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  1. Scandalous: Pregnant Muslim Woman Stabbed To Death In Court

    you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetyoutube(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/watch?v=4lSmIcEbCHQ you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetexpatica(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/.../german....ma-_54201.html ######thelocal.de/national/20090703-20359.html you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetikhwanweb(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/Article.asp...=2&SectionID=0 you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetthedailynewsegypt(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/art...rticleID=22874 you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetearthtimes(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/articles/s...--summary.html
  2. Scandalous: Pregnant Muslim Woman Stabbed To Death In Court

    Egyptian wearing hijab killed in German court drama By Daily News Egypt with additional reporting by AFP First Published: July 3, 2009 CAIRO: A woman stabbed to death in a German court was an Egyptian who had sued her attacker after he insulted her for wearing the Islamic headscarf, local newspapers reported on Friday. Marwa Aal-Sherbini, 32, who was killed in a court in Dresden on Wednesday, was the wife of Egyptian academic Elwi Ali Okaz who was also hurt in the incident and is now in critical condition in hospital, the state-owned Al-Akhbar reported. Husband Okaz was in Germany on a scholarship through Menufiya University’s institute of Genetic Engineering. He is still unaware that his wife had died. The attacker stabbed Sherbini “shortly before she was to give evidence in an appeal lodged by the man against a conviction for insulting her over wearing the hijab,†said the state-owned Egyptian Gazette. The 28-year-old man, identified only as Axel W., was overpowered and was being investigated for manslaughter over the killing of the woman, a spokesman for the Dresden prosecutor’s office said. Axel W. was previously found guilty and fined €2,800 in civil compensation for calling the victim a “terrorist†in August 2008 in a Dresden park because she was wearing a headscarf. Magdi Al-Sayed, press officer at the German embassy in Cairo, said the case was isolated and did not reflect German attitude towards Muslims. “It is a criminal act. It has nothing to do with persecution against Muslims,†Sayed told the Gazette. The Minister of Higher Education Hani Helal has given orders that travel arrangements to Germany for the families of both victims be facilitated. –Daily News Egypt with additional reporting by AFP
  3. Egyptian woman killed in German court drama The 32-year-old woman was killed in a court in Dresden before she could testify against her attacker. Cairo -- A woman stabbed to death in a German court was an Egyptian who had sued her attacker after he insulted her for wearing the Islamic headscarf, Egyptian newspapers reported on Friday. Marwa al-Sherbini, 32, who was killed in a court in Dresden on Wednesday, was the wife of Egyptian academic Elwi Ali Okaz who was also hurt in the incident and is now in critical condition in hospital, the state-owned Al-Akhbar reported. The attacker stabbed Sherbini "shortly before she was to give evidence in an appeal lodged by the man against a conviction for insulting her over wearing the hijab," said the state-owned Egyptian Gazette. The 28-year-old man, identified only as Axel W., was overpowered and was being investigated for manslaughter over the killing of the woman, a spokesman for the Dresden prosecutor's office said. Magdi al-Sayed, press officer at the German embassy in Cairo, said the case was isolated and did not reflect German attitude towards Muslims. "It is a criminal act -- it has nothing to do with persecution against Muslims," Sayed told the Gazette. (Expatica(contact admin if its a beneficial link)) Woman killed in courtroom bloodbath was pregnant Published: 3 Jul 09 11:42 CET A woman stabbed to death in a Dresden courtroom was three months pregnant, reported German newspaper Bild on Friday. According to Egyptian newspapers, the woman was Marwa al-Sherbini, a 32-year-old Egyptian national who was suing her attacker after he insulted her for wearing the Islamic headscarf. The attacker, identified only as Alex W., was appealing the €780 fine he was ordered to pay in the libel suit. Al-Sherbini was the wife of Egyptian academic Elwi Ali-Okaz. He was also hurt in the incident after he tried to help his wife and is in critical condition in hospital. Police are now investigating Alex W. for manslaughter. “The investigation into this bloody crime is bound to show there are some indications the suspect was hostile toward foreigners – the signs are there,†said Saxony police chief Bernd Merbitz told Bild. Magdi al-Sayed, press officer at the German embassy in Cairo, said the case was isolated and did not reflect German attitude towards Muslims. "It is a criminal act. It has nothing to do with persecution against Muslims," Sayed told the Egyptian state newspaper The Gazette. The stabbing happened July 1, just before al-Sherbini was to give her evidence. During the struggle, other bystanders were also injured and police fired a shot. Al-Sherbini died in the courtroom. The 28-year-old attacker was overpowered and is now under investigation for manslaughter, a spokesman for the Dresden prosecutor's office said. Chairman of the German judge federation Christoph Frank is now demanding that safety and security measures must be brought up to standard. “Each individual law court must be examined and security infrastructure put in place to better protect citizens,†he said to the Bild. The incident recalled a similar scene of courtroom violence in the Bavarian town of Landshut in April, when a 60-year-old man shot his sister-in-law before turning the gun on himself, following an inheritance ruling. (thelocal(contact admin if its a beneficial link))
  4. Naim El-Ghandour was born in Egypt in 1955 and has been living in Greece since 1974. He has the Hellenic citizenship and is a successful businessman. El-Ghandour dreams of seeing the Athens Masjid and the Muslim Cemetery in Athens and he exerted all his efforts for these two main projects. Accordingly, he has proposed many requests to the Greek Government asking for the Muslims' rights to have their own official Masjid and cemetery in Greece. His attempts are still going on. In a response to a question from IOL's audience during his Live Session about the Masjids and its role in Greece, Mr. Naim said, "We, the larger Muslim community, are exceeding 700,000 only at the capital Athens, but we have no official Masjid, just unofficial places to pray. We are fighting hard to have our own official Athens Masjid and cemetery and en shaa Allah we will succeed. It is essential for us to have a Masjid." IOL's audience also raised an important question on what can be done to make it easier for immigrants to feel accepted in the Greek community. Our guest replied, "Greece is the number one destination for the illegal immigrants of Europe, and this is very difficult for all. But education is above our strength as the Muslim countries are not contributing, they may have not realized the current situation in Greece. At a governmental level, we are trying to start contact between the Greek state and the Muslim states to allow Islamic education to be a subject taught at schools."
  5. Common European Muslim Issues

    Who Is Responsible for This: No Authorized Imam in Greece?!! Monday,Apr 6 ,2009 After several attempts to uncover the Muslims' status in Greece, IslamOnline(contact admin if its a beneficial link) (IOL)'s Euro-Muslims Page is shedding the light on the role of Greek imams as an alternate solution to many challenges they face in their way to integration into their European society while maintaining their religious Islamic identity. For that purpose, IslamOnline(contact admin if its a beneficial link) (IOL)'s Euro-Muslims Page hosted Mr. Naim EL-Ghandour, President and Co-founder of the Association of Muslims in Greece, in a Live Dialogue session on April 6, 2009, to talk to IOL’s audience on the status of imams in Greece. Naim El-Ghandour was born in Egypt in 1955 and has been living in Greece since 1974. He has the Hellenic citizenship and is a successful businessman. El-Ghandour dreams of seeing the Athens Masjid and the Muslim Cemetery in Athens and he exerted all his efforts for these two main projects. Accordingly, he has proposed many requests to the Greek Government asking for the Muslims' rights to have their own official Masjid and cemetery in Greece. His attempts are still going on. In a response to a question from IOL's audience during his Live Session about the Masjids and its role in Greece, Mr. Naim said, "We, the larger Muslim community, are exceeding 700,000 only at the capital Athens, but we have no official Masjid, just unofficial places to pray. We are fighting hard to have our own official Athens Masjid and cemetery and en shaa Allah we will succeed. It is essential for us to have a Masjid." IOL's audience also raised an important question on what can be done to make it easier for immigrants to feel accepted in the Greek community. Our guest replied, "Greece is the number one destination for the illegal immigrants of Europe, and this is very difficult for all. But education is above our strength as the Muslim countries are not contributing, they may have not realized the current situation in Greece. At a governmental level, we are trying to start contact between the Greek state and the Muslim states to allow Islamic education to be a subject taught at schools." (IslamOnline(contact admin if its a beneficial link))
  6. Common European Muslim Issues

    you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_euroislam-euromuslim.blogspot(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/
  7. Common European Muslim Issues

    The Truth About Islam in Europe From the desk of Fjordman on Sun, 2008-02-24 14:32 This essay was inspired by Joan Acocella's review of David Levering Lewis' book God's Crucible: Islam and the Making of Europe, 570-1215. Lewis is an American historian and two-time winner of the prestigious Pulitzer Prize. Acocella's review is not bad, but she reveals little evidence that she has read authors such as Robert Spencer, Bat Ye'or or Andrew G. Bostom. She refers to Edward Said's 1978 book Orientalism, but not Ibn Warraq's excellent criticism of him in the recent book Defending the West: A Critique of Edward Said's Orientalism. According to Acocella, "The Muslims came to Europe, he writes, as 'the forward wave of civilization that was, by comparison with that of its enemies, an organic marvel of coordinated kingdoms, cultures, and technologies in service of a politico-cultural agenda incomparably superior' to that of the primitive people they encountered there. They did Europe a favor by invading. This is not a new idea, but Lewis takes it further: he clearly regrets that the Arabs did not go on to conquer the rest of Europe." This was "one of the most significant losses in world history and certainly the most consequential since the fall of the Roman Empire." Abd al-Rahman I, a Syrian-born prince who took over in 756, is the hero of "God's Crucible." According to Acocella, "It was he who built the Great Masjid of Córdoba, the most spectacular extant example of Muslim Spain's architectural achievements. He also botanized, and imported to Spain its first date palms, its first lemons, limes, and grapefruit, as well as almonds, apricots, saffron, and henna." In a digression, I would like to qualify that statement. Apricots were known in the Mediterranean world already in Antiquity. The apricot is called armeniaca vulgaris in Latin because many Europeans thought it originated in Armenia, where it was grown in the Ararat Valley. However, apricots come from China or nearby regions in Central Asia and were cultivated there in prehistoric times. They were later brought to Armenia and the Mediterranean world via Persia through the Silk Road trade. Citrus fruits originate in south-eastern Asia, and certain types were known in the Mediterranean in ancient times as the Romans did participate to some extent in the Indian Ocean trade. However, the use of citrus fruits was limited at the time and was disrupted after the fall of Rome. It is true that various citrus fruits were reintroduced via Arabs, who brought sour oranges from India. The drink lemonade may have been invented in Egypt. Sweet oranges had been cultivated by the Chinese for many centuries and were introduced in Europe by the Portuguese, who probably got them from Indians, in the fifteenth century. Sweet oranges quickly replaced sour oranges. Christopher Columbus in 1493 brought with him seeds of orange, lemon and citron from Spain's Canary Islands to Hispaniola in the Caribbean. Oranges were abundant in Haiti by the sixteenth century and were introduced to Florida while the Portuguese brought them to Brazil. Oranges were for many Native Americans one of the more welcome things Europeans brought with them, certainly more so than smallpox. The juice of citrus fruits was used as a cure for scurvy. James Lind of the British Royal Navy conducted the first clinical trial in 1747 to prove this effect. George Vancouver of the Royal Navy accompanied Captain James Cook, the British explorer and cartographer, on two of his voyages in the Pacific Ocean in the 1770s while exploring the coastlines of Australia and New Zealand. Cook's voyages are often seen to mark the beginning of colonialism in the region, and Cook himself died fighting native Hawaiians in 1779. Captain Vancouver later explored the north-western coast of North America, from California to Alaska. The city of Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada, is named after him. During a visit to California, then a part of Mexico and thus still a Spanish colony, he mentioned seeing oranges. With the growth of the transcontinental railway in the United States during the nineteenth century production grew, and boomed after the American Civil War. Oranges are still grown in the Mediterranean region, in Spain, Portugal, israel and other countries as well as in Asia, but the largest production is in Brazil, Florida and California. David Levering Lewis spends a lot of time demonstrating how the Franks were less civilized than Muslims and that their economy was "little better than the Late Neolithic." Their neighbors were supposedly even worse. The Vikings who invaded Frankland were "the filthiest race that God ever created," according to a Muslim ambassador. Being Scandinavian myself, I have no problems admitting that the Vikings did possess a number of barbarian traits, but history is more complex than that. Scandinavians of this age gradually became integrated into the civilized mainstream of European culture. Christian European culture, that is. Vikings from Denmark went to England and France, Norwegians went to the British Isles and the North Atlantic and Swedes went east, though there was always considerable overlapping between these nations. Some went via the Volga and other rivers in Russia and the Ukraine to the Black Sea engaged in trade and piracy, and a few even settled in Kiev and Volgograd. They occasionally fought Byzantine forces, but the Byzantines had the advantage of Greek fire. Vikings were still respected for their fighting skills and were employed as mercenaries, even as personal bodyguards for the emperors. The Scandinavians called Constantinople Miklagard, "the Great City." As Timothy Gregory says in A History of Byzantium, during the eleventh century the Byzantine Empire suffered from a decline in its conscript army. Because of this, "the state had to rely more and more on foreign mercenaries, at first Varangians from Russia but increasingly Normans from Sicily and France, Anglo-Saxons from England, and others. The most famous of these was the Varangian Duzina, attested from 1034 onward, which enrolled Vikings from Russia and eventually Anglo-Saxons. This elite guard, whose members had distinct arms and uniforms, had its quarters in Constantinople but also took part in field campaigns. In addition, Byzantium had to rely more than before on