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Jummah Mubarak and Happy Easter Weekend!
Today our Dr. Junaid Jahangir led an interfaith Good Friday service. Here is what he said:
"Rob and I participated in this Station of the Cross ceremony as part of Good Friday. He spoke of the need to stand by the marginalized, whereas I led the interfaith prayer at Station 3. Indeed as Gandalf says, it is the small things.

Notwithstanding freezing toes, here is the text of my bit:
In Islam, caring for the downtrodden and standing by the oppressed are not viewed as favor but as a duty based on justice.
The Prophet (upon whom be peace) taught to show courage in the face of tyranny and injustice. His cousin Imam Ali viewed justice as the very foundation of human society and as essential as the necessities of life.
Let us bow our heads to pray.
We call upon The Sacred to overcome our fear and indifference,
We pray to summon our inner strength to show courage on behalf of those who cannot defend themselves,
We pray for the resolve to support the just cause with all our heart, our words and our actions,
We pray for the empathy to choose for our brothers (and sisters) in humanity what we choose for ourselves,
We pray for the wisdom to treat others like the good Samaritan, without expecting or demanding the same in return,
We pray to truly follow the universal teaching as echoed by Jesus and Muhammad - to truly and radically love one another,
May it be so, Amen.”

Jummah Mubarak and Happy Easter Weekend!

Today our Dr. Junaid Jahangir led an interfaith Good Friday service. Here is what he said:

"Rob and I participated in this Station of the Cross ceremony as part of Good Friday. He spoke of the need to stand by the marginalized, whereas I led the interfaith prayer at Station 3. Indeed as Gandalf says, it is the small things.

Notwithstanding freezing toes, here is the text of my bit:

In Islam, caring for the downtrodden and standing by the oppressed are not viewed as favor but as a duty based on justice.

The Prophet (upon whom be peace) taught to show courage in the face of tyranny and injustice. His cousin Imam Ali viewed justice as the very foundation of human society and as essential as the necessities of life.

Let us bow our heads to pray.

We call upon The Sacred to overcome our fear and indifference,

We pray to summon our inner strength to show courage on behalf of those who cannot defend themselves,

We pray for the resolve to support the just cause with all our heart, our words and our actions,

We pray for the empathy to choose for our brothers (and sisters) in humanity what we choose for ourselves,

We pray for the wisdom to treat others like the good Samaritan, without expecting or demanding the same in return,

We pray to truly follow the universal teaching as echoed by Jesus and Muhammad - to truly and radically love one another,

May it be so, 
Amen.”

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Mubarak India! More info and original photo from here: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/landmark-indian-transgender-law-change-as-court-rules-third-gender-must-be-recognised-9263813.html
It’s enough to make you dance! Like these British Muslims. http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/04/16/british-muslims-dance-to-happy_n_5158270.html

Mubarak India! 

More info and original photo from here: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/landmark-indian-transgender-law-change-as-court-rules-third-gender-must-be-recognised-9263813.html

It’s enough to make you dance! Like these British Muslims. http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/04/16/british-muslims-dance-to-happy_n_5158270.html

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"A day may come when GSAs would be a thing of the past, when people truly embrace each other as fellow human beings without ifs and buts. Until then, GSAs serve as an effective avenue for sexual minority youth for whom they may make a difference between life and death. If so, believers are compelled by the higher ethical dictates of their faith to be the first in supporting GSAs.Politicians merely reflect the viewpoints of their constituents and in this case the many believers who treat faith as an exclusive club used to browbeat others into submission.However, it is imperative for such politicians and their constituents to reflect on Dr. Khalid Abou Fadl’s wise words.Religiously inspired hatred is in itself a form of jahiliyya (ignorance) because, fundamentally, it exploits the Divine — the embodiment of mercy, compassion, and love … Exploiting the authority of God to degrade and devalue others is most often a product of the twin problems of lack of critical insight into the self and lack of empathetic knowledge of the other …” - Junaid JahangirRead the rest of Junaid’s article here:http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/junaid-jahangir/religious-people-should-b_b_5128007.htmlPhoto from here:http://www.curvemag.com/images/cache/cache_c/cache_9/cache_c/c9c836a850463f2d572ccafee03a232f.jpeg?ver=1391706541&aspectratio=1.3333333333333

"A day may come when GSAs would be a thing of the past, when people truly embrace each other as fellow human beings without ifs and buts. Until then, GSAs serve as an effective avenue for sexual minority youth for whom they may make a difference between life and death. If so, believers are compelled by the higher ethical dictates of their faith to be the first in supporting GSAs.

Politicians merely reflect the viewpoints of their constituents and in this case the many believers who treat faith as an exclusive club used to browbeat others into submission.

However, it is imperative for such politicians and their constituents to reflect on Dr. Khalid Abou Fadl’s wise words.

Religiously inspired hatred is in itself a form of jahiliyya (ignorance) because, fundamentally, it exploits the Divine — the embodiment of mercy, compassion, and love … Exploiting the authority of God to degrade and devalue others is most often a product of the twin problems of lack of critical insight into the self and lack of empathetic knowledge of the other …” - Junaid Jahangir

Read the rest of Junaid’s article here:http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/junaid-jahangir/religious-people-should-b_b_5128007.html

Photo from here:http://www.curvemag.com/images/cache/cache_c/cache_9/cache_c/c9c836a850463f2d572ccafee03a232f.jpeg?ver=1391706541&aspectratio=1.3333333333333

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Will Arabia’s Malcolm X Go Free? Join us May 3 outside the Saudi embassy in your country. Why? It’s in here - the latest blog on Raif Badawi: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/shahla-khan-salter/raif-badawi_b_5132109.htmlAn excerpt:"So what "crime" did Badawi actually commit?He led an organization with support found not only in Saudi Arabia but with partners in Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon, Kuwait and Palestine. And in Saudi Arabia, Badawi and his organization demanded churches for Christians, rights for women with an end to the male guardianship system and an elimination of apostasy laws.Will this 30-year-old English teacher trigger the rise of a Saudi Arab spring?It’s possible. His imprisonment and if he is executed, his death, would only prove what the Kingdom already knows, as captured in the words of the late, great Malcolm X that, “power in defense of freedom is greater than power in behalf of tyranny and oppression.”Badawi should be free and the world should be safe.” - Shahla Khan Salter, Director Universalist Muslims Photo from here: http://www.mintpressnews.com/hacktivism-civil-disobedience-or-cyber-crime/46195/

Will Arabia’s Malcolm X Go Free? 

