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Posts posted by Saracen21stC

  1. "O Allah, forgive her. Make her among the guided ones, raise her status and be her deputy among the grieving. O Lord of the two worlds, forgive us and her and make her grave wide and full of light"

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    Yuvan Shankar Raja: I converted to Islam in a way because of my mother

    What made you convert to Islam?

    My father is a staunch Hindu and is so superstitious that even if a

    glass breaks, he will call a pandit. Both my parents were ritualistic,

    but right from childhood, I used to always have a thought that beyond

    all this there is a supernatural power who is running the whole world.

    How can God be in any form? That search was always there in me. What

    triggered my conversion was my mom's sudden passing away. I had come to

    Mumbai for some work. When I returned to Chennai, my mom was coughing

    badly and me and my sister rushed her to the hospital. I was driving the

    car. We reached the hospital and I was sitting next to her holding her

    hand and the next second her hand fell and she had died. I was crying

    but wondered where her soul went within seconds as she was alive just a

    few seconds back. I was in search of the answers and I should say that I

    got a direct calling from Allah. It was a spiritual experience. My

    friend had just been to Mecca and he said to me, 'You seem to be really

    low. You have to move on.' He gave me the musalla (the prayer mat) and

    said, 'This one mat I used in Mecca and it has touched Mecca so if you

    are feeling really heavy, just sit on it.' I kept the mat in one corner

    of my room and forgot all about it. A few months later I was speaking to

    one of my cousins about my mother and I started feeling really heavy. I

    entered my room and coincidentally saw the mat which all this while I

    had missed even though it was kept in the same corner. I sat on it for

    the first time just started crying saying, 'Ya Allah please forgive my

    sins.' That was 2012. I started reading the Quran and the translations

    and it connected with me really fast. I started practising Islam and

    learnt how to pray and by January 2014, felt sure about converting.

    Since I am known as Yuvan Shankar Raja in films, I have still not

    changed my name officially in my passport and other records, but maybe

    later, I might do that too. My father was the last one I told in my

    house to. I told him, 'I have started reading the Quran and it gives me a

    lot of peace.' He said to me, 'Yuvan, I am not comfortable with you

    becoming Islamic.' My brother and his wife were very supportive. It's

    odd but in some way I used to get that spiritual feeling that it was my

    mom, who held my hand, and said, 'Yuvan, you are alone. I want you to

    stand here under the tree called Islam.'




  3. Egypt court bans Muslim Brotherhood's political wing



    There has been a violent crackdown on the Brotherhood and the FJP since last August


    A court in Egypt has dissolved the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), the Muslim Brotherhood's political wing.

    The ruling will effectively prevent the banned Islamist
    movement from formally participating in parliamentary elections expected
    later this year.

    The government declared the Brotherhood a terrorist group in December.

    It was accused of orchestrating a wave of violence to
    destabilise the country after the military overthrew President Mohammed
    Morsi in July 2013.

    The Brotherhood has denied any connection to the jihadist
    militants based in the Sinai Peninsula who have killed hundreds of
    security personnel.

    At the same time, more than 1,400 people have been killed and
    16,000 detained in a crackdown by the authorities on Mr Morsi's

    President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, a former military chief who was elected head of state in May, has vowed to wipe out the group.


    Analysis: Sally Nabil, BBC Arabic, Cairo

    Dissolving the Freedom and justice Party (FJP) was expected.
    The political wing of the banned Muslim Brotherhood movement can no
    longer compete in the next parliamentary elections, expected to be held
    before the end of this year.

    Its members can run either as individual candidates or form a
    new political party. But the latter is highly unlikely, given the
    severity of the crackdown on the Brotherhood.

    The FJP's legal team strongly criticised Saturday's verdict,
    saying that it is politicised and is meant to serve the goals of the
    current regime. There was no longer a place for pluralism in Egypt, it
    said. According to the new constitution, no party can be formed on a
    religious basis.


    Assets confiscated

    Saturday's ruling by the Cairo Administrative Court came after
    a report by its advisory panel that noted the FJP's leaders had been
    accused, and in some cases convicted, of murder and inciting violence.

    A police investigation found the party's headquarters and offices had been used to store weapons, it said.


    Mohammed Morsi, a former chairman of the FJP, is facing four separate criminal trials on various charges

    The court ordered that the FJP's assets be handed to the state.

    The case was prompted by a complaint by the government's
    Committee of Political Parties Affairs, which accused the FJP of

    The FJP was founded in 2011 following the uprising that forced Hosni Mubarak from power.

    It went on to dominate the subsequent elections for the lower
    and upper houses of parliament - Egypt's first democratic polls in six

    But in June 2012 the Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC) ruled
    that the vote for the lower house, the People's Assembly, had been
    unconstitutional and it was dissolved.

    The upper house, the Shura Council, was dissolved by the SCC
    shortly after Mr Morsi was ousted in July 2013, and ceased to exist
    after the constitution was amended in January.

