- Hajj pilgrims at the Grand Mosque, Mecca
The Weekly Standard Blog February 13, 2014
As reported in the Washington Post on February 3, tough punishment of Saudi Arabians who travel abroad for jihad has been decreed by King Abdullah, absolute ruler of the desert monarchy.
The royal edict imposes prison sentences of three to twenty years on Saudis who fight outside the country, and five to thirty years if they join terror groups, provide material assistance to them, or incite joining them. These three clauses cover the historic components of armed jihad: direct combat, financial donations, and advocacy. In Islamic literature, they are designated “jihad of the sword, of money, and of the pen.” All such acts are of equal merit to the jihadist.
Continue reading Saudi Arabia Against Jihad Recruitment for Syria by Stephen Schwartz
- The flag of the Republic of Bosnia-Hercegovina
Oslobođenje [Sarajevo] February 12, 2014
[CIP Note: Because of the outbreak of mass protests against misgovernment in the Republic of Bosnia-Hercegovina, especially by Cantonal authorities, we are concerned to publish this important statement by our friend Professor Esad Duraković, one of the outstanding Arabic language scholars in the world. The original text appeared in the Sarajevo daily Oslobođenje (Liberation) on January 30, 2014. We recommend reading Prof. Duraković's important text Orientology, which we have posted in English here.
[CIP Napomena: Zbog izbijanja masovnih prosvjeda protiv hrđavo upravljanje u Republici Bosni i Hercegovini, posebice od strane kantonalnih vlasti, zabrinuti smo objaviti ovu važnu izjavu naš prijatelj profesor Esad Duraković, jednog od najistaknutijih znanstvenika u arapskom jeziku u svijetu.Izvorni tekst pojavio u sarajevskom dnevnom Oslobođenje, 30. siječnja 2014. Preporučujemo čitanje profesora je važan tekst Orientology, koje smo objavili na engleskom ovdje.]
Continue reading The Theft of the University of Sarajevo’s Autonomy by Esad Duraković
- The flag of the Albanian nation.
Illyria [New York] February 11, 2014
On February 2, the London Financial Times published an article titled, “Spain promises non-interference on Scotland,” by Tobias Buck in Madrid and Mure Dickie in Edinburgh. The journalists wrote, “Spain has no intention of interfering in Scotland’s push for independence and is willing to consider an eventual Scottish application to join the EU as a separate state, the [Spanish] foreign minister said… Madrid has long been among the most vocal opponents of separatist movements in Europe, reflecting its struggle to contain secessionist pressures in its own region of Catalonia. Spain’s internal problems have prompted speculation it would block a bid by an independent Scotland to rejoin the EU.
José-Manuel García-Margallo, foreign minister, told the Financial Times: ‘If Scotland becomes independent in accordance with the legal and institutional procedures, it will ask for admission [to the EU]. If that process has indeed been legal, that request can be considered. If not, then not.’ he said. While he refused to comment directly on whether Spain might veto Scottish accession to the EU after an independence vote, he insisted the cases of Scotland and Catalonia were ‘fundamentally different.’ ”
Continue reading Spain, Scotland, Kosova The Height of Hypocrisy by Stephen Sylejman Schwartz
All India Ulema and Mashaikh Board February 10, 2014
New Delhi, 10 February 2014
A general meeting of the All India Ulema and Mashaikh Board (AIUMB) will be held at Ajmer Sharif, one of the most distinguished spiritual Sufi sites in the world, as the shrine of the great saint Moinuddin Chishti (12th-13th c. CE), from 12 February to 15 February 2014. This meeting will discuss, among other topics, the very sorry state of affairs of Indian Muslims, who have been relegated to a position worse than Dalits [so-called "untouchables"], as admitted by a high powers in the Indian Union government.
Syed Babar Ashraf, AIUMB general secretary, said that AIUMB has been campaigning for the welfare of Muslim community through the last decade, and has addressed both the masses and the rulers about developments in India that have occurred with the active connivance of the political class, administration and bureaucracy.
Continue reading Indian Moderate Muslims To Meet at Ajmer Sharif Hijack Of Muslim Representation By Wahhabi-”Salafi” Elements On Agenda by All India Ulema and Mashaikh Board
CIP February 5, 2014
The late Seyyid Abdurrahman Al-Bukhari, may his mystery be sanctified, with Sheikh Aboobacker Ahmed. Please recite Fatiha and Surah Ya Sin for Sheikh Al-Bukhari.
Seyyid Abdurrahman Al-Bukhari, a unique spiritual leader and the grand president of Samastha Kerala Jamiyyathul Ulama (Samastha, the All Kerala Community of Muslim Scholars), left this world at the beginning of the holy month of Rabi Ul’Akhir, 1435 A.H., corresponding to February 2014. Samastha is the association of Islamic religious scholars of Kerala, the southernmost state of India. Known popularly as Ullal Thangal, an honorific for members of the family of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, in the Muslim communities of South India, the Samastha guide led an immense spiritual movement, spreading enlightened education of a kind previously unknown or unfamiliar to the believers of the region, and, centering at the Ullal, one of the most famous Sufi shrines of the country, conveyed the message of Islam grounded in the essence of real spirituality
Continue reading As Spiritual Light Fades, South Indian Muslims Face Many Woes by Muhammad Muhsin Elad
Haci Bektaş Veli, may his mystery be sanctified.
