Jail term for Iranian Woman who dares Go out Without Hijab

Islam, Middle East, personality

An Iranian woman who peacefully protested the obligatory hijab rule by removing her head scarf in public in Tehran in December says she has been sentenced to two years in prison in addition to an 18-year suspended prison term.

Shaparak Shajarizadeh removed her headscarf in protest against the compulsory hijab rule in Iran and was forced to flee the country.

Since the Iranian revolution in 1979, women have been forced to cover their hair according to Islamic law on modesty. In recent years, there have been dem

Shaparak Shajarizadeh also says she has left Iran to escape “injustices.”

In a live broadcast shared widely on social media this week, Shajarizadeh said that she was sentenced to prison for opposing the compulsory hijab.

“This means that I will have to be silent for 20 years and not get involved in any activities,” Shajarizadeh said on Instagram.

Prominent human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh who represented Shajarizadeh and other women arrested for opposing the compulsory hijab was arrested last month.

Shajarizadeh, 42, was released on bail in late April.

In a video posted online on July 9, she said she has left Iran.

“Due to the injustices in Iran’s judicial system, I had to leave the country,” she said.

Advertisements

FRANCE: ARREST OF WOMAN WEARING NIQAB TRIGGERS FIVE NIGHTS OF RIOTING AND MILLIONS IN DAMAGES

News

In France a law adopted in 2010 states that no one public spaces may wear clothing that hides their face

Last Sunday, on 15 April, a police patrol in Toulouse arrested a niqab wearing woman because she refused to show her face. In France alaw adopted in 2010 states that no one public spaces may wear clothing that hides their face.

The event took place in the city’s migrant populated Mirail suburb and sparked five consecutive nights of violence.

Footage shows that the arrested woman is heavily resisting her arrest and she is shouting insults at the cops. In a matter of minutes, a group of protesters rapidly formed and forced the cops to throw tear gas grenades to disperse the crowd.

The woman was placed in custody and will be judged in mid-May for “rebellion, outrage and violence on a custodian person holding public authority”.

Unfortunately, the problems were just the beginning: In the same area, a few hours later, approximatively 100 rioters started to burn cars and containers. A police station in the area wasattacked as well.

The cops were called, and a fight broke out between police and rioters. The police had to call the Republican Security Companies, a unit who specialize in crowd and riot control, and a helicopter.

A rioter, who was filming said in the video: “We were worried they weren’t coming (the cops), so we went to the commissariat to see if they’re ok. Apparently yes.”

The riots took place from Sunday night to Thursday night. As of right now, there have been: 23 arrests, 76 burned cars, 200 police mobilisedand a 5th night of difficult sleep for the civilised habitants of the district.

Fortunately, there are no human injuries so far, which is actually surprising, especially when police were speaking of “well-orchestrated ambushes” that took place, with some people arrested with acetone bottles, gas bottles and mortars, ready to be thrown at the brave men and women in uniforms.

Several of the cars were destroyed with Molotov cocktails at a local Citroen dealer near the migrant suburb. Bernard Boyer, the head of the business is “desperate” and is lamenting a 110,000 euros loss. He told news outlet Ladepeche, previously in the 2005 riots, 6 cars had been burned in his business.

A police commander familiar to the area, said on Thursday that they were expecting the violence to stop really soon. Not because the rioters were feeling tired but rather because, “drugs trafficking is the main source of income of the neighbourhood” and for a drug kingpin, this kind of event is not good for business.

These type of riots, following arrests in migrant suburbs, are a common occurrence in France. In 2005, large-scale riots in Paris and throughout the country took place after two criminals were electrocuted during a police chase. Almost 9,000 vehicles were burned and two civilians were killed by rioters.

Last year riots started on 4 February 2017, in a Paris surburb, following the alleged, though never proven, rape of a black man named Théo L. by police with a baton.

The cases were so numerous after the adoption of the 2010 ‘face hiding’ law, that police officers didn’t usually enforce it, frightened by the known consequences of such action. Toulouse’s riots show why police are afraid: Sources say they didn’t stop the riots, but powerful gang leaders who couldn’t deal drugs in the area did.

Voice of Europe.

Trinidad & Tabago Peace Conference: ‘Violent jihadists not true Muslims’ — The Muslim Times

Islam, News, Terrorism

Kevon Felmine Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 Attendees at the Peace Conference yesterday at National Centre in Preysal. Inset: Maulana Ibrahim Bin Yaqub. PICTURES RISHI RAGOONATH Terror groups who commit violence in the name of Islam are not true Muslims, Amir of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Maulana Ibrahim Bin Yaqub, said yesterday as he explained […]

 

Terror groups who commit violence in the name of Islam are not true Muslims, Amir of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Maulana Ibrahim Bin Yaqub, said yesterday as he explained the name Islam means peace.

Speaking at their annual Peace Conference in Preysal, Couva, Bin Yaqub said a true Muslim is a person people can feel safe around. He said while the Islamic faith locally has been under scrutiny since several followers left to join the Islamic State, this was a small amount compared to the population of Muslims living in T&T.

“A true Muslim is that person from whose tongue and whose hands people are safe in and secure. So if you would not allow people to become safe and secure, then you are not a true Muslim because you are not practising the teachings of Islam,” Bin Yaqub said.

“The majority of Muslims in the world are very peaceful. Why is it that we go after those individuals who are creating problems and then try to tell the world that it is Islam? That is not Islam.

“The true Islam are those people who are very peaceful. How many Muslims are there in Trinidad and Tobago? More than 100,000 persons and you are talking about how many people went to join ISIS. How many of them?”

Asked if there was a wrong perception of Islam by non-disciples, Bin Yaqub said in every religion you would have people with various views and who would create upheavals, just like what has happened in Islam.

“Therefore, if there is a Muslim who is misbehaving, we believe that that person or persons are far away from the true teachings of Islam.”

Bin Yaqub said local Muslims are free to travel the world and that even after 9/11 he went to the United States.

“We have a solid relationship with the US government.”

The conference is an annual event that is also held in other countries by Muslims.

Its purpose is to educate people so they can understand peace has become an expensive commodity. Bin Yaqub said with so many upheavals in the world, the Ahmadiyya Muslims believe that unless they try to know themselves entirely, they will not be able to arrive at peace.

“It is also our firm belief that various religions in the world can bring peace, because if you study the scriptures of all major religions of the world, they all speak with one tongue and that is about peace. Unless the world comes to realise its maker, that is the Creator, we will never be able to see peace.”

