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January 13th 2012 - January 26th 2012

Ron Paul: The Best Choice for American Despite anti-imperial foreign policy position, Muslims divided over Muslims? conservative presidential hopeful By Wafa Unus

go beyond just the rhetoric,” said Tarin. “That is some of the disappointment that the Muslim American community felt around Obama.”

Muslim Link Staff Reporter

With election season in full swing and the front runners for the Presidential seat making their way to the starting line, voters are beginning to get serious about where their loyalties lie. This race, one candidate stands out for his vocal stance on foreign policy, a position that some believe is a selling point for the American Muslim community. However, Haris Tarin, Director of the Washington D.C. office of The Muslim Political Action Committee (MPAC), warns against re-

The Muslim Link

lying only on rhetoric, citing the 2008 campaign of President Obama as a cautionary tale. “When it comes to any elected official that the Muslim community looks at, we have to be able to look at the individual comprehensively and we have to be able to

Longtime Ron Paul supporter and local political activist, Dr. Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad also believes that the previous presidential election can serve as a lesson when preparing for “Decision 2012.” “The only advantage that we have seen in President Obama is one of phrasing. He speaks in a more judicious and evenhanded manner when he speaks about issues having to do with

foreign policy that are of interest to Muslims. However his actions are virtually indistinguishable from the previous government,” said Ahmad. The stark difference between the youthful Barack Obama who induced scores of chants for change and the quickly graying President Obama whose term accomplishments have been continuously questioned by even his most fervent supporters is not one that should come as a complete surprise said Tarin.

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Gwynn Oak Hopes for Masjid By Ramadan By Muslim Link Staff Writer There are several masajid in and around Baltimore City. There are row house masjids, store front masjids, and even a converted barn masjid. But soon, if the Muslims in Baltimore’s Gwynn Oak neighborhood can complete the last lap, there will be a very special addition to the city’s masajid.

“No one has built a masjid in Baltimore City from the ground up. This is historic,” said Melvin Bilal, a board member of the Islamic Society of Gwynn Oak. The Gwynn Oak community is known for its housing project which, throughout the 1990s, facilitated the growth of a neighborhood where dozens of Mus>> masjid Pg 7


Pak Business Man Matches $150K For Homeless | pg 4 Bukhari Seminar Gives Glimpse Into Hadith Giant | pg 5 WPRESS: Iraq Birth Defects Blamed On US Weapons | pg 8 Civil: GTMO Turns 10, Becomes Legal | pg 6 SPORTS: NFL Team Purchased By Muslim | pg 12 ARTS: TML Reviews Reality Show On US Muslims | pg 16

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January 13th 2012 - January 26th 2012

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inside This Issue 03 Community News 08 World Press 10 Civil Rights 12 Sports 13 Islam

Arts & Entertainment

16 Arts & Entertainment

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January 13th 2012 - January 26th 2012


Community News Pakistani Entrepreneur Gives Matching Grant To Help Those In Need Source: USPAK Foundation Muslim Lakhani a Pakistani American, resident of Washington DC renewed his pledge on Christmas Day for the 4th year to continue funding Grate Patrol, a much needed homeless feeding program in Washington DC, and will match donations up to $150, 000. USPAK Foundation requests its supporters to match Mr. Lakhani’s donation by donating any amount of their choice whether, $5, or $500 to Salvation Army. Any amount is welcome and would go a long way in many ways. Details of how to donate are below. The Salvation Army National Capital Area Command received a special gift and a challenge to others from a local philanthropist on Christmas Day that, ultimately, will help feed and house homeless individuals and families in need living throughout the greater Washington area. The gift, however, comes with a matching challenge to our community. The Salvation Army must first generate

$150,000 in new donations, then Muslim Lakhani, CEO of ML Resources, a DCbased financial services company, will generously match--dollar-for-dollar-contributions (including stock) given to The Salvation Army up to $150,000. The Salvation Army is very grateful to Mr. Lakhani and his family for this gift. These matching funds will help address the rising demand for help from men, women and children in need. The Salvation Army served over 73,000 people in 2011, approximately 14% more than the previous year. “We are praying the community will take advantage of this blessing by Mr. Lakhani to double their donation”, said area commander Major Steve Morris. “Every dollar will be matched, up to $150,000, bringing twice the amount of help The Salvation Army will be able to offer people in need.” How to Donate: The Salvation Army will begin accepting donations for this

matching gift immediately. Anyone wishing to have their donation matched can go online to, call 202-756-2600 weekdays or 1-800-SALARMY on nights and weekends, or mail their check to The Salvation Army, 2626 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC, 20037. Donors wishing to give stock can call The Salvation Army or their broker for details. (The Salvation Army is asking that the words -- “Lakhani Matching Gift” be designated in the memo section of any check, online contribution or when speaking by phone with Your Salvation Army donor care specialist.) About Muslim Lakhani: Mr. Lakhani and his family moved to Washington, DC, in 2006, bringing with him a long history of compassion for those in need. In his heart, he believes that people from all faiths must come together to address poverty and hunger.

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“I hope and pray that people will give generously, and that the amount we have been fortunate to share for the past four years will hopefully become insignificant in comparison to the generosity of the many who are waiting to give”, said Mr. Lakhani. About the Grate Patrol: The Grate Patrol began more than 26 years ago as a nightly feeding program giving homeless men and women an evening meal and fellowship, and the opportunity to receive professional help. Since 1985, the program has operated in downtown DC from a Salvation Army van. The mobile unit makes at least a dozen stops through each evening. A Salvation Army outreach coordinator works directly with individual clients to help them locate medical, dental or mental health services to name a few. About The Salvation Army & the Na-

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January 13th 2012 - January 26th 2012



Bukhari Seminar Gives Glimpse Into Hadith Giant By Fatimah Waseem

Muslim Link Staff Reporter

But what we did explore was quite satisfying on its own.

Many Muslim’s experience with Sahih Bukhari is limited to a quiet phrase which references a hadith at its very end --- but for 300 students at Al-Maghrib Institute’s single-weekend seminar “Collector’s Edition: An Introduction to the Sahih of Imam Bukhari”, this small, unbecoming phrase came to life.

In Friday’s session, we learned about the importance of the isnad - a hadith’s chain of narrators. We were even given a chance to become a part of this age-old verification system: by getting an ‘ijaazah for the first hadith of Sahih Bukhari if and only if we memorized it after learning its meaning.

Under the guide of Sheikh Yasir Qadhi, dean of academic affairs at Al-Maghrib Institute, students glimpsed the humbling and jaw-dropping prowess of Imam Bukhari, as hadith collector, a visionary, and a luminary like no other. They analyzed hand-picked hadith from the Sahih’s many books varying from the ever-sodebated definition of travel to the tafsir of Surah al-Kauthar. And they time-turned into the past, returning to the present with increased appreciation of the Prophet Muhammad (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) and his Sunnah.

Aside from the coolness of being armed with an ‘ijaazah, we got a glimpse into the biography of Imam Bukhari from his days as a young child to his death - requested by word of his own mouth to Allah (SWT). Through these stories, emerged a man with a stunning memory and exemplary character. He could memorize pages with one glance at them and even the combined scheming of 10 scholars to stump his perfect memorization of thousands and thousands of hadith in their entirety, would not damage him. He prized his honor and authenticity of hadith so much that even the thought of being question for 10,000 supposedly stolen coins of his would not prevent him in tossing them overboard.

Of 7563 hadith, only a few dozen were covered and of 97 books, only 9 were covered. Yet, the seminar - held on the weekend of January 6th at the University of Maryland’s College Park campus - was multifaceted, it was practical, and it was moving. It was Al-Maghrib at its best. The weekend’s layout followed a similar rinse and repeat system: book, chapter heading, hadith, book chapter, hadith. But there was no monotony to his teaching style. To every chapter, Qadhi brought something new, covering topics from the evidence of creations other than ours to positions on poetry in Islam. To every module, Qadhi shed new light on the methodology, style, and opinions of the amazing man behind the Sahih. To every discussion, Qadhi presented many opinions; and though he grazed only the surface, there was enough on the surface to see. “We’re just taking a small flashlight and shining it here and there,” he said in Friday’s Free session open to the entire community, “The vast room is still left to be explored.”

And within his books, we witnessed Bukhari’s inner-self: a man who would go to “unrealistic lengths” (as said by Imam Muslim himself) to ensure the authenticity of a hadith, a man who ingeniously chose and placed ahadith, and a man who had used the Sahih not just as a hadith collection, but as a tool to express his opinion. As we would learn time and time again, “The fiqh of Imam Bukhari was in his chapter headings.” All of this in the midst of closer glimpses into the life, teachings, and ways of the Prophet (Salallahu ‘alyhi wa sallam), his companions, and Islam. It is thus a class not just for the khateeb or a person with much knowledge about it Islam; rather it is a class for the the seeker of knowledge through the second-most prized source: our Sunnah. It took away my hesitation in studying hadith and substituted it with excitement, passion, and curiosity for more. As Sheikh Yasir said in the introduction of the seminar, this class is not one that will help you appreciate Bukhari - only one that will help you begin to appreciate him. That is why I end this piece with the hope that this is only a beginning.

Students at the Al-Maghrib Institute’s course on Sahih Bukhari listen to professor Yasir Qadhi at the University of Maryland College Park. Photo by Tina Shamohammadi.


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January 13th 2012 - January 26th 2012


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“A presidential candidate and an elected president are two different individuals.” While Tarin believes this sentiment to be true of all candidates, including Ron Paul, Ahmad who ran for Senate on the Libertarian ticket in 1988 the year that Paul ran for President feels Paul has the knowledge to back his platform. “Unlike George W. Bush, who didn’t understand foreign policy at all, Ron Paul has a much better grasp on foreign policy. He can call on good advisers but not be so enslaved to them,” said Ahmad. Although Ahmad recognizes that Paul is unlikely to make it to the presidential elections, he is confident that if he were to somehow find himself on a ticket against Obama, he would be the biggest threat to the Obama reelection campaign over any other potential candidate. In fact, one poll conducted by NBC News and the Marist College Institute of Public Opinion found Obama and Paul tied for

support in a theoretical presidential election. Against all other candidates, Obama came out on top. Another poll conducted by CNN and ORC International stated Obama as having a 52 percent to 45 percent advantage over both Mitt Romney and Ron Paul. But will the American Muslim community rally behind Paul if given the opportunity to put him in the Oval office? The Muslim Link newspaper surveyed its readers to get an idea of their opinion of Ron Paul’s political platform and if the opportunity arises, they would cast their presidential vote for Paul. Of those polled, nearly 68 percent said they would vote for Paul, 18 percent said they would not and 14 percent said they were unsure of how they would vote. Though nearly 65 percent of those polled agreed with Paul’s foreign policy stance, the majority stated that they simply did not know enough about the candidate’s other key platforms to make a decision. A striking commentary on the disparate

awareness of Paul’s perspectives beyond foreign policy. “This is where the challenge is. Ron Paul only speaks to our community on issues of foreign policy,” said Tarin. “This is just rhetoric, once you get into office the reality completely changes.” Because Paul has been vocal on issues of foreign policy, Tarin believes the immigrant American Muslim community finds him of particular interest as they have a very real, vested interest in how U.S. policy shapes what happens “back home.” However, when it comes to the American Muslim population whose focus is primarily on domestic issues Tarin believes Paul’s past will quickly put him in a precarious position. Melissa Fleming, a survey participant, said that while she did consider Ron Paul as a candidate she might have been able to support, she found that though he was vocal regarding Muslims, other comments he made in the past gave her pause and ultimately swayed her against the politician. “As Muslims we are a group of people from many different continents, nations, countries and races. Ron Paul has made incendiary statements regarding African Americans and his super pack continues to make negative comments about one of the candidates because he decided to adopt an Asian child. It is not my belief that a person who finds it easy to make racist, stereotypical comments about some groups should be trusted with what they say about other groups. Is it okay if, lets just say, he doesn’t have a problem with perhaps Arab Muslims, but has a problem with Black or Asian Muslims?,” she wrote in response to the TML survey. Paul has been facing intense criticism over controversial racist statements in newsletters published under his name in the 1980s and 1990s. As the contents of the newsletters have resurfaced in light of his presidential campaign, Paul has denied ever writing their contents. In a December 21st 2011 interview with CNN he reaffirmed his claim that he neither wrote nor was aware of the contents of the newsletters until some 10 years after they were written. “I didn’t write them. I disavow them and that’s it,” said Paul.


