The Most Important Voice in the Middle East

I’ve been taking an informal survey of the audiences I speak to in America. How many of you have heard … Continued

I’ve been taking an informal survey of the audiences I speak to in America.

How many of you have heard of al-Qaeda? Every hand goes up.

What about Amr Khaled? Maybe one or two people know who he is.

Many of them were still quite happy to tell me what they thought of the Middle East.

Imagine if people in the Arab world knew who the Crips and the Bloods were, but had never heard of Barack Obama, and still acted like they were experts on America.

In my last column I wrote about how the intersection of four trends will shape the Middle East: the youth bulge, the religious revival, the breakdown in traditional socio-economic patterns and the increased interaction between people of different backgrounds.

These trends can lead to a generation of angry young people with a faith-based oppositional stance towards modernity, or help spur a generation of business and social entrepreneurs who reimagine and remake their region, their religion and the world.

I asked the question, “Who is speaking to this volatile energy – this restless generation – in the Middle East?”

Al-Qaeda gets a boatload of sensational media attention in America – which makes us think that they are the only social force in the entire Arab world. But far and away the most powerful voice speaking to Arab youth is Amr Khaled. And that bodes well for people there, and people here.

In a survey conducted by Akbar Ahmed and Hadia Mubarak and published in Journey Into Islam, Amr Khaled stood out as the top contemporary role model in every country they visited in the Arab world. He regularly sells out stadiums, whether in Alexandria or Copenhagen. He hosts various shows on Iqra, a Saudi-owned religious satellite channel, and his website gets more hits than Oprah’s does in the US. My colleague Zeenat Rahman traveled through Europe visiting Muslim communities and said that she heard Amr Khaled spoken of as a hero from young Muslims in every country she went to.

When I met Khaled a month ago at the Alliance of Civilizations conference in Madrid, I was struck by two things: he is genuinely passionate about helping young people become powerful and productive members of their societies, and he genuinely believes that Muslims can and should make major contributions to modernity.

My colleague on this website, Katherine Marshall, wrote recently about Khaled’s mobilization of young people to serve their communities in the Middle East.

I’ve been just as impressed by his insistence that Muslim youth in the West need to be active citizens of the countries they live in. In a 2006 New York Times Magazine profile, he is quoted as saying, “The Prophet respected the right of citizenship…Muslims living in the West should similarly respect the rights and duties of citizenship. Your parents came here a long time ago, and they had other priorities. That is fine, but your priority is to make sure we are a part of this society.”

In 2007 he launched A Call for Coexistence. In the first program, he says about Islam and to Muslim youth: “Our religion orders us to coexist. We must learn how to respect, accept, and work with each other. Coexist, but never forget your roots.”

He is critical of contemporary Muslim communities, optimistic about their transformation and passionate about young Muslims living up to the ideals of their tradition as agents of that change.

Al-Qaeda sees young people as powerful destroyers. Amr Khaled sees them as powerful creators.

And because we were made to create and not destroy, Amr Khaled is gaining a huge following of young people, and is going to change the Middle East, and the world.

About

  • Rohit

    Islamic Pakistan West & East is on Stolen land from India:But who was it stolen FROM? Was it stolen from the Tamils (who live in South India)? Surely not, since AFAIK Tamils did not live in the land of present day Pakistan. Was it stolen from Panjabis? Surely not since Panjabis are STILL living where they were always living. To be sure, Hindu Panjabis and Hindu Sindhis were driven out by fear when Pakistan was formed.Of course those Muslims who stayed in India and became presidents of India (FOUR presiednts of India were Muslim) or like Shah Rukh Khan became the richest actor in India, have not much to complain about. Hey, look, we are all people, and let us not take all these names too seriously, Hindus, Muslims, Indians, Pakistanis, we are all people, most of us eat, go to the toilet, love music and are usually nice to other people. Leave it at that and don’t talk about stealing.

  • shovan das

    Eboo Patel, you are closet fanatic trying to be a moderate. Suggest you read Captain Ahab’s mail and do not lecture us about Muslim brotherhood. You should try to talk to the Muslim on the street whose hatred for anything Western is shocking despite the fact they are living in the USA, having children here and then talking about Islamic rules relevant 1400 years back.

  • Anonymous

    Victoria are you a Muslim propagandist who wants to see Islam rule the world?

  • James, Massachusetts USA

    Hello Mr. Patel

  • Rebuttal

    Islam’s Bid to Rule the USA:You quote Frank Gaffny who is the neocon-zionist Islam basher.The mosque I go to promotes interfaith understanding. A regular dialog is conducted. People of other faiths are invited. Political participation is promoted as patriotic duty. Our leadership never sides with any political party. Community leaders of non-Muslims often visit this mosque. It’s membership is about 1,000.A vast majority of its members are professionals–physicians, surgeons, lawyers, scientists, computer programmers, historians, people with Ph.Ds etc. etc.Membership includes blacks, whites, hispanics, Asians etc. etc.Please don’t fall to Frank Gaffny or Daniel Pipes’ propaganda.

  • Philip Haska

    If you hear the words Allahua Akhbar(God is Great) uttered, you better run for your life before you get beheaded or blown up but, by then it might already be too late.

