Copyright © 2003-2011, Aishah Schwartz. Permission granted to circulate among private individuals, groups, or in not-for-profit publications in full text and subject title. All other rights reserved.

December 31, 2009

MWA Director Aishah Schwartz to Join Gaza Freedom March TODAY!

I apologize for the delayed update! YES! Al-hamdulillah, we have arrived and spent our first night in GAZA!!

I do not have time to elaborate, but those who wish to will march today in solidarity with the Palestinian people in their quest for freedom and justice will march hand-in-hand. Those who wish to 'observe' from the sidelines - will.

The way I feel about it? The point of being here was SOLIDARITY. We left Cairo divided. We went through our journey divided. And sadly the delegation remains divided to this very minute. I am saddened and deeply disappointed. I could not think for one minute to back peddle now and not participate; some may not - but I will march - knowing Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala is our Protector.

Please remember us in our duas, insha'Allah.

FYI - we are only about 86 strong - emphasis on the word STRONG.
P.S. - To Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak; I am sure that word will reach you about a decision on the part of members on one of our two buses, to not accept the welcome gift of chocolates, roses and juice delivered to us by representatives of the Egyptian Red Crescent, to not accept the gesture of hospitality. (I was not on that particular bus.) It is my belief that this was due simply to a misunderstanding, for which I sincerely apologize.

P.S.S. - Also, contrary to what you may hear elsewhere, we have been treated with warmth and enthusiasm, we have been extended every hospitality, and we did not have any difficulty at immigration.

December 29, 2009

MWA Director, Aishah Schwartz Among 100 Chosen to Join Gaza Freedom Solidarity March Departing from Cairo Dec. 29

This is it everyone; the Egyptian government has granted permission for 100 delegates to proceed onward to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people in their March for Freedom.

And I am one of the 100, that is quickly dwindling down as protestors outside the bus chant, "All or none." "All or none."

All I can say is - nothing happens without the permission of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala. I came here independently. Every step of my journey has been facilitated. Sitting beside me is a sister from Norway, Margrethe Salvesen - she is shouting even  ow from the doorway of the bus to the crowd on the sidewalk - "There are no voices in Gaza! This is not a war!"

I agree. I said to Margrethe, and I said to those on the bus, "If you are a believer, trust God. You are here for a reason. Don't get off this bus."

Outside roughly 300 chant, "We stand divided!" "We stand divided!"

To which we reply, "You don't live in Gaza! You don't live in Gaza!"

I will do my best over the next 48-hours to keep everyone updated.

Trip of a lifetime? I suspect so.

Please remember the delegation, and the Palestinian people in your prayers. Jazakallahu khairan.

P.S. I've just been handed a bag for delivery to the Katthan Center in Gaza; the woman pleading with me to take it. I will.


UPDATE (2:51 PM EG) – Marina has reported via telephone that the group members are being released one-by-one after passing through an office in the Embassy. She hasn't had her turn yet, details additional details are not available. The good news is that the incident is resolving itself and it was not reported that any of the group members had been harmed.
Contact Marina Barakau
Mobile: 0197412890

CAIRO, EGYPT (GFM) Dec. 29, 2009 – In downtown Cairo this afternoon Gaza Freedom March (GFM) advocates, including a group of roughly 30 U.S. citizens, are being detained in three separate quarantine areas within the U.S. Embassy's Garden City compound.

PHOTO RIGHT: A similar scene took place in front of the French Embassy in Cairo on Dec. 27, 2009. (Aishah Schwartz)

In a telephone interview with Muslimah Writers Alliance Director, Aishah Schwartz, GFM women's group organizer, Marina Barakau stated, "American citizens and 1,400 Gaza Freedom March advocates from 43 countries worldwide are demanding that the illegal siege of Gaza be lifted."

"We also ask how it is that an alleged democratic government could willingly participate in the detainment of its own citizen nationals at their own Embassy, and further demand that all due diligence be exercised in securing our immediate release," Barakau added.

Barakau stated she has also contacted the group's legal council coordinator, Sally Newman.

In the meantime, three members of the detained U.S. citizen group are meeting with U.S. officials in the Embassy's offices.