SOURCE:

http://www.guardian.co.tt/news/2018-04-22/%E2%80%98violent-jihadists-not-true-muslims%E2%80%99

 

via Trinidad & Tabago Peace Conference: ‘Violent jihadists not true Muslims’ — The Muslim Times

Spread of Islam in West Africa (part 1 of 3): The Empire of Ghana

Africa, Islam, News

 

Description: How Islam spread into sub-Saharan region of West Africa, and the great civilizations it established there, taking its inhabitants out of paganism to the worship of One God.  Part 1: Islam reaches West Africa, and a history of the Islamic Empire of Ghana By Prof. A. Rahman I. Doi

Muslim geographers and historians have provided excellent records of Muslim rulers and peoples in Africa.  Among them are Al-Khwarzimi, Ibn Munabbah, Al-Masudi, Al-Bakri, Abul Fida, Yaqut, Ibn Batutah, Ibn Khaldun, Ibn Fadlallah al-’Umari, Mahmud al-Kati, Ibn al Mukhtar and Abd al-Rahman al-Sa’di.  Islam reached the Savannah region in the 8th Century C.E., the date the written history of West Africa begins.  Islam was accepted as early as 850 C.E.  by the Dya’ogo dynasty of the Kingdom of Tekur.  They were the first Negro people who accepted Islam.  Trade and commerce paved the way for the introduction of new elements of material culture, and made possible the intellectual development which naturally followed the introduction and spread of literacy.

Eminent Arab historians and African scholars have written on the empires of Ghana, Mali, Songhay, and Kanem Bornu.  They document famous trade routes in Africa – from Sijilmasa to Taghaza, Awdaghast, which led to the empire of Ghana, and from Sijilmasa to Tuat, Gao and Timbikutu.  Al-Bakri describes Ghana as highly advanced and economically a prosperous country as early as the eleventh century.  He also discusses the influence of Islam in Mali in the 13th century and describes the rule of Mansa Musa, whose fame spread to Sudan, North Africa and up to Europe.

Spread of Islam in West Africa

Islam reached the Savannah region in the 8th Century C.E., the date the written history of West Africa begins The Muslim-Arab historians began to write about West Africa in the early 8th century.  The famous scholar Ibn Munabbah wrote as early as 738 C.E., followed by Al-Masudi in 947 C.E.  As Islam spread in the Savannah region, it was quite natural that commercial links should also come to be established with North Africa.  Trade and commerce also paved way for the introduction of new elements of material culture, and made possible the intellectual development which naturally followed the introduction and spread of literacy, and for which parts of the Sudan were to become famous in the centuries to come.  In the Kingdom of Tekur, situated on both banks of the Senegal, Islam was accepted as early as 850 C.E., by the Dya’ogo dynasty.  This dynasty was the first Negro people who accepted Islam.

It was for this reason that Muslim-Arab historians referred to Bilad al-Tekur as ‘The Land of the Black Muslims.’  War-jabi, son of Rabis, was the first ruler of Tekur in whose reign Islam was firmly established in Tekur and the Islamic Shari’ah system was enforced.  This gave a uniform Muslim law to the people.  By the time the Al- Murabitun of Almoravids began their attack on Tekur in 1042 C.E., Islam had made a deep impact on the people of that area.  Al-Idrisi in 1511 described the Tekur Country as ‘secure, peaceful and tranquil.’  The capital town of Tekur was also called Tekur which had become center of commerce.  Merchants used to bring wool to sell there from Greater Morocco and in return, took with them gold and beads.

We have enough documents about the history of this region since it was known to the Arab historians as the Bilad al-Sudan, the land of the Blacks.  In the medieval period, the most well-known empires that grew there are known until our day: The empires of Ghana, Mali, Songhay, and Kanem Bornu.  Eminent Arab historians have written about the glories of these lands, notable among whom are Al-Bakri, Al-Masudi, Ibn Batutah and Ibn Khaldun.  Besides these scholars, there were local scholars whose works have come down to us.  As for example Tarikh al-Sudanthe History of the Sudan, by Al-Sadi and Tarikh al-Fattash by Muhammad al-Kati.

There were famous trade routes, like the one from Sijilmasa to Taghaza, Awdaghast, which led to the empire of Ghana, and another from Sijilmasa to Tuat, Gao and Timbikutu.  There were others which connected the present Nigeria with Tripoli via Fez to Bornu and Tunisia with Nigeria via Ghadames, Ghat, and Agades to Hausa land.  These routes had made all the above mentioned places famous trade centers.  These centers of trade invariably became centers of Islamic learning and civilization.  New ideas came through visiting traders in the field of administrative practices.  We shall study briefly the expansion of Islam in each of the ancient empires of Western Sudan.

Islam in the Ancient Empire of Ghana

Al-Bakri, the Muslim geographer, gives us an early account of the ancient Soninke empire of Ghana.  His Kitab fi Masalik wal Mamalik (The Book of Roads and Kingdoms) describes Ghana of 1068 as highly advanced.  Economically, it was a prosperous country.  The King had employed Muslim interpreters and most of his ministers and treasurers were also Muslims.  The Muslim ministers were learned enough to record events in Arabic and corresponded, on behalf of the king, with other rulers.  “Also, as Muslims, they belonged to the larger body politic of the Islamic world and this would make it possible to establish international relations.”

Al-Bakri gives the following picture of Islam in Ghana in the 11th century:

The city of Ghana consists of two towns lying on a plain, one of which is inhabited by Muslims and is large, possessing 12 mosques one of which is congregational mosque for Friday prayers: each has its Imam, Muezzin and paid reciters of the Quran.  The town possesses a large number of jurists, consults and learned men.

Spread of Islam in West Africa (part 2 of 3): The Empires of Mali and Songhay

Description: How Islam spread into sub-Saharan region of West Africa, and the great civilizations it established there, taking its inhabitants out of paganism to the worship of One God.  Part 2: A history of the empires of Mali and Songhay.

  • By Prof. A. Rahman I. Doi
  • Published on 10 Apr 2006

Islam in the Empire of Mali

The influence of Islam in Mali dates back to the 15th century when Al-Bakri mentions the conversion of its ruler to Islam.  There was a miserable period of drought which came to an end by offering Muslim prayers and ablutions.  The Empire of Mali arose from the ruins of Ghana Empire.  There are two important names in the history of Islam in Mali: Sundiata (1230-1255) and Mansa Musa (1312-1337).  Sundiata is the founder of the Mali Empire but was a weak Muslim, since he practiced Islam with syncretic practices and was highly disliked by the scholars.  Mansa Musa was, on the other hand, a devout Muslim and is considered to be the real architect of the Mali Empire.  By the time Sundiata died in 1255, a large number of former dependencies of Ghana also came under his power.  After him came Mansa Uli (1255-1270) who had made a pilgrimage to Makkah.

