CIP Reports


Black America , Prisons, And Radical Islam


Scientific Training and Radical Islam


Islam and Communism in the 20th Century


A Guide to Shariah Law and Islamist Ideology In Western Europe, 2007-2009


A Guide to Shariah Law and Islamist Ideology In Western Europe - German edition

 

Muslim Women I Love Most

 

The Other Islam (PDF)

Habs-i-nafas1 and Pas-i anfas2 as Methods of Invocation

 

Wahhabism and Saudi Arabia

 

 

 

"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
Obey your country's laws, Marje Sistani urges Muslims in West
by Mohamed Ali | MONTREAL, Canada
Iraq's Al-Marje Al-Alaa Ali Sistani sent a message to Muslims in Western nations, urging them to obey the laws of the countries in which they live.The fatwa was delivered at a Montreal news conference of prominent Shia Muslims on behalf of Ayatullah Sayyed Ali As-Sistani "Muslims have undertaken to obey the laws of the country of their residence and thus they must be faithful to that undertaking," the statement read. It condemned all acts of violence and encouraged imams to keep a watchful eye on what's going on inside their mosques

Teaching the Judeo-Spanish Heritage to Chicago Seventh Graders by Stephen Schwartz

The Huffington Post April 16, 2014

Postage stamp issued by the Republic of Bosnia-Hercegovina honoring the ca. 14th c. CE Sarajevo Haggadah. The manuscript was brought to the Balkans from the Iberian kingdom of Aragón and is considered a symbol of Bosnian interfaith cooperation.

During the Jewish and Christian holidays of Passover and Easter, it is well to think back on histories of inter-communal goodwill between these two Peoples of the Book and Muslims. One outstanding example involves the rich heritage of Sephardic Jewish life in the former Turkish empire, including the Balkans.

Some weeks ago, I traveled to Chicago to address parents affiliated with a multifaith private school, which serves Jewish and Catholic pupils, about Islam and its influence on Jewish and Catholic mysticism. The night before my talk to the parents, I was the guest of a kind, Bangladeshi Muslim couple living in the suburbs. There, I was introduced to Faith Laux, a seventh-grade teacher of Spanish at Carleton Washburn School in Winnetka, Ill.

Faith Laux and I spoke, after dinner, about the Spanish Jewish (Sephardic) language still found in the Balkans. She was surprised when I told her that spoken Judeo-Spanish (known as Ladino when it used in the Jewish liturgy) is comprehensible to any speaker of Spanish today. Many myths circulate about Judeo-Spanish. It is often described as a dying language, but I believe this is incorrect, since it is part of the great and wide Spanish linguistic sea, which counts more than 400 million speakers around the globe.

In my experience, Spanish is a conservative language. It has not changed greatly either in its written or spoken forms since the Renaissance, although it has spawned local dialects, such as that in Mexico, for “conventional” Spanish, or in the Balkans and Turkey, for Judeo-Spanish.

Continue reading Teaching the Judeo-Spanish Heritage to Chicago Seventh Graders by Stephen Schwartz

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CIP Greetings to People of the Book on Their Holidays by Stephen Suleyman Schwartz

CIP April 14, 2014

Postage stamp issued by the Republic of Bosnia-Hercegovina honoring the ca. 14th c. CE Sarajevo Haggadah. The manuscript was brought to the Balkans from the Iberian kingdom of Aragón and is considered a symbol of Bosnian interfaith cooperation.

The Center for Islamic Pluralism (CIP), an international network of Muslim scholars, clerics, authors, journalists, Sufi shaykhs, and other believers, active in 32 Muslim-majority countries and Muslim-minority communities, extends greetings to our Jewish and Christian neighbors and friends on the occasion of their sacred holidays, the Jewish Passover (Pesach), which begins at sundown on Monday, April 14, and the Christian Easter, celebrated on Sunday, April 20.

We share the grief and outrage of Americans and others, Jewish and non-Jewish, at the terrorist attack on a Jewish Community Center and retirement home in Overland Park, Kan., on Sunday, April 13. This horror, in which three lives were lost, was carried out, allegedly, by a well-known paramilitary, neo-Nazi, and pagan figure. We warn our fellow-citizens that in the current, turbulent global economic and social environment, such incidents will proliferate. Neo-Nazi and related forms of prejudice strike homicidally at Jews, Muslims, and Christians alike.

The Jewish Passover marks the liberation of the House of Israel from oppression by the Egyptian Pharaoh. Moses, known to Muslims as Musa aleyhisalem, is seen by both Jews and Muslims as the only human being who spoke directly to the Creator, the all-powerful master of worlds. Jews hold family feasts, called a seder, at which a text recounting their deliverance from Pharaonic rule, the Haggadah, is read.

