Tuesday, July 31, 2012

CNN: Sanctions Take Toll on Ordinary Iranians


Sanctions take toll on ordinary Iranians

By Shirzad Bozorgmehr and Moni Basu, CNN
updated 7:56 PM EST, Mon January 23, 2012
Ordinary Iranians have been struggling with accelerated inflation as sanctions begin to bite.

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Some Tehran residents say they have cut back on what they buy, eat
  • Prices are soaring and the Iranian rial has been severely devalued
  • The latest round of sanctions came after a report on Iran's nuclear program
  • The European Union is considering an oil embargo Monday
Tehran, Iran (CNN) -- Many in the West would like to see Iran punished for its nuclear ambitions. Tehran's residents would like those people to take a glimpse into their lives.
The European Union announced Monday it is banning the import of Iranian crude oil and blocking trade in gold, diamonds, and precious metals, among other steps, adding to sanctions already imposed by the United States and the United Nations. The measures take a big toll on Iran's lifeblood oil revenues.
The lives of ordinary Iranians have been deeply touched in recent weeks by the Western sanctions. Several spoke to CNN about how they are coping with staggering inflation and a plunging national currency, although none felt comfortable being fully identified, fearful of the Islamic Republic's long reach into private lives.
Farhad, 47, was once comfortable, but things began sliding downhill when sanctions came and the foreign oil firm that employed him packed up and left.
As a taxi driver, he works hard but saves little money. With the latest round of U.S. sanctions imposed on Iran's Central Bank last month, he has seen staggering inflation; the price of meat and milk have skyrocketed by as much as 50 percent.

