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New Lodi imam ready to heal Muslim community

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Posted: Friday, November 16, 2007 10:00 pm

Ahmad Hashimi rests on a couch in a comfortable, cream-colored robe. His feet are bare, and a black cylindrical hat sits atop his head hiding his straight dark hair that is flecked with gray.

His bushy, black beard ends in tiny, kinky curls, accentuating his round face.

But Hashimi's most striking features are his eyes. There is a certain peacefulness and wisdom in his half-opened hazel eyes that betrays this spiritual leader's age of 34 years.

These are the eyes of a much older mystic. Perhaps they are the eyes of his father, a Sufi scholar.

There is hope in these eyes and a sense of purpose. As the new imam of the Lodi Muslim Mosque, Hashimi represents a chance to heal a community still reeling from two deported imams and a terrorism investigation.

"I came here to preach Islam and paint a very lovely and tolerant picture of Islam," Hashimi says in a slow, soothing tone with a thick south Asian accent. "A time will come when this mosque will be a model mosque in America."

He peppers his speech with scholarly words and cites Goethe and the Sufi poet, Rumi.

Hashimi's eyes serenely scan the Spartan living room of his new house. He arrived here from Pakistan's capital, Islamabad, less than two weeks ago leaving behind a wife and two young children. This small house next to the Eastside mosque will be his home for what mosque leaders hope will be at least three years, and his family may join him here.

Besides the couch, a few chairs sit in the corner of the room. A low table rests atop an ornately woven rug. On the table are a stack of Islamic books, including the Quran, and a string of prayer beads.

Three imams have left Lodi's mosque since 2005. Shabbir Ahmed and Mohammad Adil Khan were arrested on immigration charges and later deported. Ahmed was on an FBI watch list for making anti-American speeches in Pakistan. The third imam, Cassim Maiter, left because of a contract dispute in December 2005 after only two weeks.

Hashimi is the mosque's first imam since then and the first Lodi imam from the Sufi tradition of Islam. Sufism is the mystical branch of Islam with a philosophy rooted in peace, love and tolerance of other religions.

Shoes line the shelves in the foyer at the Muslim Mosque, where Muslims have come to see their new imam, Ahmad Hashimi, lead prayer and spread the message of Islam through Sufism, on Friday. (Brian Feulner/News-Sentinel)

"My true nature is love toward God and humanity," Hashimi says. "Sufism accepts every person whether they are Muslim or non-Muslim."

Hashimi was born in Mansehra, a rugged frontier town in the mountains of northern Pakistan. In the tradition of his father, the head of a post-graduate college, Hashimi began studying philosophy, eventually earning a master's degree from Peshwar University.

When Lodi Muslim Mosque president Mohammed Shoaib visited Pakistan last year, he found Hashimi teaching at a post-graduate university.

"When I first met him, I knew he could help us here in Lodi," Shoaib says. "I am very much impressed with him."

Since arriving in Lodi, Hashimi has heard about the mosque's recent imam troubles. He also learned about the 2005 investigation and 2006 trial of two Lodi Muslims on terrorism related charges.

Hashimi said he realizes the challenge of gaining the trust of the Muslim community and the greater Lodi community as a whole, but he has already begun the process.

"I am very against these activities because the spirit of Islam is very peaceful and tolerant," he says. "We should spread the teachings of peace."

Mosque secretary Adur Lugmani says Hashimi is already drawing more worshipers to the mosque, especially young Muslims, who could be positively influenced by his teachings.

"Before him, we didn't have a good imam because they had limited educations," Lugmani says. "Now we have a great man. We hope he will be a sufficient role model for our youth."

Indeed, about 50 Muslim men fill the mosque at the start of Hashimi's on Friday afternoon sermon. As he speaks, more trickle in until about 200 worshipers in light-colored robes and white skull caps pack the mosque to hear Hashimi's message.

Lodi's 2,000-member Pakistani community has been reunited under the Lodi Muslim Mosque after infighting led to a division in the community.

"In a meeting, we tried hard to work out our problems," Mosque President Mohammed Shoaib said Friday. "All the problems have been resolved by mutual understanding. We are happy. This is a very good thing."

The three-year rift stemmed from a legal dispute over land that was to become an Islamic school. A 200-member group broke away from the mosque and started worshipping at a local church.

Since the dispute ended in August, both sides of the Muslim community are again praying at the Eastside mosque, according to Taj Khan, who had prayed at the church with the breakaway group.

"We have reconciled and resolved our issues and are moving on," Khan said. "Most of the people that didn't go to the mosque are now coming back."

- News-Sentinel staff

Sufism is the mystical movement within Islam that seeks to find divine love and knowledge through direct personal experience of God. It consists of a variety of mystical paths that are designed to explore the nature of mankind and God and to facilitate the experience of divine love and wisdom in the world.

After the death of Islam's founder, Muhammad, Sufism arose as an organized movement among different groups who found orthodox Islam to be spiritually stifling.

The practices of contemporary Sufi orders and suborders vary, but most include the recitation of the name of God or of certain phrases from the Quran as a way to loosen the bonds of the lower self, enabling the soul to experience the higher reality toward which it naturally aspires.

Though Sufi practitioners have often been at odds with the mainstream of Islamic theology and law, the importance of Sufism in the history of Islam is incalculable. Sufi literature, especially love poetry, represents a golden age in Arabic, Persian, Turkish, and Urdu languages.

Source: Encyclopedia Britannia

Seated in an ornate, gold-painted chair, Hashimi delivers his oration in a commanding, yet measured voice. During the 30-minute lecture in Urdu, Pakistan's native language, many in the audience nod and mumble in agreement. Afterward, he summarizes his lecture in English.

"The best of you are those that are well mannered," he says. "We should understand that the Islamic code of ethics is very firm and we should adopt this ethical code."

At the end of the prayer, mosque members praise the new imam's intellect.

