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

Kosova Political Leaders Challenge Islamists by Stephen Schwartz

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

Moderate Balkan Muslims Are Targeted By Wahhabis and the Muslim Brotherhood Interview with Stephen Sulejman Schwartz by Nenad Mirchevski

Republika [Macedonia] October 4, 2013

Stephen Sulejman Schwartz, 2013 -- Photograph by K.S. Rolph, reproduction prohibited without permission of the Center for Islamic Pluralism.

Stephen Sulejman Schwartz is Executive Director of the Center for Islamic Pluralism, an international network of moderate Muslim scholars, clerics, intellectuals and journalists in more than 20 countries. He was born in 1948 to a Jewish father and Protestant Christian mother. Schwartz was not a member of any faith until 1997, and accepted Islam during a visit to Bosnia-Hercegovina. He has had an abundant career in the field of literature and journalism. His articles have been published in the world’s major media, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, the Toronto Globe and Mail, and others. He is currently a contributor to the Weekly Standard and the Huffington Post. He is a leading expert on the problems of Muslims in the Balkans and a critic of Islamic fundamentalism, especially the Wahhabi sect and the radical Muslim Brotherhood.

Republika: Mr. Schwartz, you follow very closely developments within Islam. You are also a very strong critic of Islamic fundamentalism. What are the risks you see from Islamist extremism in the Balkans, and in Macedonia?

The Balkan Muslims have been targeted, clearly, by radicals in the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as representatives of the Wahhabi movement. This is obvious to anybody who visits the region and knows the situation there. As the most outrageous example, I would cite the terroristic campaign against the Bektashi Sufis of the Harabati Baba teqe in Tetova, conducted by Wahhabi radicals with the complicity of the official Islamic Community of Macedonia. This situation has been recognized and criticized by the U.S. State Department for 10 years.

Continue reading Moderate Balkan Muslims Are Targeted By Wahhabis and the Muslim Brotherhood Interview with Stephen Sulejman Schwartz by Nenad Mirchevski

The shadow of scandal at the top of the Islamic Community of Kosova by Illyria Staff

Illyria [New York] September 6, 2013

The flag of the Albanian nation.

Did Kosova “mufti” Naim Tërnava plagiarize his academic degree at the American Open University of Cairo in Egypt? Serious charges by the Center for Islamic Pluralism (CIP) against the man who allegedly changed the constitution of the Islamic Community of Kosova (BIK) to help him remain chairman for life.

The Center for Islamic Pluralism (CIP) has accused the “grand mufti” of Kosova, Naim Tërnava, of plagiarizing his thesis for which he received a master’s degree.

According to a statement from CIP, an international network that includes in its ranks a number of prominent Muslims, among them scholars, clerics, authors, journalists, Sufi sheikhs, etc., the submission of a fraudulent thesis makes Naim Tërnava unfit to lead the Islamic Community of Kosova.

This serious accusation comes at a sensitive time for the BIK. The organization has just amended its constitution to allow re-election for a third term as “grand mufti.” Critics suspect that this act is preparing the way for Naim Tërnava to become a kind of eternal BIK leader.

Continue reading The shadow of scandal at the top of the Islamic Community of Kosova by Illyria Staff

Albanian Islam, The Best Example of Islam in the World Stephen Schwartz, Executive Director of the Center for Islamic Pluralism, Speaks by Skerdilajd Zaimi

Impakt [Tirana] September 5, 2013

The flag of the Albanian nation.

Wahhabi radicalism is among the major threats to European integration of the Balkan countries where the majority is Muslim. This is the opinion of Stephen Schwartz, Executive Director of the Center for Islamic Pluralism, who nevertheless predicts order along with risk for Europe. In an interview for Impakt Schwartz explains case by case the problem of Wahhabism in the Balkans, linking the success of its penetration with a policy of the Slav states. This thesis has been discussed in Albanian historiography beginning in 1878. In addition, he expresses concern about Turkish influence, with a foreign policy subordinate to the interests of religion, and which aims currently to establish itself as a dominant force in a region that is still challenged regarding full adherence to Europe.

Mr. Schwartz you are, as we all know, familiar with Balkan issues, which at most are ethnic problems and conflicts. Recently we are witnessing an increase in religious tension between various groups, in a region whose main political aim is European integration. So, is religion and extremism really threatening the European route for the Balkans?

Continue reading Albanian Islam, The Best Example of Islam in the World Stephen Schwartz, Executive Director of the Center for Islamic Pluralism, Speaks by Skerdilajd Zaimi

Radical Coup in Kosova Muslim Leadership by Stephen Schwartz

The Weekly Standard Blog September 5, 2013

The flag of the Albanian nation.

Challenged by a respected and moderate Islamic scholar, Dr. Xhabir Hamiti, in an election for the top position in the Islamic Community of Kosova, the Balkan republic’s radical chief cleric Naim Tërnava has “amended” the Community constitution, which limited occupancy of the post to two five-year terms. Tërnava won his first vote in 2003 and has come to the end of his second term, the maximum period in office. But on August 29, the Assembly of the Islamic Community of Kosova (the BIK) revised its regulations to allow Tërnava to run for a third term.