Mansa (Emperor) Musa came to power in 1312 and his fame reached beyond the Sudan, North Africa and spread up to Europe.  Mansa Musa ruled from 1312 to 1337 and in 1324-25 he made his famous pilgrimage to Makkah [Hajj].  When he returned from his pilgrimage, he brought with him a large number of Muslim scholars and architects who built five mosques for the first time with baked bricks.  Thus Islam received its greatest boost during Mansa Musa’s reign.  Many scholars agree that because of his attachment to Islam, Mansa Musa could introduce new ideas to his administration.  The famous traveller and scholar Ibn Batutah came to Mali during Mansa Sulaiman’s reign (1341-1360), and gives an excellent account of Mali’s government and its economic prosperity – in fact, a legacy of Mansa Musa’s policy.  Mansa Musa’s pilgrimage projected Mali’s enormous wealth and potentialities which attracted more and more Muslim traders and scholars.  These Muslim scholars and traders contributed to the cultural and economic development of Mali.  It was during his reign that diplomatic relations were established with Tunis and Egypt, and thus Mali began to appear on the map of the world.

Islam in the Empire of Songhay

Islam began to spread in the Empire of Songhay some time in the 11th century when the ruling Za or Dia dynasty first accepted it.  It was a prosperous region because of its booming trade with Gao.  By the 13th century it had come under the dominion of the Mali Empire but had freed itself by the end of the 14th century when the dynasty was renamed Sunni.  The frontier of Songhay now expanded and in the 15th century, under the leadership of Sunni ‘Ali, who ruled between 1464-1492, the most important towns of the Western Sudan came under the Songhay Empire.  The great cities of Islamic learning like Timbuktu and Jenne came under his power between 1471-1476.

Sunni ‘Ali’s was a nominal Muslim who used Islam to his ends.  He even persecuted Muslim scholars and practiced local cults and magic.  When the famous scholar Al-Maghilli called him a pagan, he punished him too.  The belief in cults and magic was, however, not something new in Songhay.  It existed in other parts of West Africa until the time the revivalist movements gained momentum in the 18th century.  It is said of Sunni ‘Ali that he tried to compromise between paganism and Islam although he prayed and fasted.  The scholars called it merely a mockery.

Sunni ‘Ali’s syncretism was soon challenged by the Muslim elites and scholars in Timbuktu, which was then a center of Islamic learning and civilization.  The famous family of Agit, of the Berber scholars, had the post of the Chief Justice and were known for their fearless opposition to the rulers.  In his lifetime, Sunni ‘Ali took measures against the scholars of Timbuktu (in 1469 and in 1486).  But on his death, the situation completely changed: Islam and Muslim scholars triumphed.  Muhammad Toure (Towri), a military commander asked Sunni ‘Ali’s successor, Sunni Barou, to appear before the public and make an open confession of his faith in Islam.  When Barou refused to do so, Muhammad Toure ousted him and established a new dynasty in his own name, called the Askiya dynasty.  Sunni ‘Ali may be compared with Sundiata of Mali, and Askiya Muhammad Toure with Mansa Musa, a champion of the cause of Islam.

On his coming to power, he established Islamic law and arranged a large number of Muslims to be trained as judges.  He gave his munificent patronage to the scholars and gave them large pieces of land as gifts.  He became a great friend of the famous scholar Muhammad Al-Maghilli.  It was because of his patronage that eminent Muslim scholars were attracted to Timbuktu, which became a great seat of learning in the 16th century.  Timbuktu has the credit of establishing the first Muslim University, called Sankore University, in West Africa; its name is commemorated until today in Ibadan University where a staff residential area has been named as Sankore Avenue.

Like Mansa Musa of Mali, Askia Muhammad Toure went on a pilgrimage and thus came into close contact with Muslim scholars and rulers in the Arab countries.  In Makkah, the King accorded him great respect; he was turbanned.  The King gave him a sword and the title of the Caliph of the Western Sudan.  On his return from Makkah in the year 1497, he proudly used the title of Al-Hajj.

Askia took such a keen interest in the Islamic legal system that he asked a number of questions on Islamic theology from his friend Muhammad al-Maghilli.  Al-Maghilli answered his questions in detail which Askia circulated in the Songhay empire.  Some of the questions were about the fundamental structure of the faith, such as ‘who is a true Muslim?’  and “who is a pagan?”  When we read Shehu ‘Uthman Dan Fodio’s works, we can see some of his arguments quoted on the authority of Al-Maghilli.  In other words, Al-Maghilli’s detailed discussions of the issues raised by Askiya Muhammad played a great role in influencing Shehu.

Spread of Islam in West Africa (part 3 of 3): The Empires of Kanem-Bornu and Hausa-Fulani Land

Description: How Islam spread into sub-Saharan region of West Africa, and the great civilizations it established there, taking its inhabitants out of paganism to the worship of One God.  Part 3: A brief history of the Islamic Empires of Kanem-Bornu and Hausa-Fulani Land.

Islam in Kanem-Bornu Empire

Kanem-Bornu in the 13th century included the region around Lake Chad, stretching as far north as Fezzan.  Kanem today forms the northern part of the Republic of Chad.  Islam was accepted for the first time by the Kanem ruler, Umme-Jilmi, who ruled between 1085-1097 C.E., through a scholar named Muhammad B. Mani, credited for bringing Islam to Kanem-Bornu.  Umme-Jilmi became a devout Muslim.  He left on a pilgrimage but died in Egypt before reaching Makkah.  Al-Bakri also mentions that Umayyad refugees, who had fled from Baghdad following plans to liquidate their dynasty at the hands of the Abbasids, were residing in Kanem [21, 22].