its alliances with foreign peoples who might be used to fight the empire's wars." The Varangian Guard defended Constantinople against other Westerners during the Fourth Crusade in 1204. One of their most prominent members was the future king Harald Hardråde, "Hard-ruler," from 1035, whose story was told by Icelandic poet and historian Snorri Sturluson ca. 1230 in the Heimskringla. Harald participated in a number of battles against Muslims and returned to Norway with great wealth. He wasn't the only one to do so. Large quantities of Byzantine gold coins have been found in Scandinavia. He is most remembered, however, for his invasion of England in 1066 with several hundred longships. Harald Hardråde was killed at the Battle of Stamford Bridge in England on 25 September 1066, a date which is often seen to mark the end of the Viking Age. The victor Harold Godwinson was himself soon defeated by William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings the same year. This remarkable story has been immortalized in the beautiful Bayeux Tapestry. It is interesting to notice, though, that much of the contact that did take place between the Byzantine Empire and north-western Europe at this point happened through backdoor channels like the rivers of Eastern Europe, linking the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea. The Mediterranean was still plagued by Muslim pirates. Women enjoyed greater freedom in the Norse society than they did in Islamic societies even then, and this continued into Christian times. In What went Wrong?, historian Bernard Lewis writes: "The difference in the position of women was indeed one of the most striking contrasts between Christian and Muslim practice, and is mentioned by almost all travelers in both directions. Christianity, of all churches and denominations, prohibits polygamy and concubinage. Islam, like most other non-Christian communities, permits both.... Muslim visitors to Europe speak with astonishment, often with horror, of the immodesty and frowardness of Western women, of the incredible freedom and absurd deference accorded to them, and of the lack of manly jealousy of European males confronted with the immorality and promiscuity in which their womenfolk indulge." Bernard Lewis has also, in my view correctly, suggested that the concept of "Holy War" was originally alien to Christianity and was imported to Europe after Europeans had been confronted with Islamic Jihad. The Reconquista, the reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula from Islamic rule, is traditionally seen to have begun with Pelayo in 718. Although initially slow, it speeded up from the eleventh century onwards. The Portuguese had been liberated in 1249 under King Afonso III. As Joan Acocella says, "Toledo fell to Alfonso VI of León and Castile, a Catholic king, in 1085. Four more centuries passed before the expulsion of the last emir from Granada, in 1492, but [David Levering] Lewis gets through them fast. He doesn't want to talk about it." Lewis also fails to explain why Spaniards and Portuguese repeatedly rebelled against this glorious Islamic culture in favor of an "almost Neolithic" culture. He writes that Muslims did not enslave their co-religionists, only infidels. Yes, but exactly why is that better? As Robert Spencer writes in Religion of Peace?: Why Christianity Is and Islam Isn't: "The Qur'an says that the followers of Muhammad are 'ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another' (48:29), and that the unbelievers are the 'worst of created beings' (98:6). One may exercise the Golden Rule in relation to a fellow Muslim, but according to the laws of Islam, the same courtesy is not to be extended to unbelievers. That is one principal reason why the primary source of slaves in the Islamic world has been non-Muslims, whether Jews, Christians, Hindus, or pagans. Most slaves were non-Muslims who had been captured during jihad warfare." Slavery was taken for granted throughout Islamic history. When it was finally abolished this was due to Western pressure, especially through the efforts of the British Empire: "Nor was there a Muslim abolitionist movement, no Clarkson, Wilberforce, or Garrison. When the slave trade ended, it was ended not through Muslim efforts but through British military force. Even so, there is evidence that slavery continues beneath the surface in some Muslim countries - notably Saudi Arabia, which only abolished slavery in 1962; Yemen and Oman, both of which ended legal slavery in 1970; and Niger, which didn't abolish slavery until 2004. In Niger, the ban is widely ignored, and as many as one million people remain in bondage. Slaves are bred, often raped, and generally treated like animals. There are even slavery cases involving Muslims in the United States. A Saudi named Homaidan al-Turki was sentenced in September 2006 to twenty-seven years to life in prison for keeping a woman as a slave in his Colorado home. For his part, al-Turki claimed that he was a victim of anti-Muslim bias." Indian historian K. S. Lal states that wherever Jihadists conquered a territory, "there developed a system of slavery peculiar to the clime, terrain, and populace of the place." When Muslim armies invaded India, "its people began to be enslaved in droves to be sold in foreign lands or employed in various capacities on menial and not-so-menial jobs within the country." The most comprehensive book on the subject to date, The Legacy of Jihad, was published by Dr. Andrew G. Bostom. Bostom writes about how Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, then serving as ambassadors, met in 1786 with the Tripolitan ambassador to Britain. These future American presidents were attempting to negotiate a peace treaty which would spare the United States the ravages of Jihad piracy – murder and enslavement emanating from the so-called Barbary States of North Africa, corresponding to modern Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya. However, the spirit of the young Republic came to be embodied in the slogan "Millions for defense, not a penny for tribute." Bostom notes that "By June/July 1815 the ably commanded U.S. naval forces had dealt their Barbary jihadist adversaries a quick series of crushing defeats. This success ignited the imagination of the Old World powers to rise up against the Barbary pirates." Robert Davis' methodical enumeration in Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters indicates that perhaps one and one-quarter million white European Christians were enslaved by Barbary Muslims from 1530 through 1780. In his book White Gold, Giles Milton describes how regular Jihad razzias in Europe extended as far north as Iceland. Even during the time of Queen Elizabeth I, while William Shakespeare was writing his plays and poems, young Englishmen risked being surprised by a fleet of Muslim pirates showing up at their village, or being kidnapped while fishing at sea: "By the end of the dreadful summer of 1625, the mayor of Plymouth reckoned that 1,000 skiffs had been destroyed, and a similar number of villagers carried off into slavery." Such events took place across much of Europe, also in Wales and southern Ireland: "In 1631…200 Islamic soldiers…sailed to the village of Baltimore, storming ashore with swords drawn and catching the villagers totally by surprise. (They) carried off 237 men, women, and children and took them to Algiers…The French padre Pierre Dan was in the city (Algiers) at the time…He witnessed the sale of the captives in the slave auction. 'It was a pitiful sight to see them exposed in the market…Women were separated from their husbands and the children from their fathers…on one side a husband was sold; on the other his wife; and her daughter was torn from her arms without the hope that they'd ever see each other again'." Englishman Thomas Pellow was enslaved in Morocco for twenty-three years after being captured by Barbary pirates as a cabin boy on a small English vessel in 1716. He was tortured until he accepted Islam. For weeks he was beaten and starved, and finally gave in after his torturer resorted to "burning my flesh off my bones by fire, which the tyrant did, by frequent repetitions, after a most cruel manner." Scholar Bat Ye'or is an expert on dhimmitude, the oppressive system for non-Muslims under Islamic rule, described in the book Islam and Dhimmitude. She writes this about the Jihad slave system: "When Amr conquered Tripoli (Libya) in 643, he forced the Jewish and Christian Berbers to give their wives and children as slaves to the Arab army as part of their jizya. From 652 until its conquest in 1276, Nubia was forced to send an annual contingent of slaves to Cairo. Treaties concluded with the towns of Transoxiana [iranian central Asia], Sijistan [eastern Iran], Armenia, and Fezzan (Maghreb) under the Umayyads and Abbasids stipulated an annual