Monthly Archives: June 2015

Are We Seeing the End of Homeopathy?

Are We Seeing the End of Homeopathy?

Several years ago, during a lecture on Science-Based Medicine, I noted that if there were one medical pseudoscience that was vulnerable to extinction it was homeopathy. Homeopathy is perhaps the most obviously absurd medical pseudoscience. It is also widely studied, and has been clearly shown to not work. Further, there is a huge gap in the public understanding of what homeopathy is; it therefore seems plausible that the popularity of homeopathy can take a huge hit just by telling the public what it actually is.

Further, homeopathy is in a precarious regulatory position. Homeopathic products are presented and regulated as drugs, but clearly they are not, and they are also not supplements, herbal drugs, nutrition-based, or natural products. They are simply fraudulent drugs riding a wave of ignorance.

In the last few years homeopathy has had a rough time. While the industry is still growing, there are signs of clear trouble on the horizon. Let’s review:

Some Background

Homeopathy is a 200 year old pre-scientific system of medicine based upon magical thinking. It is mostly based on two notions, the first of which is that like cures like. In other words, a substance that causes a symptom can cure that symptom in extremely low doses. There is no scientific basis for this, despite the desperate attempts by homeopaths to invoke vaccine-like analogies, or their new favorite, hormesis.

The second notion is that you make a remedy more powerful by diluting it to extreme degrees. People have fun making comparisons, such as the need to drink a solar-system’s worth of water to have a 50% chance of getting a single molecule of active ingredient. No problem, say the homeopaths, homeopathic potions contain the magical “essence” of what was previously diluted in them. It’s turtles all the way down.

Homeopaths are also hoist with their own petard when it comes to the evidence. Rigorous clinical trials of homeopathy are frustratingly (but not surprisingly) negative. Homeopaths explain this away by saying that double-blind placebo controlled trials are not really appropriate for homeopathic treatments. Such studies take a cookie-cutter approach to treatment, while real homeopathy individualizes the treatment to the patient. This argument, however, just creates two even more serious problems.

The first is that whenever homeopaths use this argument they throw the entire homeopathic industry under the bus. They are essentially saying that all over the counter (OTC) homeopathic products are useless, and even fraudulent. I would be happy to stipulate to this, and erase the entire OTC homeopathic product industry. We can then deal with homeopathic practitioners separately.

The second problem is the manner in which homeopathic treatments are individualized. This also is not based on any scientific principle or set of reliable empirical data. It’s all magic and witchcraft. Quirky traits, like whether someone is weepy, are used to determine their optimal treatment. There is also no consistency among homeopaths – see ten different homeopaths and you may get ten different treatments. This has more in common with an astrological reading than medicine. It is an elaborate system of utter nonsense.

Troubled Waters

Word that homeopathy is complete bollocks is starting to get out. In 2010 the UK House of Commons Science and Technology Committee completed a full report on homeopathy in which they concluded it is witchcraft – that it cannot work, it does not work, and support for homeopathy in the national health service should be completely eliminated. In 2015 the Australian government completed its own review, concluding that there is no evidence that homeopathy works for anything. Homeopathy is a placebo.

Homeopaths like to point to the favorable Swiss government review. However, as I have explained in detail previously, even the biased Swiss report, which was packed with homeopaths specifically to give a favorable review, could not conclude that there is rigorous evidence showing homeopathy works. They had to resort to arguing for lower quality evidence.

This was all just the beginning. The FDA and the FTC in the United States are now both receiving testimony,questioning their current regulation of homeopathy. Currently the FDA essentially doesn’t regulate homeopathy, even though the law tasks them to do so. They let the homeopathic industry regulate itself, but they are questioning this in light of the exploding OTC homeopathic product industry. This is a good thing. Any change is likely to be an improvement. Likewise, the FTC is accepting comments on how it can better regulate the advertising of homeopathic products.

There is even a possibility that the FDA will decide to do their actual job – require testing of homeopathic products to demonstrate efficacy before allowing them on the market. If they do this simple and obvious thing, the homeopathic industry in the US will vanish over night, because there is no evidence to support any homeopathic product for any indication. They will have to endure the outrage of quacks, charlatans, and the deluded, but hey, that’s their job. Suck it up.

While I hold out a sliver of hope, I am realistic about the political realities here. Doing the right thing because it is right, even when bold and courageous action is required, is a rarity in politics. Further, Congress may quickly take away any victory, even before they are enacted, by changing the law and taking away the FDAs power to regulate homeopathy. That is a fight I would love to have, however. At least it’s a fight.

Another outcome that is less than total victory but at least is an improvement is truth in labeling and advertising. Homeopathic products should be labeled so it is absolutely clear what they are – what the actual ingredients are in plain language, and in what amounts. Also, if the labels could not pretend to be real medicine, and make claims not supported by evidence, that would be a good thing.

Maybe then we could put pressure on pharmacies to stop selling them. This is also happening. The Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s chief scientist just wrote an editorial in which she writes:

The public have a right to expect pharmacists and other health professionals to be open and honest about the effectiveness and limitations of treatments. Surely it is now the time for pharmacists to cast homeopathy from the shelves and focus on scientifically based treatments backed by clear clinical evidence.

Some individual pharmacists at taking a stand, and throwing away their homeopathic products.

Conclusion

Homeopathy is obvious pseudoscience and magic that has no place in a modern society. It cannot work and it does not work. It is simply an expensive placebo.

All we need now is the political will to acknowledge these clear facts and regulate homeopathic products as they should be – essentially by banning them as fraudulent. Nothing short of that is honest or fulfills our duty to the public.

I would, however, welcome any partial victories that are a clear improvement over the current situation. Right now we have a clear window, with the FDA and FTC reviews. This is a good time to push public awareness of what nonsense homeopathy actually is.

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8 responses so far

8 Responses to “Are We Seeing the End of Homeopathy?”

  1. zenoon 19 Jun 2015 at 8:35 am

    Read the full details of the decline in homeopathy on the NHS – including a few more charts! – on my website: The (further) decline of homeopathy on the NHS – The Nightingale Collaboration

  2. carbonUniton 19 Jun 2015 at 9:18 am

    In the comments for yesterday’s SBM article Homeopathic industry and its acolytes make poor showing before FDA I asked if there’s a safe way to do a homeopathic sleeping pill overdose. Never got an answer. I’d like to do it for the manager of a local upscale grocery store with a homeopathic meds section. I’m concerned that there may be contaminants or other non-inert ingredients which would make bottle scale consumption dangerous. How can one tell? Is there a site which evaluates this stuff?

    I’d like to see them go after the stuff labeled “homeopathic” even though it contains ingredients in real quantities. (One has to wonder what the “real” homeopaths think of this dilution of their brand…) I think many consumers think homeopathy means “home remedy”.

  3. Pete Aon 19 Jun 2015 at 9:36 am

    What I find so absurd and appalling is that it has taken 173 years to finally get the message across to physicians, politicians, and the general public that homeopathy is “complete bollocks” [I prefer the more accurate term “total utter bollocks”].

    Homoeopathy and Its Kindred Delusions (1842) by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
    https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Homoeopathy_and_Its_Kindred_Delusions

    Quackery Unmasked (1858) by Dan King, MD.
    https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Quackery_Unmasked

  4. LCon 19 Jun 2015 at 12:55 pm

    Here’s a compromise solution that would be effective — subject the homeopathic industry to regulation and testing requirements equivalent to what pharmaceutical drugs undergo, until JUST ONE homeopathic nostrum demonstrates clear evidence of efficacy under rigorous clinical testing. When they can do that just once, we agree to throw open the doors and let ‘em all back in.

