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The Policies of Hamad al-Khalifa

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Hamad al-Khalifa

What was their crime? Their crime is that no despot can tolerate a population that is energetic, liberated, and possesses the ability to think! If the heart of the population is throbbing with life, if the essence of freedom is in their conscience, and if the intellect is able to reflect and find the truth and adopt new ways to stand against falsehood and fight back tyranny, then that population is viewed as a criminal in the eyes of despots. The nation whose population is deep in the slumber of serving its own self, a population whose hearts are imprisoned in the confines of materialism, fear, and uncertainties, a population which cannot separate the truth from the falsehood is viewed as the progressive population abiding to every decision of its "leader".

Preparing for Difficult Conversations

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How do we handle them?What types of organizations suffer the most damaging internal conflict? According to a recent study, the answer is religious organizations like church groups, synagogues, and Madressa boards. It's not that religious people seek conflict; in fact, most of them avoid conflict as much as possible. And that's part of the problem. Conflict is inevitable in religious contexts because people tend to deeply hold religious views and can see any challenge as a threat to their identity and religious ideals. But when people avoid and ignore a minor conflict, problems fester until they explode in dysfunction. Organizations that are totally free of conflict tend to be ineffective, because no problem-solving or growing is taking place. But if an organization is overwhelmed with conflict, people become so concerned with protecting themselves, winning, or saving face that they lose the ability to have concern for the organization or for relationships.

Miscarriages and Stillbirths: The Loss of a Baby in Muslim Communities

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Let us help, not hinder, their situation

The best way to show your concern would be to let them know you heard of their loss and are sorry. Say that you will remember them in your prayers or take out Sadaqa in their name, and offer your help should they ever need anything. Of course if you, or someone close to you, have gone through a similar experience, then you can express your understanding of their situation and perhaps provide some helpful information. If they choose to talk about the details, let them do so at their own ease – do not try to force it all out of them by shooting rounds of intimate questions at them.

Ayatollah Muhammad Ali al-Hakim Returns to His Lord

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Ayatollah Muhammad al-HakimFor several decades, Ayatollah Muhammad Ali al-Hakim was one of the leading scholars of jurisprudence and principles of jurisprudence within the seminary of Najaf as well as a highly respected teacher of ethics and spirituality. He was also well-versed in the fields of mathematics and was considered an expert in developing the application of modern mathematics to Islamic laws of inheritance.

Islam and the Failure of Multiculturalism

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Multiculturalism – manages differences or cracks down on them?

The portrayal of Islam and Muslims in the media and the hostility emanating from political leaders, whether directly or indirectly, has continued to shape the perceptions of non-Muslims by large, who then place all Muslims in the same category based on their skewed understanding. Muslims have generally come to be recognized as part of a distinct cultural group on their own, one that most consider alien and even hostile to Western values.

I Spy Akhlaq

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What happened to basic Islamic manners among our kids?We can observe in our centers and mosques these days that the young ones from approximately ages 6 to the teen years have this new found attitude of "I rule". And there we have it, some good Akhlaq, or manners and etiquette is hard to find, like a good game of I spy.

Blood on the Streets of Bahrain

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Funeral for a protestor killed by Bahraini security forces

Bahrainis' demands are clear: the resignation of Prime Minister Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa – who has governed since 1971 – to be replaced by an elected premier, the release of all political prisoners, a new constitution, an end to the systematic discrimination against Shias and all forms of sectarianism, repeal of the citizenship laws, fairness in distribution of jobs and housing, freedom of the press and religion, and an end to torture. The al-Khalifa monarchy and its imported mercenaries are at a crossroads.

The Suppressed Cry of the Oppressed

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Victory for the people of Egypt, God-willing!The cry of the intellect calls for all those who observe such injustice to stand up and fight the oppression. We have observed injustice filling every corner of the globe, but do we not see active and consistent resistance against it? It took many years of swallowing injustice and oppression by the Tunisians, Yemenis and Egyptians to finally come out onto the streets and say "NO to oppression, NO to injustice, NO to human indignity!"

Revolution and Islamists

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Protestors square off with government forces in Cairo.

But what needs to happen is that the will of the people needs to prevail, whether it is in accordance with US plans and interests in the region or not. Democracy needs to prevail, even if it brings in the Islamists that may prove to be uncooperative extremists. If the population doesn't agree with the Islamist policies, it will vote to remove them in the next round of elections. Isn't that where the beauty of true democracy lies? This movement and uprising is rooted in the fundamentals of Islam. It is Islam that calls for rising up against all forms of oppression and tyranny.

Religion, Extremism, and Pakistan

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Secularization – certainly not the key to combat religious extremismThe law by itself can no doubt be exploited by using it against religious minorities. But laws as a whole, whether based on the interpretation of Shariah (Islamic law) or what is accepted by the more "liberal" West can be exploited as such. Whether these laws need amending or not is perhaps another debate. The question is, is it the simple law that plagues the society in Pakistan today, and could the amendment be the answer?

Our Islamic New Year's Resolutions

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What's your resolution?Around the New Year, people start making their new year's resolutions to lose weight, study harder and stop procrastinating, amongst numerous others. Though all these are good means to improve our lives, we Muslims should have set priorities in which our faith is the first to improve. If we call ourselves Muslims, we must then God-willing act upon this statement to the fullest.  Many of us may not realize how much we might lack when it comes to our religious beliefs, so let us consider making resolutions to improve our religious practices.  Below are some useful tips we may consider: