Saturday, December 10, 2011
Friday, December 9, 2011
Panel Discussion with Imam Zaid Shakir, Sr. Rabia Khedr, Dr. Jamal Badawi and Dr. Yasir Qadhi.
Moderator: Amadou Shakur
Check out this new video on YouTube:
Begin forwarded message:
From: Chris Blauvelt <email@example.com>
Date: December 9, 2011 12:36:39 AM EST
Subject: Muslim Chaplain Fundraising Update - the Final Stretch! (+ new announcement)
As salaam alaikum,Check out the update below, including the video. We're in the final stretch, one week to go! Alhamdulillah we're over 60% of the way there, but only 124 people have participated!In fact, I'll reimburse anyone short on funds! This is about establishing a new model for Muslims across America. In fact, since my last email several different schools (UF, UCF, Rutgers, UNC and counting) have expressed interest in learning how to start a chaplaincy at their own school. As a result, we will be offering a conference call/webinar just before Christmas.
- If you are interested in being part of this call, please let me know.Let good be done!With peace,Chris---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Omar Ashmawey <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, Dec 8, 2011 at 11:05 AM
Subject: This is the home stretch!
To: Chris <email@example.com>
The final days of the campaign are here. Is this email not displaying correctly?
View it in your browser.
UM Muslim Chaplain Campaign Update
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HELP US FINISH WHAT WE STARTED...
It's been almost a month since we have launched the campaign to bring a Muslim chaplain to U-M campus, and alhamdulillah we have raised over $16,000. Now it's crunch time. With 9 days left, we still have about $9,000 to go. We need 100% participation! Out of 400 alumni, 100 have donated generously. Don't let their effort and support be in vain. Many of our supporters have been current students, but we are the ones with the resources to make this official. This is your sadaqa jariyya: insha'Allah you will be rewarded for this chaplain and chaplains to come. Please check out the video and pass it on to all your friends. Don't forget to voice your support on Facebook and LinkedIn, too!
Omar Ashmawey, Class of 2009
Michigan Muslim Alumni Foundation
Don't forget to check out the many cool perks you can claim for your donation ranging from an MMAF mug to dinner with Dr. Jackson in January!
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Thursday, December 8, 2011
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Jewish American Novel
Close readings of American Jewish fiction by writers including Abe Cahan, Ludwig Lewisohn, Saul Bellow, Philip Roth, Cynthia Ozick, and Bernard Malamud, as well as a number of less conventionally studied texts. Attention is devoted to fictions that test the limits of the so-called “Jewish American novel,” including texts composed in Yiddish, Hebrew, and German (all of which are made available in English translations); fiction written by non-Jews about American Jews; and graphic novels.
Baseball as a Road to God
"Baseball As a Road to God" aims to link literature about our national pastime with the study of philosophy and theology. This seminar aims to blend ideas contained in classic baseball novels such as Coover's Universal Baseball Association, Kinsella's Iowa Baseball Confederation, and Malamud's The Natural with those found in such philosophical/theological works as Eliade's Sacred and Profane, Heschel's God in Search of Man, and James' Varieties of Religious Experience. It discusses such themes as the metaphysics of sports, the notions of sacred time and space, and the idea of baseball as a civil religion. Not for the faint-hearted, this course requires students to read over two dozen works of varying lengths in addition to supplemental readings as they might arise. Weekly papers are also required. As with any serious commitment of one?s time, the rewards of taking a seminar such as this can be great.
Between Rights and Justice in Latin America
What is the relationship between human rights and social justice? Do both always operate in conjunction? Are they ever mutually exclusive—one sacrificed at the expense of the other? This course explores key questions around the theory and practice of human rights promotion, surveying specialized literature and founding documents to consider the promise and challenge of existing human rights frameworks as they work for, but sometimes clash with, the promotion of social justice. We ask, are there universal rights? If so, how are these defined, and by whom? What is the relationship between "political" and "human" rights, between individual and collective rights? Can human rights be in conflict, and if so, how are such conflicts to be resolved? In regions rife with inequality—political, social, and economic—is promoting a global human rights agenda unrealistic, or more necessary than ever? After exploring these general questions, we will focus on Latin America, in particular on Argentina, Guatemala, Chile, Bolivia, Colombia, and Mexico. How do human rights struggles in these countries change our view of the prevailing human rights regime? How do legacies of colonialism in these countries affect both the protection and violation of human rights in the present? Do these countries reveal a political tension between social justice and human rights? Readings will draw from Bartolomé de las Casas, I. Kant, John Rawls, Ariel Dorfman, Paul Farmer, Martha Nussbaum, Winifred Tate, and Greg Grandin, among others.