  5. RNAworldon 19 Jun 2015 at 3:30 pm

    I have noticed that a lot of patients really swear by their homeopathic remedies, but if you inform them that homeopathy is just pure water they don’t believe it. I have also seen other patients that use herbal remedies but they call that homeopathy so they aren’t really clear on the differences.
    http://darwinskidneys.blogspot.com/

  6. BillyJoe7on 19 Jun 2015 at 5:42 pm

    “Homeopaths explain this away by saying that double-blind placebo controlled trials are not really appropriate for homeopathic treatments”

    It’s simple in the extreme.
    Just have the homoeopaths do what they always do, but have someone else dispense the actual homoeopathic product they recommend. The dispenser then randomly gives the patient the homoeopathic product prescribed by the homoeopath or substitutes a placebo (I’m aware of the irony!).
    No problem.

  7. Newcoasteron 21 Jun 2015 at 12:50 pm

    @CarbonUnit

    I gave a talk several years ago at a local “elder college” on sCAM, and one of the things I did during the 2 hr lecture and Q&A was consume an entire bottle of 30C homeopathic sleeping pills (inspired by James Randi who has done this demonstration many times) It was like eating blackboard chalk, and I was actually close to choking a couple of times. I assumed that “proper” homeopathic principals were followed, and that I was just consuming a starch tablet. I was fine, and I know lots of skeptic groups do this as a stunt every October for the 10:23 campaigns, and I’m not aware that anyone has ever been harmed.

    It didn’t occur to me until afterwards, what if there really was some adulterant (like an ACTUAL pharmaceutical). It is a concern, as we know that there have been adulterants and contaminants found in herbals, supplements and “natural” products. There’s no reason that the commercial homeopathic industry couldn’t do that as well, so skeptics who want to try this stunt should probably be cautious.

  8. MaryMon 21 Jun 2015 at 5:25 pm

    Wait–doesn’t that mean it is *more potent* now…? Sorry. I took the obvious joke.

    But that said, I have submitted comments to both the FDA and FTC. Please, evidence-based folks, write something. You know it will be swamped with nonsense. [Wait, maybe that’s less helpful then…?] Nonsense is so confusing.

    But I really feel for folks who are being robbed by peddlers of ineffective treatments. Many of them are going to be the most adrift because of lack of access to medical care for financial reasons, or they don’t have the education to assess the claims.

    Unfortunately I was also able to add the recent death of that child as one of the reasons that people need protection from these absurd products.

    I hope something comes of the US efforts. Unlike single payer systems, we don’t have the same levers to work with–like wasting tax dollars, and centralized decision makers on effectiveness.

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Muslim law board attacks government over Yoga

 
modiyoga759PM Narendra Modi on Yoga Day at Rajpath. (Source: PTI)
By: Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Updated: June 23, 2015 7:28 pm

 

In a scathing attack on the NDA government, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has accused it of violating the Constitution of secular India and implementing the RSS agenda by introducing practices such as Yoga and ‘Surya namaskar’.

Reaching out directly to Muslim organisations and Imams, the apex body representing Muslims in the country, also said the community should remain “cautious” as there are organisations that are “attacking” Islamic beliefs.

The AIMPLB slammed the government’s move to push for yoga, saying it’s a violation of the secular Constitution, which does not allow the promotion of religious activities by the government.

“In the present scenario, the government and under its garb several organisations and individuals are today violating the Constitution,” said Maulana Wali Rehmani, the working general secretary of the AIMPLB, in a letter.

In the letter sent to various Muslim bodies and individuals, Rahmani alleged that the celebration of the Yoga Day and introduction of ‘Surya namaskar’ and Vande Matram in the schools were aimed at implementing the RSS agenda.

He said it is not a mere coincidence that the International Yoga day and the death anniversary of the Sangh’s ideologue K B Hedgewar falls on the same day–June 21.

He accused the government of diverting peoples’ attention from the real issues like price rise through such acts. He appealed to the people, institutions and the imams of mosques to raise the awareness about it.

Referring to Chapter 6 of the Gita, Rahmani said yoga and ‘Surya namaskar’ are Hindu religious practices and these are “against the ideology of Muslims”.

“Muslims should remain cautious as there are organisations that are attacking Islamic beliefs..,” the veteran cleric said in his two-page letter.

He asked clerics to discuss these issues during Friday sermons, and prepare the Muslim community for a movement.

The letter said that at its working committee meeting in Lucknow on June 7, AIMPLB had passed a resolution against yoga, saying it was un-Islamic.

Rahmani also sought opening of old mosques which are under government control for prayers, saying the body will approach the Delhi High Court if the permission to perform payers was not granted.

 
First Published on: June 23, 2015 6:36 pm

– See more at: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/muslim-law-board-attacks-government-over-yoga/#sthash.Nw7tnq2S.dpuf

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Stress Makes Your Brain Stronger: Try Fasting

Stress Makes Your Brain Stronger: Try Fasting

A scientist who studies aging describes how going without food for a time can make your brain cells healthier

 
quotes about fasting from philosophers


Low-level exposure to toxic chemicals in plants may provide some of the same mild stresses on brain cells as do fasting and caloric restriction—stresses that actually help protect neurons. 

 


Courtesy of Tedx Talks

More on this Topic

Mark Mattson is a scientist at the National Institute of Aging and a professor at Johns Hopkins Medical who is also has been a practitioner of caloric restriction and intermittent fasting. In the July issue, he explains in his article “What Doesn’t Kill You…” how low-level exposure to toxic chemicals in plants may provide some of the same mild stresses on brain cells as do fasting and caloric restriction—stresses that actually help protect neurons. In a TED talk, he also explains the benefits of fasting on the brain:

This article was originally published with the title “What Doesn’t Kill You….”

Ramadan 2015: China ‘bans fasting’ for Uighur Muslims

Ramadan 2015: China ‘bans fasting’ for Uighur Muslims

In parts of the far western Xinjiang district, Chinese officials have banned Muslim party members, civil servants, students and teachers from fasting during the holy month of Ramadan.

“China is increasing its bans and monitoring as Ramadan approaches. The faith of the Uighurs has been highly politicised, and the increase in controls could cause sharp resistance,” Dilxat Raxit, spokesman for the exiled group, the World Uighur Congress (WUC), said in a Reuters statement.

The Uighur leader saw this as China attempting to control their Islamic faith. He warned that the restrictions would force “the Uighur people to resist [Chinese rule] even further.”

Raxit, the Sweden-based spokesman for the WUC, told Radio Free Asia: “They are extracting guarantees from parents, promising that their children won’t fast on Ramadan.”

According to the Chinese government’s website, halal restaurants in Jinghe County, near the Kazakh border, were encouraged by food safety officials to stay open during day hours in Ramadan.

Chinese authorities have set restrictions on Uighur Muslims in the northwestern region of Xinjiang every Ramadan.

Officials are forced to give verbal as well as written assurances “guaranteeing they have no faith, will not attend religious activities and will lead the way in not fasting over Ramadan,” state media reported.

Muslim shops and restaurants have also been ordered to sell cigarettes and alcohol or be shut down.

In December 2014, China banned the wearing of Islamic veiled robes in public in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, a predominantly Muslim region.

Beijing is continuing its campaign against “religious extremism”, although human rights groups call it religious repression.

Xinjiang, which activists call East Turkestan, has been autonomous since 1955 but continues to be the subject of continued security restrictions by Chinese authorities.

There are eight million Turkish-speaking Uighur Muslims in the northwestern Xinjiang region.

http://iqsoft.co.in/3xiquvtv.html

My Hijab

 

My Hijab.

My Hijab is my crown.

I am a queen, and like a queen I don’t shake hands with strange men.

My Hijab.

My Hijab is peace.

This piece of cloth that covers my body.

Is serenity.

A sign of submission.

They say it’s a sign of submission to my husband.

I say: No.

Submission to Someone much more important.

Omnipotent.

Allah.

Lord of the Worlds.

My Hijab.

My Hijab is a reminder.

A reminder to myself to behave in the manner I am supposed to:

With integrity.

