Saturday, March 26, 2016



Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace and Justice.

Contents:  Islam Peacemaking

Ann Norton, On the Muslim Question

Books on Muslim Peacemaking in Reverse Chronological Order of Publication
Conover, Muhammad 2013 (for young people)
Mustafa Akyol, Islam without Extremes 2011
Amitabh Pal, “Islam” Means Peace 2011
Jamar-ul Huda, Crescent and Dove 2010
Majid, A Call for Heresy  2009: promotes “a long-overdue revival of dissent.”
Aslandogan and Hunt.  Muslim Citizens of the Globalized World 2007identifies
    the common values and visions of peace Muslims share.”
Karen Armstrong, Muhammad: A Prophet for Our Time 2006. “founded a religion
    and cultural tradition that was not based on the sword but whose name—
   “Islam”—signified peace and reconciliation” (202)
Mohammed Abu-Nimer, Nonviolence and Peacebuilding in Islam 2003

Muslim Peace Organizations
Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
Hameed Naseem. “Ahmadiyya Muslims” and “’People of the Book’”
Muslim Peace News
ALIF Institute
Film, Fordson High School

            Anne Norton, On the Muslim Question

Publisher:      . . . .In this fearless, original, and surprising book, Anne Norton demolishes the notion that there is a "clash of civilizations" between the West and Islam. What is really in question, she argues, is the West's commitment to its own ideals: to democracy and the Enlightenment trinity of liberty, equality, and fraternity. In the most fundamental sense, the Muslim question is about the values not of Islamic, but of Western, civilization. . . .
Ultimately, Norton provides a new vision of a richer and more diverse democratic life in the West, one that makes room for Muslims rather than scapegoating them for the West's own anxieties.
Anne Norton is professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania.
"This is an extraordinary book--an impassioned, astute, and erudite critique that strongly refutes the 'clash of civilizations' rhetoric and the stereotypes shaping contemporary discussions of Muslims in the West. It further proposes a concrete alternative vision of democracy in diverse societies. The argument is original and sophisticated and the writing is beautiful--graceful, assertive, and clear. I think this book will achieve instant status as a classic of our time."--Joan W. Scott, Institute for Advanced Study
BOOKS ON ISLAM in reverse chronological order
 Muhammad: The Story of a Prophet and Reformer by Sarah Conover.  2013.    Rev. Publisher’s Weekly, 2013.  [See Armstrong below]
Conover, author of multiple religion books including the prize-winning Ayat Jamilah: Beautiful Signs: A Treasury of Islamic Wisdom for Children and Parents, adds herself to the growing list of biographers of the Prophet Muhammad. Her approach has a twist, though: aiming at teen readers, she adds imaginative, descriptive details and writes narratively—a departure from straightforward exposition. Conover makes an effort to include accurate sayings and customs (hadith) of Muhammad, interspersed with details of desert life. Stories well known to Muslims, such as how a spider at a cave’s mouth saved Muhammad’s life, and how Muhammad’s camel picked the location of the prophet’s Medina house, shore up areas where she took poetic liberties in, for example, dialogue. Carefully separating the facts from the liberties in an appendix, which also includes a time line and glossary, Conover ends her tale with the arrival of Muhammad in Medina, marking the beginning of the Islamic calendar. In her talented hands, Muhammad’s story stays rooted in tradition, but takes on new dimensions that all readers, even seasoned ones, will appreciate and enjoy. Ages 12–up. (Sept.) ■

muhammad cover
The Story of a Prophet and Reformer

From Sarah Conover, co-author of the acclaimed Ayat Jamilah, Beautiful Signs: A Treasury of Islamic Wisdom for Children and Parents, comes a beautiful new book about Muhammad, revered by Muslims as the Messenger of God.
In the pages of Muhammad: The Story of a Prophet and Reformer, young readers will encounter a man very different from the figure often presented in Western popular culture. Drawing from biographies, the Quran, and hadith, Conover relates the story of a radical prophet who challenged the rich and powerful, guided his community of followers through a dangerous time of persecution and exile, formed alliances with people of different beliefs, and preached “love for humanity what you love for yourself.”
Before he became one of the most venerated and most misunderstood, religious leaders in history, Muhammad was an orphaned child and shepherd…
With ornamental art. For ages 12 and older.
“This is a luminous introduction to the life and mission of the Prophet Muhammad. I enjoyed every word of it. It will inspire people of all backgrounds and ages.”
Eboo Patel
Founder and President, Interfaith Youth Core

