Islam


Excellent documentary on the oppression of Muslims in the Central Asian Republics. While totalitarian regimes imprison Muslims for the crime of praying, the West turns a blind eye. This, in turn, stokes radicalisation and is leading to “an explosive situation”. Obama is “even more eager to accomodate dictators than Bush was”.

Source: Craig Murray

Many indigenous peoples are coming to Islam, subhanAllah!

Here is the story of Taufiq Boldy, who embraced Islam as a teenager. He beieves Islam is a way of curing the ills of society.

An extraordinary documentary, informative and enquiring.

Two Polish film makers travelled in search of why people fight in jihad. This took them to Chechnya, Qatar and Afghanistan. They interviewed the former Chechen President Zelimkhan Yandarbiev (two weeks before he was assassinated), Amir Khattab in the mountains of Chechnya (also subsequently assassinated), Shamil Basaev, and tribal elders of Waziristan, near the Afghan-Pakistan highland border, whose sons are being kidnapped by the Americans.

Rwandans jump to faith they view as tolerant

Chicago Tribune
By Laurie Goering

August 5, 2002

Source: islamawareness.net

KIGALI, Rwanda — Long before the call to prayer begins each Friday at noon, Rwanda’s Muslim faithful jam the main mosque in Kigali’s Nyamirambo neighborhood, the overflow crowd spreading prayer rugs on the mosque steps, over the red earth parking lot and out the front gate.

Almost a decade after a horrific genocide left 800,000 Rwandans dead and shook the faith of this predominantly Christian nation, Islam, once seen as a fringe religion, has surged in popularity.

Women in bright tangerine, scarlet and blue headscarves stroll the bustling streets of the capital beside men in long white tunics and embroidered caps. Mosques and Islamic schools are overflowing with students. Today about 14 percent of Rwandans consider themselves Muslim, up from about 7 percent before the genocide.

“We’re everywhere,” says Sheik Saleh Habimana, the leader of Rwanda’s burgeoning Muslim community, which has mosques in nearly all of the country’s cities and towns.

Countries around Rwanda–Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda–have large Muslim communities. But the religion never was particularly popular in Rwanda until the 1994 genocide, which spurred a rush of conversions.

From April to June 1994, militias and mobs from the country’s ethnic Hutu majority hunted and murdered hundreds of thousands of ethnic Tutsis at the government’s urging. Within a few months, three of four Tutsis in the country had been hacked to death, often with machetes or hoes. More than 100,000 suspected killers eventually were jailed.

The genocide stunned Rwanda’s Christian community. While clergy in many communities struggled to protect their congregations and died with them, some prominent Catholic and Protestant leaders joined in the killing spree and are facing prosecution.

Elizaphan Ntakirutimana, the head of Rwanda’s Seventh-day Adventist Church, is on trial, charged with luring Tutsi parishioners to his church in western Kibuye province, then turning them over to Hutu militias that slaughtered 2,000 to 6,000 in a single day.

The day before the massacre, Tutsi Adventist clergy inside the church sent Ntakirutimana a now-famous letter, informing him that “tomorrow we will be killed with our families” and seeking his help. Survivors report that he replied: “You must be eliminated. God doesn’t want you anymore.”

Muslims offered haven

At the same time, Rwanda’s Muslims–many of them intermarried Tutsi-Hutu couples–were opening their homes to thousands of desperate Tutsis. Muslim families for the most part succeeded in hiding Tutsis from the Hutu mobs, who feared entering the country’s insular Muslim communities.

Yahya Kayiranga, a young Tutsi who fled Kigali with his mother at the start of the genocide, was taken into the home of a Muslim family in the central city of Gitarama, where he hid until the killing was over.
His father and uncle who stayed behind in Kigali were murdered.

“We were helped by people we didn’t even know,” the 27-year-old remembers, still impressed.

Unable to return to what he considered a sullied Roman Catholic Church, he converted to Islam in 1996. Today he is studying Arabic and the Koran at a local madrassa and most mornings awakens for the dawn
prayer, the first of five each day.

His job as a money changer in downtown Kigali conflicts with Islam’s prohibitions on profiting from financial transactions, but he thinks he has mostly adapted well to his new faith.

“I thought at first Islam would be hard, but that fear went away,” he said. “It’s not easy at the beginning, but as you practice it becomes better, normal.”

Rwanda’s Muslim leaders have struggled to impart the importance of unity and tolerance to their converts, who number as many Hutus as Tutsis.

