8/14/2009


Volume 92, Sha`ban 24, 1430
(16th August, 2009),
Toronto, Canada


Editors: Haja Mohideen and Azra HM Yusuf


Italy Muslims Told to Break Fast or Lose Job
IslamOnline.net & News Agencies

Muslim farmers in the northern province of Mantua are ordered by a local farming committee to drink water during Ramadan or lose job.

Mantua, Italy — Muslim farmers in the northern Italian province of Mantua are being ordered by a local farming committee to drink water during the daylight of the fasting month of Ramadan or lose job.
"There is no work contract and no legal provision requiring us to drink during Ramadan," Ben Mansour, a representative of the Mantua Islamic community, told ANSA news agency late Thursday, August 13.

"If any Muslim worker is fired for this, then we will contest it."

The Farming Safety Committee has ordered all farm workers in Mantua to drink water while working for safety reasons.

It warned that Muslim farmhands who refuse to drink water will be temporarily suspended and would be fired if they insist not to drink water during daylight.

"We made the order because we want to safeguard the health of our workers as much as possible," Committee President Roberto Cagliari said.
"The refusal to drink water on the part of various farmhands in melon fields during Ramadan last year created considerable problems.”

The dawn-to-dusk fasting month is expected to start next week.

During Ramadan, adult Muslims, save the sick and those traveling, abstain during daylight hours from food, drink, smoking and sex between dawn and sunset.

Italy has a Muslim population of some 1.2 million, including 20,000 reverts, according to unofficial estimates.

Own Decision

Mansour, the Muslim representative, said that Islam allows the faithful to break fast if they feel ill.

"If a Muslim farmhand feels unwell, he can take a break," he said.

"If he then realizes that the feeling is not a passing one, he may take a drink."

Islam allows ill persons to break their fast by following the judgment of a doctor who is Muslim, well-versed, and trustworthy.

Forcing Muslims to not fast in Ramadan is against all divine and man-made laws that dictate freedom of belief for all people.

It also goes against the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international law that guarantee minorities the right to freely observe their religious rituals and to be protected while doing so.

Mansour said that breaking the fast during daylight is a decision to be made by the Muslim himself.

"But that is his own decision and no one else should be able to force that on him."

Yale Rejects Prophet Cartoons Reprint

IslamOnline.net & Newspapers

"I never intended the book to become another demonstration for or against the cartoons,” says Klausen.
Donatich said reprinting the satirical cartoons would have been interpreted as “gratuitous”.


CAIRO – Yale University, America’s third-oldest higher education institution, has refused to reprint Danish cartoons lampooning Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him) in a new book about the crisis.
“(The decision was) overwhelming and unanimous," John Donatich, Yale University Press Director, told The New York Times on Thursday, August 13.

He said reprinting the satirical cartoons in “The Cartoons That Shook the World” book would have been interpreted as “gratuitous”.

In 2005, Denmark's Jyllands-Posten daily commission and printed 12 drawings of a man described as Prophet Muhammad, including one wearing a bomb-shaped turban and another showing him as a knife-wielding nomad flanked by shrouded women.

Yale University had consulted diplomats and exports on Islam before making a decision about the inclusion of the 12 caricatures in book, due in November.

Muhammad and the message

"You can count on violence if any illustration of the prophet is published," Donatich quoted Ibrahim Gambari, special adviser to the UN chief and Nigeria’s former foreign minister, as saying.
"It will cause riots, I predict, from Indonesia to Nigeria."

The Danish cartoons had triggered massive demonstrations across the Muslim world and resulted in boycott of Danish products and interests.

The reprint of the controversial drawings, considered blasphemous under Islam, by European papers strained Muslim-West ties.

Message

"I never intended the book to become another demonstration for or against the cartoons,” says Klausen.
Author Jytte Klausen reluctantly accepted the Yale University’s decision not to include the satirical drawings in her new book.
“I can understand that a university is risk averse, and they will make that choice,” said Klausen, a Danish-born professor of politics at Brandeis University.

