Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sheikh Abdullah Bin Jibreen passes away

RIYADH/JEDDAH/BISHA – Sheikh Dr. Abdullah Bin Jibreen, one of the Kingdom’s senior Ulema and a former member in the Ifta Permanent Committee, died Monday at King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Riyadh after prolonged illness.

Funeral prayers will be performed Tuesday noon at Imam Turki Bin Abdullah Mosque in Riyadh.

Sheikh Jibreen, 78, was initially treated in Germany upon directives from King Abdullah, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. He returned to complete the treatment in the Kingdom.

One of the sheikh’s companions at the hospital said his heart stopped on Sunday but revived after electric shocks. There was no response when the heart stopped again on Monday, he said, noting the sheikh experienced a relapse last week and his condition deteriorated after an artery surgery. He added that the deceased also suffered complications of lung inflammation.

Several Ulema and thinkers expressed sorrow on the death of Sheikh Al-Jibreen and prayed to Allah to bestow His mercy on him and grant patience to his family members, relatives, students and the Muslim Ummah.

Dr. Muhammad Bin Saad Al-Shuwai’er, Adviser to the Kingdom’s Grand Mufti, said the Muslim Ummah owes Sheikh Al-Jibreen a right – that is, to pray that Allah bestow His mercy on him.

For more go here.

Racism and bigotry on the rise

AS someone who grew up in a multiethnic neighborhood of London, I have difficulty understanding why a growing number of Britons and other Europeans invest so much energy in hating others simply because of their religion or race. Are they fearful of people who are superficially different from them? Are they concerned about foreigners taking their jobs? Are they just hate-filled individuals in search of an easy target as an outlet for their own negative emotions or just easily influenced sheep who derive a sense of belonging from sharing their hate with co-members of right-wing or neo-Nazi parties?

Because I’ve always derived pleasure in mixing with people of different cultures who have given me so much in terms of understanding and knowledge, I would like to think that cross-cultural mingling would “cure” such contemptuous attitudes because, in the end, regardless of their color or garb, people are just people the world over. But, now, I’m not sure.

A very close British friend — let’s call him Brian — who has lived and worked abroad for most of his life, tells me that he supports the racist British National Party (BNP). His anger is palpable when our phone conversations occasionally turn to the subject of race. He maintains that the traditional face of Britain has been changed forever due to the influx of immigrants, whom he resents for failing to assimilate into the British way of life, preferring to reside within community pockets. “I want my country back,” he usually says. “What can we do about this? They should go back.”

“Go back to where?” I ask. “Most have been born in the UK. They are as British as you or I.” I then remind him of our country’s colonial past, which opened Britain’s door to “subjects” of Her Majesty and of the indisputable fact that the vast majority of his own friends are non-British. And I know, for a fact, that, although he is not particularly wealthy, he has been generous to many of them in terms of helping to pay for operations and even donating toward a Thai family’s aspirations to own a small farm. For more go here.