24 January 2009

my brothers poem for Appa

written 11 months and 3 days ago

My tears
What can I say,
I cry in dua,
I cry in salah,
I cry on unfinished musjid rooftops,
I cry for my sins,
I cry for hidaayat,
but in me last few days,
I mostly cry for an old lady,
with a young heart,
who has a very special place in my heart,
A woman who devoted her life to others more than herself,
A lady who not only cared for me as a child, but my mother as well,
Even in her old age, she cared for one and all,
So far away I am from her today,
yet so close to my heart she is held

I will cry
Is it that I cry,
due to fear of losing her,
or due to the distance today thatleaves me unable of paying to her what is her right,
I don’t know,
But what I do know,
is that I’ll never forget her,
for who she was,
for what she did for me,
For all the love she spread,
for all the wounds she healed,
I will cry in dua,
I will in salah,
I will cry no matter where I am,
I will cry for her,
every time I'm reminded of her,
every time I think of her,
I will cry for herwhether I see her again or not

My dua
But mostly I will cry in dua for her,
for my tears and neither my duas will do justice for what she has done for us,
and I beg of one and all,
that u never forget her nor what she has done for us,
But more importantly that you never stop making dua for her,
the dua that she so deserves from us all

© Muhammed Randeree

21 January 2009

Tomorrow at Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow conference

Today was the last day of the Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow (MLT) conference, so isn’t it ‘tomorrow’ already?! Azhar Usman made a funny quip about the conference after the discussion on ‘whether there is a crisis with Muslim religious authority’. Half way through the discussion, delegates where still trying to figure out what the definitions and parameters of the discussion were! And then we all just left it and went to have a huge 5 star meal in the tent!

Some things overheard today:

Shaarik (USA)- I am here in my own capacity. Nothing I have said or am about to say, in any way, reflects the views of the US government or the State department.

Saqeb (UK)- I work for a think tank. I have a background in war studies.

'As bad as 9/11 and 7/7 were, Muslim victims of terror attacks higher! We are victims of violent extremism so let’s address this!'

‘Bloggers, make sure your writing is good! Otherwise nobody is going to listen to you.’

Robert Perez. The brand is the truth and gets reinforced in our heads by advertising or news stories.

During the session on Blogging and New Media, Nikegamechangers.com, a corporate social responsibility initiative of Nike was presented by a MLT, leading to the following discussion:

Q: … but Nike has child labour in some countries?
A: Money is there for advertising anyways, so let’s use it for positive projects.
Bilal: beware about multi-nationals using CSR budgets for deceptive marketing schemes, as they are very opportunistic. Corporate social responsibility is great. But while they're "responsible' in one country- they're oppressive in another!

Zaid Mahomedy read some of my blog posts and tweets and was somewhat uncomfortable with some of the MLT comments. He wanted to know that if some of the MLT “reject certain Ulema, don’t really care for Halal or Haraam and believe that the western values of individualism and personal freedom is the way forward, then who will keep our ‘leaders of tomorrow’ on the right path and accountable for their actions?”

I don’t know- are not the leaders just a reflection of the people that they lead?

Riyaad Minty did a presentation on Al Jazeera New media coverage of the War on Gaza. There was then discussion on the bloggers in the Arab world who are using internet for ground-breaking change, but facing harsh responses from authorities! www.globalvoicesonline.org explained how they are defending free speech online in Iran and elsewhere. MLT’s were encouraged to use online tools for Islamic work and be creative with the avenues and tools at our disposal.

