ذَرْهُمْ يَأْكُلُوا۟ وَيَتَمَتَّعُوا۟ وَيُلْهِهِمُ ٱلْأَمَلُ ۖ فَسَوْفَ يَعْلَمُونَ
So let them eat and enjoy themselves and be diverted by false hope, for they will soon know.
Welcome to The Qarawiyyin Newsletter!
September marked the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, a day that changed the lives of millions worldwide. Invasion, war, torture, and imprisonment are only a few of the defining features of the subsequent War on Terror that has left the Muslim world devastated in the aftermath of the attacks.
Despite the US exit from Afghanistan, the War of Terror is far from over. The instability it has rooted within the Muslim world, from corrupt governments to poverty and underdevelopment, means the fate of future generations is already decided. Surveillance and censorship have become a norm within Muslim communities, with informant networks infiltrating mosques and counter extremist programmes intruding on our lives. The existence of detention centers such as Guantanamo Bay and the continued imprisonment of individuals like Aafia Siddiqui show that our fight is also far from over. May Allah make us successful.
A few weeks ago there was a protest held outside the FMC Carswell Military reserve base prison in Texas where Dr Aafia Siddiqui is currently imprisoned. Through the sincerity of the efforts; the power of du’a and the will of Allah, it has been relayed that she is now out of solitary confinement. For someone who spoke with such firmness and might, the voices in support of her are still too few. May Allah hasten her release.
This month’s newsletter features our latest podcast episode where we dissect the past two decades of the War on Terror, a resource bank to help break down and contextualise this very loaded period, and a comprehensive book list to get you on your way.
In the post 9/11 era, the Muslim world is heavily immersed in war and conflict, and much of the discourse is approached from a modern, secular framework, that largely ignores Islamic perspectives. Esra Kandur highlights the importance of Muslims in these conversations, and approaching them from a Godly paradigm.
With President Macron’s recent comments on Algeria, it’s imperative that we remember the crimes of the French, and not let a pretty picture of Paris cover up its brutal history. Musabika Nabiha writes on American exceptionalism and French colonisation, and the role of media in sanitising their pasts.
Following the 20-year memorial of September 11, 2001, we sit down to reflect on how this day has shaped the last two decades. Our Ummah has faced the physical, spiritual, and intellectual consequences of American imperial violence, which inspires and goads police states around the globe in their persecution of Muslims. How do we reckon with these effects, and where do we go from here?
Critical Readings on Political Violence & the Global War on Terror - Dr Asim Qureshi
We planned on putting together a book list focusing on the War on Terror, however Dr Asim Qureshi beat us to the punch and created this invaluable resource compiling critical readings on Political Violence & the Global War on Terror. An absolute goldmine, may Allah bless his efforts.
In the wake of the protests following the murder of George Floyd in the United States last year, five TQP contributors reviewed some relevant books on systemic anti-Black racism and how Muslims can work to uproot it through Islam.
Our February round up features additional titles and resources relating to Black Muslims and Blackness in Islam.
As well as periodically updating our resource bank, here we share some other insightful contributions from prominent Muslim figures and organisations.
VIDEO: Witnessing 20 Years of the War of Terror Conference - CAGE This month, CAGE organised a virtual conference dissecting the 20 years of the War of Terror, providing much needed nuance to a loaded and complex topic. Featuring a number of well-known speakers, the event is an important resource for those interested in understanding the various ways in which the Muslim community has been impacted by the so called 'War on Terror'.
RESOURCE: The Terror Trap - CAGE In this report, thirty international scholars provide a critical assessment of the U.S-led “counterterrorism” apparatus and its policies and tactics, which have criminalised and securitised Muslims in the U.S. and around the world.
ARTICLE: 16 Years Disappeared: One Woman’s Struggle to Find Her Husband - Amaliah An important interview with Amina M Janjua, whose husband was forcibly disappeared by Pakistani security services in 2005. She has founded the humans rights group 'Defence of Human Rights Pakistan', an organisation that advocates on behalf of families all over Pakistan who have also experienced the forced disappearances of their loved ones.
FUNDRAISER: Letters Behind Bars - Jarir Book store Jarir Bookstore has been actively working on fulfilling book requests that come from inmates across the nation requesting Islamic or Arabic Books. Receiving more than 100 requests each month via handwritten letters, emails and phone calls, this fundraiser campaign aims to provide inmates the books and literature that matches their educational and religious needs.
RESOURCE: Aafia Siddiqui: A case of lies and inconsistencies report There are varying narratives surrounding Aafia Siddiqui with inconsistencies continuously arising with regards to her case and detention. This document helps filter the facts from the fiction, uncovering the lies and distortions peddled by the US administration.
COURSE: The Names of Allah - Ustadha Jinan Yousef Based on her brilliant book 'Reflecting on the Names of Allah', Semester 2 of Ustadha Jinans The Names of Allah course has just kicked off, where she delves into what it means to truly know God ﷻ . You can get an insight into her book and the course on Episode 13 of The Qarawiyyin Podcast.
COURSE: Usul Academy Usul Academy is an online higher education institution established to deliver classical Islamic studies and contemporary subjects through an innovative and flexible approach for students across the globe. It aims to elevate the purpose of knowledge and root students in the Islamic tradition to help them face the challenges of modern life. It strives to fill the gap left by modern universities, and enable students to grow not only intellectually, but spiritually too. Applications for the 2021-2022 academic year are now open.
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Until next time, Assalaamu Alaykum.