Reconciliation at mosques

Habimana is one of the leaders of the country’s new interfaith commission, created to promote acceptance, and in a country still seething with barely masked anger and fear after the mass killings, Rwanda’s mosques are one of the few places where reconciliation
appears to have genuinely taken hold.

“In the Islamic faith, Hutu and Tutsi are the same,” Kayiranga said. “Islam teaches us about brotherhood.”

While Rwanda’s ethnic Tutsis mostly have come to Islam seeking protection from purges and to honor and emulate the people who saved them, Hutus also have come, seeking to leave behind their violent past.

“They all felt the blood on their hands and they embraced Islam to purify themselves,” Habimana said.

Becoming Muslim has not been an easy process for many Rwandans, who chafe at the religion’s dress and lifestyle restrictions. Despite Islam’s new status, Rwandan Muslims traditionally have been second-class citizens, working as taxi drivers and traders in a society that reveres farmers.

“Because we were Muslim we weren’t considered Rwandanese,” Habimana said. Now, as the religion’s popularity grows, that is changing.

Today “we see Muslims as very kind people,” said Salamah Ingabire, 20, who converted to Islam in 1995 after losing two brothers in the killing spree. “What we saw in the genocide changed our minds.”

This verse of the Noble Quran often springs to my mind when following the news and current events.

Allah has set a seal on their hearts and their hearing, and there is a blindfold on their sight

 

Faith and Reason

In many verses there is mention of the unbelievers’ and hypocrites’ hearts, eyes, and ears being sealed and of the sinful and perverse being misled. Khatm and tab’ [both meaning “seal”] denote ending, stamping a seal, imprinting, printing, and rendering things in certain shapes.

Heart in some instances denotes the particular organ of the body—i.e., the corporeal heart—and in other instances it is used to denote the human spirit, soul, etc.—the psychic and spiritual heart.

Allah’s (awj) sealing the spiritual and inward hearts of some human beings indicates their inability to be guided, their hearts being shut to the understanding and comprehension of Divine knowledge and their failure to turn to good and virtue. The sealing of their hearts, ears, and eyes by Allah (awj) is the result of their own volitional conduct and their ignoring the repeated admonitions of Allah (awj). In addition, although their hearts, ears, and eyes are sealed—this seal encompasses various levels and degrees. If it is such that the darkness of sin and malice has pervaded their hearts completely, they will never return to virtue and guidance. Of course this does not mean that it would be impossible for them to return to the light of faith and guidance, for the possibility of change and transformation exists till the very brink of death. Therefore, they are not deprived of free choice. They can by their free choice either remain on their same perverse ways, or they can choose with a firm and resolute decision, though it be difficult, to change their ways, and by finding the way of guidance and hearkening to the Divine instructions, attain to ultimate felicity.

In other words, to the extent that one’s heart is stained by the dross of sin, one is proportionately sealed off from the path of truth and deprived of understanding the Divine Signs and benefiting from His light and guidance. It should also be noted that perversion and the shutting of the heart is not exclusive to the unbelievers and the hypocrites.

“As for the faithless, it is the same to them whether you warn them or do not warn them, they will not have faith. Allah has set a seal on their hearts and their hearing, and there is a blindfold on their sight and there is a great punishment for them.”[18] 

“Allah has set a seal on their hearts, so they do not know.”[19]

 

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For all brothers and sisters yearning to hear something that will fill their hearts with light in these dark days, I have decided to share this with you.

Islam Is Gaining a Foothold in Chiapas
Islam Is Gaining a Foothold in Chiapas
PRAYING TO ALLAH IN MEXICO

By Jens Glüsing

Long a bastion of Catholicism, southern Mexico is quickly turning into a battleground for soul-savers. Islam, too, is gaining a foothold and the indigenous Mayans are converting by the hundreds. The Mexican government is worried about a culture clash in their own backyard.

Anastasio Gomez, a Tzotzil Mayan from Mexico, fondly remembers his pilgrimage to Mecca. He circled around the Kaaba, the highest sanctuary of Muslims, seven times. At Mount Arafat he prayed to Allah and then he, together with 15 other Indians, sacrificed a sheep before boarding the flight back to their Mexican home.

“In Islam, race plays no role,” the young man says joyously. His enthusiasm is understandable. After all, in his home state of Chiapas, Mexico’s poorest, the indigenous people are viewed as second class humans, and whites and Mestizos treat the Indian majority as if they weren’t there. In the southern Mexican provincial metropolis San Cristóbal de las Casas, the descendants of the Maya even have to move onto the street if a white person approaches them on the sidewalk.