The conference as a whole was not that productive- too much general talk with no clear benefit and direction. But the great networking that the conference provided was invaluable as the delegates were truly some of the most impressive individuals I have met. At the conclusion of the three days, an ‘Open letter to the world leaders of today’ was proposed which will be refined and then issued. This was the latest version I was able to obtain:

In the face of the world’s many unprecedented challenges, and with Barack Obama as the new U.S. President, there is no better time for men and women across the globe to present a case for positive change. We, as 300 Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow living in 76 countries around the world, respectfully present this Open Letter to the World Leaders of Today. If we are to inaugurate a new era of hope and peaceful engagement, Muslim and non-Muslim world leaders must commit to the following:

* Allocate resources to meeting basic needs, infrastructure, the environment, education, and job creation, because healthy, well-educated, and engaged citizens are more invested in their societies and are less likely to be swayed by radical ideologies.
* Support policies that enhance development and human rights, not war, because these rights are universal and their violation inhibits our efforts to sustain peace, tolerance, and hope.
* Generate opportunities for intellectual and cultural advancement, because creative minds are better positioned to find solutions to complex challenges.

* Promote youth participation in government and civil society, because in order to resolve our most intractable conflicts and problems, we must galvanize the youth to become part of the solution.
* Ensure the full political participation and democratic rights of all people—including youth, women, and religious and ethnic minorities, because extremism is curtailed and prosperity ensured when all members of society are engaged, speech is free, governments are open, and civil societies are robust.

* Respect the contributions of all, including Muslims and non-Muslims, to their respective societies and to global civilization, because a world built on mutual recognition and understanding is achievable only when everyone is valued.
* Safeguard our shared—Muslim and non-Muslim—values of peace, pluralism, and cooperation, because we draw upon these values to positively transform our communities.

* Seek honest dialogue and engagement as equals between leaders of nations, because committing to respectful and trusting relationships amongst leaders sets a powerful example.
* Pursue dialogue and diplomacy to resolve longstanding conflicts, because these conflicts destroy individuals and societies and weaken our efforts to instill hope and guarantee justice.

17 January 2009

MLT 09 - Day 1.5

The official conference program started today with a high powered session by a very charged up American dude. The Americans have so much energy and they sound so cool. At least I think he was American, but I am having great difficulty figuring this out- the Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow (MLT), come from 90 different countries on all 5 continents, but they all sound American! Apparently it is coz loads of them either studied in the USA or schooled at American foreign schools.

When asked for one word to describe your identity and one word to describe your grandparents, these were some of the answers:
simple and complicated
courage and passion
noble and striving
simple and complicated
not privileged and privileged

There was then a poll- ‘Are there certain Islamic values that conflict with "Western" values?’ It was fairly split and then the following comments were made by two MLT’s:
Yes- individualism in the West, compared to collectiveness and community in Islam.
No- depends on your period in history. Values are dependent on time.

The sessions were fine and I’m sure the transcripts will be available on the website at some point- www.muslimleadersoftomorrow.org The morning started off with a comment by a brother from Canada who asked what people thought about Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow, hugging & kissing between males & females, and apparently some even drinking alcohol?!

These are some of the comments that followed, other things overheard at the conference, and points made by some of the panelists:

‘We spend too much time judging people- actions are between you & God. Beware before you 'end up being alone in cave'!’
He was attacked for asking this question and reprimanded and then even judged himself!!
Only people who kissed me on cheeks have been big bearded okes, and that should stop!

'Have justice for all as your compass.'
'I have no authority to talk about Muslim authority!'
'My issue with religious leaders, and I dont care who they are, I dont trust them!'
‘Freedom and democracy can’t be bombed into people- Iraq. Or even bombed out of people- Gaza.’

Ulema bashing 101. How to bash an Alim in 4 words: I don’t trust them, They are stupid idiots, What do they know?, I know more!!

Sheikha Hanan al-Thani
Qatari women empowerment- taking place in Qatar today. The issue of integration of women into public life has become the main concern for Qatar society. After having long suffered marginalisation and exclusion from public life.

Shamil Idriss (USA) - UN Alliance of Civilizations
‘Try to remember always, that we brought together here as Muslims and leaders, but we represent countries that are on different sides of this cultural divide.’
‘All cultures have similar or same values, but at different times different values are stressed.’

Abu Eesa (UK)- We have to define what is Islamic values? These are things which have existed for decades. But West is focused on individualism- separation of Church and State, secularism, etc.
Those who believe in a secular Islam, will disagree. But we all live and benefit from secular society, because there is a glaring absence of a true Islamic society.

