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.

Mumbai Terrorists Succeed

The Mumbai terror attacks have left some deep scars. In terms of numbers, perhaps more Pakistanis are dying every day; but as it is, Mumbai is turning out to be more significant. India and Pakistan are back to rhetoric, and indeed, back from the brink of a war! Progress made in the past few years are gone in a few days. That event is tending to divide the Muslims and the Hindus in India.  Many Muslims are apologetic about crimes that they did not participate in, and had nothing to do with except as a victim. Pakistani seems to have become an abuse. (Not so long ago Obama was “smeared” by the horribly offensive term- “Muslim,” against which he rightfully protested; but did not do the right thing by saying- “(No I’m not), but why would that be a bad thing?.”) We have these beer drinking terrorists- who they are, what they want we do not know. We have these people who are confused. We have other political entities who benefit from our loss and others’ loss. The terrorists seem to have won the battle. We have to win the war.

Du’a is the least we can do. Today, as three million Muslims stand at Mecca, we can make du’a for ourselves, and make du’a for them, and for everybody in the Ummah, and for every person in the whole wide world.

Eid Wishes, y’all.

[Image courtesy: Ron Gonzalez]

Understanding teen issues in the West

Moulana Muhammed Shoayb writes a post about the importance of understanding the mindset of teenage children growing up here. He explains why he thinks its crucial to be aware of what’s going on in their minds and to tackle the questions arising from their mindset head-on, either by themselves or by finding someone who can. He argues that it is usually neglect on the side of immigrant parents that ends up leading to confusion and unresolved issues.

 Today’s teens have different issues facing them. They have lived their entire lives here, with an occasional (sometimes frequent) trip back to their parent’s birth countries as visitors. They have identified, and been encouraged by us as parents and community elders to identify, rightly so, as American Muslims. What we didn’t realize when we encouraged them to develop this new identity is that new questions come along with this new identity. Some of our kids are going to want know what it feels like to be a punk rocker. Some of our teens are going to want to know what it feels like to go on a date…and how can it be wrong when so many of their friends in the neighborhood/school are doing it. Those same teens may never give you the slightest idea of what is going on behind their innocent eyes and sweet smiles. It is your duty as parents to let them know that bringing those questions out in the open is ok, that nobody will have a heart attack just because an otherwise sweet child asks some not-so-sweet questions.

Read the whole post here.

Muslim reaction to controversies

Muslim reaction to the Danish cartoon controversies and other similar episodes raise questions on Muslim attitudes towards free speech. Should Muslims be more open and accepting of provocative material like the cartoons or is the outrage totally warranted? Many insiders and outsiders alike agree that Muslims should adapt to the concept of free speech, which would mean everything is open to be derided, mocked or satirized, while others are quick to disagree. Hamza Andreas Tzortzis examines Muslim reactions towards these controversies and offers a critique of the very notion of free speech, which, according to Hamza, is not without its own controversies.

Read the entire piece here.

Topi tip to CookieMonster.

Dr. Wadud in England

Another event that has got the bloggers blogging is Dr. Amina Wadud’s attempt to lead Friday prayers again, this time in England.

UmmahPulse has an investigative piece on the people organizing it and the actual event.

Despite attempts by the organisers to whip up controversy with the help of the local (Oxford Mail) and national media (The Times), the event was a total flop – hardly anyone attended. An evening news report broadcast on the ITV Thames Valley programme (17.10.08) commented on “the media far outnumbering the congregation” and “the historic moment being underwhelmed by the turnout from both sides of the debate, with the majority of Muslims in Oxford having simply decided to ignore the event”.

Indigo Jo of Blogistan criticizes it and provides textual basis for mainstream scholars’ opposition.

As for the proof of the invalidity of the prayer of anyone who “prayed” behind Wadud, here is a collection of opinions by some modern scholars of Islam who are not ranting extremists (PDF, I’m afraid); I also wrote a few articles tackling not only the “prayer” itself but the media response to it and some of Wadud’s other antics ([1], [2], [3]). I wonder if she is aware (or if she cares) about Hargey’s well-documented deviations, such as believing that the hadeeth contain so many forgeries and fabrications that they should not be used to derive legal rulings, but rather that Muslims should use the Qur’an alone?

Shahrzaad asks a question on her blog and set off a response by Achelois.

So if muslim women can be the jurisprudent, i’d like to know why not the prayer leading then?

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We need to hear from another woman and not a man what lies for us in religion. Blogosphere is not our khutbah place. We need to connect with women in the real world. At least I need that. I want to hear what a Muslim woman like me thinks about politics, religion, feminism, marriage, child-bearing and child-raising. I want to know what God says about women. I want to know what lies in Heaven for women. I want to know how God feels about lesbians. I want to know what should be done to men who rape their wives. Sorry but the khutbahs don’t tell me all that. I want to do more than swap recipes and talk about fashion with women.