Gomez, 23, converted to Islam eight years ago; ever since then, he has called himself Ibrahim. On his first pilgrimage seven years ago, the Indian was still something of an anomaly. Today, however, Muslim women in headscarves have become a common sight on the streets of San Cristobal.

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Archive interview with Edward Said. It offers a pre-9/11 insight into the West’s kneejerk fear of Arabs.

International Herald Tribune

Q&A with Edward Said
By Ken Shulman
March 11 1996

Born into a Palestinian Christian family in East Jerusalem in 1935, Edward Said, a professor of comparative literature at Columbia University, has written extensively on Middle East politics. He spoke with Ken Shulman in Percoto, Italy.

Q. Has the West’s attitude toward Islam improved since you published “Orientalism” in 1978?

A. I don’t think it has improved at all. In fact, it has decidedly worsened. If you look at how Islam is represented today in newspapers and on television, you see that it is still considered a threat, something that must be walled out. The Arab world is depicted as a place full of terrorists and fanatics.

Instead of expanding, the West’s comprehension of the Arab world is contracting.

Q. What is the history of this anti-Arab prejudice?

A. The prejudice was created at the same time Islam was born, when Islam was a political and economic threat to Europe. It is no coincidence that Dante places Mohammed in the next to last circle of hell in his Divine Comedy, right next to Satan. In the Renaissance, we have the figure of Shylock, but we also have the figure of Othello.

It wasn’t just the Jew who was suspect in Christian Europe. It was also the Arab. The Arab who was indolent, diabolic and dishonest. On one hand, this world of the Orient fascinated the Europeans. On the other, it terrorized them.

Q. Is there a hint of truth in the current stereotype of the Arab world?

A. Of course there is, just as there is a hint of truth in all stereotypes. This is what makes it possible for them to be so widely accepted. But the distortions in the stereotype are far greater than the few elements of realism they may contain. Today, the standard view of the Orient is a vestige of 19th-century European colonialism, when anti-Eastern prejudice reached its zenith.

The West’s almost obsessive emphasis on terrorism and fanaticism in the Arab world is a form of exorcism. They see it in Islam so they won’t have to recognize that the same elements exist in their own societies, and in alarming levels.

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A Native American Muslim’s Story

by Lois Stands-Ali

All Praise is due to Allah, the Creator who guided me to ISLAM—the Way of Life—the Red Road—the Straight Path.

I began my journey on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, in one of the communities called Oglala. When I was born, my earth parents went to the city and left me behind with my father’s’ parents. My grandmother was a mid-wife, a spiritual woman, and we attended many ceremonies and pow-wows, and I witnessed other spirits begin their journeys. I was taught to respect MITAKOYASIN (all of my relations) and to know that I was LAKOTA(the people). My grandmother shared many words of wisdom. As a child I did not understand all that she shared, yet throughout all these years, all that she told me has helped in every way you can imagine. One thing that really stuck in my head was when she told me: “There are WASHECUS (white people) out there, another world, one day you will have to learn to speak their language. Learn everything about them. Learn how they think and to out-think them because one day they will try to kill you.”

My grandmother told me that TUNKASHILA (the CREATOR Grandfather, The Wakan Tanka, The Great Holy One, Mita Onje Ate) made many people, all different, but he was the same Creator of everything – of the sky people, water people, earth people, fire people, the four-legged and the two-legged.

I remember laying my head down on her lap and she would tell me stories, and I’d fall asleep and when I woke up she would still be talking. At that time, I did not realize she was giving me the best form of education anyone can give. Now I realize that my ENA (mother), the only one I knew, was preparing me for the outside world. One day her journey ended, and when I saw her lying in this box asleep, I knew that she would be back. One day, as I played outside she came walking up to me and said :you will be WENYA CHANTE WISHAK UHA (Woman Who Has a Strong Heart).”

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In 1997, Zbigniew Brzezinski, a highly influential U.S. strategist under both Reagan and Carter, published The Grand Chessboard. Arguing that whoever controls Eurasia – the Middle East and Central Asia – controls Europe, Asia, and Africa, this Machiavellian book spelled out ‘‘an integrated, comprehensive, and long-term geostrategy…to help ensure that…the global community [i.e. transnational corporations] has unhindered financial and economic access to’’ the world’s resources. He recommended that the U.S. establish military control over Central Asia and the Middle East, and crush the Islamic fundamentalist movement in Afghanistan and Pakistan, to protect ‘‘several pro-Western Middle Eastern governments and American regional interests especially in the Persian Gulf’’. Nowhere in the book does Brzezinski raise any concerns about terrorist threats to Americans.