VIDEO (begin at 2:12 mark) 

Muslimah Writers Alliance Director, Aishah Schwartz and Gaza Freedom March Delegates Meet with Cairo's Alwafd Editor-in-Chief, Said Abd El Khalek

More at

A message of solidarity with THE GAZA FREEDOM MARCH from Roger Waters of Pink Floyd

PHOTO ABOVE: Demonstrators in front of French Embassy - 1:30AM, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2009 (Aishah Schwartz)

CAIRO, EGYPT (Dec. 27, 2009) – My name is Roger Waters. I am an English musician living in the USA. I am writing to express my great admiration for and solidarity with the 1360 men and women from 42 different countries around the World who are gathering in Egypt, preparing for The Gaza Freedom March.

We all watched, aghast, the vicious attack made a year ago on the people of Gaza by Israeli armed forces and the ongoing illegal siege. The suffering wrought on the population of Gaza by both the invasion and the siege is unimaginable to us outside the walls.
(PHOTO LEFT: The same scene from above just five minutes later. Demonstrators barricaded between the curb of the sidewalk and the iron gate surrounding the Embassy compound. Shockingly disturbing and currently the wallpaper on my mobile; marking the impact of watching the 'human shield' cross the street in unison to block the protestors from public view. - Aishah Schwartz)

The aim of The Freedom March is to focus world attention on the plight of the Palestinian people in Gaza in the hope that the scales will fall from the eyes of all, ordinary, decent people round the world, that they may see the enormity of the crimes that have been committed, and demand that their governments bring all possible pressure to bear on Israel to lift the siege.

I use the word ‘crimes’ advisedly, as both the siege and the invasion have been declared unlawful by United Nations bodies and leading human rights organizations. If we do not all observe international law, if some governments think themselves above it, it is but a few short, dark, steps to barbarism and anarchy.

The Gaza Freedom March is a beacon to all those of us who believe that under the skin, we are all brothers and sisters, who must stand shoulder to shoulder, if we are to make a future where all have recourse to law and universal human rights.

Where life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is not just the preserve of the few. All the oil in The Middle East is not worth one child’s life. So to those of you who march, I tip my hat. It is a brave and noble thing you do, and when you reach your goal please tell our Palestinian brothers and sisters, that out here, beyond the Walls of their Prison, stand hundreds of thousands of us in solidarity with them.

Today, hundreds of thousands, tomorrow, millions, soon, hundreds of millions.

We Shall Overcome.

Roger Waters

GAZA FREEDOM MARCH thought for the day...

"Sometime our efforts are deemed as small or even 'insignificant', but what those with closed minds cannot or refuse to see is that, in the grand scheme of things, those collective efforts manifest inspiration in others that creates a wave of effort that ultimately, insha'Allah, cannot be ignored." - Aishah Schwartz
Photo: CodePink Gaza Freedom March advocate, Cairo, Egypt.

Photo: CodePink Gaza Freedom March Demonstrator. Cairo, Egypt

December 27, 2009

GAZA FREEDOM MARCH UPDATE: Activities in Cairo, Dec. 27, 2009

GAZA FREEDOM MARCH UPDATE: Egyptian Security Forces Detain Gaza Freedom Marchers in el-Arish and Shut Down Gaza Memorial in Cairo

Medea Benjamin | | Egypt (18) 956-1919
Ann Wright | Egypt (19) 508-1493
Ziyaad Lunat | Roaming +351938349206

CAIRO, EGYPT (GFM) Dec. 27, 2009 - At noon on December 27, Egyptian security forces detained a group of 30 activists in their hotel in el-Arish as they prepared to leave for Gaza, placing them under house arrest. The delegates, all part of the Gaza Freedom March of 1,300 people, were Spanish, French, British, American, and Japanese. The Egyptian security forces eventually yielded, letting most of the marchers leave the hotel, but did not permit them to leave the town. When two younger delegates, a French and Japanese woman, attempted to leave el-Arish, the Egyptian authorities stopped their taxi and unloaded their luggage.

Another group of eight people, including citizens from American, British, Spanish, Japanese and Greece, were detained at the bus station of Al Arish in the afternoon of December 27. As of 3:30 PM, they were still being held.

Simultaneously, Egyptian security police broke up a commemoration of the Israeli invasion of Gaza organized by the Gaza Freedom March at Kasr al Nil Bridge, one of the main bridges connecting Zamalek Island, in the middle of the Nile, to Cairo. As a nonviolent way of commemorating the more than 1300 Palestinians killed in the Israeli assault on Gaza that began a year ago on December 27, 2008, Gaza Freedom Marchers tied hundreds of strings with notes, poems, art and the names of those killed to the bridge.