As moderate, traditional, conventional, spiritual, and even conservative (but not radical) Muslims, the members of CIP hold Moses/Musa a.s. and his struggle for the freedom of his people in high esteem. Qur’an teaches us to answer those who claim that the One God in which all Abrahamic religions believe “revealed nothing to any human being.” We are commanded to reply, “Who revealed the Scripture that Moses brought down as a light and guidance to humankind?” [Q 6:91]

Continue reading CIP Greetings to People of the Book on Their Holidays by Stephen Suleyman Schwartz

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CIP Endorses Condemnation of Chinese Extrajudicial Killing of Uyghur Youth Abdulbasit Ablimit by The Uyghur American Association

The flag of East Turkestan.

Uyghur Human Rights Project and Uyghur American Association April 14, 2014

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

The Uyghur American Association (UAA) condemns the extrajudicial killing of 17-year-old Uyghur student Abdulbasit Ablimit by police in Kelpin county, Aksu prefecture. Ablimit was shot alongside two companions after an apparent traffic violation, and police allegedly beat and detained relatives of the victims and local Uyghurs who protested the killing. UAA calls on the international community to remain vigilant to China’s unlawful killing of Uyghurs, which has increased alarmingly in the past year.

Uyghur American Association President Alim Seytoff said in a statement from Munich, Germany: “The unlawful killing of Abdulbasit Ablimit is not an isolated tragedy. As Ablimit’s family mourns his death, authorities have answered their call for justice with a merciless response. A clear pattern has emerged in East Turkestan in which Uyghurs are unlawfully killed by state agents with impunity, and anyone who questions this state brutality is punished. That a young man would lose his life over a traffic violation demonstrates the appallingly little regard China holds for the lives of its Uyghur citizens.”

Continue reading CIP Endorses Condemnation of Chinese Extrajudicial Killing of Uyghur Youth Abdulbasit Ablimit by The Uyghur American Association

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Balkan Lessons Only Putin learned them by Stephen Schwartz

The Weekly Standard April 14, 2014

The flag of the Albanian nation.

Vladimir Putin learned lessons from the Balkan wars of the 1990s that the rest of the world ignored or has forgotten. He invokes an obviously false parallel between the NATO bombing of Serbia and liberation of Kosova in 1999, and his own annexation of Crimea. In his speech of March 18, Putin sought to justify the Crimean “referendum” for unification with Russia on “the well-known Kosovo precedent—a precedent our Western colleagues created with their own hands in a very similar situation, when they agreed that the unilateral separation of Kosovo from Serbia, exactly what Crimea is doing now, was legitimate and did not require any permission from the country’s central authorities.”

Numerous Western commentators have refuted the alleged similarity between the seizure of Crimea and the separation of Kosova from Serbia. But there is a wider context to Putin’s use of the Balkan bloodshed.

Continue reading Balkan Lessons Only Putin learned them by Stephen Schwartz

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Tracing Russian Economic Assets – and Targets for More Sanctions by Stephen Schwartz

The Weekly Standard Blog April 2, 2014

The flag of the Republic of Bosnia-Hercegovina.

Travelling from Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina, to Mostar, a city almost midway toward Dubrovnik on the Adriatic Coast, one drives through a stunningly-beautiful landscape of mountains, forests, and rivers. On a recent trip, however, I observed a surprising sight: four gas stations owned by Gazprom, the Russian energy giant.

Gazprom is an obvious target for global sanctions in response to Vladimir Putin’s land-grab in Crimea, but the extent of its operations is little-known in the West. Many people think Gazprom is only involved in the export of natural gas to Europe—a major strategic operation for both sellers and consumers—but a subsidiary, Gazprom-Neft, maintains a retail fuel business comprising 1,670 gas stations in Russia, other former Soviet “republics,” Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Romania, and Bulgaria. Of them, 40 serve Bosnia-Herzegovina, where the Muslim population is hardly sympathetic to Russian imperialism. But such is the way of business in the Balkans.

Continue reading Tracing Russian Economic Assets – and Targets for More Sanctions by Stephen Schwartz

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Erdoğan’s Twitter Slip on Ukraine – An Affinity for Putin? by Veli Sirin

Gatestone Institute March 31, 2014

The flag of Ukraine. Every Muslim should stand up against Russian imperialism.

Update: Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) won a reported 45 percent of votes in the March 30 municipal election.

Daniel Dombey of the London Financial Times on March 24 recounted a curious detail of the recent offensive against Twitter, the online mini-blogging service, by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Dombey wrote that Erdoğan “accused Twitter of fomenting unrest in Ukraine.” Russian president Vladimir Putin and his supporters in the seizure of Crimea, both uniformed and in civilian disguise, have not been known for using social media to coordinate their activities, while Ukrainian revolutionaries are adept at employment of Twitter and similar media. One might therefore conclude that Erdoğan feels an affinity with Putin in opposing the Ukrainian protestors.