CIP February 1, 2014
[Presented to the Inform Anniversary Conference, "Minority Religions: Contemplating The Past And Anticipating The Future," at the London School of Economics, 1 February 2014.]
This brief presentation, based on original field research, will describe the situation of the Albanian Bektashi Sufi order, the Turkish and Kurdish Alevi-Bektaşi movement, and the Iranian-Kurdish Ahl-e Haqq phenomenon.
These differing geographical aspects of a single minoritarian Islamic tradition are not “new” religions, or cults. But they have been treated differently by the governments of Albania, Kosova, Macedonia, Turkey, Iran, and Iraq, and each is faced with the challenge of defining a “new” and relevant identity for an old tradition. All draw inspiration from a leading figure in Turkish Islam, Haci Bektaş Veli, who is said to have been born in Nishapur, Khorasan (northeast Iran) in 1209 CE and to have died, according to tradition, at the shrine of Hacibektaşveli in Anatolia in 1271 CE. Haci Bektaş Veli was a preacher and poet in the Turkish language, whose vernacular contribution to Islamization is considered preeminent in Turkish religious history.
Continue reading The Bektashi-Alevi Continuum from the Balkans to Iran Sufi Minorities and Politics by Stephen Suleyman Schwartz, Executive Director, Center for Islamic Pluralism; Fellow, Middle East Forum [USA]
All India Ulema and Mashaikh Board January 26, 2014
In a meeting organized by the All India Ulema and Mashaikh Board at Johri farm, Jamianagar, it was agreed that the best way to celebrate Republic Day, the national Indian holiday, is to save the land from hateful preaching, so that Muslims across India will reject and rebuff hardline Wahhabism and work to promote peace, harmony, and brotherhood as the heritage of India.
Continue reading Without the permission of Waqf members, Waqf property should not be used by others Celebrating Indian Republic Day by Abdul Moid Azhari
The Weekly Standard Blog January 20, 2014
The Assembly of Kosova - the republic's national parliament.
The young state of Kosova—with an Albanian majority of more than 90 percent, of whom 80 percent are Muslim—declared its independence in 2008, but now faces a “risk from extremist religious currents, which requires . . . counter-measures at a strategic level.” Further, Kosovar Albanians have an agenda for a return of their people and culture to Europe, not an orientation toward the Middle East.
So argues the Balkan republic’s foreign minister, Enver Hoxhaj (no relation to the deceased former dictator of Albania, Enver Hoxha). A cabinet member representing the Democratic Party of Kosova (known from its Albanian name as the PDK), Hoxhaj made these comments in an interview with Zëri (The Voice), a major daily in the Kosova capital, Prishtina, on January 3.
Without hesitation, Hoxhaj identified a menace to Kosova from “various religious currents seeking to spread Islam in our public life, to bring it to bear in our public discourse, to impose a different way of life . . . that may threaten the state of Kosova.” He added, “certain sectors, [including] the Interior Ministry, other ministries, and various agencies need to be more attentive and to speak out about this.”
Continue reading Kosova Political Leaders Challenge Islamists by Stephen Schwartz
The Prophet Muhammad's Mosque, Medina.
CIP January 14, 2014
The Center for Islamic Pluralism extends greetings and blessings to all Muslims around the world celebrating mevlud (also called milad an-nabi or mawlid), the birthday of Prophet Muhammad sallallahualeyhisalem. Mevlud commemorations will be held throughout the Islamic month of Rabi ul-Awwal, the third month of the hijri calendar, which began on the common date of January 2, 2014, according to moon sightings in North America.
Continue reading Greetings to Muslims on Mevlud Birthday of Prophet Muhammad
Illyria [New York] January 10, 2014
The flag of the Albanian nation.
In The Book of Butterflies, Veton Surroi, the outstanding Kosovar Albanian journalist and founder of Koha Ditore, the daily of record in Prishtina, has produced an irreplaceable contribution to the historiography of the Balkan wars at the end of the 20th century.
As I have written elsewhere and repeatedly, the difficulties of purchasing books outside Kosova and Albania that were produced in English in the two Balkan republics must be overcome. Surroi’s literary and journalistic achievement must be widely read and recognized.
The Book of Butterflies recounts, in a manner combining, brilliantly, impressions with political documents and commentaries, the least-known chapter in the violence following the collapse of former Yugoslavia. This was the brief Macedonian war of 2001 involving the National Liberation Army (NLA), known by its Albanian-language initials as UÇK – the same acronym as that of the Kosova Liberation Army, but indicating the Ushtria Çlirimtare Kombëtare [National] rather than that of Kosova.
Continue reading The Book of Butterflies by Veton Surroi Koha, Prishtina, 2013 [English ed.], €7 [in Kosova] Reviewed by Stephen Sylejman Schwartz