Sinclair Lewis’ 1935 Novel & Omar El Akkad’s Novel About Next American Civil War of 2074

(Brief Thought by F. Sheikh before the short introduction to Sinclair’s 1935 Novel. 

Azeem Farooki has shared short introduction of a 1935 novel “ It Can Happen Here” by Sinclair Lewis and eerily main character of the novel, who is running for President, is a photocopy of Donald Trump.

Few months ago Dr. Shoeb Amin wrote a Book review of “ American Nations” by Colin Woodard. This book basically narrates that North America is inhabited by 11 nations with distinct character and culture that goes beyond State’s boundaries and that character has not changed over centuries despite the influx of new immigrants. This led to conflicts and civil war.We have not fully resolved these conflicts. These conflicts are coming to forefront with full energy. The Author of the book suggests that if disintegration can happen in Russia, it can happen here also. Current situation in Catalonia Spain, which has its own distinct culture, also tells us how unthinkable can become a reality.

This brings us to a novel by Omar El Akkad “American War” written in 2017 but the events take place in the future 2074 when polarized America has sunk into second Civil War. The novel is written through the eyes of six-year-old, Sarat Chestnut who lives in Louisiana when Southern States, (Alabama. Georgia and Mississippi) declare independence. The oil has been banned due to extreme global warming. The Middle East has gotten its act together and has formed new united country “ The Bouazizi Union” which is helping Southern States to gain independence. Sarat Chestnut grows up and becomes a suicidal bomber for the cause of Southern independent State. All this scenario looks preposterous now, but if you have read “ American Nations” by Colin Woodard, it is worth reading riveting novel“ American War” by Omar El Akkad, who was born in Cairo, Egypt, and worked as a journalist for The Globe and The Mail. He covered war in Afghanistan, Guantanamo bay and Arab Spring. He received National Newspaper award in 2006. He lives now in Portland, Oregon.)  

Sinclair Lewiss  1935 novel 
 It’s an election year, in a time of economic uncertainty. Running for president is a ranting populist type who has a bestselling book that is part biography, and part shameless boasting. He promises to “make America a proud, rich land again,” rails against blacks, Jews, and Mexicans, and makes it a point of criticizing the press, whose editors he accuses of “plotting how they can put over their lies, and advance their own positions.”

No, this is not a description of 2016, and the candidate is not []Donald Trump—although you can be excused for thinking so. This is, instead, a character named Berzelius Windrip in Nobel Prize-winning author Sinclair Lewis’s 1935 novel, It Can’t Happen Here, a cautionary tale about how fascism comes to America. Although published over 80 years ago, Lewis’s novel seems especially relevant in the age of Trump. So relevant, in fact, that it recently became Amazon’s number one bestseller in the Classic American Literature category.

“The thing most resonant about the novel is it identified the conditions that were operative in 1935, and operative in the summer of 2016,” says Susan Medak, managing director of the Berkeley Repertory Theater, which staged a theatrical version of Lewis’s book in September. “What we wanted to share with the audience was there were high stakes in the election,” she adds. “[Trump’s] message of real hatred and bigotry spoke to this particular time again. The issue of gender is even in the original novel. The issues of freedom of the press were powerful. It took little effort to draw those parallels.”

posted by f.sheikh

From Satanic Verses To Charlie Hebdo By Kenan Malik

(A worth reading analysis and historic perspective by Kenan Malik on how Muslims in the West have reached a stage where their very existence is looked upon with suspicion. Kenan Malik is an author, speaker and broadcaster based in London. F. Sheikh) 

On 14 February 1989, Valentine’s Day, the Ayotollah Khomeini issued his infamous fatwa against Salman Rushdie. It was a brutally shocking act that forced Salman Rushdie into hiding for almost a decade.

26 years later, on 7 January 2015, came an even more viscerally shocking act, when two gunmen forced their way into the Paris offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, sprayed the room with machine gun fire, killing 12, and injuring another 11.