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He and his wife have stopped having guests at their home or going out to eat. They can't remember when they bought new clothes and no longer send their suits to the cleaners.
"I feel bad for the cleaners," he says. "They must be suffering as a result of people like me not using their services."
Farhad has a savings account that is shrinking fast as he dips into it to make ends meet.
His 21-year-old son works two part-time jobs while he earns a degree in computer science. Farhad feels bad that he can't afford to buy him the computer equipment he needs.
"I wait and pray for something to spark the economy and get it going, but I am not holding my breath," he says. "Life must go on. We can only wait and see what the future has in store for us."
In the meantime, he says, the only way for his sons to live a decent life is to fall in with influential people or make shady business deals like trading foreign currency on the black market.
The United States and other Western powers argue sanctions that target Iran's central bank, oil exports and foreign trade are designed to push Iran to cooperate at the nuclear negotiating table. They believe the Islamic Republic is developing nuclear weapons, although Tehran insists its program is reserved strictly for civilian energy purposes.
Prospects for talks have been dimmed by recent bellicose talk and actions aimed at destabilizing the Tehran government.
It's doubtful, most analysts say, that punitive measures will bring Iran to its knees. Doubtful, too, is that Tehran residents will suffer the same fate as their Baghdad counterparts, who for years, under international sanctions against Saddam Hussein's regime, faced dire shortages of basic goods.
But as Iranian-American scholar Haleh Esfandiari put it, the latest sanctions have been back-breaking, not just for the less affluent but also for the middle class.
"People are buying less because the prices have gone up," she said. "That affects the shopkeepers. It's a vicious cycle."
For many people, monthly government subsidies of $40 or $50 are no longer enough to get by, Esfandiari said.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told parliament recently that the most recent sanctions -- imposed after an International Atomic Energy Agency report that said Tehran appeared to have worked on developing a nuclear bomb -- were "the most extensive ... sanctions ever." Ahmadinejad called the sanctions "the heaviest economic onslaught on a nation in history ... every day, all our banking and trade activities and our agreements are being monitored and blocked."
With the punitive measures came the downward spiral of the Iranian currency, the rial, severely devalued in the past few months against the U.S. dollar. That plunge, said CNN's Fareed Zakaria, is a key indication of Iran's instability.
"When Barack Obama became president, you could buy 9,700 rials with one dollar," he wrote in a column. "Since then, the dollar has appreciated 60 percent against the rial, meaning you can buy 15,600 rials. Tehran's reaction to the prospect of sanctions that affect its oil exports shows its desperation."
The higher dollar, of course, has made imported goods unaffordable for most Iranians.
Farhad says he eyed a refrigerator several months ago. It was made in Iran and affordable. But when he returned to buy it, the price had gone up 20 percent. The salesman informed him that parts of the fridge were made in South Korea.
The soaring prices and declining currency values come at a time when Iran is already facing "huge challenges" created partly by government mismanagement and failures in foreign policy, said one economist in Iran.
"I think the situation will be aggravated in the coming months," he told CNN. "We will witness higher inflation and unemployment rates with less economic growth."
Those who study the impact of sanctions argue that they must hurt in order to be effective, but not to the point where they break the economy, like they did in Iraq.
That does not bode well for Iranians trying to make ends meet.
Yaqoub, 59, fancies himself a retired tea man. That is, financial losses forced the office where he worked to close three years ago. He now does odd jobs. He manages to make about $200 a month and receives another $135 from the government. The youngest of his three daughters is not married yet and still lives with her parents.
He says the family gave up eating fruit -- it's too pricey and now is just a treat when guests come over.
Red meat went up from about $6 a kilogram to $9. Dinner at his house means vegetarian rice and beans.
"When I ask the shopkeepers why the prices keep going up, (they) say the government sets the prices and they have to do as they are told," he says. "People are hungry and this is why crime has gone up."
He says his son-in-law's motorcycle was stolen in front of his house. Theft was not something he worried about before.
It's not just the price of food and consumer goods that are hurting Iranians. Services like electricity and water are costing more, too. Yaqoub's monthly utility bill has almost doubled to $19 a month.
Add it all up, he says, and it's tough to make it on his income.
His wife tells him to stop worrying or he'll have a heart attack.
"I guess if we get really stuck for our daily expenses, I would have to move to a cheaper apartment or, in the worst case scenario, there will be no choice but to go to the north and live with my wife's parents. At least I won't have to worry about the rent there," he says.
Trita Parsi, president of the National Iranian-American Council, says sanctions are putting far more pressure on Iran's citizenry than on the regime they are intend to punish.
"The government always has the ability to circumvent sanctions and shift the burden onto the population," Parsi says.
Davood, 39, says he and his wife both have college degrees, but he earns money doing chores at an office -- making lunch, running errands, even cleaning.
He worries for Assal, his 5-year-old daughter. Perhaps a day will come when he has to move to a less expensive city in order to pay for her education.
"I see no chance for me to ever find a job where I can use my university degree," he says. "I am almost 40 now and as time goes by and I get older, no one will hire me. As it is, I am always worried that I may lose my job."
Some Tehran residents are stocking up on things while they can afford it, and while they are still on the shelves.
Rose, a retired nurse who survives solely on her government pension, bought a supply of grains and canned foods, just in case. She also feels lucky to own her apartment, so she doesn't have to worry about making rent.
She says a friend recently was hospitalized for two weeks. It cost her more than $11,000.
"Of course you cannot blame the doctors and hospitals because they have to pay for high-priced foods, materials and equipment," the nurse says. "Everything is related. High prices of food affect everything."
Analysts say the government ought to be fearful of too much discontent. Unemployment and stagflation helped fuel the 2009 mass demonstrations that at times appeared on the brink of bringing change to Iran's authoritarian rule.
Farhad says he understands he is caught up in global politics.
"I don't know what must be done to correct the economic condition, but I don't blame the Americans and their sanctions," he says.
Washington has to watch out for its own interests. And Iran, he says, must do what it can to safeguard its own.
CNN's Shirzad Bozorgmehr reported from Tehran, Iran, and Moni Basu from Atlanta. CNN's Josh Levs contributed from Atlanta.

Harun Yahya Meeting with Grandmasters of International Freemasonry

This is a video of Dr. Adnan Oktar (Harun Yahya) meeting with Grandmasters of International Freemasonry..promoting unity between Muslims, Christians, Jews, Freemasons, etc. through the fatherhood of God and brotherhood of Man.

Freemasons have a lot in common with Muslims and are in fact supportive of religious freedom and the acceptance of Muslims in the community.  Unlike some groups that alienate Muslims and are Islamophobic, Freemasons have a positive view of Islam and include it's philosophy within it's traditions alongside Christianity and Judaism.

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Divine Love: Non-Attachment To Desires & Appetites of the Lower Self

This is a short teaching from my master Sidi Muhammad (www.sufimaster.org)...


Allah the Praised and Most High said to His Holy Prophet, "Go tell the
people: If you love Allah Follow me (the prophet) and Allah will love you."
And Allah, Great and Exalted said, "They who truly love me will have deep
love for their brothers and sisters-this love for them ever increasing
their love for Me." The Prophet, may the blessings and peace of Allah be
upon him, said, "You become a true believer when your love for Allah and
His Messenger becomes greater than anything else." And he also said, "Love
Allah for the blessings He has given you and love me for Allah's love
towards me."