Lefebvre and Urban Marxism (2 credits)
Despite being heralded after his death in 1991 as the most prolific French intellectual of the twentieth century—he wrote more than seventy books!—the fact is that few theorists have had such as bad a rap as Marxist philosopher and sociologist Henri Lefebvre. Scolded by the Althusserian establishment during the 1960s and 1970s for his rejection of structuralist epistemology; chastised by the French Communist Party for his contempt for dogma and orthodoxy; and ignored by academia for his irreverence toward disciplinary boundaries, Lefebvre’s ideas were never fully embraced until recently. In this course we focus especially on his writings about urbanism—with special emphasis on his concepts of everyday life, social reproduction, and the right to the city—as we explore why his ideas are becoming so popular today. Primary readings include The Urban Revolution, The Survival of Capitalism, Critique of Everyday Life (volume three), and chapters from State, Space, World: Selected Essays.
When I was seventeen, my sister had a major nervous breakdown. She began a relationship with a young student doctor who had come to Jamaica from Barbados. He was middle-class, but black and my parents wouldn't allow it. There was a tremendous family row and she, in effect, retreated from the situation into a breakdown. I was suddenly aware of the contradiction of a colonial culture, of how one lives out the colour-class-colonial dependency experience and of how it could destroy you, subjectively.
I am telling this story because it was very important for my personal development. It broke down forever, for me, the distinction between the public and the private self. I learned about culture, first, as something which is deeply subjective and personal, and at the same moment, as a structure you live. I could see that all these strange aspirations and identifications which my parents had protected onto us, their children, destroyed my sister. She was the victim, the bearer of the contradictory ambitions of my parents in this colonial situation. From then on, I could never understand why people thought these structural questions were not connected with the psychic - with emotions and identifications and feelings because, for me, those structures are things you live. I don't just mean they are personal, they are, but they are also institutional, they have real structural properties, they break you, destroy you.-Kuang-Hsing Chen, "The Formation of a Diasporic Intellectual: An Interview with Stuart Hall" in Stuart Hall: Critical Dialogues in Cultural Studies (New York: Routledge, 1996). 488.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
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The Great Bounties of Ashura
December 5, 2011/ Muharram 10, 1433
As-Salaam Alaikum Beloved Brothers and Sisters:
Your Brother in Islam,
Imam Zaid Shakir
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Monday, December 5, 2011
The day was also of course the day upon which the most tragic event in the history of Islam after the death of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, occurred. The events of the dread day of Karbala are well known and the Sheikh recounted them, but he moves on to ask 'what should be the monotheistic response to this apparently terminal and unimaginable disaster?' Of course grief and sorrow spring forth. But hanging onto the thread of spiritual renewal we note that the Prime Minister of Turkey, Recep Erdogan gave an Ashura speech last year in which he noted that "Karbala is a sign of Unity, everybody agrees on the principle of it, nobody supports the killing, nobody takes the side of the killers". The Sheikh went onto note how Karbala - not just Ashura - is commemorated by the Sunni population in Istanbul, for example at the Sunbil Sinan Pasha Camii in Koca Mustafa Pasha district, where thousands take part in mersiye (lament) poems and read a khatm of the Qur'an for the shuhada of that day. What emerges from these gatherings is a feeling of optimism and joy, spurred on by the words of Allah "they are alive in the presence of their Lord, receiving sustenance". To the extent of what we believe about shahada, something in us is glad. We grieve because those we love are no longer here and their relatives suffer, but in our heart of hearts we rejoice, for they have moved through this Vale of Tears and are in the presence of their Lord, in the highest of gatherings.
(via Husain, Nihal and Wasim ma sha Allah)
Let me know if you know of others :)
The forty hadith of Imam Al Nawawi condensed into poetry by Ammar AlShukry.