With the introduction of Islam in Kanem, it became the principal focus of Muslim influence in the central Sudan and relations were established with the Arab world in the Middle East and the Maghrib.  Umme’s son Dunama I (1092-1150) also went on a pilgrimage and was crowned in Egypt, while embarking at Suez for Makkah, during the third pilgrimage journey.  During the reign of Dunama II (1221-1259), a Kanem embassy was established in Tunisia around 1257, as mentioned by the famous Andalusian historian Ibn Khaldun (d. 1406 C.E.).  It was almost at the same time that a college and a hostel were established in Cairo, named Madrasah Ibn Rashiq.  Toward the end of the 13th century, Kanem became a center of Islamic knowledge and famous teachers came from Mali to teach in Kanem.  By the middle of the 13th century, Kanem established diplomatic relations with Tuat (in the Algerian Sahara) and with the Hafsid state of Tunis at embassy level.  The Kanem scholars and poets could write classical Arabic of a very high standard.  We have evidence of this in a letter written by the Chief scribe of the Kanem court dating from 1391 to 1392.

The historian Ibn Khaldun calls Dunama II as the ‘King of Kanem and Lord of Bornu,’ because his empire had expanded as far as Kano in the west and Wadai in the east.  It is said that Dunama II opened a Talisman (Munni or Mune), considered sacred by his people, and thus brought a period of hardship to his people.  It was because of his enthusiasm for the religion of Islam that he committed this ‘abomination’ (perhaps the talisman was a traditional symbol of divine (kingship) and alienated many of his subjects).

In the late 14th century, a new capital of the Kanem empire was established in Bornu at Nigazaragamu by ‘Ali b. Dunama, also called ‘Ali Ghazi, who ruled during the period 1476 to 1503.  This thriving capital continued until 1811. ‘Ali revived Islam.  He was keen on learning its principles.  He used to visit the chief Imam ‘Umar Masramba to learn more about the Islamic legal system.  He, by his own example, persuaded the nobility and Chiefs to limit the number of their wives to only four.

The Islamization of Bornu dates from the time of Mai Idris Alooma (1570-1602).  We come to know about him through his chronicler, Ahmad ibn Fartuwa.  In the 9th year of his reign, he went on a pilgrimage to Makkah and built a hostel there for pilgrims from Bornu.  He revived the Islamic practices and made all and sundry follow them.  He also set up Qadhis courts to introduce Islamic laws in place of the traditional system of customary law.  He built a large number of brick mosques to replace the existing ones, built with reeds.

In 1810 during the period of Mai Ahmad the glories of the Empire of Bornu came to an end, but its importance, as a center of Islamic learning, continued.

Islam in Hausa-Fulani land

There is a well-known Hausa legend concerning the origin of the Hausa state, attributed to Bayajida (Bayazid) who came from Begh to settle down in Kanem-Bornu.  The ruling Mai of Bornu of that time (we do not have any information about the time) welcomed Bayajida and gave his daughter in marriage to him but at the same time robbed him of his numerous followers.  He fled from the Mai with his wife and came to Gaya Mai Kano and asked the goldsmith of Kano to make a sword for him.  The story tells us that Bayajida helped the people of Kano by killing a supernatural snake which had prevented them from drawing water from a well.  It is said that the queen, named Daura, married him in appreciation of his service to the people.  Bayajida got a son named Bawo from Daura.  Bawo, himself, had seven sons: Biran, Dcura, Katsina, Zaria, Kano, Rano and Gebir, who became the founders of the Hausa states.  Whatever may be the merit of this story, it tries to explain how Hausa language and culture spread throughout the northern states of Nigeria.

Islam came to Hausaland in early 14th century.  About 40 Wangarawa graders are said to have brought Islam with them during the reign of ‘Ali Yaji who ruled Kano during the years 1349-1385.  A mosque was built and a muedthin (one who calls to prayer) was appointed to give adthan (call to prayer) and a judge was named to give religious decisions.  During the reign of a ruler named, Yaqub (1452-1463), one Fulani migrated to Kano and introduced books on Islamic Jurisprudence.  By the time Muhammad Rumfa came into power (1453-1499), Islam was firmly rooted in Kano.  In his reign Muslim scholars came to Kano; some scholars also came from Timbuktu to teach and preach Islam.

Muhammad Rumfa consulted Muslim scholars on the affairs of government.  It was he who had asked the famous Muslim theologian Al-Maghilli to write a book on Islamic government during the latter’s visit to Kano in the 15th century.  The book is a celebrated masterpiece and is called The Obligation of the Princes.  Al-Maghilli later went to Katsina, which had become a seat of learning in the 15th century.  Most of the pilgrims from Makkah would go to Katsina.  Scholars from the Sankore University of Timbuktu also visited the city and brought with them books on divinity and etymology.  In the 13th century, Katsina produced native scholars like Muhammadu Dan Marina and Muhammadu Dan Masina (d. 1667) whose works are available even today.

The literature of Shehu ‘Uthman Dan Fodio, his brother, Abdullahi, and his son Muhammad Bello speaks of the syncretic practices of the Hausa Fulanis at the end of the 18th century.  The movement of ‘Uthman Dan Fodio in 1904 was introduced as a revivalist movement in Islam to remove syncretic practices, and what Shehu called Bid’at al-Shaytaniyya or Devilish Innovations.

The spread of Islam in Africa is owing to many factors, historical, geographical and psychological, as well as its resulting distribution of Muslim communities, some of which we have tried to outline.  Ever since its first appearance in Africa, Islam has continued to grow.  The scholars there have been Africans right from the time of its spread.  Islam has become an African religion and has influenced her people in diverse ways.

SOURCE:   https://www.islamreligion.com/articles/304/viewall/spread-of-islam-in-west-africa/

Spread of Islam in West Africa (part 2 of 3): The Empires of Mali and Songhay

Africa, Islam, News

 

Description: How Islam spread into sub-Saharan region of West Africa, and the great civilizations it established there, taking its inhabitants out of paganism to the worship of One God.  Part 2: A history of the empires of Mali and Songhay By Prof. A. Rahman I. Doi

Islam in the Empire of Mali

The influence of Islam in Mali dates back to the 15th century when Al-Bakri mentions the conversion of its ruler to Islam.  There was a miserable period of drought which came to an end by offering Muslim prayers and ablutions.  The Empire of Mali arose from the ruins of Ghana Empire.  There are two important names in the history of Islam in Mali: Sundiata (1230-1255) and Mansa Musa (1312-1337).  Sundiata is the founder of the Mali Empire but was a weak Muslim, since he practiced Islam with syncretic practices and was highly disliked by the scholars.  Mansa Musa was, on the other hand, a devout Muslim and is considered to be the real architect of the Mali Empire.  By the time Sundiata died in 1255, a large number of former dependencies of Ghana also came under his power.  After him came Mansa Uli (1255-1270) who had made a pilgrimage to Makkah.

