05/09/2013 Leave a comment
Director, scholar and broadcaster…
25/05/2013 Leave a comment
While it may have been written 14 centuries ago, the letter Khalifah Ali ibn Abi Talib wrote to Malik Ashtar is just as, if not even more relevant to us today.
May Allah SWT help us return to the noble wisdom of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and his loyal companions, may Allah bless them.
Paul Salahuddin Armstrong
25/11/2012 1 Comment
Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem:
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Defend the Internet from the greedy banksters, crooked politicians, charlatan pastor-mullahs and other freaks who desire to destroy it!
“Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said: The greatest jihad is to speak the word of truth to a tyrant.”
~ Mishkat, Book of Rulership and Judgment, ch. 1, sec. 2
Google is calling for a massive internet uprising in the wake of censorship bills that will ruin internet freedom forever! They have dedicated the page www.google.com/takeaction to raising awareness concerning this madness; it is very important that we continue to keep our Human Family’s link to one another open, to flourish freely.
“A free and open world depends on a free and open Internet. Governments alone, working behind closed doors, should not direct its future. The billions of people around the globe who use the Internet should have a voice.”
Should the proposed changes go ahead, the internet will quite simply cease to be, as whatever would be left would no longer be the internet! Not only would this impact on our liberties, but it would harm our economies through reduced networking opportunities, damage the cause for representative government and destroy our Human Family’s hopes of a brighter, more peaceful world tomorrow, less restricted by national borders and the unnecessary conflict between nations.
On behalf of the future, we ask those of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather.
We the People of the Internet have no elected government, nor are we likely to have one; therefore we address those who would tyrannise us with no greater authority than that with which Liberty always speaks. We declare the global social space we are building to be naturally independent of the tyrannies you seek to impose on us.
Governments and corporations have no moral right to rule us, nor do they have the means to stop us!
Together we can and will move forward to bring into being a brighter tomorrow, but in order to do that, we all need to work together and defend the right to freely communicate without interference from greedy banksters, crooked politicians and charlatan pastor-mullahs who would stand in the way of our collective vision.
Sheikh Salahuddin Abu Sophia
09/07/2012 1 Comment
Below is the text of The Final Speech of the Great Dictator, delivered by the character, the Jewish Barber, in Chaplin’s 1940 film, The Great Dictator. The Jewish Barber was played by Sir Charles Chaplin.
I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible – Jew, Gentile, black men, white…
We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each others’ happiness, not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way.
Greed has poisoned men’s souls; has barricaded the world with hate; has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical; our cleverness, hard and unkind.
We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost. The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men; cries out for universal brotherhood; for the unity of us all.
Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women, and little children; victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people.
To those who can hear me, I say “Do not despair.”
The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish.
Soldiers! Don’t give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you and enslave you; who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel! Who drill you, diet you, treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder!
Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men – machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have a love of humanity in your hearts! You don’t hate!
Only the unloved hate; the unloved and the unnatural.
Soldiers! Don’t fight for slavery! Fight for liberty!
In the seventeenth chapter of St. Luke, it’s written “the kingdom of God is within man”, not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people, have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy, let us use that power.
Let us all unite.
Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfill their promise. They never will!
Dictators free themselves, but they enslave the people!
Now let us fight to fulfill that promise! Let us fight to free the world! To do away with national barriers! To do away with greed, with hate and intolerance!
Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness.
Soldiers, in the name of democracy, let us all unite!
04/07/2012 Leave a comment
“Happy Independence Day, to all my friends in the United States of America! God bless America, may she return to and embody the noble virtues upon which she was founded.”
~ Paul Salahuddin Armstrong
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”
~ United States Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776
01/09/2011 Leave a comment
By Sheikh Daoud Rosser-Owen
The famous Tudor dramaturge, Christopher Marlowe, wrote circa 1592 to the Prologue of his play The Jew of Malta, “I count religion but a childish toy, And hold there is no sin but ignorance”.
While I don’t agree with him about religion, nor the solitariness of the sin, I certainly hold with him that ignorance is sinful. I don’t mean ‘ignorance’ as in simply not knowing something. I mean ‘ignorance’ as refusing to find out. Indeed, in these days of the easy accessibility of information through the Internet and widespread literacy, I would consider such ‘ignorance’ not merely to be a sin, but worse – a willful and inexcusable self-indulgence. And, as it affects Islam and Muslims in the British Isles and even elsewhere in that putative entity ‘The West’, outrageous and with the wrong people positively dangerous. It should be needless to say that this works both ways.
