Thursday 26 May 2016

“I immigrated to the U.S. in 1988 from Sinaloa and lived there until 2013,” he said over the hum of prayers. “I was deported in 2013. My wife and two sons still live in North Carolina, and I haven’t seen them since. But before I was deported, I was in prison for a while, and that’s where I found Islam.”
Cardenas went on to speak about the sacrifices that many of the mosque’s attendees have struggled with. He cited religious, culinary, and social differences between Islam and mainstream Mexican culture, but said the biggest barriers Mexican Muslims face is seeking acceptance from their families.
“A lot of Muslim converts clash with their Mexican relatives who disagree with their conversion to Islam,” he said.
Happily, Cardenas’ family’s reaction to his conversion has been almost entirely different.
“My family is happy with my new religion, because they say that before I converted I was an entirely different person. They know I’m a better person because of Islam today.”

Wednesday 18 May 2016

Bosnia's Muslims reopen mosque Serbs blew up during the war

More than 10,000 people gathered for the reopening of a mosque in Bosnia that was blown up by Christian Orthodox Serbs during the 1992-1995 war.
The Ferhat Pasha mosque, also called Ferhadija, was a masterpiece of 16th-century Ottoman architecture and one of the 16 mosques in Banja Luka, or one of the 534 throughout the country, that were destroyed or damaged by Bosnian Serbs in order to erase any traces of those they were expelling or killing.
Their aim was to make that part of Bosnia a part of neighbouring Serbia.
The so-called "ethnic cleansing" project, also targeting Roman Catholic Croats and other non-Serbs, included expelling people from their homes, looting their property, killing some and putting others in concentration camps.
The destruction of their heritage was an essential part of the plan, aimed also at discouraging survivors from returning.
In 1995, after more than 100,000 people were killed, a peace agreement divided the country in two halves - one for the Serbs, where Banja Luka ended up, and the other shared by Croats and Muslim Bosniaks.
The agreement guaranteed refugees the right to return to their pre-war homes and reconstruction of the Ferhadija mosque was to encourage the plan.
An attempt in 2001 to lay a foundation stone was disrupted by a Serb nationalist mob. One Muslim visitor was killed and dozens were injured.
Nato forces had to evacuate foreign ambassadors from the ceremony by helicopters.
Activists located fragments of the mosque that were not thrown into the river or the rubbish dump, separated them and used computers to place the more thanr 3,500 fragments where they belong. Reconstruction took 15 years.
On Saturday, the 23rd anniversary of the Ferhadija destruction, Bosnian Serb authorities deployed more than 1,000 policemen to secure the event, attended by outgoing Turkish prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Bosnian leaders, foreign ambassadors and representatives of the Roman Catholic, Serb Orthodox Churches and the Jewish community.
The event symbolised a further push to restore Bosnia's multi-faith and multi-ethnic fabric. Turkey and other international donors as well as Serbs gave funds for the reconstruction.
During the war, Serbs often referred to Muslims as "Turks", explaining their actions as revenge for hundreds of years of Ottoman occupation.
At the ceremony in Banja Luka, Davutoglu said: "We were here once, we are here now and we will always stay here."
Jakob Fincik, leader of Bosnia's Jewish Community, said in his speech that rarely a Jew speaks at the opening of a mosque but in Bosnia it was possible. He, as well as Catholic bishop Franjo Komarica and Serb Orthodox priest Jefrem, welcomed the opening of the mosque and the people who will pray in it.
"Our differences are not a historical mistake," said Husein Kavazovic, the leader of Bosnia's Islamic Community. "They are God's gift, and any violence against those differences is an act against God's will."