  • Mohamed MALLECK, Swift Current, Canada

    Just one sentence will summarise my whole revolt against the naivety of what you have written in this particular column : what we need is not an OPRAH OF ISLAM (Yusuf Islam and Tariq Ramadan, among countless others, have been around long enough before Amr Khaled), nor a BILLY GRAHAM OF ISLAM (we have several of those), but a HOWARD ZINN OF ISLAM to tell the young Muslims of the world specifically, as well as the youth of the world generally, about A PEOPLE’S HISTORY OF MUSLIM WORLD GOVERNANCE SINCE CIRCA 850 C.E.Howard Zinn tells the thinking literati, in words that could burn through the thickest hides of hypocrisy, about the enormous divide among, on the one hand, the bountiful promise that The Lord has laid within humanity’s reach should he actually implement his productive potential to the fullest, and, on the other hand, the atrocious dysfunction bewteen the pious rhetoric of politicians to use fleeting power to articulate that promise and their rage to use ferocious means of oppression when their failings threaten to cause power to slip through their fingers. Unfortunately, in the Muslim world, even if we had Howard Zinns to tell our youth such truths, they would be badly repressed and would have to go into exile.I am myself in Canada not because I am an economic refugee (nor, unfortunately, can I claim to be even an aspiring Howard Zinn having fled oppression in my country of origin because of my lofty spiritual ideals) but, in a very modest way because I have been deeply disillusioned by the failure of my own original compatriots to value their heritage at its right worth but to somehow foolishly pine after the hollow consumerism and So, you’re right

  • Fate

    Roy wrote: “al-Qeada has become the face of Islam because Karl Rove and Dick Cheney wanted it so. Muslims are a convenient common enemy with which to scare and rally the mindless masses against.”Just because the likes of Rove and Cheney used the events of 911 to their political advantage does not mean Muslims are friends of the West. Sort of like being paranoid does not mean someone is not out to get you.On subjects such as this I find it best to take a high-level look at the situation, instead of focusing in on specific incidents or a few people. For example, I ask where the Muslim “peace corps” are. Many nations send help to those in need or offer assistance to nations, such as America providing AIDS medicines to Africa or the testing of simple mesquito netting to protect Africans from malaria, or supplies to those in Kashmire who suffered an earthquake. So where are the Muslim nations working to make life for others better? You can find them, the Red Crecent organization being the most obvious, but they restrict their efforts to helping fellow muslims, not others of other faiths. Look at the laws in many muslim lands concerning apostasy. The death penalty for Muslims who choose to leave Islam. What does Khalid say about this? But what bothers me the most is Islam’s stated incompatibility with any other religion, or even non-religion. The most that can be mustered by “moderate” muslims is coexistence. In other words, separation and distrust, but not outright violence, is to be maintained until the only religion is Islam. That is not a good basis for any civilization. Western nations have accepted people of all faiths, Muslims lands have allowed coexistance at best, and exclusion at worst. Saudi Arabia, a nation many in the West consider moderate, would throw you in jail for opening a bible, tora or any other holy book. This is not what people who consider people of other faiths to be fellow humans do. It what people who consider non-muslims to be “infidels” do. Eboo, you can explain Muslim moderation all you want by pointing out a few speakers who seem to be calling for “coexistence”, but until I see laws in Muslim lands changing, until I see Muslims accept their national homeland, as Khalid suggests, instead of trying to break away from it as in Chechnya, Thailand, Phillipines, and other places, or using terror to wound their homelands as in the Netherlands, Britain, and Spain, only then will I consider that Muslims are yearning for inclusion in the pool of religious faiths, and the pool of those that basically believe in the same God. And from what is going on in Afganistan, I only see a resistence to allowing anything coming close to coexistence from Muslims. Maybe you could write about those Muslims who help non-muslims, who give charity to non-muslims, who work to bring non-muslims out of poverty, disease and oppression. Yes Eboo, please write a article about some altruistic muslims who help non-muslims. Can you name even one?

  • Mohamed MALLECK, Swift Current, Canada

    GNOME,The problem of ‘free will’ has been debated by philosophers, scientists, mathematicians and social scientists (if one considers them as distinct from ‘scientists’), theologians for ages, and they continue to be debated, with far far greater clarity and rigour in our own time using the latest advances in physics, neuroscience, evolutionary biology, computer scence/artificial intelligence, the latest developments in mathematical knowledge, etc.You are being not only stupidly snobbish by your dismissal of the idea of God’s Will, without trying to understand how the deity (however one conceives it, including some the best scientitsts conceive of The Deity) might exercise His Act of Will through the agency of long-term evolution and neuroscience, as well as medium term nurture/upbringing, conditioning (including by the Roman Catholic Church or Islamis Scholars or Scientology cracks), or enlightened reflection/rationality (including Daniel Kahneman’s ‘bounded rationality’ Read Walter J. Freeman’s “How Brains Make Up Their Minds” for a starter.

  • halozcel

    Victoria(you are not *real victoria*),11.118 says *If your Lord(Allah) had so will,He could have made mankind one people:but they will not cease to dispute* 11.119 *Except those on whom your Lord(Allah) hath bestowed His Mercy and for this did He create them and the Word of the Lord(Allah) shall be fulfilled *I will fill Hell with jinns and men all togather*The notion of two verses are very clear and absolute.If you believe in Allah(submission to Allah),you will not go to Hell,but all non-muslims shall go to Hell.Coexistence is Human Rights,not submission.

  • Islam’s Bid to Rule the USA

    Rebuttal,The Mosque you go to is liberal and does not hold to the tenants of the Qur’an which instructs its true followers to subdue all infidels. So either you are lying or you do not hold to the Qur’an

  • Anonymous

    Rebuttal: Muslim Physicians tried to blow up one of our airports.