"He's a good man and intelligent," Mike Mikbel says. "He speaks English, Urdu and Arabic, so he will be good for the people to learn from."

Zamarad Khan says: "He's a true scholar."

Hashimi, who enjoys a game of badminton or table tennis when he is not reading religious works, has already visited some local sites including the library and the Galt flea market. He says he likes what he has seen of the Lodi area.

"The atmosphere is very pleasant and it is a very beautiful place," he says. "The people are very peaceful."

In his first two weeks in America, Hashimi says he can see the differences between preaching Islam in Pakistan and this country, where Muslims comprise the minority.

"This is a different community from Pakistan," he says. "I think we are have difficulty (in America) presenting the true picture of Islam. I think we should get back to the spiritual message of Islam."

Contact reporter Matt Brown at mattb@lodinews.com.

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • posted at 1:44 pm on Tue, Nov 27, 2007.


    We wellcome you Imam and to other muslims please dont mind the mean talks these people say am glad these people are different then my classmates because this is like Brain washing people like Hitler did with the Jews and by the way history repeats eccept people who have to deal with the sitution are differnt i have seen people cry for what hitler did but people need to start looking in the presant not in the past...and try to stop the same mistake the other generations before us made....

  • posted at 2:55 pm on Mon, Nov 26, 2007.


    go hate on sikh and leave muslims alone for a while............ read the comments on the sikh temple article and compare them to this pages comments and if ur smart enough u well see that its a war against only muslims.and to realfacts: GET a myspace becouse i think u enjoy writing comments alot!! ur friends well like u.................

  • posted at 3:25 pm on Sun, Nov 25, 2007.


    need help. Please dont bring a knife to a gun fight. You dont have the brains for this debate so just go away.

  • posted at 2:02 pm on Sun, Nov 25, 2007.


    There are muslims in this town that are anti-american, with pro-terrorist leanings? So what? There are plenty of Christians in this town who are anti american and have terrorist leanings. How many dollars have gone to clinic bombers and their support network from Lodian donors over the years (with the Church's blessing)? A few bad apples don't taint an entire religion.

  • posted at 10:46 am on Sun, Nov 25, 2007.


    dude that realfacts guy needs help

  • posted at 5:50 pm on Sat, Nov 24, 2007.


    r80ant; according to your post on Nov 24 1:15pm, i am looking for YOU to condemn such acts. ANY acts committed by muslims worldwide. i am looking for YOU to say that it was the US that purposefully flew planes into the world trade center. how could muhammad adil khan condemn any act, that wasn't "supposedly" (according to you) committed by muslims? don't give me a song and dance. muslims don't say anything anymore, because muslims know they can lie (according to the koran) if they need to. khan's attempt was smoke and mirrors. there's nothing since

  • posted at 9:34 am on Sat, Nov 24, 2007.


    Open my mind more to other cultures?? I have been to six continents--at least 25 countries, half of those in the third world, some of them Muslim. What I learned was that fundamentalist religion of any flavor is frightening. Any time you mix religion and politics, you produce atrocities. Where moderate people mix and respect each other's rights, there are no problems.

  • posted at 9:12 am on Sat, Nov 24, 2007.


    r80ant; people switch identities, so why don't you and "richard" move to the middle east. somewhere between the mountains of afghanistan and pakistan, preferably in a cave. you could probably make first lieutenant in the osama inhumane freak show. if you have trouble raising airfare, let me know. i GUARANTEE you the fine people of lodi would glady "chip in". hows that for "political correctness"? if i lived in pakistan and said what YOU said, i would lose my head. how soon can you leave? love, real facts

  • posted at 9:06 am on Sat, Nov 24, 2007.


    r80ant; you know, you parrot alot of what richard mcintyre says. don't tell me there are two of you in this town, because that would solidify what i said before, that there are muslims in this town that are anti-american, with pro-terrorist justifiable leanings. anytime you don't outright condemn killing innocent people, and deflect that responsibility onto "others", thats the FACE of evil. -------->con't

  • posted at 8:58 am on Sat, Nov 24, 2007.


    r80ant;you keep inferring (or rather deflecting responsibility) that it wasn't muslims that are bombing and killing people, it's the US govt. plus you keep inferring that muslims can kill people in retaliation for things the US "govt" has done. you infer, but you chicken out of saying it directly. what are you afraid of? the reason you deflect responsibility away from muslims committing those crimes, is so that islam isn't exposed for what it really is. you can't lie, and represent God at the same time. AND YET YOU DO

  • posted at 8:53 am on Sat, Nov 24, 2007.


    r80ant; wow, now your inferring that the Lusitania was a suicidal sacrifice so america would be "justified" to go to war? your ideaology is making you insane. i don't pretend to think the US govt is innocent in all matters, but thats an historical lie. because the US isn't exactly innocent in some world affairs, how about you spell out how islam is justified killing innocent people? like 911, london and india? con't------>

  • posted at 7:15 am on Sat, Nov 24, 2007.


    Hey realfacts, condemning such acts like 9/11 is second nature for Muslims. It's a no brainer. In fact, immediately after 9/11, Muhammad Adil Khan, the Imam of the Lodi Muslim Mosque at the time, addressed the public at an Islamic awareness meeting at the Lodi Boy's and Girl's Club denouncing the attacks and reassuring the people of Lodi that the teachings of Islam and the Muslims condemn such acts. Google a video called "Does Islam Equal Terrorism?" by a former Christian Preacher, Yusuf Estes.

  • posted at 6:17 am on Sat, Nov 24, 2007.


    Hey realfacts, on May 7th, 1915 on the suggestion of Sir Edward Grey, the Foreign Secratary of England regarding how to get America into World War I, a ship called the Lusitania was deliberately sent into German controlled waters where it was, as expected, torpedoed by German U-boats, exploding stored amunition, and killing all 1,200 people on board. America's history is riddled with similar events used as pretexts for war (for profits). Google "Operation Northwoods".

