Keith’s Special Comment on Hillary’s assassination remark
Archive for the 'Islamophobia' 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
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.
CBC interview with Irshad Manji on the topic of faith, organized religion and Islam. Fair warning, Irshad Manji is not an orthodox voice on the topic of religion.
Zeitgeist, the Movie is a 2007 non-profit web film produced by Peter Joseph that characterizes American culture in light of myth of god, country, and prosperity. The film is divided into an overture and three parts – Part I: “The Greatest Story Ever Told”, Part II: “All The World’s A Stage”, and Part III: “Don’t Mind The Men Behind The Curtain” – and discusses topics that include respectively Christianity, the attacks of 9/11, and the Federal Reserve Bank. A remastered version was presented as a global premiere on November 10, 2007 at the 4th Annual Artivist Film Festival & Artivist Awards.
Since its free online release via Google Video in the spring of 2007, the film has been viewed over 10 million times.
Part II: All The World’s a Stage Part II asserts that the United States was warned about the impending September 11, 2001 attacks, that NORAD was purposely confused through wargames to allow the planes to reach their targets, and that the World Trade Center buildings underwent a controlled demolition. Additionally, the film argues that the named hijackers are still alive, that Hani Hanjour could not have flown Flight 77 into the Pentagon, that the Bush Administration covered up the truth in the 9/11 Commission Report, and that the mainstream media has failed to ask important questions about the official account.
This post contains a link to Dr. Shabbir’s recommended readings. It contains books and articles on Islam, history, science and the Quranic message written by scholars and intellectuals of all around the world. The works are meant for further studies, reflection and many can be used as sources for writings.
Dr. Sayed Abdul Wadud
- The Hadith Conspiracy by Mohammad Asadi
- Democratic Principals of Quran by Neil Maybanks
- The Natural Republic by Dr. Ayman
- Iqbal and Goethe by Anil Bhatti
- Speeches of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan
- Ad-Deen by Tanveer Hussain
- Al-Islam by Tanveer Hussain