Mansa (Emperor) Musa came to power in 1312 and his fame reached beyond the Sudan, North Africa and spread up to Europe.  Mansa Musa ruled from 1312 to 1337 and in 1324-25 he made his famous pilgrimage to Makkah [Hajj].  When he returned from his pilgrimage, he brought with him a large number of Muslim scholars and architects who built five mosques for the first time with baked bricks.  Thus Islam received its greatest boost during Mansa Musa’s reign.  Many scholars agree that because of his attachment to Islam, Mansa Musa could introduce new ideas to his administration.  The famous traveller and scholar Ibn Batutah came to Mali during Mansa Sulaiman’s reign (1341-1360), and gives an excellent account of Mali’s government and its economic prosperity – in fact, a legacy of Mansa Musa’s policy.  Mansa Musa’s pilgrimage projected Mali’s enormous wealth and potentialities which attracted more and more Muslim traders and scholars.  These Muslim scholars and traders contributed to the cultural and economic development of Mali.  It was during his reign that diplomatic relations were established with Tunis and Egypt, and thus Mali began to appear on the map of the world.

Islam in the Empire of Songhay

Islam began to spread in the Empire of Songhay some time in the 11th century when the ruling Za or Dia dynasty first accepted it.  It was a prosperous region because of its booming trade with Gao.  By the 13th century it had come under the dominion of the Mali Empire but had freed itself by the end of the 14th century when the dynasty was renamed Sunni.  The frontier of Songhay now expanded and in the 15th century, under the leadership of Sunni ‘Ali, who ruled between 1464-1492, the most important towns of the Western Sudan came under the Songhay Empire.  The great cities of Islamic learning like Timbuktu and Jenne came under his power between 1471-1476.

Sunni ‘Ali’s was a nominal Muslim who used Islam to his ends.  He even persecuted Muslim scholars and practiced local cults and magic.  When the famous scholar Al-Maghilli called him a pagan, he punished him too.  The belief in cults and magic was, however, not something new in Songhay.  It existed in other parts of West Africa until the time the revivalist movements gained momentum in the 18th century.  It is said of Sunni ‘Ali that he tried to compromise between paganism and Islam although he prayed and fasted.  The scholars called it merely a mockery.

Sunni ‘Ali’s syncretism was soon challenged by the Muslim elites and scholars in Timbuktu, which was then a center of Islamic learning and civilization.  The famous family of Agit, of the Berber scholars, had the post of the Chief Justice and were known for their fearless opposition to the rulers.  In his lifetime, Sunni ‘Ali took measures against the scholars of Timbuktu (in 1469 and in 1486).  But on his death, the situation completely changed: Islam and Muslim scholars triumphed.  Muhammad Toure (Towri), a military commander asked Sunni ‘Ali’s successor, Sunni Barou, to appear before the public and make an open confession of his faith in Islam.  When Barou refused to do so, Muhammad Toure ousted him and established a new dynasty in his own name, called the Askiya dynasty.  Sunni ‘Ali may be compared with Sundiata of Mali, and Askiya Muhammad Toure with Mansa Musa, a champion of the cause of Islam.

On his coming to power, he established Islamic law and arranged a large number of Muslims to be trained as judges.  He gave his munificent patronage to the scholars and gave them large pieces of land as gifts.  He became a great friend of the famous scholar Muhammad Al-Maghilli.  It was because of his patronage that eminent Muslim scholars were attracted to Timbuktu, which became a great seat of learning in the 16th century.  Timbuktu has the credit of establishing the first Muslim University, called Sankore University, in West Africa; its name is commemorated until today in Ibadan University where a staff residential area has been named as Sankore Avenue.

Like Mansa Musa of Mali, Askia Muhammad Toure went on a pilgrimage and thus came into close contact with Muslim scholars and rulers in the Arab countries.  In Makkah, the King accorded him great respect; he was turbanned.  The King gave him a sword and the title of the Caliph of the Western Sudan.  On his return from Makkah in the year 1497, he proudly used the title of Al-Hajj.

Askia took such a keen interest in the Islamic legal system that he asked a number of questions on Islamic theology from his friend Muhammad al-Maghilli.  Al-Maghilli answered his questions in detail which Askia circulated in the Songhay empire.  Some of the questions were about the fundamental structure of the faith, such as ‘who is a true Muslim?’  and “who is a pagan?”  When we read Shehu ‘Uthman Dan Fodio’s works, we can see some of his arguments quoted on the authority of Al-Maghilli.  In other words, Al-Maghilli’s detailed discussions of the issues raised by Askiya Muhammad played a great role in influencing Shehu.

source:

https://www.islamreligion.com/articles/303/spread-of-islam-in-west-africa-part-2/

Spread of Islam in West Africa (part 3 of 3): The Empires of Kanem-Bornu and Hausa-Fulani Land

Africa, Islam, News

 

Description: How Islam spread into sub-Saharan region of West Africa, and the great civilizations it established there, taking its inhabitants out of paganism to the worship of One God.  Part 3: A brief history of the Islamic Empires of Kanem-Bornu and Hausa-Fulani Land.By Prof. A. Rahman I. Doi

 Islam in Kanem-Bornu Empire

Kanem-Bornu in the 13th century included the region around Lake Chad, stretching as far north as Fezzan.  Kanem today forms the northern part of the Republic of Chad.  Islam was accepted for the first time by the Kanem ruler, Umme-Jilmi, who ruled between 1085-1097 C.E., through a scholar named Muhammad B. Mani, credited for bringing Islam to Kanem-Bornu.  Umme-Jilmi became a devout Muslim.  He left on a pilgrimage but died in Egypt before reaching Makkah.  Al-Bakri also mentions that Umayyad refugees, who had fled from Baghdad following plans to liquidate their dynasty at the hands of the Abbasids, were residing in Kanem [21, 22].

With the introduction of Islam in Kanem, it became the principal focus of Muslim influence in the central Sudan and relations were established with the Arab world in the Middle East and the Maghrib.  Umme’s son Dunama I (1092-1150) also went on a pilgrimage and was crowned in Egypt, while embarking at Suez for Makkah, during the third pilgrimage journey.  During the reign of Dunama II (1221-1259), a Kanem embassy was established in Tunisia around 1257, as mentioned by the famous Andalusian historian Ibn Khaldun (d. 1406 C.E.).  It was almost at the same time that a college and a hostel were established in Cairo, named Madrasah Ibn Rashiq.  Toward the end of the 13th century, Kanem became a center of Islamic knowledge and famous teachers came from Mali to teach in Kanem.  By the middle of the 13th century, Kanem established diplomatic relations with Tuat (in the Algerian Sahara) and with the Hafsid state of Tunis at embassy level.  The Kanem scholars and poets could write classical Arabic of a very high standard.  We have evidence of this in a letter written by the Chief scribe of the Kanem court dating from 1391 to 1392.