  • posted at 6:16 am on Sat, Nov 24, 2007.


    Hey Hey r80ant, my post on Nov 23, 2007 9:33 AM was rather specific. Here's another rather specific right we lost in the name of National Security (securing the ruling elite's fortunes) just in case the "lunacy" of my first post missed the bullseye. Section 201 of Patriot Act 2 makes it a criminal act for any member of the government or any citizen to release information concerning the incarceration or whereabouts of detainees (1st Amendment gone).

  • posted at 3:52 am on Sat, Nov 24, 2007.


    You still havent been specific. I will repeat it again for you you. What exact rights have YOU lost. I will answer since you refuse to. None is the answer. Now you say the USA is behind 911? My god with every post you look like more of a lunatic. Maybe you should just stop now before you make more of a fool of yourself.

  • posted at 12:06 pm on Fri, Nov 23, 2007.


    r80ant; i am not "looking for an apology". you know what i am waiting for? for something, somewhere, where islam actually matches up with it's claims by it's OWN "followers". someone that cops to the fact that it was muslims that did 911, and to condemn that. no one does. they either try to justify it (like you), or silence. listen, i am NOT embarrassed by ANY idiot that "claims" to be a "Christian", who kills people for sport. i IMMEDIATELY condemn it. YOU DON'T. "peaceful islam" huh? "lying" islam more like it, from what i observe

  • posted at 12:00 pm on Fri, Nov 23, 2007.


    r80ant; con't---->when you said this....("you want an apology for 9/11 when it had absolutely nothing remotely related to do with Islam according to all Muslims and even your government?") then i realized what a sick individual you are. first in your denial that muslims perpretrated 911, and that "our" govt had something to do with it. in that sentence, combined with your iraq "statistics", your saying that islam has the right to kill innocent people because OF iraq, et al. your sick to think innocent people can be murdered, because someone ELSE did it. thats evil --->con't

  • posted at 11:51 am on Fri, Nov 23, 2007.


    r80ant Nov 23 10:16 AM; you had me on the iraq war thing (sort of), as part of me thinks we have no business being there anymore. part of me thinks we should finish the job, albeit even i am not sure how that would be. overall, i don't like it. you keep thinking i am "pro' american govt in that is how i arrive at my "truth". how WRONG you are. -------> con't

  • posted at 4:16 am on Fri, Nov 23, 2007.


    Hey realfacts, do you know the current situation of illegally invaded and occupied Iraq? Approximately 4 million people dispersed from thier homes. 2 million forced to leave the country and another 2 million are refugees in their own country. Did I mention the death toll, already in the hunrdereds of thousands, is nearing a million and you want an apology for 9/11 when it had absolutely nothing remotely related to do with Islam according to all Muslims and even your government?

  • posted at 4:13 am on Fri, Nov 23, 2007.


    to... You don't have to speak or understand anything English to pick up a check here in the land of the Free.

  • posted at 4:05 am on Fri, Nov 23, 2007.


    S&W 500 ... I totally agree. I also think "Peaceful Muslims" should take a stronger stand with their terrorist brothers. It shouldn't be my brother handling their poo. Take care of your own, or is it that you like it this way?
    I don't trust your sucker punching culture/religion. I can still see Americans free falling to their death on 9/11.

  • posted at 3:59 am on Fri, Nov 23, 2007.


    Thanks Giving is an American Celebration, not religious. I wonder how any Islamic folks celebrated the Holiday? It's our history and part of being an American. How many peaceful muslims remebered our forfathers yesterday?

  • posted at 3:59 am on Fri, Nov 23, 2007.


    Hey NSN Lodian, sorry, but I refuse to get involved in right vs. left, republican vs. democrat, or liberal vs. conservative hogwash. Can those acusations against Keith by the MRC be substantiated or do they remain accusations and since when do accusations amount to authentic proof? Maybe in the post 9/11 era, huh? Google video has an excellent documentary called "Unconstitutional - The War on Our Civil Liberties.

  • posted at 3:39 am on Fri, Nov 23, 2007.


    Hey to Jeff, in September 11, 2006, President Bush and first lady Laura Bush stood on a carpet of the American flag at Ground Zero in Manhattan, the site of the September 11, 2001 attack. Section 8b of the Flag Code reads, " The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground..." You better remind your leader about the ettiquettes regarding the flag before you pounce on the Sikhs for not wanting that thing anywhere near their holy symbol.

  • posted at 3:33 am on Fri, Nov 23, 2007.


    Hey Hey r80ant, to be specifically conspiratorial, the sequel to Patriot Act 1, Patriot Act 2 Section 106 states that government agents must be given immunity for carrying out searches with no prior court approval. This section completely throws the entire Fourth Amendment against unreasonable search and seizures. Did I forget to mention that it is necessary for the ruling elite to secure their fortunes, I mean our freedoms?

  • posted at 3:51 pm on Thu, Nov 22, 2007.


    I hope and pray to God, that this new imam will be bring peace to Lodi's Muslim Community. I also hope that he will take a harsh stance against terrorists, of his faith,in public.

    I oppose terrorists of any race! I think they should all receive the worst penalty for such behavior. I want peace, but do not trust people who have proven themselves unworthy, "terrorists" that is.

  • posted at 2:46 pm on Thu, Nov 22, 2007.


    Just reading you rant proves all the points the people are talking about here. Please learn english and how to write it before you pop off here.

  • posted at 2:41 pm on Thu, Nov 22, 2007.


    Hey r80ant we are still waiting to hear what specific rights you have lost. What a joke.

  • posted at 1:42 pm on Thu, Nov 22, 2007.


    Flying the U.S. Flag is, in accordance with the Constitution, required above any other flag. It's not a "should", it's the law. All other places of workship fly the U.S. Flag. Why not the Sikh temple? Why don't you and your bleeding-heart democrats go back to the Middle East and love these people there? Watch your back or they'll get rid of you too.

