Thursday, January 08, 2009

Important ... Pass It Around (A Warning)


I received the following message in my email box. It is from one of our local Muslim email groups. The subject line read, "Important ... Pass It Around."

"Starbucks and McDonald's made a statement that all profits made from now until Saturday will be sent to the Israeli army to fight the Palestinian people. Enough of the blood shed. The women and children have been under siege for years, they have no water, food, medicine or electricity. They are prisoners in their own land. Please boycott Starbucks and McDonald's and pass this on to everyone you know. The link below just gives you a brief history of the Israelis and their so-called land. http://uk.youtube. com/watch? v=XUFLpP9Prxo "

Now, before you get all excited and start boycotting Starbucks and McDonalds, you must answer a simple question: Where is the proof that these companies made these statements?

Don't get me wrong. Perhaps these companies did make these statements in certain cities. But Alhamdulillah, where? What city?

A general check of the websites of these companies makes no such claims.

In this climate of high anxiety and emotion, it is easy to get swept up. Many Muslims and good citizens of the world feel powerless about the current situation in Gaza. They want to do something. And they should.

But I warn that we need to be careful!

To pass this email message around, forwarding it ad nauseum (like my group did) where it has the potential to reach hundreds, perhaps thousands of people, without proof has the potential to cause great damage to companies that may be innocent.

It is especially important for us Muslims to stop and think.

Let's say that we pass this information along anyhow, not caring whether or not there is proof or if it may be untrue.

We may be in danger of engaging in what is known in Islam as nameemah (slander).

In general, nameemah, usually refers to the act of carrying tales from one person to another. This disclosure can be by speaking, writing, nodding, intimating (hinting) or signalling. Nameemah is carrying discussions from one to another for the intention of mischief, disclosing secrets and exposing secret matters. If the party is innocent, it is a sin heavier than the weight of the skies. It was also said, "The acts of Nammaam are more harmful than the acts of Shaitan. Shaitan acts by imagination and whispering, while the Nammaam acts face-to-face and openly." Nameemah is an abomination. It is very widely spread amongst people and very few are safe from it. Nameemah is prohibited by Ijmaa (consensus of the Muslim scholars) and there are many clear references from the Qur'an and Sunnah against it. (from Slander by Abdul Malik Al-Qasim)

So, again I warn you all (and myself) to be careful. If these allegations are correct and can be proven, then these companies do deserve to be boycotted. But if they are not ...

There are other cures for our feelings of powerlessness and emotional pain.

Write a letter, make a blog post, sign a petition, participate in a peaceful demonstration, talk to others, write a poem, paint a picture, scream, pray ...

Muslim Matters has a 60 Minute Action Plan here.

Surf around the Muslim blogs. Many, like Organic Muslimah also have good ideas and provide excellent resources.

You get the idea: Make Yourself Heard!!! But in a halal (permissible) way!!!

(Oh! And the George Galloway video in the YouTube link is excellent!)

UPDATE: From Saudi and Scholars concerning this topic:

Boycotting American Products
Slih al-Fawzn

Boycotting Products Manufactured by Non-Muslims
Muhammad Ibn Slih al-'Uthaymn

Boycotting Products Manufactured by Non-Muslims
Saudi Arabia’s Permanent Council of Senior Scholars

Taken From: http://www.authentictranslations.com/tb-SocialDealings.aspx

ANOTHER UPDATE: (LINK INCLUDES A LETTER FROM STARBUCKS)

Re-posted with permission stated below from Brother Abu Khaliyl quranwasunnah@ yahoogroups. com:

As-salamu `alaykum wa rahmatullah:

Long ago we started getting a message that the Starbucks company was sending this or that amount of money from its purchases to the IDF. After reading the message fabricated and attributed to the chairman Howard Schultz, I recognized the falsehood of it, as I am a native English speaker (phrases of it were not American English, but it has British expressions that give it away, as well as mistakes, for both British and American English, making it clear that it was not stated by someone who is a native of NY city) and I looked into the matter, so this is what Starbucks had to say about it:

"You may have heard a rumor about Howard Schultz, Starbucks and the Israeli army. The rumor is false. Neither chairman Howard Schultz nor Starbucks fund or support the Israeli Army. Starbucks is a non-political organization and does not support individual political causes."

