CIP May 7, 2013
Imam Talal Eid of the Islamic Institute of Boston, a former member of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, has refused to provide Muslim burial services for Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the 26-year old individual from a Caucasian Muslim family who was killed in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon terrorist bombings.
Imam Eid has declared, “I would not be willing to do a funeral for him. This is a person who deliberately killed people. There is no room for him as a Muslim. He already left the fold of Islam by doing that. In the Qur’an it says those who… kill innocent people… will dwell in the hellfire.”
I endorse the rejection of an Islamic funeral for Tsarnaev, as I similarly argued in the case of the late Osama Bin Laden in 2011.
Given his adherence to Wahhabi ideology, as shown by his YouTube list, Tsarnaev could be buried in the Wahhabi manner. He would then be dumped in a hole in the ground, preferably in an anonymous place known only to his family, away from a cemetery. Wahhabi fanatics in the Saudi royal family have been so interred.
But since Tsarnaev died as an apostate from Islam, I believe it is inappropriate for Muslims to recite Surah Al-Fatiha or read Surah Ya Sin for him, to wash his body, or carry out any other Islamic burial practices in his favor.
I believe the same rules should be applied to the non-Muslim, pagan Nusayri (“Alawite”) bandits supporting the bloodthirsty dictatorship of Bashar Al-Assad in Syria. They have never been Muslims, regardless of propaganda in their favor emanating from Iran, and deserve no Islamic honors when they die.
Finally, I believe the Hezbollah militia and Iranian military fighting alongside the Al-Assad criminals have gone out of Islam and should receive no recognition as “martyrs.” While debate over U.S. policy on Syria is legitimate, demagogic and dishonest disinformation agents serving the cause of Al-Assad in the U.S. should be investigated and prosecuted as unregistered representatives of terror-sponsoring regimes.
Muslims should pronounce only one phrase regarding all such miscreants: “astaghfirullah.” May merciful and compassionate Allah, subhanawata’la, save us from sin.
And Allah knows best.
The Weekly Standard May 6, 2013
The Celebration of the Peace of Münster by Bartholomeus van der Helst, 1648.
Early in this book, author Brendan Simms, professor of history at Cambridge, quotes John Locke: “How fond soever I am of peace I think truth ought to accompany it, which cannot be preserved without Liberty. Nor that without the Balance of Europe kept up.” As Simms indicates, for Locke, “truth” was defined as Protestantism and parliamentary government, while “the Balance of Europe” referred to the security of the German territories in its heartland.
The larger significance of Locke’s comment is the basis of this sweeping and provocative volume. In Simms’s reading, the peoples of Europe long required the preservation of “German liberty,” meaning the autonomy of the German princes against the Habsburg Austrian rulers of the Holy Roman Empire. Germany was therefore the recurring battleground—during the Renaissance as well as the “revolutionary age” that began in the 17th century—for, successively, the Habsburgs, England as a partner for the Habsburgs, the French, and Russia.
Continue reading Europe: The Struggle for Supremacy, from 1453 to the Present by Brendan Simms Basic Books, 720 pp., $35.00 Reviewed by Stephen Schwartz
El Diario Exterior [Madrid] April 29, 2013
[Stephen Suleyman Schwartz is the Executive Director of the Center for Islamic Pluralism in Washington. We Interviewed him for El Diario Exterior to obtain his opinion on the origin, nature, and possible consequences of the attacks in Boston.]
Passivity by the world powers toward the dictatorship of Bashar Al-Assad will produce a new and wider wave of terrorism.
The U.S. government has shown that it does not want to address the issue of radical Islam as an ideology.
Western media and governments treat Islam as monolithic and homogeneously radical.
Immigration is not the issue; ideology is the issue.
What do you make of the bombing suspects?
The late Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his surviving brother are Chechens in ethnicity who were radicalized by the Wahhabi intrusion into the Chechen struggle against Russian domination. They hated the traditional, spiritual Sufi basis of the Chechen resistance. This led them to the typical, nihilistic terrorism we see among the Wahhabis who have penetrated the Caucasian Muslim societies.