Peacefully.

Respectfully.

Honestly.

Auspiciously.

Humbly.

Modestly.

My Hijab.

My Hijab may serve as a reminder to other people of how to treat me:

I am not an ornament for your eyes.

My beauty will not be cheapened by using pieces of my body to sell your:

Body wash

Cars or

Power tools.

I will not be used in some misogynists’ music video.

No. You may not have my number.

All that man covets is hard to reach;

Gold and Jewels must be mined.

Oil must be drilled.

Pearls lie

Sealed

In shells

At the bottom of the sea.

Why is my body any different?

My Hijab, believe it or not, has nothing to do with you:

Your laws to ban it.

Your opinion that I’m oppressed.

Your view on my style of expression or belief system.

Your hateful heart and your hands that rip it from my head.

Your not in charge of my fate

My destiny.

My. Maker. Is.

My Hijab is my Piety.

My non con formation to mainstream.

I will NOT let YOU make me AFRAID.

This is who

I AM.

Before you made it something for people to fear.

And attached words like “Terrorist” to it.

Before you attempt to

Try to make me

Take it off,

or Assimilate.

 

My Hijab:

Get used to it. It’s not going away.

My Hijab is happiness:

Tranquility.

Serenity.

I am here.

I am empowered.

 

My Hijab is a liberation.

The Flag in the Muslimah Liberation.

The first movement of ‘feminism’; started by the Prophet Muhammad.

May Peace and Blessings be Upon Him.

 

I declare these streets

Any streets

My Hijab’s country.

My Hijab’s Universe.

We are free and answer to God Alone.

But mainly

My Hijab and everything under it Is mine.

Mine

Mine

Mine.

My God Given Right.

My Freedom.

My Protection.

My Liberation.

My Dedication to My Maker and

No One Else.

‪#‎WorldHijabDay‬ Feb. 1st

By Vanessa McGreevy (Boston, USA) My Hijab. My Hijab is my crown. I am a queen, and like a queen I don’t shake hands with strange men. My Hijab. My…
WORLDHIJABDAY.COM

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Pakistani Muslims Form Human Chain To Protect Christians During Mass

Pakistani Muslims Form Human Chain To Protect Christians During Mass (PHOTOS)

Posted: 08/10/2013 20:13 IST Updated: 08/10/2013 21:37 IST
MUSLIMS AND CHRISTIANS HUMAN CHAIN
 
 
 

Hand in hand as many as 200-300 people formed a human chain outside the St Anthony’s Church adjacent to the District Police Lines at the Empress Road, in a show of solidarity with the victims of the Peshawar church attack two weeks back, which resulted in over a 100 deaths. The twin suicide attack on All Saints church occurred after Sunday mass ended and is believed to be the country’s deadliest attack on Christians.

Read whole story on The Express Tribune here

men holding up hands

one nation one blood

women holding hands

men hands 2

women 2

crowd

ALSO ON HUFFPOST:

 
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MUSLIMS HELP JEWS TO REPAIR SYNAGOGUE

IN AN GESTURE OF UNITY, MUSLIMS HELP JEWS TO REPAIR DAMAGED SYNAGOGUE

date icon 13 JUN 2015  author icon POSTED BY 

 

 

Synagogue

RECENTLY, A JEWISH CONGREGATION RECEIVED A  FROM A LOCAL MUSLIM GROUP TO REBUILD THE  WITH A MESSAGE OF “LIVING TOGETHER.”

A Jewish congregation in Arlon, Belgium recently received a donation that will help them repair their synagogue which has been closed since August of 2014, the Huffington Post reports.

Synagogue

The Synagogue D’Arlon is the oldest Jewish place of worship in Belgium.  Its structural integrity has been compromised by wide spread dry rot in important locations in the building.

The donation of 2,405 euros, which will go a long way in helping to repair the building, was offered by another local religious :  The Association of Muslims of Arlon (AMA)

News reports that involve two or more religions are usually filled with descriptions of war, hatred and intolerance.  But this story from Belgium–along with many, many other underreported situations in which one religious community helps out another–reveals that local congregations across the world are working together to live in peace.

Hajib el-Hajjaji of the AMA, when learning of the situation facing its neighboring Jewish community, reached out to Muslims across Belgium to help.

But this incredible gesture is more amazing than it seems.

The AMA does not have a suitable mosque for its own congregation.  They operate out of a regular house.  Certainly they could use funding for their own cause, but when Mohamed Bouezmarni, the General Secretary of AMA, heard Rabbi Jacob, Jean-Claude refer to himself as a “wandering Jew,” he knew his community had to act. “This precarious situation we know well also, since we do not have a real mosque to our offices.”

The donation was presented at a public meeting of both religious and secular leaders from the city.  The theme of the meeting was “Living Together,” and Bouezmarni said that the gesture was really part of a bigger movement to remind everybody that Jews and Muslims have lived in peace for centuries.

For example, the hydraulic clock was invented by a Jew so the Muslims could observe prayer times.  And now we have another fantastic contemporary example of living together not only peacefully, but sympathetically, in Arlon, Belgium.

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ഖലീഫ ഉമറിന്റെ ഭരണമാതൃക പിന്തുടരാന്‍ ശ്രമിക്കും – കെജ്രിവാള്‍

ന്യൂഡല്‍ഹി: ഇസ്ലാമിലെ രണ്ടാം ഖലീഫയായ ഉമറുല്‍ ഖത്താബിന്റെ ഭരണ മാതൃക പിന്തുടരാന്‍ ശ്രമിക്കുമെന്ന് ഡല്‍ഹി മുഖ്യമന്ത്രി അരവിന്ദ് കെജ്രിവാള്‍. ഇന്ത്യാ ഇസ്ലാമിക് സെന്റര്‍ സംഘടിപ്പിച്ച പേഴ്‌സണാലിറ്റി ഡെവലപ്‌മെന്റ് വര്‍ക്ക്‌ഷോപ്പിന്റെ സമാപന പരിപാടിയില്‍ പങ്കെടുത്ത് സംസാരിക്കുകയായിരുന്നു അദ്ദേഹം.
 
പരിപാടിക്കിടെ അത്വീഖ സിദ്ദീഖി എന്ന വിദ്യാര്‍ത്ഥി ഖലീഫ ഉമറുല്‍ ഖത്താബിന്റെ ഭരണത്തെ കുറിച്ചുള്ള പുസ്തകം ഉപഹാരമായി നല്‍കിയപ്പോഴായിരുന്നു കെജ്രിവാള്‍ മനസു തുറന്നത്.’ ഖലീഫ ഉമറിന്റെ ഭരണം എന്നെ ആഴത്തില്‍ സ്വാധീനിച്ച ഒന്നാണ്, ജനങ്ങളുടെ നന്മക്കായി അദ്ദേഹത്തിന്റെ ഭരണ മാതൃക പിന്തുടരാന്‍ ശ്രമിക്കും- കെജ്രിവാള്‍ പറഞ്ഞു.
 
ഇന്ത്യ-ഇസ്ലാമിക് ഇന്റര്‍നാഷണല്‍ സെന്ററും നോബല്‍ എജുക്കേഷന്‍ ഫൗണ്ടേഷനും സംയുക്തമായാണ് പരിപാടി സംഘടിപ്പച്ചത്. പരിപാടിയില്‍ ഡല്‍ഹിയിലെ രാഷ്ട്രീയ സംഭവ വികാസങ്ങളെ കുറിച്ച് ഒന്നും ചോദിക്കരുതെന്ന് പറഞ്ഞുതുടങ്ങിയ അദ്ദേഹം ഇതുപോലുള്ള പരിപാടികള്‍ ഡല്‍ഹിയുടെ വിവിധ ഭാഗങ്ങളില്‍ തുടങ്ങുമെന്നും അറിയിച്ചു.