Monday 9 May 2016

Dozens of Syrians forced into sexual slavery in derelict Lebanese house

A room used by trafficked women at Chez Maurice.
No words, just horror.
Police and judicial officials say the women were trafficked from war-torn Syria and Iraq, recruited by agents of the network for supposedly legitimate jobs such as restaurant workers, before being imprisoned at Chez Maurice.
“They were perhaps looking for weaker families, where nobody is going to ask about the woman, such as if her father died in the war,” said Mousallam. “They are hunters. They did not for a moment treat them as humans.”
Those who resisted working as prostitutes were raped and beaten, and then forced to have unprotected sex with customers. They were sometimes electrocuted or whipped, in an environment that judges described as “a journey to hell”.
The indictment said the women were forced to have sex with customers more than 10 times a day, making between $30-70 per session, all of which was taken away by the guards, including any tips, in effect making them sex slaves.
Jabbour said she hoped the Chez Maurice case would act as a model for similar situations in the future, with women treated as victims rather than being on par with those who run any network.
But she said there would also have to be a cultural shift in the way Lebanese society looks at prostitution. Kafa is not in favour of legalising prostitution, saying it legitimises exploitation and the treatment of women as commodities. Instead, it advocates punishing human traffickers and sex buyers.
Though Lebanon is one of the more liberal Middle Eastern societies, domestic violence and gender inequality are still pervasive. A one-of-a-kind survey carried out by Kafa, which interviewed sex buyers in Lebanon, found that many thought that if prostitution was completely prohibited, rates of rape would increase, and so it was necessary to have a sub-class of women who would shield the rest of society from male sexuality. Most of the interviewees felt entitled to have sex whenever they pleased, and also believed that the prostitutes enjoyed having sex with them, on top of being reimbursed.
“Everything evolves around the sexuality of men,” she said. “We raise boys and men with the idea that it’s very normal to buy sex and to have sex whenever they want, not to control their sexuality.”

Thursday 5 May 2016

Signs of God

Image result for signs of god

"We sent down messengers before you and gave them wives and children. Yet it was not possible for a messenger to bring a sign, save by the command of God. Every age has had its revelation. God abrogates or confirms what He pleases; with Him is the source of all commandments."
(Quran 13:38-39)

Tuesday 3 May 2016

Four refugees in Europe describe the sickening racism they deal with every day

hadi abdullah after attack1
“My mother still gets nightmares and isn’t able to sleep at night after the incident,” Abdullah told Fusion about his attack. His mother was not the only one to see Abdullah bleed nearly to death: his nieces and nephew (ages 5, 6, and 8) walked in minutes after the attackers fled the scene. “The kids are afraid and traumatized from seeing their uncle covered in blood and pleading for help. They still can’t sleep at night,” said Abdullah.
It all started when Abdullah decided to become an active member of his new society, holding gatherings for locals in Brösarp, a village on the southwestern tip of Sweden. At the local post office, he posted a public invitation to a Syrian dinner at his home. Abdullah also reached out to the mayor of the village to invite everyone to the Syrian dinner. He and his family prepared the famous Syrian shawarma and hummus for their guests. “Out of 500 residents in the village, 100 people showed up to the first gathering at my home,” said Abdullah, in Arabic, to Fusion. Swedish natives got to eat Syrian food and hear Abdullah explain to them his Syrian culture and faith. “Many people appreciated the gathering, the Syrian food, and simple talk about my culture and Islam,” he said.
Over time, Abdullah held several other gatherings at his apartment, and his goal of being accepted in Brösarp seemed to have been achieved. “People gradually accepted my existence among them and carried out conversations with me,” he recalled.
But that was not entirely the case. Along with positive reactions came very hateful responses and reactions from racists in the village. “Because my family and I proved to the racists that we are normal beings trying to live in harmony with everyone in the village, their hate increased toward us,” said Abdullah, who speaks seven languages. “We are educated people. We did not come to beg for money, we are here to work and accomplish ourselves in Europe,” he added.
After the attack took place, people in the village organized a candle vigil for Abdullah. They stood side by side to support and protect him. “People on the streets came to hug and kiss me to show support and acceptance,” said Abdullah.
But a week after that public show of solidarity, the Paris attacks happened. “And these same people that were hugging and kissing me completely changed,” said Abdullah. People on the streets ignored his greetings and stopped talking to him. “They gave me dirty looks and made me feel as if I was behind the Paris bombings. I felt as if I was going crazy. I still can’t understand how that happened,” he said.