"I agreed to the press’s decision to not print the cartoons and other hitherto uncontroversial illustrations featuring images of the Muslim prophet, with sadness."

In her book, Klausen argues that the massive protests triggered by the cartoons were not a spontaneous reaction.

She insists that the caricatures were used as a pretext to mobilize dissent in the Muslim world.

"Muslim friends, leaders and activists thought that the incident was misunderstood.”

Klausen says her book is only meant to delve into the crisis.

"The book’s message is that we need to calm down and look at this carefully.

"I never intended the book to become another demonstration for or against the cartoons, and hope the book can still serve its intended purpose without illustrations.”


AN URGENT APPEAL:




(1) Holy Quran: Surah Ar Rum 30:21

“And among His wonders is this: He creates for you mates out of your own kind, so that you might include towards them, and He engenders love and tenderness between you: in this, behold, there are messages indeed for people who think”.

(2) Holy Quran: Surah Al Nisa: 4:1

“O Mankind, be conscious of your Sustainer, who has created you out of one living entity (nafs) and out of it created its mate, and out of the two spread abroad a multitude of men and women. And remain conscious of God, in whose name you demand your rights from one another, and of these ties of kinship, verily, GOD IS EVER WATCHFUL OVER YOU”.

WE HAVE HEARD A MILLION TIMES: “WE ARE ONE UMMAH”, BUT WHAT ARE WE PRACTICALLY DOING TO ASSIST THE DISTRESSED MUSLIMS, SPECIALLY THE ONES THAT LOST THEIR LOVED ONES .


NATIONALLY YOU MAY HAVE HEARD A LOT ABOUT “PUBLIC SERVICE”, BUT FROM A GLOBAL UMMAH’S PERSPECTIVE, HOW OFTEN HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT “UMMAH SERVICE” ?


DID YOU KNOW THAT MOST MUSLIMS HAVE A TREMENDOUS HIDDEN POTENTIAL TO CONTRIBUTE THEIR PART FOR THE ABOVE “UMMAH SERVICE” ?


HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED, WHAT COULD YOU DO TO ASSIST A DISTRESSED MEMBER OF OUR UMMAH ?


AS FOR ME AND MY LOCAL PROFESSIONAL MUSLIM BROTHERS AND SISTERS HERE IN ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI, USA, AS PART OF OUR SERVICE TO UMMAH, WE ARE WILLING TO PROVIDE FREE ONLINE GRIEF COUNSELING TO FAMILY MEMBERS OF MUSLIM VICTIMS FROM ALL TERRORIST ACTIONS PERPETRATED INDIVIDUALLY, ORGANIZATIONALLY (TALIBAN, AL QUEIDA) OR STATE SPONSORED (ISRAEL) .


Everyday you hear innocent Muslims being killed in different parts of the world. Each of them has left a void in the life of their family members who may have been orphaned, widowed or lost their children.


True spirit of Ummah should be translated in actions. This appeal through the VOICE OF GLOBAL UMMAH is a small humble step to reach out to the global Ummah.


Below mentioned Muslim psychotherapist appeals to all like minded Muslim psychotherapists from around the world who are specialized in grief counseling to contact us below to volunteer in providing free ONLINE GRIEF COUNSELING services to innocent family members that have recently died in Iraq, Afghanistan, Gaza, West Bank, Somalia et.c.


Attempts are already under way from our part to reach out to Humanitarian and other Global Social Service agencies who are already in the field helping the distressed families to assist the family members who have lost loved ones, by providing them the basic infrastructure – computer with internet and translator to contact us to receive FREE ONLINE GRIEF COUNSELING.


