MANDELA MOURNED - FROM PROTESTOR, TO PRISONER TO PRESIDENT
- Published 12/6/2013
LEAVES A LEGACY OF STRUGGLE FOR HUMAN DIGNITY AND FREEDOM
The Caribbean joins with the rest of the world in mourning the loss of Nelson Mandela. Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid icon who became the first president of a democratic South Africa, passed away Thursday at his home in Johannesburg after a prolonged lung infection. He was 95. South African President Jacob Zuma said "Our thoughts are with the millions of people who embraced Mandela as their own and who saw his cause as their cause.… This is the moment of our deepest sorrow. We saw in him what we seek in ourselves. And in him we saw so much of ourselves," he said. "Nelson Mandela brought us together and it is together that we will bid him farewell."
Fazeel M Ferouz, President of Central Islamic Organization of Guyana said that "Nelson Mandela passing is a great loss for South Africa and the world.`He guided his country and his people and set an example that will be forever remembered by all who would like to see a peaceful world. He decided to forgive and move on in the interest of "Peace and Unity " for his country and people. Being Muslims we know what our Holy Prophet Muhammad (saws) did when he entered Makkah --he forgave all those who wronged him. Mandela did the same. He was and will always be remembered as a man who chose peace instead of destruction."
Hakeem Khan, President General of The Anna Catherina Islamic Complex in Guyana, in paying tribute to Mr. Mandela said that "Nelson Mandela must always remain in our eyes as a person who faced all challenges and sacrifices at a great cost to his personal freedom and well-being. While his death is a cause of great sorrow, his life and his example is a lesson for all human beings who value justice and equality. Nelson Mandela espoused all the values and teachings of Islam and Muslims, therefore as Islam asks “is there any other reward for good other than good?” – we are sure that his reward for the good of his life will only be the compensation of good in the life hereafter."
From Barbados, Suleiman Bulbulia, Secretary of the Barbados Muslim Association added that "Nelson Mandela's struggle against the unjust, oppressive and inhumane system of apartheid in South Africa, his imprisonment for 27 years for this struggle and his continued struggle for a unified, and reconciled South Africa after his release and Presidency has inspired and endeared Mandela in the hearts of millions of people across the Globe for decades. His unwavering support for the Palestinian cause and indeed for all causes and fights against tyranny, injustice and oppression also won him admiration and support from the Muslim world. All persons, Muslims and others who fought alongside Nelson Mandela and were imprisoned with him attest to his character and personality."
Ahmad AbdlHaqq Ibn Ambroise of the Dominican Republic, posted his tribute on Facebook, saying "A great man of the universal struggle for justice and freedom has passed on today. Rest in peace Nelson Mandela, you will be remembered."
Bulbulia speaking on behalf of Muslims in the Caribbean said that " We join with persons across this region in reflecting on the life and contribution to humanity of Nelson Mandela. His passing will remind us all that we too must one day taste death, and should inspire us all that our time on earth must be committed to the highest ideals of truth, justice and mercy for all regardless of color, race or class."
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Behind mask of secularism, France hardens face towards Islam
- Published 11/29/2013
Frenchwomen who wear headscarves out of faith could see their freedom to do so curtailed after a Paris appeals court's decision to uphold a nursery's right to dismiss a worker who insisted on wearing a hijab at work.
At the heart of the case was the question of whether France's strict ban on any overt religious symbols being displayed in state schools and other public institutions could be applied to what was a privately run nursery.
A lower court had said no in March but, after an outcry across the political spectrum, that ruling was overturned on Wednesday.
Although further legal wrangling is likely before the issue is definitively settled, the notion that private employers can tell employees how to dress on the basis of a principle of religious neutrality has been established for the time being.
"A line has been breached," said Franck Fregosi of the national research centre (CNRS). "Until now, the idea of religious neutrality was exclusively an issue for the public sector.
"The problem is that a number of recent developments, including this one, are perceived as being directed exclusively at Muslims, even if the current government actually targets Islam less (than its predecessor)."
On the 18th of February 2012, Assembly of Intellectual Muslim (HAKIM) have sent six of their members to a lecture organized by Dar al-Andalus, Suffah Study Circle of Singapore at Orchard Parade Hotel. The lecture entitled “The Meaning and Experience of Happiness in Islām” was delivered none other than Malaysian-based scholar, the honourable Professor Syed Muhammad Naquib Al-Attas.
Right from the start, Prof. Al-Attas had confined his lecture upon two questions raised with regard to the topic of meaning of happiness in Islām as he brilliantly wrote in a monograph and included as the second chapter of his magnum opus – Prolegomena to the Metaphysics of Islam. He mentioned before this topic cannot be elaborated succinctly in 2 hours as it took him one whole semester at ISTAC before to lecture on this in detail and at length. He intended on that day to touch basic matters pertaining to the topic.
The first question touched upon whether is it necessary for the Muslim to understand the Western conception of tragedy before we could understand the meaning of happiness in Islām.