  • Arif

    Victoria posts some of Amr Khaled on co-existance shows Khaled trying to get Muslims to co-exist he quotes from the Koran and explains his position; The above excerpt makes no sense whatsoever, only a Muslim can ask for such a dialog. Essentially the Muslim is telling Jews and the Christians that their scripture is adulterated, tells the Christians their belief in the trinity is false. This dialog in a Moderate Muslims eyes is gentle? I did not bother reading the rest of Khaled’s crap. Whenever a Muslim reformer begins quoting Koran, Hadeeth we cannot trust them after all did Mohammed the Muslim Prophet not rid the peninsula of all non-Muslims? Isn’t that the goal of Islam to reign in Islam for all Mankind?Vicotria typical muslim converts, all of them automatically hate their own culture, then they hate their ancestors and subsequently their countries. What stage of hate are you in now?

  • TJ

    If your so-called holy book wasn’t full of hate speech, would a moderate voice be needed? Why would such a person be so important and worthy of such a glowing write up if your book wasn’t so full of barbaric nonsense?

  • Islam’s Bid to Rule the World

    One Dead, 60 Injured in Muslim Attacks on Christians – VOM Sources

  • Mohamed MALLECK, Swift Current, Canada

    Moderator,And where are the other comments, please?

  • Mohamed MALLECK, Swift Current, Canada

    MODERATOR,There is too much hatred from Hindus on this blog, and none is relevant to the subject at hand. Can’t you cut out irrelevant hate literature?

  • Ibrahim Mahfouz

    Eboo:Khaled preaches about coexistence in the West where Muslims, as you know, have the same rights as anybody else. Shouldn’t he be preaching coexistence in his native Egypt where non-Muslims who are the original Egyptians are treated as third class trash and are discriminated against at every level of society and government?

  • Ibrahim Mahfouz

    Correction;www.bible.ca/islam/islam-kills-pact-of-umar.htm

  • Anonymous

    Correction 3 for “Omar Pact”

  • Islam’s Bid to Rule the World

    Rebuttle: Prove that what I said is false especially that Muhammad and the Qur’an teaches the subjugation of the whole world to Islam.”Our Prophet, the Messenger of our Lord, ordered us to fight you till you worship Allah alone or pay us the Jizyah tribute tax in submission. Our Prophet has informed us that our Lord says: ‘Whoever amongst us is killed as a martyr shall go to Paradise to lead such a luxurious life as he has never seen, and whoever survives shall become your master’” (Bukhari:V4B53N386).

  • THE GNOME

    Any Muslim who promotes coexistance with people of other beliefs is a welcome respite from those Muslims who insist on the world’s total and blind submission to the will of Allah. So long as the latter exist, the world will not know peace. So long as the former continue their struggle, the world will continue to hope. May God/Allah/YHWH, if he/she/it exists, bless you.

  • A. Kafir

    Muslim Brotherhood’s smiling face? No thank you. *******************************Mustafa has written widely on the growth of Islamic fundamentalist groups, and exhibit No 1 in her prosecution of Khaled is the headscarf, the emblem of conservative Islam. He is commonly held to be the single major force behind young women taking the veil. Removing it, he has told his followers, is “the biggest sin, the biggest sin, the biggest sin”.In one of his lectures he directed a tirade towards any Muslim girl who wished to mimic the West and not wear the veil: “Who respects the woman more? Islam or the ones who cannot even sell a box of matches without painting a half-naked woman on it? Are they the ones who have respected women or ill-treated them? Has not Islam respected women, covered them and liberated them from such exploitation?”Khaled has saved some of his fiercest rhetoric for the ethics of the West. In his addresses to his Arabic-speaking audience he has alleged that Western people are “fatigued by depression, suicide, addiction, broken families. We pray they will go back to the right path, Allah’s system. We don’t want to lead lives like the West.”He claims that Muslims are being “oppressed and tortured all over the world”.

  • Cliff – Fredericksburg

    Sounds like a smart guy! Why does the liberal press not proclaim his agenda? It seems to me that all I ever see is muslim hate for the west. This guy is a first I have heard about; I would be interested in hearing more.

  • cra777

    no muslim should rule a chrstian nation,just as no christian is allowed to hold an office in muslim nation.all democracies in world are based on chrstians believe ,the quran does not allow domacracy.musllims come to western counties get traded like it’s own citezens,but chrsian gets traded like a dog in the middle east.tolarance has to work both ways when that fails war becomes the only path toward peace.

  • Chris Everett

    Eboo says, “Al-Qaeda gets a boatload of sensational media attention in America” as if that’s a commentary on the media’s undue bias towards the sensational! I guess Eboo thinks the media shouldn’t have been hoodwinked into covering that flying-passenger-jets-into-the-world-trade-towers-and-the-pentagon-killing-thousands-of-people stunt they pulled a few years ago, or their ongoing let’s-blow-up-families-in-marketplaces performance piece, or their let’s-kill-tourists-on-vacation act. That stuff is all just smoke and mirrors! The REAL newsworthy stuff is coming from the Islam-is-all-about-peace newsmakers, who are getting short shrift and can’t get the message out that Islam-is-perfect-and-if-everyone-were-Islamic-the-world-would-be-perfect-too.P.S.: Rock on A. Kafir!!!

  • 12Quarts

    Obviously, as with Obama, your view of Amr Khaled is constrained by the predispositions you bring to the observation.