The historian Ibn Khaldun calls Dunama II as the ‘King of Kanem and Lord of Bornu,’ because his empire had expanded as far as Kano in the west and Wadai in the east.  It is said that Dunama II opened a Talisman (Munni or Mune), considered sacred by his people, and thus brought a period of hardship to his people.  It was because of his enthusiasm for the religion of Islam that he committed this ‘abomination’ (perhaps the talisman was a traditional symbol of divine (kingship) and alienated many of his subjects).

In the late 14th century, a new capital of the Kanem empire was established in Bornu at Nigazaragamu by ‘Ali b. Dunama, also called ‘Ali Ghazi, who ruled during the period 1476 to 1503.  This thriving capital continued until 1811. ‘Ali revived Islam.  He was keen on learning its principles.  He used to visit the chief Imam ‘Umar Masramba to learn more about the Islamic legal system.  He, by his own example, persuaded the nobility and Chiefs to limit the number of their wives to only four.

The Islamization of Bornu dates from the time of Mai Idris Alooma (1570-1602).  We come to know about him through his chronicler, Ahmad ibn Fartuwa.  In the 9th year of his reign, he went on a pilgrimage to Makkah and built a hostel there for pilgrims from Bornu.  He revived the Islamic practices and made all and sundry follow them.  He also set up Qadhis courts to introduce Islamic laws in place of the traditional system of customary law.  He built a large number of brick mosques to replace the existing ones, built with reeds.

In 1810 during the period of Mai Ahmad the glories of the Empire of Bornu came to an end, but its importance, as a center of Islamic learning, continued.

Islam in Hausa-Fulani land

There is a well-known Hausa legend concerning the origin of the Hausa state, attributed to Bayajida (Bayazid) who came from Begh to settle down in Kanem-Bornu.  The ruling Mai of Bornu of that time (we do not have any information about the time) welcomed Bayajida and gave his daughter in marriage to him but at the same time robbed him of his numerous followers.  He fled from the Mai with his wife and came to Gaya Mai Kano and asked the goldsmith of Kano to make a sword for him.  The story tells us that Bayajida helped the people of Kano by killing a supernatural snake which had prevented them from drawing water from a well.  It is said that the queen, named Daura, married him in appreciation of his service to the people.  Bayajida got a son named Bawo from Daura.  Bawo, himself, had seven sons: Biran, Dcura, Katsina, Zaria, Kano, Rano and Gebir, who became the founders of the Hausa states.  Whatever may be the merit of this story, it tries to explain how Hausa language and culture spread throughout the northern states of Nigeria.

Islam came to Hausaland in early 14th century.  About 40 Wangarawa graders are said to have brought Islam with them during the reign of ‘Ali Yaji who ruled Kano during the years 1349-1385.  A mosque was built and a muedthin (one who calls to prayer) was appointed to give adthan (call to prayer) and a judge was named to give religious decisions.  During the reign of a ruler named, Yaqub (1452-1463), one Fulani migrated to Kano and introduced books on Islamic Jurisprudence.  By the time Muhammad Rumfa came into power (1453-1499), Islam was firmly rooted in Kano.  In his reign Muslim scholars came to Kano; some scholars also came from Timbuktu to teach and preach Islam.

Muhammad Rumfa consulted Muslim scholars on the affairs of government.  It was he who had asked the famous Muslim theologian Al-Maghilli to write a book on Islamic government during the latter’s visit to Kano in the 15th century.  The book is a celebrated masterpiece and is called The Obligation of the Princes.  Al-Maghilli later went to Katsina, which had become a seat of learning in the 15th century.  Most of the pilgrims from Makkah would go to Katsina.  Scholars from the Sankore University of Timbuktu also visited the city and brought with them books on divinity and etymology.  In the 13th century, Katsina produced native scholars like Muhammadu Dan Marina and Muhammadu Dan Masina (d. 1667) whose works are available even today.

The literature of Shehu ‘Uthman Dan Fodio, his brother, Abdullahi, and his son Muhammad Bello speaks of the syncretic practices of the Hausa Fulanis at the end of the 18th century.  The movement of ‘Uthman Dan Fodio in 1904 was introduced as a revivalist movement in Islam to remove syncretic practices, and what Shehu called Bid’at al-Shaytaniyya or Devilish Innovations.

The spread of Islam in Africa is owing to many factors, historical, geographical and psychological, as well as its resulting distribution of Muslim communities, some of which we have tried to outline.  Ever since its first appearance in Africa, Islam has continued to grow.  The scholars there have been Africans right from the time of its spread.  Islam has become an African religion and has influenced her people in diverse ways.

Islam, News

OLD NEWS OF 14-YEAR OLD RAPED INSIDE MOSQUE IN MORADABAD CIRCULATES AS RECENT INCIDENT

A news report is currently being circulated widely by some sections on social media. According to this report, a 14-year old girl was raped inside a mosque by a cleric and a shopkeeper in Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh. The report states that the mosque falls under the Bhagwatpur police station area. This news report has been published by some websites such as http://www.newsbytesapp.com, andhttp://www.gnsnews.co.in. NewsbytesApp was the first to publish this article, although it was later deleted. A copy of the NewsbytesApp article was put out by Yahoo News and it was quoted extensively on social media. These reports were published on April 14, 2018.

This report is being shared widely on social media. On Twitter, it was shared by right-wing users, who asked why this incident is being ignored by mainstream media organisations, with an obvious reference to the outrage over the gruesome incident in Kathua, J&K.

Islamic cleric Nazir and shopkeeper Mohsin rape a 14 year old minor girl INSIDE a mosque. After calling the innocent girl inside on the pretext of cleaning the room, they overpowered her and committed the heinous crime! Why no outrage in MSM? Cc – @Nidhihttps://t.co/I0kYsuWSby

— Shubhrastha (@Shubhrastha) April 16, 2018

This news was shared by Prasanna Vishwanathan, who is the CEO of the right-wing magazine Swarajyawho tweeted that cleric Nazir and shopkeeper Mohsin who allegedly committed the crime are absconding.