Continue reading Erdoğan’s Twitter Slip on Ukraine – An Affinity for Putin? by Veli Sirin

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Center for Islamic Pluralism Greetings on Sulltan Nevruz One Year Since the Death of Rahmetli Senad Mičijević by Stephen Sylejman Schwartz

CIP March 20, 2014

In Muslim communities from the Balkans through Central Asia, celebration of the festival of Nevruz, also known as Nowruz, Nouruz, Nauryz, and by other spellings, has begun. Nevruz commenced in Iran on March 20, 2013 CE, which is the 19th day of Jumaada-L’Ula, 1434, in the hijri calendar, and the 29th of Esfand, 1392, by the Persian solar calendar.

Sultan Nevruz will be observed as an official Islamic holiday in Bosnia-Hercegovina on March 21. In Albania, where the Bektashi Sufi tradition is influential, Sulltan Nevruz is a national holiday, and will be held on Saturday, March 22. For Bektashis, Sulltan Nevruz marks the birthday of Imam Ali, Peace Be Upon Him. The occasion will be accompanied by pilgrimages to shrines in the Albanian cities of Kruja (the Haxhi Ismail Baba teqe), Cakranit-Fier (the Hambaraj teqe), and the Kapaj-Mallakastër teqe.

Sulltan Nevruz is not only spelled in various forms, it is also described and interpreted differently. It is often called the Kurdish New Year, and those lucky enough to receive Kurdistan Television from Iraqi Kurdistan will be treated to dancing and other commemorations.

Continue reading Center for Islamic Pluralism Greetings on Sulltan Nevruz One Year Since the Death of Rahmetli Senad Mičijević by Stephen Sylejman Schwartz

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Islamist Terror Challenge Continues in Britain by Irfan Al-Alawi

Gatestone Institute March 20, 2014

As Britain continues to wrestle with the challenge of radical Islam and its product, terrorism, on March 2, 2014, London Mayor Boris Johnson contributed a column to one of Britain’s leading journals, The Sunday Telegraph, “The children taught at home about murder and bombings.”

Johnson’s commentary correctly placed radical Islamist ideology in the same category with pedophilia and female genital mutilation (FGM) as moral abominations with which the British political class has failed adequately to contend, and continued, “I worry that their work is being hampered by what I am obliged to call political correctness. … There is built in to the British system a reluctance to be judgmental about someone else’s culture, even if that reluctance places children at risk” – a decision, Johnson said, that led to abusers being “emboldened.” Johnson continued:

Continue reading Islamist Terror Challenge Continues in Britain by Irfan Al-Alawi

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Bosnian Sephardic Jews – Few But Influential by Stephen Schwartz

The Huffington Post March 18, 2014

The flag of the Republic of Bosnia-Hercegovina.

Sarajevo: Sephardic Jews were brought to the Balkans after their expulsion by the Spanish and Portuguese Christian authorities, beginning in 1492. They were rescued by the Turkish Sultan Bayazet II, who lived from 1447 to 1512 and ruled the Ottoman empire from 1481 until his death.

At the Sultan’s command, tens of thousands of Iberian Jews were conveyed eastward across the Mediterranean. Most settled throughout western Turkey and the Balkans. The port of Salonika in northern Greece became the Ottoman Sephardic capital, but their communities thrived in Constantinople and Sarajevo, and many points between.

Under Ottoman governance, they kept their Judeo-Spanish language, flavored here and there with Portuguese. As the centuries passed, the idiom borrowed many words from Turkish.

Recently, the Spanish government has debated offering citizenship to descendants of Sephardim who can prove their origin. This was treated as a novelty by global media, including Jewish periodicals. In reality, Spain had afforded official protection previously to descendants of Sephardim.

Continue reading Bosnian Sephardic Jews – Few But Influential by Stephen Schwartz

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CIP Endorses Condemnation of Chinese arrest of Uyghur AIDS activist Akbar Imin Calls for Immediate Release by The Uyghur American Association

The flag of East Turkestan.

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

On March 7, the Aizhixing Institute, a Chinese AIDS prevention organization, announced that former employee Akbar Imin had been detained by police in Urumchi on January 15. Imin, who lives in Beijing, was in Urumchi to attend his father’s funeral. He was taken on the same day as Uyghur scholar Ilham Tohti was detained in Beijijng. Chinese dissident Hu Jia told Reuters that like Tohti, Imin faces charges related to endangering state security, also possibly in retaliation for championing the rights of Uyghurs.

UHRP Director Alim Seytoff said in a statement from Washington DC: “The detention of Akbar Imin reflects the narrowing space for Uyghurs to say anything at all related to the improvement of their ethnic group, even in the face of a severe AIDS epidemic. That this detention was not known to the outside world for over a month after it took place reflects the lack of transparency with which the government is conducting its crackdown on moderate Uyghurs.”

Continue reading CIP Endorses Condemnation of Chinese arrest of Uyghur AIDS activist Akbar Imin Calls for Immediate Release by The Uyghur American Association

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