dispatch of slaves from both sexes. However, the main sources for the supply of slaves remained the regular raids on villages within the dar-al-harb [non-Islamic regions] and the military expeditions which swept more deeply into the infidel lands, emptying towns and provinces of their inhabitants." According to Sir Jadunath Sarkar, the pre-eminent historian of Mughal India, "The conversion of the entire population to Islam and the extinction of every form of dissent is the ideal of the Muslim State. If any infidel is suffered to exist in the community, it is as a necessary evil, and for a transitional period only…A non-Muslim therefore cannot be a citizen of the State; he is a member of a depressed class; his status is a modified form of slavery…In short, his continued existence in the State after the conquest of his country by the Muslims is conditional upon his person and property made subservient to the cause of Islam." As Robert Spencer says: "Although the strictness with which the laws of dhimmitude (the subservient status of Jews and Christians) were enforced varied, they were never abolished, and during times of relaxation the subject populations always lived in fear that they would be enforced with new stringency. Muslim rulers did not forget that the Qur'an mandates that both Jews and Christians must 'feel themselves subdued.' One notable instance is recounted by Arab historian Philip Hitti: 'The caliph al-Mutawakkil in 850 and 854 decreed that Christians and Jews should affix wooden images of devils to their houses, level their graves even with the ground, wear outer garments of honey color, i.e., yellow, put two honey-colored patches on the clothes of their slaves...and ride only on mules and ###### with wooden saddles marked by two pomegranate-like balls on the cantle.'" In 1888, a Tunisian Jew noted: "The Jew is prohibited in this country to wear the same clothes as a Muslim and may not wear a red tarbush. He can be seen to bow down with his whole body to a Muslim child and permit him the traditional privilege of striking him in the face, a gesture that can prove to be of the gravest consequence. Indeed, the present writer has received such blows. In such matters the offenders act with complete impunity, for this has been the custom from time immemorial." Maimonides, the renowned Jewish philosopher and physician, stated that "the Arabs have persecuted us severely, and passed baneful and discriminatory legislation against us...Never did a nation molest, degrade, debase, and hate us as much as they." Jews could teach rabbinic law to Christians, but Muslims he said, will interpret what they are taught "according to their erroneous principles and they will oppress us. [F]or this reason.....they hate all [non-Muslims] who live among them." But the Christians "admit that the text of the Torah, such as we have it, is intact." Richard Fletcher states in his book Moorish Spain that: "Moorish Spain was not a tolerant and enlightened society even in its most cultivated epoch." In the essay Andalusian Myth, Eurabian Reality, Bat Ye'or and Andrew G. Bostom examine the myth of the supposed "tolerance" enjoyed by Christians and Jews in the Iberian Peninsula: "Segregated in special quarters, they had to wear discriminatory clothing. Subjected to heavy taxes, the Christian peasantry formed a servile class attached to the Arab domains; many abandoned their land and fled to the towns. Harsh reprisals with mutilations and crucifixions would sanction the Mozarab (Christian dhimmis) calls for help from the Christian kings. Moreover, if one dhimmi harmed a Muslim, the whole community would lose its status of protection, leaving it open to pillage, enslavement and arbitrary killing." This humiliating status provoked many revolts, punished by massacres. Insurrections erupted in Saragossa in 781 and 881, Cordova (805, 818), Merida (805-813, 828 and the following year, and in 868), and again in Toledo (811-819). Many of the insurgents were crucified, as prescribed in the Koran 5:33: "The revolt in Cordova of 818 was crushed by three days of massacres and pillage, with 300 notables crucified and 20 000 families expelled. Feuding was endemic in the Andalusian cities between the different sectors of the population: Arab and Berber colonizers, Iberian Muslim converts (Muwalladun) and Christian dhimmis (Mozarabs). There were rarely periods of peace in the Amirate of Cordova (756-912), nor later. Al-Andalus represented the land of jihad par excellence. Every year, sometimes twice a year, raiding expeditions were sent to ravage the Christian Spanish kingdoms to the north, the Basque regions, or France and the Rhone valley, bringing back booty and slaves. Andalusian corsairs attacked and invaded along the Sicilian and Italian coasts, even as far as the Aegean Islands, looting and burning as they went. Thousands of people were deported to slavery in Andalusia, where the caliph kept a militia of tens of thousand of Christian slaves brought from all parts of Christian Europe (the Saqaliba), and a harem filled with captured Christian women." In Granada, up to five thousand Jews perished in a pogrom by Muslims in 1066. The Berber Almohads in Spain and North Africa (1130-1232) wreaked enormous destruction on the Jewish and Christian populations. Suspicious of the sincerity of converts to Islam, Muslim "inquisitors" (i.e., antedating their Christian Spanish counterparts by three centuries) removed children from such families, placing them in the care of Muslims. A prominent Andalusian jurist, Ibn Hazm of Cordoba (d. 1064), wrote that Allah has established the infidels' ownership of their property merely to provide booty for Muslims. According to Joan Acocella, "In view of Lewis's high opinion of learning in Al Andalus, it is amazing how little space he gives it." In the twelfth century, Averroes (Ibn Rushd) wrote his commentaries on Aristotle, and Moses Maimonides produced his Aristotle-inflected Guide to the Perplexed. However, both these men had to flee Andalusia. Averroes, despite being an Islamic judge, was banished, his books burnt, and he was forced to emigrate to Morocco (in 1195) where he died in 1198. Maimonides had to flee in order to escape the Almohad Jihad. It is true that the highly influential Christian scholar St. Thomas Aquinas in the late thirteenth century quoted both these men, but he was critical of the way Averroes used Aristotle and had at his disposal a more complete body of Aristotelian writings than any of the Muslim philosophers ever did. Another Catholic, the Flemish Dominican Friar William of Moerbeke, was heavily involved in translating Byzantine manuscripts into Latin. According to scholar John Dunn in his book Setting the People Free, the word demokratia entered modern Western discourse in the 1260s in William of Moerbeke's Latin translation of Aristotle's Politics, "the most systematic analysis of politics as a practical activity which survived from the ancient world." Iranian intellectual Amir Taheri states that: "There was no word in any of the Muslim languages for democracy until the 1890s. Even then the Greek word democracy entered Muslim languages with little change: democrasi in Persian, dimokraytiyah in Arabic, demokratio in Turkish.…It is no accident that early Muslims translated numerous ancient Greek texts but never those related to political matters. The great Avicenna himself translated Aristotle's Poetics. But there was no translation of Aristotle's Politics in Persian until 1963." Muslims inherited a great deal of accumulated knowledge when they conquered the Middle East, and most of the translations of earlier works were done by non-Muslims. According to Robert Spencer, "The Christian Huneyn ibn-Ishaq (809-873) translated many works by Aristotle, Galen, Plato and Hippocrates into Syriac [in Baghdad], from which they were translated into Arabic by his son. The Jacobite Christian Yahya ibn 'Adi (893-974) also translated works of philosophy into Arabic, and wrote his own; his treatise The Reformation of Morals has occasionally been erroneously attributed to various of his Muslim contemporaries. His student, another Christian named Abu 'Ali 'Isa ibn Zur'a (943-1008), also made Arabic translations of Aristotle and other Greek writers from Syriac. The first Arabic-language medical treatise was written by a Christian priest and translated into Arabic by a Jewish doctor in 683. The first hospital, another source of pride among Muslims and often a prominent feature of Islamic accomplishment lists, was founded in Baghdad during the Abbasid caliphate by a Nestorian Christian. A pioneering medical school was founded at Gundeshapur in Persia — by Assyrian Christians." Greek or other pre-Islamic learning was never integrated into the regular curriculum at Islamic schools, as it was in European universities. The German-Syrian writer