Saturday, August 8, 2009

How many Muslims are Radical Islamists?

Islamic World News
26 Oct 2008, NewAgeIslam.Com

How many Muslims are Radical Islamists?

2. Malaysia bans women from wearing men's clothes and lesbian sexual relations

3. Does the Islamic faith itself makes "some of them" turn to terror?

4. Granta 103: Making sense of British jihad

5. Jerusalem stabbing: Terrorist's family affiliated with Islamic Jihad

6. A Jihad for Love

7. Israel invites Cat Stevens then tells him 'stay away'

8. Kyrgyz Youth thinks that US is a threat to Islam, but dreams about living and studying there

9. LONDON: Solution to Global Financial Crisis is in Quran says Worldwide Islamic Leader

10.  KANGAR: Perlis Mufti Suggests Subject of Interfaith Relations

11.  Investment Expert reaches out, educates Muslims

12. Jihad links' to terror suspect

13. Allegations on budget intended to mislead people - Jihad

URL of this page: http://www.newageislam.org/NewAgeIslamArticleDetail.aspx?ArticleID=928

 

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How many Muslims are Radical Islamists?

Daniel Pipes

24 Oct 2008

The recent distribution of some 28 million copies in the United States of the 2005 documentary Obsession has stirred heated debate about its contents. One lightning rod for criticism concerns my on-screen statement that "10 to 15 percent of Muslims worldwide support militant Islam."

"Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West" (2005)

The Muslim Public Affairs Council declared this estimate both "utterly unsubstantiated" and "completely without evidence." Masoud Kheirabadi, a professor at Portland State University and author of children's books about Islam, informed the Oregonian newspaper that there's no basis for my estimate. Daniel Ruth, writing in the Tampa Tribune, asked dubiously how I arrived at this number. "Did he take a poll? That would be enlightening! What does 'support' for radical Islam mean? Pipes provides no answers."

Actually, Pipes did provide answers. He collected and published many numbers at "How Many Islamists?" a weblog entry initiated in May 2005.

First, though, an explanation of what I meant by Muslims who "support militant Islam": these are Islamists, individuals who seek a totalistic, worldwide application of Islamic law, the Shari'a. In particular, they seek to build an Islamic state in Turkey, replace Israel with an Islamic state and the U.S. constitution with the Koran.

As with any attitudinal estimate, however, several factors impede approximating the percentage of Islamists.

      How much fervor: Gallup polled over 50,000 Muslims across 10 countries and found that, if one defines radicals as those who deemed the 9/11 attacks "completely justified," their number constitutes about 7 percent of the total population. But if one includes Muslims who considered the attacks "largely justified," their ranks jump to 13.5 percent. Adding those who deemed the attacks "somewhat justified" boosts the number of radicals to 36.6 percent. Which figure should one adopt?

       Gauge voter intentions: Elections measure Islamist sentiment untidily, for Islamist parties erratically win support from non-Islamists. Thus, Turkey's Justice and Development Party (AKP) won 47 percent in 2007 elections, 34 percent of the vote in 2002 elections, and its precursor, the Virtue Party, won just 15 percent in 1999. The Islamic Movement's northern faction won 75 percent of the vote in the Israeli Arab city of Umm el-Fahm in 2003 elections while Hamas, the Palestinian terrorist organization, won 44 percent of the vote in the Palestinian Authority in 2006. Which number does one select?

       What to measure: Many polls measure attitudes other than the application of Islamic law. Gallup looks at support for 9/11. The Pew Global Attitudes Project assesses support for suicide bombing. Nawaf Obaid, a Saudi security specialist, focuses on pro-Osama bin Laden views. Germany's domestic security agency, the Verfassungsschutz, counts membership in Islamist organizations. Margaret Nydell of Georgetown University calculates "Islamists who resort to violence."

       Inexplicably varying results: A University of Jordan survey revealed that large majorities of Jordanians, Palestinians, and Egyptians wish the Shari'a to be the only source of Islamic law – but only one-third of Syrians. Indonesian survey and election results led R. William Liddle and Saiful Mujani in 2003 to conclude that the number of Islamists "is no more than 15 percent of the total Indonesian Muslim population." In contrast, a 2008 survey of 8,000 Indonesian Muslims by Roy Morgan Research found 40 percent of Indonesians favoring hadd criminal punishments (such as cutting off the hands of thieves) and 52 per cent favoring some form of Islamic legal code.

The Islamic Supreme Council of America's Hisham Kabbani says 5-10 percent of American Muslims are extremists.