  • posted at 5:08 am on Wed, Nov 21, 2007.


    To r80ant:: So I followed your LINK which you provided with the intention of supporting your argument that we are losing our freedoms .. and it is a link to a KEITH OLBERMANN article on MSNBC.... OLBERMANN isn't exactly BIASED. The conservative media watchdog group Media Research Center (MRC) has accused Olbermann of liberal bias.

  • posted at 2:49 am on Wed, Nov 21, 2007.


    Hey NSN Lodian, actually, Israel was created by the League of Nations (1919), the forerunner of the United Nations (1945), which granted a mandate (1922) to Great Britain to create a "National Home" for the Jews in Palestine. The UN simply carried out the mandate in 1948. Your comment is a bit eerie. Are you pro-American enablement of Israel to carry out Nuremberg crimes against virtually defenseless people (pebbles vs. tanks)? Rabbis against Israel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RjnvQHWyLE

  • posted at 1:03 pm on Tue, Nov 20, 2007.


    You didnt answer the question. What SPECIFIC freedoms have you lost? All I have heard from you is conspiricy crap. Be specific.

  • posted at 10:06 am on Tue, Nov 20, 2007.


    True religions are hard on their followers. When I lived in Idaho, even the Presbyterians disliked the Mormons for believing in a Jesus that sent an angel with a golden tablet talking about warriors with elephants in the Americas, instead of the real warrior who stopped the sun, and a Jesus who walked on water, blighted a tree, whipped money changers, called divorce adultery, raised the dead, and couldn't change Herod's or Pilate's minds.

  • posted at 9:56 am on Tue, Nov 20, 2007.


    Tim you are not the only one that feels this way (that the Sikh Temple is an Islamic compound) unfortunately your command of religious knowledge is worse than your world history knowledge. Sikhs have been fighting molsem extremists since before the USA was even around. In fact the black turban comes from a time when they took the "black color of revenge" off the Islamic Flags, and said you talk revenge? We will show you revenge! And they brought an end to the terrorism of that time.

  • posted at 4:57 am on Tue, Nov 20, 2007.


    Hey To: r80ant, do you know what Habeas Corpus is? Do you know what the Military Commission's Act of 2006 is? Say hello to totalitarianism and bye-bye to your freedoms? Oh by the way, it's all done in order to protect your freedoms. Hook, line, and sinker for folks who refuse to think for themselves. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15220450/ One more thing, study who controls the media and you'll answer your own question as to why you've never seen Israelis "lopping off someone's dome.

  • posted at 4:52 am on Tue, Nov 20, 2007.


    The Pew Research Center article can be found here. It is an INTERESTING read about global attitudes towards Muslims.. http://pewglobal.org/reports/display.php?PageID=812

  • posted at 4:51 am on Tue, Nov 20, 2007.


    "..want to be distinct from the larger country instead of adopting its customs and way of life".... this is the OVERALL PROBLEM most Americans have with ALL IMMIGRANTS (legal, illegal, or otherwise)... that they want to come to American and setup their own cultural BIO-DOME and not integrate into American Society. Somewhere along the line, immigrating to the US for its CULTURE has become secondary. It should be primary. Don't come here for the handouts.

  • posted at 4:49 am on Tue, Nov 20, 2007.


    From the Pew Research Center... "Public attitudes toward Muslims and concerns over Islamic extremism are remarkably consistent in Western Europe, the U.S., and other countries with sizeable Muslim minorities.... they agree that Muslims coming to their countries want to be distinct from the larger country instead of adopting its customs and way of life."

  • posted at 4:48 am on Tue, Nov 20, 2007.


    To someone who commented on my previous post.... India has suffered from BOTH internal strife between Sikh and Hindu sects, as well as a threat from Muslim Extremists (against all non-muslim Indians) that infiltrate from Bangaladesh and other surrounding countries. If you're a Sikh or Hindu, you're often deciding whether you should be fighting each other, or fighting against the muslim extremists.

  • posted at 4:41 am on Tue, Nov 20, 2007.


    To r80ant: Perhaps Israle wouldn't have to "continue the oppression of the surrounding Muslim countries" if those countries would accept Israel as a sovereign nation and stop trying to destroy it!? If those countries have a problem with the creation of the Jewish state, perhaps they should attack the U.N. which created it. Just a thought....

  • posted at 2:00 am on Tue, Nov 20, 2007.


    Tim you are not alone. Terrorists are here and we "Americans" are supporting them.

  • posted at 5:34 pm on Mon, Nov 19, 2007.


    Mr. Open-minded, do you realize that Islamic LAW requires that you and the woman can be beat, tortured and killed for the illegal act of meeting and talking? Recently a woman was raped by 6 Muslim men and SHE received 200 lashes and prison sentence for complaining about it, and her Saudi lawyer was disbarred. I love multi-cultural diversity? I'll buy you airfare for your "study", but you have to interview a woman!

  • posted at 5:32 pm on Mon, Nov 19, 2007.


    You need to open your mind MORE to people of other cultures. I suggest that you visit Saudi Arabia and interview men and women in local stores. Don't stay at the Hilton but see what life is like. You will quickly learn that it is ILLEGAL for men and women who are not related to talk privately without approval of male family members.

  • posted at 5:31 pm on Mon, Nov 19, 2007.


    Learn about my people from my type not from who juges our ingorance Make peace my keeping peace and dont dare to talk the talk with a racist mouth full of garbage... Go learn about my people in a muslim Mosque not in a church or an sikh temple.. its no ones fault that ur so ignorant to the true all of you just need to open your eyes and Respect ISAM! Couse one day you will be sorry!

  • posted at 3:10 pm on Mon, Nov 19, 2007.


    here's how it's done
    muslim "community", if you are wondering how to say it; the post by Jennifer Moore on Nov 19 at 9:06 AM; i as a Christian, COMPLETELY condemn the acts of timothy mcveigh, et al,as being ANYTHING remotely representing both Christ OR Christianity. the guy might have claimed he was a Christian, his ACTS proved he wasn't. there, thats how it's done. the guy DIDN'T represent Christ. now it's YOUR turn...

