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November 9th, 2009
02:20 PM ET

Video: Will Ft. Hood affect Muslims?

Arsalan Iftikhar
AC360° Contributor
Founder,
TheMuslimGuy.com


Filed under: Arsalan Iftikhar • Fort Hood Shooting • Islam
November 9th, 2009
01:12 PM ET

Murder has no religion

Arsalan Iftikhar
AC360° Contributor
Founder,
TheMuslimGuy.com

Most of the world's 1.57 billion Muslims know that the Holy Quran states quite clearly that, "Anyone who kills a human being ... it shall be as though he has killed all of mankind. ... If anyone saves a life, it shall be as though he has saved the lives of all of mankind."

Accordingly, it should come as little surprise to any reasonable observer that when Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan recently committed his shocking acts of mass murder at Fort Hood, Texas, America's Muslim community of over 7 million felt an added sense of horror and sadness at this senseless attack against the brave men and women of the U.S. armed forces.

True to form, many conservative media pundits wasted little time in pointing to reports that Hasan had said "Allahu Akbar" (Arabic for "God is great") at the start of his murderous rampage. News coverage continuously showed the looping convenience store black-and-white videotape footage of Hasan wearing traditional white Islamic garb.

First of all, someone simply saying "Allahu Akbar" while committing an act of mass murder no more makes their criminal act "Islamic" than a Christian uttering the "Hail Mary" while murdering an abortion medical provider, or someone chanting "Onward, Christian Soldiers" while bombing a gay nightclub, would make their act "Christian" in nature.

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Filed under: Arsalan Iftikhar • Fort Hood Shooting • Islam • Religion
November 5th, 2009
10:12 PM ET

Prayers for Fort Hood tonight…

Soldiers gather outside of Fort Hood.

Soldiers gather outside of Fort Hood.

Arsalan Iftikhar
AC360° Contributor
Founder,
TheMuslimGuy.com

First of all, as an American, my heart broke into two pieces tonight when I heard of the tragic mass murder at Fort Hood, Texas earlier this evening when a U.S. Army soldier opened fire on a military processing center at Fort Hood in Texas on Thursday; killing at least 12 people and wounding at least 31 others, according to Army officials in a report to CNN.

Secondly, as a Muslim, my heart further broke into another two pieces when it was learned that the Fort Hood shooter was a Muslim mental health care professional medical doctor who (similar to the April 16, 2007 Virginia Tech massacre) used two handguns during his mass murder rampage.

Thus, with my heart currently broken into four distinct pieces right now, needless to say, I am completely speechless (and bumfuzzled) by this latest tragedy at Fort Hood.

According to CNN, the gunman (who was apparently captured alive by emergency personnel) was later identified as U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, 39.

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Filed under: Arsalan Iftikhar • Military
November 3rd, 2009
12:27 PM ET

The Matrix and Prophet Muhammad

Doha, Qatar: A city skyline awash with cranes and towers powered by abundant oil and gas supplies.

Doha, Qatar: A city skyline awash with cranes and towers powered by abundant oil and gas supplies.

Arsalan Iftikhar, creator of themuslimguy.com
CNN

From The Matrix to the Lord of the Rings to….a $150 million Hollywood biopic film about the Prophet Muhammad?

Yup, you read it correctly…

As reported recently by The Guardian newspaper in the United Kingdom, “[Academy Award-winning] producer Barrie Osborne cast Keanu Reeves as the messiah in The Matrix and helped defeat the dark lord Sauron in his record-breaking Lord of the Rings trilogy. Now the Oscar-winning American film-maker is set to embark on his most perilous quest to date: making a big-screen biopic of the prophet Muhammad.”

With a whopping estimated budget of around $150 million, the blockbuster film will chart Muhammad’s life and examine his teachings.

Mr. Osborne recently told Reuters that he envisions the movie as “an international epic production aimed at bridging cultures. The film will educate people about the true meaning of Islam.”

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Filed under: Arsalan Iftikhar • Film • Islam
October 29th, 2009
03:50 PM ET

McChrystal in the City: Biden in the Country

General Stanley McChrystal will reportedly be getting an additional 18,000 troops for the war in Afghanistan.

General Stanley McChrystal will reportedly be getting an additional 18,000 troops for the war in Afghanistan.

Arsalan Iftikhar
AC360° Contributor
Founder,
TheMuslimGuy.com

Afghan Strategy to focus on major population centers: report.

According to The New York Times, the White House is settling on an Afghan strategy that would send more US troops to protect top population centers, recognizing that the insurgency cannot be completely eradicated from the country, the newspaper said late Tuesday evening.

It described the strategy as a blend of rival proposals put forward by Vice President Joe Biden and by the top military commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal.

“We are no longer thinking about just destroying the enemy in a conventional way,” an unidentified senior military officer told the newspaper, saying that the central tenet of McChrystal’s proposal would be adopted.

Well, it looks as though General Stanley McChrystal will be getting approximately 18,000 (of the 40,000 requested) additional troops that he seeks for the Afghanistan theater of war, according to a recent story in The New York Times.