Bassam Tibi points out that "science" in the madrasa meant the study of the Koran, the hadith, Arab history etc.: "Some Islamic historians wrongly translate the term madrasa as university. This is plainly incorrect: If we understand a university as universitas litterarum, or consider, without the bias of Eurocentrism, the cast of the universitas magistrorum of the thirteenth century in Paris, we are bound to recognise that the university as a seat for free and unrestrained enquiry based on reason, is a European innovation in the history of mankind." In The Rise of Early Modern Science, second edition, scholar Toby E. Huff warns that if Islam had taken over Europe, later Western scientific achievements would have been impossible: "If Spain had persisted as an Islamic land into the later centuries - say, until the time of Napoleon - it would have retained all the ideological, legal, and institutional defects of Islamic civilization. A Spain dominated by Islamic law would have been unable to found new universities based on the European model of legally autonomous corporate governance, as corporations do not exist in Islamic law. Furthermore, the Islamic model of education rested on the absolute primacy of fiqh, of legal studies, and the standard of preserving the great traditions of the past. This was symbolically reflected in the ijaza, the personal authorization to transmit knowledge from the past given by a learned man, a tradition quite different from the West's group-administered certification (through examination) of demonstrated learning. In the actual event, the founding of Spanish universities in the thirteenth century, first in Palencia (1208-9), Valladolid, Salamanca (1227-8), and so on, occurred in long-established Christian areas, and the universities were modeled after the constitutions of Paris and Bologna." Apparently, David Levering Lewis doesn't care much about art, as he devotes little space to the subject in God's Crucible. Pictorial arts are banned in Islam. Images have been made at certain times, but paintings, and certainly not sculptures, never had anything remotely resembling the importance they enjoyed in Western art. The Islamic world could produce some good poets, for instance the Sufi poet Jalaluddin Rumi (1207-1273) whose works are still popular, but they tended to be unorthodox Muslims. Jihad piracy and slavery remained a serious threat to Europeans for more than a thousand years. As historian Ibn Khaldun proudly proclaimed about the early Middle Ages: "The Christian could no longer float a plank upon the sea." The reason why the West for centuries didn't have easy access to the Classical learning of the Byzantine Empire was because endemic Muslim raids made the Mediterranean unsafe for regular travel. It has to be the height of absurdity to block access to something and then take credit for transmitting it, yet that is precisely what Muslims do. As stronger states slowly grew up in the West, regular contact with their Christian cousins in Byzantium was gradually re-established, especially with the city-states of northern Italy where during the Renaissance the printing press – an invention aggressively rejected by Muslims – made Greco-Roman texts, with translations aided by Greek-speaking Byzantine refugees from Islamic Jihad, available to future generations. Westerners eventually gained access to the Greco-Roman manuscripts preserved in Constantinople, the Second Rome. Consequently, they no longer needed to rely on limited translations in Arabic, which had often been made from Byzantine manuscripts in the first place, and frequently by Christian or Jewish translators. The Middle East had for thousands of years been more advanced than most of Europe. This situation didn't begin with the introduction of Islam. On the contrary: it ended with Islamization. The region we today call the Greater Middle East, which includes Egypt, Palestine, Syria, south-eastern Anatolia, Iraq, Iran and parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan, is the seat of the oldest known civilizations on the planet and the source of many of the most important inventions in human history, including writing and the alphabet. It is surely no coincidence that the first major civilization on the Indian subcontinent, the Harappan Civilization, arose in the Indus Valley in the northwest, i.e. closest to Sumerian Mesopotamia. A little understood culture at the Mediterranean island of Malta has left us with megalithic temples that may be the oldest freestanding stone structures in the world. Dating back to 3600 BC, they predate the pyramids of Egypt with a thousand years. Still, it is not a coincidence that literate European civilizations took root in lands that were geographically close to Egypt, the Fertile Crescent and Mesopotamia: The Minoan civilization at the island of Crete, later mainland Greece and the Balkans, then Rome. Even in the Roman Empire, the Eastern part was more urbanized than its Northern and Western regions, which is one of the reasons why the Eastern half proved more durable. Contrast this with modern times, when southeast Europe (the Balkans) is Europe's number one trouble spot. So is the original seat of the first Indian civilization, in Pakistan and Kashmir. The Greater Middle East thus went from being a global center of civilization to being a global center of anti-civilization. This change largely coincided with the Islamization of the region. Muslim reformist Irshad Manji has asked in her book The Trouble with Islam what caused the earlier "golden age" of Islam, and concludes, with a few reservations, that "tolerance served as the best way to build and maintain the Islamic empire." In light of the evidence quoted above I disagree with her, and even more so with David Levering Lewis. Islam's much-vaunted "golden age" was in reality the twilight of the conquered pre-Islamic cultures, an echo of times passed. The brief cultural blossoming during the first centuries of Islamic rule owed its existence almost entirely to the pre-Islamic heritage in a region that was still, for a while, majority non-Muslim. I've recently been re-reading some of the books of American evolutionary biologist Jared Diamond, including Guns, Germs, and Steel. What strikes me is how Diamond, with his emphasis on historical materialism, fails to explain the rise of the West and especially why English, not Arabic, Chinese, Sanskrit or Mayan, became the global lingua franca. His most important flaw is his complete failure to explain how the Greater Middle East went from being a center of civilization to being a center of anti-civilization. This was not caused by smallpox or because zebras are more difficult to domesticate than water buffaloes. It was caused by Islam. Yet is striking to notice how Diamond totally ignores the influence of Islam. This demonstrates clearly that any historical explanation that places too much emphasis on material issues and too little on the impact of human ideas is bound to end up with false or misleading conclusions.
  8. Salaam alaykum. Welcome to Ummah, RyanM. If I were able I would do much more, but now I can only pray dua for your debts to leave you. Take care. P.S. Why are you so shure that your mom will dislike your embracing Islam? You haven't told her anything yet.
  9. Common European Muslim Issues

    Charlemagne Islam in Europe Apr 12th 2006 From The Economist print edition “I BELIEVE there is no European Islam,†said Mustafa Ceric, a Bosnian imam, at a meeting of Islamic clerics and advisers in Vienna. Yet two months ago, his supreme Islamic department of Bosnia said that “Muslims who live in Europe have the right—no, the duty—to develop their own European culture of Islam.†Such contradictions are part of a broad debate over the role and character of Islam in Europe, which could have profound implications, and not only because Muslims are the continent's largest minority. It might affect the wider Islamic world if it shows that Muslims can adapt to modern, secular democracies. Traditional teaching frowns on the idea of distinctive forms of Islam, holding that there is a single community of believers, the umma. Differences clearly exist between Sunni and Shia, or between Saudis and Malays, but Muslims are reluctant to proclaim fresh ones. As a declaration by Islamic organisations in Europe put it in 2003, “a ‘European’ Islam is non-existent; only the term ‘Islam in Europe’ offers an adequate definition.†Traditional teaching also divides the world into a house of Islam, under Muslim laws, and a house of war, where infidels prevail. But since Islam's earliest years, it has been accepted that there are also intermediate situations, with non-Muslim regimes that can provide tolerable conditions for Muslims. … Just to note, Ph.D. Mustafa Cerić is reisu-l-ulema of Islamic Community in B&H, that menas grand mufti.