    Mr Morsi, a former FJP chairman, is currently facing four
    separate criminal trials on various charges. Several other Brotherhood
    leaders, as well as hundreds of members, have been sentenced to death.


  4. Why am I delighted upon Erdogan’s victory?


    A brother that I know, Dr Saleh al-Ayid, wrote the following
    just a few minutes after Turkey’s electoral authorities announced that
    Recep Tayyip Erdogan won the general Presidential Turkish Election:

    Muslims on social media, particularly Arabs, have been busy
    exchanging greetings and congratulations for the victory of Erdogan.
    News and comments about him and his victory even overtook the topic of
    Gaza. The question is, however: why? There are a multitude of reasons
    for this. Muslims have been wanting to prove to the whole world that if
    they were to be given the choice, they would choose a Muslim leader who
    is sincere in working for his Ummah.

    Turkey is proof that if Muslims enjoy good leadership, they are
    capable of transforming their countries from so-called ‘developing’ ones
    to advanced, powerful countries as Erdogan and his party did. It is a
    matter of a few short years in which Erdogan’s Justice and Development
    Party, elected into power in 2002, transformed Turkey from a
    debt-ridden, ruined country, shattered by valueless secularism and
    deep-rooted corruption to one of the strongest countries in the world.
    In only 10 years, from 2002 to 2012, Turkish exports hit $152 billion,
    marking a ten-fold increase.[2] Turkey’s overwhelming annual inflation
    rate of up to 100% was watered down to single figures, whilst its GDP
    rose by over 45%. Erdogan is now resolute in bringing his economy into
    the top 10 in the world by 2023[3], having completely erased its
    52-year-old debt to the IMF in 2013.

    Born in 1954, Erdogan is the son of a coastguard in the city of Rize.
    During his early life he sold lemonade and buns for some pocket money,
    being a member of a poor family. Erdogan attended an Islamic school,
    before studying management at Istanbul’s Marmara University. Here he met
    Turkey’s first Islamist Prime Minister, Necmettin Erbakan, and began
    his fascinating political career.[4] In 1994, he became the mayor of
    Istanbul, converting the city from a slum into one of the world’s key
    destinations for tourism, and a beauty of a city for local residents.
    His commitment to Islām and its values were relentless and in 1998 he
    was detained for four months for reciting a poem on a public stage,
    containing line:

    His release and rise in positions of leadership, from Prime Minister
    in 2003-2014 to now President—the first to be directly elected by the
    people in Turkey’s history with 52% of the electorate voting for him.[5]
    This landmark victory suggests that secularism is a foreign phenomenon
    for our Islamic societies. Despite the fact that Turkey was once the
    mother and heartland of secularism in the Muslim world, it can so easily
    turn to Islam once the socio-economic pressure applied by the
    secularists is lifted.

    Many Muslims are ecstatic at the victory Erdogan has achieved. It
    marks a continuation to the unprecedented support Turkey has provided
    for the Syrian revolution. Many analysts confirm that had the
    authorities in Turkey acted against the interests of the Syrian people
    and their revolution, the tyrant regime in Syria would have regained
    power and wiped out the entire struggle. Turkey’s borders with Syria,
    particularly its southern border to Aleppo, are the major—if not the
    only—‘breathing space’ for the Syrian Islamic revolution.

    Palestinians in general and Gaza specifically are particularly
    overwhelmed with joy. For too long they have witnessed the entire world
    turning against them while the very few who may support them do so for
    no political gain. No one can forget israel’s raid on the Turkish,
    Gaza-bound flotilla and the political aftermath that ensued. No one can
    deny that it is Erdogan’s government, more than any other in the world
    today, that is ardently supporting Gaza and bitterly attacking israel as
    much as the rules of international politics allow. The victory of
    Erdogan has moreover come as a slap on the face of the many Arab and
    Gulf countries that have paid millions and billions of dollars in
    support of his main, secular competitor.

    There is no doubt that despite the atrocities the Ummah is
    going through, Allāh is showing us rays of light, and glimmers of hope,
    to keep us optimistic and motivated and to give us the ability to bear
    the responsibilities He commanded us to bear.

    Source: www.islam21c.com


    [1] Al-Qur’ān 12:21
    [2] http://edition.cnn.com/2013/06/04/business/analysis-defterios-turkey/
    [3] http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/09/turkey-instability-threatens-economic-success-erdogan
    [4] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-13746679
    [5] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-28735915
    [6] Al-Qur’ān 24:55


  5. Erdogan wins Turkey's presidential election



    Provisional results show PM won country's first directly elected poll with 52 percent as his main rival concedes defeat.

     Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s prime minister, has won the country's first direct presidential election in the first round after taking more that 50 percent of the vote,

    according to Turkey's election board.

    Sunday's victory will extend Erdogan's more than 10-year rule over the country for another five years.

    "The provisional results show that Erdogan has the majority of the valid votes," High Election Board chairman Sadi Guven told a news conference in the capital Ankara.

    "We have received more than 99 percent [of the votes]. Tomorrow we will announce the provisional results."