Given these complications, it is not surprising that estimates vary considerably. On the one hand, the Islamic Supreme Council of America's Hisham Kabbani says 5 to 10 percent of American Muslims are extremists and Daniel Yankelovich, a pollster, finds that "the hate-America Islamist fundamentalists … averages about 10 percent of all Muslims." On the other, reviewing ten surveys of British Muslim opinion, I concluded that "more than half of British Muslims want Islamic law and 5 percent endorse violence to achieve that end."

These ambiguous and contradictory percentages lead to no clear, specific count of Islamists. Out of a quantitative mish-mash, I suggested just three days after 9/11 that some 10-15 percent of Muslims are determined Islamists. Subsequent evidence generally confirmed that estimate and suggested, if anything, that the actual numbers might be higher.

Negatively, 10-15 percent suggests that Islamists number about 150 million out of a billion plus Muslims – more than all the fascists and communists who ever lived. Positively, it implies that most Muslims can be swayed against Islamist totalitarianism.

Source: http://www.analyst-network.com/article.php?art_id=2519

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Malaysia bans women from wearing men's clothes and lesbian sexual relations

Malaysian women have been banned from "tom-boyism" and lesbian sexual relations in a fatwa from one of the country's top religious authorities.

By Thomas Bell, South East Asia Correspondent

24 Oct 2008

According to the chairman of the National Fatwa Council, Abdul Shukor Husin, many young women admire the was men dress and behave, which is a denial of their femininity and a violation of human nature.

"It is unacceptable to see women who love the male lifestyle including dressing in the clothes men wear," he complained, adding, "(Masculine behaviour) becomes clearer when they start to have sex with someone of the same gender that is woman and woman."

"In view of this," Dr Abdul explained, "the National Fatwa Council which met today have decided and taken the stand that such acts are forbidden and banned."

Male homosexuality - specifically sodomy - is illegal in Malaysia and punishable with up to twenty years in jail. Accusations of sodomy have twice been levelled against the opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim in what he says are politically motivated attempts to destroy him.

However, lawyers say there is no provision banning lesbian sex in Malaysia's civil code. The latest fatwa appears to be an attempt to push lesbianism towards illegality.

In addition to civil courts, Malaysia operates a parallel Sharia system which has jurisdiction over the country's Muslims.

Islam is multi-ethnic Malaysia's official religion and is practised by 60 per cent of the population who are ethnic Malays. Some members of the ethnic Chinese and Indian minorities complain about rising conservatism in Malaysian Islam.

Women's dress is a particular preoccupation for religious authorities.

In July a provincial city issued guidelines urging women to avoid lipstick and high heels.

Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/malaysia/3250905/Malaysia-bans-women-from-wearing-mens-clothes-and-having-lesbian-sex.html

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Does the Islamic faith itself makes "some of them" turn to terror?

Seema Chishti

Oct 26, 2008

Islam and the Muslims of India, S.S. Gill, Penguin, Rs 299

A book on Islam that is short on facts and credible Insights

It is not as if Islam and the Muslims of India does not have its moments, pages or insights. S.S. Gill's book has some interesting thoughts and assertions, particularly in the last few chapters. "Composite Culture and Secularism", "The Rise of a New Muslim Middle Class" and "Faith and Dogma" are good summaries of the wide writing on the subject and try and touch upon global trends, among Muslims and their impact on India.

There are, however, serious problems with the way the rest of the book has been put together. Islam is a popular subject at the moment, when questions are being raised, especially in the West since 9/11, on whether there is a significant disconnect between Islam and other faiths — to put it more bluntly, a vocal and influential section is wondering if there is something essentially in the faith itself that makes "some of them" turn to terror.

One problem with the book is that it seems to have been written in that context alone and almost attempts to provide half-answers to "problems" about the assimilation of Muslims in India. And many assumptions are made, often at variance with well-documented realities. An example is the thread running through the first few chapters that clerics and madrasas overwhelmingly influence Muslim public opinion and mindset. Given the experience, data and anecdotal evidence over the past few decades, both propositions are disputable, if not outright incorrect. The role of clerics and Islamic scholars has been minimal and is not growing; take the Shahi Imam, for instance, mistakenly seen as a focal point for determining Muslim public opinion in the late 1970s and early '80s. But his writ hardly runs even in Urdu bazaar, in the neighbourhood of the Jama Masjid. Even as far back as Partition, whatever may have been the role of Muslim clerics subsequently, the primum mobile for the exercise were sophisticated politicos who discovered a way to power the experience of feeling "Muslim" to a political lever to suit their ends — they were not mullahs or muezzins by any standards.

Also, as far as madrasa education goes, even if one includes the children who go to "regular" schools and to madrasas only for an hour or so to learn about their faith, the total percentage of Muslim children in madrasas is 4 (according to the data compiled by the PM's Committee on the Status of Muslims). Muslims vie to give their children a good, mainstream education, and madrasas are only a reflection many times over of the collapse of Government schools, a fact ignored by the author.