  10. How do I edit the post in this forum? I don't know where to click.
  11. Salaam alaykum Bismillah According to the German Central Institute Islam Archive, the total number of Muslims in Europe in 2007 was about 53 million, including 16 million in the European Union. The number of Muslims in Europe is significant, but not as if they were more organised and having better contacts between each other. Very often the organisational problems occure in countries with diverse Muslim imigration. I that country has more than one Muslim nation as imigrants, they organize seperate Islamic organizations that are subordinated to the mother country. Turks pray only in Turkish Masjids, Arabs ony in Arab Masjids, Bosnians in Bosnian Masjids. There are many problems but most of them are connected with organization. For example I live in Bosnia and Herzegovina which is arond 300 km far from Bulgaria, but I haven't read nor heard about a report in any of our newspapers about Muslims in Bulgaria - country that has 1 million Muslims. Albania is around 70 km from Bosnia. There have been some reports, but not enough. Maybe sometimes the language is a barrier. Muslims in Europe should work on putting down the barriers. How many Muslims in Europe know that Chechens are Europeans, and that 20 million Muslims live in Russia. 53 million is a big number, at least if we can raise the quality of our communications so we can for example solve the problem of Praha Muslims who are doing the jumuah prayer twice so all of them could do it, or some other issues. What do other European Muslims think about this?
  12. Islam In Slovakia

    Slovakian Muslims Seek 'Positive Integration' Slovak Muslims wish to have a Masjid BRATISLAVA, March 1 (IslamOnline(contact admin if its a beneficial link)) - The 5,000 Muslims in Slovakia are up to two current obstacles down the road of their positive integration in the former communist country; one-sided media and official denial to build Masjids or cultural centers. "In most cases their reporting is very biased, one-sided, and subjective," said Mohamad Safwan Hasna, head of the Islamic Foundation in Slovakia, in an interview with the English-language newspaper Slovak Spectator. Hasna lamented that the media outlets do not draw a line between Islam and what he said the regrettable acts of some individuals, leaving a great deal of the reporting "very biased, one-sided, and subjective". "They don't try to present an accurate picture of things, they are unwilling to go deeper and analyze," said Hasna, a Syrian-born Slovak. Asked whether this reporting is superficial or intentional, Hasna said that both can be true. "The problem of the entire journalistic community in Slovakia is that a lot of information comes second-hand. There are some good reports, but that's perhaps 10 percent. "This can only cause tension and increase intolerance," he warned, saying that Muslims in the country hope for a "positive integration". "Religion is never the problem. The problem lies mainly in economy and geopolitics. Naturally, religion is exploited in these struggles, because it has great motivational strength," he said. For the official Slovak position on Iraq and its clear support for U.S. policies, Hasna hoped that a more conservative approach would have been followed. Asked whether Slovakia's foreign policy alienated the local Muslim community, the answer came as cautious. "It's hard to judge, because I don't know the opinions of all. I don't think they were thrilled by this attitude," he said. But the Muslim leader denied that members of Muslim community are under more security attention in the alleged fight against terrorism in the world as was the case with other European countries. "No, we have not, but I suppose it exists. There were no specific cases," he said. He admitted that after 9/11 attacks, there were some verbal insults on Muslims, but that no physical assaults were registered. Prayer Places Hasna said that the great problem facing Muslims in the country is building an Islamic cultural and educational centre in the capital Bratislava's Old Town. The Bratislava community has been trying to build an Islamic centre, including a prayer hall and meeting rooms for many years. Hasna said it bought a plot of land in the city's Old Town four years ago, but the local mayor has denied building permission. "They have no logical reasons to withhold permission. They mayor is against human rights and religious freedom," Hasna said in an earlier comments. "Some people are unwilling to share space with someone else and some people don't want anything different here," he said. But he believed that did not reflect the attitudes of the majority of the population. "They are neutral, similar [to other countries] elsewhere," he said. Hasna had earlier complained that the denial of registration of the community - under a law provision that rendered religious communities with fewer than 20,000 members ineligible to gain legal status - and the inability of the community to build Masjids is "very humiliating". "We don't have a suitable and stable place to pray, meet and explain Islamic culture," he told Forum 18 from Bratislava on 30 June. He said the Muslims in the aforementioned city have to gather for prayers in rented premises, as do the smaller communities in other areas as Martin and Kosice. Hasna estimated that there are in total about 5,000 Muslims in the five-million-population Slovakia, most of them in Bratislava. He said the community is made up of Arabs, Albanians, Turks and Bosnians, as well as about 150 Slovak converts. Huge Difference Hasna said that most Muslims are usually students or entrepreneurs. "You have to differentiate between the local Muslim community and the communities in Western Europe. There it's mostly [made up of] workers, because of different historical circumstances. In Slovakia, it's mostly [made up of] educated people. The difference is huge," he said. Hasna's wife is among the roughly 150 Slovaks who are known to have converted to Islam. The Republic of Slovakia came into existence on January 1, 1993. After the end of Communist rule in 1989, government leaders reached an agreement to separate the country into two fully independent republics. Bratislava is the capital and largest city.