    Erdogan declared victory by addressing his supporters from his party's headquarters in Ankara.

    "Today national will and democracy have prevailed again… Today, greater Turkey has prevailed again... With the president being elected by popular vote, obstacles

    between Cankaya [the presidential palace] and the public have been lifted," he said, striking a conciliatory tone after a tense campaign period.

    "Our political views, lifestyles, beliefs and ethnicities can be different, but we are all offspring of this country. We are all owners of this state... I will embrace all 70 million

    [Turks] as president."

    The vote has been seen as a milestone in Turkish politics as Turks are electing their president by a popular vote for the first time in the country's history, bringing the

    office a new legitimacy.

    In a brief statement to reporters in Istanbul, the main opposition candidate Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu said: "I congratulate Mr Prime Minister and wish him success."

    At midnight (9pm GMT) on Sunday, the prime minster had received 52 percent of the votes, Ihsanoglu on 38 percent and the third candidate Selahattin Demirtas taking 10

    percent, after 99 percent of the votes had been counted, the semi-official Anatolia news agency said.
    Al Jazeera's Bernard Smith talks to Utku Cakirozer, Ankara bureau chief of pro-opposition Cumhuriyet newspaper

    Erdogan’s opponents accuse him of undermining the secular norms of Turkey and pushing it towards autocracy, while his supporters see him as a charismatic leader who

    changed the crisis-hit Turkey of the early 2000s into a prospering and respected country.

    "For the first time in Turkish history, a strong political leader elected by the public is taking over the presidential seat," Ali Bayramoglu, a political analyst and columnist

    for the pro-government Yeni Safak newspaper, told Al Jazeera.

    "These are signals of Turkey moving away from parliamentary system in favour of the presidential system, a change Erdogan seeks."

    The presidency in Turkey has relatively more powers compared to similar parliamentary governments.

    The office has the power to promulgate laws or return them to the parliament for reconsideration, to call public referendums, to call new parliamentary elections, to appoint

    the prime minister, ministers and key bureaucrats.

    Koray Caliskan, a professor at Istanbul's Bogazici University, believes that Turkey will now slip further away from democracy and the country will be more polarised in the


    "In time, Turkey will look more and more similar to [President Vladimir] Putin's Russia. He will use all his presidential powers to tighten his grip on the country," he told Al


    Different campaign rhetorics

    During campaigning, Erdogan, who has dominated Turkish politics since 2002, has talked about infrastructure projects, foreign policy moves, economic reforms, and a

    new constitution featuring a presidential system, signaling an unconventional and active presidency.

    Conversely, Ihsanoglu had stressed "unity" and "neutrality", drawing a more traditional and passive picture for his potential presidency.

    Ihsanoglu was backed by the left-leaning secularist Republican People's Party (CHP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), the two largest opposition parties in the

    country, in addition to various smaller ones.

    Ihsanoglu has no political identity and his discourse was more about keeping the status quo in Turkey and preventing the other candidate [from being elected]

    Ali Bayramoglu, Turkish political analyst

    As a conservative academic and diplomat who used to lead the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, he spent most of his life abroad and therefore was largely unknown

    by Turkish public.

    Caliskan told Al Jazeera that the election has taken place in an unfair atmosphere, where Erdogan campaigned as prime minister, using state facilities and media

    throughout the campaigning process.

    "I don’t think the two main opposition parties made any mistakes in their alliance in this process, but the dynamics of the election was fundamentally unfair," Caliskan


    "Erdogan campaigned through state visits, used state properties and appeared on state media far more than Ihsanoglu."

    Bayramgolu said: "Erdogan might have appeared more than his opponents on state television, but there was diverse media coverage by tens of media organisations

    affiliated with the government and the opposition."

    "I don’t think him campaigning as prime minister had any effect on the result."

    Bayramgolu also said the opposition failed to pick a candidate who could represent them and reveal the synergy of their alliance.

    "Ihsanoglu has no political identity and his discourse was more about keeping the status quo in Turkey and preventing the other candidate [from being elected]," he said.

    "I think this explains why the sum of two party’s votes is far lower than their aggregate votes in the local elections of March."  

    Alleged use of state resources

    The alleged use of state resources by Erdogan's presidential campaign was a source of controversy before the election.

    Last month, Ihsanoglu said Erdogan was using state-owned planes, helicopters, and other facilities, which were not being provided for his presidential campaign.

    "We know we are competing in unequal circumstances. But there, the will of the people and God is superior to all of this," he said.
    Listening Post: Turkey's media pressure points

    The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), a Vienna-based international security and rights organisation, also criticised the government for the

    same reason.

    "The campaign activities of the prime minister are large-scale events, often combined with official government events," an OSCE report of July 31 said.

    "While other candidates actively campaign, the public visibility of their campaigns is limited."

    In another development, Turkey's media watchdog said in July that Turkey's state television covered the upcoming election in a one-sided manner that favoured Erdogan.

    Follow Umut Uras on Twitter: [at]Thriceee