By Averroes Jr
Archive for the 'Islam' Category
By Stefan Rosty
22/02Does God Exist?
24/12Statements of Belief
24/12Statements of Belief
02/12THE NUMBER TWO ISLAM
26/11Peace and Religion
24/10TO DINO MOHAMADINOOO
18/10MARY IN QURAN
26/09A Statement From
24/09The Suicide Bomber
22/09What is Heaven?
22/09What is Religion?
22/09WAR IN THE QURAN
21/09What Is Islam ?
10/09Digression from Iqra
04/09THE BEST HADITH
22/08ISLAM & CHRISTIANITY
14/08Quranic Day & Night
14/08What Is Salat?
27/06Is Islam a Failure?
27/06Only One Question
24/05Prophets of Islam
23/05Islam Way of Life
22/05Hadith and Sunna
19/05Isra and Mi’raj
18/05Purpose of SALAAT
18/05What is Rooh?
17/05Salat of Quran
16/05The Book & the Quran
11/05Zakat in the Quran
11/05What Is Salat?
09/05The Myth of Hadith!
08/05Ma Malakat Aymanukum
08/05Halal & Haram
25/04THE REAL HIJAAB
By: Furrukh B Ali
For humans, the relationship with God commenced when they began to personify as gods and goddesses the powerful, awe-inspiring forces of nature that surrounded them, sometimes benign, often threatening, always mysterious. There followed a long and diverse succession of tribal deities, divine rulers, the Greek Olympians and their many offshoots. Finally, there appeared the one God of the monotheistic religions, who gradually displaced the others among a large portion of humanity. Continue reading ‘Does God Exist?’
By Dr. Ahmed Subhy Mansour
Two different visions of Islam:
There are two different visions of Islam. The first is seeing Islam through its divine source, namely the Quran. The method of this vision is to understand Islam through its own terminology and language. The Arabic language, as any other language, is a living being whose terminology and words’ meaning change depending on the time and place, and also, on the sects, the school of thought and societies in general. Therefore, he who wants to approach Islam through its divine source (the Quran) needs to understand the Quranic language and then to proceed without any preconceived ideas to trace the subject under research. It is essential to go through all the verses connected to the subject being researched to reach the final conclusion. Quranic verses are of two kinds: 1.) Mohkamat, the verses that have specific meanings and lay down the general rule, and 2.) Motashabehat, the verses that have details of the same subject mentioned in the first. It is easy to collect all the verses of Motashabehat and understand them by its Mohkamat verse of the same subject. After such scrutiny, one reaches the complete and correct view of Islam without any preconceived ideas. This is the Quranic vision of Islam. Continue reading ‘Islam: Religion of Peace’
By: – Ahmed Mansour
It is hard to brief the Political History of Muslims in a few pages, this history that circles around the Right Guided Caliphs and the other caliphs, so it is much harder to make this brief study cover another deep religious and political matters. But we would still have to stop at a certain conclusive moments in the Islamic history that we will give an indicated address. We will start with the state of the prophet Mohamed.
The prophet’s state: Consultation “Al-Shora” = The direct Democracy :
The main feature here is that Consultation “shora” was an obligatory duty for every Muslim. It came from the Basic belief of Islam which is “ There is no God except Allah” and the Muslim individuals were practicing it in mosques “Just like performing the five Prayers”. And this feature is divided into certain meanings, in the following Koranic verses:The Democracy is a part of the Islamic belief, because it is only Allah who is unquestionable, but everyone else is questionable. ( Al-Anbeyaa 23) and the Prophet Mohamed was ordered to practice Democracy ( Al-Omran 159). And this means that everyone that disdains to practice Shora, he would be rising himself over the prophet, so he will make a god of himself … and the repeating of the Pharaoh’s despotism that lead him to reclaim Godhood and destruction of himself and his people. So Despotism is a big disbelief with Allah, and the Democracy is one of the main Islamic beliefs.
And because democracy is a part of the Islamic belief, so it is to become an obligatory duty like praying. And we here point out to the fact that the Order to practice Democracy took place at Meka -before even the Muslim establish their state in Medina – at Democracy sura. And the order were written in a nominal sentence which means permanence and affirmation in the Arabic language.