  13. Islam In Bulgaria

    Islam in Bulgaria Written and photographed by Stephen Lewis Bulgaria, a country of rich farm lands, spectacular mountain ranges, and a meandering coast of crowded resorts and deserted beaches, is both the cradle of Balkan Islam and the homeland of Slavic Christianity. Wedged between Romania, Yugoslavia's fragments, Greece, Turkey and the Black Sea, Bulgaria straddles the historic overland trade routes linking Europe to the Aegean and the Muslim East. For three millennia, Bulgaria has absorbed waves of conquerors and migrants—Greeks and Romans, Avars and Pecenegs, Slavs and Bulgars, Seljuk and Ottoman Turks, Romanies, Jews, and Armenians—creating a society in which peoples of differing cultures, traditions, and beliefs could dwell side by side undisturbed. Nobel laureate Elias Canetti, writing of his turn-of-the-century childhood in the Bulgarian city of Ruschük—present-day Ruse—captured the tranquillity and diversity that characterized the land of his birth: "Ruschük...was a marvelous city.... People of the most varied backgrounds lived there; on any one day you could hear seven or eight languages. Aside from Bulgarians...there were Turks, who lived in their own neighborhood; next to it was the neighborhood of the Sephardim, the Spanish Jews...and there were Greeks, Albanians, Armenians, and Gypsies." Yet in 1989, Bulgaria's former government flew in the face of the country's centuries-long history of tolerance and caused the mass exodus of some 300,000 Muslim Bulgarian citizens, most of them of ethnic-Turkish origin. The flight, mostly to Turkey, of almost a quarter of Bulgaria's Muslim population—people whose ancestors had dwelt in the country for centuries—represented the culmination of the Bulgarian government's prekrustvane ("regeneration") campaign, the final phase of a two-decade attempt to pressure the country's Muslims to abandon their religion, traditions, language, and even their names, and "assimilate" into the ethnic mainstream of Bulgarian society. The campaign drove a wedge between Bulgarians of differing backgrounds by citing the suffering of the Bulgarian nation under "the Turkish yoke"—a view of history rejected by most contemporary scholars—and lauding the role of Russia, whose armies ended more than 500 years of Ottoman rule over Bulgaria with the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878. But prekrustvane backfired grotesquely. By the autumn of 1989, dozens of factories were left without employees and scores of villages without labor to harvest the country's crucial hard-currency tobacco crop. In 1990, shortly after the fall of Communist Party boss Todor Zhivkov, Bulgaria's freely elected parliament voted to end anti-Muslim and anti-Turkish measures. In the years since, tens of thousands of Muslim emigres have returned to their native Bulgaria. Like many of their Christian compatriots, they hope their country's centuries-old record of tolerance and its new commitment to democracy will prove stronger than the sectarian and ultra-nationalist politics now erupting in parts of Eastern Europe. It is uncertain exactly how many Muslims live in Bulgaria today. Spokesmen for the office of President Zhelo Zhelev speak of 1.2 million, roughly 15 percent of the country's total population—a figure some Muslims contest as too low. Although the majority of Bulgaria's Muslims are of ethnic-Turkish origin, at least 250,000 are of ethnic-Bulgarian descent (See box, page 26); roughly the same number are Romanies—Gypsies—a people who have lived in Bulgaria for almost a millennium. Despite the traumas of the 1970's and 1980's, visitors to Bulgaria today encounter relics of a rich Muslim past and signs of a promising future. Many Masjids have reopened and new ones are being built to replace some of those demolished, vandalized, or neglected beyond repair in recent decades. Across Bulgaria, Muslim schools or madrasas are functioning once again. From the rolling agricultural lands south of the Danube to the heights of the Rhodope Mountains, muezzins call the country's Muslims to prayer five times daily. The history of Islam in Bulgaria dates to the 14th century, when the Ottoman Empire turned its might against the kingdoms of the Balkans. In 1361, the armies of Sultan Murat I captured the Byzantine city of Adrianople—present day Edirne in European Turkey—gaining a foothold on the Maritsa River and opening the way to the conquest of Bulgaria and the lands beyond. In 1363, Plovdiv—ancient Philipopolis, the richest city in Bulgarian Thrace—surrendered after a lengthy siege. The fall of the medieval Bulgarian capital at Veliko Turnovo in 1393 marked the downfall of a kingdom whose power had once rivaled that of Byzantium. In the wake of the Ottoman conquest, Muslim administrators, soldiers, and civilians flocked to Bulgarian lands, followed by masses of Anatolian peasants, nomadic herdsmen, and Turkoman and Tatar warriors forcibly resettled to consolidate Ottoman control. The Turkish origin of the names of modern Bulgarian cities and towns, such as Karnobat, Pazardzhik, and Novi Khan, mark the route of the Ottoman advance; village names such as Tatarevo denote the ethnicity of their first settlers. The overwhelming influx of Muslim settlers into Bulgaria created a need for the complete infrastructure of Islamic life. Muslim and Christian craftsmen labored to erect new cities outside the walls of medieval Bulgarian fortifications and towns, and to build Masjids, public baths, khans and markets. This rush of building led to a new style of Muslim architecture: rough, pragmatic and immense, influenced by the Seljuk architecture of Bursa—the first imperial city of the Ottoman Empire—but lacking its delicacy and refinement. Early monuments such as the single-domed Eski Jamiya in Stara Zagora, built in 1409, testify to the dynamism and expansiveness of Muslim Bulgaria, as do the nine-domed Jumaya Jamiya of Plovdiv and later works like the 18th-century Sherif Halil Pasha or Tomboul Jamiya in Shumen, until recent years the largest Masjid in Europe north of Edirne. Much of Bulgaria's Ottoman architectural heritage disappeared in the hundred years between the end of Ottoman rule and the excesses of prekrustvane. In Shumen alone, more than 40 Masjids were mentioned in mid-19th-century records; only eight remained in 1980 and three in 1989. Those Ottoman monuments that still grace the towns and countryside of Bulgaria reveal the glory of the country's Muslim past and the ways in which Muslim and Christian traditions once touched and blended. The openness of Bulgarian Christianity to a pantheon of local customs also influenced Bulgarian Muslims, generating in both religions a singular lack of fanaticism and acceptance of diversity. From the outset of Ottoman rule, Muslim life in Bulgaria was concentrated in and around military and mercantile towns such as Sofia, Vidin, Shumen, and Plovdiv. In rural Bulgaria, Muslim and Christian traditions overlapped. Village Masjids looked to Bulgarian churches as their architectural models. To this day, many rural Muslim and Christian places of worship look uncannily alike in their shape and the rugged masonry of their basilica-like exteriors. Their richly decorated interiors reflect the openness of all Bulgarians to the motifs and colors of nature. In Bulgaria's larger cities and towns, the religious architecture of Muslims and Christians remained divergent, but their secular architecture—like their daily lives—became indistinguishable. The 19th-century residences of the hilltop old-town of Plovdiv, the merchant estates of the picturesque Christian town of Koprivshtitsa, and the konaks, or walled compounds, of the great Rhodope Mountain Muslim commercial dynasties provide examples of typically Balkan styles that both Bulgarians and Turks claim as their own. In the closing years of Ottoman rule, Muslims turned increasingly to Bulgarian Christian architects and craftsmen to design and build their civil and religious works. The magnificent 19th-century Bayrakh Masjid (today a museum) in the industrial town of Samokov—once one of the richest trading centers in the Balkans—was decorated in Bulgarian folk style by local artists, providing a curious example of the fusion of two cultures. The ceiling of the Çarşı Jamiya in Ardino—a Rhodope Mountain town half of whose population fled Bulgaria during the 1980's—boasts spectacular carpet-like floral frescos painted long ago by Christian craftsmen from Plovdiv. Bulgaria's capital, Sofia, is a sprawling city of one million inhabitants, picturesquely set at the foot of snow-topped Mt. Vitosha. At the center of the city—only a few hundred meters from the neo-Stalinist "wedding-cake" facades of the country's center of government and the palatial former headquarters of the Bulgarian Communist Party—a trio of domed sanctuaries almost identical in height, but dramatically different in style, face each other: the 19th-century rotunda-domed Church of St. Nedelya, the neo-Moorish Sephardic