Flemming is not convinced.

“The question is whether he is a good candidate for Muslims, well who are Muslims but individuals making up a group. He is a problem for some individuals in our grouping and therefore not a good candidate for Muslims,” she continued. Other’s argue that many of his position are in line with issues of inherent interest to the American Muslim, particularly his stance on the Federal Reserve. “He is for abolishing the Federal Reserve System and believe in going back to the gold standard. Paper money is fiat money. It is worthless and over time loses its value. To go to a gold standard is more Islamic as the early generations used gold, silver as a means of purchasing,” said Salman Sheikh of Silver Spring, Maryland. While questions remain as to whether or not Paul is a potential candidate who can rally up strong Muslim support, his popularity in the general public appears undeniable, based on recent polls, and his stance on foreign policy remains a punctuation mark in his platform. However, Ahmad is weary of the expectations of American Muslims when rallying support behind a candidate based on a single platform issue. Though voting is an essential step in shaping public policy, Ahmad believes that without a long term change in how the American Muslim community integrates from the ground up there will be little impact when it comes to truly seeing change in regards to issues of foreign policy that are of interest to Muslims. “[The Jewish community was] discriminated against the way that Muslims are now but they didn’t just stand up and demand the United states establish Israel, they got involved on the grassroots and once they wanted to make the State, they already had a network in place,” said Ahmad. Until Muslims establish themselves as politically involved members of the community, in addition to efforts to support the political candidates who share their views and perspectives, there is less chance of being truly influential in the policy making process regardless of the candidate or platform, he said.

January 13th 2012 - January 26th 2012



Request for Dua: Brother Mazhar Baig from the Baltimore community was involved in a serious car accident early this January resulting in severe injuries including damage to his eyes. Please keep him and his family in your prayers.

tember 2009.


>> continued from pg 1

lim families lived side by side. Now the small community is completing the third phase of a four phase masjid construction project which broke ground in Sep-


>> continued from pg 4

tional Capital Area Command: The Salvation Army National Capital Area Command assisted more than 73,000 individuals last year from families living across the Greater Washington region by providing help and hope through a diverse range of social services. We offer emergency eviction and utility cut-off prevention assistance, gro-

Community members are pushing for completion of the first floor of the planned three floor masjid by the upcoming Ramadhan. If the first floor is completed, taraweeh and Ramadan activities will take place there while the top two cery, clothing and furniture vouchers, meals for the hungry and homeless, support for the disabled, elderly and ill, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, disaster relief, transitional housing for single mothers with children and character building opportunities for youth. To receive help or make a donation, please

floors are built out. The final masjid plan includes a commercial kitchen, banquet hall, offices and classrooms on the first floor, prayer hall and imam’s office on the second floor, and a recreation center for youth on the third floor. The community already spent $800,000

on the first three phases. An additional $400,000 is needed to complete the first floor. A fundraising dinner is planned for January 21, 2012 at the Islamic Society of Baltimore; ISB waived the rental fee in support of the masjid building effort. To donate, visit

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World Press

January 13th 2012 - January 26th 2012

Fallujah Babies: Birth Defects Blamed on US Weapons By Dahr Jamail , Al Jazeera English January 6, 2012 Fallujah, Iraq - While the US military has formally withdrawn from Iraq, doctors and residents of Fallujah are blaming weapons like depleted uranium and white phosphorous used during two devastating US attacks on Fallujah in 2004 for what are being described as “catastrophic” levels of birth defects and abnormalities. Dr Samira Alani, a paediatric specialist at Fallujah General Hospital, has taken a personal interest in investigating an explosion of congenital abnormalities that have mushroomed in the wake of the US sieges since 2005. “We have all kinds of defects now, ranging from congenital heart disease to severe physical abnormalities, both in numbers you cannot imagine,” Alani told Al Jazeera at her office in the hospital, while showing countless photos of shocking birth defects. As of December 21, Alani, who has worked at the hospital since 1997, told Al Jazeera she had personally logged 677 cases of birth defects since October 2009. Just eight days later when Al Jazeera visited the city on December 29, that number had already risen to 699. “There are not even medical terms to describe some of these conditions because we’ve never seen them until now,” she said. “So when I describe it all I can do is describe the physical defects, but I’m unable to provide a medical term.” ‘Incompatible with life’

We are unable to print photos due to their graphic nature To view photos, Google Search: “Iraq Birth Defects”

Mercury, Uranium, Bizmuth and other trace elements were found. The report’s conclusion states:

ventricles, and a growth on his lower back that doctors have not been able to remove. Abdul has trouble controlling his muscles, struggles to walk, cannot control his bladder, and weakens easily. Doctors told his father, Mohamed Jaleel Abdul Rahim, that his son has severe nervous system problems, and could develop fluid build-up in his brain as he ages, which could prove fatal. “This is the first instance of something like this in all our family,” Rahim told Al Jazeera. “We lived in an area that was heavily bombed by the Americans in 2004, and a missile landed right in front of our home. What else could cause these health problems besides this?” Dr Alani told Al Jazeera that in the vast majority of cases she has documented, the family had no prior history of congenital abnormalities. Alani showed Al Jazeera hundreds of photos of babies born with cleft palates, elongated heads, a baby born with one eye in the centre of its face, overgrown limbs, short limbs, and malformed ears, noses and spines.

Most of these babies in Fallujah die within 20 to 30 minutes after being born, but not all.

She told Al Jazeera of cases of “thanatophoric dysplasia”, an abnormality in bones and the thoracic cage that “render the newborn incompatible with life”.

Four-year-old Abdul Jaleel Mohammed was born in October 2007. His clinical diagnosis includes dilation of two heart

Rahim said many of his relatives that have had babies after 2004 are having problems as well.


Alani and Busby, along with other doctors and researchers, published a study in September 2011 from data obtained by analysing the hair samples, as well as soil and water samples from the city.

“One of them was born and looks like a fish,” Rahim said. “I also personally know of at least three other families who live near us who have these problems also.” For now, the family is worried how Abdul will fare in school when he is enrolled next year. Maloud Ahmed Jassim, Abdul’s grandfather, added, “We’ve seen so many miscarriages happen, and we don’t know why.” “The growth on his back is so sensitive and painful for him,” Rahim said. “What will happen in school?” Jassim is angered by a lack of thorough investigations into the health crisis. “Why is the government not investigating this,” he asked. “Western media seem interested, but neither our local media nor the government are. Why not?” In April 2011, Iraqi lawmakers debated whether the US attacks on the city constituted genocide. Resolutions that called for international prosecution, however, went nowhere. Scientific proof Alani, along with Dr Christopher Busby, a British scientist and activist who has carried out research into the risks of radioactive pollution, collected hair samples from 25 parents of families with children who have birth defects and sent them to a laboratory in Germany for analysis.

“Whilst caution must be exercised about ruling out other possibilities, because none of the elements found in excess are reported to cause congenital diseases and cancer except Uranium, these findings suggest the enriched Uranium exposure is either a primary cause or related to the cause of the congenital anomaly and cancer increases. Questions are thus raised about the characteristics and composition of weapons now being deployed in modern battlefields.” “As doctors, we know Mercury, Uranium and Bismuth can contribute to the development of congenital abnormalities, and we think it could be related to the use of prohibited weapons by the Americans during these battles,” Alani said. “I made this link to a coroner’s inquest in the West Midlands into the death of a Gulf War One veteran... and a coroner’s jury accepted my evidence,” he told Al Jazeera. “It’s been found by a coroner’s court that cancer was caused by an exposure to depleted uranium,” Busby added, “In the last 10 years, research has emerged that has made it quite clear that uranium is one of the most dangerous substances known to man, certainly in the form that it takes when used in these wars.” In July 2010, Busby released a study that showed a 12-fold increase in childhood cancer in Fallujah since the 2004 attacks. The report also showed the sex ratio had

defects Pg 9

January 13th 2012 - January 26th 2012 defects

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declined from normal to 86 boys to 100 girls, together with a spread of diseases indicative of genetic damage similar to but of far greater incidence than Hiroshima. Dr Alani visited Japan recently, where she met with Japanese doctors who study birth defect rates they believe related to radiation from the US nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.


She was told birth defect incidence rates there are between 1-2 per cent. Alani’s log of cases of birth defects amounts to a rate of 14.7 per cent of all babies born in Fallujah, more than 14 times the rate in the affected areas of Japan. A contaminated country? In Babil Province in southern Iraq, the head of the Babil Cancer Centre, Dr Sharif al-Alwachi, said cancer rates have been escalating at alarming rates since 2003, for which he blames the use of

depleted uranium weapons by US forces during and following the 2003 invasion. “The environment could be contaminated by chemical weapons and depleted uranium from the aftermath of the war on Iraq,” Dr Alwachi told Al Jazeera. “The air, soil and water are all polluted by these weapons, and as they come into contact with human beings they become poisonous. This is new to our region, and people are suffering here.” The US and UK militaries have sent mixed signals about the effects of de-

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pleted uranium, but Iraqi doctors like Alwachi and Alani, and along with researchers, blame the increasing cancer and birth defect rates on the weapon. Abdulhaq Al-Ani, author of Uranium in Iraq, has been researching the effects of depleted uranium on Iraqis since 1991. He told Al Jazeera he personally measured radiation levels in the city of Kerbala, as well as in Basra, and his Geiger counter was “screaming” because “the indicator went beyond the range”. Alani explained that she is the only doctor in Fallujah registering cases of congenital abnormalities. Dr Samira Alani, who has been working as a pediatrician at Fallujah General Hospital since 1997, has registered 699 cases of birth defects in Fallujah babies since late 2009. “We have no system to register all of them, so we have so many cases we are missing,” she said. “Just yesterday a colleague told me of a newborn with thanatophoric dysplasia and she did not register it. I think I only know of 40-50 per cent of the cases because so many families have their babies at home and we never know of these, and other clinics are not registering them either.” The hospital where Alani does her work was constructed in the Dhubadh district of Fallujah in 2008. According to Alani, the district was bombed heavily during the November 2004 siege. “There is also a primary school that was built nearby, and from that school alone three teachers developed breast cancer, and now two of them are dead,” Alani said. “We get so many cases from this area, right where the hospital is.” Even with a vast amount of anecdotal evidence, the exact cause of the health crisis in Fallujah is currently inconclusive without an in-depth, comprehensive study, which has yet to be carried out. But despite lack of governmental support, and very little support from outside Iraq, Alani is determined to continue her work. “I will not leave this subject”, she told Al Jazeera. “I will not stop.”



Civil Rights

January 13th 2012 - January 26th 2012

Guantanamo Prison Turns 10 Years Old, Now Enshrined In Law and Seemingly Permanent Associated Press, January 11, 2012

ernment is waiting for conditions to improve in Yemen, where they have only deteriorated,” said John Chandler, a lawyer based in Atlanta, Georgia, who represents al-Nahdi.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico ― Suleiman al-Nahdi waits with dozens of other prisoners in a seemingly permanent state of limbo five years after he was cleared for release from Guantanamo Bay.

Few expected Guantanamo to reach this milestone. The prison, which occupies a portion of the 45-square-mile (115-square-kilometer) U.S. base at the southeastern corner of Cuba, started as an impromptu place to hold men scooped up at the start of the Afghanistan war, a mix that turned out to range from hardcore al-Qaida members to hapless bystanders.