For more details see our website: http://www.islamiconlinecounseling.blogspot.com


Israel Killed White Flag Gazans

HRW IOL Staff
Israeli soldiers killed five women and four children who were in groups waving white flags

Israeli soldiers killed five women and four children who were in groups waving white flags. CAIRO — Israeli soldiers murdered unarmed Palestinian women and children who were waving white flags during its war on the Gaza Strip, Human Rights Watch said on Thursday, August 13, urging a swift investigation into the war crimes. “Israeli soldiers unlawfully shot and killed 11 Palestinian civilians, including five women and four children, who were in groups waving white flags to convey their civilian status,” the international rights group said in a new report obtained by IslamOnline.net.
The report is based on field investigations, including ballistic evidence found at the killing sites, medical records of victims and lengthy interviews with eyewitnesses.
Read the HRW's report "Dad, I'm Dying" "They Killed My Girls" Palestinian Holocaust Museum Israel has earlier admitted five white flag incidents but blamed that on Hamas fighters allegedly using civilians as human shields. "In the killings documented in this report, HRW found no evidence that the civilian victims were used by Palestinian fighters as human shields or were shot in the crossfire between opposing forces," insisted the new report.
“The civilians were in groups waving a white cloth, T-shirt or scarf, and no Palestinian fighters were in the area at the time."
The 63-page HRW report notedb that in each of the white flag cases, people were "in plain view and posed no apparent security threat” when they were shot.
"Israeli forces appeared in control, and Palestinian fighters had left the area in question."
More than 1,400 Palestinians, mostly civilians, including 300 children and 115 women, were killed in 22 days of Israeli air, land and see attacks between December of last year and January of this year.
In Cold Blood
In one case, Iman al-Najjar saw her sister Rawiya get killed with a bullet shot directly to her head.
"Rawiya took a white flag with a group of women. When she reached the corner they fired at her immediately," Iman recalls.
"She was hit in the head and fell even though she was holding a white flag."
Souad Abed Rabbo, 54, witnessed the killing of her granddaughters, aged two and seven.
“We spent seven to nine minutes waving the flags, and our faces were looking at them," she remembers vividely.
"And suddenly they opened fire and the girls fell to the ground."
Souad’s third granddaughter, now aged four, was left paralyzed below the waist.
A recent booklet that collected Israeli soldiers’ testimonies revealed that the army had given the troops directives not to consider any Gazan as innocent.
The testimonies also quoted soldiers admitting firing at Gaza civilians out of frustration or boredom.
Joe Stork, HRW Middle East deputy director, asserted that Israel has long acted with impunity over the killing of Palestinian innocents.
“The Israel Defense Forces have for years permitted a pervasive culture of impunity regarding unlawful Palestinian deaths."
But Stork insisted that the Gaza white flag deaths deserve international prosecutions for those responsible.
“Under the laws of war, individuals who carry out or order deliberate attacks on civilians are responsible for war crimes.


France bars woman from pool for wearing

baggy Muslim swimsuit

Toronto Star


Sama Wareh walks along the sand dressed in swimwear designed for Muslim women, in Newport Beach, Calif., Feb. 15, 2007.


PARIS–A Muslim woman garbed in a head-to-toe swimsuit – dubbed a "burquini" – may have opened a new chapter in France's tussle between religious practices and its stern secular code.
Officials insisted yesterday they banned the woman's use of the Islam-friendly suit at a local pool because of France's pool hygiene standards – not out of hostility to overtly Muslim garb.
Under the policy, swimmers are not allowed in pools with baggy clothing, including surfer-style shorts. Only figure-hugging suits are permitted.
Nonetheless, the woman, a 35-year-old convert to Islam identified only as Carole, complained of religious discrimination after trying to go swimming in a burquini in the town of Emerainville, southeast of Paris. She was quoted as telling Le Parisien newspaper she had bought the burquini after deciding "it would allow me the pleasure of bathing without showing too much of myself, as Islam recommends."
"For me this is nothing but segregation," she said.
The issue of religious attire is a hot topic in France, where head-to-toe burqas or other full-body coverings worn by some Muslim fundamentalists are in official disfavour.
France is home to western Europe's largest Muslim population, estimated at 5 million, and Islam is the nation's second religion after Roman Catholicism.
A 2004 law banning the wearing of Muslim head scarves at public schools sparked fierce debate. That legislation also banned Jewish skullcaps and large Christian crosses in public classrooms.
French lawmakers recently revived the issue of Muslim dress with a proposal to ban the burqa and other voluminous attire.
The burquini covers the arms to the wrists and the legs to the ankle and has a hood to cover neck and hair. An official in charge of swimming pools for the Emerainville region, Daniel Guillaume, said the refusal to allow the local woman to swim in her burquini had nothing to do with religion and everything to do with public health standards.
"These clothes are used in public, so they can contain molecules, viruses, et cetera, which will go in the water and could be transmitted to other bathers," Guillaume said.
Guillaume said Carole had tried to file a complaint at a local police station, but her request was turned down as groundless.
Mouloud Aounit, head of the anti-racism group MRAP, said the decision to ban Carole from the pool appeared fair, since pool authorities were observing regulations.


