Yvonne Ridley in Dallas

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Yvonne Ridley, a British Journalist shared her story of the Talibans capturing her, her fears and their respect for her as a woman. Sounds contradictory, but she tells the compelling story of how media projects the Taliban in a bad light showing incidents out of context….

I can see the Propaganda element of our media, but still have to verify about Talibans. It is like showing the evening news of Dallas as the reality of Dallas, where the 20 minutes are filled with rape, arson, murder, robbery and accidents. Which is speck of the truth in relation to the population of Dallas, but not the whole truth.

Yvonne was raised as an Anglican and was a sunday school teacher. Two years after being free in UK, she studied Quraan and chose to become a Muslim. The part that appealed to her most was the Justice aspect of Islam and I was pondering about it, as I wrote in the mission statement of the World Muslim Congress, if I were to define Islam in one word, it would be Justice. http://www.foundationforpluralism.com/WorldMuslimCongress/Articles/Mission-Statement.asp

Her story is a big lesson for those who are bent on missionizing and converting others. The kinder, gentler and respectful you are of other faiths and traditions, the greater the chances you have of winning them over. That reminds me of Dale Carnegies’s statement, “if you want to gather honey, don’t kick the beehive”.

I would be be happy to share about my faith and how it works for me. Each individual is responsibile for his or her own actions and beliefs, your faith is dear to you as my faith is dear to me, let’s learn to co-exist in peace.

She talked about Sharia as an instrument of Justice. Just this week, I attended the Texas Rule of law conference where the speakers repeated the inherent justice embeded in Sharia laws, to which I added the issue of implementation, just as we have sent several innocents to the Electric Chair in Texas, they have hanged several innocents and have been unjust to several. It is not the rule of law that is a problem in most cases, it is the implemenation.

Yvonne Ridley was sharing her story about her capture by the Talibans… she made a big point about the Talibans, when in Jail, she washed her underclothing and hung them on the clothes line to dry, the whole ministry was involved in telling her to remove and the reason they gave was that the bra would incite the men, it would tempt them and she had to remove the object of temptations from the clothes line that is in their sight outside the compound. She made a comment about their obsession about this rather than doing the foreign policy work.

My view is that each one of us is a pracitioner of Personal Sharia, i.e., how we pray, fast, pay zakat and perform our religous duties are derived through the Personal Sharia. However the Sharia that deals with the public, i.e., in relations to others, between you and I is governed by the Public Sharia, as I call it, and we don’t need to duplicate our existing civil laws (American in my case) with Sharia, as our civil laws are as just as the Sharia Laws. By the way, Sharia laws are not divine, they are the human interpretations of Qur’aan, written decades after the Prophet and it needs updating through Ijtihad; reflective discussions.

Dr. Pervaz Rahman had invited her to speak and was organized by Khalil Meek. She was here for a fundraiser for the Muslim Legal defense fund of America, defending the civil rights of Muslim Americans. MLFA actively worked in defending the Holy Land Foundation case as well as winning the Flying Imams case in tandem with CAIR.

Pictures of the event:http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikeghouse/sets/72157622650011682/show/

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About Mike Ghouse

Dr. Mike Ghouse is a public speaker and the Executive Director of the Center for Pluralism in Washington, DC. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. More about him at https://www.linkedin.com/in/mikeghouse/