Meantime the order of Democracy was put between the most two fundamental Islamic Duties in the Islamic belief, which are Praying and almsgiving. So it takes some terms of the praying in sense that it is obligatory to practice Democracy in Mosque and Home, and it is not permissible for anyone to act as a representative of any other individual in its practice. So it is a religious duty for every Muslim individual to attend the Democracy Meetings, which took place after the public pronounce “ Al-Azan” to perform a public council – not an assembly one- and discuss about everything. This is what the holly Koran told us, but the historical reference that was recorded during the Abbasyat Caliphate purposely ignored it along with the prophet’s Friday’s sermons. And both Democracy meetings and Friday sermons were mainly responsible for educating and cultivating the Muslim individuals to enable them to establish their first Civilized State in Medina.
We will be content with the Koranic speech about the Democracy meetings that was mentioned in the last three verses of Al-Nour Sura. And these three verses talked about some of the Mediona’s people who didn’t get used to attend these meetings, So they made excuses not to attend, or they sneak out of it. But the holly Koran warns them hardly of doing that and confirms the obligatory attendance for these meetings in order not to make the whole Society -including the sleeping majority- ruled by active minority and apply the representative administration, Then they apply the monocracy. And that what already had happened after the death of the prophet.
Now, we reach for a subsidiary feature, which is the political factor, which was clarified as:
1- The nation is the source of all authorities. And the prophet Mohamed while he was ruling the Islamic nation received the following words from Allah ““because of the mercy that god supplies you, you became soft with them, and if you was harsh and rough they would leave you alone. So forgive them and ask God’s forgiveness for them and consult them” and the quotation here is “and if you was harsh and rough they would leave you alone”.
The holly Koran says God supplied his prophet with mercy and he didn’t make him harsh or rough, because if he was so , they would leave him alone. And if that happened he will lose his sultan and his state. So what gives him the sultan and the state is their gathering and union around him, and before when he was in Mecca he was persecuted, and if they leave him he would be persecuted again. Then their gathering and union around him is the source of his sultan, and not from a divined authorization. And the wholly God made him soft with them to make them gather and union around him. And he worn him of being rough or they would leave him. So he ordered him to forgive them and ask God’s forgiveness for them and consult them, because they are his partners in ruling, and they are the source of his sultan and state.
2- And on the basis of previous principle the Islamic state doesn’t recognize the rule of the president and the Social Contract theory, because it demands the Society to directly rule itself. So when Allah talks about any political matter in Koran, the speech always addressed for all Muslims (Al-Nesaa58- Al-Nahl90- Al-Anaam151). Even the Word (yahkom – Rules) always cames with the meaning of judging, not ruling. (Review the word and its derivatives in the holly Koran) .
And the mechanism of the Islamic rule is based on the Shora, which guarantees the collective rule among Muslim individuals and the questioning for the people of trust “Oli Al-Amr” who were recognized in Koran as “ the people of experience” ( Al-Nesaa 59-83) . And this is not a utopian system, but it is a realistic, successful system who enables Muslims to establish their state. And it is very near to the modern system in Swiss and some European countries, where the president is just a regular employee for the people, they assign, fire and question him whenever they want. And whenever he is out of power, he becomes a regular citizen.
And correlating with this system comes the Islamic economy system which is based on the right of all society in positioning wealth, and the quotient right for Muslim individuals in wealth under a certain rules which prevents luxury and exploitative spending. To achieve a free of monopolization society.
Koraysh’s state during the judicious succession :
According to the direct Democracy that took place during the rule of the Prophet Mohamed we can answer the confusing question, which is: why didn’t the Prophet Mohamed assign a successor after him?And the answer is simply is that the society was able to rule itself according to its ruling mechanism. But there was an outsider evolution, which is the apostasy war. When the apostates tried to attack Medina and its people. This war witnessed the alliance of the military forces of Koraysh in Meka and the military forces of Koraysh in Medina, and in this critical time there ought to be victims to this alliance. And the first victim was Al-Ansar people. But the most prominent victim was the Democracy (the direct Democracy).