Uttar Pradesh: Cleric rapes 14-year-old girl inside mosque premises. Cleric Nazir and shopkeeper Mohsin, are absconding and the police are putting in efforts to arrest them.https://t.co/WLUeFmZcNk

— Prasanna Viswanathan (@prasannavishy) April 15, 2018

Filmmaker Ashoke Pandit was among those who tweeted about it, as did those who are followed on Twitter by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Each of these tweets was retweeted hundreds of times.

14-year-old girl raped inside the mosque by cleric Nazir and shopkeeper Mohsin in #Muradabad U.P.

“I Am Hindustan
I Am Ashamed
14 yrs old raped in a mosque”

— Ashoke Pandit (@ashokepandit) April 16, 2018

A shocking incident from Moradabad, UP !

14-year-old girl raped inside the mosque by cleric Nazir and shopkeeper Mohsin.

Can we have placard?

“I Am Hindustan
I Am Ashamed
14 yrs old raped in mosque”

— Sumit Katiyar (@iSKatiyar) April 16, 2018

Alt News fact checked this report and discovered that the said incident is not recent, but had in fact occurred in 2015. had reported about this incident in August 2015.

Alt News also contacted Bhagwatpur police station, Moradabad where the complaint was reportedly lodged. Sanjay Tomar, Inspector, Bhagwatpur police station confirmed, “The case is of 2015. The case number is 237/15 and it was registered under section 376D of the IPC. It is not a recent incident”.

An old incident dating back to August 2015 was presented as a recent incident by some news websites, and this was picked up on social media by those who seek to rationalise the horrific incidents of Kathua and Unnao. Resorting to whataboutery and alleging bias in coverage by mainstream media, a false narrative is sought to be created and perpetuated by these sections through this attempt to mislead the people.

The post Old news of 14-year old raped inside mosque in Moradabad circulates as recent incident appeared first on Alt News.

People climbing pole to touch the face of dead Sheik Inyass who appeared during the Maulud celebration in Abuja

Celebrity Gists, Islam, local news, personality

inyasssDuring the Maulud celebration in Abuja yesterday April 14, a group of worshipers has claimed to see the face of the dead Muslim cleric Sheik Inyass on an electric pole. The news caused an uproar as many believed the face appeared on purpose to mark the celebration.

Many worshipers were seen struggling to climb the pole as to touch the face of Sheik Inyass as it is believed will be a blessing to them. The face they claimed to see on a pole belongs to Sheik Inyass who was a powerful Muslim cleric who died about 37 years ago.

UAE condemns Somalia over seizing cash ‘sent to army’

Africa, Boko Haram, Corruption, international News, Military, Terrorism, War

Somali soldiers

Somalia said on Sunday it had seized almost $10m from a Royal Jet aeroplane that arrived at Mogadishu airport.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has denounced the seizure of what it described as a civilian aircraft carrying nearly $10m by Somali authorities at Mogadishu airport.

The government of Somalia said on Sunday it had seized several bags of money containing $9.6m in cash from a plane arriving from the UAE capital Abu Dhabi.

According to a statement carried on Tuesday by WAM, the UAE state news agency, the sum was intended to support the Somali military and trainees.

“Money allocated to support the Somali army and trainees was seized at gunpoint by Somali security personnel, who disrespected some members of the UAE forces,” it said.

The money was found in three unmarked bags on a Royal Jet plane, according to the Somali interior ministry, and its seizure resulted in an hours-long standoff between airport officials and UAE embassy staff in Mogadishu.

Royal Jet is an airline based in Abu Dhabi, servicing the luxury market between the UAE and Europe.

“The seized money is worth $9.6m. Security agencies are currently investigating where the money came from, where it was going, the individuals involved and the reason for bringing money worth this amount into the country,” Somalia’s interior ministry said in a statement late on Sunday.

Relations between Somalia and the UAE have been frosty since June last year.

Mogadishu resisted Emirati and Saudi pressure to cut ties with Qatar following a dispute between the Gulf neighbours. Somalia said it was neutral in the Gulf diplomatic rift.

Last month, Abu Dhabi agreed to train security forces in Somaliland – a region in northern Somalia seeking to secede from the country. The UAE has also signed with Somaliland a 30-year concession to manage Berbera Port in the semi-autonomous region. It has also started building a military base in the port city.

Somalia dismissed the agreement between Abu Dhabi and the northern Somali region as “non-existent, null and void” and called on the United Nations to take action.

Speaking at the UN Security Council last month, Abukar Osman, Somalia’s ambassador to the UN, said the agreement between Somaliland and the UAE to establish the base in Berbera is a “clear violation of international law”.

Osman called on the Security Council to “take the necessary steps” to “put an end to these actions”.

“The Federal Government of Somalia strongly condemns these blatant violations, and reaffirms that it will take the necessary measures deriving from its primary responsibility to defend the inviolability of the sovereignty and the unity of Somalia,” he said.

 

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES

Somalia disbands UAE programme to pay and train soldiers

Africa, Boko Haram, Military, War

Somalia said it seized several bags of money containing $9.6m in cash from a plane arriving from the UAE.

Somalia has disbanded a United Arab Emirates programme to train some of its troops in a new sign of rising tensions in bilateral relations.

The Somali government announced on Wednesday that it will take over paying and training the soldiers in the programme, Defence Minister Mohamed Mursal Abdirahman told Somalia’s state news agency Sonna.

“Somalia will fully take over [its troops] trained by the UAE… Those forces will be added to the various battalions of the Somalia National Army,” Abdirahman said, adding the soldiers would be integrated into other units on Thursday.

The UAE has trained hundreds of troops since 2014 as part of an effort boosted by an African Union military mission to defeat an al-Shabab uprising and secure the country for the government, which is backed by Western nations, Turkey and the United Nations.

There was no immediate comment from the UAE government.

Rising tensions

The move came after the government of Somalia said on Sunday it had seized several bags of money containing $9.6m in cash from a plane arriving from the UAE capital, Abu Dhabi.

On Tuesday, the UAE denounced the seizure of the money, which it said was destined to pay the soldiers.

“Money allocated to support the Somali army and trainees was seized at gunpoint by Somali security personnel, who disrespected some members of the UAE forces,” it said.

The money was found in three unmarked bags on a Royal Jet plane, according to the Somali interior ministry, and its seizure resulted in an hours-long standoff between airport officials and UAE embassy staff in Mogadishu.

