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Muslim Americans Convene Scholars in Mauritania to Discuss Religious Minorities’ Rights

1 August 2012 General 22 Comments Email This Post Email This Post

Last week, ISNA President Imam Mohamed Magid and ISNA Director of Community Outreach Dr. Mohamed Elsanousi convened a small multilateral forum of scholars in Mauritania to discuss challenges faced by religious minorities in Muslim-majority communities around the world.  Since last year, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) has dedicated substantial efforts to this issue.

As part of its mission, ISNA seeks to help represent the voice of diverse Muslim communities within the United States, as well as to represent an American voice within Muslim communities around the world.  Both goals require heightened attentiveness to issues of religious freedom and civil liberties, which we seek to address through positive interreligious partnerships both here in the U.S. and abroad.  As a result, we have become increasingly concerned not only about the challenges faced by Muslim minorities within the United States, but also those faced by religious minorities in Muslim-majority communities around the world.

Over recent years, we have heard numerous reports about serious violations of the rights of religious minorities in Muslim-majority countries.  These incidents stand in stark contrast to the values and traditions of Islam.  Historically, when such circumstances arise which run counter to our Islamic theology, it has always been the role of Islamic scholars to intervene.  As such, the Islamic Society of North America, is currently working together with Muslim leaders worldwide to promote a mechanism for developing Islamic standards and protocols on religious freedom and the role of religious minorities in the Muslim-majority communities.  This effort is also in line with ISNA’s domestic priorities, because poor treatment of religious minorities in Muslim-majority communities also has a substantial and negative effect on the manner in which Muslim minorities are regarded and treated in the West.

To address this issue, ISNA has met with Muslim scholars and high-level government officials in several countries, including Morocco, Tunisia, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, to discuss the importance of elevating this issue to the forefront of scholarly discussion in the Muslim world.  We have also organized and participated in several events, including a symposium with Georgetown University’s Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Christian-Muslim Understanding this past May in Washington, DC.

The meeting last week was hosted by Shaykh Abdallah bin Bayyah, Vice Chair of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, in his new Global Centre for Renewal and Guidance in Nouakchott, Mauritania.  Participants included Dr. Nourredine al-Khademi, Tunisian Minister of Religious Affairs; Dr. Ahmed Toufiq, Moroccan Minister of Islamic Affairs and Endowment; Mr. Rashad Hussain, President Obama’s Special Envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation; Dr. Ahmed Ould Neini, Mauritanian Minister of Islamic Affairs; Dr. Abderrazak Juessoum, President of the Algerian Muslim Scholars Association; and other prominent scholars.  The scholars also met with President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz of Mauritania to brief him on the purpose of their visit to Mauritania and the goal of their project.  The President was very supportive and offered the scholars his assistance facilitating the development of solutions to this enormous challenge.

Original post: Muslim Americans Convene Scholars in Mauritania to Discuss Religious Minorities’ Rights


  1. “Over recent years, we have heard numerous reports about serious violations of the rights of religious minorities in Muslim-majority countries”

    Yet if you mention them you are called an islamophobe(tm)

  2. I think it is a good topic to work on. Muslims dominiated countries and regions treat persons of other religions so badly, it sometimes becomes hard to feel sorry for a Muslim being mistreated outside of these areas. The story about the Florida trainer being one in these forums. The man was a christian from Jordon, how badly was this man treated by Muslims, such that he now has such hard feelings toward Muslims and works against them. One may look at what he teaches and state he is wrong, but from his perspective and experience he may feel he is totally correct. I wonder what the man in Egypt whose house was burned by Muslims simply because he accidently burned a shirt in a laundry he worked at.

  3. Again with the shirt, criley. Maybe it was his only shirt and the only way he could get another was to loot during a riot. Burning down a few houses might stimulate the economy and drive a few more Christians out of the country.

  4. There is a group going on who takes imams in small groups and gives them lectures on what a dire state their nation is in economically and how they should help it.

    American muslims going to other nations to discuss the treatment of minorities are maybe greeted by polite people thinking: get lost, sissy pants. We have the right to kill our minorities, they are not really human.

  5. i see alot of “interfaith” dialogue. the protection of christians and jews (religious minorities) in muslim countries. how about just protection for anyone, religious or not. well destroying pagan idols is not only allowed but is right and proper in islam. just see muhammad after he conquers mecca. one of the first thing he goes is destroy the pagan idols in the kaaba so much for “their is no cpmpulsion in religion”.

    and who are these americans/westerners think they are going to another culture and telling them how to behave. closed minded bithes. celto-germanic inbreed bastards. shit now i sound like dongo. bithes and sows..bithes and sows…

  6. Jane,

    You are right. Muslim countries often treat their minorities very badly. At least in this case, I support you. But then you have to blame all those other than Muslims torture minorities. It is not then said that Christians treat minorities very badly or Hindus, Buddhists do so.


    I am here for you again.