“I recommend this book to all those who are honestly struggling against bigotry and ignorance. This is a useful tool in the hands of truth seekers and peacemakers.”
Dr. Sayyid M. Syeed, National Director
Office for Interfaith & Community Alliances
Islamic Society of North America

Mustafa Akyol
NPR, A Writer Argues For an 'Islam Without Extremes'
Updated July 26, 2011·
Published July 25, 2011·
Listen to the Story
Morning Edition

Soon after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, President George Bush argued that terrorists were perverting the Muslim religion. The president said, "Islam is peace." But that viewpoint is often drowned out today. Extremists claim that they represent Islam. And many Americans have come to question the entire faith, seeing it as violent or oppressive.

Turkish journalist makes a case for putting Islam in a different light in his new book, Islam without Extremes. In it, he traces moderation, even liberalism, throughout the history of Islam. And he tells Morning Edition co-host Steve Inskeep that he believes the religion should not be defined by violent extremists.

"There are obviously violent, intolerant Muslims out there, but whether they really represent Muslims or not is a big question," Akyol says. "And my answer is 'No.'"

Akyol argues that a proper reading of Islam makes plenty of room for peace and human rights. And he says that the religion relies too much on outdated interpretations of its texts.

"I think the biggest problem is that Islam was articulated, interpreted, in the Medieval world, by Medieval scholars," Akyol says. "And that interpretation froze at the time."

As for his own views, Akyol says that he is a liberal — in the old sense of the word, meaning that he favors a wide range of freedoms, including freedom of religion.

Islam is peace. . . .

Amitabh Pal on Islam and nonviolence
by Eric Stoner | August 5, 2011, 6:13 pm

After the Arab Spring, few would argue—as many did until very recently—that nonviolence and Islam are incompatible or even contradictory. At the same time, however, few still have any knowledge of the rich history of nonviolence in the Muslim world, which long predates the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt.
That is why “Islam” Means Peace: Understanding the Muslim Principle of Nonviolence Today, the new book by Amitabh Pal, the managing editor of the Progressive, is so important. In addition to writing wonderful chapters on somewhat more well-known figures in the nonviolence world like Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Pal tells the story of many obscure Muslim peacemakers who deserve far more attention—such as Abdul Kalam Azad, who worked alongside Gandhi in India’s independence struggle, and Ibrahim Rugova, who led the Kosovar Albanians’ nonviolent movement against Milosevic.
For anyone not well-versed in Islam, Pal also provides a great primer on the Qur’an, the real meaning of jihad and how Islam actually spread around the world, effectively refuting many of the most common myths about the religion. I recently interviewed Pal for Religion Dispatches about this hidden history and how the nonviolent movements in the Middle East are shaking up both the region and the way that the West perceives Islam. Here is an excerpt:
What role have women played in nonviolent movements in Muslim countries? How might their greater participation in these actions and campaigns change the gender dynamics in these countries?
I can answer this historically. In the case of Ghaffar Khan’s movement there was the participation of a surprising number of women, given how conservative—and you can even argue misogynist—Pashtun society had been traditionally. They allowed women to participate because he said so and his honor and stature was such that they couldn’t resist. Back in the 1930s and 1940s, women used to lead their marches! This is just incredible. What power and influence he must have had to convince them to allow that to happen! Did that lead to a large scale change in the way that women were perceived in Pashtun society? No, probably not. Did that perhaps lead to a small, tiny change? Hopefully yes.
If we leap forward to what’s happening in Egypt and Tunisia, women have participated in very large numbers. I think it’s been a very positive development and I think they will form the bulwark against a regression on women’s rights and ensure that the Muslim Brotherhood and their ilk will not be able to seize power and push women to the back room. They have been empowered and I don’t think they’re going to give up their rights, at least in these two countries, very easily. That’s positive and hopeful. Historically, Tunisia has been one of the most progressive in the Arab world in terms of women’s rights, and I think women there are determined to keep it that way.
In one part of the interview that was cut from the final version, Pal gives a very powerful response to a question about the difficulties that many of the ongoing movements in the region still face that is worth remembering.
What would you say to critics who now point to Libya or the recalcitrance of regimes in Syria, Yemen and Bahrain to argue that nonviolence can’t succeed against more ruthless regimes?
I would urge people to be patient. We live in an age of short attention spans where everything seems to happen at hyper speed. It took Gandhi three plus decades. Let’s not forget. He came to India from South Africa during World War I. It took Martin Luther King a decade or so, from Birmingham to the civil rights bills. To take a European example, Solidarity in Poland seemed to be vanquished in the mid-80s and it came back in the late 80s after a decade of struggle and toil. So it takes time. It has barely been six or eight months for heaven’s sake. People are so impatient!
"Islam" Means Peace: Understanding the Muslim Principle of Nonviolence Today
Amitabh PalAmitabh PalPraeger, March 2011.
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This decisive account of the role of nonviolence in Islam and Muslim societies, both historically and in current times, chronicles an often-obscured but longstanding pacifist tradition.