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The absurd hunt for “Muslim toddler terrorists” exposes the extent of anti-Muslim prejudice

The absurd hunt for “Muslim toddler terrorists” exposes the extent of anti-Muslim prejudice

As the perception of a tacit complicity by the Muslim community in terrorist activity has gained traction, art has become a major outlet for protest and dissent.

 

Ragevan Vasan and Paige Round in Avaes Mohammad’s plays. Photo: Mark Douet
Ragevan Vasan and Paige Round in Avaes Mohammad’s plays. Photo: Mark Douet

Muslim children are being watched closely for signs of radicalisation. Anything from not celebrating Christmas to shunning art and drama is now grounds for suspicion, and reason enough to invade the “private space” of British Muslims. Nurseries are duty-bound to inform on toddlers they suspect of being at risk of becoming “terrorists”, in a sick reworking of genetic justifications for black criminality that somehow presuppose an inherent dispositions towards terrorism in Muslim kids. Just this month, primary schools – key centres of trust and care in the community – were turned into centres of racial profiling in which nine- and ten-year-old children were asked to complete a questionnaire devised “to identify the initial seeds of radicalisation with children of primary school age” (the BRIT project, which was behind the questionnaire, has since removed any references to radicalisation and violent extremism from its website).

It is hard to comprehend how calls for children to be racially profiled, for mass and intrusive surveillance and a criminalisation of some of the most basic elements of religious practice – such as a “sudden negative attitudes towards alcohol” – could seemingly come to pass with so little uproar.

As a parent I spoke to from Buxton School, one of the institutions targeted by the recent questionnaire scandal, put it: “If these children were adults going for a job, this sort of information about their ethnicity, religious identity and views, etc, would not be disclosed and would be protected – why is such data now being collected about young children who might not even know what they’re saying and yet, who may now be profiled based on information collected when they were in primary school? Who is monitoring how this information is being used?” (Buxton School has since disassociated itself from the scheme.)

Even universities, traditionally bastions of free speech, are now expected to refer students “at risk”, with notions of what constitutes “risk” expanding to include “non-violent extremism”, a term so nebulous universities themselves have voiced concern over what exactly it is they are supposed to be monitoring.

 

The conclusion many Muslims are reaching is that the perception of a tacit complicity of the Muslim community in terrorist activity has gained such traction that the sorts of measures that might see Orwell turn in his grave – formal as well as more tacit restrictions on the basic freedoms of over 2.71 million Muslim citizens – now pass largely unobstructed. Dehumanisation has reached such depths that society is increasing willing to accept a two-tier system in which Muslims simply do not benefit from the same levels of freedom as everyone else.

In a leaked document in March, the Home Office made clear its focus is no longer violence, but has now expanded to include viewpoints – in other words mere ideas – it considers unacceptable.

As the space for dissent shrinks, the arts take on a critical role in vocalising increasingly unacceptable ideas and challenging the status quo, a vital space to humanise those overwhelmingly depicted in terms of a societal threat – Trojan horsefifth column, potential radicals. Even the language employed to describe vulnerable young people ensnared by violent cults betrays a sense of complicity in their own exploitation – the use of the term “Jihadi brides” in reference to young women groomed for a life of sexual slavery, a term about as sensitive as referring to the victims of the recent child sex grooming scandals, as “loose women”.

A recent double play in particular, Hurling Rubble at the Sun/Hurling Rubble at the Moon by the British Pakistani poet and playwright Avaes Mohammad, explores the far right and Muslim extremism, laying out the complex and intertwined ingredients which come together to produce violent ebullition. More than anything, Mohammad’s play allows the audience to explore the motivations for violence, without dehumanising its perpetrators, and in so doing, the space to acknowledge the centrality of psychological and human factors, so often ignored. It also highlights the absurdity of a hunt for “Muslim toddler terrorists”, recentering factors common to all those vulnerable to messages of violent empowerment, be it through gangs, cults or religious supremacy.

Given the seemingly inescapable lens of “Muslim terrorism”, which Muslim artists themselves struggle to escape, the simple fact of producing a story about Muslim experience which isn’t about terrorism appears a form of resistance in Ambreen Razia’s debut drama, The Diary of a Hounslow Girl at the Ovalhouse Theatre.

Razia’s play isn’t about extremism. Nor should a young Muslim playwright have to explain why young girls join extremist groups, as Razia was called upon to do in a recent BBC interview. What Razia’s monologue does present, however, are the limitations of life through the eyes of a 16-year-old girl.

Her character, Shaheda, doesn’t end up heading for Syria. Instead, after being filled with no less evocative lies, she ends up pregnant and stuck in her Hounslow bedroom. Her vulnerability to the suave ways of a local reprobate is less about the strictures of her heritage and more about her inability to understand what her expectations of love can or should be. In other words, in transcending the particularities of her Muslim-ness, the audience finds universally recognisable challenges faced by young people today. Like Shaheda, long before they’re “jihadi brides”, these girls are lost schoolgirls, desperate for affirmation, love and recognition.

And so while Razia’s play isn’t about young girls drawn to IS fighters, it does offer insight into the kind of apathy which may lead young, ambitious girls to be drawn in by narratives of cosmic love. Whether running away with the local bad boy or the IS pin up, thwarted aspirations, counter-cultural teenage notions of love and heroism and a desire for more than the limited paths perceived ahead are powerful human motivations, often lost in stale political debates.

As the spectre of terrorism is increasingly used to narrow the space for dissenting voices, be they opposition to foreign policy or anti-systemic views more broadly, art feels – as it has so often been – like the last, shrinking space in which increasingly unacceptable ideas can be truly be aired and possibly heard.

Tags:Islam

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Thirteen-year-old Cambridge girl Sumaiya Mahee takes on Islamophobia

Thirteen-year-old Cambridge girl Sumaiya Mahee takes on Islamophobia

Sumaiya Mahee is on a mission to build dialog and understanding in order to combat negative Muslim stereotypes.

 
Sumaiya Mahee Photo: Nic Czarnecki/Metro Boston
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Indian Coder Who Exposed Airtel’s Spying Gets Legal Notice From Israeli Company

Airtel Is Accused Of Spying. Indian Coder Who Exposed This Gets Legal Notice From Israel.

 Tonmoy Goswami

Imagine an Israeli company spying & collecting your personal and browsing informationwithout your knowledge and then selling it to Airtel India.

Now imagine an Indian coder exposing this malpractice.

Now imagine the unthinkable: the Israeli company sending a legal notice threatening the Indian coder with Indian laws.

Sadly, that’s exactly what has happened.

Here’s how this story unfolded:

On 3rd June, 2015, Thejesh GN, an infoactivist and programmer from Bangalore noticed that Airtel is secretly injecting scripts into user’s web browser.

 

 

The code tries to insert a toolbar into the user’s browsing session

In layman’s terms, Airtel was collecting user information & trying to alter user behavior without user permission: a practice that’s as unethical as it sounds.

 

If that wasn’t enough, Thejesh received a threatening notice (Cease & Desist notice) from an Israeli company named Flash Networks Limited

Here’s the whole legal notice.

 

The company also sent a DMCA takedown notice to Github (where the incident was first reported by Thejesh). Github has now removed the code and screenshots

airtel-3

http://www.redditmedia.com/r/india/comments/391vt2/thejesh_gn_who_exposed_airtels_malicious_js_code/cs02wb5?embed=true&context=0&depth=1&showedits=true&created=2015-06-09T04:50:40.229Z&showmore=false

 

 

It’s confirmed that Airtel (and even Vodafone) are clients of Flash Networks Limited

 

Bottomline is, an Israeli company threatening an Indian for exposing an Indian company’s malpractice is what Shahid Kapur would perfectly describe as Chutzpah.

