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#JeSuisAhmed Reminds Us That A French Muslim Died To Protect Free Speech
On the heels of #JeSuisCharlie, another Twitter hashtag is becoming a rallying point on social media for those mourning the victims of the Charlie Hebdo attack -- #JeSuisAhmed.
The hashtag memorializes Ahmed Merabet, the 42-year-old police officer who was shot point blank on a Parisian street by masked gunmen outside Charlie Hebdo’s offices. He was among 12 people who lost their lives in what is being called the deadliest terror attack on French soil in more than 50 years.
French authorities have yet to assign an official motive to the group but many say the attack was an extremist reaction to the magazine’s lampooning of the Prophet Muhammad and other religious figures.
In the aftermath, hundreds around the globe began tweeting out with the hashtag #JeSuisCharlie to stand in solidarity with the magazine.
Attacks like the one in Paris are a matter of great sorrow for Muslims - first because the radicals use a barbaric appropriation of their faith, and then because of the alienation they feel in the West, writes Mohammed El-leissy.
There are 1.6 billion Muslims around the world and overwhelmingly they feel a sense of deep reverence for the Prophet Muhammad. He's a messenger from God who brought order and justice to a world in chaos; a light and teacher worthy of our undying honour and respect.
However, despite the attacks and mockery of his image across a number of media - most notably on social media and by prominent politicians - few Muslims would feel that the events in France are cause for any celebration or victory.
This is party because most Muslims feel the response by the gunmen is an assault on Muhammad and what he stood for. After all, Muhammad told his followers, "He who does not show mercy to our young and honour our elderly is not from amongst us" and proclaimed, "I was sent to complete the goodness of character".
The gunmen represent a barbaric political appropriation of this, and of a faith that is a source of spirituality and goodness for more than a billion people around the world. They are the greatest destroyers of Muhammad's message and the Islamic religion, in many cases causing Muslims to turn away from their faith.
Following the siege in Sydney, I was approached by a young Muslim woman who was beginning to question the existence of God, disheartened at just how extreme these fringe elements of her faith had become. Thanks to Haron Monis, she now felt disconnected from any positive role Islam had played in her life. The terrorists had soured Islam for her and the value of religion for millions more.
In addition, few Muslims would share any sympathy for the radicals, such as those who launched the attack on Charlie Hebdo, because they often commit far worse and more frequent violence against other Muslims.
Less than 24 hours before the attack in France, Islamist suicide bombers killed 38 Muslims outside a police academy in Yemen. In the Islamic world, hardline Islamist violence is seen as a criminal issue and terrorists are hunted down and often killed by police. Civilians that join the police force are frequently labelled as traitors and sell-outs to the Jihad by the extremists and police recruiting centres are a common target for suicide bombings.
Because Muslims worldwide are rejecting attempts by IS, Boko Haram and Al Qaeda to hijack Islam, these groups have turned their guns on fellow Muslims substantially more than on the West. From Pakistan to Nigeria, it's Muslim souls that the extremists are targeting.
However in the West, commentary in the media continues to accuse the world's Muslims of not condemning or doing enough to stop the terror and thus being complicit in violent jihad. This misinformed worldview simplistically pits this as Islam v the West, ignoring the despotic nature of this enemy and the fact that these extremists first and foremost wish to tyrannise and control their fellow Muslims.
For many Muslims, the Western media treats Muslim lives as somewhat less significant. The attacks in France received rolling coverage, but the attack in Yemen that killed many Muslim would-be policemen was relegated to the "World News" section. The Muslim victims are rarely given a face.
Similarly, the participation of Muslim majority nations in the coalition fighting Islamic State doesn't receive as much coverage as the efforts of the West. It's hard for the media to frame that war as a fight between "good and evil" when both sides are Muslim.
When non-Muslims are killed by radical Islamists, we talk about a clash of civilisations and ask "are Islam and the West compatible?" When Muslims are killed, we rationalise it as just stereotypical violence taking place in the third world.
