Archive for October, 2015

Muslim identity in a quandary

By Jaseem Pasha, MD What is the most reliable criterion that one can use to define a “Muslim Identity”? The entire Deen of Islam is focused on two Quranic principles that repetitiously emphasize that the true peace of mind comes only when a believer maintains a balanced relationship with a) Allah SWT and fulfills His Right to be revered God (Haqooq-ul-Allah) and b) the relationship with His Creation, which includes every form of life, the entire mankind and the surrounding ecosystem. The latter relationship (Haqooq-ul-Ebad) relates to God requiring every Muslim to be always mindful of one’s obligation to display love, compassion, tolerance, to show reverence of human dignity, reverence of human rights, and treating everyone fairly, and exhibit respect for the rul...

Local groups call for civic and religious literacy in presidential campaign

D. Andrew Kille, San Jose Interfaith Examiner Following recent comments by Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson that he "would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation" and Donald Trump's failure to challenge a questioner's statement that "We have a problem in this country. It's called Muslims," several local interreligious organizations have issued a "call for civic and religious literacy and interreligious engagement. "Such ignorance from a person who is a serious contender for the Presidency of the United States reveals the urgent need for public education and interreligious engagement to dispel such lack of understanding about world religions and cultures and about Islam and Muslims in particular" said the interfaith leaders in their sta...

The Hajj Stampede Is a Fluid Dynamics Problem

Adam Rogers, Wired magazine. MECCA IS THE holiest city in Islam, the storied site of key locations from the Quran and, once a year, center of the hajj, a sacred pilgrimage that brings upwards of 3 million people to Saudi Arabia from all over the world. This week Mecca was also the site of a tragedy—nearly 800 people killed in a stampede in Mina, the semi-permanent tent city that houses tens of thousands of pilgrims. It wasn’t the first time something like this has happened during the hajj, and just as before, the causes remain the same: physics and evolutionary psychology. This isn’t a new problem. One of the first documented human stampedes happened in 1896, at the coronation of Tsar Nicholas II outside Moscow; 1,000 people died after rumors spr...

Humanity vs. murderers, not Islam

Michael Gerson, San Antonio Express News Fourteen grim anniversaries separated from Sept. 11, 2001, some memories still come in high definition, like flashes of a strobe light. An email from my deputy I read at home, five minutes before the first plane struck in New York: “Very little of note happening.” Headed in to the White House and seeing American Airlines Flight 77 on a low trajectory toward the Pentagon. Meeting with President George W. Bush a day later and hearing him say, for the first time, “We are at war.” All of official Washington rising to sing “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” at the National Cathedral. Sitting with Bush when the draft of an ultimatum to the Taliban was walked into the Oval Office — return falsely imprisoned Americans, clo...

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