What I want to look at today is what each of these events represented, and how we made the journey from the one to the other.

When The Satanic Verses was published in September 1988, Salman Rushdie was perhaps the most celebrated British novelist of his generation. The novel was not, it’s worth reminding ourselves, a novel solely, or even primarily about Islam. It was, Rushdie observed in an interview, about migration, metamorphosis, divided selves, love, death, as well as an attempt to write about religion and revelation from the point of view of a secular person.

It’s also worth reminding ourselves that until the fatwa most Muslims had ignored the book. The campaign against The Satanic Verses was largely confined to India, Pakistan and Britain. With the singular exception of Saudi Arabia, whose authorities bankrolled the initial efforts to ban the novel, there was little anti-Rushdie fervour in the Arab world or in Turkey, or among Muslim communities in France or Germany. When at the end of 1988 the Saudi government tried to persuade Muslim countries to ban the novel, few responded except those with large Indian subcontinental populations, such as South Africa and Malaysia. Even Iran was relaxed about Rushdie’s irreverence. It was available in Iranian bookshops and even reviewed in Iranian newspapers.

It was the fatwa that transformed the Rushdie affair into a global conflict with historic repercussions. It was through the Rushdie affair that many of the issues that now dominate political debate – multiculturalism, free speech, radical Islam, terrorism – first came to the surface. It was also through the Rushdie affair that our thinking about these issues began to change.

To understand these changes, and how they led to a world in which the Charlie Hebdo killings became possible, I want to look at three issues of the post-issues of the Rushdie world that are particularly pertinent to this discussion.

The first is the changing character of Islam and of Muslim identity. Until the late 1980s the idea of a Muslim community barely existed in the West, while Muslim identity meant something different to what it does today.

Take Britain. The first generation of Muslims in the 1950s and 60s, largely from South Asia, were religious, but wore their faith lightly. Many men drank alcohol. Few women wore a hijab, let alone a burqa or niqab. Most visited the mosque only occasionally. Their faith expressed for them a relationship with God, not a sacrosanct public identity.

The second generation of Britons with a Muslim background – my generation – was primarily secular. Religious organizations were barely visible. The organizations that bound together Asian communities (and we thought of ourselves as ‘Asian’ or ‘black’, not ‘Muslim’) were primarily secular, often political.

It is only with the generation that has come of age since the late 1980s that the question of cultural differences has come to be seen as important. It was only now that the idea of a distinctly Muslim community emerged, as did a specific Muslim identity. Much the same process can be sketched out in France, in Germany, in the Netherlands.

The reasons for this shift are complex. Partly they lie in a tangled set of social and political changes, including the collapse of the left and of radical social movements. Partly they lie in international developments, from the Iranian Revolution of 1979 to the Bosnian war of the early 1990s, that helped foster a heightened sense of Muslim identity. Partly they lie in the growing influence of Saudi Arabia on Islamic institutions in the West and its aggressive promotion of Wahhabism. Partly they lie in the rise of the politics of identity, an issue I shall address shortly.

Read Full Article

posted by f.sheikh

Global Islaamic Calendar MUST Follow Makkah Islaamic Calendar

Global Islaamic Calendar MUST Follow Makkah Islaamic Calendar

EDITORIAL NOTE:  The purpose of posting this article is that TFUSA affiliates can read it and then critically analyze it, if they are interested.

By Irshad Mahmood – Director, Siraat-al-Mustaqeem Dawah Centre
Celebration of Eid and starting of Ramadaan has become a BIG Joke in the Global Muslim World, who are widely divided and celebrating their Eid, or starting their Fasting on 2 to 3 different days. Don’t forget that there is only one Sun, one Earth and its one Moon. Thanks to Allah, Fridays are not decided by moon sightings otherwise it could be real mess.

Time zones are for getting up time, sleeping time, breakfast, lunch and dinner time etc., and all these times are local.