"We're saddened that the Egyptian authorities have blocked our participants' freedom of movement and interfered with a peaceful commemoration of the dead," said Ann Wright, one of the March's organizers.

Wright added that the Gaza Freedom March participants are continuing to urge the Egyptian government to allow them to proceed to Gaza. They visited the Arab League asking for support, various foreign embassies and the Presidential Palace to give in an appeal to President Mubarak.


Gaza Freedom March Update from Cairo Egypt and Delegate, Aishah Schwartz

Preparing to head out for an interview at the offices of the Cairo's Alwafd newspaper, together with Jane Manai, a Muslimah Activist from France, and Gaza Freedom March a representative for CodePink, in support of the ongoing efforts in appealing to the Egyptian government to allow Gaza Freedom March delegates to enter Gaza. To commemorate the Israeli invasion and massacre in Gaza that resulted in the tragic loss of more than 1,400 lives and injuries to over 5,400, including 300 children over a 23-day period that began on Dec. 27, 2008, delegatess will stage a candle-light vigil and silent protest later this evening in front of the Lawyers Syndicate in downtown Cairo.

December 23, 2009

Support the Gaza Freedom March - Send YOUR Letter Today, Insha'Allah!

From: Aishah Schwartz []
Sent: Wednesday, December 23, 2009 5:05 PM
To: ''; ''
Subject: URGENT Message Regarding Gaza Freedom March
Importance: High


TO: Embassy of Egypt, Washington, D.C. and the Palestine Division in Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cairo

Assalamu Alaikum wa Rahmatuallahi wa Barakatuhu,

I am writing today to express my full support for the December 31, 2009 Gaza Freedom March and I urge the Egyptian government to allow the 1,300+ international delegates arriving from 42 countries, to enter the Gaza Strip through Egypt.

The aim of the march is to call on Israel to lift the siege on Gaza. The delegates will also take in badly needed medical aid, as well as school supplies and winter jackets for the children of Gaza.

I beseech you; please, for the sake of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala, to let this historic March and its participants proceed unhindered. Insha'Allah I will be among them.

Jazakallahu khairan.


Aishah Schwartz
Communications Director
Writer & Publications Consultant
MAS Freedom
1325 G Street NW, Suite 500
Washington DC 20005

"A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination." - Nelson Mandela



The Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, "One who helps a fellow Muslim in removing his (or her) difficulty in this world, Allah will remove the formers distress on the Day of Judgment. He who helps to remove the hardship of another, will have his difficulties removed by Allah in this world and in the Hereafter. One who covers the shortcomings of another Muslim, will have his faults covered up in this world and the next by Allah. Allah continues to help a servant so long as he goes on helping his own brother (or sister)." (Muslim)

November 27, 2009

Welcoming Eid Al-Adha

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Assalamu Alaikum wa Rahmatuallahi wa Barakatuhu!

May Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala bless you
and your loved ones
with a joyous celebration
on the glorious occasion of Eid Al-Adha,
and may He accept your sacrifices,
forgive your sins,
multiply your rewards,
grant you good health and happiness,
count you among the righteous in His worship,
and reward you with the highest levels in Paradise. Amin.
Eid Mubarak!
Wa'Salaam Alaikum,

The Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said,
"One who helps a fellow Muslim in removing his (or her) difficulty in this world,
Allah will remove the formers distress on the Day of Judgment.
He who helps to remove the hardship of another,
will have his difficulties removed by Allah in this world and in the Hereafter.
One who covers the shortcomings of another Muslim,
will have his faults covered up in this world and the next by Allah.
Allah continues to help a servant
so long as he goes on helping his own brother (or sister)."

Aishah's Islamic Journey

September 22, 2009

How the Grinch Stole Ramadan - the Rest of the Story...

By Aishah Schwartz
Sept. 21, 2009

In my days of reflection this Ramadan I experienced and felt many things, one of which, of course, was hunger! While feeling hungry may have caused some to think of, pray for, or extend a random act of charity for the hungry in this world, for me the awareness of hunger brought to mind something completely different altogether. 

I paused to reflect on the countless other people in the world sitting very much alone, like me, taking every suhoor alone and breaking their fast alone…in fact, when I first came to Egypt, I met a woman who had done just that – for TWENTY YEARS after her husband died and her four children had all gone on with their own lives, raising their own families. They visited her, of course, but in those notable hours of Ramadan – she, like me, like so many others – was "home alone".

