The `Muslim Film’ Fundraiser

Lena Khan, the very talented director with pieces like `Bassem is trying’ to her credit is undertaking a big job. She wants to direct a whole movie, and she has asked Ijtema.net readers for help in raising funds for her project on Kickstarter. We support her efforts, and wish her all the luck. If you would like to contribute to the project, please visit

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/879784241/the-tiger-hunter-a-feature-film

Every bit counts, so please do not hesitate to donate small amounts.

They have only until 17 February to raise the money. So please head over now. They are 15K short at the time of publication.

‘Controversy’ Over the South Park Muhammad (SAW) Episode

From the news:

A derogatory article about Durga (a Hindu goddess) was published in the British newspaper- The Guardian. It has angered some Hindus. A Hindu website, the Hindutva Jagaran, has said this may lead to some blood being spilled. Protection is being arranged for editors and the publishers of The Guardian.

This piece makes it look as if the radical website that issued the threat is real and is newsworthy. The piece does not make it clear whether that is the case.

Anyway, the “news” above is fake.

It is to show what is wrong with the news coverage of the South Park episode. It begins with the report that allegedly a Muslim Website issued “death threat” to the South Park folks.

Fox news stops its coverage there, as expected. CNN continues and quotes my dear friend Aziz. That’s better, but as poll after poll has shown, Aziz’s view is far more representative than are the radical voices. Why report the radical voices first? It gives them undue attention, and a false sense of importance. In other words, it gives them motivation to seek more attention by actually committing a crime.

To get a representative voice, they could have approached CAIR, or ISNA or even their local Masjid. If the “revolution Muslim” reference is the only one covered, then that seems to be an important one. (I have never even come across this website before except through RT once. Never through my Muslim friends.) Of course that’s what Fox want to show. But what’s wrong with the others?

Fox news seemed to revel at the episode. God forbid, if one of the writers get killed, they get a double bonus. South Park is something they don’t like. Islam too.

It is true that most Muslims believe that the Prophet (SAW) should not be drawn, but drawing him will cause more annoyance than offense or anger. The reason Muslims were offended and angered by the Danish cartoon is not because it drew the Prophet (may peace and blessings be upon him), but rather because it portrayed him as a terrorist.

When the Muslims conquered Mecca, they forgave the persecuting Quraish. They destroyed all the idols that were there in the Kaaba, which was built (or rebuilt) by Abraham (AwS). However, there was a picture of prophet Jesus (AwS) and his mother Mary (may Allah be pleased with her), which the prophet carefully put away.

Muslims love and respect all the other prophets, including Abraham, Moses and Jesus (AwS). Whenever they are ridiculed, we are hurt too. The difference is, as Jesus (AwS) is “shared” between us and the Christians, so we do not feel we (Muslims)  are being picked on.

The episode of South Park in my opinion was not trying to offend. It was trying to engage/incorporate the Muslim faith into the dialogue the way they know how. That’s the problem. Americans do not understand other cultures, not even European ones, and do not attempt to understand them. They expect them to ‘know what we are talkin’ about.

It just does not work that way. You can’t converse in Bengali with a Chinese.

Personally, I did find the show a bit offensive. One, because it showed the Prophet (SAW) clad in a stupid teddy bear costume. Two, it made innumerate references relating Muhammad (SAW), Muslims and violence. (Three) nor is Muhammad (SAW) immune from criticism. Even Muslims believe that he was a fallible human. We just believe that overall he was an excellent person- an example for all humanity to learn from. We are open to sincere criticism, but we do not like him ridiculed.

So, in short, I am a somewhat offended by, and a bit dissatisfied with the show, but in no way angry with it. I urge my fellow Muslims to engage the larger society- including the media, and use this opportunity to create some positive atmosphere. I urge the media to talk to representative Muslim organizations, and emphasize that they are such, before talking about fringe groups.

What Do Muslims Think? Use Our Custom Search Engine to Find Out!

Have you ever wanted to gauge Muslim opinion on various issues? Perhaps you’re interested in their thoughts on the recent Swiss minaret ban, or the Danish Cartoon crisis?

Whether you’re researching an article, want to find like-minded people, or are simply curious, the Muslim Bloggers Directory can help!

Open the directory, and you should see a box in the left-hand sidebar, titled: “SEARCH BLOGS”. Enter your search term into the form, click “GO”, et voila! You’ll be presented with relevant search results that have been derived from the database of 600+ (and growing!) Muslim blogs listed on the directory.