  • Idolator

    Woo, that was a long one, Victoria. If Islam respects diversity so much then how come prophet’s birthplace is the most intolerant (and backward) nation on earth? Why 50 Islamic nations with more than 95% Muslims?I guess you only want diversity where Muslims are right now in minority but once they cross the 50 percent mark, then goodbye diversity and it is my way or the highway?Meanwhile, the mindless violence continues in Iraq, Pak, Afghan where hundreds of people are blown up every day in the name of Islam

  • A. Kafir

    Kafirs, if you really want to see the brainwashing in full gear you should spend time at Amr Khalid’s website. Here is an article:The Prophet said, “None of you believes until he loves me more than he loves his children, his parents, and all people.”[13] He also said: “None of you believes until he loves me more than he loves himself.”[14] With every Adhan the name Muhammad must be uttered jointly with the name of Allah. No Shahadah (declaration of faith) is accepted unless his name is adjoined to the name of Allah (I bear witness that there is no god to be worshiped but Allah, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah).The Prophet (SAWS) said, “I am the chief of all the sons of Adam, and I’m saying it without any vanity. I have in my hands the regiment of thanks (to Allah) on the Day of Judgment. I will be the first who is brought up from the grave. Furthermore, I will be the first one to intercede (for you) and the first one to be allowed intercession (on the Day of Judgment). Written under the throne of the Most Merciful is: There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.”On the Day of Judgment, when the people who have safely passed the Sirat (the path above Hell) stand in front of the gate of Paradise, they will find the gate closed. They will then call on each other, “Who can open the gate of Paradise for us? Who will intercede for us with our Lord to open the gate of Paradise for us?” At that time, the Prophet (SAWS) will come and knock on the gates of Paradise. The angel who is the keeper of Paradise will ask, “Who are you?” The Prophet will answer, “Muhammad, son of Abdullah.” The keeper will say, “I have been ordered to open for you; but not to any before you.”[5] We will all need the Prophet (SAWS) at this important time: the disbelievers and the Muslims, all of mankind.The cultish nature of worshiping the cult leader so apparent in that article totally escapes the muslims. And then Amr Khalid slips in a lie when he mentions disbelievers because they did not die in Islam and it is too late for them. They will not even make it through the Sirat to need intercession. They will have fallen off the bridge a lot earlier. Why the need to lie? And then check the arabic version of the same article and the disbelievers is not there!!! So Amr Khalid lies like the rest. Narrated Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri: We said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Shall we see our Lord on the Day of Resurrection?” He said, “Do you have any difficulty in seeing the sun and the moon when the sky is clear?” We said, “No.” He said, “So you will have no difficulty in seeing your Lord on that Day as you have no difficulty in seeing the sun and the moon (in a clear sky).” The Prophet then said, “Somebody will then announce, ‘Let every nation follow what they used to worship.’ So the companions of the cross will go with their cross, and the idolators (will go) with their idols, and the companions of every god (false deities) (will go) with their god, till there remain those who used to worship Allah, both the obedient ones and the mischievous ones, and some of the people of the Scripture. Then Hell will be presented to them as if it were a mirage. Then it will be said to the Jews, “What did you use to worship?’ They will reply, ‘We used to worship Ezra, the son of Allah.’ It will be said to them, ‘You are liars, for Allah has neither a wife nor a son. What do you want (now)?’ They will reply, ‘We want You to provide us with water.’ Then it will be said to them ‘Drink,’ and they will fall down in Hell (instead). Then it will be said to the Christians, ‘What did you use to worship?’ They will reply, ‘We used to worship Messiah, the son of Allah.’ It will be said, ‘You are liars, for Allah has neither a wife nor a son. What: do you want (now)?’ They will say, ‘We want You to provide us with water.’ It will be said to them, ‘Drink,’ and they will fall down in Hell (instead). When there remain only those who used to worship Allah (Alone), both the obedient ones and the mischievous ones, it will be said to them, ‘What keeps you here when all the people have gone?’ They will say, ‘We parted with them (in the world) when we were in greater need of them than we are today, we heard the call of one proclaiming, ‘Let every nation follow what they used to worship,’ and now we are waiting for our Lord.’ Then the Almighty will come to them in a shape other than the one which they saw the first time, and He will say, ‘I am your Lord,’ and they will say, ‘You are not our Lord.’ And none will speak: to Him then but the Prophets, and then it will be said to them, ‘Do you know any sign by which you can recognize Him?’ They will say. ‘The Shin,’ and so Allah will then uncover His Shin whereupon every believer will prostrate before Him and there will remain those who used to prostrate before Him just for showing off and for gaining good reputation. These people will try to prostrate but their backs will be rigid like one piece of a wood (and they will not be able to prostrate). Then the bridge will be laid across Hell.” We, the companions of the Prophet said, “O Allah’s Apostle! What is the bridge?’ He said, “It is a slippery (bridge) on which there are clamps and (Hooks like) a thorny seed that is wide at one side and narrow at the other and has thorns with bent ends. Such a thorny seed is found in Najd and is called As-Sa’dan. Some of the believers will cross the bridge as quickly as the wink of an eye, some others as quick as lightning, a strong wind, fast horses or she-camels. So some will be safe without any harm; some will be safe after receiving some scratches, and some will fall down into Hell (Fire). The last person will cross by being dragged (over the bridge).” The Prophet said, “You (Muslims) cannot be more pressing in claiming from me a right that has been clearly proved to be yours than the believers in interceding with Almighty for their (Muslim) brothers on that Day, when they see themselves safe. They will say, ‘O Allah! (Save) our brothers (for they) used to pray with us, fast with us and also do good deeds with us.’ Allah will say, ‘Go and take out (of Hell) anyone in whose heart you find faith equal to the weight of one (gold) Dinar.’ Allah will forbid the Fire to burn the faces of those sinners. They will go to them and find some of them in Hell (Fire) up to their feet, and some up to the middle of their legs. So they will take out those whom they will recognize and then they will return, and Allah will say (to them), ‘Go and take out (of Hell) anyone in whose heart you find faith equal to the weight of one half Dinar.’ They will take out whomever they will recognize and return, and then Allah will say, ‘Go and take out (of Hell) anyone in whose heart you find faith equal to the weight of an atom (or a smallest ant), and so they will take out all those whom they will recognize.” Abu Sa’id said: If you do not believe me then read the Holy Verse:– ‘Surely! Allah wrongs not even of the weight of an atom (or a smallest ant) but if there is any good (done) He doubles it.’ (4.40) The Prophet added, “Then the prophets and Angels and the believers will intercede, and (last of all) the Almighty (Allah) will say, ‘Now remains My Intercession. He will then hold a handful of the Fire from which He will take out some people whose bodies have been burnt, and they will be thrown into a river at the entrance of Paradise, called the water of life. They will grow on its banks, as a seed carried by the torrent grows. You have noticed how it grows beside a rock or beside a tree, and how the side facing the sun is usually green while the side facing the shade is white. Those people will come out (of the River of Life) like pearls, and they will have (golden) necklaces, and then they will enter Paradise whereupon the people of Paradise will say, ‘These are the people emancipated by the Beneficent. He has admitted them into Paradise without them having done any good deeds and without sending forth any good (for themselves).’ Then it will be said to them, ‘For you is what you have seen and its equivalent as well.’” ***************************************