So, while many remembered the hungry in Ramadan; I remembered the lonely. 

In remembering the lonely, I also paused to reflect on the state of the Muslim Ummah, asking myself again and again – how? Why? Can it truly be that we are so preoccupied with our own lives that we either cannot or refuse to see what is in front of our eyes?

One of the most talked about teachings of Islam is to be a good neighbor; something that, particularly in Ramadan, we should strive all the more to be.

However, as one day moved into the next throughout Ramadan – my neighbors and friends were all so preoccupied with their own lives that nary a one stepped up-to-the plate in inviting me for Iftar or to join them for taraweeh at the mosque. I even asked five different people (via sms) if anyone could let me know what time the Eid prayer would be - and you guessed it; no replies. 

How could that be?!? One might ask.

Indeed, we should ask.

We should ask ourselves – are we truly good neighbors? 

And closer to home – to all who are reading – do you know a new Muslim? 

Many new Muslims come from backgrounds in Christianity, where, like myself, we spent our congregational time in warm, inviting environments, despite that fact that we ultimately felt that somehow there was something missing in our religious experiences; thus we came to Islam.

But after coming to Islam, the "trouble with new Muslims" – as I have so often heard – is that we take things quite literally; like the teaching to be a good neighbor; like the message of charity and of doing good deeds.

Now, I am not going to offer a listing here of those things that I did in Ramadan for the sake of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala, but I am going to implore each and every one of you, for the sake of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala; take off the blinders – and reach out to your neighbor – reach out to a new Muslim; it's never too late – and the reward is oh, so great, insha'Allah. 

How the Grinch Stole Ramadan (the poem)
Do YOU Know a New Muslim?

September 20, 2009

Sami Yusuf-The Day of Eid

When all else fails...Eid Takbir is on YouTube!

This is really beautiful, but there is no replacing the experience of hearing it LIVE as Muslims march to the mosque for the Eid prayer - with the sound echoing off the walls of the surrounding apartment buildings laced along narrow streets in Alexandria, Egypt - it is surreal to say the least.

September 19, 2009

How the Grinch Stole Ramadan

From a Muslim land far, far away
a little Muslimah waited day after day
For a greeting; an invite
a single Muslim to share one bite
In a time known for its charity
there was no sign of familarity
She pondered and prayed;
puzzled that their goodwill should be delayed
Oh Allah, Oh, Allah! How can it be?
there is not even one to share of their tea!
Eid morning is here and she strains to hear
but there is not even the sound of Eid morning takbeer!
Oh Allah! Oh Allah! I give thanks to Thee!
for with my two cats; together we make three!
And this afternoon while they're all at their feasts
my two cats and I will share our roast beast!
Eid Mubarak.

Eid Greetings from Aishah Schwartz

Hijab - A non-muslim woman experiments

Interesting perspective, for sure - although I can't say I agree 100% with the selection of images used in the video's production...

September 15, 2009

Aishah's Islamic Journey Selected Top Muslim Blog!

What are YOU Grateful for Today?

YouTube - Surah Al-Hujurat Recitation by Sheikh Meshary Bin Rashid Al-Alfasy (with English translation of the meaning) Bismillah. What do we have to be grateful for today? Surah Al-Hujrat 49:15 "They make it a favour unto thee (Muhammad) that they have surrendered (unto Him). Say: Deem not your Surrender a favour unto me; but Allah doth confer a favour on you, inasmuch as He hath led you to the Faith, if ye are earnest." This serves as a reminder of the blessing of the gift we have in Islam and the opportunity to be chosen to work for Allah's dean. If it wasn't Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala guiding us, we would be in the darkness of Shirk. If it wasn't Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala guiding us, we would be living as many people; a life with no goals or purpose. I cried all the way through it.