Gill seems convinced that the "community" needs to "break the stranglehold of the Ulema" (page 62) in order to reform and modernise. But this seems to be based on little evidence, work or insight; it qualifies more as a predilection. There is more in the book that seems surprising for a work that claims to "correct common misconceptions among non-Muslims about Islam". The chapter on the spread of Islam in India ends with a thought: "would it not be a measure of sagacity and long-term self-interest to give up this constitutional right to proselytise in the interests of communal harmony and peace?" The right to practise preach and profess any faith, has been the touchstone of Indian secularism, this idea, that conversions are what are making it difficult for Muslims to be one with the idea of India, seems bizarre at best.

But, most of all, the way the book is conceived as plotting the history of Muslims in India is what makes sure that it is fraught with problems, not to mention sweeping asides which fly in the face of facts. South of the Vindhyas, Islam is a powerful force and there are as many types of Muslims in India as there are types of mangoes to argue about in each state. This reality finds little reflection in the book.

Source: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/within-belief/377564/0

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Granta 103: Making sense of British jihad

Unlocking the mystery of why militant Islam continues to grow

Islamists exploit the emotions of a single identity, forsake reason and peaceful persuasion for violence.

New Delhi October 25, 2008,

While the Batla House debate over police action against alleged terrorists in Delhi's Jamia Nagar, a predominantly Muslim colony, continues unabated, outsiders are asking two questions. First, that old chestnut that while all Muslims are not terrorists, why is it that all terrorists happen to be Muslims? Two, at a deeper philosophical level, what is it in Islam, unlike other religious groups, that drives its youth to become suicide bombers? Why do their educated middle classes, that have had the best of both worlds, east and west, become militant radicals prepared to give up their lives for a supposed paradise in the other world? Is it because there is no place for doubt in Islam and they accept what is taught to them as the absolute truth? After all, the 19 suicide bombers of 9/11, the London bombings of July 7, 2005 (and other suicide bombings in Pakistan and elsewhere), were perpetuated by educated young men, largely brought up and educated in the west, and who honestly believed that a better world awaited them. Granta 103, the quarterly British literary journal (Special Indian price, £3.99) examines the phenomenon of the rise of the British jihad as its lead story in The One True God, Allah, along with other features, a mix of fiction, non-fiction and photoessays on British troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

First, the facts on British jihadis. There are, at present in Britain, at least 200 indigenous active terrorist cells that are being monitored by the internal security service, MI5, with 4,000 British Muslims considered to be a threat to national security. How did Britain arrive at this state of affairs with all its security apparatus and its strict immigration policies? Richard Watson, an investigative journalist with the BBC who specialises in Islamist extremism and terrorism, does a hands-on job by interviewing the usual suspects, checking out their backgrounds, and how and why they were won over to the Islamic cause. So, he says that the "terrorist threat posed by Muslim extremists is specific and predictable, with mappable links criss-crossing their way back to the early 1990s when radical clerics were allowed to settle and work in Britain."

Watson goes deep into the past of leading Islamic extremists, the influence of the Egyptian cleric, Sayyid Qutb (1906-1966) whose book Milestones ("Islam cannot accept or agree to a situation which is half Islam and half jahiliyya") has become the Bible for al-Qaeda and other Islamic groups. But you have to read these interviews between the lines to get a hang of what makes jihadis click and why their numbers will continue to grow.

And it is this: militant Islam reduces sentient beings to single identities, when in fact we have multiple identities—nationality, religion, family, class, gender, income group and so on. Islamists exploit the emotions of a single identity, forsake reason and peaceful persuasion for violence. There is a fanaticism inherent in identity politics that reminds you of what Jonathan Swift said nearly two centuries ago: "You cannot reason someone out of something he has not been reasoned into." Very simply what each of these interviews reveal is that we are dealing with captive minds that have closed all windows to the wider world outside.

Anthologies of short stories inevitably provoke a mixed response. But their great advantage is their variety, the promise of containing something for every reader—dipping backwards and forwards, you can put it down, wander around, and then come back to it afresh.

So we have Binyavanga Wainaina on what it means to be Kenyan, Catherine O'Flynn trying to make sense of a chaotic world, Aleksandar Hemon's Subject + Object on a shining monument of the world of mourning, Carol Ann Duffy's poem, The Woman in the Moon, plus fiction pieces and the photoessay on British troops trapped in Iraq and Afghanistan. And there's much more.