Know, and may Allah bless you, that loving is a noble state given by the
Truth to mankind and He has told man about His love towards him. For the
Truth, Praised and Exalted is He, is attributed with loving His servant and
the servant attributed with loving the truth. Loving Allah means not to
associate anything with Him in the complete love. This is a central and
important issue in the Faith of Unity. The one who truly loves Allah,
loves the Prophet, the family and others but he loves them for and through
his love for Allah.


The human being who knows the true value of loving Allah and His Prophet
crosses the nonessential characteristics of the outer world, fighting and
going beyond worldly possessions, finding the gratification of Allah and
obeying the orders of the Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation.
The words of Allah are very clear to each human being facing such a state,
"If it be that your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your mates or your
kindred, the wealth that you have gained, or the dwelling in which you
delight are dearer to you than God or His Apostle or the striving in His
cause, then wait until God brings about His decision; and God guides not
the rebellious." (sura at-tawba: 24)

The state of loving Allah and His messenger-were it to be compared with the
station of indifference to worldly things (zuhd), brings a human to become
a fighter (mujahid) for Allah, a truthful fighter.
The jihad, the holy
war, is the test in which man confirms his non-attachment to following his
desires and appetites and his struggle to comforting his lower self (nafs)
and his attachment to people, money, and other things (such as alcohol or drugs).
 
Divine Love is not only an emotional and mental state, it is an emotional state followed by
deeds and by true jihad.


In love there are two kinds of lovers-those who are believers and are
attached to Allah and those who have taken the world as what they love,
becoming slaves in their relation to this outer world (dunya). They become
slaves to the world similar to those who worship for the hereafter, asking
for Paradise and fearing Hell. Allah's Anger comes upon them and He
describes them, "Yet there are men who take (for worship) others besides
Allah as equal (with Allah), loving them as they should love Allah. But
those of Faith overflow in their love for Allah." (al-baqara:165) Divine
Love is the longing of the slave to meet his Lord and to find His
contentment. This means the believer must follow the example of the
Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation to do as he said and to
keep away from things that he denied. This is clarified in the words of
Allah, "If you love Allah, follow Me and Allah will love you."

Al-Qurtubi said in his explanation of the words of the Sufi Sahl B.
Abdullah on the love of Allah, "The sign of loving Allah is loving the
Quran. The sign of loving the Quran is loving the Prophet, Allah blesses
him and grants him salvation. The sign of loving the Prophet is loving the
hereafter. And the sign of loving the hereafter is loving oneself. The
sign of loving oneself is leaving the outer world. And the sign of leaving
the outer world is taking from it only what is needed for survival.

Questions arise: "What is the Divine Love? And when is this love
exchanged between Allah and His slave?"


The beginning is that the human being directs himself completely with no
regard to Allah. He listens not to what satisfies Allah, with his eyes
wondering about things ordered by Allah. He does not walk only to what
Allah commanded. We hear about this behavior from the words of the holy
people in the hadith Qudsi, "The one who becomes the enemy to one of My
holy people is in war with Me. The sweetest way to come closer to Me is by
following what I have ordered for humanity. And he comes even closer
through supererogatory deeds until I love him. And when I love him I become
the ears he hears through and the eyes he sees through and the hands he
strikes through and the feet he walks with. And if he asks for something,
he is given, and if he asks for refuge, he is granted and I will not
hesitate in giving him everything, for I am his Doer. The believer hates
death and I hate to cause him any harm, because if I kill him I owe him and
there is no difference between He and I." This means Allah loves the holy
people after their love is true to Him and they have deep yearning to come
closer to Him. Once they reach this state all their deeds begin to satisfy
Allah. For their love of Him causes them to obey Him keeping them away
from all that is forbidden. The believer, the Beloved of Allah, tastes a
sweetness and joy in his emotions and heart. This is given only to the
true worshippers of Allah.


Anas B. Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, transmitted to us from the
Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, who said, "Three things
bring about the beauty of faith: that one loves Allah and the Prophet more
than anything else, that he loves people for the sake of Allah, and that he
hates going back to sin with the same degree as he hates jumping into
fire." Allah loves his slave and He gives him complete compassion and
care. And when the slave loves Allah he obeys him yearning to meet Him.
The outer world becomes easy for him. He longs to meet Allah. This makes
him a mujahid-one determined and firm for the sake of Allah, not fearing
death and not attached to the outer world.

