July 2018: Trump’s America and Racism

compassion-for-twitter

Human Rights & Islam

A Monthly Online Journal by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community

AP: Toddlers, babies held in ‘tender age’ facilities after separated from families

Source: CNN

By Veronica Stracqualursi, Nick Valencia and Tal Kopan

Washington (CNN) Infants and young children are being held in three so-called “tender age” shelters at the border after being separated from their families who illegally crossed into the United States, The Associated Press reports.

trump-suggests-separation-of-families-at-border-is-a-negotiating-tool
One of the pictures that forced Trump to change his position on child separation

The children are being sent to three centers in Combes, Raymondville and Brownsville in southern Texas, which have been repurposed to house the youngest migrants, including those younger than 5, The Associated Press reported Tuesday evening.

Another center is planned for Houston, The Associated Press reported. Steven Wagner, an official with the Department of Health and Human Services, told The Associated Press that the agency defines “tender age” as any child under the age of 13.

The AP did not identify the unnamed “lawyers and medical providers” whose accounts of the facilities form the basis of the report.

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The 4 Former First Ladies Condemn Trump’s Border Policy

Source: New York Times

By Matt Stevens and Sarah Mervosh

First ladies
Former first ladies, clockwise from top left: Michelle Obama, Laura Bush, Rosalynn Carter and Hillary Clinton.CreditGetty Images; Reuters; Associated Press; Jim Wilson/The New York Times

In the weeks since the Trump administration instituted a zero tolerance policy that seeks to criminally prosecute anyone who crosses the border unlawfully and effectively causes children to be separated from their families, criticism has poured in from advocacy groups, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and a host of political luminaries who are no longer in office.

Now, in the span of about 24 hours, all four living former first ladies have added their voices to the chorus of public critique, calling the practice “immoral,” “disgraceful” and a “humanitarian crisis.”

Even the current first lady, Melania Trump, took the somewhat unusual step of issuing a statement that appeared to align somewhat with her predecessors, while also avoiding assigning partisan blame.

“Mrs. Trump hates to see children separated from their families and hopes both sides of the aisle can finally come together to achieve successful immigration reform,” her office said in a statement on Sunday. “She believes we need to be a country that follows all laws, but also a country that governs with heart.”

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The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Islam!‏

Source: Muslim Sunrise and the Muslim Times

By Zia H Shah MD

Epigraph: “If we could view Muhammad as we do any other important historical figure we would surely consider him to be one of the greatest geniuses the world has known.” (Karen Armstrong in Muhammad – A Biography of the Prophet)

muhammad frieze
A frieze, designed by Adolph Weinman, on the north wall of the US Supreme Court depicts great lawgivers of the Middle Ages. This includes the Holy Prophet Muhammad

With the election of a son of a Kenyan man to the highest office in USA we see gradual perfection of the vision expressed in the words, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” But at the same time, suicidal bombings by terrorist, the outrageous violations of human rights in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, the indifference to the so called collateral damage in air bombings, have again rekindled the question as to what are the human rights and where do they come from. The events since September 11, 2001 have jolted every citizen of the planet earth with renewed quaking and put them on a quest to look for answers. Is life of an American more sacred than a non-American? What if he or she is a Muslim? Are all humans truly created equal? Where did the words, ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal;’ come from? To one exposed to Western media only these noble words came from the pen of President Thomas Jefferson, as he authored United States Declaration of Independence in 1776. But a more cultured Westerner may know what Wikipedia mentions, under the heading all men are created equal, “Many of the ideas in the Declaration were borrowed from the English liberal political philosopher John Locke.” But that is where Western scholarship ends. Locke lived in the seventeenth and eighteenth century. Such is the dissociation of the Western writers in terms of ignoring the beauties of Islam, that they can attribute all such liberal ideas with a straight face to Western philosophers, despite the fact the Muslim literature has been replete with mention of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, saying to a crowd of more than a hundred thousand people, at the time of the final pilgrimage, an event that itself symbolizes human equality, “All of you are equal. All men, whatever nation or tribe they may belong to, and whatever station in life they may hold, are equal. Allah has made you brethren one to another, so be not divided. An Arab has no preference over a non-Arab, nor a non-Arab over an Arab; nor is a white one to be preferred to a dark one, nor a dark one to a white one.” The whole of his sermon is recorded in history and has been more famous and cherished than President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg address, in the Muslim world, over the centuries. This is where human equality began, not only for the Muslims but for the whole of humanity!