The aim of the custom search engine is to promote real Muslim opinion, and encourage discussion, debate and dialogue. Everyone is welcome to use it; especially those who wish to improve the representation of the Muslim community within mainstream media.

As the site grows, so too will the range and diversity of the Muslim voices promoted by our search feature. Therefore we ask that you please continue to submit your favourite Muslim blogs to the directory.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

Observed Trends in the Muslim Blogosphere

Originally posted at MuslimMatters.org

With the Brass Crescent Awards coming to a close, and the launch of the new Muslims Bloggers Directory, I feel it’s a good time to take a closer look at the world of Muslim blogging.

I’ve had the honour of working on several online initiatives alongside MuslimMatters these past couple of years. In particular, the website Ijtema.net, which, since its launch back in 2007, has aimed to promote the ‘best of the Muslim blogosphere’.

Our initial approach to achieve this goal was to act as a type of human filter of the Islaminet: our team of editors would link to Muslim-authored content that we found interesting, in the hope that our readers would too. I guess that they did, as we were nominated for a BCA last year under the category “Best Group Blog” – though we were beaten by some unknown entity called “MuslimMatters.org”. Anyone ever heard of them?

However, as the number of Muslim blogs we followed became greater and greater, and the spare time of our editors became less and less, we knew we could not sustain our efforts for much longer. We decided to close the site, albeit temporarily, and focus on a new, hopefully more efficient strategy.

That eventually led to the launch of the Muslim Bloggers Directory – a freely accessible, categorised collection of links to Muslim blogs, vlogs, and other multimedia channels, with a custom search engine allowing visitors to search through the actual content of listed sites.

Continue reading

Muslim Bloggers Directory Launched!

Bismillah

Assalamu ‘alaykum dear friends of Ijtema.net!

It’s finally here… an exciting, new development from the Ijtema team… the Muslim Bloggers Directory!

The Muslim Bloggers Directory is a categorised collection of links to Muslim blogs, vlogs, and other multimedia channels, with a custom search engine allowing visitors to search through the actual contents of listed sites. It is open to submissions from the public… and it is entirely FREE!

Come on over and see if your site has been listed. If not, submit it today, and become part of the Ijtema community! Visit the FAQ page to learn more about the directory and how to use it, including how to claim an existing entry.

We hope to see you there soon!

Ramadan Mubarak and Ijtema Updates

As-Salamu Alaikum dear readers

As you have noticed, IJTEMA has been silent for the past half year or so. However, as promised, we had been working behind the scene on our next service. It derives from the same IJTEMA philosophy- sharing good content.

In preparation for the forthcoming launch of our latest service, we launched a new Facebook page, and Twitter stream.

To find out more, please stay tuned on Facebook and Twitter. If enough of you join the fan page on Facebook, we can register for a decent shortcut (i.e., facebook.com/ijtema). So please become a fan NOW!

We shall make the final announcements very soon, inshaAllah.

Please remember IJTEMA and the whole Ummah in your Du’a in this blessed month.

Goodbye, for Now

Salaam dear readers,

IJTEMA is in crisis. We tried to come up with solutions, but we have failed so far. The model that we work on- reading a ton of blogs, selecting a few of them, posting them and finding relevant image is a very time consuming process. We are not even sure how much we have achieved, looking at our site meter. It would seem that the model of IJTEMA is a failure.

We also had constant attrition in memebers leaving the group because of their other, “real life” obligations- as IJTEMA duty takes quite some time. And it is not even clear what was being achieved. We had trouble getting new recruits, as we did not write much ourselves, but promoted others’ writings.

The IJTEMA photo contest that we had, two years ago was a success, and I look back at that wistfully. We were unable to do something similar this year.

So we have decided to shut down the normal operation of IJTEMA for the time being. We do not want the brand that we have made to get lost, so the site will be there for some time, inshaAllah. Also because we want the archives to be available, at least for some time.

We are also planning to have a blog directory. InshaAllah it will be completed.

In the meantime, if you want something of your own writing to be published here at IJTEMA, please do forward it to editor AT ijtema DOT net

Therefore, allow me to say JazakAllah khair to our group members, the writers and to our readers for staying around all these years when we were experimenting with IJTEMA, and inspiring us. We hope to be back, one day, when we have another idea worth experimenting with. InshaAllah that time it will be a success.