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Tag Archives: Religion

By Chris Rodda

Friday, September 26th ended a week in which thousands of copies of Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West — the fear-mongering, anti-Muslim documentary being distributed by the millions in swing states via DVDs inserted in major newspapers and through the U.S. mail — were distributed by mail in Ohio. The same day, a “chemical irritant” was sprayed through a window of the Islamic Society of Greater Dayton, where 300 people were gathered for a Ramadan prayer service. The room that the chemical was sprayed into was the room where babies and children were being kept while their mothers were engaged in prayers. This, apparently, is what the scare tactic political campaigning of John McCain’s supporters has led to — Americans perpetrating a terrorist attack against innocent children on American soil.

I read the story as reported by the Dayton Daily News, but this was after I had received an email written by a friend of some of the victims of these American terrorists. The matter of fact news report in the Dayton paper didn’t come close to conveying the horrific impact of this unthinkable act like the email I had just read, so I asked the email’s author for permission to share what they had written. The author was with one of the families from the mosque — a mother and two of the small children who were in the room that was gassed — the day after the attack occurred.

“She told me that the gas was sprayed into the room where the babies and children were being kept while their mothers prayed together their Ramadan prayers. Panicked mothers ran for their babies, crying for their children so they could flee from the gas that was burning their eyes and throats and lungs. She grabbed her youngest in her arms and grabbed the hand of her other daughter, moving with the others to exit the building and the irritating substance there.

“The paramedic said the young one was in shock, and gave her oxygen to help her breathe. The child couldn’t stop sobbing.

“This didn’t happen in some far away place — but right here in Dayton, and to my friends. Many of the Iraqi refugees were praying together at the Mosque Friday evening. People that I know and love.

“I am hurt and angry. I tell her this is not America. She tells me this is not Heaven or Hell — there are good and bad people everywhere.

“She tells me that her daughters slept with her last night, the little one in her arms and sobbing throughout the night. She tells me she is afraid, and will never return to the mosque, and I wonder what kind of country is this where people have to fear attending their place of worship?”

“The children come into the room, and tell me they want to leave America and return to Syria, where they had fled to from Iraq. They say they like me, … , and other American friends — but they are too afraid and want to leave. Should a 6 and 7 year old even have to contemplate the safety of their living situation?

“Did the anti-Muslim video circulating in the area have something to do with this incident, or is that just a bizarre coincidence? Who attacks women and children?

“What am I supposed to say to them? My words can’t keep them safe from what is nothing less than terrorism, American style. Isn’t losing loved ones, their homes, jobs, possessions and homeland enough? Is there no place where they can be safe?

“She didn’t want me to leave her tonight, but it was after midnight, and I needed to get home and write this to my friends. Tell me — tell me — what am I supposed to say to them?”

When acting as a representative of Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), the 501(c)3 non-profit organization that I work for, I cannot engage in political activities. The distribution of Obsession, however, although a political campaign scheme, clearly crosses over into the mission of MRFF. So, I’m going to make two statements here — one in my capacity as MRFF’s Research Director, and another as an individual whose disgust at the vile campaign tactics of John McCain’s supporters completely boiled over when I opened up the email about children being gassed.

My statement as MRFF’s Research Director:

The presidential campaign edition of the Obsession DVD, produced and currently being distributed by the Clarion Fund, carries the endorsement of the chair of the counter-terrorism department of the U.S. Naval War College, using the name and authority of an official U.S. military institution not only to validate an attack the religion of Islam, but to influence a political campaign. For these reasons, this endorsement has been included in MRFF’s second lawsuit against the Department of Defense, which was filed on September 25 in the Federal District Court in Kansas.

My opinion as an individual and thoroughly appalled human being:

John McCain has a moral obligation to publicly censure the Clarion Fund; to denounce the inflammatory, anti-Muslim message of Obsession; and to do everything in his power to stop any further campaign activities by his supporters that have the potential to incite violence.

Earlier, I made a post which explains the basic beliefs of Islam.  In that Post I used a saying of Prophet Muhammad(Peace be upon him):

“Islam is that you should testify that there is no deity save Allah and that Muhammad is His Messenger, that you should perform salah (ritual prayer), pay the zakah(charity), fast during Ramadan, and perform Hajj (pilgrimage) to the House (the Ka’bah at Makkah), if you can find a way to it (or find the means for making the journey to it).”

In that post I explained, the parts of the speech.  In this post I will try to simplify what I said.

One of the greatest Scholars in Islam, is a man named Nawawi, or as the Muslims call him, Imam Nawawi.  He has authored many books, most famously the 40 Hadith of Nawawi.  His 40 Hadith of Nawawi, are the 40 most important Hadith in Islam.  He died in the year 1277 CE.

Imam Nawawi wrote:

The sheikh and Imam Ibn Salah said: “Being a Muslim is outwardly established by one’s saying the two Testifications(Sheykh Nuh Ha Meem Keller, a moder American-Islamic scholar noted that these testifications do not need to be done in Arabic).  The Prophet only added the prayer, zakat, the pilgrimage, and the fast because they are the most patent and greatest of Islamic observances.  One’s submission(istislam) is perfected through performing them, and neglecting them suggests that one has dissolved or vitiated the terms of one’s compliance.  Moreover the term faith(iman) ecompasses all of the things by which Islam is explained in this hadith, and indeed, all acts of obedience, for they are fruits of the inner conviction that is underlying basis of faith, and are what strenghen, and complete and preserve it.”

From the Previous post, The first pillar of Islam, is the testification of faith also known in Arabic as the Shahada.  This is the bare minimum of being a Muslim.  The first part of the testification is “there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah”.  That is what I will explain in this post.

Before we start with the Shahada(Testification of faith), we must define Tawhid.  Tawhid comes from the root word Wahada, which means ‘to ascribe unity’ to something. Meaning he made something one. So the word Tawhid islamically means unify Allah in his lordship, his names and attributes, and his rights to be worshiped. These are the three types of Tawhid. These are mentioned in the Qur’an. The first four verses of the Qur’an testify to these.

“All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds.”

  • The Unification of Allah’s lordship.

“The Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.

Sovereign of the Day of Recompense.”

  • The Names and Attributes of Allah.

“It is You we worship and You alone we ask for help.”

  • His rights to be worshiped.

So all three forms of Tawhid are mentioned in these verses. Tawhid Rububiyah(of his lordship), there is only one lord, one creator, one sustainer, Allah. Tawhid Asma wa Sifa’t(his names and attributes), his names and attributes are perfect. And Tawhid Uluhiyah(his rights to be worshiped), Allah is the only one worthy of worship.

The often asked question, is what is the religion of Islam all about?  Well In the last post I posted a Hadith(saying) of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) where he said “Islam is that you should testify that there is no deity save Allah and that Muhammad is His Messenger, that you should perform salah (ritual prayer), pay the zakah(charity), fast during Ramadan, and perform Hajj (pilgrimage) to the House (the Ka’bah at Makkah), if you can find a way to it (or find the means for making the journey to it).”

So what does this mean, why are there five answers to this.  Well these five answers are called the five pillars of Islam. These are the five Pillars of Islam simplified.

1.  Testification of Faith.

  • One must believe that there is no diety of worship other than Allah.
  • One must believe that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.

2.  Prayer.

  • Muslims Pray 5 times a day.
  • These prayers are a spiritual connection between a Muslim and Allah.

3.  Zakat(charity).

  • Muslims must pay charity to the less fortunate.
  • Those who are poor themselves do not have to pay charity.

4.  Fasting.

  • Muslim must fast in the 9th month of the Islamic Calander, Ramadan.
  • A fast lasts from Sunrise to Sunset, where Muslims abstain from eating, drinking, and sexual intercourse.

5.  Hajj(pilgrimage).

  • A Muslim must once in their life make a pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca.
  • A Muslim is not required to do this until he can do this financially.

Those are five pillars of Islam, which are the credentials to be a Muslim.  Later on, I will explain each of the Pillars, so please come back and learn more about the religion of Islam.