A country that abandons its own


Toronto Star




Documents being prepared Nearly three months after Canadian Suaad Hagi Mohamud was falsely detained in Kenya, she's a step closer to returning home.


If Canadian citizen Suaad Hagi Mohamud were wealthy or politically connected or media savvy, she would never have been stripped of her passport and her rights while travelling through Kenya.
She might have been stopped at the airport in Nairobi. Initially, a Canadian consular official might even have supported her detention. When she presented her identification, the Canadian system would have rallied to her side.
Suaad Hagi Mohamud, however, is not rich. She's not a political insider. She's not a media darling.
She is a black Somali immigrant who had to live on charity once Canadian authorities sent her passport to Kenyan police and suggested they prosecute her for not really being one of us. She had produced a half-dozen forms of valid identification, but our bureaucrats closed their ears to her desperate pleas for help.
By cancelling her passport, they rendered her stateless. And rendered her to the Kenyans – the same Kenyans who had rendered another Canadian citizen, Bashir Makhtal, to an Ethiopian prison.
The default position of a powerful bureaucracy is control. But when its political protectors are unresponsive to principles or the people, bureaucratic control unconsciously, and without any obvious will, can become sadism.
Remarkably, the Canadian politician elected by the people to oversee the bureaucracy – and to help fellow Canadians in distress – failed in his highest obligation. Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon crushed her hope for quick justice with mistruths and irrelevancies. In demeaning and damaging language, he said she hadn't tried hard enough to prove she was a citizen.
What chance does a poor immigrant woman living on handouts away from her family have against that kind of power?
Back channels out of Ottawa are now whispering that we don't have the whole story, that things aren't what they seem in this case. But they have yet to come clean. We heard the same thing from back channels in the cases of Donald Marshall and David Milgaard, terrible examples of abuses of citizens by their government.
But what crime strips a Canadian of all their civil rights and even their human right to their identity?
None. These are excuses for failures of justice and humanity in our bureaucracy and at the highest levels of our government.
And as yesterday's Toronto Star pointed out, this is not an isolated incident. What do we learn from an examination of other cases?
Overwhelmingly, the victims are people of colour, they are immigrants, they are out of the political mainstream. Our government treats them as less than real citizens.
This incident demonstrates this government's flawed understanding of the true nature of today's Canada, and how through ignorance or malice it is frustrating Canadians' hopes for real justice.



UK MP Under Fire for Muslim Wedding Walkout
IslamOnline.net & Newspapers


"Jim Fitzpatrick’s actions look foolish and inappropriate," Michaels said.



CAIRO — British Minister of Food and Farming Jim Fitzpatrick is coming under fire over storming out and his wife of a Muslim wedding after being separated into male and female areas.
"Jim Fitzpatrick’s actions look foolish and inappropriate," Adrian Michaels, Group Foreign Editor at the Telegraph Media Group, writes in the Telegraph Blog on Friday, August 14.

Fitzpatrick, also a Labour MP, walked out of a Muslim wedding last weekend at the London Muslim Centre after he was allowed to sit in a different hall away from his wife.

He accused the Muslim centre and the Islamic Forum of Europe (IFE), which owns the place, of threatening the community cohesion in the heavily Muslim area of Whitechapel, East London.

"Barriers to integration are important to discuss, but I find Fitzpatrick’s actions incredible," Michaels writes.