From the Crusades to September 11th, the prevalent notion among non-Muslims is that Islam was largely spread by the sword and continues to be defined by violence. In fact, that belief is a distortion of the religion's tradition, of its history, and of the actions and beliefs of countless Muslims around the globe today.

"Islam" Means Peace: Understanding the Muslim Principle of Nonviolence Today provides a rebuttal to general misperceptions about the religion by documenting its rich tradition of nonviolence. To that end, the book examines the sources of Islam—the Qur'an, the main religious text of Islam, and the Hadith, the deeds and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad. It contests the prevalent notion that Islam is built on violence in part by illuminating the role of the tolerant, mystical tradition of Sufism in Islam, while at the same time examining the misunderstood place of jihad in the religion.

The book is not, however, a historical or theological treatise. Rather, it focuses on the tradition of nonviolence in modern Muslim societies. By spotlighting recent peaceful protest movements in Muslim communities, the book underscores the truly global and multicultural nature of the Islamic tradition of nonviolence. The findings here will be invaluable for Muslims and non-Muslims alike, revealing an alternative tradition both can embrace.

• Voices of leading nonviolence activists, such as Nobel Peace Prize-winner Shirin Ebadi, Mubarak Awad, Gene Sharp, and rock star Salman Ahmad, that make the history of nonviolent activism immediate and up to date
• A bibliography listing a wide array of source materials

• Highlights the important role of nonviolence in Islam and the myriad sources of inspiration for nonviolence available in Muslim holy literature, countering the pervasive stereotype of Islam as a violent religion
• Emphasizes how intrinsic Sufism—the mystical, peaceful branch of Islam—is to the religion and reveals a different history of Islam where the religion was spread peacefully, often by Sufi mystic orders
• Presents an alternative, much less violent interpretation of jihad
• Discusses the war in Kosovo and the history of nonviolent action in Pakistan and Palestine/Israel, among others, in ways that will expand the understanding

“Amitabh Pal discusses Muslim Principle of Nonviolence on C-SPAN.”   Santa Barbara, Calif.   —   2011-08-18   —  
Author Amitabh Pal will be appearing on C-SPAN to discuss topics from his book "Islam" Means Peace: Understanding the Muslim Principle of Nonviolence Today (Praeger, 2011). Pal provides a rebuttal to general misperceptions about the religion by documenting its rich tradition of nonviolence.  The book examines the sources of Islam—the Qur'an, the main religious text of Islam, and the Hadith, the deeds and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad. It contests the prevalent notion that Islam is built on violence in part by illuminating the role of the tolerant, mystical tradition of Sufism in Islam, while at the same time examining the misunderstood place of jihad in the religion.   
 Amitabh Pal is managing editor of The Progressive magazine, founded in 1909, and coeditor of the Progressive Media Project, an op-ed service, in Madison, WI. He has interviewed several eminent personalities for the magazine, including Jimmy Carter, Mikhail Gorbachev, the Dalai Lama, and Joseph Stiglitz. Pal holds a master's degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a master's degree in political science, specializing in international r elations and comparative relations, from North Carolina State University.
  For more information click here

“Islam in contemporary Turkey: the Contributions of Fethullah Gulen,” a Special Issue of The Muslim World (July 2005).
Saritoprak, Zeki.  “An Islamic Approach to Peace and Nonviolence: A Turkish Experience.  The Muslim World (July 2005).
Tatari, Eren.  “Does the Qur’an Sanction War?”  The Fountain (Sept.-Oct. 2011).