“I wonder if the U.S. government wants to keep us here forever,” the 37-year-old al-Nahdi wrote in a recent letter to his lawyers. Open for 10 years on Wednesday, the prison seems more established than ever. The deadline set by President Barack Obama to close Guantanamo came and went two years ago. No detainee has left in a year because of restrictions on transfers, and indefinite military detention is now enshrined in U.S. law. The 10th anniversary will be the subject of demonstrations in London and Washington. Prisoners at the U.S. Navy base in Cuba plan to mark the day with sitins, banners and a refusal of meals, said Ramzi Kassem, a lawyer who represents seven inmates. “They would like to send a message that the prisoners of Guantanamo still reject the injustice of their imprisonment,” said Kassem, a law professor at the City University of New York. Human rights groups and lawyers for prisoners are dismayed that Obama not only failed to overcome resistance in Congress and close the prison, but that his administration has resumed military tribunals at the base and continues to hold men like al-Nahdi who have been cleared for release. Critics are also angry over the president’s Dec. 31 signing of the National Defense Authorization Act, which includes a provision allowing indefinite military deten-


tion without trial. “Now, we have Guantanamo forever signed into law,” said Andrea Prasow, senior counterterrorism counsel for Human Rights Watch. “Instead of pushing forward with the agenda of closure, he has accepted the idea of indefinite detention for the duration of some undefined hostilities.”

today as it was during the campaign ... I think this is a process that faces obstacles that we’re all aware of and we will continue to work through them,” Carney said.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said Monday that Obama still wants to close Guantanamo because “it’s the right thing to do for our national security interest,” a view that he says is shared by senior members of the military. He noted President George W. Bush and Sen. John McCain, while running for president in 2008, also supported closing the prison.

Today, Guantanamo holds 171 prisoners and it’s an odd mix. Thirty-six await trial on war crimes charges, including the alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks. There are 46 in indefinite detention as men the U.S. considers dangerous but who cannot be charged for lack of evidence or other reasons. The U.S. wants to release 32 but hasn’t, largely because of congressional restrictions, and 57 men from Yemen, like al-Nahdi, aren’t being charged but the government won’t let them go because their country is unstable.

“The commitment that the president has to closing Guantanamo Bay is as firm

“There is not a thing keeping them from going home except that our clever gov-

Al-Nahdi seems to be in the middle. He was detained because he attended an al-Qaida-linked training camp in Afghanistan but he was not accused of any specific attacks on U.S. forces. The military classified him as a “low level” mujahedeen who could be transferred out of Guantanamo, where he has been held since June 2002. The first prisoners, brought to the base shackled and hooded and clad in bright orange jumpsuits, were kept in outdoor cages and interrogated in wooden huts when they arrived on Jan. 11, 2002. With detainees later kept in steel mesh cells, the population grew to nearly 700 by mid-2003. From the start, the camps seethed with tension. Prisoners, some subjected to harsh interrogations and sleep deprivation, staged mass hunger strikes, and banged on their cell doors for hours and hurled bodily fluids at guards. In ensuing years, the military erected a modern prison complex virtually indistinguishable from a typical jail, keeping most men in communal blocks with guantanamo Pg 11

January 13th 2012 - January 26th 2012 guantanamo

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amenities such as video games and cable TV. U.S. officials have rejected most allegations of abusive conditions, and reports of clashes with guards and turmoil have dropped along with the decline in the prison population. But the U.S. government also decided Guantanamo’s reputation was more trouble than it was worth and began trying to empty it under Bush. His administration released 537 prisoners, transferring them to other countries or freeing them outright. Under Obama, Congress balked at releasing prisoners, citing concerns that some already let go had rejoined the Taliban or al-Qaida. Congress imposed a requirement that the Defense Department certify a prisoner did not pose a threat if released, a guarantee that officials said was nearly impossible to grant. The law Obama signed Dec. 31 softened the language, but it’s been a year since a single man has been transferred out. “These are men who were in their early 20s when they were picked up and now they are in their early 30s and a significant amount of their lives has slipped away while this debate has gone on and on and on,” said Cori Crider, a lawyer for the British human rights group Reprieve who represents several Guantanamo prisoners. Zachary Katznelson, a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union, said Congress was more interested in scoring political points, and should listen to security experts. “We are not talking about releasing anyone who is dangerous. We’re talking about releasing people who the intelligence and military communities have unanimously agreed should be released,” Katznelson said. Congress also has prohibited moving any Guantanamo prisoners to the U.S. for detention or trial, which effectively blocked Obama’s goal of closing the prison by January 2009 and trying the self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept. 11 attack, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed,


and others accused of war crimes in a civilian court. Mohammed is expected to be arraigned at the base later this year. Congress also stripped the prisoners of the right to challenge their detention in the courts by filing writs of habeas corpus. The Supreme Court returned that right, but the courts have said the U.S. can still detain men even if there is little evidence against them and no intention of charging them. When prisoners have won their cases in a lower court, the gov-

ernment has appealed and won. With such a bleak legal landscape, Chandler and his co-counsel withdrew alNahdi’s appeal rather than face certain defeat. It’s made for difficult meetings when the lawyers must explain why so many others, including prisoners who were convicted of war crimes, have been released.

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going to be charged. And of course, I have no answer to those questions,” Chandler said. -----------------------------------------------In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

“He says: ‘How come I can’t go home? I’ve never been charged and I’m never

The Muslim Community Center (MCC) 15200 New Hampshire Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20905

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TUITION: $300 per semester plus $50 registration fee Instructors Wanted: The MCC is adding to its panel of qualified instructors for the Arabic Language Center. Applications must be proficient in Arabic and English languages with substantial teaching experience. ALL POSITIONS ARE PAID. Email your resume to


January 13th 2012 - January 26th 2012


Sports NFL Jaguars Purchase Says Muslims Like Football, Too By Muslim Link Staff Reporter Jacksonville Jaguars fans are the sporting more than the usual teal, black, white and gold. Trademark handlebar mustaches have become a new trend for the NFL team’s fans now that Pakistani native Shahid Khan is owner of the football franchise, and the first minority owner in the league. In a unanimous vote, the National Football League approved the sale of the Jacksonville Jaguars to Khan, owner of auto-parts maker Flex-N-Gate Corp. Khan’s official first day as an NFL team owner began on January 4th. The team is neither the most profitable, with an estimated value of $725 million, the lowest in the NFL according to Forbes, nor the most popular considering their 2011 attendance record that landed it in the 25th spot out of 32 teams. However, some NFL team owners feel as though Khan’s unique background can breathe new life into the franchise and ultimately the league. “It takes some skill to come from where he came from to where he is today. You add that to your (NFL) ownership group, and we’ve gotten better. The more people we can have sitting around those tables in there that have wanted it real bad, that have paid a high price to get in, and have a vision of how to grow the pie, the better the NFL will be,” said Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, in an interview that appeared on And what a journey Khan has had. Khan came to the United States from Pakistan at the ripe age of 16 to attend the University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign. While still an engineering student at the University, Khan began working for Flex-N-Gate. In 1978 he left the com-


pany to start his own business that designed and manufactured bumpers. His unique design boasted of lightweight metal with no seams that resisted corrosion and rust. In 1980, just two years after starting his own company, Khan bought his previous employer, Flex-N-Gate. The company is now has over 10,000 spread over 48 different manufacturing plants and brings in over three billion dollars in sales a year. Chances are if you own an an SUV or pick-up truck built in North America, you are likely driving a vehicle with a bumper based on Khan’s design. Khan already accomplished what many would consider the epitome of the American dream. He entered the country as a young immigrant and attended a fine university in pursuit of a lucrative degree while working for a profitable company. Soon after, he started his own business and gained enough success to buy his former employer. His dream didn’t stop there. Khan was determined to enter the exclusive fraternity of NFL team owners, a club whose roster reads like a who’s who list of the most wealthy individuals in the country. Few would argue that there’s anything more down right American than that. “This is a business, but I think it’s also a civic asset...This is really a combination of business acumen and a love of football.” said Khan a in recent Bloomberg article. Khan has garnered much support from the league as well as from Jaguar fans who have donned Khan-style stick on mustaches as a sign of support for the new ownership. Still, there have been some who have expressed their distaste for a Pakistani native as a promi-

nent player in the most profitable sports league in the nation. As the leagues first minority owner, Khan is facing unique criticism due to his ethnicity and religion. Comment sections below articles on Khan’s purchase of the NFL team have been no stranger to less favorable remarks with some questioning his motives, suggesting terrorist ties and using racially derogatory terms, and others simple expressing their distaste for a Pakistani interfering in a rooted American tradition. Still, sports have seemingly always served as a safe haven for Muslim participants. From Muhammad Ali to Ha-

keem Olajuwan, some of the greatest and most revered athletic heroes have also been Muslim or have brought their talents from overseas. Who’s to say the same isn’t true for owners. The Jacksonville Jaguars started as an expansion team in 1993 and began playing in the league in 1995. During their second season, they ended the season just one win away from the Super Bowl. Since then they have made the playoffs five times, most recently in 2007.

January 13th 2012 - January 26th 2012

ISLAM | 13


Islam and the Race Question By Paul Hardy, M.A. (Oxon.) Ph.D (University of Chicago)

The racialized discourse prevalent in our own era has over the centuries proven alien to the societies which developed under the inspiration of Islam. Even more alien to those societies has been the tendency found in the West to articulate personal identity almost entirely in racial terms. For in racialized nations like the United States, Europe, South Africa or the Caribbean, appearance or physical attributes, such as hair, skin and bone structure, have been more consequential, more starkly invested with social signficance, than anything else such as family, wealth culture education or personal achievement. It goes without saying that this investing of bodily marks with so high a degree of significance is sociogenic in origin and not phylogenic. To think otherwise would be to place racism beyond the possibility of eradication. It is a historical accident, not a necessity of nature, that produces racist perceptions, actions and discourse. Some historians say that the concept of race did not enter European consciousness until the fifteen century. But certainly, by the midpoint of the nineteenth century Benjamin Disraeli could declare that “all is race.” That is, the basic human condition—and thus economic, political, scientific and cultural positions—are taken to be determined by race. So by the twentieth century, Cromer and Balfour, the most highly-esteemed of British colonial administrators, took it as a matter of course that Europeans and the English in particular, were the master race. All others were “subject races.” The contrast with societies that grew up under the influence of Islam is considerable. Although Islamic so­ ci­ ety was multi-racial from the beginning, in none of the regions where the religion became dominant did the concept of race enter

Although Islamic so­ci­ety was multiracial from the beginning, in none of the regions where the religion became dominant did the concept of race enter Muslim consciousness. Muslim consciousness. In fact, Arabic had no word at this time which would correspond to the semantic range covered by the English word “race.” The word that is sometimes translated as “race” in versions of Classical Arabic texts is “jins” or “genus.” “Jins” is a classificatory term taken over from Aristotelian science and is used regularly in Islamic law, for example, to define the value of commodities. For example, the eleventh-century Transoxianian jurist Abu Bakr as-Sarakhsi, who writes: The free and the slave are of one genus. As far as his origin is concerned, the human being is free. Slavery intervenes as an accident . . . So slavery does not bring about a change in genus. (Kitab al-Mabsut (Beirut: 1398/1978) XII, 83-84.) In the fifteenth century, as racist ideology emerged in the West, the Muslim Ottoman empire was also coming on the scene. “Racism”, however, could not have formed part of its legitimating apparatus. It formed no part of the Ottoman Muslim legacy. Of course, social differentiation did and does exist amongst Muslim peoples. This cannot be denied. In the tribal society in which Islam was born there existed differences in social status between the various tribes. Moreover, the societies of the Roman, Persian and Indian worlds where Islam planted its roots were highly articulated in terms of occupational differentiation. But while we

find instances of discriminatory exclusion founded on a people’s social standing, this did not take on a predominantly racial character. The Egalitarian Consciousness of Islam Wherever Islam put down roots, Muslims grew to believe that discriminatory exclusion based on race was fundamentally alien to the spirit of their faith. This is understandable, given that there is almost a logical connection between affirming the oneness of God and upholding the equality of human beings before Him. We read, for example, in Islam’s sacred book, the Qur’an: “O Humankind! We have created you from male and female and have made you into peoples (shu‘ub) and tribes (qaba’il) that you may know one another; truly, the noblest (akram) among you before God are the most pious (atqa) among yourselves; indeed, is God the All-knowing, the All-seeing.” (49:13). This verse was revealed immediately after the triumphant entry of the Prophet (on him be God’s blessing and peace) into Mecca. After a declaration of immunity from reprisal offered to the tribes of Mecca that had fought against him, the Prophet requested Bilal the Abyssinian to call the people to prayer. A group of three new Muslims saw this. One of them remarked how happy he was that his parents were not present to see such a disgusting sight. Another one, Harith ibn Hisham found it remarkable that the Blessed Prophet