"First, there seems to be some doubt whether rules on segregation have been imposed or were chosen by the bride and groom.

"Second, segregation of the sexes is common to many ceremonies of many religions."

The British editor also hit out at the government minister for offending the couples who invited him.

"And third, for goodness sake, it was someone’s wedding day," he said.

"Was Fitzpatrick an invited guest? In which case he seems happy to risk offending the wedding party.

"There is a time for scoring points, and another for sitting still, maybe even wishing the happy couple well,” he says.

"If he was not an invited guest, then what was he doing there anyway?”

Personal Choice

Muslim leaders also lambasted the British minister for his “offending” behaviour.

"‘We are saddened to read that Jim Fitzpatrick MP did not like the arrangements at a wedding he attended with his wife at the London Muslim Centre," the centre’s spokesman Mohammed Shakir told the Daily Mail.

"Segregated weddings have always been popular in the Muslim community; the London Muslim Centre has facilitated them for over five years."

Shakir said many communities, not just Muslims, separate between the two sexes in wedding parties.

"It is part of the attraction for Muslim families so they can celebrate their happy day in a religious atmosphere, a custom which is also found in other religious traditions represented in Britain.

"We have always allowed non-Muslim guests to be seated together without segregation, but this is entirely at the discretion of the families who have hired the halls."

IFE spokesman Tuhel Ahmed also criticized Fitzpatrick for blaming the Islamic Forum for the personal choice of the bride and the groom.

"How we influenced the private arrangements of this wedding is beyond me," Ahmed told the Mail.

"I cannot see what the link Mr Fitzpatrick is making here.

"This was a personal choice of the bride and groom. How they choose to seat people and conduct their wedding is entirely up to them."

Ahmed also lashed out at Fitzpatrick for accusing the IFE of threatening the community cohesion.

"This is the first time an MP has criticised us as an organization," he said.

“To suggest we are hardline and responsible for damaging community cohesion is utterly ridiculous.

"He is simply mistaken and silly to blame an organization for an individual’s wedding choices."

The Muslim spokesman said Fitzgerald is trying to win votes at the expense of Muslims.

"Labour is in complete disarray, maybe Mr Fitzgerald is worried about the election next year," he said.

UK Muslims, estimated at 2.4 millions, have been in the eye of the storm since the 7/7 London bombings in 2005, enduring a growing Islamophobic climate.

"It’s yet another case of “let’s just blame the Muslims”."


Jammu girl wins bronze in Asian martial art championship


By IANS,


Jammu: Gul-e-Surkhab, Jammu and Kashmir's ace martial arts champion, has won two bronze medals in the first Asian Martial Arts Games held in Bangkok.
Surkhab, the state's first woman black belt, became the first woman from India to get two bronze medals in individual events in the martial arts games organised by Olympic Council of Asia.
She won the bronze medals in duo women and jujitsu women events in 62 kg category.
She was selected by All India Jujitsu Olympic Association. About 45 countries participated in nine events at Bangkok Aug 1-9.
"For me martial arts is everything. I have given all of my time for the sport," Surkhab said after winning the feat.
"I am thankful to the Jujitu Olympic Association of India for giving me the chance to represent my country at the international level," she said.


Can we Apply Western Psychology to Muslim Populations? Syeda Tatheer Zahra Shamsi