Peace and Conflict Resolution in Islam
Edited by Qamar-ul Huda
October 2010

Crescent and Dove looks at the relationship between contemporary Islam and peacemaking by tackling the diverse interpretations, concepts, and problems in the field of Islamic peacemaking. It addresses both theory and practice by delving into the intellectual heritage of Islam to discuss historical examples of addressing conflict in Islam and exploring the practical challenges of contemporary peacemaking in Arab countries, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, and Indonesia.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Crescent & Dove: Peace and Conflict Resolution in Islam with Qamar-ul Huda

thumbnailThe Rumi Forum presented "Crescent & Dove: Peace and Conflict Resolution in Islam" with Qamar-ul Huda
In the face of overwhelming attention to extremist movements and the fundamentalist Islam they often espouse, exploration of peacemaking and conflict resolution in Muslim communities is especially timely.  Crescent and Dove looks at the relationship between contemporary Islam and peacemaking by tackling the diverse interpretations, concepts, and problems in the field of Islamic peacemaking.
Although Islamic law requires followers to preserve and protect life, and peacemaking efforts arise in Muslim communities everywhere, those who advocate for Islamic principles of nonviolence and peacebuilding, as well as traditional methods of conflict resolution, face serious challenges. Writing from their perspective as Muslim scholars and peacebuilding practitioners, the contributors offer critical perspectives on what works, what opportunities exist, and what areas are fertile for effective peacebuilding efforts. Their experience and analysis demonstrate that fostering a culture of peace in Muslim communities and building effective conflict resolution practices must occur within an Islamic framework and must engage Muslim leaders.
Crescent and Dove addresses both theory and practice by delving into the intellectual heritage of Islam to discuss historical examples of addressing conflict in Islam and exploring the practical challenges of contemporary peacemaking in Arab countries, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, and Indonesia. These groundbreaking essays offer possibilities for nonviolent interventions, peacemaking, the implementation of human rights, the reinterpretation of texts, peace education instruction, and employing successful mediation, negotiation, and conflict resolution skills in an Islamic context.
Qamar-ul Huda is a scholar of Islam and Senior Program Officer in the Religion and Peacemaking Program. He recently edited book, The Crescent and Dove: Peace and Conflict Resolution in Islam (USIP Press, 2010) provides a critical analysis of nonviolent strategies and peace building efforts in Muslim communities. . . .

A Call for Heresy: Why Dissent Is Vital to Islam and America,  by  Anouar Majid.  U of Minn. P, 2009.

Confronting the fundamentalism that afflicts both Islam and the United States through traditions of dissent
A Call for Heresy discovers unexpected common ground in the deepening conflict between the Islamic world and the United States. Anouar Majid argues that the Islamic world and the United States are both in precipitous states of decline because, in each, religious, political, and economic orthodoxies have silenced the voices of their most creative thinkers. The solution, Majid argues, is a long-overdue revival of dissent.  

Muslim Citizens of the Globalized World.
Top of Form
Bottom of Form
Dec 1, 2007.
Exploring the response and contributions of Muslims and Turkish Muslims to globalization, including areas such as democratization, scientific revolution, changing gender roles, and religious diversity, this study identifies the common values and visions of peace Muslims share. This study places specific analysis on the Glen movement, a growing approach to the reunification of faith and reason with hopes for a peaceful coexistence between liberal democracies and the religiously diverse.

KAREN ARMSTRONG, MUHAMMAD (2006), Google Search, March 26, 2016.
Publishers Weekly
In a meticulous quest for the historical MuhammadArmstrong first traces the West's long history of hostility toward Islam, which it has stigmatized as a ``religion ...
Nov 28, 2006 - When the Pope spoke of jihad, and when Danish cartoonists published caricatures of a violent prophet Muhammad, Karen Armstrong blamed ...
Jun 6, 2013 - Uploaded by Zarar Bajwa
Karen Armstrong talked about her book Muhammad: A Prophet for Our Time, published by Harper Collins in ...
Jul 14, 2012 - Uploaded by CelebrateMercy
On the CelebrateMercy webcast, Karen Armstrong, best-selling British author and founder of the Charter for ...
The New York Times
Dec 20, 2006 - To glimpse how the vast majority of the world's Muslims understand their prophet and their faith, Karen Armstrong's short biography is a good ...

Nonviolence and Peace Building in Islam: Theory and Practice

Mohammed Abu-Nimer.   2003. 