Source: http://www.business-standard.com/india/storypage.php?autono=338389

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Jerusalem stabbing: Terrorist's family affiliated with Islamic Jihad

Police interrogation of Palestinian who killed 86-year-old Israeli on Thursday reveals that he apparently acted alone, bought knife on morning of attack

Efrat Weiss

10.24.08, Israel News

Police said Friday that the interrogation of the Palestinian terrorist who killed an 86-year-old Israeli civilian and wounded an officer during a stabbing attack in Jerusalem's Gilo neighbourhood Thursday morning revealed that he had apparently acted alone despite the fact that his family is affiliated with Islamic Jihad.

It was further revealed that the terrorist, 21-year-old Muhammad al- Badan, bought the knife he used to stab the Israelis on the morning of the attack.

Following the attack IDF troops raided the terrorist's home village of Tekoa, located near Bethlehem in the West Bank in search of suspects involved in the lethal stabbing.

A soldier sustained light wounds as forces clashed with local residents near the terrorist's home; a Palestinian man reportedly sustained light to moderate wounds in the clashes.

The troops entered the village in order to apprehend terror suspects possibly connected to Thursday's attack. The terrorist's sister and her husband were among those detained by the forces.

Source: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3612671,00.html

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A Jihad for Love

24 October 2008

Last night, as part of the program of "Le Festival des Liberties"- A Jihad for Love, a documentary directed by Parvez Sharma - was screened in front of a tiny but responding audience. The film itself travelled the world and has been world-wide acclaimed in various festivals such as Toronto or Berlin film festival before stepping by Brussels.

A Jihad for Love is the first documentary ever made that very explicitly combine the themes of Islam and Homosexuality and which deeply explores the antagonism between a dogma and individual freedom. The title at first might tickle the ears, might interrogate, but don't look for any form of provocation toward the Islamic world in there, for there isn't even an inch of it. Indeed, the term "Jihad" refers to the wide concept of "Struggle", and in that context, surely does not refer to the meaning of "holy war". From that point, Sharma precisely demonstrates that Love, whatever form it might embrace – pagan or divine - is always a struggle.

Shot in twelve different countries and using nine languages, the message is obviously reaching a universalism. And the personal tales of the characters is sublimed by this feeling. All of them, beyond sharing a deep-rooted religious sense, have all experienced the reject by their society, sometimes by their own family. And reject, depending on the countries they are from, may level up from banishment to stone death. And there, irremediably, sneaks in the question of Faith. How can you possibly maintain this high relation with a god when people in its name are trying to erase you as if you were nothing meaningful enough to remain?

If homosexuality all across the world is a subject that still needs to be defended, mixing it with religion suddenly makes of it a bomb waiting to explode. Because love and devotion cannot be rationalized, they can only – if supposedly opposed – crash into each other. A perfectly example of that impossible communication is the scene where one of the boy in India tries to discuss his sexual orientation with his Imam asking him for help. The man will reply that god will make him change in order to save him. Two voices raise up but unable to rejoin in any way. That's what the whole contain of the film is about: yet another struggle.

Of course the authenticity of the images speaks directly to the heart and probably less to the mind. But for once a Muslim director is rising up his voice and within his voice, the voices of those who are kept speechless and that is also what makes "A Jihad for Love" that powerful. The permanent melancholy that emanates, as we're following the sinuous paths of those people, emphasizes the unknown of their fate. All of them have rejoined western countries to start anew, but we easily feel that this new world they're approaching will not bring any relief, any tranquillity for their mind but in fact may carry on stigmatizing them over again, though in a different way.

A Jihad for love does not pretend to have an answer on this delicate question: do Islam and Homosexuality can at some point meet up. Parvez Sharma is modest enough in his filming to recollect and offer different views, different stories and stick to it. Nevertheless, he questions each one of us, forces us to react and at the very same time he portrays with an impeccable fair eye each one of his characters. The documentary has received many prizes in various film festivals; the least we can say is that it deserved each one of them. Source: http://www.indymedia.be/nl/node/30091

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Solution to Global Financial Crisis is in Quran says Worldwide Islamic Leader

Oct. 24, 2008

LONDON, October 24, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- - Head of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Leads Prayers Following Historic Reception in Houses of Parliament

A worldwide Islamic leader yesterday addressed MPs and ministers in the House of Commons with a faith-inspired solution to the global credit crisis.

Before leading prayers in the seat of Parliament, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, voiced his fears to 40 MPs, Ministers, Peers as well as ambassadors of a number of countries, that a third world war was a distinct threat.

Political and economic injustice was at the root cause of this threat. The Khalifa said:

"If we survey the last few centuries impartially, we will notice that the wars were not really religious wars. They were more geopolitical in nature. Even in today's conflicts and hostilities amongst nations, we notice that they arise from political, territorial and economic interests.