Prof. Al-Attas stressed that though it is not necessary to understand the Western conception of tragedy that flourished in their great works since the Iliad of Homer, Poetics of Aristotle, it is pertinent for the Muslims of today to understand the exact opposite of saʿādah as alluded in Qurʾān – which is shaqawāh rendered into English approximately equivalent of ‘great misfortune’, ‘misery’, ‘straitness of circumstance’, ‘distress’, ‘disquietude’, ‘despair’, ‘adversity’, ‘suffering’.
When she was 12, she got her first camcorder and discovered a world waiting to be recorded. Soon, everyone in the family expected her to be the one taking pictures, recording their gatherings. She edited her first home film then too, and has even done music videos with her cousins.
For Maryam Mohamed, filming has been a passion for exactly half her life—she’s 24—so when she finished her BSc in Sociology with a minor in Psychology, she was thrilled to begin a double major in the Faculty of Humanities at The UWI; a BA in Film Studies and Film Production.
For her dedication and application to her studies—she sounds like a model student—she was given the bpTT Student Award at the just concluded Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival, a prize she is careful to point out is not for her short film, “If I could Fly,” but for her “studentship.”
“A group of students from UWI film programme was nominated for the award (based on our GPA) then we had to write an essay stating why they should select us to go to the International Rotterdam Film festival and how will this benefit us personally and professionally. The award is sponsored by bpTT and it’s an all-expense paid trip to Holland for the film festival,” she explains.
Sheikh Ali Mustafa Seinpaal hails from Suriname, South America, a former Dutch Colony; from a Christian, religious family. Sheikh Mustafa embraced Islam in 1966. After meeting Maulana Dr. Fazlur-Rahman Ansari (r.a) in 1969 in Suriname, he went to study at the Aleemiyah Institute of Islamic Studies at Karachi. Sheikh Mustafa graduated from the Aleemiyah Institute in 1974, the same year Dr. Ansari passed away. He obtained the Alim Degree: AD-DARAJAT AL-IJAZAH AL-ALIYAH. Subsequently he completed his Bachelor’s degree in Arts at the University of Karachi majoring in Political Science, Natural Science, English and Arabic. Sheikh Mustafa is also Hafizul-Qur’an and has mastered the Arabic language, Urdu and English. His mother tongue is Dutch and he also studied Spanish and Germany. Sheikh Mustafa traveled around the world and served in Botswana (10-years), Suriname, the United States (New York, New Jersey), Europe (the Netherlands), Trinidad & Tobago and Pakistan. Recently he came from Durban after serving at the Assalaam Institute for 18-months.
A: HISTORIC DOCUMENTS:
1. A Muslim historian and geographer ABUL-HASSAN ALI IBN AL-HUSSAIN AL-MASUDI (871-957 CE) wrote in his book Muruj adh-dhahab wa maadin aljawhar (The meadows of gold and quarries of jewells) that during the rule of the Muslim caliph of Spain Abdullah Ibn Mohammad(888-912 CE), a Muslim navigator, Khashkhash Ibn Saeed Ibn Aswad, from Cortoba, Spain sailed from Delba (Palos) in 889 CE, crossed the Atlantic, reached an unknown territory(ard majhoola) and returned with fabulous treasures. In Al-Masudi's map of the world there is a large area in the ocean of darkness and fog which he referred to as the unknown territory (Americas).
2. A Muslim historian ABU BAKR IBN UMAR AL-GUTIYYA narrated that during the reign of the Muslim caliph of Spain, Hisham II (976-1009CE), another Muslim navigator, Ibn Farrukh, from Granada, sailed from Kadesh (February 999CE) into the Atlantic, landed in Gando (Great Canary islands) visiting King Guanariga, and continued westward where he saw and named two islands, Capraria and Pluitana. He arrived back in Spain in May 999 CE.
The Muslim Factor in the Haitian Revolution
‘What the French did not realize was that their most profitable colony, Saint-Dominique (now Haiti), was fertile ground for Muslim maroons and rebels. The island had always had numerous maroon communities, and an average of a thousand runaways were advertised every year. The notices posted by the plantation owners, who listed the disappeared give a measure of the place of the Muslims among the maroons. Although large numbers of Muslims had been forcibly baptized, some had retained their original names, such as Ayouba, Tamerlan, Aly, Soliman, Lamine, Thisiman, Yaya, Belaly, and Salomon who appear in the notices. Female runaways, such as Fatme, Fatima, and Hayda, are also mentioned.
The Africans fled individually and, more usually, in groups. For instance, twelve Mandingo men, aged twenty-two to twenty-six, fled one night in 1783 from their owner’s house in Port-au-Prince. They were all professionals—masons, carpenters, and bakers.
It is not known if some maroon communities were entirely composed of Muslims, but major communities had Muslim leaders. Yaya, also called Gillot, was a devastating presence in the parishes of Trou and Terrier Rouge, before he was executed in September 1787. In Cul-de-Sac, an African Muslim named Halaou led a veritable army of thousands of maroons.