Join us May 3 outside the Saudi embassy in your country. Why? It’s in here - the latest blog on Raif Badawi: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/shahla-khan-salter/raif-badawi_b_5132109.html

An excerpt:

"So what "crime" did Badawi actually commit?

He led an organization with support found not only in Saudi Arabia but with partners in Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon, Kuwait and Palestine. And in Saudi Arabia, Badawi and his organization demanded churches for Christians, rights for women with an end to the male guardianship system and an elimination of apostasy laws.

Will this 30-year-old English teacher trigger the rise of a Saudi Arab spring?

It’s possible. His imprisonment and if he is executed, his death, would only prove what the Kingdom already knows, as captured in the words of the late, great Malcolm X that, “power in defense of freedom is greater than power in behalf of tyranny and oppression.”

Badawi should be free and the world should be safe.” - Shahla Khan Salter, Director Universalist Muslims 

Photo from here: http://www.mintpressnews.com/hacktivism-civil-disobedience-or-cyber-crime/46195/

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Photo by Express Tribune Sports. 

Photo by Express Tribune Sports. 

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Photo is from the Iranian film “Circumstance” - link here:http://themostcake.co.uk/wp-content/2012/08/tmc-Circumstance-1-1.jpg
Please check out the latest from Dr. Junaid Jahangir, who also quotes the great Ibn Hazm here: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/junaid-jahangir/lgbt-muslins_b_5063814.html

An excerpt from Dr. Jahangir:
"Prescribing gay Muslims to remain in the closet is a bullying tactic that has no basis in the Islamic tradition. Likewise, caricaturing the genuine human need for mawadda as a compulsive desire is a dehumanizing tactic that violates the core Islamic values of human dignity, egalitarianism, compassion and social justice.
This is not the first time neo-conservative Muslim leaders have made such arguments. Unfortunately, it may not be the last. It would be a greatly unfortunate if they reject a reasonable position on their fellow Muslim brothers and sisters. However, an even greater misfortune would be if LGBT Muslims allow themselves to be overwhelmed by such silly tactics that have no basis in Islam.”
More on Ibn Hazm here: http://ballandalus.wordpress.com/2014/02/13/ibn-hazm-d-1064-on-the-nature-of-love/

Photo is from the Iranian film “Circumstance” - link here:http://themostcake.co.uk/wp-content/2012/08/tmc-Circumstance-1-1.jpg

Please check out the latest from Dr. Junaid Jahangir, who also quotes the great Ibn Hazm here: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/junaid-jahangir/lgbt-muslins_b_5063814.html

An excerpt from Dr. Jahangir:

"Prescribing gay Muslims to remain in the closet is a bullying tactic that has no basis in the Islamic tradition. Likewise, caricaturing the genuine human need for mawadda as a compulsive desire is a dehumanizing tactic that violates the core Islamic values of human dignity, egalitarianism, compassion and social justice.

This is not the first time neo-conservative Muslim leaders have made such arguments. Unfortunately, it may not be the last. It would be a greatly unfortunate if they reject a reasonable position on their fellow Muslim brothers and sisters. However, an even greater misfortune would be if LGBT Muslims allow themselves to be overwhelmed by such silly tactics that have no basis in Islam.”

More on Ibn Hazm here: http://ballandalus.wordpress.com/2014/02/13/ibn-hazm-d-1064-on-the-nature-of-love/

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Happy Friday. May The Creator, however we refer to or connect with Her, bless and protect us all. Ameen.The photo of First Nation Elders is from here:http://climatevoices.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/pom_elder-women.jpg

Happy Friday. 

May The Creator, however we refer to or connect with Her, bless and protect us all. Ameen.

The photo of First Nation Elders is from here:http://climatevoices.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/pom_elder-women.jpg

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If you are on twitter - please tweet: @statedept @BarackObama Mr. Pres. Tell Saudi King Abdullah to Free Raif #RaifBadawi

If you are on twitter - please tweet: @statedept @BarackObama Mr. Pres. Tell Saudi King Abdullah to Free Raif #RaifBadawi

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In mosques where gender does not divide us.Photo from eTJC Masjid el-Tawhid - Toronto - Unity Mosque Eid Prayers.

In mosques where gender does not divide us.

Photo from eTJC Masjid el-Tawhid - Toronto - Unity Mosque Eid Prayers.

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On International Womens’ Day we recognize and thank Muslim women who are bravely fighting for change.Photo is of a young Asma Jahangir, circa 1983, being arrested for protesting against a case in which a 13 year old girl who was raped was then charged with fornication. More on Pakistan’s most famous lawyer, human rights activist and feminist can be found here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asma_Jahangir

On International Womens’ Day we recognize and thank Muslim women who are bravely fighting for change.

Photo is of a young Asma Jahangir, circa 1983, being arrested for protesting against a case in which a 13 year old girl who was raped was then charged with fornication. 

More on Pakistan’s most famous lawyer, human rights activist and feminist can be found here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asma_Jahangir