When we think about applying traditional western psychology to Islamic populations, we immediately encounter difficulties, ideological as well as practical difficulties. Its not always possible to transfer these psychological notions to groups for whom the theories proposed don’t fit neatly within the framework they have been brought up in. We recognize that its very important for Muslim groups to have forums which will encourage individuals to express their problems and which will allow them to be comfortable, as their needs aren’t always catered for by the health services or social services here. And this often inhibits many from coming forward for psychological services. In fact there are a number of reasons for people covering up or attempting to hide psychological problems, or the emotional distress they’re experiencing. Unfortunately in the age where counseling services are so effectively used in western countries, all across Europe and North America, it’s still considered taboo in our communities to access these services. This issue of services not catering for our needs is now becoming widely recognized. And the good news is that there are many centers which are becoming established here in a multi-ethnic community because of equal opportunities policies and because of cross-cultural research; research with different cultures is showing that what may be an effective form of treatment for people from one culture may not be beneficial for people from another culture because a lot of the issues may not be relevant. The positive outcome here is that there is an increase in research to show us that peoples’ constructs, the ways in which they view the world, are different and can’t always be generalized. Just to give an example, there have been studies carried out with black African individuals who were diagnosed with a psychiatric ill-ness, schizophrenia; but when this same group of people was assessed by psychologists and psychiatrists from their own culture, they discovered that the behavior they were exhibiting which led to this diagnosis, was considered perfectly acceptable in their own cultures. So the con-sequence of such a diagnosis of course is that they would be receiving psychotropic medication, drugs for the treatment of mental disorders which they didn’t have, which have no organic basis. And this had in fact been found to be happening, a lot of research has uncovered this sort of practice. So as a consequence of these sorts of difficulties, many centers and organizations have arisen which are dealing with specific areas, such as bereavement, or care for the elderly, marital problems and many others. But they’re often isolated and working alone; and they’ve usually come about in response to cultural and lingual needs of particular communities, such as the Afro-Caribbean community, or the Asian community for example, which are considered homogenous groups so they’ve been put together on the basis of their ethnic back-grounds.But they’re not necessarily fulfilling the requirements of our faith, so its not an ideal situation. We can very briefly look at the psychological framework within which western practitioners are working. We know that psychology is basically considered to be the study of the human mind and behavior. Its a broad discipline which not only relates to how psychology is commonly portrayed in the media - as dealing with mental illness - but covers all sorts of other issues relating to human development, such as learning, and human distress, relationships, marital issues, the upbringing of children. Although its a relatively new western science, psychology has firmly established itself as a discipline with rigorous scientific, empirical support. Ironically, the literary definition of the word psychology, the origin of the word is, the discourse or the study of the soul or the spirit. Psychology is regarded as a natural science, involving the study of the laws of nature, of human spirituality, but is this really the case? Problems with Western Psychology Someone who has questioned this very fiercely and has attacked the very basis of western psychology is Dr Malik Badri he is an experienced Muslim psychotherapist and professor of psychology from Sudan. The following quote of his illustrates his views: “They will claim (he’s talking here about western psychologists) that their theories about human behavior are based purely on empirical, unbiased observation. They will even claim to take a neutral stand with respect to the existence of God and the place of religion and to apply an objective non-biased scientific approach in studying spiritual ”. Clearly when we’re talking about nature, about the nature of man, we can’t take him and study man, his problems, his needs, as a distinct entity, removed from his Creator. The great ‘alim Syed Mujtaba Musawi Lari has done a lot of work in this area and he emphasizes that man has spiritual needs in the same way that he has physical needs, and we need to consider them. Faith provides an individual with strength against despair and hopelessness. If we consider the example of depression, its a debilitating illness, and the majority of us would have experienced depression at some stage. But there are different types, and it can also be considered to be on a continuum with varying degrees of severity. In the most severe cases the ultimate end would be suicide or a suicidal attempt. Imam Jaffer al-Sadiq (AS) has said that a true believer can never commit suicide. We all experience psychological difficulties, but our faith provides us with a motivating force to help overcome