It should come as little surprise to foreign policy observers that the Obama White House would take a middle ground approach between General McChrystal’s ‘full-court-press’ and Vice President Joe Biden’s ’spread defense’ strategies within Afghanistan.

The bottom line: It seems as though it will be ‘McChrystal in the city’ and ‘Biden in the country’…

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Arsalan Iftikhar
October 26th, 2009
01:08 PM ET

Pearl Jam and REM Say ‘No!’ to Guantanamo

Ruhal Ahmed, left, shown at a 2007 news conference, says he had to listen to hours of music at Guantanamo.

Ruhal Ahmed, left, shown at a 2007 news conference, says he had to listen to hours of music at Guantanamo.

Arsalan Iftikhar, creator of themuslimguy.com
CNN

In addition to the mighty Pearl Jam (led by legendary front-man Eddie Vedder) and the uber-hipster timeless classics known as REM (led by equally-legendary Michael Stipe), several prominent musicians from around are rallying together to ensure that their music is not being used to torture at Gitmo’s Camp X-Ray and that our American government lives up to its promise of closing the infamous lawless prison known around the world simply as ‘Guantanamo Bay’.

Additionally, Trent Reznor (of Nine Inch Nails) and Tom Morello (Grammy-winning musiciain formerly of Rage Against The Machine and Audioslave) whose music with the bands Nine Inch Nails and Rage Against The Machine have “already been linked to interrogations at the prison”, according to previously released government records.

“Guantanamo is known around the world as one of the places where human beings have been tortured — from waterboarding to stripping, hooding and forcing detainees into humiliating sexual acts — playing music for 72 hours in a row at volumes just below that to shatter the eardrums,” said Tom Morello, formerly of Audioslave and Rage Against The Machine.

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Filed under: Arsalan Iftikhar • Guantanomo Bay
October 19th, 2009
01:24 PM ET

The Tao of Wu (Tang Clan)

RZA, left, and Method Man, right, of the Wu-Tang Clan.

RZA, left, and Method Man, right, of the Wu-Tang Clan.

Arsalan Iftikhar
AC360° Contributor
Founder,
TheMuslimGuy.com

“Cash Rules Everything Around Me/C.R.E.A.M./Get the money/Dollar, Dollar bill, y’all…”

Thus begins the legendary lyrics of C.R.E.A.M. by the Wu-Tang Clan, one of the greatest collective lyrical syndicates in the entire history of hip-hop.

Led by Robert ‘RZA’ Diggs (pronounced ‘Riz-za’), Clifford Smith (known better by his nom de guerre Method Man), Raekwon, GZA (pronounced ‘Jiz-za’…Yes, Jizza), Ghostface Killah, U-God, Inspectah Deck, Masta Killa and (the late) Ol’ Dirty Bastard (better known as ODB), the Wu-Tang Clan has successfully launched into the hip-hop stratosphere by taking their respective lyrical games from the projects of Staten Island to the hallowed corridors of Hollywood over the years.

From their 1993 debut album Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) to Robert ‘RZA’ Diggs most recent Hollywood foray in Adam Sandler’s 2009 movie Funny People, the syndicate MCs of Wu-Tang have successfully expanded their influence from the hip-hop world to Hollywood movies and now even literature.

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October 15th, 2009
11:05 AM ET

An Evening With Nobel Peace Prize Winner Dr. Shirin Ebadi

Shirin Ebadi, a civil rights leader in Iran, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003.

Shirin Ebadi, a civil rights leader in Iran, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003.

Arsalan Iftikhar
AC360° Contributor
Founder,
TheMuslimGuy.com

When TIME Magazine named 2003 Nobel Peace Prize Winner Dr. Shirin Ebadi as one of their 2004 ‘TIME 100 Most Influential People in the World’, they rightfully noted that Dr. Ebadi was indeed “a woman of steel” and a human rights champion with “a heart of gold”.

On October 10, 2003, Dr. Shrin Ebadi became the first Muslim woman (and first Iranian citizen) to be awarded the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway. In giving her the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize, the committee members in Oslo noted her special dedication for “the rights of women and children” around the world.

Furthermore, the Nobel committee noted that Dr. Ebadi “has consistently supported non-violence” and as opposed to military armed conflict, she also “favors enlightenment and dialogue as the best path to changing attitudes and resolving conflict” around the world.

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Filed under: Arsalan Iftikhar
October 9th, 2009
09:04 AM ET

Who needs the Olympics? Obama wins the Nobel Peace Prize

Arsalan Iftikhar

True/Slant

It is now official…President Barack Obama has won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.

On behalf of our shared hometown of Chicago, this is even better than being awarded the 2016 Summer Olympics game.

Hey, Rio de Janeiro….You can have the Olympic games, because America has just won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize after getting the final official nod from the boys and girls in Oslo.

In a surprising moment that will certainly increase his political capital domestically and abroad, the choice of President Obama was quite surprising because President Obama “took office less than two (2) weeks before the February 1, 2009 nomination deadline.”

Many global observers said that Obama’s name had been mentioned in speculation before the award, but many Nobel watchers believed it was too early to award the president.

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October 5th, 2009
03:23 PM ET
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