  • Captain Ahab

    Does he believe that all of the former Palestine Mandate including Israel is WAQF?Does he believe there is a place in the Middle East for a Jewish majority state?Does he believe that suicide bombing against Israel is legitimate?Does he believe there should be a separation of mosque and state for the stake of stability in the Middle East?It is all well and good to preach the brotherhood of man under Islam but I think these are the difficult specific questions that would test his beliefs.

  • Ed

    The battle for reform is one that needs to be fought and won inside Muslim majority nations. Frankly, Khaled seems to ignore the Koranic commandments that hamper the development of those nations including the proscription on lending at interest and the oppression of women.However, half a loaf is better than none. They can continue along their dysfunctional ways as long as they leave us alone.

  • Asma

    Being a Muslim, Arabic women myself that moved to the USA for the past few years to come and pursue a Master’s degree in Commerce & Policy and I have listened to Arm Khaled in many occasions in the past I would not say AT ALL that he is the one behind my decision to be a part of a proactive society or to decide to get a higher education. Yet Amr Khaled influenced a lot of Arabic & Muslims in the Middle East and in North Africa but Westerns and especially Americans need to understand that these countries have motivated, educated and intellectual young population that speak at least two languages, have high degrees in Science, Math and so on and we do not need Amr Khaled to tell us what Islam means. We have Amr Khaled in each of us and the international community needs to stop alienate Muslim and Arabs and stop thinking that we all “follow” in a blind way “Al qaeda”. Terrorists or extremists represent a minority in the Muslim world and people like Amr Khaled that call for peace, education and noble way of thinking are invading our societies. But again, Amr Khaled he is not the one that is going to change the Middle East, young men and women are ready for a change in the region and they already have all the tools to make of it a shiny place to live. The media is responsible to give the “right” & “fair” image of the honorable Middle Eastern that are far from being terrorists and that are an honoring their religion and believes.

  • Fatima

    Great post! I wholeheartedly agree. Part of Khaled’s phenomena is that he gives the youth practical steps to change. He urges them to start working on a local scale, fixing streets in their neighborhoods, collecting donations for their poor, urging them to be the best at their field (whether it’s medicine, business, graphic design, engineering, etc). I used to watch his show (Sunna3 al hayah: Lifemakers) when i lived in the Middle East, and I was always astounded by the practical steps he gave the youth to change their situation, and more astounded by the number of youth who took up his call and formed small societies in their part of the world (from Cairo to Canada) to change for the better.

  • Roy

    al-Qeada has become the face of Islam because Karl Rove and Dick Cheney wanted it so. Muslims are a convenient common enemy with which to scare and rally the mindless masses against. They look different, they speak differently and they aren’t neochristians. This is how elections are won, laws are “gotten around” and the Executive branch has grabbed unprecedented, unchecked powers.Muslims have allowed this neocon exploitation by not denouncing al-Qeada and their extremists. Americans still believe Muslims are secretly high-fiving each other for terrorist victories like on the day of 9/11 when Pakistanis in the office I worked in did.Muslims have done very little to earn American’s trust and vice-versa so the hate, the torture, the terror and the killing continues and will continue in the name of God/Allah or what ever one wants everyone else to call him/her/it and bow to. Abraham must be real proud of what he wrought.

  • burgone1

    Apologists are often emissaries of failing institutions. Religion consistently fails, causing much misery, when it over steps its bounds of quietude within the human soul and instructs society how to be, what to do, and how to think. Even as goodly natured Amr Khaled’s opinions they are still served with a rather distasteful main course. There are suspicions regarding even his intent. No matter how one changes the recipe the result is going to disappoint. I say true peace needs no religion, no prophet, no messiah, no heaven, no prayers, no alters, no Bibles, no Korans, no saints, no church, no mosque, no temple, no holy relics. No apologists. Whats left then is…well discover that for yourself.