" Abu-Nimer has given us a wide-ranging and thoroughly researched study that will be of interest to scholars and of use to peace builders."--Michael Nagler, University of California, Berkeley

Written by a Muslim scholar, lecturer, and trainer in conflict resolution, this book examines the largely unexplored theme of nonviolence and peace building in Islamic religion, tradition, and culture. After comprehensively reviewing the existing studies on this topic, Abu-Nimer presents solid evidence for the existence of principles and values in the Qur'an, Hadith, and Islamic tradition that support the application of nonviolence and peace building strategies in resolving disputes.

He addresses the challenges that face the utilization of peace building and nonviolent strategies in an Islamic context and explores these challenges on both local and global levels. Through a discussion of the structural and cultural obstacles to peace building and nonviolence, the author explains the gap between Islamic values and ideals and their applications in day-to-day reality.

To illustrate the actual practice of these values and principles of peace building, the book analyzes three case studies, drawing from the political, sociocultural, and professional arenas. The initial case study discusses the First Palestinian Intifada; it is analyzed as a nonviolent political movement in which Islamic cultural and religious values and rituals played an important role in mobilizing communities to join the movement. The second case study focuses on the role that such values play in traditional Arab dispute-resolution practices such as Sulha (mediation, arbitration, and reconciliation); it extracts lessons and principles used by Arab traditional elders who peacefully resolve family, interpersonal, and community disputes. The third case study discusses the obstacles and challenges facing professionals who provide peace-building and conflict-resolution training and initiatives within the Islamic world. 

Combining theory with practical applications of peace building, conflict resolution, and nonviolent initiatives in Islamic communities, Abu-Nimer provides a framework for further developing and utilizing these principles in an Islamic context.

Mohammed Abu-Nimer is associate professor in the International Peace and Conflict Resolution Program at American University, Washington, D.C., where he is also director of the Conflict Resolution Skills Institute.

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Missionizing Europe 1900-1965.  Gerdien Jonker.  Brill,  
December 2015.   Muslim Minorities, 19

Hameed Naseem, “Ahmadiyya Muslims Take Lead in Educating Muslims about True Islam.”  NW Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (Jan. 30, 2016).  Contrasts the beliefs and practices of the Islamic State movement (ISIS, ISIL) to the values in the Quran, which “vehemently rejects such atrocious conduct and emphasizes compassion.”   Also explains the origin and meaning of a caliphate, and the origin and history of the Ahmadiyya (see  –Dick
____”’People of the Book’—a term of endearment for Jews, Christians.”  NWA D-G (3-26-16).    “the Prophet of Islam had already condemned and disavowed the ‘Islamic State’ and their ilk from his community 1,400 years ago.”

Jonker, The Ahmadiyya Quest for Religious Progress.

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Alif Institute: Where Arab Culture Lives!
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2/26: MONTHLY FEATURE EVENT - Tunisian Night
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Monthly Feature Event Friday, February 26, 20167:30 PM @ ALIF INSTITUTE $25 for non-members / $22 for members $12 for children 12 and underFree babysitting!RSVP by Thursday, February 25, 2016Call 770-936-8770, or email us at Join us for an elegant evening celebrating the rich culture of Tunisia! Enjoy authentic Tunisian cuisine, music, and interesting informat...          More detail 3/19: Featured Event-TARAB NIGHT
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Come and enjoy some cool live music, great food, and a cool atmosphere! Saturday, March 19, 20167:30 PM Dinner included. RSVP required by 3/17/2016. $25 / $22 for members, $12 for children 12 & under FREE BABYSITTING!   To RSVP or for more information, please email or call 770-936-8770.        More detail 3/11: MOVIE & DINNER – Ghadi

Fordson: Faith, Fasting, Football (2011) Poster

Fordson: Faith, Fasting, Football (2011)

92 min  -  Documentary | History | News  -  9 September 2011 (USA)
[See laudatory review in Washington R4port on Middle East Affairs (May 2013. –Dick]
'Fordson' follows a high school football team from Dearborn, Michigan as it prepares for its big cross-town rivalry game during the last ten days of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The ... See full summary »



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'Fordson' follows a high school football team from Dearborn, Michigan as it prepares for its big cross-town rivalry game during the last ten days of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The story is set at Fordson High School, a public school, which was once all white, but now boasts a 98% Arab-American population. As we follow the team on the road to victory, 'Fordson' unearths the story of a community desperately holding onto its Islamic faith while struggling to gain acceptance in post 9-11 America. 'Fordson' is an unprecedented glimpse inside the lives of a community that is home to the largest concentration of Arabs in any city outside of the Middle East, and their determination to hold on to the American Dream.Written by Anonymous

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