Mona (USA/Egypt)- I am a secular Muslim. Living in Egypt and Saudi Arabia made me a feminist. And when I lived in Israel, I called myself a secular Muslim.

Malik (Saudi)- Youngest Harvard graduate- It’s the freedom, not to submit, that gives value to the act of submission itself.
Let’s try to make this meeting productive- there are differences but let’s try to be tolerant.

Osama (Scotland)- I am from Scotland and we invented the modern world. Roads, telephone, democracy and even football.

Madiha (Pakistan)- I come across this everyday, ‘What will happen if our youth start living like the youth in the West?’ But most people don’t understand what an Islamic value is. If it’s according to Islamic principles, a value from anywhere in the world can be an Islamic value. We need to clarify what an Islamic value is. We also don’t understand the difference between Islamic and cultural values.

In Pakistan, it’s a value to keep women out of public life. They use Islam to justify this cultural value. Western Muslims do the same. It is not an Islamic value to have absolute freedom- Islam puts boundaries on you.

Yasir (USA)- People who profess to be scholars have no knowledge of what they saying. Their criticism may be valid, but they have no qualification. You can’t tell a neuro-scientist how to do is job unless you study that field as well.
Way forward- not to discard the 1400 years of tradition that made us who we are- but need to create a new breed of Ulama who understand the classical sciences and understand the world we live in.
Don't reject tradition, but understand it and embrace it. We have lost it.

Nadeem (UK)- I believe in separation of Church and state- and that makes me a secular Muslim
Should be concentrating on bigger issues rather than having marginal debates
An Alim in Saudi has passed fatwa that it’s fine for 10 year old girls to marry older men- we should use this platform to speak against it.

300 of some of the brightest young Muslims in the world- what questions would YOU like to as them?

Start of Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow 2009

Qatar is busy this weekend. At the airport this morning, Palestinian leaders were coming in to meet with Arab leaders to discuss the attack on Gaza. Most Arab states are said to be here, with the notable exception of Saudi Arabia and Egypt. As the attacks on Gaza continue and the death toll increases, Saudi Arabia and Egypt refuse to even attend the summit to have discussions.

The Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow conference is on for the next two days and 300 young Muslims from around the world will be in attendance. I have not met that many interesting new people, largely due to the fact that I have been catching up with the many people that I knew already.

The Jumuah program was in English by Imam Bilal Philips, who discussed the concepts of brotherhood and unity, focusing on the role Muslims, and Muslim leaders, need to play in acting against the atrocities in Gaza.

The Islamic Arts Museum opened in Doha last month. The museum building itself is an amazing sight and has the obvious aspects of classical Islamic architecture, together with modern touches and finishing. Spent a few hours there and was totally blown away by the extensive collection of artefacts, presented in a modern and interactive manner.

Hats off to Doha for doing such a remarkable job of presenting Islamic art, and most importantly, not just concentrating on the past, but through the state of the art guide system, presenting and making relevant various principles and aspects of Islam and the cultures under which it thrived. A few hours is definitely not enough to be able to truly appreciate the extensive collection, so plan at least a day or two if you are ever in the area.

More on MLT 2009 to follow. Watch this space.

06 January 2009

Time for South Africa to boycott Apartheid Israel

President Kgalema Motlanthe, is his New Year’s message to the nation, joined the UN Secretary General in calling for the immediate stop to the Gaza attacks. He added, “The sheer savagery of the attacks launched by Israel against the residents of Gaza serves to conceal the fact that underlying this conflict is the reasonable demand for both peoples (Palestinians and Israeli's) to live together in peace and prosperity within their internationally recognized homelands.”

"It's the most terrifying place I've ever been in," the late Edward Said once said of Gaza. "It's a horrifyingly sad place because of the desperation and misery of the way people live. I was unprepared for camps that are much worse than anything I saw in South Africa."