"It is my fear that in view of the direction in which things are moving today, the political and economic dynamics of the countries of the world may lead to a world war. It is not only the poorer countries of the world, but also the richer nations that are being affected by this. Therefore, it is the duty of the superpowers to sit down and find a solution to save humanity from the brink of disaster."

He added that the solution to the global credit crisis was in religious texts including Quran bestowed to humanity thousands of years ago. Usury, he said, was a fundamental evil - akin to one that Satan had smitten with insanity.

"A major issue today is the economic crisis of what has been termed as the credit crunch. The Holy Quran guided us by saying avoid interest because interest is such a curse that it is a danger for domestic, national and international peace."

Describing the community as 'a standard bearer for the true teachings of Islam' the Khalifa concluded that every Ahmadi Muslim was loyal to the host country, as per Islamic injunction. He condemned extremism and violence perpetrated in the name of religion as having no basis in Islam.

The keynote address was lauded by Ministers and MPs who also praised the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community for their interfaith work and peaceful interaction with others.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown sent a message of support to the community on the occasion of it marking its Khilafat centenary, 100 years of spiritual leadership in Islam:

"I hope the British Ahmadiyya Muslim Community will continue to work for peace and tolerance and towards interfaith dialogue both here and abroad."

The community was welcomed to the Houses of Parliament by Justine Greening MP in whose constituency in Putney the first mosque in London was built in 1924. She said:

"You have played a key positive and vital role in my constituency and your motto of Love for All, Hatred for None is one the whole community could adhere to."

Foreign Office Minister Gillian Merron MP said: "The work of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is extremely important - it gives a voice to those who are marginalized in their own societies. Today we see a unique perspective brought to our work on human rights, particularly of freedom of religion. Through your contribution, our human rights policy is stronger and better."

Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government the Rt Hon Hazel Blears MP said: "The basis of values of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community was tremendously important. The community motto, Love for All, Hatred for None, was a simple way of encapsulating a powerful message."

Further messages were delivered by Lord Eric Avebury, Dominic Grieve MP, Alan Keen MP, Simon Hughes MP, and Cllr Louise Hyams the Lord Mayor of Westminster.

NOTE TO EDITORS

The Ahmadiyya Muslim community was founded in 1889 by Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, India. On the basis of Divine guidance, he claimed that he was the Promised Messiah and the Mahdi (Reformer) awaited by people of all faiths. By the time of his demise in 1908, tens of thousands of people had accepted him. The community has since spread all over the world and has been promoting Islam's message of peace, love and tolerance. Ahmadis reject violence, are loyal to their country of residence and support complete freedom of religion for all. Ahmadi Muslims are estimated to be about 160 million spread across 192 countries. The community runs schools, hospitals and clinics in many parts of the world and through its charity, Humanity First, is actively involved in disaster response, water wells and gift of sight programmes. The founder of the community was succeeded by Khilafat, a system of spiritual leadership. The current Khalifa, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, is the fifth Khalifa of the community. He guides the community to act in accordance with all Islamic injunctions rather than simply proclaim Islam's greatness. The community was established in the UK in 1914. It is one of the oldest Muslim communities in the UK and built the first mosque in London in 1924, known as The London Mosque. In 2003 the community opened the largest mosque in Western Europe in Morden, Surrey, The Baitul Futuh Mosque, which can accommodate 10,000 people. The community has 90 branches across Britain and operates its own 24-hour satellite TV station from the UK, MTA International, on Sky channel 787. The National Chairman of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in the UK is Mr Rafiq Hayat.

For further information contact Dr Basharat Nazir, National Press Secretary, Email media@ahmadiyya.org.uk, Tel +44(0)7703-483-384

SOURCE Ahmadiyya Muslim Association UK

Copyright (C) 2008 PR Newswire. All rights reserved End of Story

Source: http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/solution-global-financial-crisis-quran/story.aspx?guid={8CE07F58-B07E-46F6-A260-E2433B56EF5F}&dist=hppr

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Kyrgyz Youth thinks that US is a threat to Islam, but dreams about living and studying there

24/10-2008 Bishkek – News Agency

Social Research Center under the jurisdiction of the American University of Central Asia held a presentation of the students' research project called Islam and Youth, under the supervision of Kadyr Malikov, doctor of political sciences and Madrid University Islamic researches, Institute of Strategic Analysis and Prognosis of Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University expert. He shared the results of the research with the news agency "24.kg".

Kadyr Kurmanbekovich, what was the goal of the research?