1st January is Global, Friday is Global, Eid Day is Global, Lailatul Qadr is Global, Day of Arafah is Global and 1st Muharram is Global etc.

Hours, minutes, seconds are local like breakfast time is local, lunch time is local and dinner time is local etc., while Days, Months, Years are Global.

This is a Critical Issue. We need to remember that on the Day of Eid, Fasting is prohibited (Haraam). So we need to understand it with True and Sincere Love for Allah and with a broad mind.

Also keep in mind that the very First Global Lailatul Qadr was according to one Global Islaamic Calendar from Maghrib till Fajir in Makkah for the whole world, who are sharing same night with Makkah and the Day of Arafah 9th Dhil Hajj who are sharing same day with Makkah, at the time of Hajj is to unite the Muslim Ummah on one Global Islaamic Day, for only one thing: the Love for Allah alone on one Global Day of Arafa, i.e. 9th Dhill-Hajj Globally by sharing same day like sharing Friday globally.

Those who are Sharing Same Night with Kabah, Makkah must celebrate their Eid and Ramadaan same together, (Ref: Al_Quraan_097.005). Global Moon sighting must be observed around Makkah. At the time of Magrib (Sunset) in Makkah then people in the far east, who have not yet started their Fajir time, are sharing the same night. Also before time of Fajir at Makkah people on the far west, who have started their Maghrib (Sunset) time, are sharing the same night. Remember: Kabah in Makkah is Center of the Earth.

We may never Unite Muslim Ummaah, if we celebrate Eid/Ramadaan etc. on different days and also have different Worshipping Methods in this modern age with advanced technology. We must acknowledge all Muslims around the Globe.

We have seen, I am Right, you are right, we all are right. BUT it didn’t work and Ummaah is being butchered for centuries. The Great Mistake of a human is that “I am Right” (100%correct). If he is right, it is very good, BUT if he is wrong then it is WORST and he will never ever correct himself and might go to hell forever.

One must keep in his mind is that he could be wrong at some point and so he always needs to keep getting good knowledge by Listening to all BUT following the truth.

Allah already mentioned the solution of moon sighting in the Quraan very CLEARLY that it MUST be according to Makkah Islaamic Calendar globally depending upon Very First Visible Birth of the Moon near the House of Allah (Kabah for the whole world, NOT according to any specific region/area/house/ or backyard, and we must take guidance from the Quraan to perform Hajj for all Muslims around the Globe and not very specific to one region, do fasting in the month of Ramadaan and celebrate Eid, GLOBALLY and follow one Makkah Islaamic Calendar globally in the light of Quraan (book of guidance) (Ref: Al_Quraan_002.189, 003.096, 006.096, 010.005).

They ask you (Muhammad {Peace be Upon Him}) about the (visible) phases of the moon! Say, They provide a timing device for the Global People, and Determine the Time of HAJJ (in Makkah for the whole world Globally), and it is not righteousness that you should enter the houses by back doors, but righteousness is this that one should guard (against evil); and go into the houses by their (main) doors and be careful (of your duty) to Allah, that you may be successful, (Al_Quraan, { Surah Al-baqara} 002.189).

In the above verses Allah is clearly mentioning that the Phase of the Moon is to Determine the Time of HAJJ and Do Not create your personal calendar, rather build one unified Global Islaamic Calendar which must follow Makkah Islaamic Calendar.

Remember: Before the advancement of modern technological when communication was very slow even in Saudi Arabia different cities could have been celebrating Eid and Ramadan at different days like in Pakistan Muslims observing Eid and Ramadan on three different days still at the beginning of 21st Century. Universe is expending as per the Quraan (Ref: Al_Quraan.051:047) and thanks to Allah by the advancement of modern communication we can use modern tools like telescope for more accuracy and we already have very accurate data for moon sightings in Makkah, we can inform rest of the world in advance and celebrate Eid, Ramadaan etc., Globally according to Makkah Islaamic Calendar, regardless of whether in the far east in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Japan, China, Malaysia, Indonesia or Australia or New Zealand etc., people have not seen the crescent moon or in the far west in North America (USA, Canada or Mexico etc.) and South America (Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Chile etc.), WE MUST FOLLOW MAKKAH AND OBSERVE MAKKAH ISLAAMIC CALEDER for Global Muslims Unity. Yes we must use modern technology to observe Moon Sighting in around Kabaah in Makkah the first Qibla and the first House of Allah, since any modern technology which benefits humanity is Halaal, and we must announce it using modern technology as well.