Know, may Allah protect you, that there are three kinds of love: the
general love, the love of the truthful and convinced, and the love of the
Righteous and Knowers. The state of love flows from the beneficence the
knowers receive from Allah and His mercy upon them. The Prophet, may Allah
bless him and grant him salvation, said, "Their hearts are naturally
disposed to the one that is beneficent and hateful to the one who is
harmful." The condition of this state of love is purity of affection and
desire with constant remembrance (dhikr). For when you love something, you
constantly mention it and it is known that true love means to be in the
heart in accordance with Allah and to be committed to that, to follow the
Messenger, may Allah bless him and grant him salvation, and to be
persistent in the remembrance and finding the sweetness of secret
conversation with Allah-Being always in the station of praise and
appreciation of the Beloved and in obedience and in conformance with Him.
As is said:

"If My love is true I will obey you,
For the Lover is obedient to the one he loves."

The second state comes with seeing the richness of the heart of Allah, His
Exaltedness, His Majesty, His Knowing and His Omnipotence. This is the
love of the truthful, the convinced. Blessedness comes to the ones who
have drunk from the cup of His Love, tasting the blessings of His Exalted
Secret Conversations and His Closeness. The sweetness of his love fills
his heart and he flies in pleasure with Allah, in rapture with his longing,
so much in love his only calm lies in Him. The third state of love is the
love of the Righteous and the Knowers, so named for their knowledge of the
everlasting ancient love of Allah; their love for Him is everlasting and
without weakness. The attribute of this love is complete purity. The
complete pure love of Allah removes the senses and the heart from the love
until everything is completely in Allah and from Allah. This is the case
of the true lover of Allah. Love is only complete when the lover stops
seeing the love-seeing only his Beloved, annihilating the love from being
his so that when the lover reaches this state he becomes a lover without
love.

Junayd was asked about love and he answered, "The entering of the
attributes of the lover into the attributes of the Beloved." It is the
seizure of the Beloved over the heart of the lover. Only the attributes of
the Beloved are left, annihilating all attributes of self and the feeling
for them. Even the love vanishes as you rise completely into the One you
love-nothing stays behind. Love is called love because it erases everything
other than the Beloved. Love means that the heart turns to Allah and to
what is of Allah without constraint. It is giving all of what you are to
the one you love. There is a joy in the creation and consumption in the
Creator. Consumption meaning you have no more situations of luck or no
luck; your love has no weakness and you, no defectiveness. Sahl said, "He
who loves Allah lives and he who loves is not alive." Meaning that life
becomes light for the lover who enjoys all that comes from his Beloved, may
it be good or bad. Not being alive means out of his fear of not
reaching-the fear of losing his life vanishes.

Know that the love of the slave to Allah is exaltation, solving secrets no
other can cross. And the love of Allah to His slave is that He draws his
attention to Him so that he is deteriorated from all other. This is the
meaning of the words of Allah, Exalted is He, "I have made you for Myself!"
No other has access to the excess of witnessing the alteration and
observance of the states. Some say love has two faces: The love of ifrart
which is for both the common and the special people and the love of ecstasy
(wajd) in which there is no seeing of the self or creation nor the seeing
of the reasons and purposes. Rather one is completely drowned in seeing
what is for Allah and what is from Him.

Rabi'a al-Adawiyya, may Allah be pleased with her, has expressed what
Divine Love is through her words:

I love You two kinds of love,
A love of longing and a love because You deserve that love.
Through the love of longing I am attracted to You
from all other, through remembrance.
And through the other love,
I cannot see the Universe before seeing You,
But it is not for me to praise in this or in that love,
But the praise is to You in this and that.

Love blinds and deafens. It makes blind all but the Beloved. The Prophet,
Allah blesses him and grants him salvation, said about loving in a poem:

Love has made me deaf from all but His words,
For the one who loves inherits deafness.
My eyes wander upon Him,
For love makes blind
In it lies one's death.

Allah bestow upon me Your love and the love of the ones who love You and
the love of the ones who help me come closer to You. Make Your love to me
be greater than my love to myself.

Why is alcohol prohibited in Islam? The science perspective.

 Alcohol among other things can make a person ritually unclean for prayer: http://www.al-islam.org/laws/najisthings.html

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Companionship with Bad People

Companionship with bad people and evil-doers is the source of all sorts of wretchedness and misfortune. To clarify this matter, it suffices to say that if we ask the criminals and the evil-doers such as thieves and bandits the cause of their aberration and deviation, they will undoubtedly reply that the companionship and association with bad people have put them in such a situation. From among a thousand wicked and defiled people, not even one can be found who has chosen an indecent course of action deliberately.

Amir al-Mu'minin 'Ali (as), states: "Shun the companionship of bad people, for a bad friend makes you similar to himself. Unless he succeeds in this respect, he will not accept you as a friend."

'Ali (as) also states: "Avoid the friendship of an evildoer, for he will sell you for a trivial thing."


Associate less with bad people, for you will be distressed; since human nature is apt to acquire habits. 