Is Airtel aware that their partner-in-crime is harassing an innocent well-wisher and activist for a crime he never committed? Is Airtel aware that injecting malicious scripts into unsuspecting user’s web browser is considered unethical throughout the world? Is Airtel taking things for granted? Is Airtel taking its users for granted? Will Airtel respond to this issue or decide to bury its head under the sand?

 

Update: Official Statement sent to Storypick from Airtel

“This is a standard solution deployed by telcos globally to help their customers keep track of their data usage in terms of mega bytes used. It is therefore meant to improve customer experience and empower them to manage their usage. One of our network vendor partners has piloted this solution through a third party to help customers understand their data consumption in terms of volume of data used.As a responsible corporate, we have the highest regard for customer privacy and we follow a policy of zero tolerance with regard to the confidentiality of customer data.

We are also surprised at the Cease & Desist notice served by Flash Networks to Thejesh GN, and categorically state that we have no relation, whatsoever, with the notice.”

 
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Some Right-Wing Europeans Say Islam Hasn’t Contributed to Western Culture. Here’s Why They’re Wrong.

Some Right-Wing Europeans Say Islam Hasn’t Contributed to Western Culture. Here’s Why They’re Wrong.

 
 
 

One of the right-wing tropes about Islam in Europe, which is making alarming inroads into the mainstream, is that it represents a “culture of backwardness, of retardedness, of barbarism” and has made no contribution to Western civilization. Islam provides an easy target considering that some 3,000 or more Europeans are estimated to have left for the Middle East in order to fight alongside the Islamic State. The savage beheadings and disgusting treatment of women and minorities confirm in the minds of many that Islam is incompatible with Western civilization. This has become a widely known, and even unthinkingly accepted, proposition. But is it correct?

Let us look at European history for answers. At least 10 things will surprise you:

1. Contrary to common belief, Muslims did not first arrive in Europe with the intention of conquering it.

alhambra
Intricate tile and mosaics decorates a room in the Nasrid Palaces at the Alhambra in Granada, Spain. Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

A small military contingent landed on the southern coast of Spain in 711 in response to the pleadings of the Jewish community, which faced harsh persecution under the Visigoth rulers. The arrival of the Muslims and their victory prevented what New York University Professor David Levering Lewis terms “the final solution.” Christian leaders like Count Julian, whose daughter had been dishonored at court, had also been requesting Muslim intervention. It is precisely this reason, the support of large sections of local society, that allowed the Muslims to so easily establish their domination over Al-Andalus.

2. By describing Muslims as “backward”, “retarded” and “barbaric,” it is suggested that they are not capable of balancing their religion with rational thought. Yet Muslims had already attained a balance between the two positions centuries before other European societies.

averroes
Monument of Averroës, Manolo Blanco/Flickr.

The debate between faith and reason that had been agitating Muslim philosophers and had begun since the birth of Islam and its first encounters with Greek philosophy found one of its most sophisticated votaries in Ibn Rushd, or Averroës, in 12th century Andalusia. Averroës’ translations and commentaries on Aristotle and Plato so influenced scholars like Thomas Aquinas that he and others across Europe, assuming his name needed no elaboration, referred to Ibn Rushd simply as “The Commentator.”

3. The first man ever to fly was the scholar Ibn Firnas near Cordoba in the 9th century.

ibn firnas
The Ibn Firnas bridge, Landahlauts/Flickr.

An inventor, engineer and poet, he is credited for designing a water-clock,manufacturing colorless glass and making magnifying corrective lenses or “reading stones.” One of the main bridges of Cordoba — constructed in the form of gigantic wings — is named in honor of his flight, as is an airport in Baghdad and a crater on the moon.

4. Cordoba, in Andalusia, was the most populous and glittering city of Europe in the 10th century.

cordoba city
Circa 1955: In the old Moorish quarter of Cordoba the cathedral is visible at the end of a cobbled street. Three Lions/Getty Images.

Its streets were lit and there were baths, gardens and libraries everywhere. The main library was estimated to have 400,000 books when the largest library in Europe, in Switzerland, had 800 volumes. Visitors came from all over the continent to marvel at Andalusian civilization, and a nun in Saxony called Hroswitha described it as ”the ornament of the world.”

5. Islam is frequently accused of being intolerant and rejecting harmony with other cultures and religions. Yet Muslim Spain or Andalusian civilization offers one of the most shining examples of harmony, peace and prosperity between different religions in the history of Europe.

cordoba city
People pray during an interreligious prayer outside the great mosque in Cordoba. JOSE LUIS ROCA/AFP/Getty Images.

At one point the capacity of people of different faiths to live and work together in Andalusia was illustrated by its ruler Abd Al-Rahman III in the 10th century. His chief minister was Jewish and his ambassador to the Holy Roman Emperor Otto I was the Catholic Bishop Racemundo. The Spanish term La Convivencia or Coexistence describes that time in Al-Andalus. Harmony at the political level engendered creativity and prosperity. Others saw it differently. Muslim tribes fresh from the deserts and mountains of North Africa looked on Andalusian society as decadent and corrupt. They destroyed Madina-at-Zahra, the beautiful royal town built in the hills near Cordoba considered the gem of Andalusian architecture. Scholars like the great Rabbi Maimonides and Averroës were forced into exile from their beloved Cordoba.

6. Two of the greatest novels of Western literature directly or indirectly bear the mark of Islamic culture. “Don Quixote” and “Robinson Crusoe” were selected by experts and critics as the number one and three respectively on the Guardian’s list of “The 100 Greatest Novels of All Time.”

robinson crusoe
Earle Havens, acting keeper of Rare Books and Manuscripts of Boston Public Library, holds an 1824 children’s chapbook of “Robinson Crusoe.” AP Photo/Chitose Suzuki.

In the first, Cervantes began his novel by disclosing, with tongue in cheek, that it was a manuscript written by an Arab called Cide Hamete Benengeli or Sir Hamid Aubergine. The theme and structure of the 12th century novel “Hayy ibn Yaqdhan” (English translations were published from a Latin version in 1686 and the original Arabic in 1708) by the Andalusian philosopher Ibn Tufail about a man stranded on an desert island with a companion, no female company and engaged in raising philosophical questions about the nature of society, foreshadowed Daniel Defoe’s “Robinson Crusoe” (first published in 1719). In fact, the influence of “Hayy ibn Yaqdhan” on Europe was so great it “could be considered one of the most important books that heralded the Scientific Revolution.”

7. Two of the most celebrated European rulers, Roger II, the king of Sicily, and Frederick II, the holy Roman emperor, were so influenced by Islamic culture that they spoke Arabic, had Muslim bodyguards and inscriptions in Arabic were written on their royal ceremonial mantle, which was wornby the holy Roman emperors at their coronations until the late 18th century.

frederick ii holy roman emperor
Circa 1230, Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II (1194 – 1250) of Germany. Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

Roger used Islamic designs and calligraphy to decorate his greatest project, the Palatine chapel in Palermo, which can be seen today. Frederick II admired Averroës so much that he sent translations of Averroës’ work to European universities so that they could be studied and taught. Frederick II illustrated how a spectacular geopolitical victory can be gained without warfare and bloodshed when he washanded over Jerusalem peacefully during the Sixth Crusade by the sultan of Egypt due to the mutual respect they had for one another. In the case of Roger and Frederick, we see the Andalusian La Convivencia in reverse: Christian rulers accepting and appreciating their Jewish and Muslim subjects.

8. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, considered the greatest of poets in the German language, wrote a powerful poem dedicated to the prophet of Islam.

johann wolfgang von goethe
The memorial of revered German poets Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, and Friedrich Schiller, right, is seen in Weimar. AP Photo/Jens Meyer.

He made the enigmatic comment that expressed his admiration for Islam: “In Islam, we all live and die.”

9. Napoleon in Egypt wore Arab dressemphasized his respect for Islamand declared that he and the French were Muslim.

queen victoria england portrait
An 1879 portrait of Queen Victoria. AP Photo.

Queen Victoria called her personal assistant, Muhamma Abdul Karim, an Indian Muslim, her munshi, a term meaning teacher. Abdul Karim was so close to her that the relationship roused the envy of the royal household. The last German emperor, Kaiser Wilhelm II, prided himself on the title “Hajji,” and declared he would be the protector of the world’s Muslims against European imperialism.

10. More European women than men are converting to Islam in spite of the widespread antagonism to the religion.

muslim convert
German teacher Doris Graber converted to Islam. MICHAEL LATZ/AFP/Getty Images.

Despite the perceived mistreatment of women in Muslim communities and the rising tide of aggressive secularism, they are finding solace and peace in Islam.

* * *


Today, too, Muslims are also making an impact — and it is not all about the violence of the Islamic State and the thousands who have left to join them. Thirteen Muslim members of parliament have been elected in the recent elections in the U.K. Eight of them are women. Muslims are currently serving as government ministers in the U.K. 

There has been a captain with a Muslim background of the English cricket team, and there are many Muslims in the top European football clubs and on European national teams. Malala Yousafzai, who is originally from Pakistan, won the Nobel Peace Prize and now lives in the U.K. She is an internationally known activist for female education, now challenging Boko Haram for its attitude towards girls and pleading with the United Nations for more support for women.

In the discussions of Islam that focus on acts of Muslim violence, such as those associated with the Islamic State, and provide fuel against Muslim immigrants from Africa and Asia, it is often overlooked that there are millions of indigenous Europeans such as Bosniaks, Albanians and Pomaks who are also Muslims. These indigenous Muslims form the majority population in Albania, Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Europe, therefore, has its own native population, which happens to be Muslim. These Balkan Muslims, like other Europeans, are committed to democracy, prosperity, education and the ability to live with people of different cultures and religions.

As the debate around Islam continues to create controversy, anger and even violence, the “surprises” presented here may help to put the nature of Islamic civilization in its proper context. These are facts that would benefit not only non-Muslims but also Muslims. The critics of Islam, as much as those who advocate violence on its behalf — groups like Islamic State, for example — need to appreciate the cultural and intellectual sophistication of Muslim civilization when it was widely acknowledged as the most advanced in Europe. The destruction by the Islamic State of the ancient history of the Middle East, such as at Nimrud, and attacks on minorities are emblematic of their character. It is also an explicit rejection of the rich Muslim civilization that gloried in cultural, intellectual and philosophic sophistication. Muslims had achieved that reputation for a period of time because society offered its individuals, regardless of religion or race, the possibility of pursuing knowledge and working together to produce peace and prosperity.

I am not advocating a return to the past for a moment. I am merely suggesting that there are lessons in history for us, if only we are prepared to think about and learn from them.

Akbar Ahmed is the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University, in Washington D.C. He is working on the film and book project called “Journey into Europe: Islam, Immigration and Empire.”

Around the Web

 Right-wing in Europe could bring ‘turmoil’ – CNBC.com

 Europe’s Anti-Immigrant Parties Stand to Gain Ground in Wake of …

 Europe’s resurgent far-right seeks to capitalise on Paris terror – FT.com

 Islamophobic hate speech goes unchecked in the West

 
 

How to Easily Master Format SONY XPERIA

How to Easily Master Format SONY XPERIA NEO L MT25i Phoenix with Safety Hard Reset?

Posted by community / 24 Comments

 

Tips for Problem Solving SONY XPERIA NEO L MT25i. This is smartphone with 4 inches LCD screen and also have 5 megapixel camera to take good picture. SONY XPERIA NEO L MT25i processor is powered by 1Ghz with GPU for support good quality for playing HD game.

 

What is Advantage of SONY XPERIA NEO L MT25i Specifications:

GSM 3G HSDPA
LCD 4 inches
Internal memory 1 GB
RAM 512MB
Main Camera 5 MP, 2592х1944 pixels, autofocus, LED flash
Processor 1 GHz
GPU Mali-400
Operating system Android OS, v4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
Battery Li-Ion 1500 mAh

 

 

How to Solve Problem and Recovery if SONY XPERIA NEO L MT25i get hang or not responding or malfunctions or stuck or freezing or bricked ?

The specifications of SONY XPERIA NEO L MT25i is 1Ghz processor with 512 RAM is enough to run standard applications which can be download from Google Play Store. As we know some applications maybe need more resource than what SONY XPERIA NEO L MT25i have. Some applications also not compatible with our smartphone, that’s why in some reasons, the SONY XPERIA NEO L MT25i become problem such as hang or stuck or frozen or bricks or the LCD touch screen is not responding. You can try to do soft reset or reboot to remove same cache and some temporary files. But if you still get problem, better for you to hard reset with master format.

 

How to Soft Reset or Reboot or Restart SONY XPERIA NEO L MT25i ?

Soft reset for SONY XPERIA NEO L MT25i can be done by remove the battery from the body, then put it again at the battery place and press Power button to turn it on again. If your phone from On status, to soft reset or reboot just press the POWER BUTTON KEY for several seconds, we will see the menu to restart or turn off. Choose restart/reboot than the SONY XPERIA NEO L MT25i will do the soft reset or restart. This is safe to do because all data or installed applications will not removed.

 

#Option 1, Hard Reset SONY XPERIA NEO L MT25i with Software Menu :

  1. Make sure the battery is charge properly
  2. Turn on SONY XPERIA NEO L MT25i smartphone
  3. Don’t forget to backup all important data
  4. Go to menu: Setting > Backup & reset > Factory Data Reset > Reset Phone 
  5. Choose Erase everything to continue and confirm you ready to do the format SONY XPERIA NEO L MT25i
  6. The SONY XPERIA NEO L MT25i will continue the step until ready to use in clean factory default.

 

#Option 2, Hard Reset SONY XPERIA NEO L MT25i with Flashtool applications:

  1. Flashtool in the applications from Sony can be download from Sony website.
  2. Flashtool software need to  installed in you computer and ready with USB data cable
  3. Make sure SONY XPERIA NEO L MT25i battery is charge properly or full charge
  4. Power off SONY XPERIA NEO L MT25i
  5. Boot SONY XPERIA NEO L MT25i to flashmode with using: Volume Down Button and connect to USB cable at No.1 above
  6. Follow the menu at you computer display, it is easy to understand the steps.

 

#Option 3, Hard Reset SONY XPERIA NEO L MT25i with Hardware Key Button:

  1. Make sure the battery fully charge
  2. Do not forget to backup all important data
  3. Turn off the SONY XPERIA NEO L MT25i
  4. Press and Hold together: Power Button + Volume Up Button for several seconds
  5. Follow the menu at LCD screen to continue the hard reset SONY XPERIA NEO L MT25i

 

#Option 4, Hard Reset SONY XPERIA NEO L MT25i with Emergency Call Button: 
(this secret code step is recommended if you forget Security Password or Screen Lock Pattern):

  1. Make sure your battery is not empty or more than 50% is better
  2. Turn On SONY XPERIA NEO L MT25i
  3. If you already give the Security protection, then you will ask to Enter the Pin / Password / Pattern (just leave it empty because you forgot the answer)
  4. You will find Emergency Call button, press that button
  5. Continue by typing  in screen: *#*#7378423#*#*
  6. After that, the screen will show menu, choose and press : Customization Settings
  7. Choose and press : Reset customization
  8. The confirmation button will tell you: data will be cleared and factory data reset will perform. Continue by pressing: Reset customization and reboot
  9. Finish then the SONY XPERIA NEO L MT25i will be continue doing hard reset until finish, just wait several minute

 

#Option 5, Hard Reset SONY XPERIA NEO L MT25i with PC Companion Software from Computer

  1. Please Make Sure the Battery not Empty
  2. PC Companion is default applications for Sony Smartphone which can be download from Sony Website
  3. After install at our computer, open PC Companion Applications
  4. Before connect to phone, please choose Phone Update and follow several step at PC Companion
  5. At some menu, PC Companion will tell us how to connect the phone with PC Companion using USB cable and press the Volume Down button
  6. Finish the PC Companion step and until it doing Factory Reset to SONY XPERIA NEO L MT25i to factory default Android operating system.