September 13, 2009

VIDEO: Why You Should NOT TextWhile Driving (Very Graphic)

EVERY driver should see this, especially teenagers. It is very graphic and is recommended for 18 and older but if they wait till 18 to see it, they may not reach 18. PARENTS: Watch this by yourself first then WITH your kids. Explain to them that if they HAVE TO phone or text, pull over and stop in a SAFE location first, THEN use the phone. After you watch the text messaging while driving video, play the video below, it'll help ou feel better, insha'Allah. Facebook | Videos Posted by Mark Baker: Texting While Driving (Very Graphic) Shared via AddThis

Surah Al Qadr Mishary Alafasy With Translation

Isn't Ramadan about more than just having to wait a little longer between meals? We are in the last days of Ramadan; it is my dua that we will all reflect a little on what it is really all about... It is reported from Abu Hurairah that he said: "When the month of Ramadan came, the Messenger of Allah sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam said: "The month of Ramadan has come, a blessed month in which Allah has made it obligatory for you to fast; in it the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of hell are closed and the devils are chained. In it is a night better than a thousand months, whoever loses the benefit of it has lost something irreplaceable." (Narrated by Imaam Ahmad. This was also narrated by An-Nasaa’i.) It is reported on the authority of Abu Hurairah, that Allah’s Messenger sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam said: "Whoever stood in prayer on the night of Al-Qadr, in faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, he will have all of his previous sins forgiven." (Narrated by Al-Bukhaari and Muslim). Dare we think that we haven't sinned so much that we are not in need of the rewards and blessings of the night of Al-Qadr? May Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala forgive us and guide us. Amin. Please listen to this beautiful recitation Suratul Qadr - and pass it on, insha'Allah!

September 02, 2009

Suspects Scam Florence County Residents Using Cancer Patient's Name

It is a shame that Kylie's case has been taken advantage of in this way. As the story indicates, and as I have also previously announced, Kylie is in remission or cancer-free, and doing well.
Suspects scam Florence County residents using cancer patient's name | SCNow Shared via AddThis

On The MAP - Episode 1

MAS Media Foundation presents, "On the MAP", The Muslim American Perspective - An online News Magazine Show featuring community stories told by community members. Muslim Jewish Art Festival - Raleigh, NC watch more performances from the Artfest: Americans for Palestine with George Galloway - Dallas, TX For full speech of George Galloway in Dallas - The Muslim Green Team - Santa Clara, CA To get involved or to share your community stories contact us at:

Raw Video: Obama Holds Ramadan Dinner

It would be so cool to be invited to this one day...

August 09, 2009

Relationship Advice

Below is a slightly modified listing of relationship tips I pulled together from a random search this morning as I was taking one of my adventures into the depths of the internet forest. I posted the first one as a status item on my FaceBook page which just kept rolling. *lol* At the request of others appreciating the original posting, I have turned it into a "Note" so that it may be shared. Enjoy! Oh, and as I said to a sister suggesting I consider advising another sister struggling with relationship issues: "My personal relationship success (or shall I say *lack thereof*), would most certainly not qualify me as a guide to anyone on a personal level...other than to say I can tend to be better at the finding good advice aspect vs. the implementing it into my own life aspect! Of course, nothing happens without the permission of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala, so I figure the Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala just has another/better plan for me! *smile* When I get it figured out, I'll share!" *lol* On the flip-side…the dilemma might not seem so impossible if I could meet brothers who didn't propose with the condition that the marriage be "secret" – astifurgallah al-Azeem (that was ANOTHER status post!) Oh, so let me add this to the list (see bottom).