Wednesday, July 25, 2012

MCLU: Alternative To CAIR or Complimentary?

Be the change you want to see...is this an alternative to CAIR or is it complimentary? "MCLU strives to become the guardian of liberty, working in the nation's courts, legislatures and communities to defend individuals and preserve their civil rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America. MCLU seeks to contribute to the academic dialogue of the Muslim Community fostering intelligent and meaningful discussion of civil and individual liberties. To learn more, please visit www.MuslimCLU.org."


Althought the MCLU seems rather interesting, I would love to develop an Islamic Internal Affairs organization for Muslim on Muslim rights violations.  


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

"Your Remembrance": New Single by Br. Sami Yusuf for Ramadan!



'Ala Bi Dhikrika' is the latest Single from the highly anticipated 'Salaam' album due for release Very Soon.

For more information on release dates visit www.SamiYusufOfficial.com

Music by Sami Yusuf
Poetry by Dr Shihab Ghanem

Published by Resonance Music. 

Produced by ETM International. Copyright of ETM International. All Right Reserved.

Follow Sami Yusuf on:
http://www.facebook.com/SamiYusuf
http://www.twitter.com/SamiYusuf
http://www.samiyusufofficial.com

* Stock footage provided by Heeman, Aleksandarnako, Dmitry_ps & Gmproductions / Pond5.com
* Film Footage courtesy of Shutterstock Images LLC, Used by Permission

Disiplining The "Nafs" (Self, Psyche, Ego, or Soul)

Nafs is an Arabic word (cognate of the Hebrew word "Nefesh" נפש ) which occurs in the Qur'an and means self, psyche,[1] ego or soul. In its unrefined state, "the ego (nafs) is the lowest dimension of man's inward existence, his animal and satanic nature."[2] Nafs is an important concept in the Islamic tradition, especially within Sufism and the discipline of gnosis (Irfan) in Shia Islam. Nafs means inner self - the evil side of your soul. It varies for every person. Tradition states it is a little black spot on the area where the person's heart is and it is mentioned in the hadith that the prophet Muhammad had this spot removed.


Sunday, July 22, 2012

The 1st of the Holy Month of Ramadan 1433 A.H.


Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Council of Scholars DearbornMI
In The Name of Allah The Beneficent The Merciful
Announcement Regarding
The New Crescent for Ramadan 1433 AH
The 1st of the Holy Month of Ramadan 1433 A.H.The Office of his Eminence Sayyid Sistani in the Holy City of Najaf, announces to all honorable believers, it has been established according to his Eminence (may Allah prolong his life) that tomorrow Saturday is the first day of the Holy Month of Ramadan in Iraq, the rest of the Arabic countries and neighboring  Islamic countries, as the case is in Australia, New Zealand, the countries of Africa, the United States of America* and Central and Southern America.
As for Britain, Germany, France, Italy and such European countries and most of Canada*, Sunday will be the first of the Holy Month.
We ask the Almighty Allah to make it a blessed and bountiful month unto all the Muslims may He accepts and answers (our calls.)
The Office of Sayyid Sistani (May Allah prolong his life)
The Holy City of Najaf
29th of Sha'aban 1433 A.H.
* The Canadian areas directly adjacent to the North of the United States of America are included to be Saturday.
(The Crescent Committee)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Why Do Muslims Have to Protect The Followers of Prophet Jesus (pbuh)?



This movie depicts the life of Jesus (Isa) [Peace be Upon Him] from the Islamic point of view, as viewed in the Quran, and narrations from our Prophet Muhammad (pbuhp).

Directed by - Nader Talebzadeh
Produced by - Abdollah Sa'eedi

And in their footsteps We sent Jesus the son of Mary, confirming the Law that had come before him: We sent him the Gospel: therein was guidance and light, and confirmation of the Law that had come before him: a guidance and an admonition to those who fear Allah.
Let the people of the Gospel judge by what Allah hath revealed therein. If any do fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah hath revealed, they are (no better than) those who rebel.
—Quran sura 5, (Al-Ma'ida), ayah 46-47

More on Jesus (as) in the Quran - http://www.al-islam.org/islaminthebible/index.htm

More on Jesus (as) - http://www.al-islam.org/jesus_shiite_narrations/

The Bible and Christianity (An Islamic View) - 
http://imamshirazi.com/The%20Bible%20and%20Christianity.pdf

Note: I do not own the right's to this movie, this is just me sharing the movie to the general public, rights go to the producer, and filmaker of this movie, and to the Islamic Republic of Iran

All I ask from the viewers is to please pray for me, and for all the people on this Earth!