could find no-one other than a black to call the Muslims to prayer. Yet another, Abu Sufyan, abstained from making any adverse comment lest God send a revelation to Muhammad to deal with what he said. The sources record that God did indeed send the angel of revelation, Gabriel, to inform the Prophet of the discussion that had just taken place. The Prophet asked the three men about their conversation and they confirmed to the Prophet exactly what Gabriel had told him. This verse of the Qur’an was subsequently revealed because these three Arab men were discriminating between themselves and Bilal, an African. God revealed this verse to proclaim that the only criterion He uses to judge between believers is that of piety, a virtue which Bilal possessed and the three men did not. Qur’an 49:13 has played a central role in Muslim discourse on the race question. Despite the circumstances of its revelation, there are interpretations which suggest that it refers to tribalism and not to race as such. This is because of the reference it makes to tribes, or “qaba’il.” Admittedly, because race calls upon kinship, this may seem a distinction without a difference. In any case, on this reading the word translated as peoples (shu‘ub) will mean “tribal confederacy” inasmuch as the singular form sha‘b signifies “a collecting” or “separating” and thus by extension came to denote genealogical units that resulted from the branchingoff of earlier units. Earlier commentators like Sufyan ath-Thawri (d.777) state that “The shu‘ub are like the tribes Tamim and Bakr and the qaba’il are subtribes.” Tabari, (d.923), the great lawyer and historian, accordingly glosses this verse as follows: We have caused you to be related in genealogy. Some of you are related to others remotely ... When it says “That race Pg 13


January 13th 2012 - January 26th 2012

14 | ISLAM race

>> continued from pg 13

you may come to know each other” it means “That you may know each other with respect to genealogy ... not because you have any superiority to others in that respect nor any nearness which will bring you closer to God, but because The most distinguished amongst you is the most pious amongst yourselves. (Jami¢ al-bayan ‘an ta’wil ai al-Qur’an (Cairo: 1373/1854) II, 138ff). On this interpretation the Qur’an seems to legitimate people formulating personal-identity through the mediation of institutional resources of recognition and authorization. That is, it pronounces as legitimate an identity that locates each person in a given social grouping. Hence the words “That you may come to know each other” are taken to be a condemnation of ignorance of family lines without which a lawful life in Islam would be impossible, since if people ignored their genealogies, they would be unable to distribute inheritance or avoid marriage within the forbidden degrees. Furthermore, it appears that the Blessed Prophet did affirm the benefit of genealogical knowledge when he said: “Know concerning your genealogies that by which you may make your ties of blood kinship close; for close ties of kinship are a cause of love amongst family.” But the stated motivation for mutual knowledge here is love. After all, the Blessed Prophet had announced, “The believers, in their love, mutual kindness, and close ties, are like one body; when any part complains, the whole body responds to it with wakefulness and fever” [Source: Muslim’s Sahih]. Hence it does not seem too much to interpret the phrase in Qur’an: “That you may come to know each other” as advancing mutual knowledge as a motivating force for mutual love. Knowledge of one’s particular ties of kinship would be only one means of accomplishing this, given that the entire human race descends from a common ancestor. The latter idea harmonises with the Prophet’s address in his farewell pilgrimage to which we will turn in a moment. Giving ground to a more universalising interpretation of Qur’an 39:13 are glosses like that of al-Qushayri (d.1071) quoted in al-Qurtubi’s Jami‘ ahkam al-


Qur’an (Cairo: 1387/1967) XVI, which stress the idea that “The shu‘ub are those the origins of whose genealogy (nasab) are unknown like the Indians and the Iranians and the Turks.” This reading emphasises the relevance for some commentators of Qur’an 39:13 to racism. For example, Abu’l-Futuh ar-Razi, the eleventh century commentator on the Qur’an in Persian (Rawh al-jinan (Tehran, 1383/1963-64) X, 261), wrote: “The shu‘ub are those whose relations are not described in terms of a person but in terms of a city (shahr) or land (zamin). Tribes are those which describe their relations in terms of ancestors (pidaran).” When he comes to the verse “And their Lord has hearkened unto them, I will not suffer the pious deed performed by anyone amongst you, either male or female, to be lost. The one of you is of the other” (3: 195) he glosses it as follows: “‘All men are one in respect to their innate nature in my sight’ as Muhammad—peace be upon him, said— ‘People are like the teeth of a comb’ that is, in respect to their innate natures.” (Rawh al-jinan, III, 136.) If someone is a person of distinction, then, it is not because of race or genealogy. After all, a bad man may be wealthy and have prominent forebears and a good one may be poor and quite obscure in origin. Yet for all that he can be a human being of outstanding moral character. Commenting on 39:13 Fakhr ad-DÏn ar-Razi (d.1210) in his at-Tafsir al-Kabir (Cairo, 1933, XXVIII, 136) says: “People are equal insofar as they are irreligious and impious.” What makes them different is the content of their moral character. Razi goes on to comment that when the verse proclaims “We have created you from male and female”, the preferred interpretation is that all humankind are descended from Adam and Eve. Hence we have no reason to boast because of our social standing, since we are sons and daughters of the same man and woman. Another interpretation is that human beings constitute one race because all human beings are offspring of one male and female. The sentiments of the Qur’an are echoed in the proclamation of the Blessed Prophet during his farewell pilgrimage: Oh humankind, your Lord is one and your ancestors are one. You are from Adam and Adam was from dust. Behold, neither the Arab has superiority to the

non-Arab, nor the red to the black nor the black to the red except by virtue of piety (taqwa). Truly the most distinguished amongst you is the most pious. The Prophet here makes the logical connection between monotheism and race of which I spoke earlier. Moreover, his language here is similar to that in a tradition transmitted on the authority of Abu Musa where the Prophet—on him be peace— says: “An Arab is no better than a nonArab. Conversely, a non-Arab is no better than an Arab. A red-raced man is not better than a black one except in piety. Humanity are all Adam’s children and Adam was created out of clay.” [Sahihs of Bukhari and Muslim.] The Prophet’s language also shows that when it comes to discrimination, he has in mind not simply tribalism but also that type of differential exclusion that invests bodily marks with social significance. For the “black” and the “red” are usually taken to mean the Arabs and the Persians respectively, that is, those who relate their personal identity to a tribal grouping and those who relate it to a place or nation. Razi ends his reflections on verse 49:13 with a story illustrative of the way he understands the Qur’an at this point. He writes: I heard that one of the nobles in Central Asia [Khurasan] was with respect to his genealogy the closest of people to Ali—on him be peace—[the fourth Caliph of Islam] but he was corrupt morally (fasiq). There was a black former slave (mawla) who was pre-eminent both for his learning (‘ilm) and practice [of Islam] (‘amal). The people [of the locale] liked to seek [the shaykh’s] blessing. It came to pass that one day he set out to the mosque and the people followed him. The nobleman, in a state of obvious inebriation, came upon him. The people pushed the nobleman out of the way [of the shaykh]. But the nobleman overtook them and grabbing the shaykh’s arm, cried: ‘O Black one ... infidel and son of an infidel! I am a son of the Messenger of God. Humble yourself and show some respect!’ ... The people beat the nobleman. But the shaykh said: “No! This is to be tolerated from him for the sake of his ancestor. Beating him is to be reckoned according to his sin. However, O nobleman, I am white within but black without. People behold the whiteness of my heart behind the blackness of my face ... I have taken the path of your fa-

ther and you have taken the path of my father. People see me in the path of your father and see you in the path of my father. They deem me a son of your father and you, a son of my father. This story is in a real way illustrative of the exact importance Muslims throughout the ages have placed upon race in their daily lives. Yet this was the spirit of Islam that the Prophet Muhammad taught, as we see from the tradition found in Ibn alMubarak’s (d.797) book, Kitab al-Birr wa’l-Sila. This relates that when some disagreement occurred between Abu Dharr and Bilal, the former said to the latter: “You son of a black woman!” The Messenger of God—on him be blessing and peace—was displeased by Abu Dharr’s comment and he rebuked him by saying: “That is too much, Abu Dharr. He who has a white mother has no advantage which makes him better than the son of a black mother.” The Prophet’s rebuke deeply affected Abu Dharr and he immediately threw himself to the ground, swearing that he would not raise it until Bilal had put his foot over his head. Does Islamic Monotheism Facilitate the Articulation of Racism? Still, one may wonder how far the proposed logical connection between monotheism and egalitarianism works as an antidote to racist beliefs. Does Islam offer a conceptual barrier to them, or facilitate their articulation? Recently, efforts have been made to dismantle the impediments to tolerance in our increasingly global age. The hope behind these efforts is that with a better grasp of the roots of intolerance we will be better able to establish a genuinely ecumenical framework for living with our differences. Into this effort one must place Regina Schwartz, who argues that “through the dissemination of the Bible in Western culture, its narratives have become the foundation of a prevailing understanding of ethnic, religious, and national identity as defined negatively; over against others. We are ‘us’ because we are not ‘them’, Israel is not Egypt.” (The Curse of Cain. The Violent Legacy of Monotheism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997), X.) race II Pg 15


January 13th 2012 - January 26th 2012

ISLAM | 15

Salaah times for January 13th - January 26th, 2012 If a person had a stream outside his door and he bathed in it fi ve times a day, do you think he would have any fi lth left on him?” The people said, “No filth would remain on him whatsoever.” The Prophet (peace be upon him) then said, “That is like the fi ve daily prayers: Allah wipes away the sins by them.” ---Hadith in Sahih al Bukhari and Muslim

Prayer times generated from for the WASHINGTON, DC area.

race II

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The well-known Egyptologist Jan Assmann has also argued that monotheism has been the single most important impediment to cross-cultural translation, communication and understanding, and, for this reason, the single most influential source of negativity and intolerance. According to Assmann, it is only with monotheism that we encounter the phenomenon of a “counter-religion”, by which he means a religious formation that posits a distinction between true and false religion. Before the emergence of monotheism, the boundaries between polytheistic cults were in principle open. Translatability is readily grounded in a general function attributed to divinities whose work in nature shows a correspondence. “The polytheistic religions overcame the primitive ethnocentrism of tribal religions by distinguishing several deities by name, shape and function,” Assmann writes, “the names are of course different ... But the functions are strikingly similar” [so that] “the sun god of one religion is easily equated to the sun god of another religion. In contrast, monotheism, because revealed and not grounded in nature, erects a rigid boundary between true religion and everything else. Whereas polytheism ... rendered different cultures mutually transparent and compatible, the new counter-religion blocked inter-cultural translatability. False gods cannot be translated.” (Moses the Egyptian. The Memory of Egypt in










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Western Monotheism (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1997).) Schwartz’s and Assmann’s understanding is grounded in what they take to be a pluralism demanded by today’s increasing global consciousness. For them, racial conflicts are generated through cultural and religious differences, the unwillingness to see the other as oneself. The other is just like oneself. His or her strangeness is simply a function of a different vocabulary. Strangeness comprises a different set of names that can always be translated. This seems to work when we are speaking of the abstract entities divine names signify: the natural functions of divinities. But then the individuality of the divinities seems exhaustible in the plethora of generalities we use in describing those functions. The reason why the ancient pagan gods enjoy the inter-substitutability of which Assmann speaks is that they were perceived as manifestations of rather general traits. But it would seem that what people find most repugnant about racism is its easy generalisations about others, as though people of a certain race were inter-substitutable or as if one member of a given race were replaceable by another. Yet persons are irreplaceable like nothing is, like nothing else can be. The American philosopher Stanley Cavell notes this in his observation that the pre-Civil War American slaveowner did not deny the humanity of his slave (The Claim of Reason (Oxford: Oxford University