This is not a war between Islamic and Western values - it's a war against a puritanical worldview that enforces itself with violence on the rest of us.
And Muslims have been fighting Islamic State with the pen as well as the sword - on the level of language, satire and ideas.
Many Muslims refuse to honour the terrorists with either the word "Islamic" or "state" and use instead a derogatory acronym, "DAESH". State of Superstition is an Iraqi TV sitcom that has the group firmly in its sights. And in Jordan the Orwellian sounding "Office of Mosque Surveillance" has outreach workers engaging with clergy to defeat IS with words and theology rather than bullets.
The majority of peaceful Muslims are caught in a tight wedge - the radicals know their actions will inflame anti-Muslim tensions and isolate many Muslims living in the West and hopefully push a few to their side. But as the West becomes more nuanced in its response and Muslims are finding their voice against Islamic State, there's a real hope that together we can deprive them of the blood bath they so desperately crave.
Mohammed El-leissy is a Melbourne-based community worker, comedian, and former youth worker at the Islamic Council of Victoria. View his full profile here.
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Mr Badawi will
reportedly be flogged weekly
until he has received 1,000
SAUDI ARABIA: A Saudi Arabian
blogger has been publicly flogged after
being convicted of cybercrime and insulting
Islam, reports say.
Raif Badawi, who was sentenced to 1,000
lashes and 10 years in jail, was flogged 50
times. The flogging will be carried out
weekly, campaigners say.
Mr Badawi, the co-founder of a now banned
website called the Liberal Saudi Network,
was arrested in 2012.
Rights groups condemned his conviction and
the US appealed for clemency.
On Thursday state department spokeswoman Jen
Psaki urged the Saudi authorities to "cancel
this brutal punishment" and to review his
In addition to his sentence, Mr Badawi was
ordered to pay a fine of 1 million riyals
In 2013 he was cleared of apostasy, which
could have carried a death sentence.
Last year Mr Badawi's lawyer was sentenced
to 15 years in prison after being found
guilty of a range of offences in an
anti-terrorism court, the Associated Press
news agency reported.
'Act of cruelty'
The flogging took place outside a mosque in
the Red Sea city of Jeddah after Friday
prayers, witnesses said.
AFP news agency, quoting people at the
scene, said Mr Badawi arrived at the mosque
in a police car and had the charges read out
to him in front of a crowd.
He was then made to stand with his back to
onlookers and whipped, though he remained
silent, the witnesses said.
The sentence was widely condemned by human
"The flogging of Raif Badawi is a vicious
act of cruelty which is prohibited under
international law," said Said Boumedouha of
"By ignoring international calls to cancel
the flogging Saudi Arabia's authorities have
demonstrated an abhorrent disregard for the
most basic human rights principles."
Saudi Arabia enforces a strict version of
Islamic law and does not tolerate political
dissent. It has some of the highest social
media usage rates in the region, and has
cracked down on domestic online criticism,
imposing harsh punishments.
Swedish Mosque 'Lovebombed'
In The Wake Of Arson Attacks
messages put up on the entrance
to a mosque in Uppsala by
neighbors pledging their support
on January 2, 2015. The mosque
suffered a firebomb attack on
January 1, one of three arson
attacks targeting the muslim
community in Sweden since
SWEDEN: This is what it looks like when hate
is replaced with love.
A Swedish mosque was “lovebombed” this week,
after residents learned that it had become a
target for Islamaphobes.
The front door of a mosque in Uppsala in
eastern Sweden was covered in colorful paper
hearts Friday as Swedes across the country
rallied to show solidarity with their Muslim
brothers and sisters.
On Thursday, that same Uppsala mosque was
hit by a Molotov cocktail. A racist message
was also scrawled on its walls. No one was
injured, according to The Local. Police are
still searching for suspects.