Royal Jet is an airline based in Abu Dhabi, servicing the luxury market between the UAE and Europe.

“The seized money is worth $9.6m. Security agencies are currently investigating where the money came from, where it was going, the individuals involved and the reason for bringing money worth this amount into the country,” Somalia’s interior ministry said in a statement late on Sunday.

Relations between Somalia and the UAE have been frosty since June last year.

Mogadishu resisted Emirati and Saudi pressure to cut ties with Qatar following a dispute between the Gulf neighbours. Somalia said it was neutral in the Gulf diplomatic rift.

Last month, Abu Dhabi agreed to train security forces in Somaliland – a region in northern Somalia seeking to secede from the country. The UAE has also signed with Somaliland a 30-year concession to manage Berbera Port in the semi-autonomous region. It has also started building a military base in the port city.

Somalia dismissed the agreement between Abu Dhabi and the northern Somali region as “non-existent, null and void” and called on the UN to take action.

Speaking at the UN Security Council last month, Abukar Osman, Somalia’s ambassador to the UN, said the agreement between Somaliland and the UAE to establish the base in Berbera is a “clear violation of international law”.

Osman called on the Security Council to “take the necessary steps” to “put an end to these actions”.

“The federal government of Somalia strongly condemns these blatant violations, and reaffirms that it will take the necessary measures deriving from its primary responsibility to defend the inviolability of the sovereignty and the unity of Somalia,” he said.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES

Bomb kills five football-watching spectators

Africa, Terrorism, War

Agency Report

Somalia – A bomb killed five spectators at a football match in southern Somalia, police and a lawmaker said on Friday, the first time an explosion has targeted a stadium.

The blast went off in the port town of Barawe, in the Lower Shabelle region, when residents were watching a football match on Thursday afternoon, police said, adding that al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab could be behind the attack.

Police said it appeared to have been detonated by remote control.

“The bomb killed five people and injured a dozen others in the football field.

“All the casualties were from the onlookers,” Mahad Dhoore, a lawmaker for South West state told Reuters.

Police officer Mohamed Aden said al Shabaab group was suspected of being behind the attack and put the number of dead at four and wounded at 12.

“We believe al Shabaab was behind (it) and that the target was officials who were not seated there at the
time of the match.

“The bomb looked like a remotely controlled one that was planted there,” Mr Aden told Reuters from Barawe.

Al Shabaab are fighting to topple Somalia’s Western-backed central government and establish their own rule based on their strict interpretation of Islamic law.

The group frequently carries out bombings and gun attacks in the capital Mogadishu and other parts of Somalia.

“Al Shabaab carried out an explosion that killed teenagers who were just playing football in Barawe town.

“Al Shabaab is the only enemy we have,” President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed said during a farewell party for Somalia’s outgoing parliament speaker.

(Reuters/NAN)

Israel’s Violent Response to Nonviolent Protests

international News, Military, Terrorism, War

israel1Israel’s Violent Response to Nonviolent Protests

Yasser Murtaja was a self-taught photojournalist who reported on his community and had the distinction of doing camerawork for a documentary by Ai Weiwei, the Chinese dissident and artist.

Normally, that wouldn’t be a life-threatening career. But Mr. Murtaja, 30 years old and the father of a 15-month-old son, lived in Gaza, the enclave of nearly two million Palestinians ruled by ruthless Hamas militants that has been devastated by an 11-year blockade by Israel and Egypt and three wars between Israel and Hamas that have killed thousands of Palestinians and about 100 Israelis.

On Friday, Mr. Murtaja was shot and killed by Israeli security forces whilecovering protests that over the past two weeks have drawn tens of thousands of Palestinians to Gaza’s border with Israel, demanding to return to lands their families lost in the 1948 war that accompanied Israel’s founding.

At times, some of the younger protesters have moved close to the border’s no-go zone, burning tires and throwing rocks at the fence. Israel has said some Gazans have tried to toss crude explosives, shoot weapons and breach the barrier.

But in general, the protests have been peaceful, with many demonstrators staying far back from the heavily fortified fence to picnic and hold a tent camp sit-in. There has been no apparent reason for Israel to use live ammunition.

The government claims that the protests are a cover for a more violent Hamas agenda, including encouraging Gazans to penetrate the fence and push into Israel. Israel has a right to defend its border, but in the face of unarmed civilians it could do so with nonlethal tactics common to law enforcement, such as the use of high-powered fire hoses.

Since the protests began, Israeli forces have killed at least 29 Palestinians and wounded more than 1,000. On the day Mr. Murtaja died, eight other Palestinians were killed and five other journalists were among a thousand injured. There have been no known Israeli casualties.

The fact that Mr. Murtaja and the wounded journalists wore protective vests with signs proclaiming “PRESS” on the front has prompted suspicion that Israel deliberately targeted the journalists, as Reporters Without Borders, an activist group, and Rushdi Al Sarraj, Mr. Murtaja’s friend and sometime collaborator, have alleged. In an interview with TheNew Yorker, Mr. Al Sarraj recalled how the Israeli Army had earlier boasted that its soldiers were so precise and competent they “know where they put every bullet and where every bullet landed.”

The Israeli military has said its forces did not intentionally shoot journalists. But that assertion was undercut by Avigdor Lieberman, the Israeli defense minister, who said on Tuesday that Mr. Murtaja was a Hamas captain who had used a drone to collect intelligence on Israeli forces. That volatile charge is at odds with independent news reporting and, if it is false, could put other journalists at grave risk. Mr. Lieberman provided no proof for the claim and further demonstrated his disdain for justice, rule of law and the role of a free press by arguing on Sunday that there are “no innocent people” in Hamas-run Gaza.

An independent investigation into the killings is needed. But on March 31, after the first deaths, the United States, in support of Israel, blocked a proposed United Nations Security Council statement condemning the Israeli response, urging a transparent inquiry and affirming the right of Palestinians to demonstrate peacefully.

Such ideas should not be controversial. But ordinary Palestinians have few defenders, and much of the world has been shockingly mute about what’s happening in Gaza. Journalists have a right to work, and people have a right to demonstrate peacefully — and to assume that responsible authorities will ensure that they can do so without being shot.

Israel, a democracy with its own vigorous press and engaged citizenry, should understand that better than most.

Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook and Twitter (@NYTOpinion), and sign up for the Opinion Today newsletter.

By The Editorial Board  of The New York Times The editorial board represents the opinions of the board, its editor and the publisher. It is separate from the newsroom and the Op-Ed section.