Balloting was to take place on October 15, which conflicts with this year’s dates for the Muslim hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, so the election was moved to November.

Continue reading Radical Coup in Kosova Muslim Leadership by Stephen Schwartz

One Year After — Radical Islamists, violent and dangerous First published 27 August 2012 by Imer Mushkola

MAPO [Tirana] August 29, 2013

The flag of the Albanian nation.

[CIP Note: This article was published in the Albanian lands one year ago but is of extreme relevance to the election for the position of reis-ul-ulema in Kosova. For that reason we are reposting and resending it to our correspondent list.]

It was sad again recently to read a survey on the risk to Kosova of Islamic radicalism. Not so much because those who follow this path will use any method to convince as many people as possible to join them, but rather because the authorities are dealing with it quite frequently, to say the least, by leaving the radicals to operate freely. Organizations identified as supporting terrorists for years finance the construction of mosques in Kosova and other projects. Mostly hidden behind such titles as “humanitarian” and “cultural,” and facing no obstacles, they pursue their radical agendas. Since the 1998-99 liberation war, Kosova has become an oasis of multiple “humanitarians” – not exclusively Muslim, that do not have service to humanity as their primary purpose. Nobody takes them seriously, but they take us seriously.

Continue reading One Year After — Radical Islamists, violent and dangerous First published 27 August 2012 by Imer Mushkola

Elections seen as crucial for Kosova’s Islamic Community by Enis Rexhepi

SETimes [Prishtina, Kosova] August 26, 2013

The flag of the Albanian nation.

November’s election for a new chairman of the Kosova Islamic Community (BIK) is developing as a choice between extremists and moderates who are vying to lead the community for the next five years.

Levizja Bashkohu (LISBA), a political party that represents extremist Islamic viewpoints, is opposing the candidacy of Xhabir Hamiti, a lecturer of Islam at the Faculty of Islamic Studies in Prishtina, who is considered as a moderate who can reform the Islamic Community.

“It’s absurd and ridiculous to claim that he will come on top of the BIK, knowing that BIK represents the interests of Muslims and the translator Xhabir Hamiti has not the support of any Muslim believer, and furthermore will not achieve or meet statutory provisions that stipulate the conditions for candidacy for chairman of BIK,” LISBA said in a statement.

Continue reading Elections seen as crucial for Kosova’s Islamic Community by Enis Rexhepi

Radical Islamists Reach for Control Over Kosova Muslims by Stephen Schwartz

The Weekly Standard Blog August 7, 2013

The flag of the Albanian nation.

The Balkan republic of Kosova has not been spared infiltration by Islamist extremism. In June, Imam Irfan Salihu from the historic and multifaith southern Kosova city of Prizren—the country’s second largest after the capital, Prishtina—was relieved of his mosque duties after delivering a harangue in which he accused Kosovar Albanian women of being “prostitutes” and exhorted their husbands to abandon them. Salihu, it was noted, criticized only the behavior of women, and not of men.

Notwithstanding its overwhelmingly Muslim population, Kosova is a constitutionally secular state in which women play leading political roles, none of them appearing in anything other than modern, Western-style clothing and hair styles. Fanatical Islamist moral standards are unpopular among them.

Imam Salihu’s diatribe was condemned by the three biggest political parties, the Democratic Party of Kosova (PDK), led by the main figures in the former Kosova Liberation Army (KLA), the Democratic League of Kosova (LDK), which preceded the appearance of the KLA and has always been committed to nonviolence and dialogue, and the “Self-Determination!” movement, known by its Albanian initials LVV.

Continue reading Radical Islamists Reach for Control Over Kosova Muslims by Stephen Schwartz

Tony Blair, ‘The Trouble Within Islam,’ and Kumbaya in Kosova by Stephen Schwartz

The Weekly Standard Blog June 20, 2013

On Monday, June 10, former British prime minister Tony Blair released a thoughtful memorandum that was quickly reproduced on websites around the world. Titled “The Trouble Within Islam,” Blair’s reflections were stimulated by the resurgence of Islamist terror in Britain, where a serviceman, Lee Rigby, was brutally murdered on May 22 by two jihadists. Blair’s remarks also seemed to reflect the shock of the Boston bombing of April 15.

Blair stipulated in his message that Islam as a religion is not to blame for such atrocities, and that most Muslims living in Britain were “horrified at Rigby’s murder.” Nevertheless, according to Blair, a dangerous ideology has spread wide in Muslim ranks, and “we are deluding ourselves if we believe that we can protect the United Kingdom simply by what we do at home. The ideology is out there. It is not diminishing.”

Continue reading Tony Blair, ‘The Trouble Within Islam,’ and Kumbaya in Kosova by Stephen Schwartz

Resistance to Islamist Infiltration Continues in Kosova and Albania by Stephen Schwartz

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.

Podujeva.

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