The Kidnapping and Killing of Christians in Syria by Saudi Backed Wahabis




Behind the News: The Kidnapping and Killing of Christians in Syria

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  • Behind the News: The Kidnapping and Killing of Christians in Syria
The Christian community in Syria has been hit by a series of kidnappings and brutal murders; 100 Christians have now been killed since the anti-government unrest began.
A reliable source in the country, who cannot be identified for their own safety, told Barnabas Fund that children were being especially targeted by the kidnappers, who, if they do not receive the ransom demanded, kill the victim. And the source provided detailed information – some of which cannot be made public for security reasons – about incidents that have taken place since Christmas. Two Christian men, one aged 28, the other a 37-year-old father with a pregnant wife, were kidnapped by the rebels in separate incidents and later found dead;  the first was found hanged with numerous injuries, the second was cut into pieces and thrown in a river. Four more have been abducted, and their captors are threatening to kill them too. On 15 January two Christians were killed as they waited for bread at a bakery. Another Christian, aged 40 with two young children, was shot dead by three armed attackers while he was driving a vehicle. 
These latest reports are reminiscent of the anti-Christian attacks that have become commonplace in Iraq since the 2003 US-led invasion, and heighten concerns about the future for Christians in Syria as the anti-government protests there continue.
Syria pivotal in regional power battle
Several expert commentators are calling into question the narrative being spread by Western media about the nature of the unrest in Syria. They argue that it is not merely an internal conflict between the government and the rebels but has become an international battle for the balance of power in the Middle East.
Aisling Byrne, writing for Asia Times Online on 5 January, argues:
What we are seeing in Syria is a deliberate and calculated campaign to bring down the Assad government so as to replace it with a regime 'more compatible' with US interests in the region… Not for the first time are we seeing a close alliance between US/British neo-cons with Islamists (including, reports show, some with links to al-Qaeda) working together to bring about regime change in an 'enemy' state.
The battle for the regional balance of power pits an alliance of the US, Israel and the Sunni Muslim states of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the Gulf against the Shi’a regime in Iran and Hizbollah, the terrorist organisation that it sponsors. Syria is integral to Iran’s position, and, says Saudi King Abdullah, “Other than the collapse of the Islamic Republic itself, nothing would weaken Iran more than losing Syria”. Much of the conflict is being driven by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, who are now repeating in Syria what they have done in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya to establish a Sunni Wahhabi Salafist entity, thus intensifying the pressure on Iran.
A Western-backed military campaign in alliance with the Syrian rebels against the Assad regime is looking increasingly likely, and this could be devastating for the Church in Syria. Christians in Syria have enjoyed a considerable measure of freedom and protection under President Assad; if he falls, there could be a repeat of the tragic near-extermination of the Church in post-Saddam Hussein Iraq. On 6 January, 2012, the Council of Evangelical Churches in Baghdad was dissolved, signalling another nail in the coffin for Christianity in Iraq. The once sizeable Christian minority there has been reduced to no more than a few hundred thousand today.
Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Fund, said:
The Christian community in Syria is already suffering as a result of the unrest there and this will surely only intensify in the event of Western-backed military intervention. Christians in the West should not stand by and allow their governments to destroy Syria – and the Syrian Church – in pursuit of their own political interests in the region. I urge Christians not to accept blindly all the mainstream media reports about this conflict but to read for themselves the carefully considered arguments of dissenting voices. And we must pray that the Lord will protect His people in Syria from a repeat of what happened to the Church in Iraq following the illegal US-led war. When Barnabas Fund carried stories about the horrific anti-Christian violence in Iraq post-2003, there were many sceptics who did not believe us. Today, this is accepted reality.

SOURCE: http://www.ea.org.au/Ethos/Engage-Mail/Kidnapping-and-Killing-of-Christians-in-Syria.aspx 

Save Maryam!