Contact Information: Starbucks Coffee Company (206) 318-7100 mailto:press@starbucks.%20com

http://www.starbuck%20s.com/aboutus/%20pressdesc.%20asp?id=668&

With current events, this false claim - that Starbucks supports the IDF - is gaining steam again, so please forward this to anyone that sends you such a message. Also, just to throw dirt in the face of those who spread such lies among the Muslims, see this:http://www.snopes.com/politics/israel/starbucks.asp and for those who still like to believe a lie because it was told to them by a Muslim (!?) then review the material here where the forger of the letter has admitted to forging it.http://www.snopes.%20com/politics/%20israel/schultz.%20asp

The Messenger of Allah (sall Allahu `alaihi wa sallam) spoke of these people who spread these rumours: "Sufficient that a man is a liar that he narrates everything he hears." Sahih Muslim, in the introduction. And consider the status of a people who make unlawful what Allah has made lawful, and whoever follows them in that, believes it, speaks according to it, and acts upon it....So perhaps you can save this email, and if you get an email from one of these liars about this lie, you can "reply all" with it, and may Allah reward you for countering falsehood with the truth.

was-salamu `alaykum
Abu Khaliyl

9 comments:

Abdul Vakil (AV) said...

As-salaamu 'alaikum wa Rahmatullah,

Beautiful reminder. Shukran for keeping us in check. :)

Lisa said...

I didn't believe this one either Safiyyah. I thought that McDonalds was owned by a Mormon anyhow so it didn't make a lot of sense that they'd go that far. Better to send it to Ronald McDonald House clearly. The only Jewish owned company I could think of was Walmart and they haven't and wouldn't dare to say anything. At least we hope not.

Safiyyah said...

Hello Lisa:

It isn't true. I have to add a link update. It appears that McDonalds has had this problem a few times in the past.

But even if it WERE true, the Muslims should not be boycotting and slandering (passing the unfounded email around). See the last 3 links I provided.

Thanks for stopping by, Lisa.

(You, too, Brother! Always good to see you. Lisa should come over to your interfaith discussion blog.)

Safiyyah said...

Oh, and Starbucks has a Zionist CEO, but the company itself does not involve itself in politics and has never given its money to the Israeli IDF. It doesn't even pay its shareholders, lol. I'll get the link up, Insha Allah, and update the post.

brookeakaummbadier said...

I was just saying we should start a Muslim Urban Legends site. I once got forwarded an email about a Muslim restaurant serving RAT! It had been forwarded to dozens (hundreds?) of people. Total lies. The images were from some bizarre, obscure restaurant in another country that locals don't even eat at.
I was so deeply disturbed--by the emailers.
Love and Peace,
~Brooke

Lisa said...

Safiyyah,

Yeah I was pretty sure that Starbucks had a Zionist CEO, but the McDonalds part seemed like a no-brainer because they'd want to pass the money to their Ronald McDonald house instead. Thanks for alerting me to this nice interfaith blog Safiyyah.

rahma said...

Assalamu Alaikum,

I was just going to write a similar post, as we've gotten similar emails on our local muslim lists. Our list included Pepsi (pay every penny to israel), Phillip Morris (did you know 12% of their prophet is donated to the zionists every morning), and then starbucks, mcdonalds, burger king, kfc, etc etc etc.

I dashed off a response. Seriously very tired for these rumors. Brooke, if you start a muslim snopes, count me in!

ipv6 said...

spot on.
salam.

sabiwabi said...

Great post, great point. We should always do our homework.