Press, 1979) p. 376). When he took a slave as concubine he did not think that he had embraced bestiality. He did not go to such lengths to convert his horses to Christianity or to prevent their getting wind of it. “It could be said,” Cavell writes, “that what he denies is that the slave is other ... to his one.” [Ibid.] That is, he denies that the slave has his own (i.e., the slave owner’s) sense of being singular and unique. But when Qur’an 39:13 enjoins us to know one another as members of different races it is not as instances of a set of general racial characteristics. It enjoins us to know each other as the unique, irreplaceable individuals that we are. This is why I have argued for the logical connexion of Islamic monotheism and egalitarianism. For in the uniqueness of the Creator we find the model of the uniquness of the human individual. Here, cultural critic Slavoj Zizek’s reflections are helpful. He suggests that since every language, by definition, contains an space open to what eludes our grasp where words fail, we effectively understand a foreign culture when we are able to identify that language’s points of failure when we are able to apprehend its blind spots. Hence, we should not focus on the peculiarity of a people’s customs, but endeavour to encircle that which eludes the grasp of the people themselves, the point at which the Other is in itself dislocated. “I understand the Other,” Zizek writes, “when I become aware of how the very problem that was bothering me ... is already

bothering the Other itself” (The Abyss of Freeedom/Ages of the World (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1997, p.50). For intercultural understanding, then, demands that we go to those places where each of one of us becomes an enigma to him- or herself. For in the “we” of community there always inheres a strangeness, a space inside us where group identity fails and eludes the grasp of institutionally or religiously created solidarities. It is this strangeness to which the Prophet Muhammad alluded when he said: “Islam began as something strange and shall again become strange. Blessed be those who are strange.” Someone asked: “In what way are they strange, O Messenger of God?” In one narration the Prophet replied: “Just as one says of a man that he is strange vis-à-vis a certain tribe.” Islam at its most ideal level, then, must be strange to an identity mediated by institutional resources of recognition. For this is like the identity of tribal membership, which is opposed to the ethic of singularity which the Prophet taught. The idea that “We are ‘us’ because we are not ‘them’”, therefore, is foreign to Islam. Solidarity amongst groups created on the basis of racial, tribal or even religious identity in Arabic is called Asabiyya. But of the latter the Prophet said: “He is not one us who calls for Asabiyya, or who fights for Asabiyya or who dies for Asabiyya.” (Narrated in the Sunan of Abu Dawud.)


January 13th 2012 - January 26th 2012


Arts & Entertainment Assassin’s Creed: Playing It Straight with Islamic History On the Xbox 360 By Wafa Unus

However, it wasn’t the graphics that caught me off guard, but the historical context on which the game was based.

Let’s get this straight. I’m no gamer.

Set in 16th century Constantinople, I played the role of Italian Nobleman Ezio Auditore da Firenze who also happened to be a leader of a secret sect called the Assassins. My mission as a gamer would be to carry out particular tasks that ultimately led to regaining control of civilization over the Templars.

Muslim Link Staff Reporter

I still own the Super Nintendo my parents brought home in 1992 and am a little disappointed to admit that I never actually beat Bowser in the last level of Super Mario Brothers. It’s a personal defeat I often look back on. I hope Princess Peachl is safe. So when I picked up an XBox 360 controller and began to play Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, I was floored. Slightly terrified, but floored all the same. Though I knew not to expect pixilated two-dimensional figures and backgrounds blanketed under a pastel blue skies filled with child-like renditions of clouds, the sheer detail of the game surprised me.

I was in a turbulent time. The Ottoman war for succession to the throne was in full swing. Sultan Bayezid II had already named his son Ahmet the heir to the throne but his ambitious brother Selim would not take the decision sitting down. Instead, he amassed an army in an effort to take the throne for himself. In the course of play, I meet Prince Suleiman, son of Selim The First and the future Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. He would become my ally.

Yes, Sultan Suleiman and I were buddies. I was momentarily in a history lovers dreamland. The complexity of the story was a far cry from my moments of despair when I would lose Yoshi to those wretched gaps in Super Mario Brothers. You know, those moments when you actually mean to jump with Yoshi but instead jump off of him causing him to fall into the crevasse only to realize you needed him as

soon as you reached the other side. Anyway, I digress. I now faced the fall of the Ottoman Empire and a controller that seemingly had more buttons than I have fingers. Things were getting serious. While Ezio is meant to be played as a history Pg 17

All-American Muslim or All of America’s Muslims? The Muslim Link Reviews TLC’s Reality Show on American Muslims By Fatimah Waseem

Muslim Link Staff Reporter Seven episodes have passed since its November premiere of TLC’s newest reality show “All American Muslim” – an eight part reality series that follows the lives of five Muslim families in America’s highest population of American Muslims, Dearborn, Michigan. Somehow it is only now – one controversial ad resignation and plenty of local, regional, and national discussion later – that I have begun to write a review.


In its early episodes, the show begged for categorization and I – tempted by the ease of gratification – stamped it with the label of reality television, whisking it away into a world alongside TLC’s other shows “Toddlers Without Tiaras” and “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant.” It was satisfying. And it worked. But not for long. As I stood in line at the local Target that morning, surrounded by tlc Pg 18

January 13th 2012 - January 26th 2012 History

>> continued from pg 16

master assassin and stealthy protagonist, scaling buildings, jumping from rooftop to rooftop, I found myself more interested in walking the streets of a beautifully rendered representation of Constantinople. Not only was the historic city a backdrop for the storyline, it was alive. Unmistakable historical landmarks loomed oer the crowded streets that bustled with commerce and occasional chaos. Civilians dressed in period appropriate garb appeared as they would in the 16th Century Islamic state. I took a moment to explore my surroundings. Not only did I encounter clearly Muslim characters draped in Islamic dress of the time, I even visited a local mosque. I was fascinated by the representation of Islamic history and Muslim figures in a mainstream, award-winning and wildly popular video game. Most video games today use some type of historical backdrop. However, the purpose of the backdrop is largely to justify the types of weaponry the character is provided or to provide some semblance of reality to an otherwise fantastical world. In essence, the history represented is heavily disjointed and generally limited to a few symbolic buildings or items and perhaps a few foreign words if set outside of the English speaking world. I’m pretty certain I was supposed to be using my master assasin abilities to do more than walk around 16th century Constantinople and “ooh” and “aw” at the detailed architecture, lively streets, shops and hob nob with Sultans I read about in history books. Still, I couldn’t help but wonder how the creators of the game at Ubisoft devel-


oped such an intricate representation of a city and situation that existed centuries ago.

est weapons upgrade is equaled, if not trumped by the intrigue of the weapons historical significance.

I decided to do a little digging.

There are few games on the market that approach history the way that Assasin’s Creed sets out to. Understandably so. Most gamers are American men between the ages of 14 and 30 and traditionally speaking, that particular demographic is not generally assumed to be concerned with the intricacies of historical accuracy particularly in the Eastern world.

As it turns out, the game creators of Assassin’s Creed took long tours to the locations that were represented in the game. They spent countless hours working with historians to ensure that the representation of the architecture and individuals was accurate. Of course liberties were taken to work with the story line, but a large part of the background was researched like a writer might conduct research for a work of historical fiction. In this case, the designers were not simply concerned with creating a believable backdrop, they were also concerned with making it fully interactive as well. In an article on, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations Art Direct, Raphael Lacoste talked about the process. “To achieve our goals, we engage in long and intense periods of research using historical documents, maps from the era, illustrations, paintings, travelogues, etc. We’ve also had the good fortune of being able to travel to these locations and get a real sense of the sights, sounds and smells of these amazing cities,” he said. “Naturally, it’s impossible to create an exact replica of these locations, but we have always managed to construct immersive environments that allow the player the total freedom to explore historically accurate and immense settings,” he said. The characters are just has heavily involved in the happenings of the surrounding environment as they are with their proposed missions. The ability to explore is seemingly endless. While the significance of this may be lost on those who desire to play a linear game, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations seems to attract an entirely different type of gamer - one who’s interest in the lat-

Plainly speaking, you likely won’t find that demographic tuning in to the History Channel on Friday nights. Is there potential that games like Assassin’s Creed: Revelations to inadvertently inform an unsuspecting demographic on historical places and figures under the guise of award-winning action and adventure? Perhaps. This might just be the video game equivalent of hiding vegetables in mac and cheese. In a time when an entire generation is fed imagery of Muslims in derogatory cinematic roles, it is interesting when the Muslim character in a video game is not a antagonist but instead a beloved ally of the protagonist. It’s even more interesting when the character is a historical figure who lived in what historians consider the golden era of Islam. While many may not view the game as I did, an outsider to the gaming world and unconcerned with the intricacies of Ezio’s ability to wield a sword or save an entire civilization, it’s impossible to ignore that as Ezio, you are taking part in what you might otherwise only read about in school. While I didn’t gawk at the Hookblade as a new way to navigate the terrain or fight an opponent, I did marvel at its representation as an Ottoman modification to a

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classic Hidden Blade. As I made my way to secret locations where I met with other Assassins, the prospect of looming danger didn’t excite me so much as the idea that all of the secret locations are set in real-life monuments, many of which I could visit today. “We visited the real-life monuments that players will visit in the game, such as the magnificent Hagia Sofia and the amazing view from the Galata tower over the Bosphorus river. We also visited many museums to see the weapons of the era, and took in the magnificent opulence of Topkapi palace,” said Lacoste. “We are only truly satisfied when we feel that we have created an in-game rendition of these cities that truly conveys the beauty and history that we felt when we visited them ourselves.” The appreciation for historical accuracy is always worthy of some respect. With the history of Islam so largely misunderstood, there is something to be said about the successful design of a historically accurate 16th Century Constantinople that is neither unreletabely intellectual nor completely void of intelligence. While we demand it in documentaries, news reports, and textbooks, the content of those mediums may not be reaching the masses. Popular culture as it manifests itself in movies and video games has an enormous impact on the perceptions of entire demographics and while many don’t set out in search for historical context on the next level of the latest iteration of a video game franchise perhaps there is room for a quick lesson or two where you may least expect it. Now, off to save Princess Peach. I’ll leave Constantinople in the hands of Sultan Suleiman. The rest is history.

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January 13th 2012 - January 26th 2012


>> continued from pg 16

a world of red and white, the incredulity of a male cashier forced me to reconsider the calculated indifference I had so hastily fashioned. “Don’t you know? Haven’t you seen?” the man said, “It’s beautiful. The way things should be.” That night, I sat down to watch all five episodes of the reality TV show, forgetting for a moment all that I heard. I was not moved by the cashier’s emotional remarks; rather I was awoken to the reality that this show was real. That because of this show a cashier that would have normally limited to our conversation to “Have a nice day” or at most a passing comment about the weather took the liberty to express his opinion, to create dialogue. That because of this show, this man had taken a glimpse into the lives of Muslims and come out with a new understanding. And that because of this show, the woman he saw over the counter was someone different. That night, I watched seven episodes of All-American Muslim, forgetting for one moment the red and white TLC logo that stood guard on the edge of the screen. It was me and the characters, nothing else: the Amens - with a daughter who wears the hijab and is active in the community, the single mom Shadia decorated in tattoos and piercing, and the youngest daughter struggling to conceive with her husband, the Aoudes – a couple facing the challenges and joys of their first child, the Bazzy-Aliahmads – with a wife who dresses scantily and wants to open a nightclub, the Jafaaars – with a police officer husband whose family is an example of true citizens, and the Zabans – the most “conservative” of all the families with a football coach who guides his team, even in Ramadan. My hand frequently reached for the forward button on my remote – both for scenes of an Arab wedding where it seemed the only thing Halal was the food but also for scenes of a Muslim family having dinner and a Muslim woman worrying about her pregnancy. I had gathered my conclusion: this show was not really much. I came to this conclusion not because I found no seriousness in reality television. Nor was I so self-deluded to think that a show spotlighting five Lebanese Muslim fami-