Before we explain the details we affirm a pure fact that the political rule in this time was full of despotism in many levels. So it is a matter of time that the prophet’s state would be beaten by this Era’s tools from outside(the apostasy war) and from inside ( Koraysh in Meka and Medina, specially the Amowyan People) . So it is normal that the direct Democracy of the prophet’s Era was changed to political despotism (in the Ammoyat Caliphate) and to religious despotism (in the Abbasyat Caliphate). And this gradual change costs the Muslims a lot of denominationalism war, assassinations and sectarianism separations that begun with politics and ends with separation in intellect and religion. From Khawareg to Sheaa.. And we still live the same since then.
And the next step in this road of pain would be what I call “the Korayshan State” in the judicious Caliphate’s Era which appears in a certain attitudes:
Alsakifa homage: this homage was the main reason of moving Al-Ansar away, after banishing their leader “Saa’d Ibn-Obada” and assassinating him in Syria. In return of that all Arabsubmitted to Koraysh only And it becomes a matter of arbitrariness and despotis (Omar the second Caliphate was about to kill Saa’d Ibn-Obada and Al-Habbab Ibn Monzer in this homage)
After Alsakifa homage there was a rearrangement process for the Korayshan people to satisfy Omowyans and Hashimyans. Under the rule of Abo-Bakr (the first caliphate). So Abo-Bakr appointed Zeyad “the son of Aba Sofian who votes against Abo-Bakr” as an army leader in the Apostasy war. And Omar used force against Ali’s defenders and he even was about to kill Al-Zobayr Ibn Al-Awam then he pays homage to Abo-Bakr.
Koraysh managed to end the apostasy wars. And to prevent those Arabs from attacking them – considering the fact that they used to earn their living from steal and rubbery- they exported their military forces out of the Arabian Peninsula as soldiers under their command. And these forces widen the Islamic states under the name of spreading Islam. Then there was a new status after the Koraysh invented this method that contradicts with the holly Koran who affirms on fighting only for self-defense without any aggression and to punish the aggressor by imposing tax on him. But these conquests were based on aggression on countries and giving its people the choice between three options: becoming Muslim or paying the tax or War. And this how the gap between the Prophets State and the Korayshan State begins to widen.
In Omar’s Caliphate the gap increased to widen when he adds to Al-Ansar the people of the conquered countries who didn’t make anything wrong to Arabs or Islam, but they were conquered, rubbed, made slaves, paid tax and they finally became a low class citizen in the Islamic country. And in the main time the Army’s leaders were appointed as rulers for the conquered countries. Although Omar were very fair during his role, but this just was limited to Arabs only, so he forbids any non-Arab people to enter his Capital (Medina) fearing assassination. But he was finally assassinated by one of them who called Abo-LoaLoa.
After Othman took over he differed Omar in his just and strictness, so the Omowyans controlled wealth and power during his caliphate. And they made a lot of monopolization from the monies of the conquered countries and lifting a little piece for the rest of the Arabs who were the ordinary soldiers of these armies. And that was the main reason of the conflict that was known as “ the great sedition”. This great sedition began with rebellion against Othman which lead to his murder and ended up with separating Muslims into several fighting political parties to establishing a despotic rule based on power inheritance, revolutions and the use of the tribalism to reach and to keep authority.
The Korayshan state during the Ammoyan caliphate:
The main features of this state were “Exclusion, Despotism and enthrallment”.The Amowyans invented a new policy based on Exclusion in different levels. They prejudiced for Arabs against Non-Arabs who were given the name of “Almawaly” as a near status of slaves. And they prejudiced for some of Arab tribes against another to keep their state alive. They realized the importance of tribalism and they used it to strengthen their state.
Inside Korayshan people Amowyans were prejudiced for Hashemyians. And inside the Amowyans people the caliphate prejudiced for his son against his brother, and he appoints his sons for caliphate after his death and he deposes his brother, then the elder son take over and he appoints his sons and deposes his younger brothers. And the circle continues.
So the excluded people from the Political participation weren’t just Al-Ansar (at Abo-Bakr’s Era) or the people of the Conquered countries (at Omar’s Era) or the rest of Arabs (at Othman’s Era) or the rest of the Koraysh ( at Moawya’s Era) but it widened to include the caliphate’s brothers and cousins. The rest of the Arab tribes were contented by submitting to these rulers who ruled over them by force, intimidation and by controlling the Money House. So the Consulates groups were gradually shrunk to become a punch of tribes and army leaders and servants who were looking for the satisfaction of the caliphate.
