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 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

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.

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., 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.

He Said, She Said…The Zionist Said

A very new blogger, who calls himself “A Shackled Traveller” writes on conspiracy theories-

It pains me to write this article, but I feel I must. Conspiracy theories, yes, we’ve heard them all, some of us attribute credibility to them and others ridicule it. Conspiracy theories are, without a doubt, rife within the Muslim ummah, the western Muslims are not exempt from this trend. I hardly hear Muslim’s rejecting conspiracy theories. Unfortunately, they’re enforcing them, and referencing them during conversations, frankly someone needs point this out. They need a slap in the face, I’m definitely not condoning violence, but a slight tap to bring them back to reality, will do.

The majority of people have gotten bitten by the conspiracy bug, it has infested their brain, and introduced it’s progeny to their new comfortable nest i.e. the Muslim mind. Whenever you prove one is wrong, somehow, you’re hit with an even more absurd one. I remember not too long ago at a gathering, laughter was in the air, no audible voice could be discerned, for all the tepid fun we were having. Then the ambiance turned sour, someone mentioned from a “credible” source that 9/11 was a set up. I don’t want to repeat the story, in case some might believe it to be true, but unless you live under a rock, your ears have been insulted by this one. Unfortunately, once in a while, personally is one to many, I’m left flabbergasted, by such comments.

Review: Slumdog Millionaire

Apun Ka Desh reviews the much-hyped movie “Slumdog Millionaire” on his blog-

The storyline is quite new, something you haven’t seen in the past – and as most of us know it comes from the book ‘Q n A’ by Mr Vikas Swarup (a indian bureaucrat by profession… have you noticed how many indian bureaucrats especially on foregin postings are writing books these days! No real work to do .. eh?). The acting by small kids is good – they shine compared to their older ‘avatars’ in the movie.

Yeah, i didn’t have too many positives sorry – inspite of the hype.

Now, for the things which i did not like.