Bloggers discuss the Mouled, violence and Mauritania
This week's review starts with an early greeting from Mesk Elil, for "the celebration of the Prophet Mohamed’s (PBH) birthday."
"March 31st…is a big celebration…that was established in the 11th century in Egypt. Some consider it an innovation…'Bid3a'…the night before this big event (in Algeria), we recite the Qur'an…we tell the life story of the prophet…The mosques are full…at night we light a candle for each member of the family, mothers apply henna…the kids play with fireworks…On the day of the Mouled mothers prepare Tamina (a cake made with grilled semolina, honey and butter)…we eat couscous with Rachta (a fresh pasta with a white sauce)…have a great holiday everyone," concluded the Algerian blogger.
Also about religion, Algerian scholar and blogger Mustapha Cherif responded to the question he believes many ask: "does the Muslim civilization encourage violence?"
The blogger argued that if "Islam in Arabic has the same root as peace," then Islam must be "anti-violence". He adds, "Islam as well as its Prophet commands all believers…to forgive, to be patient, and compassionate as a proof of piety when faced with adversity. The Qur'an gives as an example…Abel, who tells his brother Cain: 'If you raise your hand to kill me, I will not raise mine to kill you. I fear God, ruler of the universe'".
The blogger does not avoid talking about the conflicts the Muslim community has engaged in over the last 15 centuries. He states that "under Islam, war is an exceptional condition, imposed by circumstances and the enemy…self defence has been authorized by a revelation, but is strictly codified. Islam absolutely forbids all forms of aggression…it is against violence. There is therefore no holy war, but a just war, in the sense of an act of self defence…it is a collective obligation…to defend existence and freedom".
There was a very happy celebration on Addax following the Mauritanian elections. Fodé-Moussa Keita posted a piece by the BBC, noting that "Free elections were held in Mauritania, as promised by the military junta. Cheikh Abdallahi…won in the second round. This event contradicts the general idea that the African continent is sinking into dictatorship and that democratic breakthroughs do not exist. It also means that precedents like Senegal, Madagascar or Mauritius have been quickly forgotten. "
In her post "Methods and liberties," Nadia From Tunisia blogged about the potential conflicts between "combating extremism and terrorism and …freedom of expression." Referring to a referendum in Egypt to add a new article to the constitution which "implicitly targets the Muslim brotherhood [and] outlaws all political parties with religious roots, and will give authorities the authority to carry out surveillance operations, arrests, searches and wiretaps without warrants. [Even if we] believe in the necessity to combat the terrorist risk and to agree with the 'official' objective, we can't help but see that there is a certain danger threatening individual liberties in such initiatives."
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