And the Amowyan Policy of Exclusion, Despotism and enthrallment was correlated with the severity against the Non-Arabs and the Arabian rebels against the state. So they made three unprecedented actions in the first three years of Yazid’s Rule. In the first year they killed Al-Hussien and his people in Karbola. In the Second year they braked into Medina and they killed its people and captured its women. The next year they blockade and bombard the kaaba during the revolution of Al-Zobayr.
So we don’t wonder about AbdelMalik Ibn Marawan’s speech at 75 a.h. In Medina when he said “then, I am not the weekend caliphate (means Othman) and I am not the flatterer caliphate (means Moawya) .. So if anyone ordered me to fear God, I will break his neck” .
That indicated it was a despotic military rule based of pure force and intimidation and using every means to survive including religion, War, tribalism and Money. And those means contended together against the Amowyan State and destroy it.
The Korayshan State during the Abbasyan caliphate:
The Amoyans were specialized in trade, and that was the way they earn their position. So they stand against Islam in Meka then they supported it afterwards. But Al-Abbas Ibn el Mottalib the prophet’s uncle stayed in his disbelief working on keeping the proprieties of Hashimyans and pilgrims. And he fought against Muslims in Badr campaign. Then he returns to Meka to continue his religious trade while his friend Abo-Sofyan practices his “Secular” trade.During Meka Campaign Al-Abbas interceded for his friend Abo-Sofyan to the Prophet because he was a man of proud. Then the prophet pronounced the house of Abo-Sofyan as a safety house. But Al-Abbas stayed in Meka along with his son Abdullah in Meka although the prophet returns to Medina where he dies. Abdullah Al-Abbas’s son joined his cousin Ali Ibn Abou-Talib during his short caliphate as a governor of Basra, and when the caliphate collapsed he ran away with the House of Money ignoring his cousin’s invocation for him to return the money.
Then as we can see the despotic rulers were belonged to Amowyans (Abou-Sofyan, Al-Hakam Ibn Al-Abas) who were mainly concerned with getting money by anyway . And that was the policy of the military rule of Amowyans (the secular rule by our expression) or they were belonged to Abbasynians ( Abollah Ibn Abbas) who where a religion dealers aiming for Money and power. And this was the main difference between Amowyan and Abbasyan caliphate.
We can see this different in the two state’s policy. The Omwyan caliphate was an Arabic prejudiced despotic Arabic state. But the Abbasyan caliphate was a despotic religious state with a prejudiced religion doctrine. The history tells us that (Al-Akhtal) the Arabian Christian poet in the Amoyan Era was able to freely enter the Caliphate’s castle with his cross around his nick and he gladly gets out of there because he was Arabian. But the Egyptians –even if he becomes Muslim- had to pay tax. And in the Abbasian caliphate the caliphate was able to break the neck of any man who disagrees with him in politically or intellectuality by the accusation of atheism “Al-Zandaka”. Meantime there were a lot of real atheists living honored in the caliphate’s castle because they politically support the State against Al-Shea.
The Amowyan caliphate wasn’t established on a religious propaganda. It only used the low of Force. So it didn’t have to religiously justify its crimes against the prophet’s family and Medina and Meka. But the Abbasyan caliphate was established on a religious propaganda (getting contentment from Mohammed’s family by appointing one of his grandsons as a caliphate for the Islamic State) but after they established their state they persecuted all others including Ali’s Grandchildren with a slight difference. The caliphate had to get a religious justification from his jurists. So it is a low nation. But the low always comes from the caliphate’s jurists.
Shortly theAbbasyan caliphate was an obvious classical model for the religious state. Then the Fatimyans came afterwards with more fanatic religious policy. Then the Othmanyan State incorporated a medium policy.
Once, the caliphate Abo-Gafar almansor made a speech at Arafa day. He said “O, you people I am the God’s sultan in his land. I rule you with his guidance and he made me the keeper of his money, I give or prevent according to his will” so this Abbasyan caliphate ruled with the logic of the Middle Ages where the principle of “the divine right of Kings” were a common fact.