But I wish I could look forward to it as a day when the entire family can go out and meet like minded people; where we can spend a good hour or so praying and talking about what is important to both men and women in Islam.

 

Therefore, I feel that it is important for women to be included in Friday sermons.

In a similar vein, Progressive Muslima wonders why something supposedly as relatively inane as this excites traditional conservative Muslims while more serious social issues don’t rally them.

Also, I find interesting that some Muslims who had intended to attend the prayers in Oxford were told they would no longer be welcome in their own mosques if they did so. I wonder if adulterers, wife beaters, child abusers, “honor” killers and folks who force their children to marry receive the same intimidating visits from these “concerned” Muslims.

Powell on Muslims in America

So, Colin Powell seems to have excited a section of the Muslim blogosphere with his comments:

“Well, the correct answer is, he is not a Muslim, he’s a Christian. He’s always been a Christian. But the really right answer is, what if he is?”

I’m also troubled by, not what Senator McCain says, but what members of the party say. And it is permitted to be said such things as, “Well, you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim.” Well, the correct answer is, he is not a Muslim, he’s a Christian. He’s always been a Christian. But the really right answer is, what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer’s no, that’s not America. Is there something wrong with some seven-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be president? Yet, I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion, “He’s a Muslim and he might be associated terrorists.” This is not the way we should be doing it in America.

Cookie Monster, currently blogless, has the following to say:

I believe what he said can actually – over time – marginalize anti-Muslim sentiment and make it very hard for people like Ann Coulter and Daniel Pipes to spread their ideas. These statements can cut into the base of anti-Muslim sentiment by challenging the assumptions of Muslim-basher sympathetics and winning them over to a more accepting worldview. But this can only happen if establishment politicians, people with a similar place in society like Powell, unequivocally echo his statement, and it would really help if non-liberals were at the forefront. Lay liberals are more tolerant than their lay Republican counterparts, and it is the latter who make up the majority of Muslim bashers. If Republicans, or individuals with deep ties to the Republican base can echo Powell, then- over time, again- we may see anti-Muslim rhetoric pushed further away from the mainstream in much the same way we’ve seen racist sentiment fade over time.

I don’t believe anti-Muslim sentiment will ever die out, but I do believe it can be marginalized. The more mainstream figures like Powell make these statements, the more tougher the job of the typical, loser Muslim-basher gets.

Of course we don’t depend on Powell or anyone for that matter to give us honor or anything like that, I don’t think anyone would say that. What Powell and others would do ‘mainstream’ our existence here as practicing Muslims and debilitate the ability of the Muslim-bashers to undermine our da’wah and impugn our very presence here in America.

Educating the Muslim Female

A recent Ijtema post linked to a story of a Muslimah in her quest to secure education. On the other side of the world, Asmaa ponders over a seemingly Catch-22 situation involving education and societal expectations and raises a lot of questions in the process:

In university, I was indoctrinated with the notion of individuality, empowerment and self-determination. I was taught that what and who I wanted to be, was completely in my hands. So I made myself in those four years, out of a combination of valuable personal relationships and classroom education.

For example, if a woman of education reaches her late 20′s and is still unmarried, it seems there is suddenly a “too-empowered” stigma attached to her name. It’s as though marriage defines women, and without it we are unnatural. I do not deny there is a natural desire for partnership, but I question our community’s perception of what a woman is without it.

I often feel frustrated being in a Muslim family. I’m not proud of these frustrations of mine. Believe me, it’s a conflicting and negative feeling to have. (Perhaps the phenomenon is also found in non-Muslim families, but I speak from experience only.)

Though we’ve been taught to make decisions on our own, I find that being female and Muslim sometimes means some of our decision are made for us, and not by us. And thus there can only be one product of that: an ever-increasing frustration with the situations we find ourselves in.

Combating harassment in Egypt

We ran a post on alarming levels of sexual harassment in Egypt last year. MR points to a related news article here.

Muslimah Media Watch comments on this disturbing phenomenon and commends a grassroots effort to combat it and educate youth:

The slogan of the group’s campaign is “Respect yourself: Egypt still has real men.” I love this slogan for two reasons. The first is that it challenges one of the core values of traditional notions of masculinity: sexual power over women. Harassing women is not a sign of masculinity; it’s a sign of cowardice. It’s great that Muslims are beginning to recognize this.

Another reason I love this slogan is because it brings the responsibility for sexual harassment back on men. For too long, sexual harassment has been considered the responsibility of women. “Real men” take the responsibility in treating women with respect and sexual autonomy and they also take responsibility in stopping other men from disrespecting women’s sexuality. This is why the campaign not only focuses on getting men to stop sexually harassing women, but to also stop other men from doing it, too. This is especially important when a lot of sexual harassment in Egypt takes place in public.