Mr. Motiur Rahman Nizami, Chief of Jamaat e Islaami, Bangladesh which is the largest Islamist Political Party, was tried and convicted by the Supreme Court of Bangladesh and the sentence was carried out on 11 May 2016.
Mr. Nizami aided and abetted the genocide carried out by the Pakistan Army in 1971 perpetuating rape and death on an enormous scale.
We, at Muslims Facing Tomorrow condemn Turkey and Pakistan for protesting against the Justice that was carried out after being proven beyond a reasonable doubt by the Courts.
Turkey has to look at its own human rights record under President Erdogan, as to date it has the highest number of journalists imprisoned. Turkey also has an abysmal record of genocide against the Armenians.
Pakistan is a partner in crime with the Jamaat e Islaami and has the highest number of extra judicial killings by kangaroo courts set up by the Pakistan Army and is still carrying out crimes against humanity in the Province of Baluchistan.
Contact: Hasan Mahmud, General Secretary
Thursday, December 3, 2015
The Muslim reformation has begun! Here is our first call to action. Please go to Change(dot)org to sign the Declaration of the Muslim Reform Movement. We welcome all Muslims and our neighbors who believe, like us, in peace, human rights and secular governance.
We are Muslims who live in the 21st century. We stand for a respectful, merciful and inclusive interpretation of Islam. We are in a battle for the soul of Islam, and an Islamic renewal must defeat the ideology of Islamism, or politicized Islam, which seeks to create Islamic states, as well as an Islamic caliphate.
We seek to reclaim the progressive spirit with which Islam was born in the 7th century to fast forward it into the 21st century. We support the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by United Nations member states in 1948.
We reject interpretations of Islam that call for any violence, social injustice and politicized Islam. Facing the threat of terrorism, intolerance, and social injustice in the name of Islam, we have reflected on how we can transform our communities based on three principles: peace, human rights and secular governance. We announce the formation of an international initiative: the Muslim Reform Movement.
We have courageous reformers from around the world who have written our Declaration for Muslim Reform, a living document that we will continue to enhance as our journey continues. We invite our fellow Muslims and neighbors to join us.
A. Peace: National Security, Counterterrorism and Foreign Policy
1. We stand for universal peace, love and compassion. We reject violent jihad. We believe we must target the ideology of violent Islamist extremism in order to liberate individuals from the scourge of oppression and terrorism both in Muslim-majority societies and the West.
2. We stand for the protection of all people of all faiths and non-faith who seek freedom from dictatorships, theocracies and Islamist extremists.
3. We reject bigotry, oppression and violence against all people based on any prejudice, including ethnicity, gender, language, belief, religion, sexual orientation and gender expression.
B. Human Rights: Women’s Rights and Minority Rights
1. We stand for human rights and justice. We support equal rights and dignity for all people, including minorities. We support the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.
2. We reject tribalism, castes, monarchies and patriarchies and consider all people equal with no birth rights other than human rights. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. Muslims don’t have an exclusive right to “heaven.”
3. We support equal rights for women, including equal rights to inheritance, witness, work, mobility, personal law, education, and employment. Men and women have equal rights in mosques, boards, leadership and all spheres of society. We reject sexism and misogyny.
C. Secular Governance: Freedom of Speech and Religion
1. We are for secular governance, democracy and liberty. We are against political movements in the name of religion. We separate mosque and state. We are loyal to the nations in which we live. We reject the idea of the Islamic state. There is no need for an Islamic caliphate. We oppose institutionalized sharia. Sharia is manmade.
2. We believe in life, joy, free speech and the beauty all around us. Every individual has the right to publicly express criticism of Islam. Ideas do not have rights. Human beings have rights. We reject blasphemy laws, which are a cover for the restriction of freedom of speech and religion. We affirm every individual’s right to ijtihad, or critical thinking, and seek a revival of ijtihad.
3. We believe in freedom of religion and the right of all people to express and practice their faith, or non-faith, without threat of intimidation, persecution, discrimination or violence. Apostasy is not a crime. Our ummah–our community–is not just Muslims, but all of humanity.
We stand for peace, human rights and secular governance.
Please stand with us!
Affirmed this Third Day of December, Two-Thousand and Fifteen
Facebook: Muslim Reform Movement
Monday 19 October, 2015
Muslims Facing Tomorrow congratulates the Liberal Party and Mr. Justin Trudeau as the new Prime Minster elect of Canada.
We wish him well and hope he overcomes the challenges ahead including those of radicalization. MFT strongly stands by the democratic process which makes Canada the most vibrant and dynamic country.
PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Monday, 10 August 2015
The recent hacking to death of the Bangladeshi blogger Niladri Chattopadhyay, also known to his readers as Niloy Neel, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, is the fourth in recent months of such brutal killings of secular humanists for being critics of Islamism,.
Niloy Neel, 28-year old, was assaulted in his apartment in middle of the day by some unidentified assailants wielding machetes, and killed in the presence of his wife. Niloy’s murder on Friday, 7 August 2015, was preceded by similar assaults that took the lives of Ananta Bijoy Das in May, Washiqur Rahman in March, and Avijit Roy in February of this year. There were six other Bangladeshi bloggers killed in the previous two years, and most of the killers have not been identified and brought to justice by the police. Another activist Shakil Oronno was attacked thrice and was hospitalized for a long time.
The failure of the Bangladeshi government to aggressively investigate these murders has emboldened the killers. Niloy Neel had earlier approached the police to report death threats he had received from anonymous callers. The police, however, refused to file his complaint and told him instead to leave the country. The audacity of his killers reflect the complacency of the police, while the unwillingness of the government to bring to justice those organizations preaching politics of jihad greatly endangers the secular values enshrined in the Bangladeshi constitution.
Ansar al-Islam, an Islamist organization and branch of Al-Qaeda in the Indian subcontinent (AQIS), claimed responsibility for the killing of Niloy Neel and few others as an enemy of Islam. The voices of those brave individuals in Bangladesh speak out despite threats in defense of freedom of speech, and against Islamism and all forms of religious extremism.
We, at Muslims Facing Tomorrow and our friends in the Coalition of Progressive Canadian Muslim Organizations, are immensely shocked and saddened by the news of the brutal and systematic murder of individuals, such as Niloy Neel and others, by the loathsome, fanatical, and hate-filled Islamists on the loose in Bangladesh. We strongly and categorically condemn such acts, and we call upon the government of Bangladesh to protect its citizens from these murderers who kill in the name of their perverted version of Islam.
As a gesture of assisting in the arrest and trial of the assailants who killed Niloy Neel we, at Muslims Facing Tomorrow, and our friends offer Bangladeshi taka 100,000 to the individual or individuals who assist in identifying the assailants and help bring them to justice.
We are heartened that the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has strongly condemned the murder of Niloy Neel, and that his office has expressed deep concerns about these “gruesome” crimes and their effect on freedom of thought and freedom of expression in Bangladesh.
We urge the Canadian government and representatives of all political parties in Ottawa to join us in condemning the killings of secularist and freedom-loving bloggers in Bangladesh, and to demand that the government of Bangladesh move aggressively against the killers of these bloggers.
We will continue to hold the government of Bangladesh and the prime minister Sheikh Hasina with her ruling party, the Awami League, responsible for the indifference, or the inability, to protect the voices of secularism, humanism, and reason from the violence of Islamists until we see contrary evidence of the killers of bloggers brought to justice.
On behalf of Muslims Facing Tomorrow,
Press Release For Immediate Release February 18, 2015
The Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow is alarmed with the judgment of the Honourable Mr. Justice Keith M. Boswell of the Federal Court in declaring the requirement of removing face coverings by candidates during the administration of the oath of citizenship is unlawful. Justice Boswell delivered this decision in the case brought by Ms. Zunera Ishaq, a Pakistani national and permanent resident in Canada since October 2008, against the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. Justice Boswell agreed with Ms. Ishaq that removal of her niqab (full-face covering) would infringe her rights and freedoms protected under paragraph 2(a) and section 15(1) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
MFT strongly disagrees with this ruling. The claim of Ms. Ishaq, on the grounds of freedom of religion, that she is required to wear niqab because of her faith in Islam and in belonging to the Hanafi school or fiqh within Islam is untrue. Islam makes no such requirement as obligatory on Muslim women, and there is no such ruling made obligatory for Muslim women in Hanafi rites or jurisprudence within Islam. The wearing of full face covering by that small segment of Muslim women, such as Ms. Ishaq, is a custom turned into religious mandate by Muslim extremists in Pakistan, and elsewhere in Muslim majority countries, and such contentious mandate enforced in public by coercion is of recent origin.
MFT would make no objection to Ms. Ishaq’s claim if made on the basis of certain custom in which she was raised and which she adopted, and the Court accordingly found relief for her custom.