Fast forward to World War II. Dr. Andrew Conway Ivy was appointed by the American Medical Association as its representative at the 1946 Nuremberg Medical Trial for Nazi doctors. By 1945 he was probably ‘the most famous doctor in the country.’ He wrote, “Only in a moral world, a world of responsibility, can man be free and live as a human being should. Men are truly equal and free only as creatures of God, because only as the children of God and only in the sight of God and ultimate moral law are men truly equal.” In the Nuremberg trial he struggled with the question that if man-made law is the sole source of basic human rights, why condemn the Nazi assault on Jews, Gypsies, Poles, and politi­cal enemies; and having shaken by this perplexing trial he concluded:

If God and the ultimate moral law are denied, there can be no absolute argument against slavery, against ‘might makes right’ and man’s greedy exploitation of man. If human beings have no absolute intrinsic value, no absolute intrinsic freedom of decision, no absolute liberty, no absolute duties, they possess only extrinsic value and may be used as chattels, slaves or serfs by those who have the intelligence and power.

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First Lady Eleanor Roosevel
with a poster of Universal Declaration of Human Rights

It took the catalyst of World War II, after millions of casualties, to propel human rights onto the world stage and into the global conscience. On December 10, 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the 56 members of the United Nations. The vote was unanimous, although eight nations chose to abstain. Articles I and II could be considered paraphrasing, in contemporary legal terminology, of what the Prophet Muhammad, may peace be on him, had said in his address at the time of last pilgrimage, in 632 CE, or what President Thomas Jefferson wrote more than a millennium later. Article I states, “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” As the Prophet delivered his farewell speech, to an unprecedented large gathering, standing on the back of his camel Qaswa, he raised his hands and joined the fingers of one hand with the other and then said, “Even as the fingers of the two hands are equal, so are human beings equal to one another. No one has any right, any superiority to claim over another. You are as brothers.”

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July 2018 — Trump’s America and Racism


Two Hundred Verses about Compassionate Living in the Quran

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By Zia H Shah MD

As only the Islamophobes, who hate Islam or those Muslims, who want to enforce Shariah Law, of their imagination, by hook or crook, make headlines, the compassionate teachings of the Holy Quran are lost to the ordinary, non-Muslim observer.

The Holy Quran talks about One God and one human family.

Here, I want to stress the Quranic message of compassion, love and kindness by cataloging, as many verses, as I can, realizing that it can never be an exhaustive list as other readers will continue to find new ideas of mercy and grace in other verses of the Holy Quran.

I will count the verses, in this post, as I go along.

The Quran stresses that righteousness is not in precise observance of the rituals but in acts of compassion and kindness.  It says that the litmus test for true belief and genuine worship is that it leads to compassionate living:

1. Goodness does not consist in turning your face towards East or West. The truly good are those who believe in God and the Last Day, in the angels, the Scripture, and the prophets; who give away some of their wealth, however much they cherish it, to their relatives, to orphans, the needy, travelers and beggars and to liberate those in debt and bondage; those who keep up the prayers and pay the prescribed alms; who keep pledges whenever they make them; who are steadfast in misfortune, adversity and times of danger. These are the ones who are true, and it is they who are aware of God.  (Al Quran 2:178)


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Forty Hadiths or Sayings of the Prophet Muhammad about Compassionate Living

Heart shaped splash

 By Zia H Shah MD

The world appears to be a more dangerous place since September 11, 2001, more so than any time that I can remember. Our human family appears to be in dire need of mutual love and compassion. In this pursuit I had made a collection last year, titled, Two Hundred Verses about Compassionate Living in the Quran.

Today, I propose to collect 40 Hadiths or sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, may peace be on him, on the theme of compassion, mutual love, kindness, mercy and altruism.

1. Abu Hurairah relates that the Holy Prophet said: Allah will say to his servant when He will be taking account of him on the Day of Judgment, ‘O’ son of Adam, I was hungry and you did not feed me.’ He will answer: ‘How could I feed you? You are the Lord of the worlds!’ He will say: ‘Did you not know that my servant so and so who is the son of so and so felt hunger, and you did not feed him. Alas, had you fed him you would have found that (i.e. reward) with Me.’ ‘O’ son of Adam, I was thirsty and you gave Me nothing to drink.’ He will reply: ‘How could I give You drink? You are the Lord of the worlds!’ He will say: ‘Did you not know that my servant so and so, the son of so and so was thirsty and you did not give him drink. Alas, if you had given him, you would have found that (i.e. reward) with me.’ ‘O’ son of Adam, I became sick and you did not visit Me.’ He will answer: ‘How could I visit You? You are the Lord of the worlds!’ He will say: ‘Did you not know that my servant so and so, the son of so and so became sick and you did not visit him. Alas, had you visited him, you would have found Me with him (Bokhari).

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Ted Talk: How racism makes us sick | David R. Williams

 

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