At the moment it is quite common, even fashionable, among many to denigrate and anathematise the Shari’ah, used as a shorthand for Islamic Law or more accurately as one for the degenerate legal systems applied in certain Muslim countries – which is not at all the same thing.
There is also the understandable reaction to a more immediate problem of the ignorant demands from certain Muslims of Britain, and their umbrella organisations, for the application in the UK of some concept that they describe as “Shari’ah” or “Islamic Law”, but which is actually little better than an Islamic label stuck crudely over some imported cultural or customary code that in all too many dimensions touches Islam itself only notionally.
It is sadly true that there is some justification for these responses.
However reacting from ignorance is not helpful. Yet what else can people do when they are let down by those whose professional duty it used to be (according to the Great John Delane, sometime Editor of The Times, in his famous editorial “The Earl of Derby remarked…” of Friday, 6 February, 1852) “to educate and inform” but who nowadays seem to take it as being to promote ignorance and dissention? Few people are orientalists, and the generations who were born, grew up and served in the Empire have largely passed out of public life.
The aim of this essay is an attempt to fill in the gap abandoned by journalism. It is largely adapted from my monograph (as yet unpublished because not quite complete) on Tory Fundamentalism and Muslim Ideas of State, and it has been revised in the light of two Reports recently released on Islamophobia: that by Spinwatch, “The Cold War on British Muslims” (available to read at http://www.scribd.com/doc/61402174/The-Cold-War-on-British-Muslims and as a PDF at http://www.spinwatch.org/images/The_Cold_War on_British_Muslims_July_2011.pdf) and that by the Center for American Progress, “Fear, Inc. The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America” (available to read and to download as a PDF at http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2011/08/islamophobia.html).
It is possible that I actually was the first to coin the word “Islamophobia” in an Editorial I wrote in Q-News International in early 1995 – I had formed the word as a derivative from, and allusion to, “homophobia” – which was picked up by the Runnymede Trust’s Commission on British Muslims and Islamophobia, set up in 1996, in its first Report “Islamophobia: a challenge for us all”, published in 1997. On reflection, seeing how things have developed more towards outright hatred of Islam and Muslims rather than an irrational fear, it would have been more appropriate for me to have called it “Islamomisia”. I had toyed with the idea, and dismissed it as being too academically obscure for a newspaper editorial.
About two years ago, in I think 2008, there was published in one of the UK’s daily broadsheets the results of a survey among Muslims, largely in the Midlands and north-east of England, asking whether they wanted Shari’ah in the UK. Many answered ‘yes’, but the questions remain what did the respondents understand by the request, did they think that there was a realistic possibility of it actually happening, or were they reacting to some massive hypothetical “If”?
Much has been made of the apparent results of this poll. So, following from this, what does the word Shari’ah mean for the average UK Muslim – or the proverbial ‘Muslim on the Clapham omnibus’ – and the average UK non-Muslim? And what does this actually mean for them at the operative level of daily life?
There used not to be an educated person unfamiliar with that verse from Jeremiah (6:16), “interrogate de semitis antiquis quae sit via bona et ambulate in ea” (ask after the old paths where is the good way and walk in it). This “good way” (via bona) is the well-trodden path of the prophets and patriarchs, and is the Way of Truth that all these have called people to follow.
The Muslims do not see their Way as being different from this but as a continuation of this well-trodden path, though all communities at various places, times, and circumstances have needed specific guidance for their conditions. As stated in the Quran “for every one of you We have ordained a Code and a Good Way” (li kulli ja’alna minkum shir’atan wa minhaja)(Q5:48). This via bona is none other than the Shari’ah – a ‘well-trodden path to that watering hole’ (which is what the word actually means) of laws and conduct derived from what has been sent down from the Almighty from which the Mosaic Law of the Torah, much of the Canon Law of the Christians, and the corpus of Islamic Law drink deep. To Muslims, each of these Abrahamic Faiths (as the late Professor Isma’il al-Faruqi, al shahid, termed them) has its own Shari’ah: its own track (semita) on the Way (via) of Truth.