Today, every one of us is politicized, no matter whether he is an atheist or a believer. Our society has a lot of problems-economic, political, that is why Islamic factor has no way but to get politicized. But what is not normal and dangerous is radicalization of the faith, no tolerance and extremism. A lot depends on how much of knowledge about Islam a faithful has. This concern is actual in terms of current youth. Do you know that for example Hizb-ut Tahrir organization is almost 100 percent consists of young activists? And every ignorant believer only discredits faith. It is relevant to Islam too. Religious youth radicalization is not an abstract process. It is explained by certain clashes among political parties, movements, and also unemployment, social instability, injustice, lack of the meaningful and comprehensive information on Islam.

We can avoid radicalization of believing youth. For that we need to find a balance in our interests, rights and responsibilities, learn to hold a dialogue. Only then we can reach a high level of religious awareness and successful adaptation of Islamic scriptures to secular laws. But neither Kyrgyz secular authority nor Kyrgyz religious leaders are ready for it. All we have right now is a conflict situation that contains in religious sphere and in governmental relations with Islam. That is why this decision was made: to conduct a poll on youth's mood towards Islam and level of their awareness, what moral frames they have and what is their position today.

What was the method of the research?

We used the method of electoral questionnaire. It was held mostly in secular universities of Bishkek and Osh. The average age of respondents 15-25 years old. There were 307 of respondents.

And what are the conclusions?

First of all we found out that most of the secular universities' students do not practice religious rituals at all. However there is a tendency of religiosity growth among youth, averagely 25-30 percent of respondents, who not regularly, but attend Friday Namaz in mosques.

It is worth noting that there are different interpretations of Islam among youth. For example, 28.14 percent of respondents except Islam as traditional one, 26.63 think it is secular, 20.85 percent of respondents think that Islam has a political flavor and only 7.29 think that Islam is a religious sect. All this can be explained by the difference of information sources and lack of objective data. Comparing the youth poll that was held in 2003, we can see clearly that in 2008 number of people who attend Friday Namaz dramatically increased.

It is also interesting that over 52.76 percent of the youth consider themselves as non religious. However 62.8 identify themselves first of all as Muslims and only then-Kyrgyz. The research showed that the youth searches moral values, political and ideological system and not only tradition in Islam. We can talk about quality change in youth identification: now the identification is more focused on religion. But over the half of respondents answered that the Islam for them is only religion, whereas 32.66 percent of respondents think that it is not only religion, but also an ideology (politics.)

There is a tendency of informational demand about political events in the Islamic world (64.6 percent of respondents.) However, analyzing poll's results we can see that secular youth's knowledge about Islam mostly is based on stereotypes, and not on the exact data. There is also a factor called The Other Factor, where a lot of young men and women express not their own position, but rather the position of the authority, or a traditional position, according to their opinion. More to that, there are controversial sources, and each of them interpret different understanding about Islam. It is notable that the respondents sometimes do not feel the difference between Islam and political Islam, and their answers bare the controversial nature. 

35.9 percent of respondents consider there is a threat to Islam, at the same time 79.1 percent feel it in the external factor (they are concerned about American missioners, U.S. policy, Kafirs), and only 6.13 percent link to the internal factors (terrorism, incorrect understanding of Islam.)

Most of respondents are positive about high political authorities' participation in religious rituals (51 percent answered certain, 35 percent- uncertain.)

Overall 66.9 percent of respondents do not mind the religious people to form their own political parties, 61.3 percent think that politician-believer is a good thing, and 75.16 percent think it is possible for Muslims to participate in secular politics.

Near 40 percent of respondents are certain that the religion has to be separated from the state, at the same time 48 percent from all of respondents answered that Islam has to play an important role in the society, but Kyrgyzstan has to stay a secular state, 28.1 percent think that Islam has to be the basis for the governmental ideology.

51 percent of the youth see the future Kyrgyzstan with mixed ideology: secular system-Islamic values, bringing the example of Malaysia and Turkey. 14.32 percent see Kyrgyzstan purely Islamic, like Iran or Saudi Arabia. And only 1.26 percent sees Kyrgyzstan as a democratic country, like the United States. At the same time most of the respondents wanted to live or be educated in the U.S.

To the question how well Mass Media covers Islamic issues, 34.4 percent of respondents answered that it is proposed as a threat, whereas 32 percent sees it as an objective information about Islam, 12 percent consider Mass Media as an Islamic brainwash, 10.3 percent answered that the journalists cover Islam differently, and 10.7 percent struggled to answer.

What can you comment on these results?

The data that was received makes one to think. The only conclusion that comes to the mind is that society, religion and authority become interdependent. That is why we have to understand that the government has to join secular values with their citizens' religious specifics. Authorities have to recognize that all the state's citizens, both believers and atheists are united by shared responsibility for the stability and socio-economic development of their country, their equal rights. And moderate Islam, as a religious value system, can be a base or be a part of ideology in straightening national statehood of the secular state with general Islamic values. The reason is that a moderate Islam with its secular nature can play a progressive role and fight with religious extremism ideology and radicalism with state's authority, be a base ground for social and spiritual renaissance of the society and its progress.

