Category Archives: Islam

Culture News: Michael Jackson converts to Islam

Report: Pop star Michael Jackson converts to Islam
By Haaretz Service – 23/11/2008

The American singer Michael Jackson has converted to Islam, the Sun newspaper reported over the weekend.

The 50-year-old pop star, who changed his name to Mikaeel, pledged allegiance to the Koran at a friend’s house in Los Angeles. An Imam was summoned from a nearby mosque to hold the shahada, the declaration of belief in Allah and Mohammed’s prophecy.

An associate said that Jackson chose his new name, which is the name of one of Allah’s angels, after rejecting another Muslim name, Mustafa, which means “the chosen one.”

Last week, he sold his multimillion California estate, Neverland Ranch, to cover his debts. He is also facing a lawsuit by a Bahrain prince, Sheikh Abdulla Bin Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa, who alleges he gave Jackson $2.2 million after he was acquitted of child molestation in 2007

Culture News: Islamic Fundamentalists Cheer Obama Win

Indonesian Islamic fundamentalists cheer Obama win
Jakarta, 5 Nov. (AKI)


Representatives of some of Indonesia’s fundamentalist Islamic groups on Wednesday celebrated United States President-elect Barack Obama’s sweeping victory in Tuesday’s presidential polls, claiming the win will be good for interracial relations and world peace.

Obama, the Democratic Party candidate, took 51.9 percent of votes, earning him 349 seats in the Electoral College, compared with 46.8 percent for Republican Party candidate John McCain (who won 162 seats in the Electoral College).

Many parts of the US recorded a record turnout in what observers have termed an historic election. Obama will be the first African American president of the United States.

The Democrats also registered a clear victory over their Republican opponents in voting for both houses of the US Congress. The party captured at least five Senate seats from their rivals, increasing their majority in the 100-seat chamber. With results still due from some states, the Democrats have already won the 218 seats needed for a majority in the 435-seat legislature, the House of Representatives.

Muhammad Nidzom Hidayatullah, general secretary of the Majelis Ulama Indonesia (MUI) East Java branch, told Adnkronos International that Obama’s election was the result of democracy and this showed that the US has begun to open up to different races.

“Everyone should cherish this because it is likely that it will lead to improvements to race relations all over the world,” he said.

The MUI is the country’s top state-endorsed Muslim organisation. It is considered rather conservative and out of sync with most of the country’s 200 million Muslims, who profess a liberal and moderate version of Islam.

Achmad Sobry Lubis, secretary general of the militant, anti-American Front Pambela Islam (FPI) said that he “praised Allah for Obama’s win.”

“This is what we all wanted and we are now very hopeful that he can restore peace in the world,” he told AKI. [Continue…]

Culture News: Islam triples in Europe

From Cross to Crescent:
Islam triples in Europe

Posted on Nov 4, 2008 | by Don Graham

Droves of faithful Muslims — including a few French converts — partake in Friday prayers outside a Paris mosque, this one located just minutes from Notre Dame. Africans and Turks comprise the bulk of France’s Islamic population. Photo courtesy of the IMB.

As dusk falls in Paris, an illuminated Eiffel Tower stands watch over the city. Nearby, construction workers cast a spiritual shadow over a suburb as they raise an image of Islam’s growing appeal — the dome and minarets of a new mosque.  Photo courtesy of the IMB.


PARIS (BP)–It’s a sight that would shatter most Americans’ romanticized image of Paris.

Just a 15-minute metro ride from the trendy shops and quaint cafés of the Champs-Elysees, a virtual sea of North and West African Muslims spills out the gates of a neighborhood mosque. Like waves breaking on a beach, their bodies bend in unison as hundreds of men prostrate themselves before Allah. Their prayers are guided by an imam’s Arabic incantations.

The crowd’s prayer rugs cover a city block’s worth of sidewalk. Tourists point and take pictures. Some French pedestrians are visibly uncomfortable as they negotiate their way around the assembly.

But the scene isn’t an aberration. Instead, it’s evidence of a trend that’s changing the way Southern Baptists view the international mission field: Islam is expanding across Europe.


Fueled by immigration and high birthrates, the number of Muslims on the continent has tripled in the past 30 years, making Islam Europe’s fastest growing religion. While European Muslims build mosques and win converts, European Christians (excluding evangelicals) are witnessing what’s been called a near free-fall decline in church attendance.

Tourists make up the overwhelming majority of those crowding Notre Dame in Paris, snapping photos during Mass as if the cathedral was more museum than place of worship. Even more alarming are statistics that only 5 percent of the French own a Bible and 80 percent have never even touched one. The shift is so dramatic that many demographers now believe more people in Europe practice Islam than Christianity.

No one knows exactly how many Muslims call Europe home since most European nations don’t track ethnicity or religious affiliation in census data. Guesses put the number around 20 million.

France accounts for the highest concentration of Muslims in the European Union — 5 to 6 million, or about 8 percent of the population. Many entered the country as immigrants in guest-worker programs following World War II, but untold numbers have flooded France and other European nations illegally. [Continue…]

Rape victim, 13, stoned to death for adultry in Somalia

Chris McGreal, Africa correspondent, Sunday November 02 2008 12.27 GMT

An Islamist rebel administration in Somalia had a 13-year-old girl stoned to death for adultery after the child’s father reported that three men had raped her.

Amnesty International said the al-Shabab militia, which controls the southern port city of Kismayo, arranged for a group of 50 men to stone Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow in front of a crowd of about 1,000 spectators. A lorryload of stones was brought to the stadium for the killing.