  • RE: Islamic Pakistan West & East is on Stolen land from India

    You are supposed to comment the article that talks about the influence of Amr Khaled on young Muslim generation. Is it difficult for you to understand English?.Nobody is talking about India-Pakistan issues hereYou are trying to show Islam in a bad way but believe me, educated and intellectual all know the truth. I advice you to review some books of history and some books about Islam written by knowledgeable people that will clarify your mind.That is a shame that you do not have any information about Amr Khaled or about what the article is about and you are just trying to jump on the first occasion to express your hate toward Islam.People like you are the ones that represent an obstacle for the peace between Islam and the other religions. Who is the real terrorist???

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Eboo, Bin Laden, the Obfuscating Jihadist, Ahmed from Bahrain, Amr Khaled and all other Muslims suffer from 1400 years of Breeding, Birthing and Brainwashing in Islam. To counter-act this, A Five Step Program has been developed to deprogram Islam. Once again: Using “The 77 Branches of Islamic “faith” a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true “faith” (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings.” i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs. “1. Belief in Allah”"aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc.” should be added to your cleansing neurons.”2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence.”Evolution and the Big Bang or the “Gib Gnab” (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the “akas” for Allah should be included if you continue to be a “creationist”.”3. To believe in the existence of angels.”A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/devils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hittites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No “pretty/ugly wingy thingies” ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as fairies and “tinker bells”. Modern devils are classified as the demons of the demented. “4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore.”Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels/”pwtfft”s to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans. Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the uneducated masses in line. Today we call them fortune tellers.”5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) alone.”Mohammed spent thirty days fasting in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a “pretty wingy thingy”. Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5.#5 is also the major source of Islamic violence i.e. turning Mohammed’s “fast, hunger-driven” hallucinations into horrible reality for unbelievers. Accept these five “cleansers” and we guarantee a complete recovery from Islamic ways!!!!

  • Joe

    All institutions, including religious institutions, are inherently vulnerable to corruption and misuse for the sake of power. I believe it is up to those of us who believe in our religion to protect it from power grabbers. Every day that passes without response to usurpers causes the roots of corruption to become more deeply extended.These are times of great crises and great spiritual opportunity.Peace,

  • Gene Bocknek

    This is the most hopeful news about the Middle East. Its also my first contact with this blogger. Across time and cultures yong people are the primary harbingers of idealism and, as a group, the cohort most willing to work on behalf of peace and harmony. If Amr Khaled is truly the Arab Muslim incarnation of John Lennon it could be very good news indeed. Lets hope stays alive and spurs the much needed refocusing of Middle East young adults.

  • A. Kafir

    Omar Pact cuts and paste a lot of nonsense from wikipedia and a muslim site. It is apologetics gone insane.Even if one shifts the blame from Umar I to Umar II (Uman ibn Abdel Aziz) the shift is not by many years.Umar II is most famous for stoping the cursing of Ali ibn Abi Talib (the son in law and cousin of Muhammad) after the friday Khutba. Umar was trying to deal with the Shia Sunni split in Islam.He is considered one of the finest rulers in Muslim History, second only to the Four Rightly Guided Caliphs. So even if the Umar Pact was instituted by Umar II it was done very early in the history of Islam, and its effects are very well documented historically (See legacy of Jihad by Andrew Bostom for oodles of references). The actions of Muhammad himself put to pale anything that was done by anyone late in Islamic history. The nonsense of painting Umar ibn Khattab as some kind of “saint” is just plain nonsense. Umar enforced Quran 9:29 in his conquests and the Kafirs were given the choice of conversion, death, or paying jiziya with humiliation. His conquest of Iraq exemplifies that with his instruction to his commander there. Dragging in the history of the crusades is gratuitous. The period was barbaric in human history. The issue is should those barbarians be worshiped and loved and emulated. As Eboo favorite new guy in Egypt says that Muhammad is to be loved more than ones family, more than one self, more than anyone and anything else. It is this cultish slavery to a barbaric warlord of 7th century arabia and putting his savage henchmen on a pedestal of hero worship that is at the root of the problem with Muslims. They cannot and will not see that sunnah of Muhammad is that of a violent, barbaric warlord.

  • Anti-A. Kafir

    This is for the attention of all Muslim Haters: Tonight: ABC Tests Public Reaction to Anti-Muslim Bias…What if you witnessed “Islamophobia” in action and saw someone being victimized because of someone else’s prejudices? What would you do?ABC’s production crew outfitted a bustling roadside bakery north of Waco, Texas, with hidden cameras and two actors. One played a female customer wearing a traditional Muslim head scarf, or hijab. The other acted as a sales clerk who refused to serve her and spouted common anti-Muslim and anti-Arab slurs.The polarity of reactions was shocking, from support to seething disapproval. Never did we expect customers to be so passionate or candid.Watch the premiere of “Primetime: What Would You Do?” tonight at 10 p.m. EST on ABC.- What Would You Do if You Witnessed Anti-Muslim Bias? (ABC News)

  • Anonymous

    Isn’t the “worship” of Muhammed by Muhammedans akin to or the same as IDOLATRY?

  • A. Kafir

    This is for the attention of all Muslim Haters:Anti-A. Kafir, Examining of Islam will not stop. Muslims are fleeing the idiocy of the Hadeeth. You just read what HL wrote. The turks are about to clean up the hadeeth. That is not going to solve the problem. The problem is the hate in the Quran itself. Quran teaches hate for the kafirs. And that is the difference. The Kafirs in texas if they are showing anti-muslim bias are reacting to the hate shown by some of the muslims around the world and killing and beheading. They can be taught otherwise. But how does one take the hate out of the Quran itself? How does one explain the hate that the God of all has for his own creation. Allah curses the christians, the jews, the pagans, the polytheists all over the Quran. When will the muslims, CAIR, stand up and say that is not right of Allah, and is not acceptable in the 21st century?