The incident marked the third time such an
attack against a mosque took place between
Christmas and New Year’s. The Christmas Day
attack in Eskilstuna left five people
Omar Mustafa, chairman of the Islamic
Association in Sweden, told the Swedish news
agency TT that Uppsala’s mosque isn’t the
only one to get "lovebombed" in the wake of
"Each time there has been an attack, the
same mosque has then received a kind of
'love bomb' where people have shown their
support and sympathy,” Mustafa said in a
translation provided by Radio Sweden. “A
large part of the population is strongly
against this type of attacks and tomorrow we
will gather these good forces.”
Thousands of Swedes took part in solidarity
marches in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö
on Friday to protest the desecration of the
sacred spaces, according to Al Jazeera.
They joined together under the slogan “Don’t
Touch My Mosque.”
Ardalan Shekarabi, Sweden's
minister for public administration, said
that the country needed this kind of
“We’re seeing a wave of Islamophobic
propaganda. It’s obvious that we have to
take a stand against Islamophobia and for
the equal value of every person. All people,
no matter what their faith, should feel safe
in Sweden,” the politician told Radio
According to the National
Physical Activity Alliance, at least 60% of us
don’t get enough exercise to gain a health
Given physical inactivity is the fourth leading
risk factor for mortality and physical activity
is the second most important factor in disease
prevention, it is vital that we encourage each
other to become more active.
For optimum health advantages, it
is recommended that healthy adults do at least 2
and a half hours of moderate intensity or 75
minutes of vigorous cardiovascular exercise per
Not only will you feel better,
you’ll score a whole lot of health benefits too.
The path to having a
beautiful garden or growing nutritious
vegetables, herbs and fruit is via a healthy
Learn how our healthy soils
declined, our gardens become more weed and
pest prone and how our food nutrition
declined so dramatically – for example
according to a CSIRO report between 1948 and
1981 food quality decreased dramatically?
For example the protein
content of butterbeans has declined by 88%
and the vitamin C content of apples has
decreased by 80%. Or according to Dr Mary
Cole you can now buy an orange today with 0%
Learn in a few simply and
clearly written articles how you can create
great soil in your garden, have a beautiful
more pest resistant garden and grow healthy,
Lailatul Qadr - Night of Power 1436 (27th Ramadaan
Eidul Fitr 1436 (1st Shawwal 1436)
0418 722 353
Eidul Adha 1436 (10th Zilhijja 1436)
Eidfest @ Dreamworld
0418 722 353
Muharram 1437 – Islamic New Year 1437 (1st Muharram
1. All Islamic Event dates given above are tentative and
subject to the sighting of the moon.
2. The Islamic date changes to the next day starting in
the evenings after maghrib. Therefore, exceptfor Lailatul
Lailatul Qadr – these dates refer to the commencement of the event
starting in the evening of the corresponding day.
Sunday 18 January
Location to be advised when contacted
Topic for January : Riba: what is it, what is the
punishment, how to avoid it in a western society
Please contact Ayesha on 0409 875 137 or
Weekly classes with Imam Yahya
Monday: Junior Class
Tuesday: Junior Arabic
Friday: Adult Quran Class
For more information call 0470 671 109
Holland Park Mosque
All programs are conducted by Imam
Basics of Islam
after Maghrib Salat
Taleem Programe at Kuraby Mosque
Every Thursdays 10.30-11.30am
Bald Hills Mosque Weekly Tafseer
Dars Nizame (Urdu)
Dars Nizame (Urdu)
The Tafseer gets recorded and uploaded on to our website end
of each week, please visit our website to download these
The Tuesday and Thursdays Dars Nizame program is in Urdu,
these sessions too are recorded as well as webcasted live.
For webcast details please contact us via our website
“contact us” page. The recordings are sent via a download
link, if you are interested please again contact us via our
website “contact us” page.
Queensland Police Service/Muslim
Community Consultative Group
Meeting Dates & Times
Time: 7.00pm sharp Date: Tuesday 2 December 2014 Venue: Islamic College of Brisbane - 45 Acacia Road
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