  • You need a steady diet of intimacy and the other person’s presence to remember why you’re in the relationship. If you don’t see each other often enough, you can start to lead parallel lives instead of lives that intersect.
  • Absence does not make the heart grow fonder; it's an invitation to wander...
  • Phone calls or text/sms messages aren’t substitutes for real conversation.
  • Give your partner the gift of undivided attention and see if she or he doesn't find that the most romantic thing going.
  • Be a good listener. Allow your partner to talk about whatever it is on his/her heart/mind. Listen without trying to fix it all. Let your partner answer your questions without finishing his/her sentences, interrupting, or moving on to the next topic.
  • Is your partner into computers while you don't know a mouse from a monitor? Or is she into gardening, but to you a rose is just a rose? Give your partner the gift of your interest in something that is important to him or her. Go ahead, ask him/her a question about it and see the smile light up his or her face.
  • There is nothing like being in a great relationship. There is nothing like being seen and known by the one you love, and seeing and loving back. Whatever you need to do to get there, do it.
  • It doesn't matter if you have been "unlucky in love." All that matters is that you take the steps necessary to build a great relationship. It is essential these be different steps than the ones you have taken in the past.
  • How can you get bored with your partner when your needs are being met, when you have great communication, when you feel loved and love back? Could you ever be bored with that? What people think of as boredom is actually the accumulated weight of unspoken resentments and anger squeezing the life out a relationship.
  • Let go of the past. Clear the way for it by dropping the baggage from your past. Baggage here refers to resentments, hurts and fears towards anyone that was either a role model or participated directly in a relationship with you
  • Some people carry their hurts, resentments and fear as badges of honor, or learn from them as if they were indisputable... Read More lessons life was trying to teach.
  • They are neither. They are byproducts of unfortunate situations and your baggage. The sooner you can truly let go of this baggage the less likely you are to recreate bad situations.
  • Take a personal inventory of how you act in relationships. Why? If your past relationships have not worked out, you are at least 50% responsible.
  • Your needs are THE criteria for choosing a partner. Be sure to choose a partner that will satisfy your long term not your short term needs. Choosing a partner out of short term needs is tantamount to setting yourself up for failure. Short term need - what you need now. Long term need - what you will always need.
  • Establish and honor boundaries; or limits. To know and honor your limits builds your self esteem, while earning the respect of others.
  • Why do you need to have boundaries in a loving relationship? Even the best of partners will inevitably do some things that will not be OK with you. If you say nothing, your partner will not know or pay attention to affecting you negatively. That will be the start of a good relationship going bad.
  • Boundaries also greatly enhance your ability to select the right partner. The wrong partner will cross your boundaries fairly early into the relationship. If you are aware, the wrong partner can be quickly recognized.
  • Ask yourself not what you want from your relationship, but what you need. What can you not live without? What do you need to thrive? What do you need from a partner day to day?
  • To purge fantasy from your definition, ask yourself what you want from another that you are not willing to do or be yourself.
  • How do you socialize? If you want to meet your ideal partner, stop looking for her or him. Socialize as a way to create a rich, satisfying life and as way to create a supportive, vibrant community. Be social to enhance your life and not to look for a partner. When you life works and you are happy, the right partner will be drawn to you.
  • Shift your focus away from attracting a partner and wanting a relationship. Instead focus on creating the kind of life you want.
  • Strengthen your faith. Inevitably, at one point or another in the process of finding the right person to spend your life with, you will feel as if you are getting nowhere. Faith will be the one thing you will have to count on.
  • Having faith will keep you from going back to old behaviors in an effort to speed up results.
  • P.S. – If the relationship needs to be "secret" – it's a relationship you DON'T NEED TO BE IN!!!
This list has been adapted from information found here. Please note that the reference is not to be construed as an unequivocal endorsement.

July 23, 2009

Muslim Women Sign 'Jihad Against Violence'

By Adam Gonn MALAYSIA (The Media Line) July 19, 2009 - The Global Muslim Women's Shura Council meeting in Malaysia on Sunday launched an initiative called "Jihad Against Violence." 200 Muslim women from all over the world are taking part in the Women's Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality (WISE) conference in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur. The participants include women rights activists, religious scholars, lawyers and community leaders. The Global Muslim Women's Shura Council is an all-women's advisory council that aims to promote women's rights within an Islamic framework. "It is basically Muslim women striving for peace" Daisy Khan, Executive Director of the American Society for Muslim Advancement and WISE Conference organizer told The Media Line. "We expect the campaign to be launched globally, because we believe that violence has become a human phenomenon that exists across diverse cultures and communities. It remains an ever-present reality in the lives of millions of women." Khan said. "We have launched the Jihad Against Violence in particular because we believe it's a clear injustice to those who suffer such indignation. It's also a violation of the teachings of Islam whose mantra is wrongfully used to justify violence." At the conference, participant Dilshad D. Ali commented on that "Instant polling on the first day revealed that these women felt that the biggest barrier to Muslim women's advancement was harmful religious interpretation." WISE says its aim is to address the current lack of women's participation in contemporary debates about the political, social, and religious concerns of Muslim women in the global community. "90 percent of the participants have signed the declaration on Jihad Against Violence. The few people that have not signed on because they come from conflict areas where they feel they have a right to self-defense and this is their only objection," Khan said. The status of women in Islam is a widely debated subject both within and outside the Muslim world. According to a recent survey in Jordan, 81.4 % of 5,000 women polled felt they were being treated unjustly due to existing traditions and customs. But only 14% held Islam responsible for the discrimination. Jordan is considered to be a more liberal and open Muslim country than Saudi Arabia, where women are not allowed to drive or leave their house without a male relative acting as a guardian. Bahrain's Supreme Council for Women recently announced the launch of a major campaign for equal nationality rights in that country. The organization is urging a revision of Article 4 of the Bahraini Citizenship Law, which does not allow equal nationality rights for women. Under existing law, women citizens of Bahrain married to foreigners do not have the right to pass on their nationality to their husbands or children, even if they are born on Bahraini soil. RELATED:

WISE Conference 2009 International News at WLUML WISE Muslim Women in Malaysia Photos from Stuart Taylor of Demotix Women's Islamic Initiative in Equality and Spirituality Conference (WISE) at BeliefNet WISE Malaysia Conference Press Release The Muslim View ------ MAS Freedom's Aishah Schwartz, founder and director of Muslimah Writer Alliance and invitee to both the first WISE conference in New York (2006), and the July 2009 Malaysia conference, was unable to attend; however, as a former steering-committee member and Muslim woman, remains strongly committed to WISE initiatives.

July 05, 2009

Final Thoughts on Michael Jackson

Alot can be said about this video; one way or another, but no matter what side of the fence you choose to stand on - there is no denying that Michael Jackson was who he was. Whether he died having embraced Islam or not only Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala knows - but the fact remains that the enormity of his personality and the global consciousness of who he was, will surpass any of our individual or collective efforts to make generations of admirers pause to consider the question, "What is Islam?" Think about it...

Nation Celebrates Independence Day

Almost like being home...

June 10, 2009

Aspartame Kills!

UPDATE: Venezuela Bans Coke Zero, Cites 'Danger to Health' CARACAS 

(Reuters) June 10, 2009 – The Venezuelan government of U.S.-critic President Hugo Chavez on Wednesday ordered Coca-Cola Co. to withdraw its Coke Zero beverage from the South American nation, citing unspecified dangers to health.

Every once in a while something grabs my attention that makes me feel compelled to stand up and shout! So, today's Public Service Announcement is about Aspartame.

Aspartame: What is it? (read more here: I highly recommend, especially for anyone using "diet" products, that you check out the World Natural Health Organization's official Yahoo group at:

The World Natural Health Organization's official web site is located at: 

Get the latest news on the fight to ban Aspartame here:


December Headlines:  
09 Dec 2005 - FDA's Nasty Proposal For "Mystery Milk" (And Aspartame) For Ice Cream  
09 Dec 2005 - Soft Drinks Reportedly Linked To Health Problems  
09 Dec 2005 - Organic Consumers Association Urges California Attorney General To Investigate Splenda Advertising Campaign  
08 Dec 2005 - Aspartame Industry Front Group, Calorie Control Council's Legal Objections To NM Environmental Improvement Board 
05 Dec 2005 - Aspartame: FDA Approval Doesn't Guarantee Safety  
04 Dec 2005 - Coke Braces For Suit Akin To Tobacco Fight  
03 Dec 2005 - New Mexico Must Not Let Company Stop Aspartame Hearings 
03 Dec 2005 - Letters To The New Mexico Governor And Attorney General Concerning Aspartame And Thimerosal  
03 Dec 2005 - Skip The Conspiracy Theory  
02 Dec 2005 - Artificial Sweetener Indicted - Will New Mexico Be First To Ban Aspartame?  
02 Dec 2005 - New Study Suggests Artificial Sweetener Causes Cancer In Rats At Levels Currently Approved For Humans
01 Dec 2005 - Ajinomoto Fights Inevitable Hearings On Neurotoxicity Of Their Product, Aspartame, In Children's Vitamins And Medications  

The Truth About Aspartame...  
Aspartame is NOT a natural substance!
Aspartame is NOT a Diet Enhancement product!
Aspartame is NOT safe - for ANYONE!
Aspartame is NOT a food "additive"
Aspartame is an UNREGULATED and UNSAFE DRUG! (It was originally slated to be a peptic ulcer drug!)
Aspartame in liquids turns to FORMALDEHYDE above freezing!
Aspartame is even worse for DIABETICS!
Aspartame poisoning is cumulative (it adds up!)
Aspartame byproducts get stored in your FAT!
Aspartame has 92 "Official" Side Effects (the worst is DEATH!)
Aspartame MIMICS a wide range of problems
Aspartame side effects are USUALLY MISDIAGNOSED!
Aspartame is unfit for human consumption!
Aspartame's approval by the FDA is a SHAMELESS tragedy!
Aspartame's approval for use in EVERYTHING is far worse!
Who are the culprits? FDA, Searle, Monsanto, NutraSweet and more!
The ONLY "CURE" is total exclusion from the diet!
TOTAL recovery may not be possible!
Only an irate and active PUBLIC can rid the world of this POISON!
If YOU have been affected, REPORT IT! GET INVOLVED!
Symptoms of Aspartame Poisoning 

Read More Here - and Pass It On!  