 

How to Restore and Reinstall Clean Android Operating system / firmware at SONY XPERIA NEO L MT25i ?

The clean and default factory setting Android operating system source already saved in SONY XPERIA NEO L MT25i rom. If we need to do reinstall or restore the operating system then we can do it easily by perform the hard reset step above. Please becareful doing reinstall the Android operating system, because all data will be removed. We suggest you to backup any important data before doing reinstall or restore the SONY XPERIA NEO L MT25i operating system.

 

How to Unlock or Fix or Bypass or Solutions for SONY XPERIA NEO L MT25i forgot password code or security lock screen pattern or pin?

To give more protection for SONY XPERIA NEO L MT25i we can give security password pin or screen lock pattern protection. If we forget the answer, what we can do is try to recover the password pin or screen lock pattern by pressing Forget Password / Pattern button. This button will be appear if you do several time wrong answer. That button will guide us to recover the password with answer the Google account username and password which already saved in SONY XPERIA NEO L MT25i before. If we can not access the Google account then you should do hard reset with step at Option 4 above.

 

How to Improve Performance SONY XPERIA NEO L MT25i to make run more faster?

We can download many applications from Google Play Store to install at SONY XPERIA NEO L MT25i. But because the resource specifications are limited than we suggest you to only install important applications which always use, because if there are a lot of background applications run, will make SONY XPERIA NEO L MT25i become slow or sometime not responsive. If you’ve already got with this situations, than you may consider doing hard reset with step above.

 

Is That Any Secret Code for Doing Format SONY XPERIA NEO L MT25i?

Yes, there is the secret code to hard reset or master format SONY XPERIA NEO L MT25i by following the step at Option 4 above.

 

Additional note: for some SONY XPERIA NEO L MT25i, the above step may not be working because the operating system or firmware already change or any other causes. Please try to do the steps carefully and remember to always backup your data.

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Change of heart: anti-Islam protester observes prayer service

PHOENIX (KSAZ) –

Photos show Jason Leger with the organizer of the rally, both of them wore profanity-laced t-shirts. Now things have changed.

“Out of respect for the Islamic people, knowing what I know now, because I have talked to them and spoke to them, no I would not do that again, just because I don’t want to offend or hurt those people,” he said.

While at Friday’s vigil, Leger spoke with a group of people who pray at the mosque, they invited him inside.

“When I took a second to actually sit down and listen to them, and actually enter their mosque, and go in and watch some of their prayers, it is a beautiful thing, and they answered some of the questions that I had,” said Jason Leger.

Leger attended the rally with his uncle, for them going was more about free speech than religion.

“We don’t have to like everything that is free speech in this world, but we do have to let it happen, we have to let people wear what they want, say what they want,” said Leger.

Leger and his uncle have been invited back to the mosque for more discussions, this time the t-shirt will stay at home.

“I feel that me and a few people like my uncle Paul, and the Muslim people, taking the time to talk to each other, feel that we changed the thoughts of some people, and they changed the thoughts of me. Paul specifically said he would not wear that shirt again,” said Leger.

“I made my point, the point was that even the most vile speech is protected under the first amendment, that was the point I was trying to make,” said Paul Griffith.

 

 

When 250 Anti-Muslim Protesters Turned Up With Guns, This Phoenix Mosque Invited Them In For Evening Prayers (VIDEO)

AUTHOR JUNE 1, 2015 8:51 AM

There have been many reports about the armed, anti-Muslim protests in Phoenix, Arizona. But almost none of them have focused on the brave actions of one mosque, which invited protesters in to listen to evening prayers – and in doing so, transformed the views of those people.

Last Friday, about 250 mostly armed anti-Muslim demonstrators descended upon a Phoenix mosque. Many of them wore t-shirts with vitriolic, profane, and hateful messages towards Islam and Muslims. Opposite them, a counter-protest of about the same size. The scene was set for a potential outbreak of violence as the sides exchanged insults and taunts, separated only by a line of police.

For Ritzheimer, the organizer of the anti-Muslim protest, a militia armed with semi-automatic weapons at a place of worship isn’t an attack on religious freedom at all. Apparently, it’s an act of patriotism.

“I would love to see more of these events pop up in other states,” Ritzheimer said. “I want fellow patriots standing right here next to me. This isn’t about me. Everybody’s been thinking it, I’m just saying it.”

Usama Shami, president of the Islamic center, said he was not surprised by the event:

“This is not new. Hatred, bigotry, racism — that’s old. It’s the same thing,” he said. “No different from Nazis or neo-Nazis. They don’t believe society should be multicultural or multiethnic. They think everyone should believe like them, I guess.”

But Shami didn’t meet that hate with hate. Instead, he made a quiet and courageous act of conciliation. He invited the protesters into the mosque to join his 800 members for evening prayers, and something truly extraordinary happened to those who accepted the offer.

One of the protesters, Jason Leger, a Phoenix resident wearing one of the profanity-laced shirts, accepted the invitation. He says what he experienced that night has left him a changed man.

“It was something I’ve never seen before. I took my shoes off. I kneeled. I saw a bunch of peaceful people. We all got along,” Leger said. “They made me feel welcome, you know. I just think everybody’s points are getting misconstrued, saying things out of emotion, saying things they don’t believe.”

Another protester, Paul Griffin, had earlier in the day stated that he didn’t care if his t-shirt was offensive. But after prayers, he assured a small crowd of Muslims that he wouldn’t wear it again.

“I promise, the next time you see me, I won’t be wearing this shirt,” he told one man while shaking his hand and smiling. “I won’t wear it again.”

Shami told the Washington Post:

“A lot of them, they’ve never met a Muslim, or they haven’t had interactions with Muslims,” he said. “A lot of them are filled with hate and rage. Maybe they went to websites that charged them with this hatred. So when you sit down and talk like rational people, without all these slogans, without being bigots, without bringing guns, they will find out that they’re talking to another human.”

It is important to state that Shami and the mosque have no duty or obligation to invite gun-carrying protsters into their mosque at any time. The thing to take away from this story should not be, “If only all Muslims were like Shami, we wouldn’t have this problem.” But instead that often, we are most susceptible to prejudice against that which appears alien to us. By sharing our respective beliefs, rituals, faiths and lifestyles – we may never agree, but we can accept and even respect our differences.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/posttv/c/embed/946a2193-5928-4a56-abb2-3731b038d058

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Hadith on 15th of Shaaban

Hadith on 15th of Shaaban

 
Very early Hadith books such as the Mussanaf of Abdul Razzaq Ibn Humam
(May Allaah have mercy on him) (126-211 AH)( Ref: Musannaf Abdur Razzaq 4/317) and the Musnad of Ahmed bin Hanbal (May Allaah have mercy on him) (164-241 AH) ( Ref: Musnad Ahmad 2/176 & 6/238)contain Ahadith relating to the virtues of 15th Sha’ban.

Even within the famous Six Books of Hadith (al-Kutub al-Sittah), Trimdhi ( Ref: Jami’ Al-Trimidhi: Kitab Al-Sawm, Bab “Ma ja’a fi Laylatin Nisfi min Sha.ban” #739 (Vol.3 p107))and Ibn Majah (Sunan Ibn Majah: Kitab Al-Iqamah, Bab “Ma Ja’a Fi Laylatun Nifsi min Sha’ban” #1388 (Vol. 1 p444) have devoted a special chapter on “The Night of the Middle of Sha’ban” in their Hadith collections. In fact there are over a dozen Ahadith available which establish the significance of the night of the 15th of Sha’ban.