Instead for the Court to agree Ms. Ishaq’s rights as a Muslim woman would be infringed gives ironically credence to the argument of those extremist Muslims of certain political persuasion that believers in Islam are under duress in Canada, which is untrue. Moreover, this decision sets precedent for the argument that any imported custom by recently arrived immigrants, which runs counter to Canadian values (such as bigamy, polygamy, female genital mutilation, pedophilia, child marriage, etc.) yet if shown to be religiously mandated would then be protected under paragraph 2(a) and section 15(1) of the Canadian Charter and therefore be openly practiced in Canada irrespective of how contrary or outrageous such practice might be in respect to values and traditions of the majority of Canadians.
MFT supports Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s statement his government will appeal this decision. We hope that good sense among our justices will eventually prevail and this decision of the Federal Court will be struck down.
Contact: – Sohail Raza, phone: 416-505-1613
For Immediate Release February 5, 2015
The Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow fully supports Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his government’s Bill C-51 the Anti-Terrorism Act 2015.
As noted in our Vision statement on MFT’s website, we recognize the difficulties, threats, and challenges confronting Canada from radical extremist Muslims or Islamists declaring jihad (holy war) against those they consider infidels as well as Muslims who reject their ideology of Islamism. We anti-Islamist Muslims and opposed to Shariah as the basis of Islam, are committed to support our Federal government in Ottawa and to cooperate with security agencies at the federal and provincial levels in their effort to counter Islamists in our midst.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is right in indicating that freedom and security go together. We respect those who argue that an over-emphasis on security might lead to an infringement of freedom as guaranteed in our Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Hence, we need always to be on guard in protecting our fundamental rights. But Canada is one of the oldest democracies, and its democratic institutions of governance and independent judiciary have evolved to be vigilant in maintaining the proper balance between freedom and security. We, therefore, have confidence in our government and its various oversight committees not to infringe our freedom due to an over-reach in pursuit of security.
As Muslims we have the misfortune of experience on how Islamists have brought ruin to the world of Islam, and how the ideology of Islamism with its dogma of theocracy and the rule of Shariah based on medieval social customs and tribal values have suffocated the lives of Muslims in modern times. Prime Minister Harper has shown an understanding of this terrible reality of the Muslim world; of the toxic nature of Islamist ideology and of the role of mosques in spreading this toxic ideology, which we can confirm given our experience; and the real threat of global “jihadism” that we as Canadians are compelled to confront. The ideology of Islamism and the violence of armed jihad are intimately linked and inseparable, and this is why we in MFT support the robust measures for security set forth in Bill C-51.
Contact: Sohail Raza: phone 416-505-1613
What can Muslims do to reclaim their ‘Beautiful
Religion’? – A full page appeal in the New York
Times by Muslims fighting against Islamism
What can Muslims do to reclaim their ‘Beautiful Religion’?
As people observe beheadings and savagery by ISIS, female genital mutilations and honor killings, the abduction of girls by Boko Haram, the execution of innocents in Iran, the slaughtering and enslaving of Christians in Egypt and Africa and Yazidis in Iraq, rampant anti-Semitism and other crimes against humanity committed by those who claim to represent Islam, many people are understandably asking:
- What is the true nature of Islam?
- Is it that although there are many peaceful Muslims, Islam itself is not peaceful?
If Islam is a religion that stands for justice and peaceful coexistence, then the quest for an Islamic state cannot be justified as sanctioned by a just and merciful Creator.
Neither jihadism nor Islamism permit the equality of all humans irrespective of their race or religion and should therefore be rejected. Our denial and our relative silence must stop!
It is the duty of us Muslims to actively and vigorously affirm and promote universal human rights, including gender equality and freedom of conscience.
As our Holy Qu’ran states (4:135):
“Believers! Conduct yourselves with justice, bearing true witness before God, even if it be against yourselves, your parents, or your kin.”
We must engage in and promote reforms where necessary, including an honest and critical reinterpretation of scripture and shariah law used by Islamists to justify violence and oppression.
We must also recognize and loudly proclaim that the quest for any and all “Islamic State(s)” has no place in modern times. Theocracy, particularly, Islamism, is a proven failure. The path to justice and reform is through liberty.
It is also our responsibility to reclaim the faith we love from these monsters, forcefully rejecting and combating all components of their ideology.
If we Muslims believe that “true” Islam, genuinely aligned with the will of the Creator, is fundamentally peaceful, comprehensively merciful and objectively just, then it is our duty to do what is necessary to live and promote an Islam that is based in liberty and worthy of being called a beautiful religion.
We must seek out necessary support from non-Muslim allies in order to be successful in our work.
We the undersigned are Muslims who embrace a pluralistic interpretation of Islam, rejecting all forms of oppression and abuses committed in the name of religion or culture and particularly Islamism.
