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If you realize you are already in a dispute, be wise and argue with that which is better. Allah says:. Repel [evil] by that [deed] which is better; and thereupon the one whom between you and him is enmity [will become] as though he was a devoted friend. End with the greeting: Before departing, smile, shake hands and greet people warmly with the salam.
This was done by the Prophet numerous times when he dispatched letters to kings and heads of peoples and tribes. So that was a list of the basic etiquette from the sunnah on communicating effectively with people.
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I hope this reminder of communicating effectively by following the sunnah has benefited you, inshaAllah. I leave you with the best greetings: Wassalaamu alaykum warahmatul laahi wabarakaatuh! May the peace and mercy and blessings of Allah be upon you. Enter your name and email below to subscribe to our newsletter and receive the free download above.
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Blasphemy allegations – the new way of muzzling free speech in South Asia
What happens when you go through painful work experiences? Do you pause to. John Esposito observes that countering communism was premised on the thesis that the most effective way to counter violent socialism—communism—was to draw on the values of moderate socialism, on social democratic values, rather than those of groups at the opposite end of the normative spectrum, i. Two issues present themselves when deliberating how best to promote the normative positions that seem most effective in countering those of ISIS and other terrorist groups and in pursuing dialogue with the Muslim world.
One concerns the question of which agencies or organizations would be most effective in promoting the normative message. The second concerns how to ensure that it is disseminated on the necessary scale. Regarding the first issue, the State Department and other US government agencies are not well suited to promoting moderate Islam.
In part this is because the core values of the United States—discussed above—are centred on secularism in the public realm, capitalism and liberal democracy. In part it is due to the unfavourable reputation the US government acquired in large parts of the Muslim world as a result of actions by the CIA including the overthrow of the government of Iran in , torture, extraordinary renditions, etc.
The country with the most negative view of the US was Jordan, where 83 per cent of respondents reported an unfavourable opinion. Large majorities in several other Muslim-majority countries also had unfavourable views of the US, including 62 per cent in Pakistan, 70 per cent in Palestine and 60 per cent in Lebanon; even in Turkey, a NATO ally, 58 per cent of respondents had unfavourable views of the US, compared to only 29 per cent with positive views.
American government agencies are particularly ill suited to the position the United States needs to embrace according to the analysis advanced above: namely, to promote moderate interpretations of Islam in order to curb the appeal of violent ones. Liberals are likely to be troubled by such a project because they tend to be secularist. Conservatives are likely to be troubled by it because they would rather promote Judaeo-Christian values than Muslim ones. Both believe in separation of state and church albeit for different reasons, and with different views of what this entails.
It is hard to imagine a Congress that would tolerate the federal government seriously promoting any kind of religion, which is precisely what this article advocates. Such a government project also faces legal challenges.
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For example, they blocked a proposal in to translate Islamic writings condemning suicide into Uzbek and Kyrgyz in order to counter the growing influence of Hizb ut-Tahrir, a radical Islamist group. The programme was rejected by the State Department's lawyers. Thus, the State Department's Office of Religion and Global Affairs begins with the innovative goal of engaging religious communities and leaders in its activities, but then retreats into familiar tropes.
Much more suitable agents are indigenous NGOs and civil society bodies in Muslim countries that embrace moderate Islam. These are found, for instance, in Morocco, Jordan and Indonesia even as the influence of violent interpretations of Islam are growing in those same countries. Turkish authorities prepare sermons generally with moderate messages that clerics use for preaching on Fridays. However, these are available only in Turkish. A Muslim publishing house or other organization could translate these sermons into the many languages used in the Muslim world and make them widely available via the internet.
The same holds for moderate books, articles and various social media products. Its mission deserves much attention. If one accepts the thesis that ISIS and other such groups cannot be defeated on the battlefield alone and must be countered in the normative realm also, it follows that the resources available to this drive must be greatly increased. The United States could directly finance these groups; indeed, some Islamic organizations have demonstrated a willingness to work with western governments and institutions. For example, NU receives funding from the Austrian Ministry of the Interior for a partnership with the University of Vienna to research extremism and provide a counter-narrative.
However, the credibility of many of these groups is likely to be lost if they receive significant support from the US government. The United States could attempt to conceal its involvement by funding these organizations covertly, as it did in countering communism during the Cold War. Those efforts were quite successful; but once the source of funds was revealed, those involved felt betrayed, and the campaign raised many ethical and legal issues.
For many years the Saudi government financed the curriculums and salaries of teachers in many Muslim countries in support of a rigid interpretation of Islam, but has discovered that this support has driven many young Muslims to embrace jihadist positions. Although the Saudi government continues to support Wahhabism, it now insists that those who have carried out violence are misguided and have both deviated from Wahhabism and insulted the King by refusing his generosity and kindness. Perhaps the Saudi government could be persuaded to support a campaign to promote moderate Islam.
ISIS has crafted a compelling narrative that has lured Muslim recruits from all over the world. ISIS may be defeated militarily, but so long as the normative positions that it espouses remain relevant, other groups are likely to draw on them to support attacks on free societies, those societies' allies and moderate Muslims.
The United States strongly holds that religion should be a private affair; it continually seeks to ally itself with secular forces in the Muslim world and to promote them.
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These often turn out to be the weakest groups because data show that the overwhelming majority of Muslims seek more, not less, religion in public life. The United States is promoting capitalism and hence in effect the affluent way of life associated with it. To many devout Muslims, it seems that Americans worship consumer goods instead of God, and others are further alienated to the point that they cannot find a job or are poorly paid and thus cannot gain even a piece of the life portrayed on American television and film screens. Promoting liberal democracy ignores the evidence that many of the target nations have not yet developed the sociological foundations necessary for such a regime to take hold.
The United States—whether in dealing with ISIS or other such groups, or in addressing the much larger Muslim world—needs to appeal to different values from those associated with secularism, capitalism and democracy. The answer to how this could be done may be found in the fact that there are basically two different iterations of Islam. One legitimates violence, for instance in the call to kill all infidels. The other abhors violence and holds, for instance, that there ought to be no compulsion in religion.
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A very large part of the Muslim world, as the data show, subscribes to the moderate iterations of Islam. However, many of these do not accept secularism or liberalism. The US can appeal to these illiberal moderates in terms of rejecting terrorism and violence, but is unlikely to persuade them to embrace other values that Americans hold dear. It is on this point that the argument presented here differs most sharply from those who seek to encourage liberal Muslims; certainly, liberals are to be favoured, but the most important distinction for public diplomacy in the foreseeable future is between moderate Muslims and violent ones, and moderation should not be equated with liberalism.
For fairly obvious reasons, official US agencies are not well suited to promote moderate Islam as the best antidote to violent Islam. Rather, the best carriers of this message are to be found in the Muslim world; they are already in place, but their reach must be significantly expanded.
And their message of moderation must not be undermined by seeking to graft onto it values other than doing good without using force.
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One challenge, wrapped in a bigger one. Components of US normative strategy. Working with Islam to address Islam. In conclusion. Editor's Choice. Talking to the Muslim world: how, and with whom? Oxford Academic.