More trouble at Shaikh Zayed masjid- Abu Dhabi


Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque at sunrise

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque at sunrise

Another American pop icon has gone and done it again, upsetting the sensitivities of Emiratis about their splendid mosque Shaikh Zayid mosque in Abu Dhabi.  The mosque or masjid is also the final resting place of the first leader of the United Arab Emirates, Shaikh Zayid bin al Nahyan the beloved leader of that country, which makes it even more special to the people of the UAE.  However, in an attempt to be a country of tolerance and acceptance the government of the UAE liberally allows people to visit the mosque; however, it seems too many of them of a western mentality take things a little too far according to some Emiratis. The latest one to raise their ire is Selena Gomez who raised her garments to expose her covered leg and uncovered ankle.

Selena Gomez caused fury online after posting this image on her Instagram account, showing her flashing her ankle while visiting Abu Dhabi's Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque  DailyMail

Selena Gomez caused fury online after posting this image on her Instagram account, showing her flashing her ankle while visiting Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
DailyMail

To almost everyone in the west that kind of exposure is no big deal, but it wasn’t done in the West it was done in the UAE where the standard of behavior and conduct is different.  We’ve written about this problem before but perhaps it’s time to take things up a notch with regards to what Emiratis should do which is don’t allow tourism at any of their masajid. (plural of mosque) Non-Muslims should be allowed to visit them, during the times of prayer and properly escorted, but they should not be the “destination” of people who want to ogle and have their pictures taken there.  Mosques are places of worship and people should attend them with that solemnity in mind; if they are not worshippers but want to visit them they should be accompanied at all times by people who work for the government who are there to insure the visitors follow UAE protocol until they leave the premises.  You’ve heard it from me Emiratis; don’t complain when the next pop star comes and disrespects your way of life at the Shaikh Zayed mosque.

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Taking the fight to ISIL


America has managed to enlist the support of five Arab countries in the fight with ISIL/ISIS/the Islamic state and the UAE has stepped up to the plate big time.  I don’t like self-promotion and it seems there’s a hint of that here in releasing this information…..I mean we rarely know the names of fighter pilots who fly sorties for the American military but the fact that this is even news is somewhat exceptional for the time and place in which it was revealed.

The first female pilot for the United Arab Emirates military was used in a multi-national air strike against ISIL/ISIS/the Islamic state and she is one Major Miriam al-Mansouri. mansouri I have often written here on the pages of Miscellany101 of the forward thinking all inclusive nature of Emirati society as it pertains to Emirati women  and this is just another feather in their cap. It’s ironic that one of the other countries participating in the airstrikes with the UAE military was Saudi Arabia where Ms. al-Mansouri wouldn’t even be able to drive a car, much less pilot an airplane.  That fact alone makes me question the legitimacy of the coalition and its goals.  Why are the two even on the same side in this matter…..it would seem to me al-Mansouri should be leading airstrikes against KSA instead of joining with them to fight an opponent as conservative and backwards as the Saudis.

You can read about the UAE’s integration of female pilots in the military here

Does this Youtube video threaten the national security of the UAE?


 

Someone there thinks so!

Congratulations on Eid al-Fitr


eidCongratulations to those who fasted during the month of Ramadan in, for some in the West, is the hardest time of the year to do so, the summer months of heat and long daylight hours.  It is quite a feat. It also appears God helped you divert a catastrophe for some, by making the month 29 days and making it easy to spot the crescent moon for those of you who take that kind of thing seriously.  There were some bumps along the way however…just ask the people of Ras al-Khaimah in the UAE.

Naturally there are countries that will have their eid celebration on different days and that’s a part of the diversity of Islam, isn’t it?  The earth is not flat, it’s round, multi-dimensional, multi-cultural, but wherever you are enjoy your day of feast and celebration.  Pray for those in war torn areas who hopefully can take the time out from their troubles to reflect on something that may be positive about where they are and pray for them that their suffering may be relieved.  Finally, take a moment to thank the Creator for the Mercy He extends to all humanity, Muslim and non-Muslim alike.  Mercy is a Beautiful thing; an attribute we should try to embody more often in our day to day interactions.

 

Eid Mubarak-For some this means 30 days of fasting


It all started with my tweet on Thursday evening that said

#EidAlFitr falls on Sunday, says UAE astronomy expert I don’t want to stoke the sighting vs calculations argument, fyi http://tinyurl.com/cszdjtz

and the article linked to was rather detailed and explicit in its explanation at how the end of the month of fasting is arrived.  And no, I really don’t want to rekindle the calculations vs. sighting debate that ravages the Muslim world on the occasion of the two biggest celebrations of the Muslim calendar.  The determination for when to start and end the month should be one made by the community as much as by consensus of the world-wide Muslim community.  There really is no such thing as a pan-Islamic organization or movement despite what the Islamophobes may say or think.

I have noticed however, that a lot of  Muslim communities like to tie their observance of these two Eids with the countries in the Arabian peninsula for reasons I don’t entirely understand but for those of you who do, then this is the definitive announcement for you for Eid al-Fitr for 2012.  Eid will be observed on Sunday, August 19 in both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.  No doubt the other GCC countries in the peninsula will mark their celebrations on the same day, although there is no official announcement to that effect as of the time of this post. It’s also important to note some where in the global community Muslims may decide to celebrate Eid on Saturday, 18 August or on Monday, 20 August and  to them this message is the same.  To the millions of Muslims fasting and waiting for the Eid celebration let me congratulate you on completing an arduous task at a very difficult time of the year.  I hope it was spiritually rewarding for you and equally important I hope that your prayers and fast are answered and accepted.

Ramadan Kareem


To all the Muslim readers of Miscellany101, Ramadan kareem.  It has been officially announced that the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar will begin fasting on Friday, July 20.  To those in other parts of the world, no matter when you begin fasting, may it be spiritually and materially rewarding for you.