  • posted at 3:03 pm on Mon, Nov 19, 2007.


    add up r80ant's comments and you get at minimum, a person who is sypmathetic to extremism islam. no one making that consistent of consecutive comments that are anti-american govt, and totally sweeps under the rug the killing of innocent people BY muslims as being a muslim following "peaceful" islam. and as of you yet (despite numerous "islam" blogs), i have yet to see ANY muslim come on here and denounce 911, london etc as being a representation of islam. NOT ONCE. con't---->

  • posted at 12:25 pm on Mon, Nov 19, 2007.


    "Sikh, Moor, Muslim... it's all the same to me. Call me ignorant, I don't care. You're either with us or you're with the terrorists"
    Tim, you are an ignorant and uneducated person. Moor is an ethnicity. Muslim (Islam) and Sikh are religions. Christianity, Judaism and Islam have more in common because of their common Semitic heritage than Sikh religion. Sikh religion comes from the Indo-Aryan metaphysics. The only common thing between Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Sikh religions is the common theme of monotheism.

  • posted at 12:13 pm on Mon, Nov 19, 2007.


    In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didnt speak up because I wasnt a Communist;

    And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didnt speak up because I wasnt a trade unionist;

    And then they came for the Jews, And I didnt speak up because I wasnt a Jew;

    And then . . . they came for me . . . And by that time there was no one left to speak up.

  • posted at 12:01 pm on Mon, Nov 19, 2007.


    If you don't like these people and don't want to be around them stay the hell away from them. As a previous blogger talked about the Japanese in WWII. I remember that. It wasn't pretty. They're not bothering you and Just Maybe they don't want to be around you anymore than you do them. People have got to get over this craniorectumitis. Supposedly we've come to far people.

  • posted at 10:39 am on Mon, Nov 19, 2007.


    Please tell us what freedoms you have lost? Like I thought, none. When was the last time you saw Israelis lopping off someone dome. Like I thought never. Hey is that black helicopters I hear outside your house?

  • posted at 10:01 am on Mon, Nov 19, 2007.


    i read the comments in today's paper regarding this article and i was so angry by what i read.

    the complete ignorance of some people here astounds me..

  • posted at 8:50 am on Mon, Nov 19, 2007.


    ... the entire idea of racial superiority would dissapear much more rapidly if mothers like her didnt press their opinions on their children, the current youth generation has its flaws, like all of them, but what most of us dont have is an attitude that tells us we are better because of our beliefs... THIS TOWN IS A JOKE

  • posted at 8:46 am on Mon, Nov 19, 2007.


    to pfc silverhawk... i guess that "military intelligence" really is an oxymoron, this guy spelled peace wrong, no wonder the war is moving at a slower-than-desired pace...also i as a teen, i truely dont understand why diversity is so annoying to some of lodis citizens, i realize why so many of this towns youth want to leave when i start my day by reading about someone who is obviously proud to be mother spreading that kind of hate...

  • posted at 8:25 am on Mon, Nov 19, 2007.


    Hey Lodigrape, to calm the fears of soundminded Lodians, the government stop "taking down" people who are completely innocent. Did you even follow the "Lodi Terrorism Trial" or did you simply hear the words training camp, terrorist, and Al-Qaeda and swallow without chewing what the government and media fed you? Are you aware that Americans, in the last 8 years, have given up their freedoms in the name of freedom? Are you one of them? Who's working with smoke and mirrors here?

  • posted at 8:14 am on Mon, Nov 19, 2007.


    Hey Lodigrape, actually the Israeli foreign policy the government "might" be referring to is the one that sends billions of dollars, roughly 3 billion a year since 1949, to strengthen Israel's military and continue the oppression of the surrounding Muslim countries and the fact that Israel continues to arrogantly ignore and break many UN resolutions with no sanctions or embargos brought against them, just to mention a couple.

  • posted at 6:51 am on Mon, Nov 19, 2007.


    Badminton and table tennis aint gonna cut it, Rev.
    I think you'd better practice up on cricket.
    Besides what could be more fun for kids than to strike out the Imam! LOL

  • posted at 6:29 am on Mon, Nov 19, 2007.


    Jennifer Moore for your wonderful comment, this is what I keep saying. We are all "Americans" whether the ancestory is Italian, German, Chinese, Japanese, Greek, Russian, Australian, Scottish, Irish, Pakistani, Figian, etc. That's what makes this America.

  • posted at 3:06 am on Mon, Nov 19, 2007.


    I was appalled by the comments that I read in this mornings paper. Is this the 1950's? I think some of you need to be reminded of the names Terry Nichols and Timothy McVeigh, two terrorists who were (are you ready for this) Christians. I would also like to point out the fact that the American government is know for lying about their motives. Does "weapons of mass destruction" ring a bell. The fact is that our country is based on freedom of religion. This freedom is for ALL Americans, not just the Christian ones.

  • posted at 2:28 am on Mon, Nov 19, 2007.


    To Phyllis: Liberalism equals naive.

  • posted at 2:28 am on Mon, Nov 19, 2007.


    Welcome to Lodi Ahmad Hashimi. Please excuse some of the bloggers. Some were taught to hate as children. Their parents failed them.

  • posted at 4:28 pm on Sun, Nov 18, 2007.


    to proud muslim, We know plenty. And that bothers you. Like... the Truth. You live in a secret world that you dare not show Americans or westerners of any kind. But we know how you torture women and kill children for learning or speaking anything that could expose your cultural BS. If the bulk of islam is peaceful, then help us man the idiot radicals! Yet most of you just sit... and watch...

  • posted at 3:50 pm on Sun, Nov 18, 2007.


    The only Israeli foreign policy problem is the Muslims who want to wipe it off the face of the planet!