Also keep in mind it will be hard to see the crescent moon in cities due to lights and pollutions etc. We should listen and observe to those in far remote areas near Kabah, Makkah, where there is less pollution, or even better, take advantage of modern astronomy. Not only Global Warming BUT Global Dimming and other unknown factors may be causing difficulty in sighting the Crescent Moon. Global Dimming was discovered just after 11-SEP-2001, when all the US flights were grounded for three days:

With the availability of Modern Technology, we must calculate crescent moon sightings and also physically verify moon sighting with the naked eye around Kabah in Makkah, and inform Global Muslim World and no one should look for the Moon Sighting in their backyard individually in the far north or south or east or west, instead Follow Makkah. It is not for your region in the far north or south or east or west, instead it is to perform HAJJ globally according to Makkah Islaamic Calendar. Every Month must start with the NEW Crescent MOON (Very First Visible Birth of the Moon) in around Kabah in Makah and announced it Globally. Invisibility of moon before New Crescent is like it is in mother’s womb and is not yet born.

Years, Months and Days are GLOBAL while Salaat Time is Local. Also the day JUMA is GLOABL while its prayers time is Local, and is similar to New Year on 1st January, but its breakfast, lunch and dinner etc. times are local.

Allah told to face Makkah means follow Makkah and get guidance from Makkah for Hajj, Umrah, Salaat, Ramadaan and Eid etc., and do not divide Religion Islaam, since those who Divide their Religion and break up into Sects, thou hast NO part in them in the least: their affair is with Allah, (Ref: Al_Quraan_002.125-129, 002.130-138, 002.142-144, 002.149-150, 002.189, 003.095-097, 003.103, 003.106, 006.096, 006.159, 010.005).

As an example to understand, if suppose Prophet Muhammad (sav) is alive today, and he has to start Ramadaan or celebrate Eid today, then which day will you do start fasting or celebrate Eid?

If in Kabah, Makkah (First House of Allah) and in Masjid-e-Nabvi in Madinah Munawwarah people start Ramadaan or celebrate Eid today, then which day will you do start fasting or celebrate Eid?

We must unite on ONE method of worship of Prophet Ibraheem (Peace-Be-Upon-Him), and we must take guidance from the Quraan (True Book of Guidance), Kabah in Makkah and must not divide ourselves on all religious issues including Salaat, Zakaat, Hajj, Umrah, etc., (Ref: Al_Quraan_002.001-005, 003.095-097).

If you are not following Makkah to Establish Salaat, Celebrate Ramadaan, Eid, Hajj etc., then you are dividing Religion Islaam and your matter is with Allah, (Ref: Al_ Quraan_002.125-129, 002.130-138, 002.142-144, 002.149-150, 002.189, 003.095-097, 003.103, 003.106, 006.096, 006.159, 010.005).

None argue concerning the revelations (Ayaat) of Allah but those who disbelieve…, (Ref: Al_Quraan_040.004).

Misguided Mullas do not preach the Quraan, do not follow the Quraan, do not understand Modern Sciences and keep their followers in the DARK.