URL: http://eng.24.kg/community/2008/10/24/6368.html

Source: http://eng.24.kg/community/2008/10/24/6368.html

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Perlis Mufti Suggests Subject of Interfaith Relations

KANGAR, Oct 24 (Bernama) -- Perlis Mufti Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin has proposed that the Education Ministry introduce the subject of interfaith relations to forge harmony among Malaysia's multicultural and multireligious society.

He said the subject, specificallly for Muslim students, would expose them to Islamic principles, culture and jurisprudence for better interaction with non-Muslims.

"With a wide understanding of Islam and free from narrow and obsolete thinking, interaction between Muslims and non-Muslims could be an avenue for promoting the beauty of Islam," the 37-year-old mufti told reporters at his office, here today.

"In a multiracial country like Malaysia, increasing misconception and suspicion among the races calls for the subject to be introduced fast," he said, adding that the proposal had been made before in 2007 but was not taken up.

Mohd Asli also commended the suggestion by Kulim/Bandar Baru Member of Parliament (MP) Zulkifli Noordin that the government build a Chinese mosque in Kuala Lumpur with its activities and sermons conducted in Mandarin.

He said he had also raised the matter in 2007 but was met with objection from narrow-minded Muslims.

"This group of Muslims think that Islam in Malaysia means Malay identity, whereas the Chinese community in this country has for a long while requested for a Chinese mosque."

He also said that after more than 50 years of independence, there were still many non-Muslims who had no understanding of Islam and associated all the negative attitudes of the Malays to Islam.

He hoped the Chinese mosque would become a reality so that the large Chinese community in the country could understand Islam better.

He also praised the MP (Zulkifli) from Parti Keadilan Rakyat for being courageous to criticise his own party for Islam.

"I don't agree with everything, but he should be praised for not following blindly, because Islam forbids Muslims from following individuals or a party without thinking, or supporting anything even if it goes against the principles they believe in," he said.

Mohd Asri said a renewal process for politicians was needed so that they would not follow their party's actions blindly.   -- BERNAMA

Source: http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v5/newsgeneral.php?id=367078

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Investment Expert reaches out, educates Muslims

By Russ Wiles - Oct. 24, 2008

The Arizona Republic

During rough stretches in the stock market, a lot of investors flee to cash. But that's a bit harder to do for Monem Salam.

He's the deputy portfolio manager of Amana Trust Income and Amana Trust Growth, two mutual funds that invest according to the principles of Islam. That means they must shy away from interest-bearing investments while also avoiding shares of companies involved with alcohol, gambling, pornography, pork products and banking.

When other investors flee into Treasury bills, money-market mutual funds and other investments paying a small yield, Amana must hold its cash in non-interest-bearing bank accounts.

"Muslims aren't allowed to deal with interest," said Salam during a stop in Phoenix to help promote the two funds.

With 30 percent of the funds' $1.3 billion in combined assets currently in cash, that's a large amount of money sitting around earning nothing.

Still, all that hasn't hurt the funds' performance much. Both enjoy top five-star ratings from researcher Morningstar Inc., making them popular with Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

The Income fund can and does seek out dividend-paying stocks, but not interest from bonds or cash instruments.

Both funds (1-800-728-8762) accept minimum investments as low as $250, or $100 for individual retirement accounts.

Salam, who grew up in Texas but works at Saturna Capital in Bellingham, Wash., expects more turmoil for the stock market as the economy meanders through what he expects will be a drawn-out recession. He describes the funds' stance as more cautious than bearish.

Many of the stocks the funds own are somewhat recession-resistant, such as Family Dollar Stores and Ritchie Brothers Auctioneers. Other holdings include Nike, Amgen, Apple and Adobe Systems.

Because many of the funds' shareholders are immigrants from Islamic nations lacking much of a stock market, Salam spends a lot of his time on the road educating them about investing.

"Usually it's one community, one mosque at a time," said Salam, who estimates he has visited 500 Islamic centers over the past four years. Source: http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/business/articles/2008/10/24/20081024biz-Muslim1024.html

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Israel invites Cat Stevens then tells him 'stay away'

By Donald Macintyre in Jerusalem

24 Oct 2008

Cat Stevens: He wanted to add words to his hit 'Peace Train' at Peres concert

What are these?

The British Muslim singer Yusuf Islam has lost the chance to sing "Peace Train", the hit he made world-famous as Cat Stevens, in Israel after his planned visit to the country was cancelled by the hosts who originally invited him.