Like Khalilzad, however, Brzezinski struggled with the problem of selling the scheme to the American public. ‘‘The pursuit of power and especially the economic costs and human sacrifice that the exercise of such power often requires,’’ he mused, ‘‘are not generally congenial to democratic instincts. Democratization is inimical to imperial mobilization’’. To solve this problem, Brzezinski repeatedly hinted that the U.S. could mobilize public support if it created a pretext incident like the 9-11 attacks:

“The attitude of the American public toward the external projection of American power has been much more ambivalent. The public supported America’s engagement in World War II largely because of the shock effect of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.” (pp. 24–25)

“America is too democratic at home to be autocratic abroad. This limits the use of America’s power, especially its capacity for military intimidation. Never before has a populist democracy attained international supremacy. But the pursuit of power is not a goal that commands popular passion, except in conditions of a sudden threat or challenge to the public’s sense of domestic well-being.” (pp. 35–36)

“Moreover, as America becomes an increasingly multi-cultural society, it may find it more difficult to fashion a consensus on foreign policy issues, except in the circumstances of a truly massive and widely perceived direct external threat.” (Emphasis added) (Brzezinski, 1997, p. 211)

That same year (1997), the DPG re-surfaced, now dubbing itself ‘‘The Project for the New American Century’’ (PNAC). It included Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Lewis Libby, and Zalmay Khalilzad. Twenty-one other ultra-conservatives joined the project – well-placed academics, Pentagon advisors, media, politicians and lobbyists, Christian fundamentalists, and Likudniks (Zionist hawks for Israeli interests). Many of them are now senior officials in or associates of the Bush Jr. administration. The PNAC’s Statement of Principles reaffirmed the DPG goal of world conquest. To accomplish this goal, the PNAC set out four main policy directions, each of which now figures prominently in Bush’s ‘‘war on terror’’:

  • to increase defense spending significantly,
  • to strengthen our ties to democratic allies and to challenge regimes hostile to our interests and values,
  • to promote the cause of political and economic freedom [that is, neoliberalism] abroad, and
  • to preserve and extend ‘‘an international order friendly to our security, our prosperity, and our principles’’ (PNAC, 1997).

In 1999, Rand, an influential think tank, published an assessment of NATO plans to attack the Caspian region (Sokolsky & Chalick–Paley, 1999). It too emphasized the ‘‘need’’ to control existing and potential oil and gas routes from the Caspian Basin, but argued against a major military operation in the region at that time. The fact that the Air Force commissioned this study, however, reflects the seriousness with which it was exploring the option of invading Afghanistan three years before the 9-11 pretext. At the same time, military interests were also actively lobbying for the U.S. to topple Saddam Hussein’s government.

In September 2000, a year before the 9-11 attacks and a month before George W. Bush was ‘‘elected,’’ the PNAC published Rebuilding America’s Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century (RAD). It built on and expanded the DPG. ‘‘…Although the experience of the past eight years has modified our understanding of particular military requirements for carrying out such a strategy, the basic tenets of the DPG, in our judgment, remain sound’’.

Significantly, RAD only mentions the word ‘‘terrorists’’ once in passing in the entire document (and does not mention ‘‘terrorist’’ or ‘‘terrorism’’ at all).

“America’s global leadership, and its role as the guarantor of the current great-power peace, relies upon the safety of the American homeland; the preservation of a favorable balance of power in Europe, the Middle East and surrounding energy-producing region, and East Asia; and the general stability of the international system of nation-states relative to terrorists, organized crime, and other ‘‘non-state actors.’’ (Emphasis added)

In other words, the consistent, overwhelming motive for all these massively expensive plans was not Islamic terrorism, but global American military/ corporate control.

READ the entire article: Islamophobia and the War on Terror


The call to prayer echoed throughout the corridors of the mosque when Jamil slipped off his shoes and entered the prayer hall. After exchanging greetings of “As salaam `alaykum,” or peace be upon you, to his fellow Muslim brothers, he proceeded to offer his morning prayer. As he recited verses from the Qur’an in Arabic, his Spanish accent was clearly audible to anyone in listening distance. Upon appearance, many would assume that Jamil was a Muslim man of Middle Eastern descent. But no, in actuality, Jamil is a Puerto Rican Muslim.