  • Ibrahim Mahfouz

    Omar Pact:

  • Anti A. Kafir

    Christians, Muslims, and Jews will continue to condemn homosexuality as it is against the basic tenets of all monotheistic faiths.

  • Jihadist

    Hello Mr. Eboo Patel :)I see that your usual “fans” are here.Someday, you must tell us why Indian Hindus hates Indian Muslims or Muslims of Indian origin so much. Hindus, after all, are very peace-loving people and most fair to the Christian and Muslim minorities in India, and Hindus of the lower caste, especially harijans/dalits.Keep writing your essays. I hear you. I read you. What matters most is that your reach Muslim readers with your essays and your examples of activism. Yes, it is changing out here. There are Muslim political, social and economic entreprenuers shaping, changing and moving Muslims with them. I never thought of it that way until you put it that way. Come to think of it, we are already changing the way the west and the rest of the world do business and finance. Salaam, thanks and best regards”J”

  • Rajneesh

    Malleck and other Hindu bashers. Shame on you. Stick to the subject on hand. Your bias and hatred is very obvious.LET commander in Lahore (in 1999-source Outlook India)declared that Muslims will not rest until India is absorbed into Pakistan. And Muslims are working hard to achieve that. This declaration yesterday is a joke. Indian Muslims have been killing Hindus since eternity but why now (ethnic cleansing in Kashmir included). Have Muslims run out of ammunition?Another Muslim talks about mistreatment of minorities in India. Hey, at least we have them. Saudi Arabia the birthplace of Islam will behead you for bringing Bible and Geeta and almost all Muslim nations have no significant non-Muslim population to speak of.

  • A. Kafir

    Mullah Victoria or Anti-A. Kafir,I have told you before and I will tell you again: I am not a homosexual, but unlike the Christians, Muslims and Jews that you seem to know, I do not condemn homosexuals. However, your pitiful attempt to insult on the backs of homosexuals is more a comment on your pathetic character than on anything else. You merely show yourself to be a petty and helpless loser. You don’t have to be that way. You can change. You can speak your mind. You can believe in yourself. Dhul-Qarnayn or Zhul Qarnayn in the Quran is considered by many Islamic Scholars to be Alexander the Great.018.083You can read the rest in the Quran for yourself. Did you know that Alexander was a homosexual? Why did your Allah give him the power that he did?

  • observer

    HL says”No Muslim ever held that Muhammad was equal to God or that he was a divine person but he was a human being like anyone else.”49:15 Only those are Believers3:32 Say; “Obey God

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Victoria, Victoria, Victoria,When you and Khaled and Muslims et al come to grips with the flaws and hallucinations of Islam, then we will pay attention to you.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Essential repetition until some Muslim counters the reality of the following:Eboo, Bin Laden, the Obfuscating Jihadist, Ahmed from Bahrain, Amr Khaled and all other Muslims suffer from 1400 years of Breeding, Birthing and Brainwashing in Islam. To counteract this, A Five Step Program has been developed to deprogram Islam. Once again: Using “The 77 Branches of Islamic “faith” a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true “faith” (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings.” i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs. “1. Belief in Allah”"aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc.” should be added to your cleansing neurons.”2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence.”Evolution and the Big Bang or the “Gib Gnab” (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the “akas” for Allah should be included if you continue to be a “creationist”.”3. To believe in the existence of angels.”A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/devils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hittites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No “pretty/ugly wingy thingies” ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as fairies and “tinker bells”. Modern devils are classified as the demons of the demented. “4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore.”Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels/”pwtfft”s to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans. Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the uneducated masses in line. Today we call them fortune tellers.”5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) alone.”Mohammed spent thirty days fasting in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a “pretty wingy thingy”. Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5.#5 is also the major source of Islamic violence i.e. turning Mohammed’s “fast, hunger-driven” hallucinations into horrible reality for unbelievers. Accept these five “cleansers” and we guarantee a complete recovery from Islamic ways!!!!

  • Arif

    A Kafir writes:Very true, throw the hadeeth and who knows who was Abraham, David, Noa or any of the Jewish prophets. Jewish and Christian sources contain detailed descriptions of the prophets mentioned in the koran. The hadeeth were compiled some two hundred years after Islam’s prophet Mohammed perished therefore their accuracy is in doubt.The Koran too as we know it today was compiled as a “book” years after Mohammed expired. It was Calipha Othman the third caliph who compiled the koran. There is a Hadeeth that a goat ate some of the koran, wonder what Allah’s precious verses the goat ate? It is widely known that they had something to do with punishment; what else could they be. It is also known that available pieces were incomplete, they had to compile the koran with whatever was available, memorized verses, verses written on bones, leaves, wood, cloth whatever. Point to note here is; why the all-knowing allah did not have mohammed write all Gabrial stuff on paper or papyrus? On the checkout lane; paper or papyrus?This too must be reason to believe that the koran has the same problems the hadeeth have.Allah’s Quran. “Narrated by Hazrat A’ishah that ayat-e-Rajm and ayat Raza’at were revealed, they were written on something. I kept them under the cart, meanwhile the holy prophet died and we became busy and one GOAT came and ATE those ayyat” (Ibn-e-Maja).

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    When Khaled and Muslims et al (e.g.Moody, the Obfuscating Jihadist, Ahmed, Victoria) come to grips with the flaws and hallucinations of Islam, then we will pay attention to you.

  • Anti-A. Kafir

    Victoria,Let the dogs bark all day and night. Ignore them.