Read Al-Quraan, the Miracle of Miracles and free from contradictions and errors

Investigations on Origin of Hadeeth Collectors

Investigations on Origin of Hadeeth Collectors
By Irshad Mahmood – Director, Siraat-al-Mustaqeem Dawah Centre

Three out of Four Khalifa were martyred / killed by Hypocrites. Ummah is widely divided and still not ready to research / investigation on what happened to this Ummah and how it got deviated and are still being wiped out one after another for centuries. There is no doubt on the Quraan and it is fully protected by Allah, BUT We MUST have to investigate on everything from the beginning of the birth of Prophet Muhammad (Peace-Be-Upon-Him). Here I would like to highlight on Origin of Hadeeth Collectors (Muhaddith). Not a single Muhaddith were born or ever lived in Makkah or Madina of Hijaz (present day Saudi Arabia). Hypocrites are like Cancers among Muslims and they MUST need to be exposed. We MUST need to verify all Hadeeth and accept those Hadeeth which are truly according to the Quraan.

1. AHMAD (Ibn Hanbal):

Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Hanbal Abu Abd Allah al-Shaybani (164–241 AH), was a Persian Islamic scholar.
Born:    Rabi-ul-I, 164 AH/November, 780 in Baghdad, Iraq.
Died:    12 Rabi-ul-I, 241 AH/2 August, 855 in Baghdad, Iraq.

2. AL-BUKHARI, Muhammad bin Ismail:

Abu Abd Allsh Muḥammad ibn Ismsil ibn Ibrahim ibn al-Mughirah ibn Bardizbah al-Jufi al-Bukhari (194 A.H.), was a Persian Islamic scholar.
Born:    19 July 810 C.E., 13th Shawwal 194 A.H., Bukhara, Transoxiana (in present-day Uzbekistan)
Died:    1 September 870 (aged 60) C.E., 1 Shawwal 256 A.H., Khartank, near Samarqand.

3. MUSLIM bin Hajjaj:

Abu al-Husayn Asakir ad-Din Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj ibn Muslim ibn Ward ibn Kawshadh al-Qushayri an-Naysaburi was born in 204 A.H. in the city of Nishapur near the city of Mashhad in present Iran, was a Persian Islamic scholar.
Born:    after 815, 204 A.H., Nishapur, Khorasan, (in present-day Iran).
Died:    May 875, Resting place     Nasarabad, (a suburb of Nishapur)

4. ABU DAUD, Sulaiman bin Al-Ashath:

Abu Dawud Sulayman ibn al-Ashath al-Azdi as-Sijistani (202 A.H.), was a Persian Islamic scholar.
Born:    817–18 CE, 202 A.H., Sigistan, a famous city in Khorasan, (in present-day Iran).
Died:    889 CE, Basra

5. AT-TIRMIDHEE, Abu Iesa Muhammad bin Iesa:

Abu Isa Muhammad ibn Isa as-Sulami ad-Darir al-Bughi at-Tirmidhi was born in 209 A.H. in a town called Tirmiz in Uzbekistan near the northern border of Afghanistan, was a PersianIslamic scholar.
Born:    824/ 209 A.H., Termez, now Surxondaryo Region, Uzbekistan.
Died:    9 October 892/ 13 Rajab 279 A.H. (aged 68), Termez, now Surxondaryo Region, Uzbekistan.

6. AN-NASAI, Abu Abdur-Rahman Ahmad bin Shuaib:

Abu Abdur-Rahman, Ahmad bin Ali bin Shuiaib bin Ali Al-Hafiz was born in 215 A.H. in Nisa, a city in Khurasan, was a Persian Islamic scholar.
Born:    214 A.H. (c. 829 CE), Nasa, present-day Turkmenistan.
Died:    303 A.H. (915 CE).

7. IBN MAJAH, Muhammad bin Yazid:

Abu Abdillah Muhammad ibn Yazid Ibn Majah al-Rabi al-Qazwini (207 A.H.) commonly known as Ibn Majah, was a Persian Islamic scholar.
Born:    824 CE, 207A.H. Qazvin.
Died:    887 (or 889) CE.

Map of Origin of Hadeeth Collectors:

Read Al-Quraan, the Miracle of Miracles and free from contradictions and errors