Continue reading “Radical Islamist ideology dominates Sunni Islam in the U.S.” Interview with CIP Executive Director by Stephen Schwartz
Southeast Europe Media Organization April 26, 2013
The Center for Islamic Pluralism endorses the following statements by the Southeast Europe Media Organisation, an affiliate of the International Press Institute. CIP Executive Director Stephen Suleyman Schwartz commented, “Several leading members of our organization are journalists, and I am a former secretary of the Pacific Media Workers Guild, affiliated with The Newspaper Guild as Communications Workers of America Local 39521, AFL-CIO, a trade union representing newspaper employees in Northern California, USA. CIP advocates strongly for full media freedom in all countries, without exception. We note in particular that an investigation of the assassination of Serbian journalist Slavko Ćuruvija is very long overdue.”
CIP does not support the presence of the European Union Rule of Law Mission (EULEX) in Kosova.
These statements have been corrected and slightly edited to conform to CIP style.
Continue reading CIP Supports Concern Over Attacks on Southeast European Journalists by CIP
Lapido Media [London] April 24, 2013
A leading Muslim spokesman has denounced Britain’s proliferating shariah councils in the wake of a BBC Panorama documentary broadcast 22 April.
Dr Ghayasuddin Siddiqui, founding Trustee of the Muslim Institute, who champions women’s causes including marriage reform, told Lapido: ‘The Shariah law was put together in the ninth and tenth centuries. People want to apply it in twenty-first-century Britain without realizing that they are living in different times.’
He said council adjudicators were ‘full of enthusiasm but lacking competence. They can do nothing right. They simply do not understand the issues.’
This comment indicates a level of oppression faced by Muslim women from a stagnating system with links across the world, particularly in UK which unlike many Muslim countries, does not protect women from shariah’s excesses.
It has been claimed by sources in the Muslim Women’s Network that Muslim women are more oppressed in Britain than any Muslim country in the world, since their domestic rights under shariah are not upheld by the state.
Continue reading Shariah Councils in Britain are ‘archaic’, ‘incompetent’ – and increasingly popular by Irfan Al-Alawi
CIP April 19, 2013
Preliminary news reports state that the YouTube account of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of the two brothers accused of the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15, and subsequent violent rampage, includes a Wahhabi fundamentalist video denouncing Sufism, the spiritual movement that has served as the bedrock of Caucasian Muslim resistance to Russian imperialism.
Given the infiltration of Wahhabis into the Caucasian Islamic milieu, especially in the past 10 years, there is little reason to doubt the anti-Sufi, as well as anti-American component of the terrorist assault in Boston.
While the main victims of the April 15 crime were ordinary Americans, the anti-Sufi ideology embraced by the Tsarnaev brothers in their vicious misdeeds illustrates that moderate, traditional, conventional, conservative, and spiritual Muslims are no less targeted and brutalized by Wahhabi and other extremists than are non-Muslims.
Numerous prominent Americans have defended the Chechen people against Russian aggression. The politics of American friends of Chechen liberty extends across the political spectrum.
The depravity perpetrated in Boston by apparent Chechen Wahhabis disgraces the Chechen resistance movement, aside from inflicting pain and fear on America.
All members of the Tsarnaev conspiracy must be brought to justice expeditiously. Finally, the responsibility of Chechen Wahhabis for these wicked acts illustrates that Wahhabi terror remains a serious threat to the whole world.
The Weekly Standard Blog April 12, 2013
The flag of the Albanian nation.
Away from the eyes of the world, ideological Islamists pursue infiltration of the moderate Muslim communities in Kosova and Albania. But in nearly all cases, they continue to be rejected.
Secular, avidly pro-American Kosova, remains a major target. The northeast Kosova town of Podujeva, which has seen ongoing conflicts between traditional clerics and radicals, was shocked by gunfire at a mosque in March. Podujeva has been a focus of confrontation between fanatics and conventional Muslims since 2011, when the pro-Wahhabi chief Islamic clerical official in Kosova, Naim Tërnava, dismissed imam Idriz efendija Bilalli, an outspoken critic of fundamentalist Islam, as chairman of the Podujeva council of the Kosova Islamic Community (known as BIK by its Albanian-language initials).
Continue reading Resistance to Islamist Infiltration Continues in Kosova and Albania by Stephen Schwartz
Dnevnik [Macedonia] April 5, 2013
The Painted Mosque, Tetova, Macedonia, constructed 15th c. CE, rebuilt 19th c. — Photograph 2009 Via Wikimedia Commons.