    In order to calm the fears of many Lodians (after the takedown of the terrorists Ahmed and Khan), the Lodi mosque gets a "loving and peaceful"leader. My question is: if the faithful were listening to Ahmed and Khan then they surely weren't of the Sufi persuasion. So how long will it be before the gloves come off and Hashimi is history? It's smoke and mirrors folks.

  • posted at 2:59 pm on Sun, Nov 18, 2007.


    They are fighting Hindus to make their own country not Muslim...

  • posted at 12:48 pm on Sun, Nov 18, 2007.


    Well, well, well. Looks like the LNS will censor opinions of those of us who don't agreee with the narrow minded bigot majority on here.

  • posted at 12:37 pm on Sun, Nov 18, 2007.


    History/time will tell, on that, we can depend. Honestly? There hasn't been anything or anyone yet, to make me think that anything connected with Islam is peaceful or loving. No one has come forth to denounce or reject Jihad. Until that is a fact, I will be skeptical of anyone involved with Islam who claims to be "peaceful." You can all say what you want--911 was and still is a direct and proven connection with Jihad. If you do not embrace Islam, they want you dead. Period. And in your heart, you know that is true.

  • posted at 12:26 pm on Sun, Nov 18, 2007.


    To: alotta, LodiMom, Tim, To everyone, American, and any other narrow-minded blogger on here that refuses to look beyond the end of their nose, listen to this (more to follow so hold on to your seats)

  • posted at 7:05 am on Sun, Nov 18, 2007.


    These comments are really scary. Listen to yourselves. This is no different than how the Japanese were treated in this town during the 40's--or how the Jews were vilified in Nazi Germany before WWII. WOW! Lodi is not Lovable. It is filled with hate. I would much prefer my children choose nice Muslim friends (they have some) than to associate with some of the "good Christians" who espouse nothing but fear and hostility.

  • posted at 6:54 am on Sun, Nov 18, 2007.


    Brian, I will try to explain the first amendment to you. Among other things, it guarantees freedom of religion. Anyone who publicly demands that persons with certain religious beliefs leave the country has no respect for the first amendment. Besides a frightening level of hatred expressed on this thread, we also have gross ignorance of American law and the constitution.

  • posted at 5:54 am on Sun, Nov 18, 2007.


    I have a good idea, lets have a "Everyone suck up to Islam" day. On that day everyone can grovel, bray plattitudes, and generally fulfil their multicultural gushing. Then the rest of the year shut up and live honestly and dont subject us to the constant drumb-beat about the religion of "piece".

  • posted at 5:15 am on Sun, Nov 18, 2007.


    Brian: How would Phylis possibly know if she was a victim of the Patriot Act? Under the Act's provisions, the list of victims effected by it is classified. Who knows, your phones could even be tapped and you would never know until the day the Administration's thugs showed up at your home, threw a bag over your head and disappeared you off to some Bulgarian torture camp.

  • posted at 5:07 am on Sun, Nov 18, 2007.


    Tim: You are truly ignorant. Sikhs are no more Muslim than you are. While I do support Universal Suffrage, I am occasionally frightened by the fact that quasi literate fascist like yourself are allowed to vote in this country.

  • posted at 5:04 am on Sun, Nov 18, 2007.


    Alotta: Good riddance to bad garbage. Stay out, anti American bigots like yourself are not welcome here.

  • posted at 3:40 am on Sun, Nov 18, 2007.


    know I am right about them. deep down. Whoa Nellie.

  • posted at 3:37 am on Sun, Nov 18, 2007.


    Dr. Parviz Rasti professor of Religion and Sufi practitioner opened the Sufi Cultural Center and coffee shop. You can discuss and listen to others about ideas about God and life while you enjoy your favorite natural drinks. They are in Mountain View. It looks worth the drive. We need something like this in Lodi.


  • posted at 3:29 am on Sun, Nov 18, 2007.


    Tim / Concerned Citizen... it is uneducated people such as yourself that give bloggers a negative image. Tim, you apparently didn't bother to read the LNS the day they printed the article on the "Armstrong Road" compound. Most everyone in the community KNOWS that is a SIKH TEMPLE, not a Muslim compound... and Sikh's in India have been battling Muslim Extremists for hundreds of years....

  • posted at 3:11 am on Sun, Nov 18, 2007.


    You truly must be a dumb blonde!

  • posted at 2:12 am on Sun, Nov 18, 2007.


    Hey Lodigrape and realfacts, have you ever read the 9/11 (C)Om(m)ission Report? Read what your highest ranking government officials said was the motive behind the attacks.It had nothing to do with extremism or radicalism and everything to do with foreign policies in Israel according to the (c)om(m)ission. Moreover, FBI Director, Robert Mueller, claimed on CNN that there is no legal proof to even prove the identity of the hijackers. The burden of proof lies with the accusers and should be included in your next comment.

  • posted at 1:50 am on Sun, Nov 18, 2007.


    Hey Tim, if you refuse to adorn your wife in a head covering to honor such women as Jesus' blessed mother, the Virgin Mary, if you refuse to get down on all fours and pray like the great Prophets of God, Abraham (Genesis 17:17), Moses (Exodus 34:8), and Jesus (Matthew 26:39) did, and if you refuse education and continue to mimic the extreme sayings of your President then your claim of ignorance is confirmed by yourself long before any so-called hecklers get the chance to label you as such.

  • posted at 1:31 am on Sun, Nov 18, 2007.


    This article sickens me. Why advertise this religion? This religion is based on hating all things that Americans value. Maybe this guy should have stayed in Pakistan, and his Lodi followers should follow him there.

  • posted at 7:19 pm on Sat, Nov 17, 2007.


    i guess its true of what i heard that lodi is a racist town look at all these negative comments from people that dont know anything

  • posted at 5:27 pm on Sat, Nov 17, 2007.


    Tell your mom i am sorry.