lies did not aptly represent the millions of Muslims in the United States. All of these concerns aside, there was one thing that was quite true: the show was simply quite boring. A young football coach training the high school team; a smalltown cop raising a family with his high school sweetheart; a female entrepreneur struggling with the risks of a new business venture - by most sensationalist standards, these characters would not be at the center of a reality show; however, these were the exact stars of this reality show. The show does not ask any hardhitting questions about Islam and terrorism nor does it spark any unnecessary furor to gin up our interest. It is a rather quiet look at the lives of five American Muslim families. And it is in this representation the show’s greatest weakness and its greatest strength lies. All-American Muslim or All of America’s Muslims? The show does well to represent many hues of Muslims – those who do not cover, those who do cover, those who are Muslim by name, those who are not, those who are trying, those who leave it to God. I commend TLC for understanding the importance of diversity, for understanding that within our communities, there is variance just as there is in any Christian community. The show could have focused primarily on Muslims of a very focused leaning, but it does not. However, while there is certainly quite a bit that could have been worse, there is also quite a bit that could have been better. For in this mix, a key player is missing: the Muslim who is not quite as modern, the Muslim who does not dance in public while donning a hijab, the Muslim whose life truly revolves around application of the Quran and Sunnah. Now, as we enter this discussion, it is a given that we cannot judge other Muslims for the contents of their hearts, for the pureness of the faith. Some have adamantly supported the wide, diverse portrayal of Muslims. Others have lamented and protested against the all-tootall emphasis on “All-American” at the expense of the focus: Muslims. There are some Muslims who see this request for a “practicing” Muslim on the show as a way of questioning the sincerity and faith of the other cast members – particularly those who do not cover and do not

practice openly. Of course there is no guarantee that having a “proper” Muslim on the show who covers completely and follows the Sunnah every step of the way means that person is more pious than the woman who does not cover, the man who freely talks with women! Of course, we are no one to judge other Muslims for their eeman by how they act! Of course, there is no guarantee that anyone’s outward actions mirror that which is in their heart! But when you have a show that is broadcast to millions of homes across the nations, this concern needs to be raised. This show represents us. And while the woman who does not cover may be more pious than any niqabi woman, this show needs that niqabi woman. It needs that “proper Muslim” who may not be as religiously adherent as a niqabi, but who does wear hijab, who does not hang out with non-mahram men, who has made Islam the most key part of his or her life. If the American public is seeing a picture of the Muslim community, they must see a complete version of it, not one where there is a missing link. That much, they deserve. This problem of misrepresentation exists not only in the absence of the “conservative” Muslim, but also with the presence of the cast members, all of whom are Lebanese. How could a show that stood on the very principle of dispelling misconception feed off of it’s the poison that was working against it? How could this show dispel misnomers by propelling the misnomer that all Arabs were Muslim forward? I called a TLC producer to find out. “We surveyed quite a few families but we really fell in love with these families,” he said, “We just fell in love with them and that was that.” Another spokesperson added, “This show isn’t named All Of America’s Muslim - it’s named AllAmerican Muslim.” Now, we should not be so self-deluded so as to expect TLC – The Learning Channel – to live up to its name as much as MTV – Music Television – devotes its programming solely to the enjoyment and propagation of music. Nor should we expect that there exists some obligation in the entertainment world to represent the Muslim community in its entirety. I ask for not a calculated and

completely comprehensive representation, but for a more complete one. To ask an in-depth award-winning documentary maker to represent all of America’s Muslims would be sheer folly – let alone asking a TLC producer. The producers quite quickly shoved off this concern by focusing on the adjective of this show’s title – All-American. If you want to play this game of adjective specification, specify the Muslims you represent. Specify that this is indeed a show about All-American Arab Muslims. Nothing more. That much is possible. The Bigger Picture However, this debate over the emphasis on the adjective over the emphasis on the noun is trivial compared to the nationwide controversy that spewed headlines across the nation-wide: when the retail store giant Lowe’s pulled its advertising from the show. “…this program became a lightning rod for many of those views. As a result we did pull our advertising on this program,” the company said in an official statement, “We believe it is best to respectfully defer to communities, individuals and groups to discuss and consider such issues of importance.” The conservative Florida Family Association, which pushed advertisers to drop “All-American Muslim” cheered the decision, calling the show “propaganda that riskily hides the Islamic agenda’s clear and present danger to American liberties and traditional values.” A show with a relatively small meager viewership compared to “Little People, Big World’s” holiday special suddenly became a hot topic. Muslims and non-Muslims gathered in front of local Lowe’s store holding signs like “How Lowe can you go?” Seeing this, I was reminded. Yes, the only real message of this show is that Muslims are just like you. Muslims can be All-American, America! We’re normal just like you. We worry about our children – born and unborn. We participate in sports. We are ordinary citizens. As a community, we can protest this message; we can discuss its lack of representation. But Lowe’s advertising decision proved again that a message as simple and as basic as this was necessary, is necessary.

tlc II Pg 19

January 13th 2012 - January 26th 2012

Request For Dua’s { To A llah We B e l o n g , an d t o Hi m i s Ou r R e tu r n }

“Everyone is going to taste death, and We shall make a trial of you with evil and good, and to Us you will be returned.” (Surah Al-Anbiya:35)” 12-29-11 Sister Nusrat Bhatty, wife of Brother Tariq Shabbir, has passed away. May Allah forgive her sins and accept her in Jannat ul Firdaus, Aameen. Salaat ul Janazah was on December 30, 2011 in Gaithersburg, Maryland. (Source: ICM) 1-05-12 The Muslim Association of Virginia sends its condolences to the family of Br. Sulaiman Jalloh, his 1 year old niece passed away today. May Allah have mercy on her and grant her paradise. May Allah give patience to her family in this time of difficulty. Salate Janazah was on January 6, 2012 in Manassas, Virginia. (Source: MAV) 1-09-12 Mother of brothers Mohibullah, Miahullah, and Ahsanullah has passed away. O Allah, Forgive her and have Mercy on her and give her strength and pardon her. Take her into Paradise and protect her from the punishment of the grave (and of the fire), Ameen. (Source: ADAMS)

tlc II

>> continued from pg 18

And if this show can go the length to show that cashier at Target the basic truth that “Islam can be beautiful,” I support it. Yes, it disappoints me that reality TV programming deems it necessary to start with the pitch that “Muslims are just like you!” Yes, it disappoints me that the show represents only a miniscule part of the American Muslim community, among many other qualms. Yes, it disappoints me that even a show so ordinary and so simplistic as All-American Muslim was attacked for having an Islamist agenda. But for a reality show, it has started discussion. It has shown that American Muslims – not All-American Muslims – have much work to do – on the screen and off the screen, in our homes and in our mosques. Yes, you can brush this show off by questioning the reality of reality shows. It is my hope that whatever your opinion – whether

disgust, love, or indifference – you use this reality show as a reminder that our own individual realities are shows for others – in our mosques, in our schools, in our offices, and in our homes. We need no camera and unscripted TV discussion session to act as Muslims, to use our lives as a da’wah tool, to be the best dispeller of misconceptions. I pray we can work to perfect them, inshaAllah. And as far as TLC’s reality show is concerned, it seems that the most apt summary of the show is summarized by the passing comment of the same cashier who urged me to watch the show, a comment that neither attacks a non-representative and vague show nor praises its immense beauty and impact. “It’s just about everybody loving everybody, you know?” Indeed.


Upcoming Events In Your Area Muslim DC Youth Essay Panel Competition Saturday, January 14 2012

Metro DC area Muslim youth are invited to take part in this challenging and rewarding contest. This is a forum for articulation, reflection and advancement. The contest is comprised of 3 competitions: essay/speech, poster, and multimedia. Students may participate in any combination of these contests. All essays are due by January 5, 2012 for the preliminary competition. Selected participants will receive email notification. The multimedia and poster contest will take place at the event in shaa Allah. Preregistration is required. Location: Dar Al-Noor Islamic Community Center, Manassas, Virginia Contact: for registration, visit: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Helping Hand Orphan Sponsorship Fundraiser Saturday, January 14 2012, 7:00pm - 10:00pm

Helping Hand for Relief and Development (HHRD) is holding this fundraiser to raise money for our Orphan Sponsorship program. HHRD currently supports over 4,500 orphans world-wide and our goal is to reach 10,000 by the year 2015, insha’Allah. Entertainment: Comedians Baba Ali and Aman Ali. Your support of this event can be instrumental in making this goal a reality. Location: Universities at Shady Grove Auditorium, Rockville, Maryland Contact: questions regarding event or sponsorship program, call office 301-685-3565 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

NCPCF Town Hall Meeting Sunday, January 15 2012, 1:00pm - 4:00pm

Join National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms (NCPCF) Town Hall Meeting on MLK Day. Professor Peter Erlinder, NCPCF Chair and Law Professor; Shahid Buttar, Bill of Rights Defense Committee; Mike German, ACLU (pending); Steve Downs, Project SALAM; Ashraf Nubani, NCPCF; Mel Underbakke, Friends of Human Rights. Hear Testimonials by Families of Victims of Preemptive Prosecutions. Do you want to know about what federal agents are doing in your community? What your rights are? What to do when asked for an interview? Search warrants? Subpoenas? Ask the experts! Location: MLK DC Library, 901 G St. NW, Room A-5, Washington DC 20001; for directions, go to Contact: To RSVP, contact: events@ ; for more information: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

AEI Event: Where Do Muslims Fit into American Society Wednesday, January 25 2012, 1:30pm - 3:00pm

An event of AEI’s Program on American Citizenship. The Muslim-American Muddle: Where Do Muslims Fit in American Society? This event will be live streamed. Participants: Hillel Fradkin, Hudson Institue; Souheil Ghannouchi, Author; Andrew C McCarthy, National Review Institute; Gary J. Schmitt, AEI; Peter Skerry, Boston College; Justin Vaisse, Brookings Institution. RSVP to attend this event: Event is 2 blocks from Farragut North Metro. Location: AEI, Twelfth Floor 1150 Seventeenth Street, NW Washington, DC 20036 Contact: For more information, please contact Barrett Bowdre at . -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Preparing Muslims for Marriage Workshop Sunday, January 29 2012

Preparing Muslims for Marriage: Establishing Premarital Counseling and Marriage Education Programs in Your Community. Presented by The Islamic Social Services Association, USA (ISSAUSA). Registration Fee: $50/person by Jan 24, 2012, $60 Jan 25-29. Includes training material, certificate of participation, and lunch. If you are interested in implementing premarital counseling and marriage preparation programs and services in your community, this workshop is for you. To register: Seating is Limited. Location: Peaceful Families Project, 555 Grove St. Herndon, VA, 20170 Contact: For information, call: 480 233 6547



20 |

January 13th 2012 - January 26th 2012

Do you have additions, changes, or corrections to the event listings in the Muslim Link? Email us at, or call us at 301-982-1020. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------


--------------------------------------------------------------------------All Muslim Brothers Association 3900 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22302 Tel: 703-647-0515 Jumma Prayer Only - 1:15 P.m --------------------------------------------------------------------------Icna VA Center: 2913 Woodlawn Trail, Alexandria, VA 22306. Tel: 703-660-1255 --------------------------------------------------------------------------Idara Dawat-o-irshad: 4803 VAlley St, Alexandria, VA 22312 Tel: 703-256-8622 --------------------------------------------------------------------------Mustafa Center: 6844 Braddock Rd., Annandale, VA 22003 Tel: 703-658-7134 E-mail: --------------------------------------------------------------------------Baitul Mukarram: 2116 S Nelson St., Arlington, VA, 22204, Tel: 703-778-1550 --------------------------------------------------------------------------Zakaria Islamic Academy: Galesbury Lane, Chantilly, VA 20151 Tel: 571-969-2123 E-mail: --------------------------------------------------------------------------Badr Community Center Of Dumfries: 17794 Main Street, Dumfries, VA 22026 Tel: 703-585-1689/703-554-7983 E-mail: --------------------------------------------------------------------------Dar Ul-ghuraba (Masjid Ur Rahmah): 155 Baker St., Emporia, VA 23487 --------------------------------------------------------------------------Dar Al Hijrah: 3159 Rowe St., Falls Church, VA 22044, Tel: 703-536-1030 --------------------------------------------------------------------------Islamic Center Of Northern VA Trust (Icnvt): 4420 Shirley Gate Road, Fairfax, VA, 22030 Tel: 703-591-0999 E-mail: --------------------------------------------------------------------------Dar Al-noor (Muslim Assoc. Of VA): 5404 Hoadly Rd., Manassas, VA 20112, Tel: 703-580-0808 Fax: 703-221-8513 --------------------------------------------------------------------------Manassas Mosque: 12950 Center Entrance Ct, Manassas, VA Tel: 703-257-5537 --------------------------------------------------------------------------Islamic Center Of Virginia: 1241 Buford Rd.,