    Remember, the Jewish-Muslim clashes are not a very old issue. If you now say that my Prophet ordered nassacre of Jews, namely B-Quraiza and numbers of Jewish people, I will say that none was punished unjustly. There is strong condemnation of idolatry in Judaism, Hinduism and Christianity. You want to know what Hinduism says on Idolatry? “Ekkam Evadvitiyam” (There is only one God without a second); “Na Tasya Pratima Asti, Na Janita Na Jatipa” (Of that God, there is no photo, statue, shape); “Abdhatma Praveshanti, Asambhuta Upasti” (Those who worship the created things, surely enter into the realm of darkness). There was the Byzantine Iconoclasm. Westboro Baptist Church says that Catholics, many Protestant churches, even Eastern Orthodoxes are idolatrists. So, you may see that breaking icons is not limited to Islam.

    If you have the eye, brain and soul to see the truth, you will find the truth. Or else, you will grope in the dark and that will help you spew your venom on Islam and Muslims. The choice is yours.

    I admit about using those terms. You are sounding like me? Doesn’t seem to be, because you would then be speaking some truth which you never do. But I am 100% correct when I say who are the Americans. If you can, prove me wrong.

    You never can.


    You are getting stinky and disgusting minute by minute. Why don’t you see that burning down any property is a loss to the economy regardless of it is Christians or Muslims. When dangers come, they don’t discriminate between Muslims or non-Muslims; see, your country was attacked by some Muslim bastards. Your Christian bastards beat the hell out of Muslims. The Muslims (!?) also gave you some tough shoeslaps in return. But when the economic recession struck the US, Christians, jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, atheists—none has been spared.

    See, USA and co. erased people and properties in other countries but paying with their own blood and money. On 27 July, 2012 I attended a seminar on poverty alleviation. One speaker’s comment struck me deeply. I mention it. I don’t know whether his comments will be right or wrong but you may find it useful:

    “If USA is a company, it has long crossed the thresholds of bankruptcy. And you will see that a big ship takes long time to sink; similarly, the US may be counting its last days as the muscleman of the globe. This fall may take a bit long time, but the fall of the US will be more painful than the British.”

    Sounds like imaginary or propagandist? For your kind information, this guy was a British educated at Edinburgh.

  7. dongo,

    “If you have the eye, brain and soul to see the truth, you will find the truth. Or else, you will grope in the dark and that will help you spew your venom on Islam and Muslims. The choice is yours.” so how is the choice mine if i don’t “have the eye, brain and soul to see the truth”. surely allah has cursed me?

    [2.7] Allah has set a seal upon their hearts and upon their hearing and there is a covering over their eyes, and there is a great punishment for them.

    [2.17] Their parable is like the parable of one who kindled a fire but when it had illumined all around him, Allah took away their light, and left them in utter darkness– they do not see.
    [2.18] Deaf, dumb (and) blind, so they will not turn back.
    [2.19] Or like abundant rain from the cloud in which is utter darkness and thunder and lightning; they put their fingers into their ears because of the thunder peal, for fear of death, and Allah encompasses the unbelievers.
    [2.20] The lightning almost takes away their sight; whenever it shines on them they walk in it, and when it becomes dark to them they stand still; and if Allah had pleased He would certainly have taken away their hearing and their sight; surely Allah has power over all things.

    [47.23] Those it is whom Allah has cursed so He has made them deaf and blinded their eyes.
    [47.24] Do they not then reflect on the Quran? Nay, on the hearts there are locks.
    [47.25] Surely (as for) those who return on their backs after that guidance has become manifest to them, the Shaitan has made it a light matter to them; and He gives them respite.

    “because you would then be speaking some truth which you never do.” you are clearly a liar sir. when do i not speak the truth. perhaps allah has taken my light. but still i always speak the truth. despite your god cursing me, lol.
    “But I am 100% correct when I say who are the Americans. If you can, prove me wrong” lol. yes i am an american. and proud of it.
    prove your ramblings as wrong. i can’t prove a negative, that i’m not a liar. just like i can’t prove there is no god. i asked you to show my lies and all you posted was that i called myself a simpletom and that i dropped “in russia” from your statement about islam being in russia before christianity. your arguements are weak and discombobulated.

    “There is strong condemnation of idolatry in Judaism, Hinduism and Christianity. You want to know what Hinduism says on Idolatry” like i give a flying fuck what any religion says about another religion. other than proof of their intolerance.

  8. Seminars on poverty alleviation are a good idea. Some of the anger at minorities might drain off if poverty is eased.

    Brits often tease and disparage the US and its citizens. Even in a serious work like World at War, the narrator has some jokes about Americans. I think of Brits as being very critical of everything.

    It is true that the US banking industry may have shot the country down, but it will rise again. I have confidence in US ability to solve its problems.

  9. Jihadwatch has a story of the shirt.

    Soon after US was formed, a multitude of Germans arrived. Who are these people? Ben Franklin said. They were orderly and industrious, but not learning English.