  • posted at 5:25 pm on Sat, Nov 17, 2007.


    I believe the world would be a safer place without Ignorant people like you. People like you don't even know the history of Islam, Christianity or any other religion but always talk pretending like you know everything.

  • posted at 4:45 pm on Sat, Nov 17, 2007.


    i hope they make u so sick that u must have to leave this world.. inshallah

  • posted at 4:18 pm on Sat, Nov 17, 2007.


    Wahhabi Islam hates Sufi Islam for chanting non-Koranic verses, singing, growing their hair long, self-mutilation and self-injury, worshiping graves and tombs and praying to saints. In seeing Allah as part of everything, Sufis are guilty of polytheism and are just as much of an infidel as Jews and Christians. Interesting to note that Hashimi "came......to paint a very lovely and tolerant picture of Islam". This is nothing new as we have had this picture "painted" to us since 9/ll.

  • posted at 4:06 pm on Sat, Nov 17, 2007.


    Phyllis, What about our first amendment rights? Are you or have you been denied these rights because of the Patriot Act?
    What are YOU smoking?

  • posted at 3:40 pm on Sat, Nov 17, 2007.


    Hi. I'm a white Lodi citizen. I hate everyone that is different than me. If you aren't white from Germanic descent, then I hate you. No, I haven't taken the time to get to know you, but I still hate you just because you are different.

  • posted at 1:11 pm on Sat, Nov 17, 2007.


    It appears that a great deal of effort went into finding a man of Mr. Hashimi's experience,capability, and disposition to serve the Lodi Islamic community. A lot of people around town don't understand the heart of the Islamic faith. I hope that Mr. Hashimi can help educate our community at large on what it really is all about, and people can understand instead of fear Muslims ... and in the end learn to respect them for the fine, hard working and contributing members of our community that they are.

  • posted at 12:46 pm on Sat, Nov 17, 2007.


    "Everyone one of you know this would be a much more peaceful world without muslims". Errors aside, this is an interesting comment. Who else should we be without? 'First they came for the...and I said nothing...'

  • posted at 12:38 pm on Sat, Nov 17, 2007.


    I'm not gonna put my wife in a hijab. And I'm not gonna put my daughter in a burqa. And I'm not gettin on my all-fours and braying to Mecca. Sikh, Moor, Muslim... it's all the same to me. Call me ignorant, I don't care. You're either with us or you're with the terrorists.

  • posted at 12:35 pm on Sat, Nov 17, 2007.


    Only in America can the victim of a crime be railroaded only to have the soldout media portray the victim as the perpetrator. The Lodi Muslim Community is not reeling from the injustices committed by our government. They are still holding on firmly to their beliefs knowing full well who came out looking like the terrorists. The government is reeling knowing God completely exposed them for what they truly are.

  • posted at 11:27 am on Sat, Nov 17, 2007.


    gain the trust of the community? he can start by publically distancing himself from extremeism islam. because the lodi muslim "community" has yet to do this, most are still suspicious of "them". if he IS peaceful, thats a good thing. give them respect. but actions speak louder than words, and islam has a reputation for lying about their motives. they are "allowed" to lie, in order to further islam. so i am NOT convinced. i will be moreso when someone speaks out against terrorism (911, london, etc). i've never heard it yet

  • posted at 10:54 am on Sat, Nov 17, 2007.


    TIm please tell me you know better then to think that the sikh temple is not a islamic site sad but this is the majority of people think and so far from knowing the truth. Tim get a real history lesson and beyond the 250+years of american history remember there is 2 americas south and north so mexicans are americans hahhahhaha

  • posted at 10:32 am on Sat, Nov 17, 2007.


    Do you know the American Indians were the first ones to live in North America? Are you an expert? I dont think so. So dont be trying to tell us who is and isnt an immigrant. Im with the people who say they should just get out. Everyone one of you know this would be a much more peaceful world without muslims, but no one has the guts to say it. Not politically correct right? I think deep down everyone knows this is the truth.

  • posted at 9:00 am on Sat, Nov 17, 2007.


    What really matters is how many plates he can break on his head.

  • posted at 8:17 am on Sat, Nov 17, 2007.


    I'm appalled, but not surprised, at some of the comments here. I assure you, Mr. Hashimi, not all Lodians are like this and many of us desire peace.

  • posted at 7:53 am on Sat, Nov 17, 2007.


    Hey Tim, that's a Seikh Temple on Armstrong Road, not a Muslim Mosque. It the end result of the government's subsidization of the public school system. Human beings have become zombified creatures without thought and concious due to the proliferation of mass media, TV shows, amusement parks and other forms of entertainment. Don't be a guinea pig of this nasty test, educate yourself and save yourself from embarrassing comments.

  • posted at 7:51 am on Sat, Nov 17, 2007.


    WhoaNellie, even the "Native Americans" were immigrants if you go back far enough. Their claim over the continent is no more legitimate than anyone else's.

  • posted at 7:31 am on Sat, Nov 17, 2007.


    Tim, and by the way, the reason you feel like you're the only one that feels that way is because you are ignorant. Not that there's anything wrong with that. And to mooks, it was the MOOPS that conquered the Iberian Peninsula, not the Moors.

  • posted at 7:28 am on Sat, Nov 17, 2007.


    Tim, that property on Armstrong Rd is NOT a Muslim place of worship. It is a Sikh temple. And as covered months ago (get with the program?!) the flag is a traditional flag flown above the temple to inform everyone of the location of a welcoming place for help. There is no ordinance (or LAW of any kind) requiring an American flag to be flown if any other flag is flown. IF the US flag and another flag are both flow, the US SHOULD (not required by law) be prominent.

  • posted at 7:09 am on Sat, Nov 17, 2007.


    People of Lodi and who ever reads this... Look around. People robbing, hating each other.... It is not going to stop. When I was young, I didn`t know one tenth of the hate the kids know now at the age of 10.... It`s horrible.... AND IT IS NOT ABOUT ISLAM STUFF.....