Richmond, VA 23235 Tel: 804-320-7333 --------------------------------------------------------------------------Islamic Society Of Greater Richmond (Isgr): 6324 Rigsby Road, Richamond, VA 23226 Tel: 804-673-4177 --------------------------------------------------------------------------Masjid Al Rahman: 1305 Hull St., Richmond, VA 23224 Tel: 804-232-7640 --------------------------------------------------------------------------Masjidullah Of Richmond: 211 North Ave., Richmond, VA 23222 Tel: 804-321-8864/804-647-4297 --------------------------------------------------------------------------Dar-ul Huda: 6666 Commerce St., Springfield, VA 22150, Tel: 703-922-0111 --------------------------------------------------------------------------Islamic Foundation of America: 6606 Electronic Drive, Springfield, VA 22151 Tel: 703-914-4982 --------------------------------------------------------------------------Masjid Noor: 8608 Pohick Rd, Springfield, VA 22153 Tel: 703-451-7615 --------------------------------------------------------------------------Adams Center: 46903 Sugarland Rd, Sterling,VA 20164, Tel: 703-433-1325 --------------------------------------------------------------------------Islamic Heritage Center (Ihc): 262 A-3 Cedar Ln., Vienna, VA 22180 Tel: 703-206-9056 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------


--------------------------------------------------------------------------First Hijra Muslim Comm. Center: 4324 Georgia Ave, NW Washington, D.C. 20011 --------------------------------------------------------------------------Ivy City Masjid: 2001 Galludet St. NE, Washington, D.C. 20002 Tel: 202-529-3100 --------------------------------------------------------------------------Masjid Al-islam: 4603 Benning Rd., SE, Washington, D.C. 20019 E-mail: --------------------------------------------------------------------------Masjid Muhammad: 1519 4th St. NW, Washington D.C. 20001 Tel: 202-483-8832 | www. --------------------------------------------------------------------------Muslim Society Of Washington, D.c. (MswDC): Howard Center, Room 805 (Above Hu Bookstore) Tel: 202-328-3236 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Islamic Center: 2551 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington D.C. 20008 Tel: 202-332-8343 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------


--------------------------------------------------------------------------Islamic Society Of Annapolis (Isa): 2635 Riva Rd. Suite 110, Annapolis, MD 21401 Tel: 410-266-6660 Email: --------------------------------------------------------------------------Bait-Allah Masjid of Baltimore Inc 1935 Frederick Ave Baltimore, MD 21223 Imam’s cell: 571-721-9938 email: --------------------------------------------------------------------------Bilal Dawah Center, Inc: 1910 Frederick Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21223 Tel: 410-945-1515 --------------------------------------------------------------------------Dar ul Uloom: 6334 Dogwoood Rd, Baltimore, MD 21207, Tel: 410-493-0785 Email: --------------------------------------------------------------------------Masjid Ul-haq: 514 Islamic Way (Wilson St. ), Baltimore, MD 21217 Tel: 410-728-1363 --------------------------------------------------------------------------Masjid Al-mumineen: 2642 Harford Rd., Baltimore, MD 21218 Tel: 410-467-8798 --------------------------------------------------------------------------Masjid Jamaat Al-Muslimeen: 4624 York Rd., Baltimore, MD 21212 Tel: 443-622-2962 --------------------------------------------------------------------------Masjid Al-rahmah/isb: 6631 Johnnycake Rd., Baltimore, MD 21244 Tel: 410-747-4869 | --------------------------------------------------------------------------Masjid As Saffat: 1335 W. North Ave., Baltimore, MD 21217 Tel: 410-669-0655 --------------------------------------------------------------------------Islamic Society Of Easton 126 Port Street Unit # 1 Easton, MD 21601 Tel: 410-829 7924

--------------------------------------------------------------------------Irhsca (Islamic Research And Hum. Services Center Of America): 1 Chambers Ave, Capitol Heights, MD Tel: 301-324-5040 --------------------------------------------------------------------------Islamic Society Of Southern Pg County (Isspgc): P O Box 99, Clinton, MD 20735 5410 Indian Head Hwy, Oxon Hill, MD 20745 Tel: 240 603 4618

--------------------------------------------------------------------------Dar-us-Salaam: 5301 Edgewood Rd., College Park, MD 20740, Tel: 301-982-9848 --------------------------------------------------------------------------Masjid Zamzam 1510 Lynch Road, Dundalk, MD 21222 Tel: 410-284-2840 --------------------------------------------------------------------------Dar al-Taqwa: 10740 Rte. 108, Ellicott City, MD 21042, Tel: 410-997-5711 --------------------------------------------------------------------------Masjid Al-Hikmah: 11064 Livingston Road Unit L (101) Ft. Washington, MD 20744, Tel: 301 292-9009 --------------------------------------------------------------------------Islamic Society Of Frederick (Isf): 1250 Key Parkway, Frederick,md 21702 Tel: 301-682-6090 --------------------------------------------------------------------------Islamic Center Of Maryland (Icm): 19411 Woodfield Rd. Gaithersburg,md 20879 Tel:301-840-9440 --------------------------------------------------------------------------Makkah Learning Center (Mlc): 814 Brandy Farms Ln., Gambrills, MD 21054 Tel: 410-721-5880 Email: --------------------------------------------------------------------------Islamic Society Of Germantown (Isg): 19900 Brandermill Rd., Germantown, MD 20876 Tel: (240)-277-7758 --------------------------------------------------------------------------Masjid Ibn Taymiyyah: 8000 Mlk Highway, Glenarden MD Tel: 301-461-9325 --------------------------------------------------------------------------Islamic Society of Western Maryland: 2036 Day Rd., Hagerstown, MD 21740 Tel: 301-797-0922 --------------------------------------------------------------------------Southern Maryland Islamic Center (Smic): 1046 Solomons Island Rd, Huntingtown, MD, 20639 Tel: 410-535-0000 --------------------------------------------------------------------------Avondale Islamic Center: 4637 Eastern Ave., Hyattsville, MD, 20782 Tel: 301-779-9292 --------------------------------------------------------------------------Prince Georges Muslim Assoc.(Pgma): 9150 Lanham Severn Rd., Lanham, MD, 20706, Tel: 301-459-4942 Imam’s Office: 301-459-1441 E-mail: --------------------------------------------------------------------------Turkish American Community Center 9704 Good Luck Rd, Lanham, MD 20706 Tel: 301-459-9589 --------------------------------------------------------------------------La Plata Masjid: 111 Howard Street, La Plata, MD 20646 Tel: 301-609-8769 --------------------------------------------------------------------------Islamic Com. Center Of Laurel (ICCL): 7306 Contee Rd., Laurel, MD 20707 Tel: 301-317-4584 --------------------------------------------------------------------------Masjid Al-Ghurabaa: 8220 Washington St., South Laurel, MD 20724. Tel: 301-604-3295 --------------------------------------------------------------------------Islamic Center Of Lexington Park 22583 Three Notch Road, Lexington Park, MD 20619 Tel: 240-538-7839 or 561-414-0994 --------------------------------------------------------------------------Medina Center: 11600 Falls Road, Potomac MD 20854 E-mail: --------------------------------------------------------------------------Randallstown Islamic Center 9019 Marcella Ave. Randallstown, MD 21133 Tel: 410-971-4018 E-mail: --------------------------------------------------------------------------Islamic Society Of The Washington Area (Iswa): 2701 Briggs Chaney Rd., Silver Spring, MD 20904 Tel: 301-879-0930 --------------------------------------------------------------------------Muslim Community Center (MCC): 15200 New Hampshire Ave. Silver Spring, MD 20905 Tel: 301-384-3454 --------------------------------------------------------------------------Imaam: (Jumuah Only) Jumuah: 12:50pm 3201 Randolph Rd, Wheaton, MD 20906 Email: --------------------------------------------------------------------------Masjid An-nur: 5418 Ebenezer Road, White Marsh, MD 21162 Tel: 410-663-9637 Fax: 410-663-9817 --------------------------------------------------------------------------Masjid Al-inshirah: 7832 Fairbrook Road, Windsor Mill, MD 21244 Tel: 410-298-2977

January 13th 2012 - January 26th 2012

Editor-in-Chief: Minhaj Hasan Office Manager: Stephanie Benmoha Layout & Design: Abu Ayyub Staff Writers: Fatimah Waseem Wafa Unus Rashad Mulla

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Product Reviews

The Muslim community makes a significant impact on the health of the nation. With thousands of doctors and healthcare businesses delivering professional, compassionate service every day, Muslims in healthcare need to be celebrated. Our February 24, 2012 HEALTH SUPPLEMENT is the perfect place to highlight your healthcare related business or service. With health related articles, business profiles, and interviews with Muslim doctors on hot healthcare topics, the HEALTH SUPPLEMENT will be read by thousands of local Muslims, and thousands across the world online. In addition to advertisements, the Muslim Link is offering paid space for advertorials, feature interviews, and product reviews. Let our writers and graphic designers make you shine. Call Sister Stephanie at 301-982-1020 or email for pricing. Limited front page spots are available on a first come basis.

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Subscribe to the online version of the newspaper so you get it in your email inbox FREE each issue. To subscribe for free, go to

The Muslim Link. All Rights Reserved 2012

Attention Inmates: As much as we would like to, we are unable to honor requests for free subscriptions at this time. To subscribe, follow the instructions above.


marketplace The Muslim Link


PLANET PIZZA 819 Hungerford Dr. Rockville, MD Phone (301) 762-9400

Special $5.00 off 16” Pizza with One Topping Pick-up only


Little River Chiropractic Clinic

Dr. Ramin Afzaly, D.C., 703-941-4464

6601 Little River Turnpike, Suite 310, Alexandria, VA 22312

FREE Consultation, FREE Examination (For new patients only)

Auto accident? Sports or work-related injury? We offer comprehensive imaging studies and rehabilitation brought to you byTheMusl mL nk

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• • • • •

Professional Services


International Store

216 Main Street, Laurel, MD 20707

Islamic Society of Washington Area (ISWA)

2701 Briggs Chaney Road Silver Spring, MD 20905


Hours: Mon, Wed, Fri - 11am-5pm | Sat - 10am-4 pm

$10 with this coupon, (Regular Hair Cut) We Cut All Types of Hair!

Clothing & Accessories


PHD Salon Barber Shop

Mon - Fri 10am to 7pm; Sat 10am to pm; Sun 10am to 5pm


Your Guide to Products and Services for Your Muslim Lifestyle


Spend $50 and get 15% off additional purchase (check with store for details)

Direct line 240-305-6354 TEL: 301-879-3598/301-879-3596, expiration date: January 31, 2012

brought to you byTheMusl mL nk

brought to you byTheMusl mL nk

When you place a print ad with us in Main or Marketplace you can request a FREE coupon in each issue your ad runs. For businesses not currently in the paper, coupons are just $10 each issue, paid in advance. All coupons are one size (approximately half the size of an 1/8 page ad) and are text-only, no images. You tell us the deal you are offering, and the expiration date The section will be promoted on the front page of the newspaper, directing readers to the actual coupon page inside.

Now is the time to take advantage of this great advertising savings. Drop us an email at, or give us a call at 301-982-1020 to get in on it today!

Mass Accounting & Tax Corp.