Front Door to Everything!  
Mission Possible Files: 
Links to More Sites & Info:  
More In-Depth Info:  
More Articles:
Aspartame Is NOT Safe: DORway To Discovery Has The WHOLE Truth! 
Aspartame Consumption Is Never Safe 
Aspartame Controversy 
Aspartame Danger 
Aspartame Dangers 
Aspartame Detoxification 
Aspartame Is NOT What Nature Intended 
Aspartame Is Poison! 
Aspartame Poisoning Index 
Aspartame Toxiocity Center 
Aspartame Truth Information Site 
Bart's Near Death From Diet Coke 
Eden's Pantry - Aspartame 
Mission Possible International 
Scientific Abuse in Methanol/Formaldehyde Research Related To Aspartame 
Sweet Poison 
The Bitter Truth About Artificial Sweeteners 
What's Blinding The World?
Please Don't Delay!
Read What You Can Today!
And Pass It On!

May 01, 2009

Congressional Inquiry Sought for U.S. Torture Victim in United Arab Emirates

Congressional Inquiry Sought for U.S. Torture Victim in United Arab Emirates
Rights groups conduct congressional visits as component of national campaign seeking legal redress on behalf of Naji Hamdan, while shedding light on widening complicity with his torture on the part of persons representing U.S. agencies.

April 17, 2009


WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 17, 2008) – MAS Freedom (MASF), as the civic and human rights advocacy entity of the Muslim American Society (MAS), was alerted at the end of March to the apparent invasion of Wikipedia by Islamophobes falsely altering a page bearing his name and biographical information, maliciously asserting its Executive Director, Mahdi Bray, to falsely be an 'avid supporter of Hamas'. After initial reversal edits correcting the villainous allegation were made, the Mahdi Bray Wikipedia page continued to be monitored, however, the anonymous citizen editor(s) – identifiable only as an IP address – persisted in attacking its content. On April 15 MAS Freedom wrote to Wikimedia Foundation requesting implementation of Wikipedia's oversight policy. The Mahdi Bray Wikipedia page is now inaccessible to unregistered users and will continue to be monitored by both MAS Freedom and Wikipedia. Contrary to the claims of Islamophobes and right-wing groups attempting to characterize Bray, and an entire audience of rally attendees, as supporters of Hamas (based on the a video-clip from a pro-Palestinian rally that has been grossly and negligently taken out of context), Bray is not now, nor has he ever been, a supporter of Hamas. However, Bray does unequivocally embrace the right of Palestinians for a home land and self-determination. Additional details not attributed to the brief biographical statement found on the Mahdi Bray Wikipedia page, addressing recent allegations that before his involvement with MAS Bray had no prior history as a civil and human rights activist, are set out in more detail in the Official Biography of Mahdi Bray found on the MAS website and on The Crescent Report blog.

March 26, 2009

MAS Freedom-AZ Director, Deedra Abboud Receives 2009 CPL Political Leaders Fellowship

Center for Progressive Leadership Fellowship Recipients Announced WASHINGTON, D.C. (MASNET) March 26, 2009 – MAS Freedom (MASF), as the civic and human rights advocacy entity of the Muslim American Society (MAS) MAS Freedom congratulates its Arizona chapter Executive Director, Deedra Abboud on being selected as a 2009 Center for Progressive Leadership (CPL) Fellow. The Arizona Political Leaders Fellowship is a 9-month, part-time program that focuses on providing the long-term resources and skills necessary for emerging leaders to become powerful political advocates for their communities. (more here)

January 12, 2009

Jon Stewart and GAZA


On The Daily Show's January 5 "Strip Maul" segment, Jon Stewart did what few American television personalities have dared to do: he criticized Israel's campaign against Gaza, making it clear that bombing will not bring peace for Israelis or Palestinians. He mocked the one-sided response of U.S. politicians by calling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict the "Mobius strip of issues because there's only one side!" He's sure to get thousands of complaints, so send Jon a letter of appreciation and then ask all your friends to watch this segment.