  • A. Kafir

    Anti A. Kafir writes: “Anti A. Kafir why do you consider a serious attempt to reach out and educate merely barking? I assume you are saying that the criticism being leveled at Islam is wrong and intentionally so. If that is the case would it not be easy to show why it is wrong? Please show where what I have said is wrong. People are smart enough to be able to see if the arguments are valid or not. You are merely confirming the fact that you don’t have any arguments at all. You merely want the criticism to go away. Well it is not going away. It will increase on the web, till you pitch in and modulate it by presenting why is the criticism of Muhammad and Islam wrong. Mullah Victoria deals with it by simply lying every chance she gets. Her posts are an example of what happens when you keep your head buried in sand too long.

  • VICTORIA

    i haven’t been in here k-HL- great post- lib- you can stop paying attnetion to me now- why are you all talking to me?

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Victoria, Victoria, Victoria,We assumed that during your absence you were finally coming to grips with the flaws in Islam. Unfortunately that was not the case. In case, you lost the list of the first four flaws, here they are again for your perusal: 1. Belief in “pretty/ugly wingie thingies”.2. Belief that an hallucinating, illiterate Arab did actually talk to the “pretty Gabriel” in the hot “Gabe” cave and therein received the warmongering and anti-female words and resultant laws now listed in the koran.3. That Sunnis are superior to Shiites in all aspects of life. And Shiites think the same way about Sunnis. 4. That Islam is perfect and the koran inherently condones no sin even though the 24/7, 800 year-old blood feud between Sunnis and Shiites gives significant credence that greed, hate, suicides, assassinations, maiming, and murder are condoned by the koran. Having multiple wives also gives significant credence to the sins of rape, adultery, lust and polygamy. The condoned treatment of these wives gives credence that the koran allows the sins of hatred, anger and greed.

  • A. Kafir

    Anonymous,The problem is the Quran. The Hadeeth stand totally discredited among the educated muslims now. So the examination of the Quran can begin on its own. Look at what you quote of the Quran:049.013The literal translation of the verse is :You, you the people, that We created you from a male and a female, and We made/created you (into) nations/communities and groups/tribes to know each other, that truly (the) most honoured/kind of you at God (is) your most fearing and obeying, that truly God (is) knowledgeable, expert/experienced.Allah is clearly saying that he created the people from a single male and a female. That is wrong. As man knows genetics today that would have been disastrous. Evolution and natural selection totally disagree with the notion that all mankind came from a single couple Adam and the woman created for him. So how does one make all the inconsistencies with science and what man has learned since the 7th century merely go awaw from the Quran? It is not a precious jewel. It is a historical document of what people believed in and what their world view was. It has held sway over a large chunk of humanity ever since, and an awful lot of killings and misery has been caused amongst humanity by following its absurd credo of dividing mankind into muslim and non-muslim. Muslims are still tied to it emotionally and psychologically and are having a very very difficult time coming to terms with the simple fact that modern science and modern knowledge has bypassed it and shows it to be simply and plainly wrong. The Allah, the all knowing God, just simply cannot be as ignorant and silly as the one thundering in the Quran. Allah says in the Quran that man is created from a drop of liquid proceeding from between the ribs and the backbone!!! Allah does not even know simple physiology, and you want all of humanity to follow this “jewel”? Please start using your reason a little.

  • Anonymous

    Islam (Submission) today is like a precious jewel that is buried under piles upon piles of man-made innovations. Our aim must be to purge these innovations by upholding the Qur’an and nothing but the Qur’an alone, and present the jewel of true Submission to the world.

Read More Articles

colbert
Top 10 Reasons We’re Glad A Catholic Colbert Is Taking Over Letterman’s “Late Show”

How might we love Stephen Colbert as the “Late Show” host? Let us count the ways.

emptytomb
God’s Not Dead? Why the Good News Is Better than That

The resurrection of Jesus is not a matter of private faith — it’s a proclamation for the whole world.

noplaceonearth
An Untold Story of Bondage to Freedom: Passover 1943

How a foxhole that led to a 77-mile cave system saved the lives of 38 Ukrainian Jews during the Holocaust.

shutterstock_148333673
Friend or Foe? Learning from Judas About Friendship with Jesus

We call Judas a betrayer. Jesus called him “friend.”

shutterstock_53190298
Fundamentalist Arguments Against Fundamentalism

The all-or-nothing approach to the Bible used by skeptics and fundamentalists alike is flawed.

shutterstock_178468880
Mary Magdalene, the Closest Friend of Jesus

She’s been ignored, dismissed, and misunderstood. But the story of Easter makes it clear that Mary was Jesus’ most faithful friend.

shutterstock_186795503
The Three Most Surprising Things Jesus Said

Think you know Jesus? Some of his sayings may surprise you.

shutterstock_185995553
How to Debate Christians: Five Ways to Behave and Ten Questions to Answer

Advice for atheists taking on Christian critics.

HIFR
Heaven Hits the Big Screen

How “Heaven is for Real” went from being an unsellable idea to a bestselling book and the inspiration for a Hollywood movie.

shutterstock_186364295
This God’s For You: Jesus and the Good News of Beer

How Jesus partied with a purpose.

egg.jpg
Jesus, Bunnies, and Colored Eggs: An Explanation of Holy Week and Easter

So, Easter is a one-day celebration of Jesus rising from the dead and turning into a bunny, right? Not exactly.

SONY DSC
Dear Evangelicals, Please Reconsider Your Fight Against Gay Rights

A journalist and longtime observer of American religious culture offers some advice to his evangelical friends.