1990s to provide support to overseas jihadists in Bosnia and Chechnya. Commentators called even this weaker case notably thin, but Padilla was found guilty.

Padilla's fate, pending appeal, remains unknown. Also unknown is whether the courts will ever definitively rule on the legality of the government's mistreatment of Padilla during his four years of military detention. But some things are certain:

The trial showed that our federal courts are perfectly capable of dealing with terrorism cases. A federal judge presided over the five-month trial of Padilla and his co-defendants with great care for both the rights of the defendants and for national security. The Bush administration has claimed since Sept. 11 that the federal courts cannot be trusted with terrorism matters. It has argued that we should scrap our centuries-old constitutional protections and replace our system of checks and balances with one awarding the executive complete discretion to lock up whomever he wants, for however long he deems appropriate. The Founders rejected that kind of arbitrary and oppressive power. And the federal court in Florida has shown how weak the administration's case for abandoning the Constitution really is.

The writer, a law professor at Stanford University, represented Jose Padilla before the Supreme Court in 2004 and is his attorney in a civil case regarding his treatment while detained.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Use of the Term "Traditional Islam"

It is a reality of our times that truth is seen as falsehood and falsehood is marketed as truth. One example is this is the use of the expression "traditional Islam" or "traditional Muslim." Post 9/11 this phenomenon has increased dramatically. The ones I seem promoting this phrase are the Sufis. It is strange that those who are the most opposed to traditonal Islam are promoting this expression. The first time I saw "traditional Islam" or "traditional Muslims" used was by (milk)Shake Kabbani back in the late 90s. Now it seems that many of the Sufis groups in the US have following him in this. Post-9/11 many from the media have been used these terms. It is not suprising since much of what the media deems as "good" Islam is Sufi islam.

Sufis have created and projected "traditonal Islam" (read Sufi islam) as the true Islam. This was done as a reactionary movement against Salafiyya. Salafiyya claims (accurately so) that they are upon the way of the As-Salaf As-Salih (pious ancestors of Islam) hence, they are saying that they are upon they way of the ancestors of Islam. Therefore, they are claiming, though they have not used the phrase, to be upon traditional Islam. Sufis claim that there way is really the original way just before there had developed a Sufi tradion withinside Islam. Stangely enough Sufism, as it is known today does not go back all the way to the As-Salaf As-Salah. The current trend of "tradional Islam" and "tradional Muslim" projected backwards to a past that cannot go back all the way to the beginning of Al-Islam.

Therefore, the only real tradional Muslim are those who are upon the way of As-Salaf As-Salih. This is not to be confused with the modernist movement lead by Jamal-uddeen Al-Afghani and Muhammad Abduh. This movement and is far different from what is Salafiyya. I will try to explore this topic in the future inshAllah.

Khalil Al-Puerto Rikani
Latino Activism in La Gran Manzana, Nueva York

What is going on in the post-9/11, post-Young Lords, post-poverty programs, neoliberal New York? This time is also the time that New York's Latino population has moved from being a predominantly Puerto Rican community to a vast and diverse Latino population. Once 116th Street in Manhattan's Spanish Harlem was the heart of the Latino community, and now there are many heart's or Latino epicenters. Queens' Roosevelt Avenue is probably one of the biggest Latino neighborhoods. Despite our large numbers, many of the struggles of the past still continue. While Latinos have made many strives in many areas, much is still to be done. Many of the important issues of the past were racism, discrimination, drugs, housing, health, Latino Studies programs in colleges, police brutality, education, jobs, housing, and homelessness. These issues still exist and are still very relevant. Certainly, we are not living in the 60s or 70s anymore, and we cannot address these issues as we did in the past. Undoubtedly, the youth of today are not as concerned as those of the past. There is a great lack of concern for la comunidad. Nowadays, assimilation is the name of the game. Even hiphop is no longer an indigenous culture that the Latino and Black youth aqui produce. We used to be active participants, whereas youth of today are passive recipients of the culture via MTV and BET. Alianza Islamica has died, and the Islamic alternative for Latinos is not as vibrant (if it at all exists) as it once was. The days of East Harlem’s many poverty programs (often called poverty pimps) are over. Where does one go to find the leaders of the Latino community(ies)? There are very few Latino radio or TV shows that speak about the community concerns. Even the progressive radio station Pacifica/WBAI no longer has the show "Latino Journal." There is only a few music shows on Sunday, which are there to "fill the gap." The technical divide between white Americans and people of color is ever increasing. How many of our youth really are skilled in modern technology, besides being about to go on the 'net to their MySpace account or being able to listen to there iPods?

Let me know your thoughts...
Khalil Al-Puerto Rikani

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Hey folks, can I get some feedback!!!

I am sorry I have not posted anything lately. I know people have been coming to my site every once in a while. Shout out to Umar Lee from, who visits the site everyday. Let me know what you all think. I need some feedback.

Peace Out!
Assalamu `alaikum