1 Know that all actions are by intentions
2 And the deen was taught by angelic interventions
3 Islam is built on five pillars of might
4 And the angels in our mother's wombs did write
5 The deen rejects all types of innovation
6 And the heart is the limb's temptation or salvation
7 The religion is based all on advice sincere
8 And the sanctity of a Muslim's blood is severe
9 We don't ask about that which is obscure
10 And Allah only accepts that which is pure
11 We leave things that are doubtful and suspect
12 And things that don't concern us, we don't inspect
13 And to love for you, what I would love for me
14 And blood to never be spilt, except for three
15 And to speak only good, if not, then refrain
16 Anger is from the heat of hell, avoid its flames
17 Everything is to be done in an excellent fashion
18 Fear Allah everywhere, treat people with compassion
19 Everything that happens is only by Allah's permission
20 Hayaa was forever written, as every prophet's vision
21 Believe in Allah and be steadfast
22 Perform halal, avoid haram, pray, and fast
23 Purification is equal to one half of our Iman,
24 And oppression was forbidden to Allah and man,
25 Everyone has something they can give in charity
26 Even picking up litter, a selfless rarity
27 Sin is what makes your heart feel resistance and unease
28 Upon us is the Sunnah, in times of difference and disease
29 The tongue is the most common catalyst to the fire
30 About those things kept silent, we should not inquire
31 Show indifference to the world, you shall be of the Zuhaad,
32 There's no initiating harm, or reciprocating harm to add,
33 Evidence is to be brought forth by the accuser,
34 And who sees munkar, must be its remover
35 Be the servents of Allah, all together as brothers
36 Allah is in your service, so long as you are for each other
37 And every good deed Allah takes and multiplies
38 And He is for His awliya, their hearing, hands and eyes
39 He has forgiven us duress, mistakes and what we forget
40 We are strangers in this world, don't settle just yet
41 Perfection occurs, when passions fall in line with the Divine
42 And Allah will forgive all sins, and He will not mind
Sunday, December 4, 2011
In 1967, at the height of the Civil Rights Struggle in the United States, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote a concise yet penetrating assessment of his times, and the choices that needed to be made if America were to avoid an accelerating descent into obscene inequalities, violence and social disintegration. He also considered the implications of a shrinking and rapidly integrating world, as well as technological advances, for our traditional conceptions of war and peace. It was a critical historical juncture and his insights were penetrating. He entitled that work, "Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community." At the end his reflections, Dr. King penned the following sobering words: "We still have a choice today: nonviolent coexistence or violent co-annihilation. This may well be mankind's last chance between chaos or community."
The warning given by Dr. King is even more pertinent today than when it was first uttered. Established ideas of the role of government, wars for profit, the militarizing of the police forces of nominally democratic states, a resurgence of national chauvinism, civic consciousness devolving into base tribalism and other developments have created a situation where cooperation between people and institutions is increasingly important if we are not to see an unrestrained descent into chaos and confrontation.
As Muslims, a community that has been described as "the best community brought forth for the service of humanity," and having been ordered by Almighty God to "cooperate for good and righteousness," we must take the lead in working to preserve a social climate conducive to cooperation. This is a sacred duty. Now, almost forty-five years after Dr. King uttered his warning, we can say with even greater certainty: "This may well be mankind's last chance between chaos or community." At this critical juncture in human affairs we no longer have a choice. We must choose cooperation and community.
RIS Organizing Team
©2011 RIS Convention | L1T4A3
I also think that the value of these democracies is perhaps romanticized. We are currently in a global situation wherein long-established Western democracies are completely powerless before international finance. Who seriously thinks that Greece, Italy, Spain, Ireland, or Iceland, or even the United Kingdom and Germany, have any meaningful democratic domestic consensus? Who seriously thinks that the people in those countries have any meaningful options in how their countries respond to the current economic crisis—which affects a whole range of domestic social policy and priorities?
And how will the Arab world possibly be any different? The source of much of the Arab world’s recent unrest lies in income inequality, injustice, authoritarianism, and economic stagnation. No country in the world, the United States included, can now pursue domestic policy independent of international financial markets. How much more so the Arab world—considering how much poorer and less developed it is? And in that case, what difference does it make what government you have? Left or right, the market seems always to win.
This is actually where I would locate the greater threat to Arab democracy, and the temptation to slide into some form of authoritarianism, older or newer. As the people of the region confront the reality that they have little say over economic policy, and will be forced to accede to the contingencies of global capitalism, they may well become immensely frustrated by the scale of change and demand something different. Considering how volatile European and American politics have become, and how frequently we now see street protests and even supposedly stable and demure countries, how much more so these new democracies?http://www.religiondispatches.org/archive/politics/5454/the_islamists_vs._the_markets%3A_egypt%E2%80%99s_election_analyzed/