    There were huge invasions of Germans, Italians, Irish and Latinos. Today the Asians, great scholars, would swamp the universities if not for quotas.

    Now comes the muslims whining that everyone does it wrong except them, and threatening to bring the disorder they have visited on themselves, on us.

  10. Sorry Anon, the shirt simply amazed me. After reading about the riots over the Koran, and assundry other issues, with posts telling me that Muslims take religious issues seriously. They rioted over a shirt. This indicates this group of muslims hold no religious values, they are not serious people they are simply bulies, arsonists, and murderers. No better than common drug addicts who kill and steal to maintain a habbit.

  11. yeah the muslims seem to love a good riot.

  12. I would say it is similar to old US race riots and lynching.

  13. I never seen muslims as weirdly unusual subhuman savage types. They resemble other disagreeable delusional groups – US white southerners, ww2 Js and Gs.

    Societies can change. In US getting drunk and smoking used to be considered amusing and chic. Whites could kill blacks with impunity.

    Now both smoking and drunkenness are in disfavor, blacks can walk freely and someone is making those black/navy Christian bathing suits in nice flowered fabrics. Gidget says they are good beachwear.

  14. anon,

    where the fuck do you live? “Now both smoking and drunkenness are in disfavor,” smoking is on it’s way out but drunkenness is as strong as it ever was. at least in florida. what are you in utah?

  15. I don’t know Mike, apparently you cant even float on an innertube while drinking without being arrested for DUI. Personally I think if they are going to arrest people for riding a horse while drunk or floating on a tube while drunk they should just change the law to Moving while Intoxicated.

  16. You will be arrested if you arrive at the endpoint of the Ichitucknee tubing run drunk. That county is dry, or used to be.

    I don’t think many movies celebrate drunkenness anymore. Smoking has been almost destroyed. Besides, your attitude is becoming passé, Mike. Some might be out there getting drunk, everyone else is minding their liver, their pancreas, their work and their family.

    If you live in a bar on your off hours, that is different.

  17. Some prohibitions in Christian churches are popping up in muslim places. Recently a child was punished for taking part in a drama. Smoking and women’s pants being prohibited.

  18. Well this is good. Alas, the middle east is mired in violence and poverty, which always end up breeding intolerance and hatred. Luckily, in more stable areas of the world, Muslims have been able to be better educated and embrace more moderate, peaceful and tolerant views. In this case, ISNA is doing a wonderful thing in attempting to bring such tolerance to the people of the middle east. It is a cruel irony that many modern regimes such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the Taliban are less tolerant and more oppressive than the Caliphs. Hopefully reform within Islam will bring more peace to the region and curb the violence committed by Muslims towards others and others towards Muslims.

  19. I think rich educated people can be just as hateful and intolerant as poor ignorant ones. It is the demand that everyone must speak and behave in certain prescribed patterns, profess only one creed, be of one tribe. Ein Volk.

    It goes counter to the world. Variety is not the spice of life, it is life.

  20. The more stable areas of the world have separated church and state. I think the muslim areas will boil with fighting for years, establish islamist govs, suffer with that for years and finally achieve separation.

  21. Mike,

    You can laugh, fart, smoke through your anus, drink through your nonexistent brain anything you like— but how come you give a flying fuck? Are you a raven? However, none cares whether you give a flying/lying/standing/bending/twisting/slitheirng/gliding/swimming/ murmurring/silent/chiring/whistling fuck, rahter those who oppose idolatry, if you have the guts, just go to them, tell them you are angry at them for their opposition to idolatry; they will not just break you like they did the idols but will fuck you in every position even if you are long time dead.

    I have told you where you lied. You continued to misquote me and others and when alleged you simply denied. I have seen many like you but you are an exception because you are a blind as well.

    You call yourself a simpleton? No way Mike, you are very much full of hatred especially against Muslims and Islam which a simpleton will never do. Got evidence where you lied and why you are a liar? If not and still denying, I think you need a thorny iron mace (heated red) with abrasion paper as lubricants entered into your rectum upto your vocal chord and then prize up with vicious force.

    I am not cursing you.

    There is nothing called American. If something is, these are the native People who had been living there before Europeans ever thought of these lands. And you are one of those European wretches.

  22. why wait so long it needed adressing a long time ago and firm action taken.Everyone like to take advantage of christians because they are told to turn the other cheek ,so no one should have any issue with a Christian as long as he pratice what he preaches.The Christian GOD is different from Allah and all the other gods includ.If all the other religion claim that their god is the only true god they is going to be a problem.The Christian GOD is a GOD of love, peace,patience goodness he protects his people from harm and danger.why Isreal is so small and powerfull?can i say it is because of their GOD, which is the same as the christians.why all those big and powerfull neighbours around Isreal cannot overcome her. If Allah is the only true God why are they so many problems in their country.what is Allah doing to help his faithful people who prays five times a day. Probaly he needs to be awaken out of his sleep.

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