What is left to say that the despotism’s culture was against the holly Koran’s legislation that established the prophet’s state. And while the Islamic Doctrine was written during these despotic religious States, we can say that there was the political exclusion process was paralleled to a an equal legislation exclusions to the Koranic verses that opposes Despotism, injustice and enslavement. And instead of it they established a whole new religion based on a false narrates of the prophet Mohamed and the changing of the Koranic concepts under the name of abrogation “Al-Naskh”. Even though that “Al-Naskh” means to write or to give a literal proof.Also they changed the Concept of “Al-Bayaa” -which means in Koran paying homage to hold on with right and defend it- to mean declaring submitting politically, religiously and Economically to the new sultan. Meantime they ignored the Concept of “Al-Malaa” in the holly Koran, which means the spoiling board that follows the ruler and they change it a new meaning which is “Ahl Al-Hall Wal-Akd” (the people of trust), Which contradicts –as we think- with the political reality. Because the center of influence mainly concentrated in the Women of the Abbasyan caliphates… they were the odalisques of the caliphate who became the mothers of the new caliphates.( except Zobayda the Husband of Al-Rasheed and the Mother of Al-Amin) those odalisques ruled the caliphate from behind the curtains in the Abbasyan (like Khayrazanah and Kabeha) , Fatimyan (like Shaghab) and Othmanyan caliphate ( like Woksalanah).
From a critical point of view to the Islamic Inheritance, It is clear for us that the Islamic State is a civil state based on the absolute right in thinking and justice for every Muslim individual, and the society’s absolute right in rule, wealth and security. And that happens with direct Democracy that may have been contradicting with the Middle Ages concepts, but it is convenient with our age. But it only needs Religion Enlightenment.
As we live in a world full of stereotypes, ever more so today, we believe that it is fundamental that we first identify and clarify our statements of belief. Doing so will erase any prejudice and judgments that might easily prevail once we assign ourselves any label whatsoever.That being said, we are followers and believers of Islam. While there might not be many sects under the umbrella of Islam, there are however many different manners of belief and practice when it comes to Islam. We believe solely in the Quran, as all that was descended upon all the prophets and messengers of God mentioned in the Quran. While we do consider the Hadith and all other holy texts to be often essential in explaining and highlighting some points in the Quran, we do not however take them to be indisputable words of God.The Quran alone, as it has directly descended to us from God, is what we regard as the source of all Islamic teachings. We therefore can look to the Hadith from a cricitical point of view, agreeing and disagreeing with its constituents whenever we see necessary.The Hadith and other holy texts might help us understand the context within which Islam descended. We value context and see that while the Quran is a transcendent text and is applicable to any age or time, it is still important to study its historical context to better understand it as a whole. The Quran is indeed timeless, however, some of its verses served immediate purposes specific to the time in which it descended. Similarly, the Quran does not stand as the sole governing power and that while it contains all the general codes of life, we still do require other governing bodies to lay down the complicated and detailed rules needed to serve daily needs and to suit our times.
Any sort of aggression projected upon innocent human beings is wrong. This concerns both Muslim and non-Muslim communities and organizations. Whatever be it the cause, the act of using innocent lives to gain any right or power is impermissible.
As we derive all our beliefs from the Holy Quran, we see that to be a Muslim requires first and foremost that one accepts and lives according to the ‘Righteous Path’ (6:151,152,153). This should not be reduced only to the 5 pillars of Islam, as so popularly accepted. Also, Being a Muslim does not require any of the teachings stated in the Hadith unless they are purely a reiteration of those previously mentioned in the Quran.
In this same light, we find it perhaps important to highlight several of the commandments of the Quran that are fundamental to the religion and that have unfortunately often been misinterpreted, wrongly explained, and falsely inherited. Namely,
Unlike the popular misbelief that Islam allows raids and attacks on other non-Mulsim entities in the name of Holy War, we believe in the Quran that states that war is justified only in the case of self-defense, not in offense.
Unlike in popular Sunni and Shiia practice where polygamy is allowed freely and wrongly misused, we believe that polygamy was made permissible by the Quran only under certain circumstances, namely, marrying mothers of the orphans of the men who had died during the war (4:3). This was mainly inserted in the Quran to solve the problem of all the women who were left widows when there husbands did not return from battle. Otherwise, Monogamy is therefore the main marital status permitted by the Quran.