  • posted at 7:04 am on Sat, Nov 17, 2007.


    Be proud of the United States... I am glad our men want to fight for me and you that live here. Thank you all of you that fought for OUR COUNTRY!!!!!

  • posted at 7:02 am on Sat, Nov 17, 2007.


    Mr. Rodriguez think about the history of Lodi's tenous relationship with the Muslim community. Think about the inner turmoil of the Lodi Mosque. This is front page news. And a very well written story to boot!

  • posted at 7:02 am on Sat, Nov 17, 2007.


    Tim, you are not alone. They should be flying the United States Flag first. When I lived in Lodi, there were some Pakistians down the street and I know for a fact that they burned our flag. HELLOOOOO LODI..... I`m not there any more. If I lived in their country, I would go by their rules. Same should be here.

  • posted at 6:59 am on Sat, Nov 17, 2007.


    I love how people who's ancestors killed most of the native americans tell others to get out of "their" country.

  • posted at 6:59 am on Sat, Nov 17, 2007.


    To Tim. I believe the flag you speak of is at the Sikh Temple which is certainly not a muslim compound. The flag is synonamous with the Christian Cross. When you say (these people) are you trying to say everyone who is muslim, Pakastani, Iraq, Egyptian, etc. I am guessing you look similar to me yet as evidenced by your racism you and I are VERY much different yet some might consider you and I to be part of a (these people) group. Think sir about your words as they show a side of humanity that troubles me.

  • posted at 6:35 am on Sat, Nov 17, 2007.


    who are saying these people should leave, why don't you leave. What happened to this world? I thought humans were supposed to be kind to one another no matter what color, race, creed. I'm so saddened that people can't see past their own hatred towards others, this world would be so much nicer.

  • posted at 6:10 am on Sat, Nov 17, 2007.


    We Lodians are curious about Sufi ISLAM. Will you teach us how to spin? Can anyone do it? I want to learn how. My teacher said they also call it "whirling" like the "whirling Dervishes to enlightenment in Iran.

  • posted at 6:01 am on Sat, Nov 17, 2007.


    he good.

  • posted at 5:53 am on Sat, Nov 17, 2007.


    Some of you people (Alotta, LodiMom) should be deported yourself for having such a narrow mind! Don't forget, unless you are Native American Indians we are all immigrants going back for many, many generations. I just pray your children grow up to be smarter than their parents.

  • posted at 5:41 am on Sat, Nov 17, 2007.


    Need I remind Phyllis and her like that it is your President who has shown utter disrespect for Democracy and any thing remotely considered American, i.e. amendments, rights, and what have you. Do you even know about the proposed "North American Union" that would render the Constitution as we know it obsolete and the proposed new curreny, the Amero? What's worse, an Imam who possesses "extreme" views according to you or a President who not only possesses such views, but also manifests them throughout his regime?

  • posted at 5:23 am on Sat, Nov 17, 2007.


    These comments are clear evidence that in a large segment of Lodi, conservatism=hate.

  • posted at 4:49 am on Sat, Nov 17, 2007.


    Do you remember when your church last got a new minister? Do you remember how it was covered in the Sentinel ? Maybe a nice picture and a narrative burried on the religion page. Did it get a 10" x 13" FRONTPAGE, BOLD HEADLINED feature story ? I didn't think so. Why is there this pressing desire to suck up to Muslims ? Why cant the Sentinel handle news fairly ?

  • posted at 4:48 am on Sat, Nov 17, 2007.


    I am extremely tired of hearing about Islam - especially in our community. I drove by the Islamic compound on Armstrong Road recently and was horrified by what appeared to be the Islamic flag flying high with no United States flag in site. To me, this is an anti-American statement. These people cannot be trusted. Why do I feel like the only person who feels this way?

  • posted at 4:04 am on Sat, Nov 17, 2007.


    Cripes, alotta! People like you make me rethink my conservatism!

  • posted at 3:53 am on Sat, Nov 17, 2007.


    alotta 20 june, what are you saying? I am not muslim (catholic) but aren't we all human beings? Are they bothering you? All they want to do is worship, do you worship? Everyone has there own way of worshiping and I believe that when your at a place of you should have peace, you may not believe in what the do, but every religion has their own "GOD". Leave them alone, they're just praying.

  • posted at 3:25 am on Sat, Nov 17, 2007.


    i guess they have no one worthy of "leading" their religious cult in our own country?

  • posted at 2:48 am on Sat, Nov 17, 2007.


    Welcome to Lodi Mr.Hashimi I look forward to your involvement in the greater Lodi community.

  • posted at 2:37 am on Sat, Nov 17, 2007.


    alotta 20: We live in a democracy. Better an imam from a peace loving sect of Islam live here than someone with no respect for democracy and our first amendment rights.

  • posted at 2:29 am on Sat, Nov 17, 2007.


    about the kinky curls in his bushy black beard. lmao
    Welcome to Lodi. Zooooom Is that a cesna 182 I see over head? Be more careful this time they're on to ya.

  • posted at 2:27 am on Sat, Nov 17, 2007.


    Why don't they just leave Lodi? Leave our country. Go back home where they have others who share their beliefs. This makes me sick to my stomach.

  • posted at 2:21 am on Sat, Nov 17, 2007.


    they're all peaceful... right?

  • posted at 1:58 am on Sat, Nov 17, 2007.


    amhad hashimi, Jesus loves you.

  • posted at 1:29 am on Sat, Nov 17, 2007.


    At least he is a Sufi and not a Wahabi. Not sure how long he will stick around though with all of the unrest back in Pakistan.
    Not sure why the LNS decided this needed to be a major front page story. PC at work is my guess.

  • posted at 1:09 am on Sat, Nov 17, 2007.


    why is Lodi letting these people live in there town this is why I will never ever move back to Lodi shame on Lodi



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