Amnesty said that Duhulow struggled with her captors and had to be forcibly carried into the stadium.

“At one point during the stoning, Amnesty International has been told by numerous eyewitnesses that nurses were instructed to check whether Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow was still alive when buried in the ground. They removed her from the ground, declared that she was, and she was replaced in the hole where she had been buried for the stoning to continue,” the human rights group said.

“Inside the stadium, militia members opened fire when some of the witnesses to the killing attempted to save her life, and shot dead a boy who was a bystander.”

Amnesty said witnesses originally reported that Duhulow was 23-years-old, based on her appearance. But the human rights group found out from her father that she was a child.

Duhulow’s father told Amnesty that when they tried to report her rape to the militia, the child was accused of adultery and detained. None of the men Duhulow accused was arrested.

“This was not justice, nor was it an execution,” said Amnesty’s Somalia campaigner, David Copeman. “This child suffered an horrendous death at the behest of the armed opposition groups who currently control Kismayo.

“This killing is yet another human rights abuse committed by the combatants to the conflict in Somalia, and again demonstrates the importance of international action to investigate and document such abuses, through an international commission of inquiry.”

Amnesty said al-Shabab had created a climate of fear in which government officials, journalists and human rights activists faced death threats and killing if they spoke against the militia.

BBC boss: Yes we are biased towards Islam

BBC boss says Islam should be treated more sensitively than Christianity

Islam should be treated more sensitively by the media than Christianity, according to the director general of the BBC.

By Martin Beckford, Religious Affairs Correspondent
Last Updated: 2:39PM BST 15 Oct 2008


Mark Thompson claimed that because Muslims are a religious minority in Britain and also often from ethnic minorities, their faith should be given different coverage to that of more established groups.

His comments come after the comedian Ben Elton accused the BBC of being scared of making jokes about Islam, while Hindus have claimed it favours Muslims over other religions.

But Mr Thompson, speaking at the annual public theology lecture of the religion think-tank Theos, insisted the state broadcaster would show programmes that criticised Islam if they were of sufficient quality.

The director general, whose corporation faced accusations of blasphemy from Christians after it allowed the transmission of the musical Jerry Springer -The Opera, also said his Christian beliefs guided his judgments and disclosed that he had never watched the Monty Python film Life of Brian which satirises the story of Jesus.

In his speech last night, Mr Thompson claimed there are now more programmes about religion on BBC television and radio than there have been in recent decades, whereas coverage has declined on ITV.

But asked whether it was correct that the BBC “let vicar gags pass but not imam gags”, as Elton claimed, he admitted it did take a different approach to Islam, which has 1.6million followers in Britain, compared to its approach to the Church of England or the Roman Catholic Church.

Mr Thompson said: “My view is that there is a difference between the position of Christianity, which I believe should be central to the BBC’s religion coverage and widely respected and followed.

“What Christian identity feels like it is about to the broad population is a little bit different to people for whom their religion is also associated with an ethnic identity which has not been fully integrated.

“There’s no reason why any religion should be immune from discussion, but I don’t want to say that all religions are the same. To be a minority I think puts a slightly different outlook on it.”

(Continue Reading…)


Sunni scholars have declared that hacking and attacking non-Muslim websites is a valid form of Jihad.

Egypt: Sunni Scholars Sanction Electronic Jihad

Cairo, 16 Oct. (AKI) – Attacking American and Israeli websites by hacking and sabotage is allowed under Islamic law and is a form of ‘Jihad’ or holy war, top Muslim scholars have decreed.

The religious edict (fatwa) issued by a committee from the highest authority in Sunni Islam, Egypt’s Al-Azhar University in Cairo, was published on the website of the Islamist Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood movement on Thursday. Read More.

[HT: David Wood]

Culture News: Replace capitalism with Islamic financial system

Muslims should take advantage of the global financial crisis to build an economic system compatible with Islamic principles, influential Sunni cleric Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi said on Sunday.

“The collapse of the capitalist system based on usury and paper and not on goods traded on the market is proof that it is in crisis and shows that Islamic economic philosophy is holding up,” said the Egyptian-born, Qatar-based cleric.

“The Western system has collapsed and we have a complete economic philosophy as well as spiritual strength,” he said at Sunday’s opening of a conference on Jerusalem.

“All riches are ours… the Islamic nation has all or nearly all the oil and we have an economic philosophy that no one else has,” Qaradawi said.

He urged Muslims to “profit from the crisis to bring about the triumph of the (Islamic) nation, which holds the spiritual and material resources for victory.”

[Continue Reading…]

Was Muhammad Predicted in the Bible?

Recently I’ve found it to be a common claim by Muslim apologists that Muhammad was predicted in the Bible. Now, you’re thinking, where in the world are they getting that from, aren’t you?  :-)  Either way, I encourage you to pick one of these three articles and review some of the claims and read about how to respond to those claims. The articles are written in response to Muslim claims and will be very helpful to keep you on guard against a Muslim friend who might make such claims and expect you to not have an answer about them. Please leave your comments and any experiences you’ve had with Muslims on this topic in the comments section below. Here are the articles from Answering Islam:

Also, I’m attaching PDFs of each of them so that you can print them off more easily if you want to read them on paper:

  • [PDF] Answering Dr. Jamal Badawi: Muhammad in the Bible
    By Sam Shamoun
  • [PDF] Muhammad in the Bible?
    An Analysis of the Muslim Appeal to Biblical Prophecy

    By David Wood
  • [PDF] Answers to Common Muslim Questions