Islam was to perform at the high-profile 10th anniversary celebrations in Tel Aviv of The Peres Centre for Peace, a leading organisation founded by Israel's present President, Shimon Peres, and devoted to improving Israeli-Palestinian relations. But the centre confirmed yesterday that the star – who was refused entry to Israel on security grounds eight years ago – would not now be coming after a "re-evaluation".

The terse statement added no details but it was issued after a report in Israel's largest circulation newspaper Yedhiot Ahronot which said that Islam, 60, had been enthusiastic about the trip and had asked to add words to his 1971 hit –covered among others by Dolly Parton—in support of peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

The paper quoted the centre director, Uri Savir as saying: "The idea to bring Stevens to Israel sparked a huge row the moment it was made public, and we sent his passport number to a conventional security check. We took the matter into consideration and decided to cancel this idea. Cat Stevens will not arrive in Israel at the moment."

The singer, philanthropist and chairman of the Islamia Schools Trust, has criticised as being against the Islamic faith "crimes against innocent bystanders" committed by Muslims, including the 9/11 attacks and the 2004 school seizure in Beslan which left more than 300 dead. In 2000, the Interior Ministry had said Islam, who became a Muslim in 1977, had been "transferring donations and funds to Islamic elements hostile to Israel".

Source: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/israel-invites-cat-stevens-then-tells-him-stay-away-971498.html

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Jihad links to terror suspect

Nicola Dowling

24 Oct 2008

A TAPE called Islam Terrorism and the New World Order and others of `Jihad songs' were found at the home of a Manchester taxi driver, a court heard.

Books in the house of Habib Ahmed and his wife, Mehreen Haji, included one entitled Masterminds of Terror and The Osama Bin Laden I Know.

A picture showing Habib next to cleric Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed - leader of the al-Muhajiroun group - was also found by police.

Omar Bakri performed the marriage ceremony for the couple accused of terrorist offences, Manchester Crown Court was told.

The snap of Omar Bakri at the wedding celebrations was one of a number of items found at the Cheetham Hill house.

It was shown to a jury along with a wedding certificate bearing the cleric's signature.

The signature of a man called Hassan Butt also featured on marriage documents.

Holy war

The jury was shown stories from the M.E.N. and the Daily Mirror featuring interviews with Mr Butt in which he said he had recruited fighters for the Taliban and backed terrorist attacks on Britain.

They were also shown a document found at the couple's house entitled What Can I do to Help as a Sister? Which urges Muslim women to sell their valuables to raise money for Jihad, send their sons and husbands to fight the holy war and pray for their martyrdom.

The court heard how other items found at the couple's house - and confiscated by police - included a bumbag containing thousands of pounds, Pakistani travel documents, a flyer for a Russian martial arts summer camp, speeches by Omar Bakri and maps of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

A black flag found in the washing basket was said to be a symbol of al-Muhajiroun.

The prosecution say both Habib, 28, and co-accused Rangzieb Ahmed, 33, of Barnston Avenue, Fallowfield, were members of al-Qaeda who had the names and contact details of high-ranking members of the terrorist organisation written in notebooks in invisible ink.

Habib is accused of attending a terror training camp, while Rangzieb is accused of directing terrorism and having a rucksack containing traces of explosives.

Mehreen, 27, is accused of funding terrorism to the tune of nearly £4,000.

All deny the charges. Source: http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/s/1075509__jihad_links_to_terror_suspect

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Allegations on budget intended to mislead people - Jihad

24 October 2008

Source: http://miadhu.com.mv/news.php?id=8201

The opposition's allegations over state treasury and government budget is spurious allegations intended to mislead and scare the Maldivian people, DRP member and finance minister Abdullah Jihad has said.

Finance minister Jihad speaking at the media briefing held at Maumoon 2008 campaign office rejected the opposition allegations as spurious and unfounded. He said the 2008 state budget has a deficit of Rf. 2.4 Billion due to 2 mega projects, Ha atoll Transshipment Harbor and reclamation of Kaafu atoll Gulhi Harbor expected to generate funds failed to materialize. He also said responsible steps have been taken counter the deficit.

The opposition claims that government borrowed Rf 80 Million from the national telecom service provider Dhiraagu is not a loan as claimed by opposition leaders but that it was amount due to the government from Dhiraagu, minister said. He said several other companies with government interests owe money to the government.

Responding opposition claims that the state reserve went down from US $ 308 million to US $ 258 million, Jihad said the reason for the decrease due to a loan issued to State Electric Company (STELCO) due to recent global high oil prices.

State minister for finance and treasury Rilwan Shareef also spoke at the media briefing. Speaking on the opposition arguments that foreign donors have stopped their aid Rilwan said that the government is always working on getting foreign aid. In this the state minister noted that government was working on getting aid from France and Luxemburg.

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