This scenario is not so far-fetched. Many people often perceive Islam as a religion exclusively followed by people of Arab or Asian descent. However, Latino Muslims are breaking all conventional stereotypes of what Muslims “are” or “should be,” proving that Islam truly transcends all racial, ethnic and language boundaries.

According to the American Muslim Council, tens of thousands of Latino Americans across the country have been accepting Islam. It is estimated that there are anywhere between 20,000 and 60,000 Latino Muslims in the United States, predominately in New York City, Chicago, Miami, Southern California, and Texas.

In her book, Islam in America, Islamic Studies professor Jane Smith states that Islam was first introduced into the Latino community during the 1970s in the inner-city barrios, or Spanish neighborhoods, of the northern East Coast. In the decades since, Islam has successfully spread across the country to members of all Spanish- speaking nationalities including Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Dominicans, Mexicans and Colombians.

“Latinos have always had an interest in Islam,” says a 22-year-old Latina convert from the Falls Church, Virginia area. The sister, who did not wish her name to be disclosed, continues by saying, “Islam has many values that Latinos hold, such as respect for others, closeness of family ties, and worship.” Other similar themes, such as the emphasis placed on respect for the mother, the importance of education, and the central role religion has in society, remain as a common thread between Islam and Latino culture.
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RAMADAN MUBARAK to all brothers and sisters!

And may all non-Muslims joining us to fast in this holy month receive enormous blessings from God.

Amin. Peace.

Russia expert Paul Goble, vice dean of social sciences and humanities at Concordia-Audentes University in Tallinn, Estonia, said ethographers predict Russia will have a Muslim majority “within our lifetime.” Since 1989, Russia’s Muslim population has increased by 40 percent, Goble said, rising to some 25 million self-declared Muslims. He said 2.5 million to 3.5 million Muslims now live in Moscow, gving Moscow the largest Muslim population of any city in Europe. Russia today has more than 8,000 mosques, up from just 300 in 1991. By 2010, experts predict, some 40 percent of Russian military conscripts will be Muslims.

Goble noted that these changes have been accompanied by a “rising tide” of anti-Muslim prejudice. Public-opinion surveys reveal that up to “70 percent of ethnic Russians” express sympathy with xenophobic slogans. Goble warned that heavy-handed state efforts to “contain Islam” could backfire and cause groups to move underground, “radicalizing people who are not yet radicalized.”

Source: The Coming Muslim Majority

The following article appeared in an edition of the Russian magazine Ogonyok featuring a series of pieces on Russians who convert to Islam. (My translation).

12130.jpg  “The fashion for Islam has spread from Europe and the USA to Russia. Among the ranks of our native Russian Muslims everyone can be found, from nationalist radicals to members of the liberal intelligentsia.

“Recent sociological research has shown that Islam has become the most dynamic world religion. In the USA, for example, millions of Afro-Americans whose ancestors knew nothing of the Prophet Muhammad [s.a.w.s.] call themselves the “Nation of Islam”, whereas in Germany the native German Muslim community already numbers hundreds of thousands. The remarkable phenomenon of Euro-Islam has sprung up. The contemporary mode for Islam resembles the hippy fashion for Buddhism or Krishnaism of the sixties and seventies: this exotic culture with its spiritual practices has great allure, especially when its followers are you compatriots and can tell you about it in your own language. Sooner or later Euro-Islam will be preached in our land — and most likely it will be accepted as the latest height of European fashion in the style of “ethno-techno”. Today we can already speak of how our own native “Russian Islam” is establishing itself as a cultural-political phenomenon.

“The main bulk of Russian Muslims, prosaic as it may sound, is made up of Russian girls who marry Muslims. As a rule, prior to marriage, they were indifferent to religion, therefore they accepted the faith of their husbands without any great difficulty; moreover, “traditional Islam” in Russia is extremely liberal and does not demand rejection of the usual way of life. The second noticeable group of Russian Muslims is made up of nationalist radicals. They come to worship Allah in two ways — either through political extremism or through a religious quest based on the soil of fervent anti-Semitism. For example, in Eduard Limonov’s National Bolshevik Party thirty Russian warriors have already entered Islam. They say that the leader of the NBP is himself not far from officially converting to Islam. Less involved in the political struggle are the followers of the National Organisation of Russian Muslims (NORM) — some of them have come to the faith of the Prophet through a rejection of Judaic Christianity and after wandering through the labyrinths of Slavonic neo-paganism. As is characteristic of neophytes, radical Russian Muslims try to follow their new religion with full commitment — genuine Russian Wahhabi jamaats with over two hundred Russian adherents have already been created.