Unlike accepted Sharia practice that rules that any thief should be punished by having his/her hand cut-off, we believe that as in the Quran, thieves must not have their hands cut-off but should rather be made to work in order to return what they have stolen. There should not be one absolute ruling that decides the punishment for a thief for there are many conditions that might differ the ruling from one case to the other. The cutting-off of hands was identified in the Quran as the utmost possible punishment for theft, not as the sole and only punishment for every act of theft.
Unlike common belief, adultery is not punished by being killed or stoned (24:2). Its maximum punishment, for both man and woman, is a hundred lashes and that requires that there be 4 witnesses. In this same regard, any witness that falsely accuses another person of adultery is punished by 80 lashes. And above all this, the Quran still allows for forgiveness and mercy in some cases of adultery.
Unlike Sunni and Shia practices that have included many superstitious and non Islamic rituals within the requirements of the Pilgrimage, we believe that the Pilgrimage was made to cononorate the sense of togetherness and unity amongst Muslims and does not entail any specific acts or rituals (i.e stoning the devil or the touching of the black stone).
Unlike Sunni and Shia rulings that have allowed for the nurture of dictatorships and monarchs that have abolished any form of democracy, we believe that according to the Islamic teachings, government should be based on consultation and on the freedom of speech.
Unlike Sunni and Shia teachings that allow for abrogation of verses of the Quran whereby some verses can erase or replace any of the older verses, we believe that the Quran in its entirety is perfect and free of any contradictions. Any verse is included there for a reason and serves its own unique purpose.
This list is by no mean exhaustive, we are simply trying to clarify certain points of our belief system to avoid being categorized or stereotyped by the numerous of the false pretexts that surround Islam today. We believe in Islam’s coherent and flawless teachings, and though they might have been misinterpreted by some of Islam’s followers, this should by no means reflect the nature of Islam itself.
“Muslim!” is quickly becoming one of the worse insults to call someone.
When a Presidential candidate—Barack Obama—is so much as (falsely) rumored  to be Muslim, it is considered a smear. Mr. Obama, a Christian, and the son of an atheist and a Christian, has to keep five signed letters from Christian clergy in his office, just in case.
Even a Presidential candidate who comes from a marginalized religious background— Mitt Romney—cannot accept the idea  of a Muslim in the cabinet.
When a Muslim gets elected to Congress—Keith Ellison —he is asked to prove his loyalty to the United States. Then, people become agitated when some shock-jock tells them that Ellison was planning on giving allegiance to the Quran, when in fact, a Congressman’s preferred holy book is just used for photo-op purposes after the swearing in on the US Constitution.
According to a survey cited by  the Washington Post, conducted by the Pew Center for the People and the Press , 45 percent of respondents said they would be less likely to vote for a candidate for any office who is Muslim. Compare this with the 25 percent who said the same about a Mormon candidate and 16 percent who said the same for an Evangelical Christian.
In a 2004 survey  by Cornell university, almost half of the national respondents favored curtailing the civil liberties of Muslims. An astonishing 40 percent of Republicans wanted American Muslims to register their whereabouts (24 percent of Democrats).
Average Muslims are routinely asked to condemn terrorism (as if it was their family member that committed 9/11). Yet, a simple Google search reveals that plenty of Muslims have condemned terrorism. The first hit  for the query “Muslims condemn terrorism” as well as the query “Muslims do not condemn terrorism” both produce a list with hundreds of Muslim condemnations. It doesn’t get simpler than that.
Every day numerous Americans pretend as if the world is devoid of common, decent Muslims. Just as recently as Friday the New York Times published  an op-ed article entitled “Islam’s Silent Moderates” which wonders why Muslims did not speak out against the rape tragedy in Saudi Arabia, the teddy bear fiasco in Sudan, or the persecution of feminist writer Taslima Nasreen in India. Yet, four days prior to the publication of the article, a Muslim writing at a reputable Left magazine condemned the injustice in Saudi Arabia, Sudan and India (among many others), calling his unjust co-religionists “dimwits.”  Yet, according to the New York Times op-ed, this Muslim doesn’t exist.
There are some Americans who recognize the demonization for what it is, and how it is comparable to previous instances of American demonization. In an email to me, a very prominent American blogger writes: “We [gays] always used to have to condemn every pedophile, as if we were in charge, and as if we were somehow pedophiles. Same line of attack. I’ve often made this point that the attacks on Muslims and gays are very very similar.”