Mohammad Al-Suqi

HVAC Division

Service & Installation Management - Furnaces - Air Conditioning - Heat Pumps Air Handlers - Duct Work Installation - Humidifiers - Thermostats - Boilers Phone: 301-408-8283 - Address: 4121 Sampson Road Silver Spring, MD 20906 Email: - For further information visit:

PHD Salon Barber Shop Specializing in Natural Hair Care Braids, Twists, Locs, Press & Curl, Shampoo & Conditioner, Corn Rows, Weaves, Set-Roller Wrap, and much more... For Sisters: Private Area on 2nd Floor Available by Appt. Only Call Sylist Cealia at 240.501.3985

For Men and Boys 1st Floor Level Walk Ins Welcome Phone # 301.604.6980

216 Main Street (Off Route-1) , Laurel, MD 20707


Cell: 703-861-1625 Office: 703-752-3929 Fax: 703-914-0869 Email: Address: 701 W Broad Street Suite 205B, Falls Church, VA 22046 Quality Service - LOW COST! Serving the Community since 1991

301-982-1020 or Email us at

January 13th 2012 - January 26th 2012


Rahma International Store E-Quran Abayas Thoubs Hajj and Umrah Dua’s E-Device

We sell E-Qur’an Device with E-Pen Pointer for easy listening and learning, Hajj and Umrah Dua’s E-Device for easy memorisation, Islamic Clothing (men’s, women’s and children’s), Ihram’s for Hajj, Long shirts and skirts for women, Sleeves, Pashmina Shawls, Elegant African Lace Materials, Bakhoor/Incense/Churai, 21 karat Gold jewelry, Guaranteed Gold plated jewelry, Silver Jewelry and ankle rings, Men’s silver rings with real Stones, and Much MORE. You will be pleased with our Very Unique Quality Products. Come in and enjoy our Signature Hospitality, Insha’Allah, you will return. location: Islamic Society of Washington Area (ISWA) 2701 Briggs Chaney Road Silver Spring, MD 20905

Hours Mondays: 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM Wednesdays: 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM Fridays: 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM Saturdays: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

inquiries? contact raHma GHanim Direct line: (240) 305-6354 | Store: (301) 879-3598 or (301) 879-3596 Fax: (301) 879-3597 | Email: Join our Facebook page and group: Rahma International Store



24 | MP - Advertisements

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January 13th 2012 - January 26th 2012


Tel: 410-242-4342 Fax: 410-242-0891

5209 East Drive, Arbutus, MD ( East Drive Shopping Center) CONVENIENT TO UMBC CAMPUS Pepperoni, Bacon, & Ham Made from HALAL BEEF


HOURS: Mon-Thurs 11:00am-10:00pm Friday & Sat 11:00am-11:00pm Sun 12:00pm-10:00pm s, pizza, Our menu includes appetizer dogs, strombolis, subs, sandwiches, hot s, and wing ds, sala s, wrap pasta, platters, r! desserts. Come try our HALAL dine

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26 | MP - Advertisements


January 13th 2012 - January 26th 2012

January 13th 2012 - January 26th 2012



Enrolled to practice before Federal and State Tax Authorities | Accredited Business Advisor Certified Internal Auditor | Certified Senior Advisor

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General Dentistry Services We Offer: Oral Examination Oral Cancer Screening Periodontal Evaluation Root Canals Crowns Bridges Veneers

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28 | MP - Advertisements

January 13th 2012 - January 26th 2012




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January 13th 2012 - January 26th 2012


Oct 6th - Dec 31st


30 | MP - Advertisement

January 13th 2012 - January 26th 2012

Honey Heals Skin Disease and Hair Loss Every Muslim has read

that the Prophet Sallallahu ‘alyhi wa sallam told his ummah about the wonderful nature of honey. In the Qur’an in Surah An-Nahl, Allah described honey as a “drink of varying color wherein is healing for men”. Its no wonder that scientists are spending more and more resources examining, testing, and developing honey-based medical treatments. As early as December 26, 2007, the Associated Press ran a story titled “Honey makes medical comeback”. One company that has believed in the restorative power of honey for a long time is HoneyDerm, Inc., a Lansing, Michigan based company that spent years bringing the healing power of honey to people suffering from hair loss, dandruff, and skin disease. Their most famous product line is Hairback Lotion and Hairtonix Shampoo, that “helps stimulate new hair growth and thicken existing hair”. Honeyderm, Inc also claims the products solve dandruff and scalp psoriasis. The Muslim Link requested access to some of Honeyderm’s customers, and Brother Mahmoud from Honeyderm gladly offered us some phone numbers. Brother Hasan, in his late 30’s is from Maryland and suffers from the common skin disease eczema. “I’ve had eczema

since high school, and it got worse as the years went on. I went to a dermatologist and he recommended a cortisone-type prescription cream. It did stop the itch, but my skin was still dry and tight. I’ve tried lotions and shampoos from Aveeno, Lubiderm, Vaseline, and others. Alhumdulillah, I found Honeyderm’s Dermatonic-P, and it is really, really a blessing for people with Eczema or other skin illnesses. I no longer wake up sweating at night! AllahuAkbar!.” We called Abdurihman Khalil from Chicago. He did not know we were going to call. Abdurihman started losing his hair when he was about 28. He discovered the Hairback product line at a convention and decided to test its claims. “The hair loss stopped completely,” said Abdurihman. “It’s excellent, and I’ve been using it now for 6 years.” We also called Brother Mustafa Al-Omary in Sterling Heights, Michigan. He decided to do something about his thinning hair at age 40 and tried the Hairback treatment. Asked how long it took for him to see results, he told us “Oh gosh, less than a month. My thin spots filled in within 3 months,.” He said he would “absolutely” recommend the product to anyone. “It’s not a fly-by-night product, its awesome,” said Mustafa. We

also called Najeebudheen Appat, a 30-year old living in Los Angeles, CA. He’s had a severe dandruff

“Alhumdulillah, I found Honeyderm’s

Dermatonic-P, and it is really, really a blessing for people with Eczema or other skin illnesses. I no longer wake up sweating at night! Allahu-Akbar!.” -- Br.Hasan, Maryland problem for a long-time, and had been searching for a solution. “I tried so many different products like tonics and shampoos, I can’t even remember them all, until I found this product around 2002. My problem was solved completely, the entire thing is taken care of. I even called [Honeyderm] with the great feedback,” recalled Najeebudheen. He told us that Allah creates shifa in many things, and Honeyderm’s products are a part of that. “For dandruff problems, this is the total solution,” he told us from his mobile phone.





On Honeyderm’s website, there are many more testimonials from Muslims and non-Muslims from around the nation and the world. There is also a gallery of “before and after” pictures of both hair loss treatments as well as skin treatments. And best of all, for those of us who’ve “tried it all”, there is a full money back guarantee. Allah said honey heals. The Prophet Sallallahu’alyhi wa sallam said honey heals. The people we called said honey heals. With a money back guarantee, there is absolutely nothing to lose, and everything to gain – your hair and skin!



Honey-Based Healing for:

Hair Loss, Hair growth, Itching, dandruff, and Scalp Psoriasis. Acne, Wrinkles, Psoriasis, Eczema, Dermatitis, and Rosacea. Plus Supplements for Diabetics, Immunity, and Liver Health. Order Risk Free Today by calling (800) 424 - 7710 or buy online at 2522 East Michigan Ave Lansing, Michigan 48912 MONEY BACK GUARANTEE

HoneyDerm is very confident that its products will definitely help you. If for any reason you are not satisfied with the product, we offer you a full money back guarantee with the return of any remaining portion of the product in their original containers. See our website for time restrictions. All products are 100% drug free and are not intended to change any of the body physiological functions or treat any disease or possess any drug claim.


January 13th 2012 - January 26th 2012


Place a personal classified ad. Call us at 301-982-1020. We invite you to place a classified on the web FREE of charge at Classifieds in the print edition of the Muslim Link newspaper are only $1 for every 3 words. All classifieds run for 3 issues in the Marketplace section. Get started by emailing your exact text to and then call in your credit card payment to 301-982-1020 or send a check or money order payable to: The Muslim Link, 5301 Edgewood Rd, College Park MD 20740.

Childcare Exchange AUNTIE RURU’S PLACE Licensed, Muslim Daycare Provider, Degree in Early Childhood Education. Infant to 5 years. Pre-school Curriculum. 3 minutes from Masjid AlRahmah. Call Ruwaydah at 443-449-3244 or email -----------------------------------------------MUSLIM DAYCARE Licensed Muslim daycare provider. Infant to 10 years old. 301-593-4769.

For Sale HOT FRESH HALAL MEALS $4.99 HOT FRESH HALAL MEALS $4.99 Homemade meals available for pick up or delivery. College Park and surrounding areas in Maryland. All meals $4.99. We offer: chicken biryani (made with halal chicken/meat and basmati rice) salad & drink; haleem, naan, & drink; pasta with halal chicken/vegetables & drink; fried qeema (ground meat) paratha; kofte (meat ball) & naan/roti; side orders available: ghulab jaman, habashi, & halva. Call 240271-9552 or email:


Muslim Brother, African-American, seeks an honest muslim sister for marriage. I weigh 165lbs, 5’7”, OK looks, very honest, athletic body built and most important I make my salats and performs the five pilliars of faith. I’m preparing to make Hajj soon, In-shaAllah. I’m seeking a Muslima that have some traits as mines. Mainly very honest, height and weight similiar to mines. Please give me a call at 410-963-5807 and my name is Michael Shahid and that is my legal name, or send a email to -----------------------------------------------MOROCCAN SISTER FOR MARRIAGE 36 yr old Sister in Morocco looking for Good Muslim man living in USA, homemaker, never married, will aid in translations if necessary, contact her Wali at or 410-988-0705. -----------------------------------------------PIOUS MUSLIMA SEEKING A HUSBAND A religious Muslima of Arab origin. 39 years old, olive-skinned, 5 ft, 128 lbs. Never married, decent looking with a minor limp in lt leg wa-alhamdulillah. Good character, educated, and hard working. Located in DC area. Seeking an unmarried religious Brother with a good character, who’s ready and capable to lead a family. Please direct serious inquires to supervised email: sakinah.seeker at yahoo dot com.

-----------------------------------------------MOROCCAN BROTHER FOR MARRIAGE Good Moroccan Muslim brother in Morocco seeking good American Muslima for marriage, please contact Sister Fatima for more info 410-988-0705 or

MISCELLANEOUS LONELY IN AMERICA Sunni Muslim Male, incarcerated, age 43, funny and easy-going. Home town Karachi, Pakistan. Seeks pen friend. Nadeem Khan #1113005, P.O. Box 1900, Pound, VA 24279.

Rentals SEEKING ROOMMATE Looking for roommate, Burtonsville, Maryland, Blackburn, 2 bedroom apartment, 1 room available with private bathroom, share utilities, $650, call 240620-4382.

Services HOME SERVICES Licensed contractor. Home Improvement work, interior/exterior painting, drywall install/repair, brick/concrete repair. License #30385946 Estimates done.

Contact Br. Allen Scott at 410-467-1259 or 443-538-7643(cell) -----------------------------------------------LICENSED PLUMBER Reduce Major Plumbing Bills. Give TwirlA-Drain a call at 410-963-5807 for sewer and water pipe replacement underground. Free estimates given, Michael D. Shahid. -----------------------------------------------NEW COMMUNITY MULTIPURPOSE CENTER Our first venture was The Community Thrift Store started 7 years ago with the purpose to help females with employment by opening a venue and also offering affordable sewing classes. However, a new project and goals has been incorporated to help the community. The new organization Green Housing and Development Group Inc gives thanks to all who donated items, time and funding. Our new project will be a multipurpose center located at 3538 Old York Road Baltimore, Md. 21218. This facility is for employment networking, counseling, job placement and referral services. The organization prays for continual support and fundraising is mandatory for this effort to be successful. We welcome any suggestion for fundraising projects. Contact people: Yusef Shahid 443 769 0319, Maxie Franklin 443 839 5467, Allen Scott 443 538 7643.


In Service Since 2001

WHAT WE DO ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

Zakat, Sadaqa, Aqeeqah Ramadan–Fidya/Kaffarah Udhiya/Qurbani Sadaqa Jariyah Development Emergency Relief Orphan & Family Aid Education & Skill Training Healthcare

Learn More at



PO BOX 639, WORTH, IL 60482

The Muslim Link ~ January 13, 2012  
The Muslim Link ~ January 13, 2012  

The Muslim Link ~ January 13, 2012