synagogue, and the 400-year-old Banya Bashi Masjid, fully restored during the 1970's. The Banya Bashi is the only one of Sofia's historic Masjids still open for prayer. Fridays at noon, it is packed with Muslims from Bulgaria, Turkey, the Middle East, Asia and Africa. The city's other remaining Ottoman Masjids now serve different functions. The former Büyük Jamiya is now the country's National Archeological Museum. The handsome Bosnalı Mehmet Pasha Jamiya or Black Masjid—built during the reign of Süleyman the Magnificent by the great Sinan, the Michelangelo of the Muslim world—was deprived of its black granite minaret in 1905, when it was converted into a church and dedicated to the followers of Cyril and Methodius, patron saints of Bulgarian literacy. Not surprisingly, the names of Cyril and Methodius adorn the facade of Bulgaria's National Library, whose Oriental Department comprises one of the most important collections of Ottoman manuscripts outside Turkey. At the core of the collection are archives abandoned by retreating Ottoman authorities during the 1870's and the contents of Bulgaria's great Ottoman libraries, such as the one founded in Vidin by Pasvanoğlu Osman Pasha, supporter of the Janissary movement and opponent of the 19th-century reforms of Sultan Selim III. This September, the National Library will exhibit 23 volumes selected from the Oriental Department's precious collection of copies of the Qur'an used or transcribed in Bulgaria during the Ottoman period. The oldest volume dates from 1271. It was acquired by Ivan Dimitrov, an accomplished linguist and scholar and the department's first director. As an officer in the Bulgarian Army during the Second Balkan War of 1912-1913, Dimitrov is said to have visited a Masjid in Edirne during the fighting in that city. Muslims there, amazed to find a Christian who was conversant with Islam and could read the Qur'an, presented the volume to him as a gift. Some days later, Dimitrov was wounded in battle and died on his way back to Bulgaria. That copy of the Qur'an arrived in Sofia with his body. Today, another generation of Bulgarian scholars—at the National Library, the University of St. Clement of Ochrid, the Institute of Ethnology, the National Monuments Authority and other institutions—continues to master the languages and traditions of their Muslim compatriots and of the long-vanished Ottoman Empire, whose history is so inextricably linked with their own. Sadly, they appear to be atypical of the majority of Bulgarians. Physically, Bulgaria's Christians and Muslims have moved apart. Although many Bulgarian Christians nostalgically reminisce about how their parents or grandparents lived next to and knew the languages of Muslim Turks and Romanies, few have such first-hand knowledge today. As Margarita Karamikhova of Bulgaria's Institute of Ethnology explains, for more than a century Christians have migrated from the mountains to the low-lands and from rural Bulgaria to the growing towns and cities, a tendency far less pronounced among Muslims. Muslims and Christians have also moved apart economically. Ethnic-Turkish regions have been devastated by the recent collapse of export markets for Bulgarian tobacco, and unemployment among Romany Muslims in some places approaches 90 percent. Politically, Bulgaria's Muslims are in an ambiguous position. The country's two major parties—the formerly communist Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) and the rightward-drifting Union of Democratic Forces (UDF)—largely ignore the interests of ethnic and religious minorities, and Bulgaria's new constitution forbids political parties based on ethnicity or religion. However, it is no secret that the country's third-largest party, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF), headed by former human-rights activist and political prisoner Ahmed Dogan, attracts the support of the majority of the country's ethnic Turks and other Muslims. Its demonstrated ability to pull voters has made the MRF a coveted coalition partner courted by the BSP and UDF alike. At this moment, the future of Islamic life in Bulgaria is uncertain. Extreme pessimists, like the Muslims of one village in southwest Bulgaria who stockpile food and blankets in their Masjid "just in case of war," fear the eruption of hostilities like those destroying Bosnia. Others fear the rise of a xenophobic, anti-Romany, anti-Turkish, anti-Muslim cross-party coalition of ultra-nationalists. But such fears are far from universal. Many Bulgarians—Christians and Muslims—believe that their country is incapable of mustering the fanaticism that has turned their western neighbor, the former Yugoslavia, into a battlefield. Dr. Ibrahim Tatarh, an MRF member of parliament and a scholar whose pioneering works on the history of Bulgaria's Muslim religious shrines were banned during the 1970's, believes that the future of Muslim Bulgaria is linked to the re-establishment of Turkish and Islamic cultural and university-level educational institutions, such as existed up to the second decade of communist rule. Tatarh is concerned that a clause in Bulgaria's constitution declaring Orthodox Christianity to be the country's "traditional" religion could provide potential legal barriers to the full revival of Muslim life. However, he tempers his concern by explaining to guests that Bulgaria has only just begun its transition away from a half-century of totalitarian rule and more than two decades of efforts to eject or force the assimilation of its Muslim minority. Perhaps the surest sign that Bulgaria's Muslims and Christians have the will to transcend the inheritance of the recent past and to continue their six-centuries-long history of mutual respect and acceptance can be found in the sentiments underlying the words of farewell this writer heard from both Muslims and Christians in a score of towns and villages across Bulgaria. Unsure of his nationality and religion, they took his hand and blessed him with the words, "May God protect you and keep you ... by whatever name you know Him." Stephen Lewis is a New York- and Netherlands-based writer and photographer who makes frequent visits to Bulgaria, where he has participated in documentary film projects.
  14. Islam In Bulgaria

    you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_en.wikipedia(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/wiki/Islam_in_Bulgaria
  15. Islam In Bulgaria

    Bulgaria is a non-muslim country with big percentage of Muslims. They are around 1 000 000 and that is around 12% of 7 million population. They still live in difficult circumstances. Many of them emigrate to Turkey. Here are some facts: Islam in Bulgaria From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search Banya Bashi Masjid, built in 1576 by the great Ottoman architect Sinan, is the only functioning Masjid that remains of 500 years of Ottoman domination in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria General Mufti's Office of Bulgaria The Muslim population of Bulgaria, including Turks, Muslim Bulgarians, Pomaks, Roma, and Crimean Tatars, lives mainly in northeastern Bulgaria and in the Rhodope Mountains. According to the 2001 Census, the total number of Muslims in the country stood at 966,978, corresponding to 12.2% of the population. According to the criterion of ethnic group they were divided into the following groups: * Turks - 713,000; * Bulgarians - 131,000; * Roma - 103,000; * Others - 20,000; Most of the Bulgarian Muslims are Sunni Muslims as Sunni Islam was the form of Islam promoted by the Ottoman Turks during their five-century rule of Bulgaria (see History of Bulgaria). Shi'a sects such as the Alians, Kizilbashi and the Bektashi also are present, however. About 80,000 Shi'a Muslims live mainly in the Razgrad, Sliven and Tutrakan (northeast of Rousse) regions. They are mainly descendants of Bulgarians who converted to Islam to avoid Ottoman persecution but chose a Shi'a sect because of its greater tolerance toward different national and religious customs. For example, Kuzulbashi Bulgarians could maintain the Orthodox customs of communion, confession, and honoring saints. This integration of Orthodox customs into Islam gave rise to a type of syncretism found only in Bulgaria. The largest Masjid in Bulgaria was the Tumbul Masjid in Shumen, built in 1744. Like the practitioners of other beliefs including Orthodox Christians, Muslims suffered under the restriction of religious freedom by the marxist-leninist Todor Zhivkov regime which favoured atheism and suppressed religious communities. The Bulgarian communist regimes declared traditional Muslim beliefs to be diametrically opposed to secular communist ideology. After the breakdown of communism, Muslims in Bulgaria again enjoyed greater religious freedom. Some villages organized Qur'an study courses for young people (study of the Qur'an had been completely forbidden under Zhivkov). Muslims also began publishing their own newspaper, Musulmani, in both Bulgarian and Turkish.