Gaza is said to be the world's largest open-air prison, with one and a half million people squashed into an area 45 km long and 10 km wide, and Israeli military controlling its’ air space and borders. Over 80% of the population are refugees denied their legal Right to Return to the homes and lands from which they were expelled in 1948. This is the history of the story of Gaza: that the people that ended up on the beaches of Gaza don't come from Gaza, but come from the very land whose more recent owners have now bombed them to death.

Watching Western news reports, one could not be blamed for thinking that history began yesterday, when a bunch of bearded anti-Semitic Islamist lunatics suddenly popped up in Gaza and began firing missiles into peace-loving, democratic Israel, only to be met with the defensive actions of the Israeli army, the fourth most powerful military in the world.

“Sometimes also civilians pay the price,” said Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, and now with the land offensive in full force, we hear that almost 600 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli attacks, including more than 200 children & 60 women. Since 2001, fewer than twenty Israelis have been killed by Qassam rockets. But as a Zionist supporter, defending the outrageous Palestinian death toll, said it was "pointless to play the numbers game".

In January 2008, UN Special Rapporteur John Dugard stated, "a distinction must be drawn between acts of mindless terror, such as acts committed by Al Qaeda, and acts committed in the course of a war of national liberation against colonialism, apartheid or military occupation. While such acts cannot be justified, they must be understood as being a painful but inevitable consequence of colonialism, apartheid or occupation."

Israeli and Palestinian violence can in no way be viewed as symmetrical – individual Palestinians have chosen to resist their occupiers with largely ineffective home-made rockets, while the Israeli state, has responded by collectively punishing the captive population that it illegally occupies. Under the Fourth Geneva Convention, collective punishment is a war crime. As the occupier, the burden is on Israel to end its state violence.

President Kgalema Motlanthe went on to add, ‘The current Israeli aggression proves the folly of the notion of "waging the war to end all wars". War begets war. The UN Security Council must act now to save lives and to create peace.

Peace means more than absence of war… peace means the right of self-determination, it means eradication of hunger and poverty, it means free trade. It means the right to life.’

South Africa must sever diplomatic ties with Israel and implement sanctions against it until Israel complies with international law.

03 January 2009

Brothers, sisters, cousins, wives, husbands, friends, daughters, sons, colleagues, neighbours

The first 187 names of those murdered in the ongoing Gaza massacre:

Ibrahim Al-Jamaj
Ibrahim Al-Jamaj
Isma'il Al-Husari
Isma'il Salem
Isma'il Ghneim
Eyman Natour
Eyhab Ash-Shaer
Ibrahim Mahfoudh
Abu Ali Ar-Rahhal
Ahmad Al-Halabi
Ahmad Al-Kurd
Ahmad Al-Lahham
Ahmad Al-Hums
Ahmad At-Talouli
Ahmad Zu'rub
Ahmad Abu Jazar
Ahmad Radwan
Ahmad 'Udah
Ahmad Abu Mousa
Ahmad Tbeil
Adham Al-Areini
Osama Abu Ar-Rus
Osama Abu Ar-Reish
Osama Darweish
Ashraf Ash-Sharabasi
Ashraf Abu Suhweil
Amjad Abu Jazar
Ameen Az-Zarbatli
Anas Hamad
Anwar Al-Bardini
Anwar Al-Kurd
Ayman Abu Ammouna
Ayman An-Nahhal
Ibrahim Abu Ar-Rus
Basil Dababish
Bassam Makkawi
Bilal Omar
Bahaa Abu Zuhri
Tamir Qreinawi
Tamir Abu Afsha
Tawfiq Al-Fallit
Tawfiq Jabir
Thaer Madi
Jabir Jarbu'
Hatim Abu Sha'ira
Hamid Yasin
Husam Ayyash
Hasan Baraka
Hasan Abid Rabbo
Hasan Al-Majayda
Hussein Al-A'raj
Hussein Dawood
Hussein 'Uroq
Hakam Abu Mansi
Hamada Abu Duqqa
Hamada Safi
Hamdan Abu Nu'eira
Haydar Hassuna
Khalid Zu'rub
Khalid Abu Hasna
Khalid An-Nashasi
Khalid Shaheen Raed Dughmush
Rami Ash-Sheikh
Raafat Shamiyya
Riziq Salman
Rif'at Sa'da
Rafiq Na'im
Ramzi Al-Haddad
Ziyad Abu 'Ubada
Sarah Al-Hawajiri
Salim Abu Shamla
Salim Qreinawi
Sa'id Hamada
Salim Al-Gharir
Suheil Tambura
Shadi Sbakhi
Shahada Quffa
Shahada Abd ar-Rahman
Sabir Al-Mabhouh
Suhayb Abu 'Iffat
Suhayb Abd al-'aal
Tal'at Salman
Tal'at Basal
'Aasim Ash-Shaer
'Aasim Abu Kamil
Abid Ad-Dahshan
Abd ar-Raziq Shahtu
Abd as-Sami' An-Nashar
Abdul-Fattah Abu 'Uteiwi
Abdul-Fattah Fadil
Abdullah Juneid
Abdullah Al-Ghafari
Abdullah Rantisi
Abdullah Wahbi
Arafat Farajallah
Azmi Abu Dalal
Isam Al-Ghirbawi
'Alaa Al-Qatrawi
'Alaa Al-Kahlout
'Alaa 'Uqeilan
'Alaa Nasr Ar-Ra'i
Ali Awad
Imab Abu Al-Hajj
Omar Darawsha
Omran Ar-ran
Anan Ghaliya
Gharib Al-Assar
Fayiz Riyad Al-Madhoun
Fayiz Ayada Al-Madhoun
Fayiz Abu Al-Qumsan
Camellia Al-Bardini
Ma'moun Sleim
Mazin 'Ulayyan
Muhammad Al-Ghimri
Muhammad Al-Halabi
Muhammad Asaliyya
Muhammad Az-Zatma
Muhammad Az-ahra
Muhammad Gaza
Muhammad An-Nuri
Muhammad Abu Sabra
Muhammad Abu 'Amir
Muhammad Abu Libda Muhammad Hboush
Muhammad Al-Mabhouh
Muhammad Sha'ban
Muhammad Abu 'Abdo
Muhammad Salih
Muhammad Tabasha
Muhammad Al-Habeil
Muhammad Abdullah Aziz
Muhammad Abdul-Wahhab Aziz
Muhammad Awad
Muhammad Abd An-Nabi
Muhammad Salih
Muhammad An-Najari
Muhammad Hamad
Muhammad Barakat
Muhammad Muhanna
Mahmoud Al-Khalidi
Mahmoud Abu Harbeid
Mahmoud Abu Matar
Mahmoud Abu Tabour
Mahmoud Abu Nahla
Mustafa Al-Khateib
Mustafa As-Sabbak
Mu'ein Hamada
Mu'ein Al-Hasan
Mumtaz An- Najjar
Mansour Al-Gharra
Nasser Al-Gharra
Nahidh Abu Namous
Nabil Al-Breim
Nathir Al-Louqa
Ni'ma Al-Maghari
Na'im Kheit
Na'im Al-Kafarna
Na'im Al-Anzi
Nimir Amoum
Hisham Rantisi
Hisham Al-Masdar
Hisham Abu 'Uda
Hisham 'Uweida
Humam An-Najjar
Hanaa Al-Mabhouh
Haytham Hamdan
Haytham Ash-Sher
Wadei' Al-Muzayyin
Wasim Azaza
Walid Abu Hein
Walid Jabir Abu Hein
Yasser Ash-Shaer
Yasser Al-Lahham
Yahya Al-Hayik
Yahya Sheikha
Yahya Mahmoud Sheikha
Yousif Thabit
Yousif Al-Jallad
Yousif Sha'ban
Yousif Diab
Yousif Al-Anani
Yousif An-Najjar
Younis Ad-Deiri

If you are going out to protest, write these names on your placards. Each of you, take one name and remember it.

Source: kabobfest