“I’ve long been aware of this problem, and it’s by no means restricted to Indonesia…
Many of our imams, sheikhs and ulama are completely out of touch with today’s young people, and I use the term ‘young people’ in the loosest possible sense, as the disaffected include people now well into their 40′s, even some older than them… For the most part, Islam is not being presented as a 21st Century faith, even though it’s central message and concepts are timeless. We need to change that, or Islam will quite simply disappear for good!
We mustn’t blame the Christians, as they’re simply doing what they believe to be right, and indeed much of it is, which is why they’re having such success. To remedy the situation, we must return to the central tenets of Islam, the wisdom of the Holy Qur’an and the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him; revisited and interpreted in ways relevant to the modern world. Within this wisdom, are to be found solutions to present challenges, but before this will be realised, we must first collectively understand and not merely try to apply long since outdated, medieval concepts and ideas…
A new spirit of openness needs to be cultivated, inclusive of everyone interested, most especially women and young people. Less emphasis on mullahs, who while they may know their books, have next to no understanding about the modern world and the challenges faced by people today, during their day to day lives.
A true scholar is one who can apply the lessons of Islam in ways relevant to those they minister to, effectively. A person wearing the costume of a scholar, sheikh or imam who cannot do this, who’s unable to understand the needs of those around them, is not what they appear to be…
New media, social networks, and television need to be used to spread the good news. Take heart, the situation is not beyond all hope, but we need to stop sitting on our laurels and take positive action, if we want to turn this situation around for the better. Insha Allah, with the blessings of the most Forgiving and Compassionate One, we will! Ma salam.”
~ Paul Salahuddin Armstrong

Approximately 2 million people in Indonesia leave Islam for Christianity every year.

Why is this the case? Why are people not satisfied with Islam? Why are they willing to abandon Allah?

Join us in our mission to save a generation of Indonesians and help us bring Islam back into their lives. Spread the word. Save Maryam.

Website: http://savemaryam.com
Donate: http://savemaryam.com/donate.php
Like us: http://facebook.com/whoismaryam
Follow us: http://twitter.com/savemaryam

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** Please note: No music was used in the creation of this video, beat boxing was used as an alternative. The report at 00:35 is for demonstration purposes only, however the fact is valid according to International Crisis Group.

Save Maryam is a project by Mercy Mission. For more info contact:http://mercymissionworld.org/

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Sidi Muhammad al-Jamal ash-Shadhili Visiting His Students in the USA


Bismillahi-r-Rahmani-r-Rahim,
As-salaamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatahu.
Please Join us for:
Sidi Welcome Event  July 21 -24

     Where: Mother Center, Pope Valley, CA

    When: July 21st, 22nd, 23rd and 24th (Saturday through Tuesday)

SIDI said today that he will be giving a very special, strong and clear teaching for all the beloveds at this Event!   As Sidi says - Don't Miss Your Chance!            

Tentative Schedule:
     Suhur - Breakfast
     Fajr Pactices
     Qur'an Reading  
      Al Wird - from 9:30am
     Teachings Daily 10am, 12 noon  &  4:30pm
     Prayer Retreat Time
     Iftar - Break fast and dinner
     Isha and Tarawee Prayers
   Khalwa Monday after Tarawee
    EndsTuesday at 6:00pm
                         
    Register: Please register for the event now ! ! !
                    Click on the Registration Link Below:
 
       https://www.formstack.com/forms/event_registration-sidi_welcome_july_21_2012

          Email:  Laila Smith: sscaccounting@suficenter.org
          Call: Laila Smith, 707-965-0700 x21
                  *for help with registration or for more information

                                   
  Tuition: Your tuition goes to support your Mosque.  It defrays the many expenses of putting on the event and making sure you are taken care.  Your generosity is greatly appreciated.


Ramadan Retreat Aug 10th-19th
 
     Where: Mother Center, Pope Valley, CA

    When: August 10th - August 19th
                           
    Register: Please register for the event, room and board now ! ! !
                    Click on the Registration Link Below:
 
https://www.formstack.com/forms/event_registration-Ramadan_August_10_19_2012

     * Begins Friday August 10th with Fajr
     * Laylat ul Qadr Khalwa  expected on Tuesday night Aug 14th
     * EID Celebration expected on Sunday Aug 19th
     * Sidi expected from Sunday Aug 12 throught Thursday Aug 16th

Let's Welcome Sidi together!

From all of us at the Mother Center

Sent By:
Shadhiliyya Sufi Communities
2950 Pope Canyon Rd.
PO Box 100
Pope Valley California 94567
USA

FULL SCHEDULE: http://suficenter.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=254%3A2012-sidi-sched&catid=19%3Asidi-events&Itemid=12

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Saffron Road Launches Family-Sized Certified Halal Entrée at Costco

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Saffron Road Launches Family-Sized Certified Halal Entrée at Costco

Stamford, CT – May 30, 2012 – Saffron Road™, the packaged food brand of American Halal Co., is now shipping a family-sized portion of Chicken Tikka Masala to select Costco stores on the West Coast. From Saffron Road’s single-serve frozen entrée, to the new Simmer Sauce, consumers love Saffron Road’s Tikka Masala products. The new Chicken Tikka Masala family portion is ideal for families who want to enjoy authentic Indian cuisine at home, that are easy to make.