We are joined by non-Muslim allies who sign here to affirm their commitment as Americans to support those Muslims and all people of conscience who courageously speak out against these abuses and who advance reforms within our community.
- Sherkoh Abbas, Chair Kurdistan National Assembly of Syria, Washington, D.C.
- Tarek Fatah, Founder, Muslim Canadian Congress, Toronto, Canada
- Farid Ghadry, Reform Party of Syria, Washington, D.C.
- Iftikhar A. Hai, President, United Muslims of America, San Francisco, CA
- Dr. Tawfik Hamid, International Center for Countering Radicalism, Oakton, CA
- Husain Haqqani, Former Ambassador of Pakistan to U.S., Washington, D.C.
- Jamal Hassan, Council for Democracy and Tolerance, Baltimore, MD
- Sheikh (Dr.) Usama Hassan, Quilliam Foundation, London, UK
- Farzana Hassan, Director, Muslim Canadian Congress, Toronto, Canada
- Arif Humayun, President, Circle of Peace, Portland, OR
- Farahnaz Ispahani, Director, Americans for Pakistan, Washington, D.C.
- Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, American Islamic Forum for Democracy, Phoenix, AZ
- Naser Khader, Former Member of Danish Parliament, Copenhagen, Denmark
- Zainab Zain Khan, United Nations Association, Chicago, IL
- Courtney Lonergan, Arizona Interfaith Movement, Phoenix, AZ
- Hasan Mahmud, General Secretary, Muslims Facing Tomorrow, Toronto, Canada
- Salim Mansur, PhD., Professor, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada
- Maajid Nawaz, Co-Founder and Chairman, Quilliam Foundation, London, UK
- Raheel Raza, President, Council of Muslims Facing Tomorrow, Toronto, Canada
- Munir Pervaiz, President, Muslim Canadian Congress, Mississauga, Canada
- Oubai Shahbandar, Principle, Dragoman Partners, Washington, D.C.
- Jalal Zuberi, MD, Associate Professor, Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA
- Ahmad Vanya, Fellow, American Islamic Forum for Democracy, San Jose, CA
MFT Statement on the Killings in the office of a French magazine Jan 8, 2015
We in Muslims Facing Tomorrow (MFT) join Prime Minister Stephen Harper in sending our deepest condolences to the families of the victims of the Islamist terrorist attack at the office of the Parisian magazine “Charlie Hebdo” that left at least 12 people dead, including two police officers. We share our Prime Minister’s sentiments, as we are similarly angered and saddened, by the murderous rampage of three French-born Muslims mounting their terror campaign in the heart of Paris, France’s capital and one of the great and dearly loved cities of the world.
Those so violently murdered at the office of “Charlie Hebdo” are the latest count of the ever-increasing death toll of non-Muslims and Muslims at the hands of jihadists of Islamism, a fascistic and cruel and blood thirsty ideology that has run amok in our world.
We in MFT have repeatedly warned how Islamism threatens all of us. As Muslims we have experienced from inside how Muslim lands and cultures have been laid waste by this pernicious ideology masquerading as Islam. We have agonized watching how liberal democracies in the West, including our beloved Canada, have sought to accommodate Islamists on the mistaken view that if only their presumed grievances were addressed then they might shed their anger, their resentment, their alienation or whatever it is they harbour against us and become normal members of the civilized world.
Islamists do not want to be part of our civilized world. They are at war with it. They want to replace it with their Sharia-based vision for society. This is what people, and especially the politicians, in the West have to understand instead of being deluded that Islamists can be accommodated. Such an understanding of what the Islamists want is the least we in the West owe in mourning the dead at “Charlie Hebdo” and to the countless numbers of victims of the Islamist war against the civilized world – victims in Peshawar and Mumbai, Bali and Karachi, Jerusalem, Madrid, London, New York, and towns and villages dotted across the Middle East, Central and Southeast Asia, and Africa.
We in MFT recognize and without any apologetics acknowledge there is to be found within Islam and Muslim history reaching back to the earliest years an inherent streak or tendency to violence that has morphed in our time into Islamism. And the vast majority of Muslims who abhor Islamism, who balk at the thought of living in the modern age under the imposition of Sharia (or, in other words, medieval theocratic laws), who sense that unless Islamism is expunged from Islam any hope for the reform of their faith-tradition will remain stillborn, have failed Islam and themselves by not resolutely opposing Islamists.
We in MFT pray for the victims of Islamism and for their families. And we pray that our leaders grow the resolve that in defending liberal democracies in the West they must move all the available resources in defeating Islamists and Islamism.