Stephen Schwartz, or Suleyman Schwartz, as he is called by Muslims since he accepted Islam in Bosnia during the 1990s, is the executive director of the Center for Islamic Pluralism, an organization that advocates tolerance and coexistence between the multiple interpretations within Islam and toward other religions.
A former daily journalist and author of books on Islam and the Spanish Revolution, his interest in the Balkans began with the approach of war in the former Yugoslavia. In Macedonia, Schwartz is best known as an advocate for the rights of the Bektashi community to which he belongs, and he writes often in journals in the United States about them. In our conversation in Washington, where his Center works, he says Balkan Islam deserves to be supported as tolerant and resistant to radical movements, primarily in Albania and Kosovo, but he is concerned deeply about the situation in Macedonia.
“Kosova is a secular society. Albania is a secular society, without a lot of religious participation, with the possible exception of the Catholics and the Bektashis, the latter who are highly regarded for their contribution to the independence of Albania, as represented by Ismail Qemali Vlora.
“Sunni Muslims, who are the probable majority in Albania, do not promote themselves much. But in Bosnia and Macedonia, the official Muslim religious communities are affiliated with the organization of Tariq Ramadan, the grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna. That’s a problem. However, the problem is not among the ordinary believers, but in the leadership that promotes a simplified Islam, which does not require serious study of the Muslim faith, but, rather, after reading a few ayas (verses) of Qur’an, they send you out to protest and disrupt harmony in society,” says Schwartz.
Continue reading The Islamic Community Organizations of Macedonia and Bosnia-Hercegovina Are Affiliated With the Muslim Brotherhood Conversation with Stephen Suleyman Schwartz of the Center for Islamic Pluralism by Cvetin Chilimanov
Oslobođenje [Sarajevo] March 30, 2013
Rahmetli Senad Mičijević, 1960-2013. Fatiha.
We should weep for the caring lovers, because the death of truth should be mourned.
In the years when the friendship and fascination of certain officials of the Islamic Community of Bosnia-Hercegovina for petrodollars greatly aided the spread of Wahhabi ideas, criticism by Senad Mičijević, and later by Rešid Hafizović and Mustafa efendija Spahić, was branded as dangerous and treated as a threat to the unity of the local Muslims.
The image of your memory does not disappear
Searching for you, where will you be, my soul?
Senad Mičijević, Sufi and writer, a dedicated researcher in cultural history, left this life and surrendered his soul to his Creator, on Thursday, 21 March, surrounded by his most loyal friends, in Mostar, Hercegovina, after a serious illness. He departed at that moment into eternity, after three months bedridden, in his modest but worldly home. Harsh illness did not rob Senad of his wisdom and awareness even in his last moments. Senad understood death and waited long for the fateful hour deeded to him by Almighty God. On his deathbed, however, he did not speak of death. His words were filled with life. He talked and talked about different historical, cultural, culturological, religious, and Sufi topics. Only not about politics. To that he paid no attention. He considered political matters so worthless and meaningless that to deal with them was a kind of neglect of one’s relations with the Lord of Worlds. He worried about his writings and books. They were Senad’s children. He was preparing publication of a study of Bektashism, as well as a volume on leading Albanian personalities, and an academic master’s thesis. For him life was meant for accomplishment of valuable things and their inheritance by others. In addition, Senad measured life according to whether it hurt the hearts of others. He did not complain about the time and world in which he lived. I marveled at a man who was excluded so completely by society, living on its edge, but with such a pure heart, which had no room for anger, for reprimanding a person or a whole community because of its situation. He was free of gossip, envy, or particular admiration for individuals. He was truly an ascetic and friend of God. For weeks he would not light the stove in his kitchen, but would live on bread, coffee, and cigarettes. He was calm and organized. He was patient. Mostly, he remained silent. Holy Prophet Muhammad sallallahualeyhisalem said, “Silence is an ornament for the wise and a cloak for the ignorant.” In the Nahjul Balagha (Peak of Eloquence), Hazrat Ali says, “When the mind is more developed and mature, it speaks little.” The silence of Senad was evidence of his deep thoughtfulness. He talked sparingly, and, more importantly, never incoherently, or just to say something.
Continue reading Remembering Senad Mičijević by Saeid Abedpour