There is a stubborn resistance among many Americans to the idea that Muslims are a multifarious and diverse group of 1.2 billion humans, living in every nation and culture of the world.
All Muslims do not act the same. Today in Canada one Muslim organization is suing a magazine for publishing what it believes is Islamophobic material, while another Muslim organization is supporting the magazine’s right  to publish the offending material. This is just one example of a very self-evident point. To give more examples would simply insult mine and the reader’s intelligence. Yet, perhaps such mutual insults are necessary when some of the world’s most celebrated novelists publicly exclaim  that “there is no individual” in Islam.
Muslims are well aware that their co-religionists are being unjust towards women, are using the name of Islam to chase political power, have killed people in the name of Islam. But the fact is: it has been Muslims who have been at the forefront of resisting these injustices, and it will always be that way, so the rest of us can either get to know these Muslims or stop pretending like we know what we are talking about.
Long before 2001 when Islamic reformation became in vogue, Muslims whose teachers were executed and who had to go into exile, were writing books about it .
Long before America cared about the rights of women in the Muslim world, Muslim women were launching anti-honor killing jihads .
One of the most far reaching attacks against Islamically sanctioned forced marriages has been a film from Pakistan , not a vitriolic screed written in a high-end magazine in London.
Whenever there is progress in the Muslim world, it is because of something Muslims themselves accomplish. After witnessing the insane amount of Shia-Sunni killing in Iraq, it was Muslims who were able to get together and reach an accord  to stymie the violence. We should not forget that the crushing blow against Soviet Union did not come from the West, it came from inside  the Soviet Union, and from behind  the Iron Curtain. Even a cursory indulgence  in the state of Islamic reform will reveal that the same is occurring in the Muslim world today.
Putting aside what Muslims outside of America are doing, it bears asking why American Muslims are so reviled given that they have been almost model citizens.
An April 2002 survey  by Cornell University showed that 26 percent of American Muslim households earn more than $100,000. An astonishing 66 percent of American Muslim households earn more than $50,000. Given that American Muslims number between 3 to 7 million in this country, that is a fair deal of taxes contributed to this country.
Further, Zogby International found  that while only 8.6 percent of Americans have advanced degrees, that number is 32 percent for American Muslims.
A free clinic serving underserved areas run by American-Muslims in Los Angeles was recently recognized by Congress . One of my good friends runs another similar clinic in Las Vegas.
Average Americans have to stop and ask ourselves how we allowed “Muslim” to become such an insult and what to do about it. Here are some suggestions:
Make a distinction between a “Muslim” and an “American-Muslim.” The former should refer to people of the Islamic faith around the world. The latter should refer to Muslims in the United States. The two words are not interchangeable.
Consider that American Muslim organizations that purport to speak for American Muslims do not in fact uniformly do so. American Muslims organize in many ways beyond those of affiliation with national organizations.
Consider that Black and Latino Muslims in America are increasingly one of the larger subset of American Muslims. This means that nearly 1/3rd of American Muslims do not, in appearance or language, conform to the usual stereotypes. Of the seven “Best Blogs” nominated this year in an Islamic blog award , two are by caucasian-muslims, three by immigrant-muslims, one by a black-muslim, and one by a latino-muslim. The award has been won by a Latina-Muslim woman for two years running.
Realize that while most Arabs are Muslims, not all Arabs are Muslim (many are Christian). Further, while some Muslims are Arabs, most Muslims are not Arab. Globally, only 18% of Muslims are Arab.
It also might be advisable to make a distinction between a Muslim and an Islamist. A Muslim is someone who adheres to Islam. An Islamist is someone who wants to live under an Islamic theocracy. Most Muslims that live in the West have no interest in Islamism. In fact, most of them came here only to escape theocracies and tyrannies.
Finally, it is worth considering that for Americans to make collective demands on Muslims groups should be deemed completely beyond the pale. If we as a society are going to make collective demands on a group, then we are implying that collective punishment is appropriate as well. It might be worth remembering that the rationale Bin Laden used justify his attacks against innocent American civilians was based on the idea that all Americans are collectively responsible for their country’s policies.