them. That’s not to say that hoping and wishing that the situation will change is enough, we really need to take positive action too. Often we also need professional assistance. It’s essential especially with individuals diagnosed with serious clinical conditions, that they continue to receive professional help. For us there isn’t a dichotomy between faith - our religious convictions - and scientific study and scientific advance. This is where we as Muslims diverted from the traditional Judea – Christian notions of faith. For a Muslim, knowledge and science reinforce faith rather than oppose it. The result of this belief was the golden age of science and faith in Islamic civilization, in which science and knowledge made huge advances by Muslims reaffirming their belief through scientific discovery. In contrast, Psychology is regarded as a natural science, involving the study of the laws of nature, of human spirituality, but is this really the case ? by Muslim thinkers throughout history. Psychological Practice for Muslim Psychologists So coming back to the dilemma of the Muslim psychologist, can we effectively continue to use the principles of psychology in the treatment of our Muslim patients, given that psychological principles are based upon western research and ideals? How applicable is psychology to us? Well there are many schools of thought in psychology, many ways of explaining human behavior. They’re not all couched within an atheistic, materialistic frame-work; we can briefly look at an example: the humanistic school of thought is a fairly modern movement in psychology which started to emerge in the 1950s and 60s – the humanistic model features quite prominently now in psychotherapeutic intervention, its quite commonly used. The humanistic school focuses on a positive concept of human nature, and emphasizes the individual’s uniqueness. Humanistic psychologists take account of the individual’s self and subjective inner experiences, such as the concepts of values, faith and self-direction. And this is where it differs from other, more traditional schools of thought which are based on the belief that human beings are really the same and that their behaviour is determined, pre-determined by certain forces beyond their control. The humanistic view, just as its name suggests, looks at the person as an individual, as a human being; what is it that motivates this person, what are the things that makes this person unique? They take account of the individual’s personal goals, and their aims for achievement. And in this respect, the humanistic psychologists are the closest to encompassing the religious dimension--to working with the spiritual aspect of the person as well. As we’re growing in a multicultural society, we’re seeing a synthesis, this combining, of theories, to try to arrive at the most suitable model which will be relevant for most people from different backgrounds – although again the situation isn’t ideal because the paradigm or the framework within which we’re working isn’t Islamic. So I was really fortunate when I had the opportunity while I was in Iran to interview one of Iran’s leading psychologists Dr Parveen Debajnia, as I was interested in psychological practice in a country completely guided by Islamic principles. She was very proud of the modern teaching and research facilities that they had in the new university hospital in Qom and she discussed the therapeutic intervention, how they worked with patients, and advances they’d made based on scientific research within an Islamic framework. And you’ll find many examples of the type Dr Debajnia discussed with me in the practice of Malik Badri in Lebanon, in Sudan and in Saudi Arabia. Just to illustrate, he gives an example of one of his female patients who had been admitted for anxiety and depression, and she was experiencing phobias – displaying undue, irrational fears. She had been seen by other psychologists in the hospital but she wasn’t responding to any of the types therapy that they was using – nothing was effective. When Malik Badri began working with her he began reciting a relevant verse of the Qur’an, she immediately responded and broke down in tears – this led to the discovery of a lot of other problems which she had been hiding, she confessed to them straight away – and this was what had been hindering her recovery before, as the previous psychologists weren’t aware of these other really important underlying factors. So when these came to the fore Malik Badri was able to work on these issues effectively using traditional psychotherapeutic techniques, behavioural methods. And Alham-dulillah this patient made a very dramatic improvement. When he told his colleague how he had successfully treated her, he expressed his amazement and said, “I’ve kept a copy of the Holy Qur’an in my office for the last three years and it never once occurred to me to bring it down from the bookshelf and use it as part of my therapy”. So there we’ve got an inspirational example of how Islamic teachings can guide us in our scientific practice; and there are many other such examples. We’ve seen then in a very small way how Muslims are able to benefi t from modern psychology. Western psychological techniques are not always reconcilable with Islamic ideology as they have evolved traditionally emphasizing sound scientific practice without much regard for consideration of faith. However, by employing empirical research findings in the light of Islamic teachings there is strong evidence that Muslim psychologists can restore spiritual vigor to the essentially materialistic western psychology.