“Lastly, the smallest in number but the most striking group of Russian Muslims is composed of liberal members of the intelligentsia who have rejected Christianity at a mature age and even under the influence of liberal ideas. Here we must mention first of all Vyacheslav Polosin, the former archpriest of the Russian Orthodox Church, who has taken the Islamic name Ali. His sensational conversion to Islam was accompanied by a whole P.R. campaign, which roused the benevolent interest of the Russian intelligentsia int he religion of the Prophet. Arty connoisseurs of the Orient — underground poets and artists — are more drawn to the esoteric Sufi tarikats — the Nimatullahi or Tijaniyya.

“Broadly speaking, if those who call our epoch post-Christian are right, then intellectuals and politicians would do well to take a closer look at Russian Islam. And the main thing is to understand how to build it in such a way so that the Russians, prone as they are to wild self-sacrifice, should not pick themselves as their “guides and leaders” some new “Taliban”…”

Russian-Style Islam, written by Alexander Soldatov

“Every person has a different way of coming to the Truth. For Moisha Krivitsky this way led through a faculty of law, a synagogue and a prison. The lawyer-to-be becomes a Rabbi, then he converts into Islam and finds himself in prison. Today Musa (this is the name he has adopted when he became a Muslim) lives in a small mosque in Al-Burikent, a mountain area of Makhachkala (Daghestan, Caucasus), and works as a watchman in the Central Juma mosque.”

Q: Did you find the way easily?

A: With great difficulty. It was hard then, and it isn’t much easier now. When you go deeply into Islam’s inner meaning, you understand that this religion is very simple, but the way that leads to it may be extremely difficult. Often, people don’t understand how a person could be converted into Islam “from the other side”, as it were. But there are no “sides” here: Islam is everything there is, both what we imagine and what we don’t imagine.

– It was quite a paradoxical situation: there was a mosque near my synagogue, the town mosque. Sometimes my fiends who were its parishioners would come to me – just to chat. I sometimes would come to the mosque myself, to see how the services were carried out. I was very interested. So we lived like good neighbours. And once, during Ramadan, a woman came to me – as I now understand, she belonged to a people that was historically Muslim – and she asked me to comment the Russian translation of the Qur´an made by Krachkovsky.

Q: She brought the Qur´an to you – a Rabbi?!

A: Yes, and she asked me to give her the Torah to read in return. So I tried to read the Qur´an – about ten times. It was really hard, but gradually I began to understand, and to get a basic notion of Islam. (Here, Musa looked at my friend’s son, the six-year old Ahmed, who had fallen asleep in the mosque courtyard. “Should we probably take him inside the mosque?” asked Musa.) And that woman had brought back the Torah. It turned out to be very difficult for her to read and understand it, because religious literature requires extreme concentration and attention.

Q: Musa, and when you were reading the translation, you must have begun to compare it with the Torah?

A: I had found answers to many questions in the Qur´an. Not to all of them, of course, because it wasn’t the Arabic original, but the translation. But I had begun to understand things.

Q: Musa, and what brought you into the prison?

A: … …I’ve recently seen a programme on the TV, and a representative of the Chechen republic in Moscow – I forget his name now, I believe he had some beautiful, French-sounding name, something like Binaud – he said that if the authorities were going to carry on like they had done before – barging into homes, planting drugs and weapons on people – then the people would be out in the streets protesting. This has happened to many here. So there was something planted on me. Then they came and took me away at night.

Before that, I had had a certain notion about he forces of the law here… well, I couldn’t think they would use such, well, not very polite methods. Islam doesn’t let me use a stronger word. Allah estimates what every man does, and those people will have to answer for what they have done.

But the three months I spent in prison, they probably helped me to make my faith stronger. I saw how people behaved under the extreme circumstances, both Muslims and non-Muslims, how I behaved.

It would be good, of course, if the people in power would pay their attention to this problem. They shouldn’t be trying to eradicate Islam with such unsavoury methods.

Q: Musa, why were the authorities frightened by you?

A: No idea. Even children aren’t afraid of me.
Rabbi of Makhachkala synagogue embraced Islam

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