Archive for the ‘Media’ Category

Define Jihad, Jihadi and Jihadist please

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

I hear those words often in the news, and always associated with terrorism. I’ve seen enough media distortion of your religion to distrust what they say. Can you once and for all define Jihad, Jihadi and Jihadist and how they relate to terrorism?

Jihaad is an Arabic word that means “exerting an effort that meets with resistance.” Thus, any endeavor you embark on that is not a smooth sailing is a Jihaad. Have you tried to lose weight, quit smoking, or petition City Hall? Then you did Jihaad!

The struggle of Jihaad can therefore be against external forces, or against oneself. Resistance can be your own negative thoughts, whispers of Satan, mind talk, false memes that you hold on to, a tendency to procrastinate, fear of failure, fear of success, and countless excuses that stop us from achieving the goals we set for ourselves.

It can also become a war, if the resistance uses force. Muslims are required to defend themselves against militant enemies, but never start a war. God says in the holy Quran,

“And fight in the way of God those who fight you, but do not transgress. God does not like transgressors.” (2:190)

Armed Jihaad may be declared by a duly elected Muslim leader and only in response to an act of war by an enemy. Not anyone is authorized to do so, and certainly not the terrorists!

Terrorism has absolutely nothing to do with Jihaad. The word for terrorism in Islamic law is ترويع الآمنين (frightening the secure). It is punished in Sharia with the capital punishment! Tell that to Islamophobes.

Jihaadi is an adjective for the struggle act, e.g., pushing a bill through Congress is a Jihaadi act, LOL. A person is never called a Jihaadi; the adjective for the person is Mujaahid, plural Mujaahideen.

Finally, a Jihaadist is a person who believes in Jihaad. That is, if you believe that establishing truth and justice requires struggle, then you’re a Jihaadist.

Should Muslims boycott Facebook?

Sunday, January 9th, 2011

I read an article that gives a number of reasons why Muslims should not participate in Facebook or boycott it. I’m thinking they’re right. What do you think?

The reasons gives are:

1. Wastes a significant amount of time
2. Wasting one’s youth

That’s not the fault of Facebook; it’s the fault of its user who cannot or will not organize his or her time.

3. Facebook are the enemies of Islam

Facebook is a public domain like the roads. Enemies of Islam can use it and friends of Islam can use it. If friends of Islam leave it, they give the enemies of Islam a free hand! That would be the opposite of da`wa (calling people to God).

Facebook was indeed too slow to ban the pages that were antagonistic to Islam. But that’s partly due to the fact that Muslim members were not well organized to call for the ban. We can’t blame our failures on others.

4. It is a place of great fitnah (temptation to sin)

Which is under the user control. You choose which pages you like and you can dislike those pages later. You can also delete ads that you find offensive.

That said, if you’re a person who cannot resist fitna, then indeed you should not approach Facebook. But you really should train yourself to resist fitna because you are going to encounter it in your life many times. If you do not build resistance against it, you would easily fall in it, God forbid.

If we leave Facebook and Twitter, we leave the field open to Islamophobes to spread their hatred and leave a field that can be used for Da`wa! Is that wise?

In the US, liberals and progressives left talk radio to the radical conservatives. The result was that talk radio is now dominated by hate mongers and fundamentalist Christians. The liberals realized their mistake and started to use talk radio, but it’s too late now.

Why is Islam so often attacked in the media?

Wednesday, August 1st, 2007

Islam has a massive, magnetic appeal. It appeals to the heart and mind equally. It is the fastest growing religion in the world, despite all the attacks, smear campaigns and misinformation, despite the lousy way some Muslims present themselves and despite the lack of proselytizing effort! Some reports claimed that in the few months following 9/11, the number of Americans and Europeans who accepted Islam was four times the number who did in the entire previous year! The notoriety Islam received at that time piqued people’s curiosity about it and they started to check it out. When people get to know Islam, good Muslims, or read the Quran, the odds are high that they will accept Islam. They recognize the truth when they see it.

Certain people and organizations who do not want this mass exodus to occur, will do everything in their power to stop it. This has happened many times in the past and the irony is that every time it happened it had the exact opposite effect: Muslims banded together to defend their religion and thus became stronger; those who didn’t practice it started to; those who wanted to keep a low profile and live and let live started to proselytize.


Friday, July 27th, 2007

Islam intrigues me but I’ve seen a bad portrayal of your religion in the media and to be honest that’s made me fearful of Muslims in general. I’m scared of what reaction might be provoked if I say anything anti-Allah or that degrades your religion.

Many media have their agenda and they pursue it relentlessly without shame. You do well to at least seek other sources of information as you have done coming here. Certain powerful people in the media want to alienate their viewers and listeners from the Muslim world because they regard Islam as a threat to the order they are comfortable with. Islam has a magnetic appeal. There is a reason why Islam is the fastest growing religion in the West even though Muslims themselves are sometimes Islam’s worst advertising!

There is nothing to fear from Muslims. When you see them on TV demonstrating against a cartoonist who offended Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, it’s not that they do not approve of freedom of speech; it’s that they do not approve of freedom to insult. And they are passionate about their love for the prophet and for the religion. Freedom to insult is not a human right nor a value to uphold, but rather is a sign of bad breeding.