Muslim students show historic success in Medical-Engineering Entrance in Kerala, By Najiya O., TwoCircles.net,


Malappuram:The Kerala Medical Entrance tests have brought cheers to the Muslim community in the state. For the first time in history, Muslim students have bagged more than 25% of the top 1000 ranks this year. This counts to 254. The first 100 ranks saw 24 Muslims and the first 500 saw 131.
“In recent times, there is good advancement of Muslim students in the field of education, especially in the Malappuram district,” said Prof U Muhammed, former principal of Farooq College, Calicut. “Earlier Malappuram district as well as Muslims was backward in education matters. But it is happy to note that now they are coming forward. Earlier, there was representation of Muslims with regard to their population only in the primary and secondary levels, that is 27%. Muslim representation in colleges was below 10 per cent. But nowadays, this has changed. There is indeed an awakening in the field.”
He sees the increase in the number of good coaching centres as well as encouragement through various means like scholarships as the reasons for this change. “But we have to study and analyse factors like the ratio of boys and girls in the success, the achievements in each district etc for a continuous two-three years to understand the nature of this change. We have to know if this is only a change in a year or a real trend,” Prof Muhammed added.
Malabar has really done well in the medical and engineering entrance exams this year in the state. Kozhikode district tops the rank-holders’ list in the medical stream and is second in the engineering stream. The top 1000 list of medical entrance has about 146 candidates from the district. And in the engineering stream it amounts to 134 in the top 1000 list. The top 1000 list of medical stream finds 138 students from Malappuram; this is the second highest figure in a district. In engineering, 110 aspirants found their place in the top 1000 list.
“This is indeed encouraging, a positive sign,” said PM Pareethu Bava Khan, general secretary of Unity for Social Development. “He pointed out the significant role played by various organizations in the educational upliftment of the community.
The results clearly indicate what would be the result if the potentialities of Muslim students are provided with ample opportunities and encouragement. The medical and engineering entrance results in the state were announced on 15th June, 2009.




A program on Indian Muslims in the Massachusetts State House
TwoCircles.net staff reporter,



Boston: For the last few years, India and the US are coming closer but still not much is known in the US about Indian minorities and their status. Dr. Omar Khalidi, author of “Muslims in Indian Economy” talked about the condition of Indian Muslims in a program organized by the Indian Muslim Council-USA (IMC-USA) in Boston, Massachusetts.

The program about Indian Muslim was organized last Friday in Massachusetts State House, which is where state Senate, House of Representatives and Governor’s office are located. This is the first time that any program on Indian Muslims has been organized in any US state’s highest seat of power.

Dr. Omar Khalidi (right) adressing the audience

Seema Salim, president of IMC-Boston started the program by giving a brief introduction to IMC and its Boston chapter’s activities. Dr. Omar Khalidi of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) gave a brief but comprehensive account of the history and present condition of the Muslims of India.

Kashif-ul-Huda, Editor of news website TwoCircles.net talked about the idea behind launching a news website focusing on Indian Muslims. He discussed challenges and strategies for the community media.

Dr. Hyder Khan speaking at the Massachusetts State House

Dr. Hyder Khan, vice president and founder member of IMC-USA gave a detailed account of how IMC came into being and its advocacy activities on behalf of Muslims and other marginalized communities of India.

In its seven year short history IMC-USA has a number of achievements to its credit. Dr Hyder Khan said that three most successful stories of IMC are - denial of visa to Narendra Modi in 2005, removal of Sadhvi Rithambra from speaking from a municipal platform in Florida in 2007, and the successful campaign to have innocent Muslim youth released from police detention in Hyderabad in 2008/2009.

Saman Salim, a political science student and an intern at the State House hosted the event.

IMC-USA has chapters in ten US states and successful organization of this program in Boston, which is called ‘Cradle of Liberty’, shows the wide reach of IMC which has grown in influence from its inception in 2002.

Tom Alter as Maulana Azad with a section of the audience in Chicago

Boston has played important role in American Revolution and the US independence struggle. It was the site of the famous Boston Tea Party incident. Massachusetts is also home to the famous Keneddy family and Senator John Kerry who was the Democratic candidate for the US Presidential elections in 2004.

IMC-USA kicked off its Indian Independence related activities with the renown play based on the freedom fighter Maulana Abul Kalam Azad's autobiography in Chicago and Detroit. Following this educational event at the Massachusetts State House, IMC-USA is holding events in San Francisco Bay Area and in New Jersey and will particiapte in 62nd Indian Independence Day festivites in various cities. These diverse activities of IMC across the States shows the wide reach of IMC.

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