“Our Muslim consumers have expressed their desire to see family sized portions of our Halal Certified meals, and we’re happy to provide this new meal option the whole family can enjoy,” says Saffron Road Chief Executive Officer, Adnan Durrani.
Consumers can find the new item now at select Costco stores in the freezer aisle for the suggested retail price of $10.99 each.
All Saffron Road products are Halal Certified by the Islamic Food and NutritionCouncil of America (IFANCA). Halal is an Islamic tradition that has healthfully fed literally billons of people over the last 1,400 years. Halal promotes the sacred tradition of respect for the land, fair treatment for farmers, humane treatment of livestock and clean, healthy food to eat. There are upwards of 6 million American Muslims with over $170 billion in purchasing power that are looking for Halal products.

Saffron Road’s All Natural Certified Halal entree uses chicken that is Certified Humane by Humane Farm Animal Care. All of Saffron Road’s livestock are fed 100% vegetarian feed and are never given Antibiotics or Hormones.

“We are excited to now have our brand in Costco stores,” says Saffron Road Executive Vice President, Jack Acree. “We know that a lot of our consumers seeking Halal options are shopping at Costco stores already, and are often looking for authentic meal options for the entire family,” continues Acree.

Saffron Road is now available at the following Costco stores: Arizona – Tucson, Scottsdale, Tempe, Phoenix, Gilbert, Glendale, Chandler. California – San Diego, Chula Vista, Carlsbad, La Mesa, Temecula, Poway, San Marcos. Colorado – Aurora, Westminster, Lone Tree, Superior, Broomfield, Arvada, Colorado Springs, Parker, and Sheridan.

About Saffron Road

American Halal Co. markets All Natural Halal Certified food under the Saffron Road brand. Adnan Durrani, the CEO, and Jack Acree, the EVP, are serial entrepreneurs having been involved in companies like Vermont Pure Spring Water, Stonyfield Farms, Inc., Alexia Foods, and Terra Chips. The Company’s management and Board represent a team of proven entrepreneurs at building premium food brands. Saffron Road’s mission is to offer All Natural Halal Certified and Gluten Free foods, which are also holistic, sustainablyfarmed, and antibiotic free. Saffron Road’s products are sourced from livestock which is fed only 100% vegetarian feed and are humanely treated. The Company seeks to bring its mission to a higher awakening with the local and global community, embodying a socially conscious company ethic as well as setting the standard for premium qualityHalal Cuisine.

Media Contacts: Lisa Mabe, Hewar Social Communications, 202.505.2890, lisa@hewarcommunications.com
Kate Pearson, American Halal Company, Inc., 203.961.1954 x100, kate@americanhalal.com
For more information about Saffron Road, please visit saffronroadfood.com. You can also join us on Facebook at facebook.com/saffronroadfood, on Twitter at twitter.com/saffronroadfood or on Pinterest at pinterest.com/saffronroadfood.

Muslim Holocaust in Burma: Where is the Media?

This is bigger than Syria...there is a massive government ethnic cleansing going on in Burma, but where is this to be heard on the news?  Apparently reports say that about 20,000 Burmese Muslims have been killed in less than two months, however there is not much on CNN about this.



MORE INFO: https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&gl=us&tbm=nws&q=burma+muslim&oq=burma+muslim&gs_l=news-cc.3..43j43i400.856.1926.0.2070.12.6.0.5.5.0.166.536.4j2.6.0...0.0.e7Ay9cdDAyw

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Golden Age of Islam & Western Civilization

How does the Golden Age of Islam relate to Western Civilization? Some thought it was Apple's Arab-American CEO Steve Jobs (who had a Muslim Syrian father) that was first to have the idea of the iPhone...however, let's take a look at Ibn Haytham and others... :)


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Nuclear Threat: Which Countries Have Nuclear Weapons?



"Which countries have nuclear weapons and how many warheads do they have? The Young Turks host Cenk Uygur breaks down a map from the BBC listing the stockpiles in the United States, Russia, Pakistan, Israel, China, the UK, France, India and North Korea - what about Iran and potential war?

Read More Here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-17511816

Watch - "The former chief of Israel's Mossad agency, Meir Dagan, tells Lesley Stahl that Iran is a "rational" country and now is not the time for a strike on their nuclear facilities": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udCFPClOAeY"

Christian "L'Abri" (The Shelter) & The Radical Ideology of Dominionism

Christian "L'Abri" (The Shelter)...Stealth Crusade and the ideology of "Dominionism" promoting the idea that Christians should dominate all the land even by means of violent Crusade to overthrow the government of the USA...sound familiar Al-Qaeda ahem...http://youtu.be/xxBf9q8yV9g (No wonder they don't like Obama)