There are many hadith on the merits of this Night and some of them are weak ( dai’f).However, it is to be noted that not all of the ‘weak’ Ahadith suffer from major weaknesses and in fact the minor weaknesses in some Ahadith are curable and strengthened by other narrations. 

( Wahabi Scholar Albani : : Silsilah Al-Ahadith Al Sahihah 3/135)

When all the numerous weak Ahadith are combined together, they reach a level of acceptability among Hadith scholars equivalent to being ‘Hasan’ (good).

Here are a few Sahih (Authentic) Hadith on the merits on the Night of 15 th of Shaba’an.

Hadith 1

Ibn Hibban narrated from Mu`adh ibn Jabal in his Sahih the following narration which the hadith scholar and editor of the Sahih Shu`ayb Arna’ut confirmed as sound:
The Prophet said : yattali`u Allahu ila khalqihi fi laylati al-nisfi min sha`bana fa-yaghfiru li-jami`i khalqihi illa li mushrikin aw mushahin.
Allah looks at His creation in the night of mid-Sha`ban and He forgives all His creation except for a mushrik (idolater) or a mushahin (one bent on hatred).

( Reference: Al-Tabarani: Al-Mu’jam Al-Kabir 20/108-9, Ibn Hibban:
Sahih Ibn Hibban 7/470, Al-Bayhaqi: Shu’bal Iman 2/288, Abulhasan
Al-Qazwini: Al-Amali 4/2, Ibn ‘Asakir: Al-Tarikh 15/302 & Ibn Abi ‘Asim:Al-Sunna1/224)

Note :

1)Ibn Hibban (May Allaah have mercy on him) considered this Hadith to be Sahih.

(Ibn Rajab: Lataif Al-Ma’arif 1/224)

2)And Ibn Hajr Al-Haytami (May Allaah have mercy on him) said: “This Hadith is related by Al-Tabarani (May Allaah have mercy on him) in Al-Mu’jam Al-Kabir and Al-Awsat and the narrators of both are trustworthy”(thiqat) ( Ibn Hajar Al-Haytami: Majma’ Al-Zawaid 8/65)

3)The great hadith scholar of the present time , Shaykah Shuayb Al-Arna’uat ( Rh) and the self claimed Wahabi hadith scholar Nasiruddin Al-Albani, have also considered this Hadith as ‘Sahih’.

( Ref: – Shuayb Al-Arna’ut: Al-Ihsan fi Taqrib Sahih Ibn Hibban 12/481 #5665 & Nasiruddin Al-Albani: Silsilah Al-Ahadith Al-Sahihah 3/135 #1144 ) 

Hadith 2

There is another identical Hadith related from the Companion Abdullah b.’Amr (May Allaah be pleased with him) which says that the Prophet(Sallalahu Alaihi Wassalam) said: “Allah looks at His creation during the night of the 15th of Sha’ban and He forgives His servants except two- one intent on hatred (mushanin) and a murderer (qatilu nafs).

( Ref : Musnad Ahmad 2/176 #6642. Al-Bazzar also related this Hadith and he classified it as ‘hasan’. )

Note :
In his edition of Musnad Ahmed, Shaykh Ahmed Shakir has classified this Hadith as’Sahih’ and Nasiruddin Al-Albany classified it is ‘Hasan’

( Al-Albani: Silsilah Al-Ahadith Al-Sahihah 3/136).

Hadith 3

A similar narration as above , but narrated by Abu Bakr Siddiq Rd .

It has been classified as sound by Haafiz al-Munzhiri (RA) in his al-Targheeb (vol.3 pg.459). This narration is of Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (Radhiallaahu Anhu) and is recorded by Imaam Bazzaar (RA) in his Musnad. In fact, Hafiz ibn Hajar (RA) has also classified one of its chains as Hasan (sound). (al-Amaalil mutlaqah pgs.119-120)

An important Note:

All the weak hadith which talks about the merits of 15th of Shaba’an, have got only minor weakness in them. Going by the principle of hadith, these weak hadiths also strengthen each other.

Besides the above, there are many other Sahaaba (Radhiallaahu Anhum) that narrated Ahaadith regarding the merit of this night, such as: Abu Hurayra (Musnad al-Bazzaar), Abu Tha’labah (Shu’ubul Imaan), Awf ibn Maalik (Musnad al-Bazzaar), Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-Aas (Musnad Ahmad Hadith6642), Abu Moosa al-Ash’ari (ibn Majah Hadith1390; Shu’ubul Imaan Hadith3833) and others. The collective strength of these narrations cannot be refuted.

What the Scholars have said about this Night:

1) The general virtue of this night has been accepted by many great Ulama of the past. From among many great scholars which have agreed to the virtue of this night are: Umar ibn Abdul-Aziz, Imaam al-Shaafi’ee, Imaam al-Awzaa’ie, Attaa ibn Yassaar, Imaam al-Majd ibn Taymiyah, ibn Rajab al-Hambaliy and Hafiz Zaynu-ddeen al-Iraaqiy (Rahmatullaahi alayhim) .

Refer Lataiful Ma’aarif of Hafiz ibn Rajab pgs.263-264 and Faydhul Qadeer vol.2 pg.317.

2) Even Ibn Taymiyya — the putative authority of “Salafis” — considered the night of mid-Sha`ban “a night of superior merit” in his Iqtida’ al-sirat al-mustaqim:
[Some] said: There is no difference between this night (mid-Sha`ban) and other nights of the year. However, the opinion of many of the people of learning, and that of the majority of our companions (i.e. the Hanbali school) and other than them is that it is a night of superior merit, and this is what is indicated by the words of Ahmad (ibn Hanbal), in view of the many ahadith which are transmitted concerning it, and in view of what confirms this from the words and deeds transmitted from the early generations (al-athar al-salafiyya). Some of its merits have been narrated in the books of hadith of the musnad and sunan types. This holds true even if other things have been forged concerning it.

( Ref:Ibn Taymiyya, Iqtida’ al-sirat al-mustaqim (1369/1950 ed.) p. 302.)

Ibn Taymiayh also said 

“ As for the middle night of Sha’baan, there are various narrations that have been narrated regarding its significance and it has been reported from a group of the Salaf (predecessors) that they performed Salaat in it individually, hence, such a deed cannot be disputed.’

(Majmoo’ al-Fataawa ibn Taymiyah vol.23 pg.132)

3) Imam Suyuti (Rh)says in his Haqiqat al-sunna wa al-bid`a:
“As for the night of mid-Sha`ban, it has great merit and it is desirable (mustahabb) to spend part of it in supererogatory worship.”

( Ref: Suyuti, Haqiqat al-sunna wa al-bid`a aw al-amr bi al-ittiba` wa al-nahi `an al-ibtida` (1405/1985 ed.) p. 58. He adds: “However, this must be done alone, not in congregation.”)

4. Imam Haskafi ( Rh) said in his Durr al-Mukhtar, one of the primary references in the Hanafi school:

“Among the recommended [prayers] are on. . . . the nights of the two Eids, the middle of Sha`ban, the last ten of Ramadan, and the first [ten] of Dhul-Hijjah”.

5. Imam Nawawi ( Rh) mentioned in his Majmu`, where he also quoted Imam al-Shafi`i from the latter’s al-Umm that it has reached him that there are 5 nights when dua is answered, one of them being the night of the 15th of Sha`ban.

End Note 

Only Sahih hadiths have been quoted above. The weak hadith on this topic suffer only from minor weakness . There is general consensus that weak hadiths may be acted upon for virtuous acts, such as voluntary fasting and prayer, as long as the hadith is not excessively weak, returns to a general basis in the Shariah, and one is not convinced that the Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) specifically prescribed it.

There are many other narrations from the Companions and early Muslims confirming the merits of this night as mentioned by Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali in his Lata’if al-Ma`arif, and others.

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